McLaren boss backs Hamilton for China victory

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McLaren boss backs Hamilton for China victory

SEPANG, Malaysia - McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh backed luckless Lewis Hamilton to bounce back and challenge for victory in China and the world title this year, in the wake of Sunday’s incident-packed Malaysian Grand Prix.

After seeing defending champion Sebastian Vettel cruise to his second win in a row this season, and his fifth in six outings for Red Bull, Whitmarsh remained bullish about McLaren’s prospects and Hamilton’s form in particular.

“A lot of things happened to Lewis this weekend but he is a strong guy and he will take heart from all the positives and fight back, I have no doubt about that,” said Whitmarsh.

His comments came after Hamilton was handed a 20-second penalty, a punishment that dropped him from seventh to eighth place.

Hamilton had fought for pole position, started second on the grid and challenged for victory from a strong second place in the race before bad luck hit him with a slow pit stop.

His woes deepened with a poor set of tires and then a late loss of pace and an on-track tussle with old adversary Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Spaniard Alonso, attempting to pass Hamilton in the final laps, accidentally drove into the back of his car, damaging both his Ferrari and Hamilton’s McLaren.

For Hamilton, it meant a strong weekend’s performance left him with just four points.

“It couldn’t have been much worse,” he said. “I am not that bothered and I am not reacting. The only way to look at things now is forwards. I go to China now and I am aiming to win.”

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