The seven-time world champion was hit with a five-second time penalty for colliding with Piastri’s McLaren as they battled over eighth place at the second chicane in the closing stages of a thrilling race at Monza. 

The Best F1 Reserve Drivers

Despite the contact - and penalty - Hamilton was able to salvage sixth place, one position behind Mercedes teammate George Russell, having started eighth following a disappointing qualifying. 

Hamilton held his hands up for the clash and revealed he had apologised to Piastri straight after the race. 

“Every point position that we are getting through these races seem to be incredibly hard-fought,” he told Sky. 

“Starting on the hard tyre today, it was nice to be offset, but it was difficult in the beginning. And obviously it was not so easy to follow through the DRS train. But I enjoyed the battle that I had at the end. 

“It was a bit unfortunate. I misjudged the gap that I had with Piastri at the end. It was totally my fault and I went and apologised to him straight afterwards. And we move on.” 

Piastri, who ended up dropping down the order and finishing outside of the points, accepted Hamilton’s apology. 

“The one with Lewis, I think he just creeped over a bit more than he thought,” the Australian said. 

“The stewards gave out their verdict and Lewis apologised, so nothing more I can ask for or do at that point.”

Hamilton said getting straight past Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin was key to his recovery as he pulled off an offset strategy, having been the only driver in the top-10 to start on hards. 

“I was right up there behind them [McLarens] for most of the race, so I knew I had slightly more pace than them but with the deficit of the hard tyre,” he explained. 

“But there was such a big gap that I had to catch. I thought once I caught them up, my tyres would drop off. But fortunately there’s were going off too and I was able to clear them. 

“What made the race for me was clearing Fernando immediately, that really opened things up.”