Lewis Hamilton Apologises to Kamui Kobayashi; Is He Right to Do So?

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Lewis Hamilton Apologises to Kamui Kobayashi; Is He Right to Do So?
SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 28: Lewis Hamilton (L) of Great Britain and McLaren and Kamui Kobayashi (R) of Japan and Sauber F1 drive side by side during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Today Lewis Hamilton has issued an stirring apology to Kamui Kobayashi and his own McLaren team in the aftermath of the yesterday's incident in Spa. 

The collision between the two has put paid to any title hopes Lewis may have had. It also wasn't the first time this season that he has been in the wars. 

In what has been a mixed year of triumphs and controversial racing accidents, Lewis ensured his campaign will definitely be remembered, just not always for the right reasons.

As Lewis came into Eau Rouge he took full advantage of his faster car and seemed to utilise his DRS to make it a comfortable pass. 

With Kobayashi, however, we have learnt that this ideal is not guaranteed. He will not give up a position just because the driver overtaking him has a far superior car. 

Therefore it was not as easy an overtake as Lewis would have liked. The straight line speed of Kobayashi's Sauber seemed to catch the McLaren off guard and Kobayashi looked to seize an opportunity as they entered Les Combes to regain the position. 

As both tried to use the racing line there was an inevitable collision, which threw Lewis into the barrier and out of the race. Kobayshi, on the other hand, seemed to carry on like nothing had happened. 

This just may be the reason he has developed an appreciated cult-like status among Formula 1 fans. 

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So, was it an error in judgement from Kobayashi? Should he have yielded the position and racing line with his car being marginally behind Lewis'? 

Or did Lewis let himself down with a simple driving error—namely that he forgot to look in his left hand mirror? Was he too confident about the dominance of the front-running McLaren over a midfield team like Sauber?

Lewis has since said he realised it was his fault as he "didn't give Kobayashi enough room," as he thought he was past.

Former drivers Martin Brundle and David Coulthard, commentating for the BBC, had differing views. Brundle noted that Lewis had moved to the left, causing the collision, whereas Coulthard said that he had not cut across at all and there was no deliberate move to cut off the position. 

What is clear is that when watching the replay you notice the track begin to disappear to the left of Hamilton. So while he may have not made an obvious move to cut out Kobayashi, his car did drift towards the racing line.

This may be an automatic function of the track, yet for Lewis it will be a steep learning curve. Kobayashi was doing what he is paid to do—he was racing. His die-hard attitude will continue to win him many followers and I believe he was fully entitled to take his position on the racing line. 

Lewis, on the other hand, will need to check his mirrors more before and after an overtake. It seems humorous that this racing incident could and would have been averted if he had done that in the first place. 

We therefore must not let him drive on the motorway until he acquires this valuable trait!

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