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Hamilton 'would have collided' with Leclerc if title was decided

Hamilton 'would have collided' with Leclerc if title was decided

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Hamilton 'would have collided' with Leclerc if title was decided

Hamilton 'would have collided' with Leclerc if title was decided

Lewis Hamilton says he would have crashed into Charles Leclerc at the Italian GP were he not fighting for the drivers' championship.

Leclerc defended hard as Hamilton chased him for the lead at Monza and the Mercedes man was forced to the escape route at the second chicane when he was pushed wide on the approach by Leclerc, who went on to take victory.

Hamilton came home third as his challenge fizzled out, with Valtteri Bottas second, although the five-time world champion also set the fastest lap to ensure he retains a 63-point advantage over his team-mate in the drivers' standings.

Asked how the scenario would have played out if he were not chasing the title, Hamilton said: "I wouldn't have moved. And we would have collided."

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No quarter given ⚔️ . #ItalianGP #F1 #Formula1 #LewisHamilton #Leclerc #Ferrari #Mercedes @charles_leclerc @lewishamilton

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Despite his frustration at losing out to Leclerc, the world champion says there is no lasting grudge between them.

Hamilton said: "We don't have a problem, we're not in a fight. I congratulated him straight out of the car. I think Charles is one of the most respectful drivers.

"This is the first time I've come wheel-to-wheel with him as such. When you arrive at a new driver you learn how they approach different scenarios.

"Maybe you position the car differently, maybe I'll do a better job next time."

He added: "I'm not unhappy. Of course, as I've said, I don't like to go backwards but he did a fantastic job today.

"I gave him as much pressure as I could and we had a couple of close moments, we could probably talk about it in private together but it's nothing major and we continue to race. I'm looking forward to many more races together."

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