Hamilton “mobilised superhero powers” after Interlagos adversity – Wolff

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has been spurred on by the challenges he faced in the previous round at Interlagos to deliver his best as the championship fight enters the final stages, says Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

The reigning champion scored his second consecutive victory today, narrowing Max Verstappen’s lead to eight points with two races remaining. Hamilton took pole position and led every lap on F1’s first visit to Losail International Circuit.

Mercedes had doubts about their performance at the track before the weekend began. But Wolff believes Hamilton has been motivated by the setback he suffered in Brazil, where he had to start the sprint qualifying race from the back of the grid after his rear wing failed a technical inspection.

“They have woken up the lion on the Saturday in Interlagos,” he said. “He’s absolutely on it. Brutal and cold blooded. And this is the best in Lewis and we’ve seen it in the past and he’s right there.”

“I think when adversity happens then it just takes him to a place that where he’s able to mobilise superhero powers,” Wolff added. “And it was the adversity that triggered that in Interlagos.”

Hamilton admitted his victory chances improved after Verstappen’s penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags in qualifying, which dropped his rival from the front row to seventh on the grid.

“The race was made a lot easier with the penalties that the guys obviously got for the mistake they made yesterday,” he said. “That made it a lot more straightforward.”

He had a gap of around eight seconds over Verstappen for much of the race, which ballooned to 25 at the end when his rival pitted for a fresh set of tyres to claim the bonus point for fastest lap.

“I was just managing the gap at the front and just keeping the car safe and trying to maximise and bring the car home,” said Hamilton.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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39 comments on “Hamilton “mobilised superhero powers” after Interlagos adversity – Wolff”

  1. he was already pretty quick in qualy on Friday

  2. I’m going to venture a guess and say that neither pushing a pedal nor turning a wheel are generally recognized superhero powers.

    1. No, indeed @proesterchen

      Though I do think that knowing how much to apply then (and the breaks) when in combination, definitely can be one – if you look at Hamilton’s Saturday quali lap, as well as some of the ones we saw this year from Verstappen (and also the quali from Alonso and Gasly maybe), they definitely are something special that few can mimic; and while seeing it in the races is a bit harder, the way the top drivers manage to be consistently fast while keeping the tyres good, so often and so much better than many others while being so fast, that is pretty super.

  3. Hence the stomach ache?

  4. Ah but Rosberg said it. If you want to beat Lewis, don’t get him angry.
    Hamilton had eased up a bit in his driving but I’ve not seen him drive with so much energy like he did these past 2 races.
    Mid season he seemed to have given up until Verstappen caused 2 crashes.

    1. but Rosberg got him angry and still beat him

    2. Corrected your obvious mistake.
      Lewis caused multiple crashes.

      1. Really erikje, Hamilton caused crashes *shakes head* would be more accurate to say he avoids them.

        1. Silverstone anyone???

          1. Verstappen’s fault. Hamilton didn’t understeer an inch into him, and the video proves it. Verstappen braked way later on the outside to put his nose ahead, and then tried to chop Hamilton’s nose off. Unwise move that ended up biting him in the a$$.

            Even worse than the crash itself, Max has showed he hasn’t learned anything from it. Tried the same move on Carlos in the sprint race @Interlagos; thankfully for Carlos, the corner was slower and he was a bit more ahead than Lewis was @ Silverstone, so the contact didn’t end Max’s race right then and there. It is this inability to learn from mistakes is what’s gonna cost Max the title, if he doesn’t win in the end.

    3. Yes Hamiltons determination is strong now but why wouldn’t it be? He has a car that is 20 mph faster than his next closest driver.
      If there was ever a season where the WDC was more about the car than the driver, this is it. In the next two races he will have an engine that is untouchable. On equal footing, max out drove him all year.
      A great driver, yes? But not deserving of this year.

      1. Here we go again… please check the FIA website – they publish the race maximum speeds per sector for:
        Speed Trap, Finish Line, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2.
        Hamilton was 19th, 18th, 9th, and 4th.
        Max was 17th, 15th, 1st, and 17th.
        The top speeds were by RIC, BOT, VER, and GIO.
        It’s completely wrong to say Hamilton’s car was 20mph faster – in the one sector where Hamilton was faster than Max (Int 2), it was by 4.2KM/H. Not my opinion, it’s a fact. This data is there for all the races. It’s NOT about maximum speeds, its about many other factors which give the overall quickest package.

        1. So…. who cheats the clock, when or how?!?! I mean, HAM’s car is damn slow, how does he gets in front all the time easily?!?

          1. Thanks for asking @mg1982. In simple terms, in F1 it’s not just about being fast in a straight line. There are many variables that make a winning F1 car- tyre management, aero efficiency, cornering ability, race management, team strategy, driver ability, DRS, slipstream, undercuts, track surface, temperatures, etc, etc. If you only correlate success in motorsport to having the fastest car in a straight line, maybe go and check out drag racing.

  5. In recent seasons, Hamilton has had a pattern of starting OK but really switching on the dominance around halfway, Spa time, and blitzing a run of wins that effectively seal the championship. That didn’t happen this season. He actually started well, though with some mistakes, then had a really bad weekend at Monaco, the worst I’ve seen him in years, and he was sporadic after that. Somehow Brazil seems to have activated that mid-season adrenaline boost, he looks totally on it. Ominous, if so, because these boosts usually last 6-7 races and he only needs 4 in all (2 already down) to seal it.

    1. Hamilton or a car with proven illegal wing, an new engine (without the need to replace one) and a car seconds faster then his opponent.
      BTW, in Qatar Mercedes received a brand new front wing. So much for ” no development”.

      1. The illegal wing the stewards kept for 2 days and couldn’t find anything wrong with.
        Grow up and stop throwing barbs about hoping something will hit.

      2. erikje Those are some sour grapes you have there!

      3. Sometimes people seem to forget the power of Mercedes behind Hamilton.
        Even after a series of bad results, a mediocre driver as Bottas is stilll 3rd in the WDC.
        Given Hamilton is a good driver, it is only expected that the mercedes car were able to catch up with the RB driven (carried on the back) by Verstappen.

        1. Red Bull have won 4 x WDC and have Adrian Newey the god of aerodynamics
          Perez is 4th, first year in car and just behind Bottas.

      4. Plus the car is quick but not by the margins you claim.

        Cars don’t drive themselves

        1. Sorry, but the car is really that faster. After 57 laps and 3 pitstops, Hamilton finished 59 secs ahead of the 3rd place. This is literally 1 sec per lap faster.

          1. And Verstappen? In a car with some wing damage supposedly? Still far ahead of the rest too.
            Hamilton was driving an older engine, not the São Paulo monster. At the same time, his qualifying was self-evidently one of his best, ‘hooked up’, smooth, taking corners in a higher gear than other drivers. Apply that to his typical ‘race groove’ where he (and Verstappen) put in consistently excellent times and you have most of the explanation necessary.

      5. Hamilton is most naturally gifted driver on the grid. Thats why the likes of Lauda & Brawn wanted him in their team and paid him millions. Amazing the naysayers ignore this. LOL.

        I do think that he’s not like the Schumacher’s and Verstappen’s who live and breath F1. He’s off jet setting around the world doing fashion shows, music and other stuff. No other driver can do that.

        He learnt his lesson in 2016 when he left it too late and had some bad luck and lost to Rosberg. Now he seems to really give the end of the season his total attention. There’s no “wing” or anything else just a 100% focused Lewis.

        1. Agree, he learned to time his seasons – much as he times weekends, slow Fridays, better P3, all coming together for qualifying. Only this season it seemed different somehow, maybe the competition with Max, maybe Covid still, including his dip after contracting it towards the end of last season. Whatever, he seems to have hit form at the right time.

  6. Toto is wrong
    Super hero is not enough.
    Even Gods kneel before Lewis
    And Chuck Noris too.

    Toto and Horner should fire their marketing councellers.
    It’s just ….
    Well i have no words 😁

  7. Hmm…I can’t be certain but I’m pretty sure “mobilising superhero powers” is in breach of both the technical and sporting regulations… instant DSQ I say!

    1. That’s right. We cannot tolerate the adopting of such measures.

  8. Having the best car by a good half a second and crusing around is anything but ‘super’…

    1. Yes, if anything it has proven once again it is the car, not Lewis. Suddenly after all kind of engine and rear wing trickery there’s Lewis again! But keep holding on to your see-through narratives Toto. Maybe stress a bit more how you are the underdog. After all no-one else has won anything in the hybrid.. oh wait. After witnessing Toto’s behavior this season I don’t think people listen anymore to whatever he says.

  9. And then there’s Bottas in practically the same car…

  10. It’s cute how Toto praises his driver and his ‘superpowers’. There’s no doubt Lewis is back at his best since Brazil.. but Mercedes have definitely had the edge on Red Bull over the last couple of races as well.

    I’d expect Mercedes and Lewis to be strong at the Saudi GP as well.. but Abu Dhabi might be a little more of a level playing field for Red Bull. I think the title fight will go down to Abu Dhabi.. and if Verstappen can take the win there, he should take the title regardless of any ‘super powers’ that Lewis displays.

    1. @todfod Max has been more consistent though I think Interlagos, and maybe Qatar, have been a bit lower level, coinciding with Lewis hitting peak form. But I expect Max to be at his best for the last two races and read it much the same. If Mercedes are dominant in Saudi Arabia, Bottas could make a big difference by grabbing second. I just don’t see it happening though. So it will be all down to who’s best at a more or less even Abu Dhabi.

  11. Once Max has overtaken 5 cars and was in second position, he and Lewis were in a class of their own. Stupid expression but both with ‘superpowers’ compared with their team mates. They both can extract more than their team mates and I guess other drivers could do that too.
    The fact is, one of them is going to be WDC due to the car and talent combined: without both it just doesn’t happen. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s always been like this: Schumacher, Button, Vettel are good examples of that (car + consistently being better than their teammates) when they won the WDC. Did they deserve it? Well, that is not part of the equation.

    1. Good observation which most do not take into account.
      Verstappen had worn out his tyres getting to p2 hence the gap stayed about constant up untill the last few laps.
      They are both outstanding drivers.. I just wish Max didn’t have Horner in his corner.

    2. Well said; without the car you cannot do it, but especially when another great driver also has a car in a similar league, then it really shows who have a bit extra, most of the time.

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