Sep 06, 2016

    Hamilton blames clutch slip for losing Monza


    LEWIS Hamilton's dreams of winning the Italian Grand Prix for the third year in a row, and chalking up his 50th Formula One race victory, went out with the start lights on Sunday.

    In a split second, the triple world champion went from pole position to chaser, as a slow get-away left him sixth with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg disappearing into the distance.

    The fault appeared to be his, as he hinted over the team radio, even if he said afterwards that he had done everything as normal and the clutch was to blame.

    "I am told it wasn't a driver error but it wasn't anyone's error," said the Briton, whose advantage over Rosberg was cut to two points.

    "It was just that we continue to have an inconsistency with our clutch. It has hit me quite a lot this year.

    "The procedure was done exactly how I was supposed to do it but, unfortunately, the wheels were spinning from the get-go."

    Hamilton passed Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Williams' Valtteri Bottas, leaving just the two Ferraris between him and Rosberg.

    "Nico drove a great race... and did what he had to do. Once you are out front here, it is relatively plain and simple... all he had to do was match some of my times and he was sorted," said Hamilton.

    "It's like less than a 10th of a second (at the start) decided the race and that is tough for everyone."

    The rules governing the start were changed last year, reducing the amount of information drivers have to help with clutch settings.

    Team principal Toto Wolff said "machine and driver" had got it wrong.

    "The only thing I heard was in the race he (Hamilton) said 'Don't worry guys I got it wrong in the start'," said the Austrian.

    "A driver in the heat of the moment after losing a race to his teammate will say things.

    "Once we have seen all the data, we will address internally what needs to be done."