McLaren Doesn't Blame Hamilton for Singapore DNF

Lewis Hamilton scored back-to-back DNFs in Monza and Singapore, and it's needless to say it caused some serious damage to his title hopes this season. What was even more worrying though, both retirements came as consequences of driving errors, the last one being while battling his very title rival Mark Webber.

On Lap 35, shortly after the Safety Car went in, Hamilton tried to take advantage of Webber's poor restart and managed to overtake him on the long straight heading to Turn 7, but was unable to put a full car's length between him and the Australian driver by the aforementioned left-hander. Consequently, he entered Webber's racing line and made contact with him, causing his McLaren MP4-25 to suffer a puncture.

Talking to the media after the race, Ham said he didn't know what happened on Lap 35, as he believed he had the edge over Webber heating to Turn 7.

I saw that he'd made a mistake, and had got caught up with the backmarkers, so I was in position to slipstream him. I was on the outside going into Turn Seven, and he was in my blind-spot, just behind me,” said Hamilton.

I thought I'd got sufficiently past him, though. I braked, turned in, and tried to leave enough room for him on the inside – and the next thing I knew I'd got clipped, my tire was blown, and that was it. But, as the saying goes, I guess that's motor racing,” added the British driver, who has now slipped to 3rd in the overall classification, 9 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh defended his driver, arguing that, unlike Monza, the 2008 F1 champion now made a solid overtaking maneuver that just went bad.

I don't believe Lewis did anything wrong. I am not trying to get into the blame game but I think he made a good overtaking manoeuvre. Whenever you overtake someone, if they are not going to comply or ease then there is a degree of risk, but this was not a late-braking or late-lunge. He got past on the straight, he was ahead going into that corner,” said Whitmarsh.

He reasonably expected to be able to determine his line, he left a bit of space for Mark and I think Mark was committed quite late and not able to go through on the inside. He hit Lewis. Mark was very lucky to get away with it absolutely and Lewis was very unlucky. But there is no blame attached to Lewis for what happened today.”
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