Italian GP pit lane drama as Sebastian Vettel almost crashes into Lewis Hamilton

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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There was drama in the pit lanes in Friday’s qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel nearly crashed when heading back out to the track.

The afternoon of qualifying saw Valterri Bottas go fastest to take place one in Saturday’s sprint, ahead of Hamilton in second and Max Verstappen in third.

Despite the Finn driver taking place one for tomorrow’s sprint, Bottas will begin Sunday’s race at the back of the grid regardless of his Saturday showing, after being dealt a penalty following Mercedes decision to implement an engine change.

During his battle to reach second place, Hamilton was nearly dealt a huge blow in the pit lanes, by crashing into Vettel’s Aston Martin, as the German looked to pull in front of the Mercedes car as they returned to the track.

It was Hamilton who looked to make his way out first, with Red Bull’s Verstappen just behind, however the Englishman was forced to quickly slam on the breaks as Vettel looked to force his way out, nearly resulting in a pit stop crash.

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The altercation however did not seem to be the fault of the German driver, more so the Aston Martin pit team, who signalled the four-time Formula One champion back out onto the track, thus cutting up Hamilton’s path.

As a result, the German is now expected to pick up a grid penalty for the pit lane incident, however a decision is still to be confirmed.

Vettel’s Friday qualifying was cut short following the opening two rounds, after missing out on a spot in Q3, finishing just outside the top 10, one spot back in 11th.

For Hamilton it was a much more enjoyable afternoon, as he managed to battle his way up the grid into second.

After coming out on top in Q1 and Q2, it looked as if the Englishman was set to dominate it again, however, teammate Bottas clearly had other ideas. 

The Finn looked to have found a second wind towards the close of Q3, as he pipped Hamilton in the final moments to ensure he took pole position.

Speaking about the qualifying efforts, the seven-time champion was full of praise for his fellow Mercedes driver after he came out on top, saying: “Congratulations to Valtteri, he did a mega lap.”It was looking good for us until the end but then he went quicker, and I just couldn’t match it.”

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