Hamilton’s rollercoaster weekend

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, Nurburgring, qualifyingIf you believe in fate, it certainly had it in for Lewis Hamilton this weekend. His fortune swung from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye at the Nurburgring.

He suffered a massive accident in qualifying that was not of his own making – hitting the barriers at 140mph after a failure on his McLaren.

But he had a remarkable stroke of fortune in the race when he was able to re-start after being pulled out of a gravel trap by a crane. Here’s how his rollercoaster weekend unfolded:

UNLUCKY – Crashes at 140mph in qualifying after his front right tyre works loose. Taken away on a stretcher and airlifted to hospital.

LUCKY – Escapes serious injury and is able to race.

LUCKY – Inspired start puts him fourth from tenth at turn two.

UNLUCKY – The BMWs tangle and puncture his tyre, sending him to the pits for a replacement.

LUCKY – Rain ours down meaning everyone else will need an early stop for tyres anyway.

UNLUCKY – As the rainwater gets too deep for the cars to pass through turn one, Hamilton is one of several cars to spear off at the corner.

LUCKY – Hamilton stays in the car with the engine running gets extracted from the gravel trap by a rescue crane and re-started, now a lap down.

LUCKY – The race is stopped and Hamilton is allowed to take his lap back under the rules. He is also able to get in a ‘free’ pit stop to take on more fuel.

UNLUCKY – He switches to dry weather tyres too early and is lapped again.

UNLUCKY – Lapped by Felipe Massa, hindering his progress through the field and giving him one fewer lap to overtake other cars.

UNLUCKY – Stays on dry weather tyres for a lap too long, possible because the team needed to prioritise Fernando Alonso’s pit stop to keep him within range of Massa.

UNLUCKY – Beaten to the last points-paying position by Heikki Kovalainen by 1.5s.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “Hamilton’s rollercoaster weekend”

  1. It was an amazing weekend to watch – you forgot the fact that he had flu in the run-up as well!

    Although the gods seemed determined that Hamilton’s run of podiums should end at this race, it also seemed that the FIA were determined he should get every opportunity to keep the run going…

    To allow him to pass the safety car and catch up with the pack is one thing – it’s in the new rules after all – but to allow a crane to lift him back onto the circuit surely shouldn’t be allowed.

    I know Michael Schumacher got a little push from the marshalls a few years ago, and I seem to recall that got a bit of bad publicity at the time as being unsporting – but that was nothing compared to the helping hand Lewis got yesterday!

    If that had been a Spyker or Toro Rosso, would they have been allowed to continue?

  2. Yes they would – if they’d remembered to keep their engines running, which Speed and Sutil failed to do. I gather from grandprix.com that Liuzzi’s suspension prevented any possibility of him continuing.

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