Start, Suzuka, 2017

Vettel “very unfortunate” with unreliability – Hamilton

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his championship rival Sebastian Vettel has been “very unfortunate” with the reliability problems he’s suffered.

Hamilton can win the championship at the next round of the season but isn’t prepared to say he’s got one hand on a fourth title.

Start, Suzuka, 2017
2017 Japanese GP in pictures
“Of course he’s been very unfortunate, through no fault of his own. These things, it sucks the reliability thing, these engines are so complex.”

“All I can really say is my guys do such a phenomenal job, they’re so meticulous, faultless with their procedures and processes that go back at the factory. So a big thank you to everyone back at the factory, both Brixworth and Brackley do an amazing job and I hope I’m making them proud.”

Vettel’s retirement removed Hamilton’s biggest threat from the race and he duly scored his eighth win of the season. But he came under attack late in the race from Max Verstappen.

“For the first half of the race, it was very well under control. The second half was a lot harder.”

“The tyres, balance of the car, traffic that we were getting a lot of the time. And with the VSC, which I did a great job under, the front tyres weren’t working so I had massive understeer, all of a sudden he was on mew. And he looked so big in my mirrors.”

“I’m pretty grateful the car stuck together and I didn’t make any mistakes so really proud of that.”

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 38 comments on “Vettel “very unfortunate” with unreliability – Hamilton”

    1. Weirdest car in terms of setup ever…

    2. Well I am a bit hurt and disappointed with how the championship’s ended, but if Vettel has 4 titles, Hamilton deserves at least the same amount of them. It has been an honour to see my favourite driver fight with Lewis Hamilton although it should have been a lot closer.

      1. None of the drivers “deserve” anything. It’s a sport. They shouldn’t have x titles just because.

      2. Well said @gilles. Hamilton definitely does have one hand on the trophy but it’s not over til it’s over, one of the reasons we love sport so much is the unpredictability. You never know…..

      3. Nice comment sir. I must admit at times this year I have been disappointed with Vettel’s lack of maturity/professionalism, particularly with that nasty incident where he assumed Lewis brake checked him, then ran into Lewis intentionally, then refused to apologize for quite a long time…..Vettel at times makes himself look quite foolish.

        But I also realize Vettel is an intense competitor, and when you want to win so desperately, at times composure can fail you. Hamilton over the years has had more than his fair share of unreliability, both at McLaren and at Mercedes, so he knows the pain of it. It was a good fight while it lasted, and certainly a much more intense fight from Ferrari this year than I think most would have expected before the season. Unless the Mercedes fails to give Lewis a car capable of finishing these last races, this one looks over, especially considering the grid penalties that surely must be coming Vettel’s way as he must have used up his allotment of engine parts by now.

    3. Over a long enough period such as a career things like luck average out. Hamilton was unlucky last year with Malaysia and seriously unlucky in 2012.

      This year Vettel is suffering the brunt of it.

      1. Agreed, had last year gone to form, both drivers would now be challenging for their 5th world titles. Let’s hoped we have this show down next season.

        2018 – Who is the Greatest driver of the modern hybrid era?

        1. @ajaxn

          You think Vettel is great?
          One day you will see that that’s not the case, If you haven’t, then maybe you need to go to Specsavers.

          :)

          1. He won 4 back to back championships and has only been outperformed by a team mate once.

    4. Classy from Lewis. Recognising he has been aided by his main rival’s mechanical misfortune, more than Rosberg who still pretends like he beat Lewis fair and square in 2016.

      Saying that, his insights on Sky Sports were fascinating.

      But he’s still an entitled brat.

      1. LH is being classy about SV’s unreliability, which is something that was absent from him last year when he blamed his own team for his woes. The true entitled brat. SV has been way more classy this season, not throwing his team under the bus but rather commiserating with them, even with way more damaging issues than LH had last year that still saw him with a shot going into the last race even after his numerous terrible starts.

        1. @robbie I didn’t comment on Lewis’s behaviour towards his team, I commented on how he is giving his rival respect and sympathy for unreliability, something that Nico completely failed to acknowledge then or since.

          But if you want to go off on a tangent about a different topic go for it mate.

          1. @offdutyrockstar @robbie I would not expect any less from no class Robbie, congratulations to the super talented Hamilton.

          2. @offdutyrockstar What tangent? You’re the one making ridiculous schoolyard claims of Rosberg still pretending like he beat LH fair and square in 2016. And that he failed to acknowledge LH’s unreliability. You sure about that? I highly doubt it. He fully has acknowledged unreliability is part of racing, just as when it has stricken him.

            He did beat LH fair and square. Get over it. So which is it with you? NR didn’t beat him fair and square because LH had a dnf? Therefore LH hasn’t beaten SV fair and square for the same reason? Or is it that you agree with his sabotage motif of last year, and that’s why his loss was no fair? Please enlighten us as to what was so unfair about LH’s loss last year.

            1. @robbie I think you got lost in your own drivel there mate, maybe you need bullet points and numbering system to understand a basic paragraph.

              Nico never acknowledged Lewis’s unreliability, in fact all weekend on Sky Sports he kept talking about what it took to beat Lewis, in reality it took ( courtesy of @ldg95 ):

              An ERS failure at the start of qualifying in China, relegating him to 22nd on the grid. He finished seventh.
              An ERS failure during Q3 in Russia, restricting the Mercedes driver to 10th on the grid. He finished second.
              An engine mode issue during the European GP. He finished fifth having started in 10th following a crash in qualifying.
              Used all 5 of his season engine allocation by the mid way point Race 12 Spa, forcing him to start from 22nd on the grid, finished 3rd
              A hydraulics fault during Practice Two in Singapore which was cited as a critical factor in his defeat to Rosberg. He finished third.
              An engine blow-out in Malaysia which cost him 25 points since he was 22seconds ahead of the Red bull in 2nd
              At the end of the season the engine usage statistics were
              Hamilton: ICE: 6 TC: 8 MGU-H: 8 MGU-K: 6 ES: 5 CE: 5
              Rosberg: ICE: 5 TC: 5 MGU-H: 5 MGU-K: 5 ES: 4 CE: 4
              f1technical (.) net/news/21099
              Only Alonso had worse reliability than Hamilton.
              All Rosberg had season had was a minor gearbox issue which cost him 3 points at Silverstone after getting demoted from 2nd to 3rd for driver coaching which was banned at the time and a grid penalty for a gearbox change at Austria.
              He was effectively bullet proof all season.

              But they said (you know who you are) Reliability didn’t decide the championship…………

              This season 2017:
              Hamilton had:
              A grid penalty at Austria for gearbox change.
              Vettel had:
              An electrical problem in quali at Malaysia forcing him to start 20th, he finished the race 4th.
              A spark plug/engine failure/retirement from the Japanese GP.

              Yet somehow reliability is deciding this championship?

              If Vettel had that much bad luck I reckon he would ask a question also!

              Oh and Seb doesnt have the greatest relationship with his team either, lest we forget Sergio Marchionne having to publically remind him that he isn’t bigger than the team and can be replaced.

              And finally, what a great team player Vettel is to insist an ageing and inconsistent Kimi is retained to benefit his own WDC aspirations while Ferrari is embarrassed in the constructors championship, haemorrhaging points from one half of the garage.

            2. @offdutyrockstar – F Truth, I think your name is fitting here because what you are saying skews reality. While I take the information you’ve provided in this post as accurate (no reason to assume otherwise) it is only part of the story, which is the problem.

              1) The list conveniently leaves out anything aside from reliability. I understand that the point of the list is to show reliability issues. But if one is going to make the claim that reliability decided the championship, it is not enough to leave out everything else. In a season where the leading Mercedes is usually safe because the following Mercedes cannot pass, a poor start is an important detail.

              2) The point needs to be clear that Mercedes were so far ahead of every other car the past few years that starting from the back was not a death sentence. Hamilton’s issue at Spa, for example, cost him 10 points maximum. Not great, but in any other car last year, he would have been nowhere close to the podium. You (or your source if you choose to push the blame) leaves out that Rosberg lost points in Malaysia as he was spun and had to get back to the podium; he could, because that’s how good the cars were. But had that not occurred, Rosberg would have either finished second behind Hamilton (in the scenario where Hamilton’s engine didn’t fail), or got the win. Again, one-sided scenarios in a two-person battle are not reality.

              3) Power unit component use. Hamilton did have issues early on. However, he and Mercedes stockpiled engines and components at Spa. So, given the context that this entire list of points lacks, all the ‘engine usage statistics’ list shows is that stockpiling components makes your reliability seem worse than it is.

              I’m not defending Rosberg, nor am I saying that he won on pure skill. But he won fairly. When Hamilton wins this year, it will have been done fairly as well (I think both are very safe assumptions). Unreliability does not make a win unfair, that’s how racing and basically all sports have always been.

              TL; DR – reliability is one factor among many that decide how a race or season turn out. Anyone selling a different story has an angle.

        2. @robbie lol….Vettel more classy? I guess, if you consider swearing at the race director and deliberately ramming other cars classy then ok….

          1. We’te talking about the realities of unreliability, and how SV has shown only class towards his own team in their tough times of mechanical failure this season, whereas LH only showed poor team spirit and entitlement when he had far fewer issues last year. Just one eg. ‘Nico doesn’t have to worry about reliability this year,’ like any driver would ever expect certainty in that regard, or like any team could guarantee that to a driver. But I suppose his aim was to rally the pity party toward himself.

            SV did a stupid and classless act when he had ‘track rage’ thinking LH brake tested him, but he didn’t try to drag his own team through the mud over it.

        3. which is something that was absent from him last year when he blamed his own team for his woes. The true entitled brat.

          Didn’t happen, no matter how much you keep insisting it did.

          1. Martin if you want to deny the very quotes from LH that are easily accessed, that’s your issue.

            1. You are certainly free to post any of these “easily accessed” quotes that show Hamilton to be an “entitled brat”.

              Until then and with no evidence to back up your claim my point still stands.

        4. @robbie

          LH […] blamed his own team for his woes. The true entitled brat.

          You again with the same drivel?

          We had this exchange few months back, but seeing as you repeat yourself, I’ll do the same: this website is a great archive of F1 history from the last decade. It shouldn’t be hard to find Hamilton’s “accusations”. Please provide a source, because last time you failed to do that.

          You just stated that you didn’t like Hamilton’s tone in one of his interviews and you thought that he was implying something. I think he wasn’t. He was just talking about his bad luck.

          Fans were making a fuss about his reliability, accusing his team of favouritism and poor journalism in some cases helped to reinforce that perception, but I’m yet to see an actual accusation from Hamilton.

      2. @offdutyrockstar as @robbie says. Amaizing how being the one benefiting from others misfortunes change your speech, eh? Lewis was so vocal about his reliability issues last year, basically saying that Rosberg was champion because of that. I don’t think Nico is that stupid to not know he got his throphy in part because of his better reliability but that’s motorsport.

        Lewis’ attitude last year was very disappointing, and it’s funny to hear him now.

        That said, I don’t agree SV has been “way more classy this season”. Seb’s attitude since arriving to Ferrari has been horribly bad.

        1. @fer-no65 what did you expect the racer Lewis to say during the long intense title battle with a team mate? That unreliability on his side of the garage did not enhance his team mate championship chances? It looks like you will be disappointed more often.

          1. @jagged-jake I expected him to understand that’s the name of this game. Pointing the finger towards Mercedes, a company that created the best engine we’ve seen in F1? which hardly failed and was incredibly fast? he was just unlucky, that’s how things go sometimes. He’s saying that now. He should’ve been proud too last year.

            It did enhance Nico’s chances, no doubt about it. But it could’ve happened to either of them. I wasn’t disappointed about that, I was disappointed with his reaction and comments.

            1. I was disappointed with his reaction and comments.

              Source?

    5. @fer-no65 Lewis was not the first F1 driver to point fingers at his team regardless of how competitive and best the provided car is, especially during the heat of championship battle. Was Mark Webber being ungrateful when complained about his new wing being handed to his title rival Vettel? I just feel that Lewis is hypocritically held to a different standard to other drivers. Take Vettel’s expletives to other drivers and Charlie, just imagine if it was Lewis who was demonstrating that sense of entitlement, the F1 blogs will melt.

      1. Well said. Hamilton could not behave anything like how Vettel does (not that he would anyway) the great white establishment would be frothing at the mouth to remove him from the sport and not just chuck a few reprimands his way.

      2. @jagged-jake i don’t agree with Seb’s manners, and the wing situation at Silverstone 2010 was completely different, as it was a team’s decision completely in control of everyone involved, not a reliability issue. Totally different things, so different that I’d not even mention them in the same parragraph.

        I don’t follow any “trend” on bashing someone or not. I have my own views. Engine failures are inherent of motorsport, and that Mercedes engine was and still is flawless. It was just unlucky that those parts that failed were fitted to Lewis’ cars. I give you that the media could’ve handled that issue better, instead of asking the guy constantly about his engine problems and basically reporting “it’s unacceptable” that such thing should happen. But he did point his frustration towards his team, which was doing a flawless job anyway.

        1. @fer-no65 anyone would question things in the same situation, considering out of 8 Mercedes powered cars only his kept getting repeat problems. It’s easy to get on your high and mighty horse when you are not in the intense pressure cooker of a title battle…..

          1. Perhaps many would question it, but not through the media and thus the public by throwing one’s own team under the bus such that Mercedes even felt the need to publish a letter defending the 1500 staff involved in providing LH the means to do what he loves, while gaining millions of dollars and fame.

            And I suppose to many SV is not to be afforded that same intense pressure cooker of a title battle bringing out some heat-of-the-moment traits on his part. When it’s LH, it just the pressure…but when it’s SV?

            1. throwing one’s own team under the bus

              Didn’t happen, though feel free to reply with a quote from Hamilton that proves otherwise.

        2. I’m copying this from @ldg95 on another post:

          “Last Year Hamilton had:
          An ERS failure at the start of qualifying in China, relegating him to 22nd on the grid. He finished seventh.
          An ERS failure during Q3 in Russia, restricting the Mercedes driver to 10th on the grid. He finished second.
          An engine mode issue during the European GP. He finished fifth having started in 10th following a crash in qualifying.
          Used all 5 of his season engine allocation by the mid way point Race 12 Spa, forcing him to start from 22nd on the grid, finished 3rd
          A hydraulics fault during Practice Two in Singapore which was cited as a critical factor in his defeat to Rosberg. He finished third.
          An engine blow-out in Malaysia which cost him 25 points since he was 22seconds ahead of the Red bull in 2nd
          At the end of the season the engine usage statistics were
          Hamilton: ICE: 6 TC: 8 MGU-H: 8 MGU-K: 6 ES: 5 CE: 5
          Rosberg: ICE: 5 TC: 5 MGU-H: 5 MGU-K: 5 ES: 4 CE: 4
          f1technical (.) net/news/21099
          Only Alonso had worse reliability than Hamilton.
          All Rosberg had season had was a minor gearbox issue which cost him 3 points at Silverstone after getting demoted from 2nd to 3rd for driver coaching which was banned at the time and a grid penalty for a gearbox change at Austria.
          He was effectively bullet proof all season.”

          Mercedes was doing a flawless job alright… on every other powerplant that wasn’t bolted to Hamilton’s car. Compare Hamilton’s issues last year to Vettel’s issues this year & then compare attitudes again. I still can’t believe some of you are pretending it’s even close to being the same situation. Vettel’s had only two real reliabilty issues this year & people are about to keel over & die because “reliability is deciding the championship”, but last year Lewis was supposed to just suck it up & sing unrealistic praises. The hypocrisy on here can only be termed as amusing… I’d say unbelievable, but it’s such a regular occurrence now, It’s just amusing.

    6. @fer-no65 I like that this behavior you mildly call it “Seb’s manners”, How sweet :) We will live to chat another day. Have great evening as per my longitudinal position :/

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