Hamilton wary of Mercedes and Ferrari

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Istanbul, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Istanbul, 2011

Lewis Hamilton says the Turkish Grand Prix showed Mercedes and Ferrari have made progress.

Hamilton told his official website: “I think Sunday showed how close it is among the top teams: we saw at the weekend how strong Mercedes and Ferrari can be when they have a clear run at a weekend.

“But we also know that we didn?t really get the maximum from the package we expected to run in Turkey.

“As always, we?re fighting to bring lots of new parts to the track, and it isn?t always possible to run them ?ǣ either from a performance or reliability point of view.

“Even before first practice, we knew we were going to have to scale back our ambitions on the development front for this particular race.

“Of course, that?s disappointing but you have to look at the bigger picture: the championship will be won through consistency, so it?s better to score points with a decent result than risk a non-finish through a reliability failure despite having greater performance.”

Hamilton expects the two teams to remain a threat having got over their early problems:

“At the start of the season, we certainly expected Ferrari and Mercedes to be competitive ?ǣ and, even when they couldn?t quite deliver on their winter testing performance in the first three races, we knew it was only a matter of time before they got back into their stride.

“So seeing their pace at Turkey wasn?t a surprise ?ǣ it was actually more of a surprise that they hadn?t shown it since the start of the season.

“Having more teams in the fight works both ways ?ǣ it makes it harder to score good points if you?ve got lots of other drivers taking points off each other, but on the flip side, it should make it harder for anyone to decisively pull ahead in the points table ?ǣ which was something we saw last year.”

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21 comments on Hamilton wary of Mercedes and Ferrari

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th May 2011, 13:07

    Nice things said by Hamilton there. I liked that last paragraph especially

    “Having more teams in the fight works both ways – it makes it harder to score good points if you’ve got lots of other drivers taking points off each other, but on the flip side, it should make it harder for anyone to decisively pull ahead in the points table – which was something we saw last year.”

    Only so far it has not really helped keep Sebastian Vettel in reach.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 12th May 2011, 13:18

      That’s because his team (or rather only him) have not been in the same fight as Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Webber’s Red Bull.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th May 2011, 13:45

      Not this season, no. But last year the drivers championship was all over the place. Vettel didn’t lead it until he won it.

      • Jess said on 12th May 2011, 15:07

        That is really due to his wrecks and car issues. If things go on the way they are and he stays on course this could be a battle for second.

        • David BR said on 12th May 2011, 15:26

          Yep, the Red Bull/Vettel combo has actually been potentially dominant for a long time and actually dominant since the tail end of last season. Not helped by Webber turning into Massa 2 this season and accepting number two status (sometimes lapping half a second behind) without a fuss.

          Call me suspicious, but I get the impression Red Bull could dial in another half second or one second advantage over the other times whenever they want.

      • DMC said on 12th May 2011, 16:01

        Personaly i think vettel will be incredibly hard to beat this year in terms of the championship, the combination of his speed, being more relaxed, having a great car, and the maturity factor will be formidable.

        • Robbie said on 12th May 2011, 16:22

          Agreed DMC…Vettel looks unstoppable…methinks the rest of the grid will need him to have some unreliability issues if they want to reel him in…everything LH is saying here makes sense…

          I also note this…MW and FM have 59 and 58% of their teammate’s current points, MS has 30% of NR’s, but JB has 78% of LH’s…

          ie. LH has stiffer competition thus far from his teammate than is occurring on the other cited teams…I honour and respect that added difficulty LH has to contend with in his fight to reach SV…

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th May 2011, 19:13

          I agree. He is a completely different driver this year.

          That is until he has a bad race, i’m sure we will still see glimpses of the old Vettel.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th May 2011, 7:53

            The only person who can really get in his head, is his teammate. If Mark can somehow put together a run like he did last year, then we should see a little more pressurised and error prone Seb. And then all we need is Alonso and Hamilton capitalising on Vettel’s missed opportunities, and we then have a championship battle once again!

  2. pukz said on 12th May 2011, 13:10

    I would be worried about Mercedes and ferrari taking points off him and allowing vettel to pull away even further if I was Hamilton.

  3. MW (@) said on 12th May 2011, 13:13

    Exactly.. a close battle for the top slots now can only help vettel with his huge points cushion.

    • US_Peter said on 12th May 2011, 23:33

      Even if Vettel has to fight with the rest for points, it’s safe to assume he’ll at least remain competitive and likely bag a couple more wins this year, which makes it very hard to envision anyone else taking the champonship.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th May 2011, 13:46

    Good wise words from Hamilton. They will bounce back.

  5. 2Ugandan Discussions said on 12th May 2011, 17:35

    Whatever happened to the Octopussy exhaust pipe?!
    I would really like to see it taken off the rafters and see what capability it has!
    It was such a big talking point before the beginning of the season.

    • DaveW said on 12th May 2011, 17:50

      What happened to it may be what Hamilton has in mind in saying its better to finish than not finish. Changing headers and floor in the middle of a race weekend if there is a problem to test parts is not like changing a front wing design. McLaren got into major trouble last year attempting to try out floors and exhausts for the EBD last year.

  6. One thing I noticed: he did not mention Red Bull nor Vettel in his entire debrief at all. Not even once. To me, that shows a lack of confidence that they’re catching Red Bull anytime soon. They will be caught, but not right now.

    As it is, Ferrari and Mercedes are in their rear mirrors, and McLaren are paying more attention to them than to Red Bull.

    • Robbie said on 12th May 2011, 18:26

      Yeah I hear you but this article is about LH posting on his official website that things are close among the cited teams…perhaps there is no need for him to mention the ‘elephant in the room’ or the Red ‘Bull in a china shop’ if you will…it goes without saying RB and Vettel are the target to beat, so I doubt Mac are paying more attention to Ferrari and Merc…if, (and that’s a big if), LH can soon get to the point of competing with SV for the WDC it won’t matter what Ferrari and Merc are doing, presuming they’ll still be in their relative positions to RB and Mac but just closer…

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 12th May 2011, 19:50

      The thing is that it’s more likely for Ferrari and Mercedes to overtake McLaren than it is for McLaren to overtake Red Bull.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 13th May 2011, 4:57

    I’m happy with Ferrari’s improved performance but all they have to beat is Vettel not someone else. Mclaren vs Ferrari vs Mercedes would cannibalize themself and Vettel would run away. I think at least 2 of them should outpace Vettel so that stop Vettel’s dominance.

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