Hamilton feels drive-through penalty was harsh

PUBLISHED: 13:32 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 22:18 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton driving at the Magny-Cours circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton driving at the Magny-Cours circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

LEWIS Hamilton feels he was harshly penalised by stewards at yesterday s French Grand Prix. The 23-year-old Herts hero was handed a drive-through penalty at Magny-Cours for missing the apex of turn seven on the opening lap. Hamilton received the punishmen

Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel

LEWIS Hamilton feels he was harshly penalised by stewards at yesterday's French Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Herts hero was handed a drive-through penalty at Magny-Cours for missing the apex of turn seven on the opening lap.

Hamilton received the punishment that ultimately stopped him challenging for a podium position following a move on Sebastian Vettel approaching the corner.

He overtook the German Toro Rosso driver but then ran wide and was deemed to have gained an advantage.

Having climbed into ninth place, Hamilton dropped down to 13th after coming in for the penalty and that ruined his hopes of any points.

"My drive-through penalty was an extremely close call," said Hamilton.

"I felt I'd got past Vettel fairly and was ahead going into the corner.

"But I was on the outside and couldn't turn-in in case we both crashed.

"Then I lost the back-end and drove over the kerb.

"But, after that, I got my head down and pushed hard until the end of the race."

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver had already been demoted down to 13th on the start line due to the 10-place grid penalty he received at the Canadian Grand Prix for smashing into the back of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari in the pit lane.

The Tewin race ace eventually finished the French race in 10th place as Ferrari's Felipe Massa took the chequered flag and the overall lead in the Drivers' World Championship.

Hamilton is now fourth in the drivers' rankings, 10 points behind Massa, as the F1 circus heads to Silverstone next month for the British Grand Prix.

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