Lewis Hamilton. (AFP Photo)SPIELBERG: Lewis Hamilton admitted it “was not a great weekend” after he completed fourth within the Austrian Grand Prix and noticed six drivers decide out of taking a knee in assist of his anti-racism initiative.
The world champion had hoped for achievement on and off the observe as he pursued a unified drivers present of pre-race assist in taking a knee and to say an 85th profession victory to launch his bid for a record-equalling seventh world title.
But on a dramatic day, in entrance of empty grandstands and an almost-empty paddock on the Red Bull Ring, he was handed a trio of penalties en path to fourth place within the Covid-19 delayed season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
The six-time champion, who was imperious as he topped the instances in all three follow classes, was handed a three-place grid penalty earlier than the race, a five-second penalty after a conflict within the closing laps after which two factors on his racing licence afterwards.
It meant he began fifth, as a substitute of second, dropped from second on the street behind triumphant Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to fourth and moved to seven factors on his super-licence – greater than half approach in the direction of a attainable ban if he reaches 12.
“I don’t really feel particularly anywhere right now,” mentioned the game’s solely black champion who has been closely concerned in backing Formula One‘s push for range and supporting the worldwide Black Lives Matter marketing campaign.
On the pre-race grid, he was the one driver to put on a Black Lives Matter t-shirt whereas all of his fellow-drivers wore related clothes with an ‘End Racism’ message.
However, six of the 20 – together with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen of Red Bull – declined to affix Hamilton in taking a knee.
“The race is done and I just feel like moving forwards. It’s not been a great weekend for me – the race is done and I want to move on,” he added.
“Of course, it’s not been a great weekend for me. Yesterday (Saturday), in qualifying, it was entirely my fault, but it was a bit odd to get a penalty suddenly today (Sunday), but it is what it is.
“It did not destabilise me – it simply inspired me to go on the market and drive as greatest I might. I really feel like I did that. I had great tempo to meet up with Valtteri after which there was a actually unlucky incident with Alex (Albon, of Red Bull).
“I can’t believe we have come together again (after also clashing in Brazil last season), but it really felt like a racing incident. I’ll take whatever penalty they feel like I deserve and move forward.”
The stewards dominated that Hamilton was “predominantly to blame” for the collision with Albon, which knocked the Thai driver off the observe and out of the factors.
In a assertion, they mentioned Albon, who was on contemporary tyres, had the benefit in Turn Four and made “a better exit.”
Mercedes staff chief Toto Wolff mentioned: “Today was a bad day for Lewis and a bad day for the team. Obviously, the three-place grid position penalty that he got in the morning, with Red Bull digging out a different camera angle.
“You must take that on the chin and it’s what it’s.
“In the race, I would say, from my perspective, the five seconds were too harsh. We looked at the video now a couple of times.”