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McLaren praise Hamilton's 'majestic' drive
Sunday 14th October 2012, 10:49 by Ryan Wood
McLaren have hailed Lewis Hamilton's drive as 'epic, stirring, majestic and the teams hardest fought point in a very long time'.
The 27-year-old qualified third, but dropped to fourth behind Fernando Alonso at the start. However, he was able to keep up with the leaders for much of the first stint, before on lap 18 his rear anti-roll bar broke.
The result of that was increased tyre wear and decreased rear-downforce which Hamilton admitted made it very hard to fight with those around him.
"I was told after the race that my car had suffered a rear anti-roll bar failure a few laps into the second stint," he explained. "It was safe to drive – and I was trying my best with it, pushing all the way – but it was extremely hard to maintain a good pace.
"The balance was switching from corner to corner, the car was moving around along the straights, and it was eating up the tyres, which meant we lost further ground by being forced onto a three-stop strategy."
To compound his torrid race, a loose section of astro-turf attached itself to his car.
"To make things even more difficult, I then picked up some stray run-off Astroturf, which tangled itself around my sideboard winglet for the final few laps. It stalled the diffuser – so I had no rear downforce at the end, which made it even trickier to hang on to 10th place."
Hamilton meanwhile admitted his race to the title is somewhat over after Sebastian Vettel sailed into the lead after winning his third consecutive race.
"In terms of winning the world championship, logic suggests that that's probably it for me. Having said that, there are a lot of points still up for grabs, so I’ll keep pushing. Stranger things have happened, and I’ll never give up."
McLaren's team principal Martin Whitmarsh praised the 2008 champions drive.
"Lewis may have scored only a single world championship point this afternoon, but I'm happy to be quoted as saying that it was probably the hardest won and most heroically fought world championship point in McLaren’s long history.
"He clung on to 10th place. Believe me, it was an epic, stirring, majestic drive."