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DATE News (chronologically)
04/07/08
f1
Desert sand scratches Hamilton shine
(GMM) The press rounded on Lewis Hamilton's performance in the Bahrain grand prix on Sunday.

After a practice crash on Friday, the McLaren driver and former championship leader pressed the wrong button on the grid and ran into Fernando Alonso twice when trying to recover from his disastrous start.

The Austrian newspaper 'Osterreich' reckoned that the 23-year-old's "super reputation" had incurred "serious scratches" in the desert, while former triple world champion Niki Lauda observed that days like Sunday "should not occur" to title aspirants.

Tuttosport in Italy likened the Briton's Sakhir showing to a "disaster", while Kronen Zeitung thought it noteworthy that Hamilton fled the circuit before an engineers' briefing and "during the Italian anthem".

But team CEO Martin Whitmarsh on Monday explained that Hamilton's second - and most notable - collision with Alonso was caused by a broken front wing.

"Lewis' upper front wing had disappeared about two seconds before the accident, so he suddenly lost downforce," he said.

"There's certainly no evidence that Fernando did anything wrong," Whitmarsh added.
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