Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2018

Hamilton says F1 drivers are ‘not pootling around’

2018 F1 Season

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French Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton says incidents are because F1 drivers are ‘on the edge’ and not serious mistakes.

Hamilton led every lap of the French Grand Prix following an incident between Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas that took both out of contention for the win, leaving him with a gap to the midfield behind him.

Asked whether the incident was demonstrative of Vettel making mistakes he said it was just part of F1 – “We’re all going into that first corner at great speeds, it’s not always easy to… I mean I went deep and wide because I saw them really close to me so I thought I was going to get rear-ended, to be honest, so I went quite deep.

“We’re all on the edge, we’re fighting for the World Championships, we’re not pootling around, we’re out there putting our lives on the line, we’re out there putting the cars as far beyond the edge as we can in the safest manner. It’s not like a train track, you don’t just stay on the rails.”

Hamilton’s Paul Ricard win puts him ahead of Michael Schumacher for most different circuits to take a victory at, at 23. He said it seemed surreal to him, to be beating records and racing against childhood heroes, including third-place Kimi Raikkonen.

“I didn’t know that. It’s news to me. Every time I’m told of these records I’m blown away by Michael, even more and more. He had obviously a long career and incredible statistics, and did a… it just brings me back to watching him as a kid.

“I was actually just sitting here thinking, and I don’t know if Kimi knows, I remember growing up wanting to be in Formula 1 and obviously I was at McLaren since I was 13 and I used to play F1 on the Playstation all the time and I was always Kimi, which is kind of crazy.

“I wasn’t Montoya, I was always Kimi in his car and I always wanted to race against him. It’s just crazy how life works and how you get the opportunity to work with some of these legends. I don’t know if they realise the respect that the younger generation will have for them. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t but… yeah.”

Verstappen, who was also in the press conference following a second-place finish, has been quoted as saying he used to play Formula One games as Hamilton before he reached the top series.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 21 comments on “Hamilton says F1 drivers are ‘not pootling around’”

    1. Sure, Lewis. We believe you.

    2. @hazelsouthwell
      “Hamilton led every lap of the French Grand Prix” that sentence is wrong. Hamilton pitted and Kimi led one lap at least.

      1. You’re only classified as leading a lap of you cross the finish line, Kimi pitted on the very next lap & Hamilton who was only 2 seconds behind him, led over the line. So it is correct, Hamilton did lead every lap

        1. @KGN11 Yes, he was classified as having led every lap for that reason, but still, though, technically, he didn’t lead the race entirely throughout 100% of the time.

        2. Räikkönen was leading at the end of his 33rd lap, when Hamilton pitted. Unlike most circuits, drivers lost most time entering the pits, as the start-finish line was near the pit exit.

      2. Not sure that he did, Hamilton passed the finishline after his pitstop before Raikkonnen did and at the end of that lap that Raikonnen was ahead he was overtaken while by Raikonnen while he did his pit stop before the finish line.

        So although Raikonnen was ahead for 95% of the lap he never crossed the finishline first.

    3. Lewis defend Seb and tell the world that Kimi is his childhood hero (too old).

    4. When Hamilton is in front: “F1 drivers are not pootling around, we’re heroes of the next generation fighting for the championship on the edge”
      When Hamilton is behind: “We’re just cruising around, it’s intensely boring, the sport is going in the wrong direction”

      1. Told ya years ago: HAM and ALO could follow a politics carreer… EASILY!

      2. @skipgamer Oh please, Hamilton said that it was boring when ALL drivers were complaining about the boring race. They were all put on a strategy for Monaco where they were managing the tyres for 100% of the race.

        That was really a race where it showed that the sport is going in the wrong direction.

        1. I guarantee if he finished a lonely 3rd he’d have said it was boring though, he wouldn’t have said

          we’re out there putting the cars as far beyond the edge as we can in the safest manner. It’s not like a train track, you don’t just stay on the rails.

          Races are always more exciting when you finish 1st, for anyone.

          1. @hugh11 He didn’t even say the race wasn’t boring – the purpose of that sentence was to refrain from hopping onto a VET hate train (at least on camera).

            Races are always more exciting when you finish 1st, for anyone.

            …not gonna disagree with that one though

      3. @skipgamer this particular race is not a case of “We’re just cruising around, it’s intensely boring” anyway though (compare to Canada or Monaco).

        Besides the other (actually politically correct…but maybe only over here since this site doesn’t look Tifosi-infested or anything like that – maybe in the ‘real’ world it’s the other way around) thing to say would be for him to criticise VET a bit so him not doing that (instead defending him at least a bit) at least leaves us with a driver being honest.

    5. Hamilton was trying his hardest to give a PR answer to questions Vettel’s antics. He only went so far as to call Vettel’s penalty a tap on the hand and not fair to the actual damage he did.

      Hamilton was a lot less PC when he saw the incident replayed on the TV in the waiting room. I think “insane” was the word he used.

      Verstappen was a lot less PC even in the press conference and pointed out that it was about time Vettel change his driving style as people have been telling him (in fact both of them should of course, but that was lost on Verstappen probably). It was good that Vettel wasn’t present during that interview

      1. @patrickl he said “that’s insane” not “he’s insane”, there is a big difference.

        Brits tend to say “that’s insane” to a lot of things, for example if a bus arrives on time or a siamese jelly baby is found in the Haribo packet or a gust of wind blows the hat off someone’s head. Get it? Its not that deep, stop stoking fires that dont exist.

        1. RB14 Nice try, but they said more and it as quite clear they were not impressed with what vettel did.

          He took him right out. That’s crazy

      2. @patrickl Also Verstappen didn’t mean it like that. As he explained later in Dutch media he wanted to make a joke of the media by telling them all the things they told him, and he doesn’t think those things about Vettel at all.

        1. @flatsix Yes that’s what I’m saying. Verstappen said it as a joke clearly, but how much this is hitting home was lost on him. And on Vettel probably.

          He later explained further and he does think those things of Vettel. He just thinks that the media should not bother them about mistakes they make.

          Which really does not make sense when a few drivers make an inordinate amount of such mistakes, but ok a guy can dream I guess.

          1. @patrickl No, you clearly didn’t understand what Verstappen said. He said that Vettel just made a mistake, and the media doesn’t have to hound him about it at every chance they get.

            1. @mashiat I understand what he said. Of course he’s going for his own political agenda with that joke. But he said more than that joke.

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