Lewis Hamilton gave a dejected apology to his Mercedes team after a 'brake magic' steering wheel mode cost him a shot at an Azerbaijan Grand Prix victory.
Mercedes had struggled all weekend until seven-time F1 champion Hamilton qualified on the front-row in Baku.
But after leading in the opening stages of the race, a slow pit stop where Hamilton was delayed by the incoming Pierre Gasly looked to have forced him into settling for third, behind both Red Bulls.
The British driver, however, was afforded an opportunity when championship rival Max Verstappen crashed out from the lead in the dying stages after a tyre failure, causing a red-flag delay.
At the standing restart with two laps remaining, Hamilton slipped down the inside of Sergio Perez but a heavy lock-up ensured he would leave Baku pointless, a mistake he explained when speaking to Sky Sports F1.
"Naturally, it is quite a humbling experience, to be honest," said Hamilton. "We worked so hard to come back from out of the top 10.
"It was looking so good. I put everything on the line and I fought as hard as I could today.
"Just on that restart, I think when Checo moved over towards me, I clipped a switch and it basically switched the brakes off so I just went straight. It is very hard to take.
"Just very sorry to the team who worked very hard for these points but we will regroup and come back stronger."
Asked if the issue stemmed from a 'brake magic' mode mentioned on team radio post-race, which is to do with brake balance, he replied: "Yeah. I had no idea I had even touched it."
On missing out on the chance to reclaim the championship lead from Verstappen, Hamilton added: "For sure, I think it was very unfortunate for Max.
"I would say today is a good strike of bad luck. It is what it is. We will try to regroup and come back stronger at the next race."
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