Hamilton doesn’t want another race like that

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he doesn’t want to go through another race like he had today.

The Mercedes driver finished 12th after starting on the front row of the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix.

“It was an experience that I don’t really want to go through again,” he said after the race. ” But that’s motor racing.”

Hamilton said he was unable to make his tyres last: “I was doing absolutely everything the same that I did in Bahrain but the tyres just didn’t come in, they didn’t give me good grip,” he said. “I wasn’t able to push and if I did the tyres went off immediately. Absolutely lost today, I don’t know what went on.”

“It seems like others have made a bigger step forward this weekend than we did,” he added. “If anything we didn’t make a step forward.”

“Although we brought upgrades they didn’t really fix the problems that we have with the degradation. Nico proved that the car wasn’t that as bad but for some reason mine just went backwards.”

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Image © Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “Hamilton doesn’t want another race like that”

  1. Mercedes should be pretty embarrassed with themselves. To be so quick on Saturday and nowhere in the race has to be about more than tyre wear. There are serious questions to be asked at that team.

    1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

      Performance on Saturday means precisely NOTHING in this day and age of F1!

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        12th May 2013, 16:23

        that’s why we should now concentrate on the race to vote DOTW, the weekend now means little.

        1. Precisely. +1 !!!!

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          12th May 2013, 23:46

          @omarr-pepper That already happens.

      2. Say it one more time !

      3. It’s still very difficult to win outside the first three rows.

    2. It doesn’t add up
      – the car clearly has good downforce
      – easily quickest in 3rd sector, so it has v. good mechanical grip
      – rosberg especially had a good balance
      – rosberg was very patient and looked after the tyres brilliantly

      BUT still very severe degradation, there must be some kind of fundamental design flaw in that suspension. Biggest worry for the team right now has to be 2014 because those engines will have much more torque and will only make the problem worse. Big rethink needed

      1. must be so depressing for the team because the car is RAPID and tyre wear was a huge focus of their winter development, they designed brand new rear suspension for this car and the problem seems worse than ever

      2. @sdtaylor91 . I think the reason it is faster than others in q3 is because of better tyre grip than others. Now , that itself arises because of overheating them too quickly . It just happens to benifit them during qualy as other teams are not able to heat theirs quickly enough . Very sad today . They did not develop anything.

        1. Yeah, typically the best race pace is from the lotus and ferrari and i cant remember the last time either of them got a pole position in the dry, i think it was alonso, singapore 2010.

          It’s the one piece of the puzzle they’re missing, if they’d got good tyre wear they could be fighting for the championship

    3. @red-andy Could we all agree to refrain from calling what happens on Sunday’s in F1 weekends “Race” please.

      It is not a race, its a strategy game that could be settled virtually with no need for a race track.

      1. thats a bit of a “smart” comment. it is more a race then ever now, instead of a mechanical package dictating the order like when ferrari dominated.

      2. I agree. Hearing Hamilton say “I cannot go any slower” on the radio was probably the lowest point in years for me.

        1. Agreed. It was so bad hearing it I just had to laugh it off or I probably would of had to go find a dark corner to sit in and slowly rock myself forwards and backwards.

        2. Almost as bad was hearing Brawn tell him, “you have gained two laps on your target.” At this point, in stint 2, he had fallen to about 11th!.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th May 2013, 21:48

      Yes but this year what we are seeing is that P4 or P5 are better as long as the car has good race pace. Alonso passed 2 cars and nearly passed 3 cars including Kimi’s Lotus, Hamilton’s Merc and Vetter’s Red Bull over a single corner at the start of the race.

      If you’re going to pass the 3 fastest cars (and good defenders) in a single corner, you had better win the race, right?:-)

  2. I said it yesterday for the second time. Mercedes qually performance counts for nothing. Behind them 3rd place is as good as pole position. That car baffles me how it can have such an incredible difference at high fuel. They would be better off I think forgetting a one stop less strategy even exists and focus on a one stop more strategy so their drivers can try and use some of the speed in that car.

    Their performance today was a joke!

  3. Rosberg said that they spent all practice sessions focusing on the race set up, not worrying about quali, but in one lap, the car that just goes.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th May 2013, 21:56

      Hamilton said that something along the lines that he was lost during practice. Something’s definitely wrong with his car as we saw in Bahrain where his car seemed like a Marussia for part of the race then started working.

  4. Well. Rosberg finished in the points. Granted Brawn apparently was telling him to drive to a time. And running stint 1 in clean air helped Rosberg.

    Nonetheless Mercedes need to rip out the back end of that car and start over. What were they doing for 3 weeks?

    1. “What were they doing for 3 weeks?”
      Excellent question. Arguing with Pirelli about the tires, probably…they should take notes from Ferrari and Lotus. Doing, then talking is the right way, not vice versa.

      1. Interesting how people were constantly criticizing Rosberg back in 2011-12 for being a one-lap wonder and lacking race-craft.

        Well, now Hamilton seems to have the exact same problem, if not worse. It was the nature of the Mercedes cars which made Rosberg’s racing ability look mediocre.

        1. Exactly the problems have been there for ages. Infact its exactly the same as last season and in their efforts to fix it last season they ended being slow in qualy and average in the race, i fear the same will happen again.

          Interms of Rosberg it was not noted enough but at the end of last season his head dropped and michael pretty much always out performed him in the race.

          1. And of course if this were Jensen…….,

  5. I think a few more technical directors would probably help their situation.

    1. Mercedes is to call James Allison then

      1. Lauda in Stuttgart: Ze car iz still chewing through ze tyres.

        Mercedes Management: Buy all ze other technical engineers.

    2. At the moment their only chance would be to buy all the other teams…even so the problem of ending the race would still rise :)).

      1. There is something to it. Buying all the other technical directors, including Newey, would probably still be cheaper than hiring Lewis.

  6. Nor did Schumacher want three years of races like this that, but that’s just how things seem to be going at Mercedes…

  7. Nobody wants another race like that … probably including Alonso….

    1. I’d love to have a race like that… It would mean that I am and F1 driver ;)

  8. Best file this race away in the “shocker race beset by technical woes”.

    Still, my money is on Mercedes winning at least one race this year.
    You have to fancy them if they hit their one sweet spot a year at some race at some point and Rosberg/Hamilton will do the rest.

    1. Possibly a win in Monaco if they can claim pole position and hold up the rest of the field for most of the race, one of them should have a good chance at a win.

  9. thats why James Allison is heading to Merc to get degradation of Lotus…..

  10. Interesting that Kimi is the only one able to make tires last well enough to do one less pit stop.
    The others should throw in the towel as Ferrari has and trade the extra pit stop for more speed.
    Makes the racing more exciting as well if people are not nursing tires.
    Vettel was HOW MANY seconds back?

    1. He know what he’s doing… :))

      1. knows*

  11. We all know what talent Hamilton has, so it’s quite interesting to see how massively he suffered today for whatever reason, especially when his team-mate was so far up ahead of him at the end. Funny how one race can change so much in terms of expectation. I’m still putting Hamilton down as the winner in Monaco.

    1. Rosberg has 2 poles to hamiltons 1 this year, and in monaco hamilton does not have a great record in qualifying. qualifying high will help, but no way merc can hold the lead after 78 laps at monaco.

      1. Anyone can hold a lead in Monaco, even Marc Webber.

  12. “I was doing absolutely everything the same that I did in Bahrain but the tyres just didn’t come in, they didn’t give me good grip,

    – Maybe that was because neither the tyres, nor the track were the same either?

  13. We should just have kept the 2012 tyres: they were fine towards the end of the season: strategy still mattered but the tyres didn’t solely decide the outcome of races like they do now. I’d like to see the opportunity available to do a different strategy and pick up some places but the fastest cars should still be able to win races. It’s not looking that way for Mercedes currently especially.

    1. @vettel1, I long for the 2012 tyres as well. They allowed some decent racing, and were more consistent than the 2013 tyres. It seemed most drivers struggled at some point during the race today. In fact, the only exception was Hamilton; he struggled consistently throughout the race.

      1. @adrianmorse exactly! It’s interesting I think that the argument against changing the tyres is that one team will dominate, as I think that is exactly what these tyres are doing: apart from in Malaysia, one driver was clearly faster than everybody else up front.

        1. The point is that one team dominates…as in wins all the races. So far, we have winners from three different teams this season.

          Which team is dominating?

    2. they worked fine towards the end of the year…. you mean the teams learnt to use them best in a consistent manner, like they will this year, just you wait and see!

    3. Well, there was one team that never quite figured out the 2012 tyres, and Lewis Hamilton is now driving one of their cars.

  14. so, who is next on line to get fired… the situation is the same as last year at Mercedes.

    1. @icemangrins: I believe that would be Ross Brawn, at the end of the season…

      1. yes Toto Wolf is boss, he is just holding back letting Brawn work as normal, but i suspect Wolf will push Brawn out. I am sure there is already friction in the team even though they deny it.

  15. Funny, Rosberg was doing much better job than Lewis in both quali and races.

    Rubbishing the excuses on Nico opting for quali setup instead of race setup.

  16. I feel sorry for you, Hamilton.

  17. Mercedes is the new Toyota.

    At least it’s fun to watch… they are so predictable !

    I wonder… I mean, they got front row lock up and they finish 6 and 12. Maaaybe the way they are doing things isn’t the correct way to go. I mean, there must be a qualy setup and a race setup somewhere, like being fast on one lap or slightly better in the race. Are they trying to get the headlines? because you can have such a difference one day to the other.

    It was so weird watching Rosberg suddenly get nowhere from the car right after pitting for new tyres…

    1. Haha so true, Mercedes is the new Toyota, will we now see a Hamilton-train in Monaco too?

      If Merc’s woes continue I can see them pulling the plug on their F1 program just like Toyota did!

  18. Next year turbo engines will eat more tires than the cars do today, so either the cars learn to eat less tires maintaining speed or the tires improve to meet more aggressive performance, surely a compromise will have to be found this year, but yes the tires are deciding the pace, the driving style, the strategy, and everything else, you can have a great car only if you meet the tires requirements, and that must annoy all the departments in all teams, as everything has now to be decided around the tire strategy. To be honest, even the teams that seem to have the best handle on the tires do not seem to dominate the race, one car always seem to be better than the other by a lot, I guess they will go down this way all season in preparations for next year engine change

  19. It was Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde all over again for Mercedes F1. I know that the main characteristics of AMG cars is chewing out the rear tires but this is just ridicules. And to see how Ferrari is doing the totally opposite of Mercedes is even more painfully.

  20. Its very obvious that something is seriously wrong with this team. They are fighting with huge tyre degradation for 4th season in row!? With so many millions of dollars, hundreds of engineers, I cannot understand, how they dont resolve this problem? Its really strange to finnish countinously on top in qualification and then fight hard for just few points in the race…
    And another thing: Nico really proves this year that its just the car that prevents him from great results. The standings in championship does not show the right picture. He clearly outperformed Hamilton this weekend! Lewis looked today just like MSC in previous years, but back then everyone was talking that MSC is just too old and slow for modern F1 and so on… Now we can see, that the problem is just in a car, not in the drivers!

    1. Which is ‘progress’, meaning, we now know that it’s the car not the drivers. I believe the problem is ultimately the lack of cooling of the wheel hubs. The heat generated in braking is not dissipated adequately and eventually heats the tyres degrading the performance. Either provide more cooling or create more isolation of heat between brakes discs to wheel.

  21. Get used to it Lewis. Pole man was 68 seconds down and Lewis was a lap down. You don’t fix that in a few races. Championship will be Vettel / Alonso / Raik

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