Hamilton refers to Senna’s famous F1 “seizing the opportunity” comment after collision with Perez

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Mercedes’ driver Lewis Hamilton mentioned Ayrton Senna’s renowned statement about losing the identity of a racer if one doesn’t seize an available opportunity.

Hamilton’s encounter with Perez at Turn 15 forced Perez to withdraw from the race due to body damage, and resulted in a 5-second penalty for Hamilton, as adjudicators concluded he was chiefly responsible.

This pushed Hamilton from fourth to seventh in the final sprint standings, and he also incurred two penalty points.

“My only interpretation is that it’s challenging out there, we’re all giving our best, and obviously it wasn’t deliberate,” commented Hamilton, when quizzed about the incident.

“I believe I saw an opportunity, he was slow maneuvering through Turn 14, I took the inside track, I was more than halfway on the inside, and if you don’t seize a gap, you’re no longer in a race as Ayrton always maintained. That’s what I did.

“On reviewing it, it seemed like a standard racing incident to me. I feel like we’re in a racing era, we don’t want to be discouraged from racing.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, seen in Parc Ferme after the Sprint.

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / F1 Flow Images

When F1 Flow.com inquired if the penalty was irksome given his usual avoidance of such incidents, Hamilton minimized the importance of the lost points.

“In a race like today, frankly, I’m not too bothered,” he said. “The points aren’t that significant. Of course, finishing fourth would have been nice, but I don’t really strive for fourth, I aim for victory! So whether it’s fourth, seventh, it doesn’t really matter.”

Towards the end of the race, Hamilton could not catch up with Pierre Gasly, who was leading in third place: “Due to the collision, I sustained floor damage, leading to a significant loss of downforce. Then, unfortunately, the rear end started to tail, the tyres were degrading, and I couldn’t get any nearer.”

Hamilton concurred with the FIA’s decision to make the racers complete several laps behind the safety car before the rolling start.

“Good Lord, visibility is nearly non-existent out there,” he said. “So it was a wise decision to have those laps. Even then, heading down to turn five, it was impossible to see the braking zone, we might as well have just maintained speed.

“You’re slowing down around 300 metres but then suddenly a sign pops up and it’s like, ‘Oh no, the corner’s right there.’”

Also Read:
Hamilton’s penalty excessive, argues Wolff, as FIA explains verdict
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lewis Hamilton’s Perez clash

What incident led to Lewis Hamilton receiving a penalty?

Hamilton was penalised following a clash with Perez at Turn 15 in the race, which led to Perez retiring due to bodywork damage. The stewards concluded Hamilton was predominantly at fault and issued a 5-second penalty.

What famous quote did Hamilton reference in response to the incident?

Hamilton referred to Ayrton Senna’s well-known quote about not being a racing driver if one doesn’t seize an available opportunity or ‘go for a gap’.

How did the penalty affect Hamilton’s final position in the race?

The penalty caused Hamilton to drop from fourth place on the road to seventh in the final sprint results. He also received two penalty points.

What was Hamilton’s view on the penalty and how it affected his race position?

Hamilton downplayed the impact of the penalty, stating that the points aren’t that significant and he didn’t really care too much about finishing fourth or seventh. His aim is always to win.

What did Hamilton say about the visibility during the race?

Hamilton admitted that visibility was almost non-existent during the race and agreed with the FIA’s decision to have the drivers complete several laps behind the safety car before the rolling start.

More about Lewis Hamilton’s Perez clash

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Speedster_Joe July 29, 2023 - 11:56 pm

hamilton sure knows how to handle tricky conditions, great driver. Still, the penalty seemed harsh.

TurboCharged July 30, 2023 - 1:44 pm

Whoa, Hamilton still holding onto the “if you no longer go for a gap” philosophy, classic!

RaceLover101 July 30, 2023 - 1:49 pm

races like these are always so intense. visibility issues, unexpected penalties…keeps us on the edge of our seats!

F1Fanatic23 July 30, 2023 - 5:00 pm

Woah! Hamilton’s still got the fire, referencing Senna like that. Sad for Perez tho…


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