The driver of the Mercedes car also mentioned Ayrton Senna’s well-known statement that if you don’t take a chance, you can no longer consider yourself a racing driver.
Perez decided to withdraw from the race due to damage to his car caused by the Turn 15 incident. As a result, Hamilton received a 5-second penalty because the stewards determined that he was mostly responsible for the incident.
He went down from fourth position on the track to seventh in the final sprint rankings, and he was also given two penalty points.
When questioned about the incident, Hamilton expressed that the challenging conditions and our collective efforts make it difficult, and he clarified that it was not intentional.
“I believe I took advantage of an opportunity. He was moving slowly while navigating Turn 14, so I seized the chance to pass him on the inner side. I had a significant lead of over half a car length on the inside. As Ayrton always emphasized, if you don’t strive for opportunities, you’re no longer truly competing. And that’s exactly what I did.”
“When I reviewed the footage, it seems like a situation that commonly occurs during races. I strongly believe that we are currently in a phase focused on racing, and we should not let this incident discourage us from continuing.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, in Parc Ferme after the Sprint
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
Motorsport.com inquired if Hamilton found it frustrating to receive a penalty considering his infrequent involvement in such incidents. However, Hamilton minimized the significance of the points lost.
“In a race such as today, to be honest, I don’t place much importance,” he expressed. “The points earned are not significant. Naturally, it would have been pleasant to secure fourth place, but my true desire is to emerge victorious! Therefore, whether it’s fourth or seventh, it holds no real significance.”
During the final stages of the race, Hamilton found himself unable to catch up to Pierre Gasly, who was in third place. Hamilton explained that due to the collision, his car’s floor was damaged, resulting in a significant loss of downforce. As a result, his car’s rear end was unstable, the tires were deteriorating, and he was unable to close the gap between them.
Hamilton concurred with the FIA’s decision to have the field follow the safety car for a few laps prior to the rolling start.
“Oh my goodness, the visibility out there is extremely poor,” he remarked. “Fortunately, those practice rounds were beneficial. Even after reaching turn five, the braking area was completely obscured, making it seem like we could maintain a constant speed indefinitely.”
“You are elevating to approximately 300 meters, when suddenly a sign emerges, indicating the presence of a corner.”