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Sun, 11 May, 2008Turkey: Bridgestone forced Hamilton three-stopper

Lewis Hamilton on Sunday admitted that his unique and less than ideal three-stop strategy for the Turkish grand prix was not selected by choice. The British driver, who finished the Istanbul race less than four seconds behind Ferrari's winning Felipe Massa, said the extra pit stop was official F1 tyre supplier Bridgestone's idea. “Bridgestone were concerned,” Hamilton, 23, admitted.

Last year at the Otodrom circuit, Hamilton suffered a front tyre failure during the grand prix, and Bridgestone was worried about a repeat of the incident in 2008. “They thought the tyre was going to fail like it did last year and they made us do a three-stop as it was the safest route to go,” he admitted. “Unfortunately that put us in not such a strong position to win the race. However when I am given a problem, I deal with it.”

Team boss Ron Dennis confirmed the story, explaining that Bridgestone identified some "internal delamination" following the practice sessions. Hamilton's teammate Heikki Kovalainen also stopped three times on Sunday, but the first was unscheduled, following contact with his compatriot Kimi Räikkönen on the first lap.

Source: GMM

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