Hamilton apologised to duo

Date published: June 10 2011

Lewis Hamilton conceded that he had suffered a “bad day at the office” in Monaco two weeks ago and had apologised to all concerned…

Lewis Hamilton conceded that he had suffered a “bad day at the office” in Monaco two weeks ago and had apologised to all concerned.

Now, he said, he wanted to move on, put the affair behind him and do his best for himself and his McLaren team this weekend in the Canadian Grand Prix where he claimed his maiden win 2007 and won again last year.

“I never like to go into a weekend as favourite and I don’t like to be too upbeat,” he said. “I am not Muhammad Ali and saying this weekend is going to be the best weekend ever.

“But, I would definitely say, looking at the next few races, this is one of the better ones for us. Coming off a very tough weekend, I feel I am racing against some very, very talented drivers who are going to be quick as well.

“I would rather do my talking on track, I feel the car will work well and I feel I am in a good ‘head space’ so I hope that will add to a good result.”

The 26-year-old Brit was penalised at the Monaco race for collisions with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado.

Afterwards he criticised the stewards in an outburst during a television interview, in which he jokingly suggested, with a reference to the comic character Ali G, that he was being victimised because he was black.

He apologised to the stewards in Monte Carlo and wrote a letter of apology to the FIA.

He said: “Last week, coming back from the grand prix I had some time to reflect on my behaviour and my weekend and just a feeling of it being a bad day in the office.

“I wrote a letter to the FIA to apologise and spoke to the drivers. I felt that was necessary to do, and it was the right thing to do, to put it behind me. This is racing…

“When you are competitive – and this is the pinnacle of motor sport – it is not easy to overtake. So, every move you make is questionable. Sometimes, you get it right. Sometimes, you don’t.

“The stewards are doing a great job, and since I’ve been in F1 it has been improving, being much more consistent – and it makes it much better.

“While I would prefer not to be in the stewards’ room too often – and I am trying – my whole life I was always in the headmasters’ office.

“So, I am used to it and try and learn from situations I get myself into. I had time to reflect on the weekend and I wrote a sincere apology letter to Jean (Todt, president) and to the FIA and I got a great letter back.

“After that I was able to put it behind me and I am very grateful to be here. I do want what is best for the sport and I want to be able to contribute to improving the sport and making it great.”

He added that he had also cleared the air with Massa and Maldonado.

“I know Felipe really well, I’ve known him since F3 and having such a good relationship with him, I gave him a call and he had calmed down also and he was able to understand the position.

“With Pastor, I’ve seen him, known him for many years, and he is doing a fantastic job. He was very quick that weekend. I am not wanting to put anyone out of a grand prix.”

He conceded too that he had buckled under the pressure of events in Monte Carlo.

“I think it is a combination of many things,” he said. “We all know what it is like to be under pressure and to put pressure on yourself.

“We all have good and bad days in the office and that was definitely one of the worst weekends in the office.

“But that is motor racing. That is life and you learn from those situations. I have gone back and had a few days at home, been training and I feel completely refreshed and looking forward to a more positive weekend!”

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