Sunday 3rd August 2008
Lewis Hamilton has expressed his relief that his lead in the World Championship is still intact.
The Englishman's recovery from a potentially disastrous puncture, coupled with Felipe Massa's luckless engine blow-up on the penultimate lap of the Hungarian GP means that his advantage at the top of the standings has been extended when, for most of the afternoon, it appeared as if Massa would deliver a remarkable turnaround. The Brazilian blitzed Hamilton, expected to cruise to victory, off the start-line and then steadily built up a five-second lead before the McLaren suffered a puncture. At that point, disaster loomed large for Hamilton but Massa's late misfortune transformed the afternoon's complexion.
"I salvaged the best of the worst," reflected a relieved Hamilton. "It's nowhere near as bad as it could have been. What can you do with a puncture? Last year I lost a championship on a puncture so it is nothing new."
The surprise of the afternoon was Hamilton's failure to repel the challenge of Massa, with the Ferrari able to maintain a comfortable lead from the first corner onwards.
"It was disappointed. Felipe did a better job and had a better run into the first corner. I struggled behind him."