Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2022

Hamilton says overheating stopped him fighting Russell for third place

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was unable to attack his team mate for third place in the closing stage of the Australian Grand Prix because his car was overheating.

He led George Russell early in the race but the pair swapped positions as Hamilton’s team mate was able to make his pit stop during a Safety Car period, saving him time.

In one part of a radio message which was broadcast Hamilton was heard saying his team had put him in a “difficult position” as he pursued his team mate. Hamilton said the message referred to rising temperatures in his car.

“I couldn’t race for position because the car was overheating so I had to back off,” he explained.

Russell took third place ahead of Hamilton, who said it was “an amazing result for us as a team” after their poor start to the weekend.

“We were 1.2 seconds off on Friday and it wasn’t looking spectacular at that point. We did some great work overnight, qualified on the third row and then a great start. I was up in third, it felt amazing to feel like you’re fighting for a podium in that moment but obviously we couldn’t hold the pace of the Red Bulls.

“But whilst we haven’t necessarily improved the car over these three races I think we’ve really extracted the most we could points-wise. I think from my side I let the team down in the last race, didn’t get the points. But to come away with this result is great.”

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2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “Hamilton says overheating stopped him fighting Russell for third place”

  1. We win as one,we are the best as a team

    But then: “why is George ahead?”

    If the car is overheating, “YOU put me in a difficult position”

    1. Asking why George was ahead was very normal, he was not watching the race on his couch like you were. As for his complaint about putting him in a difficult situation, he most probably was emotional and with the rush of adrenaline, drivers say a lot of worse stuff, that doesn’t mean his complaint was logical coz the team couldn’t have done anything. With this in mind, no need for the hate.

    2. Without having access to the radio traffic I’m guessing Merc put both of them in a difficult position. They have done it before. Ham was catching George, and then either Ham slowed or George speeded up. Either way they were effectively racing each other. The Mercs were in the same position as the McLarens; no threat from behind and no chance of catching the cars in front, yet the McLarens were managing the cars to bring them home safely; and from what their drivers said after the race they were both told to do that.
      I was surprised that Ham was closing into a DRS position on George given where they were and how many laps left, and if Merc didn’t tell both drivers to maintain position but instead let them race knowing the temps were a problem, then that is down to them.

      1. MB are a pragmatic team and given their current performance will want to take maximum points so they can fight later in the season. As such, I suspect it was agreed that their drivers do not fight each other in the final stages of the race. During the race the lead driver gets priority on strategy and when GR took advantage of the cheap pit stop it changed the dynamic. I think the statement “you put me in a difficult position” is a struggle to balance a racers instinct and the agreement/teams priorities. (all speculation of coarse)

        Separately, I was please MB did not invoke team orders as I want see what GR can do this season.

      2. At least Hamilton brought the car home. He could have commited himself to getting the DRS or be dammed, and then like Verstappen found he had run out of car, chasing an imposible position.

        1. So thats how u get a fuel leak. Interesting theory :)

          1. overtemperature can cause leakage. would not be smart to keep pushing then. maybe some not so smart driver didnt care today…

          2. The last I heard, even Horner didn’t know what had happened to the car– a fuel leak is just speculation at this point.

    3. He was faster than Russell today. His radio comment was most likely being told not to fight for the place and instead hold back

  2. The only thing that was overheating was his tyres when he attempted to close in on Russell, Russell then turned up the wick and Hamilton just couldn’t answer, his car oversteering like mad trying to find the extra speed.

    Russell has shown that he is more than a match for Hamilton come qualifying or come the race.

  3. All being equal, think HAM could have got P2 if he was in clear air. He hunted Pérez pretty quickly in the first stint and it was a fight between them before safety car.

    RB got to be worried that Merc are ahead with a bad car, Imola I think merc will be closer. Ferrari too far ahead!

    1. Only a couple of weeks ago Red Bull beat Ferrari in a straight fight and the lead Mercedes couldn’t get out of Q1, so it’s a bit early to jump to any conclusions about Mercedes jumping Red Bull when the main thing hampering them is reliability.

      1. The only thing really consistent this year is leclerc in that Ferrari. It’s fascinating to watch rbr trying to make a fast car reliable and Mercedes’ trying to make a reliable car fast and seing who gets there first. Unfortunately for both of them leclerc may have been able to put his feet up by then.

    2. I think he would have caught Perez as he did earlier in the race but the sheer grunt of that Honda would have prevented Hamilton getting a real chance to pass (then again Perez did go off track while under no pressure so it’s possible he could have forced a mistake).

  4. You could see him moving sideways out of the slipstream, I was guessing the team told him he couldn’t spend time close behind George.

  5. I imagine on reflection, both Mercedes drivers will be satisfied with the weekend. Leaving luck of the safety car aside, Hamilton had the measure of Russell, and the team outperformed their expectations for 2 weekends out of 3. Similarly for Russell, he maximised his finishing position and wasn’t too far off Hamilton pace-wise.

    Now let’s see if a step can be made with unlocking the car’s performance in Imola, and make it a 3-team fight for victories. When they do, let’s also hope Red Bull sort out their reliability issues (and improve their tyre management a bit).

    1. Mercedes, this mighty car company, are still in the position of understanding the problem. They say they wont commit to upgrades untill the workout what’s causing the problem. This means there will be more races tweaking what they have.

      1. Nope, it means they are towing the line in what they tell us, playing their cards close to their chest, off course. They know what’s wrong and they ‘probably’ know how to fix it. Why would they tell the competition when?

    2. let’s also hope Red Bull sort out their reliability issues (and improve their tyre management a bit)

      I think part of the tyre management issue is a soft component of the package – commonly known as “the nut behind the wheel”

  6. Overheating!
    I wonder if they are now wishing that they had gone with the wider sidepods?

    1. They are very likely ducting some of the air flow fom the pods into the underside of the car to maintain air flow there.

  7. Excuse, whinging, more excuses, more whinging.

    Nothing new but guess this season we are getting plenty of that.

    1. You’ll be fine.

      1. Nah, incurable ailment😝

    2. clear facts and open communication – better dont read it, when you cant handle it

  8. Already the situation is getting under his skin.
    Traditional ham moaning stage 1.
    When will he start throwing out accusations about the engineers..
    Stage 2 imminent…

    1. Stage 2 we see at VER currently.

    2. I was just thinking that at least, with all the changes this season, you’re running normally, with a chance of overheating. :)

    3. Already Max showing himself to be a car breaker ! Maybe he should more gentle with the machinery like Perez….you have to finish to finish !!!! ( I am doing an impersonation of someone here).

      1. Strange that last year he had no issuses with his car…… If he was a carbreaker (and he went hard over the curves) that car would failed many times. But this topic is about Lewis…..

  9. Great drive by George. You really get the feeling that hes already asserting his dominance in team Merc.

    Not sure how Ham will cope as his usual kid gloves get removed and an actual challenging teammate emerges. I think Merc have no choice but to let them sort it out between them on track.

    1. Without taking anything away from George, Australia is not really that Hamilton friendly. He’s had pole for the past 6 events, but has only won one of those. In fact, he’s only won at Albert Park twice in his career.

    2. “Asserting his dominance” is quite the stretch, especially seeing as it’s only been 3 races and in 2 of them Hamilton was faster. He is, however, performing extremely well and been in position to take advantage of any luck falling his way.

  10. he’s a seven time WDC he’ll deal with it.

    1. Yes, he’s dealing with it by complaining.

      1. Yes just like the ‘paper’ World Champion!!!

  11. I hope Toto won’t overheat this season

  12. Some funny/predictable comments from the usual suspects here.

    Love the one about George ‘asserting dominance’, having been out-qualified and outraced by Hamilton until a fortunate safety car reversed their positions.

    1. Yes, until the safety car I was looking forward to those same posters whinging about team orders and George being relegated to No 2 status.
      Although its only taken three races for those same posters to trot out ‘they are sending George out in Hams dirty air to qualify’ when its Hams turn to chose, and ‘they are sending George out first to give Ham a tow’ when it’s George’s turn.

      1. I used to think F1 fans were intelligent, logical people. I was sadly mistaken.

        1. Anon A. Mouse
          10th April 2022, 15:34

          Sports fans are never intelligent, nor logical.

        2. Some of us are, while still cheerfully admitting bias. Any given Sunday, I’m rooting for Lewis Hamilton first, and anyone not named Verstappen second.

          Many others do put the “fan” into “fanatic”, though. :)

    2. I think both merc drivers did well this race, it was nice to see hamilton having a good start after having the best possible quali position in the circumstances (5th) goint to 3rd for the first part of the race, and russell did a better job at holding off perez but was lucky with the SC timing.

  13. It’s become way more polarized, as the world has, I think. Some of the disrespect shown to Hamilton though is really quite embarrassing to read.

    1. @paulguitar Works both ways sadly. The amount of people cheering on Max’s car problems is distasteful to say the least.

      I’m actually hoping for a relatively sedate fight to the title this year so this polarisation can calm down.

    2. I agree have some repect for the sport the drivers and the race directors as well. Can’t imagine how Masi was feeling after all the disrespectfull allegations.

  14. Quit complaining, HAM got gifted anough positions already through all the RB retirements. Should be way further behind LEC and PER than he is, and behind VER as well. Lucky as usual.

    1. At least he hasn’t been lucky with the various SC and car performance so far, that’s some change.

  15. Hamilton seems to be vastly more experienced in managing the car then Russell. He had older tires, had to do some overtaking, closed the gap from 5s to DRS range…then had to back off.

    Given that Perez was running out of tires quicker than both of them, had he managed it better, he could fight for 2nd place.

  16. Twitter telemetry post imminent.

  17. I wonder if those dilly looking skinny sidepods aren’t cooling the engine sufficiently. Maybe that is what he meant by saying the team has put him in a difficult position – by putting those stupid sidepods on the car.

  18. I’m of the belief the car wasn’t overheating and that call from the pitwall was a coded way of telling Lewis to hold position. Merc had just been gifted a podium and didn’t want to risk that with an ontrack battle between their drivers.

    1. Maybe they remembered George vs. Valtteri at Imola.

      I don’t expect George Russell to be clumsy, but he has, on occasion, been exactly that.

  19. The RD gifted him 16 points at best, luck took away from him waaaaaaaaaaay more.

    1. Not sure why it didn’t post as a reply.

    2. Ahh, I was replying to romtrain, it seems like his comment was deleted somehow, strange.

  20. It felt amazing to feel like you’re fighting for a podium in that moment but obviously we couldn’t hold the pace of the Red Bulls. Thank you for the beautiful post!

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