Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Hamilton ‘doesn’t really care’ about recognition

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he isn’t concerned if people don’t give him recognition for his achievements.

What they say

Hamilton was asked if he’s concerned some people say his success is only down to the quality of his car.

I don’t really care, necessarily. And I don’t mean that in a negative way it’s just I don’t let that affect [me].

Everyone has a right to their own opinions. It doesn’t dictate to me whether I’m doing a good or bad job. I know whether I’m doing a good or bad job and I know how I’m performing and if I’ve got more potential in myself. I know the great work that I do within my team, I know when I’m not doing so well on a race weekend. I’m definitely enjoying driving.

It’s a difficult sport for people to have the correct answer to that because there’s only 20 of us that are driving these cars and no one in the public domain or even you guys can have the privilege of going and driving the car like we drive the car in the heat of the moment like we do. Which is a shame.

Even I go and play sometimes basketball and I feel like LeBron [James] for a second or Seth Curry. Sometimes I play tennis with my dad and I’m terrible – we’re not really good, the Hamiltons, at tennis – but sometimes I get it just over the net and I hit it right in the corner and it’s a great serve and I feel like [Roger] Federer for a second.

You can’t go and get into a Formula 1 car and do a lap like I can do a lap and say ‘yeah, that felt like Lewis did it’. So it’s a little bit harder to relate to and see the nuances and the differences and the edge that we’re on. But then there are people that admire it just because it is a whole spectacle and technology they do understand.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Would Red Bull really be better off promoting one of the Toro Rosso drivers in place of Pierre Gasly?

I have my doubts Kvyat (or Albon) could do any better in that car compared to how Gasly has fared thus far. It isn’t safe to assume that they’d automatically do better without any valid evidence to fully support that, and a change during a season does have its risks as well.
Jere (@Jerejj)

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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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46 comments on “Hamilton ‘doesn’t really care’ about recognition”

  1. In 9 rounds, McLaren have scored 52 points, or 5.8 per round. 11 rounds to go would be say 64 points on that form giving them 116 for the season.

    Verstappen on 126 has already beaten them by himself, there’s nothing at risk trying something else in the seat Gasly is currently wasting.

    1. The risk is purely public-image and internal structure realted. Instead of focusing on their racecraft, the drivers and management will have to spend time dealing with press pressure like they did during the Kvyat demotion. Plus all the headaches that come with the switch intself, like new seats, communication, headquarters, engineers, etc. One has to wonder what’s the benefit of that, especially, as you pointed out yourself, their final place in the championship is already secured.

  2. Alternative hypothesis on the RB/Gasly situation: Red Bull have already concluded that Gasly and Kvyat aren’t good enough, but they’re not sure about Albon yet. Franz Tost seems to have taken a shine to him, but it’s too soon to tell. If they switched Gasly/Kvyat and Albon started beating Gasly, there would be no way to tell if that’s because Albon is the real deal, or just because Gasly is slumping. Kvyat needs to stay in the TR as a reliable benchmark.

    1. @aesto

      Alternatively, they could pair Gasly up against Albon to see who’s the better of the two, while having Kvyat (a more reliable point scorer) in the parent Red Bull team as damage limitation.

  3. In other news, Elon Musk doesn’t really care about money.

    1. I disagree with Hamilton. It feels pretty good when you get a downshift and turn perfect. Or when the rear gets away and you catch it. I know I’m not Verstappen or even Gasly, but it still feels pretty good.

      But I do agree it stinks we can’t all take a few laps in an F1 car.

      1. @slotopen: I hear you. Just drove my car into a brick wall at 20mph to feel what 5G under braking feels like. It hurts.

      2. @slotopen and yet paying for a day on a circuit like Spa and taking the Raidillon at 180kph instead of 300 is still REALLY enjoyable :)

  4. Ricardo what have you done? Maybe Red Bull will take you back. Doesnt hurt to ask.

    1. I really doubt he’d want to be paired up against an in form Verstappen right now. Ricciardo should have one eye on Vettel’s seat now. That could be the best option for him.

      1. even if Vettel doesn’t get the seat anymore, Ferrari will be content with having a no.1 driver in LeClerc and a wingman in Giovinazzi, as they seem set on having an Italian driver win a few races for the scuderia. So Ricciardo’s best move would to stay put or swap with Sainz for the McLaren seat.

        1. Ferrari will be content with having a no.1 driver in LeClerc and a wingman in Giovinazzi

          Gave me a good laugh!

          Ferrari are stupid but not that stupid.

          1. Funny as that may seem, Ferrari has had a long tendency of bringing a 2nd driver that does not interfere with their no.1 driver: Raikonnen, Massa, Barichello, Irvine, etc. It’s this year alone when things got more balanced and Ferrari showed imediately they are not ready for this type of inter-team battles with horrible team orders and bad strategy.

        2. @gechichan why would McLaren want Ricciardo? He’s a race winner but his stakes kind of diminished since he was comprehensively beaten by Verstappen two years in a row. Not sure he’d make such a difference as I personally think he’s not at the same level than Verstappen, Alonso or Hamilton. One of those three would make a difference though.

          As for Giovinazzi I’d love to see him in a Ferrari but he’s probably not ready to jump in. I’d say 2021 at the earliest? If Vettel leaves Ferrari in 2020 I guess Ferrari will try to get an experienced driver instead of a second young gun.

        3. And that’s why Ferrari will not win a championship in the next coming years.

          With Leclerc is ur #1 driver and Giovinazzi as ur #2 driver…Ferrari will simply underperform. Leclerc is a good driver but not sensational nor as quick nor has the talent that Verstappen / Hamilton do have. He is like a good schoolboy…nice smile, handsome young lad, very polite…but that will not make you a F1 champion. You have to be relentless and have a die hard attitude…he simply doesn’t have that.

  5. I would love to see Daniel in a Ferrari but I can’t really see how this would happen.

    If Seb decides he wants out but stay in F1 then his likely choice is back to RBR. This would almost certainly mean Max going the other way. So unless Seb decides he wants to stop altogether, I cannot see a space for Daniel at Ferrari.

    Mind you I think Daniel and Charles Leclerc would be a great line up for them. They might not want the challenge of having Max and Charles in the same team.

    1. Daniel and Charles would never work out at Ferrari… too likeable!

  6. Five years ago today Damon Hill won the British GP as Michael Schumacher got in trouble for his formation lap antics

    5 Years? :)

    1. @geemac – ssh, don’t remind Keith he’s aging faster than he realizes :)

      1. I remember this like it was 5 years ago…pretty sure your statement applies to me too. :) I’ll never forget the sight of Tom Walkinshaw and Flava Flav furiously arguing with the FIA officials over Schumacher’s penalty.

      2. @phylyp, interestingly, I believe that there has been an admission from some of Williams’s staff in later years that paint what Schumacher was doing on that formation lap in a rather different light to the way in which Keith has portrayed it in his article.

        I think that Hill’s race engineer admitted many years later that they had worked out that the Benetton B194 was more marginal on engine cooling than the Williams FW16 was by that point in the season. They therefore decided to try and capitalise on this by instructing Hill to deliberately slow down on the formation laps in an attempt to make Schumacher’s engine overheat on the formation lap, with the intention of either slowing Schumacher down, or making him break down altogether if possible.

        It therefore seems that, rather than “an unsubtle attempt at gamesmanship”, as Keith claimed it was, an alternative explanation for why Schumacher was overtaking Hill was because he was trying to stop his car from overheating and it was actually Hill who was engaging in his own “attempt at gamesmanship” with his tactics (and, as Keith notes in his article, there were several drivers who retired quite early in that race with engine problems – Brundle’s overheated engine being the most spectacular example – that might well have been caused by Hill’s tactics in that race).

        1. Very interesting slice of history, anon, thank you!

  7. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    10th July 2019, 9:07

    Regarding QOTD, when does any driver change come with ‘evidence’ they will be faster? Of course there are risks but the only cold hard fact is that Gasly is woefully underperforming. That being said, I think almost anyone would look poor compared Max with the way he has been driving for the last 12 months.

  8. I don’t want to start with Gasly talk again, but since the COTD is about him, I’ll chip in my 2 cents:

    everyone is bashing Pierre for not performing, and rightly so at least for his bad qualies, but I believe that passing the midfield in the current RedBull is not as easy anymore. The straightline speed is just not there for an easy pass, so you need to prepare it perfectly or dive-bomb the apex, something that Gasly (and many other F1 drivers) don’t really feel comfortable doing. We’ve gotten used to RedBulls slicing through the midfield like a knife through butter, mostly because these passes were done by formidable overtakers like Max and Danny Ric, and not because of sheer speed deficit.
    So, yeah, I agree that Kviat or Albon would probably fare the same as Gasly in the top team.

    1. Kviat is an absolute master of the dive-bomb!

    2. @gechichan Well, the straight-line speed never really was there with Renault power either.
      @aliced True, LOL.

    3. @gechichan, I think that the criticism is that, firstly, you could argue that he shouldn’t be qualifying behind those midfield drivers in the first place.

      Even with that, in recent races it has not just been a case of Gasly failing to pass the midfield drivers, it’s that he’s not been pressuring the midfield drivers or even been that close to the drivers in front to begin with.

      In Austria, for example, he spent most of that race sitting about two seconds behind Norris, before eventually drifting away to about six second behind Norris at the end – he never looked like he was ever going to get close enough to put Norris under that much pressure.

      The French GP was similar, as he just drifted backwards from Hulkenberg and sat about 8 seconds behind him – indeed, rather than attacking those in front, in the latter part of the race he was having to defend himself from Perez instead, who closed up to about a second behind him from about lap 40 to lap 50.

      You had the same thing in Canada as well, where he once again spent most of that race sitting about 8-10 seconds off the two Renault drivers, more or less on his own and not really doing much.

      If he was at least close enough to try to pressure those midfield drivers, or to attempt a pass, then I think that there would be those willing to give him a bit more leeway – however, in recent races he’s usually tended to fall away from the midfield drivers instead.

  9. Hamilton talks so much crap it dribbles down his chin even when his mouth is closed. Re his recognition comment, he moaned about not getting recognition during his drive in Hockenheim last year. He said something along the lines of ‘I was driving 3 seconds a lap faster than most others and the commentators said nothing’. He is a great driver, but extremely insecure, and chops and changes his views in the media constantly.

    1. Given that at no point does Hamilton use the word recognition I can only assume you have only read the misleading headline, not anything Hamilton has actually said. This is further borne out by your garbage comment. Well done

  10. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    10th July 2019, 11:06

    Hamilton absolutley does care about the recognition. I’d say him and Vettel are most ‘recognition’ orientated of any of them – Vettel obsessed with stats and Hamilton obsessed with his image and status within the sport. I mean neither of them are like Raikkonen who’s never seemed to care whether he’s there or not.

    1. …. which is partly why Kimi retains top spot with the fans!

    2. And subsequently why Raikonnen’s career has been epically mediocre since 2008. His stats against Alonso and Seb (himself average) are embarassing.

      1. His stats might embarrass you, but who are you to speak for Kimi and what how his statistics make him feel as a man? You don’t even have your own name to stand behind on this one, but have to hide behind anonymity.

        He seems pretty content to me…. and he’s paid millions to drive f1 cars, his driving pedigree is nowhere close to in question.

        Such rude comments lately…. And not in the ok rude kinda way, just people talking as if they know formula1 drivers at an intimate level, and feeling free to make all kinds of asinine comments…

    3. I would agree Hamilton does care about his image & legacy in the sport, but as for caring about the nay-saying that John Q. Public does on a daily basis (which is what the question was about specifically), I can’t imagine he’d lose much sleep over it… I wouldn’t: I consider anyone still questioning Hamilton’s ability/skills at this point (or Vettel’s… or Verstappen’s…) a certifiable fool. Having preferences among athletes & teams (whatever the sport) is completely natural, but a refusal to acknowledge & give credit where it’s due (especially when it’s obvious) makes any opinion irrelevant in my book.

      1. Having preferences among athletes & teams (whatever the sport) is completely natural, but a refusal to acknowledge & give credit where it’s due (especially when it’s obvious) makes any opinion irrelevant in my book.

        In a nutshell, the difference between a fan and a fanboy.

      2. I consider anyone still questioning Hamilton’s ability/skills at this point (or Vettel’s… or Verstappen’s…) a certifiable fool. Having preferences among athletes & teams (whatever the sport) is completely natural, but a refusal to acknowledge & give credit where it’s due (especially when it’s obvious) makes any opinion irrelevant in my book.

        Hey, @f1osaurus, here it is your fortune cookie of the day. Enjoy! :)

      3. Agreed, his public image and motor racing legacy are obviously what is important to him and nothing to do with peoples personal views of his success, and why should he care, he has nothing more to prove, just more records to break.

    4. Yea, I’m like you. I didn’t read beyond the headline either.

  11. I was never convinced that Gasly was as good as Red Bull seemed to believe he was & certainly never through he was good enough for the main Red Bull team.

    It took him what 3-4 years to win a race at the GP2/F2 level & only managed to do so when he found himself in the best team on the grid that year (Prema Racing) with team mate Antonio Giovinazzi (Who was a GP2 rookie) finishing 2nd in the standings & frankly looking like the faster, more consistent of the 2 for most of that year & would more than likely have beat Gasly to the championship if not for some bad luck in the first few races.

    Prema ended up with 150 points more than the 2nd best team & Gasly/Giovinazzi were 60 points ahead of the 3rd place driver.

  12. Sincerely hope Martin Donnelly pulls through without losing his leg. It would be such a shame… surviving one of the most spectacular crashes F1 has ever seen only to find himself in a similar position from a low speed moped crash (for charity, no less!). Keeping everything crossed for him.

  13. You mean 25 years ago. Neither M. Schumacher nor Hill did compete in F1 in 2014. BTW, thanks for the COTD-recognition.

    ”You can’t go and get into a Formula 1 car and do a lap like I can do a lap and say ‘yeah, that felt like Lewis did it’.”
    – Yes indeed. I wish I could, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to achieve similar lap times to him in an F1 car, probably not even in the official Mercedes F1-simulator. Anything below the 107% lap time around the circuit in question I’d be happy with as the outcome.

  14. Seth Curry?

  15. if its the car for lewis then its the car for every race driver. including the great michael schumacher. these guys drive the cars on the limit. or close to it. even the slowest driver( or car) but in the end talent does play some part. otherwise any1 could drive a race car with similar lap times. some how im lead to disbelieve that. give credit where credit is dew.

    1. Capitals. Full stops. Actual sentences. Mountain ‘Dew’. Congratulations sir, you win the internet today.

  16. F1 is all about the car in first place. Of course the drivers come second to that. Now, to do what Fangio, Clark, Lauda, Piquet, Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Vettel & Hamilton could do with those great cars, then it’s something else entirely to the good common field.

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