McLaren looking for more rain to help their man Hamilton at Monza
PUBLISHED: 18:04 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009
TEAM bosses at McLaren are hoping for more rain during Sunday s Italian Grand Prix to boost wet-weather king Lewis Hamilton s chances. The 23-year-old from Tewin was only 15th in qualifying today at a rain-lashed Monza. McLaren strategists were caught out
TEAM bosses at McLaren are hoping for more rain during Sunday's Italian Grand Prix to boost wet-weather king Lewis Hamilton's chances.
The 23-year-old from Tewin was only 15th in qualifying today at a rain-lashed Monza.
McLaren strategists were caught out by the downpour and Hamilton was unable to post a fast lap and subsequently suffered the worst qualifying performance of his Formula 1 career.
However, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes bosses haven't given up hope of Hamilton getting amongst the points at Monza, the home track of rivals Ferrari.
He is particularly good in the wet and could still gain vital championship points.
McLaren Group supremo Ron Dennis praised Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who qualified second, and commiserated with Lewis.
He said: "Heikki performed tremendously well this afternoon, and his P2 grid slot for tomorrow is a fully deserved reward.
"As for Lewis, the weather conditions made things difficult for everyone, not only us, and in addition to that we were caught out by a less-than-fully accurate weather forecast.
"As things turned out, there was only a narrow window of opportunity in which to cut a quick lap, and things didn't fall kindly for Lewis.
"But the weather may be unsettled tomorrow, too, and if so he should still be in a position to score a good result even though he'll be starting from a lowlier grid position than he would ideally have preferred."
Norbert Haug, vice-president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: "This is exactly what should not have happened to Lewis, but we have to accept it after so many great qualifying results we had.
"Lewis's competitors are not too far away; at least this is positive."
Hamilton is also looking ahead and trying to make the best of a bad situation.
He said: "Tomorrow's another day and we still have a fighting chance to make our way up the grid.
"I'll be doing the best job I can."
Hamilton currently leads the championship by two points from Ferrari rival Felipe Massa, who starts from sixth on the grid.