Lewis Hamilton capped off his troubled return to Australia yesterday by tangling with local hero Mark Webber and then blaming his own McLaren team for costing him a podium finish.
Hamilton, who had fought from 11th on the grid to nip at the heels of second placed Renault driver Robert Kubica, finished sixth after a race he described as "one of the drives of my life".
However, he felt he could have at least anchored a McLaren one-two, with team-mate Jenson Button winning, had McLaren not called him in for a second change of tyres while his rivals stayed out.
"Unfortunately due to the strategy I was put further back and then I got taken out by Mark Webber," Hamilton told TV reporters, after earlier describing the pitstop as a "terrible idea" over the team radio.
"I am happy with the job that I did, I think I honestly drove my heart out today and I think I deserved better than what I ended up with. But I'll keep fighting to the next race."
When asked about the pitstop, Hamilton sighed heavily. "All I know is that the guys always do a fantastic job but the strategy was not right," he said. "Everyone else in front of me did one stop, for some reason I did two."
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said Hamilton had made his displeasure clear on the team radio, but was called in because his tyres were wearing and he was losing pace to Kubica.
"With the information we had at the time, given where Lewis was, we thought that was the right call," he told reporters.