Lewis Hamilton’s performance in the Belgian Grand Prix decisively reminded us that he is a great driver by unreservedly apologising for the 175mph collision which eliminated his McLaren-Mercedes from the Belgian Grand Prix.

There have been many fine drivers over the years who would rather chew on a light bulb than acknowledge that they were in the wrong, but Lewis clearly is not ranked in that number.

Although he initially believed that he’d given Kamui Kobayashi a suitably wide berth going into the braking area for the Les Combes corner, after examining the TV coverage of the episode in detail he put his hand up and conceded that the collision had been his fault after all.

“After watching the replay, I realise it was my fault today 100 per cent,” he said. “I didn’t give Kobayashi enough room though I thought I was past. Apologies to Kamui and my team. The team deserves better from me. I think I could have finished in the top three, but a win was not on the cards for me."

Nor is the world championship, sadly. Sebastian Vettel may be charmingly coy on his prospects of becoming title winner for the second straight year, but as triple world champ Niki Lauda made clear, “It’s certainly all over, the only question is when.”

And who will stop him in his tracks from making it three championships in a row by the end of 2012?