'All the tension just boiled up'

Yesterday we reported that Lewis Hamilton had accused the race stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix of racism, saying that he was being excessively punished because he was black. He did however admit that it was a joke that went wrong, and has now apologised.

Hamilton admitted that emotions were running high at the end of the race, in which he finished sixth after two penalties, which were given for collisions which took place while he was trying to overtake. Now he says it was just frustration at a missed opportunity to close the gap on championship leader Sebastian Vettel that caused all the tension to boil up.

‘I made (the stewards) aware that when emotions are high, and it's very intense at the end of those kind of races, you don't always say the right thing,’ he said. ‘I felt I did everything perfect in the build up but a lot of things got in the way. I got in my car on Saturday and the steering wheel was not set right. In qualifying I lost the time I did (for missing a chicane), then I got stuck behind certain individuals and had to really try to do the safest overtaking manoeuvres.

‘I did feel that some drivers did not really leave me much space and received penalties for those. This is motorsport and we are supposed to see racing and not many people overtake in Monaco and I tried to do that.

‘Unfortunately, collisions caused me to have some penalties. Then I got hit and my rear wing was hanging off and I was asked to come in and retire, and I refused. Then the red flag came out and I am lucky I did not retire as I managed to get a couple of points or it would have been even more damaging to my championship. The first pit-stop I was asked to pit and no one was there. So all the tension just boiled up.

‘I had prepared myself the best this weekend, I was the fastest and I could have won the Grand Prix happily.’

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