Formula 1

Hamilton Admits to ‘Rookie Error’ after Close Encounter with Vettel

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Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Marina Bay Street Circuit
Credit: Wolfgang Wilhelm

Lewis Hamilton admitted it was a ‘rookie error’ that saw him almost collide with championship rival Sebastian Vettel during the second free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver had just let both Sergio Pérez and Vettel passed only for both to then back off, but whilst following the Scuderia Ferrari driver, he locked up his front brakes and almost collected the German at turn fourteen.

Luckily they escaped without touching, although Hamilton ruined the set of tyres with the lock-up that saw him end up in the run-off zone, which he says was down to having an incorrect brake balance.  He was able to reverse out of the run-off before continuing on with his session, which he ultimately finished second fastest to Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, 0.011 seconds back on the Finn.

“Basically I let the guys past and they both backed off, they were going quite slow, and I was trying to recover ground,” Hamilton is quoted as saying by

“And I basically had my brake balance too far forward. And Sebastian tried to speed up, and then I locked up and I was going to hit him, so I had to shove to the left to avoid him and killed my tyre.

“Kind of a rookie error from myself, but that doesn’t happen too often.”

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