Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has issued a timely apology to his counter-part Sergey Sirotkin, after the Brit called the Williams driver disrespectful during their Q2 altercation.
In the early stages of Q2, Hamilton found himself taking a stroll around the track as he prepared himself for a qualifying lap, but his Russian rival was in the midst of warming up his tyres, which caused a dramatic near miss between the two.
At the time of the incident, the Mercedes ace saw the interaction as dangerous, with Sirotkin over-taking him on an out lap, Hamilton referred to course etiquette, where drivers respect each others space on the grid.
In his post-race interview, the five-time world champion said: "Respectfully, between all the drivers, we all do respect [the gaps] – I could have tried to overtake Valtteri, or Valtteri whoever was in front of him. We all know [to] keep our space by that point,"
Sirotkin responded to the comments in rapid fashion in order to make quick amends, stating that he hadn't anticipated making it to Q2 and therefore had just one set of tyres available.
He was forced to compete with the same set of tyres from Q1, which hadn't been pre-heated, leaving the Russian with no alternative but to drive at the speed he did.
The 23-year-old was asked whether he was surprised that Hamilton didn't receive any sanctions, as the Mercedes driver's movement during the incident almost forced the crash.
"I am not surprised. It is very normal. It has just been a unique situation that you never really find often," he replied.
Having reviewed his near miss with Sirotkin and come to terms with the nature of their encounter, Hamilton apologised for his comments by posting an Instagram story ahead of Sunday's race.
"Morning world. I woke this morning feeling I should correct some of the words I used yesterday.
"I was wrong, it wasn't a disrespectful move by Sergey, it was a misunderstanding and I honestly attempted to get out of his way.
"Didn't work that well but sh*t happens and I respect the way he handled it."
Hamilton can now focus on turning his pole from qualifying into a 72nd career victory at Interlagos.News Now - Sport News