Brundle Defends Lewis Hamilton for ‘Silly’ Gravel Trap Error in Imola

Published 04/25/2021, 5:19 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 17, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position REUTERS/Bryn Lennon Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


There was a ton of drama that unfolded at the halfway stage of the race at Imola. While the big crash between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas took up most of the headlines, it is easy to forget Lewis Hamilton gave the fans watching a bit of a laugh after he launched his car into the barriers following an off-track excursion. Although that move may have looked silly, former F1 driver Martin Brundle defended Hamilton’s actions.

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In his post-race column for Sky Sports, Brundle explained why the seven-time world champion had to make such a move.

He wrote, “F1 cars feel simply awesome at 200 mph but clumsy as hell at 0 mph. Finding reverse is not the work of a moment, clutch paddles are on the back of a rotating wheel, you can’t see out properly, and the steering lock is hopeless due to the wide front wheels and suspension geometry.

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Formula One F1. Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“It looked a bit silly when Lewis accelerated forward into the barriers and broke his front wing, and it was to some extent, but of course he knows well you have to keep your driven wheels out of the gravel if at all possible otherwise you’re beached and heading for an early shower.”

That moment of ‘silliness’ is what helped him salvage his race and rescue some very vital points for himself and Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton will have to abstain from making similar errors in Portugal

It goes without saying that Hamilton will have to be at his near-perfect best to beat Max Verstappen to the title. Both the Mercedes and Red Bull are rather similar on the speed charts, so it’ll be a case of which driver blinks first.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen FIA/Handout via REUTERS.

Lewis’ error in Italy nearly led him to blow the lead in the standings. However, he got lucky, thanks to the red flags that soon came out due to the big crash. But even he’ll know that counting on luck is a precarious thing. After all, it was a mistake from him that let Kimi Raikkonen win his only championship in 2007.

Hamilton rarely makes errors, but who knows a rare championship fight could make him err more often than we are used to seeing him do so. But trust a seven-time world champion to learn from his shortcomings and go back to being his immaculate self in Portimao.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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