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Distractions have cost Hamilton the title - Mansell

ESPNF1 Staff
October 26, 2010 « No English player nominated for Ballon d'Or | ESPN FA Cup Promo »
Nigel Mansell on Lewis Hamilton: "There are obviously a few things going on inside his head where he's not in sync with himself" © Getty Images
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Former world champion Nigel Mansell believes Lewis Hamilton has been distracted from racing this year and that it could cost him the world title.

According to the Sun, Hamilton admitted at the Korean Grand Prix that family illness and falling out with his father and ex-manager Anthony had affected his performances.

Hamilton's start to the season was in fact quite solid and it has only been at the more recent Italian, Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix where mistakes and bad luck have started to creep in. But Mansell believes his accidents are a sign that he has been distracted.

"A few misjudgments have crept in this year and I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's better than that," he told the Sun. "So there are obviously a few things going on inside his head where he's not in sync with himself. Whether you have got mirrors or not you know exactly where you are on the circuit and where you are racing someone else. He's been caught out a couple of times but, if he's the class act I'm sure he is, he won't repeat that and will be better for it."

Mansell added that he still sees Mark Webber as the title favourite, despite the Red Bull driver crashing out of the Korean Grand Prix and falling 11 points behind Fernando Alonso.

"I still think the title's there for Mark Webber to lose now and I don't think he will," he said. "There has been stuff going on within the team all year but he has demonstrated he is strong of character and strong of mind.

"Mark is a class act as he showed when he came back from that accident in Valencia. In years gone by anyone thrown through the air like that would have been hospitalised or dead. Then you think of the accident he had on a mountain bike, hitting the car head on and breaking his leg and yet he came back from that, too. Mark is not taking any risks. I have to commend him because he's been so professional by finishing second and taking the points.

"Alonso is a brilliant driver but for me Ferrari lost focus by publicly demonstrating that their drivers basically don't get on."

Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi thinks Red Bull made a big mistake by not establishing a hierarchy between its drivers some time ago.

"They needed to take advantage of the fact they had the best car," the Frenchman told CNR Media. "It's doubtful they will have the same advantage next year, so you have to say they have mismanaged this season. I think they've missed a great opportunity."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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