Hamilton as smart a racer as Rosberg – Button

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Jenson Button discounts the idea that Nico Rosberg is a smarter racing driver than Lewis Hamilton.


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Button: Hamilton could be ‘unbeatable’ in quest for F1 title (TalkSport)

“People say Lewis Hamilton is quicker but Nico Rosberg is more intelligent, I don’t know though. I know how quick Lewis is and if his head is in the right place he will be unbeatable.”

Bernie Ecclestone wary as David Cameron takes steps to allow London Formula 1 Grand Prix (Daily Star)

“The news is good, but I don’t know whether you’d have street racing because it’s not cheap to put on something that’s safe. Street racing is expensive.”

Coulthard on team orders (UBS via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Has the time come to ban FRIC suspension?

It’s like other things in the past, The original idea was looked at as been fine but as it gets developed it eventually gets to a point where its no longer sticking to the original interpretation and starts heading down a path where it isn’t fully legal.

The Renault mass damper system was similar, The original concept was fine but as it developed it became clear that it was becoming far more advanced and doing much more than the original concept put to the FIA said it would do and it eventually reached a point where what it was doing had reached a grey area.

The hot-blowing exhaust diffuser was similar. Originally it was looked at as been OK but as things developed the FIA became less happy with how it was been used & what effect it was having on the cars.

Banning these things mid-season however is something I’ve always disliked, Unless its something that’s a clear breach of the regulations or something that’s been protested by other teams which they prove contradicts something (That happens a fair bit, You usually don’t hear much about it though unless its something big).

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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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80 comments on “Hamilton as smart a racer as Rosberg – Button”

  1. Today, I totally understood the FRIC, and I think it’s ban at mid-season is not the best thing to do. Sure, they have banned many things in the past, the most recently the remodelled tyres in 2013 or a better example, the blown exhausts in 2011. One change secured the dominance of a team for the rest lf the season, and the other didn’t made any difference. That’s what I’m afraid about the ban: Why banning such a thing if it is not going to change radically the state of F1 or in the other hand,why if it is going to change everything in the current F1. I’m really loving this season, since it started poorly and began in the last races regaining and it is going to be awesome in the end of the year (without mentioning Abu Double) So why banning the FRIC, if this can mean a huge change to F1 or just an unsignificant change. They must male the ban in 2015. Not now, please.

    1. I will just say once that FRIC in french means MONEY.
      Also i dont know why they ban things rather than encourage other teams to catch up.
      that is point of F1. one team thinks of something none others have thought about.
      F1 wants to be high tech with its power units and aero, why not good old mechanical progress.
      this kind of stuff keeps us talking though i guess that ultimately that is still the main reason for these arguments to come up is for the FRIC!

      1. In F1 they have very specific rules, with little room to move if you get it wrong,
        ie. 1.6 ltr v6 turbo (50psi) + energy recovery
        3ltr V10
        2.4 ltr V8 etc
        One Team/Manufacturer will always do a better job,
        You will always get someone who dominates .

        Maybe (huge maybe) a better (another) way would be less specific rules but strict guidelines ?
        max capacity 2.4 ltrs
        Teams?manufacturers able to do 4/5/6/8 cylinders
        Some type of hybrid /recovery systems
        ie. able to recover set amount of KJ/lap.

        Yeah yeah, sounds like WEC,
        but being able to work or change if its wrong will ensure a team who wants to try 20 engine configs isn’t stuck for 20 years, ?

        1. I think less specific rules will be protested by the low budget teams. Justified or not it’s a different issue, but they will surely not like it where the cost on engineering research is limitless.
          From my point of view, pinnacle of motorsport and cost cutting just doesn’t go hand in hand.

          1. @greg-c,@aks-das, Greg, your idea is still more restrictive than F1 was 20 years ago so you can hardly be criticized for being too radical, and A.D. the engines will always be supplied by a major manufacturer so allowing the manufacturer to build engines in a format they wish to explore rather than dictating a fixed engine blueprint is likely to lower rather than increase the cost of engines as the manufacturer is more likely to subsidise the cost if it feels it is gaining expertise as well as publicity, for example, imagine either Porsche or Subaru developing a 1.6L turbo F1 engine and then putting a similar 1.6L turbo, developed useing lessons learnt from the F1 engine, in their respective small coupe ie. Cayman, 86.

          2. That should be ; 1.6L flat 4 turbo F1 engine.

  2. Of course he is.

    You can’t compete at the highest level of motorsport if you don’t have a good racing brain. He’s adapted his style to suit softer tyres that were supposedly going to cripple his aggressive style, he’s led races by 20 seconds while saving more fuel than his team mate, he’s executed successful passes by waiting until DRS to avoid the instant repass etc.

    It’s really just the stupid interview answers he sometimes gives which make me cringe every so often! :)

    1. Yeah, but my worry with Hamilton is that he doesn’t spend as much time learning all the different technicalities, or at least doesn’t spend as much time as some drivers like Sebastian for example understanding everything on the car. Perhaps he assumes that his speed means he doesn’t need to know as much as Nico for example, but as we saw in Canada, Nico instantly knew to switch the brake bias and other settings to preserve what remained of his power unit to limp home and he secured a lot of points. In those situations speed can’t help, and you have to have an in depth, analytical view of the situation I feel Lewis doesn’t have as much as Nico. As a Lewis fan, I hope I’m wrong and that he does spend a lot of time understanding the car.

      1. @williamstuart both drivers reported the problem to their engineers in Canada and received instructions from those who are more apt to do so (engineers) but you have to bear in mind that both drivers had different brake bias and Lewis was driving behind the hot air coming from Nico’s car for most of the race, so in the end, he was more marginal than Nico was and it has nothing to do with better understanding of the settings. Failures happen, just like they did for Nico in Silverstone.

        Seb is known for the time and effort he puts into learning the technicalities of the car and it’s a good thing, but does it alone makes him as fast as he is? If so, why he can’t beat Daniel consistently?

        It has been reported that Nico spends more time with his engineers than Lewis, but if he understands the car that much better why he stresses his tires more than Lewis? Why he burns more fuel than Lewis?

      2. pastaman (@)
        13th July 2014, 19:20

        You make it sound like it was all Nico, and not the team speaking into his ear telling him which settings to use…

      3. Rosberg new instantly to call his race engineer in order to get instructions on what settings to make, due to his situation. It doesn’t take more gray matter between one’s ears to do what Nico had done, which was to call his race engineer to try and help determine what’s going on, and what reccomendations to be made.

        1. they were both told what to do and they both did it, however Lewis got unlucky and when he retired I heard someone from Merc give nico instructions, rather nervously, to further move the brake bias forward. If they didn’t he might have also retired. So def Nico didn’t just decide to change it on his own

    2. Yep.

      Lewis definitely has a good racing brain.
      PR brain, on the other hand… A bit more hit and miss XD

    3. In almost all cases, I feel like he’s goaded into those headline-tastic responses. He just doesn’t have the same on-camera charisma in interviews as, say, Button. Which to me is fine, because more importantly he tends to be honest – even if people don’t like it. But it’s that honesty and slight awkwardness that means interviewers are unfairly able to make him say stuff he would never have said without provokation.

    4. This and, more importantly, this suggests that all drivers that are good enough to drive in F1, which to a large part is about proccessing infomation very fast, must be rather “brainy”.

      However, Jenson´s quote contains “if his head is in the right place”, which suggests it isn´t always, and Hamilton isn´t always capable of putting his head where it should be. Funny enough, both current Merc-drivers share the same experience in Montreal 2008, which to me is still one of the most apparent brain-fade-situations in recent F1 ;)

      1. @crammond
        If Button’s head is in the right place, he can also be very fast.

        1. Button´s main strength, to me, has always been the rarity of misjudgements, though. He could have made the 2009-season as tight and suspenseful as Hamilton did 2008, but he didn´t. As seen in those 3 seasons when both, Button and Hamilton were in the same car, Hamilton was quicker most of the times… and misjudged race-situations more often. I´d even say, out of those who are (potential) WDCs*, Hamilton is the one who misjudges things most regularly, having just added to his list in both recent weekends. He has also got the speed to make up for it against most possible opponents, and I´m fairly convinced he should be able to overcome Rosberg, who shouldn´t be any kind of measurement for a top-driver.

          *(potential) WDCs means that there are several drivers in F1´s midfield whom I am decisively not comparing to.

          1. “who shouldn´t be any kind of measurement for a top-driver.”
            Apart from Schumacher, unless of course you don’t regard Schumacher as a top driver !

      2. Which was topped also in 2008, by Vettel ramming Webber behind the safety car, and taking Mark out of the race.

        1. @lewymp4: It was 2007 in Fuji. And at least partially caused by a extremely slowing down Lewis Hamilton.

  3. Instead of team orders, the team should fully explain the situation to the driver and let him decide his own actions.

    1. Waste precious time convincing the underachieving teammate to move out of the way, just so he says “no” and potentially costs some points?

  4. Good old Bernie, when a LondonGP was legally impossible Bernie was going to pay for it, now that it is possible it has suddenly become to expensive to happen.

    1. @hohum My thoughts echoed yours. Bernie back pedalling like he was in the Tour De France

      1. Bernie and his exhaust blown mouth need to be banned (sarcasticisma)

    2. @hohum Exactly. Now that there’s money to be made, he must remind us that it is expensive. And why is it so expensive? Safety – which is, of course, foremost in Mr. Ecclestone’s thoughts.

    3. Plus me! All mouth until there is a chance he might have to put his hand in his pocket!

  5. “if his head is in the right place”

    That’s the key here, and a lot of the time, it isn’t.

    1. ‘and a lot of the time, it isn’t’
      ‘ a lot of ‘ of what time, if I may ask? How many times is your head ‘in the right place’?
      So many people seem to have so much to say about a man who they only see -on TV- aprox 20 weekends in an entire year. They are quick to judge how ‘intelligent’ or ‘arrogant’ or ‘thuggish’ he is without bothering to think how foolish they look constantly having something to say about someone who, if he is foolish, should be ignored.
      And it’s interesting watching the owner of this website over the years constantly shift his allegiance to whoever is Hamilton’s team mate. He is quick to rebutt that he has nothing against him but ask yoursleves how many x he has published questionable articles about Lewis Hamilton on this site. A recent case being the Nico ‘is not German’ article which he was quick to publish but slow to publish the correction which stated that Nico was there when the statement was made. And when he did publish it albeit not as glaring as the previous, he gave it a false title.
      Lewis is British. He does not have more tattoos than your much beloved Beckham neither does he like jewelries, fast cars, twitter, etc more than any other known personality out there.
      Every single one of us says things each day that could make headlines but the question is what is the ultimate goal of those who love scrutinising your statements?
      Stop all the hate and this stupid ‘intelligent’ talk.
      *I would be surprised if Keith Collantine lets this through.

      1. @tata I think Lewis not only is one of the key icons in F1 all time, he is also British, and England is the main base of F1, so he is going to draw headlines. He happens to also present unique commentary at times, and has made some big boo boos on the track at times, and is a WDC nonetheless.

        By extension his teammates have been present on his teams when all that has gone on. So they’re on the radar too. Nico seems like a smart, nice, conservative young man without Lewis’ flamboyance nor car…until now. And he’s speaking volumes too, on and off the track…his way…a different kind of hungry.

        For me, and I’m sure many others, it is only within his racing persona that I would presume to ‘know’ him and would remark based on what LH has said to us, both off the track, and with his experiences on it.

        Keith has let yours through because he allows people their opinions even when they disagree with his, which shows minimal if any bias. If he wants to lean any one way he is entitled as it is his gig. But everything is always fair game for debate around here, so where’s the harm? All angles get covered. Expertly. Fairly. With everyone’s contributions.

        As I think of it, I listen to talk radio alot while in the car, and the hosts are allowed their strong opinion, well biased often, and when the phone lines are open, callers in disagreement are preferred so that debate opens up. It wouldn’t make for a very enthralling show if everyone called in in agreement, which does happen too sometimes, when an issue is that cut and dry. What makes the show is hearing different people’s different angles.

        1. well said

        1. Comments that include the word “hate” can’t be comments of the day.

          Too many half-wits on the internet confuse disliking something or someone with hating it.

      2. UNeedAFinn2Win
        13th July 2014, 9:06

        You do know that the headlines are collected from around the web, for your convenience daily? Your “example” was quoted as it was first published somewhere else. There are a thousand articles linked to every year, so a statistical analysis of the alledged bias should be easy for you to prove. Until then, howbout we enjoy this free service that saves a lot of our time

        1. If you read and heard this article carefully, you will understand that Jenson, in fact, never said exactly what is in this headline here.

          Looks like whatever Hamilton say – or is said about him – has a imense, huge, potential to generate audience, and the owner of this site is smart enough take advantage of this.

          1. Headlines in the round-ups are copied verbatim from the original articles. If you’re going to blame anyone for sensationalist headlines, blame the people who wrote them, not those who just copy them.

      3. And it’s interesting watching the owner of this website over the years constantly shift his allegiance to whoever is Hamilton’s team mate

        @tata I think it is your own partiality which is making you see a bias which, from my point of view as a Lewis Hamilton neutral, does not appear to exist on this site. Which is why I come here, rather than other more biased F1 sites.

      4. I’ve been visiting this site for years and Keith has never let his personal opinions about drivers influence the editorial content.
        This is one of the only sports blogs on the net that I can visit without feeling like I’m having the owners opinions rammed down my throat and Keith has rightly earned my respect for his fair and objective reporting over the years – sadly few of the people who visit the site are able to match his standards and we’re forced to read the type of rubbish you’ve posted here. Over the years I’ve seen posts claiming Keith loves Lewis/Jenson/Fernando/other and that he’s biased in their favour and just as many others claiming he hates Lewis/Jenson/Fernando/other and is biased against them – mostly based on the fact that he’s included links to articles in the daily round-up and very little else. The reality is that it is your own bias that infuences how you perceive the content of this web site and if you were capable of putting you fan-boy mentality to one side for even a minute you’d see your claims are a load of rubbish.

        1. @beneboy +100 and a bonus +10 for including “fan boy”

      5. @tata @tino852

        constantly shift his allegiance to whoever is Hamilton’s team mate

        I have no such “allegiance”. And I’m bored by vague accusation of ‘bias’ from people who can’t be bothered to mention specifics, or who when they do get as many things wrong as you just have:

        A recent case being the Nico ‘is not German’ article which he was quick to publish but slow to publish the correction

        I didn’t write any articles on that subject. I think there were two which referred to it in the round-up and both appeared in timely fashion. I’m not aware anyone published a “correction” to the original story. Nor did I refer to them using a “false title”. Nor, to the best of my recollection, have I ever referred to Hamilton as “arrogant” or “thuggish”.

        I have, however, chosen him as Driver of the Year on two occasions, though presumably you have some explanation for how that was also a nefarious attempt to undermine him.

        1. The truth… You have spoken it!

          There may be some users of this site that perceive Lewis as “arrogant” or “thuggish”, perhaps…
          But your consistently objective analysis is always a joy to read.
          You may have your preferences or favourites as drivers, but I don’t feel your coverage has ever affected the bias for or against any driver (Maldonado jokes aside :P).

          I honestly have no idea how @tata pulled such rubbish from thin air.

        2. @keithcollantine,
          can we expect more sensible and technical articles here, instead of these silly and insipid articles and their titles. Though you think you are not biased but it is not fact. More and more articles related to Lewis. Other drivers too making statements why not they appear hear. Moreover I hardly see any technical articles nowadays by you. There was a big discussion about FRIC ban, you could have come with an article on this with technical details and how this can impact the cars and teams. Come out of this obsession with Lewis and Get well soon !!

          1. Alokin, I too would like more technical articles but it’s not Keiths job to write them, and apparently their are more people blindly passionate about “their” driver than there are people interested in technology, the result being more articles in the media about drivers imagined mindset or ability than there are about the technology. So before you complain about the content Keith alerts you to take up his offer to publish an article written by you, if you can write one that is accurate and interesting.

          2. F1 sites all publish the same media content. It goes from being in the national press, which Hammy always seems to be despite there being other British drivers, then to the various motorsport mags and websites. News is news good or bad.

      6. Very harsh mate.

        1. Sorry, aimed at James Devon, not Keith. Keiths are a protected species.

          So, tata James…..

      7. @tata I believe Hamiltons critics judge him on his behavior. Yes we all know the media blow things out of proportion, exaggerate and manipulate words and comments to get hits, sales or ratings but this website only broadcasts articles written elsewhere, unless otherwise stated the are not the words of the owner. Hamilton is a public figure, he is a celebrity who is paid to perform. That is what makes him different from the rest of us, 100’s of user will vent, debate, protest their opinions here monthly, without a face, without a reputation or without a care in the world of what others think and we don’t have to because we are not paid millions of $$$$$$ to represent billion dollar corporations. Lewis has worn his heart on his sleeve for the media and in doing so has become their accessory.

      8. +1000
        “Comment of The Year”

        1. pastaman (@)
          13th July 2014, 23:00

          Wow, that incoherent rant is your comment of the year? Ok…

      9. +100,000,000

      10. @tata

        Woah. Clearly you have misinterpreted what I meant to say here.

        I don’t dislike Hamilton by any means. I am merely saying that if you look at his qualifying in Austria and Britain, this was a problem. By ‘a lot of the time’, I don’t really mean that much, I just mean that more than some other drivers, or more than it should be if he is chasing the WDC.

      11. I don’t comment much. Your take on Lewis and everyones “ideas” about him, I agree with. I wonder where some of it comes from. However, I haven’t actually followed Keiths stance on Lewis, so I can’t say. I will also chime in, if your opinion is constructed in a way without profanities (like yours is without profanities) and it doesn’t agree with Keith’s, he let’s it through. Your post even calls Keith out on his opinion of Lewis and he let it through. Hope that tells you about Keith as far as differing opinions go.

        1. Dang ps4 browser. My comment was in reply to James Devon.

      12. This comment started out well. It’s a shame how quickly it deteriorated.

      13. *I would be surprised if Keith Collantine lets this through.

        The awkward moment when he does, and basically destroys your nonsense with a good rebuttal…

        1. I’ve never understood why you would make a comment like this. If you are correct, then nobody will even see it to realise that you have a point. If you are wrong, then it makes you look paranoid and the owner/editor look extremely reasonable for allowing silly personal attacks against them and ‘bias’ or ‘conspiracy’ wittering to be shown. Unless you have a historic example of being unfairly censored then such a comment is completely no-win, and a sign that the rest of comment is probably similarly redundant.

    2. People say Lewis Hamilton is quicker but Nico Rosberg is more intelligent, I don’t know though. I know how quick Lewis is and if his head is in the right place he will be unbeatable. – Button

      “if his head is in the right place”. That’s the key here, and a lot of the time, it isn’t.

      Rather than just talk about it, let’s have some statistical data comparisons:
      Races 136-255 136-154 129-100 129-190 129-177
      Victories(%) 19-5 19-3 17-27 17-16 17-14
      Pole positions(%) 25-3 25-4 24-17 24-16 24-13
      Podiums(%) 43-19 43-11 41-43 41-31 41-30
      Fastest laps(%) 10-3 10-5 10-15 10-15 10-13
      Finish in points(%) 76-55 76-56 76-57 76-43 76-41
      Points(%) 49-30 49-27 45-40 45-27 45-26

      JB – Button, NR- Rosberg, JS – Stewart, NM – Mansell, NL – Lauda
      data source: http://www.4mula1.ro

      I think, the above important categories clearly shows who is faster (based on %age of Pole positions), more intelligent (based on %age of Victories, Podiums and Finish in Points) and above all, how frequently LH keeps his head in the right place (based on %age of Points) compared to other drivers.

      1. Great Stats @shoponf

        Is it Lewis not getting his head in the right place.
        Lewis not getting his car in the right place ?

        with stats like that you can hardly suggest he’s been getting to much wrong …

      2. your post doesnt take into account dnfs that are not fault of the driver.lewis had 6 non finishes in 2012 plus other car issues,and a pole position taken from him.so stats definitely dont tell the whole story.f1 is not so black and white like stats are,theres lots of grey areas in f1.

        1. You point out those stats don’t take into account other issues, yet only talk about 2012? How about the reliability of Lauda, Mansell & Stewart’s cars? Or the lack of speed of the cars Rosberg drove from 2006-2011?

      3. I also love how these statistics fail to point out that ALL of the people being compared to Hamilton weren’t gifted a front running car from day 1 of their F1 career. Button spending most of his career in atrocious cars is just one example.

        How bout we see the statistics with comparable cars. That is, the statistics from the other drivers compared to Lewis while they were driving competitive, front running cars.

        The stats for JB alone since being in a front running car (2009) would surprise you!

  6. This photo should be in caption competition! :) I can see Button almost breaking in full-voice laughter while looking at Lewis’ ridiculous haircut (beardcut?), while Lewis is looking back at him like “what’s so funny”? :)

    1. whats wrong with lewis hair and beard,they look very tidy,whereas jensons hair and goatee look scruffy.

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    13th July 2014, 3:19

    Keith, you missed a very good article about the banning of FRIC suspension.

    1. Excellent article, must read :)

      1. I’m very impressed with all their articles. :)

  8. McLaren. I think most fans are aware that at least ever since the 60’s all F1 analog tachometers were like that.

    1. @peartree, I think they are after the 13 year olds, maybe Jenson should get some piercings and tats.

    2. Not just F1 either! In fact I think I’ve seen this in all manner of motorsport. Single seater’s it seems more prevelant. Probably due to the restricted cockpits they usually have…

  9. Rosberg wasn’t smart before teaming up with Lewis, and now he miraculously is.

    1. Media couldn´t try to somehow make it look like a Senna-Prost-like-thing if they hadn´t started portraying Rosberg that way.

    2. In fairness, Nico has always been smart (not saying Lewis isn’t… I think he’s very intelligent at the things he does)… I mean, for goodness sake, the bloke has a degree in Aeronautics.

      But I agree that the media are just making his intelligence more of a focal point for the sake of the Nico-Lewis relationship.

    3. @Jason12 Nico has always been pretty clever. He knows his stuff on the technical side and speaks many different languages. He also put Schumi in the shade, and you need a pretty cool head to deal with that much pressure.

      I think the mass media do have a part to play in it, yes, but although Nico is incredibly smart, it would be incredibly silly of me to claim that Lewis isn’t. There might not be much in it, but the same can be said about their natural ability and speed.

      1. @craig-o
        I think you missed my point there mate.
        I wasn’t saying that Nico isn’t smart (I don’t him well enough to make that judgement). My point is nobody was praising his amazing intelligence before he teamed up with Lewis.

        In fact Button had the honour (while he was Lewis’ teammate).
        Now how much more intelligent is Button than Magnussen?…..
        All of a sudden nobody really cares…….

        1. My point is nobody was praising his amazing intelligence before he teamed up with Lewis.

          Yes they were. When he first joined Williams he got a record score on their Engineering aptitude test or whatever it is which was commented on a lot at the time.

    4. it was the same before button became his teammate,no talk of button being intelligent,then all of a sudden ppl cant stop banging on about it.

  10. Race in London? This is very strange idea.

    1. @saubers1 of course, imagine if Monaco never was and someone came to you today and said ‘shall we set up an F1 race in that tiny, rich principality with lots of very slow corners, narrow roads and a big tunnel next to a crowded harbour’?

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