Hamilton rues being “too kind” with Ricciardo

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he could have dealt more firmly with Daniel Ricciardo after he failed to pass the Red Bull driver in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished fourth behind Ricciardo despite launching a penultimate-lap attack for the final podium place.

“I really don’t think there was much left in the car at the end of the race,” said Hamilton afterwards. “But I was probably a bit too kind in my fight with Daniel and left him too much space. I won’t do that again.”

2017 Austrian Grand Prix in pictures
The pair crossed the finishing line separated by 1.4 seconds. Hamilton has fallen 20 points behind championship rival Sebastian Vettel, who finished second. Team mate Valtteri Bottas has also closed on Hamilton in the championship.

“Valtteri did a great job all weekend and thoroughly deserves the win,” said Hamilton. “He’s just 15 points behind me now and he’s very much in this title fight.”

Technical director James Allison praised Hamilton who has experienced technical problems with his car in the last two races weekends.

“We are sorry about the gearbox penalty he suffered,” said Allison, “but he tackled the situation as he always does: he got his head down and made the most of it.”

“This was a good race for our constructors’ championship position, extending our slender advantage over Ferrari, but we need to make sure we give Lewis the equipment he needs at the next races to make sure he doesn’t start Sunday afternoon on the back foot.”

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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    83 comments on “Hamilton rues being “too kind” with Ricciardo”

    1. You’re just not good enough. You can’t overtake Kimi or a Red Bull even in Q3 mode.

      1. His ultra soft tyres were shot…No launch out of the corners. It’s also extremely difficult to make a pass on that circuit.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th July 2017, 17:36

      Possibly but Ricciardo wasn’t going to let him go through without contact. He’s been on the podium 4 times in a row and he’s so far ahead of his teammate that he wouldn’t car to bank the points, plus a podium in Austria was a huge thing for Red Bull.

      I think he made the right call.

      There’s been a whopping 45 point swing in the past 2 races between the incident, Mercedes’ reliability and the yellow flags.

      Hamilton could have been ahead by 25 points today but now he’s 20 points behind and that’s the bottomline.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        9th July 2017, 17:37

        sorry – it should read, care to bank the points [in order to stay ahead of his teammate in the championship]

      2. I have noticed that when Hamilton starts in the pack, he gets really twitchy about the car and seems to have handling issues that only just appeared during the race. Although to be fair, somebody put too many turns on the front wing causing Lewis to experience severe under steer and excessive tire wear on the rears.

      3. @freelittlebirds so you are implying that Lewis could have been 25 points ahead while he was robbed the win in Baku and given 5 places grid penalty through no fault of his own ? wow what a brilliant statement.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          9th July 2017, 18:29

          @abdelilah I’m just saying that if Hamilton had won at Baku and Vettel been DSQ’ed or sent to the back of the grid with a 10 second drive through after the red flag, Hamilton would have been 18 points ahead.

          If Hamilton had gotten P1 today and Vettel P2, Hamilton would have added 7 points and led by 25 points.

          + 25
          = 45 Points

          So the swing of the past 2 races has been in favor of Vettel by 45 points from the moment Vettel hit him.

          Sure, there are many other scenarios such as Vettel’s car breaking or P2 for Lewis and P3 for Vettel but this has been a nearly 50 point net swing…

          1. Ifs and buts count for nowt.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              9th July 2017, 18:58

              Apparently, they do count because Hamilton is behind Vettel:-) Otherwise, Vettel would have been starting at a 25 point deficit…

          2. @freelittlebirds
            Where is your evidence to prove that Hamilton would have won without his gearbox penalty? He qualified third. You can claim that he would have beat Ricciardo, but you have no evidence that he would have beat Vettel or Bottas.

            Mercedes has been the best car this season. Vettel the best driver.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              9th July 2017, 23:15

              @kingshark If you read the comment, it mentions the yellow flags. I think the past races support that Hamilton would have gotten pole if he had another try. It would not have been easy but he seems to be able to find half a second in 1 sector over anyone if he has to.

            2. @freelittlebirds I you re-watch Qualy you will see that Hamilton had already Blown his 2nd Q3 run by screwing up turn 1 BEFORE the yellow flags came out.

          3. @freelittlebirds Oh, that’s cute ….
            But if you like dreaming, maybe you can do the math of the 6 Bottas_Vs_Ham points from Bahrain, and the ones from Bottas’s DNF from Spain. You’d be supprised to find that Lewis would be behind his rookie (in the team) team mate.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              10th July 2017, 14:28


              Respective pace before the order:
              Bottas 94.8 seconds
              Hamilton 92.8 seconds


              What happened in Spain was unfortunate for Bottas no doubt – he was in P3 right when it happened so it cost him 15 points. He would have been much closer to Hamilton if that hadn’t happened but still 28 points behind Lewis.

              But you’re right, he would have been putting a lot of pressure on Vettel with a 8 point difference between them.

              So yes, Mercedes reliability has cost Lewis the top spot and Bottas a clear shot at P2 on Vettel, not Lewis.


              Hamilton: Fantastic
              Bottas: Excellent
              Mercedes: Dropping the ball …

            2. Are those the laptimes before the first time or the second time Bottas let him by in that race?
              The second time he let him by, yes, Lewis was much faster, i think he would have passed anyway. That’s probably why they did not ask him to give the place back although he could not catch Vettel.

            3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              10th July 2017, 23:23


              the 1st switch happened on Lap 26 – they were equal up to that lap but then Lewis had a huge gap for some reason to the tune of 1-2 seconds over Bottas.

              I don’t know why – sounds like a setup issue or operating issue with Bottas’ car.

        2. @abdelilah Yeah, let’s just add to the fact Verstappen has failed to finish 5 of the last 7 Grand Prix through no faults of his own as well. That would’ve made Hamilton’s points deficit even worse and possibly Bottas would be in front of him in the championship standings.

          It’s no point in wondering what if, since even then you would’ve need to “what if” every other scenario as well. It can go both ways. Hamilton has bad luck, yes, just as Verstappen, but he’s also not on his A-game. There only needs to be something slightly going wrong and he’s lost his flow.

      4. Some people are making some pretty big assumptions here, Ham was robbed of an almost certain win in Baku by somebody’s finger trouble which was pretty unlucky, however to assume that in Austria he would have got pole on his final run and could have won the race is a big stretch of the imagination. Apart from FP1 and FP2 he did not seem to be that comfortable with the car.
        He is obviously still upset with Seb and now he’s a bit down because of yesterday’s result, which was pretty good all things considered, just hope he sorts his mind out before next weekend.

        1. The irony of it is that had Seb behaved, he would have won and Lewis would have been another 13 points behind. We know that Lewis is upset with Seb, but actually he should thank him.

    3. Kind, huh? Unable is more like it.

      1. He’s never kind. He’s ruthless like Vettel and that’s why my they are world champions. Remember Monaco last year when Lewis slammed the door when Ricciardo tried to get by.

      2. No, he was right, definitely too cautious. He must have forgotten he was fighting Ricciardo, for a podium, under braking. He needed to do something akin to Seb Vs Ocon in Canada. Maybe it is the 3 years of being able to pass everyone relatively easy. He should have been more aggressive in that corner.

    4. Typical arrogance from Hamilton. Ricciardo drove very well and defended his position in a slower car very professionally. Deserved the podium.

      1. Where is the arrogance in his answer? If he was a sociopath, he wouldnt have cared & would have drove Ricciardo off the road.

        1. I don’t think he could have done it differently. He was on the outside so he had to be kind anyway.

          1. Absolutely, @lubhz ! Ric placed that car perfectly on that turn, maybe if he had had another chance at another place, he could have been less kind, but not in that corner at that point in the race.

        2. Like Hamilton usually does you mean? Like he drove Rosberg off the road every time. Hamilton didn’t leave too much room, he raced like most others do, which is fair. For once

          1. Paul's dad.
            10th July 2017, 9:09

            For once.

        3. That’s what he used to do with Rosberg:)

          1. So it was Hamilton that always drove Rosberg off the the road ….. take off the hate glasses and get real.

            1. Paul's dad.
              10th July 2017, 9:10

              You don’t know what hate, or glasses, or real is.

      2. To be a winner in almost anything I can think off, you have to be ruthless and believe in yourself. Business 101.

        I guess all successful people are arrogant. Thanks for pointing that out.

        1. Paul's dad.
          10th July 2017, 9:10

          It’s supposed to be a sport.

      3. @loup-garou and how are those statements related?

      4. It’s actually the opposite, kind of admitting he’s lost a more ruthless edge. Hamilton of the early years, even up to a couple of years ago, would have closed off Ricciardo. He could have done so. Admittedly at risk of contact and losing points rather than gaining a few more. On balance he probably made the right call. Still a lot of points to win and probably in the faster car. The onus is on Mercedes to reduce the mechanical issues they’re now picking up on his car that, on balance, caused him to lose to Rosberg last season.

      5. I see humility, not arrogance. So much anti Ham hatred. Why ? He is such a bad driver ? Or such a bad human being ? Seems very smart, eloquent and successful to me – maybe that’s what people hate ? It makes them feel bad about themselves ?

        1. I will be perfectly honest here and probably get banned, but the Hamilton hatred (and it is hatred not the normal fans dislike for a particular driver) is nothing to do with his talent, natural speed or his lifestyle, he just happens to be the only black driver in F1 and it’s got to the point where some of the media will take something he says and blow it out of all proportion just to get a story, giving more ammunition to the haters.

          All the drivers make mistakes and say stuff to the press, over the team radio etc, but it is only Hamilton that takes all this crap from so called F1 fans.

          1. Oh Jeez!….That old chestnut!

            1. Firstly I don’t think racism is “that old chestnut”, it has no place in our society and secondly this is a white guy saying it.

          2. @grumpy dead on… those of us

          3. @grumpy dead on… those of us in America saw the exact same thing with Obama.

            Hamilton OR Obama, there are legit reasons to not like him, but when your #1 complaint is being a Kenyan Muslim, or brake checking vettel… you show exactly why you dislike him, and all the bs in the world doesn’t change that.

            I was happy to see “MOST” of the f1fanatic user base disown vettels actions in Baku… then again we saw a rather large influx of people saying he brake tested him days after the fia cleared him… you guys might as well call him a kenyan, because you ain’t fooling nobody…

          4. @grumpy

            he just happens to be the only black driver in F1

            People can bury their heads in the sand all they want, but to claim Formula 1 is the ONLY sport in the world where racism is a figment of the imagination and doesn’t not exist is a serious delusion indeed.

            1. The trouble is too many people have their heads buried in the sand.

        2. spot on

        3. I think that the arrogance comes with the statement the he was “a bit too kind” with Ricciardo. In making that statement, Hamilton downplayed another driver’s skill, and extolled his own virtue (the kindness he refers to) – implying that it was not Ricciardo’s skill at braking late that prevented Hamilton from overtaking, rather it was Hamilton’s politeness that meant he did not attempt the overtake. I think that can reasonably be considered to be arrogant.

          1. Correction – the first sentence should read: “I think that the arrogance comes with the statement that he was “a bit too kind” with Ricciardo.”

            1. Ham and Ros driving each other off of the track – that’s racing, what makes you hold your breath and good that the stewards are not being as touchy as previous years.

              As for the race card, the only racist I know of are the ones who keep saying everybody else is being racist. I’m not struck on Ham because of the sort of attitude he displayed with weekend, but everyone is different. Vettel shows his bad side off camera, (pop goes the wheelsel). Obama, Bolt – among the most popular people on Earth.

    5. It did look like he didn’t try to force the situation too much, but the potential for disaster was very great, and the redbulls are very strong under braking.

    6. Neil (@neilosjames)
      9th July 2017, 18:02

      I thought he wasn’t quite as ‘decisive’ as he might have been… assumed he’d made the sensible decision to avoid the risk of a collision with guy not involved in the title race for the sake of three points.

    7. It sounds arrogant because it assumes that the whole situation was under his control and if he wanted Ricciardo couldn’t defend. If he had been less “kind” as he puts it he might have risked finishing the race. Oh well who cares.

      1. It sounds arrogant because it assumes that the whole situation was under his control and if he wanted Ricciardo couldn’t defend.

        Precisely my view.

      2. @eljueta @loup-garou

        It sounds arrogant because it assumes that … Ricciardo couldn’t defend.

        Or maybe, juuuuuust maybe, it assumes that he could have done a better job attacking? Actually, no, surely it can’t be impossible for him to be critical of himself. It must be arrogance! Yes, that’s it!!

        1. Then he should have said “I should have done a better job attacking” not something that sounds like he let ricciardo take the podium.

          1. @eljueta

            “But I … left him too much space”

            And that’s not an admittance that he should have done a better job attacking?

            1. Think he’ll be dismayed when he reads the forum comments? To me it sounded arrogant, to you it didn’t, who cares anyway.

            2. @eljueta

              Think he’ll be dismayed when he reads the forum comments?

              Not sure how that’s relevant to our discussion or the point I made.

              who cares anyway

              We’re F1 Fanatics! Of course we care! That’s what these discussion boards are for! :D

      3. = “If I could have another go at that I would certainly get him”
        RIC held him out and outbraked him to perfection. If HAM wanted a couple of goes at it he should have been trying harder earlier.

    8. What utter nonsense. When has Hamilton ever given anyone any grace? And why should he? Supposed to be fighting for a world championship. Simply wasn’t good enough to get by Ricciardo today.

      1. Gee last year’s Austrian GP comes to mind, when his team mate decided the car park of space given wasn’t enough and still ran Hamilton off the road. I see the comment board is yet again, split between those constantly critical of Lewis because the community has shifted into deeming that is okay of fans. And those that have a reasonable outlook and see it as a person being hard on himself and claiming he could of and should have done better in trying to get 3rd.

        1. That’s not true, he didn’t run him off the “road”. Hamilton could have stayed on the “road” if he yielded. Pretty much what Hamilton always did to Rosberg, except that the latter would usually opt to go off the “road” and avoid contact.

    9. Marian Gri (@)
      9th July 2017, 19:17

      People talking about VET being desilusional, for “seeing” things that don’t exist (like brake testing etc)… but here we have another case: HAM being under the impression RIC was slow and defenseless. Well, for starters, RIC did finish the race ahead of HAM!!!! Ridiculous…

      1. @corrado-dub

        “But I was probably a bit too kind in my fight with Daniel and left him too much space.”

        HAM being under the impression RIC was slow and defenseless.

        Care to enlighten us exactly which part of that Hamilton quote implied that he thought Daniel was “slow and defenseless”? Keep putting words in his mouth if you like. It does make for some amusing reading! :D

        1. Marian Gri (@)
          10th July 2017, 6:03

          Great to “hear” my comments entertain you!

          Anyway, what HAM implied is that he could/should have passed RIC, but he played it like a gentleman and that robbed him of 3rd place. I don’t think HAM had the speed to pass RIC, that’s why I say HAM is playing mind games again. He forgot that RBR is maybe like the best car under braking… and that’s why his attempt to pass RIC failed while it worked so nice with others.

          1. what HAM implied is that he could/should have passed RIC

            It does seem that way, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he believed RIC was “slow and defenseless” (as was your original point). There was a just little ambiguity in your post as to whether you were attempting to state a fact about HAM’s thought process or your own opinion.

    10. If Lewis had pushed too hard to get by Ricciardo he very likely would have caused a collision and risked a DNF.

      One thing we should have noticed over the years is that Hamilton often talks nonsense like this when he loses. Part of the problem is that all of the drivers who aren’t on the podium are required to talk to reporters in the bull pen right after the race, before that have a chance to reflect, etc. This comment strikes me as something Lewis said off the top of his head without thinking about it too much.

    11. Got to say I was surprised he didn’t just blast past, but as has been mentioned in this case it’s probably better to bank the points than try a risky move.

    12. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
      9th July 2017, 21:27

      Vettel on Ricciardo in China- that’s how you do it Lewis :)

      And that’s exactly how I see him this season so far, overtaking is his weakness. Almost no aggression and virtuosity.
      Hope it’ll come though.

      1. “overtaking is his weakness.” lol talks about the man who started 8 and finished 4. smoking some colombian leaf? 3 races coming are some of his strongest tracks. we ll see about his weakness… Hope it will not come as you wish…

        1. Vettel is a machine, no bs, no posing, just HARD racing all the time:

          1. Paul's dad.
            10th July 2017, 9:18

            Freaking hell, what a masterclass!

          2. Vettel is very much an emotional animal, as well as superb racer and team builder. Read Webber’s book to see what Vet is like out of sight. I hope the top guys at Ferrari are strong minded enough for Vet to give them some respect.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        10th July 2017, 3:14

        @antoine-de-paris @mick

        Yeah but the Red Bull was 1.5 second slower than the Ferrari in China… So technically Vettel did NOT pass Ricciardo, he just overtook him on pace.


        That Red Bull was as fast as the Mercedes and the Ferrari was probably as fast or faster than the Red Bull and the Mercs at the end of the race…

        1. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
          10th July 2017, 8:24


          1. I suggest you actually watch replay of these two situations
          2. Lets’s look at the gap between drivers 10 laps before overtaking opportunity:
          – Vettel’s gap to Ricciardo about 1 second
          – Hamilton’s gap to Ricciardo about 2.3 seconds
          3. biggest lap time difference at that stint: Vettel -0.678 s , Hamilton -0.601 s

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            10th July 2017, 13:34


            It seems that Vettel’s pass was on lap 21 in China ccording to the lap charts

            Vettel’s times after he passed Ricciardo were 1.5 seconds, 1.1 seconds, 1 second faster that Daniel.

            Here are fastest lap times from Austria:
            1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’07.411 69
            2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’07.442 0.031 69
            3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’07.486 0.075 68
            4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’07.496 0.085 69

            Difference between Lewis, Daniel, Kimi and Seb – less than 1/10th

            All set at the end (obviously) but look how close Daniel’s time is to the Merc on Lap 69.

            Vettel was catching Bottas but Kimi could match his pace :-)

            So it’s safe to say that the Ferrari was the fastest car, Red Bull 2nd fastest and Hamilton was probably pushing like a madman to catch Daniel.

    13. said he could have dealt more firmly with Daniel Ricciardo after he failed to pass the Red Bull driver in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix.

      shoulda coulda woulda. Maybe next race.

      1. Yep.. pretty much.

    14. Regrets, they sure stay in your head.

    15. I thought he was gonna cry in his interview. He’s not known for bringing junk equipment to the front, and now he is known to not be able to bring state of the art equipment to the front. We all knew that his luck to land at Merc at the same time they produced a great car was as lucky as Bottas’s start here. Just a lucky stab. The records books won’t show that he was bailing on his team and pretty much was gonna go anywhere away from McLaren. Never on his face did I see ‘yeah I have been pretty lucky so far.’ He backed into his championships, but apparently he does not realize that, or he would act his age. And he should have just bit the bullet when that doofus asked him and Seb to shake hands. If anything, so he does not look like a schmuck for saying he accepted the apology when he really didn’t.

      1. In the circumstances of the race he did very well to get within 7 seconds of the front on blistered ultra-softs which were 40 laps old, but these are details for people who actually understand the sport.

    16. I wish he hadn’t said that! Yes I know, it’s a sop to his disappointed fans but had Hamilton “dealt more firmly” with Ricciardo, the chances are that he could have been 32 points behind Vettel (and only 3 pts ahead of Bottas…), not the 20 his being “too kind” resulted in, and Ferrari would only have been 16 points behind Merc against the current 33. For both team and himself, it was smart and mature not to risk being too aggressive – F1 championships are usually won by finishing the most, not winning the most.

    17. Not sure what happened to him. He was such an aggressive overtaker at McLaren. Seems like he has forgotten how fight through the pack after all the years of Merc dominance.

    18. Hamilton is only good in qualifying, he is not a good overtaker anymore. He is just a safe-racer lately. I will root for max if he moves to mercedes or ferrari. I am just rooting for Hamilton because he drives mercedes and he is a better one in mercedes right now.

    19. Well, the expectation is always there he is in (allegedly) the fastest car in F1 with Ferrari right up there with Merc, so he naturally saw VET as his closest rival. However, with the issues of last year and the fight they have this year with Ferrari, these will play on HAM’s mind. BOT has absolutely nothing to lose but is driving superbly at the moment and I really hope they extend his contract. Ultimately there wasn’t much more HAM could do and getting past a RBR with either VER or RIC in it with similar pace to himself at that stage in the race would’ve always been hard. Leaving less room would’ve ended in tears. I think his judgement was right at the time.

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