Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2018

Hamilton: “In my mind I need to win every race”

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he is not thinking about playing it safe to bank points despite his increased points lead over Sebastian Vettel.

What they say

Hamilton is 40 points ahead of Vettel with 150 available and says he can’t afford to do anything other than focus on winning:

There’s just no need for me to look at the next races and say ‘OK I need that there’. In my mind I need to win every race so I literally just focus on trying to do that. I arrive wanting to win.

There’ll be weekends where we know we maybe will be comfortably stronger, for example, and weekends like [Singapore] where we knew that we’ll be behind

But we still have the belief that we can win. I want to win every race, that’s the goal, and continue with the consistency. I’m just not looking at the points.

Of course I didn’t think I would have 40 points at this points and it’s nice having that but it doesn’t mean it’s not the end. Until you say that it’s mathematically impossible and you’re sitting there saying it’s impossible, that’s the day that I’m working towards.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Has Lance Stroll been judged too hastily?

Everything points to the fact that Stroll has a lot of potential.

His results in the junior formulas were very good, winning every championship he entered. Especially his second year in Formula Three was stellar. Incidentally, he beat George Russell, who seems to be quite highly rated, in both his years in Formula Three. I personally was initially sceptical of Stroll, he had some pretty stupid accidents in his first year of Formula Three, but he quickly matured. It was this change in his approach to racing which convinced me to watch his progress closer.

His first year in Formula 1 was very good. One podium position and only three points short of Massa. What amazed me the most is that he almost had no incidents, for which he was responsible. Very clean driving, and that in spite of having to regularly pass a lot of cars, due to his bad qualifying. His qualifying problems, due to not making the most of his tires, is the only negative point I can come up with.

You can’t really judge how Stroll is doing this year, because of the bad Williams. That is why I am really looking forward to seeing Stroll in the Racing Point next year. What I am worried about though is all the conspiracy theories which will inevitably appear, when Stroll does better than most people expect.

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On this day in F1

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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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39 comments on “Hamilton: “In my mind I need to win every race””

  1. I, too, am enjoying seeing a Schumacher do so well again. There were a couple of shots of him spraying the champagne that gave me goosebumps, he looked so much like his dad.

    Dreaming of a Leclerc / Schumacher line-up for 2021 :)

    1. Dream, it is not forbidden…but in reality..it will turn out something else.

  2. Agree with COTD. Easy to target the kid because he comes from money, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the talent. Let’s see how he fares in a Racing Point.

    1. Disagree with you and the COTD.

      I dont think all the dislike towards Stroll is because he comes from money. The dislike comes because there are better and more deserving drivers than him who are out of a seat because pay drivers (such as Stroll) are present on this grid. You can dislike the FIA for putting teams in this situation or you can dislike the drivers who capitalise on this situation.

      Lance was nothing special when he entered F3. He was mediocre at best. Next season, papa Stroll invests a ton of money (for F3 standards) in the Prema team and he had a car to just blitz the entire field. He did race well that year… But let’s face it, there’s no way he would have won that championship without Papa Stroll’s capital.

      Then he avoided F2 which would actually have been a good measure of his talent, and instead jumped straight in to F1. To say he performed well last year is a joke. He fluked a podium in a chaotic race and had one excellent qualifying session in the whole year. The rest of the time he was absolutely terrible and got smashed by and old / past it Massa. Let’s not forget how bad Lance was even at the end of last year when he did have a competitive machine. Luckily, there was Jolyon palmer on the grid, or else, Lance was hands down the most rubbish driver on the grid.

      This year, although Williams hasn’t been up to scratch, Lance has actually shown that he hasn’t developed as a driver. He’s been out qualified and often out raced by another pay driver who is a rookie. The excuse that he doesn’t have a car to show his talent isn’t valid. Drivers like Bianchi, Leclerc and Ocon have shown their talent in equally uncompetitive machinery. In fact, what makes Lance even more unlikeable is his attitude towards his team and racing in general. He’s been quick to criticise his team and openly admit that he’s moving away to a team more worthy of his ‘talent’. As a team leader he seems to have failed miserably, and his level of self entitlement is ridiculous.

      There’s no doubt that Lance will get destroyed at Racing point next year. I think we can finally put to rest ridiculous statments that claim Lance hasn’t gotten the opportunity to showcase his ‘talent’.

      1. Couldn’t agree more @todfod. Every word is spot on. Fluked the podium last year and without it would’ve have been well behind an ageing, way past his best Massa.

        1. And just to put STR’s podium and points tally in perspective: MAS, being ahead of STR, had a very rare suspension failure during the race in Baku last year.

      2. @todfod Stroll has been better than Sirotkin on race pace and raceday in general.

        1. And more often then not Sirotkin was given “questionable” strategy to come out of the pits behind even if he started ahead.

      3. And without Stroll money propping up Williams and Force India there would probably be four fewer seats on the grid at the moment. Pay drivers have ever been part of F1

      4. Ha! How many podiums in F1 does Hulkenberg have again? Everybody here seems to love this guy, who is the very definition of mediocre, but then piles on Stroll since he comes with a bank account that might be bigger than his talent level.

        Personally I find it fascinating that people are actually paying to drive the crappiest cars on the grid while the best cars have paid drivers, but that’s the sport for you. Maybe Mercedes should ask Lewis for some money?

      5. @todfod @tonyyeb While the resources were there to help him succeed, Stroll still had to perform and keep his nose clean to do well.

        IMO, a good analogy would be taking steroids without lifting/working out. You won’t become huge or get stronger if you just used them and never lifted any weights.

        1. @beejis60

          Stroll still had to perform and keep his nose clean to do well.

          The other drivers on the grid have had to do a whole lot more than just that to enter F1… and heck of a lot more to retain their seat.

          Then you wonder why people are so critical of Lance.

    2. I cannot agree with the CotD @uzsjgb, although I do see reason to think Stroll can develop this year, to say his last year was very good and with little mistakes when he made several pretty big errors in judgement in the last 4 races last year shows you are ignoring part of the evidence.

      Sure, let’s see how Stroll is developing, he was clearly not ready for it last year (quite a few mistakes even towards the end of the season) and far off Massa’s speed in most weekends. THis year both the horrible car and the fact that he is up against rookie Sirotkin mean it’s hard to judge, altough so far at least Stroll hasn’t made any big mistakes. Next year will show us more. But I still think that most of motorsport would be better off if that seat were filled with a driver who was ready for the job and on speed already not one who would have been better off maturing in F2 for another year or two.

    3. Everybody can win races and championships at lower levels of racing if you are rich. The further away you go from f1 the more massive the differences between the cars and teams become. A backmarker may be running years old chassis, second hand tires, engine that has been down tuned so it lasts, shock absorbers that are old and worn. The body is held together by duct tape and hopes and the driver could be the best driver ever but he only gets to drive the car during race weekends. Rest of the week he does school and work while his parents have two jobs trying to gather enough money just to get to the next race. His parents takes care of the car and take the jobs of mechanics, strategicians and setup engineers.

      Then you have the lance strolls. They spend the week before the race in simulators and doing laps on real track with professional racing coaches. He does all the testing he wants at any track he wants. Every time they go out on track their equipment is flawless. New tires, new parts and a car that is tuned to perfection by an engineering company who handles the race team. He flies to the junior karting races in helicopter, steps into his ten million motorhome and plans for the best race weekend with his team of engineers. During race weekend his parents drink champagne and focus on wearing expensive clothing. He has a car tuned to perfection. His setup comes from engineers who have done wind tunnel testing and had the car on shaker rigs to get everything perfect for every race weekend. He has selection of at least 5 brand new engines and out of those he choose the best ones for the race and qualifying. He has truck full of all kinds of new tires and spares. He never drives on worn tires unless he wants to. His gearing ratios, aerodynamic setups etc are perfect for the track, he has the newest most expensive dampers tuned to perfection. On straights he has 10% more power, in corners he has 10% more grip. He has perfect reliability, perfect preparation and perfect car.

      To not win after all that would require him to be totally hopeless as a racing driver. And that is the reality of junior formulas. In f1 you can’t do that. Your team mate has the same car for the most of the time and if your team mate is a known medium class driver like massa who totally outperforms you in the same car then it is fair to say potential is not the first word that comes to my mind. Especially not after stroll has been doing probably more testing in f1 car than any new driver before him. He does probably ten f1 test in addition to his f1 races. He rents the whole track for himself. And after all that preparation he is still blown away by massa. Just during his f3 season he spent so much money that the series made a special rule to prevent it in the future.

      How much potential does he have? Unless his father is willing to spend hundreds of millions instead of tens of millions he can’t buy much speed in f1. He can still buy that perfect preparation and do all the f1 testing he wants but this time around he is going against drivers who are hard working naturals with almost the same level of backing that he has. He can’t put million dollar parts into the car and get advantage. The team already is spending tens of millions on those same parts. Unless his daddy is willing to step up and keep adding more zeros in his cheques his winnig days are over. You can get into f1 by outspending your competitors but to win in f1 you need to be very very good and be in a team that is outspending its competitors. Those teams won’t touch stroll unless he buys them.

      1. This is a brilliant post, it sums everything up about Stroll. To add just a bit, I also disliked the way he dismissed all of Massa’s inputs and coaching during his first season, which is totally regretful and untrue. Massa tried hard to help the kid last season. He could be a bit more humble at least to admit that.

      2. An interesting story, but I doubt that Stroll was going up against drivers with duct taped cars. I’m sure there were more than a few millionaire parents also feeding their kids’ desire to race alongside Stroll et al.

        Anyway, on to FI and he will certainly have a better car than the Williams with which to show us something more.

        1. José Lopes da Silva
          25th September 2018, 22:45

          No parent has ever financed a son’s career like Stroll. It’s easy to name 10 or 20 of drivers that should be there instead of Stroll. The mere fact he is there it’s a sign of a big failure for F1 as a sport.
          @Todfod basically said it all. People should investigate for themselves the details about Stroll’s junior career. And I’m not mentioning that ugly crash in Monza, because that can happen to everyone.

  3. He said “it doesn’t mean it’s NOT the end”, that means even hamilton knows the title is over!

  4. Ofcourse HAM needs to win. He is in a far better car. Basically there is only one guy (Vettel) who also has a shot, so anything less than a victory is a bad result. Sometimes I think Lewis lost his sence of reality… and under appreciates the luck he has (which by no means is denying his talent, but if it wasn’t for the Mercedes dominance he would have significant less wins – but still a lot)

    1. He wants all wins. That’s the only way he’ll feel satisfied. I also want to win or be on top all the time. This is a way to say that the job has been successful and that all objectives are completed. Anything less, is a failure. I don’t care if it is unrealistic, but that is the way to be perfectly successful.

    2. @mayrton Very few people think he has “a far better car”. Plus he isn’t saying that “of course he needs to win”, he’s saying that he doesn’t want to do just enough by looking at the maths of the situation. He’s saying if he goes in looking for the win all the time then he is leaving less to chance and maths and more to his own ability.

    3. Funny really @mayrton, how you turn a statement from Hamilton about what his focus is – i.e. not making things complicated looking at points advantages, but just going for the win it at all possible – into something negative.

      Even in his own statement he remarks that they did not expect to have quite a few of those wins they had recently (the luck you refer to) and still you critisize him for undervaluing the good fortune he has had.

      The reality is that Hamilton this year really has been able to get a result, often not expected by anyone, with help of great skill (pole in Singapore), luck, others mistakes, good teamwork as well as Mercedes catching back up with their car after Ferrari had the better equipment for the first half of the year.

    4. @mayrton Monza and indeed Singapore suggest Ferrari are still slightly ahead on pace. It’s hardly Hamilton’s fault if his own skill is placing him ahead of Vettel. Undoubtedly Mercedes have improved more over this season than Ferrari. But why? Success inspiring the team helps. And feedback from the driver(s) to the teams. Undoubtedly that feedback and communication helped resolve their tyre issues. So not just luck at all.

    5. Mercedes is throughout 2018 hiding their dominance in order to carry forward all tricks to 2019 unnoticed.
      They are having privilage in relationship with FIA and capable of accusing Ferrari of cheating.
      Hamilton is Hamilton…..
      Always same and driving the best car and complaining that Ferrari is the most dominant car on the track aiming downgrading Vettel and raising himself to the stars.
      Very boring, tiresome and dull man…
      I hope to se Vettel winning at least 10 more world titles next to Sch junior.

      1. Hamilton doesn’t need to downgrade Vettel as you put it. Vettel is round that all by himself with the mistakes he is making.

      2. @Bebana you forgot your tinfoil hat mate

      3. So, where exactly do you think this pathological need to undermine all of Lewis Hamilton’s accomplishments comes from?

  5. CotD can be summed up as the zillionth failure to distinguish between results and performances.
    I’m not going to address the junior formulae and the significance of Stroll’s results there, as others have already done so.
    But his first season in F1 was appalling, no matter what a brief glance at the final standings tells you. He was so far off Massa’s pace for most of the season that his 2017 results would be virtually indistinguishable from his 2018 results, if it weren’t for two freak results in Baku and Mexico, where absolutely everything fell in his favour and allowed him to convert his bottom-of-the-top-ten pace into tons of points, mainly by virtue of not crashing while everyone else around him had some sort of issue.

    The best argument that can be made for his potential was his qualifying result in Monza, which tends to be exaggerated (no-one ever says ‘he qualified fourth’, which is how he performed, but I keep reading ‘he started from the front row’, which is the result). Yes, that was quite a nice result, and as a rule of thumb it is rather difficult to over-perform accidentally.
    But that one qualifying result was so tremendously isolated and against the run of the season (just 3 races earlier, Massa had dominated him in a wet qualifying session in Silverstone with the usual margin of 7 tenths) that one can’t help but wonder whether this result was really due to Stroll’s skill or rather due to unusual circumstances.

    Long story short:
    I’m sick and tired of this kind of selective blindness. And this is an extreme case, as it requires you to watch the entire 2017 season with your eyes covered, only glimpsing at the screen for a small handful of cherry-picked moments, ignoring the remaining 90-95%.

  6. COTD glosses over a lot. It really takes a lot of rhetorical flexibility to call Stroll’s first season very good, to use that one ridiculous podium as a sign of things to come and for the resulting points to be compared to Massa. All the crashes and all the offs are called ‘clean racing’. How do we take this comment seriously?

  7. “Tiger Woods has made the greatest comeback in sports history.”

    Niki Lauda came back from nearly being burned to death in 1976, still nearly won the #F1 World Championship that year and went on to win the title twice more. Amongst other things he lost an ear and damaged lungs

    Jack Prentice.
    +1 for Jps comment, I struggle to see golf as a sport.
    A couple of decades back they actually tried to be recognised as athletes…true story.

    1. Or as Mark Twain might have called them: “Professional Spoiled Walkers”.

      Still.. Golf is above Poker in the pantheon of athletics. How poker players get coverage on dedicated sports channels is a mystery the sports cable universe can’t reveal to mere viewers.

      1. Some have debated too, whether or not race car drivers are athletes. I would say that if all golf is is a good walk spoiled then why would Woods need 4 back surgeries in the last 5 years? Why is there an age in golf after which you just aren’t going to beat the young’uns, just like in racing? One tweet above suggests Woods ‘had back pain.’ There’s one tweet to ignore.

        1. Btw, just looked into Lauda’s personal history, and it turns out he has a son through an extra-marital affair. I guess in fairness to Woods, Lauda too has a questionable personal life history and trouble keeping his pants on, as per a couple of the holier than thou tweets above.

  8. I agree with the COTD.
    – Regarding the tweet of F1Partsfinder: Why not just the whole car?

  9. If you think about it another way, Stroll isn’t a pay driver wasting a seat anymore. Without Stroll, Force India would be gone and only be 18 cars on the grid. Now Stroll can take the seat at FI, free up his old place and Williams for hopefully deserving driver and there’s still the second seat at FI for Perez.

    without Stroll, 18 drivers
    with Stroll, 19 drivers + Stroll.

    1. Someone else would have bought the team. Stroll is the ultimate boss for pay drivers. Dude bought is own team. Bought two seats.

      1. That’s an optimistic look at it, but Super Aguri, Toyota, HRT, Caterham, & Marussia might not think the same way.

  10. “in my mind I need to win every race – but in my heart I can take extra days off and party coz I got this licked”

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