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Hamilton: That's racing - you have to suck it up!

Lewis Hamilton may have been boiling inside, but his public post-race demeanour was altogether more in keeping with his approach to the 2012 F1 campaign.
Lewis Hamilton tactfully bit his tongue when asked for his view on the accident that took him out of a potential podium finish in the European Grand Prix and cost him the lead of the F1 world championship.

While assailant Pastor Maldonado wasn't quite so reserved in his views, Hamilton toed the PR line in both print and on television as he reflected on a missed opportunity to keep championship tabs on racewinner Fernando Alonso and capitalise on the unexpected demise of runaway race leader Sebastian Vettel, whose Red Bull gave up the ghost shortly after a mid-race restart.

Although he was struggling with tyres that had run out of grip with a handful of laps to go, Hamilton battled to save third place from Maldonado, who was still running strongly after dropping away from the top three early in the race. The pair were together with two laps to go, and Maldonado made the most of the DRS zone leading into the turn 12-13 chicane to draw alongside the McLaren.

Hamilton defended robustly and, combined with the lack of adhesion from his tyres, edged the Venezuelan to the very limits of the road. With all four wheels now over the kerb, the option was there for Maldonado to cut across the asphalt infield and rejoin behind his rival but, instead, he tried to continue the overtaking manoeuvre, despite the underside of his car now straddling the kerb. Briefly robbed of the ability to steer, the Williams continued its trajectory, taking it directly into the side of Hamilton, who had taken his usual line through the second part of the corner.

The impact sent the McLaren up and over the rear wheel of the Williams before it hit the wall, while Maldonado lost his front wing and was left to complete the final lap at reduced pace, dropping to tenth on the road. Alonso, meanwhile, became the first driver to win two races in 2012, with Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher joining him on a well-decorated podium.

Hamilton's frustration was clear to see as he tossed his steering wheel out of the cockpit, but whether that was directed at Maldonado or himself, for not allowing the Venezuelan to pass and still collect valuable points, remained unclear. There was no stalking back to the pits to remonstrate with his rival, and his response to the inevitable questions about the incident was measured in the extreme.

"All I remember is sitting in the wall, " Hamilton told Sky Sports F1, refusing to drag Maldonado into the conversation, before admitting that he was struggling with his tyres, "That's racing - sometimes you just have to suck it up. I don't know where I would have finished, but my tyres were gone. On the last lap, they suddenly just went - it was almost as if I had flat tyres at the back. We've got a lot of work to do to pick up the pace because we were really struggling today. It's definitely tough, but we still have many more races."

McLaren's post-race statement contained an equally measured reaction to the incident, with Hamilton congratulating former rival Alonso before reflecting on a little good fortune from the weekend.

“We lost some points today – fortunately, however, a couple of other drivers fighting at the front also missed out, so it's not the end of the world," he admitted, "It just makes things a little bit tougher. Today was just a bad day in the office – but that's motor racing. I'm already looking forward to the next grand prix, at Silverstone.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.06.2012- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34 and Alexander Wurz (AUT)
24.06.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
23.06.2012- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
24.06.2012- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
24.06.2012- Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40

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Sorry sasha - Unregistered

June 25, 2012 8:36 AM

You cannot account for the idiotic Maldonado, the same applies to him, he had a decisive tyre advantage that should have gained him second place safely and fairly, yet he took out one of the Championship contenders with a retarded GP3 move, as well as himself. Hamilton had blocked him totally correctly, had the line, Maldo left the track and seemingly rejoined with the intent to cause a crash.

Colin - Unregistered

June 25, 2012 9:09 AM

It seems that Lewis is not allowed to take the racing line like anyone else in his position is entitled to do according to maldinardo. He should know that if he wanted to pass Hamilton he should have done it at an appropriate time. It seems that he was lucky to get the pathetic two place penalty. Perhaps a 10 grid slot drop next race would have been more appropriate. Their was a lot of overtaking during the race and no one else managed to make such a hash of it.

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