Five title contenders with five races to go
14 September, 2010
Title contenders Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
Sep.14 (GMM) Formula 1 aficionados should thank Lewis Hamilton for the thrilling five-race sprint to the 2010 world championship crown, according to Niki Lauda. Had the 2008 world champion not crashed his McLaren on the first lap at Monza, he would probably now have a clear points advantage with just Singapore, Suzuka, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi left to run.
Lewis Hamilton's error at Monza could prove costly to his title ambitions
Instead, the top five protagonists – also including Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel – are all divided by a margin achievable in little more than a single grand prix victory. With victory at Monza Alonso managed to halve his points deficit and put himself right back into serious contention
“We should all thank Lewis Hamilton for his stupid mistake at Monza,” triple world champion Lauda told Bild newspaper. “Now we will have a great sprint for the title.”
Flavio Briatore, who was also at Monza at the weekend, also noted the British driver’s “huge error” of crashing into Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and subsequently driving into the gravel with broken suspension.
Fernando Alonso cut his points deficit by 20 points with victory at Monza
“We mustn’t forget how he lost the championship in 2007,” the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
And David Coulthard wrote in his Telegraph column: “Lewis’s collision with Felipe Massa was elementary.
“He will feel he has let the team down, let himself down and potentially cost himself the title. He may well have,” added the Scot.
Indeed, Hamilton admitted that McLaren as a team will feel “angry” after Sunday’s error but insisted the criticism won’t affect him.
“You kick yourself more than anyone can kick you,” he said. “I am better equipped now to deal with it than perhaps a few years ago.”