Date: 29th August 2011 at 9:50am
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McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has gracefully accepted full responsibility for his collision with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi.

Hamilton retired from the Belgian Grand Prix after a heavy impact with the track barrier’s following contact with Kobayashi.

The McLaren driver had previously passed the Sauber earlier in the lap, but the Japanese driver pulled alongside Hamilton after gaining the tow down the straight.

BBC pundit David Coulthard argued that Kobayashi had no reason to be on the outside of the turn as he wasn’t making an attempt to overtake, while fellow BBC pundit Eddie Jordan argued that Hamilton had no reason to drift over to the left to take his usual racing line.

Formula One steward Nigel Mansell decided to take no further action regarding the collision, deeming it a racing incident.

‘It’s a bit unfortunate for the team, we were in a good position and as far as I was concerned I was ahead of whoever it was I was racing and then I just got hit by them and that was my race over. That’s motor racing. There has been a lot of races where we haven’t finished this year, so that’s just another one of them.’ Hamilton told the BBC following his retirement, but later he tweeted: After watching the replay, I realize it was my fault today 100%. I didn’t give Kobayashi enough room though I thought in was past. Apologies to Kamui and to my team. The team deserves better from me.’

Since Hamilton’s outburst after the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton’s comments in the media have taken a notable change in stance. He now appears to be far less outspoken and a lot more magnanimous.

But on this occasion is he right to take the blame?

Following previous incidents when Hamilton was the car behind attempting an over-taking manoeuvre and making contact with a drivers rear wheel, he has been punished. The lead driver was never accused of not looking in their mirrors or not giving the car behind enough room in those incidents.

While the lenient position of Mansell could be looked at as sensible one as there questionably is no need to punish someone following every incident, there remains a question regarding consistency in decisions.

Our new VF1 poll asks: The Hamilton/Kobayashi incident, who was at fault? To cast your vote, use the voting panel on the front page of the site.