The opening race of the 2020 F1 season did not go to plan for Lewis Hamilton. Team boss Toto Wolff was clearly unhappy with the way events played out. The Briton’s weekend had multiple penalties: A 3-place grid penalty endured after qualifying and later a five-second time penalty. The latter eventually cost Lewis Hamilton a podium spot to Lando Norris.
The 6-time world champion copped the penalty after bumping Alexander Albon for the second time. As it turns out, the two clashed after the final safety car period, when the Red Bull tried to dive around the outside. Following an investigation, the stewards handed Lewis Hamilton a penalty for his role in the collision.
However, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had a different take on the incident. According to him, Hamilton was already on full lock with his steering, so a collision was unavoidable.
Speaking to the media, he said, “The stewards are always in a difficult position to take the right decisions. I think today was a bad day for Lewis and a bad day for the team.
“Obviously the three grid position penalty that he got in the morning, with Red Bull digging out a different camera angle, you have to take it on the chin, and it is what it is.
“Then in the race, I would definitely say, from my perspective, the five seconds were too harsh. We looked at the video now a couple of times.
“Lewis was having full lock in the corner. Albon had about 40% of the road left to make the corner and it was different to lap one, where Lewis had to back out of Albon pushing Lewis.
“So in my opinion, not justified. But I recognize the complexity of the job, of coming up with the right decisions. Some go for you, some go against you.”
According to the Austrian, Albon had plenty of space to make the corner, but Hamilton was on full steering lock. However, he acknowledged that though it is his opinion; the stewards do not have an easy decision. At the end of the day, some decisions work for them while others work against them.
Naturally, Albon was quite upset because Hamilton cost him a shot at his maiden F1 race win. This is also the second time that Hamilton cost him a chance of a podium finish.