Hamilton And Sainz Voice Contrasting Views On Incident From Spanish Grand Prix

Wednesday, 26 June 2024 at 10:02
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Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz shared conflicting views on their battle from the 19th lap of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix.
Following the ninth round of the season in Canada, where Mercedes introduced upgrades that helped them make significant progress in performance, the German team is now properly in the fight with the top three teams.
During the tenth round at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Silver Arrows were even faster than the two Ferrari cars. During the race, Carlos Sainz started behind Lewis Hamilton but managed to undercut him with an early pitstop, hoping he would be able to defend the seven-time World Champion.
As the 39-year-old caught up with the Scuderia driver after also making his first pit stop, he used the DRS on the start/finish straight to catch up, and he went for a move down the inside into turn number one.
The home hero tried to hang it around the outside but ran a bit wide during the battle as he felt he was pushed out by the Mercedes driver.
Hamilton gained the position, but Sainz complained on his team radio that the move was illegal, as he was entitled to more space. Speaking to the media after the race, the 29-year-old said:

"I felt like he ran me off the track, and I was half a car length ahead. Normally, the rule this year says that if you're ahead around the outside, they need to give you space. That's normally what the stewards have ruled this year. So I was trying to benefit from that rule."

"If you follow the rulebook as it's written, exactly, then I don't think it was legal," he said. "But if you ask me as a racer, I think it was tough move."

Although Sainz felt the seven-time World Champion's move was clearly illegal, stewards disagreed and ruled there wouldn't be further investigation. This ruling upset the Spaniard, who said he was punished for the same thing in Miami.

"I'm just using the rule book, obviously, to all my advantage at the time, given that I also got a penalty for that in Miami. So I'm just trying to search for consistency with the way the rules are applied, and just obviously making sure I was transmitting that to the FIA."

Hamilton's view on the battle with Sainz

Ultimately, the Mercedes driver crossed the finish line in P3 (Sianz finished in P6). Consequently, he attended the post-race press conference where he was asked to comment on the move, and he said:

"I mean, look, it's never a a good feeling when you do get overtaken. And I think we had a nice tight battle into turn one. I left him some room, so I think he was still on the track."

"Ultimately, he left the door open on the inside, didn't fully close it. And so I went for the inside and tried to make the corner."

The 39-year-old driver admitted there was even a small contact during the battle in the turn number 1, but he felt he left "some room" to the Spaniard which was all he had to do.

"I think he came around. I think we touched wheels equally and nothing major. It was like a small scrub. Gave him some room on the exit and yeah."