Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok has stated that Lewis Hamilton's collision with George Russell 'denied' the latter the opportunity to challenge Max Verstappen for a possible race win at the Qatar Grand Prix.
The worst start imaginable for Mercedes is exactly what unfolded on the opening lap at the Losail International Circuit last weekend.
Hamilton and Russell collided going into turn one after lights out in Qatar, an incident that saw the seven-time world champion's race come to a premature end.
Russell meanwhile managed to continue but tumbled down the order. The man from King's Lynn battled back to a P4 finish with a superb recovery drive, yet there is no doubt that the pair will be thinking about 'what could have been' if they had managed to avoid contact.
"The collision between the Mercedes drivers was a real shame for them," he wrote in his Sky Sports column.
"Fair play to Lewis Hamilton for putting his hands up and accepting 100 per cent of the blame. There really was nowhere for George Russell to go as he was the meat in the sandwich. Lewis really was the only one with more room to be flexible with.
"The car was obviously very competitive this weekend as George showed with his recovery drive and I think we were denied a chance to see if he could challenge Max in the race and fight with the McLarens."
Hamilton and Russell will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their drama in Qatar, as they now switch focus to next week's US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
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