Lewis Hamilton said he was not too surprised to crash out of the Italian Grand Prix, claiming he was pushing like in qualifying for the whole race. The McLaren driver lost control of his car at the Lesmo corner with less than two laps to go and crashed heavily against the barriers.
Hamilton, in third having started from pole, was pushing hard to catch Jenson Button. The Briton was uninjured and he claimed the crash was expected as he was trying too hard.
"It's built like a rock so it's all good," Hamilton told BBC television. "Every lap I was pushing like a qualifying lap so it's to be expected. We didn't have the pace and I was pushing as hard as I could.
"I can only say I'm sorry to the team. They did a great job and we weren't quick enough this weekend, but I did all I could to catch the Brawns and to win it for them [the team]. I apologize to all my fans and send my love to my family."
Although Hamilton said his car has improved a lot, the World Champion admitted it was still lacking pace compared to the Brawns.
"I would say it's a lot better, you know, the car was still good today, just not good enough. The Brawns were just a little bit better.
"We've got some upgrades coming and hopefully that will give us a little bit of an edge and maybe I won't have to push 130 percent, maybe I can push 110 percent."
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh praised Hamilton's determination despite the crash.
"I've not been to the garage, but obviously the team's really disappointed," he said. "Lewis is just a racer, just pushes and pushes and that's what he was doing. He'd just set a purple [fastest] sector, he was racing to the very end and that's how he is. You don't want to change that in a great, great champion and a great racing driver like Lewis.
"But, obviously, real disappointment that here he had a sub-optimal strategy, probably seven seconds slower than a one stop, he was there though fighting with the Brawns at the end of that race so he was the ever competitive, just pushing like hell.
He added: "He didn't explain on the radio but you can see he set the fastest, purple, first sector on that last lap. He knew it was one lap to go, just lost it coming out of Lesmo and I think it was just pushing so hard. He wants to win and compete all the time and he was homing in on Jenson. That's what he wanted to do."
Whitmarsh said there were thoughts about telling Hamilton to bring the car home only after the accident.
"There are now, of course. But, I think we are a racing team, he was there to push and he's now an experienced racing driver. It's not in his spirit and his mode. We can criticise ourselves, we can criticise Lewis but that's what makes Lewis the great racing driver and the world champion that he is.
"He pushes every single lap, as he did throughout this race. It didn't quite work out for him this weekend and it's disappointing but we'll rebuild, he'll rebuild and we'll be in Singapore trying to win that race.