Hamilton 'cool' with Massa
Lewis Hamilton says he has no problem with Felipe Massa "regardless of the negative comments that he is coming out with."
The pair have clashed a number of times this season, with an incident in Singapore causing an angry reaction from Massa. Last weekend in Japan they came together again as Hamilton moved over on the Ferrari under braking for the chicane, prompting more criticism. Hamilton admits that the clashes have caused an issue between the two of them, but that he still has full respect for Massa.
"Of course, the situation has not been great for some time now," Hamilton said. "But I think I've always had respect for Felipe and I still do today regardless of the negative comments that he is coming out with. It is easy in this sport when you are competitive and in the heat of the moment to say things you don't mean.
"Whether or not he does mean them, regardless, I have tried to show respect and particularly in the last race... I am really sorry for that, I really didn't see him, and I saw the replay: he was quite far up alongside me, out of my mirrors and I could not see anything, so by the time I saw him it was too late."
Hamilton also pointed to his own lack of competitiveness recently as a catalyst for the incidents.
"I've been I the wrong place in the last few races. I had the car to be a bit further ahead. Perhaps if I was doing the right job I wouldn't be in this situation with Felipe, but all respect due and I hope in the future we can put our guards down and he can be cool with me. I am cool with him."
Asked about his own recent troubles, Hamilton told the BBC that he wouldn't be able to turn around his form immediately.
"It will take a lot to recover from the difficulties that I've had this year. I'm my own biggest critic and very hard on myself but I have huge belief in my abilities."
Hamilton said that there was no one reason as to why he wasn't performing, but that he would work harder to overcome the problems.
"It's about driving, it's about where you are in your head, it's about a combination of things. I've just not been doing the job. In Spa, I got caught out and should have finished on the podium and I didn't. In Hungary, I was [leading the race] and spun and I could have won the race.
"It is just human errors and you can't do too much other than learn from those things. I still keep pushing regardless of how many blows I take. I try and stand up by not giving up, no matter how tough it gets in racing. You just keep going and some day I will be successful."