Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2020

Hamilton ‘not competitive to the point of being nasty, unlike some’ – Cowell

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In the round-up: Mercedes’ managing director of High Performance Powertrains Andy Cowell, who is due to leave the team at the end of the year following a highly successful spell overseeing their V6 hybrid turbo project, heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton when asked to compare him to other drivers he as worked with such as Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.

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Comment of the day

John doubts the coming change to engine power modes will do much to level the playing field:

I can see this is going to end up an anti-climax.

Most likely Mercedes will just even out the power delivery which will still leave them with the most powerful power unit and as well proven the most reliable. With all of the power unit manufacturers being able to work around the ban probably in a similar way but not being able to match the current Mercedes.

Overall change: zero.
JohnH (@Johnrkh)

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On this day in F1

  • 25 years ago today Michael Schumacher won the Belgian Grand Prix from 16th on the grid, while Damon Hill took second off Martin Brundle on the final lap

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  • 68 comments on “Hamilton ‘not competitive to the point of being nasty, unlike some’ – Cowell”

    1. I agree with the COTD (@Johnrkh). I’m looking forward to reading the FIA’s Technical Directive about this.

      1. yes @drycrust me too. They’re going to have to work on defining a ‘mode’ I think, as also the obvious thing is to have a detent on the pedal so that ‘mashed into the bulkhead’ is basically all-there-is mode and up to the detent is race settings.

      2. As those are never published for the public to read, the most you might get will be whatever extracts are leaked to the press.

        Zann, your proposal will not work as the throttle map must be entirely linear and cannot be used to activate any special modes.

        1. Already is clear this td is only for the Ice.
          The ers system will follow.
          And it is not aimed at Mercedes but more a follow up on the Ferrari “cheat”.

        2. Yes linear, that’s a problem, but still they could have the actual throttles only 97% open along with sustainable harvesting etc etc at the detent? Then by the time the throttles are 100% open it’s full deployment, full fuel flow etc etc. The modes can be not ‘special’ but part of the map, depending on definitions. Who knows but they’ll be thinking creatively about it, I don’t suppose it’s going to change the pecking order really.

        3. Thanks for alerting me to the FIA’s confidentiality clause on their Technical Directives. I had done a search on their latest release of the F1 rules and couldn’t find anything related to “engine modes”, and wondered why. I hope fans will demand publication of that directive if someone is punished.

    2. Rather than banning Party Modes, the FIA needs to completely simplify Engine modes for next season and beyond. Currently there are hundreds of tiny nuances of power delivery that the drivers have to scroll through, just listen to the mess on Hamilton’s radio at Baku in 2016 to see it in full.

      There needs to be a ruling to say “You are allowed 5 engine modes only.” and leave it at that. Teams can do whatever they want, but like gear ratios, they all have to be declared beforehand and can’t be changed throughout the season. it will make it an awful lot simpler for the drivers and fans to understand and not lead to ridiculous situations like this pointless Party Mode ban.

      Whether they would then decide to put lights to indicate which mode a driver is in like in Formula E is another discussion that could go along with this, but at least we won’t have to hear rubbish like “Magic 23” or “Scenario 7” on the radio. Just force the teams to refer to them as Modes A-E and leave it at that.

      1. Sounds like a good idea to me

        1. Will never happen then. This is F1 anything sensible never get done. Simples.

      2. Impossible to police.
        Everyone is running near perfect maps, every single square inch of the track is mapped into the software, the hybrid effectively enable these driver aids, if you have wheelspin it is not your right foots fault, it is just a glitch in the matrix.
        banning q modes, is impossible to police, you can just claim all are race modes but elect to use ones just in Q.
        the problem with the party mode is the in and out lap, they are exploiting the fuel flow and deployment to the max

        1. The knowledge of some posters here amuses me greatly.

      3. Simple, ban pit to car radio.

        1. @velocityboy This was the case for quite a big extent back in 2016 until Hungary.

    3. Because it’s not necessary for him to do so. If you remember the last race of 2016, what he did to create a opportunity for Seb to overtake Nico to let him win a championship. You would know that they are the same. Same hunger.

      1. I personally cannot fault Hamilton for that one. At the end of 2016 Hamilton was doing everything he could to win the championship by trying to back Rosberg up, to not do that would have cheapened Rosberg’s victory by handing it to him. What I find inexcusable is deliberately crashing out your main championship rival, blocking the track during qualifying at Monaco or having a team that won’t even allow the ‘number 2’ driver to win 6 races into the season.

      2. Jose Lopes da Silva
        27th August 2020, 6:43

        He didn’t even really brake-tested nor threatened Rosberg in anyway. It was totally legitimate.
        Moreover, I still think that Vettel refused to pass to protect his four 4-time winner status.

        1. I still think that Vettel refused to pass to protect his four 4-time winner status.

          He seems to be still protecting it; refusing to seize any opportunity for a fifth title ;)

          1. @coldfly Rosberg would have won the title even if Vettel had managed to get past. So it wouldn’t have made a difference, unless Verstappen was also able to overtake.

          2. Oof! That’s some damage right there.

    4. The regulation of Qualifying or Party Modes is not likely to end well.
      So you limit engine modes, but what is it that is being controlled?
      Fuel flow is fixed, revs don’t matter because the fuel flow is fixed. Air flow can be adjusted through the MGUH and K but at the expense of electrical storage and heat load in the IC unit. Possibly greater boost will result in a thermodynamic efficiency gain, but without a fuel flow increase, very limited scope there.
      The fact that some teams have developed multiple modes, be they for max engine life, max power, efficiency (fuel saving)
      or to store up electrical energy, this is F1. They should be rewarded for excellence in design. They are working within the rules to win and everyone wants to win.
      Expectation is that teams will replace engine modes with something else … “oh that knob, that is to regulate Boost Pressure, Intercooler Bypass, Max Revs, or any of a number of similar back-handed alternative to Engine Modes.
      Suggestion, leave it alone. It will be an expensive regulation to police, of limited effectiveness and just another bunch of rules for an already over restricted sport.

      1. @rekibsn
        I agree that that great innovation should be rewarded, but at the same time cheating must be policed.

        The rule change is not aimed at limiting or changing performance or removing innovation gains, (loss or gain, is a consequence, not an intention).
        The intention is to simplify the tech to enable the FIA to better police potential cheating, as they are unable to monitor what teams are doing in these extremely high tech complicated setup. Yes teams will come up with other ways to increase performance, but maybe those will be easier to monitor/police.
        I.E. Enabling the FIA to have a BETTER chance of ensuring that everyone is playing fair.

      2. Agreed @rekibsn!

        I nominate you to run the FIA. From the comfort of your own home, of course.

        1. I second that.

    5. I honestly believe there are teams cheating/stretching the rules. Changes like this will eventually reveal the truth, just like how Ferrari’s power unit suddenly became average

    6. Banning the “party mode” is a stupid as saying you want to ban full power.
      The engine modes are for efficiency and reliability. They asked for reliability by enforcing the multi race engines and now are saying engines must fail or be inefficient.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        27th August 2020, 13:33

        It will affect reliability more than performance and this won’t be even across engine manufacturers. It could be a regulation change that cripples Renault and Honda. It will also affect overtaking but it’s not clear to what extent. I guess we are about to find out.

    7. The “some” Andy refers to Is the unpopular viewpoint that Senna just might have been that Nasty guy he refers to.

      1. Don’t forget Schumacher H67. And Prost had quite a few tricks up his sleeve too. Or what about Piquet, …

        1. But in the interview he was asked to compare Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton, as he worked with them. He did not directly, but did say that bit @bascb about how pleasant it was to work with Hamilton that way.

      2. Well he would be more likely be talking about Schumacher then. Blocking team mates from even their own telemetry and such.

        1. As well as the frequent bumper cars.

    8. Lewis has not had a real challenger other than Nico. Relationship with Nico went bad, both to blame.
      If Lewis was in a real scrap for the title he might get a little nasty. Those denying it, he did when Nico was running second and he tried to push him back into the chasing pack, not against the rules, just not racing in a sporting manner. Argue till your blue, it is what happened.

    9. It’s easier to be squeaky clean when your car is clearly the fastest for 7 years.

      No, Lewis shows his frustrations with passive aggressive radio calls to his team and his nauseating pantomimes on social media.

      1. Cornelius Rowbarton
        27th August 2020, 8:24

        Exactly, I do not see the same Lewis everyone else sees, I think he chats rubbish, is melodramatic and he seems to call foul play every time he looks like he is about to be beaten. Before COVID, he’d subtley gatecrash the qualifying interview for other top 3 drivers, was so annoying.

        Ultimately he is in that monster of a car because someone at Mercedes was privvy to the rules change and got a prototype on the dyno way ahead of any other team, they got a headstart through circumstance. THAT is what Lauda told Hamilton in 2012 and what Rosberg didn’t know.

        Right place, right time, welcome to life.

        1. [FX: Violin plays in background]

          He’s in that car because he’s one of the greatest drivers F1 has seen. Simples.

        2. Hamilton is so lucky @Cornelius Rowbarton ! I remember back to 2012 when Mercedes picked the winner out of a hat. Can’t believe Hamilton got it. It should have gone to a world champion who’s dedicated his life to F1 and won in almost everything he’s raced in! Hamilton was so lucky to be picked over you or me. I wish you all the luck for the next Mercedes draw when Hamilton or Bottas retire.

        3. Cornelius Rowbarton, no, Mercedes were not “privvy to the rules change” – or, at least, no more than any other manufacturer was at the time, given that the initial technical proposal was put forward by Renault and the final rules were agreed in a series of workshops run by the Technical Working Group – it was the public nature of those workshops which first indicated Honda was going to return to F1, given that they were a registered participant in those talks.

          Secondly, the claim that they “got a prototype on the dyno way ahead of any other team” is also contradicted by the fact that the first known single cylinder bench test models – which is the first step to verifying the concept – were undertaken by Renault, with Mercedes starting after Renault did.

          I know that there are those who want to try and claim that there is a conspiracy theory, perhaps because it is preferable to believe that than the alternative – which is that their favourite manufacturer or team screwed up. The problem is that those theories run counter to the information that we have and the sequence in which we know events occurred.

        4. Compare the worst that Lewis has done since he has been on the grid to Schumacher in his prime. That should answer that question.

      2. Yes he is very lucky and didn’t work for it at all. He was very lucky that Lauda and Brawn spoke to him and not another driver, nothing to do with his driving up until 2012. All about luck.

        1. Cornelius Rowbarton
          27th August 2020, 11:09

          Yep, sorry I stand by that, he is very lucky indeed.

          Lucky Massa had an engine failure at Hungary 3 laps from the end, lucky Glock made that tyre choice and the weather turned how it did and lucky that Ferrari bodged that pit stop at Singapore!

          Otherwise he would have been the twice nearly man after he handed the title on a silver plate to Kimi the year before. Sorry, he is massively overrated IMO and in the best car with a compliant team mate and if Mercedes hadn’t started their development before everyone else, things could be very different.

          1. Cornelius Rowbarton – If’s and but’s work both ways. Hamilton had his own bad luck in 08 too. If Mclaren didn’t bodge his strategy in China 07 he’d have an extra Championship. If his engine didn’t fail in Malaysia 2016 he’d have another one… Cry about Massa, cry about Glock but the race is the race and the results are final.

          2. Was he lucky that Massa couldn’t keep his car pointing forward in Silverstone and Malaysia and was gifted points in Spa in a race where he was no where to be seen as well?

          3. Otherwise he would have been the twice nearly man after he handed the title on a silver plate to Kimi the year before. Sorry, he is massively overrated IMO

            I’m sure the racing world is now queuing up for your opinion.

          4. Lewis Hamilton overated. He has been labelled as many things but not heard that one before. Still, you heard it here 1st folks.

      3. @joshgeake He didn’t have the fastest car in 2017 and 2018 for sure. Even in 2019 it was much closer than the poor results of the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers would lead you to believe. Like in Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Hungary, Russia, Japan and Mexico where Mercedes would not have been expected to win. Yet mostly Hamilton did.

        Hamilton is never as repugnant to his team over the radio as Verstappen or Vettel. Besides, Hamilton might complain that they left him on the wrong strategy, but he often then wins anyway Monaco and Hungary 2019. It’s just part of his process. Deal with it.

        They have great banter about these things afterwards with the team too. The strategists know they did him wrong and they know they ow Hamilton an apology and gratitude for overcoming their mistakes.

        1. proud_asturian
          27th August 2020, 12:51

          Hi Toto, nice try, but nobody believes your lies

        2. Hamilton is never as repugnant to his team over the radio as Verstappen or Vettel.

          I found his quip about RBR tyre pressures in the 70th anniversary GP particularly nasty and unsporting

    10. I like that for Cowell doing something that uses his great skills but is more relevant to the world in general, like the ventilator project, fires up his juice. I would think that he won’t be going with any of the other teams (at least for the next few years). Afterall, what does he have to prove himself in F1/Motorsport?

      I hope to see him prosper in helping turn that skillset into something that benefits the greater good of humankind.

    11. A real shame we never got to see what Lohr could have done in an F1 car

    12. Baffling comment from Cowell after Hamilton insinuated Mercedes were deliberately sabotaging him with engine failures.

      1. Yes baffling. I definitely trust your judgement on this matter over Cowell. Hamilton is clearly a nasty piece of work.

      2. @balue And he implied rb cheated in silverstone saying they were running lower tyre pressures.

        1. @peartree He didn’t. He was wondering how they kept the tyre pressures so low while racing.

          1. Hence the word ‘implied’!

            1. Yes, I thought he implied that the RB was not overheating the tyres, but looking after their tyres better and thereby running with a lower tyre pressure. Hence why he adopted similar tactics at the next race and got pole and a win from it.

      3. @balue He didn’t, but yeah people wondered why Hamilton had gone through many of his engine parts before Spa (causing him to start that race from the back also) and then one more blew up again in Malaysia. With no issues on the other side.

        But then Hamilton is always the lucky guy.

      4. Baffling comment from Cowell after Hamilton insinuated Mercedes were deliberately sabotaging him with engine failures

        This is what we experts call a massive lie

        1. That’s of course ‘we the Hamilton fans’ -experts, right? lol. Is that the same experts who consistently determined as fact that the team was sabotaging Hamilton for years whenever there was a team or tech mishap to the point where the Mercedes team boss had to come out and call you lunatics?

          As for the facts that you the ‘experts’ again didn’t know about or simply lie you don’t know about, Hamilton said after Malaysia 2016: “We have so many engines for eight drivers and mine are the only ones failing,” “Someone has to give me some answers because it is just not acceptable.” “To be fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing just doesn’t sit right with me.” “Something or someone doesn’t want me to win this year”

          1. Yes Lewis did go a bit Senna-like mystic didn’t he, after that string of 5 or 6 technical problems that handed the championship to Rosberg. But for them he’d be 7x wdc already. He was pretty cool in 2007 tho, when that string of team strategy cockups and the gearbox cost him that wdc, which would’ve put him on 8, with 9 coming up :)

    13. The drivers are generally all the same regarding competitiveness – they are all friends until they are competing against each other at the front and then they fall out. When Hamilton has had someone fighting him for a title, he’s reacted just the same as most of the other drivers on the grid would – no better, no worse.

      It’s easy to look at the last few years where he’s had no competition and say he’s not competitive to a fault but things certainly got a bit nasty at times against Rosberg, Vettel, Alonso and Massa.

      1. @petebaldwin Hamilton reacts a lot better. Rosberg was behaving nasty yes, like ramming Hamilton in Spa and that stunt he pulled in Monaco. What did Hamilton ever do wrong?

    14. Quote “Hamilton’s largest smallest margin was at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he won by 0.439 seconds as he slowed down in an unsuccessful attempt to allow other drivers to catch and pass Rosberg in one last attempt to win that year’s title.”
      is that sporting behaviour?

      1. Misprint, the word largest should not be there, this article was about his largest margin of victory (Over a minute) and smallest margin as above.

    15. Damn Andy, when’s the wedding?

    16. How does Gasly suddenly look so tanned, LOL? He didn’t look that tanned during the six events thus far nor even after his two-month refuge stay in Dubai.

    17. Something not mentioned here since this has pretty much just happened over here in the US. But yesterday several sports teams and athletes decided to walk off the field in protest to the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Wisconsin this week causing cancellations or forfeits in several Sports.
      I don’t really see it happening but I wonder what Lewis will do. He can afford walking away for a race without giving up his championship lead.
      F1 doing their regular promo to end racism and the drivers stand and kneel against racism and inequality might not be enough anymore for Hamilton.
      He might still have the hunger to win every race and win championships but I think the more unjust and unnecessary events stemming from law enforcement towards people of color happen, the more I can see him possibly divert his energy completely to the fight against things like that. But who am I? I can’t predict the future. I can only relate as a man of color seeing current events and attempts to bring change and awareness and continuing to not see any change, continuous unnecessary force being used by law enforcement people involved not being held accountable or as accountable as they should.
      Lewis will try to be a influential man after his F1 career to try and help bring change. A lot more than he is currently doing. He has enough support and resources to start and support a bigger movement and try and bring change peacefully.
      The question is when will he say, enough is enough.

      1. @us-brian That is a real dilemma for Hamilton I’m sure. I’m not sure what I’d do in his position. I do feel like him doing something as drastic as pulling out of a race wouldn’t have the desired effect in a sport like F1. Rather, there’d be a lot salty people cheering that development while completely ignoring the message. I think I’d prefer to see him continue to grab every record while kneeling with his fist in the air. The NBA is made up of primarily Black players. There’s no NBA without them. F1 would just pretend Hamilton never existed while slapping a few rainbow stickers on a few things to feel good about itself.

      2. In the end, Hamilton knows that F1 affords him a platform like no other. For his message to go out, he HAS to remain in F1, has to be winning, has to have the spotlight on him. Quitting F1 won’t do it for him right now – the sport would go back to one with 100% Caucasian drivers, FIA would make some noises about diversity, the little Englander fans would be in delirium because Russell would be their new Jenson Button, and all would be forgotten rather swiftly.
        Annoyingly for his detractors, therefore, Hamilton is going nowhere any time soon. And will keep winning, by all indications. And highlighting the diversity issues in his sport.

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