Lewis Hamilton collided with Esteban Ocon as the drivers battled the changeable conditions at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Mercedes star stuck his nose down the inside at turn one and made contact with the Alpine early on in the race. Speaking on team radio, Hamilton said: “He’s just turned in on me man, I’m not sure if my wing is busted.” Moments later, he added “for f**k sake man”. Responding to his worries, Hamilton’s team confirmed the Briton did pick up some minor front wing damage in the incident.
Hamilton then asked his team whether Ocon was under investigation for the incident. He said: “Have any of these moves been investigated?” The stewards noted the incident between the pair and the Frenchman was eventually handed a five second penalty.
The collision came as Hamilton attempted to work his way back through the field after pitting for intermediates. The Mercedes man was eventually able to pass the Alpine after a tremendous battle which spanned several laps. At one stage the pair went side-by-side into the tricky turn five and were extremely close to one another through the hairpin. The track eventually started to dry and most of the pack pitted for hard tyres.
George Russell enjoyed a superb early start to the race after calling the strategy perfectly. The Mercedes rookie asked to stay out on his wet tyres until the track was dry and managed to move ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Ste Devote is one of the trickiest corners on the circuit and many drivers often lose control at the tight corner. In an almost identical shunt, Hamilton hit the side of Pastor Maldonado’s Williams at the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
The Briton dived up the inside but made contact with the Williams sidepod after Maldonado turned in on him. Some of the sport’s most experienced drivers have crashed at the corner in recent years including Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton comes into the Monaco Grand Prix sixth in the drivers’ standings after a difficult start to the season. The seven-time champion lies over 60 points behind current championship leader Max Verstaoeon and almost 30 behind Russell.
The Briton appeared happier at last week’s Spanish Grand Prix after a miraculous recovery from 19th to fifth after an early incident. But, Mercedes issues appear to have worsened in Monaco with both drivers having complained of increased porpoising all weekend.