Gallery: Damaged tyre costs Hamilton chance of Hungarian GP victory
PUBLISHED: 14:39 04 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 26 October 2009
HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel
TEAM bosses commiserated with Lewis Hamilton after a puncture cost him the chance of making if a hat-trick of successive grand prix victories yesterday. Having won back-to-back races at Silverstone and Hockenheim, the 23-year-old from Herts was chasing do
TEAM bosses commiserated with Lewis Hamilton after a puncture cost him the chance of making if a hat-trick of successive grand prix victories yesterday.
Having won back-to-back races at Silverstone and Hockenheim, the 23-year-old from Herts was chasing down Hungarian Grand Prix leader Felipe Massa at the Hungaroring when he damaged his front tyre.
The McLaren Mercedes driver had to limp round to the pits for a fresh set of tyres and dropped from second to outside the points as a result.
He eventually clawed his way back up to fifth and with Massa's retirement even stretched his lead in the World Drivers' Championship to five points.
The race was eventually won by Hamilton's McLaren colleague Heikki Kovalainen.
McLaren Mercedes officials had sympathy for Herts' Formula 1 hero afterwards.
Norbert Haug, the vice-president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, felt Hamilton could have taken the chequered flag.
"Lewis had bad luck with the tyre," said Haug.
"Without the damaged tyre, Lewis had a chance of victory.
"Until then his race went according to plan and his strategy with a later second stop could have put him ahead of Felipe."
Team boss Ron Dennis said
"Lewis's race was compromised by his losing the lead at the start.
"But we fuelled him long for the second stint and therefore believed he was well placed to leapfrog Felipe in his final pitstop.
"Sadly for him, though, it wasn't to be; damage to his front-left tyre cost him that victory chance.
"However, from Lewis's perspective, as bad days go, it could have been a lot worse."
Hamilton leads the championship from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
The next race takes place in Spain on August 24.
Haug added: "During the so-called summer break, we will continue to work hard to be well prepared for the next race on Valencia's street circuit, which will be new for everybody.