Hamilton's Silverstone nightmare

LEWIS Hamilton's torrid season continued as he finished third last at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone - the scene of one of his greatest triumphs just a year ago.

The Tewin Formula One star has struggled for pace all weekend, and he could do little to work his way up the grid in a below-par McLaren car.

The race was won in emphatic fashion by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who had already lapped Hamilton by the halfway stage.

"I just gave it my all, and was pushing, pushing, pushing all the time," said Hamilton.

"It wasn't a great day, I had no grip in the car, but I did absolutely everything I could."

Hamilton paid tribute to Silverstone fans.

"The crowd were great, it's been the biggest turnout ever here for an F1 race.
"Unfortunately I couldn't win for them, but I just kept driving trying to do my best.

"Hopefully I can come back next time and win. I'm always optimistic."

The 24-year-old spent much of the race in an exciting wheel-to-wheel tussle with first Robert Kubica (BMW), and then old arch rival Fernando Alonso (Renault) and his team-mate Nelson Piquet.

Hamilton had fought his way up to 14th from his starting place of 19th by the end of the second lap.

By the 10th lap he was on the tail of Kubica but couldn't find a way past. By the first round of pits stops, Hamilton wanted to go in early but was told on the radio to keep going.

At the halfway stage Hamilton was in a battle with Alonso and Piquet, giving the crowd something to cheer as he made a thrilling move to pass Piquet coimng out of the pits straight.

However, Hamilton lost all his impetus with 16 laps to go when, pursuing Piquet, he went into a big spin going wide into the grass coming out of Vale.

McLaren's miserable Grand Prix was compounded following a coming together between Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and the Torro Rosso of Sebastian Bourdais, which resulted in Kovalainen having to retire.

Championship leader Jenson Button was unable to make it a race to remember for home fans, as despite a late charge the Brawn driver finished in sixth place, his worst result of the season.
Red Bull's Mark Webber was second with Rubens Barrichello (Brawn) third.