Lewis Hamilton has apologised to his fans after another error dropped the Mercedes driver down to sixth on the grid for the British Grand Prix.
Having already thrown away potential pole positions in the previous two races in Canada and Austria, the 2008 world champion looked on course to claim top spot at his home grand prix, only to slow on his final run and lose out to team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton set the pace earlier in the final qualifying session but misjudged how quickly the circuit would dry out after a number of showers throughout the day and Rosberg stormed to pole – leaving the Brit once again ruing a missed opportunity to start from the front.
“I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going,” he conceded.
“It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part. It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying.
“I’m so sorry to have disappointed the fans here today as their support has been fantastic and I’ll do what I can to have a great race for them tomorrow.”
Having started ninth in Austria after mistakes on both of his runs in Q3, Hamilton was fourth by the end of the opening lap and he is now aiming to repeat such a feat when the lights go out at Silverstone on Sunday.
“I need to have a start like I had in Austria two weeks ago and then do my best to get back to the front; you never know what might happen,” he added.
“It’s difficult when you’re just out of the car to express your emotions and see the positive but I’ll go back to the team and my family now and we’ll build up for tomorrow from there.”
Meanwhile, Sir Jackie Stewart believes Hamilton’s mistakes show he is starting to crack psychologically.
“He is a hugely-talented driver, his natural talent is very high, but his head certainly seems to have gone a bit,” said Stewart.
“The single most important thing, after God has given you the talent of being a racing driver, is mind management.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are in the car, how much natural talent you have, it’s has to be managed.”