Lewis Hamilton says he’s “incredibly disappointed in myself” after twice hitting the wall during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.
Hamilton had topped the timesheets in Q1 and Q2 and was fastest during the initial runs in Q3 on intermediate tyres before cars began to pit for slicks near the end of the session.
The Mercedes driver pitted to make the change, but clipped the outside wall at the pit entry, damaging his front wing and needing for it to be replaced.
Although Mercedes got Hamilton out with enough time to spare, the Briton struggled to generate temperature into his dry tyres and spun into the wall on his final attempt.
But despite his mistakes, Hamilton still managed to qualify fourth due to his lap time on the intermediates, only being jumped by pole-sitter Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and George Russell.
Speaking after the session, Hamilton admitted his brush with the wall on pit entry was “just a mistake from myself”.
“Ultimately I’m incredibly disappointed in myself,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
“Up until then, I was in a groove, I was really in the zone. I’m really sorry for all the team that are here and back at the factory, because obviously that’s not what you expect from a champion.
“It is what it is, and I’ll do my best tomorrow to try and rectify it.”
Hamilton went on to add that he had very little grip as he tried to get temperature into his slick tyres, saying it made the circuit feel “very slippery”.
“I was losing temperature in the lap, and then twice in the wall, that’s very rare for me,” Hamilton said.
Mercedes is permitted to replace any broken parts on Hamilton’s car ahead of Sunday’s race providing they are the same specification.
Hamilton has the chance to cut title rival Max Verstappen’s championship lead with the Red Bull driver starting last after an engine change, but the seven-time world champion isn’t expecting an easy race.
“The guys up front have got good pace, and it definitely won’t be easy,” Hamilton said.
“I’m just going to say my prayers and hope that the car can be fixed, and it’s hopefully OK for tomorrow.
“These things are sent to try us, and I feel terrible right now. But I’ll turn it into a positive, and try to do the best. But you’ve got a Brit on pole, which is great, so congrats to Lando.”