Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Hamilton: Austrian GP was “more painful” than Mercedes expected

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes didn’t expected the Austrian Grand Prix to be as bad as it was for them.

What they say

Hamilton was asked whether complacency had crept in at Mercedes during their streak of 10 consecutive wins which ended last weekend:

We weren’t complacent so it doesn’t do anything for us. We knew it was going to be difficult, we knew it would be a difficult weekend for us and it was probably more painful than we had thought.

We’re not being complacent at all. The guys worked very, very hard. It was just one of those days.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Did Red Bull store up problems for the future with their Austrian Grand Prix win?

I suspect at least one Red Bull Honda power unit was at 105% as they know they are going to get a penalty anyway, they are not getting a championship this year and so why not go for it and damn the consequences.

Later in the year we will see who has managed their machinery best by who gets a penalty for blowing the engine to bits, losing power in a race loses power or has to replace too many parts and who manages within the allocation.
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  • 32 comments on “Hamilton: Austrian GP was “more painful” than Mercedes expected”

    1. I thought Mercedes were terrible everywhere. At least that’s what they told us at the start of the season and for the first 5/6 GPs that they so difficulty won

      1. @johnmilk – I don’t know man, Hamilton says we need to chill, but it feels like it’s their PUs that are running hot.

        1. @phylyp they need to hire Rob Smedley ASAP

          1. @johnmilk Baby i love you. just know this <3

            1. Comforting words indeed @mrboerns

      2. No; that’s what everyone was saying at the start of testing. In the second week with all the updates there was a marked improvement; and by the end of testing it was pretty close with most informed commentators saying who knows who is going to be best come Australia.
        Why do people fixate on stories even when they are patently untrue?
        And to be fair to Mercedes who knew Ferrari was going to blow engines whilst in the lead, crash the car numerous times at non-pressure moments, screw the tyre choices, implode at Monaco, waste time playing ‘after you, no after you’ with the drivers during the race, throw it away when Hamilton gets anywhere near them or jump off the track because Max said ‘Boo’?
        Whilst its pretty annoying that Mercedes is that much better than the rest; its more annoying that Ferrari seem hell bent on on throwing away every chance they are given to beat them. Or at least put up a fight.

        1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
          5th July 2019, 8:30

          Still can’t understand how everyone in the press is ignoring the fact that Lewis’ best was 0″001 from Seb in winter testing. The performance was always there for those who wanted to see.

        2. @riptide you are on a amazing site to do research. Go and see the headlines produced my Mercedes’ personnel quotes and let me know what you think about them.

          Australia I could live with that, but they went on on about how tough the competition was, in reality the only place where they didn’t set the pace was Bahrain and Austria

          Fortunately they stopped the script. Yet I saw the irony on Lewis’ comments

          1. Then add Canada, so that’s a third of the races for definite. That’s without even considering them imploding at Monaco before they even completed qually.
            And could you direct me to the quotes during testing where Ferrari, you or anyone else for that matter stated that whilst the Ferrari looked dominant, we would soon discover that they had gone in completely the wrong direction development wise?
            If the roles were reversed and it had been Mercedes who went in the wrong direction we would now all be lauding Ferrari’s success, and admiring their modesty.

            1. And could you direct me to the quotes during testing where Ferrari, you or anyone else for that matter stated that whilst the Ferrari looked dominant, we would soon discover that they had gone in completely the wrong direction development wise?

              I didn’t talk about testing

              If the roles were reversed and it had been Mercedes who went in the wrong direction we would now all be lauding Ferrari’s success, and admiring their modesty.

              No I wouldn’t

              And here you have some quotes/headlines, that I believe are from this very site

      3. @johnmilk They didn’t. Stop acting stupid.

        They said they were weary of Ferrari straightline speed.

        Hamilton said he was weary of Red Bull performance in Austria and he was laughed away. Yet he clearly had the machinery to even blow the much faster Ferrari’s away. Mostly a Ferrari strategy mistake again, but that;s the same how they blundered away Bahrain, Baku, Canada and now Austria. Ferrari should have won 4 races by now. Yet they one none.

        I guess at some point you can just go with the fact that either the strategy or Vettel will mess up their race, but potentially they can win. So what would you say upfront? We don;t look at Ferrari since they will figure out how to lose the race anyway? Or does one legitimately see that they DO have a massive straightline speed advantage and could potentially for once actually make it work

        1. @f1osaurus don’t tell me to forfeit what is most endearing to me!

    2. I like that Toto was driving Merc’s solution for cooling – especially for the driver – and advanced aero concepts for 2021. As well as more sponsor space for the the new affordable F1 advertising era.

    3. I think this idea that one can predict who is running at 105% by how long the engine lasts in the season seems to be hogwash. I doubt even the best F1 engine manufacturers can tell when the engine is gonna actually die. I sure they can see when the horsepower drops off, but to say “ we are going to need to replace the engine at race so and so because we ran 1 hour at 105%” seems like giving too much credit to advance math. Just run the engine until performance drops or it is a convenient time to change.

      1. I am quite certain they can pinpoint with reasonable reliability when an engine will die. They science the ‘bejezus’ out of these 4 engines. 400 people, this is all they do, get 4 engines to last entire season with maximum power.

      2. Johns, as Jureo notes, the teams have a fairly clear idea of the damage cycles that the engines can withstand from their fatigue life calculations, and they have quite a few diagnostic tools to then track that – for example, it’s been fairly routine practise to track the wear of certain components by analysing the metal content of the oil used to lubricate the engine to tell whether parts are wearing as expected, or if there are signs of abnormal wear.

        Furthermore, the point made in the COTD does seem to be backed up by post race comments by Verstappen, as he indicated that he’d been running the engine in the most aggressive engine setting for about half of that race – it does sound as if the team and Honda took the attitude of taking a win now and dealing with the problems of a more highly damaged engine later.

        1. it does sound as if the team and Honda took the attitude of taking a win now and dealing with the problems of a more highly damaged engine later.

          … and that’s what true racing should be: fight for the win now, deal with everything later (including stewards investigations). Nowadays, we rarely see a race where cars get pushed to their limits, everything is tire / engine / fuel / brakes preservation… so hats-off to RBR and Honda, they did something that real racers do.

          1. @gechichan Betting the house on a single race is the highest Red Bull can aim for. If they actually designed a good car and potentially fighting for the championship then they wouldn’t be doing this either.

        2. Furthermore, the point made in the COTD does seem to be backed up by post race comments by Verstappen, as he indicated that he’d been running the engine in the most aggressive engine setting for about half of that race

          If so some degree of caution is required in terms of his ‘phenomenal pace’ and Gasly being a full lap down (presuming they didn’t run his engine the same). May explain the team not being too heavy on him.

    4. The real irony is that Red Bull is paying the cheapest for their engines of anybody else on the grid, yet Honda came thru with a winning engine. More power to Red Bull for the sweat heart deal ( pun intended)

      1. RB are the works Honda team…the dont “pay” for engines.

    5. If Lewis had not broken his nose and lost time before (and during) the nose change he would probably have finished 3rd or even had a fighting chance at second.

      1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
        5th July 2019, 8:34

        But he did, because he was going on that yellow sausage over and over. Vettel was an idiot in Canada for missing one corner – while Lewis was blocking every lap at the hairpin – and is always blamed for his errors. Lewis is incredibly consistent, so there is no shame in admitting when he makes a mistake.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        5th July 2019, 9:27

        bottas respnded when he pitted and before hamilton had his issue, it was still most likely he would come out around a second behind Bottas. I think 4th was the best Hamilton could hope for really.

    6. Paul Duggan
      5th July 2019, 7:38

      Good news: Ferrari live in a reality where Vettel didn’t make a mistake and desperately crowd Hamilton off the circuit. That means that they can delay dealing with Vettel’s nearly-year-long streak of below-standard performances for a bit longer.
      Actually don’t the FIA have a rule whereby if Ferrari unliaterally declare themselves the winners then it becomes fact? Can’t they veto a result? Would that not be sporting?

      1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
        5th July 2019, 8:38

        That’s what happen when your heart is a single thing with the sport. Being ferrarista is being part of a family. Seb and Charles are like our children: they’ll always be in the right to our eyes. I’m sorry if you can’t feel the same thing ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        1. @m-bagattini

          Seb and Charles are like our children

          Until they turn out to be bad kids.. then they get sent to another foster home.

        2. If one – and only one – competitor has a veto on rule changes then it is not really a sport.
          And if Ferrari are just going to keep pretending that their children are doing a better job than they really are then they won’t actually achieve anything.

      2. It’s a sad state of affairs at Ferrari. They’re still clutching to the straws of “Our Canadian race winner” when in reality… Vettel dropped the ball for another yet again. He’s gone almost an entire season without a win.

        Ferrari need to look for a driver who can actually get them ‘official’ race wins that contribute to the championship instead of these silly self proclaimed ‘moral victories’ that won’t win them anything.

    7. Ferrari/Vettel shouldn’t have had a penalty in Canada, imho. However, that doesn’t mean Vettel would have won the race… Hamilton was quicker and hounding Vettel lap after lap. Who’s to say Lewis wouldn’t have found a way past Seb eventually? Also, Vettel made a huge error by going off track, to begin with and there’s a good chance he might have gone off again, spin in wheel-to-wheel combat or crash into the Wall of Champions…

      I’m not saying Vettel isn’t a good driver, I’m just saying that simply not punishing him with a time penalty doesn’t equal a Vettel race win.

      1. that’s a really good point. there were still quite a few laps after that when hamilton could have attacked. he clearly sat back once he knew about the penalty.

    8. 100% is the maximum, though, but other than that, I see where the COTD is coming from and can share the same views with the potential.

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