US Grand Prix 2013: Lewis Hamilton claims his fourth-placed finish at the race 'does not matter'

'The guy that was in third is not even racing,' he says

Lewis Hamilton’s fourth place in Sunday’s US Grand Prix moved him back into third place in the world championship. But he insisted that doesn’t matter to him.

Fourth was the best finish in seven races for the man who appeared to have moved into title contention with a surprise – he called it a miracle – win in Hungary back in August. But as Sebastian Vettel won the last eight races Hamilton’s best was a third in Belgium, his last podium finish. Recently he has played second fiddle again to team-mate Nico Rosberg but a new chassis, after cracks and a hole were found in the one he raced in Abu Dhabi, rejuvenated him this weekend.

"Definitely I'm very, very happy," he said after the race, in which Vettel led home Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber ahead of him. “I’m just happy for the guys and happy to have gone forward. I'm always talking about staying where I am or going forwards and so really I’m happy with that. The team did a great job - the car was night and day difference to what it was in Abu Dhabi. I'm pretty sure the new chassis helped."

He was particularly buoyed that the stiffer chassis enabled him once again to manage the early tyre degradation that obliged him to let Webber overtake on the 13 lap, and that later on he was able to keep the gap to the pursuing Fernando Alonso stable, where in Abu Dhabi the Spaniard had easily been able to pick him off. "I was really just so happy that I could get some points for the guys. They have been working so hard all year and they've had some really difficult races in the past half of the season. So to finally have a half-decent qualifying and then move forward and really utilise the tyres and have some life left in them... I was really, really happy that at the end, I could see Fernando was catching, so I was just looking after the tyres to wait until he started to push. When he did I just reacted a bit and when he was going to try and bring out a tenth I was going to bring two. When he tried to bring out three I was going to bring four. So I was really happy I could do that today."

The absence of rival Kimi Raikkonen, who was be hors de combat after a back operation and will be out of action again for next week’s finale in Brazil, meant that Hamilton was able to reclaim third place from the Finn with 187 points to his 183, but Webber is moving up with 181, and a faster car.  If the Australian scores seven more points than him there in his swansong, Hamilton will drop again from the top three. But he insisted that he doesn’t care about such things.

"It doesn't mean anything,” he said. “Plus the guy that was in third is not even racing, so it doesn't mean anything to me.”

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'