Hamilton looks to build bridges with FIA after Monaco row

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton yesterday displayed humility and contrition as he looked back on a Monaco Grand Prix he has written off as "a bad weekend at the office". It has emerged Hamilton wrote a letter to FIA president Jean Todt apologising for his post-race outburst in which he criticised the stewards.

Hamilton's misguided "maybe it's because I'm black" remark in the wake of a raft of penalties he has received this season resulted in an initial trip to make peace with the stewards. The letter to Todt was necessary to avoid any disciplinary action from the FIA, with Todt suggesting the 26-year-old may have ended up with a six-race ban.

Hamilton has also revealed that he personally telephoned Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado offering his apologies to them after he described them as "ridiculous" during his rant.

The McLaren star felt they were in the wrong when it came to his failed overtaking manoeuvres on the duo that landed him with two drive-through penalties, the second one retrospectively.

But in the cold light of day, with the heat having died down from the situation, Hamilton was able to take stock and reflect on his "behaviour and my weekend".

"So I wrote a letter to the FIA to apologise, a sincere letter of apology to Jean, and I got a great letter back," said Hamilton. "After that I was able to put it behind me and I am very grateful to be here."

Hamilton appreciates in the heat of the moment he said the wrong things, letting the pressure of this year's world title fight get to him. "We all know what it is like to be under pressure, to put pressure on yourself to succeed. We all have good and bad days in the office, and that was definitely one of my worst weekends in the office.

"I have gone back and had a few days at home, training, refreshing my mind and now I feel completely refreshed and looking forward to a more positive weekend."

In attempting to further explain away what unfolded in Monaco, he added: "When you are competitive and at the pinnacle of motorsport it is not easy to overtake. Every move you make is questionable, and when you're like me and you do a lot of overtaking, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't."