Hamilton’s grovelling apology to Mercedes team for fatal blunder in Azerbaijan
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Lewis Hamilton offered a grovelling apology to his Mercedes team-mates after slipping off the track at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to finish in 15th after leading.
The seven-time world champion had a golden chance to create a lead at the top of the drivers table following a restart, but was seen with smoke coming from his breaks and failed to remain on the track.
Having missed the chance to claim a 99th race win, Hamilton remains second in the drivers' standings with leader Max Verstappen also finishing outside the points having failed to finish.
Red Bull and Sergio Perez took top spot with Sebastian Vettel claiming a first podium with Aston Martin since their return to F1 – Pierre Gasly pushing Charles Leclerc into 4.
Minutes before the incident, Hamilton spoke about his intention to be calm: "Got to remember that this a marathon not a sprint – got to be measured about how aggressive we go."
Over the team radio, he then said after the slip: "I'm so sorry, guys."
With a mechanic replying: "Don't sweat it, Lewis."
Giving more detail into the mistake, Hamilton asked his team: "Did I leave the magic on?"
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After they told him that he had, he replied: "I could have sworn I turned that off."
In F1, break magic is a mode to change ERS vs Mechanical rear brake effect, heating up brakes and tyres.
Perez said after his first win for Red Bull: "Normally Baku is pretty crazy.
"I have to say sorry to Max, it would have been incredible to get that one-two for the team.
"But at the end, it was a fantastic day for us. We were close to retiring the car but luckily we managed to finish the race.
"This is definitely a strong boost of confidence for myself."
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- Lewis Hamilton
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