Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton insisted he won’t beat himself up after being left to rue an error-strewn performance that cost him a chance to fight for victory at the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.
Mercedes came into the weekend at the Marina Bay circuit with higher hopes than usual, and Hamilton had plenty to look forward to come race day after securing third place in qualifying, missing out on pole by little over half a tenth.
However, a poor getaway would prove very costly as it left the 37-year-old stuck behind Carlos Sainz, who was well off the pace of the leading duo.
“[It was] a difficult start and then getting stuck behind Carlos. I don’t know why he was so slow but obviously, I was not quick enough to get past him in these conditions,” Hamilton told reporters.
“And then just sitting behind him. I think I could have done similar times to the guys ahead, but because I was stuck behind him I couldn’t. I think if I was in third, I could have kept with the guys up ahead.”
Rookie error wrecks Hamilton’s race
Despite falling well behind eventual winner Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc up front, Hamilton was still on to clinch a comfortable fourth-place finish, if not a podium had he eventually found a way past the struggling Sainz.
That was, until frustration got the better of him on Lap 33. Pushing harder than his worn intermediate tyres would allow, Hamilton locked up going into Turn 7, running well wide and straight into a trackside barrier.
Given the speed of his crash, he was lucky only to sustain front wing damage that forced him into the pits. He emerged in eighth place behind Sebastian Vettel but failed to find a way past the German as the track dried out, eventually losing out to Max Verstappen late on and settling for a disappointing ninth.
“I think we started off with a pretty decent weekend and were just really, really unfortunate at the end,” Hamilton added.
“It was difficult to overtake and that lock-up into Turn 7 – when those things happen your heart sinks a little bit.
“I knew it was all over from then, but these things happen. I’m not going to punish myself for a mistake.
“It was very tricky conditions for everyone. The problems that we have with this car are magnified in the rain when it’s wet, and it’s a very, very hard car to drive in the rain.
“It all went out the window when I locked up, so my apologies to the team, but we live and learn, and I’ll recover.”
Hamilton is currently sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, while Mercedes now trail Ferrari by 66 points in the battle for second in the Constructors’ Championship after George Russell failed to score.