Hamilton scraps for points to keep Massa behind him

Lewis Hamilton might have been beaten by Felipe Massa in Valencia last weekend, but all the Briton has to worry about in the next few races is to keep scoring valuable Championship points. Massa, who should also have won in Hungary but for an engine failure, has additional concerns over his car's reliability.

Before Massa's Ferrari blew up with three laps of the Hungarian GP to run, the Scuderia's last major race failure had been with Michael Schumacher in Japan back in 2006. But in the midst of victory in Spain the Brazilian was troubled by the similar failure which took out his team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton lost little time rubbing that in after the race. "We have great reliability, and that's down to McLaren Mercedes doing a fantastic job," he said. "Reliability is the key, finishing and scoring points has got to be the goal for everybody. I'm not worried about the reliability of my car. Over the last 18 months it's been phenomenal. And that means we can focus on developing the car, which is the main point."

For Massa, it is not quite so straightforward. "I'm six points behind Lewis," he said. "But first of all we need to look at what's happened [to Raikkonen's engine]. I have no idea. We need to work very hard for the next race because it's important to fix the reliability. It's been an issue for us this year, in the first race, the last race and now this race.

"Reliability is part of the consistency we need. A single problem and you are not consistent. So consistency is still the key to the Championship. And that means performance and reliability. All these things will be very important to the end of the season."

It is time for a revision to the points-scoring system, which awards 10 points for a win and eight for second place, whereas victory was once worth nine and the runner-up got six. The changes made to dilute the effects of Michael Schumacher's early-21st century dominance are surely no longer necessary. The playing field is far more even.

Even Hamilton, a racer's racer, admits he will be driving for points, as 60 are up for grabs in the final six races. "Clearly I want to win all the time," he said after Valencia, "but I've learned that sometimes it's more advantageous to score as many points as possible and live to fight another day. My aim is still to win the World Championship, and you don't do that by ending up in the barriers after making an opportunistic move.

"In Valencia, we scored a very useful haul of points and I've actually come away having extended my lead in the Championship despite losing two points to Felipe. I'm mentally strong enough to be able to deal with that – and I'm more relaxed about it, too. I'm playing a long game."

Both of their team-mates, Raikkonen and the Hungarian GP winner Heikki Kovalainen, need to raise their games in support of the two men, who have each won four races this season.

If driver's tracks such as Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, respective homes of the Belgian and Italian GPs, do not bring out the real Raikkonen, it will simply endorse speculation that he is considering retirement at the end of a season in which Massa seems to have a strong chance of becoming Brazil's first title-holder since Ayrton Senna.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments