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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 16:01 UK

Hamilton already looking to 2010

Venue: Istanbul Park Dates: 5-7 June 2009 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage of Friday's practice sessions, Saturday qualifying and the race on Sunday across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Find complete listings here

Lewis Hamilton

People got faster we got slower - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton effectively wrote off his chances of being competitive this season after suffering a qualifying disaster at the Turkish Grand Prix.

For the second GP running he did not emerge from qualifying session one - and will start 16th for Sunday's race.

After bemoaning his car's poor grip, Hamilton said McLaren must be patient now to ensure they bounce back in 2010.

"We should not rush anything [like upgrades]," he told BBC Sport. "We're not going to gain back 60 points."

World champion Hamilton, 24, struggled with understeer on a crucial sector of a flying lap in the first session of qualifying, from which five drivers are knocked out, and ended up among the last five drivers on the grid for only the second time in his career.

He sits ninth in the 2009 drivers' championship, 42 points behind Brawn GP's English driver Jenson Button, while McLaren trail table-toppers Brawn by 73 points in the constructors' championship.

I have no doubts at all that next year we will bounce back

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton

"Welcome to my world," said Hamilton, whose team-mate Heikki Kovalainen made it through qualifying session one and will start Sunday's race a row in 14th.

"It's the car, it just got slower and slower throughout the weekend as the track has got hotter.

"There is more and more grip that's gone down and as others have got quicker, we've got slower.

"I pushed as hard as I could but I just didn't have any grip."

After the last GP in Monaco Hamilton had predicted that the McLaren cars would struggle through Istanbul Park's high-speed corners but then was encouraged by their performance in Friday practice in Turkey.

Yet the cars' failings in qualifying have caused the youngest-ever Formula 1 champion to take a longer-term view on how McLaren should approach their planning from now on this season.

"I think we should just take our time," he confessed.

"I don't think it [an upgrade package] is going to make a huge difference, it's not like we're going to be able to gain back 60 points.

"It's better that we take our time to refine it and try to find where the problem is.

"[But] the team is doing a fantastic job, really they have been working flat out.

"The guys in the garage have been working day and night, with the same drive and determination as we've always had.


"This is going to be a challenging year for us, obviously, but I have no doubts at all that next year we will bounce back."

Former F1 driver and BBC Sport pundit David Coulthard - whose raced for various teams in a career spanning 15 years - said that McLaren should aim to improve the car as much as possible as quickly as possible ahead of the next GP in Britain on June 21.

"He isn't going to defend his championship - the car is just not up to the job," he said.

"We know he is a world class driver, but what we're seeing here is that when you don't have the tools you can't deliver.

"I'm surprised he's saying they shouldn't rush things, though, I think we should presume that teams are doing things as quickly as they can at all times - so if something can physically be there for Silverstone, I don't see why you should hold it back for Germany?

"You should be working round the clock now to try and deliver performance."

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see also
David Coulthard column
07 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel beats Button to grab pole
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkish Grand Prix qualifying results
03 Jun 09 |  Results
Turkish GP qualifying as it happened
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton buoyed by McLaren pace
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Kovalainen tops Turkey practice
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Legal settlement saves British GP
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkey GP practice as it happened
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkish GP practice photos
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore calms F1 walk-out threat
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Championship already over - Massa
04 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Zoom into the Turkey Grand Prix track
04 Jun 09 |  Formula 1

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