Hamilton admits championship “too far away now”

2012 Korean Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea International Circuit, 2012Lewis Hamilton conceded his hopes of winning the championship this year are virtually over after finishing tenth in the Korean Grand Prix.

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

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

Hamilton said “rear suspension failure” was the cause of his problems during the race. “It was a real battle throughout the whole race but I didn’t give up, I kept pushing right until the end.”

Late in the race he collected a piece of Astroturf which slowed him down even further: “I was struggling to keep the car on the track whilst pushing the guys ahead and the balance was constantly changing.

“I went wide, the Astroturf shouldn’t come up like that but it did. It cost me a lot of downforce so I was struggling towards the end. Lucky to stay ahead of Perez.”

Mercedes, who Hamilton will join next year, failed to score for the second race in a row. Asked if he was concerned about the performance of his future team Hamilton said: “I haven’t seen what they had, I’m just focussing on what I’ve got.

“We’ve had three failures in three races on my side of the garage so I hope my luck changes and we have better races in the future.”

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94 comments on Hamilton admits championship “too far away now”

  1. Rocky (@rocky) said on 14th October 2012, 14:59

    Feeling much better about Hamilton leaving McLaren for Mercedes after Korea after all what’s the difference moving from one midfield team to another.

  2. callum (@095cal) said on 14th October 2012, 16:01

    Despite all the problems with Hamilton’s car it was great to see him battle with other cars on track. It was probably the biggest highlight of the race for me. Its likely Hamilton won’t be challenging for the title next year but if that means watching him start midfield and battling with cars all race long then I will be happy :D

  3. Aldoid said on 14th October 2012, 16:56

    Anybody else notice how unstable Hamilton’s car was @ high speed? Hard braking only seemed to exacerbate the issues, with the front end darting this way & that… I’m amazed he managed to keep it on the track, let alone attack & defend the way he did. Lewis will definitely not be any worse off at Mercedes. McLaren proves once again that nobody can muck up a season quite like they can. Pathetic.

  4. Dan Harrison said on 14th October 2012, 18:57

    The saddest thing I read recently was that Hamilton booked 16 lanes of a Suzuka bowling alley to take the McLaren mechanics out for a farewell party and they all snubbed him to go on a charity fun run with Jenson instead. Sounds like he’ll be the loneliest man in the world for the rest of the season …

  5. winemanboy (@winemanboy) said on 14th October 2012, 21:05

    Lewis dragging the carpet: shouldn’t he have been black flagged? Truly a very dangerous situation not onlt for Hamilston but anyone following him.

    • Yeah. And shouldnt the race have been red flagged until a present severe threat to drivers was dealt with? This is not as bad as he manhole cover that snagged JPM but is really inexcusable.

      I’ll be happy to see the back of this terrible, budget race track in this squalid, lame venue. It looks like it’s set in a tidal marsh, against the charming backdrop of harbor cranes.

  6. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 14th October 2012, 22:38

    I don’t care how fast Maca’s car is or how clinicaltt there factory is, or how great there history is, if you can’t manage to give a driver like Lewis a oportunity to win than it shouldn’t be a risk going to Mercedes next year. At least he can try to make something special. Remember that Hamilton is the only guy that that won a championship till Mika for mighty McLaren. That’s just speaks about how lost they are. Beat luck to Lewis.

    • spelling aside, this. And it’s not like there haven’t been similar opportunities. How many close calls have there been? 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010 (arguably)

      I’m still in my wallowing phase but Renault and Red Bull have won more WDC and WCC than them in this new century

      • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 15th October 2012, 15:39

        Sorry about my spelling (damn smart-phones :)). I was chewing my nails while I was watching Kimi, Montoya (who was fast motherf….) and than Lewis, of course, loosing race wins and than championships, because of bad management or non reliable (but fast) car. I’m sick of it.

  7. Even as a fan it became difficult to feel down about Hamilton’s race because in the end it was just slap-stick. The whole thing was so absurd it was more comedy than horror. After the astroturf wrapped around Hamilton’s car I half expected to see Mr. Bean’s emerge from the car in the parc.

    A lot of people are weighing up whether Hamilton made a dumb move to go to Mercedes, based on their current performance. It’s a still a good question. But it’s very worrying to see what is going on with McLaren as they end the season. Button is back to his swoons, one or two cars fail in every race. Between having to school up Perez and find grip for Button they will be nowhere.

  8. Kenneth Ntulume said on 15th October 2012, 8:55

    I wonder if the BOD of the McLaren team are concerned about what is going on with their org, from the sheer operational sloppiness, to the clumsiness at which they handled there contract negotiations with Lewis………am assuming anyways that they considered Hamilton as relevant to there brand value or perhaps they too dont think they have lost much, I better hope that actually McLaren have a plan………that next year they are going to blow us away

  9. There’s not really much to fault about Hamilton’s performance, he is giving it everything that he can. McLaren need to look at themselves.

  10. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 15th October 2012, 15:52

    I hope that McLaren will have a miserable next season. I think that the biggest problem in this big corporations is ego of the CEO. In this case it’s even worse as since Ron step down (following spy-gate) his word is most important, even if he admits that Martin is the man :)). And his ego is saying that McLaren can do well without anybody “important”.

  11. You talk like mechanical failures and unfortunate pit-stops are something that only happens at McLaren. All the other teams have had or have the same issues, some in the past others now. It evens out in the end.

    Lokk at Ferraris 2008 season, which he started off well. Then suddenly Raikkonens bodywork caught fire and the exhaust broke. The next thing Ferrari did in another race that year was t to put both drivers on the wrong tyre on a dry cirquit, nobody could understand what they were thinking. To top it off they forgot to unleash the refilling rig from Massas car ant took him out of another race. That season Ferrari cost both their drivers a lot of points, and Massa lost the championship because of these incidents. That year Hamilton won a title due to mechanical failures and unfortunaqte pit-stops by others.

    Red Bulls 2010 season was hit hard by mechanical failures (I seem to remember 3 og 4 for Vettel alone), KERS-failure (almost every singe race), and then finally Vettel were driving 3 races in a car that he felt was not right, as it turned out Red Bull eventuelly found out that the frame was crackes and not stiff enough. Vettel would have wrapped up that championship 3-4 races before the end if not for these incidents, now he just managed to win.

    Even in 2011 Red Bull and Vettel had at least 2 failures that cost then victory. And don`t even get me started on Webber, his misfortune with KERS is unbelieveable. He`s been fortunate not to have so many pure mechanical failures, but he`s made up for it in KERS-failure. I`ve lost count of the races where Webber has lost out due to KERS-failure.

    Look at Michael Schumacher this year, he must have set some kind of record in mechanical failures for the last 10 years this year. And that`s the car Hamilton is going to drive next year.

    F1 is a development race, sometimes you push over the limit and as a consequence you get mechanical failures. But it`s better to have a fast unreliable car than a slow reliable car any day.

    But in the long run it evens out between the teams. McLaren had a couple of years with bad reliability when Raikkonen was there, but from 2007 onwards McLaren has been among the most reliable og the most reliable car out there until this year.

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