Hamilton only avoided Leclerc collision because of title race

Lewis Hamilton says "he wouldn't have have moved" and he and Charles Leclerc "would have collided" during the Italian Grand Prix, if he was not targeting the Formula 1 title.

Hamilton only avoided Leclerc collision because of title race

Championship leader Hamilton pressured Ferrari youngster Leclerc for more than 20 laps at Monza, mounting two serious attacks that led to stern defences.

On the first occasion, Hamilton moved to the outside at the Roggia chicane and was forced onto the run-off as Leclerc squeezed him to the right, and on the second Leclerc moved across through Curva Grande, forcing Hamilton to back off.

Asked if he would have dealt with Leclerc the same way if the title was resolved, Hamilton said: "I wouldn't have moved. And we would have collided."

Read Also:

Hamilton has built a commanding lead in the championship and is zeroing in on a sixth crown, whereas Leclerc only claimed his first win in F1 last week and is not in title contention.

Leclerc also admitted after the race that his first experience of Monza as a Ferrari driver was "the first weekend in my life where the only thing I've got in my head is winning".

In the heat of battle Hamilton suggested Leclerc was being "dangerous", but reflecting on the race afterwards Hamilton did not believe Leclerc got carried away or showed a "lack of respect", describing the incidents as having a "couple of close moments".

"We don't have a problem, we're not in a fight," said Hamilton. "I congratulated him straight out of the car. I think Charles is one of the most respectful drivers.

"This is the first time I've come wheel-to-wheel with him as such. When you arrive at a new driver you learn how they approach different scenarios.

"And maybe you position the car differently, maybe I'll do a better job next time."

Hamilton's pursuit of Leclerc was similar to his chase of Kimi Raikkonen last year, when he eventually passed Raikkonen with a relatively routine pass around the outside at the first chicane.

However, Hamilton said it was not fair to compare the battles because: "They weren't as quick on the straights last year, or we weren't as slow on the straights."

He did say he may discuss the battle with Leclerc in private should the opportunity arise.

"We could probably talk about it in private together but it's nothing major and we continue to race," he said.

"I'm looking forward to many more races together."

shares
comments
Why Vettel got a harsher penalty than Stroll

Previous article

Why Vettel got a harsher penalty than Stroll

Next article

Sainz doesn't regret "hard" Albon move despite apology

Sainz doesn't regret "hard" Albon move despite apology
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021