Lewis Hamilton has blamed his tyre strategy for his failure to challenge for the win at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, his home event and the ninth round in the 2007 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Although the Englishman successfully defending P1 off the line - and made the most of his pole position - he never managed to pull out much of an advantage over Kimi Raikkonen in the first stint and at one point the Finn almost passed him.

Hamilton, who started on the harder tyres, then lost out following his first pit-stop, when he made a minor error and tried to leave before his mechanics had finished re-fuelling his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-22.

Lewis then re-joined behind both Kimi and his team-mate, Fernando Alonso and after that dropped further and further back, only really feeling comfortable in his final stint when he swapped to the softer of the two Bridgestone tyres.

He eventually finished nearly 40 seconds off Raikkonen, who took the victory and while there was no doubt he was somewhat disappointed not to have taken the win on home soil, third was still a very credible result on his first British F1 grand prix.

"We had an interesting race. I got a good start and tried to pull out a gap, but Kimi was extremely quick. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the pitstop, which obviously lost me a few seconds of valuable time. I tried to push, but continued to struggle with the balance," he reflected.

"I tried to drive round the issues and although I was a bit more consistent towards the end the team choose to save the engine for the N?rburgring and backed off for a safe third.

"I think that the tyre choice played a big role in the race, and ultimately starting with the harder tyre was not the best way to go as the softer tyre was clearly faster. However we have come away with more points. I have to say the fans have been tremendous this weekend, and the race would have been harder without their support."

For the record, third place also minimised the damage in terms of the drivers' championship, which Hamilton still leads by 12 points, 2 less than coming into this weekend's event.



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