Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2016

Hamilton laments taking wrong set-up direction

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he was relieved to get as close as he did to pole position after abandoning his original set-up on his Mercedes.

Hamilton has lagged behind his team mate throughout the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Nico Rosberg was quicker in all three practice sessions and all three stages of qualifying.

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Suzuka, 2016
Japanese Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
“This weekend generally has not been that easy,” Hamilton admitted to reporters after qualifying, “not that they’re ever easy, but not as strong as the last race.”

“I was veering off a certain way on my set-up. Had to shuffle back and was kind of in no-man’s land going into qualifying.”

“So considering that I managed to pull it back, that kind of gap, I’m quite happy with it really. I was making progress and I did the best job I could.”

Hamilton heads into Sunday’s race aware that a repeat of last weekend’s engine failure could seriously damage his championship chances. He said he’s had assurances from Mercedes that his driving style has not contributed to his recent problems.

“There’s nothing wrong with my driving style,” he said. “Obviously someone asked the question so then I asked the team. It’s not the case, never has been, which is a positive thing.”

“I think tomorrow, my engine has one less race than Nico’s, this is his last race. Hopefully mine’s strong throughout.”

2016 Japanese 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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  • 30 comments on “Hamilton laments taking wrong set-up direction”

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      8th October 2016, 9:32

      So it sounds as though Hamilton has copied Rosbergs setup

      1. That is not how I read it.

        1. @f1azzer
          Well, that’s usually how they do things. If you feel like you’re moving into the wrong direction, into no man’s land, just making random changes and hoping for the best is probably the worst strategy.
          Mercedes are known to copy car setups in case one of their drivers is struggling, and apparently Hamilton’s and Rosberg’s driving styles are similar enough to make that work.
          If I remember correctly, Lewis has even won a few races using a setup that was originally Nico’s, but I’m not 100% sure if that has ever worked for Nico as well. But he did drive a few races with a setup he didn’t work out himself.

          1. Exactly there’s no shame in observing and reacting to a teammates data. It is a team. The team would be shooting themselves in the foot not to use each drivers data to push the whole effort ahead. LH could have been onto something with experiments on Friday but turns out not, and may or may not have just reverted back to something Nico was doing. That’s teamwork to use available references to work from wherever it’s appropriate.

          2. Yep, that is how it is, when you work as a team! ;o)

    2. Looks like the season getting away from Lewis.
      Hope he can handle it and win the GP but it will be a hard match, think Rosberg will do everything to keep him behind.
      Maybe we see another crash between them.
      At the moment Rosberg is faster in the qualifiying and is the lucky one, he has the momentum.
      Can´t understand why the odds for Lewis are that bad, you get your money back for a win. (Lewis Hamilton even money, Nico Rosberg 11/8, Daniel Ricciardo 11/1, Sebastian Vettel 12/1, Max Verstappen 14/1, Kimi Raikkonen 28/1. Source: http://www.online-betting.me.uk/news/malaysian-grand-prix-2016-f1-betting-odds-prediction.html)
      Maybe the Ferraris will laugh at the end if thex crashes again, a crash will be better for Rosberg than a win for Lewis.

    3. I am a slight fan of Hamilton but one thing i don’t like about him is his failure to accept defeat. Have you ever heard Lewis saying Nico did a better job today, i doubt it! Whenever he’s beaten by Rosberg there’s always an excuse:
      – Set-up changes, this and that!

      1. Lewis has definitely said things like that. Just not recently.

        1. @fish123 @satchelcharge he said that in singapore.

      2. He said that in drivers post qualifying conference after reporters asked if he can win from 2nd place. he says that often when Nico wins qualifying, at least this year i heard alot. And Nico is as arrogant as Lewis and nothing is wrong about it.

      3. He said so in the post-race conference (that Nico did a fantastic job)

        1. *post-qualifying

    4. “…a repeat of last weekend’s engine failure could seriously damage his championship chances…”

      Let’s face it, this would be game over, if it isn’t already.

      1. HAM still has every change to win the title. He just have to finish before ROS.

      2. Let’s face it, it takes only one DNF for Ham to be back on top… Like it happened to Ham, as they said, it is just coincidence, it can happen to Ros as well… Like i said, if all were coincidence…

        1. @mysticus
          If these failures are truly random and not in any way related to one of the drivers or their staff, then Lewis is just as likely as Nico to suffer a critical failure in the next 5 races. That’s how odds work, they don’t give a damn about what happened in the past.

    5. No use moaning about it now, it’s part of your job to get the set-up you like…

      1. He wasn’t moaning he was answering questions in an interview, you know that thing everyone was whinging about him *not* doing yesterday now your moaning about him doing instead. Man F1 fans are schizophrenic lol.

        “How dare he answer questions”
        “How dare he NOT answer questions”
        “How dare he answer questions”

        1. Well, first snapchat was more important.
          The day after he escaped a regular media moment by walking away.
          Not the attitude of a professional driver.
          So he is the one acting a a spoiled brat.

      2. Yes it’s part of the job and that’s what he was working on and obviously nearly nailed it.

    6. I think the realisation that this year Lewis is not much if quicker at all than Nico is setting in.

      Hamilton needed to make a big statement today and he was found wanting, he better pray for a good start because he won’t be overtaking Nico tomorrow if he doesn’t get one…

      1. Nonesense…
        2015, pole Nico, winner Ham…
        2014… same picture… go figure…

        1. 2016, pole Rosberg, winner Rosberg.

    7. I’m really starting to think that SOMEONE doesn’t want HAM to win……..!!!!!! Don’t know who you’re… SOMEONE… but if I get my hands on you…!!!!

      1. A higher power

    8. Sviatoslav (@)
      8th October 2016, 15:27

      Oh, not again this talk “When I win – I did everything right! When I don’t win – someone did something wrong.”

      1. You didn’t read the article did you? Tut tut

    9. Was Hamilton trying a wet-focused setup, and had to fall back on a dry setup (one that wasn’t tested as much in FP, or one that was derived from Rosberg)?

      1. That may be the case. We’ll see it tomorrow.

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