Sparks fly as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell infuriate Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton has taken the blame for a lap 1 crash with his own teammate that hampered Mercedes in their quest to win a race this season.

Lewis Hamilton has accepted full responsibility for the collision with teammate George Russell that abruptly ended his race in Qatar after just a few seconds, following an attempted overtake.

The incident unfolded as the two British drivers made contact, causing Hamilton’s car to spin off into the gravel.

Hamilton’s move to pass Russell occurred around the outside of the first corner, and it resulted in a collision that had immediate consequences for both drivers. 

While Russell sustained damage to his front wing, necessitating a pit stop at the end of the first lap, he was fortunate to continue racing and swiftly began climbing through the ranks.

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Amidst the disappointment of having his race cut short, Hamilton displayed commendable sportsmanship by addressing the incident with the media. 

He absolved Russell of any blame for the collision, stating, “I’m really sorry to my team. 

“The opportunity was there to get some good points. 

“In the heat of the moment, I didn’t really understand what had happened. 

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“I obviously felt the tap from behind but 

“I don’t think George had anywhere to go. 

“It’s just one of those really unfortunate situations. 

“I’m happy to take responsibility.”

Expressing empathy for the hardworking team, he added, “Everyone is working incredibly hard, so it’s massively gutting to have a result like this. 

“You’re preparing and putting the time in. 

“It’s very rare that this happens for me. 

“I hope George is able to get back into the points today; I’ll be supporting him.”

Hamilton’s initial reaction to the incident, while still in the cockpit, was characterised by frustration and surprise as he stated over the radio, “I got taken out by my own team-mate.” 

However, as the dust settled and emotions subsided, he took a more measured and responsible stance.

On the other hand, George Russell’s immediate reactions to the collision were marked by strong emotions. 

Initially, he expressed his frustration loudly over the radio, exclaiming, “Come on! 

“What the hell? 

“Guys, come on. 

“Two races in a row.” 

Russell’s agitation was palpable as he grappled with the unexpected turn of events.

Shortly after, Russell shared his remorse with his team, saying, “I’m so sorry, guys. 

“I wasn’t even looking behind. 

“I was just focused ahead and just came from nowhere. 

“F***ing lost for words, honestly. 

“Just seen the replays on the TV screen. 

“I couldn’t do anything, totally sandwiched.” 

READ: Lewis Hamilton disagrees with George Russell’s Max Verstappen warning

His candid acknowledgment of his lack of awareness during the incident highlighted the intensity and unpredictability of Formula 1 racing.

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, who was watching the race from home while recovering from knee surgery, intervened in an effort to motivate Russell. 

Wolff sent a message via radio, saying, “George, let’s race now, let’s make the best out of it.”