Hamilton pays the penalty

McLaren man to start French GP 10 places down the grid after collision

Lewis Hamilton has described his pit-lane collision with Kimi Raikkonen in the Canadian Grand Prix as "unfortunate".

Hamilton was leading the race by six seconds when the safety car was deployed after Adrian Sutil retired his Force India car trackside.

The Briton and main championship rival Raikkonen were among a number of drivers who took the option to pit, with the Finn and eventual race winner Robert Kubica getting the drop on Hamilton.

But, as Raikkonen stopped for the red light at the end of the pit lane, Hamilton's McLaren careered into the back of the world champion's Ferrari, forcing them both out of the race.

Williams driver Nico Rosberg then hit the back of Hamilton's car, although he was able to continue in the race after pitting for a new nose ****.

As the drivers got out of their cars, Raikkonen theatrically pointed at the pit signals to indicate they had been on red.

And race stewards later pointed the finger of blame firmly in Hamilton's direction by handing him a 10-place grid penalty for the French Grand Prix, to be held at Magny-Cours in a fortnight's time.

Rosberg received the same penalty for his part in the incident.


It was, in short, a disaster for Hamilton, who led the Drivers' Championship by three points heading into the race.

Nevertheless he tried to put a brave face on his disappointment, telling ITV1: "I saw the two guys in front of me battling in the pit lane and I was trying to make sure I didn't get involved but then they stopped.

"I saw the red light but it was too late. It's not a racing incident but I think it is unfortunate.

"It is a lot different if you crash into the wall and you are angry with yourself.

"I apologise to Kimi if I ruined his race. I would rather neither of us be out. I was so quick I was breezing it."

With Kubica now holding a four-point lead in the Drivers' Championship, Hamilton has dropped to joint second alongside Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who finished fifth in Montreal.

Raikkonen has dropped to fourth place, three points behind Hamilton and Massa.