Lewis Hamilton has blamed bad luck and tyre manufacturer Pirelli after he failed to win the German Grand Prix from pole position.
The Briton was speaking after the race which saw him fall to 5th place by the chequered flag, and vented his frustration on the media after he claimed his championship challenge was effectively over.
“I’m not even thinking about the championship.” the vexed 2008 World Champion said.
“There’s no point when he’s [Vettel] almost 60 points ahead. It’s going to take a lot of good opportunities to come my way.Luck is definitely not with me but who knows? At some stage it’s got to come.”
During the race Hamilton also aimed his wrath at under-fire tyre supplier Pirelli as he slipped backwards down the order with tyre graining problems, repeatedly coming on the radio to complain of a lack of grip from his rubber.
He also made controversial remarks about his relationship with team-mate Nico Rosberg.
“I don’t feel like it’s a boost or anything like that.” he said on the question of beating the German, who is a former karting team-mate.
“Having the edge on him; everyone expects that.”
The comments come despite a largely even season so far, with Rosberg securing 2 victories and 3 pole positions, and may well come back to haunt the Englishman come the end of the season.
With Mercedes disqualified from taking part in the upcoming Young Driver’s Test at Silverstone on 17th-18th-19th July after conducting an illegal tyre test after the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton seethed at the apparent unfairness of the situation.
“I don’t know if people fully appreciate how big a negative it is for us not to do the test. We are going to go to Hungary when other people have gone and tested different ride-heights, different pressures, got their car ready for a long run so they arrive ready. We don’t have any of that information so when we get there we’re going to go into it blind. We shouldn’t be in this position in sport, but that’s the way it is.”
Team Principal Ross Brawn endorsed some of Hamilton’s criticisms of the F1W04 but disagreed that missing the Silverstone test was a big disadvantage.
“We have said all along that there is still a question mark over our performance in hotter conditions, and today’s race showed that we still have work to do.” he said.
“We have made big steps forward since Bahrain and Barcelona, where we particularly suffered with hotter track temperatures, and our performance was much improved compared to those races. But we have not yet done enough to convert our Saturday pace into race-winning speed in all conditions on Sunday. The three-week break until Hungary will give us an opportunity to think about how we can make further progress on our tyre management as well as continuing to develop the core performance of the car.”
Hamilton recently split with long-term girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, a factor that had a significant impact on his erratic 2011 campaign.