Hamilton apologises after late collision denies Albon first podium finish

Lewis Hamilton apologised to Alex Albon after the world champion accepted full responsibility for their late crash in Brazil.

Hamilton, running behind Albon after he stopped for a third time under a late safety car, attempted to pass the London-born Red Bull driver for second place with just two laps to run.

But the Mercedes driver smashed into the side of the rookie, spinning the Red Bull man around. Hamilton limped to the flag with damage to the front of his car but later received a five-second penalty, demoting him from third to seventh.

Hamilton's late lunge denied Albon, 23, a first career podium. He finished outside the points in 14th.

"I apologise to Alex, and I hold my hands up for the accident," said Hamilton, who was also hit with two penalty points on his drivers' licence.

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: The Red Bull Racing team watch the action during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Fans run onto the track after the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Fans run onto the track after the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrate in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates with Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with the team in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Alfa Romeo Racing C38 Ferrari on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Daniil Kvyat of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Russia during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with third placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel is seen in the pit lane during the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by AMANDA PEROBELLI / POOL / AFP) (Photo by AMANDA PEROBELLI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas is seen in the pit lane during the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by AMANDA PEROBELLI / POOL / AFP) (Photo by AMANDA PEROBELLI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Second placed Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Bernie Ecclestone, Chairman Emeritus of the Formula One Group, talks with footballer Dani Alves in the Paddock before the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: A fan shows off a tattoo featuring Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 leads Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Top three finishers Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing, Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Toro Rosso's French driver Pierre Gasly (L) greets Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton at the end of the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Footballer Dani Alves and former F1 drivers Rubens Barrichello talk in the Paddock before the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
The damaged car of Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel arrives in boxes during the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by Carl DE SOUZA / AFP) (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates at the podium of the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA / AFP) (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel reacts while a crane lifts his car during the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by Douglas Magno / AFP) (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel reacts while a crane lifts his car during the F1 Brazil Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 17, 2019. (Photo by Douglas Magno / AFP) (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)
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"I totally accept the blame. It was not my intention and you hardly ever see me collide with anyone. In hindsight I could have waited to make the move, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

"An opportunity arose and I was in shooting distance. I gave it a shot because in my mind I was trying to catch Max [Verstappen] for the win.

"That won't be the last time Alex is in position for a podium. He will have many more great races so, as hard a pill as it is for him to swallow, I hope he can learn from the experience."

A statement from the stewards read: "Albon was on his normal race line. Hamilton attempted to pass on the inside, but he was unable to get far enough inside to accomplish the overtake.

"By the time he realised there would not be sufficient room he was unable to back out of the situation and the collision followed. The stewards determined that Hamilton was predominantly at fault."

Albon, who was recently rewarded for his fine start to life at Red Bull with a new deal for 2020, said: "I'm not angry at Lewis. I feel like it's one of those things.

"Of course I wanted the podium and I felt like we deserved it today, but that's it really. It's racing."

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