SEPANG, Malaysia, April 10, 2011 (AFP) - Britain's Lewis Hamilton said he would "take it on the chin" Sunday after slipping from second to seventh in the Malaysian Grand Prix following a rash of problems.
The 2008 champion made a good start from the front row of the grid, but was passed in turns one and two of the opening lap by Renault's German driver Nick Heidfeld.
The McLaren driver, strongly tipped for a move to Red Bull, fought back but his charge was smothered by a slow pit-stop and a poor set of tyres, followed by a fourth pit-stop.
"This is racing, I guess," said Hamilton. "I started second and did everything I could to keep up and I don't really have too much to say."At the start I got stuck behind Heidfeld, I had Jenson on my inside and Heidfeld on my outside, so I was squashed into turn one. It was difficult to defend without hitting them and not ideal at all.
"I think that through the race, my tyres went off. We boxed too early, that made us box earlier again and all the time we were boxing before everyone else and, at the end, my tyres were done. "It was just one of those days and you have to take it on the chin and move on.
Hamilton suffered from a critical blow when his third pit-stop took 6.9 seconds, costing him a position as team-mate Jenson Button gained a place.The 26-year-old Briton did not spell out his frustrations about the blunder, but it was clear that he was disappointed with both his strategy and the team's performance.
The flat showing comes after Hamilton this week said a move to Red Bull, to race alongside reigning world champion Sebastien Vettel, could work "in theory".