‘I need that point, we’ve lost a ton’: Hamilton team radio transcript analysis

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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A frustrated Lewis Hamilton was mystified by a strategy which saw him start and finished seventh in Monaco despite two drivers retiring ahead of him.

His team radio messages from last weekend’s race reveal what he could see about his Monaco Grand Prix was going wrong, at why a strategy aimed at moving him up the order caused him to slip back.

Hamilton’s weekend began to go off the rails long before race day. According to the team’s strategy director James Vowles, Hamilton “was actually very happy” when practice began on Thursday, out-pacing team mate Valtteri Bottas and setting the third-quickest time overall.

But by qualifying two days later the tables had turned, Hamilton profoundly unhappy with his car’s balance as the track temperatures slipped from 50C to the mid-thirties. “Half a second’s a lot of time,” said a worried Hamilton on the radio when he checked his deficit after his first run. Despite further car changes, that gap was still there when the qualifying hour finished.

“We just weren’t able to get ourselves into the right working regime with the tyres and one of the drivers was just slightly happier than the other,” Vowles explained. “But neither [was] really working the tyres as effectively as we should.

“We tried a number of set-up items but one of the issues that you have in Monaco is that it is a confidence-builder. You need laps, you need consistent laps, you need confidence that the car is giving you everything you want out of it.

“If you can carry just a kilometre an hour or two more speed through turn one, two, three for example you generate just another temperature level, another degree or two which then gives you more grip through the next sequence. Conversely, if you don’t have confidence in the car and you don’t trust it, you go down the spiral in the other way and you lose grip.”

Unable to rectify that problem before the race, Hamilton lined up seventh on the grid. Despite pole-winner Charles Leclerc failing to take the start and Bottas, who also started ahead of him, dropping out before half-distance, an increasingly frustrated Hamilton could only finish where he started.

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Laps 1-21: In the queue

Sixth was as good as it got all day for Hamilton
With Leclerc failing to take the start, Hamilton immediately moved up from seventh to sixth. It was the highest he ran all day.

As early as lap 16 Hamilton was being asked for a “balance check” to provide feedback on how he wanted his front wing angle to be adjusted in the event of a sudden pit stop. At the previous Monaco Grand Prix a Safety Car period provoked teams to pit even earlier for their one stop of the day.

There were no such disruptions this time, however. Max Verstappen dictated the pace at the front of the field, Hamilton circulating some 15 seconds behind.

2BonningtonSo Vettel car behind Gasly, one second ahead.
2BonningtonGasly 1.2 ahead, Vettel 1.8 behind.
2BonningtonVerstappen leading doing 17.5.
3BonningtonAnd DRS has been enabled.
3BonningtonGasly 1.6 ahead, Vettel 2.4 behind.
4BonningtonAnd Gasly 1.5 ahead, Vettel 2.7 behind.
5BonningtonAnd Gasly, 1.6 ahead, 2.4 behind Vettel.
6BonningtonVerstappen doing 16.9.
6HamiltonIt’s hard to follow.
6BonningtonCopy that last message, Lewis just keep management up, there’ll be opportunities later.
6BonningtonGasly 1.6 ahead, Vettel 3.1 behind.
7BonningtonGasly 1.8, Vettel behind, 3.5.
8BonningtonVerstappen, 16.7.
8BonningtonAnd Gasly 2.1, Vettel 4.5.
9BonningtonLewis, if you can, let us know about the tyres.
9BonningtonAnd Gasly, 1.8, Vettel 5.4.
10HamiltonGaps opening up behind a lot?
10BonningtonAffirm, six seconds, Gasly, 1.3 ahead.
11BonningtonAnd Verstappen has just been told to pick up his pace. Last lap was a 16.9. See what he does this lap.
11BonningtonGasly 1.4, Vettel seven seconds behind.
11BonningtonVerstappen, 16.3.
12HamiltonThese guys are super-slow ahead.
12BonningtonOkay, copy.
12BonningtonLewis can you go menu dash position five, position five when you can.
13BonningtonAnd Gasly 1.6 ahead, Vettel, 6.5 behind.
14BonningtonVerstappen, 15.9.
14BonningtonAnd Gasly 1.9 head, Vettel 6.2.
15BonningtonGasly at 1.9 and Vettel 5.8 behind.
16BonningtonLewis can you give us a balance check, balance check.
16HamiltonPlus one hole.
16BonningtonOkay, copy.
16BonningtonAnd if you go menu dash position six, dash position six.
17BonningtonGasly two ahead, 5.5 for Vettel.
17HamiltonThe guys ahead of him pulling away quite a lot.
17BonningtonSo we’ve got Verstappen at 13 seconds, Norris is just picking up the pace. He’s 16.1, Verstappen a 15.8.
18BonningtonGap to Gasly at 1.8.
18BonningtonGasly at 1.8, Vettel 5.6.
19BonningtonLewis think about just increasing lift and coast turned 10 and turn three, just for the casing and brake temp.
19BonningtonGap at 1.1.
20BonningtonAnd Gasly 1.6, Vettel 4.5.
21HamiltonIt’s just so slow in front.
21BonningtonOkay copy.
21BonningtonLewis can we go HPP default zero one, HPP default zero one when you can.
21BonningtonGasly at 2.1.

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Laps 22-30 A gap opens up

Gasly’s rear wing became a familiar sight for Hamilton
Before the race began Mercedes discussed an ‘early’ first pit stop potentially around laps 18 to 20. Hamilton didn’t come in until lap 30 partly because there weren’t gaps behind him. At one stage he was told he would be pitting “pretty soon”, but wasn’t called in for eight more laps.

Eventually a gap behind them began to open up. Mercedes’ inclination at this stage was to leave Hamilton out and attempt to ‘overcut’ rivals ahead, a strategy which tends to work well for faster cars which qualify ‘out of position’, as successfully practised by Perez in the same race.

But with Pierre Gasly ahead of them staying out despite having a sufficient gap behind to emerge in, Mercedes realised they had to initiate the days’ pit stops.

“Relative to Gasly, we had been behind him all of that first stint and clearly we weren’t going to be able to overtake him on track,” Vowles explained. “There is only two possibilities: there is an ‘overcut’ whereby he stops first and you go longer, and an ‘undercut’. That’s very typical, and that’s all the choices we had available to us.

“The problem with an overcut is that doesn’t exist until Gasly stops. He has to stop to present an opportunity for us to have free air in front of us. He already had a gap to traffic behind, the same gap that we put Lewis into and he wasn’t taking it, which means he wasn’t terribly convinced that they had to stop first, they were waiting for us to stop. I am fairly confident had we waited a lap or two they still wouldn’t have stopped.”

22BonningtonOkay Lewis, it’s all going to start happening pretty soon, I think. Gaps are starting to appear.
23BonningtonSo Gasly at 1.9.
23HamiltonDo I need to close up?
23BonningtonNot just yet. Let’s just hold station.
23BonningtonLewis can you move HPP switch to position one, just at the default.
24BonningtonGasly at 1.7.
25HamiltonSeem to be losing power down the straights.
25BonningtonOkay, copy, looking into it.
25BonningtonGap to Gasly at 1.5.
26BonningtonLewis it won’t be long now. So just close that gap up, 1.3 at the moment.
28BonningtonOkay Lewis we’re seeing some…
28HamiltonCan I undercut him?
28BonningtonOkay, copy.
28BonningtonWe’re just keeping an eye on the gaps behind.
28BonningtonLewis we’re seeing other cars drop off with the front left graining, but then it cleans up, pace returns.
29BonningtonLewis so it won’t be long.
29BonningtonOkay Lewis box opposite Gasly, box opposite Gasly.
29BonningtonStart mode 11, out-lap, critical.
30BonningtonWatch yellow line on exit.

L30-32: The early stop backfires

Gasly pitted on the lap after Hamilton and the Mercedes driver failed to find enough pace on his new tyres to ensure he came out ahead.

Hard tyres didn’t provide the immediate pace Hamilton needed
“It wasn’t an easy undercut, but it was an achievable undercut,” said Vowles. He admitted the team were slightly in the dark about whether Hamilton would be quick enough to jump ahead of Gasly by pitting before him.

“In Monaco, compared to other tracks, we don’t really have enough information to properly define that. The hard tyre wasn’t used in [second practice], last time we used it was in [first practice] on Thursday and there was no data from 2019 so it’s a little bit of interpolation, a lot of interpolation in fact, as to what would have happened with that hard tyre on the out-lap.

“As things ended up, Lewis came out under two tenths behind Gasly, it was incredibly tight and close but we were wrong, we didn’t undercut. The difficulty of warming that hard tyre on the out lap was such that we didn’t complete it.”

30BonningtonSo Gasly in the pits now.
31HamiltonHow am I still behind him, man? Come on.
32BonningtonMay have traffic on pit exit. Valtteri is out race.
32HamiltonWhat just happened guys? I just lost two places.
32BonningtonCopy Lewis. Just reviewing it now.

Laps 33-37: Gasly costs Hamilton more places

Hamilton pitted with three seconds in hand over Vettel and four over Perez. Yet both used the very ‘overcut’ Mercedes hopes to wield in order to gain places from him.

They also got ahead of Gasly, whose slow pace compromised Hamilton badly. The pair started laps 31 and 32 separated by less than half a second.

“Gasly, when he came out, didn’t have Lewis’ pace,” said Vowles, “he was several seconds off and he pulled Lewis back relative to Vettel who, whilst he wasn’t quick, he was quick enough to get the overcut on both of those drivers.”

33HamiltonI don’t understand, guys. Saved the tyres to go longer. You had me stop before everyone.
33BonningtonYeah copy Lewis, understood last message, need to review that. Go to strat mode seven when you can.
33BonningtonLewis we’re under threat of losing position to Perez as well. Sorry about that.
34HamiltonI’ve lost position to Perez?
34BonningtonHe is yet to stop. Currently doing 14.6.
36HamiltonOkay so what finishing position is it looking like I’m going to have then?
36BonningtonCurrently looking…
36HamiltonGot me just…
36BonningtonCurrently P7 Lewis, P7. And all cars ahead have stopped now.
37BonningtonSo Perez is up ahead?
37BonningtonAffirm currently Perez P4.

Laps 38-66: Missed messages

Part of the reason Hamilton was so frustrated with his strategy was he was under the mistaken belief he would have been in a much stronger position had he not pitted when he did. “I didn’t really have any tyre deg today,” he said after the race. “I was just stuck behind [Gasly].”

However during the race it was pointed out to him that his first set of tyres were badly worn on the rear when he pitted. He appears not to have heard this message, much as he missed an earlier one on lap 32 telling him his team mate had retired.

Radio communications are not always clear, and around a lap as busy as Monaco it’s easy for drivers to miss messages.

On this occasion Hamilton was being told there hadn’t been sufficient life in his tyres for an ‘overcut’ strategy to be particularly effective.

“He had done a really good job of saving his front tyres, they were in a quite good state,” said Vowles, “but the rear wasn’t, the rear was somewhat akin to where Valtteri’s was and that would have been a problem.

“Extrapolating a bit because obviously none of us know, I think we could have done a couple more laps but certainly we wouldn’t have done ten more.”

38HamiltonWhere’s Valtteri?
38BonningtonSo Valtteri out the race, problem at the pit stop.
42BonningtonLewis first sets were rear-left limited, rear-left limitation.
44BonningtonGasly opened up to 3.1.
44HamiltonThere’s no point getting any closer.
44BonningtonOkay, copy. Gap at 3.5.
49HamiltonWhere is everyone in front of the Gasly? He is so slow.
49BonningtonVettel, 4.2 ahead of him.
49BonningtonGasly at least half second off the guys in front.
58HamiltonThere’s just no grip if you get too close.
58BonningtonOkay copy that Lewis. 20 laps remaining.
65BonningtonLewis we had track limits at turn 10 last lap. Current race situation, we have a free pit window behind, Stroll is about three seconds outside of that.
65BonningtonStroll currently on used soft, that gap may disappear.
65HamiltonWell, what’s your plan?
65BonningtonNothing at the moment we’re just keeping you updated. We’re going to have a look in a few laps time.
66HamiltonWell, don’t miss the opportunity to get fastest lap because I need that point. We’ve already lost a ton today.
66BonningtonCopy Lewis, yep, also opportunities around late Safety Cars.

Laps 67-71: A risky bid for a bonus

Hamilton’s pit stops went better than his team mate’s
Although Hamilton knew his team mate had retired, he wasn’t aware that it had been due to a problem at his pit stop, where the team failed to remove his front-right wheel. Had he known, he might have been less eager to return for a second set of fresh tyres to ensure he claimed the bonus point for fastest lap.

“I didn’t know what happened to Valtteri,” said Hamilton. “I had no clue until I got back.

“I didn’t even know he had stopped, I hadn’t heard he had stopped until quite late in the race, I just missed the message. But even then I didn’t know why he stopped. So for me it was just let’s not sit around and at least get this one extra point to minimise the damage.”

66HamiltonThere’s hardly anything left in these damn tyres.
67BonningtonOK, Lewis, if we close the gap up to Gasly, just give us a maximum margin, it won’t be long.
67BonningtonAnd box box, box box.
67BonningtonSo just watch the yellow line on exit. You’re going to have a Verstappen as the car behind. We don’t need to do the fastest lap immediately.
68BonningtonWe have 10 laps remaining.
68HamiltonSo you’re going to have to do it immediately?
68BonningtonYou don’t have to do it immediately. Do not have to do it immediately.
68BonningtonIf we just can just have a little bit more pace we can close the gap to Gasly.
69BonningtonWe have Verstappen four seconds behind, we don’t want to let that gap drop too much, otherwise we’ll get blue flags. Currently doing 14.8. He’s on a 35-lap used hards.
69BonningtonSeven and a half seconds ahead until three back-mark cars.
70BonningtonTsunoda three and a half ahead, got Tsunoda three and a half ahead. After him Latifi, then Russell.
71BonningtonAffirm. [Unclear]
71BonningtonYou are the fastest man on track.

Laps 71-78: Nothing to celebrate

Hamilton didn’t say anything on the radio after taking the chequered flag

Locked into seventh place, even taking the bonus point for fastest lap couldn’t stop Verstappen from taking the points lead away from him. With nothing to celebrate, Hamilton stayed after he took the chequered flag.

71HamiltonWhat’s the goal now?
71BonningtonGet through this backmarker traffic and then there’ll be time for another fastest lap attempt, we can give you the PU mode for that.
74HamiltonAm I at risk of losing that point?
74BonningtonWe don’t think so, the threat has dropped. You’ve got a 13 second gap ahead. If we did want to go again, it would be strat nine.
76BonningtonAnd two more laps.
EndBonningtonOkay Lewis that’s P7, it’s been a tough day mate, sorry about that. Been a bit of a shit weekend all round. But we’ll come back stronger. Just need to do an autopsy on this one and learn.
EndBonningtonIf you go to strat one please mate.

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90 comments on “‘I need that point, we’ve lost a ton’: Hamilton team radio transcript analysis”

  1. Yes, it was quite a struggle for Lewis this weekend. Doesnt happen very often. Cracks are starting to show?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      28th May 2021, 12:22

      I don’t think there are any cracks showing… He’s had the fastest car and a slow team mate for half a decade so he’s used to having things his own way. They can usually rely on the pace of the car to either control the race from the front or to use alternate strategies to jump themselves back up to the front.

      In this case, they didn’t have the fastest car and it happened to be at a track where you can’t overtake. Obviously having a bad weekend, for most drivers, is something that happens sometimes. For Lewis, it isn’t and therefore he reacted badly to it.

      They’ll be back out front in Baku and if they do have any issues, the straight line speed of the Mercedes will ensure they can recover easily.

      1. Have to agree with this. We all know that Mercedes have the best car and things will be back to normal in Baku. All this talk of Red-Bull being favourites is garbage.

        1. Seems like you have no place to hide. I thought you were fed up, but now I see you here and I’m gonna raise the ENEMY WARNING alarm.

        2. “hAvE tO Agree witH thIS. We all KnOW ThaT mErceDes HavE tHE BEST CaR and tHings WiLL bE BACk to NORmal in bAKu. aLL tHIs Talk of rEd-bUll BEing fAvouRITes IS GARBAgE.”

      2. Yeah, I would be surprised not to have Hamilton back to hammer home how good he and this team are come Baku.

    2. It was a struggle with the tyres.
      Not with anything else

    3. it’s the tyres. like merc said they were pretty hsppy on Thursday, I was sure pole was theirs but merc and Ham for once failed to master the tyres.

    4. Would you have preferred a monotone “oh dear” to things that went wrong? There arn’t any cracks forming, it was just a bad weekend and they know they’ll have to claw the lead back as the Red Bull is pretty quick and Ferrari is starting to show promise along with McLaren. They’ll be back at the sharp end come Baku.

      1. Oh I am sure Merc will recover and easily claim both titles again this year, I am just observing some cracks that werent there in the previous 9 years. It provides hope on some others to be on the podium after years and years of Mercedes only

  2. If they were forced into an undercut by Gasly, maybe they should have let Hamilton on track for something like 5 more laps and – given Gasly still wouldn’t have pitted – put Hamilton on the mediums to give him a better chance of pulling off the undercut

  3. It would have been nice to not give the engineer the silent treatment at the end there. Hamilton is to blame for not qualifying higher on the Saturday, honestly his attitude this weekend was poor (speaking as a Hamilton fan). To me it shows Verstappen is getting to him, not the other way around.

    1. @john-h Other drivers have also done silent treatment post-race. Seb especially did so quite a few times last season.

      1. @jerejj well, Hamilton has become champion with this team 6 times and is still in a fair place to reach an eighth. Being in the car and having all those emotions? Ok. Being in front of the cameras and treating his team badly? Not ok.

      2. The seb example is very telling.
        Seb and the team did not worked together.

      3. and we all know how that relationship ended..

    2. Yeah. It’s also quite telling when he says “Well what’s your plan?”. I don’t blame him for reacting badly like this as he’s had things easy and all his own way for so long.

    3. Anon A. Mouse
      29th May 2021, 3:42

      Or it shows that drivers have emotions and deal with things in different ways.

  4. The way Hamilton spits his dummy out when things go wrong! Quote of all that team radio, lap 65:

    “Well, what’s your plan?”

    I just wish his engineer would sometimes be a bit more forthright with him!

    1. Seems like a reasonable question from Hamilton considering his engineer had just presented a problem to him by saying that they could pit without losing position, but they might not be able to do so soon if Stroll closed the gap. Hamilton can’t see how big that gap is, or what the risk is. He needs information he can act upon, or a concrete question that will inform the decision making on the pit wall. If the engineer had said: ‘We can stop and get fresh tyres for the fastest lap, but only this lap or the next, you think the pace is there?’ that would have given Hamilton something to work with. But they’ve been at this for a long time together (and clearly with good results) so maybe it’s just their way of talking.

  5. It’s the epitome of Merc’s strategy woes since Brawn left and Paddy took over. Understand they’ve been hugely successful but there’s a consistent deficit to Red Bull on strategy and pit stops.

    There seems to be no room in their process for common sense or intuition and an overreliance on hard data. Everyone knows that the overcut is preferred at Monaco which is a relatively smooth low tyre temp/deg circuit. Everyone knows that tyre warmup is difficult on that hard compound. Mercedes knew full well from quali that they weren’t able to heat up their fronts quickly or sufficiently enough and they’d have known from their projections that if it didn’t work it was game over in getting past Gasly and they’d be at risk of the overcut.

    I can’t understand why they’d take that gamble when the data, what there was, said it would be close and the consequences of not making it so dire. I shouted this at the tv whilst watching live as I’m sure plenty of others did. I like that Vowles provides these explanations but I can’t fathom that this didn’t come up in their prerace briefings/calculations, boggles my mind.

    1. Same. They have been conservative in their approach to strategy really. However, it was crystal clear that and undercut on hard tyres was going to demand a perfect accurate execution from Hamilton and the pit crew. The latter gave the former a 2.2 second stop. I would probably not say this if it was the Medium tyre, and if anything, this was the race they needed to fit the Mediums, not in 2019. They did the inverse of why was supposed to be done in 2019.

    2. @alec-glen Mercedes generally do a good job with the strategy I think, although it’s easy to be brilliant when the car is good. In Monaco the car was slow and apparently eating the tires, which limited their options. Still I think going for the undercut was a mistake, as the risk-reward ratio was low. In the ideal scenario, they would have won a position. In the worst-case scenario, well, that was the race. With the overcut they might have scored a good result, although they still required a lot of luck. I also don’t understand why they didn’t go for the yellow tires. Track position is everything in Monaco, speed doesn’t matter, unlike all other tracks. It’s almost as if Mercedes had the wrong mindset for this race.

    3. They have lucked into some amazing calls, but clearly, thinking on their feet and doing the right thing at those times has been beyond them since Brawn who was a master in strategy and eff you’ism in their attitude. Without data, they are all over the place and reacting to change has shown they can be a laughing stock.

      Toto and Ross would not have worked and I’m not sure the team would be as they are under Ross, who I think would have been much stricter and I do think the teamwork has been so incredible due to Toto’s work ethic.

      However, I REALLY miss seeing Brawn in charge of a team.

  6. Hamilton’s attitude has always been terrible, that is not new at all. However I thought (or perhaps, just hoped) after the first four races to finally see him grow up a little bit. Too bad he is back to his old self as soon as any setbacks occurred. He was way down on his teammate all weekend and he refuses to take responsibility for that.

    1. His attitude has always been terrible relative to who? I always thought Hamilton had one of the best attitudes of the current grid, only behind Ricciardo and Vettel. More recently Norris has been quite easy going and positive.

      I don’t agree he has always had a terrible attitude. I would go as far to say his off days are handled better than even some of the nicest guys on the grid.

      1. @gufdamm he DID have bad attitude against his team many times before, when things didn’t go his way.
        2012: after being beaten by Button in a race, he posted the team’s telemetry on Twitter. That info is strongly kept as a secret, but he gave it away while seeing red.
        2016: Implied his own team was somehow sabotaging him “only my engines have problems”, and then made his infamous comment of “you will read it in my book, 10 years from now”.
        If we haven’t heard any of his conspiracy theories recently is because Bottas is nowhere near his pace, so he is kept happy and the team is happy as well because Bottas, while not a superstar, is able to arrive second or take the win when things don’t go well for Hamilton.
        Now that a team is really challenging them after 2 easy years (2019 and 2020), he has returned to his old ways of throwing the team under the bus publicly.

        1. Keep in mind that I’m on the “bad attitude” camp, to make it simple, it’s easy to have a good attitude when things go well, it’s hard when things go badly, in any case I liked the telemetry thing, it was a sort of showing to fans that he’s not slower than button, and was interesting to see, I never saw a telemetry before that.

    2. Has it? I’m sure there are a few who have a problem with him, but he has some friends amongst the drivers, seems well respected by others working in F1, and even those in the press who are not Ham fans in the main say he is pleasant, polite, and takes the time to answer their questions.
      I would have thought at least one or two F1 journalists would have spilled the beans by now that in reality his attitude is always terrible.

    3. I unfortunately have to agree to this. Him needing mind games is another sign of his not so strong character. He sure can race though

  7. Obviously I’m biased as I’m a Ham fan but I’m really not seeing this.
    Ham gets a heap of info and says well; whats your plan and the eng says just keeping you updated.
    Last race Max gets a heap of info and gives the eng stick and says cant you see i’m harry flatters! And the eng says just keeping you updated.

    1. What language is this?

      1. English and perfectly understandable too @pascheli – “Harry Flatters” is a Motorsport slang for having ones foot to the floor – flat out.

        1. Apologies for my poor spelling – should have read @paeschli

      2. Motorsport language, as used by Hill, Clark and others whilst going full chat. The BHRC are holding this years Harry Flatters Rally on the 25th July.

  8. I think people might be reading a little bit more in this than they should. The top drivers are fed with a lot of info and trust the guys behind the screens to come up with a good strategy. As things were going poorly in the race, I think HAM just wanted to know if there was something they could still do to make it better. The fact that it sounded not very nice on the radio I can understand. It’s not that HAM was having the time of his life out there.

    1. Absolutely right – people are reading into it whatever suits their pre-decided opinions – no such thing as an open mind here :)

      Sometimes though we need to remember that a good team can have a bad weekend, and a driver can be a bit annoyed about it :)

      1. @ahxshades imagine if ham went full max over the radio, all haters around the world would bash him for years to come… i dont remember the last time he spoke a foul language, yet he gets the most hate… this max boy and some others always swore over the radio for anything, they are hailed as great entertainment. not sure people what people are watching seeing and hearing really? guess people really have so much hate for him that twists their hearing so bad that even if he says i love you, they take it as “F” words

        1. Well, that would be weird, swearing is just not the way hamilton reacts.

  9. RandomMallard (@)
    28th May 2021, 14:54

    I am not accusing Merc of cheating (far from it, I expect this has all been well managed), but I’m sure Horner will have something to say about this in Baku:

    71 Bonnington Get through this backmarker traffic and then there’ll be time for another fastest lap attempt, we can give you the PU mode for that.

    1. He’s talking about the entire PU, the restrictions are mostly about the ICE. Teams used to run with higher revs in quali and without harvesting energy. Those modes are ‘banned’, well, not technically, but they would drop back massively in the race if they used that in quali. They’re still allowed to play with deployment of energy.

    2. forget it, everyone knows that ban is a sham.

  10. Out of interest: what are those different PU modes? How are they different from the party modes?

    1. Anon A. Mouse
      29th May 2021, 3:51

      The “engine modes” these days are more likely different ERS modes whereas the “party modes” were probably a combination of engine mapping and ERS deployment.

      1. Ok, thanks. I wondered how a different ERS mode could give you any real performance advantage, as the total energy available for a lap is limited and drivers naturally choose the setting that gives them the best lap times (except when they try to overtake and use more electric energy on the straights). Or do they save energy in one lap in order to have more energy available for the other?

  11. Lap 28: “Can I undercut him?”
    Lap 33: “I don’t understand, guys. Saved the tyres to go longer. You had me stop before everyone.”

    Something doesn’t add up Lewis.. You wanted the undercut, it didn’t work out. Deal with it, instead of throwing the team under the bus.

    1. @montalvo – I see that as him asking the question rather than demanding a stop. The pit wall would surely be the final arbiter.

      1. That’s right, the plan was to go long and he asked whether the undercut was on at one point. In the same manner as most drivers question things on a regular basis. And as Max did twice in the same race; and was told no.

    2. More like he is acting the pit wall of there is the possibility for an undercut not that he wants an undercut.
      The pit can do the calculations then say if it is an option.

  12. I find it strange how when Hamilton complains on the radio, lots of people jump on it and criticise him for being annoyed.

    Yet, if you watch the onboards released by Formula 1, Gasly reacts in the exact same way when Vettel jumps him coming out of the pits. Not seen one complaint about how he reacted…

    1. I think it’s the post-race stuff when you put this in context @cdavman. Gasly isn’t blaming his team after the race, so there’s a kind of heat of the moment nature to it. Over the weekend Hamilton seemed to be masking is poor performance on Saturday with first comments about the race itself, and secondly putting his team under the bus in his post-race interviews. It kind of makes his ‘win and lose together’ comments seem, well, kind of fake tbh. I’m sure they’re not most of the time, but he is difficult to support sometimes I have to say.

      1. @john-h Yeah I get where you’re coming from, however the main interview people seem to have latched onto to is the Ziggo sport one. However, he merely answered the questions he was asked. The first one was essentially, is there anything you can learn from today? He answered no. Now, arguably he could’ve and should’ve qualified better on the Saturday, but they didn’t ask about Saturday. They asked about Sunday, so he answered what was posed.

        They then explicitly ask if the team can learn anything, to which he responds yes… But that’s because they can. Clearly the strategy backfired somewhat.

        I think it’s a classic case of a driver responding to the questions posed, and their responses being subsequently manipulated by the media. Just my take on it, but clearly I’m in the minority here.

        1. It was his entire attitude. The ziggo interview only highlights his attitude.

          1. Well, sorry, but Ziggo people are so biased to ‘their Max’ that it almost always shows in questions to Hamilton, and even more so in studio follow up; Doornbos analysing laps is great, but most other studio stuff is cringe-worthy thanks to that.

            Notable that the new incoming licensee publicly said ‘there is more to F1 than Max Verstappen’, indeed. Though he did bring a lot of people (back?) to F1, and he’s definitely a great driver and exciting driver, fandom is one thing, but it being echoed by the only official broadcaster of a country, that’s annoying (much as RTL, and austrian TV used to be Red Bull/Vettel + anti-HAM biased … wait, is this something that RBR is especially geared at or something?). I have been following F1 from before ‘the Boss’ Verstappen sr. got in, and I prefer biases dampened by journalists (goes for Sky too, of course).

  13. I am aware of Lewis Hamilton as a truly brilliant driver but I am alse very weary of his almost constant whining when things don’t go his way. Not a sign of real maturity.

    1. All of them whine Henry, some even curse.

      1. Cursing is venting frustrations. Whining is attribute your frustrations.

    2. @Henry – and how mature would you be if you were in his shoes?

      How much team sports have you participated in, and howmmany ttimes have you managed to keep a happy attitude when yyou lost?

      I find it amazing when people sit high and mighty in their armchairs, and judge others when they have absolutely no idea of what it feels like to be in their shoes.

      1. Most of the comments here are just people whining.

    3. Stop your whining.

      1. One could say stop whining about people whining, and so on.

  14. See what James Vowles said:
    “The problem with an overcut is that doesn’t exist until Gasly stops. He has to stop to present an opportunity for us to have free air in front of us. He already had a gap to traffic behind, the same gap that we put Lewis into and he wasn’t taking it, which means he wasn’t terribly convinced that they had to stop first, they were waiting for us to stop. I am fairly confident had we waited a lap or two they still wouldn’t have stopped”

    Mercedes were wondering why Pierre isn’t pitting. But no one else on in the pit lane was wondering that or even thinking of pitting early! Everyone in the pitlane knew that with tyre warm-up being a challenge, the undercut wasn’t powerful. If you see the lap times data, it is clear that almost every driver had 1 or 2 slow (really slow!) laps right after the pitstop. Even on Saturday, drivers needed multiple laps to get the tyres into the right temperature window.

    It seems Mercedes just completely forgot about the tyre warm-up issues. Had they been mindful of that, Lewis would have at least finished 5th, may be 4th.

    1. someone or something
      29th May 2021, 0:33

      It seems Mercedes just completely forgot about the tyre warm-up issues.

      Absolutely not.
      They just hoped to have enough pace in hand to get past the – objectively slow – Gasly. That didn’t happen, but it may not wholly be down to the slow tyre warm-up. Sadly, Bottas couldn’t serve as a reference, but I’m fairly sure Hamilton’s outlap wasn’t on the same level as that of other front-runners. He simply lacked the pace.
      Additionally, as the article says, Mercedes didn’t have much of a choice. Hamilton’s tyres were fading too early, and Gasly wasn’t showing any signs of wanting to pit.
      So, my take on this is that Mercedes’ strategists did nothing wrong. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place, because Hamilton wasn’t really in the race pace- and tyre degradation-wise. And that’s one of those situations that can’t be remedied by strategy.
      In a way, this was the polar opposite of the situation in Barcelona: Hamilton had the pace, so Mercedes were in a position to change the strategy and leave Red Bull powerless to react. Red Bull’s strategy was criticised that day, but I’m convinced they did everything right.
      A bit like Verstappen’s in Barcelona, Hamilton’s strategists were powerless in Monaco. Whatever they would’ve decided, the outcome would’ve been the same. They went with the decision that enabled them to act instead of react, but it didn’t really matter.

      1. someone or something
        29th May 2021, 0:53

        I’m fairly sure Hamilton’s outlap wasn’t on the same level as that of other front-runners.

        I checked: I am mistaken. Lewis had the fastest outlap of anyone at 1:18.739, which is at least the best part of a second faster than anyone else managed.

        The thing is, it doesn’t necessarily contradict the assumption that he lacked pace. No one else (apart from Gasly, who was indeed unbearably slow at 1:21.7) found himself in the same situation, i.e. attempting an undercut, pushing over the entire lap with a clear track ahead of him. It is quite possible that all of the front-runners could’ve easily lapped just as fast or even faster, instead of their 1:19s and 1:20s, but they didn’t need to. And it probably didn’t make any sense for them to do so, as a cold tyre that’s pushed too hard usually starts to grain and affects the rest of the stint from then on.
        However, that hypothesis is unprovable. (Or unfalsifiable, for that matter. It might be in Not Even Wrong territory …)

        1. Vowles mentioned that GAS/HAM on pit-entry was almost as close as with VET/GAS, but clearly not close enough. Still, they missed it but not by all that much. I really think that with their tyre issues they had decided an overcut was just never going to work well enough, so this was more or less their only chance. Now, had they calculated what others would do, maybe they would have stuck around for a bit and avoided Vettel, Perez overcutting them, but it seems getting past Gasly (who’s slow outlap was the reason VET got ahead, remember), was only potentially on with an undercut.

  15. Jockey Ewing
    28th May 2021, 19:13

    He needed that point, and almost right after that he earned as many points, as my fellow countrymen managed to score throughout the history of F1. But with what great a laptime!

    1. Only showing he had the fastest car that day but was unable to use it right.

  16. Looks 100% like a communication failure to me. “Can I undercut him?” Could mean, “Is he able to be undercut?” Or as it looks like it was perceived “I want to undercut him, am I allowed?”…

    I can imagine on the pitwall after that question they would ask the strategists “Lewis is asking about the undercut, can we make it happen?” From then on it’s almost as if it’s decided that the undercut is on and it’s a matter of making it happen rather than on the initial question.

    English is pretty vague in situations like this, especially when driving a car at that level. If it was a cooler situation asking more like “would an undercut work, I don’t want to do it unless it’s 100% but look into it” would have been a very different result.

    Other than that it looks like confirmation of the same old, tyres not being able to handle the dirty air in Monaco. I still can’t believe people want to get rid of the track on the calendar when it’s so painfully obvious that the problems leading to no on track battles, aren’t with the track itself…

    1. someone or something
      29th May 2021, 0:59

      In line in my comment above, I don’t think Lewis’ comment made any difference. Given his situation, his strategy boiled down to two options regardless:
      A) Stay on track until Gasly pits (extremely unlikely to succeed, as Hamilton’s tyres were apparently much worse off than Gasly’s)
      B) Attempt an undercut before the tyres fall off the cliff and allow Gasly to build an unsurmountable gap.

      Plan A was already starting to fail, so Mercedes were doubtlessly already feeling the pressure to pit and hope for a successful undercut even if Hamilton hadn’t asked about it.

  17. Man..we are really obsessed with this aren’t we?
    Lewis and Merc had an off weekend, happens from to time, apart from the traditional post race analysis, nothing much to write home about.

    This has been made to sound like some sort of a seminal moment like the Beatles breaking up…maybe it is? Doubt it.

  18. This whole race kind of reminded me of Alonso in Fuji 2007 when Lewis really got under his skin and caused him to panic and crash. Cost him the championship. Lewis kind of has had that panic, no longer the hunter kind of thing going since Rosberg did it to him. His only real weakness. At least he didn’t bin it like Alonso.

    1. I have to say, that is an absolutely nonsensical notion.

      1. Or alternatively @kbdavies, if this is the worst it gets, along the lines of Alonso binning it, well, then he’s got the championship win in sight @darryn

  19. Lewhine Hamilton
    Leflops at Monaco

    1. @jeorge Are you 12?

      1. He’ll probably just say “it’s none of your business”. I’ll keep track of him.

        1. @Dave
          You’re saying that as if it actually means something
          weird really weird

          1. Okay, so you don’t seem to be suspicious to me. I won’t track you then.

          2. “wEIrd REALly WEIRd”

            Who is the biggest noob on the grid?

      2. I’m actually 25 thank you for asking

  20. Was interesting to see Hamilton fail to get the most out of the car, Bottas proved that the car was fine. But everyone is human and certainly Ham is facing more pressure than he has since Rosberg.
    For interest sake here is the latest manufacturer qualifying average across the 5 2021 races to date, which ‘indicates’ that Merc has been the fastest over a single lap on average.
    Manufacturer Avg Quali
    Mercedes 3.10
    Red Bull 4.50
    Ferrari 5.50
    McLaren 7.90
    Alpine 11.10
    AlphaTauri 11.60
    Aston Martin 12.30
    Alpha Romeo 14.10
    Williams 15.40
    Haas 19.20
    It is interesting to look at each race average as well as it highlights that Ferrari is the most improved team in quali at the moment (relative to the others of coarse) as they have improved on average in each of the last 4 races.
    Race 1 2 3 4 5
    Mercedes 2.5 4.5 1.5 2 5
    Red Bull 6 2.5 3.5 5 5.5
    Ferrari 6 7.5 6.5 5 2.5
    McLaren 6.5 6.5 10 8 8.5
    AlphaTauri 9 12.5 11.5 14 11
    Alpine 12.5 12 9.5 7.5 14
    Alpha Romeo 13 16.5 13.5 15.5 12
    Aston Martin 14 11.5 13.5 12 10.5
    Williams 16 13 14.5 17 16.5
    Haas 19.5 18.5 19.5 19 19.5

    Is there anyway of posting a graphic/pic here? A graph of this non-scientific data is cool.

    1. Don’t think so, also while this data is interesting, it’s certainly skewed by drivers underperforming, example perez isn’t like bottas in qualifying, and ricciardo had a bad year so far, so red bull and mclaren are probably better than this gives them credit for, in fact I’m pretty sure the overall performance so far gives the edge to red bull in quali and mercedes in the race, with mercedes significantly faster before monaco brought them in line again, although most tracks are closer to the ones we’ve seen before than monaco.

      1. Agreed, it is skewed by many factors outside of purely the car, but still a reasonable indication of the manufacturers relative one lap pace over a season.
        However overall performance so far without question gives the edge to Mercedes as per the numbers.

  21. Seems that Gasly and alpha had all their focus on covering Hamilton… in hindsight, despite James saying that gasly wouldn’t pit, a game of “who can go the longest” might have turned out better for Hamilton between him, gasly, and vettel

  22. Radio Transcript is my favourite part of RaceFans.
    Another great one, thanks again @keithcollantine !

  23. There is no correct strategy when the car is slow.

    He qualified somwhere in the midfield, and his pace did not magically reapear.

    A short glimpse of Mercedes failing at something. And then it looks like the end of the world. Hamilton especially is ill prepared to finish 7th on merit.

  24. There’s bad luck, conincidences, and then there’s the other thing …..

    The following is taken from a reply on a Youtube vid of Verstappen powersliding into the last corner for his Monaco victory, just like Hamilton did so many moons before .


    2008: Hamilton age 23
    2021: Verstappen age 23

    2008: Hamiltons first win at Monaco.
    2021 Verstappens first win at Monaco.

    2008: Hamilton took the championship lead in Monaco
    2021: Verstappen took the championship lead in Monaco

    2008: Hamilton power drifts before the last corner
    2021: Verstappen power drifts before the last corner

    1. The question now is if its happened before will it happen again, and can Hamilton do anything to change what will seems almost predestined as … fate.

      Or will history repeat again, just to make the point on those who would have history repeat again.

  25. Hamilton must have thought he was in some kind of twilight zone.

  26. Cristiano Ferreira
    1st June 2021, 23:56

    “Sir” Hypocrite can’t stand competition and only have his hollow stats because of Mercedes, the very same team he is disrespectful at.

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