McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has said he is very 'disappointed' with himself after he went out on the opening lap of the F1 2010 Italian Grand Prix today.
Hamilton, the points' leader coming into this race, had made a blinding start from fifth to jump past Mark Webber and he fancied his chances against the Ferrari of Felipe Massa into the second chicane.
Unfortunately though Lewis damaged his front suspension in the process and he was unable to continue. He now slips to second in the championship, 5 points behind Webber, who finished sixth.
"I don't remember much," Hamilton told BBC Sport
. "I clearly made a mistake. But it is one of those things, which happen when you are racing hard. It is not over. But it is mistakes like I made today that lose world championships. I only have myself to blame and I am very disappointed in myself."
Asked about the incident with Massa, he added that in hindsight he probably should have held back: "I made a good start, gained a position, got up to fourth, and, at that moment, perhaps I should have just stayed there for a while," he confirmed.
"But I put my car up the inside of Felipe into Turn Four, trying to get third, and that was probably a little bit too much.
"I was trying to position the car in a certain way, I was too close to Felipe, and his left rear clipped my right front. The car was damaged after that, and there was nothing I could do; you try your best, but some things just don't go your way.
"Today was a shame, and I want to say sorry to the team. But the championship certainly isn't over – although I have to admit that days like today don't help. Now, though, I'm already fully focused on Singapore."
McLaren boss, Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile was philosophical about Hamilton's DNF: “Lewis made a very strong start, and was his usual forceful self on lap one. We've often seen that trademark lap-one forcefulness herald an equally combative race drive from him, but on this occasion he got involved in what I'd describe as a racing incident. But, again, that's racing.
“I was asked after the race why Lewis didn't pull over to the side of the track after the impact, and my answer was: 'Lewis is a racer, and racers keep driving till the wheels fall off – literally.' And we wouldn't want him any other way,” Whitmarsh concluded.