Hamilton accuses Sirotkin of ‘disrespectful move’ in Q2 near-miss
Lewis Hamilton has hit out at Sergey Sirotkin in their near-miss midway through Q2 in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix accusing the Williams driver of “a disrespectful move” being “completely unnecessary”.
The Mercedes driver had been preparing for a fast lap coming out of the penultimate corner when the Williams driver arrived behind him travelling much faster and forcing the pair into avoiding action.
Contact looked imminent as both drivers moved to the left side of the track but the Russian was able to move partially on to the grass to miss the reigning Formula 1 world champion’s car.
Reacting to the flashpoint after securing his 10th pole position of 2018, Hamilton laid the blame solely on the Russian F1 rookie, who was also on an out-lap, and feels he didn’t respect the space each driver leaves between each other before starting a fast lap.
“Everyone was on an out-lap, me, Sergey and everyone in front of me,” Hamilton said. “When you are on an out-lap, Valtteri was ahead of me and he was backing off to get his gap to I had to back off.
“I was making sure I had the gap but then all of a sudden I saw a car coming at high speed and was like ‘oh my God, is that someone coming on a lap?’ So I went left, but he was going left.
“But he wasn’t on a lap, so I don’t know what his thinking was. We all know to keep a gap.
“It was a disrespectful move. I was trying to get out of his way and then he got to the corner and slowed up. It was kind of strange. It was completely unnecessary because behind him there was a bit of space so ultimately his lap and my lap weren’t great. Hopefully he can learn from it.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 10, 2018
While Hamilton was initially rumoured to be placed under investigation by the FIA stewards for impeding another driver by driving slowly on the racing line, which has occurred a three-place grid penalty for other drivers this season, the British driver did not serve an FIA inquiry for the incident.
Hamilton has also avoided any post-qualifying infringement issues following a similar incident with Kimi Raikkonen during Q2 when the Ferrari driver started a fast lap.
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November 10, 2018 at 09:09PM