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McLaren hail 'brilliant, inspirational' Hamilton

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh had nothing but praise for his two drivers, revealing the technical issues that both had overcome on their way to the finish line.
After his apparently subdued demeanour on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton couldn't have looked more satisfied with his day at the office after a successful, spirited defence of second place against Mark Webber all the way to the chequered flag.

"This was one of my strongest races of the season," he said afterwards. "There was so much pressure from Mark behind and it would have been so easy to make a mistake, lock up or go wide but I'm really satisfied that I didn't do so once.

"I believe that withstanding pressure is the mark of a world champion, and I think I showed that in today's race," he added. "This was a good, strong result for the team. The guys didn't put a foot wrong all weekend, so we should be proud of today's result - but, man, it was hard!"

His efforts did not go unrecognised by the team, with Martin Whitmarsh declaring that "I think Lewis' drive today was utterly inspirational ... a fantastic drive; beautifully assured and perfectly judged.

"He may be downplaying it, because he's a perfectionist and he wanted to win, but to withstand such enormous pressure, for lap after lap, from a faster car, was a drive absolutely worthy of the great champions," he added, refusing the accept that second place was in any way second best in Korea this weekend.

McLaren team principal Whitmarsh also celebrated "another brilliant, measured drive" from Jenson Button, who lost out on the first lap to Felipa Massa and dropped positions to Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso, but recovered to see off both Ferraris during the pit stops and finish fourth close behind Webber.

"I don't think I could have done much more than fourth today," said Button. "I struggled to get rid of my understeer throughout the whole race, so fourth was a fair reflection of what the car was capable of today."

Whitmarsh admitted that both cars ended up struggling with technical issues as the race wore on, which made the drivers' efforts all the more noteworthy.

"The data showed that [Lewis] was losing a significant amount of downforce from his front wing," he explained, which the team later found was due to a build up of congealed rubber marbles clogging up a vital slot. "As a result, he was suffering with masses of understeer, which further hurts the tyres. In the circumstances, his was an absolutely fantastic drive because it would have been all too easy to have gone backwards.




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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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Mojo Jojo

October 16, 2011 1:36 PM

Brilliant and inspirational. And yet did not ein the race. McLaren obviously trying to get Lewis' confidence up and going again. Like a parent telling a child he was fantastic even if he did not win. Coddling obviously.

arcuid

October 16, 2011 2:13 PM

Sebastian Vettel may have won the race but the scrap between Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber was quite intense keeping in mind the McLaren driver's collisions with other drivers mainly Massa There was none of that today. Both drivers raced with respect and avoided any possible argy bargy. Well done!



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