but a drive through for pushing Raikkonen wide at turn one/lap oneLewis Hamilton finished the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji in 12th place after another incident and controversial race. The McLaren Mercedes driver was pushed into a spin by title contender Felipe Massa on lap two and dropped to the back of the field. A subsequent drive-through penalty - for a first-corner incident - left him unable to challenge for a points finish. Heikki Kovalainen retired from third place due to an engine failure on lap 17 to make it a thoroughly frustrating day for the McLaren squad.
Lewis Hamilton"Obviously, I’m not happy after a result like today’s - but I’m already getting over it and tomorrow will be another day. Disappointingly, I didn’t make a great start, but I slipstreamed Kimi and went up the inside. I braked a bit late - but so did everybody. A lot of cars went wide at Turn One - and I just went a bit wider than everyone else. But you can’t undo the penalty or change today’s result. On lap two, Felipe went wide and I went up the inside, giving him room, but he tapped me quite hard into a spin.”
"There are positives to take from today; I’ve only lost two points to Felipe in the drivers’ championship, so it’s definitely not over. Now I’ll forget today ever happened and move forward; we’ve got two more races to go and my target is still to win both of them.
Heikki Kovalainen"Today started with so much promise and ended so disappointingly. I made a good start and, although I ran wide at the first corner, I still managed to slot in behind Robert and Fernando. I was feeling pretty confident about catching them both because the car was feeling just fantastic and then, all of a sudden, the engine stopped. That was a real pity because our reliability has been fantastic all season. Nevertheless, my pace today was good and I head to China feeling positive that we can once again show the same sort of pace we had this weekend."
Ron Dennis"Well, today was a very challenging day. We were a bit surprised that Lewis was given a penalty in respect of the first-corner incident, simply because we’ve all seen similar first-corner incidents that triggered no such penalty. Drivers miss braking points, they run wide; these things happen. As for Heikki, he was in a very strong position, fuelled significantly longer than the cars around him, when he suffered an extremely rare engine failure. All in all, then, as far as the championship is concerned, I guess things could have been worse; but there’s no getting away from the fact that it was a disappointing weekend. However, Lewis is still five points clear in the drivers’ championship, with two races to go, and I know that our whole team will dig deep from here on in."