Lewis Hamilton has said the incident with Pastor Maldonado
in qualifying for the F1 2011 Belgian Grand Prix
today could have had resulted in a 'big, big crash'.
Hamilton and Maldonado had their little spat at the end of Q2, when the Williams
man appeared to swerve into his rival as they exited La Source on the slowing down lap. Moments earlier the two had banged wheels at the Bus Stop, when Hamilton squeezed by on his final flying lap.
Hamilton, who eventually went on to qualify second and who only just missed out on pole, was not amused.
“I can't remember absolutely everything that went on but it did feel quite a hard thud and I thought that my front wheel and suspension was broken as it was very light for the rest of the lap,” Hamilton told ESPNF1.com
“I felt a big shunt on the side of the car and through the wheel and the front wing bracket had gone so I think it was quite serious and I think fortunate that neither of us flipped it or had a big, big crash.
“At the end of Q2, I got to the end of the lap, the Williams
was sitting there going very slow, and I had to try and get past.
“Then I lost quite a lot of time and as I was coming down the exit of Turn 1 I saw Maldonado approaching quite quickly.
“He came around me, I didn't move anywhere, and he tried to swipe across me. I don't know if it was intentional.”
Maldonado meanwhile, who provisionally qualified 16th, has insisted he wasn't out for revenge.
“He [Lewis] slowed down a lot at the end of the session, so I tried to go past him. I then felt contact at the back of my car. I don't really know what happened. It was a difficult moment,” he remarked.
The incident is currently under investigation by the stewards.
More to follow...