Dry run for Hamilton
Last updated: 23rd March 2008
Brit battles dehydration to finish fifth and retain title lead
Lewis Hamilton revealed that he battled dehydration on his way to a fifth-place finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The McLaren-Mercedes driver suffered a problem with his on-board water dispenser but nevertheless battled back from the twin setbacks of a five-place grid penalty and a slow opening pit stop at Sepang.
His hopes of a podium finish extinguished, Hamilton nevertheless closed onto the tail of Toyota's Jarno Trulli late in the race to earn four world championship points.
The Australian Grand Prix winner therefore still leads the championship, Hamilton holding a three-point advantage over race winner Kimi Raikkonen and BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who finished sixth.
"I got off to a very good start and I'm very happy with that, jumping from ninth to fifth," Hamilton told ITV.
"But I got stuck behind Mark (Webber) and when you are in behind someone it doesn't matter how much quicker you are.
"(The water) didn't run out but it just didn't work, so I am very, very thirsty. We were in with a good shot of third place and then had trouble with
the pit stop.
"I pressed very, very hard for fourth, I really wanted that point, but it wasn't to be."
Hamilton said he was happy with the way his body reacted to the lack of fluid in oppressive heat but has already targeted an improved performance in Bahrain in a fortnight's time.
He added: "The great thing was I was able to drive without water, and I feel good. But we need to go again next time and do a better job in qualifying."