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Lewis Hamilton wins in China

Lewis Hamilton in China Lewis Hamilton won the penultimate Grand Prix of the season with a comfortable run from pole.

With his only possible rival, Felip Massa, second, he inched his lead to seven points with only the finale at Massa’s home track in Brazil to come.

This was a much more sensible performance by Hamilton, obviously playing it by percentage advantage now, instead of the wild and woolly driving we’ve become used to in previous outings.

In Brazil, he needs to maintain this attitude. A rush of blood to the head and a collision with another opponent leaving Massa to glide to a win or podium finish, would be more than Hamilton fans could bear.

We shall see.

Earlier
Lewis Hamilton secured pole position in today’s qualifying for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix, the penultimate of the season.

His only rival for the title, Felipe Massa, was third. Hamilton needs to beat him by six points to win the championship in Shanghai. A trip to Massa’s home territory, Brazil, for the final showdown would possibly be a spinetingler too far for the edgy Englishman.

After a disappointing first lap Hamilton’s second was immaculate as he lapped in 1m 36.203s. He led outgoing world champion, Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen for pole position by 0.342s.

“I came here in a good frame of mind,” Hamilton said. “And we’ve been competitive all weekend. I lost a lot of time on my first qualifying run, following a big oversteer moment at turn eight, but my second felt almost perfect.”

If Hamilton succeeds, it will be 50 years to the day since Mike Hawthorn became Britain’s first world champion by taking second place in the 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix in Casablanca.

How they will start on the grid:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 1min 36.303secs
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:36.645
3 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:36.889
4 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:36.927
5 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 1:36.930
6 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:37.083
7 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:37.201
8 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:37.685
9 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:37.934
10 Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:38.885
11 Nelson Piquet Jr. (Bra) Renault 1:35.722
12 Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:35.814
13 Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:35.937
14 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Honda 1:36.079
15 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 1:36.210
16 David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull 1:36.731
17 Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams 1:36.863
18 Jenson Button (Gbr) Honda 1:37.053
19 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:37.730
20 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India 1:37.739

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Lewis Hamilton beaten in Belgium by stewards

Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton’s run of bad luck continues. After producing a sizzling performance to take the the Belgian Grand Prix, he was later denied it because of a technical infringement on one of the chicanes.

The officials — who seem to have it in for him — reduced his placing from 1st to 3rd, leaving main rival Felipe Massa only two points adrift in the title race.

The moment of truth came as Hamilton attempted to overtake Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the Bus Stop chicane three laps from the finish. The leaders entered the chicane side by side as their tyres touched. As a result Hamilton cut across the inside of the chicane and emerged in the lead. Following the rules, he braked to allow Raikkonen to pass him, before going at him again and overtaking on the inside.

Raikkonen then took Hamilton again but crashed on the penultimate lap due to running on dry tyres on a wet track.

Two hours later, after Hamilton had celebrated his victory with champagne on the podium after one of Formula One’s classic races — his fifth win of the season — he was told that instead of an eight-point lead over Felipe Massa in the drivers’ championship, his advantage had been cut to two points.

The McLaren team intend to appeal against the 25-second drive-through penalty imposed on their driver. A strong suspicion remains that they always comes off second-best in a dispute with Ferrarl.

Positions in the Drivers’ Championship
1 Lewis Hamilton GB 76
2 Felipe Massa Bra 74
3 Robert Kubica Pol 58
4 Kimi Räikkönen Fin 57
5 Nick Heidfeld Ger 49
6 Heikki Kovalainen Fin 43
7 Jarno Trulli Ita 26
8 Fernando Alonso Spa 23

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Lewis Hamilton 5th in Hungary

It’s not exactly what you would call success to start on pole position for a Grand Prix but finish fifth. Yet that’s what Lewis Hamilton did in the Hungarian GP and celebrated afterwards.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton after gaining pole in Hungary

In mitigation, he lost out to a bullish start by Felipe Massa who gambled on an outrageous outside passing manoeuvre on the first bend. Hamilton later suffered a puncture, but managed to limp to the pits and re-enter the race.

Hamilton was helped by his nearest rival, Massa, blowing his engine three laps out. He thus retains his World Championship lead by 5 points from Kimi Raikkonen.

The race was won by Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen.

Earlier
On a track notorious for the difficulty of overtaking, Lewis Hamilton is in pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

After a courageous win in Germany a fortnight ago when his team made a crucial mistake that initially sent him backwards through the field, and a stunning performance at Silverstone, Hamilton is now four points ahead in the Drivers’ Championship.

His McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is beside him on the front row. The Ferrari of Felipe Massa is in third, while Kimi Raikkonen’s recent run of poor form continued as the current world champion qualified in sixth place.

With a fair wind and a bit of luck, Hamilton should make it three in a row. This season though has been characterized by the ups and downs of unforced errors and rotten bad luck.

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Lewis Hamilton romps home at Silverstone

On a wet weekend in England, Heikki Kovalainen managed the first pole position of his career and succeeded in putting his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the shade, back in fourth spot on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton wins at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton greeted by his team at Silverstone

That was Saturday’s Qualifying. The British Grand Prix itself was a very different picture.

Former World Champion, Jackie Stewart watched Hamilton complete the drive of his life to claim a race rendered treacherous by torrential rain.

He later said, “What we saw was a masterful drive. He really behaved himself beautifully. The outstanding talent this young man has was fully demonstrated, because you couldn’t get conditions any more difficult than that.”

This was Hamilton’s third win of the season, and puts the British ace into a share of the championship lead with chief rivals, current Champion, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. The two Ferrari drivers were among many to spin on a track often awash with water.

The 90,000 crowd gave Hamilton an overwhelming ovation, well aware that this victory puts him in serious contention for this year’s title. He just needs to avoid the kind of rush of blood to the head we’ve seen too often this season, and his tendency to “overdrive” on occasions.

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