Humble Hamilton apologises to team

Lewis Hamilton felt obliged to apologise profusely for the latest incident to blight his season, even though he was not to blame.

Motorsport News: Lewis Hamilton

Not for the first time in a torrid campaign, Hamilton departed a grand prix looking thoroughly miserable and feeling very down.

The cause of his angst was yet another collision with Felipe Massa, their sixth of the season, forcing him into a change of front wing and leading to a seventh-place finish in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

For once the stewards did not feel Hamilton was at fault, with Massa the one handed a drive-through penalty.

However, that did not stop Hamilton from offering his apologies to the team on at least a dozen occasions in one 10-minute post-race interview.

At various stages he said: "I'm sorry for the team", and "Just big apologies to the team, my sponsors, for yet another disastrous race".

But his most pertinent comment was yet more self-criticism as he added: "I just can't apologise enough to my team for the negativity that surrounds me nowadays.

"I just have to try and keep my head up and recover from this for the next race."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh described the attraction between Hamilton and Massa as "magnetic".

Asked why he and Massa keep clashing, Hamilton added: "I've just been in some awkward situations where I've been further behind than I should really be due to mistakes.

"I should have been second on the grid (here, but was given a three-place penalty), and I wouldn't have been anywhere near Felipe if that had been the case.

"And in many other races like Singapore, Monaco, I should have been higher up (the grid), but I wasn't.

"But any attempt to get by, Felipe is very reluctant to let me. He makes his car as wide as he can be."

Massa felt aggrieved to be penalised, insisting he had taken the correct line into a left-hand corner at the Buddh International Circuit as Hamilton attacked down the inside.

Hope of reconciliation is fading fast, especially after Hamilton's attempt at peace during a minute's silence before the race for Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli fell on stony ground.

"Me and Felipe were standing next to each other," Hamilton said. "He hasn't spoken to me for a long, long time, so I made an effort, put my arm around him and said 'Good luck for the race'.

"I just wanted to squash whatever beef or any anger he has towards me."

However, Massa offered a different version of events, adding: "He didn't try to do anything. He passed through, didn't even look at my face.

"And after the one minute's silence he was on my side, and then he just said 'Have a good race'.

"So this is trying to do what? Saying 'Have a good race'? That's not talking."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes the furore between the duo has to be solved, "because it is not good for anyone".

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