Ferrari lock-out is double trouble for poor Hamilton

Rivals in red add to woe as 10-place penalty hurts Briton

"The penalty doesn't help," Lewis Hamilton said pensively yesterday, as the punishment for his Canadian Grand Prix gaffe pushed him down from a solid third on the grid in Magny-Cours to 13th, a long way behind the Ferraris on the front row.

"It doesn't particularly hang over you," he continued. "You come out to win, you feel confident and comfortable, you know the team have done everything to ensure that the car is the best it can be, then you arrive and automatically you get the 10-place penalty. We will just do the best we can, take it on the chin and make sure it does not happen again."

If McLaren saw that one coming, nobody expected the Finnish imposition. That came after Heikki Kovalainen had moved up a place from his sixth qualifying slot, because of Hamilton's penalty, only to get one of his own – five places – after impeding Mark Webber during his slowing-down lap.

In truth, Ferrari did not need either penalty, for their F2008 had a slight but crucial edge over the silver arrows in the last sector of the lap.

After taking the Scuderia's 200th pole position, a relaxed-looking Kimi Raikkonen admitted that it had been a good session, even if it was the first of the weekend in which he had been fastest.

He said: "The car is so different when it has no fuel and when it has more. We worked the whole weekend and it was not always how I wanted it. But the main thing is to be fastest in the end, and that worked out well."

In fact, the Finn was on a faster lap that he only aborted when the team told him nobody could beat his time.

"They told me to come in before the end of it," he said. "I was two tenths quicker, but there was no point to waste fuel."

Felipe Massa, meanwhile, had made most of the running in practice, when Renault were not busy grandstanding by getting Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet to the top of the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning times with low-fuel runs that fooled nobody. The Brazilian was fastest on Friday morning, and in the first and second sessions, but in the end he missed out to his team-mate by 0.41s.

The little Brazilian was philosophical. "I tried to get the best out of the car and lost a bit of time in some corners, trying to push too hard," he confessed. "Of course I had more fuel than I ran in Q1 and Q2, and perhaps that affected the car, but the front row is OK and it is looking very good for the race. I think as a team that we got the best from the car, so I'm looking forward to [the race]."

In 2005 Raikkonen qualified third, dropped 10 grid places after an engine failure, yet still finished second to Alonso. But Hamilton was less interested in that than he was in his own performance in qualifying. "It was disappointing for me," he admitted, "and I apologise to the team because I didn't do a good job at all. I ran wide on the exit to turn seven on each of my runs and lost at least three tenths. I was pushing hard, trying to get the best out of the car, and apart from that I believe I did that everywhere else. I think our car compares quite well with Ferrari's. Obviously it was not quite as good as it was in Canada, but they have a little bit more than us in the middle and last sectors."

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, where he says the support of the fans is uplifting, Hamilton said that he pays no attention to what is written about him in the media. "I can take constructive criticism, but I don't read any of it [media reports]. You hear about it, but what difference should that make to me, because I am doing my job and I am enjoying myself?

"It does not affect my life in any way, shape or form. Sure, the opinion you end up giving people does affect you because at the end of the day I am not a mean guy and I am out there doing the best job that I can. Small mistakes happen. I am sure that everyone makes similar mistakes to those I do, but you're not in the spotlight like me.

"People try and make me something that I'm not, but there is not really a lot I can do about it. The majority of the time, 99.9 per cent of the time, it's only my dad's opinion that matters."

The grid

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1min 16.449sec

2. Felipe Massa (Br) Ferrari 1:16.490

3. Fernando Alonso (Sp) Renault 1:16.840

4. Jarno Trulli (It) Toyota 1:16.920

5. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:17.037

6. Mark Webber (Aus) RedBull Renault 1:17.233

7. David Coulthard (GB) RedBull Renault 1:17.426

8. Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:17.596

9. Nelson Piquet (Br) Renault 1:15.770

10. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 1:16.944 (demoted five places)

11. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:15.786

12. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:15.816

13. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:16.693 (demoted 10 places)

14. Sébastien Bourdais (Fr) Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:16.045

15. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams Toyota 1:16.243

16. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:16.306

17. Rubens Barrichello (Br) Honda 1:16.330

18. Giancarlo Fisichella (It) Force India Ferrari 1:16.971

19. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India Ferrari 1:17.053

20. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams Toyota 1:16.235 (demoted 10 places)

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower