McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
endured further disappointment today in the F1 2010 Japanese Grand Prix
- although he did at least get to the chequered flag.
Hamilton, who came into the event looking for a change in luck after two successive retirements in Italy and Singapore, was in the doldrums again almost immediately.
Indeed his crash on Friday in first practice severely compromised his pre-event preparations and it was only confounded when Saturday turned out to be a complete wash-out.
Hamilton was then hit with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, which meant that instead of starting from third, he was relegated to eighth.
Despite that though, he had a good race and had fought his way back up to fourth, when in the closing stages he had gearbox problems and had to concede the position to his team-mate, Jenson Button. He eventually finished fifth.
“This wasn't a great weekend for me,” said Hamilton. “I made a mistake on Friday, then we changed the gearbox yesterday and I got a grid penalty, and then I had another gearbox problem in the race. That's an unfortunate amount of collective bad luck, but the team and I will bounce back.
“With the gearbox, I was running normally, then downshifted into third, accelerated and lost the gear. After that, I had to rely on just fourth gear and above. I didn't think the car would make it – it was making a lot of strange noises.
“But I kept my fingers crossed, tried not to shift too much and looked after it to the flag. I'm thankful and so happy that I least saw the end of the race – it's my first finish for a long time.
“The championship doesn't look great at the moment. But there are still three races to go and 75 points available, so we'll remain optimistic and keep doing the best job we can. I'll keep fighting.”