Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hockenheim, 2012

Hamilton says he can’t afford to keep losing ground

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hockenheim, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he mustn’t lose more ground in the championship.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hamilton can’t afford any more bad results (BBC)

“You can only take so many dents, especially when the guy leading has finished every race in the points.”

Pat Symonds returns to Formula 1 (MotorSport)

“My big mistake was, at that point I should have just said, ??don?t be silly. No way are we doing that.? But I didn?t. Under competitive pressure, I suffered from what we were saying [previously in the article] Michael [Schumacher] occasionally suffered from ?ǣ a serious error of judgment in the heat of competition.”

Test driver De Villota out of hospital (Reuters)

“Spanish test driver Maria De Villota, seriously injured in a crash at the start of this month, is “in good overall shape” and was released from hospital on Wednesday, her Madrid clinic said.”

McLaren ‘pretty sure’ star will stay (The Telegraph)

Ron Dennis: “I think people get the wrong impression though. When I last looked at the contract I was paying him. It?s a question of whether we employ him, not the other way around.”

Vettel asks Whiting for clarification after being hit with penalty for Button manoeuvre (Daily Mail)

“Obviously it would help to get feedback from the race director as soon as possible in that case, or from the team if we could get any idea from the outside. It would help.”

Vettel claims he was misquoted over Hamilton (Grand Prix)

“I didn’t say it was a stupid decision. If I say after the race that I think it was unnecessary and then it gets put and quoted that I said he is stupid, it is quite disappointing.”

Massa wants strong team to stay in F1 (Autosport)

“What I want is to stay in F1, but I want to stay in F1 with a possibility to race, not just to participate.”

Flagged down (The Economist)

“Mr Ecclestone is a skilled dealmaker; but he has missed out on two areas of opportunity for the sport. The first of these is the internet. […] Second, Formula One has failed to establish itself in America, despite corporate sponsors’ need for exposure in the world?s biggest market.”

Q&A with McLaren?s Jenson Button (F1)

“Now our reaction time becomes even more crucial to the pitting time. Now we have to be ready for our crew. And that pit stop really did help me to get second place in the race, so thank you very much guys.”

Hungarian GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Fernando Alonso on the FIA ruling against Red Bull’s Hockenheim engine map: “It doesn’t change anything for us. We will have exactly the same car as Silverstone or Germany and for them, we have no idea. I think they are having their press conference at four, so it’s more a question for them.”

Two top F1 engineers on the move (James Allen)

“[Giorgio Ascanelli’s] replacement at Toro Rosso looks likely to be James Key, the Englishman who was technical director at Sauber until he left the team abruptly just before the start of the 2012 season”

Lewis Hamilton: “If I?d given up I would expect to be fired…” (Adam Cooper)

“They said you can either pull over and risk the chance of getting in the way of Jenson, or you can try to unlap yourself. And so I decided to unlap myself. I had plenty of pace, I had new tyres, so that?s what I did.”

Look, listen, learn (Darren Heath)

“Back in the media room I related what I?d heard but ?ǣ as is so often the case ?ǣ the ‘well-informed’ minds present showed little interest in my story. Far better for the world to learn what Nicole and Lewis had been up to the night before than the piffling technical opinions of an F1 snapper!”

FIA President, Jean Todt meets President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso (FIA)

“On Tuesday 24 July, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, received a delegation from the FIA which included Jean Todt, President of the FIA, Carlos Barbosa, Vice-President of the FIA and President of the Automovel Club de Portugal (ACP), and the Director General of the FIA bureau in Brussels, Jacob Bangsgaard.”

McLaren and Massa worth a look for Hungary Grand Prix (UniBet)

My latest article for UniBet.

Comment of the day

Do dry races now offer more to look forward to than wet ones? Here’s a view from Sorin:

This season, dry races were more spectacular than wet ones. Tyre management is the reason.

Even more, when rain appears, let?s say normal rain, the Safety Car or a red flag will stop the race and after the restart everybody will change the tyres at the same time, so no spectacle here.

There will be some exceptions of drivers who will risk and try to overtake on wet, like Hamilton (remember last year Hungary when he made some overtakes in the wet, but lost a lot in dry) and I think Raikkonen will try and risk some overtakes on wet, too.

So I hope will be dry, for the sake of the show.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Spud!

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

Gerhard Berger scored his and Benetton’s final Grand Prix win 15 years ago today at the Hockenheimring.

It was a fitting win, as Berger had also scored his and the team’s first win 11 years previously.

Giancarlo Fisichella held second in the closing stages but retired with a puncture. That left Michael Schumacher second ahead of Mika Hakkinen.

Here’s a review of the race:

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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  • 75 comments on “Hamilton says he can’t afford to keep losing ground”

    1. Lewis Hamilton: “If I’d given up I would expect to be fired…”

      Can I just redirect everyone’s attention to Lewis Hamilton’s team radio, circa lap 2.. “Guys, I think we should retire the car”..

      Now if that isn’t giving up..

      1. To be fair, that was because he believed the car to be too damaged to continue

        1. More like giving up actually. It’s not something I expected to hear from Hamilton.

          1. Or he was thinking of limiting gearbox and engine mileage

            1. @spinmastermic I don’t think anyone here is really going to suggest that though are they?

            2. that makes more sense, despite being against the rules we have seen plenty of that since last year.

            3. The way he was expressing himself on the radio it sounded like he was giving up.

            4. @spinmastermic Nice idea, but it doesn’t seem to fit into Hamilton’s mindset, well, at least what we see of him anyway.

            5. He did the same at the Ring in 2009. He said we should save the engine

      2. Everyone (myself included I hasten to add!) was quick to jump on Hamilton’s back for that and judge very quickly. I think that he probably was carrying damage hence the retirement. Just look at Di Resta in Silverstone – retired a few laps after pitting for new tyres due to additional puncture damage.

        If McLaren were wanting to save the car or Hamilton had given up they/he would have retired on lap 3 or 4 rather than 20 laps from the finish.

        In my opinion, McLaren figured that if they kept him out there was a chance of points, particularly if there’d been a safety car deployment but com a later stage in the race the chances of scoring had diminished and it wasn’t worth risking further damage to the chassis/gearbox/drivetrain/engine for.

        1. You arent taking in consideration that last sunday there were perfect conditions to test this new B-spec Mclaren, probably they were done testing after all i believe he used both compounds by that stage and all the other reasons you have mentioned. In the end it showed Mclaren and us that they will be competitive this weekend, at least i hope so i keep betting on Lewis for the poles.

      3. No, that was voicing an opinion, but when asked to go back out, probably to gather data, he went out and put in fast laps until his belief that the car was too damaged to complete the race was verified.

        1. Hamilton: Guys, I think we should retire the car..

          Dennis: Lewis, if you don’t want to keep driving this car maybe you should look for another one to drive..

        2. I really don’t think you race another 50 laps and frantically try to unlap yourself and interrupt the race for the lead if you genuinely feel your car is too damaged to continue.

      4. I don’t like the way Hamilton talks in the radio to his team, most of the times he sounds like he’s complaining or something.

        But not this time, I think it was sensible to talk about retiring the car when he was already a lap down, and the car (he suspected) had some damage. He could’ve saved the gearbox, engine, and everything.

        But I also think it was sensible for his team to keep him going. It’s been so impredictable this season that, maybe, in the right circumstances, he could’ve saved some points. He didn’t, ofc, but we know that now…

        1. most of the times he sounds like he’s complaining

          To be honest most of the drivers sound like they are complaining, when in reality it’s their job to inform the team about anything that’s wrong with the car.

      5. It’s not giving up. He thought that the car was too damaged to complete the race. As it turned out he was correct, but when the decision was made to continue, he did “race his heart out”, to use his own words.

      6. That was being sensible and limiting mileage on engine and gearbox usage. he lost circa 50secs during his trek to the bits and out… and realise he won’t score any points and the team might not learn much from a damaged car. I can’t see that as giving up

      7. Nope we need you to Help Button

    2. Does Jean Todt really believes what José Barroso said he would do? Because, I mean, let’s not forget José Barroso was once the prime minister here in Portugal. And he is a Portuguese politician. It can’t get worse than that. They must lie even when they are… you know… doing it, in order to deceive a whole nation.

      1. Hahaha politians are all the same bud don’t think otherwise.

    3. It’s a shame that Vettel still doesn’t understand why he was penalised. It doesn’t need clarification from Charlie or anybody.

      As for his comments about the Hamilton incident, it is true they were taken out of context (saying someone has done something stupid, is not the same as calling them stupid) – but his claim about what he actually said makes me think he thinks we are all…how can I put this… kind of stupid.

      1. @john-h to be fair I don’t think he was against the penalty per se, but he was saying Charlie should have at least given him a warning first – return the position, or else.

        1. At that stage of the race, the stewards were limited for time to make that call, his team, who like himself, are aware of the rules should of advised him to return the position, but as the trend goes now-days, chose to try and get away with it. In saying that I do have to question though the time it takes for a stewards decision.
          The move in question, especially after recent rule changes was no doubt illegal. They stewards are privileged to the same footage as us “the viewers” if not better coverage, therefore would have seen that move as it was made and could of immediately consulted each other and advised Vettel to return the position. Unless they are using a pigeon to communicate with each other I can’t see why these decisions take so long?

          1. Its always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission ! Yip he tried to get away with it.

        2. I think he was making the point clear that he didn’t call Hamilton stupid (which he didn’t), but he thought the move unnecessary. I suppose in the heat of the situation he is likely to overreact.

      2. I can read hate in those words, c’mon let’s straight things up. Yes, he overtook from the outside. Did he needed to? No, if he had placed at least 2 wheels inside the track he would have passed anyway. honestly i think he was too concerned in damaging his and Button’s car and that isnt racing for me and that’s the basis why i believe the stewards awarded that penalty, simply because Vettel was too careful.

        1. Saying he was being careful is no excuse for breaking the rules. He couldve braked if he did not want to cause damage to his and button’s cars.

        2. @ukfanatic, all together now..”..always look on the bright side of life”

        3. @ukfanatic There’s no hate, it’s just that one of the things that I find annoying is when people don’t admit their guilt and instead make excuses, like ‘Charlie didn’t do his job properly because I wasn’t told to let Jenson back through’. We have seen this attitude with Pastor Maldonado recently and I make the point because unfortunately although Seb is obviously a very friendly nice guy usually he has had a tendency to be actually quite rude of late and not admit his own faults. It’s a shame actually because he is doing his image no favours. Hamilton messed up similarly in 2011.

      3. It’s a shame that Vettel still doesn’t understand why he was penalised. It doesn’t need clarification from Charlie or anybody.

        Actually, I’ve noticed the team have been doing this a lot this year. Their strategy seems to be to constantly ask for clarifications whenever they think something is questionable. One suspects they are trying to entrap the FIA in a contradiction, prolong the issue, and then abuse the loophole they’ve created for themselves while the FIA dither over what to do next.

    4. In the economist article they mentioned something about red bull trying to get an all-american f1 team, is there any weight to this?

      1. It’s been rumoured for some time. As the article said sponsors, and Red Bull are just sponsors who have gone all the way, want more exposure in the USA and if it wasn’t for Bernies need/desire to pursue short term profits over long term growth we would have had a USGP running AGAIN long ago.

        1. if it wasn’t for Bernies need/desire to pursue short term profits over long term growth we would have had a USGP running AGAIN long ago

          Yeah, that has nothing to do with why Formula 1 hasn’t gone to America.

          America is a large country – so large that in order to make any kind of impression, Formula 1 would probably need at least three races: one on the east coast, one on the west coast, and one somewhere in the middle. And it would be in direct competition with a very strong domestic racing scene, what with NASCAR and Indycar. Going into America like that would be incredibly risky, especially if the public rejected the idea – Formula 1 would be stuck with three untenable races for the next seven years. Berine instead decided to concentrate on the emerging Asian markets before directing his attentions to the Americas.

    5. The Autosport article confirms that Massa will not be in F1 next year. He will be let go by Ferrari and only backmarkers will offer him a job, which as he has basically said, he will refuse.

      1. Can you link the article?

        I think you got that wrong:

        “Felipe Massa says he will not stay in Formula 1 next year if he cannot find a competitive drive should he lose his seat at Ferrari.”

        1. I think Adam got it right on the balance of probability.

          1. i think he is being smart-*****. i think many midfield teams would sign him

    6. Ah, so Massa wants to fight at the front next year then? Well, then he’ll obviously need a better car – a win-worthy car. One that is better than the Ferrari he’s driving now. Wait.

      1. unfortunately, yes. if he had a red bull right now, he’d still be fighting for 15th.

        as for hamilton retiring from the race, there is a tactical benefit to quitting and refreshing the car without penalty in the next race. likely, the team decided it was premature to do so, and kept him out long enough to help button. once that was accomplished…”oh no! the car’s broken!”

        1. @F1yankee, maybe they just wanted to see if the updates worked for Hamilton as well as Button, looked like they did.

    7. “It’s a question of whether we employ him, not the other way around.”

      For anybody who’s at the very top of their profession, it certainly isn’t that simple.

      1. I can understand why Ron Dennis would be feeling pretty confident about his bargaining position, though. Not even just pretty confident — supremely confident.

        1. I loved and agree with your tag on in twitter *oh snap*

      2. drivers are like light bulbs – when they stop working plug another one in.

        if mclaren didn’t have hamilton next year (as if he would find a better team) they could get webber, di resta, perez, kobyashi, or whoever within days.

        1. But are any of them as good? In my opinion that would leave McLaren without a top tier driver.

          1. No, none of them are as good — but McLaren won’t have to worry about replacing Hamilton, because where on earth would he go?

            1. Yep I agree. I doubt Dennis would be quite so brazen if there was a likely spot for Hamilton at Red Bull or Ferrari, but as there isn’t I suppose he can make it as simple as possible.

      3. @matt90 I guess he feels it’s Hamilton the one that would lose much more than McLaren if he decides to leave.

        But yeah, it’s quite simplistic to put it that way. Afterall, they could indeed take a Hamilton off the car and put a di Resta… but that’s not the same thing, is it?

      4. This is why Hamilton should be very careful – don’t mess with Ron Dennis ;).

        For as long as I remember (starting from early 90’s), McLaren has always had that approach about its drivers. Being that, they never treated any driver in a special way. I think this is largely influenced by Ron Dennis. And that is how it should be.

        From his choice of words it is obvious what he is trying to say: “you work for me for as long as I LET you”.

        1. I’m with Ron,he DOES pay Hamiltons wages.It seems like Lewis has got too big for his boots, after all he’s only won 1 WC not 5 like everyone thought he was going to do when he entered f1

    8. Mr Ecclestone is a skilled dealmaker; but he has missed out on two areas of opportunity for the sport. The first of these is the internet.

      Ohhhhh, how many times I’ve cursed them for having the worst website of the lot?! there are so many ENORMOUS areas to exploit with internet, games and all that stuff!

      It’s good they are catching up with Codemasters (all F1 games, F1 online, F1 stars and so on), they need to offer a lot more in the internet now.

      They should upload the race highlights on Youtube, onboard laps too, offer a properly good online stream, etc. It’s not hard to imagine they would get a lot more money, plus they’d just avoid people uploading their videos to youtube on their own, only for youtube to take them down because of copyright. Who would upload onboard laps if the FIA themselves upload them a good quality?

      1. Ohhhhh, how many times I’ve cursed them for having the worst website of the lot?! there are so many ENORMOUS areas to exploit with internet, games and all that stuff!

        And not only Internet and games. But also TV. For starters, Bernie and relevant stakeholders could invest in own TV channel/network. Best place to start this in my view, would be the US. Furthermore, just imagine having an F1 sports show.

        Here in oz, we have many shows relating to local and national sport events, eg. rugby league and union, AFL.. etc etc. These guys are very enthusiastic about the sport and they can talk for hours and have regular invited guests on their shows.. etc. Same could be done with F1.

        There were some interesting discussions few weeks ago on promotion and marketing of F1 in US, can be found here:


      2. Bernie doesn’t do service, he wants to see a profit for himself, not help the teams sell advertising.

    9. What is it with Vettel that he needs to be told over and over what he can’t do? No, you can’t leave large gaps while driving behind the safety car and no you cannot overtake off-track.

      Oddly enough though, that move on Schumacher in the first lap was apparently allowed. Even when Schumacher was punished for doing the same to Barrichello. So if anything needs to be cleared up then it is why he didn’t get a penalty for that.

      1. @patrick, true a lot of drivers intentionally used off-track lines, including the ” complete one”and I think it is likely that the benefit of the doubt is given in the first lap melee but as you say Seb must think everybody is stupid if he thought he could get away with that one, it wasn’t like he had nowhere else to go.

    10. I don’t really know what to make of Massa’s comments. I can understand if he didn’t want to drive for HRT, but a drive for any team except Marussia and HRT will allow him to compete, for points and even podiums (well, probably no podiums for Caterham). In fact, I think he would be better off in any of those teams than at Ferrari. He needs a break from Ferrari, and especially Fernando. In a midfield team, he could demonstrate that he is still a strong driver – or not.

      As for Vettel wanting Charlie Whiting to tell the team to give back the position; that would be nice but it’s unrealistic. There are plenty of smart people working at Red Bull, so they should have known as soon as Sebastian had completed an overtake outside of the track limits, there could be an investigation, and if they wanted to rule out a penalty, they should have told him to give the position back, preferably in time for Vettel to have another go at Button on the final lap. Asking Charlie Whiting for guidance at this point is useless; it’s the stewards that conduct the investigation, and they always take their time.

      1. He said about Charlie telling him to give the place back because that is what normally happens in that situation. I would be more inclined to think Charlie didn’t tell him to give the place back because it was blindingly obvious Vettel was in the wrong rather than what Dr Evil (Helmut Marko) would have us believe about some conspiracy against Red Bull.

    11. “What I want is to stay in F1, but I want to stay in F1 with a possibility to race, not just to participate.”

      Does anybody else think it’s a bit rich for Massa to insist on racing for a strong team when his performances have been so weak?

      1. Yes. His best hope is one of the midfield teams looking to milk him for his accumulated knowledge from eight years (plus more as a test driver) with Ferrari.

        1. @keithcollantine – To be fair to Massa, his definition of “a competitive drive” is not really explored. One the one hand, he could be insisting on staying with a front-running team like Ferrari. But looking up and down the grid, the midfield is perhaps as competitive as it hs ever been, not just in terms of teams fighting one another, but also in the sense that the midfield is very close to the front-runners. We’ve seen Sauber pick up two podiums this year, and their appearance at Hockenheim was perhaps their best to date. For all intents and purposes, a team like Sauber may be competitive enough to suit Massa. We’re all just assuming, perhaps unfairly, that Massa is limiting himself to teams with the ability to win races and championships.

          1. Yeah for me, while it may sound a bit rich, I don’t know what else FM should say. That he expects to be gone from Ferrari after which he’ll take what he can get? I don’t think he is ‘insisting’ on anything from anybody. He is insisting that he personally doesn’t just want to participate in F1…he’d like to be on a team that has some potential…what driver doesn’t? That doesn’t mean he necessarily expects it and is 100% sure he’ll get it…just means to me that he is a racer who wants to race and is not interested in being a back marker being lapped all day. Newbies would happily take that and call themselves lucky to be in F1 at all. But it would be a huge letdown for FM and he doesn’t need the money or the grief. Bottom line is he will have to deal with the cards as they are dealt to him, and if Ferrari has any class they will let him know of their plans early enough that he can take it from there…stay, or seek out a suitable (for him) ride while there are options, and otherwise go do Lemans or something else. As you hint at Keith and PM, depending on how much longer he would like to do F1, he may be perfectly content to join a mid-field team that carries some promise of becoming race winners even if they aren’t on the day he signs with them.

            For now I think FM is doing and saying all the right things. Wants to be a team player for Ferrari…happy to help FA…wants to be competitive and hopes for clean races to show that…doesn’t want to just participate…all things that any team owners/managers love hearing from their drivers.

    12. I had a message last night from a friend in Hungary who has just done a track walk. He said he was shocked at the (poor) state of the Tarmac. Who wil thay hurt most? Who will it benefit?

      1. @mattb Pastor Maldonado’s race engineer Xevi Pujolar Tweets during his track walk and he didn’t have much to say about the state of the tarmac. He described it as average roughness. I see they’ve resurfaced turn 14 (the final corner).

        Lotus have said their car goes particularly well on tracks that are on the rough side.

    13. Interesting to read Pat Symonds’ comments about “Error of Judgement”.
      Would he say that Senna, Prost, Schumacher (all who have crashed into their title rival for the sake of the championship) all suffered from this?
      I would rather think of this as killer instinct. The desire to put everything on the line, even their reputation to win the world championship is not an “error of judgement”, it is just killer instinct.
      It is not necessarily wrong to have it. Yes, there will be some wrong decisions you will take with this attitude, but in the long run, you are bound to be more successful being a Schumacher than being a nice guy like Button or Webber.

      1. Would he say that Senna, Prost, Schumacher (all who have crashed into their title rival for the sake of the championship) all suffered from this?

        “Suffered from this” is definitely not the phrase I’d use – it makes it sound like it was less than their conscious decision to do something which sent beyond rule-breaking and into morally questionable territory.

        It is not necessarily wrong to have it.

        I disagree entirely. What makes the drivers you name great is their skill and intelligence behind the wheel. Their occasional moral lapses only diminish their greatness.

        1. Agreed, Keith.

          @sumedh…define ‘success’…success to me is not winning, or trying to win a WDC by whacking someone off the track. Any fool can do that. It doesn’t take a genius behind the wheel to turn their car into someone. ie. the ends do not always justify the means.

          To paraphrase JV after MS whacked him at Jerez 97…JV basically said he would have ‘heavy shoulders’ if he tried to do something like what MS did to him. ie. it comes down to what a person is willing to do and can still sleep at night. MS is the type that can still sleep at night after dishonourable behaviour on the track as he proved on many many occasions, most much smaller but of the same general nature as DH in 94 and JV in 97. The big swerves off the start line, the moving of drivers off the track, the handed ‘wins’…

          All, to me, as Keith put it, moral lapses that have diminished his greatness in my eyes, big time…

    14. Hamilton probably finds himself in a tricky situation now. Of course, it’s hard to imagine he’ll leave McLaren as soon as at the end of this year. On the other hand, the team wants to make a long-term deal, as Whitmarsh has said; however, it’s unlikely that Hamilton wants the same. Even if McLaren is almost certainly going to keep building race winning cars, it’s easy to understand why Hamilton would want to keep his options open.

      So what’s going to happen next? Will Hamilton make a one-year deal with McLaren and thus refuse of a potentially bigger salary? Wouldn’t that hurt his relationship with the team, too? Will it be a compromise like a three-year contract with some escape clauses? Or is Lewis really ready to leave the team to head for uncharted waters?

    15. Hamilton is an astute lad hey? Blimey, so that’s why they pay him so much.

      Vettel is often misquoted it seems, especially when he appears to have thrown his toys out of the pram.

    16. I have a feeling that Hamilton’s decision to appoint a ‘celebrity’ management team may come back to bite him, since McLaren seem to be indicating quite strongly that they hold all the cards and intend to drive a very hard bargain with him over his future in the team. A manager with experience of negotiating driver contracts is surely going to be something that’d be hugely beneficial to him.

      1. @mazdachris I’m sure there is someone in Simon Fuller’s organisation who will be dealing with it and doing a proper job. We don’t know how good a decision it was from Hamilton with regards to getting a new management team in place just yet so I think we ought to wait and see how his deal pans out.

        1. Perhaps, but you have to say that Hamilton’s position is one of weakness. There are no spaces for him in the other two top teams (Ferrari and Red Bull) and no clear indication whether a space would be available at either Lotus or Mercedes. Considering his objective is to get himself as far up the grid as possible, a seat in any other team is very unlikely to be attractive to him, and they’re also unlikely to be able to pay him anything like as much as even a reduced-salary contract at McLaren would bag for him. And let’s not forget that some of his conduct in the media and around the paddock has at least raised some eyebrows, if not genuinely damaged his appeal to other teams. At best, he’d be considered a difficult person to work with, at worst something of a liability.

          It is true that the performance he brings to McLaren is a reasonable bargaining point, but that performance hasn’t always been in evidence this year, and hardly made an appearance at all in 2011. There are certainly plenty of other drivers who would at least be able to make up a significant part of the deficit left by his absence.

          Consider as well that Hamilton has publically made quite a lot of demands of his team, and in almost every respect the team has met those demands. He has been given a car which has been capable of winning races every single year he’s been in the sport. When they rolled out a poor car, he pressured the team to develop that car. By the end of the season it was a genuine contender, though by that point the title was out of reach. For this, he then demanded that they produce a car which is fast at the start of the season. Again, they did this. When it looked like it was flagging, again they pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a new aero package which has again put them at the sharp end. They have also systematically addressed the errors being made in pitstops, to the point where they have now broken the record for the shortest ever stop. Hamilton can really have no complaints about the performance of the team or the cars they have given him, while the team can justifiably say that hamilton has sometimes failed to deliver the performance he’s so famous for.

          With no viable alternatives for him, he’ll pretty much have to accept anything that McLaren lay on the table. The alternative being either taking a seat in an uncompetitive team, likely on fairly poor pay, or even taking a year out to hope for a good seat in 2014. neither seem like particularly attractive prospects!

          1. +1 well put

    17. what hamilton has never done in his career in f1 is “dominate”. he is fast and has had several opporunities where he could have dominated for 5-6 races in a season to get an advantage over the field, but instead he seems to have a spate of bad results each season which cost him, usually his own fault. He will never have a season like Vettel did last year. this year his dnfs were not necessarily his own fault, but mclaren has been the best car this season overall and he hasnt grabbed the opportunity like vettel or alonso or past greats would have. he has only won 1 race, when even webber has 2 “great” wins at circuits the drivers most want to win at. it is telling that being teamed with Button, who most do not consider a top 3 driver in the sport, Hamiltons points tally to Button is 559-552. almost identical. he is obviously faster, but his race craft just doesnt get the results of his 1 lap speed, that point advantage should be much more over button. if he leaves mclaren, it will be a dumb decision, they offer him world championships, he just needs to grab the opportunity like other multiple world champions have when they have a world championship winning car.

    18. The diff was damaged, as was the floor, and who could know what else at the time. So let the armchair race directors have their view. The man who had to drive the car at 200mph into a 150m braking zone lap after lap had another view of the risks. If the left rear corner flew off going into Spitzkurve the haters would be slating Hamilton for his excessive risk taking.

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