Lewis Hamilton has downplayed the strategic mistakes made by the Mercedes Formula 1 team during the Brazilian Grand Prix, insisting they were a direct result of “experimenting”.

After clinching his sixth drivers’ world title in the United States, Hamilton finished third on the road in Brazil but was demoted to seventh after receiving a post-race penalty for colliding with Alexander Albon late on.

It followed a late call to pit for fresh tyres behind a Safety Car, a move which cost Hamilton two positions, dropping him from second on the road to fourth behind Albon and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.

Mercedes technical director James Allison admitted the decision to bring Hamilton in for an additional stop was “plain dumb” and a “rookie error”, but Hamilton was quick to defend his team’s risk-taking approach with both world championships already won.

“It’s not a major drama for us,” Hamilton said when he addressed the media ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

“I don’t think it would have happened if we were fighting for the championship. We were experimenting, we were trying to be a little bit more risky and it didn’t pay off.

“But it’s good for us to go through those experiences and we probably learnt more from that weekend from perhaps the weekends before when things generally went a bit more smooth-sailing.

“We just talk openly about it,” he added. “For me personally, I took the decision in the end to pit. I was given the option but also I was given the slightly wrong information as to where I would come out.

“Then there are other things that followed like the Safety Car staying out longer and all these other things.

“Naturally, hindsight is a wonderful thing and you would go back and probably change it, but I don’t regret the decision we made because we’ve learnt a lot that we can implement into this weekend and next year.

Hamilton said he would focus on the positives from the weekend at Interlagos as he looks to “put things right” and round off the 2019 campaign in style in Abu Dhabi.

“Brazil definitely wasn’t a great one, but I think it’s really important to often acknowledge the good parts of the weekends rather than always just focus on the negatives,” he explained.

“Naturally the negative of not finishing firstly in the position that I should have, second or third, the failures and mistakes, it’s good to acknowledge those also.

“But it’s good to take away from it the positives, and there were plenty of positives to take from the weekend.

“I don’t want another weekend like that, so I’ll put things right this weekend, and we’ll continue to go full steam ahead.”