'Too much of a hurry': Hamilton owns up to Imola mistake

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 runs off the circuit at Tosa. 18.04.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola
© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton apologised to his Mercedes team mates for mid-race mistake during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola's Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on Sunday.

Hamilton had taken a surprise podium for the race in qualifying, but lost the lead at the start to Max Verstappen when the Red Bull muscled its way through at the first corner leaving Hamilton with front wing end plate damage.

But Hamilton was still in the running by the time the cars made a pit stop to exchange their wet weather tyres for slicks, although Hamilton wasn't able to pull off the over-cut on Verstappen to retake the lead.

And then seconds later, Hamilton slid off into the gravel at Tosa, dropping to ninth place and seemingly out of the running for a podium.

"I guess I was in a bit too much of a hurry to get by everyone," Hamilton told the media after the race when recalling the nightmare events. "I was a bit unfortunate.

“There was only one dry line," he explained. "I came into the inside and I could see it was wet. I was trying to stop but the thing wouldn't stop and it sent me off."

Hamilton was inadvertently helped by an accident for his team mate Valtteri Bottas who collided with Williams; George Russell just seconds later.

The debris from the incident forced a red flag stoppage which gave the Mercedes engineers the chance to make repairs to Hamilton's battered W12.

"I'm really, really grateful that we got to get going again, and to get some points for the team is really important today.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 , Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing 18.04.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola

The interruption also gave Hamilton a chance for a mental reset, and when the race resumed he was rapidly on the march forward despite Imola being a narrow track at the best of times and not particularly conducive to passing.

"I didn't know whether or not we'll be able to overtake, because again offline was going to be wet," he said.

“You don't have time to dwell on it, so that's what I did - got back into racing spirit," he continued. "We still had some really good fun battles with all the guys."

He made short work of the likes of Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, and finally dispatched McLaren's Lando Norris to regain his second place.

"Congratulations to Max, he did a fantastic job today and just solid work from him," Hamilton said. "And also to Lando, what an awesome job. It’s so great to see McLaren back up there.

“I was just trying to get over the gutting kind of feeling it is when you make a mistake, and just moving on from it and just learning from it real quick," he added.

“On my side it was not the greatest of days," he added. "First time I've made a mistake in a long time, but I'm grateful I was able to bring the car home.”

As a result of fighting back to second, and picking up the bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race along the way, Hamilton retains the lead in the 2021 drivers championship by one point over Verstappen after two rounds.

However his team mate Valtteri Bottas filed to finish the race following his accident with Russell.

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