Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Istanbul Park, 2020

Hamilton was “impeccable” in “not the best car” – Wolff

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton produced a flawless performance in a car which was not the quickest on the day to win the Turkish Grand Prix, says his team principal Toto Wolff.

He said Hamilton, who is yet to sign a new contract to drive for the team in the 2021 F1 season, “just got really more expensive today”.

“His driving was impeccable,” said Wolff. “There was not one thing, not one foot he put wrong today whilst everybody else did. With a car that was, today, the interaction with the tyres, for sure not the best car.”

Asked how long he expects Hamilton to extend his contract with the team for, Wolff said: “I see us going for a while.”

Hamilton briefly moved up to third place at the start but ran wide and fell back to sixth. From there he gained places from other drivers who spun or made more than one pit stop. After his sole stop, to change to intermediate tyres, Hamilton passed Sergio Perez to take the lead.

“The tyres went through different phases,” Wolff explained. “You could see that most of the people who bolted on a new set of intermediates and pushed very hard had graining after a couple of laps only. And from then on the tyre didn’t recover.

“Lance [Stroll] was leading the race solid and put on the new tyre, which I think at that time was the right strategy, and just dropped back. And the same with Max [Verstappen].

“I think took what made the difference was that Lewis kept it on the road through the difficult phase at the beginning where our car was not competitive. He just stayed there and then eked out the advantage over our competitors, was there when it mattered and understood the tyre, understood how to drive the tyre to go fast and make it last.”

Hamilton has now equalled the record for most world championship victories scored by a Formula 1 driver. “He ranks in terms of his record on Michael’s level in terms of driver world championships and is the absolute record holder in pole positions and race victories,” said Wolff.

“Today he cemented his position amongst the all-time best sportspeople in the world.”

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Dieter Rencken
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34 comments on “Hamilton was “impeccable” in “not the best car” – Wolff”

  1. Mercedes so much quicker when the track dried and tyres went bald. He blasted past Perez and then put 20 seconds on him. Early on when it was wet Hamilton was nowhere he was stuck behind Vettel for many laps.

    1. You’re trying really hard… even Max admitted (and it was clear to see by those who understand racing) that overtaking was next to impossible, because there was only one racing line. Drivers like Max & Hamilton couldn’t employ their usual bag of tricks (alternate lines, braking points etc) because there was no grip anywhere other than the racing line. Max found that out when trying to pass Checo & Lewis found out when he was trying to get around Seb. Max spun, Lewis ran wide. After that, he dropped back to his customary 2.5 – 3 second gap when extending a stint & looked after his tires. Once in clear air, Hammer Time.

      1. Well Max lost about a 10 seconds on that spin + one extra stop which equals about a half a minute. But it was his mistake and when Hamilton in his own level nobody can make any mistakes to be able to beat him.

    2. The track never “dried.” People were skidding off on the last lap.

    3. RED BULL had the best car over the weekend. Max blew it

      1. On wets and slicks. Not on inters. The race was run on inters for 50 laps. It also seemed his front wing was out of aligment setup wise, which then resulted in tires getting worked more. He had horrible traction out of corners, losing 6-7 tenths on a straight. But mid corner, the RB was very fast. Only bad thing is that he never had free air. The one weekend Mercedes dropped the ball, the weather gods decided not to help.

    4. One of the Mercedes was so much quicker.

      The other one finished 14th.

      1. @markzastrow ironically Bottas posted a faster lap in the race than Hamilton so pace wasn’t the issue but mistakes and consistency.

      2. Bottas had a damaged car and is a very poor driver in the wet.

        Don’t forget the car is built around Hamilton.

        1. Think you are confused with Redbull. Every weekend you can’t be sure if Lewis will be ahead or bottas will be wualofying ahead.

          But at the Redbull side, Albon is always forced to adapt to max’s Car. And they finished p6 and p7 on a day they should have got p1 and p2.

    5. I don’t think you are allowed to make that much sense on here. Drink the koolaid.

  2. Very hard to say Mercedes was. Not the fastest car on track, the moment inters got some heat he was in another league… His usual league of one.

    Before that however he bided his time behind Vettel masterfully, even giving us some great racing.

    His win today was quite fun and enjoyable to watch unlike usually.

    1. Verstappen finished about 44 seconds behind Hamilton, which is the equivalent of 2 pit stops that matched the extra pit stops he made compared to Hamilton. Then he also lost about 10 seconds from his spin that flat spotted his tyres. His first extra pit stop was as a result of the flat spot from the spin and not as a result of wear.
      So Verstappen was obviously much faster at every point of the race besides when stuck in traffic as a result of his unscheduled pitstops

      1. Davethechicken
        16th November 2020, 9:04

        At lap 35, after Max spun, he was 17 sec behind LH with Fresher tyres.
        He finished 45 seconds behind.

        Lewis was cruising up front and Max was racing to catch up yet he still dropped off the radar.
        Make all the excuses you can, but the facts speak loudly.

        1. After 4-5 laps he got stuck behind Sainz. So much for the fresh tires.

          1. Why did he pit for a third time? Lewis pitted once. Max needed to (his second stop) after his mistake flat spotting his first inters. Why did he pit again when he had fresher tyres than Hamilton if he was faster? Sainz was behind him.
            It is a rhetorical question as he pitted because he was too slow to catch. He wasn’t able to control the car the same way Lewis was.
            I don’t understand why Max fans are so delusional, he ain’t all that good.
            I guess it is just the hype and the hope of someone different.
            Put Russell in the red bull and he would demolish Max.

  3. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    15th November 2020, 18:28

    In a car that’s looked nowhere near the pace wet or dry all weekend I was pretty surprised to see Hamilton grab P1 by 30s. Would have been more likely to put money on Stroll than Hamilton if you’d asked me at 10am this morning.

    An absolutely controlled drive which showed why he is so regarded.

    1. I think the reason why the other cars were faster was because Mercedes design relied on pace to generation downforce, also their cars are designed around their brakes, eg to take advantage of Hamliton’s late braking skills. This track went counter to that design philosophy. The Mercedes could not drive as fast or brake as late. The other ‘slower’ cars relied on other aerodynamic tricks to generate downforce in those slower corners [and very likely had their gear box setup to work better at lower revs].

      Fortunately Mercedes had the one think you can’t design. Driver Skill & Driver Experiance.

      1. Allastair Mitchell
        16th November 2020, 4:08

        I second that. Real masterclass. One if his best races. You don’t only win races with the “best” car.
        It was a privilege to witness what he has done over the years.
        On the day, he was impeccable.

  4. Lewis Hamilton. 307 points
    Joe Biden. 306 points

    1. Okay this one is like when a magician is trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat and instead a frog comes out.
      Made me laugh.

    2. Bottas is going to contest it in the courts.

      1. Allastair Mitchell
        16th November 2020, 4:10

        With his lawyer, Max

  5. Well done, indeed. But also cudos to Mercedes for calling the strategy right. Them and Perez were the only ones who didn’t panic when Ferrari started to undercut everybody.

    1. @roadrunner yet Mercedes were eager to do a cautionary pit stop for Hamilton at the end of the race, which Hamilton overruled. “Slicked” inters were much faster at that stage of the race than new inters, so they didn’t react to Ferrari but they might have been victims of their own caution.

      1. Well, they were discussing it and were ready just in case. I don’t think it would have done any damage with 2 laps to go. Nonetheless it was the correct call not to stop. But remember, in the earlier parts of the race when stuck behind Vettel, Hamilton was eager to pit but told not to do so.
        They made the correct decision three times out of three, therefore good teamwork.

  6. He certainly didn’t win because of the car being the best or not. Only overtook one car, hardly was the fastest guy on track on any moment as people were setting fastest laps left and right and dropping off right after. Took care of the tyres and finished the race on the oldest set of tyres of the whole field.

    The decision making, equipment management and supreme confidence won him this one.

  7. Yeah the race today was about who could make the least mistakes.

    This track from the ‘get go’ was always going to be skitich, and so Hamilton was content to use the others ahead of him as pace makers. To that end you have to see his qualifying yesterday as another element of that strategy. He used those ahead to judge the track. He could manage his tyres all the better from a distance, and not over brake, flat spot, or spin out. Later on when there was a bit more rubber on the track and a dryer racing line, he pushed the pace. There was a lot more to this race than normal, but the key was his patience at the start.

    As Toto said – he “just got really more expensive today”. Everyone out there will wants the qudos of multi world champion, I hope Hamilton remains humble with his latest achievements. Next season is when the real challenge begins.

  8. The claims that Stroll was favorite to win the race in a desperate bid to make it appear as if Hamilton won in not the fastest car is really low. Hamilton is driving the fastest car and that was evident from lap 21.

    1. Both Red Bulls were faster today, just the drivers lacked consistency and made too many mistakes to deliver the result. For all the pace Hamilton had, he only posted the 6th fastest lap.

      1. You need to learn what Formula 1 is about.
        A follower of F1 since early 60s. It is nothing to do with Fastest laps

        My family owned the land where Lewis learnt to race Karts

    2. You have to believe the words of a ‘Wolff’.
      Nonetheless it was still a top drive from a top driver among many others.

  9. RB had best car this weekend-Max fluffed pole and fluffed the race

  10. Astounds & still amazes me that so many folk on here just can’t accept that LH is as brilliant as he truly is.
    HELLO? 7th WDC. Car? Luck? Right team, right time? Yes his best ever decision in his career.
    This race showcased his supremacy in beyond tricky conditions.
    His skill on wet tracks has always been excellent. His tyre management & understanding is second to none.
    What a superb & thrilling way to seal & secure his 7th WDC!

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