Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton asserts his collision with Sergio Perez at the Formula 1 Sprint from Spa-Fracorchamps was a racing incident.

Hamilton was issued a five-second time penalty for making contact with the Red Bull driver through Turn 16.

Perez had a slow exit from the previous corner which saw Hamilton attempt to move up the inside before his front left tyre made contact with Perez’s RB19.

Perez was forced to retire from the race with car damage and Hamilton was penalised for the clash – but the Mercedes driver says he feels neither was at fault.

“Not really much to say, racing incident I think,” he said. “[I] tried to go up the inside, not much to say.

Hamilton added that the drivers “don’t want to be deterred from racing” going forward if penalties will be dished out for similar incidents.

Hamilton crossed the line in fourth place as he avoided major damage but suggested that racing in changing conditions increased the risk of contact.

“I mean my only thought is it’s tricky conditions out there, we’re all trying our best, and of course it wasn’t intentional,” he said. 

“I think I went for a gap, he was slow going through 14, I went up the inside, I was more than half a car length on the inside. 

“If you no longer go for a gap you’re no longer a racing driver as Ayrton said, so that’s what I did. When I watched it back it felt like a racing incident to me.”

Hamilton was demoted to seventh place at the chequered flag, finishing ahead of team-mate George Russell.

When asked how frustrated he was over the penalty, he said: “In a race like today I honestly don’t really care too much, you don’t get too many points.

“Of course it would have been nice to have finished fourth but I don’t really care to finish fourth I want to win. Fourth, seventh, doesn’t really make a difference.”

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