Lewis Hamilton apologised to Mercedes and said, “I f* it up big time” after crashing into a wall and falling off the road to finish ninth in the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.
Sergio Perez won a turbulent wet-dry race under the lights of the Marina Bay Circuit, while Max Verstappen’s wait for a second world championship continues after an error-plagued performance.
The Dutchman, who is 104 points ahead of Charles Leclerc in the standings, will be crowned champion if he wins and sets the fastest lap at the Japanese Grand Prix in a week.
Leclerc came in second, followed by Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz on the podium. Norris finished fourth for McLaren.
Hamilton will leave Singapore eager to forget a night in which he made two uncharacteristic errors.
After losing the start to Sainz, Hamilton spent the majority of Sunday’s race inhaling the Ferrari driver’s exhaust fumes. He was also in the tyre barrier on lap 33.
Hamilton went too fast into the seventh corner and collided with the wall. He put his Mercedes in reverse, falling behind Norris but ahead of Verstappen, and tried to keep going.
However, Hamilton’s front wing was dangling from his Mercedes, and orange sparks flew as he was forced to pull over for repairs.
“I’m so sorry, guys,” he apologised over the radio. “I messed it up big time.”
‘A bad day.’
Hamilton fell from fourth to ninth place, and with 96 seconds remaining in the two-hour race, which had been delayed by 65 minutes due to rain, he ran off the racing line at turn eight as he battled Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen was promoted to eighth, which became seventh when the Dutchman passed Vettel on the final lap.
“I am pretty flat,” said Hamilton. “It was a bad day, a really bad day.” All I can think about is tomorrow. My apologies to the team for everything that went out the fricking window when I locked up.
“Your heart drops. I knew it was over at that point, but these things happen. I’m not going to beat myself up for making a mistake. When you fail, you get back up and try again, but that wasn’t your best day.”
George Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, will also be eager to put Marina Bay behind him. Russell qualified 11th before colliding with Valtteri Bottas and Mick Schumacher in the pits after an engine change. He came in 14th and last.
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