Ross Brawn, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2013

Hamilton and Schumacher’s abilities could leave their teams “speechless” – Brawn

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In the round-up: Formula 1 motorsport manager Ross Brawn, who has worked with both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, compares F1’s two most successful drivers.

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Comment of the day

Trying to withhold Zandvoort track data from teams wouldn’t have been a good idea, says @Kaiie:

While I’m all for unpredictability (ban simulators and let’s see who can actually tune their car the best during the practice sessions), withholding track information would be stupid.

Imagine if we get another Indianapolis 2005 where the Pirellis fail at the banked corner(s) simply because the teams did not know how to prepare correctly?

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On this day in F1

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan Toyota EJ15, Silverstone, 2005
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan Toyota EJ15, Silverstone, 2005
  • 15 years ago today Jordan’s final F1 car, the EJ15, had its first testing run in a plain yellow livery.

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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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33 comments on “Hamilton and Schumacher’s abilities could leave their teams “speechless” – Brawn”

  1. 15 years ago today Jordan’s final F1 car, the EJ15, had its first testing run in a plain yellow livery.

    Were they struggling for sponsors, or was it just that the car was rushed to testing?

    CotD raises a good point that Zandvoort is not the place to try such measures, not with the new banking. I’ve seen enough tyres go ‘blam’ at Silverstone a few years ago, thank you very much.

    1. @phylyp It wasn’t that unusual for some teams to do there initial shake-down with no sponsors on the cars back then as such events didn’t get much coverage. Wasn’t like today where stuff is quickly up on social media within a few minutes of a car going out on track.

      That said Jordan didn’t have many sponsors on the car on a consistent basis through that year with the few they did have coming & going depending on the race.

      1. Thank you for that explanation, @stefmeister

      2. @stefmeister That being said, I always love Jordan creativity in renaming Bensons & Hedges for non-tobacco race. It’s such contrast to McLaren’s Mika & David in West style (which also good in it’s simplicity, until they must do one for Juan-Pablo).

    2. Though the second slowest car in 2005 (ahead only of Minardi), and the last to be produced by the struggling team, Monteiro took it to a podium at the (somewhat unusual) US GP.

      Only two years before, in 2003, the team scored a win, in an almost as uncompetitive car ,with Fisichella at the Brazilian GP (the win being confirmed after the (crash heavy) event, and the trophy handed over by Raikkonen during an unusual ‘ceremony’ on the Imola grid).

      Four years before that, in 1999, the team were vying for a world championship, battling with Irvine at Ferrari and Hakkinen at McLaren- Frentzen winning that year’s French and Italian GPs.

      The year before that, in 1998, the team took its first win (and indeed a one-two) at Spa, courtesy of a first-lap pile-up.

      Stretching my memory even further, I believe at least one podium was scored by the team in 1997, by Fisichella (if not another by Ralf Schumacher?).

      Beyond the silverware, another memorable moment was Sato taking 5th (then the second-last point-scoring position) at home at Suzuka, in a largely uncompetitive car.

      And most importantly of all, I also thought the 2001 Jordan one of the more striking cars- great paint job and design.

      In all, a great team.

      1. Barrichello got a 3rd in Aida in 1994 plus they got 2nd and 3rd in canada 1995, so they’d been up there before 1997. 1999 was their only truly competitive year but i think frentzen’s position in the points table was somewhat flattered by the ineptitude of mclaren and ferrari that year. having said that, if the car had held together at the nurburgring (a race he looked set to win), he might well have gone to japan with a shot of the title, which would have been amazing.

        1. Ah yes, Nurburgring 1999- won by Herbert in a Stewart, after almost everyone else fell off. An absolute classic.

  2. Kind of agree with the COTD. I just don’t see the point in withholding track information for Zandvoort. What are they planning? A surprise asphalt for the teams? Or maybe 2 feet high kerbs?

    Pirelli and the teams will be better prepared to tackle a new circuit once they have more information… no one wants the stress of showing up and having to find knee jerk reactions to unexpected issues. There should be a decent amount of unpredictability because it’s a new circuit anyways… so let’s not throw a new spanner in the works.

    1. You must love this super cautious over analysed era then.

      Its amazing we could even go racing before the wealth of data now available dials the car straight in and removes any chance. Somehow they did manage to get a car round a lap and we did have great racing, multiple winners, teams able to get results when the unexpected happens. That’s largely gone.

      1. I’m not always sure about the great racing. 2012 for instance had the massive unpredictability at the start of the season, but only a few races (Malaysia and Spain come to mind) actually had close racing. The rest just had the one team which lucked into a good setup winning the race.

        1. Sure. And racing before 2012 before we had 400 data engineers sucking out any Chance ?

  3. Yes, their abilities often leave their teams speechless but sometimes there are also other effects their behaviour has. I’ve come to respect Hamilton very much and I understand all that rush of adrenaline and all, but he often crumbles upon minor inconvenciences, complains to his race engineer or plainly gives up on the race (Germany last year). Great drivers aren’t great only when they’re driving on the top.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur To be fair, F1 has gone a lot more to endurance racing side than sprint race in last decade. I don’t think Hamilton instinct is to give up, but he – to his credit – is one that learned to be level headed in picking his battles. I think he realized that it’s not worth to forced his engines and other limited component if he don’t think he has decent chance to climb up another position. When people picking example where he wants to give up, they seems to forgetting the times where he relentlessly chasing the win when he feels he is sufficiently faster than the people in front of him. Monza is such example.

      1. I’m not questioning his abilities to go for a win, Monza is a good example and Baku, Hungaroring or Canada underline what yoy said. I’m just wondering whether he can come to terms with finishing 6th at best and fighting for those positions.

        1. @pironitheprovocateur Hamilton was complaining to his engineer in Hungary (after they made him take an unneeded extra stop). Which he then won.

          Hamilton was complaining to his engineer in Monaco after they gave him the wrong tyres to finish the race. Which he then won.

          I’ve come to respect Hamilton very much

          For someone who does that., you have very little knowledge of what makes him so great and seem to only focus on the tiny negative aspects of what he does.

    2. I do wish so called fans would cease nit picking about drivers’ radio messages. All drivers do it. It’s just that FOM tend to concentrate on airing certain drivers more often then others….to give a skewed impression.

      As for Germany, Hamilton was ill all that weekend which probably affected his motivation levels

      1. Agree A M. Some guys on the grid get away with it ‘leave me alone I know what im doing’ . Other drivers question a decision and get accused of throwing their toys out/being a diva/ has a rubbish haircut ergo…. Its boring and theres the usual caveat that they ‘really respect X but…’ yeh right.

        1. @amam

          The radio is way more upsetting to hear drivers being told how to drive and what to do next with their cars, than any so called ‘tantrums’
          Alonso was too nice to Honda. Hamilton and his races would be more entertaining if he could make the choices.
          These drivers all use far worse language in the garage.

  4. For reference, here are the sunset times for each day of December in Shanghai:
    And here’s how the temperatures were there last December, and again for each day:
    Why even bother pondering something that couldn’t happen anyway. Postponing the Chinese GP with this little notice isn’t any more achievable than swapping slots with a late-season venue or replacing China’s original slot with a venue currently not in F1. Not only the temps (and sunset-times), but add to that, Abu Dhabi wouldn’t be happy about that either since they’ve (reportedly at least) paid to have the season-finale status. Everyone should just face the fact that it’s either everything going ahead as scheduled or no Chinese GP at all for the 2020 season, no other options available at this short notice for several reasons. It isn’t rocket science.

    I share the same views with the COTD on Zandvoort withholding data from teams although I wouldn’t worry about a repeat of the 2005 Indianapolis US GP.

  5. Horner doing his thing, whatever suits him.

    1. Yup giving his opinion which is usually quite agreeable. I would debate him slightly on one point though. I’m not convinced LH would need a massive massive raise in order to stay at Mercedes, like the 60 mill that is being rumoured. Oh sure I would understand if he and/or his people would want to try for that, and why Mercedes would pay that too, but if Horner is right and even mighty Mercedes needs to start penny pinching, I’m sure LH would take less (more of the same as opposed to a big raise) to stay with his family in what should continue to be an extremely strong car going forward. Ie. I don’t see LH needing to strong arm Mercedes nor they needing to strong arm LH, and I’m sure they will come to an easy and friendly agreement on terms.

      1. Somehow I doubt money will ever be a serious issue. Even if Lewis’ salary demands are pretty high, I’m sure he’s still worth every penny. It’s not difficult to imagine that the advertising budget would have to be stretched more than a little bit in order to get the same exposure they get by having Lewis in the car. Like him or loathe him, he’s box office. F1 will be in a conundrum when it comes to Hamilton’s retirement as well, especially when it comes to their online presence. They can’t pay for that kind of exposure.

  6. Thanks for the COTD :)

    Nice to see that IndyCar will be streaming the test sessions as well. While they will most likely be extremely boring to watch (if last year’s F1 testing is a valid comparison), it will be nevertheless something that people might tune into.

  7. Hamilton left everyone speechless in 2009. The worst title defense ever. The worst half season for a driver with the most powerful engine.
    After such an impressive debut, the following few years are almost censored by his fans and the pundits who continue to over-hype the sport.
    1 title in 6 years. Yes in context of the hype…..speechless.

    1. @bigjoe I know you’re just trolling and that I’m feeding your desire to annoy people, but even for you this is dumb beyond belief. The 2009 car was horrible yes, but Hamilton was great in 2009.

      It’s not Hamilton’s fault that the tik-tok model McLaren was using wih two design teams resulted in them having such major performance swings.

      The car was an utter drama, but Hamilton magaged to get some great results with it. Plus he managed to help the team turn around the design and he actually managed to win races with that dog.

      It’s actually in seasons like 2009 that Hamilton showed how great he is. Even with sub par machinery.

      1. Very. Well. Said.

      2. Actually, Hamilton did not have a great season at all in 2009. Lied in Australia, spun 3 or 4 times at shanghai, crashed at qualifying in Monaco, spun at Silverstone, running over the front wing of Webber in Nurburgring, crashed out at Belgium and Monza.

        He made a ton of mistakes that year, as he did in 2008, and was flattered by a very weak Kovalainen along side him. It has only been since his Mercedes-term he stopped making those mistakes and even as close as Brasil 2019 showed that he will still make them if he is really fighting for it.

    2. Just ignore these people who are only interested in provoking others . If you ignore them they will soon enough crawl back under the rock from whence they came.

    3. @bigjoe Oh and “The worst title defense ever” must be going from being WDC in 2013 and being utterly trashed by your team mate in 2014.

  8. Lewis getting his 6th title just undermines the greatness of both Schumachers 7 titles, and also his own 6. It’s just all the more clear it’s so much about having the far superior car. It’s just like Max said. When you go 90-95% you don’t make as many mistakes. And it gives you the ability to shine the times you’re actually on a great day. And still win when you’re not.
    Rosberg beat Hamilton. Rosberg was never concidered amazing. Still isn’t somehow even though Hamilton is considered god, and Rosberg beat him once and came very close the other times.

    1. @Initially

      Rosberg beat Hamilton. Rosberg was never concidered amazing. Still isn’t somehow even though Hamilton is considered god, and Rosberg beat him once and came very close the other times.

      Rosberg was defeated 3 out 4 seasons as team mates. If you want to be pedantic you can go all the way back to karting.

      It’s just like Max said.

      Is this the same Max who was defeated by Ricciardo twice? “Max was beaten by a nobody” to quote the great Niki Lauda despite Ricciardo not having his speed. Least we forget- even Albon was comparing favourably against Max heading into the penultimate race so give me a break.

      When you go 90-95% you don’t make as many mistakes.

      Convenient excuse for Verstappen and his fans. In Brazil Max tangled with Ocon needlessly while strolling to a win with the best car on that weekend.
      In Mexico Max threw away a stellar pole by not lifting and having the arrogance to tell the stewards how to police his error.

      Ultimately Max has alot of growing up to do- Lewis is the finished article.

    2. @Initially

      “It’s just like Max said. When you go 90-95% you don’t make as many mistakes”

      I don’t necessarily agree with what Max said. If you look at Hamilton, he made his fewest mistakes when he’s had little or no car advantage (2017 & 2018). The Ferrari cars were on par with the Mercs in 2017 & 2018, yet Hamilton hardly put a foot wrong. Not sure why Max’s words should be seen as gospel..he seems to take every opportunity to take cheap shots at Hamilton. I think it’s important to offer alternative views to Max’s:

      “For the first time in the hybrid era the Silver Arrows were up against an opponent, in the shape of Ferrari, that was usually stronger, especially in the first half of the season. However, over the course of the year, Hamilton hardly put a foot wrong, winning not only the races he should have, but also some where the opposition was stronger, and that is the true mark of a champion” ( Ross Brawn on Hamilton’s 2018 title)

      “Hamilton’s made fewer mistakes. The last mistake I can think of from Hamilton was in Brazil last season(2017)I think he’s driving at his best and he’s still improving. You can’t argue about that. He’s beaten his team-mate fair and square, and he’s beaten Vettel, who has had a faster car through much of the year, fair and square.(Martin Brundle, after Hamilton wins 2018 title)

      “Looking at Lewis’ season, I respect that. For sure he had a good car but I think Seb’s car was also as good and Lewis maintained a cooler head and a better level of consistency and composure. You have to respect that. In the heat of battle, he was always very calm and he drove a very good season.”(Daniel Ricciardo on Hamilton’s 2017 title)

      I think Max is becoming increasingly jealous of Lewis’s success

    3. In the same vein, Irvine beat Schumacher. Worse still Rosberg beat Schumacher 3 seasons in a row! Even though:

      Rosberg was never concidered amazing

      Also, Schumacher only won because he had the best car with the biggest budget and access to constant testing on their own track. Plus the backing of the FIA/FOM to help when needed (including a 100million cheque every year)

      It’s just like Max said. When you go 90-95% you don’t make as many mistakes.

      So why doesn’t he or Vettel do just that if it’s so easy? Why does Verstappen waste about half of the opportunities for a race win every season again (this season Hungary and Mexico)? Vettel even more.

      Besides, if Hamilton was actually taking it easy he wouldn’t win all those races where the opposition was actually in the faster car like Bahrain, Canada, Hungary, Russia and Mexico. Or for that matter Monaco where they gave him tyres which would last 50 laps on a 66 lap stint. Hamilton made it work anyway. OK he complained, but he got it done.

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