Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Hamilton ‘had less power than Rosberg’ and was worried about reliability

2016 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was worried about unreliability throughout the United States Grand Prix and was running with less power than his team mate.

Hamilton won the race but described how he was preoccupied with concerns about the reliability problems which have dogged him during the season.

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2016
2016 United States Grand Prix in pictures
“The whole race my mind was, I couldn’t get my mind off the reliability issue,” he told reporters after the race.

“Because we had another problem through qualifying yesterday so I was down on power to Nico [Rosberg] today which would have cost me almost two seconds.” A deficit of two seconds over the race would be an average of 0.035s per lap.

“Sometimes down the straight I was half-throttle just ‘please don’t go!'” Hamilton added. “Fortunately it didn’t and it’s a great result for the team.”

However Mercedes executive director of business Toto Wolff told Sky television Hamilton had not been down on power.

Hamilton admitted other aspects of his weekend had improved, including his start. “It’s nice to have a good, solid weekend,” he said. “I was one hundred percent clear on my start, I knew the start was going to go that way. So it’s nice to kind of me in that position after so many ups and downs.”

“I worked very hard at the factory last week and found small changes which I was more comfortable with. Of course I wish I’d found them earlier in the year but they did the job today.”

But Hamilton said he remains concerned about the possibility of further technical problems.

“Unreliability is… I don’t think [Rosberg] has a single worry about that but I do. And so that’s really the only thing that can get in my way I think.”

2016 United States 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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  • 41 comments on “Hamilton ‘had less power than Rosberg’ and was worried about reliability”

    1. Sounds like he’s admitting he didn’t ‘work very hard’ earlier in the season which cost him many poor starts.
      If he loses the championship, he will be blaming himself.

      1. Completely disagree. We can talk about bad starts all day long but forgetting those and even his early reliability issues the biggest swing was the DNF in Malaysia. Had his engine not blown there he’d currently have an 8 point championship lead. That one result and 28 point swing is what’s killed off his championship.

        1. No denying DNFs are costly but they are also outside of a driver’s control. Lewis should have built a buffer through wins where the hardware held. He didn’t convert them all. If he did, and had DNFs, he would have been a much more worthy champion.

          1. Well if he wins from here through another 3 wins and some luck pushing Rosberg out of second, it’ll be as a very worthy champion… but I agree with your point, those start throwaways have stacked up.

          2. I understand people may not like Lewis’s personality, however i think unfortunately many of his critics are too biased by this, to the point of ignoring facts. The FACT is Lewis’s performance was significantly hampered by reliability issues in 4 races: China, Russia, Spa, and Malaysia. Had this not happened he could have been in front by something between max 54 to min 17 points right now. We can play with numbers and stats and say he had a good reliability rate, or he should have done better starts (as if other drivers don’t make mistakes) etc. This is FALLACY.

            1. Made a mistake in calculation: The range is actually between max 59 to min 17.

            2. @ Bahman.

              Absolutely. I’ll say it again. Anything else is disengenous. There’s nothing one can do about it but to act as if the starts are the sole providence is Fallacy.

        2. Where did you get 8 point lead from?

      2. Nonsense. His two major problems this year have been poor reliability of the engine compared to his teammate and botched starts. He has to own the botched starts, but even with those, if his engine had been as reliable as Nico’s has been this year, Hamilton would right now be leading the championship. The engines he can do nothing about. They have cost him in qualifying and in the race this year. That’s just racing. But your saying he’s admitting to “not working hard” is preposterous. All those guys work hard on their fitness, perhaps with the exception of Raikonnen.

        1. He doesn’t have to “own” those bad starts since it’s largely depending on the clutch and it’s settings for the start. If the engineers get it wrong the start is botched and places are lost.

          At worst you could blame him for losing more than 2 places after a poor start, but that hardly matters since he can never pass his teammate again and finishes second usually anyway.

      3. Incredible and unbelievable team management by Mercedes top brass, they are constantly made to sound like totally inapt liars by one of their employees.
        Number 44 “my engine was down on power”.
        Mercedes boss “number 44 engine was not down on power”.
        number 44 “my engine was down on power, my engine had less power than my team mate”.

        1. It could also be a matter of definition. The engine might not be “down on power” technically, but perhaps Hamilton choose a safer setting with less power. For Hamilton that’s “down on power” and for Wolff it’s not.

    2. So what is it now? Was he down on power, or was he not?

      1. Way down.. tremendously down.. believe me. Crooked Nico doesn’t have any reliability issues to worry about. Have you seen his hands?
        Too much time in NY.

        1. At Miss count, Mexico’s gonna pay for it. They don’t know it yet, but their GP is gonna be yuge in the championship.

      2. Even if he lost 0.035s per lap, he still had more than 0.035s in hand over Rosberg pace-wise this week-end.

        Hardly something worth mentioning.

      3. Mercedes executive director of business Toto Wolff told Sky television: “Hamilton had not been down on power!”
        End of story.

        Hamilton is a great driver but he keeps feeding the “conspiracists” and questioning if Mercedes is reliable.
        Wouldn’t think such kind of talking is endorsed by their sr management.

        Other statements like this from Hamilton’s post race interview:
        “Sometimes down the straight I was half-throttle just ‘please don’t go!’ Fortunately it didn’t and it’s a great result for the team.”
        I see no sign in the lap time sheet that Hamilton was going down the straight only at half throttle.
        That is of course, if he in reality has something like the double power available compared to the rest of the field including his own teammate and actually never needed to floor it? ;o)
        But it puts Hamilton’s credibility in question. Or lets say it in a different way; Hamilton gets taken away by the rush and his statements should be taken with a grain of salt (as I think they say in England).

        However Mercedes executive director of business Toto Wolff told Sky television Hamilton had not been down on power.

    3. If only your worked that hard during the season you would have sorted those start issues, I’m a Lewis fan but I couldn’t agree more that hard work pays off.

      1. The silly thing is it shouldn’t even be considered hard work. Starting well is probably the most important thing in the race these days. It would therefore tells me he hasn’t really done his work, learning to start well.

        Hard work would be spending evening at work learning electronics/ everything the steering wheel has to offer, or how something works that might give a clue how to take the corner 1kmh faster…

        1. Have you noticed how Rosberg’s results improved after the team radio rules were relaxed? The team helped Nico when he had a settings problem but, having started him on the wrong settings, the team refused to help Lewis.

          1. And when was this race where he had a settings problem from the start?

      2. It’s interesting how many people put a lot of weight on his poor starts deciding the championship while ignoring reliability issues that put him on the back of the grid more than once and put him out of a race he was leading with a 20 second gap…

        WOW!

      3. He actually spent the better part of a weekend with an engineer working out for the engineers how they could get the start set up better. He actually did have a blinding start that race.

        After that you would assume the engineers learned enough, but apparently they kept messing it up.

    4. Unreliability is… I don’t think [Rosberg] has a single worry about that but I do

      Can’t think of any reason why Rosberg wouldn’t worry about reliability… one engine failure is all he needs to drop behind Lewis in the championship. It’s not happened to him all year, it could well happen in the last 3 races, ala Schumacher in 2006. And that’d be game over.

      The fact that his car remained trouble free all season guarrantees nothing. The sister car had problems all year long, but they were non-related problems, it could happen to car number 6 as well.

      1. I also have trouble understanding why he would say that.

      2. Reads to me like veiled accusations against ros and merc. That’s why the mention of lack of power, fear of unreliability and ros run of “luck”.

        He can just say it directly or there would be hell to pay. Like in Malaysia. But its essentially the same sentiment.

        1. Reads to me like veiled accusations against ros and merc.

          Where the hell did you get that?!

          It’s pretty obvious what he is saying: He’s had failures, Nico isn’t. This has affected his confidence in the car more than Nico. Nico is, therefore, not worrying about reliability, whereas Hamilton is.

          If you consider it for your own car. Say you and a mate both bought a brand new car, identical model, spec etc. Yours broke down 4 times over the first year, your mates was perfectly reliable. You would, obviously, worry about the reliability of your car, and your mate wouldn’t (at least not as much), even though there was probably about the same chance of something happening to each.

          Why do so many people jump to conclusions over this instead of just taking what has been said?

      3. @Fer no.65 Hamilton just stating facts how it is.

      4. Rosberg is simply not a moaner as his teammate in this respect.

        1. I find LH’s comments disingenuous. As if Nico would think his car is bulletproof. He has had start issues, and brake issues, and has witnessed LH’s problems which could just as easily bite NR at any time too. LH likes to try for the pity vote continuously talking like Mercedes, or a higher power can’t be trusted but somehow Nico hasn’t a single worry. Pure tabloid junk from LH.

    5. This is going to be the ongoing story for HAM… I think he’s going to have an engine or 2 let go on him before the end of the season. For the sake of the championship and the racing, I hope they happen in practice sessions, rather than on Sundays… However, he might be limiting his track time… Given that Nico went on to win the last 3 races last year, HAM might be on an uphill struggle from this point on… I think HAM is the quicker driver, however, this year he hasn’t been at his best, and that combined with some DNF’s, I think HAM might just let this one slip through his fingers…

    6. I think he’s lying. If he’s going to lose the champ, then at least poison it and make it look like ROS is an undeserved champ because… MAYBE… Mercedes sabotaged HAM’s champ efforts. This cannot be true and it’s getting ridiculous. If he loses the champ, he contributed just as much. He had enough bad starts that made an impact on his champ situation. Plus, nobody seems to mention ROS problems, I mean he wasn’t troublefree this season. Yeah, maybe not that much as HAM and most important, not in the races, but still……

      1. Could you please remember us all where and when has Rosberg exactly had “problems” this season?
        Because, honestly, I failed to see them, except in Wolff’s vague statements.

        1. Oh wait.. an engine at the end of its life stroke him heavily in Azerbaijan free practice! Good Grief, what a damage that might have done him!

    7. Hami is talking to the reporters again i see.

      1. @melchior This quote was taken from the media pen after the race, Hamilton didn’t say he wouldn’t be doing that. The session he said he wasn’t going to do anymore was the in-house Mercedes press conference after all the other post-race interviews have already been done. Whether he did the in-house interview this weekend I don’t know.

    8. Lewis remains the same spoiled, fast, low character, child of Formula 1!

      1. People look too much into his interviews. Shows he is the biggest star in F1 right now as like him or loathe him we all have to comment. Even Johnny Herbert put this comment down to playing to the gallery. If it affects Rosberg great for him if it doesnt nothing lost so he might as well get the internet talking about his team mate being so lucky.

        If Rosberg wins he would have been the best this season for me.

    9. So Lewis dominated Nico with less power….

      1. Yeah, 1 horse(power) went the wrong way at the start. Probably Wolff called him back to the garage…

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