• Korean Grand Prix

Hamilton reveals suspension failure

ESPN Staff
October 14, 2012 « Webber blames poor start for second place | Vettel felt tyres were under control »
Lewis Hamilton was competitive early on before his car failure © Press Association

Lewis Hamilton said another rear suspension failure was the reason he struggled to tenth place in the Korean Grand Prix.

Having started in third, Hamilton was fourth in the opening stint and matching pace with Fernando Alonso ahead of him. However, towards the end of the stint Hamilton dropped back and complained of a problem which resulted in him dropping through the field and resorting to a three-stop strategy en-route to tenth place.

Hamilton said it was another rear suspension failure after he suffered one in qualifying in Suzuka - though team principal Martin Whitmarsh said it was a rear anti-roll bar failure - and made the car very difficult to drive.

"Sam Michael just came to me and said that we had a rear suspension problem in the first stint, but they said it was safe for me to drive," Hamilton said. "I did ask [during the race] but I wasn't expecting them to tell me. They said 'we know what the problem is' but I was just fighting the whole way with the car.

"I don't know if you saw but down the pit straight the car was just moving, so I was correcting it all the time, which is really strange."

While the car was uncompetitive, Hamilton was content that he had driven as well as he could in the circumstances to salvage a point.

"It was a real test but I just did absolutely everything I could. It wasn't particularly fun; moving backwards and then fighting with the Toro Rosso - a McLaren should never be fighting with a Toro Rosso and it should never be fighting with a Force India - but I put up as strong a fight as I could with Kimi without colliding.

"This rules that we're pretty much out of the championship today but sometimes these races show the true spirit within, so I feel quite comfortable with myself that I pushed and I gave it everything."

Some Astroturf lodged on to Hamilton's car towards the end of the race and slowed him even further, but he said it just accentuated the problem he already had.

"It just added on to where my car was going anyway so I was lucky that I was able to at least hold on and hold on to tenth."