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GP Week : Issue 39
>>F1australia s The Drive of a Champion LEWIS Hamilton put in the drive of a World Champion, taking third position as a result of the stewards handing Jarno Trulli a 25-second penalty following the conclusion of the race. Coming at the end of a tough weekend, in which the World Champ mustered a best practice position of 12th and started the race on the back row of the grid after a gearbox change, the overall pace of his McLaren gave him little cause for optimism. But after a typically determined drive, third position and six points was a rich and deserved reward. “We scored way more points than we could have realistically expected,”he said. “I was looking to try and get one point, so to get six is a great achievement. We’ve definitely not forgotten how to win: our strategy was perfect and the team did a fantastic job. Considering the package we’ve got, I wrung every last ounce of pace out of the car, drove one of my best ever races and absolutely raced my heart out – I’m so satisfied. “Also, my heartfelt congratulations to Jenson – he’s driven brilliantly all weekend and both he and his team really deserve this success.” The impressive nature of Hamilton’s win was not lost on new team chief Martin Whitmarsh: “Today was one of those days on which Lewis demonstrated very clearly just what a fantastic racing driver he is. Throughout the race he showed great speed and tenacity, tempered when necessary by commendable patience. “The car we supplied him wasn’t as competitive as we’d have liked it to be – we’ve made no secret of that – but we’re working flat-out, night and day, to improve it.” Struggling Ferrari left disappointed REIGNING Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions Ferrari was left licking its wounds at the Australian Grand Prix, after a trying weekend ended with nil return. Kimi Raikkonen was classified 16th after retiring three laps from the end of the race, while Felipe Massa brought his car back to the pits on lap 45 with a broken left front nose support. “This was definitely not a start worthy of Ferrari,” said Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. “We were lacking on the reliability front, with two cars forced to retire. Our performance was not up to the potential we had expected after our winter testing. Furthermore, our strategy choices did not work out. It was a day to forget from the result point of view, but to remember well so as to try and analyse everything we failed in, in order to improve immediately.” While Massa’s day ended due to a problem with his car, a spin and collision with a wall saw Raikkonen’s race came to an end with the Finn once again putting in a below-par performance. “When I ended up in the wall it was my mistake,”he admitted. “A shame as, given what happened later I could have finished second. We lost valuable points but we will try and make up for it, starting right away in Malaysia.” 31