Hamilton’s deleted Belgian Grand Prix Tweets

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    Keith Collantine

    Lewis Hamilton made a few curious remarks on Twitter yesterday which were later deleted, as mentioned in today’s round-up.

    He followed that up this morning by Tweeting an image of his lap time trace compared to Jenson Button – the kind of sensitive information teams usually keep under wraps.

    Not surprisingly that too has now disappeared, however I thought that one was worth preserving. Here it is:


    “In engineering, just been shown this, overlay of mine & jensons qualifying lap on a speed trace.”

    “The doted line is the time line. Downwards means I lose time to Jenson, up means I gain time.”

    Original links:




    Couldn’t believe he’d tweeted this before the race.
    Does he not want a new contract??
    Lovely to see this information though. A real insight.
    Has anyone worked out what all the lines are. Have spotted what I think are gear changes, throttle and steering angle.

    Keith Collantine

    I liked this reply from Alexander Wurz:


    Is he trying to sabotage Button’s race. This basically shows the other teams exactly when to attack button to force mistakes or overtaking

    Keith Collantine


    That is a lovely one from Wurz!


    Funnily enough I feel a bit of 2007 style tension building up there …

    Ivan Vinitskyy

    What is so sensitive about that information? Who doesn’t know cars are set up differently and higher drag is expected.
    I wonder more why he posted that. Was that his attempt to blame the engineers for not knowing that graph before quali?

    Prisoner Monkeys

    That’s a truly bizarre move by Hamilton. It makes me wonder if all is well at Woking.

    Hamilton was recently quoted by The Sun as saying that he never signs the first contract on offer, because it is “usually ****”. I can’t imagine that that went down too well with McLaren. And while The Sun might be a rag, and while they might do unethical things, inventing quotes and attributing them to someone who did not say them is a surefire way to be the subject of a lawsuit. But what I find most interesting about his comments is actually this:

    “Nothing’s signed, nothing’s decided. But there are discussions and my people are in action. There are still many factors to be taken into account. I don’t see myself anywhere at the moment. I really don’t because it is difficult to picture what is going to happen in the future.”

    This implies that there has been absolutely no progress on his contract, which is doubly odd considering that he has described it as a “business decision”, which I find to be out of character given his emotional connection to the team. He’s been with them for more than half his life, and he calls a contract negotiation a “business decisions”?

    Maybe not all is as well at McLaren as we think it is.

    If so, that leaves the question of where he goes to – and I have a theory about that. It might be a bit crazy the first time you read it, but please, bear with me. I think I actually make a pretty good case for it this time:

    Hamilton could join Sauber.

    Now that the shock has (hopefully) worn off, allow me to elaborate: Helmut Marko recently said that the C31 was the best car on the grid. I was prepared to write this off as gamesmanship, with Marko trying to deliver a fumbling psychological blow to the opposition by effectively saying “none of you have the best car!”, but after seeing qualifying in Spa and looking back at some of their recent results, I’m inclined to believe that maybe there is some truth to what he is saying (even if it is still gamesmanship) and that the C31′s potential has not fulled shown itself because Kobayashi and Perez are not among the very best drivers on the grid. At the very least, it’s certainly in the top four cars (and probably the top three – it might even be better than the Red Bull).

    Meanwhile, Pirelli have said that they are not planning any major changes to their tyre line-ups in 2013. I am not entirely sure what they mean by this, but it appears that they are happy with what they are planning, and any adjustments will simply be fine-tuning. On top of that, the dramatic changes to the 2014 regulations mean it is unlikely that we will see anything major in terms of rule changes for 2013.

    With that in mind, and assuming that Marko’s comments are at least partially-reflective of the state of play, then Sauber will be in a unique position where they have a very, very good car to serve as the basis of their 2013 challenger. This will almost certainly hold appeal for Leiws Hamilton – but it also comes with a massive risk. Sauber operate on a greatly-reduced budget, and it will probably take time for him to settle into the team. Results might not come thick and fast, so taking a conservative approach and re-signing with McLaren might be more appealing.

    Of course, such a move would mean one of the two Sauber drivers would have to go. It’s easiest if Ferrari have their eye on Perez, as that would naturally create an opening for Hamilton, but I suspect that Stefano Domenicali is planning on keeping Massa in 2013, and many of his comments on what Massa needs to do to keep his seat – without any detail on what Massa actually has to do – are a means of preparing everyone for the announcement that Massa will be staying at Maranello. In that case, a straight swap between Hamilton and one of the Sauber drivers makes the most sense, but that just leaves the question of who McLaren takes, which I don’t think will be easy to answer.

    The other alternative was Hamilton moving to Williams, but paring him with Maldonado seems like a bad idea. I’m expecting Maldonado and Bottas at Williams next year, and while Hamilton and Bottas is a remote possibility, it means totally changing their driver line-up and letting go of a whole lot of sponsor money that I think Williams really needs.

    So, Hamilton to Sauber – you heard it here first.


    Oddly, earlier this weekend, theFifthDriver tweeted a link to a blog post on the McLaren site called Talking Telemetry. I answered, saying I was hoping they’d give more. Guess Hamilton obliged :-p

    That Wurz’ tweet is brilliant, and says it all, not the smartest tweet by Hamilton. I do like the earlier tweets by HAM saying honestly how disappointed he was (though maybe a bit too disappointed if McLaren is right), but that one, big oops.

    I do think McLaren and HAM have to see how they can avoid this sort of thing though, I can’t have been the only one to think “oh, split strategy, there goes HAM’s weekend”, somehow he pics/gets the wrong one of the two it seems (like in Monza 2010 too).


    This is what happens when you let your girlfriend use your smartphone for a while.


    @prisoner-monkeys oh boy. Force India, and now Sauber? :P

    To be fair – we don’t know how the 2013 Sauber will shake out. The 2012 Sauber is still a James Key creation, to memory. This 2013 one is a development of the current car, definitely – but I’m not sure that it will maintain that level of competitiveness (relative to the field)

    Prisoner Monkeys

    To be fair – we don’t know how the 2013 Sauber will shake out.

    We don’t know how any of the 2013 cars will shake out.


    @prisoner-monkeys Yes, but we don’t know about the Sauber team’s technical strength, post-Key. Newey’s RBR team, Oatley’s McLaren team, Fry/Tombazis’ Ferrari team are all proven and known quantities.

    Willem is a tried and trusted name – but Matt Morris has never had much recognition to my memory.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    @raymondu999 – Key left the team four days before the C31 was unveiled. The team have done just fine developing the car without him. And with no major changes to the regulations (thugh Charlies Whiting has talked up the idea of getting rid of stepped noses), they’ll have a strong starting point for the C32.

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