Hamilton: “we’ve taken a step backwards”

2011 European Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Valencia, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Valencia, 2011

Lewis Hamilton says McLaren have become less competitive and urged the team to make a fresh push on car development.

Speaking after the race he said: “We’re quite a bit down in downforce. We’ve not made an upgrade for several weeks now.

“We’ve had upgrades in the wing, like the front wing, for example. But, I mean, rear downforce we’ve really been struggling with that.

“I think in the next race we’ll really struggle, once we lose the engine map I think we may see some differences there.”

He said he didn’t have the pace to beat the Ferraris in Valencia: “I got a bad start, really a very poor start, and lost out to the Ferraris.

“But in all honesty we weren’t as quick as the Ferraris so even if I was ahead of them I would have really struggled to stay ahead.

“The guys were just trying to ask me to stay out longer and I was like, ‘guys, I’m trying to look after the tyres as much as I can so this is all I can do. I was really, really struggling with oversteer for a long time.

“It seems like we’ve taken a step backwards, perhaps, in terms of performance, or the others have taken a step forward again. To be able to finish at least fourth, that’s still some good points compared to the last two races I’ve had so I can’t really complain.”

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25 comments on Hamilton: “we’ve taken a step backwards”

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th June 2011, 15:54

    Actually I think this is overreacting to a disappointing race after they expected much more on Saturday.

    Just think about what they were saying only some 20 hours ago about feeling confident of pushing for a win today. But they do need to stay on top of their issues not to have a slump like they had last year from Silverstone/Valencia onward.

    • Boomerang said on 26th June 2011, 16:12

      No, it’s not. There is something wrong in McLaren’s approach and they are so determined to stick with it.
      The result speaks for itself!

      • Rob said on 26th June 2011, 16:16

        You mean last weekends result?

        • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 26th June 2011, 18:45

          Last week it was raining and they were the only team who gambled on a wet setup. if it hadnt rained then they surely wouldve lost out to in that race too.

          • Mike said on 27th June 2011, 9:36

            They have spent the last few racing comparing well to Red Bull on race pace mind you.

            Remember Spain?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th June 2011, 10:01

            But that is what a gamble is about. They might have been 3rd-6th ish with a dry setup so they took a gamble on the weather (with about 50% chance) to be able to improve on that perspective.

            Well worth it, i think.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th June 2011, 10:02

      Not wanting to seem to proud of myself, but from what Hamilton has been tweeting this morning, it seems even he agrees with my assessment of this having been an overreaction!

      • pSynrg said on 27th June 2011, 11:15

        How is “The Championship is over…” and “We can’t win at Silverstone…” not confirmation that this WAS NOT an overeaction?

  2. pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 26th June 2011, 16:04

    I’d have to agree with Lewis. Basically MCL swapped potential with Ferrari essentially moving backwards. They were a second off the pace here.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 26th June 2011, 16:10

      At the start Hamilton was keeping Massa’s rhythm and he finished ahead. Alonso was keeping Webber’s pace. McLaren weren’t far behind Ferrari but this track suits the Ferraris more than the next tracks.

      • mename2332 (@mename2332) said on 26th June 2011, 17:40

        especially that pirelli are bringing the harder tyres to silverstone – doesn’t look good for ferrari. Oh, and Mclaren had the 3rd fastest car in Turkey, yet they were back on the pace next race in spain

  3. Franck said on 26th June 2011, 16:48

    Hamilton finish ahead Massa only because Ferrari ****** his strategy.

    Massa was faster than Hamilton all the race, but Scuderia Alonso Powered by Santander Ferrari once again ****** Massa.

  4. McLarens have taken a step backwards. There is something seriosly wrong with their upgrade process.
    They loose a huge amount of the performance due to bringing upgrades that work well in tunnel but are crap on the track.
    Well vettel is cruising to championship victory and i can make a prediction the same will happen next year too.

    RedBulls seem miles ahead of everyone in every aspect.

    • Mike said on 27th June 2011, 9:38

      In the article Lewis criticizes the team for a lack of updates, not that the updates aren’t working.

  5. F1andy83 said on 26th June 2011, 17:36

    Hamilton also doesn’t listen to anyone. I can’t go any slower. I cant go any faster.

  6. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 26th June 2011, 17:38

    Grrr. It was clear from pretty early on that McLaren didn’t have the pace to challenge the Red Bulls or Ferrari’s. I hope its just a blip or the conditions. Luckily Ferrari have a slow driver in Massa so he finished 4th instead of 5th.

  7. suka (@suka) said on 26th June 2011, 18:31

    Good for Lewis, he was cautious and much less agressive at the start but I expected more from him at least a charging take off which would mix things up at least a bit more.

  8. Jeffrey Powell said on 27th June 2011, 9:59

    It seemed Lewis attemted to stay with the front four runners for as long as possible but pushing the car hard caused a quick lack of performance from the tyres.This did however get him into a position to keep hold of fourth place after Massa had a slow pitstop and Lewis charged hard after his first stop. There was some talk that he pushed to hard after the stop and caused the tyres to degrade more quickly but gaining the place in the end was most important even though his reaction to the team radio telling him to look after the tyres was met with “I can’t drive it any slower” and Brundle and Couthard trying to spice it up at the end by suggesting Massa was catching him at a pace likely to change the result.All in all another non event at Valencia, I should have watched the WRC report on Bloomberg

  9. Keamo said on 27th June 2011, 10:45

    Lewis should seriously consider moving to redbull. I don’t see him winning another championship, not if Vettel is in that rocket they call an F1 car anyway.. Vettel will win this year and next year, and the year after until he breaks MS’s record!

  10. greg said on 27th June 2011, 10:56

    it’s interesting to listen to lewis, jenson and martin.
    they like to dominate the web with we have the fastest race pace, our upgrades are more aggresive, when red bull loose their blown defuser, i am the only driver who can beat vettel etc. when they come to a convential race which allows for better race pace in a straight fight where were they. vettel has had kers problems every week. rather focus on racing like ferrai and red bull and stop mouthing off all the time

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 27th June 2011, 11:32

      Vettel didn’t have a KERS problem yesterday so how is that every week? If fact he hasn’t had one for a few races now that I remember.

      And could it possibly be that the papers/websites etc like to report on McLaren so that’s why they get the most press coverage?

  11. Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 27th June 2011, 11:30

    Seemed to me that McLaren’s issue this weekend was the temperature. They weren’t doing to badly in the free practises, but then the track temperature rose and they struggled.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but traction is key around Valencia, and if your tyres are overheating then you’re going to lose out big time – which is what seemed to happen here.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the title is well and truly Vettel’s to lose now, but I think the McLaren boys can win another race or two yet. (Monza and Spa should be good for them I think.)

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th June 2011, 13:15

    Surely if Hamilton is capable of putting in consistent fastest laps he is obviously making ground up on the track?

    I think Valencia was a bit of a none event for everyone and probably the least effective we’ve seen DRS.

    He did make a terrible start however. Everything else is speculation.

  13. corky said on 27th June 2011, 14:44

    I cannot see any other result at Silverstone but a RBR win ,unless the weather intervenes which is always possible or the Red Bulls have problems.
    Lewis was quick at times but they do have issues with the heat that neither of the other top teams did,but the rule changes will create more questions.

  14. DaveW said on 27th June 2011, 16:36

    A couple races ago Ferrari got lapped. McLaren looked like the true quickest race car 3 races running. So who knows who is stepping backwards and forwards? At the end of the day this is about execution, rather than the car or the “steps.” RBR/Vettel is running away with this thing because of operational excellence—understanding their car, collecting relevant data, applying the data to the set up for Sunday. Even when Vettels stuffs it up on a Friday, they get back on the program immediately. They are making Ferrari and McLaren look like amateurs now who can’t set up the cars and end up wringing their hands halfway through a race. One race they are brilliant, the next, a disaster–it looks like they are wasting the car half the time. Even look at the pit stops. RBR is consistently better or as good as Ferrari and McLaren, who once could count on their well-developed organization to exhibit the highest skill in the pit lane. True, McLaren and Ferrari are competing with RBR’s weaker driver, but this is only masking their issues because, obviously, Hamilton and Alonso are quicker than Webber. They need to look hard at their procedures and communication on the weekends, i.e., the management.

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