Title fight is over says Hamilton, Button slams Kobayashi
By Berthold Bouman
Lewis Hamilton thinks his race for the 2012 crown is over after scoring just one point at the Korean Yeongam circuit. “In terms of winning the World Championship, logic suggests that that’s probably it for me,” said a disappointed Hamilton. “We were still in the fight up until now but it’s too far away. We’ll keep fighting in the Constructors’.
“It doesn’t feel great to experience days like these, but every cloud has a silver lining. Put it this way: it’s good to see what’s in your heart when you keep fighting. Days like these show the true spirit within.”
Hamilton’s car had suffered from a rear anti-roll bar failure, the team found that out after his first stint, which explained the unusual tyre-wear, which in its turn compromised the car’s handling and balance. And three laps before the end of the race he picked up a strip of artificial grass which got stuck on his right sidepod. “It stalled the diffuser — so I had no rear downforce at the end, which made it even trickier to hang on to 10th place,” Hamilton explained.
Jenson Button was forced into retirement as Kamui Kobayashi took off his McLaren’s right front wheel, and the 2009 World Champion didn’t even complete a full lap. “It’s pretty poor driving standards considering this is the pinnacle of motorsport,” Button said about Kobayashi. “And it’s such a long race … the race is not two corners long and some people need to know that and whether they will ever learn that we’ll have to wait and see.”
And he too realises his championship aspirations are now pretty much over. “I no longer have a realistic chance to win the World Championship, so I’ll be enjoying myself over the final four races. Scoring points for the team in the Constructors’ World Championship will be the most important priority, so I’ll be focusing on picking up as many as I possibly can,” Button said after the race.
It was a miserable race for McLaren, as they lost their second place in the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari, but only six points separate the two teams. There are still 100 points on the table, so there is still a lot to fight for, McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh thinks, and he’s determined to do so.
“That’s what McLaren’s incredible team spirit is all about,” he said, adding, “That’s why McLaren has won one in four of all the Grands Prix that have been staged since our team first entered World Championship Grand Prix racing 46 long years ago. And that’s why we’ll be moving heaven and earth to win the four Grands Prix that still remain this year.
“It won’t be easy, but I promise you we’ll all be giving it our very best shot.”
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