Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2012

Hamilton not on Vettel and Alonso’s level – Webber

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2012In the round-up: Mark Webber says Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are the top two drivers in F1 today.


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

Vettel ‘favourite’ for title despite new rules (BBC)

“Lewis [Hamilton of Mercedes] is handy but probably not quite as much of a machine as [Vettel and Alonso] are. They are literally ‘plug them in and off they go’. They are very, very handy.”

Brawn to take six months off (Reuters)

“I want to clear my mind, take a rest and then decide if I want to return to F1, subject of course to any opportunities existing.”

Judgement ‘reserved’ in Ecclestone trial (The Telegraph)

“After seven weeks of hearing evidence, Mr Justice Newey said he was reserving judgement. He is expected to take several weeks to consider the evidence. His judgement will hinge on whether he is persuaded that the shares were indeed undervalued as a result of Ecclestone?s actions.”

Newsnight (BBC iPlayer)

A segment on the Bernie Ecclestone trial in which a lawyer representing Gerhard Gribkowsky, the German businessman who was jailed for accepting an alleged bribe from Ecclestone, asserts it is an “open secret” that Ecclestone is in charge of the Bambino Trust which Gribkowsky was paid from, something Ecclestone has previously denied.

McLaren ready to protect Magnussen (Autosport)

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “I hope we can protect him from the ravages of F1. For anybody coming up from another series to F1, the white heat of expectation is very difficult.”

Watch a real 2014 F1 chassis crash test (Caterham via YouTube)


Alonso has his first taste of 2014 (Ferrari)

“The Spaniard arrived at the Scuderia?s headquarters this morning and immediately got down to work with a busy simulator programme. The purpose of the day was to get a first taste of all the new procedures in which the driver will be involved, in managing the 2014 car.”

Volkswagen not interested in F1 slot (ESPN)

“The Volkswagen Group boasts the likes of Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche among its brands, but when contacted by ESPN about whether the company was aware of the FIA’s search a spokesman dismissed any interest.”

Cheap tricks which point to fact that Formula One has lost its nerve (The Guardian)

Richard Williams: “To feel the need for a mechanism intended to ensure that every season reaches a cliff-hanging climax is to severely underrate the audience’s intelligence.”

Double points? Don’t be daft (ESPN)

Maurice Hamilton: “If it is a knee-jerk reaction to Red Bull’s dominance then it should be accepted that this sort of supremacy occurs in F1 from time to time. What, may I ask, was wrong with the last races in 2008 and 2010 – and plenty more before that?”

New double-points system-entertainment or embarrassment? (Motion Cars)

“It has led to howls of derision from many in the sport, who see this as the next step, after KERS and DRS wing ??push-to-pass? buttons, in devaluing the sport still further. It is not even guaranteed to add an entertainment factor.”



Comment of the day

The news of Adrian Sutil joining Sauber for 2014 had a rather muted reception:

Sutil isn?t a bad choice. It?s fairly uninspiring but in terms of a decent driver with plenty of experience, he?ll do good enough job.

Who would be a better choice? They got him because the other options have gone! If they?d acted quicker, they could have potentially brought Perez back or Massa but now they?re left with Sutil or someone with next to no experience.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dermot Farrelly and Carlo Grlj!

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

John Surtees won the Rand Grand Prix 50 years ago today, which was a non-championship race held at the Kyalami circuit two weeks before the season finale at the East London track.

Surtees’ Ferrari team mate Lorenzo Bandini finished second ahead of local driver Piet de Klerk in an Alfa Romeo.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

135 comments on “Hamilton not on Vettel and Alonso’s level – Webber”

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  1. Those car projections look really ugly! A platipus and a pacman!

    1. I think it’s awesome seeing all these bizarre possibilities;
      that freehand drawing looks incredible, and damn witty, almost a massive 2 fingers up at the rules. If rejected, a really thin carbon strip connecting the 2 pieces together could just as easily make it legal again.

      1. Yeah I really like the Scarbs design – I thought something that looks like 2010 nose could do very well. If there has to be something in that area between the nose top and front wing, that does it very well…..

    2. Even at this late stage I don’t think any team will be publishing details of there design direction.

    3. Surprisingly I don’t mind that McLaren too much. It isn’t pretty, but I find it interesting and funky. I reminds of some of the contorted noses from the ’70s somehow. It isn’t pretty or particularly elegant, but to me it looks far better than stepped noses. Although to be honest, the orange livery might play a large part in how I rate it.

      The Scarbs one is hardly terrible. It’s very interesting and I imagine any team using it would paint that section black so it wouldn’t seem very prominent.

      1. *It reminds me of…

    4. David not Coulthard (@)
      14th December 2013, 4:23

      You know, having seen 3 different ugly projections, I think having 3 different types of utterly ugly noses (+ 1 beautiful type) would be somewhat refreshing after all these years of (relative) uniformity

      1. 2009 was fairly good for that.

        1. David not Coulthard (@)
          14th December 2013, 6:20

          …but the different designs we’ve seen seem to have even more difference between them. Of course, I’m not saying that those differences will actually be seen come next year.

    5. No, McLaren will not build such an ugly machine. I like the orange livery though.

    6. A bit in the range of the Walrus nosed Williams. At its time derided (for its looks and for not producing any good results), but by now its become one of the more interesting concepts IMO.

      What I would love to see is teams coming up with diverse solutions, that is what would make it exiting, because we would get to see a diversity of concepts that might show to be better at some things and worse at others. That is what made F1 exiting in earlier days.
      So what if they some look really strange? The best thing is if just about every car looks to be a different approach.

      1. Yep it would be great if we see different designs, in that case I wouldn’t wind a few ugly noses.

        Thre orange livery is great :D

    7. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      14th December 2013, 10:48

      The crash test video from Caterham offers an interesting, if indirect, sneak preview – after the frontal impact test of the nose, pause at around 53 seconds in, and you can see the black carbon imprint of a “hooked” nose on the white test impact surface. Would that be a reasonable approximation of the final nose shape?

    8. It’s not great, but frankly it could be so much worse. At the very least it is cool seeing how teams are dealing with the new regulations, no matter how ugly the cars are.

    9. At least it’s nice to see that McLaren in OG papaya color.

    10. They should give doube world championship points at every third race in the season for cars that have the nicest looking nose…
      That would get the racing more exciting.

  2. I do agree with Webber. Hamilton is just too temperamental at times, whereas Alonso and Vettel haven’t ever had a bad season as far as I can recall.

    On current form I’m giving Vettel the edge: his qualifying pace just cannot be matched by Alonso, and on outright racepace he’s definitely a match (if for the fact he doesn’t quite have the same tenacity of Alonso when a split-second decision is required to claim/maintain a position).

    1. if for the fact he doesn’t quite have the same tenacity of Alonso when a split-second decision is required to claim/maintain a position

      It’s that reason for me that puts Alonso just above Vettel in my view. I’m not majorly disagreeing with anything you just said, Vettel undoubtedly trumps Alonso in qualifying, and he’s no slouch in the race – far from it. But I just think that over a season, Alonso’s uncanny ability to scrap with the best of them and come out on top does it for me. But your assessment is equally vaild!

      1. Eh, just give him a couple more years. ;-)

        Seriously, I think the only reason Vettel might not yet have that same tenacity is that he hasn’t had quite as much opportunity to develop it. He’s the first person to recognize where he’s falling short — and when he does, he works like a man possessed to perfect his performance in that area. Horner says it almost ad nauseum, but I really think it’s true: he’s only going to get better.

        1. Yep absolutely. A driver doesn’t hit their ‘prime’ until their late 20’s or early 30’s where their physical performance and experience are both at their peak. Vettel at 26 still has a good bit to go. Kinda terrifying to think what kind of driver he’ll be by the time he hits 30!

        2. Exactly, why should he bother about maintaining position and overtaking when he can just start from pole and build up a 30 second lead? Alonso is better in this respect only because he is forced to develop it by not being such a good qualifier, even after taking into account the limitations of the Ferrari when compared to the Red Bull.

          1. You cannot twist a comment to make Alonso’s weakness look like Vettel’s. Yes, Alonso is very good at making-up places in the race but the fact remains that he has a slight Achilles Heel in qualifying. Vettel has not had as many opportunities as Alonso to “come from the back” because he qualifies so well and that cannot be considered as a ‘weakness’. In fact, Vettel has one of the best making-up places result in F1 – Abu Dhabi 2012. He can do that if he needs to but he seldom needs to.

            One thing that has to be taken in context about Webber’s comments is the nature of performance of the Red Bull Renault car. It may have very good race pace, but it definitely lags some way behind the main opposition in outright speed. If you recall, they mentioned during the Interlagos race that Alonso’s Ferrari was something like 17 KmPH faster than Vettel’s RB9 in a straight line. Vettel has adapted very well to the high downforce setting to get the maximum performance out of his car. It is my belief that if Alonso was driving the RB9, he would produce very good results too but perhaps not as dominant as Vettel because he is not as good as the latter in qualifying. Therefore I would also give Vettel the edge.

            But I do not think the Red Bull will suit Hamilton’s driving style. His best results with McLaren have been with relatively low downforce cars that are very fast in a straight line. Also, Hamilton’s habit of braking very late coming into a corner is unlikely to work as well with the Red Bull as with the McLaren or even the Merc. He will not be able to build-up that immediate acceleration spurt afterwards in a Red Bull as he used to with the McLaren for example.

          2. @loup-garou
            RB5, 6 and 8 most certainly lacked in straight line speed, but RB7 and 9 were at the very top if not the fastest on couple occasions. RB9 particularly owned opposition on the straights after the summer break. Speed trap figures from brazil are irrelevant because speed trap data is just before T1 and some cars were braking earlier than others in the wet and were taking different lines trough senna s’es as a result.

            Also hamilton drove low DF mclarens?? Where did you come up with that one? 2010,2011 and 2012 maccas had just as much and sometimes more DF than RBs at the time. They did however have merc engine in the back which everyone knows is considerably more powerful in the top end compared to renault.
            One of the main reasons ham is struggling with braking is because mclaren exclusively get special akebono brakes which according to lewis have much better feel than the ones on the mercs (brembos I believe).

    2. The interesting thing about the compliment is that it’s like a backhanded compliment to Vettel.

      1. I mean the interesting thing about the comment…

    3. @vettel1 I don’t know if I’ve been taken by Mercedes optimism but my money is on Lewis Hamilton for next season. When he has a solid car he wins, he was very cool in 2012 despite massive mistakes from his pit crew and car failures.

    4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      14th December 2013, 10:39

      @vettel1 – I completely agree, obviously not about the Vettel having an edge on Alonso part, and I would argue that point but there are only several billion years before the sun dies, as previously stated, so instead I would argue that it important not to be overtly melodramatic and reactionary this point. Whilst I agree with Webber about Hamilton noting be on Alonso/Vettel’s level in the Pirelli era, I would be cautious about expanding that to their entire careers.

      In 2010, Hamilton was the class of the field. I would be confident in saying that most drivers and fans saw Hamilton as the best in 2010 (I certainly did), due to his sizable pace advantage and excellent race pace due to the durability of the Bridgestones. He was also undisputed #1 at McLaren, and had a comfortable advantage over Button. Oh, how that changed in 2011. Hamilton didn’t take well to a) a newly competitive teammate, b) having to moderate pace artificially in the races and c) the new car balances the Pirellis created, meaning that Hamilton has seldom been comfortable in the past three years. However, when Hamilton was comfortable he was still capable of world class, spell-bounding performances, such as China ’11, Germany ’11, Austin ’12 and his qualifying lap in Britain ’13. And because 2012 especially saw Hamilton on form, a year he would have taken the championship had he not had four almost certain wins taken from him by circumstance, it seems all too simplistic to shove him behind Alonso and Vettel in the order. Would we be doing that if he’d won the championship in 2012?

      Whilst I agree that Hamilton can’t match Alonso and Vettel in the current Pirelli era, ranking drivers is a dangerously inaccurate art, especially since that ranking could quite easily be turned on its head if Pirelli really are as conservative as they say they are going to be in 2014.

      1. @william-brierty

        Whilst I agree that Hamilton can’t match Alonso and Vettel in the current Pirelli era, ranking drivers is a dangerously inaccurate art, especially since that ranking could quite easily be turned on its head if Pirelli really are as conservative as they say they are going to be in 2014.

        Absolutely: the Pirelli’s require a very specific driving technique to maximise their performance over a race distance yet still require the ability to be able to get the required tyre temperature for qualifying, something Vettel has down to a t along with the demands of the EBD.

        That advantage will be cut next year.

        It will indeed be very interesting to see who prevails next season, though I don’t doubt all three will still be the best drivers. All have shown they can cut it in different cars: Vettel out scoring both Red Bull drivers and his teammate put together in 2008, Alonso obviously with his dual world championships and one of the few able to challenge Schumacher, Hamilton particularly for 2010 as has been said. I’m expecting a much more intriguing season that the last.

        …and now watch Red Bull dominate, again.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          14th December 2013, 13:00

          @vettel1 – I certainly hope not! But as you rightly say, 2014 will be much more of a driver’s championship, especially if the cars are as difficult to drive as some suspect. I subsequently think Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel will carve it up between them, because although the secondary vanguard of Raikkonen, Rosberg, Button, Hulkenberg and Grosjean can often appear to challenge the big hitters, especially Kimi and Nico, I suspect Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton are actually quite a way clear of the rest in terms of raw driving skill. I also can’t help but feel that, as proved in the early stages of 2012, Alonso and Hamilton are more adept at getting to grips with a wayward handling car. We will see next year, I really can’t wait…

      2. in 2010 Hamilton was not the class of the field, if he was he would have won the championship, instead he crashed and burnt right at the end, right when the class of the field is meant to step up to the plate.

        1. He didn’t crash and burn any more than Webber or Vettel.

          1. @craig-o I was thinking that, although I couldn’t really think of any specific mistakes Alonso made (in the same vein as Hamilton’s collisions rather than just getting stuck behind Petrov after a poor call by his team).

          2. @matt90 Crashing at Monaco, crashing at Spa, jumping the start at China, an avoidable penalty at Silverstone

          3. Ah yes. That is why I think you could make the claim that any of Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton were the best in 2010. Whereas the idea that one of them threw it away just because he made the same mistakes as his rivals (only a little closer to the end of the season) is silly and unfair.

      3. What if the merc is the class of the field next year. Lewis will be able to prove what he can do in a dominant car and people might think different.
        I still believe the good year mercedes had is surely down to a better car, but Lewis brought a few tenths 2 I am sure.
        I also wonder, what if he stayed at McLaren? .. They would at least have gotten a podium imo. Remember how he helped turn around 2009. He was brilliant!

        It’s clear to me that Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso are the class of the field. In perfect cars, I couldn’t say who would win the most.

      4. Well worded and I agree. Kimi should be mentioned along with these guys. I see Hamilton and Kimi as similar in some ways.

    5. don’t think that he is too temperamental but he lacks mental ability and his off track performance might not be as good. give them 3 equal cars with ever lasting tires and HAM will be ahead. but thinking their way thru a race and staying focused is what VET and ALO excel at. that’s why I think both will be at the top again next year if not at the beginning than latest by mid-season.

      1. I think MW’s assessment is pretty accurate and there’s a good chance he’d say the same thing even if, as some opine, it didn’t make himself look better to explain the obvious which is that he lost to a 4-time WDC, or even if FA was not a friend.

        I think it goes without saying that any of these 3 drivers are hard to beat in a fast car that they are comfortable in. But that’s always the outstanding question and what the drivers and teams are striving for at all times.

        I think LH is the least ‘reliable’ of the 3…the most temperamental. I think both SV and LH get more questionable in their performances when the chips are a little down, but can also offer up surprises an any given day, whereas with FA there is no doubt that he will maximize every day.

        But I also think we have to see if of these 3 drivers the new cars with their different driving needs will automatically favour/disfavor any of them, and then go from there. I’m assuming that one of the main reasons for the new regs is to shake things up in F1, so I’m assuming we will not be seeing all 3 of these drivers in equally fast and reliable cars in which they are equally comfortable. At least not initially.

        1. Just wanted to add to the mix the reality that for SV his new teammate should be someone he can handle readily, for FA there is now a second rooster on the team and a big challenge, and for LH it will be status quo, and let’s see how well these teammates adapt to the new driving techniques and based on that how that plays (or not) on the minds of SV, FA, and LH.

    6. Personally i disagree completely. Hamilton except Kovalanien always went against toughest inner team competition and that makes him look less dominant. Also he never had the privilege inner team behavior because Mclaren aren’t so keen on it no matter what Ferrari and Red Bull fans like to say when they get pointed out and Mercedes had Rosberg as an established talented and likeable man with them and they are not gonna throw him under the bus easily and concentrate more on Hamilton(also am certain Rosberg asked for assurances of his role before hand as he did with Shcumacher).

      Also Alonso is flattered by the Ferrari not being the quickest. Why i say that? Because it gives him the chance to say he did everything and not qualifying well etc has nothing to do with him.
      I believe Hamilton and Vettel are the two best and Alonso is the one who is third. It’s true that the Pirellis hit Hamilton’s style the most since his best quality is just simply being faster and driving to delta times kills him inside and affects his racing a little but if all three of them had a Red Bull last year then Alonso will be the loser because Hamilton and Vettel will be fighting for poles and Alonso will be behind and no matter how good his race craft is, Hamilton and Vettel ain’t no Massa and he will soon discover that he can’t just go around them on race day and make up for it.

  3. Very interesting round-up !

    First, I think Mark is right. Just the statistics speak for themselves. Hamilton had ups and downs since his arrival to the sport and a pretty big slump in form in 2011. Plus some very odd mistakes, strategically and while driving. I still remember JB correctly picking the high downforce, F-duct wing at Monza 2010 while Lewis struggled with the standard low-drag wing. And it didn’t last long because he crashed into Massa, an avoidable touch that couldn’t hurt his championship hopes more…

    Richard Williams: “To feel the need for a mechanism intended to ensure that every season reaches a cliff-hanging climax is to severely underrate the audience’s intelligence.”

    Absolutely spot on.

    Volkswagen not interested in F1 slot (ESPN)

    Why would they? they have Porsche and Audi battling at Le Mans and the little Polo winning in rallying. No need to spend a whole fortune struggling to beat an energy drinks company…

    Sutil isn’t a bad choice.

    Well it was the last of the choices, so… yeah, not as bad as picking Sakon Yamamoto, but not an inspiring move either… Sutil surviving on the grid merely because he’s the only one available says a lot already… plus he brings money, apparently…

    1. Sutil has Capri Sun and Medion, worth more than £5 a year maybe. I’d bet Gutierrez will be his team mate next year. Boring season.

      1. Things really are tight at Sauber ;)

    2. Hehehe, so VW is afraid of an “energy drink”? That’s shameful :)

      On Button, I think he struggled more than Lewis to set-up the car…

      1. @jcost so is Ferrari :P

  4. Good display of confidence from Caterham – they’ve not always produced cars in time for the first test, so I hope it’s a sign they’re ahead of the game this time. It’s nice to see what goes on at a crash test, too. Does the Red Bull test have five blokes shuffling along behind the chassis to hide it…?

    1. @bullfrog they had in 2012 and 2013 I believe…

  5. As I’ve said before, I believe Hamilton on his day would beat anyone, but he is definitely a bit tempremental, and not on the top of his game nearly as much as the other two. I think given a car that is to his liking, and can actually challenge, we’ll see Hamilton back. Arguably, he was better last year than Vettel, and on par with Alonso, so it’s not completely unreasonable to think so. Hopefully the cars extra torque and therefore inherent squirming should suit him more. A difficult car to drive for everyone could mean he shines above the others.

    1. I think you have a definite argument for him being the most naturally gifted driver, as his pace can be incredible. However, consistency wins you titles and in that respect Alonso and Vettel are indeed a step ahead. They just don’t have off days.

      1. @vettel1 Completely agree. Not much more to say about it really. It’d be a scary championship if Hamilton was in the best car and at the top of his game, against both Vettel and Alonso as well. That would be fireworks.

      2. Agreed.. Looking at the top 4, they’ve all been in the chase for 3/4 titles at least.. but 2014 could really be coming to Hamilton if he can be totally consistent and focus on winning the title 100%. He definitely isn’t as rounded as the other 3 in the top 4 at the moment for me, even if his pace could be one of the best. He looked consistent in the early McLaren days, when he had his father guiding him, but I’m not sure if winning in 2008 was his ultimate goal, which has left his consistency and focus now lacking.

      3. “naturally gifted” in modern f1 should not be used for Hamilton, it is a term that used to be used for 2 dimensional drivers that can only drive quick in a quick car, and are hopeless at things like car setup and tyre wear. “naturally gifted” should be used for 3 dimensional drivers like alonso and vettel that have the complete package. I don’t think Hamilton will ever win another championship, not while vettel is in the sport. he stuffed up in 07, nearly again in 08, in 2010 he flopped at the last hurdle, in 2011 he was a disaster movie. in 12 and 13 he wasn’t as good as Vettel and Alonso, I don’t see any miracle makeover in 2014.

        1. Saying he stuffed up in 2007 is a little harsh, given it was his debut year and there were mitigating circumstances to his problems even if they were embarrassing. In 2010 he made less mistakes than many of his rivals, but having them in consecutive races seems to draw people’s attention to them far more. In 2012 he was better than Vettel, and on the same level as Alonso. In 2013 it is hard to judge him accurately given how difficult his package was compared to the other teams- it is fair to say he wasn’t as good as Vettel and Alonso but suggesting that is an indicator for the future ignores that it was his first year with the team and that the car was often a mystery. Your comment is too dismissive.

        2. I find your comment a bit biased. You seem to only focus on Hamilton’s mistakes and not his rivals. The first time Vettel was in the championship hunt in late 2009-2010 he made an equal/greater amount of silly errors then Hamilton did in 2007. Furthermore when Hamilton was stuffing up the 07 championship where was his world champion teammate? 2011 was bad but it looked a lot worse considering the fact he had a world champion teammate in comparison. When Vettel and Alonso make mistakes they’re still ahead of their slow teammates. I admit though, one of Hamilton’s areas for improvement is taking over the team. He isn’t as good as Alonso at making the team back him 100%.

        3. Hamilton was easily the best driver in 2012. Mechanical problems and team **** ups cost him upwards of 100 points (he lost 50 alone whilst leading in Singa and later Abu) which would’ve won him the title.

          In light of that, it’s funny that you say he’ll never win another title. Not to mention he completely trashed JB, it was 17-3 on quali and Button had far fewer team realted/mech points loss.

          1. For some people it’s easier to recall 2011 than 2012…

          2. I don’t know how you come to “easily” the best driver, at best he was a match for the other top drivers, and he had the best car, he never put in dominant drives like vettel does when he has the best car. either way, the championship says it all, he is having trouble get past 4th in the championship. my comments of Hamilton were dismissive, but only compared to Alonso and vettel. he is still a great, but webber is correct.

          3. In 2012 Hamilton had several dominant drives. And although the McLaren was on balance the fastest car through the season, I don’t think it was the best. The Red Bull wasn’t that far behind on pace, but quite a bit ahead in reliability (which is saying something considering that that wasn’t exactly good). Being not much slower, but less temperamental made the Red Bull the car to have last year. That, coupled with McLaren being operationally far inferior to Ferrari and Red Bull.

            The championship simply doesn’t say it all. If that were true then you’d assume all cars were of similar performance, you wouldn’t know if retirements were self inflicted or if poor performances were the fault of the driver or team. Instead you’re picking and choosing which facts you apply to the championship to make sense of it. In this case you’re applying that he had the fastest car but negating every other mitigating factor.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    14th December 2013, 0:42

    Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton caption competition?

  7. Read Richard Williams Guardian article if you have not already done so, a clear, concise, and accurate view of F1 and the real reasons it is in decline. F1 fans need to turn the heat up on the questions of revenue distribution, more and more “marketing” gimmicks and a decline in the quality of the racing and the cars.

    1. Lux's Bandaid
      14th December 2013, 3:37

      Just watch Indy

    2. @hohum – That article really is a must read. Thanks @keithcollantine for the heads up. This snippet from the article says it all:

      The problem is that the sport’s management is in the hands of a bunch of very clever people with a penchant for making stupid decisions based either on greed or an inability to see beyond their own front wheels.

      Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see F1 run/managed/overseen by a group of quality retired F1 drivers and management people that know what they are doing? Imagine the likes of Ross Brawn, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, just to name a few, on a board or commission to oversee the rules and operations of F1. Generally, I hate boards and commissions, but it would be great to see a group like this have the power of recommendation and final approval over all things F1.

      I will still watch F1, it is the only sport I care about. Because we do care, we want to see things fixed that are wrong and see things implemented that make sense. A lot ideas, suggestions and recommendations I have read here at F1Fanatic make way more sense that what the current powers that be have come up with.

  8. I believe Hamilton is not temperamental, I think he is more emotional. I feel he truly, truly loves driving and racing, he wears his heart on his sleave and that is his biggest flaw! Alonso does this too but he is much more “diplomatic” about showing emotion.
    The only thing I will agree on with the previous comments is that Hamilton hasn´t had a car to his liking, if he did, then we would definitely have a 2007 season all over again but to say he is not on Alonso´s or Vettel´s level is, in my opinion, a bit too much.

    On another note… Doesn´t anybody else see what they are trying to do with the cars?? I know it´s almost impossible to unlearn what the engineers have learnt through the years but I believe that what they want to do with the noses is bring back noses like the Jordad 191 or McLaren´s all conquering MP4-4. They want low and narrower noses and the nose doesn´t necesarily have to be flat! But then again, I´m no engineer.

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      14th December 2013, 7:10


    2. @karter22 – Regarding Hamilton, consistency. For whatever reason. I think that is the key. Hamilton is probably as fast as Vettel or Alonso, maybe even faster sometimes. Consistency lap after lap after lap is where I believe he has been a bit off. The car not to his liking has been an issue too. Guess the same could be said for Alonso though too.

  9. I think it’s less about emotion in this case but about attitude. Lewis Hamilton, as far as raw talent goes, can easily stay with Vettel and Alonso. However, Hamilton tends (and, to a point, likes) to get distracted from things: his on-off-does-anyone-actually-care-look-guys-we’re-in-love-oh-now-we-are-not-yeah-we-are-better-at-this-than-Vince-Russo relationship with what’s-her-name, his supposed musical career – Hamilton just has all that buzz around him which you do not find with Vettel and Alonso.

    Aside from Alonso’s divorce and Vettel getting his girlfriend pregnant, all “scandals” and headlines these guys have are related to the sport. With Alonso and Vettel, you get the feeling that if something in their private life would hurt their chances on the track, they’d cut it out like it’s cancer – ruthlessly and throughoutly. Right now (maybe that will change in the future) Hamilton seems to lack said efficiency and that hurts his chances compared to, as Webber phrased it, “machines” such as Vettel/Alonso.

    1. Nope no excuses he is been fourth or fifth many years in a row and nico proof to be as good this year, so don’t expect much more he is running out of time too, and he never drove in a not competitive car as all other have done, he needs to drive an avg car and put it in pole to make all the assumptions of greatness come close to be real.
      So far he has done as good as his partner with the car given nothing more.

      1. Paul Sainsbury
        15th December 2013, 1:54

        He has not driven a non-competitive car? I take it you missed the first half of 2009 then?

  10. I think if anybody told you in December 2008 that Hamilton would only have one title by the end of 2013 you would have laughed in their face. The guy was supreme in 2007, and fought well and hard in 2008 to win the WDC. Since then he’s had too many ups and downs to really challenge. If it weren’t for a few errors during the latter part of 2010 and McLaren doing their best to fail him last year, things could be far different.

    Hamilton hasn’t lost his ability to overtake or his one lap pace, I just think that the sport has moved away from him a bit and he hasn’t been able to adapt quite as readily as Vettel, Alonso or even Raikkonen. Then there’s the psychological question about him – does he have the same kind of mental fortitude as the three mentioned drivers? No-one can say for certain but I think that the popular view is that he’s not. I think he lets things get him down, he’s quite emotionally driven. In comparison Vettel and Alonso have total self belief. They are also scarily consistent, whereas as good as Lewis is he has a few off days every season. All these are the difference between being a multiple champion and not. However I think giving Hamilton a truly front running car would create a lot of confidence in him, and that in turn would create consistency in his performance. He’ll be a champion again undoubtedly.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      14th December 2013, 1:52

      Hamilton hasn’t lost his ability to overtake or his one lap pace, I just think that the sport has moved away from him a bit and he hasn’t been able to adapt quite as readily as Vettel, Alonso or even Raikkonen.

      I don’t think Hamilton’s style is conducive to ‘preservation’.
      He’s the fastest over one lap, but he has some work to do with week-in week-out consistency.

      I really hope Mercedes have a great car next year so they can take it to Red Bull on Saturday and more importantly Sunday.

      1. @tophercheese21

        I really hope Mercedes have a great car next year so they can take it to Red Bull on Saturday and more importantly Sunday.

        Next year with a fresh car better tires and all, race pace wont be a big ache for Mercedes .

    2. Let’s just say that driving slowly is not one of Hamiltons strong points.

      1. Well is not like the “sebastian slow down you hear” , i think lewis is as good as his car, alonso and vettel outperform the car.

  11. That first design drawing with the yellow colour looks awesome. If that’s what the noses will look like then it’s an improvement on what we saw the beginning of last year.

  12. I actually like the 2014 Mclaren! That stepped nose looks good according to the regulations, but I actually liked the stepped noses, like in 2012. But well, it’s just a proyection, it could change a lot to the final design.

    1. @cocaine-mackeine – That’s not actually the 2014 McLaren, but rather an artist’s impression of what it might look like.

      1. And I hope it gets close to that. I like that concept rather than the ugly noses they’re actually proposing for next year.

        1. For me I agree that IF this were the general appearance of the new cars then that wouldn’t be so bad and is to me certainly better than some of the verbal pictures that have been painted about ugly noses and also better than the other concept by MCDesign as linked to in an above post by matt90.

  13. Hamilton. So much talent, but no mental structure to make the most of it. He should be in a one make series or in a racing championship where there wasn’t so much technical knowhow and strategy implied.

  14. Everyone has their opinion. I respect Marks opinions but he is also playing politics. He talked of Schum. legacy but Webber also has a legacy to worry about. He has to rank Vettel as one of the best because that’s the guy that dominated him. Hamilton has his brain fart moments, just like Alonso. Only differences is Alonso gets a pass on his brain fart moments. Jenson also gets a lot of passes. When you look like Hamilton, carry yourself a certain way, hang around people who are so anti establishment, you’re not going to get credited for your mental strength despite constantly challenging yourself and succeeding most of the time. Its easier for people to say you have “natural talent.” Which in a way is offensive because it implies you didn’t work for it. There is no denying Alonso is a great driver. If I said Hamilton is a better driver than Alonso because he out qualifies him consistently, most would disagree with me. The problem with the Silver arrows has been race pace for the last couple years so on Sundays they have work hard to survive a stint. The problem with the Ferrari has been qualifying pace for the last couple years but come Sunday they turn into rocket ships. No one is quicker off the line than the Ferrari. My point is we need context to judge drivers. Vettel is a good driver but he has had it too easy. When you have 20 sec leads, its a lot easier to concentrate and think things over. IMO, Hamilton is the strongest driver because he has been the only driver comfortable to challenge himself against the top drivers. He has never really had the benefit of having his own team the way Vettel has RB and Alonso Ferrari. He never really had McL to himself and I don’t think he wanted to. He sees himself as just 1/2 the driver lineup with equal treatment.

    1. I can’t agree that LH is the only driver comfortable challenging himself against the top drivers and I think that if it is true (but I don’t believe it) that LH never had Mac to himself like SV/RBR or FA/Ferrari then that is his own fault because he was certainly in as golden a position as any driver has been, to make a team his own.

      I also think it is inconsistent to claim he is the only driver that will challenge himself against the top drivers, yet sees himself as just 1/2 of a team of equally treated drivers, and prefers that. If any driver is challenging the ones at the top, they are also thinking they must take every advantage and squelch their own teammates in the process.

      1. Hamilton just wants to go head to head with his teammate with equal machinery and equal support from the team. May the best driver win after that. That’s what he demanded when he was paired as rookie w/ champion Alonso. Alonso couldn’t fathom the idea of being treated equally. If anything, he wanted to be top dog. Not having that position in the team, which some would argue is a big psychological boost, hindered his on track performance. Suddenly Alonso found himself in a position where he could not just focus on title contenders from opposing teams, Hamilton(a teammate) was a major challenger. Whether its Alonso, HK, Button, or Rosberg, Hamilton has been consistent. Alonso and Vettel want pushovers as teammates. The honeymoon at Ferrari is over and the ICEMAN commeth. Look for fireworks next year. We’ll see how mentally strong Alonso is. Vettel is still being sheltered. Its not way to gain respect from your peers. Alonso and Hamilton stopped bagging on Vettel because it was bad PR for them. They’ve turned to praising him in public. Webber obviously has his motives to praise Vettel. Vettel mopped the floor with him.

    2. “hang around people who are so anti establishment,”

      Oh Lordy! Made my day…… In the ‘hood innit.

      1. @sudd I’m with you when it comes to drivers insisting on lesser teammates to not challenge them. The biggest example of that, and one of the reasons I don’t respect him or his numbers, is MS, who actually had contracted bootlickers.

        I give FA a small margin of room on this topic only because he had to go up against MS/Ferrari for his WDC’s and it is hard to beat an opponent who’s advantages are so skewed unless you try to duplicate some of those advantages. He insisted, particularly when he had Briatore overseeing things, who’s all about this sort of thing going back to MS/Benetton, that to go up against MS he had to have MS-like treatment, although nobody was ever going to have all that he had, given Ferrari’s weight on the board.

        I’m just not sure you aren’t twisting reality a bit to suit your Pro-LH argument. I think that as a rookie, of course what else was he to say or hope for other than equal treatment, and all the talk on LH was how he was Ron Dennis’s ‘baby’ so fans were given the impression not only that he would get that, but that maybe he would get even more than that. It was FA who came in as a WDC so would have had every right to assume at least equal treatment, and when he got the sense that wasn’t happening he asked publicly for it…not number one status, but equal treatment to LH.

        I also think that it is likely LH would not reject a lesser teammate that his team might be considering, and say instead no you can’t hire him, you MUST hire a WDC to be my teammate. Has LH ever actually said he would never want preferential treatment on a team? Show me the quotes and their context and my respect for LH will go up a notch.

  15. Mr Webber- Hamilton beat Alonso in the same car when he was a rookie,
    He beat Vettel to a Championship in F3 (over a year, so consistency), and has won every championship he has driven in,
    He almost beat you this year in a car that wasn’t on the same level as yours,
    He stepped into a Mercedes and beat Rosberg in a car that wasn’t developed around him, even after he admitted he had a bad season on his standards.
    Red Bull and Ferrari are built around one driver, Mercedes and Mclaren (ok they were in 07-09) are not.
    You have raced against all of them and I have not, but I do not agree with you.

    1. +1 well said.

    2. David not Coulthard (@)
      14th December 2013, 7:33


      Mr Webber- Hamilton beat Alonso in the same car when he was a rookie,

      OK, I guess this one sort of makes sense, though Lewis did have testing miles before that. And the championship at that time was different from next year – there was less resource management back then (the RRA hadn’t even existed)

      He beat Vettel to a Championship in F3 (over a year, so consistency)

      So did Paul di Resta.

      , and has won every championship he has driven in,

      which doesn’t determine how good a driver is as an F1 driver

      He almost beat you this year in a car that wasn’t on the same level as yours,

      The comparison is between Vettel, Alonso, and Lewis – not between Lewis and Mark.

      He stepped into a Mercedes and beat Rosberg in a car that wasn’t developed around him even after he admitted he had a bad season on his standards.

      What about the RB5, was that developed around Vettel?

      Red Bull and Ferrari are built around one driver, Mercedes and Mclaren (ok they were in 07-09) are not.

      So Webber was pretty competitive in Vettel’s first 2 years at Red Bull…… And frankly this hasn’t really got all that much to do with the comparison between Lewis, Seb, and Fernando (especially when we look at the Red Bull duo’s Bridgestone-era relative equality)

      You have raced against all of them and I have not, but I do not agree with you.

      1. Fantastic deconstruction of his points. +1.

        1. Mr Webber- Hamilton beat Alonso in the same car when he was a rookie,

          On Bridgestone tyres and in the refueling era.

          Today they drive on Pirelli tyres and no refueling, it’s a whole other ball game.

        2. @kingshark I wouldn’t call it “deconstruction” because @harvs stated facts. And, @davidnotcoulthard his opinion against facts. You cannot contradict (de-construct) facts.

          @harvs “You have raced against all of them and I have not, but I do not agree with you.”
          I am with you on this one.

  16. Well, Alonso is Webber’s friend and Vettel has beaten the Aussie for five consecutive years so he has his reasons to say that these two guys are the very best F1 drivers. But is he right? The yearly F1 Fanatic rankings suggest that Hamilton has fallen behind Alonso over the last years, which is of course an opinion that one can agree or disagree with:

    Hamilton: #1 (2007), #2 (2008), #3 (2009), #1 (2010), #5 (2011), #2 (2012)
    Alonso: #3 (2007), #3 (2008), #5 (2009), #2 (2010), #2 (2011), #1 (2012)

    I personally also think that Hamilton has been slightly less impressive than Alonso and Vettel over the last three years but it could change again in 2014. Give him the fastest car that is to his liking and doesn’t eat up the tyres too much and he might dominate the field as impressively as Vettel did in 2011 and 2013.

    1. @girts

      But then again, give Hülkenberg, Bianchi or whoever you want a ‘fastest car that is to his liking and doesn’t eat up the tyres too much’ and he would win the WDC, no?

      1. @ardenflo You make a good point but first he would have to beat the team mate and Rosberg is obviously on a different level to Gutierrez or Chilton. Secondly, there is a difference between winning the championship and dominating it. I think that only a combination of a great driver and a great car is able to dominate.

        1. @girts agreed. I don’t think if you put Guttierez in this years RB he would be able to do what Vettel can, ever…

  17. I would rank Vettel above Hamilton, but I am not so sure about Alonso. Fernando has shown a lot of impressive things on a Sunday over the past couple of years, and in race conditions in the Pirelli age he’s probably a little bit better than Hamilton. But what if Lewis starts ahead of him in the same car (the Ferrari has been a bit kinder on its tyres than the Mercedes and the McLarens Hamilton has driven). I think it would be very close.

    There is certainly scope for Hamilton to improve. I think he still makes a few silly, ‘unforced’ errors every season (this year going off at Monza starting a lap in Q2 and driving into Bottas in Brazil, with the former proving especially costly) and in traffic he often seems to lack the confidence to make a brave move (probably as a result of his ’11 experiences), except on some days, such as Hungary this year.

    The question is, though, will he be able to improve? I don’t know, though I don’t agree with the opinion that it is Hamilton’s ‘distractions’ that keep him from achieving his potential. I’m no sports psychologist, but I don’t think all work and no play is the right attitude for everyone.

  18. I know the comparison here isn’t between Raikkonen and Hamilton, but I find it interesting. It seems that Hamilton is always getting criticised for the same sorts of things Raikkonen is praised for – if Raikkonen is drinking and snowmobiling in a gorilla suit, it just enhances his cool dude reputation, whereas if Hamilton hangs out with rappers and records music, he’s seen as a wannabe celebrity not focused enough on F1. I’ll be the first to say that we have seen Hamilton’s emotions seep into his professional life, especially in 2011, but isn’t that true, in a different way, of Raikkonen’s famous “motivation” problems too? Yes, he had back pain and a pretty good reason for being demotivated this year, but again, we saw him losing focus towards the end of the year (would he have finished the season if he’d been fighting for a title?) and people don’t seem to be jumping on his case the same way they do with Hamilton…

  19. Plus the game has changed so much. Hamilton came up with a 100% attack style. From F3, GP2, and his early F1 years he was able to employ his explosive yet very technical style of driving. Its not like you can just mash the throttle and turn the wheel without technique. His style was so explosive it reignited interest in F1. Blistering cornering speed, extreme late braking to the point of lockup, yet some how carry the speed, unbelievable insight when it comes to the art of overtaking. That is what Hamilton was all about!!! And he was able to do that because the tires held up, and there was no DRS to help those drivers who were very quick drivers, but a little weak when it came to overtaking. The way I see it, drivers are like basketball, football, or baseball athletes. If you look at any top athlete, they have a great overall game but they have specialties. Some specialize in shooting, vertical game(dunking), defense, speed, strength, agility, etc. Even though Hamilton is still a top level driver, the changes in the sport hold him back. You might argue that great drivers have to adapt and that would be a fair point. But if you look at Hamilton in the Perilli era, all he’s been doing is adapting. With Mercedes? All hes been doing is adapting. And he’s done well, but its obvious that the current style of racing just does not suit him. Which leads most fans to take the easy route and simply conclude he is mentally weak. Saying Hamilton is naturally gifted and has only one lap pace is a bit insulting. It implies that he has not worked for it.

  20. And RedBull works a round about the adjusted testing rules they are bringing the Toro Rosso that shares probably 100% of the drivetrain to Bahrain, thank you FIA.

    1. @peartree
      Other teams share drive trains as well.
      Force India used McLaren/Mercedes drivetrains for several years, for instance.
      But every time it involves Red Bull or it’s sister team, it is of cause cheating, manipulating, work arounds etc…

      1. @mads, obviously…

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