Gallery: F1 champ Hamilton's mission impossible in Malaysian GP
WORLD F1 champion Lewis Hamilton struggled to keep his McLaren on the track in today s rain-lashed Malaysian Grand Prix. Torrential rain forced the second round of the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship to be abandoned with only 31 of the 56 scheduled laps co
WORLD F1 champion Lewis Hamilton struggled to keep his McLaren on the track in today's rain-lashed Malaysian Grand Prix.
Torrential rain forced the second round of the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship to be abandoned with only 31 of the 56 scheduled laps completed.
Hamilton eventually finished seventh as Jenson Button completed back-to-back victories for the Brawn GP team.
The Herts-born Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racer started from the sixth row of the Sepang grid.
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However, the 24-year-old from Tewin clawed his way through the field to seventh before the race was prematurely stopped because of the torrential rain.
Heavily fuelled and starting from 12th on the grid, Lewis attacked from the very start, slotting into 10th and staying in touch with many lighter-fuelled cars until making his first stop.
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Despite lacking the outright downforce of those around him, particularly through the middle sector, Lewis battled with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld.
He eventually moved up to fifth as those around him pitted for tyres and fuel.
His heavier fuel-load allowed him to remain on track until lap 22, when the rain started falling, and the team fitted full-wets in anticipation of a typical late afternoon deluge.
Lewis said: "It was a very tough call because you could only see the clouds, and then some parts of the track were wetter than others, so it was hard to commit."
When the predicted rains failed to fall, Lewis struggled to keep temperature in the full-wets and, with the rubber disintegrating, the team opted to switch him to inters on lap 27.
He then reverted back to full-wets and was fuelled to the end on lap 30 as the heavens opened.
"When the rain came down, it was impossible to drive," explained Lewis.
"I was aquaplaning everywhere - these were the most dangerous conditions I've ever raced in."
With the track almost undriveable due to the standing water, the decision was taken to red-flag the race on lap 32, when Lewis was fifth.
However, with the results declared a lap earlier, Lewis was finally classified seventh - scoring just one point, as the shortened race merited half points for the top eight.
"All I could do was try and keep the car on the track," added Lewis.
"It was the correct decision to stop the race because it was just too dangerous for everyone.
"I love it when it rains, but this was just too much."
The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19.