Lewis Hamilton shrugs off scrappy driving standards in Miami GP Sprint

The Mercedes driver was involved in contact with four different cars throughout the race


Lewis Hamilton went through the wars at the Miami International Autodrome as he survived Lap 1 contact with Fernando Alonso, before facing Kevin Magnussen’s extreme defence in the 2024 Miami GP Sprint Race, but he parried it away by saying he enjoyed the racing.

The Mercedes of the Brit made an uncharacteristic mistake at the race start as he out-braked himself to go too deep into Turn 1, in the process hitting Alonso, who in turn hit Lance Stroll, who hit Lando Norris resulting in the latter two cars failing to finish.

The 39-year-old managed to survive with limited damage in the incident which produced a safety car, before he then had to uses all of his senses to avoid Magnussen, who seemed hell bent on earning a black flag in order to protect his Haas teammate.

Hamilton did eventually clear his Danish rival after some extreme driving that also saw them crash too, before a post-race drive-through penalty added 20 seconds to his time and dropped him to 16th, meaning it was all for nothing in the end. Despite that, the 103-time race winner remained upbeat.

“Yeah, I did,” Hamilton said after being asked if he gave it everything on the track. “I feel okay. I mean it’s obviously tough battling out there and Turn 1 wasn’t intentional to be touching with anyone.

“But everyone’s pushing as much as possible and I went for a gap, but then I think those guys went wide and then came back across. So that’s kind of where we connected.

“Then after that was just fighting trying to get past the Haas but it was really tough battling. I would just enjoy that I was racing, at least I wasn’t going backwards, and the penalty definitely sucks but it was one point.”

Mercedes struggles for speed in Miami

Both Mercedes cars suffered a shocking Sprint Qualifying exit in the second phase of the event on Friday as their performance upgrades fail to work with the team slipping behind Haas and even RB over one lap.

But whilst their race pace seemed marginally better on Saturday, Hamilton struggled to make a clean move on Magnussen suggesting that they’re still close in lap time with the Haas cars although he did have to avoid some extreme driving.

Magnussen, at one point, went straight on when braking for a left-hander and the on another occasion after Hamilton executed a switch-back, the Dane simply elected to drive into the side of the Silver Arrows’ car instead to keep the place.

For his troubles, Magnussen earned two 10-second time penalties and a black and white flag before the Mercedes managed to scamper off down the road but he can be lucky the FIA didn’t pull him in early to ban him after defensive driving that made Max Verstappen’s antics at the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP seem pale in comparison.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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