Hamilton admits he needs to get more from the car

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he needs to raise his game after finishing 45 seconds behind team mate Nico Rosberg in Abu Dhabi.

Rosberg brought his Mercedes home in third place while Hamilton crossed the line in seventh.

“Nico’s been getting great points for the team,” Hamilton said to reporters after the race. “I just need to work harder to try and do the same.”

Hamilton described his race as “a bit boring, to be honest” after spending the early running stuck behind Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber.

The Mercedes mechanics performed extensive repair work on his car following his suspension problem in qualifying yesterday and had to do more work on the W04 on the grid before the race.

“The guys did an incredible… it’s such a shame, the guys did such a great job to put the car together and clearly we’ve, with Nico’s result, the car’s better than what I’m able to bring home with it so I just want the guys to know I’ll keep pushing.”

2013 Abu Dhabi 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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28 comments on “Hamilton admits he needs to get more from the car”

  1. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that Hamilton’s season has been a little disappointing compared to his ambitions of taking the team over like Schumacher.

    1. @vettel1 I don’t think his entire season was disappointing as he had got the measure of Rosberg in the earlier races ( bar Malaysia and Monaco ) . And don’t forget that Rosberg is very underrated.Lewis has been trying to adapt to the new team and though I agree with you that he has not been as impressive as he had expected himself to be , he has not done too badly either . I like this honesty from him and hope he improves . Of late , his performances have dipped compared to Rosberg . Maybe he needs to find a better compromise in his setup and needs to sort out his braking hassles .

      1. By no means has he done badly @hamilfan and I also do agree that I think Rosberg is much underrated. However, citing 2012 as a reference, his racecraft in particular hasn’t looked all that great. And for “the fastest qualifier in F1”, he’s not looked on it a bit too often.

        I’ll withhold judgment until 2014 though!

        1. I consider a few things here. It’s LH’s first year with the team. The tires threw a wrench into everything early on. The team is sitting 2nd in the WCC and I think a strong 4th or a weak 3rd is something they would have been happy with.

          1. Just to add…I hope no driver is ever again allowed to take a team over in the manner MS was afforded.

  2. Refreshingly mature comments from Mr. Hamilton.

  3. Have to say, I’ve been disappointing by Hamilton as of late. Rosberg has clearly outclassed him since the summer break, in both qualifying and race performances. But at least Lewis admits his own poor performance, which is the first step.

    1. I hope people will finally give Rosberg the credit he deserves. He hasn’t really been any worse than Hamilton this season hasn’t he? I’m also glad Hamilton admits he’s not doing as well as he should.

      1. Both Nico’s are great drivers. Rosberg seems to be a very nice guy and I suspect he may be champion in 2014 or 2015 :-)

        1. I’m definitely expecting Rosberg to be in the WDC-fight next year, and why not Hulkenberg too, if he ends up to Lotus or something ;-)

    2. I disagree, Rosberg and Webber were team mates at some point and they were more or less equal. So if Hamilton qualifies behind Rosberg, Vettel is the fastest man on one lap … a ‘title’ often attributed to Hamilton …

      1. Duh and webber was like 5 years younger man. Howas Ros been outclassing Ham look at the gap in qually zero, look at India Ham was with Ros all race untill they left him out he could have got 4th in India. Also today Ham was not 45 seconds slower because he was 45 seconds slower, he was slowr because he could not overtake on the straights. Korea Ham was faster than Ros also Japan he outqualified Ros and was unlucky so show me the outclassing? Ha, still leads 10-7 in qually aswell which would have been 11-6 yday. Also the races in Hams favour, Ros has 2 wins to 1 when we know Ham was faster in Silverstone. Ham is just on an unlucky streak look at his last 2 races made awsome starts yet loses positions, its true wacth his starts lately also Merc has awful traction.

        1. Three years younger, @danclapp . Webber and Rosberg were paired in 2006, Webber and Vettel were paired in 2009.

      2. @paeschli, I disagree. Rosberg was in his rookie season whereas Webber was in his fifth season. Rosberg is much faster than the Rosberg of then so although Vettel might be the fastest man over one lap, the way you got to your conclusion was wrong in my view. the reason is, if Rosberg is faster than before and is out qualifying Hamilton, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Hamilton is then slower than Webber and then slower than Vettel. But how qualifying has gone, Hamilton would be wanting to do better in qualifying in relation to his team mate.

      3. As others have pointed out, that was some time ago and during Rosberg’s rookie season. Not really a valid platform for making other driver comparisons.

  4. while there is room for improvement it’s bit unlucky though. It seems they gambled for optimal lap time with a pretty short 7th and high downforce. And the race played out against them.

  5. Mclaren (@ahmej010gmail-com)
    3rd November 2013, 16:59

    He just needs a bit of luck; Had his car not broken down half way through his Q3 lap, he may have been on pole and we wouldn’t have been having these discussions. But on another note, Hamilton seems to struggle when it comes to overtaking of late, it seems he is the most susceptible of getting stuck in traffic of the top guys. Ross Brawn did say to Sky that he thinks they have been setting up Hamilton’s car slightly wrong in that they have been giving him too much wing which compromises him when he has to overtake. If memory serves me correct, he struggled to clear Bottas’s williams at India, and here others were breezing past the traffic whereas he was getting stuck.

    1. (@ahmej010gmail-com

      Mate, he could have been on pole-third place. Because:

      Final qualifying sector times on last lap:

      HAM: S1: 17.7; S2: 42.4; S3: STOP. *He was -5 tenths faster than his previous, 1.40.5
      ROS: S1: 17.9; S2: 42.6; S3: 39.9=1.39.4
      VET: S1: 17.9; S2: 42.4 S3: 39.9=.40.0
      WEB: S1: 17.7; S2: 42.4 S3: 39.9=1.39.9

      Had Hamilton not spun, he might have gotten pole or second or third place, it was going to be very tight between WEB, HAM and VET. That might have cost him this race as he said that from the front this is where this race can be gained.
      Second, it looks like the Mercedes after the break lose their top speed because of balancing the car for race and quali performance. But, actually this season it’s been tight between him and Nico.

    2. Yep he is seriously lacking in luck, lately his starts have also got better which have been a traditional weakness. Unlucky in japan to get tagged on the tyre and a clearer run to T1 here would have left him in a much stronger position for the rest of the race.
      Let’s not forget he is still leading Nico in the points, despite losing a possible win at Silverstone. Agree with Ross that the setup is not working for him, track position has been a premium commodity in 2013.

      1. @newdecade While his starts have improved , he still has to place the car better in the starts , I feel . Maybe temporarily tucking in behind Webber would have been better. He would not have been jumped by Grosjean . But sad for Kimi though . That Lotus looked the best of the rest today in the hands of Grosjean . I think he has to remember his 2012 US GP for some motivation and head out for a better race next weekend. As smedley would say “c’mon boy”

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          4th November 2013, 2:21

          I agree – I think he should try to get away from traffic. In his defense, though, if he’s in the front row or the 2nd row, the drivers will block him. They know that if he gets in front, they won’t see him even if he is in the fastest car out there. He’ll just qualify the entire race:-)

  6. I strongly believe that Hamilton is a great driver of f1 cars. However, Nico Rosberg seems a bit more race-clever and above all, consistent.

    Hamilton has these sparks of brilliancy and when he does, nobody in F1 today can beat him. But he seems to have lost the big appetite for winning every time that he displayed impressively during his first couple of years in F1.

    But look at the big picture: Hamilton finished the lower ranked driver for the past two years at McLaren (although he was quite unlucky in 2012), and it might happen again this season. What does that make him overall? A mediocre driver.

    I cannot believe that he feels comfortable being 2nd best in his team for 3 years in a row.

    1. @mattim, he finished ahead of Button last year.

      1. Sorry, you are correct.

    2. (@mattim)

      Mate, Hamilton isn’t that clever.. Even though I am a die hard Lewis fan, he isn’t smart enough like Rosberg, Button, Alonso….

  7. I think for the last couple of years (perhaps since his costly retirements of 2010 or his comings-together with Massa in 2011), Lewis has been quite cautious in traffic, except perhaps when he could no longer contain his anger/frustration (such as overtaking Rosberg off track in Bahrain 2012). As a result, he is often not as sharp and decisive as, for example, Alonso, in those few moments in a Grand Prix when you can make up important places.

    Today at the start it cost him again. Perhaps he could have been more aggressive and lunge up the inside of Vettel, or perhaps he could have done something different, because he lost a place again despite getting a good getaway. Still, apart from that it’s difficult to judge how much more he could have done today, if his car is just not capable of getting close to another car out of a slow corner.

    I actually only saw the first half hour of the race, after which it was clear that he was going to fall behind the Ferraris, so I guess he should be thankful that somehow Ferrari and Felipe messed up their race.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      4th November 2013, 2:48

      He lacked speed today – very strange, he just didn’t have straight line speed even with DRS enabled. You could see the numbers. I’m sure he was flooring it but the car just wouldn’t go any faster. The other cars passed Gutierrez and he just couldn’t touch DiResta and Sutil was even able to pass him back.

      I think that any driver on the grid would have had the same issue. He seemed lost in the interview which was an obvious result of the car’s pace

  8. Not to make too many excuses for him, but I think we can cut Hamilton some slack. He’s driving a car that wasn’t designed for his driving style, in a team who perhaps aren’t as adapt (yet) at setting up the car to his liking as McLaren was (he has mentioned a lack of confidence with the brakes a few times), and so it’s likely he’s suffering from some teething problems.

    However despite this, he has still won a race this year, is still fourth in the championship (may even take third), is ahead of his team-mate who is now as highly regarded as he always should have been and has helped take Mercedes to second in the championship. Hamilton’s still a great driver, and I still think he’s one of the best. A few poor results don’t disprove that. But at the end of the day, a driver – any driver -needs to have a great car and also a lot of confidence in that car in order to be able to compete at the very top. Hamilton’s not quite there yet. In time, he may be.

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