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Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri came to blows during the Italian Grand Prix, in an incident that destroyed the rookie’s race and earned the multiple World Champion a five-second penalty.
Hamilton-Piastri incident: What happened
The incident occurred on lap 41 of the Italian Grand Prix, with just ten laps remaining. Lewis Hamilton, using softer tyres because of an alternative strategy, was coming through the field when he came across Oscar Piastri. The pair fought for eighth, with Alex Albon and Lando Norris just up the road as well.
After a couple of failed attempts, Hamilton was able to go side-by-side with Piastri through Curva Grande and he had the inside line for the second chicane. Moving towards the braking zone, he was ahead, but he started drifting towards the right hand side of the track too soon, as the McLaren was still alongside.
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Contact followed and Hamilton nearly spun, but saved his car. While the Mercedes was fine, the McLaren was very much not. Front wing damage meant that Piastri had to pit for a new nose and he dropped outside the points, unable to recover. In the meantime, Hamilton passed both Norris and Albon later to move up to sixth.
The stewards deemed Hamilton responsible for the incident, handing him a five-second penalty. That did not affect him though, as he was able to open a gap of seven seconds to Albon by the time the race was over, thus he was able to keep sixth position. Piastri finished the race in twelfth, unable to get back into the top ten.
Hamilton-Piastri incident: The drivers’ comments
Lewis Hamilton was quick to apologise to Oscar Piastri, as he revealed in a post-race interview:
It was, obviously, my fault and it actually wasn’t intentional. I got up alongside and just misjudged the gap that I had to the right and clipped him. It could happen at any time.
I knew shortly afterwards it must have been my fault so I wanted to make sure he knew that it wasn’t intentional. And that’s what gentlemen do, right?
Piastri had reason to be disappointed, as four points were lost from the incident. He accepted Hamilton’s apology, understanding what took place in the incident.
I can’t ask for anything other than that. He just moved a bit too far to the right. I think it’s very easy to do in that corner, it’s very narrow.
He came and apologised, so I don’t think there’s much more to it than that.
Following the fourteenth race of the season, Lewis Hamilton is fourth in the standings, just six points behind third-placed Fernando Alonso. Oscar Piastri is down in twelfth, in a tie with Esteban Ocon. This was his second failure to score in three races, as he had retired in the Belgian Grand Prix, after contact with Carlos Sainz on the opening lap.
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