Lewis Hamilton’s six-word response to pit-stop shambles sums him up

Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season

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Lewis Hamilton clinched his first world championship in 2008 after a dramatic title battle with Felipe Massa that went down to the wire. But, Hamilton suffered setbacks en route to winning his first crown with a nightmare pit stop at the Malaysian Grand Prix one of his first big tests.

After being issued a grid penalty ahead of the race in Sepang, Hamilton quickly moved forward in a bid to score crucial points. The race slipped away early on due to a nightmare first pit stop left the McLaren star at a standstill for 20 seconds.

The delay was down to an issue removing the front right tyre with mechanics frantically squabbling to remove the rubber on lap 19. The incident came just months after Hamilton lost the title in the final race of the 2007 season.

Despite the setbacks, Hamilton still appeared cool and collected in a testimony to his true mentality. He told ITV Sport: “I could do with a beer.”

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ITV presenter Louise Goodman laughed at the remark and at the end of the interview responded: “You can go and have a beer now”. Later in the race, Hamilton got stuck behind Red Bull’s Mark Webber which prevented him from moving closer to the top three.

However, the delay didn’t end up affecting his title challenge with nearest rival Felipe Massa retiring early on. Hamilton added: “I am not sure what the problem was, we will have to look into it. I think we need a new wheel gun.

“I pushed very hard to get fourth at the end and I really wanted that point and believed we could get it but Jarno did a great job. I did the best job I could with it but I also had run out of water — I didn’t run out of water, it (the bottle) just didn’t work so I am very, very thirsty.”

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Hamilton eventually secured the 2008 title by just one point in a dramatic final lap at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Massa was on course to take the crown when he won the race in Sao Paulo but Hamilton passed Timo Glock at the final corner to secure fifth and the points needed.

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone recently claimed Hamilton should have been stripped of the title as Nelson Piquet Jnr purposefully crashed at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Ecclestone explained: “We should have cancelled the race in Singapore under these conditions. That means it would never have happened for the world championship standings. Then Felipe Massa would have become world champion and not Lewis Hamilton.”

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