Lewis Hamilton has apologised to the FIA stewards and to his fans after what he labelled as a 'huge mistake' following the Australian Grand Prix.
The Briton was disqualified from the Melbourne race after the stewards deemed he and his McLaren team had lied following an incident with Toyota driver Jarno Trulli.
The incident had led to McLaren suspending sporting director David Ryan, who the team said was responsible for the misleading the stewards.
Hamilton said on Friday that he had no intention to lie to the stewards, and offered an apology to them, to the fans and to the media.
The world champion, who admitted the incident had taken a toll of him, also vowed to never let something like that happen again.
"In Melbourne, I had a great race. As soon as I got out the car I had the television interviews at the back of the garage, and straight away I gave them a good account of what happening during the race," Hamilton told a news conference.
"Straight after that we were requested by the stewards, and while waiting for the stewards I was instructed and misled by my team manager to withhold information, and that is what I did.
"I sincerely apologise to the stewards for wasting their time and for making them look silly. I am very, very sorry for the situation: for my team, for Dave because he has been a good member of the team for many years, and whilst I don't think it was his intention or...he is a good guy.
"I went into the meeting, I had no intention of...I just wanted to tell the story and say what happened. I was misled and that is the way it went.
"I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans who have believed in me, who have supported me for years, who I showed who I am for the past three years, and it is who I am. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person. I am a team player.
"Every time I have been informed to do something I have done it. This time I realise it was a huge mistake and I am learning from it. It has taken a huge toll on me.
"I apologise to you guys, I didn't speak to you yesterday, but there was a lot of take in and a lot to deal with. I am here to apologise to everyone and I assure you it won't happen again."
Lewis Hamilton has apologised to the FIA stewards and to his fans after what he labelled as a 'huge mistake' following the Australian Grand Prix. The Briton was disqualified from the Melbourne race after the stewards deemed he and his McLaren team had lied following an incident with Toyota driver Jarno Trulli