Lewis Hamilton has belief McLaren can still deliver him one final win before he brings the curtain down on his 14 years with the team.
The last beacon of light was extinguished yesterday on Hamilton’s Formula One world championship hopes, a situation he described as “heartbreaking” in its aftermath.
Hamilton could only finish fourth in the Indian Grand Prix, a race won by Sebastian Vettel, the 24-year-old German’s fourth in a row as he again dominated from lights to flag to open up a 13-point cushion over runner-up Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari.
It leaves Hamilton 75 points adrift of Vettel with only 75 up for grabs from the final three races in Abu Dhabi next Sunday, then the United States and Brazil next month. To put the deficit into context, going into the Singapore GP where Vettel took advantage of a gearbox failure on Hamilton’s car to set up his winning run, the Briton led the German at that stage by two points. The title may be gone, but Hamilton would at least love one more win with McLaren before he signs off and joins Mercedes next season.
“It’s still something I’d like to achieve,” said Hamilton.
“I don’t really know what’s coming in terms of development over the next three races, but I still have faith in the team.
“It’s going to be incredibly tough, but if I can drive like I did at the end in India — which for me was the best I’ve driven all year — and we’ve the pace at one of the races, then I believe we can win.”
Hamilton has admitted one of his “now famous poor starts” sparked his early downfall, dropping him from third to fifth come the end of lap one after a superb tussle with teammate Jenson Button and Alonso.
Kimi to continue with Lotus in 2013
Former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen (left) will stay at Lotus next season after agreement was reached to extend his contract, the team said yesterday. The 33-year-old took time out from F1 in 2010 and 2011 to participate in the World Rally Championship before returning this season to secure six podium finishes.