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Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Sunday, 22 June 2008 17:46 UK
French Grand Prix
Magny-Cours, Nevers, 20-22 June



Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pits in France
Hamilton slipped back to fourth in the drivers' title race

Lewis Hamilton said his title challenge was still on track after a second consecutive run-in with race officials left him out of the points in France.

The McLaren driver is 10 points behind leader Felipe Massa after finishing 10th on Sunday following a drive-through penalty for illegal overtaking.

"There's nothing you can do that can distract me," Hamilton said.

"You can keep on giving me penalties, whatever you want. I'll keep battling,

and trying to come back with a result."

Hamilton was penalised because he was deemed to have cut a chicane when he passed Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel on the first lap of the race.

The rules dictate that a driver is not allowed to gain an advantage by going off the track.

It was the second consecutive race in which the 23-year-old had fallen foul of the race stewards - he started the French race with a 10-place grid penalty for crashing into Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in Canada two weeks ago.

Hamilton has been upset by some of the newspaper coverage of the incident in Montreal, and made his frustration clear following the race in France on Sunday.

I have absolutely no doubts. I don't care how far I am behind, I'll come back

Lewis Hamilton
"I absolutely 100% aim on bouncing back [at Silverstone]," he said.

"Regardless of what's written in the papers tomorrow, I'm going to go back to the workshop and push with the team and we're going to focus on the next race and we're going to hit 'em hard."

Asked by BBC 5 Live's pit lane reporter Holly Samos if he felt angry, Hamilton said: "I feel cool. It's all good. Racing's racing. I'm still here. There's nothing you can do to get me out of here.

"I'm going to keep battling. There's a long way to go. I have absolutely no doubts. I don't care how far I am behind.

"Kimi was 17 points behind with two races to go last year and he still won. Twenty points behind. I don't care. I'll still come back."

Hamilton made it clear he felt he should not have been penalised in Sunday's race.

"I thought I overtook reasonably fairly into turn seven," he said.

"Going in I was ahead but I lost the back end and corrected it and went over the kerb, which I don't particularly see as cheating or anything like that but those are the rules.

"I don't think I did anything. I believe I was ahead on the outside.

"I couldn't turn in on the guy, or we would have crashed, so I took the outside line, lost the back on the marbles and went over the kerb and continued.

606: DEBATE
Andrew Benson - BBC Sport

"I don't believe I overtook him by going over the kerb, I overtook him before that.

"I did everything I needed to do. I stayed out of trouble and drove what I thought was a fair race. We just missed the points.

"That's three races now without scoring points but there's 10 races to go."

Hamilton was backed by McLaren boss Ron Dennis.

"I don't think he gained a position by being off the road," said Dennis.

"It is our opinion he was past before he got squeezed off the circuit. No position was gained. There's nothing to be gained from saying anything else."


see also
Hamilton feeling heat of F1 fight
18 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Crash penalty is harsh - Hamilton
10 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen bemoans Hamilton crash
09 Jun 08 |  Formula One


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