Hamilton refrains from commenting on recovery vehicle incident

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

At the Japanese Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly almost crashed into a recovery vehicle on the wet track, which led to widespread criticism of the FIA.

The Japanese Grand Prix was cut short due to heavy rain, following a lengthy red flag period originally caused by Carlos Sainz’s crash and Alex Albon’s DNF.

After the restart, Lewis was stuck behind Esteban Ocon for the remainder of the race. He was very close and was attacking constantly, but Mercedes’ lack of straight line speed prevented him from completing the overtake.

He ultimately finished in P5, and was later asked by Sky Sports if he felt frustrated by the battle.

“I mean I don’t feel frustrated,” Lewis said.

“It was just a sprint race, I think I did the best I could and at least we got some points today.

“We were just so slow in a straight line. I was getting as close as I could, and you could probably see it on the TV, as soon as I would pull out, they would just pull away.

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“So, yeah, I wish it was a longer race. I’m glad that we got some laps for the fans here, although it’s not really a massive race for them considering how long they waited. But, onto the next one.”

The race also included a big incident, when race control sent out a recovery vehicle on the track following Sainz’s crash.

In an incident similar to the one which led to Jules Bianchi’s fatal crash in 2014, Pierre Gasly almost crashed into the vehicle. This led to widespread criticism of the FIA.

When asked about this, Lewis said he will refrain from commenting on it publicly.

“Everyone will be commenting on it, so I don’t really have a care to.

“In terms of the conditions, just restarting, it was awesome. I mean that’s what motor racing’s about.

“I had a blast, it was so tough, so hard to see. It’s really hard to see the car skating around but that’s motor racing.

“I think the restart that we had at the end, I think it was perfect timing, and I just wish we could have gone longer into a bit of the dark… we lost a little bit of the light.”

The Briton also congratulated Max Verstappen on his 2022 world title win.

“Congrats to Max,” Lewis said.

“I think for us, we know what the problems are with this car. I believe that we, as a team, we’ve not gone from being world champions to not being able to build a good car.

“I have no doubts that we’ll have a better car next year. Whether or not we’ve rectified every issue that we’ve had this year, we’ll find out next year,” he concluded.

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