Hamilton “didn’t lose too much time” behind Vettel

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he wasn’t badly held up by Sebastian Vettel when he caught the Red Bull driver during qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix.

At the end of the session Hamilton gave a positive response when race engineer Peter Bonnington asked him on the radio: “can you just confirm it was a Red Bull in the way, I guess it was Vettel not Webber?”

Hamilton said afterwards he caught Vettel at turns eight and nine. He said “I was so focussed on the road, it didn’t help” but added “I probably didn’t lose too much time”.

There is no indication as yet from the stewards that Vettel might have impeded Hamilton and therefore could receive a penalty.

Hamilton congratulated Vettel who took pole position for the seventh time this year. “Obviously that’s some serious pace that they have,” he said, “especially with Webber on the [mediums] just behind us”.

“It’s been a tough weekend for us,” Hamilton said. “We’ve been pushing as hard as we can, we really want to get a great result this weekend. Strategy is going to play a huge part.”

“But I was a bit surprised to be where we are. Generally, bit by bit, just adjusting the set-up, we got a reasonable balance. Hopefully tomorrow we can push together to try and stay ahead of the rest.”

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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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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21 comments on “Hamilton “didn’t lose too much time” behind Vettel”

  1. I recall someone got a penalty earlier this year for impeding in Q1, even though the driver he’d impeded still got through to Q2. So even if it wasn’t much, if Vettel did impede Hamilton he should earn a penalty. And even a small improvement in Hamilton’s lap time could have got him ahead of Rosberg.

    What’s more surprising is that the stewards seem not to be bothered about drivers leaving the track on the way to their fastest times. Webber arguably should have been out in Q2, as he had all four wheels off the track on the way to his only quick time.

    1. It was clarified in drivers meeting with charlie whiting after FP2 that cutting and extending the race track is permitted for everyone. That’s why everyone (and i mean everyone) was doing it at least to some degree.

      1. does not make it right and makes decisions like RG at hungary a total joke. Whats the difference. Rules should be rules everywhere not just tracks they can or cant be bothered to abide to.

        more worrying was the small bit of the interview we saw with charlie when he seemed to suggest going over the line coming out of a corner doesnt gain you time(like seb and kimi did in hungary too, with no punishment). If he truly believes that he should be out the door and soon.

    2. Vettel did backed off.

  2. i watched his lap, and couldn’t notice any impeding from Vettel.

    Just another excuse for being outqualified by Rosberg.

    1. Did you even read the article? It’s not as if he is kicking and screaming about being impeded, as some drivers might do. In fact one of the first things he did was to congratulate Vettel without any mention of being impeded. What you seem to call an excuse seems like an honest answer to his engineer from where I’m standing. No excuses, no nothing.

    2. Candice, where is his lap do you have video? It would be good to see the scenario. And what’s up with Hamilton being outqualified by Rosberg? It wasn’t by much, just less than a tenth. It’s like when Hamilton gets outqualified by Rosberg, everyone gets “against him”.

        1. That is absolutely ridiculous – having seen that – that Hamilton would even suggest he was held up @juzh. He was well out of the way before he even came near.

          1. well yeah, that’s what the video shows. Ham was not impeded by vettel whatsoever.

    3. There’s a really big mental factor in racing… Seeing another car (in this case Vettel), just distracts anyone. We are talking about very small fractions of a second. Just think about what 0.001s mean in a lap.

      1. Dude, Vettel is way off the racing line.

  3. I wonder why Hamilton was not at his best today?

    1. Maybe because his car wasn’t hooked up perfectly for this track? And perhaps it may be some lack of motivation, seeing Vettel en route to another victory without a chance of doing anything to prevent it, which obviously is what he’d like to be doing, fighting for victories.

      1. @toiago: Maybe, but its sad to watch Hamilton when he is lacking motivation :(

    2. @malik This, from Adam Cooper

      Nico did a great job, he’s been strong all weekend and on my side, I’ve struggled a little bit through this weekend. I struggled a little bit with something different on the car this weekend which Nico had had experience of seeing maybe in the past.

      I wonder what that “something” is. Something new on the car, after Ross said there won’t be anything to make them faster this year..
      Strikes me as something to do with 2014 is.. Now if we can just find what it is exactly!

      1. @timi: thank you. I agree that the “something” is related to 2014 car as Adrian Newey said that the 2014 car and the current car are like cousins in a way :)

    3. Lets not forget that he’s still driving a car designed with Nico and Schumacher in mind and there are still elements he’s not happy with. The last time he drove on this track it was with a McLaren, so he might also be struggling with finding the best way around it with a Mercedes. Not to talk about the possibility of a bad set-up. Lots of elements can put a driver off, but its not exactly like he did badly is it? The Red Bulls are simply to fast and Rosberg is an excellent driver as well.

      1. Mclaren (@ahmej010gmail-com)
        26th October 2013, 18:16

        Its a sign of Hamilton’s class that whenever his team-mate out-qualifies him people start coming out with statements “I wonder why Hamilton was not at his best today?” and “Lewis, any traffic issues? (asked in the press conference)” as to the shock of him being 0.07 slower than his team-mate. Hamilton is doing just fine currently, as pointed out by @kibblesworth, the car is designed around Schumi and Nico; and although people say Nico and Lewis have similar driving styles they don’t really, Lewis prefers an over-steery balance whereas Nico prefers an Under-steer balance. Also, why be surprised when a team-mate occasionally pips Hamilton as he is the only one of the top top drivers (Alo, Ham, Vet) to have a formidable team-mate; Alonso has Massa and Vettel has a pensioner. Anyway, wait for 2014, you’ll see what Hamilton can do in a Mercedes that is fully designed around him, it may be way too early to make any predictions but I have a strong feeling Hamilton will be WDC of 2014.

      2. I think Hamilton did a good job and I can understand that he may have been slowed down a fraction because you never know if the slow driver in front knows that the fast car is approaching and he may move to the racing line for the corner.
        My problem is with some of Hamilton’s fans that after all these races they are still talking about the car being designed around Niko. Saying that just puts Hamilton in a bad light, as someone that’s not able to adopt his driving. It also takes from his achievement in his rookie year, when he basically beat Alonso.


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