Hamilton: Mercedes ‘not miles off’ Red Bull’s pace

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2013In the round-up: Hamilton says Mercedes have Red Bull in their sights.

F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship

The deadline for your Australian Grand Prix entries is 6am local time so don’t hang about, make your predictions now:

Links

Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

F1: Lewis Hamilton ‘massively excited’ after Mercedes out-pace McLaren in Australia (The Independent)

“Clearly the Red Bull is massively quick. It always is. They have obviously been sand-bagging the whole time in winter as expected, and all of a sudden they’ve pulled out a load of time. But I don’t feel we’re miles away.”

Friday times not important – Vettel (ESPN)

“We know a little bit more than yesterday, that’s for sure, but I think we have to be aware of the fact that conditions can change. A couple of degrees make a massive difference with these tyres so for today I think we are very happy but tomorrow could be another day so I think there’s room for improvement and we need to keep our eyes open and see what happens.”

Jenson Button: “It?s going to be a long night…” (Adam Cooper)

“The ride is so important with an F1 car, if the car is moving around a lot, the downforce is not necessarily working in the correct manner. We?ve got to get the ride sorted.”

Raikkonen quietly confident as Lotus car behaves (Reuters)

“I think the car should be better (than last year). “We had some issues in the wet last year, but hopefully those are behind us.”

Pastor: Williams lacking pace (Sky)

“I think we are far away from the top guys today. We need to work very hard to understand our problems. They are very clear, we just need to work hard to sort it.”

Lewis Hamilton makes his debut as a BBC Sport columnist (BBC)

“People think I hang around with celebrities all the time, but that’s not true at all. I have a girlfriend, Nicole Scherzinger, who is a celebrity, but you don’t choose who you fall in love with. I just happened to meet her at an event I was at and sparks went flying.”

Interview – McLaren?s Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren)

“Q: So we won?t be seeing a Telmex McLaren Honda team in 2015?
MW: I doubt it. You want to draw me into something! (laughs) As I said, I doubt it as it is not in our plan at the moment.”

Danica Just Says No To Bernie (Speed)

Danica Patrick: “I’ve always said that unless that it would be something I would want to do for real, as in race a Formula One car, I don?t see any point in testing it. It is a lot or work to get fitted in the car comfortable enough to go drive it. Then as a driver, for me at least, I run the risk of what if it doesn?t go well, and then people judge me for that. So, unless it was something that I was really serious, I wouldn?t do it.”

Kubica eager to return to Formula 1 (Autosport)

“I would pay all the money I have to be back in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car. At the moment [racing at] Barcelona would be possible, Monaco would not be possible.”

FIA boss steers clear of Albert Park’s F1 future (The Age)

“‘He was careful to stay out of the controversy over the cost to the government of another multi-year contract requiring public funding of tens of millions of dollars annually. ‘It’s part of the natural business negotiation,’ Todt said. ‘At the moment, there is an ongoing contract between the commercial rights-holder of F1 and the Albert Park organisers, so it’s up to them to discus about the future.'”

New season, new faces ?ǣ the F1 drama continues (FT, registration required)

“‘The sport is going from strength to strength,’ says Zak Brown, chief executive of JMI, a motorsport sponsorship agency. ‘The quality and size of the announcements in recent months have been awesome.'”

‘Mikey Muscles': The mastermind behind Button’s fitness explains what it takes to get the F1 iron man in shape (Daily Mail)

“We wanted to plan when Jenson is going to do some competition, so there are two half Iron Man events he is doing this year. One is off the back of Malaysia next week in the gap between China and then one in Berlin in June.”

Reliving the 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“As the 61-lap race started in sunny conditions, Mansell made the most decisive move, surging past Piquet and into second place behind Senna. Sadly, Mansell’s positive opening to the new season was soon to end, as his attempt to overtake Senna before the end of the first lap was thwarted when the Brazilian slammed the door in his face.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

Antonio Nartea is encouraged by Jules Bianchi’s start at Marussia:

Well, Bianchi turned out to be a much better choice than Razia would have been, that?s for sure.

Marussia made the absolute best of that situation, for what it?s worth. Hats off. At this rate I wouldn?t be surprised if Bianchi manages to take the battle to Toro Rosso on occasions, this season.

They are right. The performance in Melbourne is nothing but good news for them. For Caterham on the other hand…
Antonio Nartea (@Tony031r)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Rob Wilson!

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

Lewis Hamilton won the opening Grand Prix of the 2008 season in Australia, putting him on course to win the world championship.

Advert | Go Ad-free

23 comments on Hamilton: Mercedes ‘not miles off’ Red Bull’s pace

  1. JCost (@jcost) said on 16th March 2013, 0:14

    What I leaned yesterday, Mercedes is a podium contender. I’m yet to know whether MW04 is faster than E21. Too bad McLaren seems way off the pace.

    Let the rain come so weather can cut some of the apparent Red Bull advantage.

  2. JCost (@jcost) said on 16th March 2013, 0:19

    Oh, Hamilton complaining about McLaren’s dress code? He should try NBA’s :). However, I understand him.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 16th March 2013, 0:39

      The one thing I find interesting about Hamilton’s recent comments is that in now way is he ever contemplating a return to McLaren in the near future (this was discussed before on this site). I say good for him.

      • Becken Lima (@becken-lima) said on 16th March 2013, 2:46

        …now way is he ever contemplating a return to McLaren in the near future…

        True!

        I was reading Autoweek and Bernie remarked that Lewis would prefer a sabbatical to stay at McLaren.

        “Lewis told me that he would have rather taken a year off. I don’t know why it came to blows. In fairness to Lewis, he didn’t leave McLaren over money. I don’t know what it was because of but it wasn’t to do with money. He just wanted a change I think. He probably thought he had been there long enough and wanted to move on.”

        LINK: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130315/F1/130319870

        • OOliver said on 16th March 2013, 5:07

          The atmosphere had become too unhealthy for him at Mclaren. He was not going to make any more progress in that team that had become highly politicized.

    • Aldoid said on 16th March 2013, 0:42

      I understand him too. Being all dressed up can be uncomfortable for some people: for me, whenever I’m forced to wear a suit & tie I’m clawing at my tie & un-tucking my shirt halfway out the door! To be fair, I never heard him complain much about anything while he was at McLaren (other than a few times saying he wanted more time to prepare for racing rather than the incessant sponsor appearances… maybe there were more instances, but that’s all I recall). He was a model McLaren employee, IMO. Always towing the corporate line. I don’t think it’s a negative against him that he’s now admitting that there are things he wasn’t fond of… plus as I’m sure most of us already know, he’s not the first or only McLaren employee to complain about that sort of thing. I bet the mechanics who’ve now been banned from wearing shorts in the pits on Fridays aren’t too pleased about it, but we’ll probably never hear it while they’re there either :)

  3. Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 16th March 2013, 0:20

    Lewis seems confident with the car at the moment, I wonder if he’s hoping for rain for a little extra chance at pole. Be some start for him tbf.

    • Sea-Bass Vettel said on 16th March 2013, 1:23

      Vettel is better in the wet than Lewis. And from what I understand RB has more downforce compared to Mercedes mechanical grip. Therefore the RB’s will do better in the rain.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th March 2013, 1:26

        The cars and drivers all seem to have their good and bad days in the wet.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 16th March 2013, 2:29

        One of Lewis best drives was in rain hit Japanese GP at Fuji (Vettel crashed into Webber that day) and Seb’s first victory at Monza was noteworthy as well. It’s a tough call.

        • Becken Lima (@becken-lima) said on 16th March 2013, 2:57

          2008 British GP – heavy rain all the time, Hamilton took the chequered flag with 1m8secs ahead of the following car.

        • David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 3:44

          Fuji ’07: According to a fan video Lewis inderectly caused it and Vettel got the penalty taken away from him (only for him to….earn another one the very next race). I won’t say anything about Silverstone ’08, though, and what would’ve happened if McLaren threw Lewis into Heikki’s car at the Monza 2008 grid.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th March 2013, 10:50

            what would’ve happened if McLaren threw Lewis into Heikki’s car at the Monza 2008 grid.

            In similar conditions, Heikki qualified 2nd, with Lewis out of the top 10. So on that particular weekend, not much of a difference.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 16th March 2013, 2:30

        Long gone are the days where one driver stood out when the rain fell. We had Senna, then Schumacher the ‘rainmeister’. A modern F1 driver is quite capable in the wet due to the increasing standards expected of them. Vettel, Hamilton, Button and Alonso and Raikkonen have all proven themselves very capable on a wet track.

  4. John H (@john-h) said on 16th March 2013, 0:34

    This Kubica news is encouraging. To be honest I had completely written off a return but now I don’t think it is too unlikely. I could almost envisage a team adapting a cockpit to suit his requirements – perhaps someone like Sauber in 2015 or something like that (?), taking a complete stab in the dark.

  5. Victor. (@victor) said on 16th March 2013, 0:38

    You know Formula 1 is back when the round up is twice as long as over the winter :).

  6. Biggles209 (@biggles209) said on 16th March 2013, 1:00

    6 am local time where?

  7. Abdurahman (@) said on 16th March 2013, 3:08

    I don’t get Hamiltons corporate clothing comments. I just looked at loads of photos of him at the track in McLaren kit and it consisted of a macca t-shirt jersey type thing and track suit pants. How more “chill” is that compared to Mercedes?? I think it would be great if they all had to wear suits when away from the track and doing PR stuff! Bring back some real class. I think Danica Patrick won’t attempt F1 because she knows she would be crap, but that’s just my opinion.

  8. Abdurahman (@) said on 16th March 2013, 3:18

    and oh yeah,

    F!
    IS
    BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.