Singapore showed Vettel’s true advantage – Hamilton

2013 Korean Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013Lewis Hamilton believes the performance advantage Sebastian Vettel had over his rivals during the Singapore Grand Prix was a true reflection of the Red Bull’s superiority.

“I think that’s the true pace of their car,” said Hamilton during the Korean Grand Prix press conference. “Perhaps they have a lot more in the bag than we get to see.”

“I think in the race, on the restart, everyone was pushing flat out, so there should be no reason why they were able to pull away that much. If you look on the on-board he’s on the power, full throttle at least 20 metres before everyone else which is a huge advantage.”

Hamilton said “there’s nothing you can really do” about that kind of advantage. “We’re always asking for rear downforce, always want to be able to get on the power sooner.”

“The last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was – what – 2007, 2008? 2007 when we had traction control.”

Vettel was over two seconds per lap faster than second-placed Nico Rosberg following the Safety Car period in Singapore. Rosberg was struggling with understeer due to tyre debris lodged in his front wing, and was holding up the cars behind him.

However Felipe Massa believes Vettel will remain the driver to beat for the rest of the season:

“I think if you look at the last race how was his pace, qualifying and in the race, if you look that few teams will have new pieces in the car from now to the last races, similar to what he did in the last race he’s going to have more victories, I think.

“His pace was for sure better than everybody in the last races, depending on the track, especially in Singapore. Going the track that you need more downforce they always show great performance as well. We see. I hope it’s not like that but the chance is pretty much in that direction that he can have more victories.”

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142 comments on Singapore showed Vettel’s true advantage – Hamilton

  1. tvm (@) said on 3rd October 2013, 14:48

    They way Vettel pulled away from Hamilton on lap 1 at Spa should make it plainly visible to all that RB has some kind of magic button they can push when needed, that wasn’t just a little bit faster, it was a different league.

    Only question is if its legal or not.

    • Why Spa? Vettel was two seconds ahead of Hamilton after one lap in Montreal.

      The fact is that Vettel has been opening up a big gap on the second place driver after the first lap pretty much forever. This is not a new development, it did not start in Spa. It did not even start this year.

      • tvm (@) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:30

        Vettel started 2 in Spa and drove by Hamilton at will, unless you accept the fact that LH is a second grade driver, the RB car has a huge advantage of some kind.

    • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 17:07

      That was a more or less standard pass in F1.

      • tvm (@) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:29

        No it most certainly was not, a standard pass in F1 these days are either:

        a) a DRS pass on a straight

        b) one car driving by another who at the time is looking after his tires.

        • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 22:25

          c) passing a car that in race almost always show a slower pace.

          Which was this case.

          • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 22:27

            That’s without counting the fact that Vettel took the curve much better than Hamilton, allowing him to exit with higher speed and close the gap easily.

            Nothing out of the ordinary, a better car and a moment of better driving.

  2. Proper title for this piece is “Hamilton – I’m nothing without traction control”.

    The best season of his career was 2007. The second best was 2008. He’s been a different driver since TC went away.

    • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 17:08

      Unfair comment, Hamilton had an exceptional campaign in 2012, arguably as good as Vettel’s and Alonso’s.

      • It was his third best season in F1.

        • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 17:54

          Based on what? Because if you say points, I’m sure you are aware they never tell the whole story.

          • Based on driving, based on results. What else do you (or can you) base a drivers performance on?

            That’s not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know. Large numbers of people seem to have some secret method of of evaluating a driver which I’m not privy to.

          • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 18:39

            Watching each race? Like people have been doing for decades?

          • What makes you think I did not watch each race? That was a non-answer.

            In fact you still have not even said where you’d rank his 2012 season against his others. I’ve told you mine 1) 2007, 2) 2008. 3) 2012.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 3rd October 2013, 18:45

      2008 was already without traction control.

      Besides, Hamilton is exceptional in the wet. Not a trait that drivers who struggle without traction control are known for. Look at Massa in 2008 for instance. First two races he spun out and sprinkle a few drops at Silverstone and it was a ballet.

      Hamilton just hasn’t had the car to actually compete for the WDC for a full season since 2008. Let alone the flat out fastest car like Vettel has enjoyed since 2009.

      • @patrickl There was one more guy who was also exceptional in the wet in 2008, I am forgetting his name…

      • The McLaren was the flat-out fastest car in 2012.

        Hamilton just hasn’t had the car to actually compete for the WDC

        Or even finish second, it seems. Which is odd, because Button in the same car managed a runner-up spot. And of course he did compete for the WDC in 2010, so you really can’t say he hasn’t had the car.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:24

          @jonsan yes but it was not reliable. You can run fast, but it should be for an entire race not 75% of it. And a bunch of pit errors don’t help either. If you want to be fair to your memory you will see that Lewis was very good in 2012.

  3. JCost (@jcost) said on 3rd October 2013, 15:18

    When Hamilton highlights Red Bull’s car qualities, many people jump to conclude that he wants to diminish Vettel even if half the world too thinks RB was better at a certain venue. One should argue that Lewis hates the fact that it’s Seb the one winning multiple championships and not him, what drives him to every now and then assure that “it’s the car only”.

    I’ve seen Alonso, Lewis, Di Resta, Massa and others saying that Red Bull has better package, but I don’t recall none of them saying “Seb adds zero”. It is a fact that Seb put on a great drive in Singapore but 1,5 seconds over the second best? C’mon!

    It is not Seb’s fault that his team has build the best car but others still can express their opinion on the matter. Minardi said pretty much the same thing Lewis did; was he saying Seb is “nothing but the car”? No, he just said RB car made his job easier, but it does take talent to perform at that level and Hamilton did not say Seb lacks talent, just said what everybody saw: Red Bull (at least #1) looked better balanced than the rest.

    • Nick (@nick101) said on 3rd October 2013, 16:53

      The thing is Hamilton brings the criticism on himself.

      In this case I don’t think he was saying anything particularly bad, but he has in the past and is PLAIN to see that it irks him no end that Vettel is doing exactly what he and all the ‘experts’ thought he would do.

      Hamilton’s problem is his MASSIVE chip on his shoulder. His sense of entitlement sickens me. In his mind he thinks he’s the best and he believes that he is the one who is somehow entitled to multiple WDC’s.

      His crowning glory was when he told us all that he has been denied more championships because of the superiority of the RedBulls.

      He’s so caught up in his own ‘legend’ that he doesn’t realize the stupidity of this statement. The only way this argument would be valid is if he has finished in the WDC 2nd or 3rd behind one or both of the RedBulls. But he hasn’t – EVER.

      He has finished no higher than 4th in the WDC for the last 4 years with multiple drivers who HAVEN’T been driving redbulls finishing in front of him – his own team mate, driving the same car for one!

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 3rd October 2013, 18:46

        Hamilton is right though. Even it’s no something the Vettel fans want to hear.

      • @nick101 very well said,my vote for COTD!

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:30

        @nick101 more often than not, Lewis points Vettel’s skills. Maybe it’s pure cynicism, but I gotta be fair, I don’t remember, ever, to hear or read Lewis saying Vettel is rubbish.

        He’s so caught up in his own ‘legend’ that he doesn’t realize the stupidity of this statement. The only way this argument would be valid is if he has finished in the WDC 2nd or 3rd behind one or both of the RedBulls. But he hasn’t – EVER.

        Really? Where does it comes from?

        2 days ago, a friend of mine asked me to pick 3 best drives in F1. I said: Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso. Then he asked me: how many extra WDC would have Alonso and Hamilton if they were driving for RB? My answer? 3 and close to 4

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 4th October 2013, 9:08

          Really? Where does it comes from?

          Where does this come from? Do I need to break it down for you?

          Hamilton said, in a round about way, that if the RedBulls hadn’t been so superior in the last few years, then he would have won more WDC’s.

          I’m simply pointing out the fact that he has NEVER finished in the WDC directly behind either one or both of the RedBulls, so how can this be true? Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are the ONLY drivers on the grid who have been denied another WDC because of the RedBull – NOT HAMILTON.

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 4th October 2013, 9:14

          how many extra WDC would have Alonso and Hamilton if they were driving for RB? My answer? 3 and close to 4

          First of all, because it’s YOUR answer that makes it fact does it?

          Second of all, Hamilton fans are always telling us how crap Button is and that he’s just a slow midfield driver and that Hamilton is the best in F1, yet when they were team mates, Hamilton only managed to beat Button 2 years out of 3 and was actually out scored by Button over the 3 years. He also only scored 2 more wins over 3 years than the ‘slow midfield driver’.

          And now you say that if he was driving the RedBull and was up against a soon to be 4 x WDC who has scored more pole positions, wins and points than anyone on the grid, that he would have beaten him and won all the championships??

          Really, WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON?

  4. Mads (@mads) said on 3rd October 2013, 16:25

    Why would traction control, or a similar system make that sort of difference?
    Are F1 drivers really that bad at putting power to the ground that they can’t be as good as a half-way implemented loophole kind of TC?
    TC doesn’t make you faster out of the corner because you can floor the throttle earlier. It just limits wheelspin. Which means you can floor it at the apex, but no more power then the maximum that the system thinks that the tyres can take will be put to the ground.
    I just can’t imagine that F1 drivers, drive around doing over 1 seconds worth of bad throttle application per lap. If that was the case, then wouldn’t more of them end up in the walls backwards regularly?
    Did it really change that much from 2007 to 2008? I think not. And that was with properly implemented TC systems. Not some backdoor KERS harvest kind of way. If that is even possible.
    Red Bull might be able to apply the power earlier, but I think a more likely explanation is that their car is simply better.
    A better car with better traction will allow the driver to put the power down faster. TC won’t make him do that.
    Unless I rate F1 drivers as being much better then they actually are, of cause..

  5. Jason (@jason12) said on 3rd October 2013, 16:39

    The biggest issue here’s is that there’s a lot people being paid handsomely to match or even beat Newey, and they are massively underperforming!

    Newey is no magician, the other guys just need to deliver or be fired.

    • Albert said on 3rd October 2013, 17:13

      It’s an extremely naive point of view to expect people on a competiton to be fired only beause they are being bested.

      For starters, the amount of talent is extremely limited. Such high level engineers are hard to find, so even if you fire the current ones, who do you replace them with?

      Secondly, it’s insane to ask for people to be fired, putting them and their families in a bad situation (engineers aren’t as well paid as pilots, just so you know) just because the team isn’t winning. It’s almost childish.

      As in every competition, the results are never on your control, regardless of how hard you try.

  6. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 3rd October 2013, 17:27

    I just want to take this moment to actually applaud what Hamilton has said.

    I know Red Bull have been giving it the old ‘we’re not sure if we’ll have that kind of dominance at _______ race’, but Hamilton has said it like it is – they are completely dominating, and a 2 second gap is nigh on impossible to close at this point in the season, especially with the rule changes incoming.

    Fair play.

    And to everyone jumping up and down about the TC comment – c’mon now, get over it. He’s saying the last time he had that kind of traction was back in those days. He’s basically saying the Red Bull is unbelievable. But, of course, everyone wants to put their own tabloid spin on it.

    • @ecwdanselby Where have you been man, the Hammy support group needs full blooded fan like you…

    • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 4th October 2013, 4:12

      Red Bull was the best car at Singapore but for Lewis to say that the 2s was the real speed advantage that RB had and disregard the circumstances of the race if bit misleading. Lot of people, experts or otherwise, had a look at the reasons for the 2s but from what I could see majority concluded that the speed difference was not that big, other were a bit slower than they could have been. Lewis should’ve had a look at the other side of the garage for one of the reasons. Rosberg was about tenth slower in the qualifying but spent the race arguing with the pit wall about the strategy, slowing everyone else in the process apart from the debris in the front wing.
      And for the TC comment no one asked him about any TC. The question was :”Q: What sort of reaction does that make you have and the team have; what can you do about that? ”
      He started the answer good but the second sentence sounds like insinuation.

  7. Q: Sebastian, there was a lot of hype about the Red Bull ‘traction control’ in Singapore. Can you explain the state of affairs?
    Sebastian Vettel: Well, of course, as everybody witnessed it worked in Singapore. We’d been working on it all Friday and Saturday, and yes, on Sunday it worked perfectly for the first time – when it mattered. I am sure for the races to come that we will be able to enhance the system even further – to profit even more.

  8. Hamilton, just shut up and drive man!

  9. Really a lot of useful tips.

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