F1: Lewis Hamilton sensed a safety car conspiracy

From GMM

Euphoric at Silverstone two weeks ago when he pulled the gap back to just 4 points, Lewis Hamilton’s mood dimmed once again on Sunday as he deficit blew back out to 14.

Hamilton started the race in 20th place and finished third behind race winner Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton thinks a result better than third might have been possible at Hockenheim, after seeing Adrian Sutil’s stricken Sauber.

A safety car would have ended championship leader Nico Rosberg’s huge race lead.

“I definitely got a bit worried,” Rosberg admitted, “because I was sure there was going to be a safety car and that would have obviously made it a lot more difficult.”

F1 safety car Hockenheim

Safety car at Hockenheim. (Photo: WRi2)

Nico Rosberg wasn’t the only one surprised, particularly in a sport that, in the name of safety, is prepared to delay a race for an hour to fix a damaged barrier.

“I was really concerned for the marshals — really concerned,” said Hamilton, referring to the incident.

“It felt like the closest thing I have seen for a long, long time.”

He said whizzing past marshals who ran across the racing line to recover Sutil’s Sauber reminded him of footage of the 1977 South African grand prix, when a marshal and Tom Pryce were killed in a gruesome collision.

“That was the first thing I thought about,” said Hamilton. “I couldn’t believe it. How on earth a car can be sitting in the middle of the road for a couple of laps and not come out? I think you know why.”

The Briton would not expand on what he meant by his final remark, but there was probably no conspiracy to protect Rosberg’s race lead for a sure home win.

Mercedes’ Wolff said not putting the safety car out was surely the result of a new effort by F1′s authorities to reduce interference in the racing.

“Under the old spirit of the FIA,” he told Auto Motor und Sport, “the safety car would have come out. But I think Charlie’s decision was deliberately taken not to turn a race on its head with 15 laps to go.”

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