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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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David Coulthard to retire from F1

British Red Bull driver David Coulthard has announced he will retire from Formula One racing at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old Scot, who is currently 12th in the Drivers’ Championship with six points, told of his decision ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which will be his 237th start.

Coulthard made his debut with the Williams team in 1994 before joining McLaren two years later. He remained with them for nine years before switching to Red Bull in 2005.

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Felipe Massa takes the spoils in France

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa won the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, his third victory of the 2008 season.

Felipe Massa

The Brazilian now takes over the lead in the Formula One world championship for the first time in his short career, spanning six-seasons.

He also became the first Brazilian to top the drivers’ list since his hero, Ayrton Senna, dominated 15 years ago.

The other Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen, started the race from pole and led into the first corner, before meeting exhaust problems.

Lewis Hamilton suffered from accumulated woes, going back to the Canadian Grand Prix. A drive-through penalty saw him starting 13th on the grid. Various factors wrecked his race and he finished predictably out of the points. He now trails Massa by 10 points.

Before the race he told ITV, “I found out that there was a lot of negativity in the media, and that’s to be expected. That’s what they do: they build you up and then they break you down, but they can’t break me. There’s a lot of crap coming out in the papers. I’m here to race, and I don’t want all this stuff. But I’m very strong mentally, and my belief in my own ability is stronger than ever and there’s nothing that can break me.”

Massa’s victory was the eighth of his Formula One career.

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Lewis Hamilton loses from pole in Montreal

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton started the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position as he made a determined bid to follow up his extraordinary win in Monaco two weeks ago with another victory.

Hamilton scored his maiden Grand Prix win in Montreal last year. Now he had to contend with a blustery wind, a track that was breaking up in places, and his classy opponents’ best efforts to overturn his Championship lead.

After leading comfortably in the race, the introduction of the safety car followed by a pit stop threatened to send him way back in the field.

Coming swiftly out of the pit lane, he misjudged Kimi Raikkonen’s start and ploughed into the back of him, eliminating both.

Hamilton will now be penalized a number of places at the French Grand Prix on June 22.

Poker-playing Pole, Robert Kubica went on to win the Canadian title and now leads the Championship table.

Lewis Hamilton seems to swing between brilliance and colossal mistakes. Once again, “bad luck” dogged his path to the Championship.

May we now hope to see a return of the careful approach that led him to victory in Monte Carlo?

The French is next up.

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