Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton predicts 2019 will be the “toughest battle” yet

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton expects his toughest fight yet to retain his world championship crown this season.

What they say

Hamilton said “Ferrari are currently the fastest” but said he believes Mercedes can close on them.

The cars do have the potential to progress. So it’s really the work that we do.

But I have confidence that I have the team to do the job. We’re the most united that I think we’ve ever been. This is going to be the toughest battle yet which is exciting for all of you and I’m excited for the fans.

But as I said we are currently not… Ferrari, their pace is very, very good at the moment. So the challenge is going to be harder than ever.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Not many of you seem to like the idea of awarding a point for fastest lap:

Really not a fan of this as I cannot stand the idea of bonus points in F1 or any other series that uses them. Points should be awarded for finishing positions and the championship order decided by those points rather than poles, fast laps or anything else.

Awarding a point for fastest lap and creating a scenario where a driver pit’s for fresh tyres later on and with those fresh tyres and low fuel can lap significantly faster than anybody else makes that point not mean anything.

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On this day in F1

Author information

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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  • 28 comments on “Hamilton predicts 2019 will be the “toughest battle” yet”

    1. Curious about: title (Autosport)

      Assuming it’s about Williams…am I close?

        1. Good find!

    2. Have a look/listen to the onboards on youtube from that 1990 Lola Lamborghini.

      I still love F1 in some ways but it is viscerally SO far from what we had back then…

      1. @paulguitar, Looks beautiful, sounds wonderful, goes slow.

        1. Doesn’t look slow though. looks terrifying!@hohum

          I was astonied to find out recently just how much slower Senna’s INSANE Monaco lap was than what the current cars do. The difference is that the old cars look frightening and only to be driven by gladiators. The current ones are astonishingly fast but appear very tame in comparison.

          I would argue the drivers are still gladiators though.

          1. @paulguitar

            I would argue the drivers are still gladiators though.

            I’d say they aren’t. Gladiators are trained amateurs who overcome their constant fear of death not necessarily with precision, but with emotions, which allows the audience to relate with them.

            Nowadays, the drivers are twice as fit and ten times as prepared. They don’t fear death (mostly because it has become a very distant possibility instead of lurking behind every corner), and they’ve reached uncanny levels of precision and perfection. Their weapon of choice isn’t emotion, but cold rationality. In that sense, they are nothing like gladiators. They are highly trained special forces.

            1. “Gladiators are trained amateurs” So are F1 drivers! They dont come out of their mom’s tummy and already a legend!

              Definitions and conditions of so called defined things change over time… so nothing wrong comparing them… Human factor in all of them makes it all the bit exciting and unpredictable for results… Imagine races are done by cold hearted AI! they would turn into a computer game entirely! Currently, there are great drivers, and great cars, but human factors makes them unpredictable!

          2. @paulguitar, agreed, hence the need for gimmicks.

          3. I think one of the main reasons the cars look less terrifying now is the advancement in chassis / suspension and also the improve,ent in surface of the race tracks. The cars look really composed now. Look at the old onboard footage of how the drivers heads were thrown around compared to now.

      2. @paulguitar Indeed, those videos are great to watch and listen to. The best quote I’ve ever heard about that Lamborghini V12 was from Derek Warwick, he said “it made a lot of noise and not much else”…

    3. I don’t know the inside story but in general I have to agree with @scarbs tweet, the situation at Williams is reminiscent of Ferrari’s worst years.

      1. @hohum – agreed. There were a few comments in yesterday’s article that basically asked us to hold our horses, and that it might truly be a case of Paddy needing personal time off. However, Craig’s tweet seems to indicate that the suspicions of many are indeed true, and this is a polite “letting go”.

      2. Obviously I wish no ill to Paddy Lowe but I hope it genuinely is “Personal reasons/problems” that has caused this rather than internal strife and conflict within the team.
        If Williams can’t even get to the first race of the season without crucial team members leaving then they aren’t a team at all are they.
        Something (Someone?) needs sorting out as soon as possible please.

    4. Almost a year ago the headline was this: Hamilton: Mercedes now the second or third-fastest team

      Sometime quotes are not worth the bits and bytes they are ‘written on’.

      1. He was right, they were the second fastest team. @coldfly

        1. @paulguitar
          Not in Melbourne they weren’t.

        2. You didn’t watch any of the races then.

    5. Cristiano Ferreira
      7th March 2019, 6:24

      Again? Jesus Christ. I wish him and Toto Wolf could just shut up. They both sound like a broken record.

    6. There is no way we will believe Mercedes after 6 years of same cries.

      Even if it is now true potentially.

      1. @jureo, A well known strategy, it’s called “crying Toto” ! No wait Wolf, it’s called “crying wolf”.

    7. F1 criticised for racing in Bahrain, bad news for Williams and Hamilton predicts toughest year yet. You can tell it’s a almost another new season. :)

    8. So basically we agree with Mercedes/Hamilton as Ferrari/Vettel will almost certainly be better than they were last year; but we object to them saying it when asked.

    9. Regarding the COTD: I’m 50-50 on this particular topic. On the one hand, yes, not the most necessary thing in the world, but on the other, maybe not too bad either after all if it gets approved.

      Regarding the Reuters-article: Are we back to this, again. More or less every single current race-hosting country has something that would/could justify axing that country’s race from F1, so if Bahrain had to be dropped then so should, for example, China for similar reasons as well for the sake of consistency.

    10. leaveyourego
      7th March 2019, 11:23

      @COTD This scenario of the late pitting driver is being noted as if it is happening in a vacuum and would certainly make getting fastest lap an arbitrary achievement. What is being lost here is that there won’t be only one driver going for fastest lap. That’s called competition and I think more of it is a good thing.

    11. Lucky for Lewis he’ll have the “best crowds ever” on each race weekend and his team will be “working the hardest ever”.

    12. I sort of agree with COTD, but. Look at it this way. Everyone from 11th downwards gets to race and drive as fast as they can on new tires in the final stages of *every* race. We always rant about slow driving during races because of tire saving and engine saving. This way you get half of the field pushing flat out in the final stages: drivers that otherwise would be just be racing for…final position? ok… Now you get qualy round 2. Other than that you get championship contenders who would benefit from every point, starting to push in the final stages to get that point. When the gap to the following car is big enough they will pit for new tires, being exposed to the following car if the gap is narrow.
      In the end, I get the argument of giving points only for finishing position. But you can’t deny this would spice things up on a lot of dull races, and possibly every race. The midfield is as tight as ever and a point is like a tenth position, it means a lot when the first 6 are sort of taken. I say it looks like a gimmick, but it’s a small and still a pretty good one.

    Comments are closed.