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GP Week : Issue 131
LEWIS Hamilton has accepted all the blame for colliding with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, a collision that forced him into immediate retirement while challenging for a podium finish. Hamilton had overtaken Kobayashi through Eau Rouge at the beginning of lap 13, but Kobayashi was able to take the McLaren’s slipstream and re- challenge for the place going into Les Combes. Then, in the braking zone for the corner, Hamilton moved across to retake the racing line which was occupied by Kobayashi, with the resulting collision sending the McLaren spinning into the barriers and retirement. Kobayashi was able to continue, but dropped from contention for points when he pitted behind the safety car. Speaking shortly after the race, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh placed the blame for the accident at Kobayashi’s door. “Lewis didn’t go right over to the racing line, but had to get over to that part of the track and I think it was extremely unlucky,” explained Whitmarsh. “I think if you are behind the onus is on you not to make a connection quite as hard as that.” Immediately after retiring, Hamilton said he hadn’t known why he got hit, having thought he was ahead of Kobayashi. “I don’t really know what happened, but I hit the wall pretty hard and my race was immediately over. I was ahead, so I don’t know why I got hit,” he said. But later in the evening, having watched a replay of the incident, Hamilton admitted full blame for the clash. “After watching the replay, I realize it was my fault today 100 percent. I didn’t give Kobayashi enough room, though I thought in was past,” Hamilton wrote from his Twitter account. “Apologies to Kamui and to my team. The team deserves better from me.” Kobayashi admitted after finishing the race in 12th that he had not intended to re-pass Hamilton having conceded that the McLaren was a quicker car, and was simply on the racing line at the time. “Regarding the accident with Lewis Hamilton, which happened when I was running in fourth, I knew perfectly well he was faster than me so had no reason to fight with him,” said Kobayashi. “After he overtook me it was not my intention to get my position back, so I stayed on my line and didn’t expect him to move over.” Hamilton accepts blame for Kobayashi contact Webber compromised by another poor getaway F1 BELGIUM >> 31