In the aftermath of the dramatic collision between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell during last weekend’s F1 Qatar Grand Prix, veteran Sky reporter Ted Kravitz has shed light on a pre-race meeting at Mercedes that has raised questions about the avoidability of the incident. The collision at Turn 1 ultimately led to the premature end of Hamilton’s race but left no lingering animosity between the two drivers.
Kravitz, reporting from the paddock after the race, expressed his frustration, saying, “The frustrating thing is, as well as being completely unnecessary – had they given each other a bit of room, it wouldn’t have happened – as well as being frustrating because the car had pace, as well as Mercedes believing they would have been quicker than McLaren, and it would have been a double podium, it wouldn’t have been Lando and Oscar, it would’ve been George and Lewis on the podium.”
The incident not only cost Mercedes a potential double podium but also raised questions about whether it was avoidable. Kravitz was keen to find answers, stating, “As well as throwing away a double podium behind Max Verstappen, they had talked about the fact that Lewis was starting on the soft tire, the quicker tire, off the line and might be quicker than George into the first corner. They talked about it in the Mercedes briefing in the morning. How avoidable was all of this, I want to know?”
Bradley Lord, who stood in for Mercedes’ absent team principal Toto Wolff, provided some insight into the situation, saying, “We discussed it in the morning, it was a scenario that we’d been through. Obviously they had different start tire performance. In the moment, they just ran out of space. George had nowhere to go, Lewis tried to take his line. We saw what happened. Unfortunately, these things can happen. You can’t program everyone even with a discussion beforehand.”
This incident not only had consequences for Mercedes in terms of lost points and a missed podium opportunity but also left fans and pundits pondering whether better communication or strategic decision-making could have averted the collision. It underscores the fine margins and high stakes of Formula 1 racing, where a split-second decision can shape the outcome of a race and a season.