Hamilton: I made a mistake when I decided not to do the lap

Lewis Hamilton walks away from parc ferme after qualifying sixth at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton walks away from parc ferme after qualifying sixth at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton is doing himself no favours in his quest for a second Formula 1 world title, with another slip up in Qualifying, the latest one at the British Grand Prix where a miscalculation on his final run saw him drop from top of the timing screens to sixth, from where he will start his home race.

Two weeks earlier he spun out while on a flying lap during qualifying in Austria, perhaps trying too hard, but at Silverstone he simply didn’t try at all in the late stages of Q3 when those around him put the pedal to the metal – and just about all improved on their final run, including his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

It was a disconsolate and obviously angry Hamilton who emerged from his  Mercedes in parc ferme, and his explanation to journalists suggesting that not even he understands why he aborted his final run which cost him an almost certain front row, if not pole position start in front of his home crowd.

Hamilton said afterwards, “I don’t know, I don’t have much of an answer, I just decided not to do the lap. I don’t have anything to say to you at the moment.”

Later he added, “I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going. It was a tough Qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part.”

Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg during qualifying

Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg during qualifying

“It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my Qualifying. I’m so sorry to have disappointed the fans here today as their support has been fantastic and I’ll do what I can to have a great race for them.”

Mercedes director Paddy Lowe disclosed, “He [Hamilton] felt the lap was worse. He bailed out, which was unfortunate, as a lot of time was found in sector three.”

Mercedes chief Niki Lauda confirmed Lowe’s explanation, “It was tricky in the end, we were both well in the lead, then we had to make a decision on whether we go out again. They both pushed to go out. Lewis thought the circuit was slower so he stopped, Nico kept going.”

“It was Lewis’ decision because he thought he cannot go quicker but Nico proved that you can go quicker and he was proved right. This time Nico was outstanding again to grab pole under these difficult conditions,” added Lauda.

Mercedes co-team boss Toto Wolff summed up his sentiments, “It’s very disappointing. There are so many errors you can do in that situation. I don’t think we’re hugely dominant. You saw yesterday that there is still an advantage but it’s a matter of time. We can’t keep ahead for the whole season.”

Rosberg will start from pole for the fourth time this season, matching Hamilton’s four top spot starts to date, while Hamilton will line-up in sixth. However if Austria a fortnight ago is anything to go by, Hamilton will pursue Rosberg relentlessly, with the added support of his home crowd willing him on to repeat his one and only British GP victory, which he scored in 2008, his championship winning year. (GP247)