Hamilton: Rules are rules, Vettel blocked me

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton has been in a "sweet spot" since 2018.

Lewis Hamilton stands by his comment made in the heat of the moment that Sebastian Vettel’s block during the Canadian Grand Prix was “dangerous”.

Racing for the victory, Hamilton was right on Vettel’s rear wing when the Ferrari driver made a mistake at Turns 3 and 4.

Going off the track, Vettel returned right in front of Hamilton and cut off the Mercedes driver, who was forced close to the wall.

“He just came on the track, so dangerous,” Hamilton told his pit wall.

“Copy, Lewis, we’re on it,” came the response.

Minutes later Race Control confirmed that the incident was under investigation with the end result being a five-second time penalty for Vettel, and the loss of the race win.

Hamilton, who benefitted from Vettel’s penalty to take the win despite crossing the line second, stands by his comment.

“Usually the first instinct is often the right one, I would say,” he told Autosport.

“When I watched the replay and had a look at my data I had to brake at the exit of Turn 4.

“There was a hazard there, and if I had not done that, we would have crashed. I don’t feel any different about that.

“The thing is from a driver’s point of view you know how it goes.

“It’s different when you’re watching as a viewer, but as a driver things go wrong, and it’s ‘shoot!’ – you try and squeeze so that you don’t lose position.

“It’s a natural instinct that we have.

“You’re not going to go, ‘actually I’m going to pull to the left and let them bloody go by.’

“He did block me, but unfortunately he went off track, and the way the rules are written, that’s how it’s prescribed.”

But while Hamilton feels what Vettel did was wrong, and dangerous, he reckons he would have done the same had their positions been reversed.

“I watched the replays. It’s obviously very close,” the Mercedes driver explained.

“What I can say is if I was in the lead and I made a mistake and went wide, I probably would have done the same thing.

“It happens so quick, and you’re just trying to hold position. And when I say I’d do the same, I would have tried to squeeze him too.

“That’s ultimately what happened. So my opinion on that has not shifted.

“Regarding the rules, say you didn’t have that rule, I would have kept it lit, and we would have crashed. One way or not it was going to go badly.”

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