Hamilton admits mistake cost China title win

Sun, 7 October 2007, 02:10

Lewis Hamilton on Sunday refused to criticise McLaren’s decision to leave him out on the circuit on worn wet tyres.

The struggling Briton, who would have wrapped up the championship in Shanghai if he had won, was limping back to the pits with his badly worn tyres when he got beached in the gravel in the pit lane entry.

With Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso finishing first and second, Hamilton’s retirement sets up a three-way finale for the Brazilian grand prix in two weeks.

Teammate Alonso is his closest challenger, four points behind.

After returning to the paddock on the back of a scooter, and shortly before leaving the circuit while the race was still going on, a gutted Hamilton told Chinese television CCTV5 that he was disappointed “but there’s still another race left”.

Asked if the team had made a mistake in terms of tyre strategy, he answered: “It was the right decision and just unfortunate.”

Hamilton told the British broadcaster ITV that the slide into the gravel was his own fault.

“It’s my first mistake all year and to do it on the way into the pits is not something I usually do.

“You cannot go through life without making mistakes. The tyres were finished, it was like driving on ice,” he added.

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