Whitmarsh: ‘I hope Hamilton realises his mistake’

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2012In the round-up: McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh hopes Lewis Hamilton decides his move to Mercedes is a mistake.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Q&A with McLaren?s Martin Whitmarsh (F1)

“He is not going to say ??hey, they offered me more money?. He is also not going to say that he?s made an awful mistake. I hope he thinks today that he?s made an awful mistake and I hope he thinks that next year. He?s made that decision and he has to live with that decision.”

FDA – Formula 3 drivers tackle F1 at Vallelunga. Prize drive in an F60 for Juncadella, Agostini and Cheever Jnr (Ferrari)

“Today, the Vallelunga circuit provided the backdrop to a prize drive organised by the Ferrari Driver Academy, which saw Spain?s Daniel Juncadella, winner of the Formula 3 European Series and the new FIA European Formula 3 Championship get behind the wheel of an F60, Ferrari Formula 1 car. Also slipping into the cockpit were Riccardo Agostini and Eddie Cheever Jnr, who finished first and second in the Italian Formula 3 Championship.”

Austin-tatious (Marussia)

Team principal John Booth: “Last weekend?s race in Abu Dhabi had us on the edge of our pit wall seats at various points, as it reminded us that to hold on to 10th in the Constructors? Championship, we cannot control what happens further up the field, ahead of our own private duel with Caterham. We have to continue closing that gap and find the momentum to get ahead of them on track. We?ve come very close in recent races, despite their KERS advantage, and we?ll remain in dogged pursuit of this objective right up until the chequered flag in Brazil.”

Silverstone completes refund process (Autosport)

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips: “I think we have refunded slightly more than people were expecting in a lot of cases. So the majority of people are reasonably on side with it and have said so. Out of the people that we have refunded, you get the odd ones that are angry, but they are very few actually.”

Tavo Hellmund added as defendant to Circuit of the Americas lawsuit (Austin-American Statesman)

“Casey Dobson, an attorney for Hellmund, said his client ‘is not, has not and will not’ use any of the circuit?s proprietary information and would be happy to sign an agreement to that effect.”


Comment of the day

@Prisoner-Monkeys’ thoughts on which young drivers will end up in F1:

I think Robin Frijns is the only driver who really deserves a shot. Valtteri Bottas might get one, but if he really was as highly-rated as Williams make him out to be, they would have ditched Senna long ago and put Bottas in his car full-time.

The rest have either taken too long to become competitive (e.g. Davide Valsecchi), need more work (Felipe Nasr), don?t really have any options for race seats (Antonio Felix da Costa), have suffered phenomenal bad luck in the timing of their career choices (Robert Wickens), or have already risen as far as they are going to (Johnny Cecotto Jnr).

From the forum

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On this day in F1

On this day last year drivers were talking up the introduction of DRS and how they expected it to produce a more entertaining race at Abu Dhabi.

Vitaly Petrov said: “I think we will keep this for many years, five or ten years”.

Which tracks do you think DRS should be used at? Have your say here:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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138 comments on Whitmarsh: ‘I hope Hamilton realises his mistake’

  1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 10th November 2012, 0:09

    In regards to MW Q&A and in the words of deltron. “Flame on baby.”

    • Isn’t this interview very un-PR-ish from possibly the most rigidly PR-oriented team?

      Instead of the usual “we wish him the best for his career”, or some lame joke about “progressing in 2013 to 2nd in the WDC behind Button or Perez”, he opts for “he was being stupid and hopefully will suffer for it”.

      Then, about Perez: “he doesn’t know that yet”, “he will spend a lot less time in Mexico than he realises at the moment”, “he doesn’t realise that now!” (and he “laughs” and “laughs”…)

      “the fact is that since he left us we have won more races than he has”

      Doesn’t seem to be so.

      • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 10th November 2012, 12:59

        Yeah, i’m sure lewis will disregard these comments when asked about them at austin as any driver would. The way i read it though mw has effectively said lewis is an angry teenager kicking out at his boundrys. He hopes that lewis fails and will come crawling back to them, in the same breath he says lewis left for money whilst acknowledging he has no idea what mercedes offered. It’s childish and not a nice thing to say by anyone’s standards let alone a boss a colleague or indeed as mw portrays him self a long time friend.

        Even in boxing a sport where the opponents spend 12 rounds trying to stave each others heads in, when the fight is done both sides have nothing but respect and praise for each other.

        MW better hope mercedes stay where they are if they are beaten in the constructors next year and maybe even by lotus that will have them finishing 5th and MW will be heading for the block.

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 10th November 2012, 21:59

          Whitmarsh has always been dismissive of Hamilton in the press. I’m assuming the bad blood between those two is actually one of the biggest factors in Hamilton leaving McLaren.

    • Jayfreese (@) said on 10th November 2012, 18:11

      McLaren made more mistakes in the last years than Hamilton himself, so looks at yourself/ves first Martin! One sole championship won in the last twelve years is not what I expect from a top team. I’m a deceiving McLaren fan nowadays, sad, sad, sad.

  2. In the context of the rest of the interview, Martin Whitmarsh’s comments don’t seem as harsh as they’re presented here.

    “Let’s speak frankly. The media try to create entertainment from our faux pas.”

    Iiiiiiiirony! haha

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th November 2012, 0:46

      @hwkii That’s a knee-jerk cheap-shot if ever I saw one.

      I don’t see what you’re complaining about. The quote I’ve used here does not take what Whitmarsh has said out of context nor misrepresent it. I’m not trying to give anyone the wrong impression – if I was, I would not be providing the link to the full original interview and encouraging people to read it.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 10th November 2012, 0:59

        Look, you have to find a quote, it was the right quote to pick, it sums up the article, it will get people to read it.

        But William made a funny point. :D And his quote wasn’t out of context either, nor misrepresented. The quote you picked was one of the more hard line comments. You can’t post the entire interview, but when read within the conversation, it doesn’t seem as hard hitting a comment.

      • It wasn’t intended as a cheap shot or a personal attack against anyone, Keith. What I was pointing out is that while that one line was one of the harsher comments from an interview that seems mostly about Whitmarsh looking forward to having a cry and a cuddle with Hamilton after Interlagos.

        It was amusing that when Whitmarsh goes and says something like that, which you know is going to be the headline everywhere, he then turns around and complains that the media sensationalizes what he says.

        The two were separate paragraphs because they were separate thoughts.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 10th November 2012, 10:49

        @KeithCollantine Your headline & article are perfect and no way misleading but Sky Sports’ tweet really gave people the wrong impression:


    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 10th November 2012, 9:50

      That also reads a bit like MW is worried about their choices at McLaren, I’m not sure they are that happy with Perez even if now it’s done and very unlikely to chance. And I think Perez is in a situation success or leave, McLaren is probably already thinking about their options for 2014 …

  3. JP (@jonathanproc) said on 10th November 2012, 0:24

    The only reason Whitmarsh hopes Hamilton has made a mistake is because he knows that he has made a mistake himself by losing him.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 0:34

      I disagree. Hamilton needed McLaren more than McLaren needed him.

      • JP (@jonathanproc) said on 10th November 2012, 0:43

        Then why has he decided to leave?

        • sorin (@) said on 10th November 2012, 1:27

          :))) Good point

        • PaulT (@pault) said on 10th November 2012, 1:56

          Hamilton needed McLaren more because there are a lot more highly rated drivers in F1 than there are highly rated teams. So, it’s a buyers market where the buyer is the team, and it will always be so.

          Why leave? Only Hamilton can answer that. However, in my view he made a mistake and I think that will be proved in time.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 2:05

            McLaren were successful before Hamilton came along. They’ll continue to be successful long after he is gone.

          • LosD (@losd) said on 10th November 2012, 2:09

            If it was a buyers market, how come he got a much, _MUCH_ better deal @ Mercedes?

            The freedom to get plenty of personal sponsors, is extremely valuable.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 3:21

            Uh, because Mercedes could afford to pay him more money? Because Mercedes have no reservations about him seeking out his own sponsors?

          • KiwiUK (@kiwiuk) said on 10th November 2012, 10:59

            @pault It’s not a buyer’s market at all. While the likes of McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari are the top teams, there are 2 seats at each team, and 3 drivers in F1 considered to be the highest rated (Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel). 6 seats, 3 top drivers – sounds more like higher supplier power to me.

          • +1 @kiwiuk

            There are a lot of good drivers on the grid and waiting in the wings, but there are very very few proven champion drivers that can dominate. Lewis is one of those.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 6:06

          Then why has he decided to leave?

          Because he hasn’t recognised the value of the team. As the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

        • infy (@infy) said on 10th November 2012, 8:30

          @jonathanproc People have made bad decisions before, being humans and all…

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 10th November 2012, 0:47

        @prisoner-monkeys I’d partly disagree. While I think Lewis had a more genuine shot on GP and title wins with McLaren than he will have with Mercedes based on pace, I think Hamilton rightly have had enough of McLaren’s ever-present ability to screw up guaranteed wins with ridiculous strategic or reliability issues. I think he could rightly claim, based on his performance this year, that he learned from his mistakes of 2011, became more matured, drove his socks off without major errors. In contrast, McLaren piled error upon error most notably the fuel issue in Spain and a couple of pit stop issues.

        You get the picture: Lewis could have felt he gave more than he received back from the team in this game.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 10th November 2012, 1:01

          McLaren’s ever-present ability to screw up guaranteed wins

          Can we get past this? It’s a stupid myth to excuse your driver when things don’t go his way. Ferrari and Red Bull also make mistakes and have problems. Just ask Vettel when he started from the back of the grid.

          Move on.

          • sorin (@) said on 10th November 2012, 1:30

            It’s uncomparable the RedBull realility with Mclaren one. Look at all races and make more calculation.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 10th November 2012, 1:40

            I don’t see how it’s even debatable. Hamilton has easily lost the most points of anybody on the grid due to team errors and poor reliability this year.

          • Sorry said on 10th November 2012, 2:46

            Absolutely ludicrous. Lewis didn’t make a single mistake this season and the reason the championship is a two horse race is because a poor reliability on the Mclaren.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 10th November 2012, 3:24

            Obviously my point was missed. Ignore the points. It is a fact, that everyone in a team is dependent on each other. Sometimes, things will go wrong. This isn’t to say that it’s anyone’s fault, and it doesn’t mean anyone should feel hard done by.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 3:27

            Lewis didn’t make a single mistake this season

            Aside from being slow off the line in Australia, running over debris in Germany, and chewing through his tyres and picking up astroturf in Korea.

          • Sorry said on 10th November 2012, 3:35

            In Korea Hamilton had a suspension failure. Ok, he was slow of the start in Australia. One mistake. Doesn’t change the rest.

          • Hydro (@hydrouk) said on 10th November 2012, 3:37


            He was the 7th car through the debris in Germany taking the path with the least debris. Off the racing line was far more debris than on it and it was just unlucky that he was the one to get the puncture, and in Korea McLaren confirmed he had a mechanical failure which caused his car to eat up the tyres much, much faster. The astroturf was just another bit of luck not going his way as he fought to keep the car on the track. Whitmarsh even described Hamilton as “heroic” for the 10th place.

            The only real mistake he has made all season was the one in Australia.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 10th November 2012, 3:40

            Just, assuming he is perfect, I still don’t think it’s right to blast all but one man in that team, because it hasn’t been a perfect season.

          • DavidS (@davids) said on 10th November 2012, 5:44

            …and Vettel finished 2nd, while Hamilton (who started from pole) did not finish.

          • DavidS (@davids) said on 10th November 2012, 5:45

            correction: 3rd

          • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 10th November 2012, 14:20

            “Aside from being slow off the line in Australia, running over debris in Germany, and chewing through his tyres and picking up astroturf in Korea.”

            now that’s really low of you to count those as mistakes. running over debris? give me a break. and in korea you must’ve missed the race, even whitmarsh, his boss, called his drive heroic and exceptional, given the failure the car had during the entire weekend, yet you from your sofa at home call running wide in a destabilized car, which didnt even drive straight in a straight line, a driver’s mistake to pick-up some astroturf which shouldnt have been so loose in the first place.

            quite frankly, your attempt at pointing out some examples of mistakes this season – when in reality, everyone with a bit of common sense would recognize they are not the driver’s fault – is ridiculous. and no wonder that these are the best examples you could find, it’s quite telling…

          • sorin (@) said on 10th November 2012, 18:03

            @prisoner-monkeys on Australia he had problems with the clutch at the start!!

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 12th November 2012, 11:10

            Um…that’s how the world works @mike. You are given one job and other people are given another. If you go out and do your job as told, but your co-works don’t and you fail due to it. How would it be your fault?

            Hamilton is suppose to drive the car. His pit crew is suppose to set the car up and tell him vital info as well as make mechanical decisions Hamilton cant make. Hamilton has done his job, his crew has not. Also it’s funny cause this easily can be extended to button as well, who they also have failed.

            So why shouldn’t McLaren be put on blast?

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th November 2012, 8:39

            @magillagorilla Because they have done, bar the early season, a dam good job, and both Button and Hamilton are lucky enough to drive for such a team.

            Most the errors were unrelated, made by different people, and occurred in completely different situations. You can’t pick one component of that team that has failed, So I don’t see how you can point to the team as a whole for not dealing with it.

            You can’t fire your whole pit crew, because 3 of them all made one mistake each.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 17th November 2012, 8:34

            @Mike Like I said, McLaren has done several mistakes that have lost them a championship this year and in 2010, their drivers did what they needed to do. So who else do we blame, the driving duo or the workshop? Yes I realize as many others do you can’t generalize the entire crew. However, they work all the time and shouldn’t make pit errors, just like when the car is put together errors shouldn’t happen. They will but on the frequent basis seen this year, shouldn’t.

            I’m not going to sugar coat it, they were beat by two other teams for not having superior cars, but a team with their head in the game. Not by teams for having superior drivers (equal ground many would say), but not giving their drivers 100% every weekend like RBR and Ferrari seemed to do. That is how I see it, and the points chart would agree.

            There were a few freak things that weren’t their issue. Like Grosjean taking out Hamilton and Alonso, but for the majority it can’t be said.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th November 2012, 1:47


        McLaren can find another top driver. Or “develop” Perez as a top driver, while still having a strong car and team. Hamilton risks a lot more going to a place with a very unknown potential and not much results in 3 years.

        To be honest, this can only make both McLaren and Hamilton good. They are releasing themselves from a combo that didn’t really got the results they were hoping. Time will tell who made the right decision, but yeah, McLaren doesn’t need Hamilton.

      • KiwiUK (@kiwiuk) said on 10th November 2012, 11:05

        @prisoner-monkeys If Hamilton needed McLaren more than McLaren needed him, then why did they up their original offer? By your logic they could just have gone with another driver rather than respond to Mercedes’s offer. Also, Martin Whitmarsh has already expressed his doubts over Perez’s performance, which quite frankly has been disappointing since the announcement. It sounds to me more that Whitmarsh’s comments regarding Hamilton are aimed more at the McLaren shareholders in justifying why they lost a driver of Hamilton’s calibre.

      • dodge5847 (@dodge5847) said on 10th November 2012, 22:34

        @prisoner-monkeys you are spot on, Mclaren will still be racing long after Lewis has retired. Disappointed that he has left, but more disappointed that they didn’t sign Kimi as a replacement.

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 2:35

      I agree with Jonathan Proc – Whitmarsh made a mistake letting Hamilton go. McLaren THINKS they’re a good team – there’s a big difference between actually being good and thinking you’re good. They have won 1 WCC in 20 years and Hamilton gave them the only WDC they have won in the last 14 years.

      Hamilton’s performance was good enough to win the WDC in 2007, 2008, 2012 and possibly 2010… He currently has 1 WDC (almost lost that too) and was vice-champion in just 1 of those 3 years…

      Granted he has beaten Alonso and Button but I’m sure 3-4 WDCs would have sounded a lot better…

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 2:53

        Whitmarsh made a mistake letting Hamilton go.

        You make it sound like Whitmarsh sat idly by while someone else snapped Hamilton up. McLaren did try to keep him, but in the end, it appears to have come down to money. I’m not saying Hamilton left for Brackley because they waved a bigger pay cheque under his nose, but McLaren’s contract with Vodafone expires at the end of 2013 and there are rumours that Vodafone will back out – meanwhile, new engines are coming into play in 2014, and they have been reported as costing $30 million a season. In the face of a potential loss of income and sudden increase in expenses, could McLaren necessarily afford to keep Hamilton around?

        People are acting as if McLaren let the golden goose get away, but if you follow the history of the thing, they clearly did everything they could to keep Hamilton around. It just wasn’t enough.

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 3:05

          I don’t know the details of the negotiations but I recall Ron Dennis claiming that the economy is different now and Hamilton needs to take a paycut. You don’t start negotiations that way unless you WANT the person to leave. Once you have derailed the negotiations by insulting the other party, you can never get back on track. Ask anyone – both parties will hold grudges…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 3:16

            You don’t start negotiations that way unless you WANT the person to leave.

            That’s true, but only if you assume that money is the sole deciding factor in the decision. It wasn’t.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 3:37

            That’s true, but only if you assume that money is the sole deciding factor in the decision. It wasn’t.

            Negotiations are very emotional.

            Let’s think of it this way. I’m putting a house up for sale that’s worth $250k. Someone offers me $100k – originally I assume they’re joking but I find out they are serious. Then I get another offer for $240k from someone who likes the house and is nice. The other person bumps the offer from $100k to $250k as he doesn’t want to lose the house.

            If I’m a millionaire who do you think I would choose? Of course I would go for the person that offered $240k even though it’s a lower offer.

            Money was NOT the deciding factor here.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 10th November 2012, 3:42

            @freelittlebirds As I understand it one sticking point was Hamilton wanted to be able to attract his own sponsors.

            That’s worth a lot. However it’s not good for the team, as the team miss out. Hence why Mclaren didn’t like it.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 3:44

            That’s worth a lot. However it’s not good for the team, as the team miss out. Hence why Mclaren didn’t like it.

            And it also breaks with their internal policies.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 3:58

            @Mike – I don’t believe it’s about the money – I think everyone agrees that Lewis cares much more about WDCs than he does about money and would gladly give up 20 million pounds for 2 extra WDCs…

            McLaren can offer him victories but victories don’t matter to him as much – he has won a lot of races and lost as many that he should have won;-)

            I do believe that Lewis would have stayed with McLaren and foregone the possibility of winning any more WDCs in his career IF Ron and Martin had told him that the team needed him to stay and help them.

            When you’ve cost a driver several WDCs, you don’t ask for a paycut at the start of the negotiations especially when Button had signed such a good contract the year before…

            They thought they had cornered Hamilton and tried to take advantage of him but in the end they shot themselves in the foot.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 4:20

            They thought they had cornered Hamilton and tried to take advantage of him but in the end they shot themselves in the foot.

            Yeah, that didn’t happen at all. It’s believed that one of the reasons why they didn’t offer him a pay rise was because of his off-track problems – getting caught by the police doing burn-outs, posting telemetry on Twitter, his on-again/off-again relationship with Nicole Scherzinger, whatever the hell it was that was affecting him last year, and reports of tension between him and his mechanics every time something went wrong. However fast he may be, they didn’t want to spend a king’s ransom on him if he was just going to get in trouble. There was also talk that McLaren wanted another five-year deal, but Hamilton only wanted one year in case a Red Bull seat became available. Why should McLaren humour that notion and give him a year so that he has something to do until a better seat opens up, at which point he’ll be the first to jump ship?

            I don’t know why you seem to think McLaren should have bowed to all of his demands. You keep talking about how to negotiate and how McLaren should have done it, but you’re forgetting that Hamilton had to negotiate with them just as much as they did with him. It all comes down to what each party values, and you’re making out that McLaren didn’t appreciate Hamilton enough when it’s well-documented that Hamilton didn’t want to give up some things in exchange for others. A team can’t just meet every single demand a driver has without question.

          • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 10th November 2012, 13:03

            “Why should McLaren humour that notion and give him a year so that he has something to do until a better seat opens up, at which point he’ll be the first to jump ship?”

            Because now they have to live with perez for at least a year.

          • That has the potential to be a very, very good thing.

          • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 11th November 2012, 11:36


            ‘Why should McLaren humour that notion and give him a year so that he has something to do until a better seat opens up,…’

            So he left…

            McLaren have the potential to be a good if not the best team but they are not. Look at the last 20 years. If they up their game Hamilton will definitely be the loser but as things stand he might as well try something different. Another team with potential…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th November 2012, 21:44

            @zicasso – McLaren need to get the best driver(s) available for as long as possible. Naturally, they would want Hamilton on a multi-year deal. Now, if Hamilton only wants one season, then that’s fair enough – but McLaren need to bear in mind what will happen in 2014 when Hamilton would leave the team and they might have considerably fewer option for his replacement.

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 5:31

          @Prisoner Monkeys Next time you go for your yearly review, how would you feel if your manager started by asking to cut your salary by a significant percentage over the next 5 years or your entire career citing that the company expected its future profits to go down? No one else would be affected including your other partners, just you. The company will also send an email to all employees and clients to explain that your salary will be much lower for the remainder of your career but they will let you will keep the same title and position within the company.

          Now let’s assume that you’re above average at what you do. You’d be fuming and might strangle your boss.

          Now, let’s say you’re as good as Hamilton and your company had won the most prestigious award in the industry which it has never won in 14 years all because of you? What if you also knew that you couldn’t win that award again because the company was screwing you every time you had a meeting with the client. For instance, on Tuesday you had to fly to LA to meet with a client but your assistant booked a plane ticket to London instead… That happens for a few months straight and it’s been happening for years…

          Does that give you a little perspective on the situation?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 5:56

            Again, you’re assuming that money was the one and only factor in the negotiations.

            Look, I’m in no mood to argue this any further. You’re clearly under the impression that Lewis Hamilton can do no wrong, and that McLaren should have bent over backwards too meet his demands, however impractical or unfeasible they may have been, and come away with a smile on their faces because they had just signed Lewis Hamilton, even though they had just agreed to carry out pit stops in the nude.

            You said it yourself earlier: you don’t actually know the details of the negotiations. There’s plenty of information out there about what transpired, so I suggest you actually go and read it before you make another argument made of straw like the above.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 6:57

            @Prisoner Monkeys
            I’m not assuming that money is the only factor. I’m pointing out that if you ridicule someone like Ron did by making that statement and try to cut their salary when they have given you the only award you’ve received as a team in 14 years, then you must have no respect for that person. If you have no respect for that person, why do you expect them to work for you?

            For some reason, McLaren thought that Hamilton had no options and in reality he didn’t for a long time. He is too fast for Red Bull and too fast for Ferrari. He’s too expensive for Williams and Sauber and their cars are not fast enough for him. He’s probably too expensive for Renault. The only other team that could afford Lewis is Mercedes but with Rosberg and Schumacher, there didn’t seem to be any spots available and McLaren never expected that. Another tactical mistake by McLaren, this one off-track.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 7:46

            I’m pointing out that if you ridicule someone like Ron did by making that statement and try to cut their salary when they have given you the only award you’ve received as a team in 14 years, then you must have no respect for that person.

            You’re still putting far too much stock in that. You’re once again assuming that McLaren could – and should – have met every last demand Hamilton made, and that Hamilton should not have give up on anything he wanted.

            For all your talk of how negotiation works, you clearly don’t understand it at all. If McLaren said Hamilton had to take a pay cut, it’s because they couldn’t afford to keep paying them at his current rate.

          • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 10th November 2012, 13:06

            I’d say michael is pretty spot on actually.

          • Yeah, I clearly remembered Ron Dennis sais at that time and was little shocked. At that time, we can fairly think that McLaren believed that the balance of power was on their side (Where Lewis could go ?). After that we heared Lewis saying that he wanted the cups at home among other things, and after that no real news. For sure all arguments from Michael are perfectly receivable, Lewis believed he was the number 1, McLaren did not treated him like that and money was no longer the key. In addition and because of the behaviour of McLaren, Lewis thought that to build sth somewhere is the true challenge from which he can put a mark in the people minds, like he said few months ago. Every people would have done the same, then it is clearly McLaren fault, they thought that Lewis got a big head, but they could have played differently. See RB, Vettel is the Marko protege, they let think that Webber has an equal status, Newey spoke openly of Vettel, same situation of Lewis, but look like they are not only smart with their machinery.

        • sorin (@) said on 10th November 2012, 18:10

          @prisoner-monkeys Ouuu… so the problem was …Vodafone, now I get it. :)))) I thought that Lewis left, because Mclaren have car componets from China. I’m sure that in Singapore (when Lewis decided to left after car broked, by the way), he thought: “hmmm, ..Vodafone MIGHT back-of next year, that’s a big problem, I’ll move to another team then. To bad, I like very much Mclaren.” :)))

          • sorin (@) said on 10th November 2012, 18:15

            And at Abu Dhabi, he surely said: “I love you Mclaren, I love you, I love you!!” :)))

          • Traverse Mark Senior said on 11th November 2012, 2:06


            I thought that Lewis left, because Mclaren have car componets from China.

            LMAO! Classic Line.

        • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 12th November 2012, 8:01

          ……which proves that McLaren were more than desperate in re-signing Lewis

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 10th November 2012, 4:08

        Hamilton’s performance was good enough to win the WDC in 2007, 2008, 2012 and possibly 2010… He currently has 1 WDC (almost lost that too) and was vice-champion in just 1 of those 3 years…

        Because other driver’s performances were also good enough to the WDC, and they beat him. Simple.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 10th November 2012, 11:43

      Chill out dude. You seem to have a lot of time in your hands.
      He’s the most talented out there, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.

      • JP (@jonathanproc) said on 10th November 2012, 12:52

        McLaren were successful before Hamilton came along. They’ll continue to be successful long after he is gone.

        Hamilton was successful before he joined McLaren though. He will continue to be successful once he leaves McLaren.

    • I don’t think Hamilton’s decision to leave was foolish: McLaren ruined his championship this year and so to leave to Mercedes I think isn’t such a regrettable decision as Whitmarsh is making it out to be. If anything, I think Whitmarsh is rueing the fact that Hamilton has left because of his team’s failure to maximise the potential points that they could score with what has been the fastest car for the longest period of time this year.

      Mercedes I doubt will make as many mistakes: they may not have the fastest car but with the forthcoming rule changes, an improved team and a fast driver they can achieve many things. Remember when Schumacher moved to Ferrari he was branded a fool, and look how that turned out.

    • Boomerang said on 10th November 2012, 17:27

      McLaren team is the most sophisticated joke on planet Earth. They won the ‘constructors’ last time in 1998. when Adrian was technical director. They have the best facilities and resources of all the teams. Let me rephrase Shakespeare: Something is rotten in the state of McLaren – and they don’t know what ;-/

  4. Why should Hamilton feel he’s made a mistake, when McLaren’s reliability is as bad as Mercedes’s (or even worse)? McLaren got Hamilton champions in 2008, then the promise of having another championship for hamilton has faded away slowly, not because he has messed it up, (except last year probably), but because McLaren has had problems in all these recent years to deliver consistency in the car. It’s a refreshing change of environment for Hamilton, it’s a major challenge to see if he can build the team up and around him, to boost it together. Let’s not forget a Brawn’s car was champion in 2009. The rules may have changed a lot, but the brain is there to try. Hamilton in Mercedes can exploit the car in a better way Rosberg have done. Let’s hope Whitsmarth is the guy who got wrong next year, for the goodness of the show. We have an exciting 2012 with 2 drivers battling till the end. Do you imagine three again, like 2010?

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 10th November 2012, 2:46

      Good point Brawn has won more 10+ times more WDC and WCC championships than McLaren in the past 20 years. If I were to place a bet, I would put my money on Brawn blindly.

    • Klaas de Vries said on 10th November 2012, 8:12

      I think Lewis thought more of 2014 when he moved to Mercedes. With all the rule changes that are about to follow, the performance order will surely reshuffle. A top engineer (Brawn) + top driver (Ham) + lots of money from Mercedes = 5 consecutive titles. Mercedes now have all the ingredients to become a success.
      In DTM when Bruno Spengler left champions Mercedes and moved to newcomers BMW, everyone was saying it was a huge mistake. Guess what – BMW won both championships this year.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 10th November 2012, 22:20

      Besides, it’s not like Hamilton is stuck at Mercedes either. If Vettel moves to Ferrari or when Alonso is forced to accept a strong teammate, hamilton might slip right back in at one of those two teams.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 10th November 2012, 0:55

    Hamilton also hopes Whitmarsh think he made mistake.

  6. Estesark (@estesark) said on 10th November 2012, 1:01

    No mention of Kimi’s t-shirts for Lotus, or have I missed that being posted somewhere else? I thought it was a nice story. Here’s a picture, which the BBC article is lacking.

  7. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 10th November 2012, 1:17

    more mixed feelings about CotA

    good for f1
    good for american race fans (hopefully)
    these CotA people are as slimy as it gets, and f1’s success is their success
    potential to look like imbeciles with some bizarre definition of “classy”

    from what i’ve seen of the dallas cowboys new home it’s as fantastic as MTC, but with artwork everywhere. i hope CotA meets that standard set by their neighbors.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 2:45

      these CotA people are as slimy as it gets, and f1′s success is their success

      I don’t know – from the sounds of things, Tavo Hellmund was something of a dreamer, while Bobby Epstein and Red McCoombs were much more pragmatic about it all. Shortly after the stop-work order was issued a year ago, Bernie Ecclestone revealed that the circuit owners had been in violation of the contract since May 2011. Hellmund has made himself out to be something of a martyr, steamrolled out of his position by his unscurpulous business partners … but I’m not so sure. The project was totally mismanaged from the start, to the point where the stop-work order was brought about. Once Hellmund was removed from his position, work on the circuit has progressed rapidly. I can’t help but think that under Hellmund’s continued direction, we would have wound up in another down-to-the-wire construction schedule, with the race taking place on a circuit that only met the definition of “complete” in the most minimal way possible for a race to go ahead.

      • mantresx said on 10th November 2012, 4:01

        I agree but would also add that Tavo’s strength is his relation with Bernie, without that I just don’t see how this project could have materialized

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th November 2012, 4:39

          I suspect that even that may have been overstated, for the sake of getting investors on-board. It certainly bought Hellmund and COTA a stay of execution when they were out of contract – I can’t recall Bernie ever tolerating that for six months and then offering a new deal to keep the race happening – so it’s certainly worth something, but if Hellmund had as deep a personal connection to Mr. E as he let on, then how come no-one had never heard of him until the Austin project was announced? I’m not saying Hellmund should have flaunted his friendship with Bernie, but I would not be surprised if he had embellished it a little when it suited him.

  8. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 10th November 2012, 8:28

    It’s whitmarsh that’s made the mistake signing young Perez, but at the time it seemed a brilliant catch and in his shoes i would have made the same decision. To me it is now clear Hulkenberg is and was the better option in every way.

    But anyway Hamilton hasn’t gone to Mercedes to jump in the car and win, i almost feel he would be dissappointed with that in a way, I think he wants a bad car but with a team that has the potential to run at the front in the future, Mercedes is the perfect move and I think its partly due to his ego if I’m being honest, he wants to become a legend and spending the rest of his career at McLaren maybe winning another title down the line isn’t going to provide that status, but if he brings a car and a team up from the midfield to eventually dominate he will feel a much greater sense of achievement, he wants to make it look like it is him that makes the difference and he will. People might look at this move as a big mistake for Hamilton next year as he struggles to finish in the points but that’s how it’s supposed to look, in the long run its set up perfectly for him to become a true great. As a Hamilton fan myself I would rather see him struggle in a Mercedes away from JB than be competitive in a McLaren.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 10th November 2012, 9:01

      As for Perez it’s true that sometimes Luca Di Montezemolo have strange opinions but i think this time he’s right Perez lucks experience for a Top Team , after signing for McLaren he failed to score points & that’s not just coincidence

      As for Lewis i think he wants to follow the same path of both Shumacher & Alonso it’s true that maybe he will not challenge for the title the next year same as Michael 1996 Fernando 2008,2009 (even if Fernando didn’t plan his return to Renault after joining Mclaren) but this will give him the possibility to be more involved in the development of the car , to have the status of a team leader (it’s not an easy job through his team mate is Nico) that motivates the whole team this also will show us Hamilton ability to adapt to a new situation from being in a position for fighting for Victory in a position that he will maybe fighting for Q3

      I read an interview (last year) in which Fernando says that on a single lap nothing changed but now he’s better in term of race management & overtaking maneuver

      • Kimi4WDC said on 11th November 2012, 7:59

        You giving LdM too much credit, with all the nonsense coming from him during the season, it is inevitable some of it might come true. And it’s far from done deal with Perez, let’s see how he does next season.

  9. notme said on 10th November 2012, 9:17

    when Ayrton Senna left mclaren they needed 4 years to win a race..if you don’t qualify front row you don’t win

  10. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 10th November 2012, 9:21

    There is a debate these days over the “flexy noses” , the FIA consider it legal in reality the nose must be a little flexible for security purposes (to absorb the shock ) but some teams including Ferrari are asking the FIA for clarification because they think another time that the Bull’s were gone too much in their interpretation
    Yesterday Friday 8 there was a meeting of the FIA working technical group in Geneva ,Pat Fry was representing Ferrari according to Autosprint the subject of the “Flexy noses” was discussed
    I believe that the next 2 weeks are going to be full of debates & polemics that’s for sure in a sense or another whatever the decision of the FIA will be

    • I honestly don’t think the “nose-cone” or whatever it’s called is a real area for performance advantage. The front-wing main plane yes, definitely but the nose itself I don’t think so. All it really does is provide a smooth profile so as to not obstruct the air, so it being flexible wouldn’t really make a difference (although I could be mistaken). As you have said, I think the only benefit would be in a crash.

    • @tifoso1989 – I’ve just see on Sky F1 that it was caused by the clash with the DRS board. The camera was dislodged and that was what was seen “flexing”.

      • @andrewf1 – ah, so it isn’t just the nose itself, it’s the mounting for the wing as well that is flexing. That’s actually rather ingenious. So I presume that the whole yellow section of the nose is of elastic construction then?

        The majority of the flexing during the pit-stop though was caused by the collision with the DRS board dislodging the camera from it’s mount.

        • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 10th November 2012, 18:37

          yeah, it’s the whole front of the car -> the yellow painted part + the wing which bend together.

          an elastic construction of the nose would at first glance contradict the required rigidity required to pass the crash test, but this image shows that most f1 nose cones are double layered, with the crash structure being the inner layer. if one could get the outer skin to bend, then the achieved effect would most likely be what we’re seeing on the red bull.

          i don’t own any of the images and dunno if it’s ok that i’ve linked them, they’re from another forum. but they explain better than words can.

          • @andrewf1 – It’s not exactly as if you are claiming them for yourself! So they pass the load test, but under aerodynamic load at high speed the wing rotates I presuming to create a stall effect? Have McLaren been doing a similar thing with their flexi-wing?

          • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 10th November 2012, 19:46

            i must admit a lot of things are unclear to me as well.
            like the gif with webber’s car shows, i think it’s used more like a spring/damper, to help with stability under braking and cornering. so it’s not so much about the front wing but about the nose’s ability to oscillate up and down, to counteract the movement of the suspension. a similar effect can be seen in this video.

            it could also have an aerodynamic gain at high speed as you say, although i presume in such circumstances 2 things happen:
            – the nose bends downwards because of the high speed load, so less air comes under the nose, which means less air travels to the diffuser, which means less drag.
            – the nose bends downwards but it would also set the front wing at a steeper angle with the incoming air, which as far as i know, would produce more front-end downforce, which is not what you would want on a straight.

            so those 2 things are a bit contradictory, although there’s a chance i might have understood everything wrong. but like i said, im more inclined to think the flexing nose brings more of an advantage for the overall dynamic balance of the car, not necessarily the same aerodynamic advantage the previous flexing wings brought.

            or maybe red bull have managed to hit 2 birds with 1 stone and achieve both effects!

  11. I think Hamilton hasn’t made a mistake at all: the damage McLaren have done to his championship this year is reason enough to change teams in my opinion. At least at Mercedes if he is provided with a car capable of winning the championship he shouldn’t be hindered by silly, elementary team mistakes.

  12. rantingmrp (@rantingmrp) said on 10th November 2012, 11:29

    That’s rather ungracious of Whitmarsh. Sounds like a bit of sour grapes. Lewis Hamilton has changed remarkably this season, and he should have given McLaren the WDC title this year. But his team has been very poor – when they had the fastest car, they had the worst pitstops of any top team. Even when Red Bull caught up with the McLaren speed and overtook them, Hamilton managed to consistently put the car on the front row – and was badly let down by reliability issues. It hasnt helped that Hamilton announced his move to Mercedes before the season petered out – ever since he made the announcement, he hasnt had an incident-free race. What a shame, considering how well he has driven this year!

  13. Jason (@jason12) said on 10th November 2012, 11:50

    MW forgets that the public knows that Lewis was never his favourite in the first place.
    Both MW and Lewis are better off apart. If Mac had a different leader, I think Lewis wouldn’t be leaving.

  14. OOliver said on 10th November 2012, 12:01

    Isn’t it a bit strange when withmarsh is prepared to think and assume, when he could easily just whisper into Hamilton’s ears to find out the truth. By all accounts, he hasn’t tried to find out the reason.

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