Hamilton Settles for Third, Shows Class

By: Anthony Fontanelle

In his debut home race, Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes is expected and supported by many to win. Before the race though, the rookie sensation advised his countrymen to enjoy the weekend spectacle no matter the outcome. While not expecting to lose in front of his countrymen, Hamilton failed to win the race but manages to extend his strung of podium finishes. The loss also showed the class that Hamilton brings to the sport.

Although he won pole position, the British Formula One driver was overtaken by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen when he went into the pits. With his third place finish, the young driver showed class by taking the blame himself and not badmouthing his team for his car's subpar performance.

The flair shown by Hamilton is being compared by many to seven-time champion Michael Schumacher. The two are both talented drivers and both are able to face their shortcomings on the tracks. Both these drivers would rather hold themselves accountable than point a finger towards the pit.

Hamilton admitted that it was a wrong decision on his part which cost him a win in his home race. "Obviously we worked extremely hard this weekend. I think we made a wrong decision, or I made a wrong decision with the set-up," said Hamilton.

"I chose a different rear end to Fernando (Alonso) and I think it really caused me problems during the race. Even in qualifying we didn't really have the pace that I should have had but it was too late by then to change the car. It's a good lesson. We've come away with a ninth podium position, the most consistent driver, I think, and I have to be happy with that, and we have to look forward and hope to do better in the next race."

This reminded everyone that Hamilton is still a rookie and is still learning the ropes. But given that, he still managed to lead all the drivers in the race for the championship. Hamilton will go into the European Grand Prix with a 12 point lead over teammate and double world champion Fernando Alonso. Other drivers posing a strong challenge for Hamilton is the duo from Ferrari. Both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are within contention for the championship.

Hamilton and Alonso are both using the MP4-22 car with Mercedes-Benz engine and other components. With the lead on the drivers' championship, Hamilton may be showing the way ahead with the help of a if they are ever permitted in Formula One cars.

Hamilton said that the team decided to not push the car to the limit in preparation for the European Grand Prix. Hamilton explained: "We had an interesting race. I got a good start and tried to pull out a gap, but Kimi was extremely quick. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the pit stop, which obviously lost me a few seconds of valuable time. I tried to push, but continued to struggle with the balance. I tried to drive round the issues and although I was a bit more consistent towards the end the team chooses to save the engine for the NÃ?rburgring and backed off for a safe third."

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