“I’m going through a really tough time” – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he’s going through a difficult time emotionally.


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Lewis Hamilton Q&A (Sky)

“I wear my heart on my sleeve and that gets me in trouble a lot of the time and I generally find it very, very hard to fight my emotions. I’m going through… I’m trying my hardest to be positive but I’m going through a really, really tough time at the moment with the loss of someone really, really special in my life. My world’s turned upside down, but I have a job…”

Hamilton dogged by tyre trouble (The Telegraph)

“I?m not really thinking about the championship now. There?s really no point thinking about it ?ǣ especially as he [Sebastian Vettel] is over 60 points ahead.”

NB. Hamilton is 58 points behind Vettel.

2013 German Grand Prix – Post Race Press Conference (FIA)

Kimi Raikkonen: “After the Safety Car we were pretty OK and the cars, three of us, had similar speed and it’s very difficult to overtake anybody. I could run longer and we had a think about it, if we can try to run until the end but we had a massive problem with the radio. I could hear them but they could only hear me between two corners. So I’m wondering if we should have done it, take a gamble and try to go to the end because the tyres were pretty OK, my speed was pretty OK so it was hard to know what happens in the next ten laps.”

Ferrari must start winning – Alonso (BBC)

“To recover you need to win two or three races and at the moment it seems we are not able to do so.”

KERS issue forced Vettel to push (ESPN)

“I felt the push from the crowd and I tried to focus during the last couple of laps, knowing it would be very close with Kimi once he had passed Romain. Incredibly tough and the Lotus was incredibly quick and good at looking after its tyres.”

Injured cameraman to stay in hospital (Autosport)

“An FIA spokesman has confirmed that Allen suffered two broken ribs, a broken collarbone, concussion and bruises.”


Comment of the day

@Giuseppe asks what can be done to prevent drivers losing wheels in the pits:

Unless something is done to stop/prevent it, this sort of problem will keep happening in this mad dash for shorter pit stops.

Could it be possible to implement a safety system that simply prevents the car from starting if one of the tyres hasn?t been properly secured to the hub? I’m not engineer, so I have no idea how it could be done, but I’m thinking of some sort of hub sensor that prevents the car from shifting into gear (or otherwise prevents the car from starting) if it detects a fault.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ev!

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On this day in F1

Mark Webber won the British Grand Prix for Red Bull on this day last year:

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Author information

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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125 comments on ““I’m going through a really tough time” – Hamilton”

  1. I am sick of hearing the words ” we must improve” from Ferrari since 2009. When are they actually going to stop talking and actually improve the car? :(

    1. you want to know when Ferrari will start winning? When they start acting like RBR and treat everything as a PR event! And start marketting themselves a bit better and so hook more people to watch F1, then BERNIE will be happy and let them have a few wins!

      1. Really?! Say, how has Bernie let RBR won the races?

      2. This is what some people actually believe

      3. @karter22 Really?

        I’ve heard many theories about RBR performance, but PR? C’mon, give some credit to their engineering and drivers.

      4. Isn’t it the opposite? Most rule changes over the last two years appeared to have as goal to slow Red Bull down!

      5. @karter22 If Ferrari don’t do PR then what is this nonsense all about?

        1. It’s a textbook RBR pitstop Ferrari are trying to copy. I presume the woman on the right rear is trying to say it’s not fitted correctly. Don’t release the car Felipe!!

        2. You know what I mean @keithcollantine . That´s not Ferrari PR, that´s “SHELL” PR. Ferrari PR would be sort of what they did in barcelona… the whole helicopter thing and carrying the F138… that sort of stuff.
          Sort of like what RBR does constantly… driving on the snow, desert, etc… that knd of PR… they need to show themselves as a new “hip” team!
          Oh i got a good example, a while ago RBR had DC drive through the Holland Tunnel in NYC… they were advertising for F1 and the NJ grand prix! they need to start doing that sort of stuff too!

          1. technically speaking, how would increased PR time give faster lap times or better car overall?

    2. It always baffles me that they have such a racy car but are not so good in qualy. :S
      I guess if Ferrari themselves understood this they would sort it.

      A collaboration between Mercedes and Ferrari might be the best solution (or it might a slow qualifying tyre muncher!). :P

      1. I agree that the team of Maranello need to do less talking and more doing, they still haven’t been able to beat Red Bull in the past 3 years. However, I have no doubt that eventually things will be reset back to “normal”, as I’d like to call it.

        Red Bull, along with teams like Renault, and Benetton come and go. They have their period of success, and then eventually fade. Ferrari are here to stay forever, and always keep winning, or at least as long as Formula 1 is around.

        It’s only a matter of time before Ferrari are back on top of F1, it could be next year, or it could take another four or five years, but it will happen eventually. Scuderia Ferrari are the best team ever, and 31 world titles speak for themselves.

        1. +100000

        2. It’s only a matter of time before Ferrari are back on top of F1, it could be next year, or it could take another four or five years, but it will happen eventually. Scuderia Ferrari are the best team ever, and 31 world titles speak for themselves.

          Take away Schumacher’s achievements and they have one drivers title since 1979.

          However, Alonso should be doing much better given the huge amount of resources dedicated to him at Ferrari.

          1. Take away Schumacher’s achievements and they have one drivers title since 1979.

            Can’t I say the same thing about McLaren? Take away Hakkinen and they’ve won only 1 WDC and no WCC since 1991. Take away Senna and they haven’t done anything since the ’80s, take away Prost and..
            I could go on and on and on..

          2. That’s just ridiculous. Take away Vettel’s achievements and Red Bull has zero titles. Whoop-dee-doo!

          3. Can’t I say the same thing about McLaren? Take away Hakkinen and they’ve won only 1 WDC and no WCC since 1991. Take away Senna and they haven’t done anything since the ’80s, take away Prost and..
            I could go on and on and on..

            We can look at it another way. Between 1979-2000 they didn’t win a drivers title. Before Schumacher’s arrival they were largely uncompetitive and had been for the most of the 80’s and 90’s.

            This is just my opinion, but Schumacher’s championships had more to do with Schumacher’s ability and leadership qualities than anything to do with the prancing horse.

            In fact, Benetton has won more drivers titles since 1979 than Ferrari has (excluding Schumacher’s 5 championships).

          4. I’d argue the opposite way, take Alonso away and Ferrari really have been nowwhere the last couple of years. I’m about as polar opposite from an Alonso fan as it comes, but he’s been driving the pants off those Ferrari’s since he’s got there.

            Ferrari have been regressing for the last couple of years, and only Alonso’s nous has saved them.

          5. @hawkii Take Vettel away from Red Bull and they probably wouldn’t have won in 2011 or last year! Alonso’s been doing great, but a team’s success comes from driver and car. You can’t hold every Ferrari win of the modern era up to the talent of Schumacher and Alonso, neither can you do it for any other team.

          6. @collosal-squid Completely agree, however Webber has been much closer to Vettel (even on Webber’s bad weekends), than Massa has been to Alonso – before this year anyway. The Red Bull is a much quicker car.

            If Vettel was replaced with say, Max Chilton, there’s a half decent chance it would still score some podiums. I’m not sure the same can be said of replacing Alonso at Ferrari at the moment.

            I think there are some serious issues at Ferrari, but the driving of Alonso wouldn’t appear to be one of them.

          7. Anon, no offense, but your logic is ridiculously below average here.

            In fact, Benetton has won more drivers titles since 1979 than Ferrari has (excluding Schumacher’s 5 championships).

            Err… You do realize who won Benetton’s titles, right?

            As I said before: by your logic we can say that Brawn GP has won more drivers titles since 2005 than Red Bull Racing has (excluding Vettel’s 3 championships). Why not? Oh wait, maybe because that’s absurd.

            But more to the point: Barrichello finished second in 2002 and 2004. Without Schumacher he would have been 1st. So there you go. At least two titles without Michael. Plus one from Kimi in 2007. Plus three incredibly close calls in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

            Not bad, if you ask me.

          8. @hawkii Yeah, Webber has been far superior than Massa since 2010, regardless of machinery. And I completely agree, there are some serious issues at Ferrari that they (hopefully) are slowly sorting out. From a race pace point of view this car has been the best they’ve had since mid 2010. Rory Byrne on the 2014 design team gives me hope too!

            My problem with viewing Ferrari’s pace by removing its best driver is that the best cars all have usually the best drivers in them. So comparing Massa to Vettel isn’t fair in my view, or even Massa to Webber as we all know who’s been the better driver these last few years. If you put Chilton in Ferrari since 2010 it might have never scored a win, but put Hulkenberg in there and who knows what would have happened?

            You can’t remove Alonso’s success, or Schumacher’s success and point to that as proof that without them Ferrari wouldn’t have achieved. Such an alternate timeline is unknowable, and to my mind a futile exercise proving nothing.

          9. Can’t I say the same thing about McLaren? Take away Hakkinen and they’ve won only 1 WDC and no WCC since 1991

            Sure you can. Hakkinen was a great driver. Schumacher himself considered him his greatest rival.

            Hakkinen in a competitive car was almost Vettel like. He’d beat Alonso and match Hamilton (on form) or Vettel.

        3. Anele (@anele-mbethe)
          8th July 2013, 11:31

          They be back on top when they sign up Vettel

          1. Sadly, that is the truth! Once they sign him, you can expect Ferrari to win again, not because he is a “great” driver but because that is what Bernie wants! XD

    3. Ferrari went 1-2 the first race of 2010.

      Just like McLaren won’t ever be a contender with Button as their number one driver, Ferrari won’t be a serious contender without a Vettel or Hamilton.

      1. Ferrari were contenders last year and in 2010 with Alonso.

      2. Don’t be ridiculous, Alonso brought six tents to Ferrari, he is the Samurai, the ninja whinga, he even cut down his eyebrows to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics, I don’t see another driver who can do more than he does. Also, I guess I shouldn’t post when I slept too little :-P

  2. Now I understand why Hamilton was touching a RB9’s most sensitive parts after the race :)

    1. But can he push her buttons like Vettel does?💆

  3. Brian Gefrich
    8th July 2013, 0:35

    Regarding Kimi, I was watching the live timing and it seemed like he was losing about .5 second per lap before the pit stop. Assuming he didn’t lose more speed, it would have still been pretty close at the end.

    I think they made the right choice, Vettel just pushed as hard as he could.

    1. Brian Gefrich
      8th July 2013, 0:57

      Yeah, if you look at the lap charts, Kimi dropped a half second to Vettel on laps 46, 47, and 48 and then they pitted him. If they had held that pace, I think the Lotus would have ended up something like 6 seconds ahead, but I doubt those tyres would have held out for 12 more laps. They were already something like 18 laps old at that point.

      1. No, the pitstop was very critical as we saw, that the lap times already dropped into the 33 bracket… If Kimi didn’t stop, he would lose out to Vettel and Grosjean… Even Alonso probably as he was the fastest car in the last laps.. I was also live timing. Mainly my focus was on Lewis and the 4 at front…

      2. Sergio Perez’ tyres lasted without a severe dropoff and he pitted with the SC too. I think Kimi would have made it.

    2. Agreed. Especially if they had not pitted Kimi and had he dropped very many places in the last few laps. One can easily imagine the flak Lotus would have received after doing so two races in a row. I think they gave him the best fighting chance by pitting for the soft tires when they did.

  4. In fairness to Ferrari, everyone other than Red Bull has been in the same position since 2009.

    1. soundscape (@)
      9th July 2013, 4:04

      Except for McLaren, it would seem.

  5. (Bias) I’m disappointed Hamilton didn’t win. A pole to flag victory would have been a nice pick-me-up after a tough week on and off the track. (/bias)

  6. I hope the test thats coming will allow Ferrari to figure where they are going wrong. At the start of the season, the car was pretty quick in race trim, but quali was a bit of weak point…now the car seems to be a bit of a slouch come Sunday as well.

  7. How many times are Lewis and Nicole going to break up? Wasn’t this the reason for the 2011 slump as well? At least he’s handling it better this time around, ie, not hitting Ferraris left right and center.

    His answer about Vettel was interesting.

    1. That´s made a interesting point, even when drivers are human, should personal problems get to their performance?

      If as you said is the second time that Hamilton is suffering because of a break up, maybe he really needs a stronger support system…Other than Nicole

      1. The heart wants what it wants, as the common wisdom goes. You do just get the sense that the guys who are winning the championships which “should have been” Lewis’ are also guys who’d sell their mothers for those championships.

        I think it makes him a much more interesting “character”. F1 may be about sorting the men from the boys, as DC will often quip, but really we are talking about a bunch of manchildren playing at million dollar games. It’s easy to forget how young a lot of these guys are (and were when they went in to the isolation of the F1 paddock.)

        1. Againt a part if your comment calls mi attention, about the “grooming” of a F1 star, let´s see the difference between drivers like Vettel and Rosberg, and Hamilton, all of then went in to F1 almost at the same time have alomost the same age (Vettle 2 years younger)

          As far as I know both were rised by stable families (no divorces) and both went to normal schools. Weather Hamilton is the son of a divorce marriage and went to home school… Maybe personal life does matter and more than we think of at the moment to rise a race driver…

          1. Hm, interesting to think about it that way @celeste, nice comment. I do think personal life does affect the driving

        2. the guys who are winning the championships which “should have been” Lewis’ are also guys who’d sell their mothers for those championships.

          Well, no.


          1. From that link

            Others at Red Bull speak of Vettel’s down-to-earth nature. ‘One year, the team was flying to Bahrain,’ Ole Schack, Vettel’s Danish mechanic, says. ‘By the time we got off the plane, Sebastian had taken all our bags off the carousel and lined them up for us. That’s how you bring a team together.’

            Somehow I have immense trouble imagining Alonso or Hamilton playing baggage handler for their team.

    2. @hwkii

      How many times are Lewis and Nicole going to break up? Wasn’t this the reason for the 2011 slump as well?

      A lot of people like to suggest it was his biggest problem in 2011, but I think the real issue was on the track, not off it. Hamilton’s biggest problem in 2011 was that he was over-driving the car. He was pushing too hard, trying to find time when there was none to be had.

      I think the real issue was that he won in China, and was expecting to be able to fight Vettel for the rest of the year. But it didn’t happen. He only won two more races over the course of the season, in Germany and Abu Dhabi – and by the time Abu Dhabi came around, Vettel had already won the title. So I think Hamilton was throwing absolutely everything he had at a title assault that was going nowhere. Vettel was untouchable, but Hamilton was convinced he could hit back if he tried a little harder. The problem was that there was nothing more to give without over-driving, which is exactly what he did.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, I know you’ve put forward this theory before, but I think many of the on-track incidents were clearly not about trying too hard. Perhaps in Monaco, where he tried moves that weren’t really on, on Maldonado and Massa you could make a case he was trying too hard. In other cases, like Singapore, Spa, and Suzuka, (Massa, Kobayashi, and Massa) he just wasn’t paying attention.

        And before you say “he locked up his wheels while lapping Alguersuari in Monza”, drivers do occasionally lock up their wheels.

      2. I also think the problem is not off-track, it’s on it. This time he got pole after breaking up with Nicole, so what’s the connection here?
        I don’t believe there was an instant where he said: “I had a bad race because Nicole left me”, but it happens to be that his statement always come after a bad weekend. I wish he could clearly separate the two and stifle the theories that he’s a drama queen. I totally respect his feelings and think his emotions as very important, but I also believe that when he gets into his car, he’s focused on one thing: winning.

    3. I don’t get the modern racing stars. Instead of having groupies hanging around and living the dream they are in (fast cars and fast women), most of them choose a “serious” relationships and on top of that they want to show them off in the pit lane instead of leaving them at home.
      Vettel is doing the right thing about this (doesn’t brig his GF to the races) and it shows.

      1. +1.

        Hit the strip club man!


        1. +2 ! Party on! (although how can one not feel for Hamy? As someone else said, the heart wants what the heart wants…)

          1. He should call his friend Snoop Dog to do a party for him with lots of bi*es and they’ll make him forget about Nicole in no time.

      2. So big James Hunt and Stirling Moss fan, aren´t you?

        1. And on top of that they are legends, something Louis would like to be very much.

    4. As many times as they make up. She’s (in my opinion) a spoilt “star” that expects Louis to spend his time in LA regardless of his busy schedule.

  8. I was extremely surprised last night when I heard the cameraman had a bruise and a small cut on his head, I thought that can’t be right, unless he’s made out of lead.
    It could’ve easily been a skull fracture, Red Bull and Formula One should count themselves extremely lucky.

    I know Motorsport is dangerous, but this year is turning out to be quite unfortunate in regards to a number of accidents: the Canadian marshal, not to mention the recent fatalities in Le Mans and Lambourghini to name a few.
    This is a reminder to everyone involved that complacency is a killer and perhaps some of the less obvious roles in the pitlane/trackside should be scrutineered. Every time I watch Ted’s notebook I always see a forklift full of containers wizzing by in a full paddock or pitlane, as if its a factory warehouse full of onlookers.

    I don’t think it’ll be long before another “off-track” injury..

    1. I can’t imagine his injuries were so light, but I think one thing in his favour would have been that as he was not expecting to be hit by a large fast moving object he wouldn’t have resisted being hit and thus not absorbed so much of the energy but more pushed out of the way.

      Still, not nice

  9. When you read Hamilton’s comments in context I actually feel for him, despite me not being a fan. When you go through a break up, we all find it difficult – regardless of job.

    The sad thing is when comments like his, made right at the end of a frank interview, are made the focus by F1 websites worldwide. Giving it headline billing creates the perception that Hamilton is first and foremost blaming poor on track performances on his personal life, which isn’t the case.

    Don’t get me wrong, the media are well within their rights to report this as headline news, it just distorts the picture slightly and sits uncomfortably with me personally.

    1. @cduk_mugello Alonso and Raikkonen went through divorces not long back, the latter still doesn’t have anyone in his life. Do they let that affect them?

      1. raikonnen is a finn , he can hide his emotions . and ofcourse ” he doen’t care a $^!( ” . Maybe alonso has taken it better but hey he’s got a new GF ..so what ?

        1. @hamilfan That’s very xenophobic..Finns aren’t born with less emotions!!

          1. @wsrgo well I din’t mean it in a racist way . I wanted to convey that he does a better job at hiding emotions which is by the way a good trait to have . At least he keeps the media humble.

          2. @wsrgo maybe they’re able to control it better, Hamilton mentioned his Finn trainer to talk about how composed he can be despite going through hard times.

            There are cultural issues that influence how you behave.

      2. @wsrgo Maybe it depends who does the breaking up, what the reason is, etc.

      3. That’s why we say that ‘all humans are not the same’. If that was the case then the field of psychology wouldn’t have been there!

        I truly respect and admire Lewis for being brutally honest about his thoughts. As compared to 2011, he is really handling the situation well which shows that he is learning his lessons. I hope he gets back on track soon.

      4. Sometimes a break-up doesn’t affect people. Especially the ones that were over the relationship before it terminated.

      5. Maybe they just don’t say it.

      6. @wsrgo – I watched the interview, and don’t really get any impression that Lewis is blaming anything for his on track performance, which has anyway been very typically good. He just so happened to mention when asked, that he’s going through a tough time, but I doubt he is letting that adversely affect his performances.

    2. @cduk_mugello I must say I feel a bit uncomfortable discussing it. I don’t consider it any of my business.

      If I were a celebrity I would want to keep my private life private. But Hamilton seems content to tell everyone about his latest break-up and even link it to his performance on the track so I guess it’s fair enough. And as others have pointed out this isn’t the first time Hamilton has done so.

      1. That’s how today’s society works. Just put all your woes on twitter or FB. Personally I see it as a scream for attention, why would you want complete strangers to be involved in your private life anyway? I know I wouldn’t!

      2. I believe that if you are famous and his girlfriend also, you can not keep private. Such as photographers take pictures while eating in restaurants, talk about your clothes, if you were ill or well dressed ….
        LH has just answered to the questions of M. Brundle why he has such mood swings. I feel sorry that he has privately and currently at work no luck.

        1. @ds There are degrees though and the person in question can have a big effect on that. I don’t make any effort to find out what’s going on the drivers’ personal lives – the first I knew of Hamilton’s break-up was when he mentioned it somewhere. Whereas Alonso got divorced a while ago but I don’t remember hearing anything else about it since. I couldn’t even tell you if he has a partner now. An I certainly don’t remember him turning up at a race track having a sulk about it.

      3. @keithcollantine I somewhat disagree, to be honest. I think it’s unfair to say that he’s “content to tell everyone about his latest break-up”. It sounds like you’re insinuating that he’s fishing for attention, when in reality he seemed reasonable about it and just at first briefly touched on “losing someone close” to him and then Martin asked to confirm that it was Nicole.

        Like others have mentioned, F1 drivers are human beings too. Emotions and all. Yes Alonso and maybe others may have gone through divorces and such, but everyone handles things differently. The fact that one driver mentions it (albeit briefly), that doesn’t say anything about how he’s dealing with it in comparison to another driver who wouldn’t discuss it at all (even if it wasn’t even public knowledge). The fact remains that although Lewis wears his heart on his sleeves (his own words), that doesn’t mean he can’t deal with it any better than any other driver would – we can’t directly compare these kinds of situations with one another.

        1. @gfreeman

          It sounds like you’re insinuating that he’s fishing for attention

          I was implying nothing of the sort, I was merely expressing surprise that he would want to share such details about his private life. If I were in his shoes I know I wouldn’t.

        2. When he talks about bad results and a break up in a same context it implies that these things are connected and I think that’s how majority of people understood it.

    3. Boohooohoo…my life is so hard at the moment…sob sob…I can’t even concentrate on driving my car without day dreaming of Nicole!

      Grow up you stupid little boy!

      1. What are you on about?

      2. @Asanator This is f1fanatic not some tabloid website where you jeer at drivers :P

  10. As for the tweet, yes, it’s ridiculous how many people are in the pit lane. It looks like the times square S platform at rush hour. And many of those people have no actual business down there, like camera men. I know that’s good for the show, but I almost gasp every time I see a camera man standing on the opposite side of the car from the pits as it’s being worked on, shuffiling around with a big camera on his shoulder. Not necessary. It’s not like they are bringing the world important information from the latest war zone. It’s just a sport. Then you have team leaders and engineers or somebody sauntering across a live pit lane to get to their little engineering bridge trackside—for what, so they can put the letters on the pit boards themselves? This is an antiquated and dangerous practice. Yes and there is no wall to keep errant cars from careening into a garage. The whole thing needs a good looking at.

    1. And many of those people have no actual business down there, like camera men.

      Actually is quite the opposite we need them now more than ever, everyone takes them for granted but so many pitstops it would be even more confusing for the people at home to know what’s happening down there.

      1. @mantresx But perhaps there’s a different solution to things. Why not make more use of overhead cameras, or cameras on a crane for that matter (or any other safe place). They don’t need to be on the ground, up close to the cars. Sure it looks spectacular, but I’m sure there are other ways to achieve the same goal.

        With that said, it was unfortunate what happened with the loose wheel. Perhaps if the camera man hadn’t been there, someone else might’ve gotten hit. Personally there would be more to achieve on the team’s side. Like the COTD suggesting that a car shouldn’t be able to drive when the wheels aren’t properly attached. I can’t imagine that would be too difficult to make; if the car is on the speed limiter, and the wheel nuts aren’t properly attached, you can’t drive away. What they should also clamp down on is the use of the marshalling lane, that’s cutting it dangerously close. It would be like standing right next to a highway.

    2. As a sports reporter for many years, I covered several F1 and FIndy GPs, and it is always the same thing: the number of passes to the pit lane during a race is VERY, VERY, VERY tightly controlled for the press. ONLY the TV global rights holders AND the local network, responsible for generating the images and the feed, can have personnel at the pit lane during the race. And to have that pass each professional need to sign a document stating clearly that if anything happens to them (like being knocked by a stranded wheel…) it is NOT the FIA responsibility. A short version of that text is stamped on the back of the badge, in case you want to reread it during a Safety Car period. Basically you are stating that you are there because you want. It is the TV network responsability to sign a fat life insurance covering the presence of that professional at the pit lane. (With some, *little*, differences, that applies to every press professional anywhere at the track, even if you are sitting in the press room). OH, and BTW, no photographers near the cars on the pit lane during the race, unless each team decides to put his own photographer at the box.
      That said, I have the impression that the idea of an overcrowded pit lane is somehow wrong. Normally the network generating the images use a camera at one end of the pit lane to cover all the boxes in one frame. That compresses the perspective and it looks like a supermarket on a sunday morning, but in real life the teams are separated by good 10 or 15 meters. That wheel from Webber’s car could have gone across the pit lane and smash into the area where the engineers and team chiefs follow the race through the monitors, or bounce into the track. Everyone was lucky this sunday.
      Just my last $0,02…

    3. This is an antiquated and dangerous practice. Yes and there is no wall to keep errant cars from careening into a garage. The whole thing needs a good looking at.

      @dmw – Totally agree. F1 as a sport and the photographer are very fortunate this was not worse than it was.

      It is so quaint and so Formula 1 to keep this situation going. I was a team photographer with a lower tier NASCAR team and even NASCAR has better safety in this area. As a photog, I can easily picture what would have happened to me if I had bounded over a pit wall to snap a few pictures during a race. Would have been my very last race with credentials. Not to mention that the pit crews in F1 are required to wear safety gear during races, but all these other officials, photographers, team members and everyone else walking around the pit lane area during an ongoing race is not? Is this not similar to fans standing wherever they wanted along the racetrack during a race? We all know what happened there and it took multiple incidents with deaths occurring over many years before that practice was outlawed.

      As far as photographers go, there are many angles to capture images from behind pit walls, a level above the pit lane and other safe areas that still offer exclusive photos beyond what the general public has access to. Imagine if that was an out of control race car careening into the back of an unsuspecting photographer. Scary.

      I know the pit lane area with direct garage access is different in F1 compared to many other series. Hard to say whether redesigning the pit areas or limiting access during races is the best answer. Something should be done before there is an incident worse than what we have already seen.

  11. I agree with the COTD that there should be a safer way to release the cars using technology, the worst way to do it for example, would be the FIA imposing a minimum time per stop.
    However, like someone else already said here using common sense and reinforce safety procedures already in place is the best way to stop this from happening again.

    1. @mantresx

      What do stats of similar problems? Maybe it’s not that common and strict regulation can do more harm than good. Maybe helmets for everyone in the are would be a quick fix.

  12. Why not set a standard pit stop time.

  13. I think it would be great if the FIA introduced minimum pit stop times. I couldn’t care less if a team does a 2.3, 2.4 or a 2.5 second stop. Firstly there’s the safety aspect of course but too many races been ruined by stupid wheel nut issues caused by pit crews under extraordinary pressure. A miniumum 4 or 5 second stop looks impressive enough to those that care about these things but might mean less impact on the actual racing which should take place on the track. To me pit stops seem to have evolved to a point of importance way beyond their original intention.

    1. @elreno, I agree. I would even suggest that a car must be stationary in the pit box for at least 10 seconds. There are a few benefits:

      1. The mechanics aren’t rushing around like mad men trying to change four tyres in 2.5 seconds and making mistakes that can kill people.

      2. It would force the teams to think long and hard about changing tyres every 15 or 20 laps – I mean it is not as if the tyres are completely destroyed at the end of a stint, it’s just that they are not operating at their peak, and the time penalty for changing the tyres is less than the time penalty for continuing to run on the worn tyres. As Formula 1 starts to move towards a more sustainable platform, using smaller engine, introducing fuel limits, and energy recovery systems, it would make sense if it also became a little bit less wasteful with the number of tyres they chew though.

      3. It would promote the idea of challenging for position on the race track, rather than leap frogging through pit stops and in/out lap times.

      While banging on about pit safety, in this modern age there should be no need to have camera men in the pit lane. Why not use cameras mounted to overhead cables, or mini rotor drones controlled remotely? Also it’s high time that engineers and team principals sitting on the pit wall be removed. It is dangerous, and not needed in this modern day and age (Monaco proves so). Regarding pit boards, why are they still using a manually operated pit board where someone physically inserts each letter and number – this is F1, the pinnacle of motorsport – if pit boards are still needed, why not use LED panels remotely controlled from within the garage? Put LG and Rolex to work developing some sort of electronic remotely controlled pit / timing board.

      1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
        8th July 2013, 11:23

        + 1.

        Pit stops should not be so critical. I am completely for a minimum time. Also, this would allow them to bring back a safe refuelling. They could control the rate of flow of fuel and thus teams will be able to strategise based on tire wear and/or fuel amounts, but without all of the safety issues. Plus more passes will have to be made on track.

      2. 4 seconds minimum pit stop time sounds logical. Not too long – which might cause the teams from backtracking from a tyre stoop- and not too short – which can cause problems as we saw.

    2. A miniumum time is just stupid. Its far easier to let them switch off the engine or something if we want to give the guys time to do something, mandate they cannot work on the car while its fired up again, so there is extra time to find out not everyone is ready.

      But a far more sensible idea would be to cut down on people doing the pitstop and being in the pitlane. Make it 2-4 guys per car, doing one side at a time etc. That way the pitstops take longer, and there’s far less people out there who can get hurt.

      1. Spot on BasCB! I rather like how pitstops are performed in the Indycar series. Although they aren’t blindingly fast, there is still a competition between the teams. When there are a lot less people in the way cameramen can stand back and see everything from a safer distance.

      2. Cutting down the number of mechanics achieves nothing in getting the tyres on better. If anything, it makes them even more rushed and error prone.

        Either impose a minimum time or institute some fool proof procedures. An extreme example would be that the mechanics need to run back into the garage before the car can leave. Or less extreme that the wheel gun men have to press a button or put their wheel gun in a fixed location (ie holding it over their heads).

        Or if possible, some sensor in the wheelnut that detects proper fixing. not sure how safe that would be though.

        1. @patrickl

          Cutting down the number of mechanics achieves nothing in getting the tyres on better. If anything, it makes them even more rushed and error prone.

          I don’t know if anyone has data on whether that is true – it would be interesting to have a look if there is.

          Anecdotally, I’ve watched all the F1 and IndyCar/ChampCar races going back several decades for F1 and around eight/nine years for the latter, and it seems to me that losing wheels is more of a problem for post-refuelling era F1 than in IndyCar where they have a limit on pit crew size (and refuelling is permitted, which takes some pressure off the wheel gun men).

          What I think is important to bear in mind is that in the case of Webber’s incident last weekend (like Rosberg’s in 2010) is that two failures are occuring: one, the wheel isn’t going on; two, the lollipop man isn’t realising the wheel hasn’t gone on. Perhaps having fewer bodies around the car makes it easier for IndyCar’s lollipop men to register when all four tyres have been attached.

          The other advantage to reducing the size of the pit crew is obviously that there are far fewer bodies to hit – potentially hundreds fewer in the firing line.

          1. @keithcollantine

            It seems to me the problem lies with the lollipop man. There’s a huge responsibility on him to make sure he releases the car as “quickly” and “safely” as possible. So not only does he have to be watching for the four different signals that the tires are secured, he also has to make sure there are no competitors coming down pit lane. This all in a matter of 2.5 seconds. Perhaps creating a system in which the tire changers trigger a switch when their job is complete, similar to Ferrari’s light system from a few years back, would aid in this. One light for each tire. If the driver and lollipop man were both able to see this it potentially cuts in half the chance that a driver would leave the pits prior to having tires secured. It would also allow the lollipop man to be able to focus more on a safe release, which there have been more and more unsafe releases lately. To me that is a growing problem as well

          2. @Keith Collantine

            Indycar has refuelling. The wheels are done well before the car takes off. They have thrown their wheelguns back to the wall when they are done.

            So yeah, it’s easier to see they are done AND they are in less of a rush to get the job done. In fact it’s more important for them not to make a mistake rather than being super fast on the change itself. Which is exactly what F1 should have as well.

            A limiting factor which either stops the rush or procedures that stop mistakes.

          3. @patrickl

            Indycar has refuelling.

            As I acknowledged in that comment.

          4. o why bring it up? It’s no comparison.

            Besides, i don’t know any sport where there are so many pit mishaps like there are in indy.

    3. But isn’t the whole reason for Pirelli being instructed to produce the high deg tyres we have this season so that there are more pit stops hence more pit lane overtakes? Of course I agree that on track overtakes are preferential but apparently they are not numerous enough to keep the masses interested in F1.

  14. I liked Hamilton’s interview. Hope he gets his act together and focus on realising his potential. He still has time. As for his personal life, indeed, this is the moment that separates the Men from the boys. This is probably the “moment of truth” for Hamilton. He is not the upcoming youngster anymore. Either he now gets the focus to be like his “hero” Senna, or become just a wasted talent. I was thinking the later, with the dog walking and glamour chasing beginning of the year. Maybe there’s still hope.

  15. I think he has he tenacity to keep going despite many problems and I believe that’s what makes him special . But I hope we don’t see a repeat of 2011 again . I think he needs to maybe connect more with his team and as he says ” be busy to not get bogged down ” . But one thing is for sure , Once he tastes that victory champaign , he will rekindle his want to win .

    1. Once he tastes that victory champaign , he will rekindle his want to win

      @hamilfan – i’m a huge Hamilton fan, too, but I think you’re wrong here. I don’t know how you could assume that he ever lost either his will or desire to win. That shows a failure to understand the psychology of the elite sportsman…

      1. @joepa I know that this year he has been perfect so far . I am just concerned that he does not have a repeat of 2011 . Psychology is fine but a victory will give the ultimate boost especially after many retirements from the lead . So yeah , I think he will deal with it . By the way I never said he lost his will all together (evident from the results) . He just needs some victories to give him a push .

    2. If anything, we are seeing a repeat of 2012. Hamilton has begun from where he left off in 2012. Look at his results, all top 5 finishes except for the disaster in Barcelona. No one expected that pre season.

  16. At the start of the year Hamilton kept saying how he would be fighting to get into the top 10. Now he’s angry that he cant WIN? hahaha he’s too weak minded.

    1. @joshua-mesh Things change quickly in f1 . Perez wanted to win the title earlier. He just can’t keep saying now ” I want to win, I want to win ” He knows what Mclaren can do this year and has to maximize . Similarly , Lewis knows that the merc can win , so he wants to win . Nothing wrong there mate .

    2. Now he’s angry that he cant WIN? hahaha he’s too weak minded.

      You can’t seriously be criticising a 21 times winner, and former world champion, for wanting to win can you? No, it appears that you actually ARE serious.

      1. I’m sure I could Jedi Mind trick him!

  17. Pit stops should not affect the outcome of a race. they should simply be service stops for tyres, bodywork, aero changes and the like. They should certainly not be mad dashes against the clock which can result in work being incomplete and possibly fatal to any number of people.

    Each pit stop should be a standard 30 seconds long. Driver brings the car in, tyres are changes, visor cleaned, whatever work is done on the car can be done, and done properly, making sure everything is bolted on tightly, and then the driver his held until 30 seconds are up, and the car can then be released safely.

    No-one is disadvantaged because everyone has exactly the same pit stop time, and there are no more mad dashes in the pits trying to get that extra half second so your driver can get the jump on someone… that’s what the track is for… overtake out there.

    1. +1

      But you will find that the chess fans on this site would much rather have anything but racing skill determine the outcome.

    2. Agree in principle, but maybe 10 seconds would be long enough.

  18. zoom (@zoomracing)
    8th July 2013, 10:26

    The only thing that works properly in Ferrari is Alonso, until the realize that they have to fire people and get better tech staff, they are doomed.

    Another problem with them is that they are slow with everything.

  19. Gosh, how often do we hear that modern F1 drivers are just corporate machines without any emotion? But when a driver does show emotion and humanity, then oh no, he’s an idiot and should be focusing on the racing. I guess Hamilton can do no right in some people’s eyes.

    1. +1 couldn’t put it better meself.

  20. The removal of non-essential personnel from the pitlane does seem a sensible way of addressing some of the safety problems. As others have said, there’s not really that much need for cameramen to be in the pitlane. And indeed, at the very least, why are they not subject to the same requirements (fireproofs, helmet, etc) as the pit crews? Similarly, there seems little reason why there should be a need for personnel to cross the pitlane.

    Trouble is though, this will only ever go so far. Look at the safety car period – half the field came into the pits at once. The pitlane suddenly filled up with hundreds of mechanics. Having fewer cameramen (camera-persons??) is hardly going to make that much of a difference in situations like that.

    Personally I think the whole thing needs to be cracked down on. Refuelling was gotten rid of on the grounds of safety – far too many incidents where cars drove away with the hose attached, and the ensuing carnage was always horrific to watch. But now in virtually every race we see unsafe releases. It’s one thing to allow a driver to go down the pit apron side by side, but it sets a dangerous precedent – you end up having cars effectively racing each other in the pitlane. It’s not part of the racing track. It’s a service area. And where the driver on the outside has to cross past a driver on the pit apron to pull into his pitbox, you have a very dangerous situation. You only need to look at the number of people you can get in the pitlane, just metres away from the cars, to see that having two cars racing each other is an accident waiting to happen, and that’s without things like cars being released without all the wheels attached.

    The best way to deal with this is by giving a proper punishment to the teams. Not just token fines which mean absolutely nothing to them. Genuine competitive punishments. Maybe incorporated into the driver points system being introduced next year. Or perhaps a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ type of punishment – if a team releases a car unsafely three times during a season, the team will get a race ban. Harsh, yes, but I think it’s the only way to really put them off pushing the boundaries so much.

    Or change the pit procedures so that we avoid it happening again in the future. How about bringing back refuelling, but this time look at how you can prevent the car from driving away with the hose attached. I mean, the cars are all drive-by-wire, and all have the same ECU, so why not have electrical contacts on the refuelling nozzle which, when they attach to the car, disable the driver’s throttle control? With refuelling you have plenty of time to make sure all the wheels are bolted on, and if you mandate standard parts for fuel rigs, and put in place a simple technical solution to prevent drivers being able to drive away with the hose attached, then all you need to worry about is punishing people for releasing one car into the path of another.

    Of course, if the tyres were more durable, with an average of 2 stops per race, you’d see far fewer incidents anyway since cars would spend less time in the pits. I’d say that at the moment it’s only a matter of time until someone is hurt. But then, this weekend someone was hurt, and no meaningful action was taken to punish those responsible. Does nobody think this is a problem?

  21. Girlfriend trouble – yawn. He wouldn’t be talking about hi emotions if he’d won, that’s for sure.

    Overall, Mercedes have made a brilliant start to the season, way above anyone’s expectations pre-season. Keep it up Merc, Lewis just drive the car and keep growing up a bit by bit.

    Only Red Bull have the three ingredients to win the championship at the moment: a fast quali car, a fast race car, and a fast driver.

  22. Is Lewis more suited to F1 or The Only way is Essex?

    Drama Queen. I’m sure you’re having a really hard time in your Swiss mansion driving around in your Top Spec Merc and having 100’s of millions of quid in the bank….

    Yeah…Hard life eh Lewis.

    1. I’ve always thought same, he’s got a complicated ego and it’s exacerbated by the ego stroking he’s had since he first entered F1 with McLaren. He’s a F1 driver not pop star so why has he got XIX celebrity pop management building his image? Why does he try to be like Jay Z and Kanye West? His self entitled ego will be his undoing, outside Britain he’s not the mega pop star that he thinks he is. If he lusts mega attention and pop star status than he needs to go and live in LA.

    2. When it comes to feelings and emotions, I don’t think the amount of money you have makes one scrap of difference. I’m speculating now, but I would assume that he had pretty strong feeling towards his ex, given he brought a private jet so he could spend more time with her; in his head, he might have had a whole life mapped out with this girl, and now he has to come to the realisation that none of that is going to happen. He seems like he is someone that dares to dream, and sets himself lofty goals, and dealing with losing someone that he really cares about is probably a massive blow to him, like it is to anyone that has lost someone that they really care about.

      I think he was very honest and dignified in the answers to the interview, and it must be massively difficult going through a break up, especially when being in such a public position, while still performing at the high level that he is. I think it’s pretty impressive.

  23. Give it up Lewis you will never win another championship with these tyres, even against this bunch of cruisers.Mark’s given it up as a bad job ,see the light ,move on .

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