Lewis Hamilton accepts blame as he pulls out of Qatar GP after George Russell clash

Nate SandersGeneral Teacher, F1October 8, 2023, 01:48 PM ET2 minute reading

ANP via Getty Images

DOHA, Qatar — Lewis Hamilton has been ejected from the Qatar Grand Prix after colliding with teammate George Russell at the first corner, an incident Hamilton has taken responsibility for.

Russell and Hamilton started second and third and saw each other going into Turn 1.

Hamilton stayed out and Russell bottled up behind Verstappen who started from pole position. As Russell drifted to the left, Hamilton came at speed and collided.

The collision took Hamilton’s right rear tire off his car and into the gravel, instantly ending his race. Russell was able to continue.

After the crash, Mercedes asked Hamilton if he was OK, to which he replied curtly: „Yes, I’ve been kicked out by my own team-mates”.

Russell clearly realized his teammate had made a mistake on his own radio channel: „Come on guys! Two races in a row.”

Russell radioed twice in the ensuing lap.

„I’m so sorry guys, I didn’t even look back,” he said after making a pit-stop to repair the damage. „I focused forward and came from nowhere.”

„F—– lost for words, honestly,” Russell said in another radio message during the safety car.

„I saw the replay on the TV screen. I couldn’t do anything. Completely sandwiched.”

Shortly after, Hamilton went to the media pen and admitted that he had put Russell in a difficult position.

„I think in the heat the moment I felt it… it was obviously frustrating because I felt this tube from the back end. But I didn’t think George was going anywhere,” he said. „I think it’s an unfortunate situation and I’m happy to take responsibility because that’s my role.

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„I’ll have to go back and look at it, but I don’t feel it’s George’s fault.”

Hamilton played down any suggestion that the crash would lead to a tense situation with Russell.

„The relationship hasn’t broken up. I don’t have any problems with George. We have a good relationship and we always talk about things. It’s certainly unfortunate and I’m sure he’s frustrated at this point. I was.

„But we’ll talk about it offline and we’ll move on. This apology goes out to all the teammates.”

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