Hamil­ton: F1 ti­tle come­back ‘not as tough as you think’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamil­ton of Bri­tain lis­tens to a ques­tion dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the Sin­ga­pore For­mula One Grand Prix on the Ma­rina Bay City Cir­cuit, Sin­ga­pore. SIN­GA­PORE (AP): HAV­ING SEEN his ti­tle ri­val win three straight races in four weeks, Lewis Hamil­ton could be for­given for fear­ing the worst about the des­tiny of the 2016 For­mula One ti­tle, but the Bri­ton still be­lieves he can re­verse the cur­rent cham­pi­onship tide.

Hamil­ton had a frus­trat­ing week­end in Sin­ga­pore and was off the pace of his ri­val and Mercedes team­mate Nico Ros­berg in all three prac­tice ses­sions, qual­i­fy­ing and the race. That was com­pounded by a hy­draulic fail­ure in prac­tice that cost him a lot of long-run prac­tice.

Given that, a third-place fin­ish and an eight-point cham­pi­onship deficit to Ros­berg rep­re­sented an ac­cept­able level of dam­age lim­i­ta­tion.

“A very try­ing week­end, th­ese ones come along some­times and you just have to take it on the chin some­times,” a philo­soph­i­cal Hamil­ton said post-race.

Hamil­ton has over­come cham­pi­onship ad­ver­sity al­ready this year. When Ros­berg won the open­ing four races of the sea­son, the points gap was 43, but seven races later, the Bri­ton had pulled ahead. Now he has to do it again.

“It’s not as tough as you think, I don’t know why,” Hamil­ton said. “We’ve come from 43 points down, so the­o­ret­i­cally, eight points isn’t any­where near as steep as that.

“With ev­ery­thing that’s gone on this year, I’m still in the fight, there’s still a long way to go and I’m go­ing to give it ev­ery­thing I’ve got.”

Hamil­ton suf­fered through the first two-thirds of the race with over­heat­ing brakes on the pun­ish­ing stop-start cir­cuit.


“I just had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away,” Hamil­ton said. “Once I did my (last) stop, all of a sud­den my brakes were un­der con­trol.”

Ros­berg hung on for the nar­row­est For­mula One vic­tory for six years, cel­e­brat­ing his 200th ca­reer start in per­fect style as he re­claimed the cham­pi­onship lead.

Ros­berg held on to beat a fastfin­ish­ing Daniel Ric­cia­rdo of Red Bull by just 0.488 of a sec­ond at the Ma­rina Bay street cir­cuit, while Hamil­ton took third place, nar­rowly in front of Fer­rari’s Kimi Raikko­nen.

Ros­berg’s third suc­ces­sive win and first in Sin­ga­pore, took him back to the top of the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship, eight points ahead of Hamil­ton with six races left.

Ric­cia­rdo, hav­ing pit­ted for fresh tires with 14 laps left, sliced Ros­berg’s lead from 25 sec­onds to un­der a sec­ond, but ul­ti­mately fell just short of over­tak­ing the Ger­man.

It was the clos­est F1 fin­ish since the 2010 race at this venue when Fer­nando Alonso edged Se­bas­tian Vet­tel by three-tenths of a sec­ond.

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