Hamilton ‘not as lucky’ as Vettel with his cars

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Hamilton rues not winning a second world championship with McLaren.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hamilton breaks the silence with mentor Dennis (Reuters)

“When I won the world championship, I wasn’t as lucky as Sebastian has been to have a car that’s as dominant the next year as well.”

Vettel cool on title treble (The Telegraph)

“We know what to do and what to expect, but we are not expecting anything. It looks like it could go down to the last race again, right to the wire. We are ready for anything.”

McLaren expecting intense end to season (F1)

Sam Michael: “If you’re not bringing typically 0.1s, 0.15s on average to every Grand Prix you’re not going to stay competitive. And anything you bring above that on average you should start pulling away, or making up ground on your main competitors.”

Force India move for Narain Karthikeyan would be great: Lewis Hamilton (The Times of India)

“It is unfortunate that Narain is driving a slow car. Probably, it would do wonders if he were in Force India which is a pretty good team. It would be a good stepping stone for him.”

Di Resta flattered by rumours (Sky)

“You always want to be linked with these seats and thankfully I was. The best thing to hope for is that I’ll get a seat one day. I’ve always said I want to be winning races and championships, but whoever I’ll drive for I’ll be 100 per cent committed, driving the car as fast as I can and taking it to new levels.”

How Formula One fuelled riches for a few, but left them ‘poor’ (Business Standard)

“Villagers from Atta Gujran and adjoining settlements who lost their land to the Formula One track will hold a meeting in the run-up to the F1 race on October 28 to decide what to do next.”

Adrian Newey’s F1 evolution (MotorSport)

“As Newey told me during our interview, all the success he’s enjoyed in F1 – eight drivers’ titles (soon to be nine) and eight constructors’ titles (ditto the last statement) – leads back to Leyton House. He says the victories and championships at Red Bull have been particularly sweet, because he views this team as the "unfinished business" he left behind him at the start, when he quit Leyton House with a heavy heart as the team began to unravel.”

Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy to make motorsport debut in 2013 (Brands Hatch)

“Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian and winner of six gold medals, Sir Chris Hoy, will compete in the new for 2013 Radical SR1 Cup, run by MSVR.”

The Indian Grand Prix is special, says Jaime Alguersuari (BBC)

“One corner stands out in particular. It’s listed on the circuit map as turns 10 and 11, but actually it is one long right-hander that seems to go on forever. It’s just fantastic to go through there and feel like the corner is never ending.”


Comment of the day

Dave_E questions the changes to the DRS zone in India:

Looking back at last year’s race the passing done in the DRS zone was for the most part about how it should be with the DRS getting cars alongside but not easily all the way past. There was a few examples where DRS made things far too easy but more where it didn’t.

Extending the DRS zone will likely now shift the balance to the point where there is more of the easy passing & less of the passing where DRS works like it was supposed to.

I think there starting to lose sight of how DRS was supposed to work, It wasn’t supposed to make passing too easy, It was simply supposed to help get cars alongside & allow good wheel to wheel racing into the braking zone so that the actual pass had to be completed by the out-braking skills of the drivers.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

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

Riccardo Patrese scored his final F1 win 20 years ago today in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Team mate Nigel Mansell had shot off into an early lead, then suddenly slowed and let Patrese past. But Mansell retired anyway, joining Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher who also hit trouble.

Gerhard Berger was second for McLaren ahead of an exhausted Martin Brundle who was suffering from food poisoning.

Here’s the start of the race from two onboard cameras:

Image © McLaren

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105 comments on “Hamilton ‘not as lucky’ as Vettel with his cars”

  1. Force India move for Narain Karthikeyan would be great: Lewis Hamilton (The Times of India)

    This is just too funny. A driver that is worse than half the drivers in F3.5R is going to move up from a backmarker into a midfield team.

    I don’t know much about India, but is the media there really a bunch of nutters, or is this one article just an exception?

    1. Been following them (TIO) for a week or so – its pretty inane stuff. Its as though all the F1 people interviewed are loving the ‘nice’ and easy questions asked. An earlier interview with Narain quoted him as saying, ‘he’d earned a place further up the grid’ based upon this years performances???

      And as to Force India – you’d think – home GP, lets get the nation behind this new sport to India of F1. Surely Bob Fearnley or Vijay would be down for the team press conference. Nope. Probably something to do with the big demonstrations planned by employees of Kingfisher who’ve not been paid for 7 months. http://wp.me/p2HWOP-ez

    2. @kingshark @thejudge13 Yes, KAR isnt the best driver today. But, we must remember that he made it to F1 on merit having won in every series he participated since he began his racing career at the age of 16 in a nation devoid of world class racing/karting tracks.

      1. @malleshmagdum so what? He’s been consistently slower than Liuzzi and Pedro de la Rosa, both of which are not considered “top of the range” drivers.

        He needs to be respected, but that’s about it…

        1. Thats what I said. He needs to be respected.

          1. There are many drivers who won every series and still sitting on the side lines.Even when kartikeyan was at his best he was pretty medicore and now that he has past his best and dunno why narian wants to continue,as its not doing any good for his reputaion having beaten in every race by pedro.Indian press may say that he need a faster car but practically no team wants him,if vijay mallaya wants indian driver at first place he wouldnt have waited that long to sign narian…force india is just not interested in him

      2. His first stint at Jordan was certainly on merit. But this second one at HRT… I’m not so sure.

    3. They’re nutters. Vijay always said that he’d love to hire an Indian driver for the team, but only if he’s good enough. However, one can wonder how long Vijay will be in business and whether Force India will remain Force India. But let’s say he’s out, and FI remains an Indian team, the new owner might have a different opinion.

  2. “When I won the world championship, I wasn’t as lucky as Sebastian has been to have a car that’s as dominant the next year as well.”

    I have to disagree here with Hamilton. Lewis, by now you could have been a 3 time champion yourself. In 2007 you had a milestone of a lead going into the final two races, then blew it. In 2010, you had several brain fades and lost a great chunk, most notably in Monza and Singapore, two back-to-back DNF’s.

    F1 is a team sport and I understand that Mclaren too have lost LH a lot of points with team mistakes. However, I can’t see how he can entirely blame it on the team when he too made a portion of mistakes.

    Also, I’d like to point out the obvious. Lewis, you’ve been with Mclaren since the start of your career, and apart from the first 1/2 of 2009, you’ve had a capable winning car your whole career long.

    1. Hamilton had far less brain fades in 2010 than Vettel, but he wasn’t ‘lucky’ enough to have a dominant enough car to get away with them.

      In terms of what Hamilton is saying, ie. that he didn’t have a car capable of winning a championship in the years following his title, then that’s pretty difficult to disagree with.

      1. Still more “lucky” than the majority of the grid for his whole career.

        1. Wait, dude, seriously. You are missing the point. We are talking about how sad we are for Hamilton. How he should have more trophies than he has. Get out with your logic and reasoning.

          1. And let the hating commence. *sigh*

        2. Yes of course that’s true. But I don’t believe (correct me if I’m wrong) Hamilton claimed the rest of the grid had been luckier than him.

          1. He didn’t say that, but it is still worth pointing out in a discussion.

      2. Vettel would have just as many WDCs if he had been driving for McLaren instead of Red Bull. Sorry Lewis, but luck is no factor in how Vettel drives.

        1. Ha, ha, that’s funny

          1. No joking, he is that good.

          2. He’d have more, now?

    2. So what did he say that was incorrect?

      1. He did not say anything incorrect…
        But I agree with Kingshark: Hamilton has wasted his chances to win more than one WDC, by his mistakes, since he joined F1 6 years ago.

        1. Stay out too long because the team said so in China and a gear box failure in Brazil…

          1. Not many drivers get attacked for not winning in their début season do they? Not many even get the chance of course, so a better way to look at it is this: not many people get attacked for only being on equal terms with their double-champion team mate or for finishing a single point behind a similarly world class driver in similar speed quality machinery in their début season.

          2. Don’t forget how McLaren gave the Monaco win to Alonso.

    3. @kingshark – I mostly agree with you, and find it a bit funny that someone who has been relatively lucky with cars in his F1 career is saying this.

      1. He’s saying so ’cause still he’s not as lucky as Vettel. With your assessment standard, yes, Lewis has been lucky and Seb may be ultra lucky boy then. Sounds fair? :)

        1. Im going to speculate, and say LH’s “lucky” statement is really a quip at the team. Luck has very little to do with the car manufacture when compared to the elements of Design and Implementation.

          Basically, LH is blaming his team for the lack of success in the nicest way possible.

      2. @david-a

        In terms of car consistency, as of late, who’s as lucky as Red Bull boys?

    4. @kingshark, I agree with Hamilton.

      His 2009 car was not capable of challenging for the championship, and I would be surprised if there were many instances of world champions staying with their team to defend their championships and having a worse car than Hamilton had in 2009. Sure, it came good in the second half of the season, but by then the championship was over.

      Regarding his lost championships, in 2007 he had a gearbox malfunction in the final race; in 2010 the racing incident of Singapore only looked stupid because it followed the mistake of Monza. In my opinion both Vettel (Turkey, Spa) and Alonso (China, Monaco, Spa) made more mistakes than Hamilton that season. Yes, if Lewis had driven the perfect season and his competitors had not, then he would have been champion, but can you hold it against him?

      1. @adrianmorse But that gearbox issue at Brazil 2007 wouldn’t have mattered if he had clinched the title in China. And even then, his season before that hadn’t been perfect. In addition to China, he had a scrappy race at the Nurburgring.

        As for 2010, he may have made less mistakes, but he also didn’t seem to extract the maximum out of the car. In Australia, he was 30 seconds down on Button (that after Button figured in a Turn 1 accident and had to change strategy). In China, Lewis made the wrong gamble on tyres which probably cost him the win (also to Button). Again, I think the car was there for Lewis – he just failed to take advantage of it. Whereas if Vettel wasn’t making silly mistakes, he was normally at the front – usually winning. Bottomline: both had their bad days, but Seb’s good days were just better than Lewis’ good days.

        1. @journeyer,

          his season before that hadn’t been perfect

          Is that the standard he should be held to, then (in his rookie season!)? Even in China, it was the wrong team strategy that led him ‘down the garden path’. Also, his double-world champion team mate spun out just the race before. Should we count Hamilton’s mistake more heavily as it occurred closer to the end of the season?

          As for 2010, I don’t think you can that easily compare Seb’s good days to Hamilton’s. The RB6 was the most dominant car in F1 since the 2002 Ferrari. I think the bottom line should be that on good days, Vettel had the car to run away at the front, whereas the McLaren only featured at the front on a handful of occasions.

          I don’t recall the turn 1 incident in Australia 2010 having any impact on Button’s race. The way I remember it, Button came in for slicks early because he was wearing out his wet weather tyres, and the early stop proved a masterstroke. Also Hamilton was 30 seconds down the road because he was clobbered by Webber in the closing stages.

          I maintain that 2010 was a very strong year for Hamilton, and that he didn’t throw away the title that year. Instead, he came close despite having the 2nd/3rd fastest car for most of the year. Just look at Button, who had no mechanical retirements that year that cost him points, he made no mistakes, and still he was nowhere near the championship.

          1. @adrianmorse Yes, I think that’s fair. Remember, Schumacher won his first grand prix in his first full year by knowing when to switch from wets to slicks. He decided that on his own – because his team weren’t sure either way. End of the day, Hamilton didn’t need to win that race in China. He only needed to finish 3rd. He didn’t need to gamble by staying out. The safe thing to do was pit – and he did it too late.

            As for 2010, that’s a fair opinion to have (although I think McLaren were a lot closer on pace to RBR than most believe). But by that same logic, McLaren had the fastest car in 2007, and should’ve won at least the Drivers title – but they ended the year with nothing.

          2. @adrianmorse , but the RB6 was held back by reliability problems, which hampers how dominant it was. Sure, it was the fastest car quite often, but the issues the team had with the car allowed the MP4-25 and F10 to be reasonably close, when you factor in everything else, along with outright speed.

            Also let’s not forget that Mclaren won 5 races that year, split almost evenly across their drivers, in a year where only 2 drivers who weren’t in a top 3 team managed a podium. They featured at the front more than a handful of occasions.

            Hamilton had a strong year in 2010, bit in my opinion, 2007 panned out to be stronger from him.

          3. @AdrianMorse I agree with your argumentation. Yes, Hamilton has made mistakes himself as well but it’s just obvious that, since 2009, he has never had the fastest car over a season and also in 2008 its competitiveness was pretty equal to Ferrari.

          4. I fully agree that Hamilton has never been perfect all season, but has often driven with no less mistakes than the eventual winner of the championship anyway. Accusing somebody of not being perfect is a harsh criticism when the eventual winner has made more mistakes. I’m certainly not saying that Raikkonen, Vettel, and Alonso/Vettel don’t deserve their titles, but Hamilton shouldn’t be berated or not winning in 2007, 2010, or this year.

    5. In no way shape or form did they have a capable winning car last year. RBR was the class of the field in 2011 even more so than Brawn was for 2009. I agree though he is partially to blame, he could have put way more effort into last year instead of fighting with Massa and vice versa, 2007 was a rookie year and he made rookie mistakes that cost him. 2009 the car was not there though he did drive it well, but ultimately was out classed.

      This year I think it is the fault of McLaren that has failed both Hamilton and Button. From pit stops, gearbox changes, and suspension failures…oh and let’s not forget the true bad luck Lewis had by picking up AstroTurf. Now that is a real moment of bad luck. So all in all I somewhat agree Lewis doesn’t have a right, but does as well.

      1. 2007 was his rookie year yet ironically, in my opinion his best year to date and made the fewest mistakes. Hell, he was more consistent than his teammate Alonso that season.

        RBR was the class of the field in 2011 even more so than Brawn was for 2009.

        I disagree about the Red Bull being so dominant as you make it out to be. Mclaren had a car that could challenge the RB7 more often that not; and while I didn’t expect Lewis to become champion that season, he could have won more races and shouldn’t have made those mistakes for a driver of his top tier.

        Still more “lucky” than the majority of the grid for his whole career.

        Not just the majority of the grid. Apart from perhaps Vettel, which other current driver has been luckier with cars throughout their career? I can’t name one.

        1. From the past, Jim Clark never had a bad car, but he’s still a true great.
          Senna never really had a bad car; the early years with Toleman, and arguably Lotus, he didn’t have the class of the field, but from perhaps 1988-1991, he had the best car; in the years after that, he had maybe the second or third best car.

          1. You don’t have to have driven in slower machinery to have proven yourself. However, when you use the excuse that one of your nearest rivals is more successful than you because he’s been luckier with the cars he has had throughout his career – then it becomes rather funny, especially if you’re the one who spend your entire career so far (6 years) at Mclaren.

          2. And yet it is still true what he said- since 2009, the Red Bull has been consistently the faster car. He probably said this in response to a direct question, and doesn’t want to say that Vettel is a better driver. How that a surprising or funny stance to take? He never made the claim that he’s generally been unlucky with cars, or that he didn’t contribute to losing his other championships, just that since winning his championship, Vettel in particular has had consistently faster cars.

        2. @kingshark Button might have had some dogs of cars early in his career but I would say he was incredibly, incredibly lucky at the end of 2008. To go from being written off as a thoroughly average primadonna who made bad career moves, to a respected world champion within 12 months is some change of fortune. That it happened due to a last minute deal that also provided him with the fastest car on the grid just adds to the fairytale, and now going obviously he’s gone from strength to strength and driven brilliantly ever since. I would say that takes some beating as a career defining piece of luck, neither Hamilton or Vettel can beat that.

    6. “in 2007 you had a milestone of a lead going into the final two races, then blew it.”

      Go back and watch the races. its amazing how many people still think it was lewis’ fault.

      China, he stayed out on the advice of his team who tought the weather was changing in their favour, tyres went down to the canvas and slid off in damp conditions. In Brazil, his gearbox failed.

      2010 was the only season he had a shout at the title that he could have won had he not made those mistakes, but at the end of the day, the Redbull was massivly dominant and Lewis only had a shout at the title because of the massive errors Vettel/Redbull made.

      1. @kingshark

        I have to disagree here with Hamilton

        Did you actually understand what he said? Or you really think the 2009 Mclaren was an awesome car?

      2. 2007 China- he drove into the gravel trap after driving back to the pitlane. Brazil, lost time and numerous places going off the road as well. Awesome rookie season, but still at least partially driver error.

        2010, RBR were fast, I’ll give you that, car issues like they had in 2010 will always hold you back from being “massively dominant”. So Ferrari and Mclaren did still have a chance at the title, even though none of the top 5 that year deserve to be slated for their performance.

        1. “2007 China- he drove into the gravel trap after driving back to the pitlane.”

          Yeah though as i say, that happend because the team told him to stay out, despite his calls to change tyres. F1 drivers have a hard enough time keeping it on track on inter/wet tyres in damp/greasy conditions, yet Hamilton was driving around on tyres even worse than slicks, in the damp, on a very narrow peice of tarmac. Understandably he slid off.

          Technically driver error yes, but to blame Lewis is to completly ignore the events/circumstances that lead to it.

          “Brazil, lost time and numerous places going off the road as well.”

          He went off circuit as Alonso broke into T4, Hamilton served to avoid his rear. Yes, Lewis could have cruised around behind Alonso, but we know thats not how Lewis likes to race, he goes for every possible point rather than cruise behind people. This was maybe to his detriment, but what would people rather watch?

          Button took some risky unneccesary moves in Brazil 2009 because he did not want the stigma that comes attatched to winners who cruise around ‘just enough’ to take what they need.

          1. This was maybe to his detriment, but what would people rather watch?

            They would rather watch the driver taking risks, but with them actually coming off. That’s why Button’s risks at Brazil ’09 (and other drivers including Hamilton when they overtake) got praised.

            If they don’t come off, then the driver will be open to criticism, as Hamilton was in those 2 instances amongst others. You can hardly deny that, since I believe you are the same user who was calling Vettel a poor racer because of 2 mistakes he made when taking “unnecessary risks”.

          2. “You can hardly deny that, since I believe you are the same user who was calling Vettel a poor racer because of 2 mistakes he made when taking “unnecessary risks”.”

            Well i dont remember calling Vettel a poor racer, i was saying hes yet to prove himself as a ‘great’. I was also making a distinction between T-boning someone, and clipping someones rear wheel with your front wing end plate, one is a cylamtous misjudgement, one is an easy mistake to make.

            “They would rather watch the driver taking risks, but with them actually coming off.”

            Its a risk by definition, if its not a risk, then theres no chance of it not coming off. Also they shouldnt expect every attempted pass to be a succsess, thats an unreasonable expectation when 2 drivers are going for the same piece of tarmac, but should be thankful when the driver attempting to pass succsessfully avoids contact so both parties can continue :]

          3. Well, in increasing amounts of rain, hitting someone is a somewhat easier mistake to make than usual, given the circumstances.

            Indeed, not every attempted pass will be successful, but there is an element in skill in making passes come off. That’s why attempting to pass has to be a calculated risk.

    7. Noone else has won a championship in the same car as him, and the only season he was beaten by Button occurred after the championship was effectively over and the pressure was off.

    8. I agree, Hamilton has had a car capable of winning the drivers championship in consecutive seasons previously. 2010 is perhaps not a great example of a year in which he should have won the championship, as when Vettel didn’t have reliability/crashing problems he was comfortably the fastest driver with the RB6 underneath him. But yes, Hamilton should have won in ’07 given the car and speed he had.

      1. @Jake

        Hamilton had far less brain fades in 2010 than Vettel, but he wasn’t ‘lucky’ enough to have a dominant enough car to get away with them.

        Based on what? Vettel had a collision with Webber in Turkey and Button in Belgium. Hamilton had a collision with Massa in Monza and Webber in Singapore. To say that Hamilton had far less brainfades than Vettel in 2010 is extremely ignorant.

  3. hey, yay for technology and everything, but it gets no better than the early 90’s f1 cars – 2m wide, stick shift and a foot clutch. that’s a proper machine for proper drivers. the manually operated drivetrain may be antiquated, but offers a level of challenge that is comparable to a modern machine, plus it’s cool! i’d like to see a series with today’s top drivers on a manual box. maybe they could run some cobra replicas in the race of champions or something :)

    1. Imagine it: an F1 support race with all the F1 drivers in Cobras. Big V8, open cockpit, hand the gearstick, diving up the inside on the brakes, palming it round Tilke’s worst hairpin, hanging out the side like Fangio. I call the TV rights!

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        25th October 2012, 16:59

        V10, please?

  4. RE: COTD, i disagree to an extent. I believe the FIA have got a hold on the DRS zone lengths. It’s just on the tracks that have had incredibly dull racing where they’ve had to go a bit overboard on the zone lengths.

    curiously all the extended zones have been after tight hairpins/very slow corners. (Canada, Valencia, Korea, India) -so dont be surprised if the first zone in abu dhabi is also extended. Austin should also have an excessively long zone on the long straight.
    -On the other hand, where zones have been reduced or removed all together, they were located on straights preceeded by medium speed corners (China, Valencia 2 zone, Monza, Spa)

  5. Isnt the policy of F1 teams to keep out of political controversies( Like they did about the Bahrain demonstrations). Ferrari are sure going to lose a lot of its indian fans by supporting the italian navymen accused of killing indian fishermen.

      1. Really who cares what flag they put on the car. If I was italian I’d be proud of my navy same if I was of any other nationality. Besides a group of people doesn’t define the nature of the entire navy. A fraud in ur family doesn’t make u a fraud. Get over it

    1. Ferrari pays tribute to one of the outstanding entities of our country, also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian Navy.

      I don’t think they mention anything about supporting the navymen that killed fishermen.


      1. Come on, it’s obvious what it’s about. The key point is they’re using vague corporate PR speak to get the point across whilst deliberately avoiding saying it in black & white.

      2. Admittedly knowing nothing about the matter, I would think that “paying tribute” to your country’s Navy by sporting their flag on your car comes very, very close to actually supporting them in a contentious issue.

  6. I know this is off topic but the state of the driver’s championship battle got me thinking. I know I’m definitely not the first to notice this, but the fact that it’s essentially down to the only double champions on the grid who are themselves vying to be the youngest triple world champions in the sport makes the battle, for me, really special. Hope it can be tightly fought, it could be a magical end to the season if it was. It somehow feels right that it’s come down to Vettel and Alonso – and I’m not saying this to discredit any of the other rivals – it’s Alonso’s last chance to be youngest triple world champion and he’s up against the very same young gun that took away his title of youngest double world champion.

    I don’t know, it just feels like the motorsport God’s have scripted this. Who in the world would have said it would come down to these two after Australia?!

    If Ferrari can get on terms with Redbull (maybe not on qualifying pace, but improving their race pace at least) it could be a titanic battle that we’ll remember long after this. And that, for me, is a mouth-watering prospect.

    1. Its comments like this that make the championship exciting, far more than the PR, controversies, TV coverage and Lotus’ Twitter hashtags.

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    25th October 2012, 5:20

    Hamilton wasn’t lucky in China 2007, I agree. But he had a lucky revenge in Brazil 2008. Even you can call that divine justice, cause if Massa were the 2008 champion now, people would still remember the Spa-gate when he was awarded a victory he didin’t really achieve.
    But overtaking an almost-tamed Timo Glock had a big bunch of luck, I think.

    1. I don’t see why. Had Glock pitted like everybody else he would have never been in front in the first place. Despite it looking close on TV, Glock was so slow that he finished 6 seconds behind despite only losing out on the last corner, and I believe that McLaren were fully expecting Hamilton to catch and pass him easily.

      1. Well if you cant call that luck then you certainly cannot call Vettels run lucky, as I think he fully expected the RedBulls to be quicker then the rest of the field come end of season. And also he has been incredibly consistent.

      2. Some people seem to be making the argument that Massa was unlucky in 2008…

        They are forgetting Massas unforced errors in Malaysia where he span out and Silverstone where he could barly keep the car pointing in the right direction.

        1. You also seem to be suffering from selective memory. There was Hungary where his engine blew up when he was leading with about 2 laps left, and Singapore where his pitstop went wrong and he ripped the refuelling rig out. Again he was leading. That’s 20 points he lost through no fault of his own.

          1. No its not selective memory, i didnt mention issues outside of the drivers control for a reason. I highlighted unforced driver errors.

          2. @N – Hitting the back of Alonso in Bahrain, hitting the back of Raikkonen in Canada.

        2. “Hitting the back of Alonso in Bahrain, hitting the back of Raikkonen in Canada.”

          Yeh, stupid mistakes, but im not arguing that Lewis was unlucky. Some people seem to be making it sound like Massa was unlucky and let down in 2008 by things outside of his control. Nobody really remembers his mistakes because people prefer to lash Lewis’ over his.

          1. True, some others are going a overboard, Massa did throw chuck away points at Malaysia with a brain fade as well. LH did deserve to win.

  8. Well, maybe Hamilton is not lucky as Vettel but surely luckier than most drivers.

    1. Luckier than most because he dominated karting series and then took it upon himself to approach the head of McLaren? Thats not luck, thats skill combined with determination to take control of his career.

      1. Well, then it’s not luck that after also excelling in junior series, Vettel made such a huge impact in F1 by becoming the youngest pointscorer on his debut then youngest polesitter and winner for a team that had never come close to doing so, while destroying his quadruple Champ Car champion teammate :)

        This talk of “luck” is almost irrelevant. They’re WDCs in the pinnancle of motorsport. That takes a bucketload of skill and determination.

        1. Yeah and that’s why I don’t think LH is talking of literally SV’s success as having come strictly from luck. He’s saying SV is lucky that he, with of course his skill and determination, is also on a team with skill and determination such that they have gelled to be a highly successful package. SV is lucky to be part of it. And I doubt LH is putting his own success down to being lucky to have met Ron Dennis when he was a karting kid, even though that was lucky in hindsight. It was also his skill and determination that got him to Mac, and I’m sure LH knows how lucky he has been just to have gotten to F1 let alone at top team Mac under their wing. And how lucky to own one WDC which most F1 drivers do not get to enjoy. It’s a general ‘luck’ that LH is talking about, not the literal luck in a race of having avoided an incident in front of him and gotten through unscathed, or the luck of having reliability or the bad luck of having poor unreliability, or a slower than normal pit stop etc etc.

  9. He wasted alot of chances throughout his career in mclaren!! Inability to enter pitlane in shanghai 2007 cost him title. Blunders on Monza and Singapore 2010 again cost him titles. Lacklustre performance in 2011 hampered the team ‘s chances in fighting for WCC, outperformed by Button with large margin. This season, many times he failed to convert pole into wins, choosed the wrong options on setup, show off defensive driving in valencia, again in Korea, wasted 10 sec, he could hv finished 6th or 7th if he pitted earlier.

    You can blame on luck whenever you want, but the truth is, you didnt do a good job when you need to be. Hence the luck factor kicking in.

    1. “Inability to enter pitlane in shanghai 2007 cost him title.”

      rofl, yeah, he couldn’t keep the car on a width of circuit barly wide enough for a single car, on tyres worn down to the canvas, on a damp track!

      Do you people think hes that good that hes going to defy physics?

      You make me laugh. No, really.

      1. Yet somehow all of the other drivers managed to get their car through that same exact same pit entry without issue….

        1. Yeah, somehow managed… with their tyres that have rubber on them, how did they do it, if only we knew!!!


  10. Aside from the irony of hearing this from someone who was ‘born’ into a championship winning car, and it took him ’till the last corner of the second year to actually win it;

    In 2010, Sebastian Vettel lost a net 63 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune.
    In 2010, Lewis Hamilton lost a net 17 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune.
    The Red Bull was not THAT much faster.

    1. In quali it was often 1 second faster, and the McLaren was often behind the Ferrari as well.

    2. The Red Bull was not THAT much faster.

      I would disagree. The Red Bull was significantly faster than the Mclaren and Ferrari during that season… and a prime example of it has been Mark Webber’s performances that season. It has been Mark’s strongest season with Red Bull so far, and a season where both RB drivers locked out front rows with ease nearly every weekend. Also in 2010 qualifying position was much more important than it is now due to the everlasting bridgestones.

      I agree Lewis has had it easy himself.. but he hasn’t had a car that is consistently the class of the field for 3 seasons in a row.

    3. The Red Bull was not THAT much faster.

      So in your norm, 15 poles out of 19 races domination is not ‘That much faster’, and most of the gap to second or third on the grid tends to be more than 5 tenths a second are not That faster? What about some cases where the quali gap between Redbull during 2010 and other teams reach more than 1 sec per lap?
      And true, Seb lost 63 points esp running way ahead of others like at Bahrain and Korea, quite unfortunate but not that unfortunate as to lose the title bid, because of that extremely faster cars.

      1. @leotef

        15 poles out of 19 races domination is not ‘That much faster’

        No it isn’t, because that doesn’t show the margin of superiority in terms of lap time. Getting 15 poles in a car that’s 0.1% faster is much more impressive than doing it in a car that’s 1% faster.

        most of the gap to second or third on the grid tends to be more than 5 tenths a second are not That faster?

        Last year the RB7 was on average 0.49% faster than the next-quickest car. Over a 90-second lap that’s 0.4s, so slightly less than you suggest.


        2011 F1 statistics part one: car performance
        Vettel and Mansell’s 14 pole positions in a season compared

        1. The Red Bull was not THAT much faster.

          Any car in which Mark Webber can nearly become champion in needs to be a quick car.

          1. @kingshark so Webber is a bad driver?

        2. @keithcollantine I think they’re talking about 2010, you’re talking about 2011. Red Bull took 15 out of 19 poles in 2010 too, although Webber took 5 compared to Vettel’s 10. The Red Bull was definitely much quicker than Mclaren in 2010, particularly in qualifying.

        3. @keithcollantine – It depends how you define the ‘much faster’ in terms of fraction of a second per lap. Looking at the 2010 year, yes the RB was safely more than 2 tenth faster than Ferrari and Ferrari was overall showing more pace than McLaren which was again falling short around another 2 tenths. I didn’t crack the data per each GP and made descriptive stats on them like mean, std deviation etc. But I think it’s safe here to say that RB was faster than McLaren in consistent basis by the margin of 4 tenths a sec very comfortably and that margin is not “not THAT much’ faster area.
          Quantifying “Faster but not that much” may to me come around 1 or 2 tenths a seconds.

          1. so Webber is a bad driver?

            I never said that. However, he isn’t a top tier driver who can become champion either.

  11. Formula 1 often surprises when you least expect it to so I think McLaren could probably beat everyone else by a modest margin this weekend. As for Ferrari, it’s hard to say how much they really believe their chances themselves and to what extent it is just rhetoric to try encourage the team members and intimidate their rivals.

  12. Hamilton might be less fortunate than Vettel, but whilst I admire him, I don’t envy him. I’d quite like to be racing driver (I’d very much like to be a racing driver), but I don’t fancy the kind of life he and his peers lead. He can keep his millions; I’m happy enough for a takeaway twice a month.

  13. If Hamilton had the McLaren car and Red Bull or Ferrari team he would have been 2012 champion. Fastest car alone means nothing if the team is crap. He should have learned it by now.
    And before Vettel won a championship Hamilton was the luckiest man on the grid but he used his last drop of it on Spa 2010 if i remember correctly :)

  14. Hamilton could have easily been ‘unluck’y and lost out on the 2008 title though…right up until the last corner!

    I think in 2010 he was in the hunt but in all honesty the RB6 was simply too quick in the final races.

    2009 wasn’t bad ‘luck’ at all. It’s just the way the sport goes.

    1. I think in 2010 he was in the hunt but in all honesty the RB6 was simply too quick in the final races.

      Apart from the fact that Mclaren were easily as quick in Abu Dhabi, I’m assuming?

  15. It’s almost impossible to make a comment like the one I’m about to make without being accused of being a ‘hater’ or being otherwise biased against. Hamilton. Let me state for the record, then, that I am no such thing. I like Hamilton and think he’s one of the most skilled and exciting drivers on the grid. He’s been a shot in the arm for British motorsport and while he’s sometimes been controversial, his influence has overall been extremely positive.

    Right, now that I’ve got that out of the way, I want to say that I think these comments from Hamilton are indicative of everything which is wrong about his mindset and his approach to racing. It seems as though he believes himself to be peerlessly skilled, and almost without fault. Because of that, he doesn’t seem able to see things as they really are. He believes that the reason Vettel is on his way to what looks like a third consecutive championship is because Vettel has been lucky. Certainly to an extent, this may have played a part; Vettel has suffered very little misfortune. However, I don’t think that you can really argue that luck has been a significant factor. After all, what really constitutes luck? An animal running into the road is bad luck. An unexpected meteorite strike. But an engine failure isn’t bad luck, it’s bad engineering. A poor setup on your car isn’t bad luck, it’s a failure to use your time in testing properly.

    Luck doesn’t build the best car on the grid. Luck doesn’t develop reliable components which get you through to the end of the race. Luck doesn’t give you the ability to consistently beat your world class teammate. Luck doesn’t put you on pole. Luck doesn’t win championships. In motorsport, you should believe that there is no such thing as luck; no matter what the scenario or situation, you could always have done better. There is always a lesson to be learned, and data to be gathered.

    Hamilton needs to learn that he’s not completely infallible, and that with all the luck in the world, it’s entirely possible that someone else on the grid is doing a better job than he is. He thinks that he’s done a near perfect job while any poor results have been down to his team letting him down, or another driver having more ‘luck’. If he thinks he’s going to get a lot more luck driving for Mercedes, he’s sadly mistaken. What he might get in Mercedes though, is a fresh sense of humility, and a tough lesson that sometimes you can do an absolutely perfect job, and someone else will still beat you. Not through luck, but through hard work and skill. Likewise for Mercedes, if they’re looking for a totemic driver who is going to be instrumental in shaping the team into a winning package, they’re going to be disappointed to find that when Hamilton is beaten, rather than actually looking at what went wrong and taking steps to prevent it in the future, he simply shrugs his shoulders and blames it all on his terrible luck.

    1. I have to say I mostly agree with you. That said, being taken out by another driver through no fault of your own is one factor that has been and always will be, luck. Not that hamilton hasn’t been responsible/partly responsible for incidents, I’m just saying in more general terms that luck, does in fact, determine outcomes sometimes.

    2. While I do take your point about luck, I didn’t get the impression that LH was putting his misfortunes or SV’s domination largely down to having no luck or having lots of luck. I think one can say (and LH has) that SV has been lucky…lucky to have a great team, a great car, and a combination of those that has seen them apply hard work to make a car that is very hard to beat and be a team that makes few enough mistakes, and has a small enough amount of unreliability such that they win races and WDC’s. That doesn’t happen for the majority of drivers in the history of F1. It’s usually harder than that. It’s usually very hard to defend one’s title the next year…in all sports. But I don’t see where LH is saying it all comes down to luck. Just that SV is lucky that it is all working together well for him in these most recent seasons.

      LH has also admitted his own faults such as last year when he said he was distracted with off-track stuff that cost him training time and cost him on Sundays. So in that sense I don’t see where “He thinks that he’s done a near perfect job while any poor results have been down to his team letting him down, or another driver having more ‘luck.’”

      I think it is highly unlikely that LH doesn’t grasp that it comes down to hard work, and I’m sure that he has a great challenge in front of him at Merc that he is likely relishing as a fresh start. I think it is highly unlikely he is depending strictly on luck. And I think that if he had such a terrible reputation for shrugging his shoulders and blaming his terrible luck, Brawn wouldn’t have been interested in him.

      In amongst this picture you have painted of LH many think he is the quickest driver on the grid. I question that, and I also question his ability to handle pressure when it is at it’s greatest, but he certainly has a huge following of faithful fans, and they can’t possibly be behind him because he waits around for luck to come his way. I’m sure he goes much deeper than that, and I’m sure this fresh start will be good for him and that he will find out that he has learned a ton at Mac that can take him forward as a person and a racer in this brand new atmosphere in which he’s about to play a hand. I think his leaving the nest of Mac that raised him should see him recharged and raring to go, and likely with a fresh and optimistic attitude for the future. Example, I don’t think he is going to be going into his first year at Merc expecting to win the WDC and if he doesn’t he’ll have a hissy fit and blame his bad luck. I think he is going to be expecting growing pains, so aside from things like getting spun out in the first corner in a race or two, or other such truly unlucky things, I think his perspective will be one of growing a team with NR that needs everyone pulling together to progress toward the top 3 and beyond. In that sense they will all be sharing the good and the bad luck together.

    3. @mazdachris
      Sorry, but I think you’ve completely missed the point. Lewis isn’t referring to luck the way you’re making it. All he’s saying is Vettel has had the fortune to be part of the greatest F1 engineering team of the past 5 years. The one that has cranked out fastest car after fastest car. Just that – nothing more. Of course Vettel is blisteringly fast. But the RB5-8 and now the RB9 were/are star acts. And, that happens to be the truth – anyone that’s been watching F1 for the past few years would say that as well. I guess your only problem is that it was Lewis that said it. But I can assure you every top driver on the grid wishes they had that car (or ‘luck’). Really, there was no need for you to write a long essay about LH’s “mindset and approach to racing”.

  16. I don’t think there’s much luck at all when it comes to Seb having a class car. His feedback to the engineers is vital and he can help swing the development path like he did with his preference for the EBD. It’s a team effort through and through.

    1. It’s definitely worth keeping in mind the influence the driver can have over the development of the car. It could well be argued that development input is a skill which Hamilton has lacked. Although most comments from the time are tarnished somewhat by the strong emotions, I do recall one of the justifications Alonso made for feeling that should have had preferential treatment in 2007 was because when he first drove the car in pre season testing it was a bit of a dog, and it was only thanks to his input in development that it was a potential championship winner. Although Alonso had left by 2008, the car that Hamilton took to victory that year was an evolution of the car which Alonso claimed to have developed into a winner. It’s interesting then to note that the first ‘new’ car made with Hamilton giving the major driver input, was an absolute pig and took the better part of a year to bring it up to a level where it was capable of getting good results.

      One thing we do know is that since Button joined in 2010, he’s generally taken the lead on the development of the car, and it is interesting to note that in 2011 and 2012 McLaren have been able to roll out a significantly more competitive car than the ones developed around Hamilton. Button was also involved in the development of the BGP-01 in which he won the championship in 2009, so he certainly has experience of developing winners. Though of course it’s just as easy to point to the number of terrible cars he helped develop in Honda.

      I’m not sure how I feel about it all, personally. I think the driver really doesn’t have a huge influence over the car development, other than their basic physical requirements shaping the chassis to an extent. Certainly, it’s not the drivers who are coming up with things like F ducts, double diffusors, and so on. But regardless, there is definitely a correlation between the dip in performance from McLaren, and the years where Hamilton was the main driver, around whose requirements the car was developed. Read into that what you will.

      1. I think that a driver can certainly provide useful information as to what he personally likes and feels needs to be attended to for his own gain based on his own preferences and what the car is doing under certain circumstances. That doesn’t mean it is always going to work for the other driver though. But I’m sure sometimes it does. NR said, when they implied they needed to find solutions for MS’s struggles during his first year at Merc, that any changes they make to suit MS would suit him too. And that seems to have been the case, or at least even when MS has done better than NR on a day, it hasn’t been by a landslide and in fact it is NR that owns their one win. Of course they have both ultimately struggled with the car more often than not, so what does that say about MS who was touted as such a great car developer at Ferrari. It tells me that much of the Ferrari success came down to the massive testing and resources and the designer car and the contracted subservient, not strictly that MS knew more than just what he himself likes and was feeling when they made this change or that to the car.

        When MS was moved to Ferrari with his Benetton crew they already knew he liked something leaning towards oversteery cars that have the front end nailed to the track, so they built him cars that would tend toward that and then tweek it plus or minus based on umpteen variables such as the track, and the types of corners be they slow speed or high speed etc etc. They weren’t going to build an understeery car and hope they could tweek it far enough to the one extreme to get it to be oversteery enough. The driver input, if he has been lucky enough to have a car built with his likings in mind, is used to tweek said car…the driver is saying ok it’s doing this in this corner and it’s doing that in that corner…and then they go from there. Of course the drivers isn’t saying, ‘I think we need an F-duct, or let’s try a double diffuser, but he might be saying that with more rear end grip he could do this, or more balance he could do that. And then the engineers say to themselves, how can we get him more rear grip etc etc.

        When JV did some Lemans and some Nascar they were highly impressed with his ability to tell them everything that the car was doing throughout the corners as he went through them, and the telemetry supported everything he said. So when a driver can provide immediate useful feedback as to his needs, and knows what he likes, then the engineers can take it from there. Doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a better start than if the driver is in a fog and they have to just try things and see where it takes them. Going back to JV, his struggles at Williams, even in such a good car, was that they insisted that computers and engineers could tell them better than the driver how to get the car around the track the fastest. But that didn’t take the driver’s preferences into mind, and JV had to fight for that. Example, much stiffer suspension settings than they were forcing him into. And it didn’t come for him until about half way through his WDC year. Maybe if they had listened to him earlier it wouldn’t have come down to the last race. All the while his opponent was in a designer car that was tuned entirely for him with massive testing and resources to boot. So was MS a better car developer, it did it really come down to how motivated a team is to take a driver’s inputs and run with them?

        Maybe LH has to take some blame for his car not dominating like the Red Bull can, but then on some days the car HAS dominated. If FA ‘single-handedly’ turned the Mac around in 07 to LH’s benefit for 08, then why did this year’s Ferrari start off so bad? It’s truly a lot of shades of grey, truly a team effort, and of course some teams and some drivers are going to be better at gelling than others.

        Should be fascinating to see what evolves at Merc next year, and I expect NR to be right in there having his say along with LH. They both need to share data to progress the team because if they don’t they won’t be going anywhere fast. Imho.

  17. It amazes me how much effort most of you are making to “prove” the amount of “luck” through statistics. Surely better reliability could have helped Lewis but that’s a fact we should never have to hear from Lewis himself. It just tastes bad. He should focus on how to prove himself in the future and let the past be the past.

    1. Yeah I think really we all know that all teams suffer some good luck, some bad luck, some mistakes, some unreliablility, some loses even when they have done everything right, some wins when they didn’t do everything right but suddenly the leading car konks out. It’s a mixed bag of variables. I don’t think LH is blaming his own bad luck, but he sure envies SV’s good luck in having everything come together for him to have a string of successes, and who wouldn’t?

      I think LH is likely very focused on proving himself in the future and I think he may be anxious to put the past behind him and make a fresh start. Saying SV has been lucky does not mean he is whining about things not going as well for him as they have for SV. He knows that it’s not just him…he knows nobody has had it like SV in the last 3 years.

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