Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2014

Hamilton keen for rivals to catch up

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2014In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he would like to have more competition from Mercedes’ rivals.


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

Hamilton wants challenge from rivals (BBC)

“I’m hoping we have a closer race. It would be cool if there were Ferraris and Red Bulls in the mix.”

All the right moves – Lewis Hamilton Q&A (F1)

“There have been quite a number of ‘right time, right place’ moves, and particularly the move to Mercedes – as this was my own decision. There wasn’t one single person around me that influenced me. There wasn’t my dad telling me I have to go here – my dad told me to stay at McLaren – there wasn’t my brother nor my mum – no one. I did it on my own – and that’s why it is even more satisfying to know that I’ve finally grown up and made the decision.”

I never had advantage Merc has – Vettel (ESPN)

“It’s easy now to look back and say we have dominated everything and it was easy, but the way I remember it it was a little bit different to that. Now we are five races into the season and I don’t think we ever started a season with five wins as a team.”

PVDSA support not under threat, Maldonado insists (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“I think always when Venezuela is moving or whatever, you always relate that with me. I mean, the sports minister is not sponsoring me.”

Maldonado: I’ve made mistakes (Sky)

“As for an explanation, Maldonado accepted he was guilty of ‘maybe trying too hard. At the same time, maybe we’re not 100 per cent with the car, the car was not doing what I wanted’.”

Monaco makes Button sick – on the simulator (Reuters)

“Basically, I can’t drive around Monaco in the simulator because I get sick. This is one I miss.”

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is unmoved by new team principal Marco Mattiacci (The Guardian)

“I don’t think [changes] are going to happen soon. He’s still learning about the team situation, the Formula One environment, the F1 weekends.”

New Monaco surface ‘a big issue’ (Autosport)

“Out of Massenet, from there all the way through the tunnel, it has new asphalt – which we think is probably quite similar to Austin in the first year. It is going to be very, very low grip.”

Monaco Grand Prix Betting: Red Bull Out To Halt Rampant Mercedes (Unibet)

My Monaco Grand Prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

Kimi Raikkonen wants to race in more categories outside Formula One and several of you had some suggestions:

Perhaps he should switch to Indycar – Simon Pagenaud had time to do rallying, race LMPs and still hold down his full time IndyCar seat with good results.

Raikkonen’s experimentation with NASCAR in 2011 was very interesting, I think with some more time in stock cars he would have picked up the speed to be competitive. As it was, his car control ability shined through despite his lack of experience in the oval\stock car world.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Travis and Cristian!

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

Jose Froilan Gonzalez and Maurice Trintignant achieved a one-two finish for Ferrari in the non-championship Grand Prix of Bari, 60 years ago today. Third place went to Jean Behra in a Gordini, over a minute behind Gonzalez.

Image © Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

50 comments on “Hamilton keen for rivals to catch up”

  1. Inevitably most current drivers know little about Jack Brabham

    Really? Is that true or a generalisation of today’s ‘yoof’. I would have thought most drivers would appreciate the history of their sport.

    1. History started with Ayrton, surely.

    2. @matt90
      I think it’s just journalism sinking lower and lower. He thought that it must sound so cool-old-school to make such an observation, so he just blabbered it out, without actually thinking about it or if it makes sense.

    3. @matt90 I bet we know a lot less about Brabham than we do about Senna, Lauda, Prost, Schumacher… it’s obvious, isn’t it? more media, much quicker communications, live races on the telly…

      Few of the drivers really speak about that sort of thing. I think I’ve never ever heard Schumacher talk about the history of the sport, or anything other than post-1992.

    4. Brabham won a race pushing his car to cross the line when running out of fuel back in 1959, a feat that could not be repeated these days. My question is: how many super license penalty points would be awarded to the driver who tried to push his car to complete the race distance in our time?

    5. @matt90
      To be fair he said ‘know little’. Obviously most of them will know he was a champion, but they probably wont have seen any of his races, or met him personally.

  2. Thank you Bernie for making F1 so entertaining, now we can endlessly discuss the nuances of bitumen, F1 was never more interesting.

  3. I imagine it would stop being “cool” the instant Lewis was beaten by a Ferrari or Red Bull…

    1. I believe that is what he means anyway, as in “I’m hoping we have a closer race. It would be cool if there were Ferraris and Red Bulls in the mix, but we still beat them”.

    2. @colossal-squid Apparently that’s what he wants …He wants close racing and to win after close racing . But yeah , he would become grumpy if RBR managed a 2012 like strong comeback late in the season and began to dominate .

    3. I think it’s clear he’s needs more people to take points of Nico, otherwise random luck
      events, like retiring more often than Nico from car issues or what not, could swing the
      championship. He’s worried that it took wins in a row to overturn the deficit from one engine issue.

      1. @boylep6 This ! exactly . This is what he wants . http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2014/5/15845.html

        Look at the last couple of questions .

        1. @hamilfan Well pointed out. And perfect answer by LH.

      2. Exactly.

    4. Its funny how both Hamilton and Rosberg have already started to say that they wouldn’t mind if they could win but have the other guy not on the podium in an optimal situation.

      But yeah, I am pretty sure that their cool depends on being in front while pushed by others.

      1. Not ‘pretty sure’…it is ONLY because they are in the position they are in that they can talk like this. But I think it is perfectly natural and normal given the position they are in, and I also think both drivers are showing healthy respect for each other by starting to imply their lives would be made easier if someone came between them…for their own respective benefit of course. LH is not yet handing himself the WDC like some fans already are.

  4. Sure Red Bull has never had a car quite as dominant as the Mercedes right now. But I think that if a team has roughly a half second advantage over the rest, this is still a huge advantage as it does all add up over the course of a race or season. I’m mainly talking about 2011 and 2013, so yes in my opinion Red Bull have been in positions where they were substantially quicker than the rest of the grid on plenty of occasions. So in a way, a lot of times it has been “easy” for Vettel. I hate using the word easy on this occasion, but you know what I mean..

    1. @insilico I completely agree with you that Red Bull were dominant enough to “easily” win championships. There is a slight difference however. W05’s advantage is so huge that even when they have a small problem or an error in the beginning of a race, they can still easily recover to finish 1-2 and well ahead of anyone else, as demostrated by Rosberg in China. So yeah, Vettel is right in saying they never were this much dominant.

    2. +1.

      In the end, a consistent 0.300 seconds advantage is pretty good. One doesn’t need 1 full second to dominate. Howeevr, I want to see RBR and Ferrari catching Mercedes.

    3. @insilico

      The Red Bull may not have been as dominant as the Mercedes but it was still a decent bit faster than the rest of the field. Considering Vettel wasn’t challenged by his team mate, it meant he was always a few tenths faster than the whole field. Hamilton hasn’t had that – he’s always had Rosberg piling on the pressure.

  5. Enough of this fallacy that Red Bull never had a card as dominant as the W05. In 2013, Seb had 9 straight wins in the 2nd half of the season. In 2011, he had 5 straight wins, and a 2nd place in the 1st half of the season, then another 5 straight wins, then a 2nd and 3rd place in the 2nd half! – And he says he has “never enjoyed the level of domination Mercedes currently has while he was winning in Formula One”. Yeah right….

    1. Vettel actually had to work for those wins and won them on occasion by less than a second margin. When mercs are running 1-2 and pushing each other they win by 40s. Vettel is right in saying he never had a car this dominant.

      1. Vettel did though on occasion- it’s just that his team mate was never close enough that he needed to to push himself, so a lot of wins were by far smaller margins than they could have been. Webber was good, but not as good as Rosberg is at the moment, if only because he never quite got on with EBDs.

    2. Not to mention that the Redbull was not as reliable at its most dominant as the Merc seems now. The size of the advantage is very important as well as it affects what you can do with fuel, tyre saving, pit stop strategies, effectiveness of getting past traffic. All these things have cost cars that were fast (but not fast enough) before.

    3. Vettel has definitely had a dominant car, but not by much. If they made mistakes their opponents were always close. In China 2011 Vettel lost the race because he chose the wrong strategy, in Silverstone 2011 he came second because of a slow pit stop. And even if Vettel won a lot, Webber wasn’t always in second place, which confirms that Red Bull was not as dominant as Mercedes in 2014. I mean, Rosberg had two awful weekends in Malaysia and in China, yet he finished in second place comfortably.

      1. Agreed, Red Bulls dominance was as much a result of good strategy and faultless driving by Vettel as it was the car.

  6. Many people complain that drivers are not outspoken enough these days. I for one am happy they don’t talk more, since they don’t seem to have anything smart to say in the first place.
    It’s just pointless drivel. I can’t find anything meaningful or interesting in these interviews.

  7. I remember Hamilton saying that he didn’t want such a close race after his duel with Rosberg in Bahrain and now he’s saying this… make up your mind :/

    1. Yeah your right, although he only mentioned Rosberg. You never want a team mate to be that close. if its someone from another team, its out of your hands i guess

  8. You’d imagine Marlboro would be using a side picture of the F14T instead of Raikkonen but I guess that would be too obvious ;)

  9. Jenson and Kevin really cracked me up…. Kevin looks like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

  10. Maybe Red Bull just had rubbish drivers that never really showed how fast the car was. Maybe it was as fast as Mercedes this year, but Webber was his usual horrible, while Vettel was an average guy in a dominant car.

    1. Maybe both Hamilton and Rosberg are also mediocre drivers, but the Mercedes is THAT SUPERIOR that even mediocre drivers manage 30s + victories.

      Seriously, let’s try to keep the nonsense to a minimum, please.

      1. +1… I wonder how many times must (s)he repeat that drivel despite being proven wrong over and over.

  11. Ah !
    The things Mclaren drivers have to do :( . Jenson is a natural .Look at his pose .

    1. @hamilfan
      It’s 2014, everybody must be cool. Some try harder than others mate :)

      1. @jcost oh wait …its for charity ..then it’s fine with me . I thought it was a sponsor thing .wearing a ridiculous pink wig for a sponsor could be a boring thing.

  12. That Ferrari/Tobacco ad is no surprise really. Philip Morris still use Ferrari (and Ducati for that matter) in their marketing here in the Middle East.

    1. Its more of a confirmation why they still use the deal. But I guess there are people who wanted to believe that PM does not use their ties with Ferrari for marketing because they promised not to.

  13. Anyone willing to talk about today’s event? I read Renault has done some software tweaking which should be good to close the gap. then RBR is going to use different camera mounting? They tried to beat the rules but forgot the photo print which was given in reference had mountings outside of that nose so its only fair from my view..but yeah i dont wanna see it look ugly either.

    1. renault keep saying they’re making progress but we’re still seeing their cars slowest in straight line by far. They might be making some minor steps forward but it’s clearly not enough.

      1. maybe the case is stronger here… they can tweak better for cornering rather than worrying about straight line speed.

    2. Last GP they said they will only get a significant speed boost in Canada so not expecting too much.

  14. Seb CRYING over Merc’s advantage, haha haha. …….
    That really made my day.

  15. There wasn’t one single person around me that influenced me.

    That explains Lauda boasting he convinced Hamilton to come to Mercedes. But nice try Hamilton.

    1. yea either he doesnt give him the credit or Lauda stepped in after lewis made his decision?

    2. Luada is his new employer making a sales pitch. Lauda isn’t a family member or has any influence in Hamilton’s life.
      It was Hamilton’s decision.

  16. I’m sure just recently Lewis was saying he doesn’t want a repeat of Bahrain and wants a safe race where he disappears from everyone. (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/05/05/hamilton-doesnt-want-repeat-bahrain/)

    This is confusing

  17. Corrado (@corrado-dub)
    22nd May 2014, 12:20

    Yeah… right… !! Hamilton seems to be a true racer, but results matter a lot too. 2008 is quite far away, so I’m pretty sure that for 2014 HAM’s wish is to have Mercedes dominating as a team and Rosberg behind him as much as possible, so he can grab the title. But I see some truth in his saying because if the title will be won (too) easily, most people will “blame” the car… and that hurts every racer.

    1. I’m not convinced that LH would care…we all know you pretty much need the WCC winning car to win the WDC, or the odd time a very close second place WCC car does it. Whatever level of ‘legend’ type effort it did or did not take to win, LH will not be refusing the WDC just because he was lucky enough to have been on a team that so well nailed their package. And I know that’s not what you mean or would expect him to do.

      But what is much more worrisome to me is that F1 itself is prepared to have a WDC who won it just because of double points in the last race.

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