Hamilton's McLaren team settle for second in European GP

PUBLISHED: 11:19 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:23 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton driving round the Valencia circuit  Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton driving round the Valencia circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

TEAM bosses at McLaren have admitted they settled for second place in Sunday s European Grand Prix in Valencia. Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes partner Heikki Kovalainen were second and fourth respectively around Valencia s new street circuit

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, GP of Europe, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes),
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Juergen Tap +++

TEAM bosses at McLaren have admitted they settled for second place in Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia.

Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes partner Heikki Kovalainen were second and fourth respectively around Valencia's new street circuit.

With Hamilton leading the world championship, McLaren opted for a safe strategy to ensure the 23-year-old from Tewin completed the race in the points.

Group supremo Ron Dennis was happy with the drivers' performances on Sunday, but felt Hamilton could have won the race had he qualified on pole.

Speaking after the grand prix, he said: "We saw another extremely solid Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team performance today, the result of which was a very useful clutch of championship points, but in truth we lost the chance of outright victory in qualifying.

"In my view it's pretty clear that if Lewis had qualified with the same level of fuel as Felipe (Massa), he'd probably have been able to control the race from the front.

"But the nature of the circuit dictated that it was always going to be difficult for him to overtake and, that being the case, we opted fairly early on to take the championship-strategic option of settling for second place."

Norbert Haug, vice-president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: "I am quite satisfied.

"Lewis leads the Drivers' World Championship, six points ahead of Felipe and 13 ahead of Kimi (Räikkönen).

"No other team scored more points than we did today; we reduced the gap in the constructors' championship and extended the lead in the drivers' rankings."

The next race is at Spa in Belgium on September 7.

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