Date: 12th October 2011 at 9:33am
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Lewis Hamilton once again held his hands up after another disappointing Grand Prix.

The Japanese race was won by McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, whilst Hamilton struggled for pace and had another on-track altercation with Felipe Massa.

On this occasion the two drivers collided going into the final chicane before the pit entrance.

Hamilton who had struggled with his tyres all race was limping back to the pits with a slow puncture when Massa pulled up on the outside of him.

The McLaren driver moved across slightly to take the line into the chicane and the two cars touched.

Whilst the race stewards on this occasion apportioned blame to neither driver, Hamilton admitted that he simply didn’t even know Massa was there.

‘I can’t see anything out of my mirrors and they vibrate so much down the main straight. I had no idea he was there.’ Hamilton said immediately after the race to the BBC.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh concurred with that view speaking to Autosport Magazine following the race.

‘By comparison to the old school of 20 years ago, they are big, But in terms of vibration, probably we don’t do enough. he said, before adding ‘If you talk to any driver going along the straight, they are not great. Normally you will see them for picking out colour: ‘there is a piece of colour behind me that means there is another car’. Maybe it is something we have to look at.

‘I think Lewis was distracted at the time, he knew he had a puncture, and he knew he was nursing a car, so I think you can always have bigger mirrors, you can always have better mirrors, you can always have better positioned mirrors and you can always be more attentive to using mirrors. But it is one of those things.’


In regards to his lack of race pace which resulted in a fifth placed finish, Hamilton blamed his set-up.

The 2008 Formula One World Champion appeared to fail to get the best out of his tyres and lacked speed and grip in comparison to race winner and team-mate Jenson Button.

Hamilton said to the BBC: ‘I had a bit of a shocking race to be honest, I didn’t have any grip. I’m gobsmacked to be honest but that’s the way it goes.’

‘I think it’s me and how I dial the car in. I don’t know if I’ve dialled the car in as good as he [Button] has maybe. Who knows? I’m clearly not driving as well as he is.

 

2 Replies to “Hamilton takes the blame”

  • suppose even the best have off days, he can’t afford too many with the form of Vettel and Button though, he has to step back up again next year.

  • The tyres clearly do not suit him and he and McLaren need to learn how to set up the car differently for Button and for Hamilton, they already have completely different makes of breaks but clearly they need to make more changes to suit their very different driving styles.

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