Teary-Eyed Lewis Hamilton Explains Embarassing Reason for Going Off in Baku

Published 06/06/2021, 12:20 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea


F1 just never fails to deliver on entertainment. After a relatively sedate race in Monaco, Baku delivered all the thrills and spills that were expected from it. When just four laps were left, the race turned on its head with Max Verstappen crashing out. That subsequently brought out the red flags and fans then got to witness a one-lap race in the end. And that was utterly crazy indeed. Lewis Hamilton ended up dead last after an embarrassing event on which he shed some light on soon after the race.

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At the race restart, Hamilton had gotten off the blocks quickly, going wheel to wheel with Sergio Perez. However, just as the cars headed into Turn 1, F1 fans watched in surprise as Lewis rocketed straight ahead and off the track in the process. It looks as though the seven-time world champion didn’t have any brakes on. And in fact, that’s exactly what happened.

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Hamilton said, “I clipped a switch, and it basically switches the brakes off. So I just went straight. So very hard to take, but mostly just sorry for the men and women in the team that have worked so hard. But we’ll regroup and come back stronger.”

Toto Wolff further explains Hamilton’s brake switch situation

The Mercedes team boss clarified that it wasn’t the brakes themselves that were switched off. The fact that there is a button to do that would be quite preposterous. But according to Toto, what Hamilton meant was that he hit the brake balance switch by mistake.

He said, “He touched the button that the brake balance changed and the brake balance went all the way forward and the car didn’t stop.”

Had Lewis gone on to win the race, he would have opened up a 21 point gap to Max Verstappen. Even if the Mercedes man lost out to Perez, he’d still be atop the leaderboard. However, it was not meant to be and the championship battle remains placed on a knife’s edge.

Watch Story: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

Lewis Hamilton not the only Mercedes driver to fail

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Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas had a far worse race. Although he ended up finishing ahead of Lewis in P12, this was a race he would want to forget quickly.

Formula One F1. Portuguese Grand Prix. Algarve International Circuit. Portimao, Portugal. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas before the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

While Hamilton was busy fighting for a win out in front, Bottas remain stuck in P10 for most of the first half of the race. After Stroll crashed and brought out the safety car, things got worse for the Finn; he got swallowed up by the field and slipped to as low as P14.

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This is not a showing that Bottas would have wanted. This result only further strengthens his critics’ voice. Is this the result that determines his future with the team? We’ll have to wait and watch.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 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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