Lewis Hamilton said radio communication issues led to his errant switch to intermediate tires late in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver was engaged in a spectacular battle for victory with his teammate Jenson Button in the final part of the race when he opted to pit for intermediates amid a rain shower. But the track dried almost immediately and he had to make an additional pit stop.
"We were having radio issues," Hamilton explained. "I could hear my engineers, but they couldn't hear me, so I was constantly asking for information but they couldn't hear me. So it was a very difficult call for them.
"I think there was perhaps one point when they got some information from me but maybe it was a little bit of info. I heard them say it was going to rain and it was already spitting, so we opted to go for the wet tires. I think they called me in and I did the lap. Anyway the tires went off and it wasn't necessarily the best call, but that's motor racing."
Even if he had not made the tire decision, Hamilton's hopes of victory were set to be dashed by a penalty for forcing Paul di Resta's Force India off the road as the McLaren did a spin-turn to rejoin after an error at the chicane.
"I made a big mistake," Hamilton admitted. "My left-front tire was pretty worn so I went a bit wide at the chicane and spun, which is very, very rare.
"Then after that I honestly have to apologize to Paul di Resta. I didn't see him. I had absolutely no clue. I don't know what happened but I got a penalty for something, which is to be expected, I guess, sometimes. So I apologise to him."
Button went on to win the grand prix, which Hamilton felt was a fair result.
"Congratulations to Jenson, he was pushing me hard the whole race and the better man won today," he said.
Hamilton was confident that McLaren would have had a 1-2 on pure speed, which he felt was an ideal way to head into the break between now and the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August.
"I think we can definitely say the team have done a fantastic job," said Hamilton. "For us to both be the most competitive this weekend I think is a fantastic way to go into the break. Of course we would have loved a 1-2. I feel like I let the team down a little bit. But we'll bounce back at the next race."