Hamilton says McLaren need Spa upgrade

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he’ll be “pushing” McLaren to bring an upgrade for the next race at Spa.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton warns McLaren not fast enough to catch Fernando Alonso (The Guardian)

“But that’s going to come from more performance in the car and that’s what we’ve got to work towards. I really hope we have another upgrade in Spa and I’m going to be pushing for that upgrade.”

Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Red Bull need to work, work, work (F1)

“Q: Your disappointment is obvious??
SV: I don?t know what you expect? We sit in the car for one and a half hours, race at the limit, it is hot as hell, and then you sit in traffic – which in itself is not a huge satisfier – and you know that you cannot get airborne to get into a better position. All you can do then is to stay focused. And of course if you know that you?ve been fighting for every inch and it didn?t pay off, that is a bit frustrating.”

Webber ‘had to’ make three stops (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “In the end, we had to stop. With the differential issue and the tyres, you have a lot of wheelspin on the inside tyre and there is no way those tyres will get to the finish so we had to stop.”

Ferrari ‘in defensive mode’ (Sky)

Stefano Domenicali: “Fernando did a great race. We knew that we were in a defensive mode and to be in front of two cars, Button and Webber, that were faster than us in pure performance, for us it’s very important.”

Hungarian GP – Fry: “We are behind: we need more performance” (Ferrari)

“We still lack performance and we must push even harder on developing the F2012 if we want to fight all the way to the end to reach our goals.”

Hungarian GP Race (Williams)

Bruno Senna: “There were a lot of battles for me and it was hard it keep the tyres alive because the temperatures were so high, but it’s good to start in ninth place and finish in seventh. I think this is a turning point for us.”

Hungarian GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

Kimi Raikkonen on coming out of the pits alongside Romain Grosjean: “The team told me it?s going to be very close and I made a mistake with the pit lane speed limiter so it meant maybe five metres after the line I was still on it, so I thought that I really didn?t do a very good job out of there ?ǣ but luckily it was enough gap and we were side-by-side in the first corner, but I could keep my position quite easily at that point. But it was one of those things: we had a lot of speed but just couldn?t use it in all the race.”

RV spots for F1 race weekend going for top dollar (Austin-American Statesman)

“Like the Monaco harbor, where multimillion-dollar yachts are anchored at track-side berths that can cost $100,000 and more during races, the RV spots at Circuit of the Americas won’t come cheap: $15,000 a year, with two- to three-year terms.”

Tooned episode 3 (YouTube)


Comment of the day

Patrickl was one of several people who did not think Placido Domingo a suitable candidate to conduct the podium interviews:

He couldn?t make his sentences work even though he asked pretty much the same question of each driver.

Still he managed to put in more words in his questions than he allowed the drivers to speak. Guess he?d rather hear himself talk than the drivers.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cyanide and George Tunnicliffe!

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

Jacky Ickx scored the final win of his F1 career 40 years ago today.

Appropriately enough it came at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where he had often excelled in the past. Team mate Clay Regazzoni was second ahead of Ronnie Peterson’s March.

Here’s some footage from 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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71 comments on “Hamilton says McLaren need Spa upgrade”

  1. I don’t understand why even Vettel complains about being stuck in traffic.

    I for one felt that even though the race wasn’t brilliant (I rated it a 5) it had some great elements to it. It was more oldschool and for some reason felt genuine. The fact that people didn’t breeze past with DRS doesn’t mean the race was bad – I liked the fact that track position played such an important role, even though I admit I found it slightly frustrating that there seemed to be no chance whatsoever to even attempt an attack into T1. The bottom line is that Vettel’s complaining seems to stem from the fact that track position has lost its significance – I really didn’t like how Raikkonen was deemed lucky to have missed Q3 in Bahrain because he had a new set of tyres.

    Now the people who complain about the gimmicky F1 we have nowadays yet found this race bad should not speak, really. The thing is that DRS would have been so much better at this race if you could have used it anywhere on the track (for a limited number of times), if you were Button for example. He seemed to have more chances of getting past Senna into T2, yet he could not use DRS there. Regarding the tyres, they were relatively conservative, yet the speed Grosjean and Raikkonen had on the softs and Vettel chasing down Grosjean at the end of the race shows that tyres can drop off without being ‘artificial’.

    1. @victor it’s easy to complain when you feel you can go much faster but you have to stay behind. Imagine JB’s discomfort when he ended up behind Senna, or Alonso with Perez. It must be seriously frustrating.

      I remember in 2007, when Kimi finished 2nd to Hamilton after following him all race, he said: “it was so boring, I had nothing to do for the whole race”. That’s just it… it’s frustrating, but they have to get over it, and keep pushing. Driver errors are not that common this days either, so…

      1. +1. One should be allowed to be frustrated. Maybe DRS should be rethink, in Brazilian touring cars top series (Stock Car Brasil) they have a boost button known as “overtaking button” and there’s not a DRS zone, they have a limited numbers of times to use the button and I think it would be a good alternative to current F1 rules.

        1. @jcost that’s a “push to pass” button, like the one they had in A1 and IndyCars not long ago.

          Not sure it worked there, though.

    2. @victor, Vettel getting to see races from Webbers point of view and not liking it, agreed.
      Not so sure about your DRS suggestion, I don’t think Senna deserved to have some-one open the magic-flap and fly past him, frustrating as it was for me seeing Webbers excellent early race falling apart.

      1. Well, with the above rule, Senna could have used it to defend with as well. Basically as a form of KERS – for a limited time per lap or per race. This way it can be used for attacking or defending.

  2. Also, worst episode of Tooned yet.

    1. I actually laughed with the sugarcube thing. But yes, the others were better.

      1. @carlitox Yeah, I laughed at that bit too.

    2. Got a feeling they jumped the shark with the McLaren centre taking off at the end (sorry, should have said **Spoiler Alert** there).

    3. -1

      I liked this one, too. They are not hysterical, obviously, but all of them offer a pleasant couple of minutes.

      1. I couldn’t believe they went with “Lewis Hamilbot” instead of “Lewis HamilTRON”. Duh!

  3. I can’t understand what Red Bull were doing with Webber. His race should have been a 2-stop race. If he had run 2 laps longer on each of his 2 medium compound stints then he could have got to the end on softs. Maybe someone will enlighten me, but I don’t recall Mark *just* coming out in front of anyone slow after a stop, so then he could have run longer without compromising his race position.

    1. Maybe they just made a mistake in their calcuations somewhere. It wouldn’t be the first time someone did that.

      1. I wouldn’t say it was a mistake in their calculations. It’s more like they’ve never watched a race at the Hungaroring before – passing has always been incredibly difficult. And it also seems that they’ve not watched any races recently. The Red Bull car is fast through the corners when in clean air but slow on the straight and when running in dirty air – which means the Red Bull is not a good passing car.

        1. I wasn’t talking about the kind of mistake where they miscalculated the life of the tyres based on the available data. I’m talking about the kind of mistake where someone entered a 2 instead of a 3 and missed it, so everything from that point on was based on a faulty equation.

    2. Yes as I mentioned last week they all ways do this, surely the whole point of starting on mediums was to run longer and get out into clear air!

      1. It looked to me as though they saw a chance to jump Alonso at the first round of pit stops when he was behind Perez for a couple of laps, which Raikkonen managed to do.

        They then undercut Alonso successfully at the second round of pit stops, but hit the differential issue shortly after.

        1. Trying to jump Alonso was risky enough as they were on different strategies. What’s more there was only an 18.5 second gap at the end of lap 19 and everyone knew it took more than 20 seconds to pit. And the cost of failing to jump Alonso was that Webber would be help up by the slower Alonso, forced to run in dirty air which increases tyre degradation, and left with the prospect of having to run a long stint on softs towards the end of the race.

    3. @dvc I shared your incomprehension at Webber’s strategy until I read Horner’s comments in the third link.

      1. Apparently that problem started on lap 45 so it doesn’t explain why the first two pit stops were so early. Even if there was a problem with the diff there was a very good chance that Webber could have held off at least one of the three drivers behind him. He had an 11.5 second lead over Alonso and was still lapping at the same speed with just 14 laps to go.

        1. @ad, absolutely correct and it’s not the first time his 1st. stop has been early in the tyres life.

  4. Kimi said in the press conference that he tweeted Alonso saying happy birthday today. I didn’t know he had twitter!!

    Apparently, this one (https://twitter.com/KimiRaikkonen9) is indeed Kimi’s tw (note the “@alo_oficial Happy birthday man.” from sunday morning).

    One for you @keithcollantine , not sure Kimi is listed in the Twitter Directory

    1. Word in the streets say Kimi is a top pick to replace Massa next year, it would be interesting.

    2. @fer-no65

      Kimi said in the press conference that he tweeted Alonso saying happy birthday today.

      Perhaps I’m missing something but from looking at the transcript Hamilton says he Tweeted Alonso but Raikkonen didn’t:

      Q: (Peter Vamosi – Vas Nepe) It’s Alonso’s birthday today, what are your messages to him?

      RG: Happy Birthday. Fernando is a good friend so I wish him all the best for this year and hopefully we can keep fighting with him in the championship.
      LH: I’ve already Tweeted happy birthday to him.
      KR: We spoke before already.
      LH: Romain says he wants to sing it.
      RG: No, no. I don’t want it to rain straight away!

      1. Btw, there is a French saying that bad singing makes it rain, in case anyone was confused by Romain’s remark there.

        1. I’d never heard of that – thanks for the explanation!

        2. Hahaha! We have that saying here in the Philippines too. I’ve been told that more than a couple of times. :D

        3. LOL thanks Gwan for enlightening us there

      2. @keithcollantine I read it from here

        I guess they got it wrong, then.

  5. Everyone needs Spa updates! I think Ferrari is much more desperate for it.

    I think ‘Tooned’ is a good concept but plot is not good as its concept. still I wish it works well so make other teams try similar thing.

    1. @eggry I think the biggest problems with Tooned is it needs a proper name. ‘Tooned’ just says ‘this is a cartoon’.

      1. @Keith I don’t think so… actually tooned in my interpretation is saying the Macca boys have become toons – they’ve been tooned – so, as a concept, I love it, but, I doubt it’s something for hard-boiled race fans it really seems more like a great idea to get more kids interested McLarens team specifically the drivers and later maybe even involved in motorsports. I totally enjoy watching it.

        On another note: Why can we not have the driver interview as we did in Hungary on the Podium that was BRILLIANT it must have been the best interview ever for the thousand fans having paid money to see the race to then also get overwhelmed by straight on interview right up there on the podium. Keith make that happen – please! Now that’s a concept for Motorsports-fans world-over.

        1. tooned in my interpretation is saying the Macca boys have become toons

          Obviously, but there’s nothing in the name “Tooned” that identifies it as being related to McLaren. You could just as easily apply it to any animation where real-life people have been turned into cartoons, which is why it doesn’t work.

          Also, your @ message was aimed at the wrong person!

          1. Well, my immediate interpretation of it was that it was a play on words. Tooned as in Cartoon but also meaning “Tuned”, because race cars are commonly referred to as “Tuned”. This could also refer to the “highly strung” nature of the people that work in F1 teams. Seemed obvious to me, then again I am a complete nerd!!

          2. oops! ;-)

            Tooned You are actually rigt on the money there. it should be “F1-Tooned” – but then Macca would have to pay copy right fees, I guess – or more simply “MaccaToon”

            But Keith, how about holding the interview right after the race on the podium????

      2. There is also a play on the word Tuned as in ” I took the car in for a tune-up”.

  6. Hamilton actually made this comment about a lot of work to do as he crossed the finishing line! I guess he had a whole race at the front with Lotuses right behind to think about it. Anywhere else, he knows he’d have been caught by both of them and maybe Vettel too. So he’d just be one position ahead of Alonso. Certainly not enough, particularly as this was McLaren weather, hot and no rain. But if McLaren can push a little bit more ahead, then the strong Lotus and Red Bull work in his favour by keeping Alonso at bay. It’s on a knife edge for sure.

    1. Those Lotuses were really menacing, with more space to exploit they could put Lewis in trouble.

    2. Yeah, I liked both Hamilton’s and Kimi’s comments after the race: nr 1 and 2 straight away analysing what to do / went wrong.

    3. actually hot weather didn’t suite Mclaren in Bahrain or Valencia…so I don’t know why you assumed hot weather is Mclaren weather…

  7. I can’t agree with COTD, Placido demonstrated an excellent ability to speak English very clearly and also a reasonable knowledge of F1 for a fan let alone a “celebrity”, he may not have asked the insider type of questions we got from Peter Windsor but he asked questions which were relevant to the race and showed how well he had followed it.

    1. The post race interviews, if you can call them that, were trul awful. The point being is not’s about the interview, it’s about the interviewee. I want to hear from the racing drivers not the interviewer. The idea of interviews on the podium is great – but let’s do it properly. Yesterday was cringworthingly bad.

  8. “There were a lot of battles for me and it was hard it keep the tyres alive because the temperatures were so high, but it’s good to start in ninth place and finish in seventh. I think this is a turning point for us.”

    I think it’s too little, too late. This is the kind of performance Senna should have been producing from the start of the season, not halfway through it.

    1. Still better than what Maldonado’s doing

    2. He’s doing what Maldonado isnt. Scoring points regularly and keeping out of trouble. Maldonado just cant help himself it would seem, when it comes to get into trouble. He needs to dial it back a bit.

      It’s clear that you dont rate Senna, but I’d say that he’ll beat Maldonado on points at the end of the season and will retain a drive in F1 next year.

      1. Scoring points regularly and keeping out of trouble.

        Excuse me while I fall out of my chair laughing.

        Senna is making – on average – one major mistake that compromises his race every other Grand Prix. He’s been involved in more on-track incidents than any other driver, took ten races just to get to Q3, and by rights, should have twice as many points as Maldonado by now. He didn’t deserve the seat in the first place, and Williams are doing themselves no favours in keeping him around.

        1. Excuse me while I fall out of my chair laughing.

          First off, no need for the arrogance, have a little respect for other people’s opinions. It’s something I’ve noticed from you in every single post I’ve read on this website in the last couple of years.

          Now back to F1 matters. Senna might be doing that, but he’s scoring points, reguarly. Maldonado has scored twice in 11 races, Senna has scored 6 in the same period of time. A record better than other, far more experienced drivers on drivers on the grid. It’s your opinion that he didnt deserve the seat, but frankly I felt he did. His path to F1 has been very indirect to say the least, furthermore he hasnt had great cars to sit in until this year. He’s scoring better than Hulkenberg and is hot on the heals of Di Resta, Scumacher, Massa and Maldonado.

          Williams would be wise to keep hold of him if they’re serious about beating Force India in the constructors, because at the moment it’s just Senna that is scoring points in a season where being in the top 10 is fiercely competitive and difficult to achieve.

        2. It’s pretty clear that Maldonado should have twice as many points as he has now. I think it speaks volumes that Pastor has won a race, and yet is only 5 points ahead of Bruno going into the summer break. Also, when you start to consider that Bruno is the only one who has to give up seat time for Bottas on Fridays, I dont think it can be argued that Maldonado deserves the seat he has any more than Bruno.

      2. I completely agree. Maldonado has a brattish way about him. He’s clearly very fast but seems to think he should be gifted track position rather than achieve a genuine pass and when his opponents refuse to roll over he hits them and later appears agrieved and surprised.

        Bruno has quietly knuckled down with the team and improved steadily over the season. I think its fair to say that at half term he should be getting to grips and producing results.

        I agree when he says this is his first proper season. The HRT year was no fair barometer as the car was only GP2 quick then half a season with a disagreeable Lotus on the unusual Pirelli’s was a tough ask of anyone.

        I think he’s found form and consistency, can keep out of trouble and can mind manage the long game. This is why I believe we will see him outscore his team mate over the balance of the season.

        Is that 6 points finishes to Maldonado’s 1 now? Looks promising to me.

        1. I agree when he says this is his first proper season.

          Team principals won’t. If any driver could arbitrarily pick and choose which seasons they counted towards their career, the I’m sure Felipe Massa would still be at Ferrari next season based on his 2008 form.

          1. You ain’t a team principal PM.

    3. With 9 years less experience, and missing every friday, id say hes doin a solid job.

      1. “Solid” isn’t good enough for Formula 1.

        1. Once again your Senna bashing is embarrasing for someone of your experience and knowledge! So far this season you have taken any opportunity to slate him, and low and behold, he does really well, and you still use it to slate him.

          1. @Gubstar though knowledgeable…, that’s his style. Glad he’s getting called on it.

  9. Hamilton knows that mclaren probably had the last big upgrade of the season while Ferrari and red bull have one coming for the next race. Alonso is almost two races in front of the second place, today he even increased the gap to the 2nd place up to 40 points. And the mclaren even wasn’t the fastest even with the upgrade they had.

    1. I don’t think either Red Bull or Ferrari are going to bring a massive new update. Red Bull clearly got what they wanted with the back end, Ferrari seems to be missing some fine tuning, but I don’t think a big update is needed for that. I think we will just see teams play with small bits and pieces.

      1. Ferrari are going to bring their super top secret tilted engine update XD

  10. I think kimi said he talked to alonso before the race . Hamilton tweeted alonso.

  11. COTD, so true, he’s like trying to save something that has nothing to save, F1 is not the prom night, Domingo.

  12. Niki Lauda was going to ask the q’s same as last week, but for some reason couldn’t at the last minute, and Domingo was asked to do it on the spot (from what I’ve heard). I thought he was great. Just wish they would have who-ever it is, ask a few more q’s to each driver.

    1. Couple of quick thoughts.

      Lauda – did he have somewhere else to be or was there an issue with him talking to Hamilton? NL has been less than glowing things about LH both this year and last (is it possible that we’ve discovered Andrew Bensons’ mysterious ‘paddock sources?’ ;) ).

      I don’t know if I missed something from the FIA about the Red Bull ride height, but why weren’t they penalised for their hand adjustment on the front suspension?

      Its seems a fairly binary issue, you need to do this with a mechanical instrument not by hand (just for the pedants who correctly identify a hand as an instrument). So if you design it to work by hand then were they penalised? If not, was there a reason given for no penalty?

      It doesn’t seem like something that would fall into a grey area as with a new development, it seems to be just patently wrong.

      Its intriguing how the rules are enforced and the length of time it takes for something to come out (Darren Heaths’ blog had an interesting piece on this http://www.darrenheath.com/season/2012/germany-2012/blog/look-listen-learn )

      1. I’m convinced Red Bull actually have a ‘regulation loophole’ division. It’s gotten to the point that if Red Bull regain pace, I assume something is going on… and that’s what, 3 or 4 times this season FIA have had a word? After netting a few more points of course.

    2. The whole concept is terrible IMO, like a splash and dash. Yes it gives something to the fans and I’m all for that, but Domingo did not deserve that spot when there was former GP drivers and respected journalists present. If the interviews are going to stay on the podium they need some structure.

    3. I though interview was much better than the one in Germany.

  13. If anyone needs an upgrade then it’s Ferrari.

    1. Timo Glock begs to differ :P

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