The war of words just won’t leave Lewis Hamilton alone or the young man just seems to thrive on the constant conflagration of words with peers (when does this guy get a break already?). Today’s qualifying session had a “moment” in which Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren slowed to allow for a gap to his teammate Jenson button on the final corner prior to starting his last qualifying lap.
The issue was that time was running out and the teams had left it too late to really have a comfortable margin. The same could be said of Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher who had left it even later than Hamilton to make their final run.
The issue escalated as Hamilton slowed and it caught Webber and Schumacher off guard as they both went around Hamilton. Messrs. Webber and Schumacher were running out of time as well and couldn’t wait for Hamilton to get his comfortable gap between his teammate.
The criticism comes from the perspectives:
“I didn’t want to pass him at all,” the Australian explained. “I didn’t want to get involved in any of that.
“But the team were saying ‘Come on, get on with it, we’re running out of time, you’re not going to be able to start the lap, you’ve got to push through the last chicane’.
“So that was a bit of a mess.”
“Out of nowhere, he just shot up the inside and nearly crashed with me, so I had to avoid him.
“And then I saw, I didn’t even see Michael as I gave Mark room, but he nearly crashed on me on the left, so it was quite dangerous.
“I don’t know what the hell he was doing, but he (Schumacher) went off onto the grass. It was just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever experienced in qualifying,”
“I had Webber in front because Hamilton slowed down. I don’t know what was in front of him, if he really had to slow down that much, but it was tight for all three of us so we all had to push somehow to make it through and do another lap.
“At that moment I was set to do a lap because I didn’t know whether Kobayashi, or somebody, may go out [to set a time]. I tried my best and Lewis pushed me a little bit wide onto the grass. I made it through, but a bit of an awkward start of a qualifying lap.”
Schumacher was asked if his lap was compromised by the incident. While he felt it wasn’t, he still thinks Hamilton was too slow:
“Not really, luckily nobody else – or at least Kobayashi – didn’t go out again to set another lap, because that would have meant I would have been shy by probably a second. Which was a bit stupid – at the last chicane everybody was driving so slow.
“I saw my time, so I knew I had to go through somehow otherwise I wouldn’t make it. I just missed it [the flag] by a second. Bit of a shame, but it didn’t make a problem in the end.”
The only thing that could have made this to over-the-top story of the day would have been to have Felipe Mass involved in the incident as he’s been at the heart of last weeks war of words with Hamilton.
As it is, a racing incident but the teams all left it too late and that’s the reality. I think it’s hard to blame Lewis for trying to gap it perfectly and I can’t blame Webber and Schumacher who were behind Hamilton as they had even less time to get over the line. They had to make the move they did to even have a chance.
what’s your perspective of the situation?