Hamilton says he isn’t over-driving

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton denies he has been pushing too hard after spinning twice during yesterday’s top-ten shoot-out.


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I’m not trying too hard – Hamilton (BBC)

“I don’t think I’m trying too hard. I went for pole. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but I’m there to be first, nowhere else.”

Hamilton spin not down to car issue (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “He was braking 10 metres later, he had a little bit more pressure on the brake pedal, and he hit a bump. All that contributed. He just lost the rear and the car spun.”

Vettel: There was nothing left (Sky)

“For sure, a surprise is that the Toro Rossos are very competitive (Daniil Kvyat qualified seventh) but I don’t think Williams is a surprise. I think it’s more of a surprise that Mercedes were struggling.”

First corner flummoxes Raikkonen (ESPN)

“I was struggling with the first corner a lot, I couldn’t get it right. I knew I had three laps so I tried to do it again but on the last lap I just locked an outside wheel for some reason and flat-spotted the front-left.”

Helmut Marko: ‘Drivers don’t have the fun we did in the 60s and 70s’ (The Guardian)

“I would prefer to see a race on the old circuit, when the boys and men were separated. But that’s not any more done in Formula One.”

Exclusive Daniil Kvyat Q&A: We’re aiming to score big points (F1)

“We’ve had a pretty good weekend so far where all the pieces have fallen into the right places. The fact is we made a good step forward compared to Friday. It could have been slightly better if the odds had been a bit more in our favour, but nevertheless we are in a good starting position and hopefully can execute that in the race. Scoring points is very high on my agenda!”

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone ‘called RBS chief for takeover cash’ (This is Money)

“Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone made a personal phone call to Royal Bank of Scotland chief Fred Goodwin to help push through a controversial takeover of the sport, it has emerged.”


Comment of the day

Applause for the stewards’ firm line on drivers abusing the track limits.

I approve of this no-nonsense approach by the stewards. You’re either inside the defined line or you aren’t.

It is a pity that they’ve taken this long to clamp down on the track limits thing. It has been one of the things that grates on me.

Better late than never I suppose, but I just hope they continue to keep a clamp down on it.
Spud (@The-spuditron)

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On this day in F1

Former F1 driver Mark Blundell claimed his first CART victory today in 1997 in one of the most exciting finishes American open-wheel racing has ever seen. On a drying track at Portland he caught at passed Gil de Ferran on the finishing line, with the pair and Raul Boesel covered by a mere 0.055 seconds:

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
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40 comments on “Hamilton says he isn’t over-driving”

  1. “I don’t think I’m trying too hard”
    Out of context you could argue that maybe he should be trying harder… But in all seriousness, things are tense at the moment, and both Nico and Lewis will make mistakes throughout the year, and I suspect the championship will come down to 3 factors, who beats who in a straight fight, coupled with who has less retirements and finally who has the least amount of mistakes. Right now, its because of the 2 DNF’s that Nico has an advantage, however, overall I think Nico has been lucky with some of his mistakes, and also in a straight fight, I think Nico lacks the upper hand.
    From a non-supporter of either driver, I must say it is fascinating to watch 2 fairly evenly matched team mates go for it.

    1. I think the 3 factors you’ve highlighted really apply to any teammate rivalry, or driver vying for the WDC. The fight, reliability, mistakes…throw in luck and ability to handle pressure particularly when it is at it’s greatest, and you’re right it is fascinating. Some sessions I wonder if the time difference between them is down to their weight difference, although I’m not 100% sure LH is lighter but thought someone said that when LH posted that selfie mentioning his weight loss.

      I get the emphasis on LH, as he is a WDC and has had far more time in top 3 F1 cars, and he has had the edge on pace more often. But I look for this to be a moving thing, and hope and expect that we are seeing an NR who has a great chance to sway things his way ‘for real’. He had a start buggered with a clutch setting issue, he had a mechanical issue that relegated him to second in Canada, and he had his lap buggered with LH’s off today. He knows as well as LH, that’s racing and it doesn’t always go ideally session to session, day to day.

      I think it should never be ‘just because of 2 DNFs’ because NR couldn’t control that, and has still had to run his season as it has unfolded so far, with it’s imperfections, and will unfold in the future, no matter what happens with LH.

      It’s why they run all the races. NR has never had a better opportunity to grow into this new territory and shine.

  2. There’s a stage between single file safety car restarts and a standing restarts. Get ready for the rocket science…………….


    They work great in plenty of other racing series. Put cars alongside each other already and allow at least a brief battle. I’d certainly try that before going to the nth degree!

    1. As far as I remember the original “red-flag – then restart – aggregat-times”-way of dealing with it was discarded as it was deemed to difficult to follow. The whole safety-car-thing came as a consequence of that. I wonder, with modern day GPS, couldn´t they let them restart at the exact place they are when a red-flag comes out? That´s the way I would prefer. Not that there´s any probability this will happen, though.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        22nd June 2014, 1:40

        I imagine that would take ages to set up and there are too many possibilities to get it wrong.

    2. Double file restarts just leads to more crashes and more safety cars. In Indycar its terrible, sometimes half the race is spent under yellow flags/SC. I don’t see whats wrong with the current single file restart.

    3. They tried it on road courses for a while in IndyCar and it was terrible. Yellows breed yellows in that series with the single file restart so why the even bothered trying a double was beyond me!

    4. @djdaveyp87
      To be fair, Alonso himself said after the 2014 Malaysian GP that he didn’t have to use his usual dehydration techniques, because it was a different racing approach unlike the previous years, engines not running at their maximum power + drivers have to save fuel + less cornering speed …

      1. Sorry this was meant to be a reply for @collettdumbletonhall

  3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    22nd June 2014, 0:55

    I don’t understand Helmut Marko saying Kyvat would have been exhausted in last years races but not this years? I thought they stopped being exhausting to drive in 2011 because the tyres meant drivers didn’t have to push as much. I thought also that this years cars were more difficult (and more fun) to drive due to them having less downforce and having more torque.

    1. Less downforce means you’re cornering slower.

      The downforce is more stressful on the driver.

    2. It’s another case of “everything was better last year” syndrome from someone in the Red Bull Racing camp.

      1. That is how I read it too, yeah @geemac

    3. There have always been complaints that the cars are “too easy” to drive compared to their predecessors.

      When Vettel first drove for the BMW-Sauber team in 2006 and started setting quick times in practise sessions, immediately people started complaining that the cars were too easy to drive and a young driver like Vettel shouldn’t have been able to jump into the car and instantly be quick. Similar complaints were made when Vettel picked up a point in the 2007 US Grand Prix – instead of taking it as a sign of promise, many of the “old guard” instead mocked this 19 year old ‘kid’, as many referred to him as, and F1 as a whole for having been “dumbed down” and making it too easy for an inexperienced driver to score points. Funny how Marko doesn’t seem to be making any comparisons to that era…

      GeeMac, all in all I agree that this smacks more of Red Bull sulking about the fact that they do not have a competitive car this season. We’ve seen the team throwing around a lot of complaints and accusations, ranging from threats of walking out of the sport through to claiming they will sue Renault for providing an uncompetitive engine, so it’s perhaps not surprising that Marko is attacking the sport once again.

      1. They were right. The 2003-2004 F1 cars were the fastest and most brutal of all time.

  4. “I don’t think I’m trying too hard.”
    “I pulled it out for my first lap but didn’t finish the lap and then the second time around I took the car into unknown territories I guess.”
    Then Lewis, you clearly were trying too hard.

  5. Imagine a wet standing restart.

    The drama may be palpable, but logic and fairness of the in-race standing restart escapes me.

    The F1 standing start of the race is epic. That would be diminished by standing restarts after every full course yellow or red flag incident.

    • The cars would still have to be rolling around the circuit under safety car until racing is ready to be resumed, safety car goes off, race cars stop and line up on the grid then restart. How does this help.

    • Or, the cars full course yellow ensues, cars come around in proper order to line up on the grid until the race is restarted. Do they cut the engines and have to be restarted? Is there then another parade lap, then stop and restart?

    How is this really supposed to work?

    1. You forgot to include that between the acident being cleaned up and thinking of restarting, we first lose a lap or 3 for the lapped cars to get back around and onto the tail of the field as well.

    2. Absolutely unfair indeed.

  6. @keithcollantine

    Suspect once #F1 has its first last-lap standing restart and someone loses a hard-earned win the stupid idea will be put back in its box.

    If a driver loses a hard-earned win after a standing restart because of a red flag, it is not the regulation’s fault, but his fault that he did not nail the start and keep his lead.

    If a driver loses a supposed hard-earned win after of a standing restart because he did not get a good start while his competitors did, tough luck. He should have got a better start.

    Standing starts has always been an important part of Formula 1. If you lose races because you can’t nail them, then frankly, you don’t deserve to win.

    On another note, being an Alonso fan does help.

    1. … Why should say, Webber have risked losing a lead (face it, at a standing start he would have). Because Romain and Maldonado crash on the opposite side of the track?

      1. @mike
        Well then him and Red Bull should solve his starting system woes instead of blaming the regulations.

        There are a lot of things in F1 which are not fair. Remember how absurd the pit-lane during safety car rule was prior 2008? That was far worse than standing starts.

        I agree that Abu Double is unfair, so is DRS, but there is nothing unfair about standing starts. It’s the same for everyone.

        1. @kingshark
          No it’s not the same for everyone. Because not everyone had the same equal machinery and tire conditions as in the beginning (actual start) of the race. Nor is everyone else on the same strategy and physical condition. A driver goes for less stops strategy, builds a lead of a few seconds which he tries to conserve while drivers with more stops and fresher tires are chasing behind him. With a standing starts that lead goes out the window and not only will he not finish first, might not even be on the podium. And even if they can change tires, what if someones brakes were coming to an end and he was told to coast into corners while leading out in front? Now again, standing start, and that lead vanishes and all the good job goes to waste. Or what if someones gear box gets messed up and the driver does not have 1st gear? Or a clutch problem and he can’t really bring the car to a stand still because it won’t be able to move it again. In a race there is one start and one finish, with short breaks in between every now and then. Not multiple starts or multiple finishes. Do you see this working in track events or bike racing? Someone falls during the 5000m even and they align everyone at the start again. How fair is that for someone who had a different strategy and gauged their effort different than others? Or in cycling, someone falls half way through and they need to tell the break-away guys to stop and wait for everyone in the next city, because there’ll be a standing re-start. Complete non-sense and silliness of the highest order.

        2. @kingshark There are many things in F1 that are unfair, true, yet you want to add more? Really can’t understand your opinion. You bring the example of Webber who was an inconsistent starter throughout his career, but anyone can have a bad start. No one should lose a hard fought win or a placing because of random stupid rule, made by stupid Bernie as a response to a question no-one asked. Same as no-one should lose a hard fought WDC for Dumb Bernie’s double points stupidity bonanza. F1 should at least maintain some amount of sportiveness or change its name to WWF1 to stop shaming past greats who drove in a sport of the same name

      2. Agreed. Restarts are supposed to resume the racing as it was after a unwanted disturbance. Not make it more random or create undeserved overtaking possibilities.

      3. So we already have a situation where the leading driver has to give up a 40 seconds lead for no fault of his own and now chances are high he can be crashed off at the restart. I really don’t understand how that’s fair. You can’t just destroy a hard earned comfortable lead and say that is fair.

        1. @paeschli
          When was the last time the pole sitter was crashed off into turn 1? Because I can’t remember.

          As for the lead drivers’ lead disintegrating, that already happens with safety cars anyway.

    2. Standing restarts lessen the whole excitement of the initial standing start, think of it that way.

      Like everything else in life (including overtaking), you really can have too much of a good thing, and standing starts after every SC period will cheapen the whole thing.

      Heck, why don’t we just activate the sprinklers for every standing start also so that those with the best car control can show their talent? Clearly that’s a ridiculous proposition but where do you draw the line? Let’s just keep the line where it is can’t we…

    3. @kingshark
      What i found more interesting about standing starts is that the safety cars which were present in the 70’s were introduced in 1993 just to prevent from race interruption.

  7. I have some solutions for this problem of safety car restart that doesn’t border on madness a.l.a Bernie and the Gang:

    1) Should a safety car situation happen on the first lap of the race, the race should be red-flagged and re-started from the grid as was the case for ages in F1. The procedure should be repeated if another crash happens until the(new) first lap is completed.

    2) In any other case, instead of dumb ideas of stopping the field every time there’s a crash, let’s concentrate on the real problem:the amount of time it takes to restart the field. Instead of letting lapped cars unlap themselves, they should just drive thru the pitlane and emerge at the back

    3) Another thing that needs taken care of is the pathetic 15 laps behind the safety car to start a wet race. Really? If the track deemed so wet it cannot be raced on it shouldn’t be boringly driven behind the safety car either. Either restart with at most 5 safety laps or stop wasting race time for TV and track spectators alike(who are already wet and miserable so why add more misery?)

    1. 1) So do you propose the cars switch off their engines while on the grid? If not, then they’ll overheat and the tyres will go cold. So they’ll need to switch them off while waiting, meaning that the engineers will have to pile on to the grid to restart them etc. It’ll take a lot longer.

      2) Your idea would work in theory, but is incredibly unfair. Lets suppose Chilton and Kobayashi were fighting over 20th when the leader laps Chilton, but Maldonado hits something over the other side of the circuit causing a red flag. Kobayashi hasn’t been lapped, so will complete the lap and join the back of the grid. Chilton will then drive through the pitlane and emerge at the back, a lap down. So Chilton is again right next to Kobayashi on the grid, but a lap down, meaning he has absolutely zero chance of overtaking. The lapped cars unlapping rule gets rid of this problem.

      3) If the track is so wet that it cannot be raced on, how do you expect it to dry out without cars driving on it?

      1. @minnis

        1) It’ll take longer? Longer than what? Their proposal is to do this procedure at each and every safety car situation. Scramble the cars on the grid, turn off the engines, get the engineers out the lot. I propose that only on first lap safety car situation the cars will get to the grid to do a standing start re-start. Nothing new in F1, was used for ages successfully. Now tell me how on earth can single-scenario restart take a lot longer than every-scenario restart?

        2) Nothing about this situation with standing start re-start is fair. It’s unfair to the drivers at the front, middle and back of the grid. Come to think of it, the current situation with cars allowed to unlap themselves is also hugely unfair. Why a driver who took a lot of effort to lap lots of traffic should now lose this advantage to the car behind him that hasn’t managed to lap those cars yet, purely for our entertainment? Get real, you speak about my proposal being unfair, yet the lapped cars unlapping themselves isn’t fair one bit, since those cars get effectively a free lap compared to those who managed actually to stay way ahead of them. It also wastes a huge amount of time that could be used for actual racing. And yes, the pitlane pass solution isn’t perfect but it has much more merits than the current situation and if it creates an unfair situation, it’s only for those we least care about(most couldn’t care less if JB finished 17th while KK 18th or vice versa). Current situation or the stupid standing start at every occasion proposal is unfair to many more potentially

        3) Wait, you really think that what gets the track ready for racing is the cars circulating on it? Yes the wet tires can disperse a lot of water, but this idea that it’s the cars that make the track “ready” has no connection to reality. The rain relenting/ sun coming out/ the wind picking up etc. are much more effective in making the track less wet than cars circulating on it.
        If the track is too wet for racing, the race should be postponed until it is ready by actually drying out enough. You can send the safety car around to check if there’s still potential for aquaplaning. But to waste 20 laps of the race by circulating cars on track without it being ready is bad for competition, bad for viewing figures and pure nonsense IMO

    2. Let’s see.

      1) Agreed wholeheartedly.

      2) Never thought of it before, makes perfect sense.

      3) Agreed.

      As for the standing-start after every other safety car – may be too much. I’d leave it to the marshalls to assess the situation following each accident – if the accident will clear and SC will be able to leave within 3 laps, restarts should continue as per 2014 rules. If; however, the cleanup time is longer than that, the cars should line up on the grid after 1 lap (lapped cars after 2 laps) and the standing restart is to follow.

    3. There is no problem to fix!!! Argghhh!

  8. Re COTD, I agree that being firm is a better approach than their loosey-goosey approach (for instance at Abu Dhabi last year), but it still doesn’t feel right to me. The BBC showed a comparison of Hamilton’s and Bottas’ lap yesterday and Hamilton was about 0.5 seconds ahead as they approached Rindt (I refuse to call it ‘Turn 8’). Clearly, Hamilton lost time while running wide, but he got penalised for gaining an advantage.

    Yes, there’s the memo and yes, the drivers knew that their lap times would be deleted if they crossed the line, so I can see why the deletion of lap times is justified – don’t get me wrong. But I don’t understand why the FIA would take the difficult route and watch whether a driver crosses the line and take appropriate action. Why not use grass, which automatically punishes a driver running wide? Seriously, why?

    1. Just a technicality: Hamilton drove wide because he drove faster before that, therefore leaving the track actually did give him an advantage, namely allowing him to go faster than drivers who do keep it on the track.
      Now at some parts of the track, going wide makes you lose time, but at other places this is not the case. If we wanted to take this into account, the stewards would have to judge from telemetry each time somebody drove off whether there was enough punishment to actually outweigh the advantage gained just before the excursion. I do not think that this is practical, it makes more sense to simply enforce the track’s bounds, after all, that’s what regulations say.

      1. I agree that it would become a mess if the stewards would investigate every single driver every single time they go off the track by looking at the telemetry, but it’s more fair if the stewards would treat gaining and advantage and not gaining an advantage as the same thing, like they do now. It’s not practical, and hence I don’t understand why they don’t add grass there for next year.

    2. I agree with you @andae23. While I am pleased they are having the zero tolerance approach, they could save themselves a lot of “keeping an eye on drivers exceeding the track limits” by putting grass there instead of big kerbs and runoff areas.. Drivers will always try to push limits of the track, but will also try to avoid the grass too, so having thought about it a bit more, I’d like to see the return of kerbs, then grass, and then gravel traps. That’ll solve the track limits out fairly quickly.

  9. 1.) This unlapping lapped cars, why not have them follow the safety car as is the case present, then when they approach the pit entry peel off into pits i.e. on pit limiter, the main field drives the track normally then when the lapped car emerge from the pitlane to join the other cars behind the safety car they have then used the pitlane too unlap themselves. Instead of the present been waved past to catch up the tail, they are slower than the leader that’s why they have been lapped in the race.

    2.) Also this standing restart, mmm totally confused here with the FIA. F1 is fast becoming over ruled but stupid rules making it boring. What happens to drivers who pit under the present safety car, will they start from the pit lane or at the back of the grid on the restart. Example, if Vettel comes in from the lead for new tyres under safety car, then the safety car comes around, stops the other cars on the grid. Instead of Vettel rejoining in 8th or 9th with the 2015 restarts he will be at the back f the grid how unfair is that!

  10. Suspect once #F1 has its first last-lap standing restart and someone loses a hard-earned win the stupid idea will be put back in its box.

    @keithcollantine I reckon it won’t.

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