Hamilton says he can’t afford to keep losing ground

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hockenheim, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he mustn’t lose more ground in the championship.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hamilton can’t afford any more bad results (BBC)

“You can only take so many dents, especially when the guy leading has finished every race in the points.”

Pat Symonds returns to Formula 1 (MotorSport)

“My big mistake was, at that point I should have just said, ??don?t be silly. No way are we doing that.? But I didn?t. Under competitive pressure, I suffered from what we were saying [previously in the article] Michael [Schumacher] occasionally suffered from ?ǣ a serious error of judgment in the heat of competition.”

Test driver De Villota out of hospital (Reuters)

“Spanish test driver Maria De Villota, seriously injured in a crash at the start of this month, is “in good overall shape” and was released from hospital on Wednesday, her Madrid clinic said.”

McLaren ‘pretty sure’ star will stay (The Telegraph)

Ron Dennis: “I think people get the wrong impression though. When I last looked at the contract I was paying him. It?s a question of whether we employ him, not the other way around.”

Vettel asks Whiting for clarification after being hit with penalty for Button manoeuvre (Daily Mail)

“Obviously it would help to get feedback from the race director as soon as possible in that case, or from the team if we could get any idea from the outside. It would help.”

Vettel claims he was misquoted over Hamilton (Grand Prix)

“I didn’t say it was a stupid decision. If I say after the race that I think it was unnecessary and then it gets put and quoted that I said he is stupid, it is quite disappointing.”

Massa wants strong team to stay in F1 (Autosport)

“What I want is to stay in F1, but I want to stay in F1 with a possibility to race, not just to participate.”

Flagged down (The Economist)

“Mr Ecclestone is a skilled dealmaker; but he has missed out on two areas of opportunity for the sport. The first of these is the internet. […] Second, Formula One has failed to establish itself in America, despite corporate sponsors’ need for exposure in the world?s biggest market.”

Q&A with McLaren?s Jenson Button (F1)

“Now our reaction time becomes even more crucial to the pitting time. Now we have to be ready for our crew. And that pit stop really did help me to get second place in the race, so thank you very much guys.”

Hungarian GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Fernando Alonso on the FIA ruling against Red Bull’s Hockenheim engine map: “It doesn’t change anything for us. We will have exactly the same car as Silverstone or Germany and for them, we have no idea. I think they are having their press conference at four, so it’s more a question for them.”

Two top F1 engineers on the move (James Allen)

“[Giorgio Ascanelli’s] replacement at Toro Rosso looks likely to be James Key, the Englishman who was technical director at Sauber until he left the team abruptly just before the start of the 2012 season”

Lewis Hamilton: “If I?d given up I would expect to be fired…” (Adam Cooper)

“They said you can either pull over and risk the chance of getting in the way of Jenson, or you can try to unlap yourself. And so I decided to unlap myself. I had plenty of pace, I had new tyres, so that?s what I did.”

Look, listen, learn (Darren Heath)

“Back in the media room I related what I?d heard but ?ǣ as is so often the case ?ǣ the ‘well-informed’ minds present showed little interest in my story. Far better for the world to learn what Nicole and Lewis had been up to the night before than the piffling technical opinions of an F1 snapper!”

FIA President, Jean Todt meets President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso (FIA)

“On Tuesday 24 July, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, received a delegation from the FIA which included Jean Todt, President of the FIA, Carlos Barbosa, Vice-President of the FIA and President of the Automovel Club de Portugal (ACP), and the Director General of the FIA bureau in Brussels, Jacob Bangsgaard.”

McLaren and Massa worth a look for Hungary Grand Prix (UniBet)

My latest article for UniBet.

Comment of the day

Do dry races now offer more to look forward to than wet ones? Here’s a view from Sorin:

This season, dry races were more spectacular than wet ones. Tyre management is the reason.

Even more, when rain appears, let?s say normal rain, the Safety Car or a red flag will stop the race and after the restart everybody will change the tyres at the same time, so no spectacle here.

There will be some exceptions of drivers who will risk and try to overtake on wet, like Hamilton (remember last year Hungary when he made some overtakes in the wet, but lost a lot in dry) and I think Raikkonen will try and risk some overtakes on wet, too.

So I hope will be dry, for the sake of the show.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Spud!

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On this day in F1

Gerhard Berger scored his and Benetton’s final Grand Prix win 15 years ago today at the Hockenheimring.

It was a fitting win, as Berger had also scored his and the team’s first win 11 years previously.

Giancarlo Fisichella held second in the closing stages but retired with a puncture. That left Michael Schumacher second ahead of Mika Hakkinen.

Here’s a review of the race:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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75 comments on Hamilton says he can’t afford to keep losing ground

  1. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 27th July 2012, 11:41

    I have a feeling that Hamilton’s decision to appoint a ‘celebrity’ management team may come back to bite him, since McLaren seem to be indicating quite strongly that they hold all the cards and intend to drive a very hard bargain with him over his future in the team. A manager with experience of negotiating driver contracts is surely going to be something that’d be hugely beneficial to him.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th July 2012, 13:20

      @mazdachris I’m sure there is someone in Simon Fuller’s organisation who will be dealing with it and doing a proper job. We don’t know how good a decision it was from Hamilton with regards to getting a new management team in place just yet so I think we ought to wait and see how his deal pans out.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 27th July 2012, 13:42

        Perhaps, but you have to say that Hamilton’s position is one of weakness. There are no spaces for him in the other two top teams (Ferrari and Red Bull) and no clear indication whether a space would be available at either Lotus or Mercedes. Considering his objective is to get himself as far up the grid as possible, a seat in any other team is very unlikely to be attractive to him, and they’re also unlikely to be able to pay him anything like as much as even a reduced-salary contract at McLaren would bag for him. And let’s not forget that some of his conduct in the media and around the paddock has at least raised some eyebrows, if not genuinely damaged his appeal to other teams. At best, he’d be considered a difficult person to work with, at worst something of a liability.

        It is true that the performance he brings to McLaren is a reasonable bargaining point, but that performance hasn’t always been in evidence this year, and hardly made an appearance at all in 2011. There are certainly plenty of other drivers who would at least be able to make up a significant part of the deficit left by his absence.

        Consider as well that Hamilton has publically made quite a lot of demands of his team, and in almost every respect the team has met those demands. He has been given a car which has been capable of winning races every single year he’s been in the sport. When they rolled out a poor car, he pressured the team to develop that car. By the end of the season it was a genuine contender, though by that point the title was out of reach. For this, he then demanded that they produce a car which is fast at the start of the season. Again, they did this. When it looked like it was flagging, again they pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a new aero package which has again put them at the sharp end. They have also systematically addressed the errors being made in pitstops, to the point where they have now broken the record for the shortest ever stop. Hamilton can really have no complaints about the performance of the team or the cars they have given him, while the team can justifiably say that hamilton has sometimes failed to deliver the performance he’s so famous for.

        With no viable alternatives for him, he’ll pretty much have to accept anything that McLaren lay on the table. The alternative being either taking a seat in an uncompetitive team, likely on fairly poor pay, or even taking a year out to hope for a good seat in 2014. neither seem like particularly attractive prospects!

  2. dkpioe said on 27th July 2012, 14:50

    what hamilton has never done in his career in f1 is “dominate”. he is fast and has had several opporunities where he could have dominated for 5-6 races in a season to get an advantage over the field, but instead he seems to have a spate of bad results each season which cost him, usually his own fault. He will never have a season like Vettel did last year. this year his dnfs were not necessarily his own fault, but mclaren has been the best car this season overall and he hasnt grabbed the opportunity like vettel or alonso or past greats would have. he has only won 1 race, when even webber has 2 “great” wins at circuits the drivers most want to win at. it is telling that being teamed with Button, who most do not consider a top 3 driver in the sport, Hamiltons points tally to Button is 559-552. almost identical. he is obviously faster, but his race craft just doesnt get the results of his 1 lap speed, that point advantage should be much more over button. if he leaves mclaren, it will be a dumb decision, they offer him world championships, he just needs to grab the opportunity like other multiple world champions have when they have a world championship winning car.

  3. DaveW (@dmw) said on 27th July 2012, 15:11

    The diff was damaged, as was the floor, and who could know what else at the time. So let the armchair race directors have their view. The man who had to drive the car at 200mph into a 150m braking zone lap after lap had another view of the risks. If the left rear corner flew off going into Spitzkurve the haters would be slating Hamilton for his excessive risk taking.

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