Hamilton: “I just wasn’t quick enough”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says: “I was quick in qualifying, I wasn’t quick in the race.”


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Loss of form baffles Lewis Hamilton (The Independent)

“I just wasn’t quick enough. I was quick in qualifying, I wasn’t quick in the race.”

Where has Lewis Hamilton gone? (The Buxton Blog)

“I almost want to grab him and slap him and ask where the hell Lewis Hamilton is? Where’s the friendly, open, passionate racer, who used to laugh off adversity and show the kind of racecraft on track that left you with your jaw on the floor?”

New low increases Lewis Hamilton concerns (BBC)

“There is something in Hamilton’s life, some distraction that is adversely affecting his performance. Only he can know what that is.”

Pirelli to discuss Q3 issue with FOTA (Autosport)

Paul Hembery: “There is nothing too wrong with the qualifying. This three session system is very good: it is just that conserving tyres is nonsense. And it is nonsense because if [Sebastian] Vettel and the top six can win races having gone through the three sessions, then it means everyone can do it.”

Nico Hulkenberg via Twitter

“I’m still in Japan and will fly to Korea on Wednesday. I will not drive there on Friday, because it’s quite a new Track for Adrian [Sutil] and [Paul di Resta].”

Forget Schuey… Vettel’s on course to become F1’s most decorated driver (Daily Mail)

“Turner also wants Simon Lazenby to front [Sky’s F1] coverage. While Sky Sports News presenter Georgie Thompson has been mooted as a possible option, Turner, who worked with Lazenby during his time in rugby, wants to bring him across to F1.”

In defence of the 2011 F1 season (The Guardian)

“It’s been no classic but there has been much to enjoy away from the [Vettel’s] domination up front. It is just that the big picture of the title race has marginalised a lot of the action into unconnected, one-off events on track.”

Petra Ecclestone wants to be taken seriously (Daily Telegraph)

Of passing interest to anyone who might like to know where a sizeable chunk of the money Bernie Ecclestone made from F1 has gone.

Japanese GP Review (Williams)

Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan: “Pastor [Maldonado’s] race balance on option tyres and low fuel during the last stint was reasonable but it is clearly evident that the overall pace of the car needs to dramatically improve.”

Seven meetings and new horizons in 2012 (World Series by Renault)

“As well as visiting the six tracks on the 2011 schedule, WSR will also be pitching up in Russia at the new Moscow Raceway.”

The Prancing Horse steps up its solidarity with Japan (Ferrari)

“On Saturday in Suzuka the team hosted a family that had lost everything because of the quake and tomorrow, Ferrari Japan, at the Japanese launch of the 458 Spider, will put up for auction the nose of a 150??? Italia used in the Australian Grand Prix, which bore the Japanese flag and the message ‘Forza Giappone.'”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

John H imagines how the 1979 French Grand Prix might have been affected by modern-day stewards:

News just in… Gilles Villeneuve handed 25-second post race penalty by the FIA after taking 32 years to review the footage. He has been demoted to fourth place a spokesman today confirmed.

Renault driver Rene Arnoux was handed second place and is said to be “ecstatic” that justice has finally been served describing Villeneuve’s driving as “mindless” and going on to comment that the former Ferrari ace “just doesn’t learn”.

Alan Jones is now classified third and is said to be “decidedly nonplussed” with the podium result.
John H

From the forum

Share any fans’ videos you’ve found from the Japanese Grand Prix. Here’s one to get you started:

Site updates

Several site fixed were implemented yesterday including to the menus on the mobile site and preventing pages from refreshing when you make a comment.

For a list of what was fixed and what remains to be corrected see this thread:

As ever if you have experienced a problem with this site, please follow these steps to report it. This is to ensure I have the maximum information possible in order to address any faults:

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two years ago today Toyota announced Kamui Kobayashi would make his F1 debut in the Brazilian Grand Prix in place of the injured Timo Glock.

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.

92 comments on “Hamilton: “I just wasn’t quick enough””

  1. If Hamilton had an extra world championship point for everytime his name is mentioned in the round up then the title race would still be on! ;)

    1. He’d have won it China tbh!

    2. Lewis who???

  2. We find ourselves asking this too much, but why dont drivers do doughnuts more often? It pleases the fans, the people that have paid good, hard earned, money to attend these GPs, and whilst they soak up every ounce of atmosphere going, seeing a driver do doughnuts must be like nothing on Earth.

    The FIA and FOTA want to connect with the fans more, how about allowing their drivers to express their jubiliation more often? Or even just showing off to the fans to thank their support? Kimi at Belgium 2007 and Lewis at Silverstone 2009 come to mind.

    Not a fan of Vettel’s, but top marks to him for treating the fans.

    1. Personally I’ve never seen what the fuss about doughnuts is, seen one you’ve seen a hundred.

      1. Same here. Never seen the appeal of doughnuts. It’s also horrible on the gearbox/drive shaft. First car failure for Vettel this year in Korea?

      2. @Icthyes @JamesF1 Ooo very much a pet hate of mine, I hate them! They’re tacky as hell and just look really awkward in an F1 car.

      3. Same here, I’d rather see Arab rich boys doing those crazy things they like doing with cheap Asian cars and expensive Toyota Land Cruisers :)

        1. Going sideways on a tuned Nissan Patrol is the best! :D

          1. I mean on 2 tires, either left or right.

    2. the FIA don’t allow the drivers to do much either. They cannot stop on track and pick a flag from a marshall anymore either.

      The whole “celebration” after a race (inlap, podium ceremony…) is so lame. They should let the drivers celebrate the way they want.

      To think Valentino Rossi, when he won his 100 GP, he stepped off his bike and opened an enooormous flag with pics of all his 100 wins… that was a classic. F1 drivers don’t do it/are not allowed to do that.

      1. Some flags might turn out to be lined with lead ingots that somehow get lodged in the car or a driver’s pockets before the weigh bridge.

      2. They can get away with one-offs (see Massa in Brazil 2006 picking up a Brazilian flag), so long as they don’t do it too often.

    3. but why dont drivers do doughnuts more often?

      Irrespective of FIA rules on what driver are alowed to do, there are a few reasons why drivers would be reluctant to put up a bit of a show either way:

      1) Drivers are required (due to critical weight settings) to collect as much rubber after the race instead of burn more of it.

      2) The engine has to be reused for the next race. Why risk revving the muck out of it for nothing. Save the car save the engine.

      Resource restrictions unfortunately

      1. But if the engine is on it’s last cycle, then this shouldnt matter too much?

        The scowl the FIA give to people doing doughnuts and celebrating with their fans (i.e collecting a flag) is pretty wrong in my view. Let the drivers show emotion, make the sport seem that little less corporate.

        Doughnuts are just as spectacular the first time as the thousandth time in my view.

      2. Not to mention they need enough fuel for a sample and they run that pretty short, too.

        1. i think i remember someone saying that it was to stop bits of rubber or tarmac etc from flying into the crowd

  3. Haha that COTD is pure quality.

    1. I LOLed at that one for a minute or two yesterday. Really nice one.

    2. Absolutely! I’d say it’s a show of the times, but didn’t the stewards actually take a dim view of it back then as well? It’s just that they didn’t slap them with penalties at any scrape of the car.

  4. “I’m still in Japan and will fly to Korea on Wednesday. I will not drive there on Friday, because it’s quite a new Track for Adrian [Sutil] and [Paul di Resta].”

    Ha! Sutil did spend the whole of last years race crashing into people and/or driving on the grass…not his finest hour by any means. So he probably needs to learn the actual track. ‘Track’ being the asphalt

    1. Haha, he was fighting and colliding with the Saubers all race long. Similar to Schumacher in Singapore both last year and this year.

    2. I think there were even people tweeting that to Nico yestereday!

    3. Nah. Sutil now knows the braking limits very well here ;)

  5. John H imagines how the 1979 French Grand Prix might have been affected by modern-day stewards

    The difference between Arnoux-Villeneuve and Hamilton-Massa is that Villeneuve never actually hit Arnoux.

    1. Wasn’t there a lot of wheel banging? Different, obviously, but still ‘contact.’ I imagine bumping wheels without consequence used to be easier due to the shape of the cars.

      1. If there was wheel-banging, it clearly didn’t do any damage. The stewards arent penalising Hamilton because he’s hitting Massa – they’re penalising him because he’s damaging Massa’s car and ruining Massa’s race.

        1. Wheel-banging with no damage and no “one defensive move” or weaving to break the tow. Villeneuve and Arnoux were both delighted afterwards to have had such an exciting battle, so no handbags via the media afterwards.

          The nearest modern comparison is Massa vs Kubica in Fuji 2007 – neither penalised.

        2. Given the fact those cars are made of honeycomb aluminium and have hardly a FW to speak of, the hitting might have been far more severe without any bits breaking off like we have nowadays, especially with the front wings.

    2. They banged wheels three or four times. The difference is that instead of moaning to the stewards about it, they got hold of the footage and sat watching it together with an audience of people in the paddock!

      Oh how times have changed.

      1. Those were the times … :-)

      2. That was kind of my point with the comment: just to highlight how things have changed for better or for worse (you can look at it both ways), not to highlight Massa or Hamilton in particular although they are flavour of the month at the moment.

        Personally I feel we currently penalise a little too much in a kind of ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’ culture I guess, it’s always someone else’s fault. With that in mind from my perspective it was nice to see the stewards (including Alan Jones no less) not dishing them out left right and centre in Japan.

        Now if only there were more consistency ;)

    3. They do appear to touch on the final lap a couple times

  6. Lewis needs to ignore the media for starters….

    “there is something gnawing away at him”

    I’m not a fan of Lewis. But come on, he had one race where Button was quicker. People get so worked up about Lewis. No one even bats and eye lid when Button is slower.

    (note: When I say Media I don’t mean F1 Fanatic.)

    1. When your making comparisons between the “warmth” shown in the pit box then I start to suspect an agenda. (@BBC article)

    2. Maybe a competitive car from day one would make wonders…

      He wants to be a WDC, seems that he refuses to feel OK with anything less than Champion. In fact, looking at Vettel form and car, LH could not stand a chance.

      1. He did have a competitive car from day one.
        In Australia Hamilton was catching Vettel, and forced Vettel to pit to avoid the undercut.
        I think that is being very competitive.
        At least until the floor of his car broke and he had to slow down quite a bit.

        1. McLaren was impressive in Spain too, but they faild to be a permanent threat to Red Bull dominance. Hamilton and Alonso need competitive and consistent cars to pose a real threat to young Vettel, being good here and there is not enough to beat Red Bull. How many more points would’ve collect discounting his collection of mistakes? Eventually enough points to second on the standings, but Champion to be? I doubt.

          1. I don’t think it is the car as much as it is McLaren finding new and ingenious ways to mess up everything.
            The RB7 haven’t been the fastest car everywhere, but McLaren have had so little consistency that even when they had the legs on the RB they were not really able to make the most of it. In Hugary for instance, it could have been an easy 1,2 finish. They could also have used RB’s horrible pistop in Monaco to win there, but they didn’t seem interested in that either.
            They haven’t had the fastest car all year, but they haven’t been behind all the time either.
            I will call a car competitive if it is on several occasions able to finish within 2 seconds of the lead driver, and at most tracks actually being the fastest in the race by quite some margin.
            The car might not be a championship winner, but it surely is competitive in terms of overall pace and tyre management. They just haven’t been able to use that fully, because they have messed it up. But that isn’t the cars fault.

    3. I think it’s because Lewis was EXPECTED to be quicker (see Buxton’s blog post). Thing is, Jenson has outperformed Lewis over the last 5 GPs. It’s not just a one-off anymore – it’s starting to become a trend.

      1. Could not agree more. For once someone has described the situation using sense and logic in equal measure.

    4. I think the roots of Hamilton’s current form are:
      1. Sebastian Vettel – I think Vettel’s succes has come as a big blow for Lewis who until then was the like the God of F1, constantly in the spotlight. Being part of such a big team as McLaren, HAM expected to win back-to-back titles and make his own era in F1 but his plans were ruined by some kid (whom maybe Lewis doesn’t consider as talented as himself) who gets lucky to drive a super-car, wins a lot of races, championships and beats his records. Lewis finds himself out of the spotlight (the good one) and somehow angry, disappointed and frustrated by his team because for 3 years in a row they don’t provide him the best car.
      2. Jenson Button – the “nice guy” team-mate is too nice and the team seems to like him more and more. Button was smart enough to realise that before beating Hamilton on the track, he first must beat him within the team. He adopts the “good boy” strategy (that understands why he has to do so much PR work before his home GP) that is appreciated by the team but most importantly he manages to have a bigger say in the car development (as this year’s car seems to suit him better than the previous). From the statements that followed from McLaren after signing the multi-year contract, it seems that they are really impressed by his feed-back and are relying on him for the development of their future cars. This should be very concerning for Hamilton since he has a different driving style and if Jenson convinces the engineers to tailor the car on him things will become very difficult as Button will have both psychological and technical advantage. So I think Hamiton’s problems are just beginning…

      1. Spot on. Until 2008 he got used to winning and he was thinking no-one was even close to him on terms of ability, but the last years proved otherwise. However, last year Vettel wasn’t that impressive and lthough Hamilton was defeated in the championship, he didn’t lose his dignity. This year Vettel has improved a lot and he is humiliating all other drivers, including Hamilton. Hamilton’s streak of bad luck started in Monaco, where he felt he was in some sort of a “must win situation”, which he handled badly. From that point on, Vettel was left without any competition and Hamilton’s driving became more and more eratic. I hope he will learn a lot of this year. As Vettel shows, things can be quite different after just one year.

    5. But come on, he had one race where Button was quicker. People get so worked up about Lewis. No one even bats and eye lid when Button is slower.

      Jenson was quicker in Singapore and Monaco. The thing is, no one really expected Jenson to be beating Lewis, so people assumed it was the norm when Lewis was doing better than Jenson. Also, the media has portrayed that Jenson was coming into Lewis’ team at McLaren and that the team had established itself around Lewis – that fact is, the results are showing the opposite of the forecasted effect. Lewis is also struggling on the current rules this year especially with the tyres. When Lewis gets into trouble he will drive the wheels of the car to rectify the issue, but with the Perelli’s they don’t agree with the aggressive nature of Lewis’ driving. The tyres could stand a few aggressive laps from Lewis but over a race distance they simply can’t hold up.

    6. I think once Lewis had two bad races, everyone attacked him, and coincidentally he had another bad race and everyone is bashing him; he tries to give his best to show he is good, sometimes exceeding the limit.

      1. The difference between Lewis having a bad race and Jenson having a bad race is that Lewis is involved (whether controvertially or not) in incidents. And in this year it seems to involve the same driver (Massa) a majority of the time.

        When Jenson has a bad race it’s down to poor car setup or a general lack of pace from the car/driver. When Lewis is having bad races this year it’s due to an incident. If he avoided some of these incidents he could’ve been on the podium. E.g. spin in Hungrary, clash with Massa in Singapore. And it also seems when he is having these incidents his so called “lesser team mate” is getting on the podium, and proving that the car is capable and that Lewis squandered the opportunity.

  7. 3 for Hamilton this time. Buxton wants to slap him; somebody else wants to prescribe Zoloft, or an exorcism. Is this a British media thing? The histrionic hand-wringing complex about how bad British sportsmen are supposedly doing all the time. I look at Germany, which has a heap of F1 drivers, and another multiple champion, but the mainstream German press just takes passing note of Vettel, by comparison. Meanwhile, all of Britain wants to make Hamilton stare at ink blots.

    COTD wins so much today.

    1. @DaveW did you read that Buxton article?

      Buxton did work for the GP2 series organisers when Hamilton drove there and knows him quite well from his early days. He has been saying how good Hamilton is ever since. And he repeats it several times in that article.
      But he also writes how it seems Hamilton needs someone to help him regain that super self confidence and knowledge you are unbeatable a driver needs to get the most out of it.

      1. I did read the Buxton article, and I found it a confusing piece. On the one hand, he says he cares about him, but on the other hand, he puts a pretty negative spin on some things:

        But he choked. He went against the requests of the team not to leave a gap to Button and he missed the cut.

        He choked? That’s a bit rich, surely? He got pretty close to Button who was going through the chicane pretty slowly (the team should have told Hamilton and Button to get a move on, and told them clearly).

        running the wheels off his McLaren in that first stint.

        Yes. getting a puncture was a massive mistake from Hamilton.

        And to hear Buxton tell it, Button has outclassed Hamilton since he arrived at McLaren.

        So when it was Button, not Hamilton, who took the first (and second) McLaren victory that year, Jenson didn’t just look good. He looked mega. He’s continued to look just that. Button’s stock has risen and risen. His racing has improved every week, to the extent that in my opinion he is driving better now and is more complete a driver than he was when he won the title in 2009.

        If Button had really outperformed Hamilton since his two early 2010 wins, he would have been world champion of 2010. Instead, that season, he was generally slower both on Saturday and on Sunday.

        But perhaps this article was Buxton’s way of slapping Hamilton

        1. Funny thing about the “running the wheels off thing.” Hobbs and Matchett jumped straight down his throat when he said the same thing on Speed. Buxton is unbowed in his driving-causes-puncture campaign.

          But it doesn’t really matter whether Buxton or whoever is mislaying blame: In sports, politics, business when things don’t go well, bad luck and error merge into one pall in the public mind.

          You could say, well, he had to back off way early because you can’t know if Button was going to stop in the chicane for Massa. You could say he had a puncture and bad set up adjustment decision in the race. Etc. An alien spaceship could have come down and blown off his tire with a death ray, wouldnt matter. If it fi’s the narrative, it goes.

          When Button was getting smoked in qualifying the end of the last year and had his terrible swoon, he had his reasons, things happened, but it was just all on his account. Remeber his hideous weekend in Korea where he didn’t even make Q3? It was all head-shaking and “no grip, no balance.” I was saying that he was terrible and needed to replaced with Webber. What a difference a year makes. Now Webber can’t race his way out of a paper bag and Button is a genius.

          Buton took his troubles it like a man, figured out what went wrong and came back. Hamilton will do the same. Maybe the best thing he can learn from Button is what you learn driving for four teams in mostly terrible cars. How to keep you head up and bounce back, and not internalize the back luck.

    2. I think you’re on the money there. Look at the crucifixion of the England football and rugby teams in last weekend’s papers, or Andy Murray even when he gets to a semi-final. Button himself in 2009 went from hero to bottler in 2 races…

  8. Yes, he wasn’t fast enough in the race early. I don’t know why but later he recovered. However already his race was ruined.

  9. Hamilton I think may lacking self believe.

    1. Journalists alreadyrighting stories on “forget Schuey?”. My favourite F1 adage is still “nobody wins an F1 race in a Fiat Panda”. It is obvious that you need to be a fine driver to become a WDC, but being a fine driver is not enough. Jenson Button is a great driver but how did he add his name to the Champions book?

      Seb Vettel is a very good driver, but part of his success lies in the hands of Adrian Newey and his team, the day someone builds a car as competitive as Seb’s he will not win 10 races in a year. Much of the talk about Vettel has been referred to Alonso, but Fernando is yet to win a title since 2006. How many people predicted glorious years for Lewis Hamilton back in 2007? The same amount of people who now tag him as “the next Jacques Villeneuve”?

      Winning back to back titles make some people believe that 5 more is not that hard, but I just don’t buy it.

  10. I am a huge fan of Lewis. No conspiracy theory here but he doesn’t seem happy anymore. He has the look of someone who is defeated and I don’t like it one bit. I think all the media criticism has had a profound effect on him. He needs to knuckle down and get on with doing what he loves, or used to love, driving an F1 car. Something is wrong at Mclaren. Whatever it is Lewis needs to fix it, as he has nowhere else to go for 2012. I will never loose faith in him. He still has the talent, he just needs to believe it again,

    1. @jolene As a fellow supporter of Ham it is difficult viewing at the moment, and now reading this independent article it seems has now developed a bck against the wall attitude, where he cannot accept crtisism or advice but cannot offer any answers to his own lack of form. Too much too young?, that argument holds no water because Vettel seems to relish in the attention. Lack of humility? Perhaps he simply cannot accept his own shortcomings. Personally i think that F1 of recent years simply doesn’t suit him, race craft and race management are key to race pace and Lewis’s balls out approach is simply getting him to too much trouble, burning his tyres out too quickly and making rash decisions. I think he needs a mentor to help him through these difficult times.

      1. Some really good and insightful comments here I have to say. Best F1 blog by quite some margin I’m sure many would agree (including Keith I would imagine : )

        I too am a big Hamilton fan. However I actually am enjoying seeing him experiencing his current trials and tribulations and here’s why. In all honesty, I think it’s exactly what he needs.

        Others have already described how he burst onto the scene in ’07, winning the championship at the second attempt and everything seemed to be, well, going just according to Lewis’ plan. Because of this though, I can’t help but get the impression that he had built up a certain sense of entitlement with regards to his success in F1, and that includes wining further championships. It’s almost as if he’s lived his F1 career to date backwards.

        So from that perspective I think what Lewis is experiencing now will form the foundation for a renewed determination and mindset in that he now has to go out and prove all over again that he is indeed who everybody, including himself, said he ways. Namely, the fastest most talented driver of his generation. If he is to succeed, there will be no place for feelings of entitlement or complacency or anything else. this is why I think the lessons he is learning now will provide the impetus he needs to regroup and recalibrate his efforts in once again becoming the driver we all know he can be.

        1. Thanks very much!

      2. @bigbadderboom Agreed. Its really painful watching F1 at the moment. My nerves are completely shot before the lights go out, hoping and praying that I dont have to witness another incident.

        I do think Lewis needs his father back. Anthony had a very calming and disciplined influence on him. I just find it ironic that when he used to be in the garage 24/7, many had an issue with that as well. I also dont understand why he is not supporting his son in a non management role.

        Hopefully Lewis gets his head in the right place. I will support him win or loose, because the guy is simply spectacular to watch, not many will deny that.

  11. They call Obama, the President of the United States (POTUS) by another name these days (TOTUS), after his teleprompter. Hamilton’s one is operating at just about the same standard.

    Like Casey Stoner said to Valentino Rossi, “you just ran out of talent”. I take no particular pleasure in attributing that in Hamilton’s case, but it is up to him to get back. Last year I thought he grew up some after the Melbourne incident. This year he regressed, but now he has a driving acumen problem to accompany his condition.

    1. Like Casey Stoner said to Valentino Rossi, “you just ran out of talent”.

      Yeah, I thought that was a deserving comment from Stoner. I used to like Rossi but after that incident my respect for Rossi is somewhat tainted. What was worse for Casey was that the marshalls helped Rossi get back on his bike and continue the race and just left Stoner standing there. And Lewis lying in Melbourne was just not on.

  12. I surprised no one picks up webber and hamilton have both regressed due to the tyres this year. Everyone excepts webber is a quick driver, but obviously he is cooking his tyres in comparison to vettel. Webber was fourth, a puncture and a bash ahead of hamilton and there is no fuss ? The new tyres and drs have played into the hands of the less aggresive drivers, and japan is a track that cooks tyres, still think webber and hamilton are fundementally faster, i.e. with no tyre performance drop off, but we have a different set of rules these days…

    1. I agree. There are definitely soms shinanigans going on in the Lewis camp but if the performance was there on the track i don’t think it would affect him that much.

      Hamilton has still blitzed Button in qualifying this year, but not in the race. Bad luck/self-caused accidents have a part to play in this but not all – and the key difference i’ve seen this year is the smaller difference in race pace between Button and Hamilton. Tyres are the main reason.

  13. Just on the Hamilton reference to his race speed, if you read Martin Whitmarsh’s comments after the race it sounds as though they were playing around at the pitstops with the downforce levels on the front wing. Hamilton himself radioed in after the safety car complaining about understeer.

    This would explain his lack of race pace after the first set of pit stops.

  14. I don’t think Hamilton has a distraction that keeps him from showing what he can. He just needs some time off, or a (couple of) good result(s). I bet that next year he’ll be the same driver we know from previous seasons.

  15. Lewis ran more rear wing in qualifying but missed his lap so he had to start on an over-used set of soft tyres. McLaren have tended to split their strategies this year, trying to get either Lewis or Jenson in front of Vettel at the start. It is possible Hamilton was light on fuel and had to do a lot of fuel saving in the final stint.

  16. Most super high profile sportsmen have a career lull and of course its all relative. In football ROoney couldnt even control the ball a year or 2 ago and its arguable hes ever got his early career form back but he has changed his game and learnt to be smarter.

    Lewis needs to do the same quickly. F1 is no longer full of gunslingers its full of people who can do 16 different at once, Vettel even checks the track screens whilst in the raceFFS! Lewis is a throwback, a seat of the pants driver or, to use a cliche, Maverick..who..oh dear..doesnt play by the rules.

    As Ive said before, the question shouldnt be why is he not challenging for the title every year, rather how did he win the title at all. But of course the media just want to ask the age old question: “where did it all go wrong George?”

    1. Maverick..who..oh dear..doesnt play by the rules.

      Surely you’re not trying to imply that Lewis’s early performance wrote cheques that the rest of his career just can’t cash? ;)

      Sorry everyone …

  17. With regards to the COTD, I agree, but the FIA have made it clear and stated in the rules what is a punishable offence and what is not. I think there are far too many penalties now, and Hamilton’s move on Massa before the Casio triangle probably didn’t deserve a penalty, but the stewards have to remain consistent.

  18. There is no mystery to Hamilton’s loss in form, the answer right there in your face.
    Since Withmarsh became team principal, Hamilton has been on the decline.
    First, they gutted his technical crew, gave him a novice race engineer, all in the name of creating equality with Button.
    Then in races Hamilton could win and on the verge of winning, they prioritised their focus on the slower driver, Button, giving him preferencial race strategy, to move him forward in the race.
    Back then when I mentioned this, some said it was Mclaren’s strategy to get a better constructors position.
    Even in Japan Hamiton could have used the undercut to finish higher, but then, he may have threatened Button’s win.
    Withmarsh doesn’t hesitate to blame Hamilton for any mistake but will go on later to say Hamilton will bounce back.
    Even if Button drives from 16th to 8th in a race, it is greeted by Withmarsh as outstanding, despite the fact Hamilton ma have finished 2nd.

    Hamilton is been made to work extra hard each time for points or even to qualify.
    He has too much respect for Button or too much trust in Withmarsh to question some actions.
    Turkey 2010 should have sounded the alarm bell, but that was too quickly ignored.
    But the warning is on the wall, Dennis and Haug are not actively involved with the team. People who had supported him in his young carreer. The person now in charge is the one who wanted to put an end to his sponsorship by Mclaren when he was still growing up.
    All his effort will only be used to make Button go faster.
    It is time to move.

    1. kenneth Ntulume
      11th October 2011, 13:09

      Oliver i couldn’t have put it, any better……………..
      All i need to add, Hamilton has never been in F1 for lesser challenges like beating a teammate…..Once Hamilton realized that he cant take the Championship….his fight Mojo went down….anutha thing is Button is so underrated and Hamilton over rated that his “glory of beating a teammate(Lewis) in few races is so hot for him……..All Ham needs is Machinery to challenge for a Championship not to beat a teammate that is happy being nos 2, not team battles, thats a minor issue for Hamilton , MCL give Hamilton and Button Migs….so they take the battle to redbull….not within MCL…then we shall know who is really best in F1……

      1. Yes, we’ll see who’s the best in F1. It won’t be the person who isn’t interested in beating his teammate, that’s for sure.

        1. I agree, one of the things that every driver wants to do is to beat at least your teammate, because by beating him you are at least securing your sit on the team…

          And Hamilton is not the first driver that had said that he wants to beat his teammate… every one has said at least once… Even Daniel Riccardo have said he wants to beat Liuzi…

          I think that Hamilton has lost concentration over trying to create the “Lewis Hamilton Brand”… he wants to be a rock star rather than a race driver… but this lower point in his career will help him to get perspective I´m sure he´ll bounce back next year…

    2. First time post having just found the blog by accident, and I will quickly say it makes a refreshing change from some of the posts you see on other sites, with regard informative and mature observations.

      Back on topic, I’m glad someone else (Oliver) has pointed out, and I also think, a significant reason to some of LH’s alleged decline. There is no doubt some of the calls made by Jenson’s engineer have been spot on, unlike the other side of the garage, especially in changeable conditions.

      No doubting Lewis looks like a beaten man at present, and the mojo is gone. But it has been pointed out that all sportsmen go through stages of… loss of form/bad luck, what’s the saying? class is permanent, form is temporary.

      I’m sure a couple of wins will rectify the problem, and I suppose only time will tell.

  19. COTD represents everything that is wrong with some modern F1 fans. Nostalgic for a past that they really know nothing about and irritated at a modern F1 that they do not even attempt to understand.

    1. I’m not irritated about it, I’m also not that nostalgic.

      I just think we should penalise less and let them race a bit more. That’s all.

      1. If you want to see cars having to bump into each other in order to overtake, I recommend NASCAR.

        If you can’t overtake without hitting the other car, you do not belong in an F1 car.

        1. I don’t know why John H. exactly don’t want to see penalties as much, so I won’t speak for him.
          But I agree that they penalize too much.
          It is not because I want to see crashes, because I don’t. But I don’t think penalties for making mistakes will reduce the number of accidents anyway.
          It is just a way to heal the wound of the victim, that he knows that the guy who made the mistake is going to have a horrible race no matter what.
          I don’t like it, because I want to see racing. 24 guys on a track who fight for position, not by the laws of the FIA, but by the laws of physics.
          If a driver is lucky to escape unharmed (his car that is) from a crash, it would be nice to see him fight back unhindered, instead of waiting for the inevitable penalty.
          I want to see the drivers sort out the finishing order by them self, with as little manipulation by the stewards as possible.
          Repeated incidents, stupidity or deliberately putting others in danger will have to be hit down on hard by the stewards, but a single racing incident shouldn’t result in one driver getting a drive through just because he can be blamed for it.

        2. You claim I do not even attempt to understand modern F1. Perhaps you should read some of the thousands of comments I’ve made in this website with regards ‘modern F1’ and think again.

  20. Changing the subject away from Lewis for a minute, anyone else believe Vettel when he said he didn’t see Jenson until he was on the grass?

    The fact that he was looking in his right hand mirror all the way to turn one makes it hard to believe he couldn’t see him. And I appreciate the mirrors in F1 cars are pretty poor but he knew he was pulling away from Lewis so his left hand mirror must have been working fine.

    I don’t think the move deserved any form of penalty. It was aggresive but the same as everyone else would do. It would just be nice sometimes to hear people say things like “I saw Jenson had a good start, I moved over to cover him off, and perhaps I moved slightly too far”.

    1. Probably he should have said ” I did it to Mark all last year and no-one complained, why should Button expect me to treat him differently”.

      1. As we all know, every race last year was held at Silverstone, and Webber didn’t just lose positions off the start line all by himself.

  21. Yes more unreconstructed males like Alan Jones and maybe a Keke Rosberg should be stewards not hand wringing “modern” males.

    What is lost when people talk about Senna, but he wasnt the only one, is how aggressive they were and how many “avoidable accidents” there were generally in f1. The high media focus and general wimperisation in modern life has meant anyone doing anything to anyone is scrutinised and holes picked. Its a bit boring really but i guess its the price we pay for opening up the sport to the masses. curse the masses.

    1. Alan Jones and Keke Rosberg raced in the era when F1 was truly opened up to the masses, so I don’t know what you’re on about.

      Every decade, F1 fans decide that a new decade was the last of the “true” F1 drivers. Currently, it is the 1980s. In the 1990s, it was the 1970s. In the 1980s, it was the 1960s. In the 1960s and 1950s, it probably was the 1930s.

      Pardon me while I have a chuckle.

  22. Excellent donuts form Vettel :)

  23. In 1980-82 when rosberg and jones were racing youd get the race on a sunday with 5 mins of preamble and as soon it was over youd be back onto Sunday Grandstand. The papers barely covered it and by the time it appeared in the specialist press the race had happened upto a month before. now you get hours just for qualifying and of course the internet etc etc and for sure you dont get away with what you did then. Youtube some races from the early 80’s and you’ll see cars creeping before the red light goes out, backmarkers crashing into front runners, hugely aggressive changes of direction. Its all there.

    So no its not the same now and i do know what im on about.

    For the record i think the last 3 years has been as good as it ever has been in F1 since i started watching – 1979

  24. ..i meant to say and its not the same becuase of the increased profile the sport has… lawn bowls may be hugely contoversial but no one cares cos no ones watching…

  25. i guess Hamilton just wants to end this season and put it all away! it’s been a frustrating months after spain for him…he had such a good run before monaco but it all went downhill right after that….

    1. He won at Germany, so I guess that at least that one he doesnt want to forget :)

  26. There’s a lot of speculation in the BBC and Independent articles over what’s wrong with Lewis, but both seem to conclude exactly that – there is something wrong with him. Perhaps there is, and is these jounalists see him often then maybe they are in a better position to judge than me sat at home, but ultimately if something’s bothering Lewis then only he truly knows what it is and it’s down to him to deal with it.

    Rather than having some major trauma in his life, it could simply be demotivation caused by a rough season. He’s faced increased pressure from his team mate, hasn’t been able to challenge for the title, hasn’t had as many victories as he’d like, and has had rather too many incidents and penalties.

    By his own stellar standards, it has been a poor year. We’ve seen it with other drivers though, and in particular I’m thinking of Jenson during 07-08 driving that dog of a Honda. He never seemed happy when he appeared on TV, and lack of success was to blame for that. Look what a difference it made when he got a winning car.

    It’s possible that the best antidote for Lewis is a couple of good results, for him to feel like he drove a good race and for the media to be applauding him instead of criticising him. If he feels like he’s on top of his game, then that may make all the difference.

  27. Youd maybe correct J except he hasnt done it the easy way, a Rosberg or even a Schumacher may be seen as doing it the “easy way.”

    Hes had to fight every step of the way and Mclaren were an extremly hard taskmaster, he had to win stuff all the awy thru the formula’s to be given a chance. He may be burned out to be honest. Plenty of prodigy sportsmen dont last till theyre 30 at the top.

    Id say he needs a year out though that might be a bit dramatic, he certainly needs a good winter break.Hes beeen going like this since he was 6 yrs old and he maybe doesnt have the sense of entitlement you think he has. If anything he perhaps, compared to the rich kids down the paddock, needs to feel more sense of entitlement. He certainly deserves to be there but deep down does he feel a bit of an outsider?

  28. I mean nothing disrepectful to Hamilton whom I admire immensely, but F1 is more complicated than Karting.

    I believe he tries to drive an F1 car like a sprint Kart race. Burns up tyres in the process (I exxagerate a little for effect) and lacks strategy craft, neither of which are too much of a concern if racing from the front.

    But sometimes you just have to bide your time and find the right time and the right place and have a longer view of a race.

    Worked for Schumacher, worked for Alonso worked for Button, Vettel hasn’t had the opportunity leading most races from the front.

    What I have noticed this year now that Button has found an even keel, is that while Hamilton tries to scamper off into the distance early in a race, Button’s best race time is the ‘end game’ when he has energy and tyres over his competitors.

    Canada he (Button) took 4 places in the final laps, and although leading the latter half in Japan, he didn’t hassle Vettel early and ruin his race and still had (just enough this time) reserve at the end to put in the fastest lap and hold off an attacking Alonso.

Comments are closed.