LEWIS HAMILTON refused to go to the medical centre after colliding with Fernando Alonso at the Belgian Grand Prix.
F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton was given a post-race warning by the race stewards at the Belgian Grand Prix following his first-lap collision with Fernando Alonso that ruined the Mercedes driver’s afternoon. Hamilton was given acres of space around the outside of Les Combes but still managed to make contact with Alonso, with the resulting damage leaving him unable to continue in a hammer blow for the Silver Arrows.
The 37-year-old was instructed to visit the medical centre in the immediate aftermath of the crash for precautionary checks after his Mercedes car bounced up into the air before coming back down onto the track. However, he failed to oblige and picked up a warning as a result of his reluctance to comply with the order, as revealed by Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft.
“He’s actually been given a warning for refusing to go to the medical centre,” said Croft. “The bounce up in the air and return to the ground set off a warning light in the cockpit. He didn’t go to the medical centre and he’s been given a warning by the stewards for that.”
The first-lap crash wrapped up a nightmare weekend for Hamilton and Mercedes, who were well adrift of the pace-setters for the duration of the entire weekend at Spa-Francorchamps. The seven-time champion accepted full responsibility for the incident when quizzed on what happened during the closing stages of the race before insisting that he was not worried about Alonso’s view on the collision, with the Spaniard having angrily referred to him as an ‘idiot’ via team radio.
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Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire on the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix (Image: GETTY)
“Looking back at my footage, he was in my blind spot,” explained Hamilton. “I didn’t leave him enough space. It’s my fault today. Just so sorry to the team.
“It doesn’t really matter that he [Alonso] said that. I don’t really care. It was my fault, I couldn’t see him actually. He was right in my blind spot. Just recuperate, get back on the treadmill.”
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The Mercedes driver failed to avoid an early collision with Fernando Alonso (Image: EXPRESS)
Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggested after the race that he felt sorry for Hamilton, with the latter’s early collision sparking only the fifth opening-lap retirement of his entire career.
“He came in and said he squeezed him, it’s difficult in the car to really see,” added Wolff. “That is just the reality. The car is difficult to drive and doesn’t have the pace over a single lap. We need to work ourselves out of this.
“That was not great on us all weekend, a track that we should be more competitive at. We must not go between depression and mania.”
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