Martin Brundle jumps to Lewis Hamilton’s defence with unwavering stance

Martin Brundle has defended seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton following the 2023 Belgian GP.

F1 veteran Martin Brundle has raised doubts about the stewards’ decision to impose a five-second time penalty on Lewis Hamilton following his collision with Sergio Perez during the sprint race. 

On Lap 6, Hamilton experienced slight understeer while attempting to overtake Perez, resulting in contact with the Red Bull driver’s car.

The collision caused significant sidepod damage to Perez’s car, forcing him to retire from the race and drop down the order. 

As a consequence of the penalty, Hamilton’s position in the final classification went from fourth to seventh.

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Sharing his perspective on the incident, Brundle stated, “I thought it was a racing incident. 

“I thought the penalty was harsh. 

“I’ll stand by that. Lewis had claimed the corner. 

“There was an error in the corner before by Perez. [Hamilton] was on the inside. 

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“Yes, the car did understeer a little bit.”

Brundle’s analysis highlighted that racing incidents often involve such close encounters and that Hamilton had attempted to capitalise on Perez’s previous error. 

The former F1 driver believed that the collision should be considered a racing incident rather than deserving of a penalty.

“I don’t know what is racing if that’s not racing, and therefore a racing incident,” Brundle continued. 

“It wasn’t Lewis launching an impossible move. 

“He was on the inside of the corner. 

“It did take Checo out of the race, so we have to consider that. 

“And it was definitely the Mercedes sliding left rather than the Red Bull pinching him. 

“So I understand what the stewards have done. 

“But I would want to call that a racing incident because Lewis can’t disappear in that moment. 

“He claimed the corner. What can he do?”

Naomi Schiff, echoing Brundle’s sentiments, expressed that Hamilton’s actions were not deliberate. 

While acknowledging Perez’s frustrations due to a string of disappointing results, Schiff emphasised the importance of seeing drivers engage in racing battles. 

Schiff stated, “We want to see these drivers racing. 

“The move was on. 

“He was side-by-side. 

“In tricky conditions, the grip levels in the corners are not very high. 

“Lewis was as much of a passenger in that situation. 

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“I don’t think it was deliberate.”

The incident and subsequent penalty added further intrigue to the already intense rivalry between Red Bull and Mercedes. 

With the championship fight heating up, decisions made by stewards came under heightened scrutiny, as they could potentially impact the drivers’ standings and team dynamics.