F1: Hamilton hopes for the best after Singapore Grand Prix flop
PUBLISHED: 09:24 27 September 2010 | UPDATED: 10:21 29 September 2010
LEWIS Hamilton admits winning the Formula 1 world title will be difficult now following his Singapore Grand Prix crash.
"I guess I’ll just have to keep my head down and hope for the best."
However, he intends to ‘fight to the end’ over the final four races of the 2010 season and ‘hope for the best’.
Successive non finishes in Italy and Singapore have left the 25-year-old Herts-born driver 20 points adrift of championship leader Mark Webber.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star has also been overtaken in the drivers’ standings by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who made it back-to-back wins from pole position around the floodlit Marina Bay street circuit yesterday (Sunday).
With four races left, starting with the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on October 10, and 100 points still up for grabs, Hamilton hasn’t totally given up hope of regaining the title, although he concedes it is a long shot.
The Tewin F1 hero said: “I’m 20 points behind Mark [Webber], and that’s a reasonable gap, but it’s not an insurmountable one. I guess I’ll just have to keep my head down and hope for the best.
“I’m not going to think specifically about the world championship right now, I’m just going to try to enjoy the rest of the season – and whatever happens happens. But I’ll keep fighting to the end, because it’s the only way I know.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh echoed that, saying either Hamilton or defending champion Jenson Button could still win the title.
“There are four grands prix left to run – four grands prix left to win in fact – and both our drivers are within a win of the drivers’ world championship lead,” said Whitmarsh.
“So, yes, we’re still within striking distance of taking both the drivers’ world championship and the constructors’ world championship, and that’s what we’re still intending to do our utmost to achieve.”
Of his collision with Webber in Singapore, Hamilton added: “I’m still not exactly sure what happened with Mark and me.
“But, telling it from my point of view, I saw that he’d made a mistake, and had got caught up with the backmarkers, so I was in position to slipstream him. I was on the outside going into Turn Seven, and he was in my blind-spot, just behind me.
“I thought I’d got sufficiently past him, though. I braked, turned in, and tried to leave enough room for him on the inside – and the next thing I knew I’d got clipped, my tyre was blown, and that was it. But, as the saying goes, I guess that’s motor racing.”
Whitmarsh felt Hamilton – who was watched by girlfriend and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger – was unfortunate to retire with a puncture on lap 36 after driving ‘a great race’.
The McLaren chief said: “We reckon he has good reason to consider himself rather unlucky, since he appeared to have pulled off a sound overtaking manoeuvre only to be bumped out of the race by the car he’d passed. But I guess that’s motor racing.
“He’s disappointed – we’re all disappointed – but we’ll regroup and continue to fight for both the drivers’ world championship and the constructors’ world championship.”
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