Lewis Hamilton: “I didn’t really know what happened…”

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he might have been knocked unconscious in the aftermath of his crash in the Belgian GP.

Onboard TV pictures showed Lewis not moving his head or arms when the car came to rest, and he didn’t show signs of movement until some 15s after the initial impact.

At the time the team said he’d been winded, but asked by this writer if he had now accepted that he had been knocked out, Lewis conceded that it may have happened.

“I don’t really remember much from hitting the wall, so it’s potentially possible I was out for a couple of seconds, but I’m not really sure,” he said today. “I don’t remember the whole hitting the wall and how I got to where I was. I remember going into the corner, or trying to go into the corner, and getting hooked, but after that, a bit blurry.

“I hit it quite hard. I was doing 200mph or whatever it was at the end of the straight. There wasn’t much slowing down time between hitting him and into the wall, it was directly into the wall, so I hit it with a lot of force.”

After leaving the track Hamilton sent a Twitter message taking responsibility for the crash.

“When the incident happened, there are doubts in your mind whether it was your fault, whether or not you were hit. I didn’t really know what happened, I just knew I’d been hit. But I was still doubtful whether or not it was my fault.

“After I’d left they sent me some information, and a video clip. Immediately I knew it was my fault. I was pretty upset with it, but it was important to set the record straight and apologise to Kamui and the team.”

Meanwhile Hamilton says he’s paid no attention to recent media criticism: “I’m not really focussing on that, I’m trying to get back to having some good results so I can stop negative stories being written about me! I don’t read them, I just hear there are pretty bad stories written about me. I’m thinking it will be good to give you guys something good to write about.

“I’ll continue to drive the way I do, I’ll just try my hardest to stay out of trouble.”

Last year McLaren split its aero strategies for this race, with Jenson Button on high downforce, and Hamilton with a more traditional low downforce rear wing. Lewis says that low downforce will probably be the way to go this year.

“I don’t know what to expect. We’ll find out tomorrow if we’ve got competitive end of straight speeds. I’m not quite sure. You look in the garages and you see some people with really, really thin wings, and some people with similar wings to what they had in the last race. We have a similar wing to what we had in the last race. I’m hopeful that it will work and we’ll be competitive.

“Last year we didn’t have such a strong blown diffuser, this year’s are much stronger, so I think you can run less downforce on the wings and still have similar downforce to the heavier wing in low speed corners. Yes, Jenson was very competitive, but it’s a bit different with the DRS, particularly in the race, it’s a little bit different compared to last year. You’ll lose a lot more with heavier downforce.”


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4 responses to “Lewis Hamilton: “I didn’t really know what happened…”

  1. Mick

    I think we all thought he had been knocked out. I was a bit surprised the marshals let him get out of the car. What are the rules about that? Isn’t he supposed to be extracted (or at least checked) by the medical team?

    • kristian

      It seemed pretty obvious that he’d been knocked out when interviewed during the race on the BBC. Monotone, slow speaking, and confused. At the end of the interview there is also about 5 seconds of silence which we don’t know the cause of because it was an audio only interview. I’m surprised the McLaren press team let him give an interview but I’m glad they did. As a team they seem like they’re less risk averse compared to the past. They might be willing to let people be… people not “business units” or some other doublespeak.

  2. Paul D

    It was a very scary few seconds watching Lewis being very still after the car had come to rest and a hugh sigh of relief when he started moving around

  3. Steve Clark

    I’ve been wondering that given how slow he was to get out of the car. I assume now he’d have to pass FIA checks to get back in the car given sport’s concern with concussion. Glad he’s OK though.

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