Singapore showed Vettel’s true advantage – Hamilton

2013 Korean Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013Lewis Hamilton believes the performance advantage Sebastian Vettel had over his rivals during the Singapore Grand Prix was a true reflection of the Red Bull’s superiority.

“I think that’s the true pace of their car,” said Hamilton during the Korean Grand Prix press conference. “Perhaps they have a lot more in the bag than we get to see.”

“I think in the race, on the restart, everyone was pushing flat out, so there should be no reason why they were able to pull away that much. If you look on the on-board he’s on the power, full throttle at least 20 metres before everyone else which is a huge advantage.”

Hamilton said “there’s nothing you can really do” about that kind of advantage. “We’re always asking for rear downforce, always want to be able to get on the power sooner.”

“The last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was – what – 2007, 2008? 2007 when we had traction control.”

Vettel was over two seconds per lap faster than second-placed Nico Rosberg following the Safety Car period in Singapore. Rosberg was struggling with understeer due to tyre debris lodged in his front wing, and was holding up the cars behind him.

However Felipe Massa believes Vettel will remain the driver to beat for the rest of the season:

“I think if you look at the last race how was his pace, qualifying and in the race, if you look that few teams will have new pieces in the car from now to the last races, similar to what he did in the last race he’s going to have more victories, I think.

“His pace was for sure better than everybody in the last races, depending on the track, especially in Singapore. Going the track that you need more downforce they always show great performance as well. We see. I hope it’s not like that but the chance is pretty much in that direction that he can have more victories.”

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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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    142 comments on “Singapore showed Vettel’s true advantage – Hamilton”

    1. Hi!
      So, it’s a bit tricky:
      _ on the one hand, Hamilton seems to say that Vettel leads the championship thanks to his car only (this somewhat echoes some of his previous comments about how much easy it is for Vettel, and that he would not like that for himself (here, please, allow me the right to doubt this, Mr. Hamilton));
      _ note that the previous implies a number of things regarding Webber’s driving skills, which I find harsh and pretty tactless;
      _ on the other hand, one of Lewis’s sentence clearly echoes Minardi’s recent comments about an illegal traction control on Vettel’s, suggesting some cheating.

      Thus it seems to me that Lewis’s comments, in total, are very strong and serious. I don’t know whether he really meant all of that.

      1. To me, he hasn’t said “You guys are cheating” quite the same way that Gian Carlo Minardi did, all he is saying is that the combination of the downforce monster that is the RB9 and Vettel is pretty much unstoppable, which isn’t really news, it’s fact.

        1. Well whatever they are saying or implying or not implying, you guys realize that when FIA says they found nothing illegal, then Seb makes the difference :) it’s only logic.

          1. Well that’s what I said too (“the combination of the downforce monster that is the RB9 and Vettel is pretty much unstoppable, which isn’t really news, it’s fact”). ;)

          2. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
            3rd October 2013, 11:11

            @makana A car can be faster than all other cars on the grid without being illegal. Example? The RB9.

            1. Fine @shreyasf1fan, the RB9 is faster. But last time I checked Webber is at 130 points. I don’t believe Alonso is as good as Massa, he’s light years ahead in many ways IMO :) but people stop here and don’t apply the same rule in RBR, ludicrous.

          3. That’s not logic. Whether or not they are cheating, their car is far superior to any other car out there. 2 seconds a lap is not a difference that a world class driver car make in a similar car. In this instance (at least) the primary difference is the car.

          4. @makana

            Hamilton didn’t say “it’s the car only!” he just said Seb’s car is much better and it doesn’t mean if it’s legal or not. FIA said 2009’s Brawn was legal but their driers had a car advantage but this fact doesn’t make Button a bad driver.

            1. Very true, but then again the Brawn was NEVER 2 seconds faster than anything else. In fact it was never even 1 second faster.

            2. @nick101 well, neither was the RB9. There have been too many reiterrations of comments stating the RB9 is 1-2 seconds faster, but that’s simply not true. Yes, it is on that particular strategy but that’s because Vettel was due to make another pit stop and so had to gap Alonso very quickly. Whereas Alonso was just managing his tyres to the end, taking it relatively easy (as he knew drivers immediately behind him had to stop again).

              I think a far more accurate assessment would be to suggest on average it holds a 0.5-1 second advantage during a race stint, and much less even in qualifying.

            3. @vettel1 I think the 2 seconds gap was compared to Nico who was on the same strategy, not Fernando. Once should argue that Nico picked up some rubber and that cost him some time…

          5. I wish that it was that simple. F1 and FIA is entertaining, that is why I watch, but it is a little boys club. I don’t trust anything FIA or F1 tells me about the reasoning behind their decisions. In the end I don’t care. I’m not saying RB is cheating, I just think you need to be careful who you believe. RB did push for a tire change for their car and win…

            1. RB did push for a tire change for their car and win…

              No, they didn’t. They wanted harder compounds, which they didn’t get.

              The sole reason the tyres were changed is because they were unsafe. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with Red Bull.

      2. @js,@geemac, I have to object on Gians behalf, he was at great pains not to accuse RBR of cheating, but said his observations suggested that Vettels car behaved as though it had traction control, in the same way as people argued that Mercedes had the most powerful engine because some cars using it had a higher top speed than Renault powered cars, a single effect can have many causes.

        1. Perhaps I went a bit far. All I was trying to say was that on the balance of the statements of GCM and LH, if anyone is actually trying to hint at something, it would be GCM.

        2. @geemac,@HoHum, Maybe my writing is clumsy, but:
          1. even if Giancarlo Minardi won’t, of course, accuse RB of cheating, his formulation is still quite strong: “There are some aspects […] that make me think and I would like to have some answers. All those doubts are even more serious if we consider that Webber wasn’t able to do that […]”. (taken from Giancarlo’s website). He adds he “doesn’t want to blame anyone”. Let me be clear here:
          I think Giancarlo has absolutely the right to express his views and what he feels, and asks questions; in addition, I think he did it in a perfectly nice way and I would not make him any reproach. Of course, his writing arouses suspicions and the media will make/have made these even bigger (which, with no doubts, Giancarlo had foreseen, but there’s little he can do with that).
          My point is rather than Hamilton’s sentence clearly and explicitly refers to Giancarlo’s writings, and hence will keep the ball spinning in the media (and, probably, will make it spin faster)… No essential problem here, but just asking why Lewis did so…

          2. Regarding driver’s skills, I see nothing in Lewis’s comments that would make think Vettel has some merit in the business. All seems to be the car, dot. Which seems to me, somehow, unnecessary negative (or negative-wave) comments on some people…

          1. No problem @js,@geemac, I for one am glad a person with such a history in F1 has raised these questions, it beats the hades out of arguing whether Justin Bieber or Milly Cyrus is the better driver.

          2. I can think of a couple reasons why Minardi (and now Hamilton) doesn’t come right out and state flatly that he believes RBR (sorry, just Vettel) is using traction control: (a) it would make him look like a silly conspiracy theorist if it turned out not to be true and (b) making a statement like that could potentially leave him vulnerable to legal retaliation. So I’m not surprised he was at great pains not to state it flat out. Make no mistake, though: he used that term for a reason, and so far it’s having the desired effect.

      3. He isn’t saying at all that Vettel (or red bull) is cheating. He is more referring to the excess amount of rear downforce the red bull has. Besides that, at f1technical we figured that teams can have several TC-esque features through legal means like smart use of kers and using only a certain amount of cilinders for a given percentage, when needed. Traction control is forbidden, but simulating some of its features through legal use of your equipment is not.

        About it being more about the car then Vettel, well… not one driver can have, in normal circumstances and on a very known track, have over 2 seconds pace advantage pure on his driving talents. Vettel might at best bring in half a second, but the rest of the advantage should be down to his position in free air and car advantage.

        1. @turbof1, “He isn’t saying at all that Vettel (or red bull) is cheating.”: I disagree with that. It seems to me that “The last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was – what – 2007, 2008? 2007 when we had traction control.” is exactly staged to mention such a possibility. That is how I interpret it, now it’s maybe just down to a very clumsy way of expressing oneself.

          As for the rest, I agree that what matters is how the whole bundle (car+driver+strategy+mechanics) mix in together.

          1. He isn’t saying they are cheating, but he is definitely blinking an eye(Biianchi face in the background). He may accept that the car is legal, but he is very happy to let people know the “truth” that Vettel’s advantage is against the “spirit of competition”.

            1. “Spirit of competition”? Isn’t that to win?

      4. From my reading, Lewis just said RB9 is much better because they have much better traction.

        He did say Seb has a car advantage, and it’s true, but he did not say he’s on top “thanks to his car only”. One just cannot ignore that his car is better.

        On Webber, Minardi basically says he’s been driving a different machine…

    2. Lewis seems to back up what Minardi was saying, while Vettel did appear to be running slightly more wing than Webber (speed trap figures) the difference did not appear enough to give SV such a huge advantage. I found the radio instruction to Vettel on lap 24 “Sebastien, you need to use more Kers earlier, 75% by the last corner” intriguing considering how much faster he had been circulating, note it was not “you can use more kers if you want to” it was an instruction to use at least 75% of Kers each lap, adding a little fuel to the idea that RBR may be using Kers “harvesting” to smooth out the torque delivery.
      At last, a possible technical advantage that is not driven by aerodynamics, I hope we learn a lot and watch the others play catch-up, by contrast the possibility that Vettel is just so superior would be a recipe for absolute boredom, no matter how laudable.

      1. RBR have been cheating and the FIA have been allowing it since 2009!
        And next year only the FIA can discontinue RBR’s dominance.

        1. They aren’t cheating. Using kers harvesting to manipulate the torque is legal. Infact, I very much doubt that the other top teams aren’t doing the same.

        2. Any proof for that?

          1. Not a definite proof but, by the look of it, an informed opinion.
            Near the end of the article it concludes:”but I’m quite sure all of the teams already do this to some extent.”

        3. @commendatore

          If the FIA wanted Red Bull to win then they would not be banning all RB’s clever toys.

        4. I think no one cares about the comments from Charlie Whiting saying they can’t find anything and RBR’s car is legal. It’s easier to live in a dream world.

          Though Ferrari is used to illegal cars and getting away with it to keep the championship exciting (Malaysia 1999). ;)

        5. Remember when F1 was about innovation and brilliant engineering? Now when one team engineers a brilliant car, or uses throttle mapping or KERS or some kind of other ingenious way to help traction instead of looking at every other team and asking “why didn’t you think of that?” we have people saying Red Bull is cheating.

          1. +1.

            I my book, if that’s legal, that’s not cheating. I’d call it out-smarting the rest of the field. Kudos to Red Bull Technology and Renault.

          2. Sadly that’s how F1 was became. But i take my hat off for RBR. They didn’t invented many things they copied DDRS from Merc or EBD from brawn or Slots from Sauber and more i couldn’t Think off now. But they Perfected them like no other did. The Team was very much at its best not only in development but in every Area we think off.

            1. @harsha I think the EBD was actually a Red Bull “innovation” (it was actually used before in the 80’s I think) – you’ve confused it with the DDD I think.

          3. @colossal-squid One doesn’t have to be that cynical to assume that people cry “cheating!” because the team developing these innovations is sporting the ‘wrong’ colour.

            1. @guilherme Sad yet true. For me the team winning at the moment is wearing the ‘wrong’ colour, but it’s only because they’re doing almost everything right. Can’t blame them for it but some are making a great effort to do just that!

          4. Nice comment Squid.

        6. If “cheating” is winning, then yes Red Bull are “cheating”.

        7. @commendatore even Alonso thinks you’re talking nonsense.

          On that note, I’m actually starting to appreciate Alonso a lot more as a character. He’s been signing from the right hymn sheet lately – stating that the booing is unacceptable and saying what we all should be thinking: Red Bull are doing better, so it’s up to the other teams to improve.

          Also, I really liked this comment from Seb!

          He then jokingly played up to the rumours about traction control by saying he would be less strong in Korea this weekend than in Singapore because the nature of the circuit meant such systems would be less effective.
          “Since traction control will not matter so much we should probably struggle a little bit more”

          So it seems Alonso is being open and honest, and I do admire that. Hamilton however…when will he ever drop this constant banging on about the Red Bull being a better car‽

          1. @vettel1
            You think I care if you or Alonso disagree with me? :)
            I’ve never liked Alonso as a character, I think he’s a big hypocrite, same as RBR and its kind. I respect the Spaniard as a driver though and I think he’s the best in F1 after MSC’s retirement in 2006.

            I don’t mind innovation, but crossing the legal line of regulation – that I mind and I find it immoral and unethical! Taking pride from winning races and titles in an illegal car is horrible and disgusting.

            The more recent examples I can think of are: Alonso’s win in Singapore 2008 (crash-gate) and, Hamilton’s WDT in 2008 (stepney-gate).
            Both didn’t deserve what they won – but took credit non-the-less.

            RBR/Vettel’s story is no different…

            1. @commendatore ah, the dangers of making assumptions based on “appearances” ;)

              but crossing the legal line of regulation

              I don’t think there ever is a line, unless you actually break the rule. That is why F1 teams and the FIA alike always speak of “grey” areas in the regulations: they exist deliberately to promote innovation. So no, unless a team actually breaks the rules (in which case they’ll be punished, anyway) I don’t agree that teams have to abide by a moral conduct fallacy. All this spirit of the regulations nonsense is just an indirect way for teams to highlight they’ve missed an area which they can exploit to their advantage and so want it banned.

              The more recent examples I can think of are: Alonso’s win in Singapore 2008 (crash-gate)

              That is very, very different. Abusing the sporting regulations is totally unacceptable – they are implemented to protect the competitors and in the interests of fair sporting competition. So violating them should be punished in every circumstance, absolutely.

              Red Bull haven’t been playing dare with them, though. They’ve been exploring the technical regulations, which has always been done (most famously by Adrian Newey and Gordon Murray). That’s merely the hallmark of a great design team, nothing more. It’s not “unethical” nor is it “cheating”, that’s just finding an advantage.

              So RBR’s story is indeed very, very different – the two events don’t even bear comparison.

    3. If the Red Bull has such an advantage, why is Mark Webber unable to exploit it? Instead of challenging Vettel or at least finishing second, Webber frequently finishes behind Ferraris and Mercs.

      1. Why use Webber as a benchmark? He’s been as much of a joke as Massa since 2011, constant underwhelming performances for his car (apart from a reasonable start to the 2012 season).

        1. Why use Webber as a benchmark?

          Because the only driver with the same equipment, machinery and resources given to Vettel, is Mark himself, hence the saying “the first driver you want to beat is your teammate” and Vettel has done just that comprehensively.

          There have been races this season, namely Silverstone and Germany, where I’ve noted to myself that he’s driven well, but Vettel has still been ahead.

        2. @kingshark

          He’s been as much of a joke as Massa since 2011

          I don’t agree at all – he was ahead of Vettel in the points halfway through last season.

          1. I agree Keith!

            And let’s not forget Webber was leading the WDC standings for longer than anyone else in 2010! Of course he wasn’t leading at the end when it counted, but to say he’s a joke is a bit rough!

        3. @kingshark Then we can’t use Massa as a benchmark for Alonso either. Heck, you wouldn’t be able to compare any driver paring thinking like that, as you’d be able to make the case that both drivers in a team could be underperforming the car.

          1. @keithcollantine

            I don’t agree at all – he was ahead of Vettel in the points halfway through last season.

            Webber had a great start to the 2012 season, but a mediocre end. Massa was the exact opposite, mediocre start to the 2012 season, but a great end.

            Both Massa and Webber severely underperformed their cars in 2011 and thus far in 2013.

            I don’t see the massive gap in performance between Massa and Webber that most people do.

      2. He is used as benchmark because Alonso is compared to Massa as well and often seen as “the best”.

        1. Mark Webber is also in on this conspiracy to excel Vettel to the heights of Senna, that’s why he fakes his poor starts to make sure he’s never in contention with the #1 car. Since 2010 mark has been given a GP3 racing team (MW Arden) where he’s in partnership with Horner, the two are real buddys, you don’t believe me? Well here’s the link.

      3. I understand that there the biggest factor is that Vettel has adapted his driving style perfectly for exactly what the car needs to use it to perfection. And he trains hours and hours before every race in the simulator (because its optimized exactly to fit each race seperately), so that would make a big difference.
        Apart from that, running in clean air gives you a lot of an easier job too, and Mercedes have calculated, that Rosberg was losing 1,7 seconds a lap from the debris in his FW, which puts Vettels speed in perspective a bit too

        1. @bascb 1.7s seems a bit rich to me…

          1. Tell Rosberg that! Off course its possible that Mercedes feel the need to talk up their chances/car (esp. when Hamilton is saying all is lost because Vettel is faster by minutest a lap :-D )
            But who knows, maybe the things he had to readjust to rebalance the car might have had a very big influence. And I guess that with all the corners its possible that its that much.

      4. However you look at it driving style doesn’t allow you to put the power down 20 metres before anyone else especially when you consider he was hardly skimming the barriers. Who knows why webber isn’t getting the car to do the same but I sincerely doubt that vettel has a unique ability that at least someone else on the field couldnt manage.

        1. Lewis says 20, Minardi said 50! Man…

      5. how about webber isn’t as good as vettel?

      6. Mark is leaving the team at years end so he is unlikely to be given new technology that is going to be used next year.

      7. Don’t try to trick people with logic and reason! They have their feelings and those trump everything else.

        The possibility that Vettel is quicker than the other drivers due to his own ability just can’t be true. It just can’t be.

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          3rd October 2013, 16:24

          @jonsan Because it isn’t. No driver, however strong, can win 15-30s seconds ahead of his top-class rivals without a car that plays a big part in it. Let us assume that Vettel is the best driver on the grid. That will account for him being about 0.5s faster than his closest competition? But 1s..2s even?

          1. @shreyasf1fan he wasn’t two seconds faster, though. He was (strategy corrected) probably only about one second faster at most – remember Alonso was no-stopping after the safety car and Vettel was using his tyres to gap so he could make another stop. You also have to account for the fact that realistically, Alonso just didn’t need to push – he had a big enough gap to third.

            1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
              3rd October 2013, 18:10

              @vettel1 I know that the 2s were also due to strategy differences, that’s why I said “2s even”. RBR usually has a 0.5-1s advantage though. But that wasn’t the point of the discussion.

          2. @shreyasf1fan, well 0.5 – 1s changes the tone of your comment immensely. It’s still a big advantage, but some do that can be put down to driver ability.

            Singapore was really just an exceptional turn of events – I expect the winning margin to be nothing like as large in Korea (assuming he wins, of course).

      8. Webber hasn’t been that good this season, even without the bad luck. Massa gets criticised a lot as he has underperformed for longer, but Webber doesn’t seem to get any criticism for his performances. Either Massa gets too much stick, or Webber doesn’t get enough. His points percentage (52.6) is only a bit higher than Massa’s (46.5). If Webber wasn’t retiring, would Red Bull have considered dropping him?
        I’m not talking a thing away from Vettel by saying this, as his ability is phenomenal.

    4. Are there any onboard videos out there comparing the drivers? Wanna see it myself.

    5. I’m not surprised at all about these kind of comments from Hamilton. He has proven him self sore looser before hasn’t he. And funny thing is how he time after time openly show how Vettels success is getting to him.

      1. don’t talk it’s better u delete ur comment, SORe loser!!!!! bvughhhhhhhh, wake up bro. vettel has a car advantage, that resumes everything, hitting the pedal 20 meters before explains it all.

      2. I think its more and more clear that Mercedes can be happy to have Rosberg as well. Hamilton is surely doing nothing for team morale with this kind of speak.
        At the same time I read great quotes from Rosberg with fighting spirit who thinks he will be able to get under Vettels skin a few more times this year and not let him take everything on a trot just like that.

        The best of those quotes is surely this one “Er sollte sich vielleicht mal etwas weniger Gedanken über meine Eier machen” – in reaction to Vettel’s cheeky one about the guys hanging their balls in the pool. He adds how he feels Vettel is getting a bit arrogant about it, and how it would have been lovely to see his face if Rosberg had managed to pip him for pole in Singapore.

    6. Does anyone have the link to the interview please ? I don’t know why Lewis has to say that about vettel everytime . It looks like he is trying to play some mind game or trying to direct attention towards Red Bull. Maybe he is too frustrated ?

      1. It looks like he is trying to play some mind game

        If that’s Hamilton’s goal, the last 3 and a half seasons demonstrate that he’s failing spectacularly!

      2. Lewis has stated that he wants to be know as a “Legend”. Unfortunately Vettel is getting in his way.

      3. Yes, here’s a link to a transcript of the interview:

        Hamilton’s first response to the question about Red Bull’s pace was this:
        “I agree, there’s not really much more to say.”

        Not exactly mind games.

        It was only when pressed, and in response to a direct question that he gave his insight about Vettel being on the throttle much earlier than anyone else.
        I don’t see any reason to doubt that – it should be pretty apparent from the footage, so there’s no good reason for him to make it up.

        All the rest is amateur psychoanalysis, which I think says rather more about those attempting it than it does about either Vettel or Hamilton.

        1. @nigel1 thanks a lot ! that’s useful . It was more of an abrupt reaction than a psychoanalysis of him ;)

      4. I’m sure the bulk of drivers would say the same after Singapore. I don’t see any mid games or intention to harm Seb.

    7. Vettel is doing what Lewis expected what he himself would be doing – winning multiple WDCs – and it is irking him somewhat methinks.

    8. Vettels driving skills (today) are acknowledged by the greatest and most respectful people of the sport . Many people flatter Vettels driving and putting him between the greatest ever. Among them Murray Walker and even Lewis Boss The great Niki Lauda . He said after Singapore ” i take my hat off to Vettel” . Even his teammate (Rosbeg) acknowledged Vettels superior drive.
      Everyone But Lewis. He stubbornly refuses to accept that Vettel is at least as good as he is. So the only logical explanation for his mind is the car.
      If he wants to be again a WDC he should concentrate in his own work, grow up and stop moaning and implying cheating by his rivals. If someone is cheating then its the stewards job to find it. And if his team thinks something is illegal with the RB’s then they know to whom to talk. But until something is proved all this is not existent.

      1. Where’s the logic in what you wrote?

        refuses to accept that Vettel is at least as good as he is

        He could probably accept that (i.e. being on about the same level).

        What he cannot seem to accept is a 2-seconds-per-lap superiority, which he (in line with tens of millions of people watching F1) struggles to put down to Vettel’s magical, never-before-seen-anything-like-that Talent For The Ages.

        1. Between is all about the car and is all about the driver there is a great grey area, it is not black and white

          1. @cosmas Spot on, @MJ4 Whatever the gap is (even though 2 sec a lap was a one off, it’s not recurrent in the season), when a driver has an amazing drive; his skill should be acknowledged. And surely what @oletros says is correct; driver and machine make up the performance, it’s not black and white: we can see how much effort Seb’s investing into getting the car where he wants it, when Newey repeats that he’s very clever, that’s to remind us that in this era’s F1, when cars are so closely matched that only the intelligent get the most out of their cars in order for their speed to shine.

            1. his skill should be acknowledged

              Was Mansell’s skill acknowledged in 1992?

              Even though he did deserve more than one WDC during his career, still a lot of people will say he could win his only one with a car that was head and shoulders above the rest.

              Now, this 2-sec-per-lap was a one-off only in the sense that, for some reason or other, in Singapore Vettel didn’t opt for managing (i.e. concealing) his pace, as opposed to in countless races before.

              He could have made this another 5-10 sec win; or conversely, he could have won a dozen other races by the same crushing dominance in the last few years, had he chosen to do so.

        2. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          3rd October 2013, 11:20

          What he cannot seem to accept is a 2-seconds-per-lap superiority, which he (in line with tens of millions of people watching F1) struggles to put down to Vettel’s magical, never-before-seen-anything-like-that Talent For The Ages.

          Those 2s also owed to ROS’s hampered front wings. Except that, yeah, that level of dominance isn’t just upto the driver? Ever seen Vettel patting his car? He knows ;)

          1. @shreyasf1fan

            Ever seen Vettel patting his car? He knows ;)

            Of course, he knows he owes his team massively for his success in giving him a car which can allow him to show his obvious talent. That’s a gesture of thanks more than anything else, which can’t really be said of Hamilton at the moment ;)

        3. Vettel has won races with a margin of between 10 to 20 secs before(he was told to slow down on those ones). So calling it ” never-before-seen-anything-like-that Talent For The Ages ” is somewhat dirty and misleading.

          1. That dirty ‘never-before-seen-anything-like-that’ obviously refers to ‘talent’, not to the margin in Singapore.

        4. It’s certainly not “never before seen”. Senna displayed the same ability to go faster than everyone else on cold tyres.

      1. @jdsunset What’s that supposed to show other than that someone pointed their phone at the TV and uploaded the result with an obviously inflammatory title?

        1. Well its just interesting to see the way the wheel spin marks show it gains traction and then loses traction in quick succession pulling out of the Bus Stop.

          1. That is not even remotely close to being the busstop as it is the hairpin at the Canada-circuit. It might as well be bumps on the track that cause this.

        1. Cool, always trust what Scarbs says – just not seen that kinda wheelspin before.

    9. “The last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was – what – 2007, 2008? 2007 when we had traction control.”

      Clearly Hamilton is an F1 fanatic himself ;)

    10. Now how much is Charlie Whitings words worth?
      Just to prove that this is nothing new, here’s what happened in 1998 when McLaren was 2sec faster than the rest of the field.

    11. If anything, it showed me how much better Vettel is doing than everyone else, not the car…

    12. I wonder if Lewis felt the same about his Mercedes after Hungary.

      To quote Fernando Alonso:

      “It’s true when you find a Red Bull you see they are faster than you in the corners but this also happens with other cars and we don’t say anything, like Mercedes. Hamilton was pole position in Hungary and winning easy, same feeling. All the things are good and it is up to us to do a better job.”

      1. Well, indirectly it is if he has lower top speed and can not use the better acceleration to his benefit.

        To overtake, you also need a car that allows you to do so. Or a driver ahead that is napping.

        1. I am no Vettel fan, but once and for all give credit where credit is due.
          Newey is a brilliant designer, RB is a brilliant team, Seb is a great pilot!!
          They manage to pull off what their competition can not.
          To whine about cheating etc… gets old, give credit where due.

        2. In all fairness, Hamilton’s season hasn’t been as good as Vettel this year, with a couple of forgettable races and/or qualifyings. Granted, it’s “easier” to perform at your best when your car and team are as good as RBR are, but still, Hamilton hasn’t been on par with his 2012 quality. Neither has Alonso.

          1. Actually Hamilton’s season is great. How easily we forget he was expecting to just be fighting for top ten and not get a single win before the season started.

    13. hmm, don’t let this be a prelude of things to come. I kinda like the ‘new’ mature Hamilton.

    14. They way Vettel pulled away from Hamilton on lap 1 at Spa should make it plainly visible to all that RB has some kind of magic button they can push when needed, that wasn’t just a little bit faster, it was a different league.

      Only question is if its legal or not.

      1. Why Spa? Vettel was two seconds ahead of Hamilton after one lap in Montreal.

        The fact is that Vettel has been opening up a big gap on the second place driver after the first lap pretty much forever. This is not a new development, it did not start in Spa. It did not even start this year.

        1. Vettel started 2 in Spa and drove by Hamilton at will, unless you accept the fact that LH is a second grade driver, the RB car has a huge advantage of some kind.

      2. That was a more or less standard pass in F1.

        1. No it most certainly was not, a standard pass in F1 these days are either:

          a) a DRS pass on a straight

          b) one car driving by another who at the time is looking after his tires.

          1. c) passing a car that in race almost always show a slower pace.

            Which was this case.

            1. That’s without counting the fact that Vettel took the curve much better than Hamilton, allowing him to exit with higher speed and close the gap easily.

              Nothing out of the ordinary, a better car and a moment of better driving.

    15. Proper title for this piece is “Hamilton – I’m nothing without traction control”.

      The best season of his career was 2007. The second best was 2008. He’s been a different driver since TC went away.

      1. Unfair comment, Hamilton had an exceptional campaign in 2012, arguably as good as Vettel’s and Alonso’s.

        1. It was his third best season in F1.

          1. Based on what? Because if you say points, I’m sure you are aware they never tell the whole story.

            1. Based on driving, based on results. What else do you (or can you) base a drivers performance on?

              That’s not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know. Large numbers of people seem to have some secret method of of evaluating a driver which I’m not privy to.

            2. Watching each race? Like people have been doing for decades?

            3. What makes you think I did not watch each race? That was a non-answer.

              In fact you still have not even said where you’d rank his 2012 season against his others. I’ve told you mine 1) 2007, 2) 2008. 3) 2012.

      2. 2008 was already without traction control.

        Besides, Hamilton is exceptional in the wet. Not a trait that drivers who struggle without traction control are known for. Look at Massa in 2008 for instance. First two races he spun out and sprinkle a few drops at Silverstone and it was a ballet.

        Hamilton just hasn’t had the car to actually compete for the WDC for a full season since 2008. Let alone the flat out fastest car like Vettel has enjoyed since 2009.

        1. @patrickl There was one more guy who was also exceptional in the wet in 2008, I am forgetting his name…

        2. The McLaren was the flat-out fastest car in 2012.

          Hamilton just hasn’t had the car to actually compete for the WDC

          Or even finish second, it seems. Which is odd, because Button in the same car managed a runner-up spot. And of course he did compete for the WDC in 2010, so you really can’t say he hasn’t had the car.

          1. @jonsan yes but it was not reliable. You can run fast, but it should be for an entire race not 75% of it. And a bunch of pit errors don’t help either. If you want to be fair to your memory you will see that Lewis was very good in 2012.

    16. When Hamilton highlights Red Bull’s car qualities, many people jump to conclude that he wants to diminish Vettel even if half the world too thinks RB was better at a certain venue. One should argue that Lewis hates the fact that it’s Seb the one winning multiple championships and not him, what drives him to every now and then assure that “it’s the car only”.

      I’ve seen Alonso, Lewis, Di Resta, Massa and others saying that Red Bull has better package, but I don’t recall none of them saying “Seb adds zero”. It is a fact that Seb put on a great drive in Singapore but 1,5 seconds over the second best? C’mon!

      It is not Seb’s fault that his team has build the best car but others still can express their opinion on the matter. Minardi said pretty much the same thing Lewis did; was he saying Seb is “nothing but the car”? No, he just said RB car made his job easier, but it does take talent to perform at that level and Hamilton did not say Seb lacks talent, just said what everybody saw: Red Bull (at least #1) looked better balanced than the rest.

      1. The thing is Hamilton brings the criticism on himself.

        In this case I don’t think he was saying anything particularly bad, but he has in the past and is PLAIN to see that it irks him no end that Vettel is doing exactly what he and all the ‘experts’ thought he would do.

        Hamilton’s problem is his MASSIVE chip on his shoulder. His sense of entitlement sickens me. In his mind he thinks he’s the best and he believes that he is the one who is somehow entitled to multiple WDC’s.

        His crowning glory was when he told us all that he has been denied more championships because of the superiority of the RedBulls.

        He’s so caught up in his own ‘legend’ that he doesn’t realize the stupidity of this statement. The only way this argument would be valid is if he has finished in the WDC 2nd or 3rd behind one or both of the RedBulls. But he hasn’t – EVER.

        He has finished no higher than 4th in the WDC for the last 4 years with multiple drivers who HAVEN’T been driving redbulls finishing in front of him – his own team mate, driving the same car for one!

        1. Hamilton is right though. Even it’s no something the Vettel fans want to hear.

        2. @nick101 very well said,my vote for COTD!

        3. @nick101 more often than not, Lewis points Vettel’s skills. Maybe it’s pure cynicism, but I gotta be fair, I don’t remember, ever, to hear or read Lewis saying Vettel is rubbish.

          He’s so caught up in his own ‘legend’ that he doesn’t realize the stupidity of this statement. The only way this argument would be valid is if he has finished in the WDC 2nd or 3rd behind one or both of the RedBulls. But he hasn’t – EVER.

          Really? Where does it comes from?

          2 days ago, a friend of mine asked me to pick 3 best drives in F1. I said: Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso. Then he asked me: how many extra WDC would have Alonso and Hamilton if they were driving for RB? My answer? 3 and close to 4

          1. Really? Where does it comes from?

            Where does this come from? Do I need to break it down for you?

            Hamilton said, in a round about way, that if the RedBulls hadn’t been so superior in the last few years, then he would have won more WDC’s.

            I’m simply pointing out the fact that he has NEVER finished in the WDC directly behind either one or both of the RedBulls, so how can this be true? Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are the ONLY drivers on the grid who have been denied another WDC because of the RedBull – NOT HAMILTON.

          2. how many extra WDC would have Alonso and Hamilton if they were driving for RB? My answer? 3 and close to 4

            First of all, because it’s YOUR answer that makes it fact does it?

            Second of all, Hamilton fans are always telling us how crap Button is and that he’s just a slow midfield driver and that Hamilton is the best in F1, yet when they were team mates, Hamilton only managed to beat Button 2 years out of 3 and was actually out scored by Button over the 3 years. He also only scored 2 more wins over 3 years than the ‘slow midfield driver’.

            And now you say that if he was driving the RedBull and was up against a soon to be 4 x WDC who has scored more pole positions, wins and points than anyone on the grid, that he would have beaten him and won all the championships??

            Really, WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON?

    17. Why would traction control, or a similar system make that sort of difference?
      Are F1 drivers really that bad at putting power to the ground that they can’t be as good as a half-way implemented loophole kind of TC?
      TC doesn’t make you faster out of the corner because you can floor the throttle earlier. It just limits wheelspin. Which means you can floor it at the apex, but no more power then the maximum that the system thinks that the tyres can take will be put to the ground.
      I just can’t imagine that F1 drivers, drive around doing over 1 seconds worth of bad throttle application per lap. If that was the case, then wouldn’t more of them end up in the walls backwards regularly?
      Did it really change that much from 2007 to 2008? I think not. And that was with properly implemented TC systems. Not some backdoor KERS harvest kind of way. If that is even possible.
      Red Bull might be able to apply the power earlier, but I think a more likely explanation is that their car is simply better.
      A better car with better traction will allow the driver to put the power down faster. TC won’t make him do that.
      Unless I rate F1 drivers as being much better then they actually are, of cause..

      1. A voice of reason at last

      2. Over a track like Sinagapore? If yur car is fast and has better traction you will post much better lap times I really don’t any reasoning on it like @mazdachris does.

      3. Traction control can register very small wheel spins and correct the traction for it. It’s much more sensitive than a driver.

    18. The biggest issue here’s is that there’s a lot people being paid handsomely to match or even beat Newey, and they are massively underperforming!

      Newey is no magician, the other guys just need to deliver or be fired.

      1. It’s an extremely naive point of view to expect people on a competiton to be fired only beause they are being bested.

        For starters, the amount of talent is extremely limited. Such high level engineers are hard to find, so even if you fire the current ones, who do you replace them with?

        Secondly, it’s insane to ask for people to be fired, putting them and their families in a bad situation (engineers aren’t as well paid as pilots, just so you know) just because the team isn’t winning. It’s almost childish.

        As in every competition, the results are never on your control, regardless of how hard you try.

    19. I just want to take this moment to actually applaud what Hamilton has said.

      I know Red Bull have been giving it the old ‘we’re not sure if we’ll have that kind of dominance at _______ race’, but Hamilton has said it like it is – they are completely dominating, and a 2 second gap is nigh on impossible to close at this point in the season, especially with the rule changes incoming.

      Fair play.

      And to everyone jumping up and down about the TC comment – c’mon now, get over it. He’s saying the last time he had that kind of traction was back in those days. He’s basically saying the Red Bull is unbelievable. But, of course, everyone wants to put their own tabloid spin on it.

      1. @ecwdanselby Where have you been man, the Hammy support group needs full blooded fan like you…

      2. Red Bull was the best car at Singapore but for Lewis to say that the 2s was the real speed advantage that RB had and disregard the circumstances of the race if bit misleading. Lot of people, experts or otherwise, had a look at the reasons for the 2s but from what I could see majority concluded that the speed difference was not that big, other were a bit slower than they could have been. Lewis should’ve had a look at the other side of the garage for one of the reasons. Rosberg was about tenth slower in the qualifying but spent the race arguing with the pit wall about the strategy, slowing everyone else in the process apart from the debris in the front wing.
        And for the TC comment no one asked him about any TC. The question was :”Q: What sort of reaction does that make you have and the team have; what can you do about that? ”
        He started the answer good but the second sentence sounds like insinuation.

    20. Q: Sebastian, there was a lot of hype about the Red Bull ‘traction control’ in Singapore. Can you explain the state of affairs?
      Sebastian Vettel: Well, of course, as everybody witnessed it worked in Singapore. We’d been working on it all Friday and Saturday, and yes, on Sunday it worked perfectly for the first time – when it mattered. I am sure for the races to come that we will be able to enhance the system even further – to profit even more.

      1. I’m not sure which is more amusing – Vettels joking, or the fact that many people will completely fail to get the joke.

        1. The best lie is the half true. with that being said, I am skeptical about whether or not they can create extra traction using kers.

      2. @f1andy83 Please somebody, can u get a pic of Lewis’s reaction to that…

      3. Haha, Vettel is such a cool dude.

    21. Hamilton, just shut up and drive man!

    22. Really a lot of useful tips.

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