Hamilton rues ‘one of my worst races’

2015 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said the Hungarian Grand Prix was “one of the worst races I think I’ve had” and accepted the blame for his collision with Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton qualified on pole position but was immediately passed by both Ferraris and his team mate when the race began.

“My start wasn’t ideal and the Ferraris were really quick off the line,” he said, “so suddenly I was under attack from both sides.”

“It was tight with Nico [Rosberg] later in the lap where I locked up and went off.”

Hamilton was particularly vexed about the incident with Rosberg during the race, telling his team Rosberg “crossed over my line” and “pushed me wide”.

Having fallen as low as tenth, Hamilton was running in the top five later in the race when he hit Ricciardo after the race was restarted.

“It wasn’t deliberate but it was my fault,” Hamilton admitted. “He took a tight line around the outside and I just lost grip, ran out of road and understeered into him.”

“That meant a drive-through which dropped me right back again after all that work to make it back through.”

That dropped Hamilton out of the points, though he eventually recovered to finish sixth. “From there I just had to tell myself to calm down and not give up so I could fight back for some points. You could see in that phase that the pace of the car was really strong and the pace was really there all weekend.”

“I just made too many mistakes today. In the end, it’s damage limitation in terms of points for the championship so I just need to take the positives into the summer and bounce back in Spa.”

Although Sebastian Vettel was able to win the race comfortably, Hamilton said his car “clearly had the pace – I just had a very bad day at the office.”

“It was one of the worst races I think I’ve had and I don’t really have any explanation for it at the moment,” he added. “All I can do is apologise to the team and work hard to make amends at the next race.”

2015 Hungarian 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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    47 comments on “Hamilton rues ‘one of my worst races’”

    1. His race was a successful failure. He failed to win but still finished ahead of Rosberg.

    2. The only mistake he really made was being to eager on both Rosberg and Ricciardo.

      1. Other than going off track again and again…

    3. It was like watching a Formula Three driver out there today, not a potential triple F1 World Champion. Ever since those lights went out he just looked desperate. He should be very lucky that he’s opened up his championship lead. I cannot recall a worse performance in a race from Hamilton since the days where he was magnetically attached to Felipe Massa.

      1. True, even down to the prospect of him colliding with Massa!
        But at least he’s honest to admit he was terrible today.

        1. Yes – I must at least give him credit for owning up.

      2. Rosberg was so unlucky as Hamilton probably won’t drive that badly anytime soon.

      3. Fikri Harish (@)
        26th July 2015, 19:02

        Maybe, just maybe, some of them are still feeling the effects of recent events.

        1. @fihar That’s a fair statement mate. Some of this guys took a stress differently than others. After all I haven’t more chaotic race for a long time. In fact it reminded me of 2014 Suzuka without the rain and thanks God without injuries. Maybe I’m under the impression still from that dreadful event…

        2. It certainly could be. However, Hamilton seemed to be great on Saturday.

      4. @craig-o In terms of his overall performance and the number of mistakes he made, I agree, this was probably his worst race since 2011. He made so many significant mistakes.

        But you have to say his speed was incredible, I haven’t seen the lap charts yet but from what I remember of the live timing his pace was dominant. Rosberg couldn’t even keep up with the Ferraris whereas I recall Hamilton being significantly faster than both Ferraris on the same tyre (when in clean air). He was fast enough to have utterly dominated the race if he had held the lead into turn one. It was a terrible day in the office for him, but I think it’s a bit harsh to compare his performance to that of an F3 driver.

        1. Harsh but maybe fair. The thing is, he made the earlier mistakes and got back to fourth, good tyres and everyone bunched up. And then messed it up big time again! Either he had to be cautious and maybe end up just getting as high as third, or he had to show the flair and aggression of his best moments on track. Sadly neither.

        2. He was clearly faster after he got the better tyres. You would think he would be a whole of a lot faster than he was. He didn’t really even closed the gap to Vettel. I don’t think his pace was good either.

      5. Totally disagree! Killer overtake around the outside and great to see a driver not just driving for the championship. F1 had one remit to achieve and that is to provide entrainment through the medium of motor ‘racing’. Thank christ for people like LH!!

        1. “not just driving for the championship”? He was out of points again and again… One would think he had to fight if he wanted ANY points. If he didn’t have a Mercedes, he wouldn’t be anywhere near points….
          Killer overtake on Massa was worse than the mistake on Ricciardo. At least you can say he wasn’t in control of the car then, though you can question why was he not in control. Very impressive control from Massa.

    4. Hamilton was particularly vexed about the incident with Rosberg during the race, telling his team Rosberg “crossed over my line” and “pushed me wide”.

      I don’t agree with him here, it looked like Rosberg was far enough ahead to be able to take the racing line and Hamilton just locked up and had to take avoiding action. It’s not like he was going to overtake him around the outside there, you need to be pretty much alongside at the braking zone.

      1. @george Anthony Davidson did an analysis of it, what Hamilton had complained about on the radio was that Rosberg moved over to the inside to defend (prompting Hamilton to move to the outside), then Rosberg moved back over to the outside to take the corner, pushing Hamilton out wide.

        Hamilton perceived it as Rosberg making two moves, which is against the rules. However, from Anthony’s analysis, he noted that Rosberg hadn’t actually left a car’s width on the outside (probably more like 4/5ths of a car’s width) which meant that Rosberg technically hadn’t made a move to the inside and Hamilton shouldn’t have switched to the outside. Besides, Hamilton had already started locking-up at that point anyway. So Rosberg didn’t do anything wrong, but given that it all happened in a split-second it’s kind of understandable that Hamilton misinterpreted the events.

        (This will probably be removed from YouTube sooner or later, but here’s a link to the analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwLO6Rzl2m0)

        1. @polo
          Thanks, I only saw the incident onboard once during the race and my memory can be sketchy. It still looks like Hamilton was too far back to attempt a move there, Rosberg moved over a little to dissuade him which seemed to take Hamilton’s attention away from braking.

        2. @polo It just doesn’t look 4/5th here but a proper width…
          If Ham wasn’t close enough why did Nico feel the need to defend?

    5. I’ve watched every race of his F1 career, and today is up there with some of his poor performances in 2011. He was on such a high after qualifying yesterday and I don’t think anyone foresaw such a sloppy performance. Maybe he got complacent, maybe he wasn’t concentrating 100% but he was very lucky today to actually increase his championship lead with Rosberg having a brain fade of his own near the end of the race.
      The incident on the first lap was not Rosberg’s fault, and then what happened at the restart, yes it wasn’t intentional but a driver of Hamilton’s experience and calibre should have been more aware of what might happen. He needs to switch on and come back firing like he did in the second half of 2014 because there have been some average performances on Sundays this year (Spain, Austria, today.)

      1. It’s weird, he looked off somehow. In the first turn he slowed first of the 4 leaders and was out braked by Rosberg. Then he made bad moves against Rosberg and Riccardo. Just poor judgement. Too much confidence + desperation?

    6. He drove exactly like he did in 2011. Like he had something to prove.
      Ruined the race on the first lap, was #BLESSED with a Safety Car to fight for the win again. And ruined it on the first corner. He couldn’t wait to do something silly today.

      The victory was so much on his hands today that even Rosberg having the crappiest performance of a Mercedes car since forever, Vettel wasn’t pulling away from him on prime tyres. If Hamilton kept his cool on either of the two occasions he screwed up, he probably would have won today.

    7. I said to my wife just as the race ended, I bet Lewis takes it on the chin and accepts the blame. I’ll bet Nico looks ready to cry and blames everything and everyone else.

      I wasn’t wrong. I think only the McLaren drivers, Kvyat and Vettel of the top ten didn’t make a mess of that today. Kimi deserved his second place, and the retirement was a real shame.

      1. I’ll bet Nico looks ready to cry and blames everything and everyone else.

        What? Despite all what happened, Nico was still nice to listen to in post-race interviews. He also didn’t complain about the stewards decision on the Ricciardo incident. He was a real gentleman today.

        1. Agreed, I thought all the drivers were very reasonable today in accepting blame. Hamilton tried to blame his crash on rosberg but that was in the heat of the moment and he admitted after he had a bad race. In general I don’t think rosberg is better or worse about complaining than anyone else.

    8. I was baffled during the race that he accused Rosberg for cutting his line, Hamilton just messed his corner all alone.

      1. Drivers will always give a partisan view based on their high speed split second observation. Somewhat easier sat on a sofa at home with endless replays to take a more objective view – as the other poster referenced Ant Davidson covered this incident in detail in his post race analysis.

        1. I think it was less high speed observation and more high stress avoiding blame.

    9. Third messy start in row and second time he makes an error during a safety car restart. If he keeps making errors, this championship battle might actually be interesting.

      1. @paeschli
        Indeed. The only way Rosberg has a chance at winning the WDC is if Hamilton makes an array of mistakes – says it all really. There’s a clear skill gap between the two drivers.

        1. …. That, doesn’t make sense. Hamilton is obviously more often the quicker driver, but if he makes enough mistakes that Rosberg beats him over the year, then he is hardly the far better driver is he?

        2. Never mind Rosberg, even Vettel can take the WDC at this point. But I don’t think he will keep having below average performances. Shouldn’t be easy to make so many mistakes with such a car….

    10. True,a n uncharactestic lewis hamilton drive today.but today Hamilton made some good overtaking moves too,after the first lap mess upHamilton drove very well untill the sc restart,continuesly setting purple times but the crash with Ricardo was Hamiltons fault if it was nt happend Hamilton should have been the fastest man on that top 5 may be vettels main challenger for victory but unfortunately for him nothing come his way.How great you are that dosent matter there is some off days for every one. here is the case dor lewis.but it was an ideal result f1 needs so as Hamilton otherwise his overconfidence will haunt himself nw he can focus a little more in the summer break and prepare for an all out push towards the third world championship.

    11. I remember seeing on the live race telecast, Lewis got a message just before the SC was going in “Lewis, you are racing for the win”. Within 20 seconds of that message, that race win was out of question. It was an especially poor day by Lewis. I just hope to God that this was a one-off and the 2011 Lewis isn’t back.

    12. Peter Boyall
      26th July 2015, 21:06

      Isn’t there a story somewhere that Lewis has started dating Rhianna?

      Perhaps his mind is no longer on his driving.

    13. Actually the most disappointing part of his race to me was Turn 1. Sebastian was a little bit ahead, but he had the inside line. Rosberg was on his inside but would have to brake earlier. There was not much to lose by braking a bit late, and I believe he was still positioned well enough to lead out of turn 1. Instead, he dropped to P4 and chaos followed.

      1. Actually Vettel was almost half a car length ahead, the risk for Hamilton in late braking would have been taking both himself and Sebastian out at the first corner, when you have cars closing either side you have to carefully pick your line.

        Mercedes getting caught by the blisteringly quick starts from Williams in Silverstone and Ferrari, they have some work to do and with the new driver controlled starts Spa should be very interesting, especially so as I will be sat at Turn 1 :).

        1. sounds like someone is in for a treat. =)

        2. @ju88sy, watching the replay, it looked to me like Vettel was no more than 20cm ahead – before Hamilton started braking anyway:


          I agree in general that it’s wise in to pick one’s line carefully into turn 1, but my point was that in this case, Hamilton was well placed to go deep into turn 1 without taking too many risks. If he goes a little bit too deep, then Vettel has to give him room (you can trust a driver like Vettel to be aware of this and not simply turn in) and he has the corner; if he goes way too deep then Vettel can simply come back up the inside without being run off the road (such as Fuji 2008).

          I realise this is all armchair analysis, and that drivers have to make split-second decisions, but it was still the wrong decision to brake so early.

          Have a great time at Spa!

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        27th July 2015, 14:27

        @adrianmorse that was his biggest mistake – he needed to push Vettel out. Vettel always squeezes other drivers out – he just needed to nudge Vettel’s car off the track. After all, it would have been Vettel’s fault which means a drive through penalty for Hamilton for the stewards to remain consistent with ridiculous past decisions. I’ve always been surprirsed when Maldonado hits someone why Lewis doesn’t get a drive through. It’s probably because no one at the FIA has thought of it… “Wait wasn’t Lewis on the other side of the track at the EXACT same time that they collided. Well, it’s gotta be Lewis’ fault!!!”

      3. Ferrari drivers had a spectacular start. It wasn’t just they had better launch like Williams did.

    14. He pulled off a couple of great moves, especially on Massa. Was restrained and cookies for most the race, and short fast. Today could have been one of his greatest races. Forgive the put star, which we never know these days it’s even their fault. Forgive the error getting himself crossed up at the chicane. Even with those two things, today should have been an immense day. I think he knew that and felt it – and just completely buggered it up! Silly, silly, silly. Truely hero to zero! Partly why I love him so much though. Just as with Mansell he has an immense talent, still I believe above anyone else on the grid. But he likes to keep his fans on their toes by letting Daft-Lewis out the box… Makes him more human.

      1. Forget Hamilton, your auto-correct deserves a drive-through penalty. :P

        1. Yes, it was a shameful performance, one of my worst since entering into F1 Blog Commenting. I feel I made some good points, and certainly had the pace to go further, but a disastrous mid-pit-stop submission, not checking all nuts and bolts were engaged (or Is and Ts dotted and crossed), really did it for me in the end.

          I’ll move on to Spa and hope to come back with a stronger performance.

      2. Very funny comment. If he didn’t do this, this, that and that, he would have been the fastest and the best. Except that he did. Sounds very pointless. I’m sure he tried his best.

    15. :-). V good

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