Fuel pump issue delivers Hamilton final blow

ALAN BALDWIN
Last updated 09:22 05/11/2012

Relevant offers

Motorsport

SuperTourers pole for Simon Evans at Hampton Downs Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg give new Mercedes car a test drive at Silverstone Huge praise for New Zealand driver Scott Dixon as new IndyCar season looms Australian V8 driver Tony D’Alberto late entry to NZ SuperTourer races field Vettel warns: Don't expect too much from Ferrari Otaki youngster firing up racing career Manawatu farmer Blake Gloyn sets world record on drag strip Minimum outlay; maximum excitement in new 2k Cup car racing Paul Kelly swaps Porsche for Firebird at Highlands Festival of Speed Kiwi driver Simon Evans out to consolidate SuperTourers lead at Hampton Downs

Any lingering interest Lewis Hamilton had in this year's Formula One drivers' title chase ended today when his McLaren slowed and stopped as he was leading the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position.

The Briton, who won in the oil-rich emirate last year, parked up on the grass runoff after 20 of the 55 laps of the day-night race at Yas Marina. McLaren blamed the mechanical fuel pump.

"The car was a dream to drive. I was cruising and pulling away so it was a shame the engine just died," he told BBC television. "It was some kind of fuel problem but it was an incredible race, good to watch."

It was the second time in five races that the 2008 champion, who is moving to Mercedes next season in place of the retiring Michael Schumacher, had been stopped by a mechanical problem while leading.

In Singapore in September he pulled over and out with gearbox problems. Today's race was the first time he had started on pole position since then.

Hamilton started the race 75 points behind Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel. There are now only 50 remaining to be won from the final two races and only the German and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso remain in the reckoning.

"Lewis did a great job, did everything right and it should have been in the bag for us so it's gutting but that sometimes happens," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

"Mercedes (McLaren's engine providers) have always given us good reliable systems so it looks like one of those things that happen. If it's parts that we don't make there's not a lot we can do."

Hamilton made a great start and, after dominating practice and qualifying with his cousins and family looking on, looked to be romping to victory at Yas Marina.

He had a 'wide moment' early on but otherwise seemed very much in control.

"I hope the car performs over the next two races. I'm happy with the job I did, I couldn't have done any more," said the Briton.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog