Dennis praise for Hamilton
McLaren boss delighted with second place
Last Updated: 12/05/08 9:00am
Hamilton: Three-stop strategy
McLaren chief Ron Dennis praised Lewis Hamilton on his second place finish in Turkey after the team adopted a 'safety first' approach to their tyre strategy.
Hamilton pitted three times at the Istanbul Park circuit, where he suffered a blowout 12 months ago, in contrast to his main rivals who each changed their tyres twice.
With last year's exit in mind, the McLaren team opted to provide Hamilton maximum protection whilst giving him as much chance as possible of obtaining a podium place - with the result delighting Dennis.
"We saw a truly phenomenal drive from Lewis in which he optimised a three-stop strategy we were forced to adopt as a consequence of concerns we had with his tyres," remarked Dennis.
"It was a structural concern with the tyres, so we took a decision with Bridgestone to run three stops.
"We didn't want to have any tyre failure, and although we could have run two stops, we put the safety of the driver first.
"Lewis did a great job and we can now look forward to Monaco and Montreal."
There were fears Hamilton's slightly more aggressive driving style could have resulted in another 200mph blow out as witnessed at the track a year ago.
A Bridgestone spokesperson said: "Lewis had a specific problem last year, but several other drivers we noticed had internal tyre problems.
"Based on that, we changed the construction and strengthened it over the winter period and then brought those tyres to all the races this year.
"In actual fact, nobody else has had a repetition of any of those problems this year, with the exception of Lewis.
"He is the one driver who, perhaps with his style of driving, has put higher forces onto his front-right tyre."