Hamilton vows to “drive the nuts off” his car

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Interlagos, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he wants to score his first win at Interlagos in his last race for McLaren.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton: ‘I am going to drive the nuts off this car in Brazil’ (The Guardian)

“I have never won here. I think I have won at most of the historic circuits, and this is one of the last ones. I don’t know when I am going to have a car next that will compete as good as the one I have. So I am going to drive the nuts off it this weekend.”

Vettel doesn’t expect Webber’s help (ESPN)

“When pressed that he would expect a switch to take place at some point, Vettel simply replied: ‘I do not expect anything.'”

Vettel denies feeling title pressure (BBC)

“I did a mistake in the first run of Q3 but not because this is the last race or whatsoever. I’m pushing and that’s what I try to do all the time.”

Will Bernie Ecclestone be forced to leave Formula 1 behind? (The Independent)

“One day, I’m not going to be there and one of the biggest problems is I’ve got really, really good relationships with the race promoters. A few of them said to me, ‘if you’re not there, we’re not there’. That’s what the danger is. They feel that they trust me and wouldn’t want to let me down.”

Kobayashi not ruling out F1 race seat (Autosport)

“He said he had no hard feelings towards Sauber, despite being dropped just after securing his maiden F1 podium at Suzuka. ‘I’m not disappointed. They need a sponsor and more money for the team,’ Kobayashi said. ‘I cannot find money in such a short time.'”

Michael Schumacher: “There?s going to be some excitement…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Obviously I was focussing a little bit more towards tomorrow, on top of this one I didn?t get the tyres spot-on for their use, so as a combination we ended up where we did. Nevertheless I don?t think we had a great potential for qualifying, but we probably have a reasonable car for tomorrow.”

Brazilian Grand Prix Weather 2012: Saturday Review, Sunday Forecast (F1 Weather)

“The most likely scenario is that there will be a few showers during the course of the morning and early afternoon, but there will also be some lengthy gaps, allowing the track to dry out somewhat. You won?t go far wrong if you are thinking along the lines of the 2008 race with a couple of sprinkles within the race window to spice things up.”

Joann Villeneuve: When Ferrari called, we thought it was a joke (The Star)

“Because of what happened [at Imola in 1982], that was it for him, as far as he was concerned. Gilles was a very straightforward and honest guy; a shaking of hands was a contract to him. So when what happened happened, it was just this huge disappointment and in his mind, I think it was, ‘I?ve got to get out of this,’ for no other reason than he was such an honest person and what happened was crushing.”

Pirelli’s 2013 Test Tyre – Brazil/Interlagos (Somers F1)

“From a mechanical perspective it will be interesting to see who follows Ferrari down the pull-rod front suspension route especially [with] the revised tyre weight. Let’s remember that the alterations to the 2013 Technical Regulations are limited and so initially Pirelli’s aggressive stance could bode well for close quarter racing.”


Comment of the day

@Rob-Wilson is concerned money have become more important than talent when it comes to securing a Formula One drive:

I can?t get my head round the growing fact that money is becoming more important than talent, it?s too devastating, so don’t bother trying, I just block it out and in my own fantasy world I still believe, and will always believe that the drivers on the Formula 1 grid are the fastest drivers in the world.

I ignore the best I can the fact that some drivers are massively backed and some aren’t but I will just try to convince myself that Kobayashi and Kovalainen have had their time in F1 and because they haven’t been magic all the time on the track, they won?t be in it any more. Thinking it’s just down to money is terrible for the sport.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Matt Aitch and Sozavele!

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

Two years ago today we were marvelling at the epic 2010 season, which I think deserves to be considered a modern classic:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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  • 80 comments on “Hamilton vows to “drive the nuts off” his car”

    1. “Drive the nuts off the car” surely the pit crew can help achieve that.

      1. Haha… This is so mean yet I can’t help but love it.

      2. Yes with McLaren this is very possible!

      3. Literally worked out my abs laughing at that!

      4. It might be seen as a bit of a learning experience for Hamilton to get used to more of that next year. After all, Mercedes have been on the forefront of doing that in the last couple of years!

      5. LOL… If the car stays in one piece , HAM can go for the win

      6. Hopefully he can also drive into Vettel’s car, and handle Ferrari the WDT. :)

    2. I’ve got a packet of sweets and I’m not sharing them with anyone.

      They’re all mine and you can’t have any. I’m going to eat them all and then complain of a tummy ache.

      spoiler: I’m up late and rambling. Continue rambling if it pleases you.

      1. good on you. Puh.

    3. I don’t think Mark would completely ignore the fact that his team mate is trying to win the championship.

      Sure he will try to win his race, but if the situation arises, he’ll leave way… he’s a team player too, but he won’t leave way just like that…

      1. I’d imagine he’d make it tough for Vettel to pass, but not impossible, shall we say.

        Similar to Raikkonen and Massa in 2007, I’d imagine.

      2. As long as Mark is ahead of Alonso he is helping Vettel to become WDC.

        1. As long as Vettel is comfortably ahead of Alonso he has no need of any help from Webber. Should a situation arise where Alonso is in the top 3 and Vettel would need to pass Webber to gain the WDC, Mark would move over in a heartbeat. After all we’re not talking about Webber giving up a win but a 5th through 9th place instead.

      3. they will say ” mark , box box box “

        1. Mark: “But it’s the second last lap!”
          Ciaron: “Yeah um… the tyres… the cliff… etc.”

        2. “KERS failure…”

          1. I think that’s pretty much standard on Webber’s car. Did he actually have a race where his KERS kept working?

      4. Absolutely! Brazil 2010 would be playing on his mind

      5. I think Mark, as everyone else, knows that Alonso has to finish on the podium to have any chance of winning it. Therefore the best he can do is to stay there, or get in front of the McLarens to have Alonso out of the podium.

        Nothing hard or controversial about that!

        1. Both the red bulls will be cautious today . Vet will be keen on defending 4th or maybe get the podium and let mark do the defending ….. The only place you can can catch them is at the start

          1. Maybe we’ll see the Abu Dhabi Mark Webber: causing collisions, safety-car phases, etc. in order to facilitate Alonso’s advance and to minimize Vettel’s chance to win his third worldchampionship.

    4. The title race Lewis won against Massa at Interlagos is STILL one of the best F1 races ever!

      1. You can take the F1 out of your sentence and it would STILL be true.

      2. Actually a couple of weeks ago I saw the complete race again (had to download it illegally, thanks Bernie) and the race itself was actually pretty straightforward and boring except for the final couple of laps when the rain was coming, it just goes to show how much excitement a fight for the title adds to any race.

        1. Interesting you should say that. I was just watching a few race from 2007 such as the USA GP and I found it astounding that Alonso even being as close as he was to Hamilton at the start was unable to overtake because of the insane dirty air those cars produced, if two cars were to be that close today it would be a fairer fight. Cars were just following eachother. Also the Bridgestones looked like they were made out of PVC or something, shiny and never degrading whereas today if a car goes off track or locks up badly you can literally feel (even through the TV screens) the tires getting destroyed. I found it interesting and really made me appreciate the length the sport went to in order to be more entertaining. So next time when people want to complain about the state of F1 I think they should go back a few years and watch some mid 2000s racing and then if they still feel the same way they can complain.

      3. I would say that the last few laps on that race are a very good example of why we love car racing. From Interlagos I also have a very strong memory of Jean Pierre Jarier overtaking Reutemann with that ridiculous Shadow just to dissapear in the distance and abandon later with a mechanical problem, in 1975. Gilles Villeneuve fighting with Rene Arnoux with the monster turbo in Dijon in 1979. Nelson Piquet overtaking Ayrton in Hungary 1986, doing a massive drift on corner one while waiving with one hand. Nigell Mansell chasing Ayrton all over Monaco in 1988, just a few milimeters from each other and from the wall. Ayrton chasing Alain Prost with a ridiculous Tolemann in Monaco in 1984, under an apocalyptic rain. Ayrton (again) overtaking everyone in half a lap under the rain in Donington in 1993.
        Sometimes I feel like the Replicant Batty: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe….” But then I know you do believe…

    5. Not being critical of him, but it sounds like Hamilton really doesn’t think Mercedes will be in any way competitive next year. He’s mentioned a few times that he doesn’t know when he’ll be in a position to fight for wins. It’s early days but I think the odds are with the team Brawn has assembled that they’re bound to make a consistently good car sooner than later.

      1. Maybe they’ll be starting on the 2014 car sooner than most?

        1. The 2014 technical regulations have been available for over a year, so the teams know what direction the car development is heading in. Particularly the trend towards lower noses, like the McLaren MP4-27. Niki Lauda has said that the Mercedes W04 will be totally different to the W03, so I’m guessing their 2013 car will be a headstart on the 2014 design.

      2. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        25th November 2012, 1:54

        I think he’s simply preparing himself for the worst-case scenario. That way if next year is a complete disaster, he’ll be mentally ready for it. You’re right though, sooner or later Mercedes have to hit the right note and produce a competitive, race winning car. hopefully Lewis will be the much needed missing cog in the Merc clock.

      3. Or he just wants to take some pressure off him for next season and put it on Mercedes shoulders to build him a good car.
        By the way, off topic, did anyone mention here/noticed tha RedBull found their mojo after Hammy posted that ‘gold dust’ on twitter? What an irony it would be.

      4. Setting expectations, by the new likeable Lewis

      5. I think he has been saying the same about not counting on much chance of winning races next year all the way since singing the deal. Its pretty clear he counts on a year of building.

      6. Mercedes has the cash, has the personnel, has the drivers. The engine seems good enough. The designers seems clever. I would say they have everything to be able to deliver a consistent winning carm but they need to improve small steps in all areas: they need an engine that is a little bit better that the one they develop until now, a design a bit better… I can’t see how signing for a team that has Brawn and Mercedes could be a bad move. I believe Lewis also would like to show if he can deliver outside McLaren, where he spent almost all his life as a driver. I have no idea how a british driver with Lewis profille will fit into a german team, but Lewis has proven that he is a hard working, highly professional driver and I have no doubt he will shine at Mercedes too.

        1. I have no idea how a british driver with Lewis profille will fit into a german team

          With headquarters and all their staff at Brackley, I’m sure he’ll be fine.

      7. I think there is also some regret in his words. With such a strong McLaren in the middle of the seasson he’d have never siwtched, me thinks

        1. Maybe its some management issue , sponsorship issues but most importantly its reliability issues that made it worse for him. McLaren asking him to take a paycut and giving button a better offer than him (just last year ) added fuel to the fire I suppose .

          Also , next year’s car is more likely to be suited around button’s driving style . So jenson may be super competitive next year. Really sad to see Lewis leaving McLaren but one gets the feeling he has had enough of blunders . Hope that the merc is good enough to challenge Lotus atleast

      8. Well he’s leaving the team he was for years. It’s almost his family.

        The Mercedes team have been pretty quiet about switching development to next years’ car, but seeing how quickly they have moved backwards in the second half of the season, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that they switched completely to the 2013 car very early on.

    6. “They feel that they trust me and wouldn’t want to let me down” coming from Bernie is hilarious. I can’t think of any person more distrusted by race promoters.

      1. They know where they are with Bernie, screwed!

      2. @dusty-in-california

        I can’t think of any person more distrusted by race promoters.

        Are you a race promoter yourself? If not, do you personallt know any of the race promoters? And if so, have they told you that they do not trust Bernie Ecclestone?

        If you answered “no” to any (or all) of those questions, then answer me this: how are you in any position to comment on who someone else does or does not trust?

        1. @prisoner-monkeys: I suppose you’re right, if we’re being very technical – I don’t have any insight into how race promoters feel about Bernie.

          I did, however, find it hilarious that in an article about Bernie’s illegal business dealings he’s talking about how he is trusted. Bizzaro world comment, especially in the context of that article.

          Then consider that race promoters no longer make money (read any of the recent articles about losses in Korea, Australia, Germany, etc.) while Bernie and family have grown fabulously wealthy on promotion fees and profits taken directly from promoters and circuits.

          But sure, maybe race promoters love and trust Bernie. None of us really know.

      3. Well, the best you can say for Bernie is that he considers himself indispensable to Formula One, yet has done nothing to develop one or more candidates to take his place (which must happen one day, whether because he resigns, dies, or ends up in jail). Succession planning is a fundamental duty of any corporate leader. Personally, I think he is talking a load of self-serving drivel, but even if you accept what he says, it reflects very poorly upon his leadership.

        1. Agreed – this is what I was thinking as I read the article.

      4. “They feel that they trust me and wouldn’t want to let me down”

        It is like you can HEAR that phrase with don Vito Corleone´s voice,,,,

    7. Vettel doesn’t need to expect Webber’s help, He has Helmut Marko to do that for him.

      1. Vettel doesn’t need anyone’s help. He just needs the Mclarens and anyone other than Alonso on the podium.

    8. Excellent interview with Joann Villeneuve… just go read it.

      1. Excelent interview indeed! What a character Gilles was! I wish drivers could be like before… real racers!

      2. Couldn’t agree more

      3. Yes, fantastic piece of journalism. Made my day.

      4. That piece made my day.

    9. Auto Motor und Sport are reporting that Valtteri Bottas has signed a contract with Williams, but the team has not announced it yet. Tobias Gruener followed that report up with reports that Bruno Senna and Luiz Razia are offering $10 million and $34 million respectively (though that number seems too high for Razia) to any team willing to take them on in 2013, but nobody is interested.

      1. Italian publication Omnicorse seem to think that Vitaly Petrov has managed to find some sponsors for 2013, and could re-sign with Caterham as early as today. Apparently he doesn’t have as much money as Giedo van der Garde, but the team are interested in keeping him because he knows the team and they need to catch Marussia.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys By that logic they should keep Heikki. Therein the problem lies – Heikki refuses to find sponsors, so Petrov is the next best choice in the former regard (team knowledge).

          1. thatscienceguy
            25th November 2012, 9:58

            But Petrov has done pretty well in matching Heikki results-wise this year. So ask yourself this – if you are a team principal and have the option of two equal drivers but one brings significant cash with him, who are you going to choose?

          2. I think in 2013 Caterham will have seven drivers… oh, wait…

        2. After securing 10th place with his drive to get back in front of Pic in 11th, I think Petrov showed he is a real asset to the team @prisoner-monkeys. And the money is far more than what VdGarde will be able to bring!

    10. I think I will try the same as @Rob-Wilson… and try to convince myself that Koba wasn’t dropped just because of money.

      1. I don’t think it was just money either. In 2009 Koba showed great potential but if you look after 3 years, it shows the same picture, he didn’t evolve as a driver. He has that same raw speed and talent but he didn’t manage to develop a feature that should have been there by this time he’s been in F1 – consistency.

    11. “He said he had no hard feelings towards Sauber, despite being dropped just after securing his maiden F1 podium at Suzuka. ‘I’m not disappointed. They need a sponsor and more money for the team,’ Kobayashi said. ‘I cannot find money in such a short time.’”

      I think the only feasible move for Kobayashi is to go to Lotus. Force India have an opening, but they’ve made it know they are lokoing for someone with sponsors. If Kobayashi couldn’t get sponsors together in time for Sauber, then I doubt he could get them together for Force India. Most of the other teams with vacancies are also looking for sponsors (Caterham), are believed to already have drivers lined up (Williams), or face an uncertain future (HRT).

      But Lotus as only confirmed Kimi Raikkonen for 2013. Despite constantly talking about how they’re going to offer Grosjean a seat, the team haven’t announced him yet, and if they really wanted to keep him, they would have done so by now. I think they’re seriously considering other alternatives, given his accident-prone nature. This, in particular, might be a concern for Coca-Cola, who want to compete with Red Bull – and they can’t do that if one of the team’s drivers is constantly in the wars. Even when Grosjean is not the cause, like in the pile-up at La Source, he has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, like in Abu Dhabi. He’s certainly quick, but he’s wild, and with the Burn sponsorship said to be worth some $30-odd million, there will probably have been some serious discussion about driver line-ups because having someone who is a bit of a crasher could do a lot of damage to a brand. Worse, Grosjean has over-compensated in addressing his crashing problems, and the result has been someone who is too cautious for his own good, which other drivers have been more than happy to take advantage of. I think his eagerness to stay out of trouble has blunted his killer instinct, and that’s not easy to get back.

      If Coca-Cola are leaning on Lotus to drop Grosjean, then Kamui Kobayashi is probably the next-best alternative. He hasn’t lived up to fan expectations, and he’s had some disappointing moments, but he is popular, and a popular driver will get a team (and therefore a sponsor) more coverage. Which is why I find it odd that Kobayashi is having so much difficulty finding a sponsor; of all the free agents on the grid, he’s probably one of the most marketable. But he’s also a risk: Grosjean is the superior driver, and Kobayashi is not without his flaws. Lotus will be very wary that Sauber cut him loose, particularly if they think it was on performance grounds. Although Esteban Gutierrez took the seat Kobayashi is holding, Gutierrez is really replacing Sergio Perez to guarantee an influx of sponsor dollars. Nico Hulkenberg is really the driver who replaced Kobayashi, and he doesn’t have much (if any) sponsorship to his name.

      That said, I just can’t see it happening. I think getting that Lotus seat will require Kobayashi to push an elephant up the stairs, and even if he somehow manages it, I can’t see him working well with Raikkonen (though to be fair, I don’t think Raikkonen works well with anyone).

      1. There is a maxim in promotional PR that goes “there is no such thing as bad publicity” I think you could apply that to F1 sponsorship of teams and drivers. Crashes get watched over and over again but no-one blames the sponsor. I don’t think Grosjean should worry on that score.

        1. Of course nobody blames the sponsor. But the sponsor isn’t going to like it if the car is quick enough to challenge for podiums and wins, only for one of the drivers to keep crashing.

          1. That’s a bigger problem for the team than it is for the sponsor. If the crash is the only part of the race shown on TV news programs (they usually are) then the sponsor gets added value.

            1. So you don’t think a sponsor has any influence in who drives for the team they sponsor if they approached the team independently of any driver?

        2. Look at all the free publicity they already have with that Hungary-fire picture. I think they don’t care – for now.

      2. Something to think about further: The energy market in Japan is HUGE. Red Bull is doing well, and Burn is for sale in a few stores, but certainly lacks the brand penetration of Red Bull and the home grown products.

        Kamui, in a Lotus, with Burn sponsorship certainly makes marketing sense.

        Now I just have to cross all my fingers and toes and hope it happens.

        1. I personally doubt it will happen.

          The only way it might make sense is if the rumours of Total leaving the team prove to be true. They apparently want to sponsor a French driver, and Charles Pic is said to be their preferred option. I have no idea where this story has come from – and it seems to be geared towards Pastor Maldonado and PDVSA moving to Lotus – and no idea how true it is, but I just can’t see the team giving up on Grosjean, especially given that Eric Boullier is his manager and team principal (which I thought the FIA had cracked down on in light of Flavio Briatore and the Singapore scandal).

      3. Raikkonen and Kobayashi = Coolest team ever. Although I have a feeling you’ll disagree!

        1. Raikkonen and Kobayashi = Coolest team ever

          Now THAT would be AWESOME!!!!!!! And with a good car.

    12. “drive the nuts off” his car

      Wow! that’s very animated. Should be McLaren’s final clip of Lewis.

    13. That article about Ecclestone is silly. Surely if he’s setting up contracts with these circuits they should have the confidence to sign them, regardless of who’s at the helm of F1? Though the cynic inside tells me that this is just mind games, trying to keep himself in the game.

    14. Surely thats what he’s paid to do every race! Hasn’t he been doing that in previous races

      1. @bascb It’s already in there!

        1. ahm, sorry. Just noticed that! Sunday slowness, I guess :-)

    15. That’s a very interesting interview with Joann Villeneuve. Many thanks for the link and, generally, for all your hard work this year. You remain my primary source of F1 news and information; you provide a brilliant service.

      Time for a donations reminder, me thinks.

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