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Allan Hamilton Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain (file pic).
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'My fault, not car,' says Hamilton after US Grand Prix qualifying setback
Disappointed in his own performance after struggling to produce a complete lap at his best, the world champion-elect said he had no-one to blame, but himself.

Updated at 02.00

TITLE-CHASING Lewis Hamilton said it was his own fault that he qualified only fifth on the grid on Saturday after his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas took pole position for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

Disappointed in his own performance after struggling to produce a complete lap at his best, the world champion-elect said he had no-one to blame, but himself.

“It’s nothing to do with the car. I just didn’t manage to put the laps together today and the car clearly had the capability to be on the front row,” he said.

“It was just me, not the car, but I can still do it tomorrow. It was my fault and I will do all I can to rectify it tomorrow. Honestly, I am not thinking about it now –- I’m just trying to digest what’s happened and to reflect on it.”

Hamilton only needs to finish in the top eight if Bottas turns pole into a race win to win his sixth drivers world title.

But typically he has said he wants to try and achieve that landmark success with a victory at one of his favourite circuits where he has won five times.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he believed it remained possible for Hamilton to compete to win Sunday’s race from the third row of the grid.

“It was so tight today and you could see that there were a few cars only separated by a few tenths of a second,” said Wolff.

“It’s really good to be back on pole with Valtteri and it is a shame for Lewis, but we need to see what we can do tomorrow on the strategy.

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“With an aggressive strategy, you can still compete for the win. It wasn’t his qualifying -– so we have to look into that.”

- © AFP 2019 

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