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Hamilton apologises to Piastri as both drivers give their verdict on Italian GP collision

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was quick to apologise to McLaren rival Oscar Piastri after the Italian Grand Prix as he took full blame for their clash in the closing stages of the race.

Hamilton, running a hard-to-medium tyre strategy, rather than the preferred medium-to-hard, used his softer rubber to attack Piastri for eighth position on Lap 41 with a move down the inside at the second chicane.

READ MORE: Verstappen charges to Monza victory for record-breaking 10th successive F1 win

However, the pair dramatically banged wheels as they approached the braking zone, with the Australian rookie subsequently commenting over the radio that Hamilton “just turned across me”.

Hamilton was promptly given a five-second time penalty for his actions and, speaking after the race, admitted that he sought out Piastri after the chequered flag to offer his apologies.

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Race Highlights: 2023 Italian Grand Prix

“My fault,” said the seven-time world champion. “Honestly, he was in my blind spot, I didn’t see… I didn’t realise I hadn’t left enough space, so I apologised to him when I got out of the car and we move on.”

Piastri was forced to pit for a new front wing and ultimately came home 11th after his own five-second time penalty due to leaving the track and gaining an advantage as he scrapped with AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson.

READ MORE: ‘I never would have believed this’ – Verstappen in shock after making more F1 history with Monza win

“A pretty disappointing afternoon,” Piastri commented after stepping out of the car. “Not a lot went our way. It’s disappointing to come out of that with no points.

“The stewards gave their verdict [on the incident], Lewis apologised to me already. Unfortunately I can’t get my race back, but there’s nothing more I can do or ask for.”

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Piastri reveals Hamilton apologised to him for their Lap 41 collision at Monza

Hamilton proceeded to pass Piastri’s team mate, Lando Norris, and the Williams of Alex Albon for sixth position, which he kept after the finish by making up enough time to effectively write off his penalty.

Discussing his race as a whole, Hamilton said: “It was pretty boring from the start. It was just dead straight, just following the cars ahead, tyres overheating, balance issues…

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from the 2023 Italian Grand Prix

“I think it was a little bit better at the end, once we had the off-set on tyres and I was having to catch that gap and have a little bit of a race with the guys.”

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