Hamilton: Car went from “terrible” to “amazing”

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Lewis Hamilton was baffled by the performance of his Mercedes which changed dramatically during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton said he was “very happy – massively happy” to finish fifth. “Just because the race started out so bad,” he explained. “I wanted to get a good start, I got a terrible start. And then I was just so slow.”

“I was nowhere, had no speed at all. Nothing I could do, no matter what I did to the car it wouldn’t get faster and the gap was just growing in front.

“And all of a sudden something happened, after the second pit stop I think it was, all of a sudden the car started reacting differently and I was able to push, I had grip again.”

Hamilton thought the problem was related to the damage his car suffered yesterday when a delaminated tyre broke his suspension and gearbox:

“It must be something that happened to the car in qualifying, we’ve changed gearbox, perhaps something wasn’t set right and it went back to being set right. And all of a sudden the car was amazing.”

Having been left vulnerable at the start Hamilton finished the race by passing Mark Webber on the last lap: “At the beginning I wasn’t overtaking anyone, I was a sitting duck basically getting overtaken,” he said. “It was great to be able to do some overtaking here, for sure.”

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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93 comments on Hamilton: Car went from “terrible” to “amazing”

  1. Jason (@jason12) said on 21st April 2013, 20:48

    These tyres have a life of their own.
    Pirelli really needs to do something.
    I wonder if Redbull now understand these tyres, or they just don’t know why they performed so well in Bahrain.

    • they seemed as shocked as everyone else at how dominant they were

      • Palle (@palle) said on 21st April 2013, 23:18

        I would say the Lotus was dominant, but Vettel was starting further at the front and driving superbly today. Had he had a bit of bad luck, like the Ferrari’s, it would have become a Lotus 1-2. Webbers day indicated that RBR wasn’t exactly dominant. And the Merc should start the races with only half a tank – then they would surely be dominant until about half distance, :-) But over the season I think it will be a battle between Vettel and Alonso, because Lotus will struggle to keep up with the development. But if Lotus can keep up this level all season, Kimi will win it.

  2. ivz (@ivz) said on 21st April 2013, 23:24

    Maybe the Mercedes just hates being heavy on fuel, and when they are light (and have fresh rubber), they are quick.

  3. Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 22nd April 2013, 1:05

    Sounds like massive inconsistency between sets of tires, regardless of compound. Same problem as last year, where it didn’t matter how you set up your car, you just hopped you got the lottery winning set of tires that day.

    • Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 22nd April 2013, 1:06

      *hoped

    • Palle (@palle) said on 22nd April 2013, 7:17

      @alebelly74: It seemed as if Massa drew the worst of straws twice. Tthe sport is not about who can develop and produce the best tyres, so it is very unfair with that kind of seemingly random tyre failures. Apart from the obvious tyre failures, what indications and how many do we have that the tyres generally are inconsistent? Looking forward to some kind of explanation from Pirelli.

  4. tmax (@tmax) said on 22nd April 2013, 4:08

    Great Drive from Lewis in the Last stint. Hope Mercedes can bring in some very good upgrades for him for Barcelona.

  5. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 22nd April 2013, 9:47

    When you think about it, this is exactly the same symptoms we saw from the Mercedes last year. Remember Schumi’s stunning qualy result, late in the year, and then for him to have exactly the same problems, he dropped back steadily and then the car came back to him towards the end of the race….

    Merc really do need to work out whats going on with that.

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 22nd April 2013, 14:23

    It was obvious in the race – Hamilton couldn’t hold off anyone at the start but later on his car became competitive. Probably the same issue that stopped from qualifying well – he was a half second off pace which really made no sense.

    There was some great racing at the end between Hamilton and Webber.

    It’s pretty funny that in the case of Hamilton when he is slow that the car is more likely to be the problem than his driving. It’s like Messi striking a ball and it goes wide by 2 goal lengths and then people are grabbing the ball to see if there’s anything wrong with it:-)

  7. Dwight_js said on 22nd April 2013, 22:27

    Mysterious performance improvement eh? Maybe someone was playing the old “banana in the tailpipe” trick on him (like in Beverly Hills Cop). It finally fell out after that second pitstop.

  8. Carl Craven said on 23rd April 2013, 0:47

    And I quote Lewis “And I had grip again” thus inferring that at one point . . . . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . . he had no grip . . . . shock horror . . . . LMAO

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