Down to the wire: Hamilton's dramatic debut season

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Australian Grand Prix

6pts. 18 March, Melbourne. Hamilton Third. Winner Raikkonen. Hamilton finished a comfortable third in debut race.

"Anyone who watched the race must see the ingredients. He's going from strength to strength." Ron Dennis

Championship: 1 Raikkonen (10pts) 2 Alonso (8pts) 3 Hamilton (6pts)

Malaysian Grand Prix

14pts. 8 April, Sepang. Hamilton Second. Winner Alonso

Hamilton completed a McLaren 1-2, holding off late charge from Raikkonen at a stifling Sepang.

"That was the most difficult race I've ever had. I can't explain how tough that was." Hamilton

Championship: 1 Alonso (18pts) 2 Raikkonen (16pts) 3 Hamilton (14pts)

Bahrain Grand Prix

22pts. 15 April, Manama. Hamilton Second. Winner Massa

Late pressure from the Brit failed to stop Massa taking spoils. A tyre mix-up cost him a first win.

Championship =1 Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton (all 22pts)

"I struggled a bit on the new tyres, the balance was not very good." Hamilton

Spanish Grand Prix

30pts. 13 May, Barcelona. Hamilton Second. Winner Massa

Hamilton achieved third successive second position and became the outright Championship leader.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (30pts) 2 Alonso (28pts) 3 Raikkonen (22pts)

"I'm living my dream. It is just an amazing feeling." Hamilton

Monaco Grand Prix

38pts. 27 May, Monte Carlo. Hamilton Second. Winner Alonso

Alonso held off Hamilton in McLaren-dominated race. Controversial pit-stop strategy led some to claim Hamilton had been robbed of debut victory.

Championship =1 Hamilton, Alonso (38pts) 3 Raikkonen (23pts)

"There will be places where they will be free to race, but this is not one of them." Dennis

Canadian Grand Prix

48pts. 10 June, Montreal. Hamilton Winner

Hamilton took debut win in incident-packed race, driving calmly as other contenders crashed out.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (48pts) 2 Alonso (40pts) 3 Raikkonen (27pts)

"I just wanted to park the car and jump out and do cartwheels." Hamilton

US Grand Prix

58pts. 17 June, Indianapolis. Hamilton Winner

Briton drives superbly from pole to claim his second win.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (58pts) 2 Alonso (48pts) 3 Raikkonen (32pts)

"Fernando caught Lewis – this created some tense moments in the pit wall." Dennis

French Grand Prix

64pts. 1 July, Magny-Cours. Hamilton Third. Winner Raikkonen

Ferraris finished 1-2 but Hamilton's third place kept him in lead overall.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (64pts) 2 Alonso (50pts) 3 Raikkonen (42pts)

"I didn't get off to the best start. I don't like being overtaken, yet it was inevitable it would happen at some point." Hamilton

British Grand Prix

70pts. 8 July, Silverstone. Hamilton Third. Winner Raikkonen

Brit finished distant third behind Finn and team-mate Alonso. Lost pole at first round of pit-stops.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (70pts) 2 Alonso (68pts) 3 Raikkonen (52pts)

"I was very consistent, but I just didn't have the pace. I need to step up my game, which I intend to do. I'm still learning." Hamilton

"That's the sign of a great driver, even when they're doing a fantastic job they still want to raise their game." Martin Whitmarsh

European Grand Prix

70pts. 22 July, Nürburgring. Hamilton Ninth. Winner Alonso

Hamilton failed to score in a wet race. Tyre mix-up and late stoppage hamper his hopes.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (70pts) 2 Alonso (68pts) 3 Raikkonen (52pts)

Hungarian Grand Prix

80pts. 5 August, Budapest. Hamilton Winner

Hamilton edged out persistent Raikkonen to take third victory. Alonso demoted five places for delaying British driver in qualifying.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (80pts) 2 Alonso (73pts) 3 Raikkonen (60pts)

"'I don't disagree with the penalty he had, I thought it was quite right." Hamilton on Alonso

Turkish Grand Prix

84pts. 26 August, Istanbul. Hamilton Fifth. Winner Massa

Late puncture damaged Hamilton's car, as dominant Ferraris take another 1-2.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (84pts) 2 Alonso (79pts) 3 Raikkonen (68pts)

"It's just a little problem. You always have setbacks. It's not over." Hamilton

Italian Grand Prix

92pts. 9 September, Monza. Hamilton Second. Winner Alonso

Hamilton overtook Raikkonen near the end to clinch second place behind Alonso, who led throughout.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (92pts) 2 Alonso (89pts) 3 Raikkonen (74pts)

"There are still four races to go. The fight is still on." Hamilton

Belgian Grand Prix

97pts. 16 September, Spa-Francorchamps. Hamilton Fourth. Winner Raikkonen

Gap down to two points after Alonso edged out Hamilton behind another Ferrari 1-2.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (97pts) 2 Alonso (95pts) 3 Raikkonen (84pts)

"He has gone and swiped me and pushed me as wide as he could." Hamilton on Alonso

"They were just pushing hard on each other. I don't have a position on fairness." Dennis

Japanese Grand Prix

107pts. 30 September, Fuji. Hamilton Winner

Hamilton's fourth win made him only the seventh driver to break 100-point barrier in a season. The Brit drove an impressive race in monsoon-like conditions.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (107pts) 2 Alonso (95pts) 3 Raikkonen (90pts)

"It felt like the longest race of my life with the conditions so difficult. On my last lap I was thinking about some of the races Senna and Prost were in and I was thinking I was on my way to achieving something similar." Hamilton

Chinese Grand Prix

107pts. 7 October, Shanghai. Hamilton Did not finish. Winner Raikkonen

Hamilton's first retirement threw Championship wide open. Tyre problems allow Raikkonen and Alonso to cut lead.

Championship: 1 Hamilton (107pts) 2 Alonso (103pts) 3 Raikkonen (100pts)

"The tyres were finished. These things happen. I'm sorry for the team, but I can still do it." Hamilton

"In hindsight we left him out too long. His tyres were very worn. It was our decision" Whitmarsh

"It will still be very difficult because it will not be easy to take four points from Lewis. I need something dramatic to win." Alonso

Comments