Hamilton accepts blame for missing out on podium

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Lewis Hamilton has made no excuses after failing to finish on the podium today in Monaco, admitting that he wasn’t good enough in the race.

The 2008 world champion started the race in 2nd place alongside teammate Nico Rosberg on the front row, and he managed to hold position until the first safety car period. Mercedes opted to queue their drivers in the pits, and Hamilton lost out to both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the process. He trailed Webber for the rest of the race before dropping back towards the end, eventually finishing 4th, 7.5 seconds behind the Red Bull.

“I don’t put it down to bad luck. I wasn’t good enough this weekend,” Hamilton said in an interview after the race.

“Big congratulations to Nico and the team, they did a great job today and I have to keep working harder.”

Hamilton was disappointed to have lost out to the Red Bull drivers under the safety car, costing the team a potential one-two finish. He was happy to accept the blame for the mistake.

“It was my mistake today. I was told to have a six-second gap, and I had a little more than six seconds and I lost out. That’s motor racing.”

After the red flag, Hamilton was quick to apologize to the team about the incident, saying “I can’t believe we lost out to the Red Bulls.” He will be hoping to bounce back next time out in Canada, where he has won three times before.

Simon Pagenaud has words with Gabby Chaves after Honda Indy GP of Alabama

Photos: IndyCar
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The rain didn’t stop following the conclusion of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, and neither did the jousting between drivers.

An angry Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud confronted Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves after the race, complaining that Chaves would not let Pagenaud get past him in the closing laps.

Instead of ending up with a hoped-for Top 5, Pagenaud wound up with a ninth-place finish. Chaves, meanwhile, finished 17th, two laps down.

The confrontation turned into a battle of words and profanity between the two drivers, as captured on Twitter by AutoWeek’s Matt Weaver.

Afterward – and after their tempers cooled down somewhat – both Pagenaud and Chaves gave their sides of the confrontation to NBCSN.

Gabby Chaves

First, here’s Pagenaud’s take on things:

“We had a really good race going,” Pagenaud said. “I think we potentially could have been top 5. I was really frustrated with Gabby. He was two laps down and I was stuck behind him, which gave an opportunity to (Scott) Dixon as I was trying to do everything I could to make it happen.

“It’s a real shame because when it’s not your day, it’s not your day. You’ll have better days later, but you want to have everybody on your side when you have a good day. At the moment, he doesn’t have me on his side, let me tell you. It’s a real shame.”

When asked what exactly he said to Chaves, Pagenaud demurred.

“Driver’s stuff,” he said with a slight smile. “We’ve all been there. I’ve been in his position. My side, I played it smart. It is what it is.

“I can’t comment for him. You can ask him the question. I’m not going to make a deal about it, it’s just a shame it ruined my race. We’ll come back stronger. It’s Indy soon, so that’ll put a smile on my face.”

NBCSN then caught up with Chaves for his side of the story.

 

“It’s a tough situation, we had to restart (the rain-delayed race) a lap down,” Chaves said. “Our whole strategy depends on trying to get a yellow and holding our position. Some guys think that the track belongs only to them, they’re the only guys on-track.

“Everyone else who was faster at that point – we were only one lap down to the leader, so we’re still on our strategy and don’t know what’s going to happen – as soon as they got right up next to me on the lead lap, I let them go.

“Simon was the only one who couldn’t drive up to me. I understand his frustration, but he’s the one who has to save fuel to make his strategy work, that’s not our fault, right?”

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