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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 August 2007, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Turkish Grand Prix 2007
Istanbul Park 24-26 August, 2007
The Chequered Flag podcast

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was in third place when he suffered the puncture
Lewis Hamilton says he will not panic despite seeing his F1 championship lead cut to five points after a puncture ruined his hopes at the Turkish GP.

"Bits started falling off the tyre and it blew. I was lucky not to go into the gravel," said the McLaren driver.

"With that problem, I think getting fifth place is a good job. You always have setbacks. I am leading by five points - it is not over."

Hamilton's team-mate Fernando Alonso finished third to close the gap on him.

Hamilton was in third place when the incident happened with 15 laps to go at Istanbul Park.

The 22-year-old was able to get back to the pits but as the puncture had damaged the car, Hamilton had to settle for fifth.

The points position is very interesting now

McLaren boss Ron Dennis

"I just noticed on the exit of turn eight something started flapping on the tyre," he said. "It was a big surprise, I didn't feel anything happening.

"I was braking into turn nine when the tyre exploded as soon as I hit the brakes. That's when I went onto the run-off.

"I was very lucky to get the car stopped and turned as it was moving around. I had to try and bring it home but the tyre was flapping around damaging the front wing and I was worried it was going to damage some other bits on the car.

"I saw my competitors going past and there was nothing I could do."

Hamilton is confident he can overcome the setback at the next race, the Italian Grand Prix on 9 September, although he admits he does not know how he will perform at the final three races of the season in Japan, China and Brazil.

"There are some improvements coming, I think in Monza we will be good," he added. "I'm not worried about that.


"Then the last three races. I have not been there so I have no idea. We have to wait and see.

"I am still leading the championship with five races left. My strategy for winning the title is to try and finish in the points in every race.

"It is possible it could go to the final race in Brazil, but I hope not. I hope I get it earlier but at the end of the day it doesn't matter if I get the title earlier or the last race."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis admitted the result made the title race "interesting".

Dennis has spent a lot of time recently trying to patch up the differences between Hamilton and Alonso following their falling out at the Hungary Grand Prix.

"It was a pity for Lewis because he had enough fuel to do something interesting, certainly more than the Ferraris, and I felt we were in good shape," said Dennis.

"Unfortunately, it happened. Fernando did well. The points position is very interesting now!"

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