Lewis Hamilton: “This is a year to forget I think…”

Lewis Hamilton managed to finish 10th in Korea after what team boss Martin Whitmarsh called a “heroic” effort with a crippled car – and then conceded that his 2012 championship hopes are now over.

Hamilton suffered a rear anti-roll bar failure in the first third of the race which badly upset the handling and accelerated tyre wear. Having run fourth he slipped down the order and made an early second stop, and was ultimately forced to pit a third time.

After the race he sounded a lot more downbeat than when he retired from the lead in Singapore a few weeks ago.

“I’m a little bit exhausted, it was a tough race,” said Hamilton. “I tried my best but we had another rear suspension failure somehow, I don’t understand how. The team said it was safe to drive so I kept pushing and pushing as much as I could. The balance was changing from corner to corner. A sad day, but we’ll live.

Hamilton said he didn’t know what the problem was until after the race: “I did ask, I wasn’t expecting them to tell me, they said we know what the problem is. I was just fighting the whole way with the car.

“It was a real test, but I did absolutely everything I could, but moving backwards, and fighting with a Toro Rosso – a McLaren should never be fighting with a Toro Rosso, should never be fighting with a Force India, but I put up as strong a fight as I could against Kimi without colliding.”

To make matters worse in the closing laps he picked up a section of artificial grass, which caught in the right hand sidepod.

“It was just in addition to how badly it was already handling! It was very tough at the end, because that Astroturf was stalling the rear floor. In some places I had hard core understeer, and it led me to go off trying to overtake someone.”

Regarding the championship, he said: “I guess the pressure is now off, I guess that’s us kind of out of the championship. It’s tough because there’s so much work from the team, so much work from all the people around to try and win this thing.

“We were still in the fight up until now, but it’s too far away now. We’ll keep fighting to get as we can in the constructors’ and I hope me and Jenson can have some stronger races in the next ones.”

Asked if the dangling Astroturf was somehow symbolic of his bad day, he said: “It’s a day to forget. This is a year to forget I think as well. I’m looking forward to a fresh start next year. I didn’t give up the whole race, I tried my hardest, but it was a real disaster. Three stops, what could I do?”

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Lewis Hamilton: “This is a year to forget I think…”

  1. Unlucky for Lewis, he deserves so much better. McLaren have single handedly ruined his chances this year, I don’t think Lewis has put a foot wrong this year.

    Onwards and Upwards, hope it all comes together for him at Mercedes.

  2. Wot? Yet another year to forget? We thought he left his negative luggage or baggage behind last year? All this he can’t leave behind… once again. Did he make a switch from chic rap to pop rock? Villeneuve syndrome strikes again.

  3. Bill Clinton

    Karma is a biatch, eh Lewis? #2007

  4. Hemzen

    @iberianmph.com, stop reading other mens shit and try to have your own opinions as you just stated the stereo anti-Lewis shit that is posted months ago. Yes, looking back at how many WDC points McLaren flushed down the drain Lewis is completely entitled to be negative as Lewis would be leading the WDC by quit some margin, but i guess one that dont have any plans/goals (study / goals in life / sports) will ever understand those that do have a goal in life …

    • Ha, it’s a good one! I had a good laugh. Villeneuve syndrome is my own opinion, 100%, I’ve been voicing it freely for the past 4 or so years. Plans and goals? Plenty, kid, I’ve got plenty of them, studies as well! A quick look at my website will definitely tell you that.

      I was obviously half-joking about HAM. I’ve met him in real life and I think he’s OK, no problem. Maybe his desire to rap off-track is not appealing to me at all, I prefer loud guitars myself. Horses for courses, that doesn’t interfere with F1.

      I suppose we’re dealing with driver fan here vs. sport fan as a whole. Driver fans are fairly enthusiastic about their idols and tend to wet their pants every time they see the godlike figure. I’m just happy to watch and let the best man win, see some action, have some fun. It’s very simple. And by the way, everything you know is wrong.

      • Hemzen

        ‘Villeneuve syndrome’, and what exactly did Hamilton trigger 4 years ago you started thinking about this so called ‘Villeneuve syndrome’?

        And btw, im a McLaren fan since mid 90’s and not prefering a driver in particulair, it is just getting very tiresome people obviously need to drag in someone lifestyle. You mention it yourself, you like F1 as a whole, then stick to it without any generalizing comments …

  5. proesterchen

    Oh well, it’s just good training for the next three years.

  6. Steve W

    Well, next year should be a year to remember – for better or worse…

  7. Oh dear, poor Hamilton – artificial grass jamming under his F1 car was not ideal and probably the icing on the cake of a fairly bad year for him.

    All is not lost and this really shouldn’t have happened, had it been installed properly!

    Artificial grass should always be installed on a firm, level and clean sub base. In this case (the racing track), it is clear that it was not secured down sufficiently. In a high use environment, it is crucial that fake turf is installed onto a crushed aggregate sub base, as this will enhance the lifetime of the artificial turf product. It is then secured around the perimeter using 6 inch galvanised nails. Assuming an installation is carried out properly, artificial grass cannot be pulled up easily by animals, children or even F1 racing car tyres!

    It’s unfortunate for Hamilton that this happened, but hopefully he can come back positively from this. Like he said, the pressure is off now, so there’s now nothing to lose.

  8. @Hemzen – who is “particulair”? Villeneuve – Hamilton is an obvious comparison, both won titles in the their second year in F1 and now that Lewis decided to join JV’s former team, I think the irony is there. Although you have to give LH credit for winning races every year. In 2011, McLaren did OK while LH kept crashing into people/things, he was beaten by his team-mate. The guy says he left his negative stuff behind, but yet twitter-gate in Spa and accusing Jenson (once again on twitter) of lack of loyalty somehow paints a different picture.

    You, my friend, attacked my seriously funny comment containing various cultural references and I tend to stand by comments as a blogger.

    I’m Uncle Iberian and I approve this message.

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