Lewis Hamilton has described the incident with Felipe Massa during the inaugural Indian Grand Prix as a 'racing incident', although he did add, 'I really didn't feel like I was at fault'.
Hamilton and Massa have now collided during the F1 2011 season on six separate occasions and since their last little coming together in Singapore, they haven't been on speaking terms. Despite their differences though and this latest spat, Hamilton added that he still has 'great respect' for the Ferrari driver.
“The contact with Felipe was just one of those things. I really didn't feel like I was at fault – it was a racing incident,” Hamilton said.
“On the grid, just before the one minute's silence, he and I were standing next to each other and I put my arm around him and told him: 'Have a great race today.' I've still got great respect for him.
“I tried to overtake and I tried to come out of it because it didn't look like he was going to give me any space and we collided.”
Hamilton eventually finished seventh at the all-new Buddh International Circuit in his McLaren and after having to stop for a new nose following the contact with Massa, he was disappointed not to have done better.
“There is not really much to say, is there?” Hamilton told BBC Sport
. “It was a disappointing day. I am very, very sorry for my team. They worked hard all weekend, as they always do and they deserved a better result.
“Obviously congratulations to Jenson [Button – my team-mate] and to Sebastian [Vettel], but I don't really know what else to say...”
Asked if his car had been damaged after the contact with Massa, Hamilton replied: “I had some damaged. I had some vibrations in all the right-handers and it felt like the floor was scraping along the floor. I just had very, very poor performance [this afternoon]. I was pushing as hard as I could. But I just didn't have the pace of anyone really. The car looks fine however, so maybe it's just me.
“It has been an eventful year, but there are more races ahead and I'll try to score as many world championship points as possible in both of them. Jenson did a great job today [to take second], so clearly we were quick enough. I just need to try to pick up on that for the next race.
“I will fly back now to the UK and try to get my head back in the game. The Indians did a fantastic job this weekend, the track was great, and we have been treated so well here, we have been treated like kings. I am really, really grateful for that,” he concluded.