Lewis Hamilton not giving up on F1 title after all

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton concedes world title

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will not give up his fight for the world championship despite finishing ninth in the Italian Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel secured his sixth victory of the year to take him 81 points clear of Hamilton, prompting the Brit to rule out a win.

But he later backtracked, saying: "When I got out of the car I was angry, and definitely thought that would be it.

"But I've been back with my engineers and I'm not going to give up."

Hamilton fought back up into the points after dropping almost to the back of the field following an early pit stop after he picked up a slow puncture.

Lewis Hamilton 'drove like an idiot' in Italian GP qualifying

A radio problem meant that stop took place at least three laps after it should have done and having to make it forced him onto a disadvantageous two-stop strategy.

"Obviously that's that for the championship," Hamilton said immediately after the race at Monza,

Asked to confirm he thought his chances were now over, he added: "I think it would be sensible to say yes."

Hamilton started 12th after making a mistake during the second part of qualifying, damaging his car and failing to get into the top 10 shoot-out - an error that led him to say he had driven "like an idiot".

"It was a difficult weekend," Hamilton said. "I'm ninth, and we should have been much further ahead. So I'm very disappointed with myself.

"I blew it in qualifying and it was impossible to catch up. The radio failed in the race and I didn't know what the hell was going on. I missed my pit stop by quite a few laps. It was a disaster of a weekend."

Italian GP highlights: Sebastian Vettel wins convincingly at Monza

Hamilton now heads to Singapore for the next race on 22 September knowing exactly what he has to do.

"I basically need to win every race, which is the tallest order ever, but I can do nothing but try," he added.

"Our car was good in Hungary when we had higher downforce, and we'll have that going into Singapore where we can hope for some improvements.

"I hope we'll be strong, get some more wins this year. I wish it was a closer battle at the front. It's a shame it is like it is."