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"It's something I'll learn from," says Hamilton

NEWS STORY
07/09/2020

Taking the blame for the mistake that cost him certain victory, Lewis Hamilton says: "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger".

When Kevin Magnussen pulled to the side of the track, shortly before the pitlane entrance, on the 18th lap of the Italian Grand Prix, initially, because the car didn't appear to pose a threat, the sector was subject to waved yellows.

However, shortly after it was decided to deploy the safety car, at which point Lewis Hamilton promptly pitted. As (second-placed) Carlos Sainz continued, as did the rest of the field, only Antonio Giovinazzi followed the Briton's example.

Rejoninig in second, behind Sainz, the world champion re-took the lead on lap 22 when the majority of his rivals began to pit.

It was at this point that talk of Hamilton pitting while the pitlane was closed began.

No sooner had Charles Leclerc gone off into the barriers in the Parabolica, which was to see the race red-flagged, than Hamilton was warned that he was under investigation, the Briton insisting that there had been no signals.

Shortly after, Giovinazzi was handed a 10s stop and go penalty, as was Hamilton, despite the Briton going to race control to make his point to the stewards.

When the race re-started, though leading, after serving his penalty (on lap 28) the Briton rejoined in last position (17th). The fightback subsequently began.

"My race wasn't meant to be today but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," he told reporters. "It was a long pit stop but once I finally caught everybody I enjoyed that bit of a battle.

"I didn't see those boards," he admitted, "and take responsibility for that and it's something I'll learn from. But to get seventh and still get the fastest lap is still some good points so I'll definitely take it.

"And grateful that Max didn't score any points, so not a huge loss today," he added.

Asked why he had gone to see the stewards, he said: "I came back, spoke to the team, they didn't have any video, and I just wanted to see what had been missed.

"I could have sworn on the entry to the pitlane there was no red light," he continued. "It wasn't to see (race director) Michael (Masi), it was to see the other stewards who made the decisions with penalties. They just quickly showed me the onboard, and there were two signs that had an X on it. I actually didn't see them, because I was looking elsewhere.

"Then there was not really much more for me to do, so I just left, went back, got changed, and that's ultimately why I was a little bit late to the grid.

"I don't remember any time coming here that that was the indicator for the pitlane closing," he said of the signs, which were on the left-hand side of the track and not on the same side as the pitlane entrance. "I've never actually known that would be on the left. That was a new experience."

The Briton was also surprised that the pitlane was closed in the first place, feeling that Magnussen's car could have been pushed into a gap in the barriers rather than back to the pitlane, hence the closure.

"I'm generally quite unsure why they pushed the car from that spot which they could have pushed the car back into," he said. "Why the hell did they push it? I know why, but I don't understand why they took that decision necessarily, because that wasn't needed."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Kkiirmki, 07/09/2020 13:58

"Or, @ Sennapod, they could install radios in the car so the team could communicate with the driver...

A red light in/at the actual pit entrance would be pointless. It would be too late to change your mind, and make it safely back onto the track because of the entrance to the pit lane being so close after the Parabolica. This is why they're on the other side of the track, the drivers are quite well aware of where the lights are. Also, I'm not sure grainy/zoomed in footage of the other side of the track from a (moving) car camera shows the correct colour of the lights very well on TV. Seeing the lights from a still photo shows a very obvious red colour. I'm not sure they could push the car into the gap where the marshals were either. There didn't look to be that much room, considering the marshals still need to be able to move freely within that area, and that the pit lane is so close. "

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2. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 07/09/2020 10:35

"A guy holding a "pit lane closed" board would not be high tech enough for F1."

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3. Posted by Sennapod, 07/09/2020 9:10

"It seems the most obvious lesson is to had a red/green traffic light actually at ( or above) the pit entrance, so that drivers can see when it’s prohibited to enter. The warning boards ( yellow crosses!) on the outside of the curve were a joke."

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