Lewis Hamilton with Max Verstappen seems the duo that keeps on giving. Every time they 'touch' their fans will go crazy and the media will have full coverage from any angle they can get. Something interesting coming from the former Aston Martin Head of Race Strategy, Bernie Collins.
On the Sprint Shootout (Sprint Qualifying) Hamilton found himself impeding Max (who was on a flying lap) into the finish line because he was starting his lap too late. After passing the finish line, Verstappen wanted to continue his flying lap so he tried to pass Lewis into turn 1, because of that situation both cars aborted their lap and started to blame each other.
The incident could be avoided easily
Since there was only Hamilton onboard video prior to and after the incident, most of the Lewis Fans demanded Max get the penalty for impeding another driver (Lewis). But an interesting comment was made by Bernie Collins in Sky Sports coverage. Bernie called Hamilton being too greedy and he could avoid the incident easily.
Bernie believes that Lewis had a good gap in front of him and he could just start his flying lap earlier and don't need to be so close to Verstappen in turn 10
"I just thinking (about) that incident, we don't have the gaps (data) directly in front of us but it looked like Lewis had a good gap ahead of him to start his lap, he didn't need to be so close to Max in turn 10; So that could have all been easily avoided by just Lewis going a little bit earlier into his flying lap." -Bernie Collins (Aston Martin Head of Race Strategy 2015 - 2022)
Every team has all the GPS data
On the other hand, Bernie also criticizes Lewis's team because they have all the GPS data and yet they put Lewis in a hard situation. The former McLaren Performance Engineer (2009 - 2015) said that Lewis sort of brought that a bit on himself by being too greedy with the gap, he could easily avoid all the drama by starting his flying lap a second earlier.
"The teams have all of this GPS data so I don't know why you know Lewis sort of brought that a bit on himself by trying to open, being too greedy with the gap ahead of him he could have went a second earlier it would have all been avoided." -Bernie Collins
In hindsight, it's clear that Lewis had some better windows to start his lap but on video onboard, Lewis still look so busy with his engineer about his car settings. His engineer also gives the instruction in a hurry and with nervous vibes, I believe they knew they will have a big problem with Max if they are too close.
Toto Wolff: "One was not intentional, the other one was intentional"
In a different interview, Toto Wolff said that the mistake happened on their (Mercedes) side, and the team didn't give Lewis the right information. Wolff also hinted that they won't pursue the incident any further since they also have the part to blame (and maybe get penalized).
“The mistake happened on our side, the communication between us and Lewis didn’t give him the right information to get out of Max’s way, and I think no one wants to be in anybody’s way because if you impede, you’re getting penalized. So that was not the aim."
“On the other side, Turn 1 was a revanche for it. You know, it was just to make sure that his lap is ruined. So, one was not intentional, the other one was intentional. But who cares?
“At the end, we looked at it, is it going to change our race or not? But I think they’re going to talk about it in the drivers’ briefing next week.”
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