Hamilton told Leclerc ‘I didn’t want to clip you and send you off’ after Copse scrap

2022 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton told Charles Leclerc he was anxious to avoid hitting the Ferrari driver when they went wheel-to-wheel through Copse as they battled in the late stages of the British Grand Prix.

The two drivers fought over third place at the end of the race in an enthralling, multi-lap battle. At one point Leclerc overtook Hamilton around the outside of the high-speed Copse corner.

The move drew comparisons with the battle between Hamilton and his championship rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap of last year’s British Grand Prix. The pair collided, pitching the Red Bull into the wall at high speed. Hamilton was held chiefly responsible by the stewards and handed a 10-second time penalty, despite which he went on to win the race.

In a new edition of Ferrari’s behind-the-scenes YouTube series Full Access, Leclerc is shown talking with Hamilton ahead of last week’s Austrian Grand Prix in the Red Bull Ring media pen.

In the recently published footage, Hamilton can be heard discussing the pair’s battle for third on lap 48 of the British Grand Prix, in which the Mercedes tried to pass the Ferrari around the outside of Brooklands before completing the move around the outside of Luffield one corner later. Leclerc then bravely reclaimed the position by passing Hamilton around the outside of Copse, turning into the fast right hander at around 300 km/h.

“I was like, ‘fuck, I don’t want to just clip you and send you off,'” Hamilton can be heard telling Leclerc in the six-second clip.

Speaking after the British Grand Prix, Hamilton praised Leclerc’s racecraft throughout the battle, highlighting how he believed the fight differed from his one with Verstappen a year earlier.

“Charles did a great job, a great battle,” Hamilton told Sky after the race. “He’s such a sensible driver, definitely different to what I experienced last year. Copse, for example – we got through there no problem.”

Leclerc also admitted after the British Grand Prix that the 2021 incident had been on his mind after he had completed the pass on Hamilton at Copse. “It was incredibly tricky and, actually, as soon as I passed the corner I look in my mirror and I had a flashback of last year,” said the Ferrari driver.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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126 comments on “Hamilton told Leclerc ‘I didn’t want to clip you and send you off’ after Copse scrap”

  1. Well, did Lewis learn or is that still a choice he’s making depending on who it is he’s fighting?

    1. It’s Charles not having the same ham fisted bravado mentality as our current number 1*.

    2. Hamilton didn’t need to learn anything. Just look at how he overtook Leclerc, or anyone else for that matter, in the very same 2021 English Grand Prix.

      1. Yes, by holding a tighter line and hitting the apex. I mean, it’s black and white with video evidence.

        1. Man give it up already. They touched before the apex so it’ not black and white at all. Plus why is it that the inside car has to snort the apex for it to be classed as cars width but the outside car access to like 99% of the rest of the tarmac at the corner.

          Plus Hamilton won the race and Verstappen won the championship. Get over it, it was 2021 and it’s over. Welcome to 2022.

          1. It’s hard not to bite when people can’t see what’s in front of them. Max and Charles left the same room on the inside yet one is a clean racer and the other is crazy/dirty. It’s absurd.
            It also depends on who is ahead in the corner, not just inside or outside.

          2. Hey G, I completely agree. Max found it really hard not to bite when Hamilton was in front at the apex. Well said

          3. It couldn’t be more clear. There are pictures out there comparing car positioning Lewis vs Max and Lewis vs Leclerc in Copse. There is no denying whatsoever possible that Max left more room than Charles did, yet Lewis’ car is on the apex with Leclerc and nowhere near the apex with Max. It’s factual footage.

          4. @Mayrton if you want to believe it was Hamilton fault then fine. Still doesn’t change the fact that the collision occured before the apex so you can’t compare the two lines at the apex as much as people seem to think that they can.

        2. Bruno Verrari
          14th July 2022, 20:51

          Totally clear!

        3. @G +1

      2. British Grand Prix. Not English.

    3. Probably the 2022 car did not help either in repeating the 2021 highlight of the race.

    4. the difference is the racecraft of LEC vs the overaggressive VER

      1. What does it matter how aggressive Verstappen is on average, when he wasn’t at fault for that incident? And the other way round when Verstappen made a wrong move. Formula 1 is much more fun for/with at least somewhat neutral people, you fans of either Verstappen or Hamilton (and whoever comes next) don’t care at all for any objectivity or even respect for one another. It all reminds me of how kids argue at school.

        1. VER was found to be partly at fault

      2. the difference is he didnt miss the apex by a mile this time

        1. the only one who misses apex by a mile is VER (brazil)

          1. But he didn’t send Lewis into the barriers…

          2. cause Lewis decided not to crash, unlike VER

        2. @NM “the difference is he didnt miss the apex by a mile this time”

          what do you know about apex that you comment about it? there is no defined apex in a corner? you can have an early or late apex or mid apex all depends on the racing line you take! it is a point of view not a hard static point on a corner! everyone around except max knows this! max has been bully so many times, it was a time to make a statement to show him what happens when people dont yield to his bullying. i hated the race director and stewards for allowing this behavior such a long time so often
          that made max thought whatever he does will go unpunished so he forced the limits of what is actually complete and utter rubbish racing. he was moving under braking so many times, he was forcing people off left and right front and back… dive bombing, running silly wide, and finally wasnt afraid to take himself and if possible other person out of the race too! he shown and demonstrated this so blatantly so many times, you have to be actually blind or hooligan level fan to ignore them all!

    5. I agree it means lewis knew exactly what he was doing last year

      1. Exactly. Lewis just confessed his collision last year was intentional ….

    6. Bruno Verrari
      14th July 2022, 20:49

      Shocking…but he’s finally learned the apex lesson! Nico would benefit from that, too!
      Would he also have crashed into Charles, he would have lost whatever little respect we still have left towards his double-edged driving standards…

      1. Not just Nico. What about the poor Albon who was victimised twice and almost cost him his career.

    7. Verstappen gave Hamilton no choice but to show the little upstart two things, 1. If you’re going to intentionally push a driver out the way like Verstappen has been doing all hi career, how to do it with sheer skill and more subtle. 2. Verstappen needed putting into a wall to give him a clear message drivers won’t fall for the bully tactics.

      Verstappen is without doubt, one of the lousiest sportsman in the history of F1.

      1. I feel you rather just made a statement indicating Lewis is, if that was indeed his train of thought….

    8. Of course it is the latter. He is so full of …

  2. Last year Hamilton was not prepared to yield a mm to Max, he would rather have crashed. Hamilton new exactly what he was doing 2021 – he needed to lay a marker down. He took Max out to set the tone for the rest of the season, it went exactly to plan.

    1. Exactly right – in response to Max’s dirty driving on 3 separate occasions earlier in the season.

    2. Check Imola and Spain to see precedents being set before Silverstone.

      1. In both Imola and Spain Max had the inside line and was ahead. He had every right to squeeze Lewis out. Lewis has done this countless times to other drivers and had every right to as well. If you have ever raced you will know that being behind and on the outside of a corner is a bad place to be. Copse was different as Max was ahead whilst on the outside and could carry greater speed. I think Lewis was just desperate at this point and is now making ill-judged comments to try and justify the collision a year later.
        He tried to carry too much speed into the corner last year which is why he missed the apex completely and hit the RedBull. You can see against Charles that he held a tighter line and scrubbed off a lot more speed.

        1. “In both Imola and Spain Max had the inside line and was ahead.”

          Correct, and in both instances Hamilton backed out and lived to fight another day, in the case of Spain, he went on to win that race where Horner said he would have ended up in the barriers had he not backed out of the move. Verstappen hadn’t learned this lesson, in Silverstone his lack of forward thinking put him out of the race.

          1. He shouldn’t have to back out at Silverstone because he was literally ahead, the trailing car is the one that backs out when they can’t safely retake position at the corner. What is so hard for people to understand about that?

          2. @N
            He had to back out in Imola and Spain as he had lost position in the corner, same as Copse.

      2. If that was Lewis’ motivation than he is even less knowledgable and skilled than I thought. Silverstone was a classic lay down the line red mist moment in combination with rusty skill set as a result from always leading from the front. He did not get much wheel to wheel training with his rocket Mercedes for over a decade. I an way you can’t really blame the man.

    3. Exactly, as Jan Lammers noted last season; the drivers were no longer rationally battling for position, but purely focused on outdoing each other. It was quite silly, as both drivers have shown plenty of times before and since that they’re perfectly capable of having proper on track battles. That’s why it was disappointing the stewards didn’t intervene more strongly, especially after Silverstone, because it was obvious what was up between these two.

      1. And for broader context, the thing about last season, is that these two guys were up front and at each other’s throats every single time. I wasn’t like either of them had a bad weekend or whatever. It was just them going to toe to toe every week just getting everty tenth out of two different cars. Bottas and Perez may as well have been driving another car, they were just way in the background. When people are less het up about their guy wining or losing, 2021 is going to be considered maybe the best F1 season since the 70s.

        1. Yes, there was really a lot of racing between cars that across the season were very close in performance (which also happened in 2018) but unlike 2018 there were 2 drivers constantly on top, except hamilton who had a few off races early on, such as monaco, but he was a threat till the end, vettel as soon as he spun at monza was pretty obvious he was no longer a threat, because he lost more points through mistakes than the 7 points gained the times he managed to win.

    4. This means he did crash on purpose …. that is what everyone thought Lewis just confirmed it!

      1. Max crashed on purpose?

  3. Hamilton is still trying to write his own story and is cynically using Leclerc to do so. He cannot admit that it was his mistake.

    I remind you that Hamilton was found guilty of the whole incident by the judges. He was given a penalty and rejoiced after winning the British GP when Max was in hospital – such a small comment on Hamilton’s recent words about rejoicing when your rival could have ended up in hospital. Hypocrite.

    Just as Max said (which, for the rest, can be seen in the pictures comparing the two manoeuvres): Lewis learned how to hit apex at 37 – apparently, since he still can’t admit he was wrong..

    1. May I remind you “predominantly” at fault, not “guilty of the whole incident”. Sheesh!

      1. 99% Vs 1% or 51% Vs 49% would both be summarised as “Predominantly to blame”. And in last years crash Lewis wasn’t just 51% but more like 80% or higher to blame for the accident.

        1. more like 60/40 at best

          1. Fred Fedurch
            14th July 2022, 23:05


      2. Predominantly at fault because he attempted the the pass. Verstappen was partiallly at fault because he refused to conceed and also changed his line mid corner.

      3. Bruno Verrari
        14th July 2022, 20:58

        But still: (insufficiently) punished by the stewards. Exclusively.!

        1. 10s penalty for a contact which can easily also be ruled being a racing incident is pretty harsh. many experienced drivers stated it was a racing incident in their opinion. ofc things look different through orange glasses.

          1. Aren’t some of those drivers who stated that british, such as hill if I recall?

          2. Hence I think talking about orange glasses when it could be the opposite here seems far fetched.

          3. Alonso, Ricciardo… I dont remember who, but there were some more.

      4. yeah it was more like 50.1% vs 49.9%

    2. @chase423

      As you presumably know, Verstappen was entirely uninjured and simply had some routine checks. Hamilton was not ‘found guilty of the whole incident by the judges’. Some of the blame was placed on Verstappen.

      And Verstappen’s comment about ‘learning to hit an apex at 37’ was extremely disrespectful, as well as demonstrably inaccurate and deliberately incendiary. Not particularly surprising from him though.

      1. Lewis reopened that narrative before max responded. So Lewis needs to grow up too. Lewis missed the apex at that corner, max was in front and he didn’t. Lewis got away with that but karma came back to bite him….and now Max is world champ.

        1. “Lewis missed the apex at that corner” what exactly is a apex and where is it? i dont remember seeing a rule that says drivers had to hit a point called/marked apex before! it is a point of view for the racing line you choose! sometimes it is earl in the corner, sometimes late, sometimes it is mid corner, not a static point! the actual point is max hooligans think everyone has to yield for max, whether he is ahead (and other driver has to give up) or behind (other driver has to give up for max’s diving range/circle)
          so it really doesnt matter which apex you talk about, max has to be ahead out of a corner no matter what!

      2. Max commented perfectly adequate on Lewis’s nasty jab below the waist.

    3. He was not wrong. Max took himself out with his overaggressive driving.

      1. Wrong as Max used exactly the same line as LeClerc did through Copse.

          1. Yep.

            It’s clear from the onboards too that the only variable between the two passes at Copse is Hamilton’s line.
            I’m surprised Lewis made his comments without looking at the facts first.

          2. and then you post a video where even at the beginning one can see, that VER squeezed HAM to the very inside already on the straight, resulting into very different lines already into the corner. orange glasses dont help you judgement it seems

          3. I don’t get your point? What wasn’t fair about that? One defensive move and more than a cars width left on the inside.
            After that, when they set themselves for the corner you can see Max’ line is identical to Charles. Lewis’ is different by a full car width. Do you not agree?

          4. also more than a cars width on the outside. HAM was alongside on the straight, VER braked later, took more speed into the corner and ignored the car next to him. Thats his yield or crash mentality, for which he paid with his crash.

          5. Romtrain is just confirming the move Hamilton tried to make was even more stupid if his starting position before the corner was already compromised. Lets not beat around the bush anymore: Lewis was desperate. It happens, I expect it since he is supposed to be passionate. But not being able to admit it afterwards makes him a laughable and terrible character and poor sportsman that no longer deserves my support (as I have always given him right up until that point)

          6. Maryton, you dont respect facts. The crashkid squeezed HAM on the straight, and then took too much speed into the corner. Its his own overaggressive driving, which produced his crash. But through your orange glasses you obviously are blinded.

          7. In guess getting personal rubs of from Lewis to his fans… people running out of arguments often use that approach, just as Lewis and the Mercedes PR group attempted last year. It is an display of insecurity. On the matter: There is plenty of footage out there that blatantly clear proves Lewis made a mistake. It happens. Its no biggy. Not owning up to it and getting the mind games in that caused Alonso to dislike Lewis and Nico to leave, that’s a biggy. A big one.

    4. @romtrain, @paulguitar: I feel your pain. It is a pity that you simply cannot admit that it was Hamilton’s fault. You will defend him that he is not entirely to blame, blah blah blah, there was a bad phase of the moon at that moment and the groundwater was at too high a level. You will do anything to defend him in a binary situation.

      And Verstappen’s comment about ‘learning to hit an apex at 37’ was extremely disrespectful, as well as demonstrably inaccurate and deliberately incendiary. Not particularly surprising from him though.

      He matched the level of Lewis’ pathetic comments accusing Max of being disrespectful, so let’s go further:

      LH about CL: “He’s such a sensible driver, definitely different to what I experienced last year. Copse, for example – we got through there no problem.”

      So actually, I don’t know what the statement is about. Since he didn’t hit him like last year, they got through with no problem. Charles left him less space than Max did. The only thing he experienced was a lack of impact, by riding the right line in this situation.