Lewis Hamilton takes responsibility for bad start in Japanese GP

Lewis Hamilton has taken full responsibility for his poor start in the Japanese Grand Prix, saying it had nothing to do with the track being damp

Lewis Hamilton takes responsibility for bad start in Japanese GP

The reigning Formula 1 world champion showed concern ahead of the race as the inside of the track was damp, and from second on the grid he fell to eighth thanks to a poor getaway.

"The damp patch didn't really have anything to do with it, I made a mistake," said Hamilton, who recovered to third place but lost further ground to winner Nico Rosberg in the title race.

"Then I was just working my way up from there - it was tricky but I did the best I could.

"The car felt great throughout the race, I had a good run and fought hard but in the end just didn't make it [back to second]."

Hamilton was unable to elaborate on his poor start, adding: "I just got wheelspin."

The Mercedes driver's charge was halted when he caught Max Verstappen for second in the closing stages.

Verstappen was able to focus on getting a good exit from the final chicane to protect himself into Turn 1 where Hamilton had DRS, and with two laps to go he defended the inside line out of 130R, resulting in Hamilton locking up and heading down the escape road at the chicane.

Asked if he was happy with Verstappen's defence, after saying on the radio the Red Bull driver moved in the braking zone, Hamilton said: "It doesn't matter now, it's done and we move forwards."

Verstappen added: "You see him coming in the mirrors. The laps before he was closing.

"I saw he had a good exit, defended into the last chicane, so yeah, all good.

"Lewis is fighting for the world championship, so you're not going to do crazy things."

Rosberg said he is not focused on the points gap to Hamilton with four races to go, while Hamilton described the 33-point difference at the top as "a healthy margin".

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Nico Rosberg wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton third

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