Lewis Hamilton, Crescent Racing Yamaha Superbike test, Jerez, 2018

Hamilton keen to get back on a bike again

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton indicates he’s planning to further his Superbike education but says he isn’t looking to get into bike racing.

What they say

[smr0901]Hamilton was asked about his plans to attend this weekend’s Moto GP season-opener in Qatar:

I have always been in love with the bike. I’m really excited: I’m not going to get to see the whole race I don’t think but I’m really intrigued to go and see how the riders operate, how different qualifying is compared to our qualifying. The feedback, the things they’re working.

I’m going to be using it as an experience to learn a little bit. But don’t look too much into that, I’m too old to do the Moto GP. I’m not bounce-proof like young Marquez! But I still have some fun.

I’m always full throttle, that’s the only way I know how to go. But when I did the Superbike I wasn’t keen to get to full throttle the same as the Superbike riders so there’s a lot to learn. It’s a completely different style of riding compared to driving. It’s an exciting one to learn.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is Robert Kubica’s dream return already turning into a nightmare?

It’s Kubica that I am concerned about.

I stated a few times last year that I believe his long-term stamina is going to be his Achilles heel. Now he says himself that he hasn’t “done longer than 15 laps” in long run testing?

I fear him becoming a slow-moving/slow-reacting annoyance by mid-season rather than being the dream story return that I think we would all love, and that F1 could certainly use.

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 1977 Tom Pryce and marshal Frikkie Jansen van Vuuren lost their lives in a shocking crash during the South Afrian 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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  • 36 comments on “Hamilton keen to get back on a bike again”

    1. Re COTD ….
      Like the song said, “Don’t worry. Be happy ….”
      I too had the same initial opinion following Robert K’s remarks. First thought was Oh ..S…t.!
      Then, looking back to the testing he did last year and the multiple race distance sessions he undertook with Renault and Williams. My bet is that his current comments are focused on the car and a lack of running time, not on either himself or Russel as drivers.
      Melbourne will be a major challenge for the team. The following two races should see improvements and by the third, then we can judge. Would love to be inside the Williams shop right now. Should be busy beyond belief.

      1. I think COTD forgets that there are things called “simulators” alongside fully equipped “gyms”. stamina-wise, Kubica could do 100 race simulations if he wanted to.

        the problem is lacking understanding of the car and tyres over longer distances.

        1. I agree with you there @graham228221. I think what Kubica is rather talking about is that he feels there is just so much more to learn about the car to feel wholly prepared to go full out in Melbourne. Meaning that they will have to do more learning in the races before they get there.

          But then let’s remember that two years back Mercedes started “getting” their car only after some 4 races too. Despite raking in the miles in testing.

          So to me those comments rather show RKs the desire to do more, get everything out of the car and to achieve results, just as any top driver would want. Also compare how Hamilton was noted to not be satisfied with their car probably for much the same reasons.

          1. Absolutely @bascb @graham228221, drivers learn how a car develops over a grand prix when the fuel burns off, the track rubbers in more, how tyre pressures change when pushing or cooling, how much lift and coast is required to meet target x… He needs to learn these things to be competitive over a whole grand prix. His fitness shouldn’t be an issue, certainly not something that doing race distances is going to help more than being in the gym.

    2. Jim Clark was best.

      1. @bullmello: Agree. We lost one of the greatest talents before Clark could finish the story. His driving style was uncanny. Or very canny, indeed.

        1. Jeffrey Powell
          5th March 2019, 8:29

          Alonso is a great driver, I understand he wants to be considered the best ever, still a mountain to climb. The unforgettable genius of Jim Clark.

      2. I’ve read a lot about the history of the sport and there are few drivers spoken of in such terms of awe as Clark. it’s the idea of someone doing something previously thought impossible or not humanly possible (ineffable perhaps). the only others who are put on such a pedestal are, I feel, nuvolari, fangio, moss and senna. That’s not to say others are not equally great drivers (in some ways I think people like stewart, lauda or prost were even greater because they calculated and grafted their way to success), but that those special few were the ones who had an intangible extra innate ability that could not be properly explained.

        In the later modern era, I don’t think it’s really possible for someone to be heralded in this way. schumacher, hakkinen, alonso and hamilton have all done incredible things at the highest level of skill that almost transcend the sport, but never quite to the point that we just can’t explain what we’ve seen. The sport is too well analysed and the parameters of skill are defined or explained to the nth degree – you might argue that the magic is gone (the same is said of many other sports), but when you see a glimpse of it (e.g. verstappen in the rain in Brazil a couple of years ago), I think we all get the feeling we’re witnessing the impossible being achieved.

    3. pastaman (@)
      5th March 2019, 2:19

      Not worried about Kubica. Worried about Williams.

    4. COTD is missed completely. Are You even paying attention? “15 lap runs” were due to Williams messed up program (because of car delay and lack of parts to do set up testing properly). Kubica said he knows 20% of what he should know about the car set up wise. He could and very much wanted to drive more but as Williams put it the car was “tired” and there were parts missing to do proper long runs. No problems with Kubica’s physical form or stamina.

      1. BlackJackFan
        5th March 2019, 16:36

        “Are You even paying attention?”
        Did you feel even more superior after that unnecessary insult…? ;-)

        1. I’m sorry if anyone took it as an insult. I mean – for me – if You are interested in F1 You follow news, reports, interviews etc. and COTD struck me as an opinion of under informed person that’s all. It was emotional response but because of annoyance not that I feel superior to anyone.

          1. BlackJackFan
            5th March 2019, 18:13

            Hi Michal – Fair enough…

    5. “Last year they failed to show a live F2 race, choosing instead to show F1 drivers playing giant Jenga, even though three British F2 drivers would sign to race in F1 this year (Russell, Albon, Norris) and two of them fought for the F2 title. For me this is not forgivable.”

      Agreed 100%

      1. That was quite jarring, wasn’t it @gongtong

      2. @gongtong Albon competes under the Thai flag, though, so not a 100% British-driver. An Anglo-Thai to be perfectly precise.

        1. @jerejj I’m not sure this fully justifies not showing the race! :D

    6. Regarding Zandvoort being the only option: the track itself has a lot of pluses like the historical significance and the layout seems great too (even if it leads to boring races). But the location is much more a curse than a blessing. And it will be chaos during the GP weekend.
      But if it comes soon I can cycle to it to watch the action 😁

      1. BaKano, samen op de fiets. Zandvoort can be a success if the transportation is addressed. Lots of extra trains is the only answer. Getting there by car is impossible. Narrow roads, not enough parking.

    7. Re COTD. In this tire conservation F1 not doing race sim in testing is a major concern. Nothing to do with KUB fitness or stamina. Hi did a lot of laps last year with good consistency. Will he be fast as he used to be? We will know after 5 races.

    8. That article on Honda and their “a bit too agressive packaging” shows what was probably behind the rumours that were out there about neither RBR nor STR running the Honda at top power.
      I guess that kind of thing is exactly what testing is for, right. To find out now, so they can adapt that before things go bang during a race weekend.

      Still sceptical about Honda actually delivering. But it would be good if they did because having 3 cars in the mix at most races is great for the extra excitement

    9. Cotd is nonsense.

      Kubica will most likely have done more mileage (abiet in the sim) than most of the current grid over the last couple of years.

      Plus anyone who saw his rallying after the accident knows his skill and reactions are up there with the best.

      It’ll be Williams that won’t meet his talent, not the other way around.

    10. How the hell was that nonsense cotd. Check out the article put up today on f1.com kubica is the last 2 year has done so much bike riding, some days 5 hours at a time. He says he is fitter and weighs less than kubica 2010, He won’t even build up a sweat during the Melbourne GP. 16 year old boys can drive these cars don’t forget.

      1. There is a big difference between training & been in the car though.

        Training will get you fit but there is no substitute for been in the car & dealing with the stresses & physicality that you can only get by been in the car.
        Yes the younger kids jump in no problem but they have usually been racing regularly elsewhere & have done hundreds of laps of testing.

        Look at anti-clockwise circuits for instance. There always a talking point because regardless of how much training you do to build up your neck been in the car hitting 5G+ for a few hours over a weekend will throw forces at you that no amount of training can prepare you for & even drivers who have been racing regularly struggle with it.

    11. MaliceCooper
      5th March 2019, 9:09

      Just like GAP, Next and Timberland, Honda was a big, strong and important vehicle manufacturer in the 1980s.
      Remember those wicked Next motorcycles from 1985? They were ace!

    12. After kubicas crash, how is Mercedes letting Hamilton ride fast motorcycles? One fall can ruin thir championship campaign, and they are paying him 30million, does that mean he will refund them if he misses races with a broken wrist?

      1. it’s a managed risk for mercedes – better to keep him happy and winning than depressed and not performing. the risk of injury is pretty small for a skilled rider like he is, just having fun on a track day. it’s not like he’s competing.

        1. @frood19 – agreed. Further, I’ve read that Mercedes/Toto prefers a more hands-off approach (more like no-hands) in managing their drivers’ persona. They’re quite happy to let their drivers’ individuality shine.

          This is in stark contrast to Hamilton’s stint at McLaren, where his image and extra-curricular activities were much more tightly controlled.

          That said, Toto’s nails will probably be getting quite a workout every time Hamilton decides to hop on a two-wheeler, on track or off. :)

          1. It’s all very well until Hamilton bins it and can’t drive. Motorcycle riding is not a low risk activity.

            1. Hamilton rides with the top MotoGP riders acting as guardians on track, and when he’s on the road he has the most up to date equipment available. Vettel thrashes his collection of classic bikes round the Swiss mountains every chance he gets. It’s obviously a risk the pair of them; and Mercedes and Ferrari, are prepared to take.

    13. Don’t like it when celebrities attend race day, absorb all the attention, but don’t even stay for the full race.
      Just stay at home.

      1. Sonny Crockett
        5th March 2019, 9:28

        A MotoGP race lasts for 45 minutes so I’m a little surprised that he won’t be able to stay for the “full race”!

        1. I would imagine he’s there on behalf of Petronas to encourage the press to visit the poorer end of the pit lane.


    14. please Hamilton there is nothing left for you to prove on motorbikes. you are a five time formula one world champion.. i beg you to get off bikes… you risk many thing doing bikes…you may end up with a life changing injury…doing something you are not ACCUSTOMED to…..

    15. Thanks for the CotD ;)

      To all who disagree I genuinely hope that you are proved right and I will gladly eat humble pie and admit my concerns were misplaced.

      I do not consider simulator hours or practice days to be of much value other than to get to know the car to be honest.
      The physical and mental stress of back to back race weekends is a totally different proposition.

      I am not doubting the mans skill and I am certainly not doubting his passion.
      I just worry that a great driver is going to be made to look foolish and no one needs that.

      1. Lets hope not. All indications (other than that last day of testing) show he’s at least as fast as Russell.

        And I think he would have readily turned down the drive if he felt unable to give 100%

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