After setting a record breaking pole lap for the Italian Grand Prix, the race was Lewis Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ to lose…
And unfortunately for them, they did.
Hamilton pitted, from a 12 second lead, under the first safety car after Kevin Magnussen parked up his Haas at a marshall post just before the pitlane.
Due to the comprising location of the Haas, the pitlane entry was closed meaning Hamilton would have to carry on. But he pitted…
“My race wasn’t meant to be.” he said.
“I didn’t see the boards saying the pit lane was closed because I was following the safety car delta on my dash, so I take responsibility for that and it’s something that we’ll investigate and learn from.”
The result was a 10 second stop-go penalty which was made worse for Hamilton due to a red flag after a huge crash for Charles Leclerc.
After a standing restart, Hamilton dropped from first to last and had to fight his way back, eventually finishing in seventh place.
“That stop-go pit stop was long, and I had 26 seconds to catch up to the next car. I was giving it absolutely everything. I honestly didn’t expect to get seventh and fastest lap at that point in the race.
“I took a lot of life out of the tyres closing the gap and there was a lot of turbulence from the other cars, which made it hard to follow them. But once I caught up to everybody, it was a fun battle and I still got some good points. I’ll definitely take the result and am grateful for it. We’ll move onto the next one and I look forward to it.”
Pierre Gasly capitalised on the drama to take his first Grand Prix victory. Hamilton had only praise for his rival:
“Huge congratulations to Pierre, it’s a fantastic result for him and it’s great to see such a young podium. Obviously, I’ve seen what Pierre’s been through, being dropped from a top team and then beating that top team today.
“It’s fantastic to see him recover and see him grow, so I’m very happy for him.”