Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was penalised by the Belgian Grand Prix stewards on Sunday for refusing to go through the circuit’s medical centre after his first-lap collision. Hamilton has admitted responsibility for the collision between himself and Alpine driver Fernando Alonso on the first lap of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix, but can’t help but flame the Spaniard with a backhand comment.
Lewis Hamilton collided with Spaniard Fernando Alonso’s Alpine on the first lap of Sunday’s race at Spa-Francorchamps, sending his Mercedes flying off the track and landing hard on all four wheels. The impact was sufficiently violent to trigger an FIA alert via the sensors fitted to the F1 cars.
Race management asked Lewis Hamilton to go to the circuit’s medical centre immediately after his retirement, but the British driver refused. As this is not the first time that a driver (not Hamilton) has refused to undergo the mandatory tests at the medical centre this season, the stewards decided to issue a warning.
In sporting terms, Lewis Hamilton left Spa-Francorchamps without having scored a single point this Sunday. After the Belgian Grand Prix, the British driver is sixth in the world drivers’ championship.
On the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton made contact at the Combes corner at the end of the long Kemmel straight, with the front left tyre of Alonso’s Alpine touching the right rear tyre of Hamilton’s Mercedes. The British driver’s W13 then literally took off and landed on its four wheels a few metres further on. The two men were able to get back on track, but Lewis Hamilton ended up retiring a few corners later due to the damage to his car.
On the radio, Fernando Alonso was quick to call Lewis Hamilton an idiot, while the seven-time world champion admitted that he was to blame after seeing the footage of the accident during the race.
“When I looked at the footage I saw that he was in my blind spot and I didn’t give him enough space. So it was my fault, I’m so sorry for the team today,” said Hamilton, not actually apologising to Alonso,
“I’m just sorry for the team, we had a chance of P3 and P4 today. The car was doing well in the grid laps, we had it in a good position and I had a good start.”
“After three weeks away, I was looking forward to racing today so it’s frustrating, but that’s how it is. At the moment my job is to focus on the next race, I need to recover and get back on the treadmill.”
When asked to comment on Fernando Alonso’s comments on the radio immediately after the accident, Lewis Hamilton felt the Spaniard had acted in anger whilst making a backhanded comment on their career results:
“It was an angry moment, I’d rather not say anything,” said Hamilton, who then goes on to say more about Alonso,
“We’ve had different results in our careers and those are things you say in the heat of the moment.”
Lewis Hamilton leaves Belgium without scoring a single point and is still sixth in the drivers’ world championship after this 14th round of the year.