During the high-stakes thrills of the Italian Grand Prix, an unfortunate collision resulted in Lewis Hamilton apologising to McLaren‘s newest driver, Oscar Piastri. The Australian rookie had been jostled out of his point-scoring position due to the sudden need for a replacement front wing following their clash on the racetrack.
Hamilton, known globally as the seven-time world champion and the most successful driver in the sport’s history, acknowledged his own liability for the incident. Despite finishing the race in sixth place, the Mercedes representative was shackled by the double-blow of a five-second penalty imposed by the stewards, and a two-point penalty to his personal record.
Prior to their mishap, Piastri had secured eighth place and was defending his position. The collision occurred as Hamilton, hungry for an overtake, collided with the McLaren rookie on the entry to the Variante della Roggia, with just 10 laps remaining in the race.
Hamilton opened up about the incident to reporters, stating, “It was a bit unfortunate and I misjudged the gap I had with Piastri right at the end.” He went on to accept full responsibility, “It was totally my fault and I went and apologised to him straight afterwards and we move on.”
Applauding Hamilton’s sportsmanship, Toto Wolff, the Team Principal of Mercedes, spotlighted Hamilton’s willingness to bluntly acknowledge his mistake, a trait he noticed missing in his competition. Given the nature of race radio conversations with some drivers trying to deflect blame, Hamilton’s frank acceptance showed a different perspective.
Wolff spoke on this, saying, “He’s very sportsmanlike of these things. And he is the only one that I see out there admitting and saying ‘got this wrong’. We just had a chat (and he said) ‘didn’t see him on the right and it goes on me.'”
He ended his comments with the observation, “Pretty much everyone is otherwise complaining and moaning just to try not to get a penalty.”