Jean Todt offered rare praise for one of Ferrari's biggest rivals this season, describing Lewis Hamilton's return to Istanbul Park as 'fantastic'.

The Briton was leading the chase of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen in the Turkish Grand Prix - and had taken the lead while his rivals pitted for a second time - when his right-front tyre suffered a delamination. Having kept the car out of the turn nine gravel trap, Hamilton had no option but to return to the pits for a replacement, losing not only time, but also two positions. Dropping to fifth, minor front wing damage - caused by the flailing rubber - meant that he was unable to make up the lost ground, conceding points to all of his title rivals.

Todt, however, was quick to offer praise for Hamilton who, while considering him fortunate to take points on Sunday, he feels has done a stunning job in his first year of Formula One.

"Lewis did a fantastic race," the Frenchman insisted, "After what happened, he was quite lucky to bring four points home but, when you look at what he has done this season, he is doing a great job. He was even quite successful when he had a problem today. It can happen to any of us, and it is part of racing."

The comments will be seen by many as an overture to Hamilton, who has been linked to a possible switch to Ferrari should he feel his relationship with McLaren is untenable given recent problems with both team-mate Fernando Alonso and the management.

 

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