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Worst weekend ever

It’s not been a good last few weeks for McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton: his world championship challenge has come off the rails after a series of unfinished GPs, and while he managed to finish the latest in Japan, he has described it as the worst race weekend he has ever suffered.

The Brit finished fifth yesterday and now trails leader Mark Webber by 28 points with here races left. He also crashed in the practice session on Friday and was given a five-place grid penalty after his team had to put a new gearbox into the car. Still, at least he gets to go home to Nicole Scherzinger – it’s not all bad.

‘I've had bad weekends but nothing overall as bad,’ said Hamilton. ‘This is the worst of all of them. I don't know what I have been kicked around by but I have definitely had a tough one. The crash was my fault but the rest... I am just happy to have finished the race. I mean that's five races and two finishes.

‘The championship doesn't look great at the moment. But there are still three races to go and 75 points available, so we'll remain optimistic and keep doing the best job we can. I'll keep fighting.

‘I didn't think it (the car) was going to make it, if I'm honest. It (the gearbox) was making a lot of noise, so I just kept my fingers crossed and tried not to do too many shifts and look after it. I had a good gap to those behind me, so I had a bit of time I could waste.

'(The ear infection) affected my balance a bit and left me deaf in (my) left ear. I could not use (an) ear plug. I used (a) cotton-wool bud. It was bruised and couldn't hear a thing. Both ears (were) blocked in the race.'

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