A costly mistake in the pits snatched victory from the grasp of Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
However, he took the blame for the blunder while finishing in third place after jumping the gun in the pit lane on the 16th lap.
He admitted, “I selected first gear and was ready to go. I thought I saw the lollipop move a little bit but I was maybe wrong â€” and I let the clutch out too early. You try to be as quick as you can when the lollipop goes up. I tried to anticipate it and messed it up. It lost me a lot of valuable time and I then just had to push, but I struggled with the balance. I need to step up my game and I intend to do so.”
The Ferrari of winner Kimi Raikkonen was just too fast for Hamilton, who was also beaten to second place by his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton later said, “I made the wrong decision with set-up and it really caused me problems during the race. Even in qualifying I didn’t have the pace I should have had, but it was too late by then to change the car, so I’ve learned a good lesson.”
He is still 12 points ahead in the championship table with eight races to go.
Hamilton added: “We’ve come away with a ninth podium position. I’m the most consistent driver here. I think you have to be happy with that. As a team we need to push as always, but we will try to push harder. As a driver, I am still learning. I still have time to improve through experience. I’ve raced here before but I’ve struggled in terms of pace. We must make sure we get the car set-up right, make sure we keep on moving forward and ideally beat the Ferraris.”
The next race is in Germany on Sunday week.