The one that got away for Lewis

PUBLISHED: 10:27 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 22:17 26 October 2009

HERE was one that got away for Lewis Hamilton then. A weekend where for the first time this season he had a realistic shot of finishing on the podium. Free from some of the performance restrictions he s currently experiencing from his McLaren car and dr

HERE was one that got away for Lewis Hamilton then.

A weekend where for the first time this season he had a realistic shot of finishing on the podium.

Free from some of the performance restrictions he's currently experiencing from his McLaren car and driving on the streets of Monaco where he has won at every level he's competed in, this was his chance to celebrate for once.

Sadly for Lewis it wasn't to be.

After finishing in the top three in the two practice sessions his hopes were dashed by a crash in the first part of qualifying. Just moments after Anthony Davidson and myself had been telling BBC Radio 5-Live listeners how hard it was to get the braking right going into Mirabeau, Lewis showed us just how tricky that right hander is.

Once he crashed and once the resultant gear box change dropped him to the back of the grid, his race for the podium was over. Try as he might, even the chase for a point eluded him as he got bogged down behind slower cars, unable to overtake.

Another time he would have found the escape road and not slued into the barrier, but Lewis isn't having the sort of season where a lucky break will come his way. In fact he's learning the hard way just how tough it is for both team and driver to be consistent in Formula 1.

Still, his demeanour with the media was better this weekend. Lewis was, outwardly at least, a much happier man before Saturday's accident, an accident that he admitted was his fault entirely before apologising to his team for ruining their weekend.

He did however make one little boy's weekend. On Thursday he took the time to meet one terminally ill boy who had been given the trip of a lifetime by the Starlight charity to come to Monaco, watch the racing and meet his hero. Lewis spent 30 minutes with him, chatting away and providing a special moment that he and his mum will remember forever.

WHEN Lewis crashed out in qualifying on Saturday he was at the furthest point a driver could possibly be from the Paddock area at the Quai Antoine.

Despite that he still trudged all the way back to the McLaren garage with his crash helmet on. Now I'm sure that as it was a very warm afternoon Lewis would have loved to take that helmet off. But when it's encrusted with diamonds, as it was for this race, it's probably safer to keep it on, even in Monaco you can't be too careful.

Meanwhile Jenson Button, after his little jog along the pit straight to the winners podium (something that must surely now be introduced after every Grand Prix), still had time to strap his new watch to his wrist.

Jenson, a man who has made a habit of being in the right place at the right time this season, has signed a sponsorship deal with Jaeger Le Coultre and they donated a £200,000 prototype watch for the weekend.

A watch that due to its unique design will never ever need servicing, the first watch ever to claim this feat.

A bit like Button's Mercedes engine on his Brawn GP car which has now provided the power for three consecutive victories, becoming the first F1 engine ever to win three races in a row.

HOW do you get a trophy home F1 style?

Rubens Barrichello decided that although it only takes 56 minutes to walk the width of Monaco he'd still ride his scooter back to his apartment on Sunday after the race. But he faced the problem of where to put his runners -up cup as it wouldn't fit on the back.

The problem was soon solved when he found that the silverware, about three foot high, nestled nicely between his legs at the front of his bike, and off into the sunset he rode.


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