Hamilton: Qualifying problem “my mistake”

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton accepts blame for the incident with Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton accepts blame for qualifying error (BBC)

Lewis Hamilton: “It was my mistake. I should have got out sooner but I was making a wing change and I went out too late.”

Japanese GP – Conference 3 (FIA)

Jenson [Button] was in front of me. He slowed down to get his gap and I was coming up to the last corner, trying to make sure that I had a gap between me and him. It wasn?t that big and just as I was coming into the chicane I looked in my mirror and I saw Mark [Webber] diving up the inside of me, and then I saw… I didn?t even see Michael [Schumacher] but as I gave Mark room, Michael nearly crashed me on the left, so it was… quite dangerous.”

Vettel’s speed of man and machine

Adrian Newey: “I think that?s the great thing about Formula One. It?s a mixture of things. You?ve got the driver, the chassis and the engine. And without getting a good combination of all of those you?re not going to win the title.”

Paddock pays tribute to Japanese as Sebastian Vettel closes on fresh fortune (The Times, subscription required)

Sebastian Vettel’s first Red Bull pay packet was a handsome ??2,000, but then he was only 10 years old. Tomorrow, at the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel races for a fortune, a ??5 million bonus if he becomes world champion for the second time in his short yet brilliant career.”

Lopez set to buy into Group Lotus (Autosport)

“With moves underway to rebrand and rename the Enstone-based outfit as Lotus in 2012, a full integration of the F1 team and the Norfolk-based car maker appears to be on the cards.”

Bahrain situation a concern for F1 teams (Reuters)

Christian Horner: “I think that Bernie [Ecclestone] more than anybody probably is acutely aware of the situation there and when the time is right for difficult decisions that have to be made he’s demonstrated that he’s not afraid of making them.”

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Comment of the day

Magnificant Geoffrey on the mix-up between Hamilton, Webber and Schumacher at the end of qualifying:

I don?t think you can blame Lewis [Hamilton]. He was behind Jenson [Button] and had to make a gap to ensure he didn?t get compromised.

But you can’t blame Webber or Schumacher when they have a right to try and get a lap in too. And that’s what I mean, when you leave things to the last minute you just know many of your competitors will be trying to do the same.

That’s why you need to give yourself enough time to avoid being caught out. For a professional sports organisation like McLaren to adopt the mentality a teenage schoolboy takes to their homework is just not on.

Lewis [Hamilton] has made some honest mistakes this season, but McLaren have made some basic organisational errors too. If they want to challenge for titles next season, they really need to sort themselves out and nip things like this in the bud, otherwise they?ll have no chance.
Magnificant Geoffrey

From the forum

Who’s going to win today’s Bathurst 1000? Take a look at the action from the end of qualifying here:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Toby!

On this day in F1

This time last year we were wondering if the Korean Grand Prix would actually go ahead. Tarmac was laid at the track just over two weeks before the race was due to take place:

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38 comments on “Hamilton: Qualifying problem “my mistake””

  1. The first thing lewis does after getting out of his car is wear his cap and then his glares. I dont think i have seen any other driver do that, ever! I like it. :)

    1. you might like it, but he wasn’t looking cool. he was looking overwhelmingly defensive.

      1. Perhaps he was hiding his embarrassment for letting Webber get the jump on him and costing his ability to do his final lap. His body language said it all when he was doing the weigh in while he had his helmut on.

      2. @f1yankee That’s exactly what I was thinking. Classic defensive stance.

    2. I think Stewart used to do it too, he was very absorbed at times.

  2. “It was my mistake,” he said. “I should have got out sooner but I was making a wing change and I went out too late.”

    what a joker! notice he’s not accepting blame for what happened while actually on the track. 2 race suspension is drawing closer….closer….almost here now…closer

    1. Thats what I thought. He doesn’t see that he might have done something wrong on track, like doing things his team instructed him to avoid, then being surprised someone overtakes him as bluntly as he did to Massa two weeks ago and in surprise almost crashing into another car and blaming that one (who has 20 years of experience) for doing something dangerous. I was actually warming up for Lewis last season and this year but the last about 8 races have brought me back to the way I thought about him towards the end of ’07 and in ’08. I’ll just try to ignore him like he ignores his own shortcomings.

      1. Indeed, until he accepts responsibility for the crimes committed in Bahrain I just can’t believe his reserved apologizes are all that sincere.

    2. I liked the way he said Schum’s move was “dangerous”… and 2 weeks ago he said his incident with Massa at Qualifying was “fine”.

      1. That’s the thing that I notice about Hamilton, massive talent aside. He appears to have this double standard towards his actions and others actions towards or involving him.

        1. I really like him, but it cannot be coincidence there’s always an incident involving him every single weekend.

          The others can’t always be wrong…

      2. The difference between being sandwiched between two cars at a chicane, where both other drivers have to go off the track to go past, and passing one car cleanly. Fairly obvious really.

        1. Hardly. Singapore’s a street track, so the margin of error is a lot smaller. Plus, Massa wasn’t stopping before a chicane. Hamilton was all over the place behind him 2 weeks ago.

        2. But the difference is that Hamilton didn’t have to overtake Massa in Singapore, but Webber and Schumacher was stuck behind Hamilton who weren’t going to get a move on for them to reach the line in time. Of cause they are going to do what they need to pass him, and if that results in Hamilton being sandwiched between two cars then it is his own fault.

    3. When I read the title I almost thought for a moment that he was taking responsibility.

  3. The irony of Lewis’ error in qualifying is, if he had been hit by Schumi and parked the car, the red flag would’ve been thrown, and Lewis would be on pole…

    Perhaps next time he’ll get a move on with it and just do his damn lap.

  4. And he would not have gotten pole in dirty air behind Button. So It doesn’t matter in the end. The real problem was the late release.

    1. He wasn’t that close to Button, and Button was almost as fast, so they would have never gotten really close.

      1. You don’t need to be super close to get aero disrupted by the car in front.
        To get the best lap you need a decent gap.

  5. Well it was his mistake but I guess the Mclaren team is to blame more then him.

    1. It sounds to me like “Yeah, yeah it was my fault, ok? Are you happy now?” like he’s had a bad season and one mistake more doesn’t make the difference. Remember Lewis won two races this year, and one of them was before his season began falling!

  6. Just a quick note to you watching The Bathurst 1000, Bathurst was the birthplace of in-car live TV, in those days the helicopter had to follow the camera car to pick up the transmission and the camera and transmitter were quite bulky.

    1. Shame I wont see the end of Bathurst today. With Japanese gp, Wallabies rugby match & Bathurst all being on at the same time and can only record one of them

      1. Ah the joys of having Foxtel IQ2… record two while watching another…. though the HD feed for F1 chews up a lot of HDD space, and Bathurst ain’t exactly 2 hours either. Oh well, I guess rugby will have to play 3rd fiddle…

  7. Congrats Mag on the CoTD! Completely agree with you, I think it’s mainly the team’s fault that Lewis missed his last run. Whitmarsh even said that we could have been more explicit about the time running out, RBR and Mercedes were probably doing just that which caused their two drivers to rush madly.

    About the Bahrain situation I think there’s no need to make any prejudgements before the Independent Committee’s report comes out. It will be out on Oct. 30 so hopefully by then things will be clear.

    1. But what MaG didn’t have at the time of his comment was the time gap difference between Webber and Jenson at the finish line. Also the fact is Webber made it through and Webber started behind Lewis. I can agree partially that McLaren could’ve done a little better with their communications but not all the blame lays with the team but also with the driver, who failed to get his car across the start line within the allocated time. Lewis also wanted a wing change – which was his call, hence he came out after Jenson.

      From Whitmarsh’s comment, perhaps they could’ve been on the radio with Lewis all the way up to the last chichane, giving him a verbal count down of the time remaining. But nevertheless it was Lewis’ decision to leave a decent gap to the guy in front (regardless of whether it was his team mate or not). So it wasn’t the team that was behind the wheel that ultimately missed the final run. Had Lewis made it to the final run and was slowed by Jenson, then that would’ve been the team’s fault for setting them off too close together. But the fact is Lewis didn’t give him self the chance of doing a final run.

        1. To me, criticising Lewis for this is a bit like criticising a chef for undercooking his soufle when you’ve only given him 1m40 to make it.

          Not sure whether that is the right analogy. If the souffle takes 1m30 to make then giving him 1m40 is enough. But if the Souffle is going to take 1m50 to make and you know you only have 1m40 then what’s the point of attempting to make the souffle in the first place? So if there was no chance of Lewis actually making a lap then why would you even bother to send him out?

          The point I’m making is that Lewis didn’t focus on making sure he had another lap but was rather distracted by focusing on leaving a gap between himself and the car in front. Obviously it would’ve helped if the team informed him that two other cars were coming up and that he was potentially running out of time. But again, it’s not the team that’s behind the wheel at the time and only Lewis had the opportunity to avoid the situation at that moment.

        2. If this is a “basic error” by Mclaren, then how come Red Bull and Mercedes aren’t getting the same flack? They all sent their drivers out at the same time, for the same reason: to be the last man over the line. The reason they do it is that last man standing is very very valuable. It’s a known risk but it’s worth it. It didn’t work out for lewis because he dawdled. Criticising the team for that mistake is like criticising the chef for a collapsed souffle because the waiter wandered off for 5 minutes before he brings it to the table.

          The exact same tactic worked perfectly for Button and Vettel who were the last men across the line, didn’t it?

        3. Nevertheless, Lewis admitted fault as well. I agree with Lewis’ comments – he blamed himself for making a wing change and not getting out earlier. From memory there wasn’t much time between pitting after his initial provisional pole lap to when he came back out again. He requested for the wing change and subsequently put him behind Massa and Jenson when they came out for their final run.

        4. I can’t see how you can criticise Lewis.

          Did you not get the e-mail, every incident involving Hamilton in any way is 100% Hamilton’s fault.

    2. I think Lewis was to blame for that incident that caused him not to be able to make it into a flying lap. But the team were to blame as well for not pushing him enough to get out in time for a more relaxed lap.

      As for Bahrain, I am really looking forward to the BICI commissions findings. But to make that more then empty words, your regime should also wait with prosecuting those doctors and people who voiced protest.

      So far your regime has kept punishing people who did not much more then protest a situation with hugely unfair sentences, while officials are not even being accused. And continuing hard ball reaction to unrest is really not going to help you get over this and into a positive direction @lak

    3. Thanks LAK! :D

      1. Yea, great COTD @magnificent-geoffrey ! McLaren didn’t exactly do him a lot of favours. They would be staring down the barrel of a gun if they had been seen to have impeded Webber and Schumacher.

  8. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the little emperor has no racesuit. Just as well he’s got a championship to his name.

  9. Massa vs Hamilton was not dangerous because there were only 2 cars involved hence it was easier for the cars to avoid each other. Even in that incident hamilton paused before Massa yielded.
    When you have 3 cars fighting for one spot, things can get more complicated and it will be stupid to assume you have a spot locked when either of the other two drivers can create a situation making your claim on that spot inappropriate. That was the mistake Schumacher made.

  10. Wow, it’s not often we get information on the drivers pay packets, but that’s one hell of a bonus for Vettel. Does anyone know what other drives have got in the past?

  11. Reasonable COTD, but I can’t agree. In the post qualifying coverage, Martin Whitmarsh repeatedly said that the team told Lewis not to back off at all. He was informed about how tight they were for time, and he was dogging it to try and get a gap from Jenson. I don’t see how they could have helped him anymore.

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