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Hamilton says Maldonado incident just a blip

Reuters
Nov 16, 2012 at 12:26pm IST

London: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has written off his Valencia run-in with Pastor Maldonado as merely a blip in what he hopes will be a winning season.

Looking forward to a home British Grand Prix at Silverstone next week, the 2008 Formula One world champion told Reuters Television in an interview that he had put the controversy behind him and had moved on.

"I just move forward. It's in the past; it doesn't really matter now," Hamilton said at a London event for sponsors Santander. "I'm still in the battle for the title. There's still a long, long way to go and I've been massively consistent all the way up until here, and in terms of my preparation and my approach, I will continue to keep the same," he added.

Hamilton says Maldonado incident just a blip

The McLaren driver has written off the accident and hopes to win the championship this season.

"It's not as if I drove into the wall on my own. I didn't make the mistake on my own, so I think I will just continue to do what I'm doing and try and stay out of trouble more."

Hamilton was defending third place in the European Grand Prix against Maldonado on the penultimate lap when the Venezuelan lost control of his Williams and shunted Hamilton into the wall and out of the race.

Hamilton pummelled the steering wheel with his fists before tossing it out of the car and clambering out of the dented McLaren, saying very little to the reporters afterwards.

Maldonado, a winner of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona in May, was blamed by stewards and given a time penalty after the race that cost him 10th place.

Hamilton had been leading the championship after seven races, two points clear of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, but he ended up 23 points adrift of the Spaniard following the eighth round in Valencia.

"I definitely didn't get out of the car smiling but these things happen. This is what motor racing is about. It's what competition is about and you go through these kinds of experiences," said Hamilton. "I feel it's just a blip in what can be a great year."

PITLANE PROBLEMS

With 12 races still to come, including Silverstone, he still has plenty of time to catch up even if Alonso has been remarkably consistent so far.

Hamilton so far has one win under his belt, in Canada this month, in a season that saw seven different winners in the first seven races.

The Briton said he would be going all out at Silverstone to win for the second time a race that was up there with winning Monaco, another grand prix he has dominated in the past, in his list of favourites.

McLaren have been plagued with pitlane problems that are proving tough to eradicate, despite marked improvements in procedures, and that will be a concern for both Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button. "They're always a concern because it's been a problem every race so far," Hamilton said.

"You put it behind you, you go to the next race with the mindset that there're not going to be any problems. Last weekend our first pitstop was I think the fastest pitstop of all time, the fastest in Formula One ever, or so I'm told.

"So if we can try and keep up with that, or even just slow up a little bit, and still be quicker than other people's [speed] and have consistency, then we're in good shape."

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