Hamilton: “I was nowhere” after set-up change

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Suzuka, 2012Lewis Hamilton said a change in set-up on his car caused the handling problems which left him languishing in ninth on the grid.

“That was just one of those days,” he said after qualifying. “We had a bit of a problem, I think it was P2, with the set-up. We had a lot of understeer. So we changed it for P3, which was much more front-end but oversteery.

“So we opted to go back – well, I opted to go back – and unfortunately it didn’t work.”

“Yeah I really felt great in the car all weekend,” he added. “It was literally just we made some set-up changes going into this session and I had everything I could to get the car to turn in, it just wouldn’t turn in any more than it was.”

He said the yellow flags due to Kimi Raikkonen’s spin were not a major problem for him: “I was nowhere anyway.”

Hamilton was downbeat on his prospects for the race: “With the pace that I have, who knows. You never know what’s going to happen in the race. The long-run pace wasn’t bad yesterday but the car… I’m going to struggle with it, but I’ll do what I can.”

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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  • 35 comments on “Hamilton: “I was nowhere” after set-up change”

    1. “I was nowhere” – no, that is where you’ll be next season.

      1. Not just because I am a fan but I still have my doubts about next season. In china no one got close to Mercedes and in Monaco the retired guy got pole position… Ross iseither genius or alien. Otherwise, how can we possibly explain Button’s world title?

        1. Otherwise, how can we possibly explain Button’s world title?

          There was a very large loophole in the regulation, and from that grey area arised the mighty double diffuser – it was so powerful that it could transform even the average driver into a world champion.

          In china no one got close to Mercedes and in Monaco the retired guy got pole position

          Some say that one win, and one pole per season can’t get you championships. Britney’s dad might disagree but besides a mere win you have to be consistently there – where Mercedes aren’t at the moment (and haven’t been for a while) that is on the podium .

          1. That’s why I feel Ross/Mercedes might be prepered for 2013.
            Who knows what they have in store? Loophole or not no one was expecting Braun’s team to have that advantage, right?!

    2. Hamilton with identical cars as Button can easily be 3-5 tenths quicker in qualy. Who knows? He could’ve taken pole. Meh, what’s happened has happened.

      1. Hehe, yep!

      2. Pole was out of the question for Lewis:

        Asked where he thought he would have ended up without the yellow flags, Lewis said: “Probably about fourth or fifth. I wasn’t quicker than Jenson. I was about three or four tenths up at that time, and I still had more time to find later on. It still wouldn’t have been spectacular for us, I was really struggling, but it definitely would have been better than ninth.”

      3. F1 Star in a reasonably priced car is testament to any difference between drivers abilities (IMO).

      4. @Kingshark They do have the same car, as they both drive for the same team, and there wasn’t any noticeable new parts that was on one car and not the other (like Spa). I’m presuming what you’re trying to say is that if they both had the same setup. But that can’t be a fair comparison as they both have different driving styles. Lewis prefers a slight oversteer setup and Jenson prefers a slight under steer setup. So if Lewis had the same setup as Jenson I would doubt he could run faster and vice versa.

    3. Weird that it cost him so much time. At least he’s honest about it.

    4. I’m not convinced unless I see some telemetry…

      1. Good one, +1

      2. Really good :) !

      3. @snafu Like it :-)

      4. awesome :)

      5. haha! This all smacks a bit too much of him almost giving up now he’s leaving at the end of the year.

      6. Brilliant haha

      7. Good one mate!!

      8. Thanks guys!

    5. I guess Lewis must both be the Lead Engineer and Top Driver at McLaren…
      He might as drive with telemetry screens in the car so he can make informed decisions.

      1. I just think that Lewis doesn’t have enough faith in his engineering team. Every wing gamble or set up direction seems to go wrong for him.

        1. Must be a nightmare having to rely on a team you no longer have faith in.
          Probably part of the reason why he’s leaving.
          At Red Bull Newey takes care of these things.

          1. Yawn! Maybe its not the team thats the problem, maybe LH is just pretty useless in that respect ? Alonso soon got sick of helping him set his car up, maybe Button has too.

            1. Where were you from Canada?

      2. I’d love to see HUD-equipped helmet.

    6. I still want Hamilton to win unless it’s Alonso. However with wrong setup I can’t expect him to do it. Button may be able to.

    7. He doesn’t have much luck when it comes to making set-up decisions, does he? Conversely Button seems to always get it right!

      1. Really? Button often can’t find the right set-up, complaining about understeer all through qualifying.

      2. @matt90

    8. these sort of races happen every year for hamilton in races vettel or alonso would dominate if they were in hamiltons seat right now. suzuka last year:

    9. Since Hamilton announced his decision the opinions about him here are simply ludicrous.

    10. When does he fall out of the current information loop at McLaren…thinking about data acc being forwarded to 2013 developement?? Must be weird for eveybody involved, you want to help out the guy but he really is the enemy now for the most part

      1. I don’t think Mercedes really need Hamilton to get information on McLaren’s 2013 car. Lest we forget, Mercedes is McLaren’s engine supplier, if they want information on their competitors car, I’m sure they could get it right ??

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