Hamilton says wing switch was join decision

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Hamilton says he supported the decision for him to use the old-specification rear wing during qualifying.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton: “It was obviously the wrong way to go…” (Adam Cooper)

“This morning in practice three I had some instabilities with the new wing that we were trying. And at the time we had a relatively big gap between ourselves and the Red Bulls and the Ferraris. And so we felt on our side of the garage that we should try something to fix it, and for us that was to potentially go to the wing that we used in the last race.”

Hamilton gets in a tangle on and off track (Reuters)

“Asked about [his post-qualifying Tweets], and why they had disappeared from his account, Hamilton at first feigned ignorance and then explained to reporters he wanted to ‘rephrase some things I said’. He then sent out a further tweet after the meeting, with another acronym based on an obscenity he suggested his followers could look up on Google if uncertain, that also subsequently disappeared.”

Lewis Hamilton: I don’t know if I’m staying at McLaren (The Sun)

“There are lots of sticking points. You never just sign the first contract that’s given to you because most of the time it’s s***.”

Webber knew he’d get penalty (Sky)

“The thing is, when you get a group of cars together, everyone’s on the DRS. I want to pick individual fights, because everyone’s on the DRS and everyone’s doing the same top speed. You need to get people in isolation and then you’ve got a chance after Eau Rouge. But if everyone’s together, the DRS doesn’t work.”

Alonso won’t rely on rivals’ mistakes (Autosport)

“I think the aim is to improve the car because we know one is the gearbox [Webber] and then maybe Hamilton not making the most of the car today.”

Belgian GP – Conference 3 (FIA)

Jenson Button: “Especially with these temperatures and limited running it’s been difficult to get the tyres in the working range. This morning it was the other way around, they were working very well and then later on in the run they weren’t working so well. In Q1 it was the other way around: lap one, I just had no front grip at all as you probably heard me say, and then it was better on lap three. It’s really difficult to understand how hard to push on an out lap and also if you’re doing a three lap run, on the second lap how hard to push, whether you should put more heat into the tyres, the bulk or the surface. It’s not just drive round as fast as you can any more. It was good to get the balance today and get it right.”

McLaren MP4-27 – new rear wing (F1)

“Its profile is different, and eminently suitable for the fast Spa-Francorchamps circuit.”

Schumacher still revved up (The Telegraph)

David Coulthard: “Michael was a remorseless winner. To some he will always remain a tainted champion rather than a great one; someone who was prepared to push the rules so far that he frequently broke them. But he was an exceptional driver too. You do not win 91 grands prix in all conditions and on all types of tracks without being special.”

Lotus: DRS Device Analysis (ScarbsF1)

“One issue facing the FIA and other teams is that the Mercedes DDRS solution will be banned in 2013, via wording to prevent secondary use of the DRS opening. But being passive, the Lotus system does not employ this solution to stall the wing. As it stand the Lotus will be legal for 2013, but the FIA are likely to find some wording to also outlaw this method of drag reduction.”

The Renault Report: Belgium (Williams)

“One area you need to be particularly careful with though is covering the umbilical connection. If water gets into it, it can trigger unwanted results. For example in Hungary 2006, Nico Rosberg’s pit lane limiter was triggered when water shorted across the pins. He was shifting through the gears and suddenly the garage limiter was triggered, throwing the car massively off balance!”

Comment of the day

A paean for Spa-Francorchamps from Ted Bell:

The spectacle of Grand Prix racing at a venue proven to be not only the drivers favorite but is acknowledged by fans and critics as the best place to see this generation of race machine where it has the opportunity to breath and get out there and run with a head of steam.

The pictures reflect the uniqueness of this place and really show why Spa is what it is. To see these magnificent machines run through the forests with its hills and its valleys test them as no other place can is why we the fans of Formula One are so passionette about our sport.

When the demand for many more new race venues in the near future calls for thinning out the lesser tracks I hope that common sense will prevail and tracks like China, Valencia or Korea find themselves on the chopping block ever before a special place like Spa is thought of as expendable.

Ripe with history, a place that tests man and machine like no other deserves in reality to remain on the schedule and has proven itself to be worthwhile and on most must-see lists.
Ted Bell

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio scored his fourth world championship victory on this day in 1956.

Fangio finished second for Ferrari at Monza after taking over team mate Peter Collins’ car. Collins relinquished his ride despite being in contention for the championship himself.

Stirling Moss won the race with Ron Flockhart third.


Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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42 comments on “Hamilton says wing switch was join decision”

  1. I don’t know whether it was the writing by Alan Baldwin or the editing by Tim Hart, but big thanks to whoever it was who provided the helpful translation of “homies” in that Reuters article. LOLLLLL

  2. Should Hamilton change his wing and start from the pits? Given a 0.8s benefit, higher straight line speed, ease of overtaking and free tyre choice it might work out for him in the race.

    1. @isaactham, I was wondering the same thing. They won’t, I’m quite sure, but it would be interesting to learn from which grid position they would go for the change. With the car in its current configuration, there’s not a high chance of making any progress, and a good chance of getting swamped on the first straight.

      Starting from the pits, he would need a bit of luck to improve on his current situation, like a good pile-up in the first corner and/or an early safety car, but at least with a fast car you have strategic options; with a slow car, you can only hope to hang in there.

      1. Keeps him safe from Maldonado too, starting from the pits.
        But yeah, with the current wing, I think he’ll struggle even for points, he’ll have just no speed on the straights, and his only chance would be to get out of DRS range, otherwise, it’s not good. Starting from the pits wont quite be the same position in which Schumacher came from the back as Schumi had many more fresh tyres. But I think Hamilton will have enough due to the wet start. I think the only thing to do would be take his chances from there. It’s an overtaking circuit and we all know what Lewis can do on the charge.
        Either way, exciting prospect for the race ahead. This grid is pretty amazing.

        1. But he did qualify above the other 16 drivers, so he’s quicker than them over 1 lap, so why would he lose out in the race?

          1. Because of the straight line speed disadvantage. They have every chance to pass him in the race, and unless Hamilton can run a better strategy due to less tyre deg, then I can’t see him being able to escape them. The cars behind him will simply dog him on the straights.
            His only chance with the current set up is that it does give him better life in the tyres and he can stop once less, otherwise, I think he’s only going to go backwards.

          2. I don’t know why there is so much focus on that, Lewis is just fine with straight line speed … RedBull should be the one to worry if they have a Sauber in front according to these speed trap at the end of Kemmel

            And as said Hamilton still qualify on top 10, not great by his standard but still in. Just unusuall to have such gap between him and Button. Will see if the 0.8″ is maintained on race pace

    2. Are people actually believing that a) a single update gives a 0.8s advantage and b) McLaren and Hamilton didn’t only fail to notice that their car is actually 0.8s faster with the new wing, but also thought their new super wing is slower than the old one. This is one of the most ridiculous claims I’ve heard this season.

      1. @hotbottoms
        Exactly, people are being ridiculous. If the team would have seen in practice that this new rear wing was anywhere near that fast, they wouldn’t have let him change back to the old one. The fact is that even with the new rear wing, Hamilton didn’t feel comfortable with the rear wing, and Button did, which is where the deficit started to grow.
        For others to suggest otherwise is pretty ludicrous.

      2. Exactly so Hamilton must have set his car up for the race, and he may (and should) gain positions instead of losing them

      3. Yes, the telemetry clearly shows that whilst Lewis was slightly quicker on the slower parts of the circuit, there was significant drop off on the two main straights- 0.6 on the first and 0.5 on the second when compared to JB. This was lost when both cars are flat out. IMHO this is reason for Lewis to start from the pits and hope- as discussed on this page.

        (info above from telemetry that Lewis tweeted a photo of, then swiftly deleted)

    3. it doesnt have a 0.8 second advantage. it probably has a 0.3 second advantage, the rest was button in top form.

    4. Hamilton’s car is not set up for the new rear wing at all, so it would never work as the balance would be all wrong. Nice lateral thinking though.

      1. Exactly, the team had gone with a high downforce setup for his car, the low downforce wing was never going to work. The question people should ask is not why the wing was changed, but why Hamilton always gets the high downforce setup like was done last year at both Spa and Monza.
        With a high downforce setup, you will be past by faster cars, but you can’t do anything to them where the car is supposed to be stronger.

  3. Somewhat out of topic but, who watched the qualli on BBC? I did and i felt it that they missed a lot things, i was watching with my father and i had to tell him about all the stuff that had happened on practice, and different teams hopes but above all they missed so much information, i was quite disappointed cause i kind of like their pre-show stuff, so i decided to watch the qualli again on Sky, and personally i felt they had made a perfect job, Crofty gets us excited and shows his tricks and Martin keeps the sobriety on the transmission, they were informative and they made it feel epic which i didnt felt on BBC, now i’m thinking whether to watch it on BBC or SKY. I don’t know if anybody felt like that but i felt i was watching 2 different shows.

    1. BBC seem more pre-occupied with interviewing random drivers and team principals. Which is good, but they dont really tell the back story of the practice sessions at all.
      You end up with a lot of opinions on different topics but no real idea what is going on.

      One thing Sky has always been good at is providing a narrative, to each race and to the season.
      They have done it with Football with great success.

      1. I watched the British GP on BBC and I had no complaints but yesterday the narrative was nowhere.

    2. Brundle was the big loss to Sky due to his massive experience in the support commentator role, something DC just doesn’t have.

      In the BBC’s defence, the free practice sessions with James Allen, Ben Edwards and Alguersuari were actually very well informed. To be honest, James Allen in a supporting role (instead of lead commentator) wouldn’t be such a bad shout for next season. Stick DC just with Jake.

      1. My problem with BBC yesterday was the fact that from Q1 to Q3 they weren’t there understanding the qualli they were simply there watching, like a spectator, if i hadnt watched the practices i wouldn’t know anything.

  4. I hope they make the old spec monza track from the video in F1 2011 in exhibition races or something. that track’ll be fun to drive!

  5. Poor old Mark Webber, four tenths faster than Vettel but still has to start behind him.
    Also the speedtrap info is suspect, in his qually lap Button was regularly on the rev-limiter at 322 kph, anyone know what the real top speeds were for the rest ?

    1. On F1.com’s live timing, the top 6 cars’ speed at the Intermediate 1 are:
      Kob 330 Per 326 Sen 326 Mal 325 Ver 325 Msc 324

      1. Interesting. If Kobayashi manages to hang on to Button for two laps he should sail past him on the DRS zone.

      2. @IsaacTham If you don’t mind my asking, where can you view speeds like this on the F1.com live timing? I haven’t used theirs in ages, so I’m not familiar with that feature.

  6. “There are lots of sticking points. You never just sign the first contract that’s given to you because most of the time it’s s***.”

    Hmmm… Lewis vs Ron. I don’t think Ron will give in to any demands. He doesn’t strike me like that kind of a person, and he usually gets what he wants, and rightly so. I think Lewis is more concerned about other elements rather than salary, and he wants to make sure he is in the best team for the future, but there is no way to know that. What happens in 2014, there is no way to know. Teams most likely to be successful are the ones that have the best engineers. McLaren has always been competitive regardless of the regulations. If Lewis doesn’t get out now (to say RB) then he’s best bet would be to sign a 2 year contract with McLaren. That way if McLaren show to struggle in 2014, he will have some options for 2015. But leaving McLaren at the end of 2013 would be a mistake.

    1. Thats my feeling too.

      “better the devil you know”

      Anything could happen in 2014

  7. poor old mark always gets the dodgy Red Bull gearbox. he’ll have to wait till Vettel is clearly ahead in the championship for his gearbox woes to end

  8. If McLaren’s had those 2 days of testing, they would have locked the front with half a second difference.

    Btw can Hamilton change his rear wing for the race?

    1. Yes, but he will have to start from pit lane. However given the large boost in straight line speed, as well as the ease of overtaking and the free choice of starting tyres, I wonder if this might actually pay off for him?

      1. Well if he starts from the pitlane and has speed and all those advantages, he can get to 7th-8th or maybe lower, if he starts from 7th and is slow he could drop places :P

    2. If McLaren’s had those 2 days of testing, they would have locked the front with half a second difference.

      I totally disagree. Every other team would have had those two days to test as well, and might have been able to match McLaren in terms of set-up.

      And for all we know, Jenson Button thinks that being on pole gives him the best chance at victory, but Lewis Hamilton feels that more downforce might cost him grid position, but give him better performance over the long run.

    3. @wackyracer – There is no guarantee they would’ve at all: Lotus would have been able to use their ‘device’, Red Bull would probably have had a better set-up and the rest of the field would’ve been better able to select the right downforce package. Although credit to Jenson Button, I think he was by far the best qualifier.
      Now that the point has been raised though I wonder if it would be worthwhile for him to change his set-up and start from the pit lane: he will be last on he grid but he may well be able to make up a lot of places (although he doesn’t have many new sets of tyres).

    4. I think it’s a good sign or the rest of the season that they can be quick at Hungary and then Spa.

  9. “There are lots of sticking points. You never just sign the first contract that’s given to you because most of the time it’s s***.”

    I’m sure McLaren are very appreciative of this.

  10. Lewis Hamilton has just Tweeted his and Button’s laptime traces. Lucas Ordonez, who races in the Le Mans Series after winning Polyphony Digital’s GT Academy had this to say about it:

    I would never share telemetry of my team on twitter. Even racing at Cadwell Park in a Nissan Micra… #Confidential #lessonN1

    I’ve got to say, I agree with Ordonez on this one. What Hamilton does with his own telemetry is his business, but Button’s telemetry is Button’s telemetry. As the person who brought this to my attention said, it sounds like Hamilton is trying very hard – to the point of desperation – to prove that circumstances have gone against him and his disappointing performance is someone else’s fault.

    Just shut up and race, Lewis.

    1. I’d go a step further: releasing telemetry will harm the team as a whole (it tells you a lot about what the car’s doing; now McLaren’s competitors have far more of that information than they would normally get). The harm might be relatively minor, but it is real and genuine.

      If any other member of the team had released this information, I suspect they’d have spent this week looking for a new job.

      Of course, firing a driver is more contentious at the best of times. But I’m sure the team – and Jenson Button in particular – are far more angry than they’ve let on.

      And rightly so.

  11. Cant help but think Lewis`s days at McLaren are over.

    1. Okay, I think it’s time for one of my patented Crazy Theories (TM, patent pending).

      But first, the theme song.

      Here’s the theory: Lewis Hamilton will join … Sauber.

      Now that the shock has (hopefully) worn off, allow me to elaborate: Helmut Marko recently said that the C31 was the best car on the grid. I was prepared to write this off as gamesmanship, with Marko trying to deliver a fumbling psychological blow to the opposition by effectively saying “none of you have the best car!”, but after seeing qualifying in Spa and looking back at some of their recent results, I’m inclined to believe that maybe there is some truth to what he is saying (even if it is still gamesmanship) and that the C31’s potential has not fulled shown itself because Kobayashi and Perez are not among the very best drivers on the grid. At the very least, it’s certainly in the top four cars (and probably the top three – it might even be better than the Red Bull).

      Meanwhile, Pirelli have said that they are not planning any major changes to their tyre line-ups in 2013. I am not entirely sure what they mean by this, but it appears that they are happy with what they are planning, and any adjustments will simply be fine-tuning. On top of that, the dramatic changes to the 2014 regulations mean it is unlikely that we will see anything major in terms of rule changes for 2013.

      With that in mind, and assuming that Marko’s comments are at least partially-reflective of the state of play, then Sauber will be in a unique position where they have a very, very good car to serve as the basis of their 2013 challenger. This will almost certainly hold appeal for Leiws Hamilton – but it also comes with a massive risk. Sauber operate on a greatly-reduced budget, and it will probably take time for him to settle into the team. Results might not come thick and fast, so taking a conservative approach and re-signing with McLaren might be more appealing.

      Of course, such a move would mean one of the two Sauber drivers would have to go. It’s easiest if Ferrari have their eye on Perez, as that would naturally create an opening for Hamilton, but I suspect that Stefano Domenicali is planning on keeping Massa in 2013, and many of his comments on what Massa needs to do to keep his seat – without any detail on what Massa actually has to do – are a means of preparing everyone for the announcement that Massa will be staying at Maranello. In that case, a straight swap between Hamilton and one of the Sauber drivers makes the most sense, but that just leaves the question of who McLaren takes, which I don’t think will be easy to answer.

      The other alternative was Hamilton moving to Williams, but paring him with Maldonado seems like a bad idea. I’m expecting Maldonado and Bottas at Williams next year, and while Hamilton and Bottas is a remote possibility, it means totally changing their driver line-up and letting go of a whole lot of sponsor money that I think Williams really needs.

      So, Hamilton to Sauber – you heard it here first.

  12. Lewis is no more petulant than most F1 drivers. Vettel for instance is always complaining, always shouting at the team to win him races, the only difference is for the most part we don’t here it.

    One things for sure, his constant trips down the pitlane of late and his pointed interest in Mercedes is a clear message to McLaren.

  13. @COTD I agree Spa is one of the more special tracks in the F1 Calendar, however, whether you like it or not, F1 has a huge supporter base in Asian countries, hence the South Korean, Singaporean, Chinese, Malaysian and Japanese GP’s… The FIA won’t cull those tracks, they will be looking to cull european circuits and I’ve already heard that Valencia may be one of these tracks to go.

    Personally, I wouldn’t miss the Hungarian GP.

    The question the FIA need to ask first and foremost, how many races, strikes the right balance between team running costs vs providing a fortnightly spectacle to keep us fans happy.

  14. Maybe my perception but Hamilton gets wild at this point of the season. Very sad to see the antics of the last 24hrs. I am no fan of him or his team but I would rather not have all this. Hope he has a clean race. That he is so mad does indicate the decision was not his but still. He is a top driver and situations like this can be overcome like Alonso post 2007 which again was poor show.

  15. I like Hamilton, I do, he connects well with his fans and I respect his comments regarding contracts. It shows he not just a PR machine and does have his own thoughts and feelings on things (even if he is using it for PR purposes with McLaren). I do however find his Twitter to be quite juvenile. He tweets like a teenager both in context and language. Entertaining nonetheless.

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