Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hamilton getting stronger

Hamilton heads into the final three grands prix in Japan, China and Brazil with a seven point cushion to Ferrari rival Felipe Massa.

The 23-year-old stretched his advantage following Massa's calamitous race in Singapore on Sunday when he suffered a pit-lane disaster.

A scheduled stop saw the Brazilian released early which resulted in him knocking over two of his mechanics before setting off down the pit lane with the fuel hose still attached to his car.

A drive-through penalty followed for an unsafe release from the pits, culminating in Massa finishing 13th after starting on pole.

Hamilton, meanwhile, drove a steady, faultless race to finish third behind race winner and former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso in his Renault.

Hamilton said his team has always been "rock-solid".

"We started the year feeling really strong and we have just kept developing that," he said.

"I'd say now the team is the most positive and together it's ever been.

"Since the middle of the season, we've got the car in such a sweet-spot that it's been competitive at every race.

"I think Singapore showed just what we could do. We didn't really put a foot wrong.

"I've got to give credit to the engineers and strategists for helping me to save fuel during the first safety car period.

"The guys in the garage pulled off two perfect pitstops. What more can I ask for?

"We're just getting stronger and stronger. We all want this so much that every race just pulls us closer and closer together.

"I can't really describe that feeling of team-work, but it's incredibly strong. It's what keeps us all going."

Hamilton now faces a leisurely time at home in Geneva this weekend, what he describes as "a normal regime", prior to a hectic finish of three races in four weeks.

The race in Singapore underlined Hamilton's commitment to focusing on taking advantage of a situation at any given time, rather than going for glory.

As Massa was not in a position to score points, Hamilton coasted to a comfortable third place instead of pushing Williams' Nico Rosberg for second and potentially crashing out.

Such a mature mindset will not change, with Hamilton adding: "The six points we got on Sunday were pretty important to our title chances.

"We're ahead now in both world championships and have to keep focused during these next three races.

"I've said before that consistency is what will win this world championship, and I feel really pleased that we did that in Singapore.

"We only finished third, but we couldn't really have asked for more from that result, and I didn't want to risk throwing those points away with any kind of move as you never know what might happen.

"We also made all the right decisions at the right moments in the race, and the car still feels fantastic to drive.

"All I can do is take one race at a time while keeping one eye on the final result at the end of the year."

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