Vettel and Hamilton at odds over unlapping

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hockenheim, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton defends his driving after being criticised by Sebastian Vettel and Christian Horner for unlapping himself during the German Grand Prix.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso cruises to German Grand Prix victory (The Guardian)

Sebastian Vettel: “It’s a bit stupid to disturb the leaders. I think that potentially lost us the position to Jenson [Button].”

Cry baby: Hamilton slams Vettel as German Grand Prix fallout turns into public spat (The Mirror)

Lewis Hamilton: “It doesn?t really bother me what he says, I guess. It shows his maturity. I don?t think I?ve made any silly decisions throughout the race. I had nothing to gain apart from staying out of the way of my team mate.”

Vettel and Horner slam Hamilton (Sky)

Christian Horner: “Why was he interfering with the race leaders? He should have respected the fact that they were ahead on the track.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Vettel doing himself no favours calling Hamilton’s unlapping ‘stupid’. Remember the Kubica/Vettel/Hamilton move at Interlagos ’08.”

Intelligent Alonso shows he has all the answers (BBC)

“After standing on his Ferrari’s nose to milk the applause, Alonso turned to Button and said: ‘You couldn’t beat me?’ He then pointed to Vettel and said: ‘He couldn’t either.'”

2012 German Grand Prix (McLaren)

Hamilton: “My second-lap puncture was incredibly unfortunate: there was debris scattered across the full width of the track and I didn?t have any option other than to drive straight through it. What?s more frustrating is that, at the time, I was the eighth car through ?ǣ so to be the one to get the puncture is just cruel luck.”

Ferrari Still Not The Fastest Car, Says Domenicali (Speed)

“I believe we still don?t have the fastest car, if we had the fastest car maybe it would be easier to win. We need to improve the car, and we need to make sure our car is good in all the different conditions, wet/dry, different kinds of tyres, and so on.”

McLaren MP4-27 – revised sidepod design (F1)

“The extensive list of updates include lower and more sculptured sidepods, new exhausts, new radiator installation, a revised floor in front of the rear tyres, a new diffuser, new rear wing endplates and modified brakes ducts.”

Ferrari told to ignore RBR technical row (Autosport)

Stefano Domenicali: “When I first saw the note from the technical delegate, I said ‘stay focused on our job today.’ This is something that engineers see and they try to think about. But no, stay focused on what you have to do. Forget about what is happening.”

Ecclestone’s absence fuels talk of charges (The Telegraph)

“After his office intimated that he would fly in late on Saturday, Ecclestone apparently had a change of heart, saying that he did not want to be ‘a distraction’. German media had speculated on Friday that Ecclestone might be arrested if he attended the race.”

German GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

Button on his flat spot during the final stint: “It gave me a little bit of a headache, but that was about it. It was unusual. I guess they just weren’t up to temperature when I hit the brakes that time. We’ve been very good with front-locking in this race. Normally it’s a big issue with the McLaren. In testing we had big issues with front locking. We did some set-up work and we’ve solved a lot of that, which is great for us.”

Comment of the day

There’s been a lot of discussion recently over Ferrari using Italian in their team radio messages. Bullfrog reckons it’s up to TV broadcasters to translate them instead of forcing Ferrari to use English:

Sky are asking people to pay a premium for their service ?ǣ the least they can do is find someone to translate the messages, instead of making lame jokes and sounding amazed that people speak in funny foreign languages…

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Matt!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Five years ago today a furious Scott Speed claimed his Toro Rosso team were trying to force him and Vitantonio Liuzzi out.

Sure enough, it soon turned out Speed had already started his last race: he was replaced by Sebastian Vettel at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Liuzzi was dropped at the end of the season to make way for Sebastien Bourdais.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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197 comments on Vettel and Hamilton at odds over unlapping

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  1. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:08

    I was also angry at Alonso’s engineer. As the only english speaker in my family, it’s up to me to translate the team radio messages, and now I have to try and remember my silly basic italian lessons in school!

    As for the Hamilton controversy, I think it’s highly unethical. I feel sorry for Vettel about that. But I still do agree with the stewards for his penalty. He didn’t even try to stay on the kerb.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:17


      As for the Hamilton controversy, I think it’s highly unethical. I feel sorry for Vettel about that.

      Few things are black-and-white in this sport (or in life generally for that matter). But there is absolutely no just cause to complain about Hamilton’s conduct here.

      Had he unlapped himself and then proceeded to hold up Vettel so Button could try to pass him, this would be a differnet matter. But he didn’t. He unlapped himself and then went after Alonso. Hamilton was driving his own race.

      Drivers are perfectly entitled to unlap themselves if they are going quickly enough. For Vettel and Horner to suggest Hamilton was behaving improperly or doing anything wrong in this respect is sheer arrogance.

      Moreover, I suspect their complaints were not entirely sincere, and were at least partly motivated by a desire to deflect questions over Vettel’s move on Button at the end of the race.

      • Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:42

        I don’t doubt that, they saw it coming and wanted to direct attention somewhere else. But I couldn’t help but suspect that he was after Alonso just to hold him back, which he was unable anyway. I may be kind of a conspiracist, I admit it, and I’m no RBR nor McLaren nor Alonso fan. All of this just seemed strange to me. But your point is also totally right Keith.

        • David BR2 said on 23rd July 2012, 18:50

          As for the Hamilton controversy, I think it’s highly unethical.`[…] I couldn’t help but suspect that he was after Alonso just to hold him back, which he was unable anyway

          So let me get his right Carlitox, you calling Hamilton highly unethical because you suspect he overtook Vettel with the motive of getting past Alonso to then hold Alonso back?

          The only lack of ethics I see is your own in accusing someone of intending to do something that didn’t happen and for which you have absolutely no proof beyond your own dubious suspicions.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 24th July 2012, 2:15

            However, more crazy things have hap paned in F1, I don’t agree with him, but at least he gave his reasons…. Also, slamming people for saying things you don’t agree with, is no better.

      • MattB (@mattb) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:55

        Indeed. When he unlapped himself, he was immediately shown the blue flags. This means “get out of the way, do not impede those behind”. Which he did. By driving faster.

        I actually was wondering if the leaders might be shown the blue flags, they weren’t racing and Hamilton was behind and faster.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 1:22

          I didn’t see him being shown blue flags. I heard the commentators questioning ‘are those blue flags for Hamilton’, but at that point I thought they were approaching other lapped drivers.

          • q85 said on 23rd July 2012, 1:47

            he was once, just after he passed seb. but then not after.

            If a SC had come out unlapping himself would of made a huge difference and probably meant some points for himself and mclaren. he did nothing wrong.

            unlapping yourself is part of the sport.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:20

            @matt90 I’m pretty sure Hamilton was shown blue flags/lights at turn 11 immediately after he passed Vettel. I Tweeted about it at the time:


          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 11:45

            That’s interesting. I’m not sure whether that’s the right thing to do or not. If they are meant to yield after seeing 3 blue flags, it doesn’t give them a lot of time to start pulling away.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:13

            I think we can put the first blue flag down to the flag marshal seeing a car ahead of the leaders and doing what comes naturally. After that the flag marshals probably got a message from Race Control to the affect that Hamilton was going faster and not holding them up.

            Indeed the blue flags are only for drivers holding up the leaders. To call unlapping unethical shows a complete ignorance of the rules and ethics of motor racing.

        • SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 23rd July 2012, 1:44

          Blue flags are for slower cars to let the faster cars thru to lap you.
          Hamilton was a faster car then those of the leaders.
          He acted right, simple

      • Hakkinen666 said on 23rd July 2012, 2:35

        Screw vettel he cheated anyway, and Lewis had every right to try and unlap himself. He clearly had the faster car speed and why would he do that cheat vettel any favours anyway. Question is “Can anyone stop Alonso?” He is on fire

      • sumedh said on 23rd July 2012, 3:15

        Agree with Keith over this one.

        Imagine a scenario where he unlaps himself from Alonso and then there is a safety car, Lewis would have then been in with a legitimate shot of the race-win!!
        On the other hand, he doesn’t unlap himself and then there is a safety car, he is stuck where he is.

        • James (@jamesf1) said on 23rd July 2012, 11:04

          Hardly likely or plausible, especially that let in the race. Hamilton was down in the lower teens at that point, so yes, he would have been on the same lap as the leaders, but would have been right at the back of the pack.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:18

            Probably, but it would have given him a chance at points. Getting one more lap definitely gives a driver a better chance of points. You see all the time people go out on the last lap. If you’re lapped you can’t pass those people if they are on the lead lap.

            And in any case the probabilities for a Hamilton victory should not be a factor in his decision to unlap himself. Car speed compared to the driver in front of him is all that matters. Basically, if you can then you should.

        • sato113 (@sato113) said on 23rd July 2012, 11:27

          under safety car conditions, you can unlap yourself. so HAM wouldnt have been stuck.

          • Nick (@nick101) said on 23rd July 2012, 12:48


            Although I don’t see that he did anything wrong with un-lapping himself as he did. Made me chuckle anyways, and I am NOT a Hamilton fan!

      • SubSailorFl said on 23rd July 2012, 4:00

        One safety car and Hamilton would’ve been back in the race. He had the pace to run with them and pass them and should’ve.

      • JB (@) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:35


        Drivers are perfectly entitled to unlap themselves if they are going quickly enough. For Vettel and Horner to suggest Hamilton was behaving improperly or doing anything wrong in this respect is sheer arrogance.

        We finally agree on a couple of things!! ;)

      • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 16:15

        I’m sorry, i must have missed something. When exactly did Hamilton unlap himself ? I didn’t see him pass Alonso to unlap himself. He had no business interfering with the race leaders.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 16:22

          Obviously I meant unlapped himself from Vettel, rather than the race leader.

          He had no business interfering with the race leaders.

          Yes he did, because he was quick enough to unlap himself.

          • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 17:55

            I am obviously not going to make my point with your McLaren tinted glasses on. He did not unlap himself.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 19:51

            I’m not sure you understand what being lapped and unlapped are.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:17

            HewisLamilton – If you want to use some other verb besides ‘unlapping’ to describe a driver overtaking someone who is a lap ahead of them but isn’t the race leader, then fine. But I can’t be bothered. If you choose to see this as a sign of bias rather than me not being remotely interested in your pedantry and hair-splitting, more fool you.

            None of which changes the fact that any driver who is faster than the car in front of him has the right to try and overtake it, regardless of what lap they’re on. That goes for Lewis Hamilton on Sebastian Vettel at Hockenheim this year just as it went for Robert Kubica on Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos four years ago.

          • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 21:00

            The only way a driver can unlap himself, that is, get back on the lead lap, is to pass the leader.

            Can you please define another way that a car can get back on the lead lap?

            hamilton did not do this.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 21:12

            Hamilton was a lap behind Vettel before he overtook him. After he overtook him he was no longer a lap behind Vettel. Therefore he unlapped himself from Vettel.

            But, just to reiterate, this is all a sideshow – the heart of the matter is that Hamilton did nothing wrong by unlapping himself from Vettel.

          • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 22:02

            hamilton did not unlap himself. By timing and scoring, he was still a lap down after passing Vettel. Vettel was 1 to 1.25 sec behind the leader in 2nd place.
            But, just to reiterate, all hamilton did was interfere with the race leaders. At no point did he get back on the lead lap.

            As a vintage FF racer, I can say even at the level I race this is not tollerated among drivers.

          • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 22:07

            Actually, fair enough. You have an opinion as do I.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:21

            He can’t get back on the lead lap without unlapping himself from the 2nd placed driver first can he!!!

      • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:03

        Hamilton did nothing wrong and for Vettel to complain about it just shows how molly-coddled he is….

        So Hamilton is faster than Vettel and came up behind him… what did Vettel think Hamilton should have done ? That Hamilton should have slowed down to just follow Vettel around in a procession ? What if Hamilton had done that and had been caught by another backmarker ? Should they follow the slower car in front (Vettel) in a procession as if Vettel is a safety car ?

        To all of you saying Hamilton was interfering… my question to you is what do you think the (faster) Hamilton should have done ? And how is that racing ?

        By complaining, Vettel is simply revealing himself as an immature cry-baby… he only seems to be able to race when he’s in the fastest car and in front… otherwise he whinges about everyone else not bowing down to him…

        • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 18:33

          How far behind Alonso was Vettel prior to hamilton interfering ?
          How far was Vettel behind Alonso after hamilton interfering?

          hamilton actually never unlapped himself, and interfered with the leaders at a point in the race tham hamilton was out of challenging either of the two for position.

          I hope hamilton enjoys his single WDC…..his one, his only and his LAST.

          • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:35

            He unlapped himself with respect to Vettel… the fact that Vettel fell back vs Alonso was because he was slower…

            Lets look at this FALSE gap argument…

            The gap ALO to VET was about 1.5 – 2 secs with ALO pegging the gap or even extending it immediately prior to HAM catching VET.

            HAM overtook VET… the gap ALO to HAM was about 1.5 secs and HAM to VET was <1sec (as low as 0.6 sec on some laps)…

            EVEN with the aid of DRS VET was unable to take the place back and HAM then pulled out 2.5 secs lead over VET closing to <0.6 sec to ALO. In other words VET was dropping back even after HAM overtook.

            If it was simply HAM interfering then VET would have retaken HAM at the next DRS zone but he didn't because he couldn't because he was slower.

            After HAM attacked ALO for several laps and was unable to get past he dropped back slightly (his tyre advantage went) and the gaps closed up ALO to HAM 1.5 secs, HAM to VET 1.5 secs… In other words VET was as far behind ALO as he was before the whole thing started.

            AGAIN.. I ask you… what was HAM supposed to do ? Stay behind VET even though he was faster ? What if another backmarker closed up behind HAM ?

            What if ALO had been further ahead of VET ? Would/should that have made any difference ? If ALO had been 20 secs ahead of VET do you also think that HAM should not have overtaken ?

            If you take that to its stupid conclusion then if the leader was the only one on the lead lap then no matter how slowly he was going nobody could overtake to unlap themselves….

            I'm not a HAM or ALO fan but its only the VET fans defending him, everyone else including all the drivers on the shows think that HAM did nothing wrong and VET was wrong to criticise HAM.

          • HewisLamilton said on 23rd July 2012, 22:57

            Too many What ifs Mark.

            Hamilton should have let Button by and stayed out of the fray for the lead of the race. It was touch and go with Alonso and Vettel and the DRS zone detection and so close to a second gap. Some laps Vettel had DRS open, others he did not. Alonso benefitted from traffic and allowed him to use his DRS. It was quite exciting. After hamilton got involved, it was a mute point.

            Maybe hamilton was showing Ferrari that he indeed can be a #2 driver and support the Ferrari #1?

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:23

            Whether the battle became uninteresting for you to watch has nothing to do with sport.

          • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 24th July 2012, 10:49

            Sorry Hewis… but the rules are there precisely to cater for the what ifs…

            If (as in your opinion) Hamilton was wrong to overtake Vettel then you have to define your terms… in what circumstances is it ok for a faster car to overtake a slower car and in what circumstances is it not ?

            You can’t define a rule retrospectively for a specific case (like this one)…. so please can you define precisely the circumstances in which a faster car that is a lap down should not be permitted to overtake a faster car that is a lap ahead ?

            I’d like to hear your definition…

            Because there was only anything wrong with what Hamilton did if you can define a rule that would apply to all the what ifs.

      • David BR2 said on 23rd July 2012, 19:00

        I agree with Keith about the insincerity of the complaints by Vettel and Horner. I have absoultely no doubt Vettel would do the same as Hamilton in similar circumstances and would be entitled to do so. He showed absolutely no qualms about passing Hamilton at Interlagos in 2008 when the entire championship was to be decided in the next few corners.

        I also think Horner and Vettel want to unnerve Hamilton as a major rival, and I think there may also be some bad blood between all three over Hamilton potentially moving to Red Bull but being blocked by Vettel/Horner.

      • Miss Chief (@miss-chief) said on 24th July 2012, 1:22

        people seem to forget that the blue flag is to signify that a FASTER car is approaching, not that they are going to be lapped. Had Hamilton got past and then tried to hold up Vettel then Red Bull could have said something. As it was, he got past then pulled away and in no way did he slow Vettel down. Therefore, nothing can be said and the Stewards should do nothing, as they did. Right decision.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:54

      I read something only a few hours ago about Prost coming back from a lap down to win once. Was that unethical too?

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd July 2012, 2:34

        @matt90 Wasn’t that Clark, at Monza? he unlapped himself and was winning before a puncture or something put him 3rd in the end.

        Yeah, hardly unethical. If anything, bloody awesome.

      • caci_99 said on 23rd July 2012, 8:47

        I am not that old to have seen it, but have been told it was Clark in Monza who unlapped himself because of a puncture he had, and then was the leader of the race, but two laps before finish he ran out of fuel.
        I also seem to remember that there was a dispute after one race with Senna and Schumacher about unlapping.
        Anyway, I don’t see anything wrong with Hamilton in this case. It’s called racing, he was faster. The argument that Vettel said about holding back and make a gap is just ridiculous.

      • HewisLamilton said on 24th July 2012, 22:23

        Did hamilton unlap himself and win the race? He didn’t even unlap himself.

        Apples and Oranges.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 23rd July 2012, 7:15

      Hamilton was much faster then Vettel. Maybe Seb needs some anger management, he tends to use strong words towards fellow drivers all the time things don’t go his way.

      On Ferrari using Italian: why not?

      • infy (@infy) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:16

        Because everyone must speak that foreign language… English. The queen demands it.

        • Solo (@solo) said on 23rd July 2012, 13:14

          It’s not just annoying to English speaking fans. It’s annoying to almost all world fans except Italians.
          I’m not British or American and i want the radio in English. I don’t even want it in my language because i know very few others will understand.
          English is a world recognized language for communication between people of different nationalities and multilingual sports.
          For that reason i bothered learning them, i can’t go though and start learning every team’s, mechanic and drivers language. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

          And they ain’t even doing it for the competition. They know very well that their competitors will have no problem dealing with it. They are just doing it for the viewers. And actually i think it’s obvious why they are doing it. So they can avoid criticism of comments on their radio messages(it’s not like Italians will say anything about a Ferrari message). “Alonso is faster than you” will now be delivered in fluent Italian.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:27

            The team radio is for communicating with team drivers. They are an Italian team so they use Italian. End of discussion really. But…

            What if a driver can’t speak English? Do you demand their team still speaks to them in English? Since when is English a requirement for being a racing driver?

          • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 24th July 2012, 10:51


      • Julian (@julian) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:44

        Yes, what exactly is so absurd about an Italian team speaking in Italian?

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd July 2012, 14:26

        Agree. Noone can say Alonso won because he was speaking Italian… If a team wants to use Elf language or Morse code, it’s part of their strategy. So teams have also to publicly explain what is “PLAN B” when they mention it?

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 24th July 2012, 2:43

      What?! Guess the only thing we agree is that the penalty is fair. What a row you cause in this thread.

  2. matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:12

    …Says the driver who demoted Hamilton from the 5th position which he needed to secure his 2008 championship when Kubica (?) unlapping himself pushed Hamilton wide. Funny how things come around.

    • Ryne (@ryne) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:17

      Yup. I really don’t understand the current whinging about this move. Within the rules and he was faster.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:44

      Would’ve loved McLaren to pit Hamilton a lap later than Alonso pitted at the end of the second stint to cover him off to not only make him a fundamental factor in the latter stages of the race (although he probably would’ve been shown blue flags on that occasion) but also see more in-depth how his pace would’ve stacked up in comparison to the leaders had he not suffered a puncture as he would’ve been similar in terms of fresh rubber.

    • Nick (@nick101) said on 23rd July 2012, 12:50

      Yes, but in that case Vettel was racing Hamilton for position…

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 15:37

        I know. I was just pointing out that the last time something similar happened, Vettel was a benefactor and Hamilton lost out, and that was reversed this time.

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 24th July 2012, 2:56

      Yep Vettel has shot himself sometimes proving his supporters that he may not be as mature as they thought, nontheless i like how honest he can be especially off track.

  3. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:12

    I see nothing wrong with Hamilton’s move on Vettel.. he was quicker at that stage so why shouldnt he pass him? He was on fresher tyres and its not like he’s going to sit behind him in dirty air. Vettel seems to think that since a backmarker passed him, it was like a HRT passing him for no reason and holding him up.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:31

      The best thing was that Horner then said something along the lines of ‘interesting that he didn’t pass Alonso too.’ I really don’t now what he was implying here, as he wouldn’t have said anything to that effect if he was merely commenting on the obvious fact that Hamilton didn’t have enough pace to catch and pass both Vettel and then Alonso. So there must have been some implication. That Hamilton only wanted to hold up Vettel on behalf of Button? As though he wouldn’t have also held up Alonso if possible. That Alonso and Hamilton were in cahoots somehow? Because Alonso-Ferrari and Hamilton-McLaren sounds like a pairing without history…

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 23rd July 2012, 7:23

        @matt90 Noted that too. In Honer’s world, Hamilton was holding Vettel to help Alonso extend his massive championship lead… they’re really best friends now

        • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:09

          Hmmm…. there’s an interesting angle… Hamilton helping Alonso to win the championship :)

        • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:11

          @JCost ..No .. horners trying to say hamilton was holding vettel to help button close the gap,while lewis has no intention of pulling a move on alonso

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 19:54

            But as he didn’t hold Vettel up at all once he was past, mentioning that he didn’t pass Alonso implies that Hamilton was doing so intentionally.

          • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:36

            He didn’t hold up VET.. he pulled away from him despite VET having a DRS advantage… and HAM closed and attacked ALO for at least 3 laps.

          • David BR2 said on 24th July 2012, 22:33

            The funny thing is everyone assuming Hamilton eased off rather than pass Alonso, as though that was a given! Nice compliment given neither Button nor Vettel could get past him at the end of the race! But Horner is implying Hamilton could have then?

            Nice to have Red Bull confirmation is Hamilton’s superior talent! (warning: some part of this post may be tongue in cheek)

  4. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:14

    I loved the pass on Vettel, it was one of my highlights of the race. To say Hamilton spoiled their race by being faster and overtaking them seems a little bit sour. What was his alternative? Drive slower a second off his preferred pace for a few laps? I thought I saw a glimpse of the old Hamilton: not afraid to stick his nose out and ruffle a few feathers, not prepared to give best because the situation didn’t offer any material gains.

    Having said that, I was also interested that he parked it towards the end because no points were on offer to him. Why not Massa, or Grosjean, or Button at previous races?

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:19

      The team brought him in because the damage from the early puncture had intensified. It also now means he has a new gearbox for the next race.

    • ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:20

      I think he damaged his car when he got that puncture. He said the car didnt feel right for the whole race after that.. I dont think he parked it.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:59

      Every lap on track is valuable information about the car, and tyres, teams usually have their “pointless” cars out on track near the race end, then retire them.Button was classified in every race so far, but he retired in Bahrain and Monaco. If Im right, not seeing the checquered flag means different rules apply to gearbox changes too.

      • Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:13

        If the damage to the car was getting worse, I can understand it, and gearbox rules encourage it too. What I mean is, if you’re out of the points, don’t need the position for championship standings (HRT, Caterham, Toro Rosso etc) and aren’t gaining anything by going round then why doesn’t everyone just park it? Grosjean was in this situation, and Button has been at previous races. It just surprises me that they took this decision this time, when previously that hadn’t been desirable. What was different this time? Will we see this more often from teams?

        • Solo (@solo) said on 23rd July 2012, 13:36

          Even if we assume that the car could finish the race Mclaren still have more reason not to do it than HRT or Caterham because they are fighting for something a lot bigger and gaining the advantage of a new gearbox for the next race can play important role in winning that prize.
          HRT or Caterham aren’t fighting for any such thing. All they have to fight is those positions.

  5. Jake (@jleigh) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:17

    I really am getting fed up with the attitude of Horner and Vettel. They come across as spoilt, immature and incredibly sore losers, and seem to think they have a right to win and that everyone should quite literally get out of their way. Twice this year they have called another driver stupid which shows a complete lack of respect.

    This wouldn’t really be acceptable if they were right, but considering they are totally and utterly in the wrong, and frankly making pretty stupid comments its even worse. Vettel’s comments of “if he wanted to go fast he should have backed off into space and gone fast there” truly astound me. Surely he’s not that stupid? What does he then expect Ham to do when he catches him back up?

    • ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:27

      Totally agree with you on that they shouldnt complain about the Hamilton pass @jleigh .. but to be fair I thought they took the 20 second penalty really well. Horner said “It was disappointing to receive the penalty after the race but we accept this.” and Vettel said he respected the stewards decision.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:30

      I was going to write about Horner’s post-race comments being perturbing. Him & Vettel expect drivers to just – roll over for his drivers because they are Honestly, I don’t see any support or logic in his argument.

    • Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 23rd July 2012, 15:16

      Vettel and Red Bull simply don’r accept defeat, which is ridiculous.
      They got to learn to lose because the attitude is always: blame it on the others.

  6. matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:24

    It’s things like this which make Vettel and Red Bull unlikeable for me. Of course, many of my favourite drivers have likely annoyed others in the same way, with equally irritating post-race statements, but calling unlapping yourself unethical seems about as anti-racing as saying that any overtaking is unfair on the leading driver, because they’d somehow earned that position.

    • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 23rd July 2012, 1:24

      I agree. Red Bull can dish it out, but they can’t take it. Thankfully the whole ‘Horner taking Bernie’s place’ rumour turned out to be just that, a rumour.

      • Lothario said on 23rd July 2012, 10:53

        I couldn’t even contemplate what would happen if yellow-tooth Horner had taken Bernie’s place. It would be one man on the circuit, Vettel (Just the way they like it).

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:11


    • David BR2 said on 23rd July 2012, 19:11

      I agree. See this comment by Vettel:

      Why was he trying to race us? If he wants to go fast he can drop back find a gap and go faster there

      Arrogant and insincere. Really hope we see a lot of punctures for Vettel over the next few races and we can see whether he’s just happy to drive around quickly without actually getting anywhere.

  7. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:26

    It’s wrong to expect a much faster driver to fall back through the field deliberately for a certain number of laps so that it doesn’t hinder a particular driver’s race & even If that was to happen, the driver would likely just catch them back up again ultimately, being unfortunately stuck in ‘traffic’ is part of racing. Hamilton at that point was running his own race theoretically, his own race being faster than the leaders in a phase of the race.

    As for Hamilton’s ‘stupidity’ well I don’t see helping his team-mate effectively ‘stupid’ regardless If that was the intention (of course you would want your team-mate to win If you’re not), Hamilton didn’t really had anything to lose at that point, his primary strategy probably wouldn’t have salvaged him any points plus he was just being himself & just driving fast.

  8. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:26

    What Hamilton did was perhaps mildly unethical, but he did nothing wrong, had the pace and helped his team mate. Not sure what the deal is.

    I also wonder what Vettel felt about overtaking Hamilton in Brazil 2008? Hamilton got barged off line by Kubica unlapping himself and then Vettel profited by overtaking Hamilton. Which almost cost Hamilton the championship.

    Why should Hamilton not interfere when Vettel obviously had no qualms of doing so himself?

    And then it’s just karma that Vettel calls Hamilton stupid only to find out that he himself was really the stupid one in that race.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 23rd July 2012, 13:40

      I don’t see even the slight unethical angle. He didn’t pass him and then try to drive slower to annoy him, he passed and drove away not bothering his race. At no point did he try to ruin Vettel’s race.

    • Neil Carter (@macfreak) said on 23rd July 2012, 14:26

      good point well made, I’ve been banging on about this incident all morning.

    • David BR2 said on 23rd July 2012, 19:15

      Unethical is how Formula 1 is run. Really can’t see how racing on a race track within the sport’s regulations can be branded unethical or even unsporting. Unless it’s now become unsporting to compete. More likely the opposite: Red Bull’s complaints are unsporting.

  9. Jake (@jleigh) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:35

    Would a fairer Blue Flag rule not dictate that Vettel should have been shown a blue flag as Hamilton was faster. Why do the leaders have the right to ruin a faster drivers race who they aren’t racing against anymore so than a back marker does to the leaders?

    • q85 said on 23rd July 2012, 1:52

      despite being about to or not be a lap down they are still racing. They are racing to keep themselves on the lead lap.

      which is vital for a number of reasons. one being a SC another once you start being lapped ur constantly getting out of the way you can never move forward beyond the position of the driver not a lap down.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:22

      @jleigh Definitely not. If anything the blue flag rules are too strict at the moment and should be relaxed.

      • Jake (@jleigh) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:44

        @keithcollantine Yes they probably but are too strict, but as they are at the moment I feel it would be much fairer if leaders could also be shown blue flags when a faster back marker is approaching. Say for example a driver was leading by miles. He then turns down the engine and slows down a bit to cruise to the finish. Meanwhile 3rd and 4th are battling for the podium and pit, coming out either side of the leader a lap down. They are now marginally quicker so 3rd pulls away to an easy podium whilst 4th is stuck behind the leader. Why does the leader have any more right to interfere with the fight for the podium that he isn’t involved in than the guy in 20th?

        Of course, I would prefer no-one having to get out the way for the blue flags, but as the rule is now I think it would be fairer if anyone can get a blue flag if a faster car they are not racing is approaching.

      • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:14


        Totally agree Keith…. personally I’d get rid of the blue flag rule and make the leaders OVERTAKE the backmarkers… if they can’t then they’ll be caught out by the better racers who can…

        Like the old days when overtaking backmarkers was a key skill…

    • Drop Valencia! said on 23rd July 2012, 9:25

      Actually the blue flags can be shown to the leading cars, but they have no obligation to act in that situation, the only time I have seen that happen was Monaco, it may have been 96, where a slow car was infront defending brilliantly.

  10. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:38

    I think what’s weird about Hamilton’s actions (not he specifically, Kubica did the same to him in Brazil in 2008) is that with the Blue Flags demanding people to move over and don’t spoil the leader’s race when they are being lapped, it seems a bit of a contradiction that a lapped guy is allowed to battle through the leaders like that.

    I’m not against drivers unlapping themselves, it’s just it’s a bit confusing that they are allowed to “spoil” the leaders race if they are behind but they strictly need to move WAY away if they are ahead. Sometimes people are battling for points and they lost a lot of time letting the leaders by. Hamilton had no chance to improve his possition at that moment, so you can also say that he shouldn’t have put himself in the middle of the leaders’ battle. After all, they are a lap ahead for a reason.

    To be honest, I think Red Bull should’ve told Vettel to let Hamilton by and try to follow him closely. Hamilton was all over Alonso’s gearbox, and had he overtook him, Vettel could’ve benefited.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:59

      @fer-no65 I partly agree and I think your last paragraph is exactly right. Part of the skill for the backmarkers is knowing how to give up a place to the leaders when being lapped whilst losing minimal time. We also often see a Caterham high up the field during the pit stop sequence and they often have to look at the bigger picture and let faster cars past rather than battling for a position which will ultimately cost them time at the finish.

      In this case I think Vettel should have been told by his team that Hamilton was coming and to allow Hamilton to make the pass with least time lost to Alonso rather than worrying about the position of a lapped car which come race end would have no bearing on the outcome. The problem is that Vettel is such a stubborn racer that I think he really didn’t like the thought of being passed by Hamilton regardless of the bigger picture. (It’s like how he likes to set a fastest lap at the end of a race, even when he has a comfortable lead)

    • The reason being in this case that Hamilton did a full lap on his wheel rim rather than rubber.
      It is not unreasonable to think that had Hamilton not got his puncture he would have been making that move for position in the race given he clearly had a faster car despite the damage sustained. He was constantly lapping on par with the leaders and lapping 0.5secs a lap faster than the Lotus’, Mercs and Saubers.

  11. maxthecat said on 23rd July 2012, 0:46

    Vettel and Red Bull are whiny bad losers. What a stupid thing to say honestly. So if a fast car is lapped for whatever reason, they’re meant to follow the leader around until the end of the race even if they’re 2 seconds a lap faster? Ridiculous comments and i can’t believe people are stupid enough to agree with Vettel/Red Bull.

  12. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:53

    I think Martin Brundle hit the nail on the head when he said that the situation between Hamilton and Vettel was unprecedented. This kind of thing is not likely to happen again. It reminded me of the story of Senna and Irvine, where Irvine unlapped himself from Senna and after the race a disgruntled Senna punched Irvine in the face. In that respect Hamilton got off lightly by just being called ‘stupid’! Although maybe Seb has a weak punch!

    Also, is it relevant that after Hamilton unlapped himself from Vettel, Vettel went from being around 1 second behind Alonso to just over two?

    • @colossal-squid I think it might be worth mentioning that Vettel didn’t actually call Hamilton stupid; he called his actions in that instance stupid. Keith made this distinction, but the same can’t be said of, for instance, Sky Sports on their F1 home page. I suppose it wouldn’t garner quite as many page hits.

      It reminded me of the story of Senna and Irvine, where Irvine unlapped himself from Senna and after the race a disgruntled Senna punched Irvine in the face.

      Haha — I always like bringing up that incident. Can you imagine if the internet had been widely used back then? Then again, I don’t think fans expected drivers to be quite as squeaky clean back then, either.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 23rd July 2012, 1:50

        @aka_robyn Thank you for pointing out the distinction. The calling of an individuals’ actions stupid is vastly different to calling the individual stupid. It’s why I found Hamilton’s post race interview after Monaco ’11 so distasteful. I digress.

        If the internet was widely used back then…MELTDOWN! haha! The comments on the F1F article would surely go into the thousands! It’s unimaginable these days to think of a driver physically assaulting another. It’s true, there was so much less PR and so much less of a need to be a good boy all the time. I guess that factors into how driver’s comments these days are so heavily scrutinised. I’m as guilty as the next person due to my insatiable need to constantly feed on the smallest, most trivial F1 news and drama, but it can all get a bit tiring, can’t it?

        • Hmmm said on 23rd July 2012, 2:14

          “I think it might be worth mentioning that Vettel didn’t actually call Hamilton stupid; he called his actions in that instance stupid”
          @aka_robyn. So how do you call a person who does stupid act?

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd July 2012, 2:30

            Quoting Forrest Gump: “stupid is as stupid does”

            So, yeah, he didn’t say Hamilton was stupid, but he kinda implied it :P.

          • @Hmmm

            I do stupid stuff all the time, but I don’t consider myself to be a stupid person. If you don’t perceive a difference between “That was a stupid thing to do” and “You’re stupid,” then I don’t know what to tell you…

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:10

            Stupid is when you keep doing stupid things and never learn from them maybe Hmmm

          • Hmmm said on 23rd July 2012, 9:14

            Hmmm, ok guys good clarification. lol. This finger boy is so arrogant. No point of being nice in F1 track. If the rule allows it then why not. I begin to like Ham for now. I hate finger boy’s behaviour.. That doesn’t mean i hated him. :) After all that’s only my opinion

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:51

            So how do you call a person who does stupid act?

            A human? Everyone does something dumb once in a while. Intelligent people sometimes say and do pretty idiotic things. I don’t think Vettel was implying anything about Hamilton, but ironically, his whining was quite stupid.

        • @colossal-squid Well, I’m right there with you, devouring every scrap of F1 news and drama, so I’m definitely part of the “problem”! ;-)

          It’s true, there was so much less PR and so much less of a need to be a good boy all the time.

          I stopped believing people long ago when they say things like, “I hate it that all the drivers are nothing but PR robots!” I think they like the idea of drivers not being PR robots, but when the wrong one says or does something in the heat of anger — like you said, meltdown! Among both fans and the press. So what exactly is any driver’s incentive for allowing themselves to stray off message?

          • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 23rd July 2012, 8:32

            @aka_robyn I guess the way things are now, if a driver speaks his mind in any real way they will always draw some kind of controversy. So yeah, like you said the idea is nice but for drivers it’s catch 22 – speak your mind and at best be a ‘controversial’ driver or at worst become some sort of villan to most F1 fans and the media, or stay PR friendly and be called a robot!

            In the end they’re not robots, they’re human and eventually something always slips out! But there are very few drivers who I think speak their mind often enough – it’s partly why I really enjoy Kimi and Webber. No amount of PR management is going to change them!

            It’s not a great way to have it, but with all the commercial pressure and 24/7 analysis, it isn’t going to change for most drivers is it?

          • Mustalainen (@mustalainen) said on 23rd July 2012, 11:43

            @aka_robyn You are exactly right, it’s like you’ve read my mind! I really like when drivers speak their minds but not so much the media storm that comes afterwards. And fans talking a lot of crap about their least favourite driver when he has said or done something they don’t agree with is really distasteful. This time it was Vettel but it goes the other way too.

  13. Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:53

    Man up and stop whining Vettel.

    Part of the reason why I’m his fan is how he can learn from his past mistakes and errors (particularly in 2010), so I think it would be better for him to focus on his own performance. Blaming Hamilton for losing him his position to Button is very childish – you could put it down to the second his pitcrew lost to Button’s or to the tenths he wasted going four-wheels of the track, but to blame Hamilton is to assume you had nothing to improve on, which is completely contrary to the behavior he demonstrated in 2010 and 2011.

    And let’s not get started on Horner’s “unsporting” when his own team is explointing regulations in a completely legal, albeit ‘unsporting’ way.

  14. schooner (@schooner) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:56

    Hamilton getting past Vettel was my favorite part of the race. Especially watching Vettel waving his hands, and getting all indignant about it. It reminded me a bit of when he walked away from his wrecked car in Turkey a couple of years ago, giving the hand signal that Webber must be crazy, when he was clearly the one at fault. The guy is a great driver, but seems to have an entitlement issue.

    • MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 23rd July 2012, 3:39

      I think it’s hilarious that Vettel gets very little criticism in this regard, whereas Hamilton (and, in the past, Alonso) seem to bear the brunt of the “entitled boy-racer” stigma. Sure, Vettel seems like a very cool guy, but when things don’t go his way, he’s really a cry baby. We just don’t see that very often, as Vettel has been about the most fortunate driver on the grid for the past 4 years. If anything, people should be lapping on the praise for Hamilton’s patience this year. If I were him, and I had the luck he’s had this season, I can’t begin to think of some of the things I’d say in press conferences or over team radio…

    • John H (@john-h) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:50

      Spoilt child. Simple.

  15. Olivier42 (@olivier42) said on 23rd July 2012, 0:58

    F1 fans sure love their artificially-inflated drama.
    Hamilton comments are pretty rich considering all the drama he found himself at the center of in recent times.
    Regardless, I never put too much stock in comments said in the heat of the moment.

    • Drew B said on 23rd July 2012, 9:04

      Your comment the most sensible on here. Vettel should calm down for sure though. Also I’m still confused as to why Lh’s radio message about retiring? Any more info on that – if LH really did just want to retire of his own free will then I’m a bit surprised he’s not catching more criticism here. But perhaps he really thought he had to retire?

      • John H (@john-h) said on 23rd July 2012, 9:55

        I think Hamilton is getting a bit fed up with his bad luck, or his perceived bad luck anyway. The guy has driven very well this year but doesn’t have the points to really show it and I think he’s almost in a kind of victim mode – almost giving up saying ‘what more can I do’. I think you’re right in the sense that people aren’t talking about it too much.

        F1 fans sure love their artificially-inflated drama.

        Well, it’s not that artificial in light of Vettel’s comments to be honest and the way he behaved along with Horner. I actually liked Hamilton’s ‘mature’ comment, no doubt Webber would agree but obviously can’t say anything about it.

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