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Hamilton: China error doesn`t haunt me.

Lewis Hamilton has claimed that he doesn't suffer nightmares recalling how last year's Formula One world championship slipped out of his grasp, even though he is heading into the final two races of 2008 in a remarkably similar situation.

This time last year, the Briton - then a rookie riding a wave of success with the McLaren team - arrived at the penultimate round of the season with a twelve-point advantage over closest rival - and team-mate - Fernando Alonso and 17 points in hand over third-placed Kimi Raikkonen, having produced a wet-weather masterclass at Fuji. However, a mistake entering the pits on worn tyres in tricky conditions saw the McLaren end up beached in the gravel and, with Raikkonen leading Alonso across the line, the battle went on to Interlagos - where, of course, Raikkonen completed an unexpected comeback to snatch the title by a single point.

Fast forward twelve months and Hamilton, now undisputed McLaren team leader despite being in only his second year of F1, arrives at the penultimate round of the season with a diminishing five-point advantage over Ferrari's Felipe Massa, with outsider Robert Kubica just a dozen points adrift thanks to the consistency of his results with BMW Sauber.

Hamilton's recent performances, however, have had a degree of déjà vu about them - with an unfathomable mistake over tyres seeing him exit Italian GP qualifying in phase two, a narrow escape from a similar fate in Singapore being followed by a bad break courtesy of the safety car and, finally, an error borne out of impetuosity in Japan contriving to limit his points haul - prompting former champions to suggest that he needs to regain his focus if he is to prevent the title going elsewhere again.

The Briton, however, remains positive, and insists that he does not replay images of last year's Shanghai gaffe when reflecting on this year's situation.

"Sometimes, I've been on YouTube and seen a video clip or a picture of me in the gravel and thought 'Damn! That shouldn't have happened', but it was a learning mistake," he claimed, "I can still move forwards from it. Things like that happen for a reason and it taught me a lot. In fact, last year, the last couple of races taught me a lot about my personality and my life - and I'm stronger for it."

Last year's Chinese Grand Prix was blighted by mixed weather conditions, and the forecast for this weekend suggest more of the same, but Hamilton is confident that he can produce whatever the conditions.

"I've said before that I don't mind racing in the wet or the dry," he pointed out, "Of course, it's safer in the dry, and I guess those are the conditions that racing drivers prefer. But, having said that, I would just prefer it if the weather wasn't too changeable during the weekend.

"When the track starts drying out, or it starts raining during the race, that is when things become a real lottery. At this stage in the season, you need things to be as reliable as possible for you."

Related Pictures

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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/22, China F1, Shanghai, 5-7th, October 2007
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Atmosphere
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Ari Vatanen (FIN)
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Grid Girls
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Monte Carlo Atmosphere
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Monte Carlo Atmosphere
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Ragged Edge

October 16, 2008 9:41 AM

If he spent as much time learning from his mistakes as he spent telling us "they're not important", and "we'll be stronger" etc he might actually win a race. Last weeks performance was a nightmare, its time to face up to things, Hamilton just doesn't have what it takes, and him constantly reassuring his fans that he does wont make any difference whatsoever. He choked last week, and I suspect we'll see another choke before the seasons end.

Ragged Edge

October 16, 2008 7:22 PM

@ fed up, not only have I raced, I still do, and not bikes either, if you dont like the views of a poster, perhaps I could respectfully suggest that you attack those views, not the poster, we can all play that silly game, I could for instance ask if your fathers taken the stabilisers off the bike for you, but I wont. I fully understand the pressures, and expectations, and I know how the mechanisms used by myself and my peers to cope with them, and they're really not that difficult to grasp, focus and stick to your gameplan is one priority, Hamilton plays down his errors to such a great degree I feel he actually believes he commits none of them, its not a good sign.

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