Lewis Hamilton distanced himself on Thursday from his Mercedes team’s request for a stewards’ review of a flashpoint incident in last Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix Max Verstappen forced him off the track. Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s first Qatar Grand Prix, the defending seven-time world champion revealed that he was not part of the process and rather retained his energy. “I was not part of it,” said Hamilton, who delivered a spectacular counter-chance victory to reduce his Red Bull rival’s championship advantage to 14 points, with three races left.
“Of course I am aware of that and I fully support my team, but I am literally just trying to give all my energy this weekend, to make sure we arrive and hit the ground running,” he added.
“I have no idea where they are going with the discussion or what the outcome might be. I just do not give any energy or time at all,” he said.
Hamilton spoke during a round of news conferences ahead of Sunday’s race at the Losail International Circuit, which is being used for the first time by Formula One, where the review discussions took place.
The incident that came under scrutiny took place on the 48th lap of the 71-lap competition in Sao Paulo when Hamilton tried to overtake Verstappen for the lead in the race at turn four.
The Dutchman vigorously defended his position and both cars ran off the track and over a run-off area.
The race drivers reviewed the incident and decided not to take any further steps, but the subsequent release of video on board Verstappen’s car led Mercedes to request the review, citing new evidence.
Hamilton overtook Verstappen later in the race in the third attempt to win, after overcoming combined penalties which meant he actually overtook every other rider to triumph after his pole position round was declared void in Friday’s qualifier.
He explained on Thursday that he feels the incident is typical of a close battle for the championship and that he has no complaints.
– Footage on board –
“The reason I said that was because it’s just the mentality you have to take. If you sit in the car and complain, it will only hold you back, so at the moment I just had to keep moving forward,” he said. said.
“It’s also hard to judge something you have not seen from all angles. We looked at it and now we have a different point of view,” he added.
Asked to elaborate, he added: “Honestly, this is not something I really want to dive into too much. I did not look at all the angles, for example, I saw the footage on board that came out.
“I’m just trying to focus on the fact that we did something remarkable and unexpected … and just trying not to focus on any negatives. At the moment, the team is in conversation, so I’ll just leave them at that,” he said. he said.
Verstappen was positive on Thursday in his answers to similar questions and made it clear that he would take the same defensive actions again.
He said that if he had tried to turn in and avoided any incident, he would have jumped off.
“I did not need to look at the footage because I was driving the car so I knew exactly what happened,” he said dryly, adding that he was “not really surprised” that Mercedes was undergoing a review of did not launch.
The Dutchman added that he is not worried about the prospect of a penalty being taken that could reduce his points lead in the title race.
“I do not even think about it,” he said.
“If it happens, it’s not the end of the world, but again I do not expect it to happen, because I thought it was fair and hard racing between the two guys fighting for the championship,” he concluded. .