Hamilton: Albon collision was a racing incident

Albon points the finger at Hamilton following Spielberg collision

Red Bull’s Albon got around the outside of second-placed Hamilton at turn four on lap 61 of 71 in the first race of the season but span out when their cars touched wheels.

Contact between the pair also denied the Thai driver a chance to seal his first podium in Formula One at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year.

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Albon would have had a great chance to chase down leader and eventual winner Valtteri Bottas due to being on the soft tyre compound and gearbox sensor issues for Mercedes meaning their drivers were instructed to stay off the kerbs.

Hamilton, who started in fifth because of a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow down when yellow flags were waved in qualifying, was handed a five-second time penalty for the collision and dropped behind Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris to finish fourth in the adjusted classification.

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“The race is done and I just feel like moving forwards. Of course, it’s not been a great weekend for me and I think yesterday was entirely my fault,” the reigning champion said to Sky Sports.

“It was a bit odd for sure today in the prep, but it is what it is and it didn’t destabilise me, it just encouraged me to try and drive as best I could and I feel like I did.

“I had great pace to catch up with Valtteri and then a really unfortunate scenario with Alex, I can’t believe we’ve come together again. It really felt like a racing incident, but either way I’ll take whatever punishment they feel I deserve and move forwards.”

Albon was forced to retire with two laps remaining, meaning Red Bull collected no points after a suspected electrical issue forced Max Verstappen to withdraw too.

The drivers will return to the Red Bull Ring for the second race of the delayed season next weekend.

Asked if he had any concerns about the car, Hamilton added: “I really don’t know what all the problems are. They told us to stay off the kerbs, but I don’t feel it’s the suspension, for example, which is usually from the kerbs.

“I don’t know whether they will be able to fix it in three or four days, but I wouldn’t put it past my team, they are such intelligent and hard-working people and I’m sure they are working on a solution right now, whether or not they can bring it to the next one, we’ll wait and see.”

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