Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2018

Hamilton: Winning title earlier means ‘you gain back more of your life’

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says winning the championship sooner means he ‘gains time back’ in his life.

What they say

Hamilton doesn’t believe that wrapping up the championship earlier in the season is more impressive than winning it at the final round:

I think the earlier the better, the less stress we have as a team. That’s always the feeling. But we just want to get it done whenever. You normally win a championship on a weekend so as long as you cross the last finishing line at the end in the lead then that’s really all that matters.

I don’t really look at it as more impressive in my past years, for example when I finish in Austin, I don’t see that as more impressive personally than years when I finished up in the last race. It’s just you gain back some years of your life, I guess. For every day that you do it early you gain a bit of time back in your life.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Lower points places do need to be rewarded, says @Gongtong:

I agree with Ross Brawn, do it once and then leave it alone. My gripe with going to 25 for the win was that it completely demolished the statistical history of the sport with an enormous increase in points. We’ve done that now so going up to 50 won’t make much difference.

Whilst I do kind of see people’s objections against ‘points just for participation’, I feel the championship calculations would be more pure if consistently finishing eleventh is worth more than a single tenth.

I don’t really like the argument that we heard from some drivers that scoring a point used to be an achievement. This wouldn’t be so important if more teams and drivers were able to fight for the podium; an achievement that really means something, rather than the B-series prize of scraps from the big six.
@Gongtong

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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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  • 42 comments on “Hamilton: Winning title earlier means ‘you gain back more of your life’”

    1. I raced alongside Frederik Rasmussen in iRacing, when the endurance races started. He was 13 years old or something and faster than everyone online. Our team didn’t last long and he was quickly picked up by the fast teams in the system. No wonder he got so far… I hope he wins the title this year (he won other prestigious events already), so I can say to myself “I used to crash the world champion’s car a lot!”

      1. @fer-no65 Cool, what kind of cars was this?

        1. @keithcollantine a Ruf, back in the days when it raced alongside the other GT3 cars. We did all the endurance races in 2015. It was an ambitious team, we’d join the top splits but then the skills among our team was very varied and we never got good results. But I remember in Spa that year, our car was practically totalled in the first couple of laps and Frederik was the only one that could set laptimes as if the car was okay. He was consistently 2 seconds faster than the rest of us.

          1. @fer-no65
            That’s cool. Are you still racing any category?

            What was the kind of budget for what you were racing?

            1. @garns I’m not simracing anymore, I moved to Spain and had to sell everything. iRacing is expensive but well worth it. The subscription is 90 dollars a year, and you have to add the content on top of that. Back then it was head and shoulders over other Sims, nowadays the competition is harder but iRacing is what I’d choose of I was still doing it

    2. Have to agree with the women who are not enthused by a women only series. I like the aim of providing more opportunities to encourage female participation in motorsport but (1) a segregated series will always be seen as a haven for less talented individuals so will not open doors and (2) racing in a less competitive class will not develop the skills needed in open competition.

      1. Yeh it’s tough finding the balance. Perhaps it could be used as a stepping stone where the championship winner must move on to another series like with F2. I think the visibility of women in racing cars will do wonders for the fanbase of motorsports more generally. The talent is definitely out there to compete at the elite level, there just need to be more involved early on and relatable role models are so important for shaping interest and passion in kids.

        1. This is an argument I’ve always had with, for example, women’s football. Why have specific female teams, when (if they are good enough) they should be able to play with the guys. While there are arguments about the relative strength etc of the genders, I’m pretty sure that, given the chance, some would be able to play at the top level. Unlike motor sport, though, this is specifically banned for over 18’s…

          The problem right now, though, is that there aren’t enough female racing drivers. This permeates throughout motor racing, and means there is less female talent available to reach the top tiers. Having the exposure of “W Series” may encourage more girls into karting, and hence increase the female driver talent pool. It is, potentially, a good PR excercise to promote women in motor sport and encourage more girls to get involved, but it’s definitely not a permanent solution…

          1. @drmouse, since you draw an analogy with women’s football, it is worth noting that, in the UK, women’s football teams did initially play against men’s teams as well as playing in their own league.

            The problem was that some of the biggest female teams – Dick, Kerr’s Ladies F.C. being the most famous – began pulling larger crowds than the men’s games that were being played (they were pulling in crowds over 50,000 strong, with another 10,000-15,000 having to be turned away at the door due to a lack of seats).

            Not long after that, the FA introduced a ban on female teams and players from their tournaments and from playing at any venue under their governance – it was supposedly on physical grounds, but many suspected the real reason was because they felt threatened by the fact that the women’s game was starting to become more popular than the men’s game and the FA felt that would threaten their existence.

            That ban stayed in place until the 1970s, but in the UK it wasn’t until the 1990s that the FA finally took over the administration of the women’s leagues and games. The idea of professional female footballers was, for a long time, effectively impossible because the national bodies refused to allow them to play, so professional female players have really only existed for a few decades at most.

    3. GtisBetter (@)
      11th October 2018, 2:08

      Woman can’t win. They will never get a F1 drive in a normal way. A serious one. A woman with a rich daddy can buy a team of course, buy if they do, they will do more damage then good for woman racing. The odds are stacked so much against them it will take a 1000 years to get all the variables right if we don’t change anyting.

      And if you start a women racing series, women drivers say they want to do it without help like that. Which is understandable, but also means no woman will be a serious contenter for ages. Which basically helps nobody

    4. The irony of Villeneuve in the article to criticize Vettel for being too far back to make the overtake surely can’t be lost on him?

      By his own admission his move to win the 97 title in Jerez was a calculated decision to brake as late as possible and try to pull off the move.

      Vettels move was too risky yes, but Jacques likes making headlines.

      1. Media too loves a good storyline. Villeneuve said this very sentence when on live TV, commentating for Canal + last Sunday, at the very moment Vettel came together with Verstappen. And now it is on Thursday Snail News.

        1. As usual JV said nothing wrong but people make such a big deal out of everything he has said.

          He is a world champion, he really could race. In wheel to wheel combat he was quite good. Portugal springs to mind 1996.

          The F1 media really ganged up on him for whatever reason. But you got to say his points are usually pretty accurate.

      2. I think the key difference is that villeneuve’s move in jerez worked. still, I appreciate there is some irony in him saying vettel could write a book on how to lose the title – villeneuve and williams did everything in their power to throw it away in ’97 but they couldn’t quite manage it.

        1. But there was competition that year in many forms.

          There was a tyre war. I think everyone has forgotten the impact of this. Somedays the goodyears would work on the mclarens, next day Jordon were leading, next day Williams were a second a lap quicker. Then what do you know Benetton were fast. And Ferrari. Same story for the bridgestones. Prost and on one special day Arrows could throw a surprise.

          So yes they threw away the odd race, Canada & Monaco spring to mind. Mind is a blank as to other ones he did. But it was one hell of a season for competition.

          And Adrain Newey left very early in 97….

          1. Yeah a few other factors too, for JV in 97. He had to fight for his own setups as the team spent 96 and some of 97 forcing JV to go with setups that were based on computer models rather than his own feel. Once allowed his own setups he did better. JV was unlucky to have Irvine as MS’s season long rear gunner, who made it his mission to disrupt JV in qualifying and in races as much as possible, for he was not there to compete against MS, but to be his subservient. Also, JV was disqualified for one race for a yellow flag infraction that although not his only one, would have only garnered him demerit points these days. Don’t even get me started on the massive resources and unlimited testing MS was lucky to have, hand over fist moreso than any driver before or since.

    5. I guess now we know why Hamilton always underperforms when clinching the title earlier than the last race.
      That’s Bottas consolation for getting some wins this year.
      Mexico and Brazil are great places to be a race winner.

      1. joe pineapples
        11th October 2018, 9:46

        As a fan of Lewis, I’d hate to think I’d turned up to a remaining race, paying good money, only to watch a b-spec LH. But I think you’re right, going by a few earlier seasons.

        1. F1 Fans complain about anything under the sun…there are sports people who get motivated by competition, once real competition, is out of the equation, their performance dip and, what about those whose performance dip during the heat of the battle as we witnessed this year?

    6. An interesting take on yesterday’s news about the female only W series – taking arguments against it, in favour and concludes that it ways in favour of trying this addition to the motorsport options.

    7. Why not women treat this as an opportunity and something like a feeder series like F2 or F3. If you perform well you will get noticed and maybe picked up as development/reserve drivers by F1 teams and eventually F1 race drivers.

      Instead of competing, some women look at things like equality and women rights. Prove yourself first, great talents(if they compete and not sit at home) never remain hidden for too long. Examples like Max, Kimi, who moved directly from Very junior series to F1.
      I think this is a good initiative for women racing drivers.

      1. Well the argument would be that you cant prove yourself in an all women series.
        Obviously this wont be an feeder series to F3-F1 but rather a pr move to make more women interested in the sport which in long term might groom some female talents which might take the fight to the boys. Probably not…

        @ twitter “Do we need separate Women Management / Advisory Boards?” No but alot of management boards seems it fit to fill a gender quota for the very same reason as this series.

    8. I feel the championship calculations would be more pure if consistently finishing eleventh is worth more than a single tenth.

      I disagree.
      Where to stop? Does the eternal #4 also get a trophy at the end of the season rather than the person who lucked into a podium once?

      If rewarding the top 50% of the field is not good enough, then we are not talking about a real competition.
      And as mentioned many times before: FOM should focus on how all teams can have a fair go at being competitive (budget cap, money split) rather than issue participation points.

      1. Well its the same thing.

        1. Exactly, @rethla. What I think you are overlooking, @coldfly, is that one of the ways to bring more teams into competition with one another is more equal prize money. While that system needs revamping, an additional benefit to a team that needs a bigger budget is the chance to earn more. The current system does not allow this because the eternal 11th place will never move ahead in the constructor’s standings from a team with a single 10th place (due to luck or otherwise). If the eternal 11th/12th team finishes behind the luck single-10th team, then there is little chance for increased competition. Consistency should account for something.

          Aside from which your comparison actually makes the opposite point you are trying to make. If a driver finished 4th every race, they would be just behind Bottas right now and could easily move ahead by the end of the season if Bottas has a bad race or a DNF or a puncture. And a driver finishing 4th every race would have 252 pts at the end of the season, whereas a driver who lucked into a single podium—Perez who is on target to finish with about 65 points give or take. So maybe your hyperbolic trophy is too much but they sure should get something more than Perez does at the end of the season.

          I am from the 6 points scorers era, so I get the reluctance to award points all the way down the field, but that ship has sailed. All point systems are arbitrary, and the historical points are already screwed. Let’s work toward something that might allow for better distribution of funding, which I think this could be.

        2. Well its the same thing.

          Not sure what you mean, @rethla.

          @hobo, you missed the point I tried to make with the eternal #4. He will never get a trophy even though he will be just behind Bottas in the standing according to your calculation. My point is: no system will ever be ‘fair’ in everybody’s opinion.

          1. @coldfly — So what you are saying is that no matter who finishes 4th each race, they will never get a podium step or a trophy? Got it. And while I get the symbolism of your point, I don’t think anyone is arguing for anything like that. While I cannot read the decisionmakers’ minds, I do not think this is about giving everyone a participation ribbon.

            My points were: 1) All point systems are arbitrary, which is very close to your point. Cutting them off at 10 is no different than 8 or 6 in that there seems nothing inherent in any of them making them “better.” By that same rationale, there seems nothing inherent in extending points through the field that makes it bad.

            And 2) If implemented reasonably (and I know how much of an IF that is), extending points through the field could help increase competition as it could benefit small but consistent teams. One could argue that it could also hurt teams but I do feel there are ways to craft it so as to mitigate harms.

            1. @hobo, thanks for following up on my post and reply.
              I think you will agree to a large extent (have a re-read of my original post)

              My main point was that rather than tinkering with the points (as you said: “there seems nothing inherent in any of them making them better.”) they should focus on spreading the money more evenly, and creating a playing field in which all teams can fight for top 10’s, top 6’s, podiums and wins (“increase competition” in your words).

            2. @coldfly – Agreed that the should deal with the prize money situation. However, since I don’t trust them to do that well or to the extent needed (historical payments, early signing bonuses, etc), I think spreading points through the field would also allow an additional step at increasing competition over time. We’re close on this I think.

    9. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      11th October 2018, 10:35

      Interesting comment from Lewis seeing as the week of the Singapore GP, arguably his most impressive performance of the year, he launched his fashion collection and flew all over asia then turned up and put in *that* lap.

      I can’t deny he dials is down after winning the championship but given how mental his schedule is, I wonder what that actually means?

    10. Totally agree with Lewis. His job is to win the championship for the team – AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

      And for those moaning about watching a B-spec Lewis, there are 21 other drivers to watch. It is not like he finishes last after winning the championship early. There are other things in life – even for a successful F1 driver.

      1. I just find it touchingly naive that the assumption is that its only Hamilton who would be reverting to B-spec once its done and dusted. I think Ferrari went B-spec half way through the last race. Perversely this may see Vettel driving better (more relaxed) in Austin than Hamilton. Anyway, no slacking if Hamilton wins it in Austin. There’s still a WCC to win.

      2. 21? You’re old news, mate.

        1. LH will be able to get away with phoning it in for the rest of this season, because VB has not proven to be stiff competition for him. Wind the clock back to Austin 2015, when after the hat throwing incident that only poked the bear, namely Rosberg, Nico went on to win seven straight races and the 2016 WDC. Rather for this year it sounds more like LH would be happy to give VB a win, to throw him a bone for the team orders, not that VB wants a win that way.

          Then again, perhaps LH shouldn’t phone it in too much and risk Ferrari grabbing some momentum ahead of next year. Hard to say. Those Mercs are just so darn strong no matter how you look at it.

    11. Yes, more time to slack off/take it easy if/when a WDC’s won before the end of the season in question. That’s what he really implied.
      – I agree with the COTD in principle, although my personal view still is that the current system is perfectly fine as it is, so just leave it alone.
      – Hulkenberg’s tweet, though.

    12. It would make more sense to scrap the prize money for the winner of the all women championship and give her a guaranteed 2 years in F2. They could do this by running their own team, and at the same time they could offer engineering roles and other opportunities for females.

      1. I’m really not sure about the numbers, but it seems to me that it must cost a fair amount to stage an entire championship for women drivers. Could they operate their own F2 team with that budget, putting two highly-deserving women drivers into the mainstream spotlight, rather than a bevy of slightly less deserving (or at least less-proven and /or less well-known) drivers into what looks likely to become another obscure dead-end?

    13. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
      11th October 2018, 14:13

      The problem of female drivers not being able to get into F1 I feel is simply a more focused-on symptom of the bigger problem: the road to F1 is way too expensive. And this isn’t just a problem of F2, F3, and even F4, but is an issue right from the get-go in karting. If I’m not mistaken Hamilton’s parents had to take out a mortgage on their house to finance his karting career. What we need is some sort of organised talent hunt for karting which is free to enter for all drivers of a certain age, these being held everywhere, and then the winners of each contest earning the chance to have a go in a full karting championship, with some sponsor of the event sponsoring them in the karting championship, and simply more sponsorship in lower formulae, so that a great driver barely has to spend a penny to get to F1.

    14. Jacques Villeneuve is such a di**. No filter lol.

    15. The only conclusion I can draw from the lack of female drivers in top racing classes is that there aren’t enough/any qualified female drivers. The reason can’t be sexism, either. Race teams run on money. Sponsor money has been going away for years now in all motorsports categories. Does anyone think that ANY race team in ANY category would hesitate to sign a qualified female driver? Female drivers in the top tier series would open up serious sponsorship possibilities from sources that otherwise wouldn’t be interested. Luxury brands would come to get access to the female fanbase, which seems to be there if the crowds I see during broadcasts are any indication. A serious female driver would draw massive publicity. A winning female driver would become an international star. Can W Series create or find that driver? I suppose we will find out, assuming they can make a go of the series.

    16. If it was anyone but Vettel who dived alongside Verstappen, everyone would be saying Verstappen knew the other driver was there but continued closing the door any way. It would be another incident that was Verstappen’s fault.

      Poor Vettel can’t win. When he closed the door on Bottas in Hungary that one was Vettel’s fault despite Bottas never getting alongside Vettel. Bottas wouldn’t even have been able to make the apex of that corner in Hungary.

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