Lewis Hamilton takes blame for worst qualifying result in over a year

Lewis Hamilton in action in the USA

Lewis Hamilton accepted responsibility in the wake of the reigning World Champion putting in his worst qualifying result in over a year.

Hamilton, pole sitter at the United States Grand Prix for the last three years, mustered only fifth position in Q3, albeit within three-tenths of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton has not started a race from outside of the front two rows of the grid since last year’s German Grand Prix, when he lined up in 14th spot after a mechanical issue in Q2.

“It was nothing to do with the car, it was just me,” said a contrite Hamilton after the session.

“I just didn’t pull the laps together today.

“Clearly the car had the capability to be on the front row and I just didn’t do it today.

“It was my fault but I will try and rectify it tomorrow.”

Hamilton will become only the second person in history to take six world titles if he is not out-scored by Bottas by 22 points.

On that notion of potentially taking the crown Hamilton said: “Honestly I’m not trying to think about that now.

“I’m just trying to digest what just happened and then I’ll move forwards into tomorrow.”