Gallery: Crash is turning point for Hamilton
PUBLISHED: 17:59 26 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:23 26 October 2009
CRASHING into the barriers proved to be the catalyst for Lewis Hamilton s Monaco Grand Prix victory yesterday. The McLaren driver skidded on the wet surface at the Tabac corner and clipped his rear wheel against the wall. The resulting puncture forced the
CRASHING into the barriers proved to be the catalyst for Lewis Hamilton's Monaco Grand Prix victory yesterday.
The McLaren driver skidded on the wet surface at the Tabac corner and clipped his rear wheel against the wall.
The resulting puncture forced the 23-year-old title challenger from Tewin to make an earlier than planned stop.
That incident after five laps kick-started Hamilton's bid for glory around the streets of Monte Carlo, as he explained.
Hamilton said: "Until my shunt, my touch of the barrier, Felipe (Massa) had probably done a better job up until then, but once I came out of the pits, I think I got my act together and pulled my socks up."
Explaining what happened as he chased race leader Massa, Hamilton said: "I could not really see anything, so I just stayed in second because there was so much spray.
"Through turn 12, Tabac, there was a sort of river coming through and as I was catching Felipe (Massa) I hit this river and just oversteered and just slid across into the barrier.
"I couldn't believe it and I knew I had only just touched it and I had a rear puncture.
"Fortunately I was able to tell the team quickly and they were able to react as quickly as possible and get out.
"They did a fantastic job and without them I wouldn't have been able to do it today."
As a result of his emergency stop for repairs, Hamilton had to switch strategies and took on extra fuel, meaning he could stay out longer in the changeable weather conditions.
Hamilton said: "Obviously we had to change it, and it worked into my hands.
"When I came in for my first stop, which was the forced error stop, we went to standard wets - the same set of tyres - and we fuelled obviously very heavy, so we could have gone a lot longer if we needed to."
Hamilton was fortunate that he didn't do any more damage to his McLaren car after his earlier accident.
"I wasn't pushing that much and I only just tapped the barrier with the rear tyre and so it was only the rear tyre or the rear rim that had gone," he said.
"But at this sort of track you need to have a bit of luck, you need to be in the right place at the right time and obviously, exactly that happened.
"I had to come in, went back out and I was in the right place at the right time, where I was able to utilise that, use my tyres, use the fuel that I had to get out in front."
Hamilton also paid tribute to the efforts of the McLaren mechanics in the pits.
"The team did an even better job than they always do and I think that even though I touched the barrier, I think I did a better job than I have done in the past."
The next grand prix is in Montreal on June 8.
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