Hamilton: “I just wasn’t quick enough”

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says: “I was quick in qualifying, I wasn’t quick in the race.”


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Loss of form baffles Lewis Hamilton (The Independent)

“I just wasn’t quick enough. I was quick in qualifying, I wasn’t quick in the race.”

Where has Lewis Hamilton gone? (The Buxton Blog)

“I almost want to grab him and slap him and ask where the hell Lewis Hamilton is? Where?s the friendly, open, passionate racer, who used to laugh off adversity and show the kind of racecraft on track that left you with your jaw on the floor?”

New low increases Lewis Hamilton concerns (BBC)

“There is something in Hamilton’s life, some distraction that is adversely affecting his performance. Only he can know what that is.”

Pirelli to discuss Q3 issue with FOTA (Autosport)

Paul Hembery: “There is nothing too wrong with the qualifying. This three session system is very good: it is just that conserving tyres is nonsense. And it is nonsense because if [Sebastian] Vettel and the top six can win races having gone through the three sessions, then it means everyone can do it.”

Nico Hulkenberg via Twitter

“I’m still in Japan and will fly to Korea on Wednesday. I will not drive there on Friday, because it’s quite a new Track for Adrian [Sutil] and [Paul di Resta].”

Forget Schuey… Vettel’s on course to become F1’s most decorated driver (Daily Mail)

“Turner also wants Simon Lazenby to front [Sky’s F1] coverage. While Sky Sports News presenter Georgie Thompson has been mooted as a possible option, Turner, who worked with Lazenby during his time in rugby, wants to bring him across to F1.”

In defence of the 2011 F1 season (The Guardian)

“It’s been no classic but there has been much to enjoy away from the [Vettel’s] domination up front. It is just that the big picture of the title race has marginalised a lot of the action into unconnected, one-off events on track.”

Petra Ecclestone wants to be taken seriously (Daily Telegraph)

Of passing interest to anyone who might like to know where a sizeable chunk of the money Bernie Ecclestone made from F1 has gone.

Japanese GP Review (Williams)

Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan: “Pastor [Maldonado’s] race balance on option tyres and low fuel during the last stint was reasonable but it is clearly evident that the overall pace of the car needs to dramatically improve.”

Seven meetings and new horizons in 2012 (World Series by Renault)

“As well as visiting the six tracks on the 2011 schedule, WSR will also be pitching up in Russia at the new Moscow Raceway.”

The Prancing Horse steps up its solidarity with Japan (Ferrari)

“On Saturday in Suzuka the team hosted a family that had lost everything because of the quake and tomorrow, Ferrari Japan, at the Japanese launch of the 458 Spider, will put up for auction the nose of a 150??? Italia used in the Australian Grand Prix, which bore the Japanese flag and the message ‘Forza Giappone.'”

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Comment of the day

John H imagines how the 1979 French Grand Prix might have been affected by modern-day stewards:

News just in… Gilles Villeneuve handed 25-second post race penalty by the FIA after taking 32 years to review the footage. He has been demoted to fourth place a spokesman today confirmed.

Renault driver Rene Arnoux was handed second place and is said to be “ecstatic” that justice has finally been served describing Villeneuve?s driving as “mindless” and going on to comment that the former Ferrari ace “just doesn?t learn”.

Alan Jones is now classified third and is said to be “decidedly nonplussed” with the podium result.
John H

From the forum

Share any fans’ videos you’ve found from the Japanese Grand Prix. Here’s one to get you started:

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On this day in F1

Two years ago today Toyota announced Kamui Kobayashi would make his F1 debut in the Brazilian Grand Prix in place of the injured Timo Glock.

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92 comments on Hamilton: “I just wasn’t quick enough”

  1. antonyob (@) said on 11th October 2011, 10:24

    Most super high profile sportsmen have a career lull and of course its all relative. In football ROoney couldnt even control the ball a year or 2 ago and its arguable hes ever got his early career form back but he has changed his game and learnt to be smarter.

    Lewis needs to do the same quickly. F1 is no longer full of gunslingers its full of people who can do 16 different at once, Vettel even checks the track screens whilst in the raceFFS! Lewis is a throwback, a seat of the pants driver or, to use a cliche, Maverick..who..oh dear..doesnt play by the rules.

    As Ive said before, the question shouldnt be why is he not challenging for the title every year, rather how did he win the title at all. But of course the media just want to ask the age old question: “where did it all go wrong George?”

    • Don Mateo (@don-mateo) said on 11th October 2011, 21:46

      Maverick..who..oh dear..doesnt play by the rules.

      Surely you’re not trying to imply that Lewis’s early performance wrote cheques that the rest of his career just can’t cash? ;)

      Sorry everyone …

  2. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 11th October 2011, 10:34

    With regards to the COTD, I agree, but the FIA have made it clear and stated in the rules what is a punishable offence and what is not. I think there are far too many penalties now, and Hamilton’s move on Massa before the Casio triangle probably didn’t deserve a penalty, but the stewards have to remain consistent.

  3. Oliver said on 11th October 2011, 11:20

    There is no mystery to Hamilton’s loss in form, the answer right there in your face.
    Since Withmarsh became team principal, Hamilton has been on the decline.
    First, they gutted his technical crew, gave him a novice race engineer, all in the name of creating equality with Button.
    Then in races Hamilton could win and on the verge of winning, they prioritised their focus on the slower driver, Button, giving him preferencial race strategy, to move him forward in the race.
    Back then when I mentioned this, some said it was Mclaren’s strategy to get a better constructors position.
    Even in Japan Hamiton could have used the undercut to finish higher, but then, he may have threatened Button’s win.
    Withmarsh doesn’t hesitate to blame Hamilton for any mistake but will go on later to say Hamilton will bounce back.
    Even if Button drives from 16th to 8th in a race, it is greeted by Withmarsh as outstanding, despite the fact Hamilton ma have finished 2nd.

    Hamilton is been made to work extra hard each time for points or even to qualify.
    He has too much respect for Button or too much trust in Withmarsh to question some actions.
    Turkey 2010 should have sounded the alarm bell, but that was too quickly ignored.
    But the warning is on the wall, Dennis and Haug are not actively involved with the team. People who had supported him in his young carreer. The person now in charge is the one who wanted to put an end to his sponsorship by Mclaren when he was still growing up.
    All his effort will only be used to make Button go faster.
    It is time to move.

    • kenneth Ntulume said on 11th October 2011, 13:09

      Oliver i couldn’t have put it, any better……………..
      All i need to add, Hamilton has never been in F1 for lesser challenges like beating a teammate…..Once Hamilton realized that he cant take the Championship….his fight Mojo went down….anutha thing is Button is so underrated and Hamilton over rated that his “glory of beating a teammate(Lewis) in few races is so hot for him……..All Ham needs is Machinery to challenge for a Championship not to beat a teammate that is happy being nos 2, not team battles, thats a minor issue for Hamilton , MCL give Hamilton and Button Migs….so they take the battle to redbull….not within MCL…then we shall know who is really best in F1……

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2011, 18:04

        Yes, we’ll see who’s the best in F1. It won’t be the person who isn’t interested in beating his teammate, that’s for sure.

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 11th October 2011, 22:01

          I agree, one of the things that every driver wants to do is to beat at least your teammate, because by beating him you are at least securing your sit on the team…

          And Hamilton is not the first driver that had said that he wants to beat his teammate… every one has said at least once… Even Daniel Riccardo have said he wants to beat Liuzi…

          I think that Hamilton has lost concentration over trying to create the “Lewis Hamilton Brand”… he wants to be a rock star rather than a race driver… but this lower point in his career will help him to get perspective I´m sure he´ll bounce back next year…

    • Clive (@cunningplan) said on 11th October 2011, 17:41

      First time post having just found the blog by accident, and I will quickly say it makes a refreshing change from some of the posts you see on other sites, with regard informative and mature observations.

      Back on topic, I’m glad someone else (Oliver) has pointed out, and I also think, a significant reason to some of LH’s alleged decline. There is no doubt some of the calls made by Jenson’s engineer have been spot on, unlike the other side of the garage, especially in changeable conditions.

      No doubting Lewis looks like a beaten man at present, and the mojo is gone. But it has been pointed out that all sportsmen go through stages of… loss of form/bad luck, what’s the saying? class is permanent, form is temporary.

      I’m sure a couple of wins will rectify the problem, and I suppose only time will tell.

  4. Huron (@huron) said on 11th October 2011, 11:37

    COTD represents everything that is wrong with some modern F1 fans. Nostalgic for a past that they really know nothing about and irritated at a modern F1 that they do not even attempt to understand.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 11th October 2011, 13:22

      I’m not irritated about it, I’m also not that nostalgic.

      I just think we should penalise less and let them race a bit more. That’s all.

      • Huron (@huron) said on 11th October 2011, 15:34

        If you want to see cars having to bump into each other in order to overtake, I recommend NASCAR.

        If you can’t overtake without hitting the other car, you do not belong in an F1 car.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 11th October 2011, 16:11

          I don’t know why John H. exactly don’t want to see penalties as much, so I won’t speak for him.
          But I agree that they penalize too much.
          It is not because I want to see crashes, because I don’t. But I don’t think penalties for making mistakes will reduce the number of accidents anyway.
          It is just a way to heal the wound of the victim, that he knows that the guy who made the mistake is going to have a horrible race no matter what.
          I don’t like it, because I want to see racing. 24 guys on a track who fight for position, not by the laws of the FIA, but by the laws of physics.
          If a driver is lucky to escape unharmed (his car that is) from a crash, it would be nice to see him fight back unhindered, instead of waiting for the inevitable penalty.
          I want to see the drivers sort out the finishing order by them self, with as little manipulation by the stewards as possible.
          Repeated incidents, stupidity or deliberately putting others in danger will have to be hit down on hard by the stewards, but a single racing incident shouldn’t result in one driver getting a drive through just because he can be blamed for it.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 11th October 2011, 16:15

          You claim I do not even attempt to understand modern F1. Perhaps you should read some of the thousands of comments I’ve made in this website with regards ‘modern F1′ and think again.

  5. paolo (@paolo) said on 11th October 2011, 13:12

    Changing the subject away from Lewis for a minute, anyone else believe Vettel when he said he didn’t see Jenson until he was on the grass?

    The fact that he was looking in his right hand mirror all the way to turn one makes it hard to believe he couldn’t see him. And I appreciate the mirrors in F1 cars are pretty poor but he knew he was pulling away from Lewis so his left hand mirror must have been working fine.

    I don’t think the move deserved any form of penalty. It was aggresive but the same as everyone else would do. It would just be nice sometimes to hear people say things like “I saw Jenson had a good start, I moved over to cover him off, and perhaps I moved slightly too far”.

  6. antonyob (@) said on 11th October 2011, 13:19

    Yes more unreconstructed males like Alan Jones and maybe a Keke Rosberg should be stewards not hand wringing “modern” males.

    What is lost when people talk about Senna, but he wasnt the only one, is how aggressive they were and how many “avoidable accidents” there were generally in f1. The high media focus and general wimperisation in modern life has meant anyone doing anything to anyone is scrutinised and holes picked. Its a bit boring really but i guess its the price we pay for opening up the sport to the masses. curse the masses.

    • Huron (@huron) said on 11th October 2011, 16:29

      Alan Jones and Keke Rosberg raced in the era when F1 was truly opened up to the masses, so I don’t know what you’re on about.

      Every decade, F1 fans decide that a new decade was the last of the “true” F1 drivers. Currently, it is the 1980s. In the 1990s, it was the 1970s. In the 1980s, it was the 1960s. In the 1960s and 1950s, it probably was the 1930s.

      Pardon me while I have a chuckle.

  7. Nixon (@nixon) said on 11th October 2011, 14:40

    Excellent donuts form Vettel :)

  8. antonyob (@) said on 11th October 2011, 16:47

    In 1980-82 when rosberg and jones were racing youd get the race on a sunday with 5 mins of preamble and as soon it was over youd be back onto Sunday Grandstand. The papers barely covered it and by the time it appeared in the specialist press the race had happened upto a month before. now you get hours just for qualifying and of course the internet etc etc and for sure you dont get away with what you did then. Youtube some races from the early 80’s and you’ll see cars creeping before the red light goes out, backmarkers crashing into front runners, hugely aggressive changes of direction. Its all there.

    So no its not the same now and i do know what im on about.

    For the record i think the last 3 years has been as good as it ever has been in F1 since i started watching – 1979

  9. antonyob (@) said on 11th October 2011, 16:48

    ..i meant to say and its not the same becuase of the increased profile the sport has… lawn bowls may be hugely contoversial but no one cares cos no ones watching…

  10. cesium said on 11th October 2011, 17:43

    i guess Hamilton just wants to end this season and put it all away! it’s been a frustrating months after spain for him…he had such a good run before monaco but it all went downhill right after that….

  11. Don Mateo (@don-mateo) said on 11th October 2011, 22:08

    There’s a lot of speculation in the BBC and Independent articles over what’s wrong with Lewis, but both seem to conclude exactly that – there is something wrong with him. Perhaps there is, and is these jounalists see him often then maybe they are in a better position to judge than me sat at home, but ultimately if something’s bothering Lewis then only he truly knows what it is and it’s down to him to deal with it.

    Rather than having some major trauma in his life, it could simply be demotivation caused by a rough season. He’s faced increased pressure from his team mate, hasn’t been able to challenge for the title, hasn’t had as many victories as he’d like, and has had rather too many incidents and penalties.

    By his own stellar standards, it has been a poor year. We’ve seen it with other drivers though, and in particular I’m thinking of Jenson during 07-08 driving that dog of a Honda. He never seemed happy when he appeared on TV, and lack of success was to blame for that. Look what a difference it made when he got a winning car.

    It’s possible that the best antidote for Lewis is a couple of good results, for him to feel like he drove a good race and for the media to be applauding him instead of criticising him. If he feels like he’s on top of his game, then that may make all the difference.

  12. antonyob (@) said on 12th October 2011, 9:52

    Youd maybe correct J except he hasnt done it the easy way, a Rosberg or even a Schumacher may be seen as doing it the “easy way.”

    Hes had to fight every step of the way and Mclaren were an extremly hard taskmaster, he had to win stuff all the awy thru the formula’s to be given a chance. He may be burned out to be honest. Plenty of prodigy sportsmen dont last till theyre 30 at the top.

    Id say he needs a year out though that might be a bit dramatic, he certainly needs a good winter break.Hes beeen going like this since he was 6 yrs old and he maybe doesnt have the sense of entitlement you think he has. If anything he perhaps, compared to the rich kids down the paddock, needs to feel more sense of entitlement. He certainly deserves to be there but deep down does he feel a bit of an outsider?

  13. I mean nothing disrepectful to Hamilton whom I admire immensely, but F1 is more complicated than Karting.

    I believe he tries to drive an F1 car like a sprint Kart race. Burns up tyres in the process (I exxagerate a little for effect) and lacks strategy craft, neither of which are too much of a concern if racing from the front.

    But sometimes you just have to bide your time and find the right time and the right place and have a longer view of a race.

    Worked for Schumacher, worked for Alonso worked for Button, Vettel hasn’t had the opportunity leading most races from the front.

    What I have noticed this year now that Button has found an even keel, is that while Hamilton tries to scamper off into the distance early in a race, Button’s best race time is the ‘end game’ when he has energy and tyres over his competitors.

    Canada he (Button) took 4 places in the final laps, and although leading the latter half in Japan, he didn’t hassle Vettel early and ruin his race and still had (just enough this time) reserve at the end to put in the fastest lap and hold off an attacking Alonso.

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