Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

Hamilton apologises to Di Resta after penalty

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

Lewis Hamilton apologised to Paul di Resta after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Force India driver took to the grass to avoid Hamilton as he spun his McLaren to recover from a spin during the race.

Hamilton was later handed a drive-through penalty for his actions.

Hamilton said: “I have to apologise to Paul di Resta.

“I didn’t see him so I had absolutely no clue, I don’t know where or what happened, so I got a penalty for something, which is to be expected I guess. So I apologise to him.”

Di Resta, who scored his best result of the year with seventh, said: “Thankfully I saw him quite early, I saw before I went into the chicane he’d had a moment.

“And just as I came out of the chicane, I was a bit surprised, but at the same time there was time to take action on it. I think Lewis was leading the race at that point so I can fully understand what he was trying to do.

“But there’s no harsh feelings. I spoke to Lewis about it, he just said he didn’t see me. But if it had cost us a lot of points then it would have been a hard one.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “Hamilton apologises to Di Resta after penalty”

  1. He was mature and gracious in defeat. Nice to see that.

    Compare it to his post-Monaco comments.

    1. I agree, he looks to have matured since then.

      1. Certainly. A very mature approach. He doesn’t really have an argument!

    2. I also a agree. Hamilton has impressed me here.

      1. +1.

        Paul is his friend and Daddy Hamilton’s client :)

    3. Agree. Except that he did not tell the truth: “I did not see him”. Yes you did, otherwise you’re not a F1 driver.

    4. Yes he was mature in apologising, but he still had mixed feelings with the stewards:

      I got a penalty for something, which is to be expected I guess.

      1. Considering that he’s received 4 penalties this year, he’d need to have suffered amnesia not to expect a penalty.

        1. If he wants to avoid getting penalties, he should stop breaking the rules.

          1. But then he gets most penalties without even breaking the rules. Or at least for offences that other drivers don’t get penalised for.

          2. Then all other drivers should get penalties for breaking the rules. Alonso for stopping in Germany for one.

            For my part I thought the decision was a tad harsh but can’t argue with it either. They could have just issued a warning, but he Di Resta did have to make an avoiding move off the track, so Fair enough. It is at least a issue that warranted investigation for once.

          3. Don’t be daft. Hamilton repeatedly puts himself in positions where he can be penalized.

            FYI, Hamilton isn’t targeted.

            In this case, it’s clear as day. His spin was bloody dangerous, and could have seen another car have a very serious collision.

            I understand why Hamilton did it. But it was not safe.

      2. Perhaps he only meant it is to be expected if he did something dangerous. Don’t know unless you hear the tone and context.

  2. Glad to hear that.

  3. The guy really has brought life to Formula One.

    1. For you at least :)

    2. For me too Sean.

      1. kenneth Ntulume
        1st August 2011, 8:45

        me too, Ham has broght life into f1

  4. Good to hear from Lewis, very mature response post-race.

    Still think the penalty was deserved though, not just for putting Di Resta off, but more for the fact it was pretty dangerous – just look how close he gets to Barrichello…

  5. Hamilton’s car moved further away from the racing line as he spun, clearly moving out of the way. If he had waited, he would have blocked other cars more.

    Im a big fan of Di Resta, but his move was a huge over- reaction.

    1. How? Lewis was moving to Paul’s side. Had he not gone off the track, Lewis might have clipped him, and possibly spun him around.

      1. You never do a spin with traffic around, he should have waited for the track to be clear. Hitting someone during a spin could be seriously dangerous.

        1. Yep, pretty much confirms what I said.

          I agree that spinning with traffic around is dangerous, but that isnt the inffraction, and I think it was a reasonable, managed risk given he’s leading the race, and this is F1, not bowls.

          Just seems HAM always gets rough deal from stewards, but Im not gonna lose sleep over it, so peace.

          Was a crackin race :)

        2. Interesting take on it.

          Not that the stewards bothered to consider a similar thing in Monaco with Maldonado.

    2. if you look at the posistion of Lewis’ car after he had spun he had no option but the spin it back round. He was spread across the race track, with no room either side, meaning everyone would have had to go off track to avoid him. Harsh penalty in my opinion, but the race was lost for Lewis when he fitted the 3rd set of options, with the podium lost when he fitted intermediates.

      1. Got to agree, Jake, his position on the track was dangerous and he had to get away from the position he’d come to rest in after the initial spin. He did actually move away from the racing line by his subsequent action.

      2. Yes he was in a dangerous position, but he could have edged away from the racing line, waited for cars to pass, then spun round.
        Instead he did all that in one move and ended up driving towards Di Resta as he was trying to get past.

        It was dangerous and it deserved a penalty.
        Clearly it was just a mis-judgment from Hamilton, nothing malicious. But if you let one driver get away with it then you have to let them all do it and you’ll end up with a serious accident one day.

        1. It’s much safer for drivers to try and avoid a stationary object, not matter where it is, than a moving one.

        2. But they all do do it, every time they spin and end up pointing the wrong way. This is the first time I can remember anyone getting penalised for it.
          He could have edged away? When cars are approaching at racing speed? I’m afraid reality has to bite at some point here. We’re not talking supermarket carpark stuff.
          He was actually trundling backwards towards the racing line when he started the recovery spin. I think he’s a little unlucky, so did Brundle and Coulthard, both ex-F1 drivers.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            2nd August 2011, 13:25

            Yes they do it all the time. But usually they wait until the track is clear.
            Either drive off the racing line and wait for the track to clear. Or stay still…and wait for the track to be clear.

            Hamilton spun around in front of other cars, how is that possibly the best option of the three?

            Sutil showed what happens when you don’t wait for a clear track in Singapore a few years ago.

  6. I think the penalty is not harsh, and also it is consistent what the FIA is trying to do. Of course they are often incoherent with their “racing incident” policy, but when it comes to potentially disastrous and reckless track action, the kind that ends well more out of pure luck than everything else, they have been enforcing zero tolerance for quite a while now. Look at all the “unsafe release from pit stop” drive throughs, even the slighty comical one like Kobayashi in Silverstone.
    GP2 and GP3 receive the same treatment in this regard.

    1. agreed, it was the potential danger rather than actual outcome.

  7. It was a dangerous move. But I have to say that was one of the best “bat-spins” I have ever seen.

    1. Yes indeed.

  8. Jeffrey Powell
    31st July 2011, 16:21

    I don’t think if Lewis thought he was going to spin into the path of Di Resta he would have done it. Mistake, yes ,but this is a fine line I’m more inclined to agree with Brundle on this.

  9. Penalty was fair enough. I also understand why Lewis wanted/needed to get on with it ASAP.

    But what a changed person in Lewis? A few races ago we would have expected sour grapes an empty pram and toys all over shop!

    1. i think Lewis has accepted he can’t win the championship and thats the reason we see the change in attitude. He’s just enjoying his racing and trying to get the best result everytime he races.

  10. I hate Hamilton, but he’s gone up in my estimations after this. Well done Lewis and Paul, very mature.

    1. Why on earth would you hate the sport’s brightest talent. Wierd.

      I bet you read NOTW.

      1. Why would you think that no one could hate the sport’s brightest talent. Weird.

        I bet you live in isolation.

  11. I found curious the moment Hamilton received the penalty … just after his race was spoiled because of the incorrect tire selection.

  12. eternalsunshine
    31st July 2011, 16:51

    Does anyone have a link to his post interview?

  13. “…so I got a penalty for something, which is to be expected I guess.”

    always the victim. screw you, lewis hamilton.

    1. always the victim. screw you, lewis hamilton.

      Thats a mature and constructive comment. Well done.

      I really dont think Lewis’s comment was meant like that, I think you’ve taken it out of context.

      Either way, glad you’ve contributed to the discussion.

      1. thank you for the appreciative comments. i look forward to sharing my insight on hamilton more often in the future :)

        1. Did you see the interview?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKnl7gxwoKA

          He admits his mistake and people still manage to twist it the other way around…

          1. Yank could care less.

          2. should be “could not care less” :P

            don’t we all care, since we’re here?

  14. Some apology.

    “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”

    Sounds more like another Hamilton excuse to me.

    1. Deliberately misquoting him in order to have a go. “Smart” move.

  15. mclaren need to copy the red bull rear wing exactly and they will be on pole every time.i have noticed the redbull wing has less drug than all the other cars as you can see from the vortex spray coming of each end … of the wings

    1. They have introduced dope testing, so I’m surprised they get away with it.

  16. A deserved penalty taken gracefully and a sincere quick apology. Thank you, Lewis. You did yourself proud. Keep fighting and keep up this attitude, we all welcome it.

  17. chrisapparently (@)
    31st July 2011, 22:57

    I think Hamilton might have had a lot of tutoring on handling the press since the Monaco fiasco.

  18. I don’t understand why people think his reponse is such a show of maturity since Monaco.

    In Monaco he was simply wronged. He had every right to be upset. In this race he can only blame himself (well or perhaps his team), but certainly not the other drivers.

    You reaction would be completely different if someone rams into you rather then when you ram into someone yourself.

  19. I don’t like this, F1 would be much better if sometimes this stupid stewards would just shut up… if they continue like this in a couple of years drivers will receive penalty just for overtaking, but seriously penalty should be used in case of unfair-dirty manouvers that made someone else crash or crashes that put in danger the drivers life, this is just not fair, because they even didn’t crashed, don’t forget they are top F1 drivers, paul di resta avoided without problems. So hamilton should wait that all the drivers pass him just because a little mistake ?! Not to tell the penalty for a mistake like speeding in pits that maldonado received, this and many other stupid rules are just limiting F1 and making it more like a stupid wrestling show. F1 is enslaved, give F1 it’s old freedom ! I DON’T ACCEPT REPLYES LIKE: ”YOU ARE A SILLY HAMILTON FAN”… (for the people that submit comments like that, i inform you i am a fan of Ferrari since the days of jean alesi and gerhard berger driving for Ferrari in early ’90, so guess i am Alonso fan), or other stupid comments.

  20. Jos The Boss Verstappen
    1st August 2011, 0:34

    I’ve thought some penalties against Hamilton this season have been harsh, but unfortunately not today, if by some chance his spin hadn’t worked he would have ran straight into Di Resta.

    I am surprised he didn’t see him, but at the end of the day if you spin on the track/ enter the track after spinning off you need to be clear of other cars.

    Nice to see a mature response by Hamilton and praising his team mate. Hamilton seems to have more emotional highs and lows than other drivers, he is very passionate about his racing and thats why I like him as a driver so much.

  21. That’s good,you at least apologize this time well.

  22. According to the sequential pics Di Resta certainly saw LH perpendicular accross the track and knew the on ly way out for an F1 car in that situation is through an induced spin (donut) and this due to the power to weight ratio will always work. He elected to go on the turf because he felt it was safer. and would not have to slow down.

    The drive through was totally uncalled for.

  23. The series of pics shows for me that if Lewis had made his spin-turn to the right instead of left, he would have escaped the penalty even if he had done it at the moment he did.

  24. The majority hear seem to think that Hamiltons penalty was fair. However, both commentators, people that have actually raced, thought that there should NOT be a penalty. Even DC who seems more inclined to the odd penalty than Brundle.
    I think Hamilton was amazing during and after the race. In the race he showed everybody, including Vettel and Button, how to race in the tricky conditions.
    The only reason he ended up going off was because of the teams (Whitless) decision to put him on soft tyres requiring him to go faster in tricky conditions for the extra stop.
    I may be wrong but I suspect this decision, because they have done this to Hamilton in the past. That time he bust a gut and did the extra stop somehow, but that time in dry conditions, making 3 passes in last few laps.
    He overtook Vettel, he overtook Button.
    At the end he apologized, even though he did nothing wrong.
    I believe that Whitless could not stand the idea of Hamilton being so many points in front of his beloved Button. Yea right, Hamilton could hear them but they could not hear him.
    Post race Button is sounding off about how it would only have been a matter of time in any case, presumably without Hamiltons off and wrong set of tyres, that he would have caught and overtaken Hamilton. Joke.

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