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Hamilton last, McLaren's F1 woes continue

 Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa from Brazil signs autographs before a test session at the Catalonia racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Sp...
 Brawn GP Formula One driver Jenson Button from England steers his  F1 race car during a test session at the Catalonia racetrack in Montmelo, near Bar...
 Brawn GP Formula One driver Jenson Button from Britain steers his  F1 race car during a test session at the Catalonia racetrack in Montmelo, near Bar...

Spain Auto racing F1

Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa from Brazil signs autographs before a test session at the Catalonia racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Sp...

Portugal Algarve Cup Womens Soccer

Brawn GP Formula One driver Jenson Button from England steers his F1 race car during a test session at the Catalonia racetrack in Montmelo, near Bar...

Spain Auto Racing F1

Brawn GP Formula One driver Jenson Button from Britain steers his F1 race car during a test session at the Catalonia racetrack in Montmelo, near Bar...

McLaren's preseason woes continued on Wednesday when world champion Lewis Hamilton ran off the track to finish last in a Formula One testing session led by team Brawn GP.
Jenson Button set a quickest lap of 1 minute, 19.127 seconds for the former Honda team, to hold more than a full second lead over Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber.
Hamilton, greeted by whistles from Spanish fans every time he exited the pit lane, finished over 2.5 seconds behind Button and nearly 1.5 seconds behind Massa _ his closest challenger last season.
The 24-year-old Hamilton, F1's first black driver, was subjected to racist taunts at the same circuit last February.
An abysmal run of testing results have left question marks over McLaren's ability to provide an adequate car for Hamilton to defend his world championship title.
"I don't know if they have a problem or not and what they are doing. Let's wait a few weeks and we will know where they are in the first race," Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen said. "They haven't probably been as quick as in the past winter but that doesn't mean that they won't be fast in the first race."
Brawn GP continued to make maximum use of the handful of testing sessions left at its disposal ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on March 29, with Button chalking up 130 laps on the day _ equal to the number the British team managed over the first two days.
The team's future had been left in the balance after Honda pulled out of the sport in December until team principal Ross Brawn bought the F1 outfit from the Japanese auto manufacturer on Friday.
Only Massa was quicker than Button in the morning session. Hamilton was the slowest of the 10 cars _ nearly 1.5 seconds behind his Ferrari rival.
Toyota's Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso of Renault rounded out the top-five.
"I think it's not any more just Ferrari-McLaren domination," Alonso, a two-time world champion, said. "This year the fight will be very difficult."
Briatore singled out Toyota, Ferrari and his own team as the main contenders.


Updated : 2020-12-01 01:25 GMT+08:00