Hamilton takes blame for Massa contact

Stephan Heublein

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton saw his title hopes take a hit in Monza on Sunday after retiring on the first lap of the race. The Briton had been hoping for a strong finish with future tracks expected to suit the rival Red Bull car better, but left the Autodromo on Sunday night with zero points.

After jumping to fourth from fifth on the grid at the first chicane, he challenged Felipe Massa for third at the second chicane, but knocked his front-right wheel off Massa's rear-left, causing terminal damage to the wheel. He ended his race in the gravel of the first Lesmo turn, much to the delight of the fanatical Ferrari supporters.

"I made a good start, gained a position, got up to fourth, and, at that moment, perhaps I should have just stayed there for a while," Hamilton said after retiring. "But I put my car up the inside of Felipe into Turn Four, trying to get third, and that was probably a little bit too much.