Hamilton: Pitlane blunder not the result of 'pressure'
Lewis Hamilton says his clumsy contact with the pitlane wall in qualifying in Sochi was a simple mistake... The post Hamilton: Pitlane blunder not the result of 'pressure' appeared first on F1i.com.
Lewis Hamilton says his clumsy contact with the pitlane wall in qualifying in Sochi was a simple mistake that had "nothing to do with pressure" from his title fight with Max Verstappen.
Hamilton brushed the wall upon his entry into the pitlane in Q3 ahead of a switch from the intermediate to the dry tyre, a mishap that damaged the Mercedes driver's front wing.
Several minutes later, as he attempted to seize pole, the Briton spun again, caught out by his cold tyres.
A day after urging his team to capitalize on the back row start in the Russian Grand Prix of his title rival Max Verstappen, Hamilton squandered a chance to kick off his race on Sunday from the front row.
But the seven-time world champion denied that he had been drawn in to making a mistake because of pressure induced by his championship battle.
"It's really nothing to do with pressure, honestly," Hamilton said. "It really wasn't a pressure scenario. It's literally just [that] mistakes do happen."
Hamilton admitted however that he was pressed for time when he entered the pitlane to switch tyres, and simply came in quicker than previously in the session.
"In the previous times coming in the pitlane, you could take it really quite slowly," Hamilton said.
"The track was drying and the grip was quite good, and [I] came in and just took it a little bit quicker than normal and just lost the back end and slid into the wall.
"Yes, of course, embarrassing, [I'm] disappointed in myself that I'd had it, but shit happens. We all make mistakes, and of course it's not what you would expect a world champion to do."
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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff agreed that the mistake had not been induced by pressure.
"I think it wasn't the pressure today, because it was clear that Max was starting from the back," Wolff said.
"Why that happened, I can't say. I don't think it's the pressure of the championship. And he wasn't the only one to whom that happened."
Hamilton, who last won at Silverstone back in July, will be aiming on Sunday in Russia to conquer his 100th career win in Formula 1. The Briton believes his outstanding track record will always magnify the slightest mistake he makes.
"The problem when you have the success that I have, anything but perfection feels like a long way off," Hamilton said.
"I'm only human. My dad called me afterwards, and we just talked about it, and you just move on.
"Tomorrow, I get my racing head back on and back focused, and hopefully bring you a good race."
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