Lewis Hamilton offered to quit the Spanish Grand Prix after an incident with Kevin Magnussen. The two drivers collided on the opening lap, with the Mercedes star then telling his team to ‘retire the car’. However, Silver Arrows chiefs refused and he was made to carry on racing.
Hamilton has endured a torrid F1 season so far, with the Mercedes star struggling to keep pace with his rivals.
And things have now worsened at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the 37-year-old colliding with Magnussen on the first lap.
Speaking on the team radio, Hamilton offered to quit the race by saying: “I would save this engine guys if I was you. I’m sorry.”
But Mercedes denied his request, with the Silver Arrows believing Hamilton is still capable of saving the afternoon.
Martin Brundle was commentating on Sky Sports and he addressed the incident by saying: “I don’t like hearing him like that.”
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz
Magnussen tried to go round the outside of Hamilton.
And the Haas star feels the contact from the Mercedes star could have been intentional, saying on his team radio: “Lewis knew what he was doing.
“He rammed me.”
Stewards called it a race incident and while Hamilton wasn’t happy at being forced to continue, he’s still in contention for points.
BBC radio 5 live reporter Jennie Gow feels the Stevenage-born racer’s bad luck is continuing amid a flat start to the current season.
“Just thinking about Lewis Hamilton, he’s come into the pitlane I believe, he started on those medium tyres a new set, it’s thrown his strategy into total disarray,” she said.
“He is in the pits he’s really struggling, they are putting him on another set of the soft tyres but it’s a really slow stop.
“A disappointing start as you say the luck this year isn’t going his way.”
Hamilton was asked about this year’s Mercedes vehicle prior to the race in Spain.
And he admitted he was ‘really struggling’ to get to grips with the car.
“The car has potential to be third or fourth and I am not able to pull that out of the car,” Hamilton said.
“I just don’t feel that great in the sense of my driving and I’m working as hard as I can.
“I am still way off. I just struggle with confidence in the rear of the car. I don’t know how to get around that.
“I don’t know what I am going to do but I will keep trying to work hard and trying to figure it out. I just have no rear end in the car in the qualifying sessions.”
However, Hamilton did also admit he was ‘seeing hope’ for his team at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
“We have improved the car and stopped it from bouncing in certain areas,” Hamilton said.
“We don’t have the bouncing in the straight line. We still have some bouncing in Turns Three and Nine [the fastest corners in Spain] but the car’s a lot better.
“The [development] bits that have come have worked, so that means moving forwards more bits will come.
“I am looking forward to the next upgrades that we get so we can add some performance.”