James Allison comments on Hamilton and Russell’s Qatar GP crash

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

James Allison says the aftermath of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s Qatar Grand Prix crash “got a huge amount more simple as soon as Lewis had watched the video”.

Lewis Hamilton started the Qatar Grand Prix from P3 on Soft tyres, while his team-mate George Russell and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen were on Mediums, in P2 and P1 respectively.

Lewis had a good start and as he was trying to overtake both George and Max into Turn 1, a collision happened between the two Mercedes drivers.

The team’s Technical Director James Allison says both drivers were aware that Lewis could have a good start and agreed they would not fight it out.

“I think both drivers understood that they were on different tyres, understood that Lewis was likely to be more sparkly in the opening laps of the race, and I think George had acknowledged that neither of them should lose time if that were the case,” Allison said.

“But both were also very keen to emphasise the fact that they shouldn’t have a coming together.

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“Now I don’t think that was discussed in the specific context of, Turn 1, Lap 1, but just generally the opening laps would be where the soft would be at its best, so no point fighting when the strategies would bring that all back together in the race.”

Unfortunately a collision did happen, but Allison says Lewis made the aftermath more simple for the team, because after seeing the replay video he immediately said the incident was “100%” his fault.

“Everything got a huge amount more simple as soon as Lewis had watched the video, because he immediately put his hands up and just said: ‘That was my fault, I’m very sorry.’

“Once someone just acknowledges a mistake and does so fulsomely, you can’t really bang on about it after that, because that is the problem solved.

“It’s a difficult job, starting cleanly, and mistakes happen. Thankfully, they happen very very seldom with this pair, in that way,” the Briton concluded.

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