F1: Italian Grand Prix flop damages Hamilton’s world title hopes

PUBLISHED: 16:51 12 September 2010 | UPDATED: 08:02 13 September 2010

McLaren F1 star Lewis Hamilton takes a corner at Monza [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

McLaren F1 star Lewis Hamilton takes a corner at Monza [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]


LEWIS Hamilton’s Formula 1 world title hopes suffered a severe blow in Monza today (Sunday) after he crashed out of the 2010 Italian Grand Prix.

2010 Italian Grand Prix result

1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

2 Jenson Button (McLaren)

3 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

4 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

5 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

6 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

DNF Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver from Herts was a first lap casualty at the famous Monza circuit in Italy.

Fifth on the grid, an aggressive Hamilton was up to fourth on the opening lap after passing the Red Bull of title rival Mark Webber off the start line.

He then tried to take advantage of the battle between the two Ferraris battling for position behind early race leader Jenson Button.

Hamilton looked to take Felipe Massa on the inside at the Della Roggia chicane but the Ferrari driver’s rear wheel clipped the front of the Englishman’s car.

2010 FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship

Championship standings after Italian Grand Prix

1 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 187 points

2 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) 182

3 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 166

4 Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes) 165

5 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 163

6 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 124

That collision damaged the front right suspension of Hamilton’s MP4-25 – running minus the F-duct – and the Tewin driver had to retire from the race after ending up in the gravel at the Lesmo corner.

Hamilton was kicking himself afterwards and admits the mistake could prove costly in his bid to reclaim the F1 crown.

“I made a good start, gained a position, got up to fourth, and, at that moment, perhaps I should have just stayed there for a while,” said the 2008 world champion.

“But I put my car up the inside of Felipe [Massa] into Turn Four, trying to get third, and that was probably a little bit too much.

McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

“I was trying to position the car in a certain way, I was too close to Felipe, and his left rear clipped my right front.

“The car was damaged after that, and there was nothing I could do. You try your best, but some things just don’t go your way.”

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said: “It was disappointing obviously for Lewis and for the team, but I think you’ve got to say Ferrari were quick today [Sunday] and they drove a great race.

“Lewis was trying hard at the outset. He had to go out there and be assertive and it didn’t come off. It was a racing incident; disappointing for him.”

The F1 circus leaves Europe now for Asia and the night race in Singapore on Sunday, September 26.

Hamilton added: “I’ve got to try to collect my thoughts and move onto the next race.”

Following the Singapore GP, the title will be decided by what happens at the Japanese, South Korean, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix over the next nine weeks.

New championship leader Webber, Hamilton, Italian Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso, title holder Button and Sebastian Vettel are all jostling to be crowned 2010 world champion.

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