Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Hamilton ‘doesn’t need huggy, cuddly, emotional ride at Ferrari’ – Coulthard

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton is more likely to stay at Mercedes than switch to Ferrari, says David Coulthard.

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Comment of the day

Should F1 teams have greater freedom over their tyre set-ups?

The most annoying thing for me about this whole thing is not the 2019 or 2020 tyres, it is that Pirreli are still able to mandate minimum tyre pressures.

The one major tool that the teams had to be able to get the tyres working ‘in the operating window’ was by fine tuning them with the tyre pressure to suit the chassis. Now it is the other way around, or drivers having to drive a specific way to keep the tyres working.

Just think how different a team like Haas season would have been if they were allowed to use tyre pressures to get their tyre working on race day.

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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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26 comments on “Hamilton ‘doesn’t need huggy, cuddly, emotional ride at Ferrari’ – Coulthard”

  1. Couldn’t agree more with David.

    I also think that the whole “Lewis to Ferrari” narration is the ill fantasy of bored journalists, who just want to get a “sensation”.

    Lewis never needed and doesn’t need them now or in future.

    1. I think it is just an excuse for journos to bad mouth Ferrari, in the end most of these articles are against Lewis going to Ferrari.

      1. Well Ferrari chose Charles and Charles chose Ferrari. He is already a race winner and future champion? Why would they take Lewis to team up with a future Ferrari driver. Same thing with Max and Red Bull. They have each other and they gonna stick it with that for next couple of years.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th January 2020, 18:28

      @dallein Well I think it’s also either actual interest from Ferrari since they openly started praising Hamilton all of a sudden. Or Ferrari were just messing with him (or Mercedes)

      1. @dallein I don’t see it as ‘the ill fantasy of bored journalists’ at all. This is very normal stuff that has been happening for decades.

        LH is seen talking to a Ferrari head at some social events…normal. Ferrari praises LH…normal…what’s not to praise? Ferrari may have even had a serious sitdown with LH…also very normal, for if you don’t ask you certainly don’t get. Of course Ferrari would take him if he indicated he’d be interested.

        LH’s contract is coming due and he is starting the sunset of his career ie. if he wants Ferrari it has to be soon. Combine that with the concept that most drivers, it is said, aspire to drive for Ferrari, and why wouldn’t there be some buzz over this? It is not ridiculous for journalists to at least field the topic and toss it around a bit. I personally don’t think LH will or should go to Ferrari, but I can sure understand a bit of buzz around the topic. It’s not exactly tabloidy imho, it is to be expected.

  2. Re: Cotd
    When teams were still allowed to decide their own tyre pressures, it led to a bunch of blowouts and bad press for Pirelli. Given that teams will always try to push the envelope, there is no way to prevent that without mandating tyre pressures. Why would Pirelli want to put up with that?

    1. I kinda think teams set their own pressures for decades and there were no huge issues. So why does Pirelli need a narrow operating window when Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear did not?

      1. 1) Does it even matter? It’s required for Pirelli’s tyres to be safe, and that should be the end of the story.
        2) The difference is that Pirelli was instructed to create a tyre that degrades and eventually falls off a cliff. Evidently that doesn’t mix well with low pressures. Bridgestone & Michelin by contrast had a completely different objective – create the best possible tyre for Ferrari & McLaren.

        1. Interesting points @aesto; though not sure I agree entirely, I do think that is quite valid, and to your second point: those cars could then do lots of testing to get everything about car/tyre interaction completely mapped out, while the other teams had less df and traction, and we expected less from them.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          12th January 2020, 18:31


          2) The difference is that Pirelli was instructed to create a tyre that degrades and eventually falls off a cliff. Evidently that doesn’t mix well with low pressures.

          First of all, they weren’t “instructed” they proposed that themselves when they tried to win the original tyre bid. Michelin was proposing tyres that lasted longer (and less would be needed). So it wsa NOT the FIA who came with this idea

          Second, the tyre blow outs had nothing to do with the degradation. The problem was that the construction is too weak to deal with the off road excursions that the drivers tend to take. That’s why Mercedes told their drivers to stay on track in Spa after Rosberg had a blow out. And they had none after. While Vettel kept blowing off track and he did have another blowout.

          1. First of all, they weren’t “instructed”

            You are demonstrably wrong, e.g.

            – Nikolas Tomazis: FIA head of Single Seater Technical Matters

            What the current tyres are is a product of what has been asked of them [Pirelli], and I think we need to ask them to do different things to what they have been asked in the past.

            Pat Symonds:

            I think we were asking completely the wrong things of Pirelli over the last few years, the high degradation target is not the way to go.

    2. @aesto Precisely. I couldn’t agree more with you on that. I share the same views as well. Some things are best not to give to the teams to do themselves.

  3. Dale Wickenheiser
    12th January 2020, 1:10

    Hamilton – and the point of moving to Ferrari would be what? More money? A chance at a title? Silly talk.

    COTD – Can we please let them race?! post-race fuel mins, mandated tire pressures, grid penalties, qualifying tire rules – It’s the pinnacle of motor sport and it’s nit-picked to death.

    1. and the point of moving to Ferrari would be what?

      Winning a title with 3 different teams?

      1. The only reason I see him moving is winning titles in three teams but I dont think the lure is good enough. Hamilton personality and lifestyle would not work in Ferrari also he has a limited window of chances to beat the all time record. Best to do that with a solid team behind him for the next 2-3 years.

  4. Hamilton will never drive for Ferrari. It would be too corporate and restrictive. He didn’t even like the seriousness of McLaren back in the day and was partly lured to Mercedes by the promised freedom.

    Vettel idolised Schumacher, so it makes sense he always dreamed of Ferrari. Hamilton idolised Senna, who never drove for Ferrari.

    If Mercedes leave they’ll merge back with McLaren, given the engine deal and history (now that Dennis is gone). That’s where he’ll go if Mercedes are out.

  5. To the best of my knowledge, Lewis Hamilton doesn’t speak any foreign languages. He’d been a fool to go anywhere near Ferrari with their history of backstabbing, empire building and dishonesty towards drivers that goes back even further than when John Surtees drove for them.

    By the way I’ve not seen anything written about Colin Seeley who died recently. Although most associated with motorcycle sport, he was also involved – to his cost – with Bernie when he ran Brabham.

    1. In the case of Surtees, Forghieri has claimed that the reason why Enzo turned on him is because a journalist convinced him that Surtees was leaking information on the P3 to Lola when they were developing the T70 (Surtees was one of their test drivers at the time). It’s probably not true, but given the early prototype of the T70 did look similar to the P3, you can see why Enzo might have believed that Surtees was betraying him.

    2. “To the best of my knowledge, Lewis Hamilton doesn’t speak any foreign languages. He’d been a fool to go anywhere near Ferrari”

      I agree, he would be off balance trying to learn the language, not understanding fully what his team members are saying. In that situation you cannot feel part of the team or trust what he thinks they may have said. Mechanics and engineers can understand one another across language barriers with a few figures and sketches. I used to convey details to Italian suppliers and later to Japanese engineers. But to trust your life to that when you are not an engineer is a different matter.

    3. To the best of my knowledge, Lewis Hamilton doesn’t speak any foreign languages

      According to Will Buxton he learned French to work better with his ART engineers

      Early in his GP2 career, Lewis contacted me (via MySpace as I recall) and asked how I had learned to speak French. I told him it was a combination of living in Switzerland and watching Cartoon Network in French, and listening to the Michel Thomas educational CDs. He asked for a favour, and so I packed them up and sent them to him. Why? Because he felt it was important to learn the language in which his team and engineers spoke.

      This, at the age of 21, was not a request born of someone without the mental capacity to deal with more than he was being given credit for. Yes, I had been in awe of the multi-lingual Nico Rosberg, but for someone of Hamilton’s age to want to learn a new language from scratch in the midst of what was to be one of the most intense seasons of competition of his life, I found a desperately impressive measure of the man.

  6. True. But I have doubts it will be a good bet for Ferrari too to get HAM. He’ll be too old and most likely past his prime to make the requiered difference anymore. Nobody can “cheat” age, we’ve seen already what happened with M.Schumacher (vs. Rosberg), how Rossi is performing for quite some years now against the younger guys etc. Ferrari better get RIC or someone younger to replace VET, not someone older… no matter how good they may seem now.

    1. Not necessarily. Vettel soundly beaten and retires, but Leclerc shows he is still prone to silly errors and has issues with the demands of a sustained WDC campaign due to inexperience at that level. Sign Hamilton on a two year deal and all he would have to do is win one championship for the Ferrari. That’s it. I’m sure Ferrari would take that after all this time in the championship winning wilderness.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th January 2020, 18:35

      @mg1982 True Ferrari should have signed Hamilton already for 2017 or 2018. At least Hamilton would have won that championship for Ferrari.

      Still Hamilton has at least 3 good years in him and if Ferrari manage to produce a competitive car like 2017 or 2018, Hamilton is a much better bet than Leclerc would be. Hamilton drives at the maximum, but he also brings the car home. Leclerc has proven this season again that he also is too erratic (not as bad as Vettel of course, but still)

  7. Whatever does he mean by huggy, cuddly, emotional ride???

    1. Yeah, those words are more interesting than the message itself.

  8. I share the same views as DC.
    BTW, I quite like Latifi’s helmet-design and color-scheme.

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