Nobody’s fault but mine
Hamilton was left to rue a start-line error that gifted Rosberg a win and put him back in the title fight
“Nobody is to blame,” insisted Mercedes’ Toto Wolff when pressed as to what might have caused Lewis Hamilton to start so badly at the Italian GP. Lewis dropped from pole to sixth, and then spent the next 53 laps playing catch-up to his team-mate, for an eventual second place.
It was, added Toto, no one’s ‘fault’ – because nger-pointing in an operation as fraught and fragile as a high-ying F1 team is the start of ‘things going downhill’. But there had been an error in the start-line procedure – one that could be traced back to the driver – so while Lewis Hamilton was not ‘to blame’, nothing but a nger-fumble caused him to be slow away.
Not that Lewis was quite able to admit to failing, as he elaborated on the ‘inconsistencies’ of Mercedes’ clutch system and how, before a rule change for 2016, an engagement target would have been set by engineers, for drivers to hit. Now, responsibility for nding that launch sweet-spot is down to drivers alone.
“I lost at the start,” Hamilton reected. “I knew my engineers would be worried and nervous about how the start went, so that’s why I tried to put their minds at ease [with a radio message explaining there hadn’t been a technical failure].
“After that I don’t remember what happened,” he continued. “I did the sequence exactly the same and just saw lots of cars coming past. In the moment, you’re just thinking about getting back to where you started. I could see Nico pulling away and I know from experience here that the chances of the win decrease lap by lap, second by second. Still, we live to ght another day.”
If it felt somewhat unjust that the man who had bossed qualifying with a virtuoso polesetting display should be so harshly penalised for an error of sequence, rather than a failure of skill, that only underlined once again that Nico