Lewis Hamilton said he would have struggled to win the Korean Grand Prix even if he hadn’t gone off in front of eventual winner Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton told his official website:
I think it would have been extremely difficult. For the whole race, I was struggling with grip, and having trouble getting the car slowed down without locking the fronts.
And that’s why I ran wide at the exit of Turn One – just because it was so difficult to get the car slowed for the corner. That’s where Fernando passed me, but I really think it would only have been a matter of time before he’d been able to get through anyway.
We had pretty decent pace through sectors one and two, but the car wasn’t fast enough through the final sector, where I was losing a couple of tenths, so I think I’d have been a sitting duck along the pits straight going into the first corner. So I don’t think it would have changed the overall result.
Also, in the closing laps, my tyres started falling away really sharply and my lap times just plummeted, it was so hard to keep the car on the track. So I’m pleased with those 18 points for second – I could have done with seven more points for the win, but I’m happy with what I got.
He played down his chances of winning the championship this year, saying the MP4-25 was the slowest of the three front-running cars at the moment:
Absolutely. It’s going to be tough – we saw again in Korea that we’ve probably only got the third-fastest car, so we’re probably not the favourites – but that’s okay.
We’re bringing new parts to the car all the time, and I know we’ll have some more upgrades in Brazil – whether that will be enough, we need to wait and see. But I’m going to enjoy pushing – I’ve had some good races in Brazil, it’s a place where you can really make a charge work, so I go there feeling very optimistic and hopeful of another good showing.
At this stage, the aim has to be to go to Abu Dhabi with a mathematical possibility of winning the title. As we’ve seen so many times before, anything can happen at the final race, so Brazil will be all about prolonging the challenge and then maximizing everything for Abu Dhabi.
Of course, it would be nice to take a win at Interlagos, but we’re taking it all one step at a time at the moment.
Hamilton was frustrated at the delay in starting the Korean Grand Prix but said afterwards he felt the organisers got it right:
During the first start behind the safety car, it was pretty tricky – mainly because visibility was so limited. There didn’t seem to be too much rain, but there was a lot of water in the air, and that meant that the spray was pretty intense. You couldn’t see much in front of you, so it was a good move to red-flag the event.
But when we restarted again behind the safety car, I didn’t think conditions were too bad. We’ve had some pretty full-on wet races over the last couple of years – Fuji 2007, Silverstone 2008 – and I think the conditions in Korea were definitely comparable to those. That’s why I wanted to go racing.
Actually, the strangest conditions were at the very end of the race, when it started to get darker, which was another challenge – and something that you’re not used to as a Formula 1 driver. I actually think the race organisers got it just right: yes, the light was fading towards the very end of the race, but I think it would have been a controversial decision to stop the race before full-distance, as it could have potentially favoured one team or driver over another.
And, as we saw, the light levels dropped really sharply once we’d got out of the cars, so I think we got it just right.
2010 Korean Grand Prix