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Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Thursday, 16 September 2010 12:13 UK

Lewis Hamilton uses Monza error to inspire F1 title bid

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton makes contact with Ferrari's Felipe Massa

Hamilton goes out on lap one in Monza (UK only)

Lewis Hamilton says he wants to use his mistake at the Italian Grand Prix as motivation for the critical final five races of the championship.

The McLaren driver lost his lead in the championship after retiring on the first lap following a collision with Felipe Massa's Ferrari.

"In bad situations you soak up all the lessons that need learning," he said.

"You absorb that information, put the bad experiences to one side, use the benefits and move on."

Hamilton is now second in the championship, five points adrift of his Australian rival, Red Bull driver Mark Webber.

Webber, Hamilton, Ferrari's Italian GP winner Fernando Alonso, McLaren's Jenson Button and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel are all within a win of each other heading into the final phase of the season.

Immediately after the Monza race, the McLaren driver said "it is mistakes like I made that lose world championships."

Andrew Benson blog

But, after reflecting on what what wrong in Monza, Hamilton has turned his attention to the next grand prix in Singapore on 26 September.

"I got up on Monday morning and I was already focused on the next race, improving the car and closing in on the world championship" Hamilton said on his website.

"It's one of those experiences that happens in motor racing. It's always so disappointing but it's not the first time my race has ended on the first lap, and it probably won't be the last unfortunately.

"You can't dwell on the negatives - we are still in a good position, and we need to capitalise on that."

The championship tension was ratcheted up further at the final European race of the season with the top five drivers now separated by just 24 points.

I'll keep on pushing - I go to Singapore to win

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton took the chequered flag last season in Singapore but says his first priority must be to finish the remaining races.

"I've had two non-finishes and one win in the last three races - and, while that's not bad, it does mean that I lost points to some of the other drivers in the hunt for the title," Hamilton, the 2008 champion, added.

"Those results aren't enough to get me the title. I'll keep pushing.

"I'll take each race as it comes, but I'll also be making sure I get to the finish of the next five races - that's more important than anything. I go to Singapore to win."

Button finished second to Alonso in Italy and said that while he was frustrated not to win, he was happy that his title chances had been boosted by making up ground on Hamilton and Webber.

"I had mixed emotions on Sunday," Button said.

You can't help but look at the drivers' championship table and just think: 'Wow, how can it be so close?'

Jenson Button

"Obviously I wanted to win the race and, having led most of it, that was probably an achievable ambition.

"But I also managed to score some very useful points over the guys ahead of me in the championship. And that gave me a great feeling.

"What was also interesting was the damage to the rear of my car. Fernando had hit me on the first lap, and it caused some damage to the floor - but I didn't realise quite how much damage it had caused until I saw the car after the race.

"I was quite surprised that we were able to have such good race pace given the damage to the floor.

"Would I have felt better if I'd won the race, but had Lewis and Mark alongside me on the podium? That's a difficult one to answer.

"But I think in the immediate aftermath of the race, you tend to look at what might have happened - and if I'd stayed ahead of Fernando after his pit stop, then it's reasonable to assume I had every chance of winning the race.

"So, did we get the strategy wrong? People have said it was a case of who blinked first.

"But, really, the fact was that we didn't have the fastest car in the race, and, while it would have been possible to have kept the lead, Fernando's pace meant that, at best, that was still quite a long-shot.

"I scored 18 points on a day when Lewis scored none, Mark took home eight and Sebastian 12.

"Now, you can't help but look at the drivers' championship table and just think: 'Wow, how can it be so close?'

"It's funny - after Spa (the previous race), everyone was saying it was a two-horse race between Lewis and Mark, but I can easily see this championship going right down to the last race.

"I think we've seen that no one driver's going to walk away with the world title - there's going to be a fight right to the very end."

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see also
Mistake may cost title - Hamilton
13 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso beats Button to Monza win
12 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Italian Grand Prix photos
12 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton regrets 'wrong choice'
11 Sep 10 |  Formula 1

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