Gallery: Pit trouble hits Hamilton's hopes

PUBLISHED: 10:20 23 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:22 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton in the pits Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton in the pits Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

LEWIS Hamilton could only finish fifth in today s Malaysian Grand Prix. The 23-year-old Herts driver s chances of a podium were dashed by a first pit-stop problem that cost him vital seconds at the Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lumpur. Having started from ninth

Lewis Hamilton

LEWIS Hamilton could only finish fifth in today's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Herts driver's chances of a podium were dashed by a first pit-stop problem that cost him vital seconds at the Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lumpur.

Having started from ninth after being demoted five places down the grid following yesterday's qualifying session, the McLaren Mercedes driver was back in contention again after only the first lap.

He had climbed into the top five and was hoping to leapfrog Aussie Mark Webber during the first round of stops when his race hopes were ruined.

The McLaren mechanics had problems with the wheel gun and struggled to get Hamilton's front-right tyre off.

That delayed cost the Tewin charger about 12 seconds and dropped Hamilton down the field and behind Aussie Webber.

Hamilton eventually got past the Red Bull driver again but couldn't overtake the Toyota of Jarno Trulli in the closing laps and had to settle for fifth as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took the chequered flag.

BMW's Robert Kubica was second with Heikki Kovalainen, Hamilton's new team-mate, third.

Hamilton still leads the World Championship with 14 points after two races and he took today's disappointment on the chin.

"We got off to a very, very good start from ninth to fifth and I was pushing Mark for a long, long time but being behind someone is extremely difficult, so it doesn't matter how much quicker you are, it makes it extremely difficult to get past," said Hamilton.

"Then we were in with a good shot for third place and then we had the wheel gun at the pit stop."

As well as that problem, Hamilton also had to drive in the hot and humid conditions without liquid refreshment.

He said: "I was very thirsty as my water wasn't working.

"I pushed hard for fourth but Jarno did a great job.

"The great thing is I was able to drive the race without water and I feel better than I did last year but we just have to do a better job in qualifying at the next race."

That is the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir on April 6.


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