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GP Week : Issue 163
29 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Carlos Slim Jr. F1 >>> HOCKENHEIM Lewis Hamilton’s championship hopes took a serious hit at the Hockenheimring yesterday afternoon as he recorded his second non-points race of the year after retiring with 11 laps to go. The Briton now lies 62 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, equivalent to two race wins and a fourth place finish. Starting seventh on the grid, Hamilton dropped to eighth on the first lap before picking up a puncture from debris at Turn 1 at the beginning of his second lap. He then had to limp the full lap distance back to the pits for a new set of tyres, and although he was able to continue for much of the race the damage caused by the flailing tyre ultimately forced his retirement. Despite the damage, Hamilton was able to race with the leaders for much of his middle stint, albeit a lap behind, before retiring from 16th place. “It was immediately clear that my car didn’t feel the same after the puncture,” explained Hamilton. “However, after a few laps, I was able to adapt my driving style, and the car had good pace during the middle stint. However, with the damage to the rear, I think we were lucky to get that far, to be honest. “At least I was able to have some fun out on track – my pace was good enough to be able to match the leaders during the middle stint. And that’s encouraging for me, because we know our car’s been genuinely quick this weekend.” Hamilton’s failure to score drops him behind Kimi Raikkonen in the world championship, with the Finn on 98 points in fourth and Lewis on 92. DNF HITS HAMILTON'S TITLE HOPES