Lewis Hamilton wins respect

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton labelled the Italian Grand Prix his “worst race” of his season so far.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza witnessed an unexpected turn of events as Lewis Hamilton, seven-time World Champion, found himself in a compromising position after a collision with rising star Oscar Piastri. 

While Hamilton has labeled it as his “worst race” of the season, his swift apology to Piastri has garnered respect from the team despite the unfortunate incident.

During the race, as Hamilton chased down the two McLarens in front of him, Piastri became his first target as they both battled for position. 

Hamilton attempted to make a move into the Della Roggia chicane, but it didn’t go according to plan. 

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The British driver misjudged the maneuver, leading to a collision with Piastri’s McLaren. 

This incident resulted in Piastri’s broken front wing and Hamilton being handed a five-second penalty for causing the collision.

While Hamilton managed to salvage points with a sixth-place finish, Piastri’s race was severely impacted as he had to make an unscheduled pit stop for repairs and ultimately crossed the finish line in 12th place. 

Recognising his error, Hamilton promptly approached the Australian driver to apologise, fully acknowledging his fault.

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Despite the perception that Hamilton took an unnecessary risk that affected his own driver’s performance, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella expressed appreciation for Hamilton’s apology. 

Stella stated, “There was no need to take too much risk for Lewis because he had the pace to overtake with more margin. 

But Lewis is a fair competitor, if he apologises, it shows his qualities as a competitor and as a person, and he definitely has our respect.”

Piastri graciously accepted Hamilton’s apology, quipping that the British driver is “still on” his Christmas card list. 

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff also commended Hamilton’s sportsmanship, noting, “He’s very sportsmanlike with these things, and he is the only one that I see out there admitting and saying: ‘I got this wrong.'”

Aside from the in-race penalty, Hamilton’s actions at the Italian Grand Prix resulted in the addition of two penalty points to his FIA super license, bringing his total to four. 

Under FIA rules, a driver who accumulates 12 penalty points over a 12-month rolling period faces an automatic one-race ban.