Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2011

Hamilton: Upgrades key to improved performance

2011 German Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2011

Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to his team for car upgrades which allowed him to qualify within a tenth of a second of pole position at the Nurburgring.

Speaking after qualifying he said: “Huge congratulations to my team, fantastic effort.

“We’ve had some new upgrades this weekend. Throughout the weekend, throughout the week we’ve had a constant push to bring updates and to improve some of our engine modes which have obviously helped massively.

“I definitely underestimated how the car would be when we went to low fuel but it felt fantastic and the lap was just beautifully flowing.

“It was the most comforting lap I’ve ever had, it felt just incredible.

“We’re not far from [Red Bull] so it’s a good lap for us.”

2011 German Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 German Grand Prix articles

Image ?é?® McLaren

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

56 comments on “Hamilton: Upgrades key to improved performance”

  1. kenneth Ntulume
    23rd July 2011, 15:19

    Go Lewis……………go get em! and show them how its done

    1. hopefully lewis hasn’t sacrificed race pace for qualifying pace

      1. I think it might be a case of the car “suddenly coming alive” on low fuel than a deliberate choice, but you may be right. The first stint will be interesting.

  2. Indeed, he underestimated the capabilities of his car, as earlier this morning he was ruling out pole position, and he came mighty close to it. With Vettel and Alonso 3rd and 4th, and Webber’s typically slow getaway, I can’t wait to see what happens in that first corner.

    1. I’d like to see Webber get it right tomorrow for an even more interesting first corner.

    2. Button seemed to confirm the car problems existed. Strange that he had such a gap from Hamilton.

      1. that shows that hamilton has a setup for dry weather while button one for wet weather.
        the red bulls and the ferraris one in the middle just like massa said.
        so if it rains hamilton is toasted and if it doesn’t he wasn’t that much faster than the red bulls and the ferraris, knowing that
        1. ferrari takes better care of the tires.and once they get appropiately warm ,thay are super fast.
        2 the ferrari has way better pace in the race than the qualifying while the bulls just keep the pace.
        3. i’m saying what i said about the setup ’cause there is not way hamilton is 1.1 seconds faster than button.

        we will see

        1. if it rains hamilton is toasted

          If Hamilton complains he didn’t get a podium because it rained, I’ll eat all the toast you can make. (As long as it’s not soggy.)

        2. @tuee the difference between a wet setup and a dry one is less than half a second..

      2. What i found most intriguing was that Hamilton ‘s onboard could have been Jenson’s, it looked so smooth.

  3. Hope they don’t take a step back again now.

    1. I think Lewis will be ok, especially as the softer option tyre seems to be holding up well. I think he has every chance of getting Mark on the start, the threat from Vettel behind may well be negated by a fast starting Alonso. Really looking forward to this race now!

  4. I wouldn’t look to him if I wanted an accurate gauge of the team. Always look to how good JB is doing, and you will get a fair estimate of where they actually are at.

    1. yeah i do agree with you. but something must have gone wrong for him in his second attempt as he didnt improve at all.spanish tv did not mention a thing. he didnt even complete his flying lap. the track was a lot better as everybody improved a little bit, lewis bettered nearly 4 tenths..so jenson has to be closer for sure.

    2. agree 100%.Jenson is the measure of where McL is. Lewis position is just by sheer talent.

      1. not,it has to do with the setup he has!! dry for sure while button has one for rain.
        the bulls and the ferraris one in the middle.

    3. You wouldn’t look to Massa for an accurate reflection Ferrari’s pace, so why look at JB for an accurate reflection of Mclaren’s pace? JB is a poor qualifier more times than not, so looking at JB’s time will definitely make Lewis’ time seem like the best lap of all time.

      I think Lewis put an awesome lap in, and got a 100% out of the car, as compared to JB who couldn’t maximise the car’s potential

      1. That was meant to be a reply to Young One’s post

      2. But Jenson hasn’t been so far off Hamilton for a long while. So either he had a really bad run, or Lewis gained an extra 8/10ths. I think this was really down to him being suddenly confident about the car’s handling and nailing the track. Being so exalted about second place shows where McLaren still are!

        1. Well Jenson complained about not finding grip on both tyre compounds, but thhen again, that grip seems missing everytime he gets hammered by Lewis. I think it was a great lap by Lewis but we shouldn’t judge the car’s potential by Jb’s performance. Even durinf thhe British GP, the Mclaren came to life during the race, so there is no reason to believe they are any slower than thhe Ferraris.

          Best of luck to Jenson, and I hope he finds his grip sometime before he ends his f1 career.

  5. Woah! I’m so excited about this :D i was workin all morning/noon so missed P3 and qualifying. So going off P1 and P2 I really wasn’t getting my hopes up as a mclaren fan this weekend but this has totally changed my mind :D can’t wait for the race tomorrow!

  6. when aggressive update which makes car unstable, Hamilton has his form against Button. It also happened last year.

    1. agree again. but all that was shown on telly was jenson pulling over for vettel behind him…

    2. Which proves my completely technically uninformed theory that Hamilton needs an ‘edgy’ car than they usually end up with.

      1. more ‘edgy’

    3. Agree,Lew was very quick throughout quali so he was far more confident towards that new upgrade,it suited his style. Of course,he drove brilliantly to make full use of it,but to say he got there by sheer talent only s stupid.

  7. I loved hearing him being extatic over the radio! I think he was even saying he wanted to do another lap for the fun of it.

  8. Who said qualifying is boring this year. Great qualifying performance from Lewis. It was even better than Japan 2010 Qualifying and he is over a second quicker than Button, even if the later had some problems, Lewis was comfortably at least 6 tenths quicker than him.
    Hope race is equally exiting and fight for the win continues till the last lap. Go Lewis

  9. He under estimated the car on low fuel! Is that because it’s a pig on heavier fuel loads? Will it’s tyre’s last? Can they get the pace out of it with a full tank? I hope so. Has anyone considered that Jenson might of been running a wet setup in preparation for the race? Canada here we come?

  10. In the post qualy interview, JB said that he couldn’t get enough front grip this afternoon. Apparently it was better in FP3 this morning, but they changed the wing setting (front, I think) very slightly and it’s had an adverse effect on grip. Maybe it’ll be better when full of fuel.

    1. thank you for the info buddy

  11. How does mcleran make upgrade
    Now even if when they made
    The car at the beginning of the year
    That they try to make the fastest
    Why improve it

  12. It’s absurd to say “look at JB for a measure of where McL are as Lewis is just using sheer talent”.

    Talent does not extract tenths that are not there in the first place, there’s no magic, LH can’t defy the laws of phycics and is affected by centrifugal force like the rest of us.

    His talent is to optimise the equipment given to him and extract close to 100% of its performance so on that basis we should only look at Ham’s performance for a measure of where McL are over a lap, not JB’s.

    Things may be different in race trim though but if JB is quicker over a race distance, are we going to ignore him and judge McL on Lewis’ race performance because JB has used too much talent then ?

    1. Personally I’m never affected by centrifugal force and I doubt Lewis is either…

      JB isn’t going to be quicker over a race distance unless the tyres go off as far as I’m concerned… I like the guy and I’ve always supported him but Hamilton is quicker and he has proved that he can extract more from the car than most.

      I think what people are trying to say is that Hamilton is stupidly good at finding time that others can’t find in a car and therefore it’s difficult to judge the cars raw pace, Jenson is closer to ‘average’ speed (though I think he could have gone quicker today)

  13. Hamilton’s lap today reminded me of Senna at Monaco 1990…where he destroyed Prost by a secnd..Jenson can winge about the balance and lack of grip, but the fact is Hamilton was untouchable today, and as much as I respect Button as a person, as a driver on raw pace, he is and never will be a match for Hamilton. Part of being 1 of the 24 best drivers in the world is being able to adapt your style to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the car, and this is where Jenson falls short. We all know that when the balance is there he is as quick as anyone and has often been on par with Hamilton, but today, Jenson ran out of talent, end of story. On pure performance, the Mclaren was a good half second shy of Red Bull today, and that is why i cannot stop myself from rambling on about that lap.

    1. You bemuse me and many others I’m sure. Yes Lewis is a good driver, but to say that the Mclaren is half a second shy of the RedBull after he beat one of them and was closely behind the other is stating that he drove the car faster than it can be driven. Let’s just leave it at a fantastic single lap performance and rate him and Jenson after the race tomorrow.

      1. Toothpickbandit
        23rd July 2011, 19:05

        I think he’s saying that if you stuck identical drivers in the rbr and the vmm, the rbr would be half a second quicker. It’s not that Hamilton drove quicker than the car allowed, it’s just that he got more out of his car than webber. And when you hear webber saying how on the limit he was, you know what a special lap it was from Hamilton.

        1. I do think that Vettel on most days also could have put the McLaren on the front row, he is really fast in qualy too. Maybe Alonso too. But both didn’t seem to find the pace in their own car today.

    2. Hamilton’s lap today reminded me of Senna at Monaco 1990…where he destroyed Prost by a secnd..

      Wasn’t Alain Prost driving a completely different car?

      1. I think Prost drove truck…Ah, it was 1991 :P

  14. Is it bemusing that on average this year, Mclaren has been half a second off red bull in q3? And if you sir, think that they have made up this time in one race weekend end after being over a second off a fortnight ago, then you are categorically wrong. Agree with the second half of your comment though….

    1. Mclaren being a second off Red Bull at Silverstone, could have been due to the new regulations that was set in place for that race. Great performance by Hamilton today, and I hope to see him standing on the top step of the podium tomorrow.

    2. I think it’s very possible to make up that time, Mclaren have only really failed in single lap pace…. Yes they haven’t been able to consistently match RedBull, but as many have stated the have been very radical in there development, this time round looks like they got the result they needed. Let’s hope this continues into the race.

  15. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    23rd July 2011, 19:06

    I would like Webber to cede his place (as usual) to see a real battle among Vettel, Hamilton an Alonso

    1. +1, the three big boys fighting for the win would be a great sight.

    2. Seriously? What kind of f1 fan wants to see anybody concede position?

      1. He means with a bad start (that’s what he means by “as usual”).

    3. I don’t think that threesome has ever actually happened, although the general agreement of Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel being the top 3 drivers of the grid has been going on for a while now.

  16. I’ve just watched the full session on iPlayer, and the onboard from Lewis’s lap was just incredible. To be able to find 4 tenths in the final run, and come 0.055s behind a lap that Webber said was his absolute limit in the RB7 is incredible, unbelievable even.

    Mclaren have gained enormously by going back to Valencia spec, and a new engine map by the sounds of things. But I do think from what Hamilton has said in interviews and comparing his pace to that of Button, Alonso and the Red Bull’s, that he pushed the MP4-26 up to or even beyond the limits of what was previously thought it was capable of.

    I’m not going to laden his performance by comparing it to other Quali performances in the past, it was simply an exceptional lap. Hopefully, despite only P2, it will be remembered for a while.

    1. no it won’t be remembered tomorrow,when everyone here finds out that he had a dry setup while the other car (red bull and ferrari) had one in the middle. and button one for rain.

      1. You’ve made this same reply four or five times, on various topics… quite matter-of-factly too, I might add. Care to tell us where your inside info on who’s got what setup comes from? Or are you guessing & trying to pass said guesses as fact?

        1. you’ll see tomorrow. I don’t have to provided you anything. who you think you are?

          1. No, you don’t have to provide nothing… but one expects another to justify his statements, in this kind of discussion.

            I believe this discussion would be far interesting if you give some hint about your opinions/statements.

            Tomorrow we will see who is right and who is wrong.

          2. Thank you Jorge. All I did was ask a simple question… & a very valid one I think. He’s been on here all day talking about who’s got what setup when:

            A: Alonso says he rates his chances in the dry @ 25%… a bit less if it rains because the Ferrari isn’t the strongest in the wet.
            B: Massa says they have dialed in the max aero possible from their package so it could be a help in the wet.
            C: Button has complained about oversteer initially, then taking front wing off & suffering understeer as a result, plus low rear grip: he made no mention of wet or dry setups, & taking wing off doesn’t suggest a wet setup.
            D: Vettel says he fancies his chances more in the dry than the wet according to his current setup.
            E: Mark & Lewis are comfortable with their setups, & neither has hinted about any advantages (or lack thereof) or raised any particular concerns about their individual setups.

            I had to wonder whether he’s privy to some inside info the rest of us regular folks don’t have access to, or if he’s just guessing, trying to convince everyone that LH’s lap times are due to him having a different setup than all the other front runners. As I said in my previous post, I believe I now have my answer.

  17. I am not betting against Lewis winning the race tomorrow.Mclaren have good race pace so I think he may be the surprise of the week.

Comments are closed.