Hamilton blames self after US Grand Prix qualifying setback

United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, sixth world title, Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc
On Sunday, Hamilton only needs to finish in the top eight to become world champion for the sixth time, if Bottas turns pole into a race win. Photo: PTI

Lewis Hamilton, who is chasing his sixth world title said that it was his own fault that he qualified only fifth on the grid, behind his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas who took the pole position for Sunday’s (November 3) United States Grand Prix.

The star driver is disappointed in himself and said he had no one to blame after struggling to produce a complete lap at his best.

“It’s nothing to do with the car. I just didn’t manage to put the laps together today and the car clearly had the capability to be on the front row,” the world champion-elect said.

“It was just me, not the car, but I can still do it tomorrow. It was my fault and I will do all I can to rectify it tomorrow. Honestly, I am not thinking about it now — I’m just trying to digest what’s happened and to reflect on it,” he said.

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On Sunday, Hamilton only needs to finish in the top eight to become world champion for the sixth time, if Bottas turns pole into a race win.

However, the Mercedes driver has said he aims to try and achieve the landmark success with a victory at one of his favourite circuits where he has won five times.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he believed it remained possible for Hamilton to compete to win Sunday’s race from the third row of the grid.

“It was so tight today and you could see that there were a few cars only separated by a few tenths of a second,” said Wolff.

“It’s really good to be back on pole with Valtteri and it is a shame for Lewis, but we need to see what we can do tomorrow on the strategy. With an aggressive strategy, you can still compete for the win. It wasn’t his qualifying — so we have to look into that,” he added.

(With inputs from agencies)