Lewis Hamilton takes the blame for podium-costing pit-stop blunder in Monaco GP
2008 World Champ finishes fourth behind Vettel and Webber
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 27/05/13 9:36am
Hamilton accepts blame
Lewis Hamilton has blamed himself for losing two positions - and a likely podium finish - during the first Safety Car period midway through Sunday's Monaco GP.
The Mercedes driver had been running in a comfortable second place before a high-speed crash for Felipe Massa produced the first of two Safety Car deployments.
However, Hamilton then lost track position to both Red Bull cars by backing off too far behind race leader Nico Rosberg as Mercedes prepared to pit both of their cars in quick succession.
Critically, Hamilton slowed up to such an extent that he was still entering the pitlane as Rosberg pulled away instead of being 'stacked up' just outside of the Mercedes garage. The error, despite being only a matter of a couple of seconds, was sufficient for both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to overtake the dawdling 2008 World Champion - with Hamilton subsequently accepting he alone was to blame for the costly error.
"It wasn't the team's fault, it was my own fault," he told Sky Sports F1. "I was told to have a six-second gap and I had more than six seconds and I lost out massively.
"That's motor racing. I just wasn't good enough this weekend."
Hamilton struck a curiously disenchanted figure throughout the weekend and revealed to reporters on Saturday night in the wake of his third successive defeat to team-mate Rosberg in qualifying that he is still yet to fully master his W04 car.
"To be honest it's been since the first race - actually even in winter testing I was struggling," said Hamilton.
"Even in the first few races, but particularly the last three have been pretty poor, but this weekend was one of the toughest for me so far."