Hamilton ‘not as lucky’ as Vettel with his cars

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Hamilton rues not winning a second world championship with McLaren.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hamilton breaks the silence with mentor Dennis (Reuters)

“When I won the world championship, I wasn’t as lucky as Sebastian has been to have a car that’s as dominant the next year as well.”

Vettel cool on title treble (The Telegraph)

“We know what to do and what to expect, but we are not expecting anything. It looks like it could go down to the last race again, right to the wire. We are ready for anything.”

McLaren expecting intense end to season (F1)

Sam Michael: “If you?re not bringing typically 0.1s, 0.15s on average to every Grand Prix you?re not going to stay competitive. And anything you bring above that on average you should start pulling away, or making up ground on your main competitors.”

Force India move for Narain Karthikeyan would be great: Lewis Hamilton (The Times of India)

“It is unfortunate that Narain is driving a slow car. Probably, it would do wonders if he were in Force India which is a pretty good team. It would be a good stepping stone for him.”

Di Resta flattered by rumours (Sky)

“You always want to be linked with these seats and thankfully I was. The best thing to hope for is that I’ll get a seat one day. I’ve always said I want to be winning races and championships, but whoever I’ll drive for I’ll be 100 per cent committed, driving the car as fast as I can and taking it to new levels.”

How Formula One fuelled riches for a few, but left them ‘poor’ (Business Standard)

“Villagers from Atta Gujran and adjoining settlements who lost their land to the Formula One track will hold a meeting in the run-up to the F1 race on October 28 to decide what to do next.”

Adrian Newey?s F1 evolution (MotorSport)

“As Newey told me during our interview, all the success he?s enjoyed in F1 ?ǣ eight drivers? titles (soon to be nine) and eight constructors? titles (ditto the last statement) ?ǣ leads back to Leyton House. He says the victories and championships at Red Bull have been particularly sweet, because he views this team as the ??unfinished business?? he left behind him at the start, when he quit Leyton House with a heavy heart as the team began to unravel.”

Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy to make motorsport debut in 2013 (Brands Hatch)

“Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian and winner of six gold medals, Sir Chris Hoy, will compete in the new for 2013 Radical SR1 Cup, run by MSVR.”

The Indian Grand Prix is special, says Jaime Alguersuari (BBC)

“One corner stands out in particular. It’s listed on the circuit map as turns 10 and 11, but actually it is one long right-hander that seems to go on forever. It’s just fantastic to go through there and feel like the corner is never ending.”


Comment of the day

Dave_E questions the changes to the DRS zone in India:

Looking back at last year?s race the passing done in the DRS zone was for the most part about how it should be with the DRS getting cars alongside but not easily all the way past. There was a few examples where DRS made things far too easy but more where it didn?t.

Extending the DRS zone will likely now shift the balance to the point where there is more of the easy passing & less of the passing where DRS works like it was supposed to.

I think there starting to lose sight of how DRS was supposed to work, It wasn?t supposed to make passing too easy, It was simply supposed to help get cars alongside & allow good wheel to wheel racing into the braking zone so that the actual pass had to be completed by the out-braking skills of the drivers.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

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

Riccardo Patrese scored his final F1 win 20 years ago today in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Team mate Nigel Mansell had shot off into an early lead, then suddenly slowed and let Patrese past. But Mansell retired anyway, joining Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher who also hit trouble.

Gerhard Berger was second for McLaren ahead of an exhausted Martin Brundle who was suffering from food poisoning.

Here’s the start of the race from two onboard cameras:

Image ?? McLaren

Advert | Go Ad-free


104 comments on Hamilton ‘not as lucky’ as Vettel with his cars

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th October 2012, 13:27

    I don’t think there’s much luck at all when it comes to Seb having a class car. His feedback to the engineers is vital and he can help swing the development path like he did with his preference for the EBD. It’s a team effort through and through.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 25th October 2012, 13:49

      It’s definitely worth keeping in mind the influence the driver can have over the development of the car. It could well be argued that development input is a skill which Hamilton has lacked. Although most comments from the time are tarnished somewhat by the strong emotions, I do recall one of the justifications Alonso made for feeling that should have had preferential treatment in 2007 was because when he first drove the car in pre season testing it was a bit of a dog, and it was only thanks to his input in development that it was a potential championship winner. Although Alonso had left by 2008, the car that Hamilton took to victory that year was an evolution of the car which Alonso claimed to have developed into a winner. It’s interesting then to note that the first ‘new’ car made with Hamilton giving the major driver input, was an absolute pig and took the better part of a year to bring it up to a level where it was capable of getting good results.

      One thing we do know is that since Button joined in 2010, he’s generally taken the lead on the development of the car, and it is interesting to note that in 2011 and 2012 McLaren have been able to roll out a significantly more competitive car than the ones developed around Hamilton. Button was also involved in the development of the BGP-01 in which he won the championship in 2009, so he certainly has experience of developing winners. Though of course it’s just as easy to point to the number of terrible cars he helped develop in Honda.

      I’m not sure how I feel about it all, personally. I think the driver really doesn’t have a huge influence over the car development, other than their basic physical requirements shaping the chassis to an extent. Certainly, it’s not the drivers who are coming up with things like F ducts, double diffusors, and so on. But regardless, there is definitely a correlation between the dip in performance from McLaren, and the years where Hamilton was the main driver, around whose requirements the car was developed. Read into that what you will.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 25th October 2012, 15:30

        I think that a driver can certainly provide useful information as to what he personally likes and feels needs to be attended to for his own gain based on his own preferences and what the car is doing under certain circumstances. That doesn’t mean it is always going to work for the other driver though. But I’m sure sometimes it does. NR said, when they implied they needed to find solutions for MS’s struggles during his first year at Merc, that any changes they make to suit MS would suit him too. And that seems to have been the case, or at least even when MS has done better than NR on a day, it hasn’t been by a landslide and in fact it is NR that owns their one win. Of course they have both ultimately struggled with the car more often than not, so what does that say about MS who was touted as such a great car developer at Ferrari. It tells me that much of the Ferrari success came down to the massive testing and resources and the designer car and the contracted subservient, not strictly that MS knew more than just what he himself likes and was feeling when they made this change or that to the car.

        When MS was moved to Ferrari with his Benetton crew they already knew he liked something leaning towards oversteery cars that have the front end nailed to the track, so they built him cars that would tend toward that and then tweek it plus or minus based on umpteen variables such as the track, and the types of corners be they slow speed or high speed etc etc. They weren’t going to build an understeery car and hope they could tweek it far enough to the one extreme to get it to be oversteery enough. The driver input, if he has been lucky enough to have a car built with his likings in mind, is used to tweek said car…the driver is saying ok it’s doing this in this corner and it’s doing that in that corner…and then they go from there. Of course the drivers isn’t saying, ‘I think we need an F-duct, or let’s try a double diffuser, but he might be saying that with more rear end grip he could do this, or more balance he could do that. And then the engineers say to themselves, how can we get him more rear grip etc etc.

        When JV did some Lemans and some Nascar they were highly impressed with his ability to tell them everything that the car was doing throughout the corners as he went through them, and the telemetry supported everything he said. So when a driver can provide immediate useful feedback as to his needs, and knows what he likes, then the engineers can take it from there. Doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a better start than if the driver is in a fog and they have to just try things and see where it takes them. Going back to JV, his struggles at Williams, even in such a good car, was that they insisted that computers and engineers could tell them better than the driver how to get the car around the track the fastest. But that didn’t take the driver’s preferences into mind, and JV had to fight for that. Example, much stiffer suspension settings than they were forcing him into. And it didn’t come for him until about half way through his WDC year. Maybe if they had listened to him earlier it wouldn’t have come down to the last race. All the while his opponent was in a designer car that was tuned entirely for him with massive testing and resources to boot. So was MS a better car developer, it did it really come down to how motivated a team is to take a driver’s inputs and run with them?

        Maybe LH has to take some blame for his car not dominating like the Red Bull can, but then on some days the car HAS dominated. If FA ‘single-handedly’ turned the Mac around in 07 to LH’s benefit for 08, then why did this year’s Ferrari start off so bad? It’s truly a lot of shades of grey, truly a team effort, and of course some teams and some drivers are going to be better at gelling than others.

        Should be fascinating to see what evolves at Merc next year, and I expect NR to be right in there having his say along with LH. They both need to share data to progress the team because if they don’t they won’t be going anywhere fast. Imho.

  2. It amazes me how much effort most of you are making to “prove” the amount of “luck” through statistics. Surely better reliability could have helped Lewis but that’s a fact we should never have to hear from Lewis himself. It just tastes bad. He should focus on how to prove himself in the future and let the past be the past.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 25th October 2012, 16:15

      Yeah I think really we all know that all teams suffer some good luck, some bad luck, some mistakes, some unreliablility, some loses even when they have done everything right, some wins when they didn’t do everything right but suddenly the leading car konks out. It’s a mixed bag of variables. I don’t think LH is blaming his own bad luck, but he sure envies SV’s good luck in having everything come together for him to have a string of successes, and who wouldn’t?

      I think LH is likely very focused on proving himself in the future and I think he may be anxious to put the past behind him and make a fresh start. Saying SV has been lucky does not mean he is whining about things not going as well for him as they have for SV. He knows that it’s not just him…he knows nobody has had it like SV in the last 3 years.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.

1 trackback