Hamilton gets stuck in the pits
PUBLISHED: 16:46 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:17 26 October 2009
5-live s F1 commentator David Croft gives us his take on events in Malaysia at the weekend… ANOTHER weekend and another race that left us no nearer to establishing how evenly matched the title contenders are. Well done to Ferrari for rebounding from thei
5-live's F1 commentator David Croft gives us his take on events in Malaysia at the weekend...
ANOTHER weekend and another race that left us no nearer to establishing how evenly matched the title contenders are.
Well done to Ferrari for rebounding from their troubles in Australia with a win, but whether that means they have a clear advantage over McLaren we still don't know.
At no stage was Heikki Kovalainen or Lewis Hamilton running close enough to the Ferraris to tell.
Their chance of victory went when the stewards demoted them five places down the grid for holding up Nick Heidfeld and Fernando Alonso at the end of qualifying.
When asked on Sunday morning what he thought of the decision, Lewis replied that it 'had been an extension of a bad day that started to go wrong the minute he got out of bed that morning'.
5-live's pit lane reporter Holly Samos enquired as to what the problem was but Lewis was rather coy in his reply, stating only that 'it was something he had learnt to come to terms with over the last 12 months'.
One can only speculate as to what that means, although his comments did coincide with another tabloid story about his love life.
Lewis was pictured with Sonia Irvine, former driver Eddie Irvine's sister and the woman behind the Amber Lounge parties, a very exclusive end to the Grand Prix week that Lewis and the other drivers get an invite too, but alas I never do!
Either way, the story was a non-starter and Lewis and Sonia are not an item.
Pretty nuts really, which brings us back to the race and Hamilton's problems that continued when he spent 10 seconds too long at his first pit stop whilst his crew grappled with an errant wheel nut.
Ten seconds that according to his team cost Lewis a podium as it meant that he was stuck behind Mark Webber again when he rejoined the race.
I'd say that the inability to overtake the Red Bull, despite running close behind him for about 30 laps, cost Lewis the podium and McLaren may be concerned that he never looked like getting past either.
Lewis also had to contend with driving for 56 laps without being able to take a drink.
Something had gone wrong with the tube that connects his drinks pouch to his helmet, not pleasant in the heat and humidity of Malaysia.
Just to put this into context, I got through about five bottles of water during my commentary and the temperature in the 5-live box was about 30 degrees cooler than it was in the cockpit of Lewis's car.
He also had to contend with the physical and mental pressure of a Grand Prix, the most physical I got was a brief stretch midway through the race.
Lewis said he felt like a beer when he was stuck in the pits. Bitter? Well he shouldn't be - fifth place was a decent effort on the day.
It was a strange week in Malaysia with the BBC's capture of the Formula 1 rights for five years from 2009 the subject of plenty of conversations.
The deal covers TV, radio, interactive and online and should be a real boost for F1 fans who will have access to a greater variety of coverage.
The practice sessions for instance, currently broadcast on 5-Live sports extra, will also be screened via the interactive red button service in future.
Everything will be very different from when the Beeb last screened the sport back in 1996 but one thing has to stay the same is the theme tune.
I remember listening to Murray Walker at the European Grand Prix last year just after my son had been born and the hairs stood on the back of my neck the minute the opening bars to 'The Chain' struck up.
Whether it gets re-recorded or whether the original is brought back into action there's no other choice in my mind.
Altogether now Daaa Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da, Daaaaaaa....... Dum Daaa Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da.