Tag Archives: mistake

Chris Ashton backed by Saracens coach Paul Gustard

Ashton backed by Saracens coach Gustard after poor Six Nations

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

21:49 GMT, 2 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:14 GMT, 3 April 2013

Chris Ashton, the under-fire England wing, has received the backing of Saracens defence coach Paul Gustard.

The club head into Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster at Twickenham believing Ashton is in excellent form despite his poor Six Nations campaign that led to an inquest into his tackling.

Ashton scored his first try in almost two months last Saturday, against Wasps, and Gustard expects more in the Heineken Cup.

Out of sorts: Ashton scored just one try in the Six Nations

Out of sorts: Ashton scored just one try in the Six Nations

Jumping for joy: Chris Ashton celebrates after scoring against Wasps

Jumping for joy: Ashton celebrates after scoring against Wasps last weekend

‘Even if Chris had not scored a try, it does not mean he’s not played well,’ Gustard said. ‘He’s done really, really well for us in the last two weeks and is in a good place after a good show at Wasps.

The problem of being a wing in rugby is that it’s a bit like being a goalkeeper in football. You are the last line in defence; a mistake can cost you.

‘Chris is not a bad defender. Sometimes, he misses a tackle but so what Everyone misses a tackle,’ Gustard added.

On the run: Ashton charges upfield playing for Saracens

On the run: Ashton charges upfield playing for Saracens

He could also be Ashton’s coach on England’s summer tour of Argentina if he does not make the Lions trip to Australia.

Gustard is taking over temporarily because Andy Farrell will help coach the Lions with Warren Gatland.

‘I’m not going to change the way England defend,’ he said. ‘The system has worked well over the last season. It’s a matter of learning and developing as a coach.’

Rafael Benitez furious comments attack onChelsea fans and the club

I'm leaving at the end of the season! Furious Rafa finally cracks and blasts fans with 'agenda' as well as Chelsea for making him 'interim manager'

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

22:14 GMT, 27 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 27 February 2013

A furious Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season.

The interim Chelsea manager blasted the fans for their negative attitude towards him and told them to support the team.

His comments came after Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium in the FA Cup fifth-round.

Benitez also claimed the club's decision to appoint him as an 'interim manager' was a massive mistake.

Come on: Chelsea were lethargic during the game but did enough to beat Boro

Come on: Chelsea were lethargic during the game but did enough to beat Boro

More to follow.

England in control against India in third Test

England in control against India but Cook misses out on double-century

|

UPDATED:

14:14 GMT, 7 December 2012

If Alastair Cook had not contrived to run himself out when just 10 runs short of the third double hundred of his Test career he would almost certainly still have been batting at the end of the day. There just did not seem any way India could get him out.

Not only would Cook have joined Mike Gatting and Graeme Fowler in becoming only the third Englishman to score a Test double hundred in India but it would have been a fair bet that he could have gone on to a triple and avenge that six-run short-fall at Edgbaston last year which revealingly nagged at him so.

It really was a bizarre dismissal, Cook jumping out of the way of Virat Kohli's direct hit after he had decided against a single rather than grounding his bat before taking evasive action, which would have saved him.

The umpires consulted and at one stage even looked like they were going to ask MS Dhoni to withdraw an appeal against England for the third time in two years but they soon realised Cook had to go. The truth was that it was his mistake and he knew it.

Cook could not believe his aberration but he can hardly be condemned for it. He had started to look tired on the third morning of this third Test and, after more than a full day at the crease in this series, who could blame him.

It was not an error that he would have made at the start of an innings and nor can we expect him to do it again however long he bats. This is a man who truly learns from his rare mistakes.

Close: Alastair Cook fell just short of his double hundred

Close: Alastair Cook fell just short of his double hundred

The good news for Cook is that it
really should not stop England from winning this game and inflicting on
India successive Test defeats at home for the first time in more than 12
years. And that would be quite something.

Those two previous English doubles
here both came the last time England won a series in India 27 years ago
and there is no doubt that if this English vintage can now go on to
triumph it would be an achievement as good as anything they have
mustered since Andy Flower took control in 2009.

If the third day of this Test lacked
the record-breaking impact of the second then it was still as
satisfying for England. They lost wickets along the way but by the end
of it had taken their first innings to the heights of 509 for six, a
lead of 193, and their mission of batting India out of the match was
almost complete.

This was a totally professional,
totally pragmatic display from England. Firstly they ensured they did
not lose early wickets in a morning of application and then, when India
had given themselves a sniff by reducing England to 420 for five, a lead
of just 104, came the most positive batting of the day from Samit
Patel, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann. It left India with a monumental task
if they are to get out of Kolkata with the series still square.

Nothing summed up India's plight more
than the fortunes of Ishant Sharma who endured an absolute nightmare in
the field which brought back memories of their hapless defence of their
world No1 crown in England last year.

Marching on: Kevin Pietersen made a fast contribution as England built a lead

Marching on: Kevin Pietersen made a fast contribution as England built a lead

The dropping of Cook on just 17 by
Cheteshwar Pujara could be described as unfortunate but the spilling of a
simple caught and bowled opportunity by Ishant when the England captain
had made 156 was downright careless. Not only that but he seemed to
fumble whenever the ball went near him, the epitome of all that is wrong
in the field with this ageing India team.

When Cook and Jonathan Trott were
together England looked as though they would score at least 600 and the
captain will be delighted that Trott, who has endured a relatively lean
2012, was back to his machine-like best, only one that turned and took
his edge from Pragyan Ojha denying him a century.

Not so Ian Bell who, once Cook had
departed in such a freak manner, wasted the chance to put his own poor
year behind him on his return to the side after paternity leave with a
loose drive to give Ishant a moment's respite.

It was not necessary for Bell to
play such a cavalier stroke as Kevin Pietersen was moving through the
gears at the other end and, when he struck the first three balls after
tea to the boundary, he looked sure to emulate Cook in scoring his 23rd
Test century for England.

Surprisingly Pietersen was to fall
sweeping at Ravi Ashwin, a bowler who was expected to play a big part in
this series but whose mystery has turned out to be as predictable as a
latter-day episode of Midsomer Murders. Saeed Ajmal, or even the first
Inspector Barnaby, Ashwin is not.

Patel has been promising to play a
significant innings in this series and again looked the part against
Indian spin before cutting another one that turned from Ojha to slip
where Virender Sehwag parried and then clasped the chance.

Prior then showed why England so
value him at seven with one of his positive counter-attacks and, with
Swann showing more responsibility at eight, England added 56 in the
final 13 overs of a wearying day for India.

Their spinners had improved but that
was mainly because there is now signs of turn in this controversial
pitch and, with the bounce becoming more uneven for the seamers, this
really should be England's game.

Now they just have to make their superiority count and the transformation in this series will be complete.

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from
the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control
for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations. The
BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies
Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.
MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and
supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Michael Schumacher tainted his F1 legacy – Bernie Ecclestone

Schuey tainted his legacy by coming out of retirement, claims F1 chief Ecclestone

|

UPDATED:

15:24 GMT, 7 December 2012

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone fears Michael Schumacher has damaged his legacy by coming out of retirement to race with Mercedes.

Ecclestone claimed the seven-time world champion's decision to return to the sport in 2010 was a big mistake.

Speaking to the official Formula One website, Ecclestone said: 'I would rather he had stopped as a seven-time world champion than stopping now.

End of the road: Schumacher has retired for a second time after a largely unsuccessful stint at Mercedes

End of the road: Schumacher has retired for a second time after a largely unsuccessful stint at Mercedes

'People new to the sport, people who have joined the F1 fan fraternity just recently, will remember Michael now, not as he was.

'They don't see the hero that he was but the human that can fail. I think the important thing is to know when you can't do what you used to do any more and then hand it over to somebody else. I hope that's what I can do: when I feel I can't deliver, I will certainly say goodbye.'

Schumacher spoke of his relief after deciding to retire for a second time and has handed the baton of reviving Mercedes' fortunes over to Lewis Hamilton.

Loss: Ecclestone claims Formula One will miss Schumacher

Loss: Ecclestone claims Formula One will miss Schumacher

But despite three largely unsuccessful seasons in his second stint in Formula One, Ecclestone acknowledged Schumacher will be a loss to the grand prix paddock.

He said: 'He enjoyed racing and was there helping to do good things for Formula One. We will miss Michael, because even though he wasn't winning races in those three years, he is still very popular.'

Lionel Messi: Barcelona wouldn"t be normal without me

Messi hits back in defence of his Barca team-mates as he insists they'd be brilliant without him

|

UPDATED:

23:52 GMT, 3 December 2012

Lionel Messi says he is not a 'tinpot dictator' and believes it is nonsense to suggest the Barcelona team rely on him.

In a rare interview with Dutch magazine ELF Voetball, Messi speaks out about claims the team revolves around him.

The prolific scorer, who is only one goal shy of Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a year.

Mr Popular: Lionel Messi insists Barcelona are strong because they are a unit

Mr Popular: Lionel Messi insists Barcelona are strong because they are a unit

He said: 'I am not a tinpot dictator. I don’t care what people say; my team-mates know that I am not like that; they know full well what I am really like.'

His comments come a week after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that the current Barcelona team, largely praised as one of the greatest club teams in history, would just be a 'normal' side without their Argentinian magician.

Messi added: 'Here at Barcelona, I have really learned to play in a team. In the Barcelona second team I learned a lot.

'At Barcelona they work quite differently to the rest of the world. I came from Argentina, where I did whatever I liked; mostly it was running and little more. Here I really learned to play in a team.'

Goals galore: Messi is one goal short of Gerd Muller's record for a calendar year

Goals galore: Messi is one goal short of Gerd Muller's record for a calendar year

Goals galore: Messi is one goal short of Gerd Muller's record for a calendar year

He claims he never listens to the praise that comes his way.

Messi added: 'I am grateful for these things, and I appreciate them, but I am my own hardest critic.

'I know when I haven’t performed well or when I’ve made a mistake. Deep down I don’t need anybody to tell me anything, but I learn from everything that is said, and it all goes to help me try to improve.'

Asked what went wrong last season, he added ominously: 'I don’t know what went wrong last season, but it will serve to make certain it doesn’t happen again, and that we will always hunger for more.'

Ricky Hatton feels pain of defeat

Tears follow tragic mistake that turned into an ordeal for brave Hatton

|

UPDATED:

01:01 GMT, 25 November 2012

Reality dawned deep into the ninth round. A left hook to the body stripped away the layers of self-delusion.

It ended the fight and it ended the unwisely extended career of Ricky Hatton.

He finished on his knees, gulping for breath, betraying the pain.

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

The tears began to flow, and Saturday night Manchester wept with him. His face was swollen, a purple bruise consuming his right eye.

He looked a broken fighter, a brutally broken man.

Vyacheslav Senchenko, at 35 a year older than Hatton, a smooth technician yet not a notoriously heavy puncher.

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

He is not a man equipped to take out a former world champion with a single body shot.

Yet you sensed that he had simply inflicted retribution for the life that Hatton had led during his three-and-a-half years of retirement.

Cocaine, depression, alcohol abuse, wanton excess; the list is notoriously long. And they all came rushing to the surface when Senchenko threw that shot.

Hatton had given his all in the only way he knows. His timing was helplessly astray, his ability to sustain pressure was sadly reduced.

But he came forward incessantly, despite being a caricature of the fighter he used to be.

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Fighters are the most self-deluding of sportsmen, yet in the abject moments of defeat, Hatton seemed to glimpse the inevitable.

'I keep picking me a*** up off the floor,' he said. 'I don't know how many times I can do it. I'm not a failure, me. I'm not a failure. I'm so sorry, so sorry.'

But the words were spoken from a face which was taking on gargoyle proportions.

Even a light-punching welterweight can inflict depressing damage, and Senchenko had revealed a craftsman's style.

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Hatton had gone through his routine in the manner of an old music-hall artist; knowing the lines, reacting to the cues.

From the grotesque choreography of the ring walk to the all-action, fast-punching, not-a-backward-step style, he had demanded the applause of 20,000 Mancunians, many of them quite sober.

But all the time you remembered that this was the man who had swollen his body to 15 and a half stones, and had then been required to lose half of his body weight to re-enter the ring.

Of course, he had little to offer in terms of endurance and punch tolerance. And yet, the ending still held the power to shock, as his legs betrayed him and his lungs refused to suck in the air.

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The flatterers were already whispering as he left the ring.

Senchenko was a tough choice for the first fight back. Perhaps an easier opponent next time, working slowly to another title shot

But it was nonsense, dangerous nonsense. The comeback was a tragic mistake, the fight a terrible ordeal.

The career is over. And Ricky Hatton knows it, better than anyone.

Patrick Collins: Let"s hope Pep Guardiola has the right answers when Roman comes calling

Let's hope Pep has the right answers when Roman comes calling

|

UPDATED:

01:45 GMT, 25 November 2012

As he watches the last leaves of autumn scuttle across Central Park, Josep Guardiola considers his options.

Does he take a cab to the Garden to
watch the Knicks play the Detroit Pistons Will he go across to Jersey
to see the Giants against the Packers

Or should he simply enjoy a lazy family lunch in his elegant apartment on the Upper West Side

Waiting game: Pep Guardiola will likely get the call at the end of the season

Waiting game: Pep Guardiola will likely get the call at the end of the season

He could, of course, jab a few buttons and watch Chelsea v Manchester City, direct from Stamford Bridge.

But having treated himself to a year's sabbatical from the game, he may resist the temptation.

In any case, City are no more than marginal figures on the European scene.

As for Chelsea, what possible interest could they hold for a serious man like Pep Guardiola

More from Patrick Collins…

Patrick Collins: Tears follow tragic mistake that turned into an ordeal for brave Hatton
25/11/12

Patrick Collins: How 65 seconds of confusion cost England their chance
24/11/12

Patrick Collins: What's the point of a 5bn league if England can't make it to the World Cup
17/11/12

Patrick Collins: Twickenham man feeling off-colour as panto season comes early for England
17/11/12

Patrick Collins: Why do we put up with these obscenities just because it's football
10/11/12

Patrick Collins: Wilshere is back in action – the miracles will follow
27/10/12

Patrick Collins: A sport without shame gets the man it deserves in cynical Audley
27/10/12

Patrick Collins: We owe it to young Danny Rose to take a stand against these vile bigots
20/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

/11/24/article-0-1626D135000005DC-804_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Dismissed: Roberto Di Matteo just another Chelsea manager to be ousted” class=”blkBorder” />

Dismissed: Roberto Di Matteo just another Chelsea manager to be ousted

It was these two fine fellows who backed John Terry at every stage of his defence to the charge of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

And it was they who masterminded the club's calamitous handling of the Mark Clattenburg affair, when an honest referee was baselessly accused of racially insulting John Obi Mikel.

The complaint having been investigated and contemptuously dismissed by both the police and the FA, Chelsea concocted a noxious piece of selfjustification which concluded: 'Chelsea FC now hopes that all concerned can continue to carry out their duties without prejudice.'

If they really believe that poor Clattenburg will not become the target of vile chants the first time he makes a contentious decision, then they are as stupid as they are cynical.

The owner of the club is not stupid. But neither is he omniscient. When it comes to cultivating the good opinion of Vladimir Putin, or generating billions from the mineral assets of the old Soviet Union, then Roman Abramovich is your only man.

Yet you would need to be daft or desperate to seek his views on football.

Keeping the seat warm: Chelsea's new interim coach Rafael Benitez

Keeping the seat warm: Chelsea's new interim coach Rafael Benitez

But his are the views which prevail, whether he is championing the cause of his favoured players like Andriy Shevchenko or Fernando Torres, or selecting a stream of managers that he will ultimately fire.

In effect, he is a fan with absurdly unlimited funds. He pays the bills and sets the tone.

Thus we have a situation in which one person serves an FA ban for racial abuse and yet retains the club captaincy, while another can win the Champions League and lose his job.

That is the kind of club that Abramovich has created. Yet he knows precisely who he needs to take them forward.

Not Rafael Benitez; he has been hired at considerable expense to serve a short-term purpose.

No, the answer is the man currently enjoying the delights of New York City.

Pep Guardiola is, by common consent, the finest football coach in the world, having created a team that embodied his own ideals.

Thumbs up: Roman Abramovich moved swiftly to replace Di Matteo

Thumbs up: Roman Abramovich moved swiftly to replace Di Matteo

Barcelona have set unprecedented standards of technique and imagination. They play with a purity and flair which is frequently beautiful and occasionally irresistible.

When you employ Guardiola, you believe not only that he will bring success, but that he will endow your club with the class and style which he brought to Catalonia.

Such virtues command a fabulous price, sufficient even to tempt one as wealthy as Guardiola.

But as winter takes hold of Manhattan and the city shimmers with the glad glitter of Christmas, this civilised, cultivated individual may ask himself some fundamental questions.

Did he leave the Nou Camp merely to sprinkle some class over Stamford Bridge

Should it all go wrong, could he honestly endure the prospect of a late-night visit from Bruce and Ron

Finally, most importantly, did he really launch his mighty project and build his glorious team in order to become a billionaire's bauble in South-West London

Only Guardiola knows the answers. We trust that they will be the right ones.

QPR or Kiev There's only one winner for Harry

Harry Redknapp knows how the game is played.

The big game, the one where the winner lands the job he was after all the time.

Tiring of enforced unemployment, Harry had started to raise his profile.

Hints were dropped, ribs were nudged. Harry was available.

Last weekend, he went on Match of the Day and, with a risible show of reluctance, refused to answer the patently rehearsed question about his chances of following Mark Hughes at QPR.

Playing the game: Queens Park Rangers new manager Harry Redknapp

Playing the game: Queens Park Rangers new manager Harry Redknapp

Later, he confirmed the offer of an international post. Very lucrative. Huge challenge.

Why, his new nation might even knock England out of the World Cup.

Which would deeply offend his patriotic sensibilities but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. When he's the manager of Ukraine.

Ukraine! Can you imagine it Kiev is 1,618.2 miles from Bournemouth. How would Harry get home for tea

No, it was never going to happen and he knew it.

But it brought matters to a head.

Mark Hughes, pointless and apparently clueless, was suddenly out of work.

And Redknapp was manager of QPR.

We should not expect high achievement because they are a truly dreadful side.

But if it's low cunning you're after, then look no further. Harry's your man.

Knee jerk reactions: Neil Warnock

Knee jerk reactions: Neil Warnock

P.S

Since the misdeeds of minor clowns occasionally escape our attention, let's hear it for Neil Warnock, of Leeds United.

Last week, he saw his player, Luke Varney, dismissed for assaulting a Millwall opponent.

Warnock performed a series of knee-jerk responses. The Millwall player was acting. Referees didn't understand.

'You want to educate them on what's a sending-off and what isn't,' said Warnock.

Best of all: 'The game's getting soft. That's not a proper sending-off.'

The FA have charged Warnock with improper conduct.

Presumably for reinforcing the notion that certain football managers are dim, arrogant and terminally pompous.

I hope he is given an educational suspension.

Lewis Hamilton is hugely motivated to join Mercedes, says Ross Brawn

Hamilton is 'hugely motivated' to join Mercedes, claims Brawn

|

UPDATED:

14:38 GMT, 16 November 2012

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has no doubt when Lewis Hamilton joins his team next season he will be fully committed.

McLaren counterpart Martin Whitmarsh last week suggested Hamilton had started to regret his switch to Mercedes after signing a 45million, three-year contract.

Whitmarsh further expressed hope the 27-year-old was thinking he had made 'an awful mistake' that would spill over into next season given Mercedes have only won one race in the last three years.

All smiles: Hamilton says he is 'very, very happy' with his decision

All smiles: Hamilton says he is 'very, very happy' with his decision

Hamilton conceded Whitmarsh's remarks had surprised him, naturally insisting he had absolutely no regrets and he was 'very, very happy with his decision'.

For Brawn, Hamilton is 'a key ingredient' in the team's bid to make their way to the front of the grid, to consistently winning races, and ultimately to potentially winning championships.

And Brawn is convinced that Hamilton is motivated enough to make his ambitions become reality.

'As an engineer you want to know your driver is the most competitive he can be, and Lewis is undoubtedly one of the fastest drivers in Formula One,' said Brawn, speaking ahead of Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Sign here, Ross: The Mercedes chief describes Hamilton as a 'key ingredient'

Sign here, Ross: The Mercedes chief describes Hamilton as a 'key ingredient'

Phil Duncan F1 blog

'So none of our engineers can have any doubt we have the fastest driver we could get, which is one box ticked we don't have to worry about.

'Lewis is at the perfect stage of his career where, after being at McLaren a long time, this is the next challenge for him.

'He is hugely motivated to face this challenge. We've a driver who is massively motivated to help us succeed more in the future, so that's another great asset.

'There will be some ups and downs, some difficult days and some great days – he knows that and we know that.

'So Lewis is a very important ingredient in helping us get to where we want to be.

'I don't want to underestimate Nico (Rosberg) either, he is a very important driver in the process.

'But obviously adding a fresh ingredient like Lewis brings another perspective as well.'

It could be argued with Hamilton on board, he will strengthen Brawn's hand when it comes to asking for funds to develop the car. Brawn, however, believe the Mercedes board have already proven they are not afraid to splash the cash by signing Hamilton in the first place.

'I don't know that Lewis gives me clout, but it shows a commitment, that our company are committed to succeeding,; added Brawn.

'To both persuade, and find the funds necessary, to bring in a driver like Lewis shows fantastic commitment.'

Arsene Wenger fears he"s overburdened Thomas Vermaelen

Wenger fears for Vermaelen after revealing captaincy's added pressure

|

UPDATED:

01:07 GMT, 10 November 2012

Arsene Wenger has admitted that handing the Arsenal captaincy to Thomas Vermaelen has added pressure to the Belgian’s game that he is finding difficult to handle.

Vermaelen has been pinpointed for criticism after a number of costly errors and Wenger revealed that the 26-year-old often stews over performances all day long.

Example: Thomas Vermaelen took the Arsenal captaincy from Robin van Persie

Example: Thomas Vermaelen took the Arsenal captaincy from Robin van Persie

But the Gunners boss preferred to look at the positives of Vermaelen’s recent displays and said that even if he was not wearing the armband he is deserving of a place in the starting line-up.

‘On Tuesday he was outstanding,’ Wenger said. ‘I think what has happened to him in recent weeks has affected his confidence.

‘Physically he has no problem. You put more pressure on yourself when you are the captain. You want to be the best player in the team. You cannot be a defender and not make a mistake.

'But if you make one then maybe you put a bit more pressure on yourself, because you think, “I’m captain and I cannot afford that”.

‘He is a guy who is completely involved in the game. He breathes his football from morning until night. He thinks about it and wants to do well.

Head boy: Arsene Wenger was delighted with his captain's response

Head boy: Arsene Wenger was delighted with his captain's response

‘If he deserves to play, I play him. Captain or not, I think he deserves to play. He can help our stability at the back. That is important.

‘The game at Schalke we wanted to win but we could not afford to lose it. We made at least the second part of the contract and overall it was important for him to be stable defensively.’

Lewis Hamilton regrets Mercedes move – Martin Whitmarsh

I hope Hamilton thinks he's made an awful mistake, says McLaren chief Whitmarsh

|

UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 9 November 2012

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Lewis Hamilton has already experienced regrets over his move to Mercedes.

Whitmarsh concedes he still does 'not fully understand' why Hamilton opted to quit McLaren after 14 years and join Mercedes, who have won just one race in three years since their return to Formula One.

Whitmarsh can appreciate Hamilton's desire 'to flee the nest' but remains disappointed by his decision, in particular as he feels it was made after a bad result in Singapore.

End of the road: Hamilton will leave McLaren at the end of the season

End of the road: Hamilton will leave McLaren at the end of the season

Hamilton should have won more titles, says Whitmarsh

Read Sportsmail's exclusive here

That was a race Hamilton should have won to firmly thrust himself back into the title picture, only to retire on lap 23 with a gearbox failure.

'It is always bad to make a decision in the aftermath of a bad race,' Whitmarsh told the official F1 website.

'He was pretty sure he was going to win that race and it (the retirement) was a disappointment.

Leading the pack: Hamilton retired from Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Leading the pack: Hamilton retired from Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

'I respect his decision, but I believe he would be better off with us; we are the stronger team and we intend to beat him next year.'

Since Hamilton announced he was off to join Mercedes on a 45million three-year contract, the Brackley-based outfit have failed to score a single point.

McLaren have hardly set the world on fire either, although Hamilton should have won in Abu Dhabi on Sunday only to suffer another mechanical issue while leading from pole position.

On your bike: Hamilton will join Mercedes on a three-year deal next term

On your bike: Hamilton will join Mercedes on a three-year deal next term

Asked whether Hamilton already regretted his decision, Whitmarsh added: 'I think he has on occasions, yes. 'Probably, when you make a decision you have to tell yourself that the decision is made so you have to look forward.

'You say “Okay, that it is in the past”, so you don't spend too much time thinking about why. You just look forward and make the best out of the new situation.

'You have to justify your decision. He is not going to say “Hey, they offered me more money”.

Regrets: Whitmarsh (left) hinted that Hamilton may have had second thoughts

Regrets: Whitmarsh (left) hinted that Hamilton may have had second thoughts

Phil Duncan F1 blog

'He is also not going to say he's made an awful mistake. I hope he thinks today he's made an awful mistake and I hope he thinks that next year.

'He's made that decision and he has to live with that decision.'

Despite such comments, Whitmarsh knows the end of the final race in Brazil in just over a fortnight's time will be highly emotional.

'Right now we still want to win races. We are motivated by that and our conversation circles around that,' he added.

'Maybe he is completely dispassionate about it, but my guess is we both will have very emotional moments in Brazil.

'I have known him since he was 11 and worked with him since his teens and I know we will both be very emotional after Brazil.

'We have had one or two emotional moments since the decision was taken and I believe, but you must ask him, that we have a very good relationship.'