Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has conceded his costly bad start in the Japanese Grand Prix was the result of a mistake.

Hamilton, who lined up alongside teammate Nico Rosberg on front row, dropped to eighth place after slowing off the line.

He eventually recovered to third at the finish, but gave up 10 points in his championship battle against Rosberg, who is now 33 points in the clear with four races to go.

Leading up to the start, there were damp patches on the even-numbered side of the grid - but Hamilton confirmed that that did not contribute to his poor getaway.

"I don’t think the damp patch had anything to do with it, I made a mistake. And working my way up from there, it was tricky. But I did the best I could.

"I just got wheelspin."

On where he had expected to end up after the botched start, he said: "Honestly I can’t remember. I was far back and looking to go forwards.

"The middle stint the car felt good, generally the car felt great. I fought hard at the end but just didn’t make it."

Hamilton had battled Max Verstappen for second in the closing stages of the race, eventually forced to take the escape road in the final chicane in response to a late defensive move from the Dutchman.

He questioned Verstappen's driving over the radio, but wouldn't be drawn in into further discussion after the race, saying: "It doesn’t really matter now. It is done and I move forwards."

Gallery: Hamilton admits bad start caused by "mistake", not damp patch

Got a tip for us? Email: