Lewis Hamilton denies he deliberately hit Sergio Perez

Lewis Hamilton’s collision with Sergio Perez ended the Mexican’s race early, forcing him to retire on lap 8.

In a rain-soaked Formula 1 sprint at Spa, Lewis Hamilton found himself at the center of controversy after a collision with Sergio Perez. 

The Mercedes driver asserted that the incident was unintentional and labeled it as a “racing incident,” channeling Ayrton Senna’s famous quote about going for a gap. 

The collision resulted in Perez retiring from the race with bodywork damage and a 5-second penalty for Hamilton, as the stewards deemed him predominantly at fault, dropping him to seventh place.

Hamilton addressed the incident, stating, “My only thought is that it’s tricky conditions out there, we’re all trying our best, and of course it wasn’t intentional.” 

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He defended his actions, explaining, “I think I went for a gap, he was slow going through Turn 14, I went on the inside, I was more than half a car length up the inside, and if you’re not going for a gap then you’re no longer racing as Ayrton always said. 

“That’s what I did. 

“When I watched it back it feels like a racing incident to me. 

“I just feel like we’re in a racing period, we don’t want to be deterred from racing.”

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Responding to the penalty, Hamilton downplayed the lost points, stating, “In a race like today, honestly I don’t really care too much. 

“You don’t get many points. 

“Of course, it would have been nice to finish fourth, but I don’t really care to finish fourth, I want to win! 

“So it’s fourth, seventh, it doesn’t really make a difference.” 

Despite the penalty, he faced further challenges later in the race due to floor damage, hindering his progress.

The rain-hit conditions led the FIA to run the field behind the safety car for several laps before the rolling start, a decision supported by Hamilton. 

He remarked, “You can’t see a thing out there. 

“So it’s good that they did those laps. 

“Then even when we got going down to turn five, you could not see the braking zone; we could have just stayed flat forever. 

“You’re lifting at like 300 meters, but then all of a sudden a sign appears, and it’s like, ‘Oh shoot, the corner’s there.'”

In a separate incident during the race, Fernando Alonso lost control of his AMR23 and spun into the gravel while chasing the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, retiring from 16th place. 

Alonso took full responsibility for the shunt, admitting, “I was following very closely behind Nico at the entry to Pouhon. 

“I lost downforce, touched the white line, and just lost the car. 

“Trying to find grip – and guessing the grip levels in each corner – was tricky. 

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“It was very slippery, and it was my mistake.”

Hulkenberg playfully responded to Alonso’s spin, jokingly stating, “Karma [has] hit back out at him” after the pair had a minor collision earlier in the race when Alonso rejoined the track after pitting. 

Alonso was summoned by the stewards for his aggressive return, resulting in a warning.