Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton’s honesty when it comes to owning up to mistakes is one thing that separates him from other drivers.
Hamilton was aiming to claw his way through the back during last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix after a poor qualifying that had left him only eighth on the grid.
Having run the alternate strategy by starting on the Hard tyre before switching to the Medium midway through, Hamilton came across Oscar Piastri on his recovery bid when the pair made contact approaching the Variante della Roggi chicane.
While Hamilton, who picked up a five-second penalty, was able to continue untroubled and finished sixth, Piastri required a trip to the pits to change his front wing, dropping him away from points contention entirely.
After the race, the Mercedes driver was seen approaching Piastri in parc ferme to issue an apology before conceding to the media he was totally at fault for the coming together.
Wolff believes Hamilton’s willingness to admit to any errors varies from his fellow competitors, whom he contends are usually “complaining and moaning”.
“He’s very sportsmanlike with these things, and he is the only one that I see out there admitting and saying: ‘I got this wrong’,” Wolff said following the Italian GP.
“We just had a chat and [he said] he didn’t see him on the right and: ‘It goes on me.’ I think that kind of sportsmanship is what you need to admire with him, as pretty much everyone is always complaining and moaning just to try to not gain a penalty.”
Reflecting on the collision, Hamilton asserts he had no doubts about holding his hands up once he was aware he had made a mistake.
“I apologised because it was obviously my fault,” Hamilton underlined. “It naturally wasn’t intentional. I got up alongside and just misjudged the gap that I had to the right, and clipped him.
“It could happen any time, but I knew shortly afterwards it must have been my fault. So, I wanted to make sure he knew that it was not intentional. That’s what gentlemen do, right?”
Despite enduring a challenging Monza weekend on the type of low-downforce circuit configuration that exposed the weaknesses of its W14 car, Mercedes managed to score some valuable points to retain a healthy hold on second position.
Both George Russell and Hamilton survived picking up five-second-time penalties for separate incidents, taking the chequered flag in fifth and sixth respectively.
The German marque possesses a 45-point lead over Ferrari, who overhauled Aston Martin for third place after experiencing an encouraging weekend on home ground.