Lewis Hamilton finished last of the five championship contenders after gearbox trouble in the Japanese Grand Prix but says he was encouraged by the performance of the McLaren:
It?óÔé¼Ôäós funny, I?óÔé¼Ôäóve never believed in luck; I?óÔé¼Ôäóve always believed you make your own luck. But that belief has been stretched a bit over the last four Grands Prix. I go racing with my heart, and I race hard, but that approach hasn?óÔé¼Ôäót paid off too well for me recently. But every experience is a learning experience, and I?óÔé¼Ôäóll certainly learn from these experiences and put that knowledge to good use in the future.
That?óÔé¼Ôäós one positive. Another is just the simple fact that I got to the flag, scored some points and kept my world championship challenge on track. We?óÔé¼Ôäóve seen how this year?óÔé¼Ôäós championship is very much a battle of consistency, so every single point is valuable.
Finally, I was pleased with the pace we showed during the race. Jenson set the second-fastest lap, and, before my gearbox problem, I was closing down on Fernando [Alonso] and could even have made it onto the podium despite a five-place grid penalty.
Given that we weren?óÔé¼Ôäót racing all the updates we?óÔé¼Ôäód brought to Japan with us, I think that gives us a lot of encouragement for Korea and beyond.
He described the difficulty he had driving without third gear in the closing stages of the race:
It wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót easy at a track like Suzuka, because it?óÔé¼Ôäós such a flowing circuit ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ you need all the traction you can to keep your momentum up. But, fortunately, because it?óÔé¼Ôäós quite a fast track, you?óÔé¼Ôäóre not in the lower gears for too much of the lap. You need the traction from the low gears out of the hairpin and the chicane, but you?óÔé¼Ôäóre also missing it a lot out of the second Degner, where you need a lower gear to get the car planted properly.
I was fortunate on Sunday, because I?óÔé¼Ôäód already established quite a big lead over the sixth-placed car, so I didn?óÔé¼Ôäót lose too much ground and could hold onto fifth.
The good news is that the rules permit us to change the gearbox for Korea without getting another grid penalty.
Although he is now more than a win behind championship leader Mark Webber he is not ready to give up on winning the title this year:
It?óÔé¼Ôäós getting more difficult, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm fully aware of that. But, in a situation like this, I always look back at the 2007 season and what happened in those final two or three races. I think Kimi [R?â?ñikk?â?Ânen] was 17 points behind with two races remaining, but he still managed to win the world championship. I?óÔé¼Ôäóve learnt on more than one occasion that the world championship isn?óÔé¼Ôäót won until the very last gasp ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ so I?óÔé¼Ôäóve definitely not given up.
I want to win again and I go to Korea believing we can do that. And, who knows, if that happens and the other championship contenders fail to score, then I?óÔé¼Ôäóm right back in it.
2010 Japanese Grand Prix
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Image ?é?® Bridgestone/Ercole Colombo