‘It was my fault,’ says Lewis


Lewis Hamilton tried unsuccessfully to kill two birds with one stone shortly after the start in Qatar on Sunday.

The seven-time world champion, fitted with fast, softer tyres, attempted to pass George Russell and Max Verstappen around the first corner, but things went awry and he made contact with his Mercedes team-mate’s race car.

He landed on the gravel section next to the race track and his right rear tire remained in the impact. Needless to say, he initially wagged his finger in Russell’s direction, but he later changed his tune.

“I want to apologize. It was probably just a racing incident, but I accept full responsibility. I don’t think George could go anywhere,” Hamilton said.

Russell, who was second on the starting grid after the flying Verstappen, finished the race in fourth place, while Hamilton had to retire after the incident.

“Of course I am very disappointed with what happened in the first round. Lewis and I had already started two things and I was next to Max when suddenly I was sandwiched between the two racing cars. I couldn’t go anywhere,” Russell said.

Verstappen finally won his 14th race of the season to boast 433 points in the drivers’ standings.


  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  2. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
  3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  4. George Russell (Mercedes)
  5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  6. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
  7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
  8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
  9. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
  10. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

Driver scoring:

  1. Max Verstappen: 433 points
  2. Sergio Perez: 224 points
  3. Lewis Hamilton: 194 points
  4. Fernando Alonso: 183 points
  5. Carlos Sainz: 153 points
  6. Charles Leclerc: 145 points
  7. Lando Norris: 136 points
  8. George Russell: 132 points
  9. Oscar Piastri: 83 points
  10. Lance Stroll: 47 points

Manufacturer Punctuation:

  1. Red Bull: 657 points
  2. Mercedes: 326 points
  3. Ferrari: 298 points
  4. Aston Martin: 230 points
  5. McLaren: 219 points