Atoning for $150,000 Sins, Lewis Hamilton Apologizes to Oscar Piastri With Classy Gesture

Published 09/04/2023, 1:00 AM EDT

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They say it takes a big man (read: person) to admit their mistakes. Lewis Hamilton is one of them. Formula 1 is a cutthroat sport with very little room for error. Every driver aims to be the best and get the upper hand on their rivals, no matter the cost. Sometimes, though, getting the upper hand comes at the expense of the rival(s), owing to a mistake by the driver. But because of how cutthroat the sport is, rarely do we see drivers apologizing to each other. Well, the Italian GP was one such rare occasion.

Almost throughout the race last night, a (slightly) out-of-position Hamilton was stuck in P9 behind the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. Despite the Mercedes having the better race pace, the seven-time champion struggled to get past Piastri. When he finally got his chance, the move stuck, but Piastri’s race didn’t, and Hamilton had to make amends.

Lewis Hamilton extended an olive branch after the race


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To better explain what happened, Hamilton came close enough to Piastri to attempt an overtake on Lap 41 of 51. They headed out of Turn 2 together, going side-by-side through Curva Grade. Even though the overtake was basically done going into Turn 4, Hamilton unintentionally turned in on Piastri and made contact with the Aussie’s front wing. While Hamilton came out unscathed from the crash, the McLaren driver had to make an extra pitstop to replace his $150,000 front wing.

Despite getting a five-second penalty after taking P8, Hamilton made up two more places and pulled away from the cars behind him. As he crossed the finish line, he was more than five seconds ahead of Alex Albon in P7. If you think about it, not only did Hamilton ruin Piastri’s race, but he also got to improve his points haul after the incident. Coming back to the point, though, as soon as Hamilton made contact with the McLaren, he radioed in and said, “I didn’t give him enough space,” accepting his mistake. 


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Hunting for All-Time Best F1 Rookie, Oscar Piastri Reveals Eerie Similarity With Lewis Hamilton’s Journey

After the race, where he finished P6, Hamilton went up to Piastri in parc-ferme and apologized to the young rookie for his crimes. In an interview with Sky Sports in the media pen, the 38-year-old was asked about the incident. He replied, “It was totally my fault, and I went and apologized to him.” As classy as the gesture was—to go up to Piastri and apologize—it didn’t change the outcome for Piastri. Considering this, you would’ve thought the 22-year-old might still hold a grudge. Well, here’s what he had to say.

Oscar Piastri’s maturity shone through after the incident

Despite being in his rookie season, Piastri has already had his fair share of close encounters and wheel-to-wheel racing. But almost all the times it has happened, he’s the driver who comes out worse. In Hungary against Sergio Perez, he was slightly nudged onto the gravel, which damaged his floor. In Belgium, he made contact with Carlos Sainz on the first lap, where he got pushed into the wall, ending his race. And in Italy, the incident with Hamilton again cost him the race. 


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Having already dealt with such incidents that ended in disappointment, Piastri’s reaction after the race in Monza won hearts yet again. When asked about the incident, he said, “Hamilton apologized, and the stewards gave that a penalty. I can’t ask for anything other than that. I think he just moved a bit too far to the right. But I think it’s very easy to do in that corner. It’s very narrow.” Instead of calling Hamilton out for ruining his race, the young Aussie tried to justify the Mercedes driver’s actions. 


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Watch This Story: How Oscar Piastri Has Made a Scintillating Rise to the Pinnacle of Motorsport 

Did you think Lewis Hamilton apologizing was classy, or was it necessary? And what did you think about Oscar Piastri’s reaction?


Written by:

Aditi Krishnan


One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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