Hamilton takes responsibility for crash – “I’m still human”

Lewis Hamilton has held his hands up at his opening timed lap error in Q1 which saw him crash out and force him to start the Brazilian Grand Prix from pit lane.

The newly-crowned four-time Formula 1 world champion made arguably his first major mistake of the season when he misjudged his car bottoming out which saw the rear of his Mercedes lose grip and slide into the barriers – instantly putting the British driver out of qualifying.

Hamilton will start from pit lane after breaking parc ferme conditions so his Mercedes crew can replace power unit components and accepts it was driver error which he has paid for.

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“The grip felt good and that’s why I took the speed into the corner,” Hamilton explained. “But I hadn’t gone in there any quicker than I had done before or anything like that. It’s my fault and I take full responsibility for it.

“I’m starting from pit lane so that’s not as exciting. But you can only go forwards from there, but I’ll try to give it everything I’ve got.”

Hamilton says the hit comes at an ideal time considering he wrapped up the 2017 F1 world title at the last race but with the pressure off he was still embarrassed by the mistake which he’s keen to move on from in tomorrow’s race in Brazil.

“It’s less painful because obviously the championship is done, but I still feel it just as much,” he said. “I take so much pride in my commitment and how I drive and I’ve not made any mistakes all year.

“It’s been a long time since I put the car in the wall. But it happens and once it happens there is no point in dwelling on it. All I can do is keep my head high, move forward and it had been a good weekend up until then.

“I’m still human and shit happens and you just move forward, try to rebuild and grow from it. I hope I can get back in the points for the team tomorrow.

“While the championship is also done for the team, it’s still my job and I want to get these points for the guys and a good result. And if I can somehow back Valtteri up tomorrow then I will do.”

Mercedes has confirmed Hamilton will take a new internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-H on his power unit for the race but will avoid any penalties as they are previously used components.

Hamilton’s qualifying crash came after a scary Friday night as a group of Mercedes team members were held at gunpoint travelling from the circuit back to their hotel. Hamilton was not involved in the incident.

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