Hamilton blames himself for slump

By on Friday, October 14, 2011

Lewis Hamilton. Photo credit: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has laid the blame for a perceived poor run of form at his own doorstep, with the former champion saying that it is simply down to a “lack of pace” and of not “being in the right place at the right time”.

Hamilton has recorded two fourth places, two fifths and a retirement in the past five races, and branding it a sequence of “bad races”, the McLaren driver said he blamed himself. “I think it’s a combination of things,” he said. “I put most of it down to myself and of course, there are times that you find yourself a little bit unfortunate but whether it could be a yellow flag or something like that or traffic, it’s not really any excuse, we all have to do it, we all have to do the job. Others are able to do it, so I think it’s just been a lack of some pace, a lack of some being in the right place at the right time so that’s what we’re working towards improving.”

Hamilton’s races, which have seen him battle for places in the middle of top ten, have seen him tangle with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on a number of occasions, and following their most recent clash, at Suzuka, the Brazilian appealed to the FIA to take action against what he saw as over-aggressive driving by Hamilton.

Asked yesterday if he had repaired his relationship with Massa, the McLaren driver replied in the affirmative. “I think so,” he said. “Of course the situation has not been great for some time now. I’ve always had respect for Felipe and still do today, regardless of the negative comments that he’s constantly coming up with.

“It’s easy, in this sport, when you’re competitive and in the heat of the moment, to say things that perhaps you don’t mean, whether or not he does mean them,” he added. “But regardless, I’ve tried to show respect, particularly in the last race, I’m very, very sorry for that. I really didn’t see him. I’ve just seen the replay today and he was quite far up the outside of me but out of my mirrors. I couldn’t see a thing, and I was looking to the right and I couldn’t see him, so by the time I realised he was on the left it was too late.

“I think I’ve been in the wrong place in the last few races,” he admitted. “We’ve had the car to be quite a bit further ahead, as Jenson showed, and so perhaps if I was doing the right job I wouldn’t be in this situation with Felipe. Again, all due respect, and I hope that in the future he can be cool with me again. I’m cool with him, so I have no problems with him.”

Regarding this weekend’s race in Korea, Hamilton said that he would approach the race hopeful of a better result than in recent outings. “My approach every weekend is obviously to have a good weekend but for some time now it’s not been the case but I always come back, I always come back and give it another shot and hope for a better result,” he said. “I’ve prepared myself in the best way I can, with the situation that stands, and I hope that… clearly Jenson showed that we’re competitive, so I think that if he can do it then I can do it, so I really need to get on with things this weekend.

“Hopefully we will have our timing a little bit better in qualifying and get our second run in and hopefully we will be able to compete with [Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso].” [Both are] two-time World Champions and my goal in life is to emulate those, but really I think I have to catch up with them so I’m working on that.”

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