Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2017

Hamilton says he will race for “five or six years” more

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton indicates he will remain in F1 beyond the end of his current contract with Mercedes, which expires after next season.

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Does the FIA need to think ‘big picture’ when it comes to improving head protection?

I am not convinced by any of the solutions. I just go with what looks least worst.

They all suffer from simply bolting on a shield or Halo to the cars, and those each have their own drawbacks that don’t make them a clear solution.

I think the cars need some design overhaul to better incorporate either these solutions or other solutions in the future.
Michael Brown (@mbr-9)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 83 comments on “Hamilton says he will race for “five or six years” more”

    1. Halo is not a great solution because it’s halfhearted. It still leaves the drivers exposed.
      The only proper solution would be to cover drivers completely. Fighter jets look sexy; idk why does nobody in F1 appreciate that.
      That said, a halfhearted solution is still better than no solution.

      1. It wouldn’t of saved Bianchi. It wouldn’t of saved Surtees as this introduction isn’t extended to F3. Theres a good chance the spring would have deflected downwards into Massa’s cockpit, hitting his chest/heart.

        The FIA is currently facing a lawsuit from the Bianchi family, so Jean Todt wants to be giving the impression that he is looking at addressing the problem, with a solution that would not have solved the problem. The problem has been solved with a VSC.

        The sad thing for me is there is no turning back from it. No future FIA president will reverse this decision as if a head injury does occur, and this protective device has been removed the FIA faces a huge lawsuit.

        No one likes seeing people getting hurt, but it is a part of any sport, and the chances of an injury from what the Halo sets out to eliminate is very very small.

        This is a sad sad day for the sport.

        1. Surtees was in F2 sorry. Old Formula 2.

        2. @bamboo There is a ‘good’ chance the spring would have deflected downward? You know that how? I could just as flippantly say that if that had happened a lot of energy would have been taken out of the spring and it would have been more harmless.

          Nobody has ever claimed the device they’ve been trying to implement ‘has’ to prevent all hazards. That is just a talking point that armchair fans have resorted to in order to bolster their own argument. Their (FIA’s) main concern has always been more protection for drivers from large objects like tires coming down on them, since there have actually been a few fatalities relatively recently in open wheel racing globally from large objects hitting them on the head at speed.

          1. I have seen shooting tests of regular windscreens and they do make the bullet deflect downwards, as the bottom of the bullet hits the windscreen first and slows down, while the top keeps going, so the bullet flips forward until that part hits the windscreen. Then the bullet proceeds at the new angle.

            This is similar to how light is refracted.

            Whether a spring would bounce off a canopy or pierce it and be deflected downwards depends on the strength of the canopy (which is going to be more than a windscreen), where on the canopy it hits, the energy in the spring and how the spring hits it exactly (a bullet has a more predictable direction and more symmetric shape, but a spring can hit something in many ways, with different results).

        3. +1 totally true. Their not really solving a problem that can’t or hasn’t already been solved with the tracks.

          1. sorry for the horrible spelling and grammar

      2. Fighter jets are also big, and they spend most of their time in the air at far higher speeds, where rubber, oil, dust buildup play no role and water gets blown off from the sheer speed @johnbeak
        Not to mention that they normally work more at a distance, so the distortion (which is less than on an F1 car because of their larger size) is a bit less of an issue than with an F1 car that is all too often in close proximity of cars, walls, kerbs etc where the driver lookts at.

        If you want to get an idea of what a closed cockpit on an F1 car would look like, have a look at the DeltaWin when it got a cockpit added, looks great and elegant, doesn’t it!

        1. Cars with windscreens have solutions against getting dirty.

      3. So here’s what I’m wondering about the shield Vettel tried. I understand it’s got curvature, but I ride a motorcycle and that, too, has curvature, albeit not as acute. There is no distortion. I wonder if with time they can design the shield and figure out a way to work out the distortion that *may* have been causing the dizziness. I wonder if this dizziness was the direct result of short manufacturing and design timeframes.

    2. Aesthetics aside, the halo is still flawed, these day drivers have a bigger chance of getting hit by small debris than big objects.

      But if we are to approach this in a positive manner, it is something, it does improve a bit driver safety. And we can look at it as a first iteration of what the future might give us. I’m sure teams will implement it in their 2018 much better than the pictures we have seen so far. There are already some renders and from a side view it doesn’t look that bad.

      F1 always developed through the years, and I expect this solution will suffer the same destiny, and hopefully, sooner rather than later it will reach a point where it can check all the boxes, safety, looks and proper placement of a on-board camera.

    3. So how surprised will we be when the Halo is dropped 2 races into the 2018 season?

      1. @jaymenon10 I don’t think this is going to be elimination qualifying again. The technical challenges to getting it on the cars in the first place are likely to mean that once it’s on, it’s on.

        1. So it’ll be there for a season, unless it’s forced off first by external forces.

      2. Since it will be an integral part of the chassis that is almost certainly not going to happen @jaymenon10

      3. Fukobayashi (@)
        20th July 2017, 10:06

        I see it being dropped in 2020 in favour of a canopy based solution of some sort. Whether fully enclosed or a much improved ‘shield’

        Either way, 2017 is going to feature the last good looking F1 cars for a while. Lewis had better win this year so I can get my W08 1:24th scale model soon (and snap the T wing off)

        1. Lol that would be a European Revell model then right? I would think the T-wing would be a separate piece so you shouldn’t have to ‘snap’ it off.

          1. Fukobayashi (@)
            20th July 2017, 14:34

            I was just being sarcastic dude, haha.

    4. It seems we can split F1 sports fans in 4 groups:
      1) obsessed with their hero driver;
      2) obsessed with the aesthetics of the cars;
      3) obsessed with the sound/noise
      4) obsessed with close racing.

      I know which one I am, though impressed how much the first 3 groups can discuss.

      1. your comment is too simplistic, because the whole is greater than the simple sum of it’s parts or in other words there are many factors in which I get pleasure from this sport, not just from close racing.

        1. @sars haha yup, of course it is. F1Fan+ obviously just used the ‘either/or’ dynamic to make himself look better than others.

          1. I think you both (@sars, @jeffreyj) missed the repeating word ‘obsessed’ in the comment.

            I tend to agree with him/her.
            Most of us care for all of the above (and maybe the technology – but not sure if that is ‘sport’).

            However, I am always amazed how long discussions go on about IMO less important items (2 & 3), or how fiercely some attack others who seem to be critical of their hero (1).

      2. Fukobayashi (@)
        20th July 2017, 10:07

        Many fans are 1/4th each of those categories but resigned to the fact that we can’t have it all.

      3. 5) Not a reductionist?

        1. Obsessed with simplified racing that produces excitement and doesn’t change the rules every year.

      4. I’m not really in any one of those categories as I just love watching the cars & I enjoy the technical side & the overall performance.

        I have my favorite drivers, I enjoy seeing some good racing but i’m just as happy sitting here just watching the cars been driven around the circuit during a practice session or something.

        The cars looking good aesthetically is fine but not that big a factor to me & the same is true with the sound (Which is why i’ve never really been against the current power units). Fast cars been driven around good circuits by good drivers, Thats what grabbed me when I was 5 & it’s what has kept me hooked…. Everything else is just a bonus.

        1. +1 totally agree, I’m all about the cars, drivers come and go, but the teams and cars are the real attraction for me.

      5. I became a fan when I noticed all the models hanging out at the start and finish of each race. Clearly, models are obsessed with motorsport! Sure, I try to pick up enough about the sport to carry on a technical conversation with these lovely experts, but honestly I’m just here for the women.

      6. There are no hero’s in F1. Just overpaid billboards that can drive really fast.

    5. Does anyone know why the halo isn’t now mandatory for all of the FIA sanctioned open cockpit classes, instead of just F1? Surely if safety is the driving factor behind this decision it should apply to all similar cars?

      1. I guess they have to start somewhere @sparkyamg. And since F1 has cars changing between years anyway and has by far the most money and staff available to implement them, it makes huge sense that it gets introduced here first.

        For lower classes, you would have to wait for a change of the cars, which only happens every couple of years and you would have to iron out the design to make it relatively cheap.

      2. Fukobayashi (@)
        20th July 2017, 10:08

        Great point. You would think the feeder series’ where the standard of driving is generally poorer should be the first to take on these safety measures.

        1. the feeder series’ where the standard of driving is generally poorer

          Well… A certain road raging finger-boy would like to challenge that idea! ;)

      3. Because F1 changes every year, while the junior series change chassis every 3-4 years. Also, F1 has much more budget to install such devices and remove teething troubles. The USA doesn’t seem convinced by Halo, having decided their particular problem areas in safety are subtly different to F1’s.

    6. Haha, Hamilton being commentator or more surprisingly, being a manager, he can do none of them. He is a stupid kid that can drive, that’s it. No proper sentence building or managing abilities.

      1. As we Brits say, “Wind your neck in”.

        By the way, please check your last sentence for the irony “No proper sentence building or managing abilities.”. ROFL.

      2. He is actually a very smart guy, who can properly represent F1 and also educate the people, who do not follow our sport – there are some great talk show interviews on YouTube that prove it. But I also think it is very obvious that not every F1 driver wants to be a commentator / expert, just like not every football player wants to be a coach.

      3. stupid kid

        can drive [an F1 car in 2017 to victories]

        Choose one

      4. Did you actually read the comment, he said he wants to AVOID becoming a commentator or manager!!

        1. Can Hamilton avoid commenting on being a commentator? Can he manage to avoid being a manager?
          These questions — and many others — will be answered in the next episode of Soap.

      5. @Michael

        No proper sentence building or managing abilities.

        Read the interview. I guarantee he is a lot more intelligent that you are, and can string sentences together far better than you can. Now add the fact that he is far richer than you are ever going to be, far more accomplished, far more successful in his chosen field of endeavor, and can date the kind of women that wouldn’t even feature in your fantasies, is not hard to understand why you seem bitter.

        Get rid of the hate and bitterness. It will simply eat you up from the inside. Just my 2 cents, buddy.

      6. People only hate upwards. And given Hamilton negotiated his current contract I’d wager he’s a damned sight smarter than someone bitter internet posting troll.

      7. Michael, you do realise that you are abusing a driver for being unfortunate enough to suffer from a mental disability (Hamilton revealed two years ago that he suffers from severe dyslexia) – frankly, that comes across as pretty disgusting behaviour. http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/12/21/hamilton-as-a-dyslexic-i-struggled-at-school/

      8. At least he doesn’t fail at reading comprehension.

    7. Nice chat between Williams and Hamilton, I really enjoyed that read.

      1. And checking under the toilet seat !? Not the sort of music I expected LH to be familiar with but where else would he get that idea than the song that goes
        “There was a redback*on the toilet seat
        when I was there last night
        I didn’t see him when I sat
        but boy I felt his bite.”
        *Australian black widow spider.

      2. Same here. That interview gives real insight into the person. I keep reading that he’s an enigma, self-contradictory, mercurial etc. Well, maybe – I think that’s in part him just being human, and in part the simple fact that anything complex or nuanced is hard to get across in typical interviews, so either the interviewee has to find a short, unsatisfying way of saying what they think, or the interviewer misquotes them. But this interview let’s the guy talk naturally (and Serena! Good job by her).
        For me the most revealing part is where HAM talks about Nick. I’m going to quote it in full, I hope that’s OK @keithcollantine.

        I always wanted a brother, and he came along when I was 7 years old. He was just a little fat sack of sparks, a little chubby baby. He has cerebral palsy, but he was never fazed by the difficulties he experienced growing up, not once. He was told that he wouldn’t walk, that he wouldn’t be able to play drums, that he wouldn’t be able to race a car—and he’s done all those things. He’s defied the odds, defied disability. I look at him and I’m so inspired, by his mentality and by how incredible the body and the mind are. There’s really nothing you can’t do. My brother has proved that. He’s helped remind me how easy it was for me, for us, to be able to walk around, to swing a racket, to kick a ball, to drive a car. He used to fall over when we played football, and he’d get straight back up. He never once said, “Damn it. It’s so easy for you.” He’s racing now. He’s a grown man and an inspiring figure for so many people. That’s his life mission, really, to encourage people who are going through similar situations that “can’t” really shouldn’t be in their vocabulary.

        We’ve always known about how important Lewis’s family is to him, and about Nick’s particular challenges and career, but I’ve not heard Hamilton say quite so much on the subject before as when talking with his friend. I am the father of a smart, cheeky, energetic wheelchair-using 11 year old who likes to argue with his older brother over whether HAM or VET is better (the 11yo favours Lewis, the 14yo prefers Seb). I see in my son exactly what Lewis sees in his brother: an inspiration, and at the same moment a normal person (and an occasional pain in the butt, which I think is the proof of the previous statement). I know how much having someone like that at the heart of your life affects your perspective on so much. To me at least it’s clear from the interview that this is true for Hamilton too. So, not a surprise as such but certainly an insight into the man. I think he’s a pretty sound human being.

        I’m not sure if I’ll buy his album though.

    8. I do not agree with Wurz’s logic. I understand why the halo was approved and I do not blame the FIA for that. I do not believe that the halo will destroy F1 either. But you cannot ignore the aesthetic aspects of F1 racing. If you want the sport to flourish, you have to properly take care of everything – the safety, the aesthetics, the competition, the accessibility, the finances etc.

    9. Halo is the thin end of the wedge, in a few years they will say ¨small debris can still get through, we must do more¨ and that will be it, a full covered cockpit.

      1. and that’s a problem because? Full and strong enclosed cockpits might even mean some of the side impact structures could be reduced so we’d actually be able to see what the drivers are doing again…

        1. Then they’ll need wipers and air-conditioning (see LMP rules). We may yet get to 1000kg minimum weight for an F1 car. :)

          1. grat, strictly speaking, LMP1 cars do not require air-conditioning per se – they just require a system that maintains a reasonable cockpit temperature, and Toyota’s TS050 currently runs an fairly effective entirely passive system (and so did Audi too – only Porsche opted for air conditioning).

      2. @matt I suggest they have researched this quite well. They know that a full covered cockpit would take a complete redesign of F1 cars from the ground up, and that is not likely on.

        Smaller objects can be dangerous too, for sure, but the odds are very slim I would suggest, that a hit by a small object would be fatal, whereas we have actually seen in recent years drivers die in open cockpit cars by large objects hitting them.

        There is simply no way an enclosure can happen on the existing narrow cockpits of the cars as we have known them for decades. F1 would have to completely depart from what their cars have always generally looked like, and thus spend billions and risk completely changing the face of F1, and hope that would not negatively affect their following, and even then, is an enclosed cockpit completely foolproof?

    10. Once again the FIA is being prescriptive about that the teams do with their cars…why does everyone have to have the same thing. There are crash tests that the teams must pass in order for their cars to be legal.

      Can’t the head protection just be added to those crash tests? Write something into the rules along the lines that they’ve been developing with “must survive the impact of a loose wheel moving at 240km/h” or whatever??

      If the team can’t make a solution that work they they’ll have to use the Halo as an approved alternative.

    11. I grew up in the 80s. I fell in love with a sport as a kid.

      The cars had slick tyres with stickers on them. That looked cool. I used to like watching the stickers wear off. That doesn’t happen anymore.

      I loved watching the cars snake through green European countryside tracks. Being from Australia the European Fur trees of Austria And Germany, even the green around Brands Hatch, was great to watch. Rarely do i see this now, i see abu dahbi and modern hokkenheim etc

      I used to love watching the drivers change gear, occasionally miss a gear and when i learnt about it i was fascinated by heal and toe technique. That doesn’t happen anymore.

      I used to love the drama of the start. Spinning wheels. Drivers leaving liquorice marks as they wheelspun of the line, with drivers playing a huge part olat the start. This doesn’t happen anymore

      I loved gravel traps and kerbs which ensured drivers drive with precision and skill as well as speed. They were punished for mistakes and that was exciting. This does not happen anymore.

      I loved that the cars had large technical variance and the tracks also had a diversity to them. It created variance. This does not happen as much anymore.

      I loved that the leader could blow up or break down at any time, even if there was domination the result was often uncertain due to reliability. It meant there was often drama and uncertainty. This doesn’t exist as much anymore.

      I loved that i could draw drivers helmets in my school books with ease and they helmets were instantly recognisable. This doesnt happen anymore.

      I loved the danger. I was upset when de angeles died, and also unhappy when senna and roland died. But i loved watching humans take risks for the love of it. And would have jumped at the chance to race cars too. The bravery meant that a driver had to take calculated risks and they could back their skill level and feel. It seperated good from great. It seems grown adults aren’t allowed to risk their lives anymore

      I thought drs was a gimmick. Moving from Heritage tracks stupid. Removing fast corners and replacing them.with bland switch backs and chicanes was boring.

      I find tarmac run off irritating and the endless debate about track limits stupid.

      I think engineers with endless data coaching the driver a step to far from a man and machine battle.

      Ive put up with alot. Pay tv firewalls.

      What other sport has changed its very nature so much? Football tennis. They do evolve but the core dna is there.

      What attracted me as a kid simply isn’t there anymore. I’ve been watching out of habbit and addiction. Just wishing for the good times to come back. The rush of excitement. The little things like stickers on the tyres. Its gone.

      Sometimes a break up happens over time. Your partner does something and you realise you’ve been putting up with something for to long.

      So thanks Halo. I’m done. And I feel relief.

      Sorry for typos.

      1. Thanks, you’ve put words on what I’ve been feeling for the past few years. Still hard to give up the habit of watching F1 after all those years!

      2. Boy, do you make a compelling case or what?!
        I guess you and I started watching F1 at around the same time and are struck by the same melancholy longing, hanging on to ever thinner strands of hope. I’m gonna reserve my judgement on this whole halo hocus pocus, but like I said: I feel ya’ …

      3. I know that feeling.

        1. Evil Homer (@)
          20th July 2017, 14:46

          @dimsim

          I grew up in the 80’s as well. I fell in love with the sport as a kid- I went to Adelaide in 1986 at age of 10, and loved the sport since, despite this crap we have been handed today.

          I have been an F1F for a while now but your post has been the best BY FAR I have ever read on this site !! Well played, kudos to you and please send it to Liberty !!

          @keithcollantine – not sure if you have COTY but please give it to Dimsim!!

      4. @dimsim Who am I to tell you how to feel or react to this news of the halo, but I personally take heart that post-BE F1 will become better. Times move on. No sport is like it was in the 80’s. You cite football and tennis but they do not require highly complex race cars for equipment.

        The cars are back on the big fat slicks of the 80’s. They still leave ‘liquorice’ marks. Liberty is talking about retaining the old iconic tracks on the calendar. Brawn is talking about closer racing and the eventual removal of drs.

        Hey if you feel relief to be released from this relationship, as I say who am I to intervene in that, and I fully respect that that is simply how you feel. I just wish you would give it 2 or 3 more years of post-BE time just to see where Liberty and Brawn take F1…or maybe you’ll come back if they do as I hope and expect them to do.

        Just regarding the halo for a second…thinking of some of the close battles we have had this season so far eg. Seb and Max last weekend…would the halo really have detracted from that? I think it would have been just as exciting with halos on the cars. And I think there will only be more and more close battles as F1 moves forward.

      5. Man… I understand this comment on so many levels. Another 80’s kid here (born in late ’79), and I’ve been feeling the same way, but haven’t been able to kick the habit yet either.

    12. 5 or 6 more years huh? Sounds good to me Lewis, stats are stacking up nicely indeed. Wouldn’t surprise me if Vettel retired first especially if he doesn’t win a title in the next three years. He seems to be becoming more and more impatient.

    13. I’m all for more safety and all, but if they are going to do something like this, just fully enclose the cockpits, instead of that piece of manure that is the Halo.

      And to be honest, I don’t think F1 needs it.

        1. Don’t you get by now that in order to fully enclose the cockpits they would have to spend billions and risk losing the audience by having completely changed F1 as we have known it for decades? Isn’t it obvious by now that they can’t ‘simply’ enclose the cockpit or they would have by now, or would have even done it post-Senna?

    14. As with the T-Wings, and the V6 engines, and with just about any other change in the sport, the reaction from F1 ‘fans’ is always the same.
      We want change, we don’t want that change.

    15. We want Verstappen in Mercedes or Ferrari, or at least in a competitive car where he can kick current motivationless top drivers.

      1. Is that before or after Daniel “No Motivation” Ricciardo kicks him?

        1. Are you really suggesting Ricciardo is beating Verstappen on merit? Surely not.
          If so, Kvyat also beat Ricciardo…

    16. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      20th July 2017, 12:46

      Great to hear that Hamilton intends to stay on for a few more years, however no-one can really predict when the motivation goes, so it shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

      When people look back at Hamilton’s career they’re going to measure him primarily against Vettel as they both entered F1 in the same year. Were Hamilton to retire young he’d leave the field open for Vettel to scoop up a few more titles and finish on a better WDC record. The longer Hamilton can remain in F1 the more titles he’ll win for himself and (equally as important) the more titles he’ll deny Vettel and Verstappen.

      As a Hamilton fan and an F1 fan more generally I want to see Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen competing against one another – in different teams (I’m sure Renault will continue to improve) – for as long as possible. Verstappen can afford to wait five years before being in a position to scoop a string of titles, he’s still very young. You can be damn sure that Vettel wants to finish with more titles than Hamilton, and Verstappen wants to overhaul Schumacher, so we should be in for a titanic scrap between the three of them.

      1. The longer Hamilton can remain in F1 the more titles he’ll win for himself and (equally as important) the more titles he’ll deny Vettel and Verstappen.

        He’s got the best car atm and still trailing Vettel. No doubt that will change soon as Mercedes is back to their pre rule change advantage but even then I’m not convinced Hamilton will win the 2 man fight with Bottas. Bottas already has 1 DNF and still is only 22 points behind.

        If Hamilton had been as dominant as Vettel or Schumacher when they had the outright best cars I’d agree with you but Hamilton has consistency issues.

        If Ferrari manage (I doubt it though) to get back on track Vettel will take it by consistency. If Red Bull become a challenge (and reliable) that will diminish Hamilton’s chances even further.

    17. Jamey Price’s tweet is spot on – if the halo is the best solution the brightest engineers in the world can come up with, it’s very disappointing…. It certainly doesn’t scream “pinnacle of engineering” does it!?

      I appreciate the FIA have to bring something in as they have highlighted the issue and as Keith said above, arguing that you rejected it because it looked crap wouldn’t go down to well in front of a judge. It’s just really disappointing that this is the best F1 can do… I expected better.

      1. @petebaldwin The fact that the FIA have tested several different solutions over the past 8 or so years & also asked the teams to put forward there own solutions with the Halo been the one they go with perhaps also says that finding something that works with as few drawbacks as possible is perhaps not as straightforward as many fans & people in the media seem to think it is.

        If one of the screens that were tested by Red Bull last year & Ferrari last weekend worked in a satisfactory way i’m sure they would have gone with one of those instead, They did after-all delay the introduction of a solution to 2018 in order to allow further testing on those types of things.
        The aeroscreen Red Bull trialed last year failed the test’s it was put through & the shied Ferrari tested at Silverstone created some visibility issues. The Halo seemingly passed both so is for now (In the eye’s of those with all the data from the various test’s conducted) the best solution available given how they want to do something for 2018 & needed to make a decision before teams locked down there 2018 designs.

        1. @stefmeister Agree completely.

          @petebaldwin Where I think that tweet is unfair to the engineers as is your agreement with said tweet, is that of course the engineers can and likely have come up with all kinds of ingenious ideas. But what are their parameters? I suggest that since they apparently can’t change the cars and must ‘bolt on’ a solution that won’t affect the aerodynamics and the visibility but does add some protection against large objects, then this indeed is the best they can do under the parameters they’ve been given.

          I don’t need to list yet again the problems that need to be addressed to enclose a car with a cockpit cover, and so sure if you hand the engineers the green flag and billions of dollars to completely change the face of F1, no risk of losing the audience completely in doing so, all to save someone being hit by a spring, then yeah I’m sure the engineers would knock out socks off.

          1. …knock ‘our’ socks off.

    18. 5-6 more years of this and he will be close to 8 stars and 92 victories. I hope he sets a goal and beats it.

      1. If he doesn’t get beaten by his teammate… Oh sorry, I meant relability.

    19. This makes the job of improving the look of the cars much more difficult.

      I understand why the FIA have done this but F1 seems to take one step forward and one step back. This seems to have been happening for about 10-15 years now.

      I think the whole sport is at a crossroads and is in danger of a serious decline in fans and global impact. I mean current fans giving up and not been replaced.

    20. Brundle very bold, candid opinion for someone that’s intrinsically involved in f1 from the commercial side.

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