Lewis Hamilton baffled by bad start in F1 Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he is baffled by the poor start that wrecked his Italian Grand Prix and only accepted the blame initially to reassure his Mercedes Formula 1 team

Lewis Hamilton baffled by bad start in F1 Italian Grand Prix

Hamilton dropped from pole to sixth at the start of the Monza race and could only recover to second, as title rival Nico Rosberg won and closed to within two points in the drivers' championship.

Initially Hamilton radioed Mercedes to say the poor launch was his own error, but after the race he suggested that might not have been the case.

"I knew my engineers would be worried and nervous of how the start went so that is why I tried to put their mind at ease [by accepting the blame]," he said.

"I don't know really what happened at the start. I'll try to understand it later.

"I did everything normally.

"I remember a bunch of cars going by. I did the sequence, everything exactly the same.

"I just got lots of wheelspin, a bit like Nico's start in Hockenheim."

When Rosberg suggested the 2016 rule changes meant variable starts were normally down to driver performance, Hamilton argued that there were still many technical reasons why a getaway might be slow.

"I don't agree it's more down to the driver, it's the same as before," he said.

"We have a relatively inconsistent clutch.

"In the past, we could be told our clutch temperature, it would be easier to hit the target.

"Now it's a lot less easy to know what your clutch will be delivering and what it is not."

Hamilton admitted he knew victory was lost in the opening laps.

"In the moment, you're just thinking about getting back to where you started," he said.

"My goal was to get back to where I was but I could see Nico pulling away.

"I know from experience here, while everything can happen, the chances of the win decrease lap by lap, second by second.

"I knew at an early stage that winning would not be possible but I could try.

"I went after second and that was the most I could do."

Rosberg has won back-to-back races following Hamilton's grid penalty and third place at Spa, but the German denied the 'tide' of the title battle was currently going his way.

"I don't see waves, I just see race by race," said Rosberg.

"The next race is Singapore and I'll try to win there."

DRIVERS' STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 250
2 Nico Rosberg 248
3 Daniel Ricciardo 161
4 Sebastian Vettel 143
5 Kimi Raikkonen 136
6 Max Verstappen 121


shares
comments
Nico Rosberg dominates Italian Grand Prix, closes on Lewis Hamilton

Previous article

Nico Rosberg dominates Italian Grand Prix, closes on Lewis Hamilton

Next article

Fernando Alonso believes McLaren may challenge Ferrari this year

Fernando Alonso believes McLaren may challenge Ferrari this year
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021