Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Hamilton “couldn’t get into a rhythm” before crash

2016 European Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton explained away his scruffy qualifying session in Baku saying he wasn’t able to get into a rhythm at the wheel of his Mercedes.

The world champion went off several times during qualifying and eventually crashed in Q3 before he had set a time, leaving him tenth on the grid.

Hamilton told reports in Baku it was “just a rough session” for him.

“Just one of those sessions that you don’t need,” he added. “But these kind of days come and go and you just have to take the rough with the smooth.”

“The car was generally good, I just wasn’t able to get into the rhythm today,” Hamilton said. “Just wasn’t in it, just wasn’t hitting the apexes, wasn’t hitting the right braking zones, none of it was in the right places”.

His team mate Nico Rosberg will start the race from pole position and Hamilton believes that will give the points leader an easy run to victory.

“I highly doubt that I can win the race but I’ll do my best to try and gain as many points as I can,” he said.

“Nico’s got a pretty easy run at the front, we’ve got more pace than we were expecting so as long as he gets a good start he’ll begone into the distance. My job is to just try and get through the big tangle of guys that I have.”

2016 European 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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  • 24 comments on “Hamilton “couldn’t get into a rhythm” before crash”

    1. Hopefully we will see Lewis plough through, there’s also a high chance of a few safety cars here which could help!

      1. Hopefully not literally ploughing through, Maldonado-style.

      2. I predict multiple SCs so we can end up with a surprise winner… let’s if we have a non-Merc winner

    2. From a spectacle standpoint it’s a good thing that Ham, Hulk, Ves and Per are essentially out of position, makes tomorrow all the more exciting!

    3. A painful reminder for Toto & Co not to let Hamilton work on a hip hop beat on race days, as he remains in the wrong rhythm afterwards

      1. Seriously? He is not a 3 time champion because of that. All the criticisms can be given but the man always hits us back. All drivers are used to this because it is their life. It only just happens sometimes. He is going to be mad tomorrow and coming through like crazy

        1. Except if there’s ever a track he needs to keep cool, it’s here. The Mercedes pace virtually assures him 2nd place if he can avoid collisions.

      2. Or use the simulator? Surely in terms of naturalizing the track and finding a rhythm, that must help. Maybe a timely warning to Hamilton that he’s not going to swagger his way to the title. Cut corners in preparation and Rosberg will beat him.

        1. I think he is right about the simulator though. It’s nothing compared to the real thing. More like a computer game he said. Having not paid much attention to it for 6 years, according to him, I guess he has done well without it.
          For a track like Baku, simulator driving would not have made even a tiny fraction of any difference anyway. Other drivers like Alonso who did not use the simulator before Baku also stayed clear of the walls reinforcing what little difference the simulator would have made. Baku is the kind of track that requires you to get in the real car and drive it. This is downright one of the toughest if not the toughest track on the calendar.

          1. What Hamilton is saying sounds exactly what you’d expect to hear from any student who didn’t prepare for an exam and then didn’t do well in it, or handed in an assignment that needed a week of work, but only had two hours of work done on it, and then got a low grade. No, it wasn’t he “couldn’t find his rhythm”, it was he didn’t know the circuit before he got out there. Saying “Just wasn’t in it, just wasn’t hitting the apexes, wasn’t hitting the right braking zones, none of it was in the right places” is classic “I didn’t do my homework”. It is what you’d expect to hear from someone who hasn’t spent hours on the simulator. This is a classic example of why a team has a simulator, and exactly what you’d expect from someone who didn’t use it. Now his car won’t be exactly right for tomorrow, which will make things more difficult for him.
            Maybe, after doing a thousand laps of racing on a circuit there isn’t much point in using a simulator or trying to get prepared, but he hasn’t done a thousand laps of Baku, he doesn’t know the circuit off by heart.
            My guess is he will have spent the evening practising this circuit on the simulator, and while that will help, the fact is he would have done much better if he had done his homework in the first place.

            1. You say that, but wasn’t he topping the time sheets in all the practice sessions?

            2. Except he led all three practice sections so his lack of simulator time is completely irrelevant.

            3. I disagree. He showed the whole weekend superior pace and felt very confident. Changing track conditions and maybe a slightly different setup did put him on the wrong leg I guess.

            4. Rubbish

            5. I remember watching an interview on Sky several years ago with one of the drivers and when asked how many laps it typically takes a driver to learn a new circuit layout the answer that came as a surprise to me was: ‘around 6 laps’.

    4. “Scruffy” is the word to explain what we witnessed today.
      Hats off to him for totally accepting the blame and not blaming anyone or the state, nature or condition of the track. That said, his performance today was embarrassing to watch.

    5. He’s lucky. He couldn’t find a better race to have a scruffy qualy. With the pace advantage the Mercedes has here, he’ll be second before he realizes. And with the amount of yellow flags we’ve seen today, the prospects of a Safety car are surely high, so he might be right on Rosberg’s tail!

    6. Was that one of the worst sessions Lewis has driven in F1?

      Are we sure it wasn’t Roscoe at the wheel?

      1. Lol. Probably his worst outing ever in a four wheeled vehicle.

        1. No, I think that was in the Zonda… ;)

      2. At least he only ruined his own race, unlike some other drivers…

    7. *crashes out of quali*

      reporter asks “how it feels”

      I can’t stand that question… stop asking it

      1. I agree. Every time I hear that question I wait for the athlete to respond with ” Is that the best you can do?” or “You get paid to ask these questions?”.

    Comments are closed.