Lewis Hamilton says his pit mistake during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix had nothing to do with the pressure due to his title fight with Max Verstappen. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks the same. The Red Bull driver did not actively participate in the qualifications at the Sochi Autodrome due to the penalty for changing the drie unit, so he will start from the back in tomorrow's race.
Hamilton said on Friday that it was important for him to maximize the penalty his biggest competitor has in the title fight, but the seven-time world champion missed an opportunity to win a pole position due to a mistake he made at the entrance to pit.
The Briton hit the wall while entering the pit and damaged the front wing, resulting in a long delay to put a new wing. The driver of the Mercedes then had an additional error as he got off the track towards the end of the session.
But Hamilton negate the mistake as a result of any pressure in a close title fight with Verstappen, five points behind the drivers. “Honestly, it has nothing to do with pressure,” Hamilton argues. "It really wasn't a pressure scenario.
Literally simple (mistakes) happen. ”
Hamilton was embarrassed
Hamilton adds that the lack of time to switch from intermedium tires to the softest tire component in Russia required him to enter the pit office faster because he "knew he would need more time on the track"
"The track was drying and the grip was pretty good, and I got in a little faster than usual, lost the back and slid into the wall." It is obvious that Hamilton was ashamed and sorry that such a mistake was made, but he is aware that such things are natural, and given the experience he has, he will quickly get over such things.
"Yes, of course, embarrassing, (I'm disappointed) with myself it happened, but s*it happens. We all make mistakes, and of course that's not what you would expect from a world champion. " Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the same thing as Hamilton, saying the mistake had nothing to do with the title fight.
"It wasn't pressure today, because it was clear that Max (Veratappen) was starting last," explains Wolff. "I can't say why it happened. I don't think it's the pressure of the championship, and he (Hamilton) wasn't the only one who had it happen.
" It is obvious that the pressure is great at the moment, and we will see how Mercedes and Red Bull will deal with it.