Lewis Hamilton has retracted his comments towards Sergey Sirotkin after originally calling the Russian’s move in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix “disrespectful.”
Sirotkin was on an out-lap and approached Hamilton — also on an out-lap — at high speed during Q2, catching the Mercedes driver by surprise. Hamilton moved to his left to try and get out of Sirotkin’s way but the Williams did the same and the pair nearly collided, with Hamilton criticizing Sirotkin’s driving after qualifying.
“We all know to keep a gap,” Hamilton said at the time. “It was a disrespectful move. I was trying to get out of his way and then he got to the corner and slowed up.”
However, on Sunday morning Hamilton took to Instagram to retract those comments, with Sirotkin having taken the blame for the incident on Saturday after the session.
“I woke this morning feeling I should correct some of the words I used yesterday,” Hamilton wrote. “I was wrong, it wasn’t a disrespectful move by Sergey, it was a misunderstanding and I honestly attempted to get out of his way. Didn’t work that well but s**t happens and I respect the way he handled it.”
As both drivers were on out-laps and therefore not directly impeding each other during a timed attempt, the stewards did not investigate the incident, and Hamilton went on to secure pole position for today’s race while Sirotkin will start from 14th.