Gallery: Hamilton - My best race ever
PUBLISHED: 19:06 11 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:58 26 October 2009
LEWIS Hamilton hailed his performance in Istanbul today as his best race ever . The 23-year-old from Tewin took second place in the Turkish Grand Prix. After 58 laps of the Istanbul Speed Park track, the McLaren maestro came home 3.7 seconds behind winne
LEWIS Hamilton hailed his performance in Istanbul today as his "best race ever".
The 23-year-old from Tewin took second place in the Turkish Grand Prix.
After 58 laps of the Istanbul Speed Park track, the McLaren maestro came home 3.7 seconds behind winner Felipe Massa.
The Ferrari driver won from pole position to claim his third successive victory in Turkey.
However, Hamilton felt his race from third on the grid was better than any of his five previous 21 starts.
"I am so thrilled with today's result, and I think this is the best race ever for me," said Hamilton afterwards.
"It's not about winning, it's about feeling that you extract 100 per cent from yourself and the car and I did that today.
"Before the race, our prediction was that all being well I would finish fifth, so second is such a bonus."
Lewis was on an adventurous three-stop strategy and came in on laps 16, 32 and 45.
All three stops were super-slick by the McLaren team, allowing the Herts motor racer to split the Ferrari's of Massa and reigning world champion Kimi Räikkönen on the podium.
"I was not happy with my performance yesterday (Saturday) and perhaps if I had managed to get the car on pole I could have won," rued Hamilton.
"However, we knew that we would have to use a three-stop strategy as a precaution, as we had some issues with our tyres.
"The team did a fantastic job, the pitstops were great, and the balance of the car was superb, and we all kept our spirit up."
Despite pre-race worries about the Bridgestones, Hamilton had no issues with his tyres during the race itself.
And he showed that McLaren have closed the gap on the red Ferraris on the track with one superb piece of driving to overtake Massa.
Hamilton said: "There were no problems with the tyres in the race.
"I managed to overtake Felipe at one point, and I really think we have closed the gap to Ferrari."
After the fifth of 18 grands prix, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are third in the Constructors' Championship with 42 points. Ferrari tops the charts with 63 points.
Lewis is also third in the drivers' rankings with 28 points, seven behind Kimi Räikkönen on 35.
Next up is the jewel in the F1 crown - the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo on May 25.
"I am so excited about the next race in Monaco and just can't wait," added Hamilton.
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