Baku F1 Blunder not a Mistake, Rather an ‘Unforced Error’: Lewis Hamilton

Published 06/17/2021, 2:25 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – FIA Press Conference – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 17, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


It was undeniably an uneasy end to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Lewis Hamilton, as the Briton confronted a late drama that saw him drop from P1 to P15 in a matter of seconds. What’s painful is that he was just 2 laps away from reclaiming his championship lead from title rival, Max Verstappen.

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The 7-time world champion later commented that he had pressed a button on his steering wheel during the restart that consequently turned the brakes off. And one might naturally call it a mistake. However, Hamilton is adamant that it wasn’t a mistake, rather an “unforced error“.

What did Lewis Hamilton say?

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During the French Grand Prix press conference, Hamilton opened up about why he doesn’t necessarily consider the Baku blunder a ‘mistake’.

A mistake is when you often drive off the track through missing your braking point or hit the wall,” the Mercedes driver said.

It was kind of an unforced error when you know something that we had that was sitting there that could have happened at any point. Unfortunately, bit us pretty hard. But we learn from the experience and we move forward.”

Baku could have certainly been a jackpot for Hamilton, considering Verstappen wasn’t even on the track at that point. Instead, the Dutchman was in the medical center getting himself checked after encountering the scary high-speed collision.

Hence, Hamilton was holding onto a potential 25-point advantage over the Red Bull driver, which was ultimately sabotaged by the one button on the steering wheel.

Read More: Why do F1 Drivers Train Their Necks?

Don’t feel any pressure from Verstappen: Hamilton

The 36-year-old is certain that the recent on-track blunders have nothing to do with his rival, Verstappen. Moreover, Hamilton affirmed that he is “pretty relaxed” despite the Baku mishap.

Well, Max wasn’t in the race at that time. So, it definitely wasn’t the pressure from Max. I don’t even count it as a mistake. I don’t know what the one before that was. But yeah, I don’t feel any pressure. I feel pretty relaxed and you can’t always be perfect,” he said.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – FIA Press Conference – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – ed Bull’s Max Verstappen with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

The next stop for F1 is the Circuit Paul Ricard, a track where Hamilton has often shown his supremacy. At the moment, the Briton stands as the only driver to win F1 races in France, since its return to the calendar in 2018.

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But, the record is very much at risk this year, with Verstappen sniffing around for opportunities to extend his championship lead against Hamilton. So, will the flying Dutchman finally end Hamilton’s brief reign at Le Castellet? Well, we’ll know soon enough.

Watch Story: Ugliest Moments in Hamilton-Rosberg Rivalry

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Rohit Kumar

931 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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