Lewis Hamilton under FIA investigation after George Russell crash in Qatar

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collide on the opening lap of the Qatar Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton is under investigation by the FIA following his and George Russell’s collision on the opening lap of the Qatar Grand Prix.

Following their first lap clash going into Turn 1 of the Qatar GP in Lusail, Lewis Hamilton says he’s happy to “take responsibility” for the incident that saw the two Mercedes drivers collide.

Hamilton had started the race on fresh softs and got a great launch to get alongside Russell into Turn 1 as the other Mercedes driver tried to stick around the outside of polesitter Max Verstappen. But, with nowhere for Russell to go, he and Hamilton collided as the seven-time World Champion swooped in too tightly into the right-hander.

Lewis Hamilton under investigation by FIA stewards

With Hamilton initially very annoyed as he complained about his teammate “taking me out”, the disconsolate driver clambered out and walked across the track under the Safety Car conditions.

This isn’t permitted under the rules, meaning the FIA are now set to investigate Hamilton following the race.

Speaking to media after his retirement, Hamilton had taken the time to review the incident properly and held his hands up to accept responsibility for the collision.

“I just feel really sorry for the team. there was a good opportunity today to get some good points,” he told Sky F1.

“In the heat of the moment, I mean, I didn’t really understand what happened.

“Obviously, I felt the tap from behind, but I don’t think George probably had anywhere to go. It’s just one of those really unfortunate situations. I mean, I’m happy to take responsibility.”

Elaborating, he said: “I’m happy to take responsibility, because that’s my role [as a senior team member].

“I need to go back and look at it, but I don’t feel like it was George’s fault.

“The relationship isn’t broken. I don’t have any problems with George, we have a great relationship. This is definitely unfortunate and I’m sure he was frustrated in the moment as I was.

“But we’ll talk about it offline and we’ll move forward.”

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Asked about his feelings on the feeling back at the team, given Hamilton isn’t frequently taken out of races as a result of driver errors, the seven-time World Champion explained that he will be watching on and cheering on his teammate.

“Everyone is working incredibly hard. So it’s massively gutting to have a result like this,” he said.

“Because you’re preparing, putting the time in, and it’s very rare that this happens to me.

“I hope George is able to get back into the points today. So I’ll be supporting him.”

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