Hamilton “struggling” with brakes

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he is lagging behind Nico Rosberg because he is “struggling” with the brakes on his Mercedes.

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Lewis’ issues may take time – Brawn (ESPN)

“It’s been this way since the first race and even in winter testing I was struggling. The set-up I have on the car in terms of brake cylinders and the steering wheel is very different to what I had before. I was very comfortable after being there [at McLaren] for years and I was used to it being always the same. That’s been a slight weakness for me this year in the first few races and particularly in the last three I’ve been pretty poor. This one was one of the toughest for me so far.”

Lewis has brakes on (Sky)

“Hamilton prefers the combination of stopping power and pedal feel of the Carbone Industrie discs over those of the more common Brembos. The Brembos are said to give more feedback through the pedal, allowing easier modulation. But Lewis found at McLaren that with the right size and design of brake master cylinder, he could get the modulation he needs together with the higher braking power of the Carbone Industrie discs. He has been struggling to get that same combination at Mercedes.”

Pirelli future won’t hinge on test row (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “Yes, they have pushed the boundaries with the product and they know they need to pull that back a little bit, but the issue is not with Pirelli. The issue is with the way this whole thing has been handled and conducted, and that is the disappointing thing.”

F1 backers feel the heat, as communities oppose plans (Bangkok Post)

“Residents of 20 communities, including Phrang Puthorn, held a meeting on Monday, angered by reports the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and the Tourism and Sports Ministry will apply to host a Formula One event on the streets of Bangkok in 2015.”

Monaco GP on NBC is most-watched F1 race in U.S. since 2007 (NBC)

“NBC?s live broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix this past Sunday morning was watched by nearly 1.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Formula One race on U.S. television in six years, and up 241% vs. last year?s race, which aired on SPEED, according to Fast National data provided today by the The Nielsen Company.”

Cutaway Insights – Episode 6: GPS Transmitter (Sauber via YouTube)

Behind the scenes of an FIA Formula One crash test (FIA)

“On impact the front of the nose cone explodes in a cloud of carbon-fibre, the first few hundred millimetres reduced to a scattering of razor sharp shards on the floor. However, the rear section has retained its integrity and all the energy has been dissipated by the collapse of the tip of the nose.”

The Finishing Line – with Sauber?s Nico Hulkenberg (F1)

“The most memorable overtaking move of my career was…
NH: Not quite sure, but overtaking Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean in one move at Korea in 2012 was good.”

Dominance and controversy (True Racing)

“Rudolf Caracciola did not complain about Von Brauchitsch disobeying team orders, but their friendship did suffer. For Mercedes, it was the latest cause for friction between drivers, as allegedly Von Brauchitsch and Caracciola had agreed to work as a team against Hermann Lang, the ‘poor guy’ who had started out at Mercedes as a humble mechanic.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

I think @Celeste is speaking on behalf of quite a few of us with this one:

I???m so tired of tyres talk that I don???t want to listen or read about tyres anymore. Not even the tyres on my own car.
@Celeste

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Bill Vukovich won the Indianapolis 500, which counted towards the world championship. On a searingly hot day several drivers handed their cars over mid-race.

Among them was Carl Scarborough, who stopped after 80 laps and later succumbed to heat exhaustion. He was the second fatality of the event: Chet Miller had died earlier in the month during pre-race practice.

Here’s a short recap of the race. This was the second round of the 1953 championship which had begun in Argentina over four months earlier:

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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62 comments on Hamilton “struggling” with brakes

  1. Calum (@calum) said on 30th May 2013, 0:05

    Struggling with brakes, ay? At least that gives the rest of them a chance in Canada! :P

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 30th May 2013, 2:03

      That was my first thought! by the way I find it strange that brake companies don’t publicise more their work with F1 and drivers in particular… you could have brembos or hitcos in your car just like Lewis or Fernando :)

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 30th May 2013, 8:14

      Lewis want to use the full power of brakes risking to overheat his tyres? Man, that combination Pirelli+Mercedes+Brembos is not made for Lewis, seems that he’s struggling to adapt and engineers are trying to adapt themselves to give Lewis a machine he feels comfortable with… is it the way to go? I hope they’re right.

    • Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 30th May 2013, 23:51

      It was obvious, when Anthony Davidson was comparing the laps between Nico and Lewis, Lewis was early on the breakes in the first corner and that 10th of a sec lead him though the lap

  2. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 30th May 2013, 0:05

    There are still some things that bother me with NBC(SN)’s coverage of F1 (no F1 signature shown 5 minutes before start, somewhat poorly organized pre-show format) but overall the coverage is a huge boost over SPEED’s from a year ago.

    Hope that good mojo sustains in Montreal.

    • Abdurahman (@) said on 30th May 2013, 4:43

      I agree with those points. Also was a shame the coverage finished right at the start of the podium presentations. It was continued on NBCSPORTS channel but we didn’t know that and didn’t record it. (slept in :) )

      I was just impressed that hobbs, matchett and the aussie were actually at the track. Will Buxton isn’t half bad in the pits and seems like he gets around and gets “respect” from the drivers and others who give him interviews.
      NBC is getting there but still far behind SKY, and BBC but it is America after all. I watched some of the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR later on and I swear it was on for like six hours! I think they might actually do yellow flags to make t.v. ad vert breaks! I tried to get into it but it is so boring it is unfathomable.

      • UNeedAFinn2Win said on 30th May 2013, 8:00

        I think they might actually do yellow flags to make t.v. ad vert breaks!

        Yes they do. It’s called a competition yellow, and NASCAR throws it at irregular intervals to “assess the racing conditions” as they put it, or, as seen on many occasions the three stooges in the studio call it, let’s go to commercials!

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 30th May 2013, 5:56

      NBC is doing a good job, but has some learning to do. But I’m thrilled to see the ratings going up! I hope that means they’ll start to do more of a pre-show and put things on a par with how they handle NASCAR here in the US. And I wish they would at least stream Practice 1 and 3 on their website! I’d watch them :-)
      But mostly, I really miss Bob Varsha. I don’t have anything against Lee Diffy, but he’s not Varsha. By the way, my girlfriend ran into Varsha at a Starbucks here in Atlanta last Saturday and he was super nice and talked with her about F1 for about 20 minutes.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 30th May 2013, 7:32

        @DaveD I Couldn’t agree more about Varsha. I really miss him. Without him I never know when the lights come on that it’s time to turn up the volume and wake up the neighbors… Frankly Diffey kind of gets on my nerves. He has nowhere near the kind of classic TV personality of Varsha. The other things I really miss from SPEED are F1 Debrief and Chalk Talk.

        • DaveD (@daved) said on 30th May 2013, 16:54

          Yeah, the F1 Debrief and Chalk Talk are really missed. I assume that NBC will eventually start to develop their own segments like this? Seems obvious to me.

          Anyway, Varsha told my girlfriend that he had to stay at Speed for now because of his contract (I assume they held on to him for the Barrett-Jackson auctions). But he hinted that something may change in the future and said that he would be involved in another grand prix this year for NBC.

          To me it was a good sign of NBC’s intentions going forward that they actually sent the crew to Monaco for the race this year. I hope they will do the same for Canada or at least COTA after the ratings success at Monaco???

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th May 2013, 0:08

    Monaco GP on NBC is most-watched F1 race in U.S. since 2007

    That’s the Austin effect right there. It’s just my opinion, but look what a good race at a good track does…

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 30th May 2013, 2:14

      I don’t know if it’s just because of the Austin race, I think the switch to nbc from fox also had a big influence (better promotion?), maybe someone who lives in the US can give us some insight.

      • Pennyroyal tea (@peartree) said on 30th May 2013, 4:13

        Don’t forget that the race finished just a couple of hours before the indy race.

      • bigredbears10 (@bigredbears10) said on 30th May 2013, 4:14

        The difference between Fox and NBC, in terms of availability or popularity, is negligible. Most years in the past, Monaco and Canada were shown on Fox, not the Speed affiliate. (Although often tape delayed and with a dumbed down coverage)

        NBC did a good job of advertising it this year, particularly during the Hockey playoffs. Quick ads, just enough to raise the intrigue level of the casual viewer.

        All in all, NBC is doing well this year. They added some post race coverage and actually make an effort to travel to some races. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to here Matchett talking about something that was happening in the pit lane off camera, because he was actually there to see it. It really added to the coverage.

        My pet peeves are commercials, but unfortunately they are here to stay. (Side by side this year helps some) They always have a commercial post race, Pre awards ceremony, when the drivers are weighing out and the podium finishers are chatting (or not) in the ready room. That is sometimes the most intriguing part of the race. Us Americans never get to here “Multi 21, Seb. Multi 21.”

      • Michael (@dedischado) said on 30th May 2013, 4:34

        I live in the US and just started watching F1 last year on Speed and I have to say, I think NBCSports is doing a better job. About half of the commercials are played alongside a mini-screen of the race so you can still follow the action (if you squint) and there are replays of practices, qualifying, and the races themselves. And yes, Austin helped a great deal, now if we could only get an American driver…

      • DaveD (@daved) said on 30th May 2013, 6:00

        I think it helps that NBC is also doing Indy car. It lets them handle all the “open wheel racing” in the US and start to put together a package to compete with NASCAR.
        People over here are starting to welcome back Indy…and F1 is at least something they can relate to if they’re watching Indy cars. So the cross promos work better and I see them promoting both series during each other’s races.

      • Cryptowillem (@cryptowillem) said on 30th May 2013, 14:56

        I would say another big factor was that it wasn’t just broadcast on NBC Sports Network, but on NBC proper. So all the network affiliates were showing it, and you didn’t need to subscribe to NBC Sports Network to watch it.

  4. Tyler (@tdog) said on 30th May 2013, 0:10

    I love this excerpt from Daniel Ricciardo’s latest blog post, about facing Grosjean in the steward’s room:-

    Sometimes when things like this happen, you want to blow off steam but by that point I really couldn’t be bothered shouting and screaming at Grosjean. It was a disappointing end to a deeply unsatisfying weekend and I didn’t want to waste the energy yelling “screw you, what the hell were you thinking?” I just said “you’re an idiot”, and that was it.

    Much more polite than Kimi :-)

    • caci99 (@caci99) said on 30th May 2013, 8:58

      I just said “you’re an idiot”, and that was it.

      Disrespectful I would say. Whether it is right or wrong, I am not going to judge it. Grosjean makes a lot of misjudged moves, but he doesn’t look like a stubborn boy who after an incident would come and say “I will keep doing the same thing, that’s racing”. With this attitude of him in mind, I would have said something more friendly, but I am here and Ricciardo is there, sure he knows better than me.

  5. tvm (@) said on 30th May 2013, 0:29

    Yeah getting tired of tire talk as well, they should just get rid of that rubbish rubber and run on the rims, it might be slow as h… but it would actually be real racing… as in the drivers having to put all their hard earned abilities into the car instead of cruising.

    Bernie’s old idea of watering parts of the track would be better than the current status.

  6. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 30th May 2013, 1:24

    Horner, what a tool! Pirelli’s future?! More like F1’s future he ought to be thinking about. How can the Pirelli board tolerate this insufferable fool, talking like he’s the god of all the universe, and blaming Pirelli for his team’s failure to dominate? If I were them, I’d announce quitting of F1 a few weeks ago already. As I said before it’d be pure comedy to watch F1 scramble for a new supplier at short notice and Horner’s friend Bernie getting kicked from all the stairs by tire companies after the treatment Pirelli had received from F1

    • PeterG said on 30th May 2013, 13:56

      As I said before it’d be pure comedy to watch F1 scramble for a new supplier at short notice

      The Pirelli deal wasn’t signed until late July 2010 so there’s still time to bring in a replacement & give them just enough preparation time providing a decision is made in the next 2 months.

      Even if a decision is not made before September/October there are still tyre suppliers out there with race tyre experience from top categories (Such as Le Mans) who would be perfectly capable of been ready for 2014 testing.

      Its a bigger problem for Pirelli if its left too late because they don’t actually have the budget or resources of a company like Michelin.

  7. kcrossle (@kcrossle) said on 30th May 2013, 1:25

    I was at the chicane in Montreal last year and was really impressed by Hamilton’s braking into the left-right combo. Everyone else did the classic brake, release, turn – all much later and faster than I could dream of – but they were all pretty much the same (except the Marussias which looked evil). But Hamilton stood out. He braked visibly later and harder than the rest… I imagined the force could have lifted him out of the car if not for the harness. Then somehow he turned in tidy as anything and was through in a flash. He won.

    Remember reading stories about his dad would push him to practice late braking over and over. I can see that if his brakes aren’t au pointe he would be affected.

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th May 2013, 1:37

    Hamilton’s always been really good on the brakes. Really late braker. That’s probably where he finds some of his speed, so you imagine it’s really affected that. Still, he managed to put the car on pole in his third race weekend, so not too bad going at all…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th May 2013, 10:01

      Its quite interesting to read about the different approach from Rosberg and Hamilton. And I can see how a team can work great to get both of them working to their maximum in competition. But I hope Hamilton gets on it soon to offer more this year.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 30th May 2013, 19:39

        Yeah truly very interesting. NR has had 3 years with Merc’s braking system whereas LH has only known Mac’s and they’ve only been top 3 while he was there, so for sure one can sympathize with LH, yet they’re working on it and I’m sure will get on top of it. Every race LH runs is one more that removes him from his Mac experience. Everything I’ve heard LH say since he left Mac tells me he is on a good fresh start at Merc and I see his partnership with NR as being extremely healthy and one that will help progress the team.

  9. celeste (@celeste) said on 30th May 2013, 1:39

    COTD, third one :D …. I want to thanks Pirelli and Keith

  10. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 30th May 2013, 1:46

    In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he is lagging behind Nico Rosberg because he is “struggling” with the brakes on his Mercedes.

    I always thought that Hamilton and Rosberg had the same brakes on the same cars. Oh well…

    • Victor. (@victor) said on 30th May 2013, 2:46

      Did you read the article or at least the snippet underneath the link?

      I’m quite interested which driver uses which brakes all throughout the grid actually. Not enough information on that front, or about the brakes in general (or other driver-specific components for that matter).

      Also, does Mercedes have a long-term contract in place with Brembo? Even if they do, I can’t see the cost of getting out of it not being worth the few tenths Hamilton may find because of it.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th May 2013, 8:20

        @kingshark, @victor, I recall Button also uses Brembo discs, we had features on Sky I think where Brundle explains difference, and why Hamilton prefers CI ones. I think Button insisted on getting the Brembos when he got into the team (not sure though), so it really seems to be a bit of a driver preference – but if a team is used to one type only, I can well understand that optimizing the other takes some time, not the drivers fault.

  11. Neusalz (@dpod) said on 30th May 2013, 2:11

    Keeping fingers crossed that Lewis gets his brakes sorted. There are only a few things more frustrating than showing your potential as an athlete.

  12. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 30th May 2013, 3:16

    I wouldn’t call Hamilton’s results overall so far as struggling compared to Rosberg. Nico’s a really good and underrated driver. I’m not surprised that Hamilton has competition from him, but if he’s struggling with brakes as much as he says then Hamilton could quickly get the upper hand. I’m sure he’s not happy that Nico got a win in before he did (and Monaco, no less) so maybe there’s a certain amount of excuse making going on, but at the same time I wouldn’t overstate how much impact brakes would have on Hamilton’s performance. It may even go some way towards explaining why Hamilton finished 12th in Barcelona.

    I remember Rubens Barrichello struggled with his brakes with Brawn in ’09 until mid-season, and as soon as he sorted them out he won two Grand Prix and took the fight to Jenson Button in quite a few races. I guess a seemingly little thing like brake materials can have a massive impact on a driver’s performance. I’ll be interested to see how this develops, and if we hear of a solution being found.

  13. Aldoid said on 30th May 2013, 4:42

    Those two articles about Hamilton’s brake issues explain a lot. I remember looking at the splits for Lewis’ and Nico’s qualifying laps & was at a loss to figure out why he was that much slower consistently through sector one, & then even when he was quicker through 2 & 3 in Q3 it still wasn’t enough to overcome the slow first sector.
    If he’s not comfortable with his brakes, he definitely loses one of the big guns in his arsenal: Lewis Hamilton has consistently been latest of the late-brakers throughout his entire racing career. Hopefully he can work with his engineers to find a setup he’s comfortable with soon.

  14. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 30th May 2013, 6:08

    Why can’t they just fit the brakes on Hamilton’s car that he likes? Is it a sponsor-deal thing, or do they need to re-design brake ducts etc.? It would be shame if he can’t find his form for Canada, because the Mercedes might be good there, again.

    • Tyler (@tdog) said on 30th May 2013, 6:46

      Why can’t they just fit the brakes on Hamilton’s car that he likes? Is it a sponsor-deal thing, or do they need to re-design brake ducts etc.?

      @adrianmorse I had a look at the Mercedes AMG Petronas website and Brembo don’t seem to be listed as a sponsor, partner or supplier. Presumably therefore they’re entitled to switch brake suppliers, subject to any design issues:-

      http://www.mercedes-amg-f1.com/en/#/category/partner/

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 30th May 2013, 8:03

        @tdog, thanks for looking it up. The solution is simple then, fit Carbone Industries brakes on Lewis’ car, and organize a private test Pirelli test to get the brake settings sorted out ;-)

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th May 2013, 8:26

          LOL @adrainmorse; @tdog As I understand from these articles the thing is that putting the different break disks on isn’t the issue, it is optimizing the car to use their different characteristics well.

          @colossal-squid reminds us above that Barrichello had break material issues earlier in ’09 too, switching to CI I believe, so maybe they just haven’t used them in a long time? If Mercedes have only been using Brembo until now, or, haven’t used others in years, they now have to figure out how to get Hamilton the same feeling that McLaren managed after several years of experience with those CI discs, and with Hamilton’s racing.

    • Aced (@aced) said on 30th May 2013, 8:07

      @adrianmorse

      I have to say that article does a **** poor job at explaining what brake setup he’s using right now compared to Rosberg.

      Rosberg has remained on the standard Brembo caliper/Brembo disc combination and is quite happy with it.

      Hamilton seems to be using a Brembo caliper/Carbon Industrie disc combination but just hasn’t found the right balance yet.

  15. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 30th May 2013, 6:22

    Brembo brakes can’t be all that bad, check out the Brembo Brakes – F1 – Hall of Fame below…

    DRIVERS’ CHAMPION EQUIPPED WITH BREMBO BRAKES​
    Year​ Driver​
    2012​ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)​
    2011​ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)​
    2010​ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)​
    2009​ Jenson Button (Brawn-Mercedes)​
    2007​ Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)​
    2004​ Michael Schumacher (​Ferrari)​
    2003​ Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)​
    2002​ Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)​
    2001​ Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)​
    2000​ Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)​
    1995​ Michael Schumacher (Benetton-Renault)​
    1994​ Michael Schumacher (Benetton-Ford)​
    1991​ Ayrton Senna (McLaren-Honda)​
    1990​ Ayrton Senna (McLaren-Honda)​
    1989​ Alain Prost (McLaren-Honda)​
    1979​ Jody Scheckter (Ferrari)​
    1977​ Niki Lauda (Ferrari)​
    1975​ Niki Lauda (Ferrari)​

    CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPION EQUIPPED WITH BREMBO BRAKES​
    Year​ Constructor​
    2012​ Red Bull Renault​
    2011​ Red Bull Renault​​
    ​2010 Red Bull Renault​
    ​2009 Brawn Mercedes​
    2008​ Ferrari​
    2007​ Ferrari​
    2004​ Ferrari​
    2003​ Ferrari​
    2002​ Ferrari​
    2001​ Ferrari​
    2000​ Ferrari​
    1999​ Ferrari​
    1995​ Benetton Reanult​
    1994​ Benetton Renault​
    1991​ McLaren Honda​
    1990​ McLaren Honda​
    1989​ McLaren Honda​
    1983​ Ferrari
    1982​ Ferrari​
    1979​ Ferrari​
    1977​ Ferrari​
    1976​ Ferrari​
    1975​ Ferrari​

    source: http://www.brembo.com/en/car/Racing/Brembo-Motorsports/Pages/F1-Hall%20of%20fame.aspx

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 30th May 2013, 6:24

      With a record like that, I’d certainly like Brembo’s on my car… Although I won’t be putting Pirelli’s on anytime soon.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 30th May 2013, 6:30

      It’s not an issue with Brembo’s quality, it’s the feel of the brakes. Alonso had similar issues when he went to McLaren. Alonso came from Renault (who used Hitco brakes I believe) and struggled to get used to the feel of the Carbon Industrie brakes. The solution? McLaren ran Hitco’s on Alonso’s car and Carbon Industrie on Hamilton’s.

    • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 30th May 2013, 10:21

      @dragoll in the article Hamilton says about getting the right feeling from the brakes with the combination of the right sized master cylinder and the CI disks. Brembo’s may or may not be a better standard set up but the way Lewis drives with his late braking he needs the confidence. Lets not forget he’s been using the same brakes at McLaren for 6 years (plus however much testing mileage he gained before his rookie season) so if he doesn’t have the confidence to brake late then he will lose a lot of time.

      In his book “My Story” he tells how when he was young and karting, his dad used to see where the other racers would brake and then he’d stand a few meters closer to the corner to mark Lewis’ braking point so he’s been trained to race by late-braking for his whole career. For that you need brakes you can trust. I guess when Merc gets the brakes right for him, we’ll see a difference in his performance. Hopefully, that will be very soon!

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