Lewis Hamilton says he can only blame himself for Indian Grand Prix grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton said he fully accepted the three-place grid penalty he has been given for the Indian Grand Prix for ignoring yellow flags in opening practice

Lewis Hamilton says he can only blame himself for Indian Grand Prix grid penalty

The McLaren driver was quickest in the morning session at the new Buddh circuit, but was called up to see the stewards afterwards and awarded the penalty for having gone too quickly while marshals were recovering Pastor Maldonado's stranded Williams. Sauber's Sergio Perez received the same penalty for the same offence.

"I was engaging the DRS when the yellow flags were out and you're not allowed to," Hamilton admitted.

"I went in there and I put my hands up and said I accept whatever penalty they give, and that's what they gave me."

The former champion added that his annoyance over the incident was entirely directed at himself.

"It is what it is and I'm just frustrated with myself," said Hamilton. "It's my fault as usual so I just have to do what I can from wherever I qualify tomorrow.

"It was looking good for us to qualify on pole at one stage. But tomorrow could be a different day.

"I have no one else to blame, it was only me driving."

Hamilton admitted that he was not entirely confident in McLaren's pace in India at present, and that the penalty was an additional headache on a day when Red Bull and Ferrari appeared to be faster.

"It's not good for the weekend," he said. "It doesn't look like we're the quickest. Wherever we qualify, we'll be three places back from there, and that's going to make my race very, very difficult.

"It's not impossible, the race will be very long and we have DRS so overtaking is possible. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow how quick we are.

"Today was just practice, and tomorrow's the day when you have to really knuckle down and I'm already on the back foot and have put the team on the back foot with the penalty."

His team-mate Jenson Button said he was sure Hamilton would still be a threat for victory in the race even with the penalty.

"I've won from last before so the focus is still on both cars getting as far up as they possibly can," said Button. "If you start down in fifth or sixth, you can still win on a circuit like this."

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