Lewis Hamilton explains Azerbaijan GP misery as Brit ‘humbled’ after missing out on win

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Lewis Hamilton was left devastated after missing out on the chance to retake the lead of the championship after main title rival Max Verstappen crashed out in a spectacular final four laps of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Verstappen crashed out from the lead of the race with just four laps to go due to a tyre failure, bringing out the red flag.

Race control decided to restart the race after the debris was removed from the track, with Perez inheriting the lead in a two lap-sprint finish.

After an electric restart, Hamilton, in second, went side by side with Perez before locking up his tyres and going straight at turn one, with the pack of cars speeding past him.

The mistake played into Red Bull’s hands with Perez grabbing his second Formula One win and his first for the team, with no points scored by either of the two main title contenders.

Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: “Naturally it’s quite a humbling experience to deal with. We’d worked so hard this weekend to come back out of the top 10 and it was looking so good.

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“I put everything on the line and fought as hard as I could today. On that restart when Checo moved over towards me, I clipped a switch and it basically switches the brake off so I just went straight.

“It’s very hard to take and I’m obviously really sorry to the men and women in the team who had worked so hard for these points.

“We’ll regroup and come back strong I’m sure. I had no idea I’d even touched it [the switch].”

Verstappen looked to have thrown away the lead of the standings thanks to his tyre failure, but in a new twist in the championship, Hamilton’s 15th-placed finish means the Dutchman retains the lead of the standings without even finishing the race.

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Red Bull also extended their lead in the team standings with victory for Perez heading into round seven at Paul Ricard.

Hamilton remains second in the standings for Mercedes, with 17 races to go of the season.

But the seven-time world champion said they refuse to give up easily and will come back fighting in France.

“For sure [we go on],” Hamilton Added.

“It’s really unfortunate for Max obviously. I would say today is a good stroke of bad luck.

“It is what it is. We’ll try and regroup and come back stronger in the next race.”

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