Toto Wolff jumps to Lewis Hamilton’s defence after Mercedes star slapped with fine

In advance of this Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was fined for his antics.

As per Toto Wolff’s statement, Lewis Hamilton and Logan Sargeant’s Thursday FP2 near-miss was not intentional. Mercedes was fined £12,800 (€15,000) by the seven-time world champion for a “serious failure” in communications.

During the FP2 session on Thursday, Hamilton drove cautiously on the racing line to try to avoid getting in the way of Carlos Sainz of Ferrari. But the British driver had no idea Sargeant was speeding through a flying lap.

The seven-time world champion infuriated the rookie American driver when he had to abruptly jolt his Williams car to the right to avoid a collision. Sargeant responded by raising his hand and yelling, “Mate, come on.” It’s too risky.

Following closely behind the two, Sainz also voiced his displeasure with Hamilton’s driving. He declared over the team radio, “What Hamilton did there was extremely dangerous.” I was unable to move aside, as if he were in the center. Sargeant almost lost control due to him.

Speaking about the incident, Wolff said to Sky Germany, “I saw the moment, but I’m not sure if Lewis understood that Sargeant was approaching. Regardless, it was risky and might have caused a major collision, but no one intentionally does that, especially not Lewis.

Hamilton’s initial response verified that he was unaware of Sargeant’s presence. He remarked, “I didn’t realize someone was on a lap.” “I was attempting to make room for Sainz when a Williams appeared out of nowhere.” The 39-year-old held up his hand to acknowledge his mistake and apologized to the American driver on the track.

After visiting the stewards, Hamilton was fortunate to escape a personal reprimand; Mercedes, on the other hand, was fined £12,800 (€15,000) for their communications error.

“Car 2 (Sargeant) had to take evasive action by going off the track to avoid a collision,” an FIA statement said. A significant, fast-moving collision would have occurred if that hadn’t been done. It was evident to us from listening to the team radio that the crew of Car 44 neglected to alert their driver to the fact that Car 2 was approaching at a high speed.

“Considering the speeds on this circuit and the layout of turn 11, which comes at the conclusion of a sequence of fast corners where driver visibility is compromised, that was a very serious mistake on the team’s part. As a result, we fine the team €15,000 and give the driver a warning.”

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