Canadian GP - McLaren Mercedes - Race
Felipe Massa failed to spot the red light at the end of the pitlane at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year, but this year Lewis Hamilton failed to see the very same light and two stationary Formula One cars as he made contact with the back of Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane following a safety car period in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton led from pole position until the safety car intervened but lost out in his pit stop to both Raikkonen and eventual race winner Robert Kubica before the incident took place. Hamilton and Raikkonen both retired on the spot and the team leave Montreal with no points as Heikki Kovalainen took the chequered flag in ninth position.
Hamilton will reportedly take a ten position grid penalty to the next race in Magny Cours as he drops to joint second in the championship tied with Massa and Robert Kubica.
"Before my pit stop, everything looked on course for the perfect result: we were so quick, we were breezing it in fact. But it wasn’t a great pit stop - and, as I exited the box, I saw two cars jostling for position ahead of me in the pit lane. Obviously, I didn’t want to get involved in their tussle, and was trying not to do so, and then all of a sudden they stopped. And by the time they’d come to a halt, it was too late for me to avoid them. It’s just unfortunate when stuff like this happens, but I have no argument with the stewards. We’d looked so strong for the whole weekend though, so at least we can leave Montreal confident that we have a package that will enable us to fight for the World Championship from here on in."
"Today wasn’t a great day for me. At the start of the race I felt we had the potential to record a very good result - but then I started to experience quite a lot of graining on my first set of tyres.
Changing tyres didn’t seem to help matters, and I was never therefore able to push hard to the finish. It’s always difficult when you come home empty-handed, but this weekend has shown that we have a package that can compete for a win - and I’ll keep pushing for exactly that in Magny-Cours."
"Obviously, for a team that exists to win, today was a very disappointing day. But the fact is that we had the pace and therefore the capability to win, which is of course encouraging. The collision that eliminated Lewis was just one of those things. No racing driver would deliberately put himself out of a Grand Prix, and the plain fact is that Lewis didn’t realise that the cars in front of him were coming to a halt until too late. It’s difficult for a driver to decide whether to focus on the lights or on the cars ahead in situations like that. Having said that, we accept the stewards’ decision. Heikki had a difficult weekend, too. But, together as a team, we’ll build on the disappointment of Canada 2008."
"A race to quickly forget. Lewis held a comfortable lead and controlled the field until the 20th lap and had the best chance of winning, when his accident at the pit lane exit destroyed them. We now concentrate on the next race, Lewis is just four points behind the leader in the World Championship. Congratulations to BMW on their 1-2 victory - well done!"
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