“I was out of the race from the get-go” – Hamilton

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was left to rue a “very odd weekend” after overheating problems confined him to fourth place in the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton slipped back from Valtteri Bottas and the Ferrari drivers early in the race and finished 36 seconds behind his team mate. He had to back off on several occasions as he was warned about rising temperatures in his Mercedes.

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“I’ve not had that for… I don’t remember the last time I had that,” he told reporters in Sochi. “It just meant I was out of the race already from the get-go.”

“I wasn’t able to stay in the battle. I think I had the pace to fight with Kimi [Raikkonen] but the car was just overheating all the time.”

“For sure we’ll go back to the drawing board and try to figure it out. I think ultimately if I’d had better pace then I would have been further up. But even so hopefully got some points at least for the team.”

Hamilton said he could take some satisfaction from the fact his team mate had won. “That’s what the goal for the team is. It’s great that we’re in front of the Ferraris, it’s stopped Sebastian [Vettel] pulling away super-far. I’m just hopeful that in the next races maybe I’ll be able to pick up the pace.”

“For me, once I got around the first couple of laps I was basically stuck where I was,” he added. “I don’t know whether I would have been able to make a big difference moving forwards or not. We definitely had the pace to be with the back but ultimately positioning was everything.”

Hamilton praised Bottas for doing “an exceptional job all weekend. He believes he figured out where he had gone wrong during the grand prix. “I think through the race I understood it,” Hamilton said. “Speed-wise I think I know where it is.”

2017 Russian 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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    91 comments on ““I was out of the race from the get-go” – Hamilton”

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th April 2017, 16:27

      In the US, when the car started overheating the commentators stated that Hamilton asked if both cars were overheating or just his. According to the commentatrs, Mercedes said both cars are having the same problem but we didn’t hear any radio towards Bottas about the car’s heat problems nor did we see Bottas slow down on purpose to cool down the car allowing Vettel to come up on him.

      Now either the commentators got it wrong or Bottas had heat issues and we simply didn’t hear the radio (which would be suprising since his victory was at stake)… Did Mercedes lie to Hamilton during a race?

      1. @freelittlebirds – I don’t know, but I just had to put this here… both cars were probably overheating, but given the car in front was driven by an icicle, that probably brought temps back in range.

      2. I think they meant that both Ferrari’s had the same problem

      3. but we didn’t hear any radio towards Bottas about the car’s heat problems
        Then you weren’t listening very well. Hamilton asked and was told that “Bothas is in clear air so he doesn’t a problem” Wait for the radio transcripts and then you can read the exchange between Hamilton and Bono.

        1. Except Hamilton had 2.5+ seconds of clear air at the same time. And Bottas didn’t seem to be overheating when dealing with backmarkers.

          I wouldn’t necessarily accuse Mercedes of lying to Hamilton– but they might have been deliberately misleading Ferrari. ;)

      4. Bottas was in clean air most of the race, which kept his engine cooler. I think this was mentioned to Hamilton.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th April 2017, 16:58

          I agree we’ll have to wait for the radio – to me and the commentators Hamilton was pretty far away from Raikonnen so there was no issue with dirty air unless the Lewis’ Mercedes needs to be on the track alone which is a huge issue.

          Bear in mind that Bottas was in dirty air at the end of the race catching lapped cars with Vettel behind him but he kept pushing – I would imagine he could have fried a component if he had similar issues and he would at least be asking for feedback. It doesn’t sound like Bottas had any issues whatsoever

          1. Anyone who does not see this as a Toto team reaction to this constant team one and two rubbish for weeks is blind.

            LH was 6 seconds back from KR for much of the race and while we do not get all the calls did anyone hear anything when he was overtaking or following back markers?

            Frankly I am seriously disgusted by this. Not because Bottas won or LH did not or even Ferrari was right there.

            No this was just adding fuel to the ‘MMC’ accusations we see – Mercedes managed etc – you can guess the rest.

            Of course the reality is that Bottas is actually this hidden fastest driver in the world relegating the top players to bit parts and that actually Vettel and Hamilton and Alonso are actually just lucky. Bottas is the real man…

            The reality is this was not a race.

            It was not allowed to be.

            And that right there is what is wrong with this. Although Sky will tell you it was incredibly tight tense and a fantastic race.

            No it was not. It was purely managed to ensure Bottas got his win and Mercedes do not get difficult questions. Can anyone see them allowing TWO Ferraris in the way in the Rosberg years?

            All the while Ferrari just lap it up.

            1. I don’t know what exactly you’re implying, but it sounds like you have a rough life :D

            2. @drg Accusing others of being blind, while showing what massive blinders you have on, is quite funny. I suggest F1 is not for you if you think TW engineered for both Ferraris to be on the front row only for VB to take the lead immediately from them. If you think F1 is that fixed I suggest you leave it out of your busy days of tinfoil hat making.

            3. You really have a strange perspective on life … might be time to stop taking the pills.

            4. @drg – What was all that about?

            5. Ok I will put it simply.

              Bottas won this race. He absolutely deserved to. He had the pace all weekend.

              Can anyone remember the last time LH was given your car is overheating instructions? Thus ensuring a complete lack of a race? I can.

              Now it’s critical this year with just four engines but your fourth on the grid and your car suffers overheating continually? Your able to modify for safety between parc ferme? Yet oddly…

              And you think I am suffering something?

              Please – look at the facts apart from really bad driving when did a race winning Merc in LH hands finish behind Kimi or even fourth with out starting from the back?

              Think now…

              It will take some time.

            6. Brundle said that cooling would be affected if you where within 5 seconds of the car in front – Hamilton was seldom more than 3 seconds behind in the first stint. I would think coming up to a back marker and lapping him compared to following a car lap after lap has a fairly significant difference when it comes to the affect of your cars temps…

              If Merc wanted to play the game you suggesting there are MUCH more subtle ways to slow Hamilton – and really why not let him get past Kimi atleast????

          2. And Robbi – I know you love the ‘team’ thing but really?

            1. SevenFiftySeven
              2nd May 2017, 12:37

              One shouldn’t come to all kinds of assertions based on a tiny snippet of radio conversation (among many that weren’t broadcast on TV) without knowing the context underlying the conversation. What if Hamilton was using the aggressive qualifying mode setting on his engine for prolonged periods of the race? This is more plausible a scenario for an engine to overheat than assuming something fishy is going on by default. If I default to thinking he was definitely using higher engine modes, I’d be cherry picking what I want to hear.

              There is a great solution for LH’s die hard fans if they can’t trust LH’s current team. I understand. Sometimes, it is like that. But, I believe in solutions. So, the solution is for all Hamilton fans to put down 500-1000 pounds each and personally develop and manage a formula 1 team. Those interested in giving more are also welcome. You could call it Team LH. Then, barricade the pit box with motion sensors, SAMs, some tanks, a forensic lab, metal detectors, and more importantly, mental intention detectors (for the rogue journalists and evil team mates trained personally by Darth Sidius) before they get in the pit box – got to avoid those evil people.

              P.S. If you do implement this plan, please consider dropping in 500 pounds to yours truly for my suggestion services. Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you soon :D.

      5. I believe they told Ham this in relation to the issue Dan Ric had woth his rear brake overheating. RBR then told Max to shift his breakbalance forward as much as possible. To keep Lewis from going mental they indicated “others also have issues”.

      6. Bottas seems calm and composed in the cockpit, so probably just rolled with the overheating problem as you do when you’re one of the best drivers on the Earth driving for the fastest team in F1.

        Hamilton has shown he doesn’t deal with change or adversity very well. He gets very panicky on team radio and get down in the mouth really easily. The smallest of issues will make him lose his focus.

        1. I don’t think he lost focus at any point, or was panicking. His engine was overheating, there was nothing he could do about it.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th April 2017, 19:44

          @anon Yeah, but wasn’t it Mercedes telling Lewis the car was overheating?

          1. It was really a non-issue. The team wasn’t too fussed by the overheating.

            Hamilton was simply slow. Was slow at the start of the race when overheating was not yet an issue, and got blown out of the water in qualifying.

            1. “It was really a non-issue. The team wasn’t too fussed by the overheating.”

              So why would they continue to tell him to cool the car as the temps were becoming critical?

              You don’t like the guy, fine, but don’t try and subjugate the truth to support your dislike of him.

            2. If they weren’t fussed, why were they making him aware of the high temperatures and telling him they were on the limit? Saying they weren’t fussed suggests that the temperatures were normal, which they clearly weren’t.

            3. Takeitlightly
              1st May 2017, 0:40

              Kgn and Patrick… to answer your question is very simple, Hamilton kept on complaining and they have to give him some answers, either to say cool it on clean air or your on the limit. If it really was that serious of a problem, then they would have ask to to back of or lift and coast or something like that… but all you hear is minor concern and information…

              Hamilton fans just could not accept the fact that their boy just isn’t fast enough this weekend. PERIOD.

            4. You really have a strange perspective on life … might be time to stop taking the pills.

            5. Actually take it lightly…

              Look at the lap and sector timing rather than the simplistic ch4 or sky viewpoint.

              Every time LH started to take seconds out of Kimi – the car overheated – yes normal. The car is working harder but seconds back by say three corners? Come on – that was stage managed to the absolute.

        3. I don’t blame you for posting something like that anonymously. People who know you might suggest that you to seek help for your delusions.

          While Hamilton can be quite acerbic during a race, he’s better than most at recovering from adversity. Or did you not see the 2014 season? Heck, if his engine hadn’t gone kaBlammo(tm) in Malaysia, he’d have won the 2016 championship too.

          1. Or if in 2016 Hamilton didn’t blow 7 starts, didn’t throw his toys out of the pram in China, didn’t get beat by a Red Bull in Singapore (as his teammate won in commanding fashion), didn’t crash in Baku qualifying, didn’t make a mistake and crash in Spain (also robbing 25 points from his teammate), then Hamilton might be champion.

            But he did make all those errors. No-one deserves to be champion making so many errors.

            1. Thank you! And if Hamilton’s engine hadn’t blown, Rosberg also wouldn’t have been so complacent and just have settled for 2nd places the rest of the year.

          2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            3rd May 2017, 8:23

            Why does everyone forget that Rosberg was knocked from the front to the back by Vettel in the same race? No one wishes woe upon Hamilton – except Felipe Massa fans who don’t see that even their hero has moved on.

      7. The feed I saw included clips from the team radio, and in one of the clips the race engineer said something like “Everyone is having heating issues” to which the race commentators suggested “Everyone” meant Bottas because the team weren’t in a position to know whether Ferrari or anyone else had a problem with overheating or not (unless they happened to say so).
        Like you I never heard a clip from Bottas suggesting he had heating problem, but that didn’t mean he didn’t, it just means we never heard the complaint. I think if he had called up about this then it would have been broadcast simply because Hamilton was complaining, so my suspicion is even if Bottas did have overheating in the engine or the braking system (and the car telemetry would have notified the team so he didn’t actually need to tell them) he was managing the situation and so didn’t need their assistance.
        My experience with using the RT as a bus driver is the words “Everyone is …” in a sentence like that is its a fob off meant to discourage the caller from expecting any assistance, mostly because the controller can’t do much. The expression isn’t meant to be taken as apply to everyone else, it means something like “We know you have a problem but we can’t really help you. Don’t worry about anyone else, just keep driving”.
        So I wouldn’t say it was lying, I think Hamilton might not have been told the whole truth, but he would have at least suspected that when he heard “Everyone is …”. From his perspective the truth is he was fourth in the race, it was almost certain he wouldn’t win, the team couldn’t help him improve his place, so his job was to bring home the points that were on hand.

      8. The radio messages included in the live broadcast are not the only ones.

      9. @freelittlebirds Truthfully it might have only been Lewis car. I think these recurring overheating issues always occurs on the odd chance Lewis is not in front and in clean air, which is why I believe Mercedes on Saturday before parc ferme, don’t open his cooling too much.

    2. No worries Lewis, anyone who follows formula 1 could tell you had an issue with the car. Just one of those weekends. Hopefully the problem will be sorted and you will be back in front.

      1. No worries Lewis, anyone who follows formula 1 could tell you had an issue with the car. Yeah, I think it was a loose nut behind the wheel!

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        30th April 2017, 17:01

        @Keamo yeah but it’s never 1 issue – last year it cost Lewis the championship and practically 100 points…

        More worrisome are Mercedes’ comments at least as interpreted by the commentators.

        1. nelson piquet
          30th April 2017, 17:15

          only 100? more like 400 right?

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            30th April 2017, 19:40

            If you do the math and include zero sum rules, yes it was 100+. As Lewis said Malaysia was 33. Each p1 p2 switch is 14…

            1. nelson piquet
              1st May 2017, 17:44

              now count the points rosberg lost due to car problems, hamiltons “understeer’ and stupid penalties. and don’t forget monaco

      3. mark jackson
        1st May 2017, 0:02

        Funny how 3x Monaco winner Rosberg was .5s slower that Lewis at last year’s Monaco GP and the Lewis fans tore Rosberg to shreds. But Hamilton .5s slower than his teammate, it must be the car!

        1. Takeitlightly
          1st May 2017, 0:47

          Yep, good point… you mean the golden boy’s lucky win because of RBR F’uped.

        2. Rosberg had a consistent problem with the W07 in wet and mixed conditions last year.

          1. Yes, he’s a poor wet weather driver.

            1. He’s been definitely a better wet weather driver than the likes of Bottas and Ricciardo. There’s been occasions he was faster than Hamilton too.

      4. Takeitlightly
        1st May 2017, 0:43

        I follow F1 closely and I dont think it was a problem with a car… so to understand your logic, if Lewis wins its him, if he is a MASSIVE AND EMBARASSING 30++ SEC OFF the winner it all in the car. Quite immature mate.

    3. I am happy for Bottas but let´s not get too excited yet, even Rosberg managed quite a few wins in that team.

      1. Bottas is a much better driver than Rosberg. If allowed a to, I am sure that he can give Hamilton more than a run for his money.

        1. I can’t recall if Nico won a race 4 races into finally being in a win-capable car, but I am highly impressed with VB for so quickly coming into this team and grabbing a couple of poles and a win. Awesome job VB. Especially given they have stiff competition from Ferrari now and aren’t just running up half a minute of advantage over the rest of the grid within 20 laps.

          1. Nico won the first race in 2014.

            1. It was at China 2012, not 2014.

          2. Nico won before 2014. I think in Monaco 2013.

        2. Dont underestimate how good Rosberg was. He would of given any of the top drivers a hard time

        3. Rosberg, as much as he was (is?) a bit of a self-entitled git, is probably the most underrated driver in F1 in the past decade.

          I’d argue he’s easily in the top 5 drivers– He’s got the one-lap speed of Vettel and Hamilton, he’s as good as Vettel at racing the team’s strategy, and he’s not bad at looking after the tires and fuel. His weakness in my opinion is that he’s not quite as good at passing as he should be. He’s not as adaptable as Hamilton or Alonso (both of whom will eventually find a way to pass if it’s possible), and he hasn’t had the winning car that often prior to 2014, but given his performance against Schumacher and Hamilton, he’s not a pushover, either.

          With any other driver on his team, I suspect Rosberg would be a two (or possibly three) time WDC right now (and might not have quit, having not had to work quite so hard to win).

          1. This, he is on a level of most single, double WC. All mathematical models rate him highly. For some reason public oppinion does not. Probably because of his spoiled brat apperance.

            1. nelson piquet
              1st May 2017, 8:48

              i always supported him instead of hamilton because in my eyes hamilton is the spoiled brat

          2. he’s as good as Vettel at racing the team’s strategy

            What are you talking about, Vettel is good at it that he was even dictating his own strategy and racing it at Ferrari last year :’)))

          3. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            3rd May 2017, 8:28

            IMO, most of the hatred against Rosberg seems to stem from the fact that he actually had the ‘nads to take the fight to fan-favourite driver(s). Which is kind of ironic, considering the fact that nearly every team mate he’s ever had has also been the triumphant underdog figure.

    4. And I know the reason! Breaking news:

    5. Of course when he loses on track he would try to turn it into a conspiracy. Now Valtteri is not German and he was ordered twice to move over for you last race, so there is no reason for conspiracies!

      1. He explains what happened during his race and now it’s a conspiracy theory? Really?

      2. Hamilton has not tried to turn anything into a conspiracy. He simply had an odd issue with the car and is probably wondering (like all of us) what on earth caused the issue.

      3. I don’t know how you took conspiracy from those statements. He said he didn’t have the pace all weekend and that his car was overheating while following. That’s it. End of story. Not a great weekend for Hamilton. It happens

    6. Lewis just could not make it work this weekend irrelevant of his car overheating.

      We’ve heard Lewis a lot over the radio, he never got told to slow down or do a different engine strat.
      He was told other cars had the same issues and he should just keep on doing what he was doing.

      As far as I see it the team didn’t give him any restrictions, Ham had a short moment where he was doing some competitive laps. In the end there was little wrong with the car, just a driver not able to be competitive on this track.

      1. He was told to slow down, at one point he had to lap between 0.5 and 1 second slower than Raikkonen to maintain his engine temp. The rest of your comment is pure nonsense.

        1. There was not much wrong with the car. Everybody had overheating. Bottas had the same issue but he managed to get in front. This was even told on the radio.

      2. Lewis just could not make it work this weekend

        I believe that it is the long and the short of it. Each team sets up their cars depending upon its characteristics, their drivers’ preferences and most importantly, track conditions. That was what Merc did for Sochi and the fact remains that Bottas made far better use of the set-up than Hamilton did. Period.

    7. If this keeps up, it won’t be long until we start hearing conspiracy theories again.

      You could imagine the damage Alonso would be doing with this Mercedes right now.

      Bottas seems like a nice chap. Let’s hope Hamilton and Bottas can keep it civil.

      1. Didn’t Alonso fail to beat Hamilton in his rookie season? The only time they’ve had identical cars. This kind of fantasising is ridiculous.

        1. True, and that’s a blight on Alonso’s career.

          However, up until the big blow up Alonso was leading Hamilton in the championship.

          Plus, Hamilton was Ron’s boy.

          Ron had groomed Hamilton to be a McLaren driver from a young age.

          If Hamilton’s struggling to put Bottas (as well as Rosberg) away, he’d get blown out of the water by Alonso (and Vettel) in equal machinery.

          1. So the man who signed to race for McLaren in December 2015 and was being paid 4x the salary to a rookie, Ron chose the rookie?

            …….”If Hamilton’s struggling to put Bottas (as well as Rosberg) away, he’d get blown out of the water by Alonso (and Vettel) in equal machinery.”

            Didn’t Seb get blown out the water RIC?

            And Alonso, really? 😂😂😂

          2. You have zero evidence to support most of your arguments. Why try so hard to belittle Hamilton? Most observers see him as one of the greats, if not the greatest, of his generation. You’re trying way too hard to water down his achievements.

            Besides, if my parents had paid for me to race karts when I was five, I’d have beaten all of them. So it’s irrelevant.

          3. Why on Earth would he get blown out the water by Alonso????

            He proved in his rookie year he has the talent and speed to take on and beat Alonso – since then he has only improved as a driver…. Alonso as all drivers inevitably do as they age has probably lost some raw pace… the only conclusion one can draw is that Alonso would be the one getting blown away….

    8. Hamilton was half a second off Bottas all weekend, so I don’t think overheating was the main issue here. Either the car had some other problem the team didn’t find or Hamilton just couldn’t get it in the zone.

      It is strange that their performance flipped from Bahrain to Russia, but Sochi is a particularly strong track for Bottas so I wouldn’t rule out that he just out-drove Hamilton this weekend.

      1. so I wouldn’t rule out that he just out-drove Hamilton this weekend

        Sounds plausible.

      2. Funny thing is Hamilton had very good race pace. Each time he was catching Kimi, he would get a message that his engine or water temp was at the limit. He had the pace to come 2nd.

        1. Kimi was a lot slower than the top 2

    9. Apologies I originally wrote Hamilton’s deficit was 25 seconds at the end of the race, it was in fact 36. Now corrected.

      1. Wow! First, you’re obviously biased towards Hamilton, now you’re biased against him!

        Congratulations for feeding the Hamilton Fans and the Hamilton Haters! ;)

        … this post written entire in jest. And text. :)

        1. I’m glad someone has noticed my outrageous bias both for and against Hamilton :-)

          1. Now come on Keith, I told you months back that you can’t win!


    10. With Valteri Bottas getting up to speed, Seb Vettel is going to have a hard time with the championship. The other guy at Merc might still manage third provided Kimi doesn’t wake up or RBR doesn’t seriously develop the car.

      1. Disagree. It will make it easier as Vettel still clearly seems to be ahead of Kimi. So unless now Bottas starts to win every race, BOT and HAM will take points away from each other. It will also make team orders more difficult.

    11. Ham’s differential electronics were messed up that’s what. Just as fast or faster than the others in sectors 1 and 2 but half a second off in sector 3?!! That screams differential issues.

      1. Ham’s differential electronics were messed up that’s what.

        Yes, and ISIS just claimed responsibility.

        1. Are you kidding?

          It’s Trump I tell you.

          He said so on Twitter…

    12. That’s got to be even more worrying for Hamilton, knowing exactly why you are slower and still not being able to do anything about it.

    13. Anyone think maybe this was political? Surely some of Russia’s “views” don’t sit right with Hamilton. A 4th place means he parks the car, and jumps on a jet and gets out of there. No post-race stuff, meeting Russian officials, etc.

    14. What is clear to me is that HAM will be at a deficit compared to most others where engineering aptitude and application are concerned. In a development race, this bodes very well indeed for BOT.

      During the race, Bonnington at one point intimated that BOT was experiencing similar issues, but had the benefit of running in clean air. The Sochi Autodrom’s half-tunnel-like sections generate a longer range “dirty air” effect for trailing cars, but that is only part of the story where HAM’s woes are concerned. I believe most of his issues were self-inflicted in getting his setup completely wrong from the time he tweaked it for qualy. It reminded me of ROS’s setup error at the same track, I believe it was in 2015, in FP3 which droped him 9 tenths off HAM’s pace. ROS corrected the error and recovered pace. BOT’s set up was spot on for the race and he made the most of it.

      Both Mercs made good starts, but BOT smartly towed his way past while HAM got boxed in. HAM would go on to put in some fairly quick laps, but it was clear he had painted himself into a corner. BOT pulled off a very impressive win, complete with a champion’s coolness under pressure. While HAM’s radio messages to the pitwall tended to convey a lack of understanding, BOT seemed in control and he even requested radio silence as he homed in on his maiden win under immense pressure. He just proved he could beat the season’s strongest driver so far, VET, without even needing pole.

      The contrast between BOT and HAM was palpable: coolness under pressure versus near-panic. I don’t recall HAM being outpaced by a team mate in every single session of a grand prix weekend when mechanical failure was not a contributing factor.

      Judging from HAM’s being schooled on setup by BOT in Sochi, it would be natural for engineers to now defer more to BOT’s input as it is clearly more engineering-actionable than that of a driver, in HAM, not prepared to put in the hard work off track. So much for #2 driver status as BOT’s diligence already has him closer to de facto #1. There is an element of chickens coming home to roost in HAM’s case as it is no longer possible for him to simply turn up, drive and win. His lifestyle appears to have caught up with him and Merc could well lose the WCC even as BOT claims a maiden WDC.

    15. No real need for Lewis to worry – its one race and their car is still pretty darn good so he should be back on pace next race.

      That’s a far better position to be in than the RBR drivers whose season seems to have been wrecked from day 1 with a car that’s a long way of the pace. They can probably make claim to being out of the SEASON from the get go. Being out of the race for one race …… not even worth worrying about in a full season.

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