Monday, April 20, 2009

Hamilton: Good points for the team

Sunday 19th April 2009

In sharp contrast to last year's result when he won the Chinese GP, this season Lewis Hamilton was just grateful to finish the race and do so in the points.

Last year Hamilton won the Chinese GP on his way to the World title but this year it's a vastly different McLaren machine that the Brit has underneath him. The MP4-24 is suffering from a lack of pace and ill-handling, the latter of which was not help by the extreme wet conditions facing the drivers.

And as such the best Hamilton could have hoped for, starting ninth on the grid, was a handful of points, which he achieved with his sixth-placed finish.

"Just that we finished and obviously the reliability of the car is fantastic, so it was great job from the guys," Hamilton told the BBC when asked what positives he could draw from the race.

"Just continue to try and move forward and try and score some more points. Good points for the team."

The Brit, though, who has been billed as a master of the rain in recent years, suffered no fewer than three spins or off-track excursions as the conditions got the best of the majority of the drivers.

"It was terrible," he said. "It was a little bit fun at the beginning when I had some grip. But as always, I don't know if it is my driving style or my car, we seem to destroy my tyres very early on.

"Especially at the end, there was 20 laps left, and after five laps my front left tyre was finished. So it was just really tough - aquaplaning all over the pace.

"I'm sure it was the same for everyone - but I could only do my best."

Meanwhile, team boss Martin Whitmarsh has hailed McLaren's performance as Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen also bagged his first points of the season, finishing in fifth place ahead of the Brit.

"Very, very difficult for everyone out there," he told Autosport. "For us, solid points, which is worthwhile.

"Lewis was trying very hard and made it exciting. Obviously he had a few spins, but that's just his determination and perhaps his confidence to push so hard in these conditions.

"For Heikki, who hasn't had much running in the races this year, to get to the end without any mistakes at all was a fantastic drive by him."

And despite being the best team behind the Red Bulls and Brawns, Whitmarsh admitted that his team's MP4-24 just didn't have the pace to match the front-runners.

Source : Planet F1

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