‘Your heart sinks’: Lewis Hamilton apologises to Mercedes for multiple blunders

Mercedes did not enjoy a great evening in Singapore.

It was not the easiest race of Sir Lewis Hamilton’s career in Singapore on Sunday, after he finished ninth having started third.

The seven-time world champion had put in a superb performance on Saturday to start on the front row of the grid, but he was dispatched by Carlos Sainz off the start.

The 37-year-old continued applying pressure to the back of Sainz throughout the first stint, and he was playing some mind games with the Spaniard during a Virtual Safety Car period.

Sainz was having none of it, and he stayed ahead as the drivers got back to green flag racing, before Hamilton made a critical error.

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The Briton sailed off the track at Turn Seven, slamming into the barrier and picking up front wing damage.

He was fortunate not to retire from the race as a result, and a Safety Car caused by Yuki Tsunoda’s crash at Turn 10 brought him back into play.

Sadly for the Mercedes driver, he got stuck behind Sebastian Vettel heading into the closing stages, and he got sideways while trying to pass the German at Turn Eight.

That allowed the recovering Max Verstappen to swoop past, and the 103-time race winner finished ninth.

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“I don’t really know what to say guys, my apologies. Car was so hard to drive today. I gave it my all… not good enough. Let’s keep pushing, and try to finish strong,” he said on the radio after the race.

Hamilton put a positive spin on thigs after the race, and is already looking forward to a better day on Monday.

“No, definitely not,” he told Sky Sports when it was put to him that his collection of two points was not reflective of his performance.

“I think it started off as a pretty decent weekend, and just really, really unfortunate. I think at the end, I was trying, and that lock-up into Turn Seven, argh…

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“When those things happen, your heart sinks a little bit, but you get back up again and you try, and I tried to get past Seb, but it was wet on the inside.

“When you fail, you get up and try again, so it wasn’t the greatest day, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

George Russell finished 14th in an evening to forget for him, and Ferrari’s double podium now puts them 66 points ahead of Mercedes in the battle for second in the championship.