Lewis Hamilton gives blunt response after George Russell SQ3 near miss

Mark Scott
George Russell talks to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

George Russell in conversation with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton held back on making any lengthy comment or analysis after a scrappy exchange with George Russell during SQ3 at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was tailing Russell on their final hot laps and Russell seemingly opened the door for his team-mate to pass smoothly after running wide and locking up at La Source.

However, Russell would continue on with his lap even though he had already effectively ruined it – and that prompted a bit of an on-track scrap with Hamilton down the Kemmel Straight which also compromised his lap.

Lewis Hamilton bites his tongue

Hamilton was inevitably asked about the incident following the session, but the seven-time World Champion stopped himself from getting into the real nitty-gritty of it and shot down the question.

“I mean, I was letting…but it doesn’t really matter,” Hamilton said in the mixed zone at Spa.

Hamilton, though, was more forthcoming about the preparation for the hot laps and was critical of the initial communication from the pit wall.

“We’re not happy about it obviously,” Hamilton commented after only managing to qualify P7 for Saturday’s sprint.

“The car was good and it was just a really fun session and it was looking great.

“I had that push lap which put me first after the first round [of hot laps in SQ3] ] and I knew I could go quicker. I think honestly, I think I would have been first or second in that session, on that last lap.

It’s just communication was pretty poor. It was difficult to understand at the last corner with seven cars, or whatever it was, trundling around.

“We were led to believe that we didn’t have any more time left and so we were pushing, but in turns out we had plenty of time. And then obviously, with George…yeah, so it’s just the way it is.”

George Russell, who admitted that he made mistakes, also blamed poor communication which led to a “total mess” in the sprint qualifying session.

“I was surprised to actually get through to SQ3 as there were so many mistakes from my side and a bit of miscommunication about the clock finishing,” Russell analysed.

“I think we had more time on the clock than we expected. I was too close to the car in front and Lewis was too close to me. It was a bad, bad session.”

Russell will line up P10 on the grid for Saturday’s sprint.

Read next: Cost cap breaches: ‘Ruthless’ FIA performing raids and reading WhatsApp messages