Hamilton concedes title defeat
Lewis Hamilton has conceded defeat in this year's World Championship after a 'disastrous' Italian GP weekend.
Just two races after emerging as an unlikely title contender with his maiden victory for the Mercedes team at Hungary, the 2008 World Champion has fallen 81 points behind Sebastian Vettel with just seven events remaining. Cue the white flag.
"Obviously that's that for the championship," a forlorn Hamilton admitted after trailing home in a lowly ninth.
He deserved better. Although the result told a different tale, Hamilton was arguably the driver of the race as he overcame a strategy-wrecking slow puncture and the considerable inconvenience of a broken radio to fight his way back into a points-scoring position.
"It almost blinds you," Hamilton said of his radio failure which meant he was late to stop for both of his two visits to the pitlane for new tyres.
"You don't know what's happening in the race, you don't know when to stop - even spotting the pitboard is confusing because there are so many pitboards - and you don't know when to push and when not to push. It just meant it was much more than me, but I managed."
So well, in fact, that Hamilton ended the grand prix boasting the fastest lap of the race, but the damage had been done in qualifying when the Mercedes driver failed to reach the top-ten shoot-out for the first time in three years.
Oh what might have been. "We clearly saw in the race that he had the speed," noted Sky F1's Anthony Davidson. "What a shame."