Hamilton wins after shock Vettel retirement

2011 Abu Dhabi GP review

Start, Abu DHabi, 2011

Start, Abu DHabi, 2011

Lewis Hamilton won his third race of the year after Sebastian Vettel surprisingly retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver pirouetted out of the race within moments of the start following a mystery puncture.

That opened the door for Hamilton, who led home Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button for victory.

Vettel spins out

The race took a dramatic turn within seconds of the start. Vettel got away cleanly and led into turn one untroubled by Hamilton behind.

But as he turned into the second corner the Red Bull snapped sideways and spun off, his right-rear tyre punctured. The field hammered by as Vettel dragged his car back onto the track and slowly around to the pits.

Driving a long, slow lap of Yas Marina caused suspension damage and Vettel’s race ended when he returned to his garage.

The lead of the race fell neatly into Hamilton’s hands, and behind him a frantic scrap for position handed him a 2.5-second lead by the end of the first lap.

Fernando Alonso picked off Mark Webber on the outside of turn one then set about attacking Jenson Button to claim second.

Button under attack

Hamilton maintained his advantage over Alonso while Button initially slipped back into the clutches of Mark Webber and Felipe Massa.

The McLaren driver began to draw away and his race engineer told him he was now safe from Webber in the DRS zone. But after a KERS problem developed on the McLaren Button came under pressure again.

Webber mounted an attack in the DRS zone, squeezing down the inside of Button at turn 11. But the McLaren driver responded, coming back on the inside of turn 14 to keep the position.

Shortly afterwards Felipe Massa was into the pits and this visit prompted several others to follow him. Hamilton, Alonso and Button all followed on the next lap.

McLaren coped well with pitting both their cars on the same lap, though Button got away slightly slowly due to a slow change on the right-rear tyre. But that was nothing compared to Webber, who had a very slow stop on his visit on the next lap, and temporarily dropped out of the battle for third.

Hamilton continued to manage a three-second lead over Alonso in the second stint, while Massa and Webber gradually closed in on the McLaren driver. Battle was joined between all three of them at roughly the same time, but as Webber began attacking Massa the pair fell back from Button again.

Webber’s strategy gamble

While most drivers stuck to a two-stop strategy, Red Bull gambled on a three-stop strategy to help get Webber in front of Massa and Button. He took a third set of option tyres and ran them until the penultimate lap of the race trying to build up a gap over the pair.

Massa spun off at turn one late in the race but it likely made no difference to the end result as Webber jumped the Ferrari. But Webber couldn’t build up enough of a gap over Button, whose KERS was now working, and who slotted back into third.

Alonso had two laps in the lead after Hamilton made his final pit stop. But despite spending longer on the soft tyres while Hamilton switched to the mediums, Alonso was unable to move ahead of the McLaren at the pit stops.

Nico Rosberg briefly ran third as he postponed his last pit stop, leaving him sixth ahead of his team mate. The other Mercedes driver pulled up with a puncture after taking the chequered flag.

He had been pursued by Adrian Sutil who finished just over a second behind him. The other Force India of Paul di Resta was ninth after pursuing an unconventional one-stop strategy, running a long first stint on medium tyres.

Buemi retires again

Di Resta spent the opening stint swapping places with Sebastien Buemi. The Toro Rosso driver repeatedly passed him in the first DRS zone, only for the Force India to come by in the second – a phenomenon repeated between other pairs of drivers. The matter was eventually settled when Di Resta ran wide at turn 11, handing the position to Buemi.

But the Toro Rosso driver’s race didn’t last much longer. For the second Grand Prix in a row his STR6 let him down.

Kamui Kobayashi claimed the final point. Like Di Resta, he started the race on the harder tyres but pitted earlier and had to pick his way through the slower cars – taking both HRTs in a single corner at one point.

Kobayashi’s single point – his first since the German Grand Prix – edges Sauber ahead of Toro Rosso in the battle for seventh in the constructors’ championship.

His Sauber team mate Sergio Perez was 11th ahead of Rubens Barrichello, who climbed his way up from the back row. Behind Vitaly Petrov in 13th was Pastor Maldonado, who fell foul of the stewards twice during the race.

On both occasions it was his driving while passing blue flags that was under question. He served one drive-through penalty for it and was under investigation for holding up Webber as the race ended.

Bruno Senna also picked up a penalty for holding up a car that was lapping him. He finished 16th behind Jaime Alguersuari. The Lotuses, Timo GLock and Vitantonio Liuzzi were the remaining finishers.

Daniel Ricciardo was a late retirement from the race having spent much of it ahead of his team mate.

Hamilton’s third win

A joyful Hamilton dedicated his victory to his mother. Despite an often difficult season, he has now won three races, as many as his team mate.

That leaves the way clear for McLaren to end the season in Brazil on a high after a rare moment of weakness by their biggest rivals.

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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158 comments on Hamilton wins after shock Vettel retirement

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  1. Calum (@calum) said on 13th November 2011, 16:10

    Good to see Kobi getting a point! He’s had a poor run of results, so I’m happy to see him (and Hamilton!) get a positive result. :)

  2. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 13th November 2011, 16:14

    Fine drive by Hamilton and Alonso.

    Both had their fair share of luck and bad luck with traffic around their second pit stop leaving the positions unchanged.

    • “yes yes yes,…yes we did it, we did it….thank you guys…” that started to annoy me a lot lately.
      How graceful finish line comment from Hamilton…Mamma raised a good kid :)

      • its all the people that moaned when he spoke his mind have made him have to be like that! damed if you do damed if you dont!

      • Roberto (@roberto) said on 13th November 2011, 23:12

        Actually, people like you are annoying me to no end.. what does Vettels celebreation have anything to do with his racing.. or F1 racing in general..

        • vishy (@vishy) said on 13th November 2011, 23:42

          Sorry mate but Vettels celebrations are really annoying. Btw no one commented on his driving skills, they are superb, he has completely dominated the field this year.

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 14th November 2011, 0:00

            Oh you mean how Hamiltons pretty boy routine is annoying.. the one where he acts like he’s so calm and civilised (especially in his celebrations) and then rams people on the track and blames the racist stewards when it’s not going his way? Yeah, I can see it now.. ;)

          • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 14th November 2011, 3:49

            Jeez, Roberto, all they were saying is that it gets annoying to hear Vettel’s same celebration over and over again. Nothing against his driving. Just take a deep breath, man.

  3. Outsider said on 13th November 2011, 16:14

    Measured drive from Lewis. Great stuff from Fernando, like he said, 50 laps of qualifying. Pretty amazed how he kept Lewis in his sight all race. Good drive by Koby, great to see him back among the points.

    • George (@george) said on 13th November 2011, 16:24

      Yeah, think it’s going to be close between Alonso and Hamilton for DotW

      • Roberto (@roberto) said on 13th November 2011, 23:49

        I’m going to love shoving the DoTW Ham voters their hypocriticism in their faces once the voting is concluded. All the ones who didn’t give it to Vettel in the same cirsumstances.

        If anyone deserves this it’s Alonso.. by a long shot. He outqualified his team-mate, had an amazing start and managed to get the maximum from his car. Unlike Hamilton, who botched qualifying and gave Pole to Vettel, was nowhere NEAR him at the start and only won because of his misfortune and because there was no-one left to properly challenge him.

    • Oliver said on 13th November 2011, 16:54

      Ferrari have a very fast car. And their cars get faster after they’ve warmed their tyres. Their main problem is with qualifying, which has been responsible for their poor finishing position.
      This has been a known fact all season long. I wonder how Brundle and Coulthard keep forgetting that.

      Ferrari:-
      Qualifying Pace: Poor.
      Race Pace: Excellent.

      • Ferrari is fast, but nowhere near enough to upset the proverbial applecart. While it is true that Ferrari has better race pace, but it is not fast enough. Red Bull is the fastest, with McLaren coming in second and Ferrari is a definite third on pace, make no mistake about it. Alsono with his talent is able to manage a higher finishing rank than his car would warrant, but that is merely a testament of his prowess as a driver than the ability of the car.

        • Oliver said on 13th November 2011, 20:04

          Your post is excellent, but we were not comparing Ferrari to Redbull. We are talking Mclaren vs Ferrari. We’ve already assumed, since the first race, that the Redbulls are in a different league.
          I still stand by my belief that the Ferrari is stronger race pace wise, than its qualifying ability.
          The problem Ferrari have during qualifying is that they need more laps to get heat into their tyres, but more laps also reduces the life of the tyres.

          Alonso is employed to get the maximum out of the car else, you would be driving it.

        • How can anyone drive a car higher than ther car warrants? (appart from retirements infront) anyone who finishes below what there car warrents is not driving the car 100%or has a problem and anyone who finishes higer than the car warrants (without retirements and such) is using witchcraft! ( you cant fit more than a pint in a pint glass no matter who you are.

          • However, no driver is mentally or physically capable of getting 100% from a car. So maybe Alonso can make the difference to an extent.

            I’m not an Alonso fan, but to put his car within reach of the fastest Mclaren, is a really good performance.

            Not taking away from Lewis though, after all, he won the race! I just think Alonso has made the car look better than it necessarily deserves.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th November 2011, 13:46

          Their biggest problem has been switching on the harder compound tyres. On his final stint, on the primes, he was just losing tenths everywhere to Button. It must have been so disheartening, but nevertheless, he really has been that teams saving grace this year.

        • STSCM (@stscm) said on 13th November 2011, 23:26

          Not taking away from Lewis though, after all, he won the race! I just think Alonso has made the car look better than it necessarily deserves.

          So, prey tell, what exactly do you mean? Lewis won because he kept his car on the track and at max traction. Alonso came in second because he made his car look better than it necessarily deserves? I agree.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 6:18

      Fernando’s early move on Button was decisive. Great drive.

  4. Alonso, driver of the day?

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 13th November 2011, 16:28

      Definitely one of the Contenders,Got the maximum out of the car & once again like in many races this season a Strong,Well deserved podium.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 13th November 2011, 16:33

      For me, definitely. He’s been outperforming his car all season and when it looks like that Ferrari’s pace here should allow them no better than 4th, Alonso ends up staying in touch with a much faster McLaren all race. Superb drive in my book!

      • What makes people think alonsos outperforming his car? the ferrari is as fast as the mclarens in race trim just massa isnt, it puts similar lap times in, no matter who you are you cant make a car faster than it is just as the driver. a car can lap a track at a certain speed you just need a good driver who can do it. Is vettel outperforming his car when webber finishes back?

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 13th November 2011, 22:42

          We’ve seen Alonso drive the wheels off cars throughout his career – look at Singapore last year as an example. Got pole due to Vettel kissing the barrier on his last run, then kept Vettel in a faster car behind him for two hours due to the track, good strategy and also Alonso’s excellent driving. You’re right that no driver can exceed what the cars maximum speed is. I’m not saying Alonso does the impossible, but he has been driving his car to the absolute maximum of its capabilities pretty much all season and for that his efforts should be acknowledged.
          The Ferrari is not as fast as the McLaren in race pace . It’s closer than in qualifying but not actually as fast. If Ferrari were as competitive as you say, they would surely have more than one win compared to McLaren’s 6.

    • Pretty hilarious to read about “Hamilton dominating GP” at Autosport… all i saw was Vettel giving away the race. It would have been nicer to see some on track action, and for that i’ve to thank Alonso with a great start outdoing Webber and then an excellent pass on Button.

      • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 13th November 2011, 18:45

        Hamilton did drive well. It’s not as great an accomplishment as his other wins this season – coming when Vettel has a puncture, Button has a kers faliure, Webber has floor damage, and the Ferrari is off the pace – but he still drove cooly throughout the race and kept his head when Alonso put him under pressure.

        • STSCM (@stscm) said on 13th November 2011, 20:50

          Hamilton did do good, no doubt. But, really all he did was keep the tire patch on the track and never really had any pressure. Buttons issue with KER’s didn’t occur till after Alonso passed him.
          While I put a target on my forehead, I can’t help but think Alonso overdrove his car to second. How can someone ‘overdrive’ their car? The better drivers always do.
          Interesting comments about driving, listening to the Clark documentary on the BBC, Clark talking to his running mate “Why is everyone so slow?” and his partners response “Everyone’s not that slow, it’s just you’re so bloody fast!!”. Is Webber and Massa such lousy drivers or is Vettel and Alonso so good? Which is it? I disregard McLaren, they’ve got a Rock Star and a Rock Solid in their stable. Since Web and Mas both came so bloody close to the WDC, is it their partners who’re pulling 1/10 or 2/10’ths outta their cars that few other can find. That is the question. Whether tis nobler of the mind… sorry.

          • Alonso was overshadowed by lewis at mclaren and two drivers being in the same car is the best comparison we will ever get.

      • alonso was gifted the pass of button as his kers wernt working

      • vishy (@vishy) said on 13th November 2011, 23:48

        I think Hamilton’s win over Alonso was similar to all Vettels victories over his rivals in most of the races this year, consitent gap but never in too much trouble.

        If we think Vettels victories are not that special because he was not challenged, then we must say the same about Hamiltons victory today. If we think Vettel dominated then Hamilton must have too!

        • i think the difference is we know the vettel\redbull combination this year have dominated most races, where hamilton has struggled

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 14th November 2011, 0:55

            Hamilton has strugggled, but because of himself, not the car.. the fact that he couldn’t beat Vettel in qualifying (again because of a mistake) and the fact he needed a puncture from him to win the race makes me rate his performance below comparable victories by Vettel so far..

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th November 2011, 2:17

            @roberto – That’s right. Hamilton was the best we saw out there, but we didn’t see Vettel.

            Still, Hamilton dominated a race and can build on this result.

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 14th November 2011, 10:27

      @Sri Hamilton for me, and I know that’s shooting myself in the foot a little bit given what I say about the United Church of Hamilton..

      But, this weekend, fastest in 2 of 3 practice sessions, fastest lap time in Quali, missing out only to a stellar lap from Vettel in Q2, then staying out of trouble and driving a calm race throughout.

      This proves my theory that I don’t hate Hamilton, but Alonso didn’t stand out this weekend… He qualified 5th, which was precisely what we have come to expect from the Ferrari, so how does that count as ‘outperforming’ the car?

      I also don’t believe that the squabbling for position is what gave Hamilton a 2.5 second lead in lap 1.. I think there is definitely something this year about being first in lap 1, not just the Red Bull’s brilliant lap 1 pace…

  5. hoshi (@hoshi) said on 13th November 2011, 16:29

    As the puncture (vettel’s) remains unaccounted for..it would be interesting if a “sabotage” theory springs up..

    it was a sad thing, as it robbed of us a mighty tussle between vettel and Hamilton..i am sure..

    impressive drive by Rubens starting from the back of the field..

    also with the KINGFISHER airline going bankrupt..it must be a very gratifying for Mallya to have both cars finish in points..

  6. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 13th November 2011, 16:29

    Fair play to Hamilton for the win, he looked in control from the moment that Seb left the track. I thought that Alonso did excellently, chasing after Hamilton in a car that is third fastest and nowhere near McLaren or Red Bull.

    One thing that annoyed me was the use of the DRS in this race. I assumed that DRS would be used on the short start finish straight to give cars a bit of a boost. In the last two years we’ve seen cars running quite close to one another through the final section and I think a second DRS zone on the start-finish straight might have made turn one a lot more interesting.

    What we got was an artificial farce, with cars being overtaken and re-overtaking seemingly endlessly. If the end result many times was the same car exiting the second DRS zone that was ahead going into the first, what exactly did DRS do? For me it created nothing but a shallow, unexiting spectacle that was far removed from any true kind of racing.

  7. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 13th November 2011, 16:31

    Lewis deserved this win and will be DOTW

    Shame, one more race to go for the season :-(

  8. Felt pretty sad for Buemi’s retirement, especially it being the second gp in a row. It’ll be disappointing if STR drops him next year because of the failures. ): he was running pretty well before his car died! Hardly a fan of Buemi, but the scene of him walking away from his car with his head bent so low in disappointment after last week’s retirement was pretty heart breaking. ):

    • Yes I agree. Buemi does seem to be fighting tooth and nail for a seat next year, and I hope he gets it.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th November 2011, 17:32

        I agree. He even beat Alguersuari in 2009 and 2010, yet the one season he ends up behind may see him suddenly lose his seat. A shame.

        • Agree, though did think Buemi didn’t get wise with the DRS – he should’ve used the first zone to get on Di Resta’s tail and the second zone to pass, rather than keep passing and being repassed as seemed to go on for ages

  9. Carl Craven said on 13th November 2011, 16:45

    People were calling Hamilton’s race in India something special, but considering there was nothing wrong with his car and he came together with Massa again I wouldn’t really say so.

    I thought the top 3 put in good races. Button obviously had an issue with his car so drove well to hold off Massa but most importantly Webber.

    Lewis gifted the win, but drove well and fortunately didn’t have to overtake anyone. Alonso looked good for an attack that never came.

    Dull race all in all.

  10. Himmat S. said on 13th November 2011, 16:50

    I am always surprised that Heikki Kovalainen usually hangs of very closely to those ahead of him in the first stint (on heavy fuel load).

    In the second stint, he drops back a little. In the third stint, he is more than a full second slower than those in front.

    I have been realizing this for the past few races. But I still believe Lotus (Caterham) will rock the party next year. Maybe they can surprise with some podium finishes. Oh well, I’m getting ahead of myself….

    • Oliver said on 13th November 2011, 17:00

      The way I want to look at is that, with Lotus(green) not having much downforce, the extra weight of the fuel gives the rear of the car more balance, while teams with more downforce, suffer from an excess of grip.
      But as the cars get lighter, the performance deficiency of the car becomes more pronounced, hence the apparent slide backwards.

    • sebsronnie (@sebsronnie) said on 13th November 2011, 17:02

      And we tend to forget the Lotus is running without KERS this year – will be good to see them with it next year.

    • The problem is that the closer you get to the front runners the harder it is to catch them.

    • Dave (@davea86) said on 14th November 2011, 1:54

      I think part of the problem is that they don’t get lapped in the first stint but by the end of the race with the field spread around the track they’re constantly having to move over. The cars ahead are also eventually getting lapped but being slightly closer in pace to the leaders probably makes it easier to pick where they get passed to minimise the time lost.

  11. Zahir (@zahir) said on 13th November 2011, 16:57

    Some people have been saying that Vettels retirement denied us a good battle for the lead but I feel Vettel would have just gone off into the distance as he has in basically every other race this year. The gap he pulled out of the first corner alone was significantly large and judging by Webbers pace at the end, assuming Vettel will always have a few tenths over Webber, the car was definitely capable of winning the race which you have to assume Vettel would have done.

    • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 13th November 2011, 18:50

      Webber was on soft tires when most of his rivals were on hard – it’s not surprising he had good pace at the end of the race.

      More telling, I think, is that (i) he couldn’t overake Button even with his Kers gone and braking balance skewed; and (ii) even with Vettel’s qualifying nous, it took a very special lap to nab pole position from the McLarens.

      I still reckon we had every chance of a special race, if all five of the top cars had been in working order.

  12. jw393 (@) said on 13th November 2011, 17:11

    Interesting Stat (well maybe): Hamilton’s Race Wins this year have been within 32 seconds of each other (always around the early 1hr 37min mark)

    Yes, I did notice that on the FOM website and yes, I think it’s worth point out.

    Well done Lewis, so nice to have a short and sweet press conf for once…. no Dissertations from Vettel…

    • Couldnt agree with you more. Vettel always drones on about everything.
      So happy Lewis won. He deserves some luck.

  13. TED BELL said on 13th November 2011, 17:13

    Nice to see Hamilton win, but what I got out of the race is the DRS system is a complete joke and with two zones all it did was put drivers into jeopardy, first being passed and then repassing who ever passed you. Lucky no one came together. As for the outcome of the race DRS did nothing to change the results. Its only benefit was to entertain the drivers during the race and give then something to do, pass me and I pass you back stuff. DRS thus continues to show itself to be a foolish part of modern Grand Prix racing.

    I now think that all the hype about the RedBull chassis being superior to both The McLaren and Ferrari is a myth because when Vettel is out of the equation the rest in the forementioned cars and drivers are pretty much equal. What we are seeing is the true greatness of Vettel getting more from his car than the others doing the same with their cars. Put Seb in the McLaren or in the Ferrari and the slight margine of superiority would be with what ever car he is in when compared to the others.

    When he crashed at corner two the race for me went ho-hum. Yeah there was some excitement as the race ended but was nothing more than a race between the second best.

    Spectacular venue, one of the best, but he race overall was lack luster and the need for rule changes are more apparent than ever.

    • DRS has got to go. So do so many other lame “improvements” made to sport in its recent history. It all started going downhill in early 2000’s when they got together to slow down Ferrari. Rules were specifically modified in order to slow down Ferrari. The whole focus of the rule changes was not to make the sport better/ safer, but to slow Ferrari down. Nevertheless, the plan to stop one team from dominating hasn’t much worked really and sport is in much worse a shape. There was a time, when Renault, and McLaren were on song and now Red Bull. Honda was merely a blip on the radar, which happened before as well in this sport. The sport has always been this way and i’ll not be surprised if it continued this way, as this is what modern F1 has been for a while.

      What they need to do, is cut all the **. How? Well, simplify rules. I know it is easier said than done, but there are a lot of things which are somewhat dead-end like DRS which are thrown into the sport only to be taken out soon. Devlopment resources of such wasteful applications could be had elsewhere.

      F1 once was the pinnacle of motor-sports, but now as some people appropriately call it, is a circus, with a bunch of a$$clowns, and deteriorating faster and faster still as a showcase for technology. One could argue that there’s still nothing better than F1, but that doesn’t mean this sport that we all have come to know and love, shouldn’t evolve. Well, if not evolve at least it could still be the sport that we fell in love with, not go downhill!

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th November 2011, 17:38

        Rules were specifically modified in order to slow down Ferrari.

        No they weren’t. At most you can say they changed to points system in reaction to 2002 to reduce the chance of a driver winning the title so early. But that’s it. There were no anti-Ferrari rules changes.

        • Reduced testing is what comes to mind immediately… but if i dig, i think i could find something more. However, the qualifying changes and all were done in order to allow other teams to topple Ferrari.

          • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 13th November 2011, 18:55

            There have been several rule changes introduced to lower the cost of F1. This appears to hinder Ferrari, because they have traditionally been one of the richest teams – reduced testing is a case in point.

            Actually, though, the budget cap makes it harder for a new entrant to spend their way through the ranks like Honda and Toyota tried to, or like Red Bull managed to. It simultaneously means F1 is more healthy – with teams like Lotus/Catheram being financially viable – and that the status quo is a little bit safer than it was before. So Ferrari should love it.

            The key reasons they’ve had more trouble lately are that (i) Newey has fit in really well at Red Bull, and (ii) they no longer have a peak-of-his-powers Schumacher driving the socks off their cars.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th November 2011, 9:03

            The testing reductions were brought in to save money and they were introduced when Luca di Montezemolo was FOTA chairman.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 6:40

          Keith, I disagree. Back in Schumacher days in Ferrari, many ruled were designed to slow them down.

    • I disagree with you TED BELL that Vettel would have a slight margine of superiority if put in a Mclaren or Ferrari esspecially if he would play second driver to Hamilton or Alonso and he surely would be in Ferrari as we all well know their team orders.

      • Cristian (@cristian) said on 13th November 2011, 19:37

        @ Suka: You just said that just to annoy people, didn’t you? Do you honestly think Ferrari or McLaren would sign the best driver of the last seasons just to have help for their lead driver? And still, since Button has a longer deal, it would be him who stays,not Hamilton

        • daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 14th November 2011, 1:35

          you must be joking m8 if ham dint want button as team m8 then theyd get rid button j.b is not the future is he ham is

          • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 14th November 2011, 10:37

            you must be joking m8 if ham dint want button as team m8 then theyd get rid button j.b is not the future is he ham is

            @daniel
            Arrgghhh!! My eyes!!

            Sorry, I’m a campaigner for real English..

            After I understood what you were saying, I still disagree though, Mclaren treat their drivers equally, and if they WOULD decide it, they’d go for the driver with more points in the current season (Button now has 28 points more than Hamilton, there is no way Hamilton can beat Button in 2011) so Button would be the driver they keep.

            But as Mclaren DON’T make choices like that, then that’s it, they’ll keep both (incredibly good) drivers and do their best to resign them for as long as possible..

        • suka (@suka) said on 14th November 2011, 9:00

          Kimi’s contract was bougth out, when Alonso came, was it not?

  14. dcjohnson (@dcjohnson) said on 13th November 2011, 17:35

    I am getting confused when I hear complaints about DRS ? It really doesn’t harm the faster car, it only prevents a faster car from being held up by a slower car ! Surely that what we want ? Seems F1 fans just moan !
    No over-taking…now too much…Some people say just give them tyres that fall apart, that’s ok as long as that the “wear” on the tyres is due to loss of rubber and no load…I want drivers to be driving as fast as possible and smoothness to be rewarded, but I don’t want plodding around “saving” tyres, it is not racing !!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th November 2011, 17:39

      No over-taking…now too much

      I don’t think you have paid attention to what most people who criticise DRS are actually saying. As far as I’m concerned the objection is that much of the ‘overtaking’ we see because of DRS is artificial and contrived.

      • dcjohnson (@dcjohnson) said on 13th November 2011, 18:05

        The artifical and contrived is a silly position, like anything in F1 is natural. The fastest cars should get to the finish line quickest. Maybe we should rip up millions pounds of track, so we can keep minority happy…rose coloured glasses would be needed to argue that this year hasn’t given some of the best f1 ever…in a year totally dominated by single driver…some anoraks want f1 to themselves forgetting the money comes from f1 being exciting to all !! DRS and KERS do that, but don’t let me stop you lot from moaning…but you realise you never had it so good !

        • I kinda agree with you.

          I don’t like the artificial and contrived argument just because every car can use it. People were moaning about cars being stuck behind each other and DRS has solved that for the most part. For me, I try to look at as a mechanical push to pass button, that way of looking at it usually gets a better reception.

          If I were to criticize DRS however, I’d rather say that it could turn races into mere sorting out events rather than competitions, lessening the chance for surprise results, but that kinda falls down anyway when I consider that DRS just speeds the existing process up.

          In my mind, we don’t need it anymore. Even if we do get cars stuck behind each other the pit stops give drivers a chance to make headway. (I <3 Pirrelli)

        • Rocky (@rocky) said on 14th November 2011, 3:29

          Yes thank you!

      • Baron (@baron) said on 14th November 2011, 0:58

        I do not see that DRS is artificial or contrived compared with making tyres that are deliberately made substandard so they will wear uot quickly and throw a random result into the race results. Moving areodynamic devices appeared on F1 cars 30 years or more ago and were banned on safety grounds. During that time, the drivers changed gear manually, altered their wing angles, adjusted brake bias and changed anti-roll bar settings for almost every corner – was that all “artificial and contrived?”

        The ethos of F1 is the pinnacle of automotive engineering excellence, and the one blot on the landscape for me personally, is a manufacturer making a part that will deliberately fail (tyres).

        Against that DRS is totally legit.

  15. Well, he started second… the car in front crashed out with suspension failure on turn 2… He then simply held his position in a superior car than Alonso’s, which wasn’t a surprise.

    I loved to watch Schumacher in 2002/ ’04 and Alonso in ’05/ ’06. Button was also good in ’09 and boy does Vettel bring joy to me now… They’re masterclass. Hamilton while he does have the raw pace doesn’t seemingly have the temperament. Call me what you will, but all of the people quoted above, when they had somewhat better equipment, absolutely dominated the rest of the field. I have yet to see that coming from Lewis. Lewis is good, but good as Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Alonso or even Button? I have my doubts, which the lad didn’t help much by making a statement like he did on the eve of this race. He was trying to emulate Senna, anyone remembers Suzuka and coming together with Prost. Lewis is certainly talented, but i believe he’s not that good. Now did that make your day? :)

    • daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 13th November 2011, 18:07

      ha dude u funny guy button better than hamilton didnt watch 07 and 08 wasnt that masterclass enough 4 u.you say u loved watching alonso well what dint u enjoy about lewis beating the double champ the man who retired schumi i suppose jenson whos had 1 dry win in 2 years is much better ay u chump

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th November 2011, 18:21

        Hamilton was indeed great in those years, but 2007 and 2008 were his best seasons to date. JB has had 1 dry win in 2 years, but 5 overall, only 1 behind LH.

      • Yes i’m quickwitted. However the debate is not about our ability to make people chuckle. Lewis was obviously backed as team’s number one in ’07 and whatever little doubts people had, McLaren alleviated them in ’08. Even Montoya spoke rather openly about how Lewis was a “McLaren boy” and having warned Alonso of his move to McLaren. You obviously have not read any neutral articles about the entire debacle. In ’08 with a superior car (compared to Massa in Ferrari) Lewis only managed to win the title at the last corner. Does that sound masterclass to you?

        • bad_whippet (@bad_whippet) said on 13th November 2011, 19:21

          @Sri

          “In ’08 with a superior car (compared to Massa in Ferrari) Lewis only managed to win the title at the last corner. Does that sound masterclass to you?”

          Actually, yes. 2008 was only Hamilton’s 2nd season in F1.

          It’s quite clear from your comments about Hamilton and Alonso’s drive today, together with the rubbish about the rules being changed to hobble Ferrari, you’re a Ferrari/Alonson fan through and through and simply can’t recognise Hamilton for the driver he is.

          Hamilton is up there with Alonso whether you like it or not mate, stop the silly comments and conspiracy theories.

          • @bad_whippet
            He did win in his second year itself. Yes, Lewis did and there’s no taking away what he did. He is WC of ’08. I admitted that he had natural speed. However, i’d draw the line calling him one of the greatest as many people here do. I wouldn’t judge them, but i wouldn’t opine the same. Just to bash me bacuse i may have an opinion that is different than yours shows how open you’re to suggestion. You did not prove whatever i typed wrong, but merely resorted to personal attacks. Thank you!

          • bad_whippet (@bad_whippet) said on 13th November 2011, 23:09

            @Sri

            I wouldn’t call what I wrote ‘bashing’ and certainly not ‘personal attacks’. Just facts really.

            Look at what you wrote about the rule change and Ferrari. Rubbish, as I wrote, that’s all.

            The ‘silly comments’ remark is also valid.

            It’s quite obvious from every post (and there are quite a few…) from you on this thread, that you’re just not willing to accept Hamilton as “one of the greatest”. That’s ok, that’s your opinion and of course you’re entitled to it. But your comments are so heavily against Hamilton they hold no real objective quality, as they simply make you sound like a fanboy of another driver.

            And that’s my personal opinion.

            Also, it’s not about being open to suggestion when those suggestions are baseless nonsense.

            I’m a Hamilton fan, but I also have a huge amount of respect for Alonso, Vettel and Button; they’re all awesome drivers and worthy WDC’s.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th November 2011, 23:27

            @bad_whippet The rules actually were changed to stop Ferrari winning, or help the others get closer, but that was back in 2005. Ferrari are just the third best team now.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 13th November 2011, 22:07

          Even Montoya!

          LoL

        • daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 14th November 2011, 1:38

          superiour in 08 when he won 1 less race than massa very superiour dude

          • Yes… look at the mistakes Lewis made which resulted in dnf’s or poor results. McLaren was indeed faster overall than Ferrari.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 7:14

          Hamilton almost won in his rookie season! Sir, he failded for three reasons:

          1. McLaren took too long to pit him in China. (he was leading)

          2. He chocked in Brazil (his fault)

          3. Massa gifted P1 to Raikkonen. (Quite understandable)

          What he did yeaterday is pretty much the same think Vettel did all season long, so why you’re impressed by VET and not by HAM?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th November 2011, 23:24

            Because nobody retired in front of Vettel when he dominated several times this season. That’s also why I don’t rank Vettel’s ’09 win at Abu Dhabi highly.

          • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 24th November 2011, 17:58

            massa didn’t win the 08 wdc for the lollipop traffic light a Ferrari guy pushed on the wrong moment in Singapure… and bcs Glock drove as a Granny that final lap at Brazil. Vettel had already passed HAmilton and Glock then Timo (ironic name cause in Spanish means scam, cheat) slipped and so there’s the youngest wdc at that time… but well luck’s for everyone Vettel must have sent tons of redbull cans to vitali in 2010

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th November 2011, 18:07

            @OmarR-Pepper

            Glock drove as a Granny that final lap at Brazil

            Utter rubbish.

            Check the data, there was nothing wrong with Glock’s driving or his tactics:

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2008/11/04/2008-brazilian-grand-prix-analysis/

    • Hamilton is great, just not mature enough. He is getting there. He needed a few ‘hickups’ to get some ground under his feet. I hope Mclaren makes a dominant car so he does not have to bother with slower drivers like Vettel does not have to these days.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th November 2011, 18:21

      So, you are sort of mimicking everyone who wasn’t convinced Vettel was doing it on his down rather, but by having the right car and some luck, saying that this driver just lucked into a good position? Not convinced.

      HAM hasn’t had a superior car after all, and was pretty stunning during 2007; today he had luck to be gifted first place, so we didn’t get to see whether he could have done in Vettel, but who knows. Well, apart from you.

      • Erm, i don’t know wht you were trying to say, but i’ll try to answer without sounding condescending in any manner what so ever. Do i think Vettel is good? Yes. I think we all realized that as soon as he won his first GP at Moonza. Do i doubt his ability? Nope! He could win, and given a winning car in the last 2 years, he has tallied up many wins and has not made many silly mistakes. Contrast that will mistakes made by Lewis over last 5 years and you’ll have your answer.

        McLaren had the fastest car in ’07. McLaren had the fastest car in ’08. McLaren were the second fastest in ’09. McLaren were almost as fast as Red Bull in 2010. McLaren is the second fastest in this year. Lewis hasn’t really had a mediocre car throughout his carrer in F1 so far. Lewis always has had a supply of good to great equipment, and which is why he should be judged a little harsher than someone making a debut in HRT, Lotus or any other lower rung teams. However, what i saw instead was him being treated much better in the media. Media was almost too afraid to criticise Lewis and his mistakes/ shortcomings. This is not to say that Lewis is not allowed to make mistakes. Senna/ Prost/ Schumacher/ Alonso/ Hakkinen etc. all the greats you could think of in the modern GP era have had made mistakes. The difference is that they all got the stick too. Lewis on the other hand, mostly gets off very lightly.

        • daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 13th November 2011, 19:30

          dude fastest in 07 yes give u that but 08 no way massa had more wins and 09 u ant got a leg to stand onred bull quicker than mclaren did u see how bad it was then last half of seoson e was top poins scorer and 2010 red bull were much quicker look at the amount of faliures seb had .and anyway i wasnt dissing seb you said button is a better driver than ham well 1 dry win backs your argumen well doesnt it lol.just lisen to what alonso said about ham on bbc website he fears ham most cuz he doesnt need the fastest car and thats comming from a double world champ/this red bull will go down as problt the best car ever and f it dint start unravelling 4 ham after monaco he would of took the fight to seb u dont really think j.b will win another champ at mclaren do u es had his best ever year and ham has had his worst year just look at qually record says it all and bey the way i do like jenson hes upped his game i just know like real f1 fans do that hes a class above j.b

          • To win the race/ championship, you have to finish first. Not the position on the podium, but literally complete the race. Look at how many times Hamilton has made a fist of an opportunity. Also, consider the fact that all his career has been spent in winning cars, as well with the team backing him over the other driver(s) for the most part. If he didn’t win, he wouldn’t be there. However, Button, Vettel, Alonso et all… they not just won, but dominated. Remember ’09 when Button was winning everything? Same with Alonso in ’05 (McLaren’s reliability also helped Alonso) and ’06. Now Vettel is doing the same. This is not to say that Hamilton is not one of the best on the grid. However, i have a different opinion than most, and i cited my reasons for the same.

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 7:38

            Alonso has said more than once that Hamilton is the one he fears the most.

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

          “Lewis hasn’t really had a mediocre car throughout his carrer in F1 so far”

          2009 obviously too long ago to remember.

        • carldec (@carldec) said on 14th November 2011, 0:55

          Totally agree with you Siri. Well written and right to the point.

          F1 is a team sport and McLaren are a great team capable of making the best car and the best strategy decisions and the best pits stops etc.

          If Alonso had say some like Heikki (competent, but not astounding) as a number 2 in 2007 he would have most likely been 3 time champ and have gotten 4 in 2008 and might even have given brawn a run in 2009. Hard to say, but without Hamilton’s and Ron Dennis’s antics forcing him to abandon the team and waste time thrashing around in a Renault he surely would have had 3 titles by now.

          In hind sight Mclaren would also be better without Hamilton because they might have been able to attract better technical and design talent if they had won it all in 07, 09 and 2010. As it is they squeaked one out.

          This year hamilton has been all over the place. When he is good he is brilliant but when he is not, he is so bad you wonder if he has a future in the sport.

          I think he does.. And I would love to see him mature into someone that wins a few more titles. But he has a ways to go to be in the very top bracket with Alonso, Senna, Schumi, Clark and now Vettel.

          • I maintain that Hamilton is one of the top 10 guys in F1 at present. However, people who are as fast, or faster still are growing in numbers. What’s more, Lewis’s consistency as you pointed out is all over the place. This isn’t to say that his career is in question, Lewis still has at least 5 more years in F1 (at the top level). The question is what he will do in the next 5 odd years, which will shape rest of his career, if he chose to continue given an opportunity. Lewis is fast, no doubt. However, what puts me off is when people start comparing him to Senna, Prost, Schumacher etc. There is little evidence to point in the direction that Lewis is going to grow as a racer. The incidents with Massa and statement of intent of “going in hard into first corner and it is Vettel’s decision to avoid collision”, show that this young man has a lot to learn. Of course nothing one can teach him about driving a F1 car, but temperament is another matter. I would have thought keeping company of Brundle will quiet him down a bit, but the evidence is not there.

            Then again, one can look at today’s race as a coming of age (mind you, not the status as a sports’ great). Lewis didn’t make a single mistake, and well i have nothing more to say. He had a faster car, he managed the race well when he got the lead. As far as i’m concerned, good job well done. Masterclass? Nope! Let us see this over a fair few races and then may be i’ll reconsider my opinion of him as a driver. We all know what Schumacher did and is capable of. Today, i rate Alonso, Button, Vettel as better than Hamilton, as in they’re more complete/ competent as a driver. I don’t know what’s been Webber’s problem, i guess the fact that Red Bull is perhaps keeping him on as a number 2, but he’s clearly lacking the fire from last year. Also Mercedes hasn’t really had much competent a car, so i don’t know what Rosberg is capable of. Anyways… long story short, Hamilton better bring his A-game to the field sometime soon, or he would have start worrying about the much vaunted seat at McLaren.

            I think things have changed for Hamilton. He himself admitted to missing a bubble he had previously. He may change teams sometime in a couple of years or so. As McLaren was very much a Lewis team, when Button came along, but i guess they have mixed feelings today. This year, Button was let down by car twice, but he didn’t have a DNF thanks to his own doing. Can one say the same about Lewis? Then they actually question my motive for saying Button is better driver than Lewis. Faster over one lap, may be not. Better driver overall? The answer to that is a definite, resounding yes. Button manages variables well which allows him to get consistent results and one needs to just look at the points tally for a confirmation.

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 6:32

            Do you really believe that? So Ron Denis signed a double WDC, gave him F1’a highest pay to destroy his career favouring a 22 years old rookie?

            Hamilton is a good driver, hate it or like it.

          • daniel (@clappy123456789) said on 14th November 2011, 22:36

            The facts are, due to a lot of unforced error, he is behind his teammate in points. But he has won 3 races, just as many, and has totally dominated Button in qualifying. He has even been 8 times on the front row, a shocking stat when you consider that a different team broke the poles record this year.

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