Lewis Hamilton apologised for crashing into Alex Albon at Interlagos and costing the Red Bull driver a shot at his first ever podium finish in F1.
Hamilton tried to get past Albon with only a lap-and-a-half remaining, driving up the inside as the 23-year-old left space on turn nine.
But the world champion could not complete his manoeuvre, as Albon turned in with Hamilton in his blind spot. The youngster, who moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull earlier this season, came off worse from the clash.
He spun and rejoined in 15th, while Hamilton escaped with only a damaged front wing.
Albon continues to wait for his maiden F1 podium, but he will take solace from Hamilton’s apology – and the fact a five-second post-race penalty knocked the 34-year-old off the podium and down to sixth.
“I apologise to Alex, and I hold my hands up for what happened,” said Hamilton, who was also hit with two penalty points on his license. “I totally accept the blame.
“It was not my intention and you hardly ever see me collide with anyone. In hindsight I could have waited to make the move, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“An opportunity arose and I was in shooting distance of Alex. I gave it a shot because in my mind I was trying to catch Max [Verstappen] for the win.
“That won’t be the last time Alex is in position for a podium. He will have many more great races so, as hard a pill as it is for him to swallow, I hope he can learn from the experience.”
The onboard footage from both Hamilton’s Mercedes and Albon’s Red Bull have since been released, showing Hamilton’s failed takeover attempt and the resulting collision.
Carlos Sainz was the biggest beneficiary of the incident, as he was promoted up to third with Hamilton’s penalty to secure McLaren their first podium since 2014.
Pierre Gasly, who was demoted from Red Bull to create space for Albon’s promotion, also drove superbly, finishing second in Toro Rosso’s best result in 11 years.
Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport