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Can Hamilton rock Red Bull and win Turkish Grand Prix?
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Can Hamilton rock Red Bull and win Turkish Grand Prix?
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 May 2010   |  6:44 pm GMT  |  89 comments

Lewis Hamilton put in a great lap today, just 15/100ths of a second slower than pole sitter Mark Webber’s, to line up on the front row of the grid for the first time this season.

Hamilton: Can he rock Red Bull? (Photos: McLaren)


It’s taken McLaren a long time to get on top of qualifying this season and although there is still some way to go to qualify ahead of the Red Bulls, the McLaren’s race pace indicates that we could have a race on our hands tomorrow.

This is particularly true when you consider that the McLaren enjoys a 6km/h speed advantage on the straights, thanks to Mercedes power and a fully optimised drag reduction wing.

To say that Webber is vulnerable would be to over state the position, but he will sleep rather less easily, knowing that Hamilton has the capacity to pass him, if he gives him the slightest opportunity.

The Red Bull has so much downforce that Hamilton will not be able to follow particularly closely through the vitally important Turns 9 and 10, which leads onto the long back straight. But a mistake there by Webber, as Vettel made last year under pressure from Button at the start, and the McLaren will be on him.

History tells you that the winner in Turkey has only ever come from the front row of the grid and only once has the pole sitter not won it. Webber’s race pace is hard to assess as he wasn’t particularly strong in Friday practice and then his engine failed at the end,
“Normally my long runs have been fine this year. It has been more of strength for me compared to qualy in some ways, ” said Webber. “It didn’t work that well in P2 on Friday but we will get on top of that and then we go from there, so looking forward. We know everyone will start on the option, get on with it.”

Looking back to Spain where Hamilton was again his main challenger, before the McLaren failed in the closing laps, Webber wanted Hamilton to know that he was stroking it at times, “We had an interesting feel with the gap to Lewis in Barcelona. They are a bit more competitive here but we certainly still had something in our sleeve there, so we will see how it goes.”


Hamilton isn’t buying it. McLaren think that their race pace allows them to tackle Red Bull and today’s result gives them the ideal platform to prove it.

“With the new strategy, new regulations it makes it very difficult to pass but this is a place where you can, ” he said. “It is very hard to follow these guys through turn eight and to then be able to follow them after that but it is not impossible and I will be making it as hard as I can for Mark. We’re in the best spot I’ve ever been in to start the race. If I can get close enough to Mark then without a doubt I will be taking the opportunity. But we have to wait and see. We’ve got to look after the tyres, we’ve got a long race ahead of us but like I said, it’s great just to be there.”

Much of their pace in qualifying today came from a new rear wing which is optimised around the drag-reducing rear wing and this is a track where that counts for a lot, as we observed in the LG Tech Report yesterday. As much as 10km/h can be gained from it as it allows you to run a more steeply angled rear wing to get the downforce benefit, knowing that you can dump the drag on the straights.

Red Bull has not optimised its drag reducing wing yet and although they tested it on Friday, they opted not to race it this weekend. Despite McLaren’s ability to run a steeper wing angle, the Red Bull is 4/10ths faster in the middle sector, which features Turn 8.

Hamilton has a chance tomorrow, but we’ve already seen enough to know that he has a great chance in Montreal, which will play to the McLaren’s strengths. Add in Hamilton’s ability to run closer to the walls than anyone except Kubica and I’m getting my money on Hamilton to win Canada now.

As a footnote the accusation of Hamilton being a “manufactured” driver has reared its head again with Nigel Mansell wading in this time. Hamilton reacted this afternoon by saying that Mansell had his facts wrong when he accused Hamilton of being bankrolled at the age of seven with “£2.5 million to go karting.”

“He is a world champion and was a great star in his age and I look up to him. I wouldn’t have expected that form him but that’s the way it is, ” said Hamilton. “I feel I have been very, very fortunate to have had the support as without it I would not be here. I don’t know how he was funded when he was younger but for us it was virtually impossible to find money. It got more and more expensive. My parents paid all the way until I was 13 by re-mortgaging the house.”

Ironically that is a story which would be familiar to Mansell, who mortgaged his house to pay for a season in Formula 3, one which ended with a broken neck.

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89 Comments
  1. Lewis says:

    I hope Hamilton can do something about Webber, or this season is going to become very boring within the actual championship standings as well.

  2. Mark Edwards says:

    You seem to be discounting Vettel and Button, I think your wrong to do so.

    Hamilton and webber are more likely to have accidents in the race because of their act first, think later styles.

    Hamilton can beat webber but then again Buton and Vettel are in the mix too!

    1. Nick H says:

      I agree, It seems that James always discounts Buttons chances.

      1. James Allen says:

        That’s hilarious if you look at the comments after Melbourne…!

        I don’t discount them, but Hamilton has been ahead this weekend and has a significant track position advantage.

      2. m de p says:

        i guess you can never win james.

      3. Name says:

        James is actually very supportive of especially Button, followed right after Alonso.

        Not so much of Vettel and Hamilton, hehe.

      4. CH1UNDA says:

        Most popular drivers for James would be Schumacher, Alonso and Button. Hamilton never features :)

    2. iceman says:

      Based on his comments after qualy, Button doesn’t fancy his own chances much. He was saying they’d set the ride height too low in qualy, so it could be a major problem when they get 160kg of fuel on board.

  3. michael grievson says:

    I wonder who’s funding mansell’s sons racing. I have a big dislike for mansell and jackie stewart. Only have something to say to the press when it’s negative

    1. m de p says:

      stewart!! are you nuts? he only says good things about other drivers. You better take a look at lauda, and watson.

    2. sixtenths says:

      Mansell’s 2 sons are truly being launched with Millionaire Dad’s Silver Spoons in their undertalented mouths, completely unlike Lewis.

      The really offensive lie is that Lewis was funded from 7, when in fact he did not get a penny till he was 12 or 14 and had already truly proved himself, entirely funded by his very hard working Dad. Like many F1 drivers, he then received help from a team looking for talent.

      To make a false accusation and allow Lewis’ detractors more lies to band about is utterly unforgivable.

      Mansell must apologise immediately and put the record straight, if he fails to he will feel a considerable backlash.

  4. michael says:

    James, hello, do you know, if it is the pull-rod system that gives Red Bull such a down-force advantage over all the others?

    Also, I would really like to understand why Nico Rosberg is now being soundly beaten by MS since I can not in all earnest believe that Nico is having difficulties with a 2010 W01 and that MS is finding his way better. How is this sudden change possible?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s not one thing, it’s a combination. It’s a car which is in harmony with itself aerodynamically and everything serves that. As for Rosberg I think it’s simply a case of Schumacher getting up to speed. Remember how long it took Alonso and Raikkonen to adjust in 2007 to Bridgestone tyres from Michelins

      1. Luke A says:

        James,

        I think there this whole “It’s not one thing. it’s a combination of things”, is obviously true to some extent, but in saying that and many now seem to say it, we are all starting to sound like Christian Horner.

        I would like to ask you what your perception is on Christians body language when he is questioned regarding anything to do with his car’s performance. Whereas most other teams, typically McLaren, are usually very open and happy to talk about their innovative developments, Red Bull seem very reluctant to do so, but it is he has occasionally been bordering on being rude when asked questions about his car. For example today, he was told that Williams were going to copy the exhaust system on the Red Bull car and told that surely he would take that as a compliment. Instead of simply smiling and replying “yes”, he went onto get quite defensive and almost laugh in a derogatory way, stating that the exhaust was the least significant part on their car that gives performance.

        What also annoys me about Christian and I guess Vettel, to some extent as well, is that they constantly moan about their engine being inferior. I can understand why they feel this, but they seem to forget that it is more fuel efficient, which is a big advantage with these new regulations. I’m also sure that if they had the power that some other cars had then there whole package may not be quite so good around the corners. Eitherway, I think Red Bull are making it difficult for people to admire them and instead are creating an atmosphere that people will take a disliking too and, I think there are many such as myself, who will be very happy when they do not have such a competitive car and can step down on the arrogance.

        I would also finally say that the whole Schumacher, Rosberg thing is a little strange. I obviously appreciate that Schumacher was rusty and has probably improved, but Rosberg looked so much better in the shorter wheelbase car and if you look back at Monaco last week, he had a poor Q3, but in Q2 (showing true performance) he really trounced Schumacher. To me it is a little strange.

      2. James Allen says:

        Newey is always very secretive and if you look at Ferrari during the Schumacher years they never gave anything away. Red Bull is on a mission this year – it’s their year and they have to get the job done. All the investment leads to this. As it’s Horner’s first time in this position you can understand

      3. J says:

        Another point about the advantage of the fuel efficient renault engine is that there will be less weight difference over the race. Not only do the start faster relatively due to less fuel but their suspension only has to cope with a smaller change in load. Could this explain some (not all) of their qualifying advantage?

      4. michael says:

        Thanks for the time!!!

        It is just that I heard a comment on the BBC that Red Bull are on their toes now having noticed the changes McLaren have brought through, yet, no one was willing to say more than that. It would be really interesting to hear and understand which changes exactly Red Bull have become aware of which made them realize that McLaren is on the move in Turkey.

        all the best
        m

      5. Brendan Shanks says:

        Raikkonen and Alonso (respectively) won the first 2 races of 2007, and were also fighting for the championship at the last race.
        I’d say that they (and more importantly, their teams) figured out the Bridgestones pretty fast.

    2. ajag says:

      As to MS and NR, soundly beaten I think is a little too much to describe the difference between the two. I do believe that Schumacher is getting up to speed though. First sign of old Schumacher was the overtaking of Alonso in Monaco…

      I guess however what you are probably assuming is that MS is favored and the car is changed in his direction making NR suffer. Interestingly I saw an interview in german with NR and he said that it would be impossible for Merc to create a car that would favor MS and hinder him. His reason was that they have very similar driving styles.

    3. The Ram says:

      Yes the RedBull’s secret is extremely coherent design. Everything is in harmony.
      As For Rosberg he is right behind Schumacher in the times. Schumacher aint going nowhere.

  5. Jon says:

    There is no doubt that Hamilton can win tommorow.

    He just needs a good start. I saw it said elsewhere earlier today that the dirty side is worth a position on the grid. However race starts are very unpredictable and anything could happen.

    If McLaren really are running a steeper rear wing angle and have all that top speed in the pocket, than they have failed somewhere. The car is also the longest in terms of wheelbase, which gives the most benefit in fast corners. Combine those 3 factors and you should have the fastest laptime. I don’t buy it. Look at the speedtrap figures between Mercs and McLaren. That’s not all F duct. The F duct definately helps though.. one of the drivers said “It’s not as good as KERS but a handy toy to have”.

    Curiously, Redbull are running alot less wing then they would like this weekend. The car is not on rails like it would normally be. They have been forced to run less wing for everything mentioned in this article. They are very vulnerable in S3 on lap 1. If Mercedes was their rival it would be no problem, but since it’s McLaren and the straight is so long, they probably felt they didn’t have a choice. If McLaren weren’t there, they’d be hitting 307-310 instead of 314.

    Hamilton is a manufactured driver by the way, but not for the reasons Mansell stated or anything to do with money. It’s to do with his moulding and looking to be a brand name (which he is currently looking for a manager to help him with and it wouldn’t be surprising if his manager ends up being American). Good for him. It’s in McLaren’s and his best interests for him to be this way. All McLaren drivers are more corporate/groomed/puppeteered then the others to start with for sponsorship, but Lewis more so because he has been with the team so long. Ron Dennis has been moulding him from very early on. I don’t care about that stuff, I only care about what happens at the race track and Lewis is a fast driver.

    No mention of Button in this article lol. :P

    Lewis needs to watch out for Vettel, if he is ahead of Vettel after turn 1 it’s game on. There could be some surprises with the tyres as well.

    1. Jeff says:

      If Lewis can nail Mark by the first corner then he will win. The Red Bulls will not be able to pass anyone on the track this weekend due to its lack of straight line speed. Sticky rattle guns may affect the result though.

      Jeff

    2. smith from zim says:

      Jon

      you do post the most sensible comments on this blog mate. keep it up!

  6. CPR says:

    If it was as easy as Mansell implies to “manufacture” a F1 star, you’d think there’d be a bunch of Hamilton clones out there. But I haven’t seen any such indication.

    1. swayze says:

      You would also think there would be a couple of Mansell clones as well because their father has the money to manufacture them IF and its a big if they had the natural talent.

    2. Phil says:

      Absolutely.

      Ironically, the driver Hamilton most reminds me of is Mansell. He’s a balls out driver, willing to take on moves that most other drivers wouldn’t have the guts to.

  7. Luke A says:

    I really believe that Hamilton should have won a race already this year with how he has raced. At Barcelona, he was desperately unlucky and if he was given the luck that Alonso had in Bahrain then he could have won. I also think that also Button has 2 wins, in both those races, Hamilton was stronger and was slightly let down by his team, especially in Australia.

    I really think Lewis can win tomorrow. My only real concern is that he is starting off the dirty side. Do you know if they will clean this before the race starts James? I think as long as he can stay in 2nd from the start then he can stay with Webber and potentially overtake him or get him at the pits. I also think that Red Bulls have looked very unreliable and fragile this weekend and that could prove a problem. Here’s hoping a McLaren one-two!

  8. Kyle H says:

    Hamilton: “If I can get close enough to Mark then without a doubt I will be taking the opportunity.”

    I reckon that we are set for a particularly hot blooded battle between Webber and Hamilton tomorrow, culminating in a dramatic and frustrating crash between them, somewhat akin to their collision in Australia. This is of course provided that Mclaren’s race pace is on par with the RBR’s. All indications point towards this being the case.

    Hamilton is undoubtedly desperate to get his first win of the season on the board and he’s certainly not risk averse at the best of times, whilst Webber is also an aggressive driver whom I’ve rarely seen to give up a position without a fight.

    Vettel to suffer once again with the brake issues he’s had in previous races and in qualifying today. He seems to have inherited Webbers streak of terrible luck, which is unfortunate to say the least.

    Button to drive a very solid and consistent race in the background as per usual, then take the win due to the aforementioned circumstances. If those ahead of him don’t crash out or break down, I expect he will still be a strong contender for a podium tomorrow.

    I don’t think we’re likely to see any passes amongst the top four starters into the first corner or during the first lap, but regardless, it should be an exciting race tomorrow.

    1. David says:

      I liked that Hamilton comment sat next to Webber (“If I can get close enough to Mark then without a doubt I will be taking the opportunity”), it’s pitch perfect to get him a little rattled and edgy at the start. My prediction for this race, though, is for a Vettel-Webber flash point. Maybe just wishful thinking (!) but at some point soon it’s going to happen.

      1. Kyle H says:

        Good shout!

      2. David says:

        Cheers Kyle! Hadn’t expected it to be quite so spectacular! :0)

  9. Andras F. says:

    Red-Bulls seems to be unbeatable in the middle sector as McLaren in the 3rd with the long straight.
    If Webber will be in front after the start the question is that how Hamilton can follow him in the middle sector to be in position for an overtaking at the end of the long straight. In other case if Webber could follow Hamilton close to long straight then will the Red-Bull fast enough to catch the F-duct equipped McLaren. Both McLaren was 6 kph faster than the Webber’s Redd Bull on qualifying.

  10. Matt says:

    James, right now I am in the middle of a Chinese night club and all I can do is read about F1. Guess that means I am addicted.

    Question: it is surprising me how long it has taken (and is still taking) all of the other teams to understand and implement a f-duct system as effective as Mclaren’s. For such a seemingly straightforward system, I expected everyone, especially Ferrari and Red Bull, to be up to speed by now with proper f-ducts. What gives? Are the exact aerodynamics extremely difficult to replicate and teams are finding that while they are gaining straight line speed they losing some downforce around corners? Is Mclaren’s chassis so integrated with the system that no one else will be able to match their system’s effectiveness? Does the added power of the Mercedes engine mean that only Mercedes and Force India have a chance of ever matching the Mclaren’s speed? While others are only on version one, Mclaren is already on version two/three of the wing and this is maintaining their advantage? Or is the answer as simple as there just hasn’t been enough time for proper development and in a race or two Mclaren’s F-duct advantage will be wiped out?

    With the hundreds of talented engineers at the competing teams, I really thought Mclaren’s f-duct advantage would have already been erased. According to qualifying, it hasn’t. Will anyone fully catch up this season or will the other teams only go halfway as the system will not be allowed in 2011?

    Again, thanks for your commentary. Your interaction with the fan community is invaluable.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well you should be having fun, not sending comments, but to answer your question, the McLaren was designed around the system to everything is where it should be – the others are having to adapt and it’s hard to get the air pressure to make it work.

      1. Matt says:

        James, what could me more
        fun than F1 and nightclubs? Went to Shanghai GP this year, and being a Mclaren fan, result could not have been better. It is worrying to realize that the ‘RW80′ is worth 4/10s and Mclaren is still trailing Red Bull by 2-8/10s. Imaging if they didn’t have one. I hope they are treating the engineer that invented the system very well. If anything, with the system being so difficult to replicate, it is giving Mclaren a valuable buffer to catch up on downforce before Red Bull gets their system fully working.

        Like Michael asked, have you any idea where Mclaren is gaining on Red Bull or leaving behind Ferrari and Mercedes? Heard about a new front and rear wing. Maybe this track is just so suited to the F-duct that Mclaren is looking a lot better.

        Finally, Ferrari? A little hard to believe how they are being left behind by Red Bull and Mclaren. Especially with Alonso at the team.

      2. James Allen says:

        I think a lot of the story in quali was about getting the grip, given that the conditions had changed quite a bit from morning to afternoon – it was cool in the morning and hot in the afternoon, but not as hot as Friday. Not easy to get that right. Also the F duct is working very well on McLaren

  11. Prof Bolshaviks says:

    Manufactured drivers, is this the future we want as fans?

    1. murray says:

      Mansell’s comments are those of a bitter churl. Hamilton has always had standout ability and he got some breaks because of it. Luck has always had as much to do with motor racing careers as ability. Anyone remember Mike Thackwell? And on the flipside, Stefan Johannson at McLaren in ’87?

    2. S Butts says:

      If they are indeed as good as Hamilton, yes.

  12. STEPHEN SIVELL says:

    True Aussie Grit is one of the most powerful emotions known in the world However so is true British courage Lewis has the Heart of a Lion and the cold steel skills to slice into the red bulls and win the Istanbul race remember he is now the 2STUD ACE!

  13. swayze says:

    I have always been a Hamilton fan but i was really impresed with the way he hustled that car around today The McLaren looked a lot harder to drive than the red bull so to split the two red bulls i think was excellent.

  14. Fausto Cunha says:

    I hope so , but i don´t believe. Webber seemed more confident on the race pace than in qualifying and he tends to disapear when he is leading a race.

  15. jenson marks says:

    In his dreams!

  16. paul says:

    Good result for Hamilton today and it makes for a great race tomorrow.

    As for the Mansell comments couldn’t agree more. Think of all the potentially more talented drivers that have fallen by the wayside through all the karting and formulae that Hamilton has passed through.

    Read Hamilton’s 2007 championship book: In his karting days a wrist injury threatened his performance at a karting event in Italy. Ron Dennis contacted – yes believe this: Professor Sid Watkins who gave Hamilton a state of the art cast for his wrist to race with. When he was racing at the event other competitors protested the cast and he was thrown out of the event. What happens next? Anthony gets on the phone to Ron Dennis who contacts the FIA and get Hamilton reinstated. How many other drivers have ever had this access, this support? Will anyone have it again ever?

    Don’t get me wrong Hamilton has more than held his own in F1 and is a great talent. But how many others are there out there doing a normal day job now because they didn’t have the money to take their careers forward?

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      That’s unbelievable!

    2. Bevan says:

      Forget what Mansell has to say Paul,he’s probably a little envious of the raw talent that is L Hamilton.One kind of loses credibility denying the obvious.Max Mosley has recently had a dig at Ferrari & the Scuderia’s reply fits the Mansell quip perfectly-
      It is better to look ahead and not waste time talking about what is – luckily – old and gone.

    3. Jean-Christophe says:

      Should we blame him for having benefited from that? Do you think Ron would have supported him if he wasn’t talented?
      For one tennis player how many are left on the sideline because the did not have enough support?
      How many intelligent people could not get to UCLA or Harvard because they did not have enough money or support to get there?
      This should not even been discussed. He got the support and made good use of it. Fair enough. Luck is part of the game.

    4. Phil says:

      Errr, so what?

      They didn’t back Hamilton for giggles, they backed him because they believed he had what it took.

      Since then he has proved them right.

      Let me ask… who would you back? Do you think you would know better than them who out of all the prospects to back?

    5. Nevsky says:

      ’twas ever thus Paul.
      Support for the protégés have only been possible with money.

      How many Eton boys are in the top echelon of the present UK government for example.

  17. Lewis can beat Webber tomorrow but I don’t necessarily think he will. As ever, getting him straight off the line will be the most straightforward.

    I don’t think Button will feature much. He’ll do well to hold station in fourth but you never know. Got the potential to be a decent race at the front anyway.

  18. True Blue says:

    Cant believe Sir Nige would say that.
    Is it a bit of sour grapes ?
    I think Lewis has firmly established himself as a true F1 major player.
    He is the most exiting driver in F1

    1. KNF says:

      I don’t think it’s a case of sour grapes, but rather more of Nige being Nige, remember he did write off Button in 2007 as being “past it” before lauding him in 2009…

  19. Kenny says:

    Hamilton is going to be pushing like mad to get past Webber early on. I’m not so sure about Button getting quite in the mix for getting the win given what he said after Q3 that his car’s ride height is a bit lower than it probably should be so he might be struggling in the race.
    I expect him to be in qith a good shout for 3rd. It all depends on Vettel then.

  20. mik says:

    What a great pity for SV’s car!! Roll-bar failure this time!?
    C’mon!

    I hope SV can figure a way to jump LH and just follow MW and leap frog him in the pit stops.

    ps: Oh wait, the guy in front (in RBR) has the pit stop priority, so I say SV should just go for it after turn 8 (assume he passed LH) to over take MW. Such cruel luck to SV with the broken bar…gosh!

  21. Nick Hipkin says:

    Hi james, do you think Hamilton is finally starting to pull clear of Button? The European qualy sessions would suggest so but do you think the rule for 2010 changed the balance, had it been the short stint light cars i think lewis would have been way ahead. Has there been any talk of refuelling returning for 2011 yet?

    1. James Allen says:

      Hamilton has been faster this weekend, but Button wasn’t able to get his target lap time due to yellow flags today.

      1. PaulL says:

        Refuelling for 2011.. y/n/m?

  22. Louis says:

    I read somewhere that they put an old engine in Webber’s car on Friday, and they were expecting it to blow anyway… now where did I read that.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well it’s fairly standard after six races for practice engines to be long in the tooth. Expect to blow? Not sure about that, it raises awkward questions.

  23. Jake Pattison says:

    Hamilton *could* beat Webber, but my money’s on Webber for the win.

  24. Marlon Stoner says:

    It always saddens Me that daily in F1, people go back and dig up things to make stories. One of the scientist was asked what makes it fun to explore futurology, he said that the past makes no relevance to what we will have or use in future.

    If things happen accept them as they are, i agree that emotions run high in F1 from fans, drivers and people at the top of F1, mistakes are made but there is time to move on, when the robot gets green, how many people stop their cars and not go but wait for a robot to close again? We should accept that there are people who will never move on.

    At times the media will generate stuff that causes hatred, some people look for stories that will sell more papers and site hits, some journalists are so dark that they will manufacture stuff, hype it up and shock the readers with their lies and lies sell more.

    But I have witnessed some newspapers shut down because they spread lies.

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      What are you talking about?

      1. neil m says:

        Theres a clue in his name

  25. Malcom says:

    I watched today the start of the 2007 GP at Turkey, where Lewis again started in 2nd place on the dirty side of the track. The dirty side is slow and brutal, and Hamilton lost a place at the start, which may again happen tomorrow. If Webber takes the lead, and the strides forward that Mclaren seems to have made, may enable Lewis to initially stay with the Bull’s, and Mclaren’s race pace and Hamilton’s racecraft may be enough to defeat them.

  26. Steve McGill says:

    I noticed the red bull mechanics have a very strange routine when taking the tyre warmers off – don’t if any one else noticed.

    They take it off, fold and momentarily place it on top of the tyre before lifting it away again. I only noticed cos one mechanic momentarily forgot, got a scornful look from his opposite man, quickly put it on top then lifted it off. It seems fairly pointless and noond else seems to do this.

    I had this strange paranoia that at that precise moment – the cars ride height changes…! Check it out

    1. James Allen says:

      Others do that. It’s no doubt the way they have been instructed by team manager Jonathan Wheatley, who is something of a disciplinarian

  27. Edgas Mutute says:

    I think that Hamilton can beat Webber of course. But we must not forget that Red BULL has good car, good ballence and in turn eight they are best. The good chance for Hamilton must be on the start, he must pass Webber. Just now Webber must take care because he is so confident that he can win this champiochip, so in this case Hamilton does not have to loose.

  28. BiggusJimmus says:

    ‘I wouldn’t have expected that form him but that’s the way it is.’ Strange, James, I have the same problem typing “from” as you. It just never comes out right. Lol.

  29. Tom says:

    One factor to throw into the mix is Hamilton’s penchant to eat up a pair of Tyres. Was it 2008 when he had to make 3 stops to Massa’s 2?

    It’s definitely his best chance of a win so far this year, and he could def do it.

    Cmon Webber!

  30. PaulL says:

    The last 3 years the guy that’s started 2nd hasn’t made it there into the first corner.

  31. dxs says:

    this is a stupid poll. most drivers can/could beat webber given issues/a big crash.. koby CAN beat webber too, it is possible but quite unlikely. so obviously hami can beat webber, it should be 100% yes.. my point is the poll should be WILL hami beat webber

  32. Name says:

    Vettel will take Hamilton before the first turn. Then he will follow Webber close, during pitstops he will leap frog him and win the race.

    1. Vettel
    2. Webber
    3. Hamilton
    4. Schumacher
    5. Alonso
    6. Massa
    7. Button
    8. Rosberg

    There, my crystal ball, if it is correct I expect one of your signed books James :D

    Actually that should be a cool thing every race weekend. Everyone posts their prediction for the top 10, the ones who get it right get a signed copy of your book.

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ve got something coming up soon

      1. El Shish says:

        We need a ‘beat James Allen feature’. I love the website and insight but am desperate to see more ‘gut feeling’ type predictions. I know it’s a potentially compromising situation to put yourself into as a journalist but it would really liven up race weekend on this site. The ‘how the XXX Grand Prix will unfold’ feature from last year was one of my personal favourites but obviously works less well now that there is no re-fuelling, etc.

      2. James Allen says:

        OK I will take that on board and maybe we can look at doing some more tipping

    2. Jake Pattison says:

      1. Webber
      2. Vettel
      3. Alonso
      4. Hamilton
      5. Button
      6. Schumacher
      7. Rosberg
      8. Massa

      I could go on…actually 10 is too many. 5 would be enough of a challenge!

  33. Aus David says:

    Hi James,

    A couple of things from your point of view if you will:

    1 – Seb was saying something after Mark was asked why he went out first in the last quali sessession – what was that about?

    2 – Mark didnt seem overjoyed about his pole – why do you thing that was?

    Cheers Mate

  34. bimbo says:

    Hamilton will cook tires today.

  35. Edgas Mutute says:

    Guys imagine Hamilton with a RedBull car, he shoul ddistroy evryone in his way, no doubt.

  36. Prof Bolshaviks says:

    Do you think mclaren have had to go aggressive with setup to close the gap in qualifying? The mclarens were bucking a lot and hitting the ground through turn 8.
    Put the fuel in and they could be in real trouble through turn 8. I expect a few issues there for them early on. Maybe michael and Nico could sneak through into 9.

    1. Frankie Allen says:

      After qualifying, I thought this could be a very good chance for Hamilton to get his first win, until I heard Jensons comments. He was explaining his lack of pace through a particular section due to the bumps. Or more importantly his low setting for the ride height in relation to the bumps. If Jenson had problems in qualifying, what is he going to be like in the race with a full tank?

      Have McLaren sacrificed the race ride height to get to the front of the grid with Hamilton as well? If they have, it could get very interesting over the bumps on a full tank.

  37. S Butts says:

    Vettel will win.

    He loves this place. If it wasn’t for the broken roll bar he would have destoryed them.

    1. neil m says:

      he kinda did destroy one of them

  38. Giles says:

    Although I’d like to see Webber win today – I think Hamilton will get him off the line or on the first lap.

    On a separate note – Vettel needs to improve his poker face and/or attitude post qualifying if he has a disappointing result. Horner has said he has matured enough to win the championship this year – doesn’t look like it.

  39. mael says:

    He did!

    Just not the way we expected it to happen.

    There will be many internet racing experts espousing their thoughts as facts over this one.

  40. Bill Nuttall says:

    James, you should get the technical people who run your web site to close the poll just before the race starts! Leaving it open after we all know Lewis won the race makes it a little irrelevant.
    With that in mind I voted ‘No’ as I believed before the race that the advantage the Red Bulls had through Turn 8 would make it impossible for the McLarens to get near enough for a pass at the end of the back straight. Clearly I failed to factor in the Red Bulls pressing the self-destruct button.

    As a side issue it strikes me as a little hard on the drivers who qualified on the dirty side of the track – the predictions were borne out by both Lewis and Jenson getting overtaken on the first corner. With all the high tech equipment in formula one why is nothing done to make both sides of the grid as clean as each other?

  41. LeighJW says:

    Yes he can! (Isn’t hindsight wonderful)

  42. richard cable says:

    I think the to red bulls side by side caused a “venturi effect” that sucked the two cars together. Put two strips of paper side by side blow between them and the two strips will join together.

    1. Jakub W says:

      …Along with the ‘Vettel effect’ of driving into cars that are by his side. Seriously though, the negative pressure created in those conditions is negligible.

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