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A Nightmare Of A Weekend For Lewis Hamilton

Apr 8, 2008
Up until this weekend the start that Lewis Hamilton had experienced in Formula 1 had been a dream come true. Despite the tyre difficulties in China last year, his experience so far been on the whole good; this was until Bahrain, here he had one hell of a weekend and most will consider this the worst weekend of his racing career. More widely however the Sakhir circuit saw fortune fail for McLaren, and instead decide to favour rivals Ferrari.

The weekend started poorly for Lewis Hamilton, during the practise session on Friday he crashed and dominated headlines worldwide. The crash saw Hamilton lose control of his car in a high speed corner and crash into the barriers wrecking the majority of his car. Things however got worse for the team and especially Lewis Hamilton.

Saturday's qualifying session saw McLaren blighted by relatively slow pace with Lewis only managing to gain a place in the second row and team mate Kovalainen placing in fifth. This slow pace meant that the two British cars were sitting behind not only Ferrari but also BMW Sauber. In a race where McLaren had performed well last year this was a surprising outcome. At the start of the weekend they would have expected at least a front row placing.

If qualifying was poor for Lewis Hamilton, Sunday's race would prove to be both traumatic and disappointing. While the rest of the pack got off to a decent start, Hamilton in a rare momentary lapse put his car in the wrong engine setting and ended up falling to tenth place. Hamilton, always the first to blame himself openly admitted the mistake but at this point the young Brit could have salvaged the situation and maybe have gained a podium finish. The odds were always stacked against him after this mistake however and battling through the pack would not only prove difficult, but next to impossible.

During a tussle with ex-team mate Fernando Alonso in the Renault, Hamilton managed to clip the Spanish driver's rear end and completely rip off his front wing. This meant that Lewis would have to make an unscheduled stop and lose yet another three places. The ever philosophical Hamilton stated after the race that it was the kind of incident that occurs in racing and that it would not faze him too much in future races. He has been lucky to avoid this kind of occurrence in the majority of his races and it was inevitable that something that was going to happen at some point in his career.

McLaren's other driver experienced a better race than Hamilton, he managed to stay out of trouble and recorded a fifth place finish. He even set the fasted lap of the race in the final stages of the GP. Even with this solid performance the slow pace in qualifying was evident in the race as he could not challenge for a podium behind the BMWs and Ferraris.

The poor performance sees the British team fall to third in the driver's championship, something they will be hoping to rectify in the upcoming races. As the Formula 1 procession comes to Europe McLaren will be expecting good performances from both their drivers. BMW are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with this season and are readily snaffling points as soon as the major teams make a mistake.

For Lewis Hamilton the major concern will be righting the points deficit to championship leader Kimi Raikkonen. He will be hoping to find the pace that he has been lacking in the last two races. Last season Lewis did well in Europe and will be hoping to do the same this year. The youngster was recorded as saying that he was still optimistic that a title would be forthcoming. The season is still in its early stages and as the tour comes to the spiritual homeland of Europe the championship race is still wide open.
About the Author
Motor sport expert Thomas Pretty looks into what was a dreadful weekend of racing for Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren team.
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