Lewis Hamilton says he has reflected on his actions during and after the Monaco Grand Prix and is eager to move on.
The McLaren driver was penalized on raceday for collisions with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado, and hit out at the stewards' actions in a post-race television interview. He subsequently wrote a letter of apology to FIA president Jean Todt, and said in Montreal today that he regretted his criticisms of the officials and would learn from what happened in Monte Carlo.
"Last week, coming back from the grand prix I had some time to reflect on my behavior and my weekend, and just a feeling of it being a bad day in the office," said Hamilton. "I wrote a letter to the FIA to apologize and spoke to the drivers [Maldonado and Massa]. I felt that was necessary to do, and it was the right thing to do, to put it behind me.
"This is racing – when you are competitive and this is the pinnacle of motorsport... it is not easy to overtake, so every move you make is questionable, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't. It is inevitable. Sometimes it will be right, sometimes not.
"The stewards are doing a great job, and since I am in F1 it has been improving, been much more consistent – and it makes it much better.
"While I would prefer not to be in the stewards' room too often and I am trying, my whole life I was always in the headmasters' office, so I am used to it and try and learn from situations I get myself into."
Although Todt hinted that Hamilton's letter had helped him avoid a ban for his actions, the Briton said averting further punishment had not been his motivation for writing to the FIA.
"I had time to reflect on the weekend and I wrote a sincere apology letter to Jean and to the FIA, and I got a great letter back," he said. "After that, I was able to put it behind me and I am very grateful to be here. I do want what is best for the sport and I want to be able to contribute to improving the sport and making it great."
He added that he had also cleared the air with Massa and Maldonado.
"I know Felipe really well – I've known Felipe since [I was in] F3 and maybe GP2, having such a good relationship with him, so with him I gave him a call and he had calmed down also and he was able to understand the position," said Hamilton. "With Pastor, I've seen him, known him for many years, and he is doing a fantastic job. He was very quick that weekend and I am not wanting to put anyone out of the grand prix."
Hamilton admitted that he had perhaps let the pressure get to him at Monaco as his weekend unraveled.
"I think it is a combination of many things," he said. "We all know what it is like to be under pressure and to put pressure on yourself to succeed. We all have good and bad days in the office, and that was definitely one of the worst weekends in the office. But that is motor racing, that is life and you learn from those situations. I have gone back and had a few days at home, training and I feel completely refreshed and looking forward to a more positive weekend."
Hamilton also expects McLaren to be particularly competitive in Canada. Asked if it was his best chance to beat Red Bull, he replied: "I would like to think so, but they have been fast at every circuit, they have been incredibly successful on all the circuits so far, so you have to assume they will be very quick here as well. But perhaps, as in the last race, the gap will be a little bit closer compared to places like Barcelona. I am expecting to see that through a lot of the field. I would definitely say looking at the next few races this is one of the better ones [for McLaren]."
Still, the 2007 and 2010 Montreal victor stopped short of declaring himself the favourite to win this weekend.
"I never like to go into a weekend as favorite and I don't like to be too upbeat – I am not Muhammad Ali and saying this weekend is going to be the best weekend ever.
"Coming off a very tough weekend, I feel I am racing against some very, very talented drivers who are going to be quick as well. I would rather do my talking on track, I feel the car will work well and feel I am in a good head space so I hope that will add to a good result."