Formula 1 Racing

Did Hamilton deserve penalty for “kamikaze” first-lap move? · F1 · RaceFans

Did Hamilton deserve penalty for "kamikaze" first-lap move? · F1 · RaceFans

Several drivers believed Lewis Hamilton was to blame for the first-corner collision which occured during yesterday’s sprint race in Miami – and not just those whose races were ruined.

An unimpressed Fernando Alonso even claimed the stewards would have issued a penalty had a Spanish driver done the same thing.

The stewards ruled no single driver was responsible for the collision involving Hamilton, the two Aston Martin drivers and Lando Norris. Were they right?

How it happened

As the field arrived at turn one, the two Aston Martin drivers tangled as Hamilton reached the apex kerb. As Hamilton ran wide from the apex, with a puff of smoke from one of his tyres, the Aston Martin drivers took a tighter line and the cars converged.

Alonso and Hamilton’s onboards show the initial contact between Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Following that collision, Hamilton hit Alonso, pushing him further into his team mate and on into Lando Norris. Hamilton’s onboard shows how wide he was of the apex when that contact was made:

What they said

In the cars

Immediately after the collision Hamilton reported: “I had a touch with the guys.” A lap later, while under Safety Car conditions, he added: “There was a gap on the inside, so I went for it.”

Alonso said “Hamilton arrived like a bull” after he was hit by the Mercedes driver.

Another driver who was not involved in the collision, Nico Hulkenberg, offered a view on it during the Safety Car period: “Jesus, I don’t know what Hamilton was thinking there. That was proper kamikaze.”

After the crash

Hamilton said much the same after the race as he had during it. “Of course, it wasn’t intentional to be touching with anyone,” he said, “but everyone’s pushing as much as possible, and I went for a gap, but then I think those guys went wide and then came back across. So that’s kind of where we connected.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Miami International Autodrome, 2024
Norris blamed Hamilton for his retirement

However Norris, whose race ended immediately as a result of the collision, laid the blame at Hamilton’s feet: “Lewis dived up the inside and caused the incident,” he said. “Nothing I could do about that.”

The stewards announced during the race no action would be taken over the incident. Alonso said afterwards he thought the Mercedes driver would not be penalised.

“We’ll see what they decide,” he said. “I guess they’re not going to give anything because he’s not Spanish.

“But I think he ruined the races of a few people, Norris especially, which had a…

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