Lewis Hamilton apologises to team for errors
Lewis Hamilton apologised to his McLaren-Mercedes team for the mistakes he made during Saturday's qualifying session for Sunday's French Grand Prix, the AFP reported.
His errors may have cost him his opportunity to outpace rivals Ferrari and finish as the fastest driver.
But he said he remained buoyant and confident - and still believed he could finish high up the order despite having to start from 13th on the grid, having been penalised 10 places for his failure to stop at a red light during the Canadian Grand Prix.
"Well, since Kimi (Raikkonen) managed to finish second in 2005 after starting 13th I know that it can be done and that is a good thing for me to know," he said.
"He (Raikkonen) has shown that you can do it. But it was quite a disappointing qualifying for us and for me. I have to apologise to the team because I didn't do a great job at all. On my first and second lap I made the same mistake on the exit of Turn 7.
"I went wide and for sure lost three-tenths, but that is life, I was pushing and trying to get the best out of the car. I believe I did in most areas apart from that one. But we missed out and we will push hard tomorrow."
In the end, Hamilton could manage only third best time and will start 13th.
The blow of the 10-places penalty is likely to have had an influence on McLaren's strategy this weekend, but the 23-year-old said it had not been on his mind at all.
"It doesn't help obviously, but it doesn't hang over you," he said.
"You know entering the weekend that you are coming here to win. You feel comfortable, you feel confident and (know) the team have done everything for you to make sure the car is the best.
"(Then you) arrive and automatically you have a ten place penalty. Rules are rules, we will do the best job we can, take it on the chin, learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again."