Hamilton thrilled with immense pit stop

By on Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lewis Hamilton expressed his amazement at his McLaren mechanics after they changed his steering wheel during his pit stop.

The British driver struggled with a downshift problem, meaning that the team changed his wheel - and did so smoothly and efficiently.

"I don’t yet understand why I got such a poor start – it lost me ground and then I fell under attack from the guys behind. During the first lap, I was primarily focusing on not colliding with Jenson, then I saw Fernando [Alonso] in my right mirror. He was towing me from very far back. Even if I’d had a better start than I did, the guys in front were still maybe a bit too fast, particularly in the first stint", he said.

"During that first stint I started having a downshift problem – I was having to change down with my right hand instead of my left, so the team elected to change the steering wheel at the pitstop".

"I’ve never had to change a steering wheel during a race before. We’ve done it in Barcelona testing before, but never in a race. Even so, the guys did it fantastically quickly, under immense pressure, so I want to say ‘well done!’ to them all. I took the wheel off before I’d even stopped the car, and threw it out of the car. The team then fitted a new one, I clicked it into first gear, and I was away – all in just a bit over three seconds flat".

Hamilton added that he tried to catch up with Mark Webber, but the chase was ultimately futile.

"I tried to chase down Mark [Webber] in the closing laps, but by then it was too late and he was going too quickly for me to be able to mount a serious challenge. But I never give up, and, right until the very last corner, I thought I might just be able to catch him, but in the end it wasn’t to be".

Still, I loved it out there today – I can’t remember the last time I’ve pushed so far, so hard, for so long, right on the limit – it felt great. It felt fantastic, in fact, to be in the middle of such a battle".


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