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McLaren: It was our fault

NEWS STORY
07/10/2007

McLaren has taken the blame for the mistake which saw Lewis Hamilton eliminated from today's Chinese GP, thereby allowing titles rivals Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen to close the gap.

"In hindsight we left him out a lap too long," admitted McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh. "His tyres were very worn. It was our decision. We were getting weather information all the time. We didn't want to come in and get on the wrong tyre.

"It's a shame we couldn't get the job done," he added "For Lewis, it's very disappointing. For Fernando, he's very much in the championship race. We've got a very exciting race in Brazil in two weeks' time."

Meanwhile, Ron Dennis said: "That's motor racing," when asked about Hamilton's enforced retirement, "these things happen".

The English driver was philosophical about the error, which could prove to cost him the title. "It's unfortunate, but there is still one more race to go," he said.

"The tyres were finished. These sort of things happen. I'm sorry for the team, but I can still do it, don't worry. We were having a great race, and we didn't know whether it was going to rain again or not."

Referring to the incident when his car slid off at the pitlane entrance and into the gravel, he said: "The tyres were getting worse and worse and when I came into the pits and it was like ice. I just lost the rear. I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't see in my mirrors, they were completely dirty. I could just feel there was no grip. I was coming in that lap.

"When I got out of the car I was just gutted," he admitted, "because I hadn't made a mistake all year, and to do it coming into the pits... it's not something I normally do.

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