Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Hamilton calls 2011 his “most testing year”

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says this year has been “the most trying, testing year of my career”.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis Hamilton: This year has been the most testing of my career (The Guardian)

“Up until the end of 2008 I’d won a championship every second year of my career since I was eight years old. I’ve done pretty well up until now, but I’ve had a couple of tough years, with this year the most trying, testing year of my career so far.”

Hamilton must come to me, says Massa (Reuters)

“I will not go to him to speak to him. I didn’t do anything, to be honest, I just had a tyre punctured in my race so I have [no reason] to go and try to speak to him. If he comes to speak to me, it’s fine.”

TV spotlight not helping Lewis Hamilton says Rubens Barrichello (The Independent)

“A lot was said about what [Michael] Schumacher did to Lewis at Monza, that it was unfair, but then it got to the briefing and nobody actually said anything. There’s too much talking and not enough action, so I don’t think there will be anything regarding Lewis.”

2011 Japanese GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel: “If our best, for some reason, is tenth, then we try to get a tenth but if our best is possibly to win the race then we have to go for it and try to win the race. We want to do it in the right way, so I think if you have the ability, the package overall, to do well around here, you have to enjoy it and you have to make sure that if the chance is there to finish on the podium you finish on the podium.”

Mercedes duo boosted by tech line-up (Autosport)

Nico Rosberg: “It is a hell of an announcement. The message is very clear; Mercedes is going to do whatever it takes to win the championship. It is very obvious.”

Organisers confident ahead of second Korean Grand Prix (The Korea Times)

Korean Grand Prix Organising Committee chairman Park Joon-young: “Every part of the preparations have been going smoothly as we have supplemented what we were lacking in the inaugural event.”

Construction on F1 track resumes (Austin-American Statesman)

“For weeks the site has been an eerie moonscape, acres and acres of bare, graded earth, but one with little activity and no buildings being erected.”

Barber Motorsports Park is approved for Formula One testing (Alabama Local News)

“Barber was recently certified by the FIA – the body that sanctions F1 racing – as a Level 1T track. That means that Barber is an approved site for F1 teams to conduct test sessions.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“It’s early days but so far there’s more fans of Jenson Button http://is.gd/PKmRxj than Lewis Hamilton http://is.gd/vS2QV8 on the site.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Could a DRS pass into turn one at Suzuka be as good as Kimi Raikkonen’s move on Giancarlo Fisichella six years ago?

I hope the straight is short enough for the driver behind to get alongside, not just sail past. But it?s hard to get excited about DRS passes there, if the memory of Kimi doing it round the outside in 2005 is still fresh in your mind.

From the forum

New groups have been set up for fans heading to this year’s remaining races:

F1 Fanatic Live

Due to a few technical problems arising from recent changes to the site, F1 Fanatic Live will be missing a couple of features during today’s sessions, namely the Twitter feed and session times countdown.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alexandre Carvalho!

On this day in F1

Jim Clark won the Unite States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen today in 1962.

Second place for Graham Hill virtually guaranteed him the world championship – though it wouldn’t be settled until the final race in South Africa almost three months later.

44 comments on “Hamilton calls 2011 his “most testing year””

  1. The most trying and testing year of your career to date, Lewis. I’m sure you’ll be saying this again soon. Keep your head down and just drive, you’ll win another title yet.

    1. No doubt he will. For all we know this could go down as the only year he is ever beaten by his team m8 in formula one that also might not even happen. More importantly lewis is still a great driver he just needs to go and do what he does best and the other drivers really do need to stop crying. We want to see the kind of battles like schu had with hamilton and though im starting to sound like a fan boy, lewis didn’t cry about that and if a penalty had been issued to either of them i as a fan would have felt robbed. Formula one should be about putting the best drivers in the world on a track and letting them sort it out not the stewards.

  2. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/95058

    Anybody else get the feeling Rubens Barrichello is feeling a little threatened right now? For somebody whose seat is supposedly secure for 2012 (as he has maintained in the past), he’s certainly talking a lot about being replaced …

    1. Don’t think he or williams ever said his seat was actually “safe” i’d say he’s just about bricking it at the moment. Talkin about getting sponsors if thats what it takes is not what a driver with a safe seat would be saying.

    2. of course he should. if Kimi’s return effort is genuine, everyone should be worry about his seat if you’re not Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton…

    3. He should, only on the basis that he’s close to the point of retiring. Not because Raikkonen (or anyone else) might get a seat at Williams.

    4. Considering all the talk about Kimi and how Pastor is paying for his seat I don’t think it would surprise anyone that it’s put Rubens on the back foot.

  3. Didn’t Massa say he’d moved on from the Singapore incident? The only person keeping it in the headlines is Massa himself…

    1. never mind the reporter that asked him the question. nice deflection there.

      1. The reporter can asks what he likes, that’s his job. Massa chose to comment further on a subject he said he’d moved on from. He could’ve said “I’ve moved on, next question” and left it that, but he chose not to.

        1. “massa tersely refuses further comment on singapore incident. what, or who, will the 2nd banana ‘destroy’ next?”

          see how easy that was?

          1. It appears the British Tabloids have competition.

          2. I agree that a lot of all headlines about the drivers (and teams) in such situation are there because reporters naturally ask about issues. Its funny to see how both Massa and Hamilton deal quite differently with the situation here.

    1. LOL, the start of that video with Heikki stuttering is funny! Here’s the same for non UK fans http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLP9TZvsKt8

  4. It has been a tough year for Lewis, but I have a feeling that for other drivers, seeing Hamilton in their rear-view mirrors might be a bit un-nerving from here on out. Whether this ends up being an advantage for Lewis or not remains to be seen. I really wish there wasn’t so much focus on his driving though.

    1. @RUMFresh He’s a Formula 1 driver, there’s not a lot else for anyone to focus on!

      1. I meant the much more disproportionate focus on Hamilton’s driving.

  5. “A lot was said about what [Michael] Schumacher did to Lewis at Monza, that it was unfair, but then it got to the briefing and nobody actually said anything…

    I am not sure what Rubens actually wants … he can’t wait for the opportunity to hit out at Schumacher again? Same old story. He should be more concerned about his own performance instead of Lewis and Michael .

    1. Well, at least Rubens didn’t spin off in embarrassing fashion in practice or anything.

      1. You asked for it! :D

    2. Great new avatar @maksutov !

      I think what Barrichello means to say is, that there is a lot of talk about nothing, or just a lot of drivers saying things about others in interviews, but far less of them who actually take it into a serious debate about something in the place to discuss things with other drivers.

      1. Great new avatar

        Thanks mate ;)

        I think what Barrichello means to say is, that there is a lot of talk about nothing, or just a lot of drivers saying things about others in interviews, but far less of them who actually take it into a serious debate about something in the place to discuss things with other drivers.

        mm yeah its possible

  6. All Lewis needs to remember is that these cars are extremely fragile and they are not bumper cars, and then he will be on the winning side again. ;)

  7. I think Lewis has been driving quite well. It’s just not been his year.

  8. What Barrichello said explain the fact, and what many believe, that the stewards are very inconsistent from driver to driver, race to race.

    It’s unfair to Lewis Hamilton to say the least, because the focus is on him and meanwhile other drivers are escaping untouched. Unfair to the extent that Lewis has been most penalized when the picture is that other drivers may be doing far worse and more often but unseen.

    The FIA machinery is very inefficient and the outspoken Derek Daly in Monza supports this when he said, “While looking at the slow motion video of this incident, I missed the Schumacher/Hamilton incident that happened at that moment.

    So it comes down to this, they only address some incidence and ignore others, depending on the driver(s) involved, who calls the investigation and whether there is(are) another investigation(s) in progress. This is totally unacceptable at this level of Motor Racing.

    1. Maybe it’s because he’s black…


      1. Although Lewis only mentioned it jokingly, it clearly happens in other sports.

        1. I America race issues are discussed openly, in Europe it’s different, people keep racial issues under the table and then we think that in “America everything is balck and white”…

  9. kenneth Ntulume
    7th October 2011, 7:38

    Rueben’s ever the wise one has summed it up…..Lewis hasn’t been as bad as portrayed, and Button CANOT beat Lewis all with good machinery….he (Button) is happy to be nos 2 in the championship, Hamilton wants number one, thats why he took more risks, given an inferior car relative to Redbulls Vettel machine…………..Lewis is the man, and as for Massa shut up and drive to win not “destroy” someone else race…..

    1. The same people who say Button is having a great year are exactly the same who claim Lewis is having an awful year. Being truth, I think, they’re implicitly admitting that Lewis is better than Button, because the one having a bad year is still pretty close to the one having a great year.

      1. kenneth Ntulume
        7th October 2011, 8:00

        Bingo J-cost! Lewis’s bar is just too high, we all want him to race, be spectacular, while make no mistake, then a looser like Massa decides to keep destroying Lewis race……what a world??

        1. Lewis’ bar might be high, but so far his skills ain’t meeting his expectations… to make matters worse, his team mate is out driving him in the same machinery… you just keep finding more excuse for Lewis… ‘cos that’s what all his fan boys do when he’s not doing well… If you say he’s not content to come 2nd then it sounds like Lewis is a spoilt child – he should know better that he can’t always have what he wants and to make do when not every thing is right.

      2. But what you’re failing to point out is that it had been pretty close between Jenson and Lewis leading up to the British GP and they were tied after the British GP (both on 109 points) after Jenson retired. Then Jenson retired due to hydraulics and was down by 25 points after Germany. Within 4 races he’s overhauled the 25 and gained 17 – which meant he outscored Lewis by 42 points in the last 4 races.

        Lewis is having a bad year because he is driving poorly and making the wrong choices – who’s fault is that? He also had two retirements that were caused by his actions/decisions.

        Jenson is having a good year because he is driving well and is making the right choices – who should be credited for that? Plus his two retirements were not his fault.

        The fact that you irrelevantly mentioned Jenson’s name (because Lewis did not make any mention of Jenson being the cause of his testing year) to compare to Lewis shows that you are threatened by his team mate that you had previously assumed to be a mediocre driver, and now he is beating the very man you support. To me that’s just typical behaviour of sore losers.

        You blame that Lewis is having bad equipment – they both drive for the same team and have access to the same level of equipment.

        You say Lewis is pushing harder because he is in inferior equipment and is taking higher risks – what’s the point of taking those risks if you start going backwards in the WDC? Are you pointing out the fact that that he just wants to be a glory boy by just taking wins? If Lewis knew he had any chance to win the WDC he’d learn from his past not to take such big risks (2007 he lost the chance when he ditched it in the kitty litter in China while entering the pits!!!, and in 2008 he nearly lost it in the final race and was given the chance to overtake a slowing Toyota).

        I have no grudge against Lewis and I think he is a great driver – I think he is better at getting a not so perfect car setup to the fastest speeds, where as Jenson needs to have a perfect car setup in order to be the fastest.

  10. I honestly don’t understand why massa is doing such a big hype about the crash. Is he upset cause Lewis hit him and no one came n said it’s okay massa baby, or is it cause it’s the 2nd time lewis made contact with him or what? Not like Lewis said something to massa, he didn’t even stay back for the interview, which clearly indicates that Lewis was frustrated about the crash. I mean yeah, sportmanship should exist, but Lewis doesn’t talk so just buck up and move on.Yes massa, You’ve made your point, Lewis should’ve apologized and he didnt which is wrong and i support that, but its nearly 2 weeks now and why bring it up again? I’m sorry if i’m being blunt about massa, but I just dont see the point.

    1. Massa simply said he has not had apologies from Lewis, and that, comprehensively, he’ll not go to Lewis and talk further about the accident. Of course if it was Lewis ho went to Felipe, he’d listen to him rather than pushing him away, as he says.

    2. I think Massa is under pressure at the moment. He’s been convincingly out driven by his team mate and is looking for a good result, but at every instance where someone else is at fault he’ll keep on ranting about it as if to say he’s got bad results from incident with others.

  11. I honestly believe that Hamilton’s “tough year” will be a huge benefit to him in future years. He has truly cemented his reputation of a super aggressive, relentless, balls out producer of great overtakes that in my opinion will, in years to come will be the making of him. The intimidation factor, although not spoken about for sometime is such an advantage that I believe will benefit Lewis greatly.
    Imagine, “Lewis is behind you and he’s fast!” We know what he’s capable of, we know how aggressive he is. I know for one thing, I would certainly have more than one eye on him if I was his next target.

    As for the Massa thing, I felt really sorry for him in singapore during the race. However, his reaction afterwards was poor. And after the “destroy his race” saga. Yes this was taken out if context but, if Massa adjusted his driving just because it was Lewis behind him (which was what it sounded like) then he certainly should not be moaning and whinging like he is. Yes, ultimately it was Lewis’ fault however, if Massa was driving with Lewis in mind rather than what’s in front of him up the road then I don’t think he can claim that it was 100% Lewis’ fault.

  12. Happy birthday Alexandre Carvalho!

  13. A Massa of nothing for sure. Doesnt he bleet on! Maybe if Massa used less brain and more instinct he would be quicker round a race track. As it is he just constantly looks at ways to deflect attention from being thrashed by his team mate. A man out of time.

  14. @Keith – Received my DVDs in the post today, they are excellent. Thanks Keith.

  15. What I found to be the most interesting thing said in that Barrichello interview was this explanation for the rise in overtaking we have seen this year

    Formula One has more overtaking nowadays, but in reality DRS (drag reduction system) has made some cars quicker in qualifying, but not as quick in racing,” Barrichello said.

    That had never really occured to me to be of influence, but it suddenly makes for a solid argument to allow DRS in qualifying! This way it spices up the racing but in a healty way (as its up to the teams/drivers to either optimize for quali or for the race and use it or not)

    1. The problem with DRS in qualifying is that cars with greater mechanical grip/chassis downforce will always have the benefit of qualifying faster – just look at Vettel taking the 130R with the DRS open (and subsequently so did others). Sure it can spice things up but doesn’t reflect the true race pace. RB has dominated qualifying all year because they can open their DRS longer than anyone else – straight away the fight has been lost based on better mechanical grip/chassis downforce – thus we’re left with one team dominating qualifying and then having a more exciting race. I doubt RB would’ve scored so many poles if DRS was not enabled during qualifying.

  16. thats not a valid argument. drs is no different from turbos, aero, downforce, or anything else. If the FIA hadnt sanctioned it then teams wouldve thought of it, see f duct. The fact that Rb can exploit DRS more fully and therefore thatgives the team an advantage is part of the flaw in motor racing full stop. the fast team starts at the front.

    Of course when just seeing a car held just under/over the limit round a fast corner was enough wow it didnt matter… but now people watching on telly demand x amount of overtakes per lap or the sport is ruined, then allowing the quick cars to start first “spoils it”. But i have never heard such a ludicrous argument as, its not fair to have drs as it gives a team who expolit it best pole. SO?…

    And by proxy,I dont understand the search for pure racing, racing has and will never be pure. For 1 it became a sport from a commercial basis not as in most sports, the other way round. Motor racing was and has always been for the participants and the manufacturers. It should never be subservient to the crowd. We are guests, most of the time non paying, and if we dont like it well go watch soccerball.

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