Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2014

My mistake to abandon qualifying lap – Hamilton

2014 British Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2014Lewis Hamilton admitted it was his mistake to back out of his final flying lap during qualifying.

Hamilton had gone fastest with his first run but abandoned his final effort. Nico Rosberg did complete his lap and out-qualified Hamilton by three-and-a-half seconds.

“I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going,” said Hamilton.

“It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part. It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying.”

Hamilton will start the race sixth on the grid while Rosberg is on pole position.

“I’m so sorry to have disappointed the fans here today as their support has been fantastic,” said Hamilton. “I’ll do what I can to have a great race for them tomorrow.”

“I need to have a start like I had in Austria two weeks ago and then do my best to get back to the front. You never know what might happen.”

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73 comments on “My mistake to abandon qualifying lap – Hamilton”

    1. For me he gave up too early. He’d only completed sector one when he backed out. In mixed conditions that’s a huge error. I guess he thought he was safe, but Rosberg deserves this one for simply sticking with it and truly trying 100%

      1. @f190

        I think all five in front of Hamilton deserve their positions for sticking with their laps, despite being horrifically down after the first two sectors (give or take).

        Wonder why the Toro Rossos & Daniel didn’t go out at all?

        1. I think the problem is that he didn’t think enough. Epic fail, and what’s worst, poor sportsmanship by backup up Rosberg like that…Rosberg crossed the line with what, a second to spare on his pole lap? Totally unacceptable behavior and Toto/Niki should have a not so quiet word with him. Imagine the roles reversed , the outrage on these message boards would be staggering.

      1. He gave up in sector 1 and then said when he got to sector 3 it was bone dry, but by then he couldnt do anything about it since he didnt push in sector 2, had he pushed till sector 3 he would have realized its dry and finished the lap

    1. As despondent as he sounded during the interviews… I give him full credit for making no excuses.
      (Of course, I’d rather give him full credit for a fantastic pole lap, but hey ho)

      1. no excuse to make, but he needs to walk that talk – a few races ago he said he wants to dominate rosberg, and since he uttered those words he has been losing to rosberg and making mistakes in the past 4 qualifying sessions. he is usually pretty gracious when he makes a mistake, which is commendable, shame he says too much rubbish on other occasions, it comes back to bite him.

    1. Maybe people here might not have thought it at the time but there are several other drivers at the time that thought it. The question is, why didn’t he think he should keep trying just to be sure…

      1. he probably thought he didn’t put a banker lap in during past few gps, he got a good one in this weekend and thought it was enough – fair enough. the final decision to abandon the last lap was his, it could have gone either way, unfortunantly he lost out. tought luck, he drove great up to that point.

    2. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Who here can honestly say that they thought the drivers would find 4 seconds in the final sector?

      That´s not the point. What I did know years ago, and Lewis must have heard several times in his career before, is: “When qualifying in changeable conditions, allways stay out there and try and run, as you´ll never know when the perfect moment comes”

      However, openly admitting a mistake is a decent thing to do. Seems like he isn´t completely trying to emulate Senna, who rarely ever did that. So respect for that.

      1. Well he was there when several cars didn’t even go out. Then he found himself losing a lot of time through the first 2 sectors. Makes sense to assume the third sector won’t be much better then either.

          1. I don’t think he is. So far Hamilton had needed the rain to take pole positions. If anything I think the results show Rosberg is the faster man.

          2. The only clear thing I can see is that Merc have a great car this year. Hamilton has experienced more success in his career, but Rosberg is proving that he deserves the success he is reaping!

          3. Because a 9th and a 6th compared to 2 poles REALLY shows he is the faster driver.

            You can be quick all throughout practice, but if you don’t deliver in qualifying, it counts for nothing.
            Real speed necessitates consistency and performance under pressure, also.

          4. The results in racing and qualifying don’t support the conventional wisdom that Hamilton is the faster driver. Rosberg has, in equal conditions, now been faster than Hamilton more often than not. Hamilton has been hampered by bad luck, absolutely, but Rosberg has still beaten him on days when luck hasn’t been a factor.

            Times in testing mean absolutely nothing. Especially when, as has been mentioned by the team, the drivers have been backing out of fast laps so as not to show their ultimate pace. We don’t really see how fast they are until they show up for qualifying. At the moment, it’s Rosberg who is the fastest.

          5. I think Hamilton is the faster driver, I can’t see much doubt there, but a combination of bad luck and mistakes on his part have skewed the picture recently. In Monaco, whatever one’s take on the qualifying ‘incident’, he was able to keep up with Rosberg until his vision problem with no issues, in Canada he was leading when his car failed and he was clearly faster in Austria but had to mange his brakes and really had no opportunity to try a move. Rosberg is driving superbly, although he too has made mistakes, but my view is he has got away with his without the consequences that Hamilton has dealt with.

            Also, let’s not forget that LH would almost certainly be leading the championship were it not for mechanical issues, Rosberg is out front because of that, basically.

          6. Chris:

            You are being VERY selective there, just picking the two quali sessions that back up your point………..

          7. I still see nothing in what you’re saying which supports the idea that Hamilton is genuinely faster than Rosberg. He was through the first few races, but Rosberg now leads the way in qualifying, which is surely the best measure of how fast a driver really is. As it stands, Rosberg has been faster than Hamilton in the majority of Q3 sessions. He’s also kept up with, or beaten, Hamilton in the majority of races.

            Conventional wisdom would suggest that Hamilton should be faster in equal circumstances. Yet he has now been beaten in four consecutive qualifying sessions. I’m saying that the conventional wisdom that Hamilton is the faster driver does not hold up. From the results, it would seem that they are very evenly matched, with the difference coming down to very small variables which happen to have put the momentum Rosberg’s way. But you can’t escape the fact that Rosberg has now beaten Hamilton in four consecutive qualifying sessions. Not what you’d expect from a ‘slower’ driver against a man who is (again, according to conventional wisdom) one of the fastest qualifiers on the grid.

          8. I’m not being selective.
            I’m giving the two most recent examples. The examples perhaps most representative of current form (as form fluctuates throughout the season. Hamilton was faster early on in the season).

            You’d need to go back 5 races (Spain) before it even gets remotely beneficial to Hamilton.

          9. MazdaChris:

            Yes, you make some reasonable points, however I think Lewis has ‘lost’ these qualifying sessions due to mainly odd sets of circumstances. Today was a misjudgment, sure, but he had been faster before abandoning his lap, Austria again the spin was caused by hitting a bump at exactly the time the gearbox was downshifting, which was rather a freak circumstance, had this not have happened, he was WAY up on that lap, by 4 tenths…….. Monaco,…………Well he did not get a chance to do his lap there, but would probably have got pole based on where he was in relation to previous attempts. So what I am saying is, just because Rosberg has had a good run lately, does not suddenly make him Hamilton-class in terms of raw pace.


            Fair point again, but I think what I have said above applies here too. Looking forward to the race!

          10. Hamilton is the faster of the 2 drivers between him and rosberg — over 1 lap and when no making no mistakes. over the course of a race, it is equal – maybe slightly more towards rosberg – who seems more consistent in races. being “outright” fast is not enough, if it was so then Hamilton would have pole and race win in every race of the year so far. there are many more dimensions to driving besides the ‘raw’ speed factor Hamilton is acclaimed for. Alonso and Vettel also have that raw factor but appear to be more complete drivers.

        1. @f190 lol, How as he proved to be as fast or even faster. Has Ros dominated one race yet? Nope unless you count Monaco, Ham dominated Mal and China. Ham also has four wins to three lol, so yeah Ros defo quicker(rolls eyes). Ros has had two extra finishes and he is not past Ham wins. Proves what you know.

          1. Dan,

            Rosberg has been well up there with Hamilton and also ahead of him in every dry qualifying. Hamilton dominated two events yes, but Rosberg dominated Monaco and I’d expect the same again today which would level that at 2-2. It would also bring his wins in line with Hamilton and he would have the stronger qualifying record as well. All of that points to a driver who is every bit as quick as Hamilton and actually quicker.

            Rolling your eyes and blindly sticking by “Hamilton is amazing” doesn’t make it true. He’s a great driver and on his day I’d say he’s unbeatable. But his day comes 3 maybe 4 times a year. Rosberg has proved in every way that he is the faster driver.

    1. @Mazdachris Ham has more wins while not even finshing twice. What world does that show Ros is doing better. Ham has more wins still while being dnf 2 times. Ham has also dominated 2 races unlike NR(Ham dominated Mal and China). When Ros beats Ham it is close. Look at Canada before the problem you could have chucked a blanket over them. Ham was as quick if not quicker in Austria.

      1. Was he a better package when Hamilton owned him 4 races on the run?

        Rosberg has also made mistakes under pressure numerous times in qualifying this year (not to mention been lucky when he could have had a self inflicted DNF in China after smashing wheels with another car after spinning in qualifying), and, thats presuming you think he didn’t blatently cheat in Monaco and Canada. Hamilton is a quicker driver and has greater race craft, hes made a few errors in the past couple of races thats given Rosberg a bit of breathing space. That’s all.

        As the season progresses, Nicos few tenths deficate and his mistakes under pressure will also start to effect his points scoring ability.

        See you after tomorows race.

    1. @trublu It was not his mistake thinking he would not find enough time to improve on his laptime. It was his mistake not doing the exact same thing as everyone else did which is the logic thing to do when you are the one on pole.

      1. Actually, the logical thing to do would be to not go out when there is practically no chance of improving, and you can potentially throw away a win from pole by stuffing it in the barrier as it was so wet.

        Let’s face it, even Alonso spun in similar conditions (wet, and slick tyres). No one thought the drivers would be able to recover four seconds in the final sector which, earlier on, was the wettest part of the track.

        I think Hamilton did the right thing. Sure, it didn’t work out this time. But 99% of the time it would have been the right decision.

        1. @minnis

          What benefit was there in not going out?

          Worst case scenario: he crashes. Car is repaired for tomorrow. He starts in exactly the same position as he did today.

          Best case scenario: pole position (which he was capable of achieving).

          Hamilton did the wrong thing.

        2. Then complete the lap, dont push like crazy. When Alonso spun, the track was a lot wetter, thats the whole reason Williams and Ferrari got stuck in Q1.

          Besides, its the second race in a row when he makes mistakes in Q3 and starts way lower than he should.

      1. Plus it could be worse, he could be Massa or Alonso ;)

        In all seriousness he made an error today but I’d still expect a podium is very possible tomorrow. Sure Rosberg may gain more in the championship, but there’s a long way to go yet.

    2. Expect several other drivers who didn’t abandon their laps. This very likely cost Hamilton a shot at winning again and he really needs to up his quali if he really wants to overcome the point deficit he has.

    3. And yet “strangely” today on two occasions Button and his crew were quick to spot an opportunity. May have been a gamble on the nothing to lose principle but as others have commented JB does seem to have a bit of form at this sort of thing. Good effort this weekend – just wonder how long he and Magnusson can head the Trulli train for.

  1. It is quite typical of him actually to admit his own mistakes. I am frequently bemused when he is regularly accused of ‘throwing his toys out of the pram’ and that kind of stuff, it seems to me he is maybe the most honest driver out there when answering questions. Anyway, a lot can happen tomorrow, and it should make for a lively race!

    1. Won’t break a sweat while overtaking Vettel with that car. Lewis will get to 2nd by the end of 5th lap (at latest) and then it’s cat and mouse with Rosberg until the end. As has been the case on most races so far this year.

  2. Obviously, the reason for Hamilton’s blatant dejection, post Q3, is the fact that he knows he can’t afford to make more mistakes. And, in his home grand prix, he makes one more and silly one at that. It hurts.

    It hurts him and many of us to know that Nico’s consistency can prevail over Lewis talent and raw speed. But, let’s remember that Nico’s dad won the 1982 WDC winning only 1 race in the whole season.

        1. Oh im sure it is afterall when Ham finishes he as got the same results and more. What is Ros more consistent at? His car staying in 1 piece? HAHA

  3. today he showed me again why I like him as a driver – I’m not really a supporter of HAM, but he is one of the few guys who are rather unfiltered in the interviews and with all the corporate PR going on it’s quite refreshing.

  4. I said Nico is a better package a while ago and everyone laughed at me. Nico is more intelligent and not slower than Lewis. He’s more quiet and more humble. He’s a better person outside the car and in tough situations, he behaves like a consumed champion. yes Lewis has been unlucky but if he doesn’t win the championship it’s fault as well. Just my opinion, stronger every race

    1. It’s funny how some things seem to change but then somehow never do! I always knew Hamilton was a very fast driver but prone to mistakes when put under pressure. I for one hoped he would get better at handling pressure as he got older. I think that is the case but too often now we see “the Hamilton of old”. Remember 2007, 2008 and 2010? Hamilton was young in 2007 but made a lot of silly mistakes in the second half of the season. In 2008 he also nearly lost it due to more of the same but was saved by the bell. In 2010 he seemed to be the favourite for the title with 5-6 races to go but it unravelled quickly. If he’s unable to turn things around quickly I’m afraid Rosberg will decide the Championship before Abu Dhabi. We must not forget that Rosberg had a better second half of the season in 2013 than Hamilton did. Rosberg seems to be the kind of driver that works hard and learns more about the car through the entire season. That means he improves all the time whereas some other drivers reach a point where the rate of improvementvis very small. That’s the difference between a true perfectionist and a guy who’s not.

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