Hamilton struggling, Ferrari confident in Korea

2012 Korean Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Lewis Hamilton went from the top of the times in the first practice session to struggling in the second as track conditions changed in Korea.

Things seemed to go better for Ferrari. Although they couldn’t match Red Bull’s sheer one-lap pace they declared themselves pleased with their race stint performance.

Here’s the data from the first two practice sessions for the Korean Grand Prix.

Longest stint comparison

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:


Sebastian Vettel106.259106.398106.339106.259106.258106.394111.783105.959105.778114.446105.641106.434
Mark Webber106.572106.28107.82106.691106.678106.636106.481106.267106.414106.13110.666
Jenson Button106.519105.868106.005105.717106.152105.75105.54105.705104.946105.827108.954106.133
Lewis Hamilton112.562109.474100.072118.21899.816
Fernando Alonso105.909105.935105.69105.41105.803105.399104.975
Felipe Massa105.314105.641106.235105.703106.031105.574105.646105.8105.863
Michael Schumacher107.349107.462107.394107.411107.352108.782107.1106.937107.051
Nico Rosberg106.56106.835107.033106.813107.452109.124107.32107.418108.09107.933108.971
Kimi Raikkonen107.416106.837106.211106.483106.458106.219105.751106.62
Romain Grosjean106.227105.978106.174106.928106.606110.439106.307106.157106.223
Paul di Resta106.66106.666106.423106.336106.388106.253106.295106.121106.786
Nico Hulkenberg107.343106.597106.273106.532106.428106.522111.813105.879111.01106.196106.142
Kamui Kobayashi107.693108.886106.809107.559107.408106.916
Sergio Perez102.276100.745115.054107.53100.842101.048
Daniel Ricciardo107.535107.452106.86110.565107.434107.173107.173110.613107.251
Jean-Eric Vergne109.111108.444108.374107.978108.083107.776111.932107.589107.459115.422107.888
Pastor Maldonado111.95108.203108.133108.975108.471108.326108.439107.794108.752108.559109.211
Bruno Senna107.064106.455106.47106.696106.749106.152105.895
Heikki Kovalainen107.355109.444107.401107.306107.241110.234107.376
Vitaly Petrov107.366107.447108.142107.898108.613108.388108.508
Pedro de la Rosa110.634108.448109.396113.453108.964108.251108.139
Narain Karthikeyan115.306111.983107.925107.909108.609108.844107.816108.98108.604108.49
Timo Glock108.06108.066107.395112.451
Charles Pic105.424109.665103.636115.675103.066119.162

Following today’s practice sessions Sebastian Vettel said “I think we have to improve ourselves to match the others”. On the face of it, given his 0.3s advantage over the next non-Red Bull in second practice, that seems a tad pessimistic.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2012Perhaps Vettel has concerns over Red Bull’s race pace. As the graph above shows Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus were quicker during their long runs at the end of second practice.

Of course we don’t know how much fuel was in their cars. But Vettel will know how much was in his, and therefore whether he might have cause for concern.

Certainly the other three teams all improved their lap times at a faster rate on the long run: see Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen’s time lines, and note Button was still quicker than Vettel after a dozen laps at that pace.

Ferrari have reasons to be positive about their race prospects as sporting director Massimo Rivola explained: “Today went well and our race pace seems pretty strong on both the soft and the super-soft tyre. But we have to remember that tyre degradation and even blistering can be a problem here. However, it?s the same situation for everybody and we look particularly competitive on the soft.

The weather conditions are warmer in Korea than they have been previously on F1’s previous two visits, and they are set to stay that way. Warm temperatures plus soft tyres is a combination Lotus have thrived on in previous races.

Trackside operations director Alan Permane indicated his team could be one to watch over a race stint: “Both drivers reported that they were very happy with the balance of the car when on high fuel loads and degradation levels look manageable from the tyres so it?s been a productive first day.”

Meanwhile Sauber discovered their car prefers the harder of the two compounds: “Generally speaking the soft tyre compound is definitely the better one for us,” said head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall?Ara. “We have to look deeper into the data to find solutions on how to manage the super-softs.”

However Vitaly Petrov’s attempts to compare both types of tyre were compromised: “[Second practice] didn?t start as we?d have liked as I could almost immediately feel like we had a right rear puncture.

“We cut run one short and when I got back in the garage we found we did have a puncture so we changed the session plan to avoid using up another set of the soft tyres. On my first run on the super-softs the balance wasn?t quite there so we made a couple of mechanical changes and they definitely improved the handling on the long run.”

Sector times and ultimate lap times

CarDriverCarSector 1Sector 2Sector 3Ultimate lapGapDeficit to best
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault34.548 (4)43.486 (3)20.717 (2)1’38.7510.081
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault34.705 (9)43.456 (2)20.621 (1)1’38.7820.0310.082
33Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes34.713 (10)43.367 (1)20.959 (4)1’39.0390.2880.180
45Fernando AlonsoFerrari34.619 (6)43.691 (6)20.850 (3)1’39.1600.4090.000
56Felipe MassaFerrari34.504 (3)43.651 (5)21.009 (5)1’39.1640.4130.258
67Michael SchumacherMercedes34.443 (1)43.612 (4)21.142 (8)1’39.1970.4460.133
74Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes34.715 (11)43.716 (7)21.134 (7)1’39.5650.8140.152
88Nico RosbergMercedes34.473 (2)43.891 (10)21.220 (13)1’39.5840.8330.000
912Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes34.593 (5)43.800 (9)21.346 (15)1’39.7390.9880.000
1011Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes34.662 (8)43.979 (12)21.176 (12)1’39.8171.0660.295
119Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault34.883 (16)43.790 (8)21.147 (9)1’39.8201.0690.019
1210Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault34.823 (13)43.961 (11)21.173 (11)1’39.9571.2060.000
1319Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault34.833 (14)43.999 (13)21.160 (10)1’39.9921.2410.097
1414Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari35.070 (19)44.074 (14)21.089 (6)1’40.2331.4820.212
1515Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari34.761 (12)44.548 (16)21.226 (14)1’40.5351.7840.210
1616Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari34.882 (15)44.333 (15)21.519 (17)1’40.7341.9830.263
1717Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari34.639 (7)44.574 (17)21.576 (18)1’40.7892.0380.000
1818Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault34.991 (17)44.574 (17)21.436 (16)1’41.0012.2500.199
1920Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault35.028 (18)44.689 (19)21.695 (19)1’41.4122.6610.190
2024Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth35.466 (21)45.167 (21)21.861 (20)1’42.4943.7430.102
2121Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault35.462 (20)45.133 (20)22.017 (22)1’42.6123.8610.455
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth35.726 (22)45.187 (22)21.949 (21)1’42.8624.1110.204
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth35.772 (23)45.539 (23)22.360 (23)1’43.6714.9200.198
2422Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth35.796 (24)46.133 (24)22.380 (24)1’44.3095.5580.224

Button’s sector times suggest McLaren may be closer to Red Bull than it appears, but both he and Hamilton are lacking speed in the first sector.

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1Total laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’40.0881’38.83254
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.5751’38.86454
3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.1481’39.71748
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’39.4501’39.16049
5Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.4801’39.21950
6Michael SchumacherMercedes1’40.2211’39.33052
7Felipe MassaFerrari1’39.8541’39.42253
8Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.3961’39.58460
9Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’39.73933
10Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’40.9291’39.83940
11Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’40.4221’39.95750
12Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’40.08932
13Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’40.4401’40.11253
14Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’41.2201’40.44547
15Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’41.5141’40.74531
16Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.0211’40.78956
17Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.5961’40.99755
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’41.0481’41.20058
19Jules BianchiForce India-Mercedes1’41.14021
20Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’42.1041’41.60247
21Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’42.02723
22Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’42.1751’42.59641
23Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’42.7081’43.06643
24Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’42.82019
25Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’43.06722
26Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’43.86936
27Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’44.5171’44.53347
28Dani ClosHRT-Cosworth1’45.73522

Hamilton went from fastest in first practice to eighth in the second session. He had problems with his set-up in Japan due to an undiagnosed problem on his car and is having trouble getting it dialled in again.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea International Circuit, 2012“I struggled a little bit with set-up today,” said Hamilton. “There was quite a big difference in feeling between [first practice] and [second practice], which we don?t fully understand yet. This morning?s session was fine, but I made some changes for the afternoon and wasn?t quite able to get a good time out of either [tyre].”

“So now we?ll work hard to figure out what direction we want to take. The Red Bulls look pretty quick, but Jenson wasn?t that far off their pace this afternoon. So that?s good. We?ll make some changes to the balance overnight, and hopefully we?ll be in better shape for tomorrow.

“As I say, this afternoon Jenson showed that our car has pace; all we need to do is fully extract it. If we can improve the balance overnight, I think we can be competitive.”

Pastor Maldonado could only manage 18th in the second session following a technical problem on his car.

Another driver who feels there is more to come from his car is Paul di Resta: “The long run pace looks quite competitive, but I don?t think my short run pace was representative because both my runs were compromised by traffic and I didn?t get a clean lap.”

Speed trap

#DriverCarEngineMax speed (kph)Gap
18Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes320
27Michael SchumacherMercedesMercedes319.50.5
310Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault318.21.8
412Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes317.62.4
511Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes317.52.5
617Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoFerrari316.83.2
715Sergio PerezSauberFerrari316.53.5
81Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault316.33.7
92Mark WebberRed BullRenault316.23.8
106Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari316.13.9
1116Daniel RicciardoToro RossoFerrari3164
1214Kamui KobayashiSauberFerrari315.84.2
1325Charles PicMarussiaCosworth315.44.6
149Kimi RaikkonenLotusRenault315.44.6
155Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari3155
1624Timo GlockMarussiaCosworth314.55.5
1720Heikki KovalainenCaterhamRenault312.37.7
1821Vitaly PetrovCaterhamRenault311.48.6
1923Narain KarthikeyanHRTCosworth310.59.5
2022Pedro de la RosaHRTCosworth309.710.3
2118Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsRenault308.711.3
2219Bruno SennaWilliamsRenault308.711.3
234Lewis HamiltonMcLarenMercedes308.411.6
243Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes308.311.7

Lotus ran their new Coanda exhaust on Kimi Raikkonen’s car. The previous version had been designed to extra maximum power from the engine and, in Romain Grosjean’s hands, it was quicker in a straight line. However if the Coanda exhaust allows them to generate more than enough downforce to make up for that it will be an upgrade that pays off.

Red Bull continue to show much-improved straight-line speed following the introduction of their much talked-about Double DRS.

The cause of McLaren’s poor times through the first sector is revealed to be the lowest top speeds out of all 24 cars. McLaren have already started using their eighth engine this year – if they use one more they will take an engine change penalty. Perhaps they had their practice units dialled down further to last longer?

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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    64 comments on “Hamilton struggling, Ferrari confident in Korea”

    1. According to Adam Cooper Hamilton had a damper problem in Japan.

      Nevertheless, we could be in for an exciting (3 way?) fight for WDC!

    2. Ferrari look surprisingly competitive on race pace this weekend. When Felipe’s long stint lap times are quicker than Vettel’s, you know Ferrari should be a contender.

      I’m really hoping Red Bull do not overcome their race pace issues and pull something out of the bag again

      1. Let’s ballance that with me hoping your wrong, and Redbull will find some pace. Damn, im getting tierd of allt these people wanting something bad to happen to Redbull just cause they actually did good the last couple of years, and people find it somewhat less interesting. Being the team they are, and producing the results they do, they should get some respect and not just wishes for bad luck.

        1. I really don’t get your angle here. It’s like you’re suggesting everyone should be happy to see them win and dominate, just because they can. It is less interesting to see the same team at the front, especially if you don’t support that particular team. I don’t support Red Bull, and as such would like to see their pace be significantly worse here than it was in Japan. However, most people fear that they will be strong, which is a form of respect; we respect their strength within the current field enough to assume they will be the outright fastest most of the time — as they have been for the last few years. Everyone supports different teams and drivers and has every right to, so if most wish some poor luck to befall Red Bull, so be it — it’s just the nature of sport and the people who follow it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

          1. Maybe people want to see something different to Vettel breezing away from the 2nd place driver at the start until he gets a 5s advantage and basically keep that advantage until the flag. Maybe people want to see an actual fight for the win or as I like to call it: racing.

            1. That’s exactly right. It’s not out of order to dislike a certain team or sportsman’s success if you don’t support them. I’ve never really liked Red Bull or Vettel — even if I do respect their abilities — and so wish to see them struggle from time to time. I don’t see how that’s out of order.

        2. He did not said that he want something bad to happen to Red Bull , he just said he did not want Red Bull to pull something out of the bag (maybe something like half a second per lap)
          this is a forum & everyone is free to express his opinion as long as he respects the others

          im getting tierd of all these people wanting something bad to happen to Redbull just cause they actually did good the last couple of years

          not just because the actually did good the last couple of years but maybe because this team is going beyond the rules (hole, ride height,engine mapping,flexi wings…..) & always getting away with it

          1. @tifoso1989 – Red Bull have never broken the rules. “Going beyond the rules” suggests to me that you believe that is the case. Actually, the reason they have been “getting away with it” is because, surprise surprise, they didn’t break the rules!
            If Ferrari found the advantage that Red Bull had last year I doubt you’d be challenging the cars’ legality…

            1. no you are right they haven’t, they have just got away with what they have done ;-)

        3. @me4me I can’t possibly say how much I agree with your statement. This constant Red Bull bashing is both disrespectful and tiresome to read.

    3. Heh, I guess the rumors about disappearance of Alonso’s title hopes were premature.

      1. Vettel’s dominance at Suzuka triggered some premature conclusions. I remember Valencia when Vettel was extremely fast and flying away until SC was deployed and quickly opened a sensible gap when SC went in but the race after Red Bull was nowhere that dominant form.

        1. @jcost

          Exactly my point. Ferrari’s pace was underestimated, Alonso’s first corner puncture dimmed the picture, yet Massa’s race pace proved to be more than satisfying and should provide an indication that the title race is far from over. I think everything is open and Vettel cannot put the champagne in the fridge just yet.

          1. good drive from massa , but he was flattered by the fact he got through the carnage at the start , and that he had better tyres than any of the other leading cars …starting on new options meant that he could run longer in the first stint and make some overtakes in the pits because of that

      2. @cyclops_pl That is true, ONLY if this is a true indication of what pace will be like on Sunday. Which I doubt, as RBR have been historically strong at Yeongam (and most Tilkedromes, in fact).

    4. Long stint comparison looks good for McLaren, Ferrari and surprisingly Force India.

    5. I’m not getting too excited yet about RBR’s apparent lack of long run pace. We have seen this year that driver can go longer on their tyres than last year, and the 2011 race was already a relatively easy two-stopper. So even if Vettel runs out of his super softs a few laps earlier than McLaren and Ferrari, he can make it comfortably to the end of the race on two sets of new softs (somehow the Red Bull seems better on those tyres). If Alonso or Button is right on Vettel’s tail at the end of the first stint, they may have a chance of beating him, but on the other hand, Vettel has a pretty good record of converting poles.

      1. I think Red Bull went longer on their set of super softs than everyone else, albeit at a slower average pace. I don’t think they are lacking in pace, by FP3 they’ll reclaim the deficit to Ferrari & McLaren I think.

    6. In a mixed metaphor, Ferrari look soo ‘bullish’ on race trim, especially considering that Massa was using softs.

    7. Vettel is hardly beatable when starting from pole. I hope alonso will be in front of the grid and can keep up with the red bull.

      1. Exactly, he is hardly beatable so he’ll probably win the race!

        1. you mean Adrian Newey !!!!

          1. This sort of nonsense is exactly what @me4me is referring to.

      2. Vettel is hardly beatable when starting from pole.

        Clearly you missed the 2010 season.

        1. & the 2011 Canadian Gp

          1. and the 2012 Canadian GP. I think it could be a repeat of that: Vettel got pole, but was quite slower than Hamilton and Alonso on Sunday.
            It’s actually quite strange, Until Monza RB suffered a lot in quali and had an excellent pace on Sunday.

      3. Clearly you missed the 2010 season

        & the 2011 Canadian Gp

        During both of those seasons he also won a fair few races, not to mention 2 world championships…

    8. William Brierty
      12th October 2012, 16:55

      Hamilton has just one weekend every year where everything goes right (Hungary ’12, UAE 11′, Canada ’10, Singapore ’09, China ’08, Japan ’07), the rest of the time he is painful to watch. How can anyone have that much misfortune and bad luck? Vettel definitely doesn’t. Alonso doesn’t. Button doesn’t. Webber doesn’t. Even Massa doesn’t. You can’t help but think that it is Hamilton’s own fault. Maybe because he’s so easily distracted and unfocused he cannot guide the team clearly onto his preferred setup path, meaning that McLaren are forced to use Button’s more driver-refined setup on Lewis’ car. But then, because he clearly cares so much about being competitive, he gets all stroppy and unconstructively depressed when the setup doesn’t suit his style. He lacks the focus and charisma to rally the team around his style’s requirements, and ends up essentially becoming a no. 2 when he clearly has the most speed of any driver on the grid. I say it’s “painful” because he has probably one of the greatest natural talents the sport has ever seen, and it is being wasted. Lewis has a comparable, if not greater, talent as that of Vettel, but Vettel is making the most of his talent, because when Vettel rocks up at a Formula 1 weekend he thinks about Formula 1, not his girlfriend, or his relationship with his dad, or his relationship with members of the team, or how much money he wants to earn in the future, or what status he thinks he deserves…

      1. You might want to take a look at all of his wins. So 1/season is pretty off. And I wouldnt call it bad luck when he makes a mistake.

      2. when he clearly has the most speed of any driver on the grid

        I still don’t get this. Why is it so clear that he has the most speed above all the others? It is fair to say that he is one of the fastest but not the fastest. These last years as far as I am concerned, Vettel has been the fastest guy, the one to beat. Some would come and argue that it was because of the car, but who can say how much is on the car and how much on the driver? On the other hand, a fast car suits a fast driver. I don’t see how Red Bull would have taken a “slow” driver, knowing that they had one of the fastest cars on the grid

        1. You don”t need to get it because just like you think VET is the fastest in the grid, he think HAM is the fastest in the grid. And with the same logic you brought up on the fastest car, VET cannot be proved to be the fastest even without not the fastest car. When some says the success of VET pretty much depends on Mr. Newey does that hurt you belief of VET being the fastest?
          Don’t get me wrong. Just saying being fastest is relative dynamics not static absolution, is my point.

          1. You got it all wrong what I said. I didn’t say Vettel is the fastest, I said he has been, looking at the facts. Hamilton is among the fastest on the grid, but there is no evidence to claim he is the fastest, as it is for the others as well. To claim be the fastest, you need to prove that. It is this attitude, among other things, that can damage a driver performance, the strong belief that he is the fastest. For one’s sake, Hamilton excuse for tweeting the telemetry was to show why he hasn’t been faster than Button on that day.

        2. even alonso says he is the fastest ; maybe you don’t think he knows what he is talking about

          1. Perhaps, but opinions will differ. Moss for instance, believes Vettel is the fastest out there.

      3. McLaren are forced to use Button’s more driver-refined setup on Lewis’ car

        And we all saw how well Button’s skill at setting up the car was utilised earlier this year? :\

        Also the comparison with Vettel is a little off. Vettel still gets everything he wants handed to him on a plate, whether or not he makes a mistake or has a stroppy weekend. He has the luxury of that cushion. You get the sense in Mclaren that regardless of how well Hamilton is doing or not, the team are reluctant to embrace him in the same way, for a variety of reasons. Which IMO is to everyone’s disadvantage.

        1. Agree.

          This year, Jenson has voiced his problems with car balance more often than Lewis and whenever Lewis has problems with set-up or any other people mention either bad luck or his inability to properly set-up his car, I just think those arguments are not consistent with stats. One can raise the bad luck card for his gear box failure in Singapore or being collected by Grosjean but bad set-up is just a bad call an they still can fix it.

      4. I’m at a loss as to how you came to the conclusion he only has one perfect weekend a year. I think you’re selling some of his performances a bit short. I’m also surprised that you listed his Abu Dhabi victory as his best of that year — surely his exceptional win in Germany far exceeds it. In Germany he fought tooth and nail against two other cars for that win, in Abu Dhabi it’s arguable that he would have won it at all, were it not for Vettel’s early exit at the second corner. I also fail to see how some of his other wins could not be classed similarly to the handful you’ve already listed. USA 2007? Pole and win. Not a foot put wrong. Australia 2008? Pole and win. Again, nothing went wrong for him and he suffered no bad luck or mistakes. There are plenty of others worth mentioning as well. Korea last year, actually, was a great race for him. Yes, he didn’t win, but it’s not just about that, it’s about the level of performance. He took pole in a car that was clearly slower than both the Red Bulls, and suffered through the race with debris destroying his car’s balance, holding off a persistant Mark Webber all the while, with some of the best racing between two drivers that year (side-by-side in high-speed turns for nearly a whole lap) If you’re factoring in team mistakes, in the pits or otherwise, I think it’s unfair to suggest that’s down to him in any way. It’s no secret that Lewis has suffered some dreadful luck in the pits this year — more than any other driver — and it hasn’t ended there with faults out of his control (Spain’s refueling debacle, to name just one instance), and that has been painful to watch as a supporter, but I don’t see how any of that can be attributed to himself. Just like his constant troubles last year couldn’t be placed at the team’s doorstep.

        I also don’t understand the sudden insinuation that he can’t guide his team to set his car up how he needs it? Disregarding Korea’s second practice, as his troubles there may disappear tomorrow, he’s only struggled once this year to get his car right. In Spa, he clearly made a costly mistake with his chosen direction, but that’s not indicative of his skills to set a car up correctly. In Japan, it was clear to an idiot that something was not right with his car and accounting for his pedestrian pace — which turned out to be a faulty damper or some other component of his rear suspension. So, I don’t feel it’s fair to use this against him. At all the other races this year, he’s clearly been the most able to get his car dialled in on a consistent basis — and far better than Jenson. I think, when you cite Button’s as being more refined, you’re obviously forgetting his general struggle to set a car up to his liking, and his appalling mid-season slump — all down to how he was setting up the car; badly.

        Also, while I agree that distractions outside the race weekends seem to have more of an impact on Lewis than any of the other drivers, I don’t think it’s fair for you to assume what he’s thinking when he turns up at a Grand Prix — you can’t know that. I would say it was a definite and obvious problem last year, but one that’s had little influence on him this year. Just look at Monza and Singapore, when distractions and controversy surronding him were rife, he turned up and dominated Monza’s race and both Qualifying and the race at Singapore — until he was unduly robbed by his gearbox.

        1. He took pole in a car that was clearly slower than both the Red Bulls

          In the second half of the season including Korea, Mclaren often had qualifying pace on par or better than RBR (just like Hungary, Italy, Japan and Abu Dhabi). Without the debris issue in the race, Mclaren were on par with RBR in Korea.

      5. Not to interrupt your Hamilton pity party I’d like to point out Alonso has had a slower car than Vettel or Hamilton since 2007. Surely that is the worst ‘luck’. Had things been closer I firmly believe Alonso would have at least a third title already.

        1. Alonso’s 2007 Mclaren was not slower than Hamiton or Vettel’s cars
          Alonso’s 2008 Renault was not slower than Vettel’s car.
          Alonso’s 2010 Ferrari was about there or therabouts with Hamilton’s Mclaren.

          1. Alonso’s 2007 Mclaren was not slower than Hamiton…yes but he had the team aginst him …e.x China gp.
            Alonso’s 2008 Renault was not slower than Vettel’s car. Yes the car where in the same level and he beat vettel that year
            Alonso’s 2010 Ferrari was about there or therabouts with Hamilton’s Mclaren. No Ferrari were slower. AND yes he still beat Hamilton

            1. Alonso’s 2007 Mclaren was not slower than Hamiton…yes but he had the team aginst him …e.x China gp.

              The tinfoil hat brigade can whinge about that Ron Dennis quote until they’re blue in the face – it doesn’t actually prove Alonso he was disadvantaged.

              But those same conspiracy theorists would scream blue murder had the tactics McLaren used in Monaco that year favoured Hamilton instead of Alonso. I’d like to know how that race fits into your ‘McLaren screwed Alonso’ version of history.

            2. In 2007, he had the same car as Hamilton, end of.

              In 2008, Renault were the 4th fastest team (only behind Ferrari, Mclaren and BMW), STR the 6th (well behind Renault and Toyota). They weren’t even close.

              In 2010, Ferrari and Mclaren were roughly even, and Alonso indeed beat Hamilton. But of course Ferrari will look slower with post-accident Massa in the other seat.

            3. astonished (@)
              12th October 2012, 21:37

              The tinfoil hat brigade can whinge about that Ron Dennis Aquote until they’re blue in the face – it doesn’t actually prove Alonso he was disadvantaged.

              When there was rumours of Lewis leaving McLaren for Mercedes Keith wrote a nice article with the pros and cons for Hamilton in doing so.

              A “con” was “hampering his 2012 title chances”…….

              Keith, have you become a conspirationist??

            4. @astonished

              Keith, have you become a conspirationist??


              Keith wrote a nice article

              What article are you referring to?

            5. astonished (@)
              13th October 2012, 6:59

              I am refereing to this one

              Hamilton becomes focus of 2013 F1 driver market

              where you wrote:

              But there are compelling reasons why Hamilton might not want to leave McLaren: concern over compromising his championship effort with McLaren over the rest of 2012

              so, in my book you think that McLaren will/should/shall?? not treat him as before.

              As they did with Alonso,

      6. Let’s just say Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton are all pretty fast!

      7. Elliot Horwood .
        12th October 2012, 19:47

        so Silverstone 08 when he won and lapped every car apart from top 5 was a good race for him? Okay…

    9. Wow, RB’s race pace looks awful. They are at least one second slower than Mclaren and Ferrari. I think that they will find some pace on Sunday, but it’s going to be difficult for them to get a good result.

      1. @yobo01 – How exactly is Red Bull’s pace awful? They are at the top of the timesheets (see above). Their long run pace is perhaps 2/3 tenths of McLaren’s but this is only FP2, and you can’t jump to conclusions just yet.
        It’s hardly going to be difficult for them to get a good result, I think a 1-2 is entirely possible.

        1. @vettel1 Yeah, I got carried away a little bit after seeing the times on the graph. I think they will improve, but it’s not common to see Red Bull so weak on long runs.

          1. @yobo01 – It’s fine, they’ve locked out the front row and their pace is good!

            1. When Horner was asked about his concerns for the long runs and the race on Sky after quali he asked the guys on sky whether they knew the fuel loads in the Maccas and the Ferraris and this suggets that the Bulls were indeed pretty heavy on those long runs.

      2. They were very consistent and amongst the top 3 during the runs.

    10. Interesting that Button was faster than Hamilton, I still remember his terrible performance here in 2010.

      1. Yeah, its a bit of a surprise to see them this way round. If I was not mistaken, Button also did that long and consistent run of him on the supersofts.

    11. It is weird to see McLaren so far down the speed trap data. Someone earlier suggested it was a DRS issue but I wasn’t really buying that.

      Suddenly the RB8’s lead doesn’t seem quite so stable as you can guarantee that a fresher engine will be going in for qualifying for McLaren.

      1. @andrewtanner I dont think Mclaren used their DRS on their long runs

    12. My mate who does some body work prep for McLaren, reckons they are deploying a subtle DDRS this weekend. So qualy would then be great – RB/McLaren shootout

    13. Ok first of all, the team with the worst luck is Mclaren, and the driver with the worst luck is Hamilton. Does anyone remember 2010 Spain, when with two laps to go, Hamilton’s wheel failed, if he had finished he would have been champion that year, and few people know this. Secondly, this year, they are out of luck, whenever they were in a 1-2 position, one car would retire and the other be first. Third, Hamilton is the fastest driver of all, that is for sure, but the team are making stupid mistakes, and him as well. Honestly, I’m a Mclaren fan, and prefer Jenson, as I think when he gets his setup to his liking, and he finds the balance that he likes, he is unbeatable, particularly on race pace, but as a driver Hamilton is better and a faster driver. There are 5 races to go, lets hope they will be fantastic as the whole season has been, and lets hope that Mclaren finally win something, or at least Ferrari( who I don’t like a lot). Just please no Red Bull, I’m sick of them. :D

      1. Does anyone remember 2010 Spain, when with two laps to go, Hamilton’s wheel failed, if he had finished he would have been champion that year, and few people know this.

        Well, you fail to consider Alonso or Vettel’s misfortune that year.

        1. Oh did I forget to mention his other misfortunes, Italy, Singapore, Japan-gearbox, Hungary… they certainly didn’t have more bad luck than him. Also Mclaren, in reality had the 3-fastest car.

    14. and so the words go on ! i must admit, i am a hamilton fan have been since he started, prior to him turning up in f1 and almost winning world champs in his first year, i had gotten bored, when williams renault parted, i lost interest. i had been to the williams garage many times, as i used to produce their sporting jkts at my factory… but then along came lewis !and the sport was re envigorated, me and my freinds re charged with this little flying genius, another british winning driver!!! wow, BUT what has happened ? [ the team has let him down this year ] it would have been nice for him to have stayed,, but mclaren are NOT consistant! and do not seem to know what they are doing one week good two weeks bad ! its a shame … so why not give mercedes a chance ? lets be fair all the other main drivers have moved at least once ! taken the plunge ALONZO for one! so lets not be too critical of lewis mercedes could set up a good team, if not he can retire a wealthy young man,good luck

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