Win still possible for Mercedes, says Hamilton

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2013In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton still believes he can win a race this year despite Mercedes’ problems in Bahrain.

Show your support

Which F1 drivers and teams are you supporting this year?

Show your allegiance on F1 Fanatic by logging in, selecting Edit My Profile from the top-right menu, then selecting F1 Teams and Drivers. Make your selection then click “Save Changes”.

Links

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

Lewis: I can win in 2013 (Sky)

“‘I am hopeful we can win this year, particularly as we have things coming in the pipeline with upgrades and improvements for the car,’ Hamilton, who scored his first Mercedes pole position earlier this month at Shanghai, declared. ‘In some places the degradation isn’t going to be as bad [as in Bahrain] and I’m confident we can stay out front.'”

FIA sticks with telemetry supplier (Autosport)

“The FIA was satisfied that the marshalling lights and GPS aspects of the electronic system had improved enough to be up to standard.”

‘Button should stop complaining’ (BBC)

“If Perez gives Button a difficult time, it’s up to Button to come to terms with it. It’s a fact of life. He can’t expect [team boss] Martin Whitmarsh to tell Perez to back off.”

Romain Grosjean Answers Your Questions (Lotus)

“What track (not currently on the F1 calendar) would you like to drive?
That?s an easy one… it would be Pau! A fantastic street circuit in the South West of France that is like a mix of Macau and Monaco. I?ve had six races there and won four of them which makes it even more special!”

Tweets

Comment of the day

Pirelli have tweaked the tyre compounds but have they gone far enough?

Its not fair for teams to be forced to run on compounds there car doesn?t like or that there driver doesn?t like the feel of. Teams and drivers should be able to pick there own tyre compounds, be it from Pirelli or another supplier if they wish. Having their package handicapped because of what the tyre supplier does is not what the so called pinnacle of motor racing should be doing.

I’ve been a massive f1 fan since i was taken to the f1 at brands hatch in ?72, sadly I’m starting to lose interest because of all this meddling, artificial gimmicks and silly tyre rules.

It’s no longer fun watching the cars because of all the artificial passing with DRS and because they run around to a pre-determined lap time rather than drive them hard close to the limits. I dread to say it but it’s boring to watch the cars.
Jimmy2013

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to MarkD!

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

David Coulthard won the San Marino Grand Prix 15 years ago today, leading every lap of the race.

Team mate Mika Hakkinen retired from second with a gearbox problem, allowing both Ferrari drivers onto the podium on home ground.

Here’s a preview to the race – look out for the unsightly ‘X-wings’ being sported by several cars including the Ferraris, which were banned following this race.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Advert | Go Ad-free

60 comments on Win still possible for Mercedes, says Hamilton

  1. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 26th April 2013, 1:10

    I forgot how beautiful those ’98 McLaren’s were. Were they still running the rear brake pedals at this stage? Because the difference in lap time was amazing

  2. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 26th April 2013, 2:51

    Apart from the X-Wing..the late 90s cars looked amazing.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 26th April 2013, 2:54

    Of course Hamilton can win in a not-so-competitive car. He needs a partner who crashes at the precise moment in Singapore :P

    Ouch… ok samurai jokes aside, Alonso DID win on his own in 2009 in Singapore, so it’s just necessary for Hamilton to be in the right spot when the car is at its best. He can help in the development of course, but he needs more than a fast car, he needs a reliable and fast car. And luck can play its part. There have been many races when the leader abandons for car problems, so if he is consistent enough to be in “that” race running second, he can make it. Kubica won his race in that way, right?, when the regular leaders went out.

  4. clay (@clay) said on 26th April 2013, 3:42

    Disagree totally with COTD. Look at the racing at the moment compared to even 2010. Way more passing, more pit stops creating strategy options, tyres designed to degrade quickly to spice up the racing, these are all good for F1. I don’t like the idea of driving conservatively in F1 due to the tyres however in almost every era of F1 there has been a degree of conservatism – fuel saving in the turbo era, car saving in almost every era until the last 5-8 years due to mechanical unreliability etc. Control tyre suppliers make an even playing field for everyone. Remember the domination of Ferrari with a virtual monopoly on Bridgestone rubber in the early 2000’s and how boring the ‘racing’ was then? Often the only passing in the top 10 came within 5 seconds of the start, and as for a change of position in the top three…

    I find it interesting that for so many years there were so many complaints about a lack of overtaking and now that we have some apparently it is too much, too gimmicky. Well as I see it DRS is not the same as a ‘push to pass’ engine button – you have to be close to the car in front and then you can’t use it again to defend with – different to the F-duct (as Alonso remembers from 2010 Abu Dhabi) meaning that if you’ve been passed via DRS but are genuinely faster than the car which just passed you you will get back in front. I still cannot remember a time when a genuinely slower car got in front and stayed in front of a faster car due to DRS only. DRS has destroyed the problem of the ‘Trulli train’ type of situation where faster cars are held up by a slower one. We now have really good racing – I ask you to compare the actual racing from Bahrain 2013 to Bahrain 2009 – which was the better race?

    I would be in favour of all four dry weather compounds being available at every race and then teams having to use at least 2 of them during a race. Teams like Lotus which are easy on their tyres could thus use softer compounds than a team like Mercedes who are quite hard on theirs. I think that would be the only fundamental change I could see as being worthwhile, not a wholesale change to an open tyre war and banning DRS.

    I’m also in favour of holding a trial of current spec tyres without DRS and seeing what the racing is like but I doubt it will ever happen (non-championship races over the european winter maybe?). In the meantime I think we need to think back not that long ago when the racing was REALLY boring and enjoy the racing we have now. With the changes to the rules for 2014 I think it will be several years before we have so many teams and drivers in with a shot of victory every race.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 26th April 2013, 3:59

      +1. Thanks for the effort you put into that comment. You said much of what I’m thinking, and so, rather than trying to be clever and say it a different way, I’ll just say I agree. Cheers.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th April 2013, 4:18

      @clay

      I would be in favour of all four dry weather compounds being available at every race and then teams having to use at least 2 of them during a race.

      I think a better idea would be for Pirelli to bring three compounds of tyre to a race. Everyone would have to use the “prime” tyre, but they would have a choice between two compounds for the “option” (to, you know, make it optional). They would be free to test the compounds throughout free practice in order to make the best choice, but they would have to nominate which compound they wanted to use for the race before qualifying, and return the unused compound when they made their choice. This would give them the freedom to work with a tyre that they think is best for them, but is intended to prevent one team from dominating simply because they build a car that works best on one or two sets of tyres throughout the season.

      Instead of forcing the top ten drivers to start on the tyres they qualified with, the rules could be rewritten so that every driver has to start the race on the same compound of tyres that they qualified with. So if they qualify on an option tyre, then they are free to start the race on a fresh set of options if they so choose – but they have to return the set of tyres they qualified on. The idea behind this is to promote strategy: does a driver start the race on an older set of tyres, with the advantage being that they have a wider range of strategy choices available? Or do they start the race on brand-new rubber, with the disadvantage being that they have less in the way of strategy later in the race?

    • jason101 said on 26th April 2013, 4:22

      +1

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 26th April 2013, 5:41

      Excellent points! Especially agree with –

      …meaning that if you’ve been passed via DRS but are genuinely faster than the car which just passed you you will get back in front. I still cannot remember a time when a genuinely slower car got in front and stayed in front of a faster car due to DRS only. DRS has destroyed the problem of the ‘Trulli train’ type of situation where faster cars are held up by a slower one.

      The DRS zones accomplish this when implemented effectively for the track.

      Also would like to see this –

      I would be in favour of all four dry weather compounds being available at every race and then teams having to use at least 2 of them during a race.

      That would let the teams strategies play to their particular advantages and eliminate nearly all tire complaints by the teams. A 3 stopper by one team could theoretically be fairly equal time wise to a 1 stopper by another team. Their choice.

      Agree also that a tire war would not be desirable. The formula in place now is close to being very good from all the various aspects with minor tweaks as suggested by @clay. As a long time fan and observer of F1 (since 1965) I would like to see a balance of trade-offs close to what we have now rather than big changes just to benefit my favorite teams or drivers. I enjoy the current struggle of strategies between straight line speed, aerodynamics, tires and all the other factors that keep the teams up at night on how to stay ahead.

      True that any achievements this season won’t really make much difference in 2014. Any changes to tires or whatever this season should be aimed at keeping a balance of power, not toward huge advantages to any one team or another.

    • I still have absolutely no idea what period of time it is that you’re talking about. If they doubled the size of the goal in Soccer (American here, so.. Football/Futball) would the spot be better because it would be much more likey that a team scores?

      I’m far from advocating for a return to the bespoke-tired Ferrari days but it does awfully feel like those 5 years have recolored the whole of F1 history.

      F1 should be a sport, not a spectacle. I can’t help but feel that the current regulations compromise the competitive validity of the sport and that’s a real shame.

      I do like the idea of allowing the teams to pick from all the tires, but could do without them needing to use 2 by the end of the race. It’s unnecessary. Watching a car on fresh softs overtake a car on 15 lap old hards is not interesting. It’s not exciting.

      DRS is fine as a technology, but I think it needs to be opened up, along with KERS. Allow DDRS again and ban passive DRD. Allow the drivers to use KERS and DRS for X seconds per race instead of only in some areas or only for a set amount per lap. Indycar does this and it’s vastly superior to the current KERS situation. I can live with or without DRS, but if it’s on the cars it should be 100% under the control of and at the discretion of the driver. DRD is unstable and unpredictable being a passive system and strikes me as being potentially far more dangerous than DDRS (which has the benefit of maintaining the balance of the car better when the DRS is open).

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 26th April 2013, 8:27

      I agree…….we are seeing some of the best racing in a decade! I started following in 2005 and f1 has never been so exciting

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 26th April 2013, 9:22

      About DRS, I disagree entirely. If it was only implemented for lapping slower cars etc I would support it, but it is a horrible implementation as it is. DRS passes involve no skill whatsoever and are just dire to watch (I mean come on, who actually gets excited by seeing a car cruise by halfway down a straigh?). It ruins other potential battles around the lap often (drivers just “hold back” to get the benefit of DRS frequently) and prevents any sort of prolonged battles because the cars often just close in and sail past.

      The art of defensive driving has been destroyed by it to the extent that certain drivers just don’t bother trying to defend, which kills any potential skill battles akin to Schumacher and Häikkinen’s at the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix. But again, the worst of all is that a DRS pass is just simply boring!

      Honestly, with how close they grid is these days, the current tyres and the lesser aerodynamic effect of the current generation of cars compared to those of the early 2000’s DRS is just completely unnecessary apart from on tracks where overtaking is very difficult without it (like Hungary or Suzuka). I would accept a P2P-like system purely because it’s the same for everyone but DRS no. It makes the racing worse in most cases, not better.

      • Even suzuka doesnt need it if the tyres are right for racing. 2005 was epic.

        Infact 2005 was a perfect balance. Strategy (with fuel) and tyres that needed managing but could still be driven fast. We had some classic races in 2005 that went down to the very last lap.

        If DRS is to be kept it needs to be limited. So all it does is bring cars closer together not past each other.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th April 2013, 14:03

      I agree with COTD.

      Why do people keep talking about the Bridgestone/Ferarri/Schumacher dominance as though it is the only alternative to silly tyres, and as though that was how F1 always was. Just give us 20 cars with tyres that will last the whole race and then the only way to win will be to race .

      • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 26th April 2013, 14:43

        You don’t need to harken back to Schumacher era for non-DRS, durable tyres. Just rewatch some races in 2007. Interesting championship? – Yes. Interesting races – definitely No. 2008 was “saved” by the fact that almost every other race involved rain, safety cars, pushing slower drivers artificially in front through the combination of both.

        Just look at the F1F race ratings before you complain – never before DRS and Pirelli tyres have dry non-safety car races have scored such high points. Always it was, since the mid-90s as I remember, that one would pray for rain or safety car to make it exciting. People say Suzuka 2005 was exciting? – I agree but it was because the slower drivers ended up in front, and a redistribution of the grid was the due course. vast majority of races – “normal” races, were a procession.

    • Liam McShane (@motor_mad) said on 26th April 2013, 14:48

      I think people seem to forget the whole double diffuser thing. That stopped people from getting close to the car in front. That disappeared in 2011 when the tyres changed and crappy DRS was introduced. I think the racing would be just fine with the old Bridgestones, no DRS and no double diffuser.

    • What is a ‘Trulli train’?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th April 2013, 2:30

        @noob – The “Trulli Train” is named for Jarno Trulli, a driver who retired last year. He was notorious for being difficult to pass to the extent that it was not uncommon to see four or five cars lined up behind him like carriages on a train. If that happened, a driver’s race was pretty much over. Trulli was just fast enough to be able to fight – he wasn’t a sitting duck – but not fast enough to join the race leaders, so even if a driver who was behind him had been faster than him until he got caught up, it would be incredibly difficult to get by.

        • @prisoner-monkeys Ah thanks… Was it he behind whom Jenson Button was stuck in Monaco last year??

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th April 2013, 12:51

            @noob – No, Jarno Trulli lost his seat to Vitaly Petrov at the start of the 2012 season.

            And for all his troubles at Monaco last year, Trulli would not have put up much of a fight if he had been racing – in 2010, he joined the team currently known as Caterham, so Button would have passed him easily. No, Trulli’s reputation for backing other drivers up was really established when he was racing for Toyota between 2004 and 2009.

          • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 28th April 2013, 20:07

            Button was stuck behind Kovalainen in Monaco as far as I recall, even damaging his front wing while battling with the guy.

  5. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 26th April 2013, 4:22

    @keithcollantine – thanks for posting-up that ITV San Marino GP special! Such a treat to review programming from that era of F1, when the cars sounded amazing, especially the V10 McLaren running the Mercedes-Benz FO 110G engine. Aural pleasure!!!

  6. Andrei (@andrei) said on 26th April 2013, 5:41

    Agreed with COTD, at least partially. Maybe DRS can be considered an advantage, but I’m getting really tired of this madness of 5 lap tyres and unstopping pit activity.
    This is just my personal view. It seems that most people enjoys this way of racing (see race scoring in this site), I prefer to see more spontanoeus driver action that cold team strategies.

  7. TMF (@tmf42) said on 26th April 2013, 6:20

    Agree with the COTD – if Bernie and the rest want 2 stops then write it in the rules that each car has to stop at least twice. On DRS I’m split – I don’t like how they use it these days, because 2 long zones per race is too much, but if tweaked properly it can be a good addition.

  8. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 26th April 2013, 7:29

    The FIA Telemetry issues has been nicely tucked away, due to the talk about tyres and team orders. However, I think more scrutiny needs to be placed on this.

    The FIA changed supplier with no real back out strategy to talk of, in this day and age, if I ever implement any changes in my work place, the 2nd thing after Return on Investment figures, is I have to provide an implementation plan complete with a backout strategy should it not work.

    In the autosport article, it clearly states that the FIA has decided to continue with the supplier who isn’t providing a system up to scratch as it is too hard to go back to the old system.

    What an absolute joke. I find this this a complete waste of FIA money that could be better used to enhance the sport… It also begs the question of why they changed suppliers in the first place? Was there a return of investment developed on that? If so, how has the subsequent problems factored into those predicted expenses?

    Teams and drivers are accountable, why isn’t the FIA?

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 26th April 2013, 7:33

      I forgot to mention, that this isn’t just some admin problem that has no impact on the races. You just need to look at how the telemetry system helped to straighten the Yellow Flag Gate issue in Brazil last year. Not to mention how it nearly ruined the results of the Chinese GP because half the field was suspected of passing with DRS during a period where DRS was disabled on one straight.

      If this isn’t sorted soon, the FIA could have a real debacle on its hands, which could be worse than the Michelin USGP farce.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 26th April 2013, 21:56

      @dragoll – agreed 100% with you and am especially disappointed that there’s not been more aggressive journalistic enquiry into this issue. It’s hardly being reported on and only this week via Autosport did we even get the name of the companies involved. I think @keithcollantine should take it upon himself to lead the charge and get our questions answered!!!

      • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 27th April 2013, 12:25

        @joepa I think @keithcollantine has been keeping us abreast of the situation nicely. But maybe some investigative journalism is required here to find out some more info :)

        • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 27th April 2013, 18:40

          I think @keithcollantine has been keeping us abreast of the situation

          @dragoll – I agree that @keithcollantine is doing a good job reporting what’s out there on this situation, and I would like him to do more and take the lead on investigating the story journalistically, like you said. As I mentioned previously, only Autosport has thus far even named the companies (amongst the F1 coverage I regularly review):

          It is hoped that the extra gap before Spain, allied to the fact that the next couple of races are in Europe, will be a help in allowing Riedel to get on top of its problems.
          If the FIA had changed suppliers, then as well as EM needing time to re-install its systems, F1 teams could have also faced the prospect of needing to rewire their cars for the different technology.

          So if you’re reading this, Keith, please take the lead and report all the juicy, salient details of this story, including the origins of the switch in the first place. Cheers!

  9. andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th April 2013, 7:45

    Regarding COTD: I agree. I think it has to do with a change in what the audience wants to see: in today’s world, where everyone has the best TV and the best smartphone, it is only natural that F1’s audience demands constant excitement. And with social media like Twitter and Facebook, people have a way to share their dissatisfaction very quickly. In a way, I think Formula 1 is an out-dated concept, from a time where cars going as fast as possible trying to beat each other to the line was already quite a spectacle in itself. Just a quick comparison: if somebody overtakes another driver in the 1950s, the audience who were coincidentally sitting at that corner will witness the overtake (which gives them something ‘unique’), and that’s it. Today, that replay is broadcasted to milions of people watching the race at home, then watch the replay in slow-mo from a gazillion different angles and discuss or complain via social media.

    I’ve alwas felt that the audience that F1 is trying to reach has changed dramatically over the last, say, 20 years. The introduction of ‘gimmicks’ like KERS, DRS and perhaps even non-durable tyres has certainly increased the excitement, which in turn has attracted a lot of ‘casual’ fans, who turn on the TV come Sunday, see the starting grid and take it from there. I think it’s very sad that Formula 1 is losing its ‘core’ fan base, like the author of the COTD. But because they only form a small part of F1’s audience, the loss of one core fan is counteracted by the gain of ten casual fans.

    But the most difficult question is: what should Formula 1 be like today? My ideal formula is unrealistic, as I would do a complete overhaul. If you want to ‘fix’ the sport as it now in the best way possible, I’d say there needs to be a change in mentality: quality should be the number one priority, instead of viewing numbers. If the number of people watching the sport begins to decreases, the sport becomes more primitive, which is something I very much prefer, though I doubt that’s what the rest of the core fans want to see.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th April 2013, 8:22

      I think it’s very sad that Formula 1 is losing its ‘core’ fan base…

      *just to clarify: I know a lot of ‘core’ fans don’t agree with my views, which of course doesn’t mean I think they are ‘casual’ fans :)

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th April 2013, 14:20

      @andae23, I agree, my ideal formula is get rid of all the gimmicks and go back to the ideals of the early years, cars start,race 300km, fastest car/driver combo wins, no gimmicks.

  10. A link seems to be missing from the roundup. At least I couldn’t find where John Watson was gushing about that circuit in France.

  11. Christopher (@twiinzspeed) said on 26th April 2013, 13:36

    I have never liked Lewis as I am a lifetime Tifosi.(35 years)I have always thought he was very talented and I respect his abilities. But I am really starting to pull for him this year. Moving from Maclaren to Mercedes took alot of guts. He is saying and doing everything right. I hope he pulls them to the front and wins a race or two this year. Hamilton is maturing as a person and a driver. Maybe I want him to do well because he is in Schumi’s old car. :) Anyway, Ferrari will always be my#1, but Lewis has gained a new fan this year.

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th April 2013, 13:47

    I think the COTD raises a nice point, but still I see it differently.

    I know that I have not been watching F1 since the early 70’s (what with not having been born yet), and I do see some potential for having more choice (the ideas about having teams choose from the compound range – but doing so up front, at the time Pirelli now picks them for the next 3 races, might be a solution), but I seriously doubt that the current situation is all that much different from what we have seen before.

    As mentioned above it has always been a key part of the sport to get the car to the finish line, and doing so regularly is needed to finish on top in the championship. And be it from limited choice, technical limits, money being the limiting factor or the rules limiting component use, a limit has always been in place. More over at least in the current system those limits do not inherently penalize the less wealthy teams.

    Having their package handicapped because of what the tyre supplier does is not what the so called pinnacle of motor racing should be doing.

    – I really find myself struggling to see whenever this has been different in the sport.
    Even when there were multiple suppliers, there have been contracts limiting them to supply only some teams. Either because they were not willing to do more, not able to deliver to more team, to expensive for some to afford or as defined by the rules like we have had for the best part of the last decade. Just look at the situation in the early 90’s, when cars running on Pirellis would often LOVE to be able to get different tyres. Or look at the start of Bridgestone in F1, when they brought something better to teams than Goodyear had been bringing. Then in a couple of years the other top teams were jumping up with joy when Michelin offered them a viable alternative to Ferrari tailored Bridgestones.

    I haven’t looked at earlier times, but I have no doubt that tyres have always been a factor, and that the best ones have never been available to anyone. In that situation its far better (and a lot safer) to even the field by having everyone use the same tyres.

    • its far better (and a lot safer) to even the field by having everyone use the same tyres.

      They don’t have to be the same rubbish tyres though. It is not the case that the only alternative to the Ferrari bespoke tyres of the early 2000’s are the 2013 Pirelli’s which fall apart after five laps. We could have everybody on the same good tyres. Sounds crazy, I know, but it just might work.

      If multiple pit stops are what’s desired (and this seems to be the case) simply change the rules to mandate at least X stops per race.

      • Liam McShane (@motor_mad) said on 26th April 2013, 20:12

        @jonsan but requiring x amount of stops would eliminate all strategy, which is one of the reasons the Pirelli tyres are as they are, to allow for multiple strategies.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 27th April 2013, 0:12

        @jonsan

        If multiple pit stops are what’s desired (and this seems to be the case) simply change the rules to mandate at least X stops per race.

        That’s a horrible idea – it eliminates the very strategic element that I (and I’m sure many others) like that Pirelli have brought to the table! I’d actually prefer no pit stops to forced ones.

  13. F1_WI (@f1_wi) said on 26th April 2013, 13:59

    I have recently become a Button fan, mainly due to what I perceive as his intelligent and calm racing. Other than that, I have been a neutral F1 fan (no favorite driver). If Button starts going the way of the entitled number 1 driver I’ll quickly become a neutral an again. This may be for the best. I find the races much more enjyable to watch when your determination of whether a race is good or not is not based on the success of one driver.

    • F1_WI (@f1_wi) said on 26th April 2013, 14:01

      Oh, and COTD +10,000.

    • vishy (@vishy) said on 26th April 2013, 15:34

      I can understand your point of view. Since 2000 when I first started watching F1 one after another the drivers I would support and hope would win WDC have gone on to lose. All through from Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Schumi, Lewis to Alonso. Only once did the driver I want to win, won and that was Lewis in 2008.

      Although it does get disappointing if your driver retires, because you tend not to want to watch the rest of the race, I still support a driver every year. Not that I think of it consciously, it just happens. For example this year I feel Alonso should win, but I would also settle for Raikkonen! All I can say is that I am as much a sucker for F1 as many others on this site!!

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.