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Hamilton: Second is nothing

NEWS STORY
17/04/2017

As he continues to be airbrushed from the sport's history, we take little comfort in dispelling the myth that it was Ron Dennis who coined the expression "second is the first of the losers".

Indeed, it is widely held that Dale Earnhardt was the man who first suggested the view, though Dennis clearly shared the philosophy.

It was Dennis who brought young Lewis Hamilton into F1, having financed his rise up the ladder, and clearly the Briton still shares the Dennis/Earnhardt view of the sport.

"Over the years, nothing changes in terms of how I feel pain in my heart," he told reporters after finishing second to Sebastian Vettel and in the process relinquishing the world championship lead to the German.

"People say, 'you finished second, you should be happy', but that's not what why we exist," he continued. "So if anyone ever thinks that any driver, or I, should feel happy with second, well, I don't know what to say."

The Briton apologised to his team for the pitlane mistake which cost him a 5s penalty, and in the eyes of the Mercedes driver almost certain victory, being that he finished just 6.6s behind the Ferrari.

However, though the penalty didn't help, the race was effectively lost at the start, when Vettel edged ahead of the Briton as they headed into T1.

The German subsequently repeated the aggressive strategy that aided his win in Australia, but, as in China, Lady Luck was to bring Hamilton back into the game. As in Shanghai, just after Vettel had pitted, the Safety Car was deployed, thereby allowing Hamilton to pit also without risk.

"We obviously went for the undercut," said Vettel, "early pit stop, worked fantastic, very good job. But when the safety came initially I thought 'oh no, not again!'"

Despite the gift from Lady Luck, and teammate Valtteri Bottas being told to yield, Hamilton and Mercedes had no answer to Vettel and Ferrari and for the first time since the new formula was introduced the Briton's main challenge is from someone other than his teammate.

"Today, I lost position at the start, it was solely my fault," he sighed. "Then the time lost in the pitlane.

"You practise and practise and practise but you only have twenty opportunities this year and if you mess up it's painful.

"There's no other way of saying it," he admitted. "I try to handle it the best way I can but it eats you up a little bit inside and you've just got to end up trying to cope and move forwards."

Or as Dale Earnhardt once said: "You can't let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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1. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 18/04/2017 17:13

""the pitlane deliberate mistake" ... there, fixed that one for you... I smell a "Hamilton" rule change coming up, he's got more of these to his name than championships..."

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