Lewis Hamilton: ‘I hold myself accountable for missing signs’

Lewis Hamilton says he considers himself responsible for the penalty that cost him victory in the Italian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver pitted for fresh tyres when the pit lane was closed, a fact neither he nor the team noticed.

Hamilton said: Nobody’s happy. We all have to hold one another accountable. I definitely hold myself accountable for not seeing the signs.

“But it is part of a whole sequence of things that weren’t perfect as a team.”

 

The pit lane was closed just as Hamilton entered the final corner, Parabolica, before his stop.

He did not see two light boards that were on the outside of the corner, and Mercedes engineers did not notice the message on the timing screens saying the pit lane had been closed.

Race director Michael Masi closed the pit lane because Kevin Magnussen’s Haas needed to be pushed into the pit lane.

“You rely a lot on team to tell you things,” Hamilton said. “Approaching a corner, it’s generally quite easy to see but when you’re cornering in a right-hand corner, you’re looking over to the right and gauging the gap between you and the white line, so your view is centre to the right.

“Also, when there’s a car pulled over on the right you are conscious of the marshals, so that’s the area you look to.

“I don’t remember that was the indication for the pit lane closing, so that was a new experience and I am unsure why they pushed the car from that spot they could have pushed it back into. I don’t understand why they took that decision.”

Hamilton added that he felt the penalty – a 10-second stop- and –go which dropped him to the back of the field – was “severe”.

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