Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton admits his late collision with Alexander Albon in the Brazilian Grand Prix was “completely my fault”.

A late Safety Car triggered by a collision between the Ferrari drivers led to a two-lap dash to the end, with Hamilton looking to make up ground having stopped for fresh tyres and dropped back to fourth.

The Briton had already passed Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly for third and was hunting down the second-placed Red Bull driver of Albon when the pair made contact after an optimistic late dive from Hamilton.

Albon was spun around and subsequently fell to 14th, while Hamilton finished third on the road before being hit with a five-second post-race time penalty for causing the incident.

“I massively apologise to Albon,” Hamilton said.

“I went for a move. The gap was kind of there but it closed right at the end and it was completely my fault.

“So I’m a little bit upset at the end, of course I never want to collide with anyone, but I was taking risks today.

“I went up the inside of Albon, and naturally I take it on me, I was coming from behind. He was doing a great job, so apologies to him.

“Jeez, I gave it everything and more today, I pushed so hard. I really didn’t have a lot of pace.

“I think honestly, I think we were going faster than we should have, and the Red Bulls were great today, they deserved the win, they did a better job.”

Asked if he was convinced about Mercedes’ decision to pit under the second Safety Car period, Hamilton replied: “Well you can never be 100 percent sure.

“They gave me the option, on the restart it would have been difficult. Albon was already all over me before the Safety Car had happened, and I was running out of fronts.

“I either stayed out, fronts cooled again because I was on the harder tyre, and struggled with the heating and lost position, or I would have ended up probably in the same position at least. I pitted, but it didn’t work out.”