Hamilton admits loss of focus in 2011

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Jerez, 2012

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton admits he made too many sacrifices to his performance in 2011.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hamilton: Last year I put having fun before Formula One

“Last year quite a lot of times I went out and enjoyed myself thinking that these things don’t affect you but in actual fact they do, they have a knock-on effect. It takes you two days to recover, you miss two days of training and your mind is somewhere else when you get to the race.”

Domenicali: ??Four races to find out what the hierarchy is in 2012?? (Ferrari)

“I’ve got pressure on my back, which is as it should be. I am not the one who designs the car: my task is to give my people everything they need in terms of organisation and structure. Having said that, I am very much aware of my responsibilities. There is pressure, but I feel the support of the whole team and of president Montezemolo.”

Horner: 2011 made Red Bull stronger (Autosport)

“It is easy to forget how young a team we are. This is our eighth season and our eighth car and I think in all areas last year we were stronger as a team.”

Ross Brawn: ‘You’re here to represent the history of Mercedes’ (The Guardian)

“If Michael [Schumacher] were feathering the throttle in fast corners and not confident about his ability to deal with it, you’d say, well, clearly, you can see it’s slipping away from him. But you don’t see that – in fact often he’s the same or even quicker in the fast corners. Nico [Rosberg] just seems to have more of an intuitive ability to get the most out of the tyres on one lap.”

A Champion’s Take on Racing Safety (The New York Times)

John Surtees: “The cars of the 1950s were relatively safe, having been, for the most part, very, very well engineered. When we came to the 1960s, a new generation of young entrepreneurs came in. But these fellows did not have a lot of money to develop components. When the cars went quick, they won going away. When they didn’t, they fell apart, usually at the peril of the driver.”

Silverstone gets ??460m facelift (The Sun)

“The space-age 3D plans include 95,000-seat covered grandstands, an open-air music arena, kart circuit, museum, three trackside entertainment hubs for fans and three hotels – one opposite the pits and linked by a walk bridge.”

Comment of the day

Radio 5 Live snaps four potential assistant commentators for 2013

We had lots of good suggestions for yesterday’s caption from Prisoner Monkeys, Tom L, Harry, Sam3110 and Richard Charles.

But my favourite of all was suggested by Tom – and you can see it on the caption here.

From the forum

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 the FIA opened applications for entries to fill the vacant slot for a 13th team in F1.

But the FIA eventually decided none of the entries were good enough, much to the chagrin of Jacques Villeneuve who had planned an entry with former GP2 team Durango.

The slot for a 13th team remains vacant.

Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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...

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60 comments on “Hamilton admits loss of focus in 2011”

  1. The Silverstone upgrade looks incredible but they need to remember not to obstruct views to the track for the fans – I’m particularly worried about the link bridge on the start-finish straight. The rest of it looks out of this world and hopefully it’ll mean nice upgraded toilets for the fans.
    Paid £317 for grandstand tickets for this year, in Club opposite the podium. Looking forward to it.

    1. I think Silverstone really does need something across the main straight. Every other circuit has something to mark the actual start line (even if they are mostly used for advertising), but Silverstone looked positively spartan last year.

      1. Well… I dunno, I like it like that. Looks more like a real race track.

  2. tom (@iwishiworkedformclaren)
    11th March 2012, 1:25

    Agreed, i think the planned development is stunning its the right thing to do, just gotta keep the balance between mirroring the technical excellence of the sport, with keeping the heritage aspect of it alive as over development can also lead to loss of what once was.

    I just hope i didnt win the caption competition, because keith felt bad about removing my first ever comment, because i put it in the wrong place??

    1. Your comment certainly made me laugh. Congratulations

  3. Screw this I’m moving to Europe. At least then I’ll be able to see all the races at a reasonable hour and stop missing the Caption Competitions!

    1. That’s what I call an F1 Fanatic! :D

  4. Hello everyone…

    Sorry Keith for using your website for a personal request.

    I live in Woolwich, London and a possibly one of the biggest Formula 1 fans alive.

    But currently, I am unable to afford the Sky package and seem to be facing the terrible situation of missing the first race of the season. Are there any places (like Bars) in London that would allow me watch F1? If not, can someone invite me to watch with them, please?

    My email id is shank4mclaren@gmail.com (yes, a die hard Mclaren fan!! :-) )
    And Keith if you could suggest me any way of watching the races live, I would be eternally grateful. In fact to anyone that suggests a way.

    Thank You,

    Shankar Arumugham

    1. Viva España
      11th March 2012, 9:51

      You can come watch race in Zaragoza if you like lol.

    2. just long on to JTV (justin.tv) under “Racing” you will find live channels. Goodluck :)

    3. I am sorry I won’t be able to help you much there, although I have been watching UK quality coverage through streams on the ‘net for many of the sessions for about 2 years now, you can always try that.

      Or go the full stretch and start a forum post for F1 viewing meetings with people who do have sky available? I mean, come on, there’s bound to be a couple of dozen of you out there in greater London who would want to, no?

  5. hopefully this means the end of “does lewis get enough hugs? martin whitmarsh, why aren’t you hugging lewis more?”

    give me a break. i thought these were men.

  6. The first cars have arrived in Melbourne! Michael Schumacher’s car was unloaded less than an hour ago!

    1. SQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!1!!11!!!!!!!ELEVEN!!!!

      Am going this year, very, very excited.

      1. And there’s more. Caterham, Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso all have equipment on the ground, and someone had a wedding in pit lane …

        1. FlyingLobster27
          11th March 2012, 11:54

          They look better in their boxes. :D

        2. Wow! Thanks PM ….. good that we have you there down under ;) ….. nice pics. The Bride and the Groom looked perfect. Wishing them a happy marital life from Europe.

  7. Didn’t we hear the same excuses from Lewis in 2010? He’s a brilliant driver but does a bad season really deserve such a weak excuse as ‘I was out having fun, not doing my job’? That would get most people fired!

    1. yea i agree with you on the poor excuses, but over the whole 2010 season Hamilton was voted the best driver but people on this site,

    2. Viva España
      11th March 2012, 9:58

      And still he outqualified Jenson as a beast. Can u imagine?

      And no we didn’t hear this from Lewis in 2010. Even better, 2010 was his best ever season in F1 according to my opinion. Only a stupid mistake in Monza, that’s it. And if Webber would not have driven him off the race track in Singapore he would have been WC.

      1. No way on Earth was that Webber’s fault. He had the line. Hamilton tired it on around the outside and it just wasn’t to be. It was a racing incident at best.

        1. I’d call it 50/50 without access to onboards and different angles.

        2. @andrewtanner Interestingly, the Hamilton-Webber incident was identical to the Hamilton-Massa incident with Webber in Hamilton’s place and Hamilton in Massa’s place. Hamilton was ahead and on the racing line going into the braking zone. Webber outbraked himself as Hamilton did in Monza and clipped Hamilton’s rear left. Identical incidents, yet often concluded to be complete opposite’s in terms of blame.

    3. Absolutely spot on. He earns 15 million a year doing a job we’d give our right arm for and he doesn’t bother. What a spoiled brat.

  8. “Last year quite a lot of times I went out and enjoyed myself thinking that these things don’t affect you but in actual fact they do, they have a knock-on effect. It takes you two days to recover, you miss two days of training and your mind is somewhere else when you get to the race.”

    Sounds like a whole bunch of excuses. I don’t buy any of that, especially in regards to his lack of prep for his physical form. He certainly didn’t look tired in any of his races last year. It’s all to do with mental issues. Such as: “lack of respect to other drivers” disease, “move out of my way” syndrome, and “I am the best” Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

    I hope he learns from those.

    1. There was another story where he said he trained too hard last season. Lets not forget he qualified ahead of his team mate 13 – 6 and even 2 or 3 of those times he lost out, the team either let him out too late or not at all.

      His crash with Kobayashi, he had a 15km/hr speed deficiency to his team mate on the straights.

      His crashes with Maldonado and Massa, If Hamilton had attempted to block in the same way, when he was being overtaking, like Massa and Maldonado did, then he would barely have finished a race in 2011.
      Many drivers have made the same move on Hamilton as he has made on others, but he knows better than to attempt blocking. Which shows he is well aware of the dynamics of overtaking.
      When Massa blocked Button in Australia and Button was forced to take the escape road, had there been no escape road there, what would have been the consequence to both their races?

      Hamilton has his faults, but he isn’t as stupid as some make him out to be.

      1. kenneth Ntulume
        11th March 2012, 11:46

        Well Put OOliver
        I agree with you 100%

        1. While I agree that LH can do better than last year, and some of the incidents that cost him points weren’t of his doing, I think the team and his and their sponsors must feel a little disheartened to hear that all that money they have spent was somewhat squandered by someone who, after how many years in F1 now, has just figured out the hard way, and at not just his expense, that going out too much and missing training as a result, and not being focussed, has a negative consequence. With all that is on the line and all that is outside of a driver’s control, I’m not sure if I was LH I would be so flippant about admitting something so well within his own control. If I were Mac and Merc et al I’d be expecting far far more from LH this year. He has put himself in a spot where he deserves to be under a microscope now more than ever, imho.

  9. Hamilton: Last year I put having fun before Formula One
    Well if he screws up again this year, then McLaren should replace him.

    Domenicali: “Four races to find out what the hierarchy is in 2012” (Ferrari)
    In other words we are going to be screwed up for first 4 races.

    Ross Brawn: ‘You’re here to represent the history of Mercedes’ (The Guardian)
    Michael & Nico can expect a tough fight between them; this year maybe the old guy coming out on top.

    1. Screws up? I wish I could “screw up” and still win 3 races in a season.

      1. Maybe, but 2011 was not the kind of form you would want from someone aiming to beat Alonso, Button and Vettel.

        1. That’s true, but saying “he screwed up and should be sacked” is taking it a bit to far.

          The simple facts are that Hamilton won 3 races in each of the 2010 and 2011 seasons and was (mathematically at least) in contention for the WDC right up to the last race in 2010. While both of these seasons may have been sup-par by his high standards, they were, objectively speaking, not too shabby.

          1. just because the he is bright & shines at times does not mean that team should not look for anyone better, someone who can be focused on the job & deliver results consistently. He finish 5th in the championship on a car which was capable of doing better than that……

          2. Sure @dev, let McLaren look for someone better.
            I must say, that I do not see too many of those available right now though that would really be a good bet of being better than Hamilton. So I think that even if they are surely on the lookout to spot any such driver before some1 else does, they are highly likely to decide that they can be happy with what they have got from their driver.

            I would say that Ferrari have to give choosing a new driver far much of a thought before McLaren. And even Red Bull, does, as its only a question of time before Webber bows out and it remains to be seen if any of those hotshot drivers they have on their book will actually be up to the job.

          3. @bascb – i agree with all you said… Massa is the most vulnerable, Webber is next. Hamilton’s chances of doing better than the previous season are pretty good. He still enjoys full confidence of his team, but another inconsistent season & if any other young driver shines shows strong performances with no mistakes… it would be very tempting for McLaren to have a thought about getting him on board. Webber will make way for one of the STR drivers if they are good enough, Perez is likey to take Massa’s seat next year. Michael Schumacher will possibly make an exit next year… Kimi or Hamilton likely to go there or it could one of the Force India drivers. McLaren should have a backup plan for Lewis if he again fails to perform consistently.

    2. @dev…

      Re: LH…Agree, if LH ‘screws up’ of his own doing…he can’t be so flippant about his responsibilities to the team’s and his own sponsors…he needs to control EVERYTHING that is within his ability to control, because there is far too much outside of a driver’s control that can affect even a stellar Sunday’s performance negatively.

      Re: Ferrari and 4 races to see the heirarchy…I think SD is not just talking about them still needing to learn about their new car…I think he is also hinting that Red Bull may yet have to tweek their exhaust and that all team’s have yet to really learn where they are with things like tire wear in the heat of places like Australia that testing did not provide.

      Re: MS and NR and ‘the old guy’ coming out on top…not if he continues to be badly outqualified by NR as may well be the case according to Brawn…this year if the field is much tighter as by all indications it should be, MS will suffer much more greatly on Sundays with poor grid spots. His task will be much more difficult than last year when they sat a distance from 3rd in the WDC but Renault and everyone else sat a distance back from them.

  10. So what, thats 4 years in a row Lewis has said the same thing?

    “I sucked last year because of X, Y and Z.”

    Lewis really does get it easy compared to the others. Just look at Kimi. He had an off year once and ever since then everyone labels him with “lack of motivation” comments.

    1. Kimi’s problem is that he doesn’t enjoy all those sponsorship duties and giving much feedback. He can drive a car well, but he just wants to go home afterwards.

      1. So why not take less cash and forgo the sponsorship days? Get yourself a lawyer and get the contract re-written, it’ll cost you but I’m sure the team don’t need a meet & greet with a moody driver THAT badly.

  11. ppl on here have such strong opinions on drivers they actually know very little about. Some of you can’t seem to grasp that we aren’t always fed the full story by the media. Some also make too much of interviews that take place straight after a race when the mic is thrust into a drivers face whilst the adrenaline is still flowing. While I find some post race interview/situations interesting (barrichelo’s slating brawn, Hamilton & massa feud, webber number 2 win), I understand some of has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Everyone’s looking forward to the season getting underway, but I wish some ppl would pay more attention to what the drivers do on track instead of “trying” to read in between the lines some much. I really hope Lewis & kimi kick a$$ this season. Will it happen? We’ll have to wait & see ;-)

    1. Kudos!

  12. Nice caption @iwishiworkedformclaren Well done!

    The Silverstone plans look great. It’s going to be difficult to get around it all next time I go!

  13. I miss the days when an F1 track was a racing track and not an entertainment venue. Are they going to be paving over some of the old track for those new facilities? Silverstone has lost some of its soul.

    1. I think most of the old track got converted into green spectator area, with the ability to “walk” where the old part of the track was.

  14. there was no need to admit that. the whole world saw it. ur still a whiny tantrum throwing kid. i hope he isnt too disappointed not winning this year again

  15. Its been exactly three years to the day since I watched my first Grand Prix, Melbourne 2009.

    1. @realracer That’s incorrect! I was at that race and I distinctly remember in being on the 29th of March.

  16. With respect to Brawn’s comments on qualifying difference between Rosberg and Schumacher, i believe its easily possible Rosberg would have been a better qualifier even in schumacher’s heydays. Schumacher was never really one-lap specialist. Though he has 60 odd poles i guess, his wins vastly outnumber his pole positions, thoroughly indicating his race-craft is much better than pure qualifying.
    Just like i don’t see button beating hamilton in qualifying consistently, i don’t really see schumi beating rosberg in qualifying as the difference between them was pretty significant in many races though in races they might end up in different positions.

    1. Should be fascinating…Brawn seems to be setting us up to not expect MS to start outqualifying NR, only this year I think that will be much more to MS’s demise on Sundays if in fact the field is a lot tighter this year as testing has shown, and as drivers (including MS) and those in F1 as well as fans are expecting. Also, very interesting to hear (read) Brawn confirming that MS had the luxury of designer tires up to his retirement.

      I’ve been saying this for several months now…MS was hurt very little by his poor quali performances last year because while they sat a distant (from 3rd) 4th in the WCC, Renault and everyone else sat a distant (from Merc) 5th…ie. come the end of Sunday’s races MS was able to catch up to NR in spite of his poor grid spot starts. And sometimes he made up some spots at the start of the race, but again, racing to the first corner against cars he should have put behind him on Saturday.

      So this year if the field is much tighter and MS doesn’t up his quali game, and NR’s remains strong, I expect MS to suffer much more on Sundays for it. And I think that could also mean more broken front wings for MS than last year as he tussles with cars much more close in performance to his and struggles perhaps sometimes in frustration, or at least with less breathing room than last year to claw his way back up the field.

      It’s gonna be fascinating to see.

  17. A heads up for those that can get it, Kimi Raikkonen is on Top Gear tonight at 8pm BBC2.

    1. After obviously checking before posting (many times) was the link from the forums there before 15:20?

  18. Thats what happens when you drink

  19. Random question: will the old piece of tarmac from Abbey to Brooklands at Silverstone be left alone or dismantled? From those pictures it looks as though they’ll build around it rather than on top of it. Will they leave it there for nostalgic purposes, or are they actually going to keep it there for an alternate piece of race track?

  20. Fernando Alonso is on Twitter – @alo_oficial – use the hashtag #FollowFernandoAlonso to spread the word.

      1. So far he’s done a couple of tweets (6, but 2 of those are only the translation of another 2), although the fact that he put a video where he told the fans what to expect of this twitter account makes me hopeful it will be at least halfway interesting.

        1. sorry, only 5 tweets.

          But its interesting to see who he follows, would it give an indication of his musical tastes? (apart from the obvious sponsors and other sporters)

  21. Let Sky Sports managerment of the Premiership be a warning, even if u throw momey at it, it will still crash eventually, late night highlights will lead to F1 being an “and also on sports news”.

    1. Your “name” is already out of date but look on the bright side, if F1 goes to the status of yachting or badminton you will be able to watch the delayed broadcast still wondering what will happen at the finish.

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