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"It's not what you expect from a champion," admits Hamilton

NEWS STORY
25/09/2021

Admitting his costly pitlane mistake, Lewis Hamilton apologises to his team vowing that he will rectify it on Sunday.

While Mercedes must take responsibility for not making the switch to slicks soon enough, Lewis Hamilton admits that today's costly mistake in the pitlane rests entirely upon his shoulders.

His clouting of the pit-wall, which left the Mercedes with a damaged front wing and delayed teammate Valtteri Bottas' pitstop, comes the day after the world champion overshot his pit slot sending his front jack-man flying.

To add to the world champion's misery, in the final sector of his sole flying lap on the softs he spun and lightly brushed the wall again.

Asked if hitting the wall was down to cold tyres, the Briton was quick to accept the blame.

"No, just a mistake from myself," he replied. "Obviously I'm incredibly disappointed in myself.

"Up until then I was really in the zone," he continued. "I'm really sorry to all the team that are here and the ones back at the factory because that's not what you expect from a champion. But it is what it is. I'll do my best tomorrow to try and rectify it."

"It was horrible at the end!" he said of the switch to softs, "very poor grip, very slippery when you don't have any temp. I was losing temp during the lap. Twice in the wall, that's very rare for me."

"There are these situations where they are really unfortunate," said team boss Toto Wolff. "It's not even that we made a mistake or the driver's contributed to it, we were the first cars out in the session and that's why we were in a sequence where either we would have aborted our last two runs on the intermediate to get two soft runs in or like we played it safe, finished the lap, which we did and at the end, even without Lewis' kiss on the wall we wouldn't have been able to do two laps."

As his teams waits on news of whether Hamilton's car incurred more serious damage, the Austrian insisted: "I think with Lewis we can win it and this should be the aim if everything goes well.

"And Valtteri, when he starts seventh there are other considerations we have at the moment. If he starts seventh, easily back on the podium that must be the target."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Sochi, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by USA1, 25/09/2021 17:19

"Karma is a Bitch!"

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Lapps, 25/09/2021 16:36

"And his team mate next year is someone who has now out qualified him more than once in a Williams! Happy days. "

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 25/09/2021 16:17

"Dear oh dear...Wolff is showing signs of stress particularly in his edgy defensive and snappy interview with the Sky fauns. The GOAT is also continuing his slow decline now that he's being put under pressure for the first time for a very long time. The only one that seems to be happy is Bottas now that he's saying bye bye. The days of being a 'wingman' are finally over and he will not suffer the ignominy of being a named no.2 any more. One other small point, but IMO it's a bit crass to refer to oneself as a 'champion', that designation is for others to say if they so choose."

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