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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is “hungrier” than any team he’s seen
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Lewis Hamilton
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Jan 2013   |  2:32 pm GMT  |  175 comments

Lewis Hamilton has been at the headquarters of Mercedes Grand Prix team for the last couple of days, driving the 2013 car on the simulator, meeting all the staff and facing a select group of UK media, including JA on F1, for the first time as a Mercedes GP driver.

He dismissed stories about team principal Ross Brawn being replaced by McLaren’s Paddy Lowe and said that he was not expecting miracles from the 2013 car, given that Mercedes was two seconds per lap of the pace at the benchmark Suzuka circuit in October last year and implied that the Mercedes’ team seems to him to be hungrier than the staff at his former team, McLaren,

“I’ve been around and there is a great atmosphere here, great spirit just as I had at my previous team,” said Hamilton. “The guys seem hungrier than any group of people I’ve seen before. They seem seriously hungry to win and excited that they have another shot at it this year.

“There was always a great atmosphere, it’s just a different factory and a different environment here. The guys seem just as ‘on it.’

“They are working really hard and it’s important that they are always trying to analyse where they can improve and where adjustments need to be made because they just want to win and that’s a big positive for me.”

Although short on race wins in recent years in comparison with McLaren, the Brackley based team has, of course, won the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships more recently than the Woking outfit, which last won the drivers’ title in 2008 and the constructors’ in 1999.

As Brawn GP, the Brackley team won both titles in 2009 with Jenson Button. Hamilton will be engineered this year by the very experienced Jock Clear, who worked with Michael Schumacher last season and who engineered Jacques Villeneuve to the 1997 world championship with Williams.

Paddy Lowe (Photo: XPB.cc)


Hamilton said that he was not concerned about the recent stories suggesting that Mercedes plan to replace Ross Brawn with McLaren’s Paddy Lowe.

“As far as I’m aware there are no plans to bring Paddy here,” he said. “I’ve been assured by Ross that his commitment is for the long term and he is here to try to win with me, which reassures me and continues to give me a positive feeling moving forward.

“There are lots of good people here and I’ve obviously had great experiences with Paddy but he works with McLaren as far as I’m concerned.”

Hamilton’s first day with the media at his new team was supposed to be relaxed and positive, but the stories about Lowe replacing Brawn have meant that once again he finds himself in the middle of a storm. Such things follow Hamilton around, but this one is not of his making and he could not have been more explicit in his feelings about Brawn being part of the set-up long term.

Whether Brawn chooses to stick it out, with clear signs already that this is going to be a political hotbed, time will tell. Hamilton clearly hopes he will.

Hamilton meanwhile was realistic about his chances this season,

“I think it’s important to be patient and it’s important to be realistic,” he said. “You’ve got to remember that the way Formula One has gone over the years and my experience in the last six years at Mclaren, the car evolving each year and how long it takes to develop a car and to find one second throughout the season, knowing that Mercedes were 1.1 seconds behind in Brazil, I think it was almost two seconds at Suzuka.

“So to see that fluctuating you’ve got to be very understanding that an evolution of the car is going to be difficult for them in three months to gain two seconds or whatever it is.

“So I’ve just got to be very aware of that, but I know that the guys are working as hard as they can and every little bit counts so that’s what they’re working for.”

He said that his eye was mainly on the 2014 season, when a new engine and chassis formula will offer a chance for teams who are off the pace today to make a fresh start and perhaps make the leap into the pace setters,

“This is a marathon not a sprint. It’s the long haul. I hope that this year we can be competitive. If we arrive at the first race and we are in front, it’s going to be spectacular, but of we are not we know we just have to keep working at it.

“I’ve not even driven the car so I don’t even know what problems they had. It’s not like I can say, ‘We need to look in this area’. They didn’t have enough downforce last year. Of course 2-14 is probably a slightly better opportunity because things start again.”

(Does he have patience?} “Time will tell. No, I’m pretty sure that I do. You have got to remember that I had a couple of half dodgy cars, one particular year 2009, but it did get better so perseverance is going to be key for all of us.”

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175 Comments
  1. Ricardo says:

    It is not like Lewis has seen a lot of teams.

  2. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Imagine what will happen to Rosberg’s stock if he beats hamilton, especially in quali, over the year.

    After Britney (Rosberg) beat Schumacher, people thought “Schumacher must be just to old” so it’s done nothing to Rosberg’s overall stock really.

    If he does get on top of Hamilton (not literally), I think he will be very sought after. No one has gotten on top of Hamilton in quali over a year, ever. If he is slightly slower, no one will care really and he will be more or less worth what he is now in the eyes of the media, team bosses, fans.

    Hamilton really has huge pressure this year, to keep his “I am the fastest bugger here” rep. We all know how well Hamilton responds to pressure and getting beaten. Think 2011 everyone.

    If Rosberg does beat him, perhaps Ferrari might take a look at him for Massa 2014 replacement.

  3. Elaine says:

    Well Lewis is with mercedes for the next few years, let’s give him and the merc team a chance. Everyone is writing them off before we’ve even seen the car on the track. Let’s wait and see I say. Good luck Lewis

  4. Anne says:

    Well if Mercedes is hungrier than McLaren then maybe they should have signed a french chef to make good food instead of signing a driver. Anyway reading this made me hungry. I´m going to get something to eat

  5. **Paul** says:

    “The guys seem hungrier than any group of people I’ve seen before”

    Someone’s not looked in the Red Bull garage for quite some time!

  6. Phil R says:

    Ah, its now clicked why Lewis left…Like Fernando, he just wanted to grow a beard and Ron wouldn’t let them.

  7. goferet says:

    Good!

    For as it is, hungary people feed off each other to achieve success for it’s always demotivating, if you have one hungary party whilst the other seems not quite on it >>> I believe we now know the real reason Lewis left Mclaren.

    And as things stand, it seems it’s the newbies (Red Bull and Mercedes) that are the most hungary seeing as both don’t have a long history in the sport so would like to stamp their mark.

    Regards Lewis’ pessimism concerning 2013, I would like to side with Lauda on this one in that Lewis doesn’t want to build unrealistic expectations for surely he must know Mercedes was 1.1 seconds off the pace because they were focusing on the 2013 season already.

    Me, am taking comfort in Brawn’s optimism seeing as it’s him that knows all the ins and outs that have been going on behind the scenes.

    Anyway kudos to this partnership, they have just added a layer of excitement to the new season.

    *Fun Fact*

    In his F1 career so far, Lewis has never finished a season lower than P4 in the standings.

    Me thinks he might finish ahead of both Mclaren drivers.

  8. goferet says:

    Now concerning the 2014 season

    OMG!!! Never have a seen a team lay all it’s eggs in one season like this before.

    This can’t be good for all concerned because whenever somebody lays all their eggs in one basket, this usually ends in disappointment especially so far ahead in the future.

    I mean, usually we have been surprised by the team that wins it even Vettel didn’t look like he had it the bag in 2012.

    Actually, this situation is kind of similar to what happened to Lewis in 2012, in that he was so focused to winning the title in 2012, that he felt he had no choice but to leave when it didn’t quite pan out.

    So yeah, am expecting a surprise in 2014.

  9. David S says:

    I think it is orchestrated by Lauda. How it will work out we do not know, but designed in a similar manner to Marko/Webber comments…prod and a poke = dg in and dig deeper.

    Designed to stimulate and create momentum to push the team forward. Ross and Lewis will bind together as a very effective team partnership, my understanding is that Paddy is pretty non-political anyway, so this triangulation will create big momentum into 2014.
    Question is does Ross have the desire to dig as deep as in previous years.
    Lauda takes risks but behind the scenes it’s the Ross/Lewis relationship that will likely be critical to on-track success.
    But Mercedes need to be careful not to be seen as fools and historical parallels with Jaguar ain’t exactly going help. Results on tack are all that matters in this game…

  10. Matt_D says:

    The problem is, Lewis eventually will reach the end of the list of flattering superlatives he’s collected to try to impress his new employer (hoping, no doubt, to convince them he won’t be the habitual “Toxic Employee of the Month” he was at Macca). Then there’ll be nothing left apart the driving. And once he’s discovered his Silver Arrow can’t match the pace of either Jenson _or_ Sergio, look for his cheery Pollyanna song to change to a funeral dirge. By which time Herren Wolff and Lauda will have come to understand why Martin and Paddy didn’t fall over themselves to keep Lewis leaving McLaren.

  11. Information for some readers:

    Hungry: having a desire, craving, or need for food; feeling hunger.

    Hungary: a republic in central Europe, 35,926 sq. mi.(93,050sq.km).Capital: Budapest.

  12. aveli says:

    this is brilliant because there has been something new to read on the f1 pages everyday since monday. i can’t wait to see what the cars look like this season. lotus will be the first one out. this will wet my appitite for the testing, then i can have an idea about which team will win the first race.

  13. Sebee says:

    My predicion, not even within sniffing distance of podium in Australia.

    I’m predicting empty bellies in this case of hunger.

    I hope Mercedes prove me wrong. I hope I have to eat these bits I’m typing. I’m willing to experience the taste of bits if it means this team will finally do something.

    But please PR Mercedes Team, don’t spit in my face and tell me it’s raining. Lewis is no more a motivator than Schumi. Mercedes is no hungrier today than it was last January, or the January before. I dare say they were hungriest January 2010 as defending champions with Schumi on board.

  14. Michael grievson says:

    “The guys seem hungrier than any group of people I’ve seen before. They seem seriously hungry”

    Perhaps he should buy them a sandwich

  15. Sebee says:

    May I share the HUNGER I am feeling?

    I am hungry to see if Vettel will continue to school this field.

    I am hungry to see if Massa will continue his late season form.

    I am hungy to see what will be of this Mercedes Team? Can they at least be 4th?

    I am hungry to see how Alonso handles his fourth WDC-less Ferrari yeary.

    I am hungry to see if Mercedes somehow gets saved by these new Pirelli tires?

    I am hungry to see if Lotus can continue the surprising form.

    I am hungry to get this season going. Like I tell my kids…only 51 more sleeps till “Christmas”!

    I am hungry for some lunch…time to go.

  16. madmax says:

    Well there last couple of cars seem hungrier for tyres than any other team.

  17. Truth or Lies says:

    I’ve no doubt Mercedes are desperate for success and are making big changes to create the best environment for that success. However we all know success, especially in Motorsport takes a lot more than determination and fresh faces to realise.

    A short list of the necessary components would include a professional experienced management team, clear strategic goals, sufficient budget and the very best human and technical resources. Furthermore the strategic goal must be clearly communicated to all stakeholders and the necessary support required.

    Now if you take the above as a very high level snap shot of how to measure a successful organisation and compare that to the manner Mercedes AMG F1 have handled their affairs off track in the past six months, I respectfully suggest they have failed in a number of key areas.

    So, I don’t care how hungry they are, how fast Lewis Hamilton is or how many millions Lauda or Wolff invested in the team. Mercedes F1 is currently plagued with management and personality clashes and until they resolve these issues, their on track performances will not improve.

  18. Neil Jenney says:

    I enjoyed this typo a little more than I really should have.

    “They are woking really hard…”

  19. Becken says:

    Interesting to see here how people read the ‘between the lines” of Lewis comments, and more impressive is see how much negativity his comments attracts when he is only trying to motivate his soldiers.

    Nonsense apart, great words of encouragement to his team in those first days as a Mercedes driver.

    That’s the way!

  20. StRen68 says:

    I would love to see what Hamilton could do in the w203, because that car was never “driven”
    Schumacher after 3 years out and the wrong side of forty had lost his edge he was a shadow of his former self. Rosberg, yeah he’s a nice guy but to me not a top driver, yes he won in China but that was more luck than design.
    Mercedes have the best engine, just saying with the right driver the car could have done more.
    Alonso proved that with the Ferrari.

  21. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Mercedes :

    - got technical things (wind tunnel) and has met a good tech staff for 2013

    - got one of the 3 best drivers (Schumi nor Rosberg were not one of them this last three years)

    - Pirellis are better this year, that’s good for Mercedes who was horrible with them, top teams cannot take too much advantage of the new Pirellis

    - McLaren is weaker as a team (Hamilton is not there), Button and Checo are smooth operators

    - Wolff can bring so much energy and talent

    Why not to by ready-hunger, eh? They can really fight Lotus this year.

    2014 maybe better yet.

  22. Mike from Colombia says:

    James,

    Discussing Mercedes and their true progress is going to be laborious and tedious this year.

    There is almost no point in inviting posts on issues regarding Hamilton. 90% of the posts rarely tackle the headline or the content of your report.

    They tend to go:
    - I hate Hamilton
    - I love Hamilton
    - Button did Hamilton over in 2011
    - Everyone knows that Hamilton is much better than Button
    - Hamilton is going to retire from F1
    - Hamilton is going to be a revived man this year
    - Nicole, money, Dennis, Whitmarsh….zzzz
    - Hamilton said this …word police etc..

    Are there going to be some new ground rules to prevent this turning into fanboy insult tennis ? I remember the tone of the posts from 2009 and it was very different.

    Sorry, just my 2 pence worth.

  23. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    The question is when Mercedes turned off the funding of the 2012 car development to concentrate on the 2013 car. Given the development battle at the conclusion of the 2012 season, this could see them gain an advantage over their rivals. Only Lotus may have been able to do the same, but they don’t have the resources that Mercedes do. As James says, wait and see!

  24. C Lin says:

    James, is it true that Allison is leaving?
    If true its really bad news for Lotus just when they seem to have recover last year from 2011.

    I just wish the mid field teams don’t lose all their critical people otherwise we will end up with less than 10 teams in F1 very soon.

  25. Lewis is being realistic and not trying to sell a fairy tale or PR speak.

    He is clearly (read the words) saying that he does not expect much from 2013. Can he get wins? Of course he can. F1 experts (not armchair heroes watching the telly), commentators, ex-drivers, place him as “the best” or in the top 2 drivers (people varying between Vettel and Alonso for the 2nd, the big majority going for Alonso). No one says he is merely ‘top 3′.

    So trusting ex-F1-drivers, current F1 drivers and F1 experts, he can clearly get wins.

    Is he expecting a WDC in 2013? No.

  26. Spinodontosaurus says:

    That was 2008. It’s high time you let that stupid conspiracy go…

  27. Gul says:

    Wow!! All of this and the dude hasn’t even started racing! We haven’t even seen any cars! Bring on Melbourne! I hope he does well at Merc; it would mean more teams being competitive and much more exciting for us fans. I can’t wait! I even had a dream that it was Merc 1,2 at Melbourne! Need to stop reading the posts before bed :)

  28. KK says:

    Truckload of c**p

    Just wait for a win slip-up or a reliability issue, the true Lewis Hamilton will rise from the PR blanket and will embrace the media with more “tweets” about his love for Mercedes

    I’m sorry but I have seen just too much of Lewis Hamilton antics to take his PR talks seriously

  29. aveli says:

    is this the first time f1 media cameras have been in the mercedes f1 team factory? looks like hamilton has already started making mercedes millions of pounds without starting his engine in public. what a great sudden generation of interest in a business.
    engineers have always moved teams and never generated as much interest as this.

  30. jb HAM says:

    Really looking forward to hamilton topping the times in the first few tests. Mercedes tend to do that.

  31. Dave Deacon says:

    I suppose if you’d only had a crumb for three years you’d be hungry too but it’s not just hunger, it’s finding the right people – a lot of them.

    Say what you like, a team looks unstable when it has public spats between the top people and seemingly can’t decide who’s in charge or even who is leaving or arriving. That will demotivate whatever ‘hunger’ was there. What an embarrassing mess they present. They’ve made LH look like a twerp.

  32. Glennb says:

    +1 Dave

  33. andrew says:

    Blind as a bat!

  34. Richard says:

    Well Lewis certainly looks switched on! I hope they can start near the front, yes it’s asking a lot I know, but it’s possible. Actually I think the scope for other leading teams improving is minimal with the law of diminishing returns applying so Mercedes just need to close the gap to the best of last year, and as they should be a more cohesion unit this time around I have great hopes for them.

  35. KRB says:

    In 2008 the Ferrari was the best car. That’s why they won the Constructors title, and that’s why two Ferrari drivers, two BMW drivers, and one Renault driver finished ahead of the second McLaren driver that year.

    The only driver on the grid to have won a DWC in a car that wasn’t the best.

  36. aveli says:

    dave deacon,mercedes haven’t made hamilton look like a twerp at all. in fact they have made him look like a superstar of all f1 stars ever.
    mercedes sold part of their f1 team to the austrian wolff who want to emulate his fellow austrian mateschitz by trying to put together the best group of people to do so. brawn should’ve bought it back from mercedes and secured his position instead he allowed a more astute businessman to step in.
    we will see the results of that from mid february until november i guess.

  37. alex says:

    just a quick question James: what about the standard ECU from Mclaren in use at the moment. Is that still the case for 2014? Does this mean Mclaren Electronics are working with the engine manufacturers? I would of though a fair amount of changes are needed with the device if it is to stay standardised.

  38. C Lin says:

    Lol only one team in F1 – Mclaren.
    Usual F1 driver PR talk…

  39. Wheels says:

    Well Ricardo, I think that in this case, it’s not necessary for a driver of Lewis Hamilton’s caliber to have previous experience with GP Team’s of various success.

    He’s a proven winner and World Champion with one of the most successful F1 Team’s in Grand Prix racing history, (McLaren.) And it’s from that perspective in which Lewis is stating his views. No need to have been struggling with Force India or Toro Rosso to know what it takes to win Grand Prix or F1 Championships. .

  40. Ak says:

    C’mon cut him some slack … He will learn although slowly ..

  41. Unfortunate that LH choses to dis his former team, but guess expecting too much, eh?

    Reported on Speed.com today in the USA regardign Paddy Lowe rumors:

    “…That would appear a direct undermining of team principal and technical expert Ross Brawn’s position, with Daily Express journalist Bob McKenzie reporting that the 58-year-old is therefore “close to quitting.”

    Only time will tell as the rumor mill grinds away. Will be good to get back to having cars on track.

  42. Wheels says:

    What up Scuderia Mclaren?

    Sorry to awake you from your slumber, but Lewis Hamilton has been under, immense, pressure since he first climbed into an MP4 F1 McLaren for his first winter shakedown lap of the 2007 season.

    Remember…? Besides sky-high expectations, due to his much admired talent, his Teammate was a two-time F1 World Champ!

  43. Anne says:

    At the moment in Mercedes Lauda seems to be on top of everyone literally. And Forget Ferrari. They want Vettel.

  44. carrot says:

    No, Ferrari don’t want Hamilton. Not now and not never.

  45. On the contrary, I believe that there is less pressure on Hamilton given what we already expect from the pace of the Mercedes…

    Unless when you talk about him keeping his “fastest bugger repuation”, you are referring to something else entirely.

  46. Colombia Concalvez says:

    2011 ?, is that all you can come with ?, what about 2012

  47. madmax says:

    Ferrari offered him a drive before he resigned with Merc in 2011. Rosberg said Merc’s recruitment campaign convinced him to stay. (Think it was Bob Bell, Willis and Costa at that stage)

    At least it will give us a good idea of Schumacher’s speed them 3 years in his comeback.

  48. Scuderia McLaren says:

    I am going play the long game on this one. I am saving this thread for 1 year from today.

    The intra-team battle between Rosberg and Hamilton could be one of the biggest stories and upsets of 2012.

    Like I said, if Rosberg becomes the first driver to ever beat Hamilton in quali and race over a year, doors will open up for him. Paddock perception will change.

    It seems it is a forgone conclusion that Hamilton will destroy Rosberg. I am not so sure. To be clear, I am not rooting for one or the other. Just an interesting battle ahead.

  49. For sure says:

    IF, a big if tho, it happens, Rosberg will be rightfully considered as one of the top 3 or 2.

  50. Ricardo says:

    1) I’m not implying he should.
    2) I’m not saying he isn’t.

    C Lin spotted what I meant.

  51. carrot says:

    But struggling in a lesser team might have made him a better driver. Look at Alonso, Vettel and so many others. All multiple WDC winners and and most achieved such at a much younger age.

  52. Steve says:

    OK,OK…big fan of you know who.

  53. Carlo_Carrera says:

    Ferrari is the most successful in F1, not McLaren.

  54. carrot says:

    Maybe so. But that could still mean 8th place in the WDC table.

  55. Ben says:

    He finished 5th in 2009 and 2011

  56. Enzo says:

    Those damn Hungarian cannibals!

  57. Sean says:

    Except in 2009 and 2011 when he finished 5th?

  58. hero_was_senna says:

    I just want to say Aldo Costa.

    Bear in mind that he was Ferrari’s tech director from 2008 to 2011..

  59. Ak says:

    hahaha great humour …. maybe true :)

  60. Stewart says:

    I thought the exact same thing! As soon as he said I’m leaving his beard got bigger :-)

  61. Bluefroggle says:

    Jenson has got a beard which Ron is obviously letting him keep! Although his beard is fair and blends in a lot more than Lewis’ one.

  62. Sebee says:

    Henry: some guy in Budapest having a desire for food.

  63. Wheels says:

    Hey, Carrot!

    What’s with the (Vettel, Alonso) much younger comment? Hamilton was somewhere around 23-24 years old when he won the F1 World Title! Plus, that happened in just his second season…. In fact, he missed by one point winning the title his rookie season.

    No other first year driver has come close to that result. And certainly, McLaren blew that championship for him–starting at the Chinese GP, that year. You guys blow me away with your logic. But it’s all good motor racing F1 banter….

  64. Sebee says:

    Wheels,

    There are many who aren’t convinced that much by that 2008 effort.

  65. hero_was_senna says:

    Wheels,

    no other first year driver has been in the best car in his debut year.

    I would imagine Senna in a Mclaren MP4/2 in 1984 would have had wins.
    Schumacher in a Williams FW14, would have had wins.
    Hope that makes sense.

  66. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Wheels, respectfully disagree. No other driver had such a good car in their first year with the exception of Jacques Villeneuve in 1996 Williams Renault (Damon won WDC as team mate). Also I don’t think McLaren threw anything away.

  67. Mitchel says:

    Wheels,

    I agree with you: no other rookie has beaten a two-time WDC team mate either….

  68. Elie says:

    Oh comeon Sebee, Hero was senna, Scuderia Mclaren- Wheels was just defending himself from a rhetorical “Carrot” on the point of age!

    I think we all understand that Lewis had the best set of “wheels” at the time ( no punh intended) & being there or thereabouts 2 years in a row is a “heroic” effort anyway you look at it. 2007 was convincing enough even if 2008 got the results !and everything he done bar parts of 2011 says he’s got” it”. Mclaren did fail him very badly in 2012- a certain champion Im sure. But sadly he was not the only guy they failed very badly-one iceman would be triple world champion ahead of some names already mentioned. Lost a great deal of respect for Mclaren-they won’t pry me back from Lotus for some time now either.

  69. KRB says:

    Sebee, why not convinced by 2008? He shouldn’t have been anywhere close that year, as the Ferrari was the fastest car that year. Even with the Ferrari bumbling, he should’ve been Vettel circa 2009 “close” (i.e. never leading, in reality not very close at all).

    HWS, SM’s already mentioned Villeneuve. And he lost to Hill! I hope you consider Alonso better than Hill. Hill wasn’t a DWC at the time either, never mind a 2x reigning DWC.

    Would Senna have contended for the title in 1984 alongside either Lauda or Prost?? I doubt it. Same with Schumi if he was alongside Mansell. There’s the difference.

    SM, how can you say McLaren didn’t throw that away for Lewis? They gambled, far too greedy when the potential downside far outweighed any upside. Seems to me they wanted to win it “in style” … they lost it in some style, that’s for sure!

  70. Sebee says:

    KRB,

    Just how he got the win…the slow Toyota. Just didn’t leave me satisfied. I was impressed with his 2007 effort and handling Alonso however. If he won 2007 he would be legendary by now. As it stands, only that one which was a bit messy on the sporting side if you remeber.

  71. KRB says:

    But Sebee, it was a slow Toyota that was only ahead of Hamilton b/c they gambled on dry tires. So if they had pitted for inter’s and Hamilton had coasted home, it would’ve been more “satisfying” for you?

    Be thankful that they gambled, and set up one of the greatest ever finishes to an F1 season!

  72. James Allen says:

    Having been three times to Brackley in the last three months and once to Brixworth, I have to disagree with you there.

  73. hero_was_senna says:

    Mercedes started off well last year, but progressively got worse as the year went on.
    In fact a pattern that has been repeated since the Brawn squad in 2009 when RBR out-paced Brawn by some margin in the development race.

  74. Elie says:

    For me, a car that wins a race in China last year and is very competitive at a few races is just one that needs the right development path – something that Ross Brawn has recently suggested they are tackling with what the new technical heads are working on. I really do think that it just takes the right “gelling” of driver and engineers to really get this car working and I think when it does – it will be very hard to beat.. Im seriously tipping Lewis will be competitive from Australia.Since his 2011-I strongly believed Lewis best years are away from Mclaren and Mercedes is the team for him to go to. I won’t back down from that regardless of the results but I suspect they won’t be as bad as some people think.

  75. carrot says:

    can’t fault your analysis here …… and he sure as hell won’t get a drive from anyone as a pay driver!

  76. Philippe H. says:

    I, for one, think that you might be in for a surprise this year Matt. Lewis is being genuinely honest when he says that he has realistic expectations for this year. So unless the W04 is a total dog of a car, Lewis will be able to fight for good points. His aim is to win a race (or a few) and to start 2014 with the feeling he can be champion again. Off course he wants to challenge for the wdc in 2013, but he won’t lose his head like he did back in 2011 if that’s not the case. 2013 is about rebuilding his reputation and earning the pundits he feels he deserves by turning a struggling team into a regular challenger. After 2013, he will have enough time left to win another (or a few more) championships. And I personaly believe that Hamilton will do well (at least well, maybe even be a major surprise). So, let’s agree to make a provisional evaluation before the summer break next year Matt ;).

  77. Kbdavies says:

    @Matt_D –

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your delusion.
    I wonder why Whitmarsh(on record), has indicated they matched, and even offerd more than Mercedes was paying Lewis if they weren’t “falling” over themselves to retain him? I wonder why a certain Ron Dennis comes across (in ALL the interviews he has given on the subject) as very bitter and angry that Lewis left McLaren?
    It may be worthwhile for you to ponder these questions.

  78. Philippe H. says:

    + 1000 :D

  79. Brace says:

    Hahaha I was thinking the same.
    He kept saying “hungary” instead of “hungry”. :)
    At first I thought it’s a pun. :)

  80. Philippe H. says:

    Let the new season start already ! Going crazy here!

  81. Gloryhunting IS fun. Thanks to Adrian Newey.

  82. Anne says:

    Wrong. Lewis manager asked both Ferrari and Red Bull if they were interested. And both said no,thank you.

  83. Anne says:

    I´m sorry. The chat was about Hamilton and I thought you´re talking about him. As far Rosberg. I have my doubts Ferrari was very interested in him. I mean last year they had a big chance with Perez however they believed Perez experience was not good enough. Rosberg was a bit in the same situation back then. No wins and not much more experience. You can talk and explore a possibility with somebody. But from there to sign a contract there is long way to go.

  84. Nick Hipkin says:

    Interesting James, do you think it played in the back of the mind of the Merc bosses & engineer’s that the previous driver line up was slightly weaker than the other teams and they never knew the full potential of the cars they produced?

  85. Dave P says:

    James having been there, what is it exactly that you and Lewis are seeing that means they are hungrier than everyone else… sadly I think every team at this point is Hungry its only after the pre-season testing that we really see who is hungry…

  86. Thanks James – always nice to have a real expert put the armchair experts in their place! :)

  87. toleman fan says:

    James – disagree re. hunger, or re. not being close to a podium in Oz?

  88. Anne says:

    First of all I still don´t understand why Lewis left McLaren, He never was straight forward and clear on the matter. He said things like he wanted a new challenge. I think beeing at McLaren is an everyday challenge for any driver.

    Now he is saying that nobody is hungrier than Mercedes in the F1. What is that comment all about?

    Besides right now Mercedes seems to be in a confussing situation to say the least with this whole Brawn, Lauda, Lowe, Wolff primetime t.v. drama. It´s not reading between the lines. For my part I don´t buy this fary tale that Lewis is trying to sale me

  89. madmax says:

    Anne, read my comment again, talking about Rosberg not Hamilton.

  90. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Referring to Rosberg, not Hamilton.

    Interesting note Madmax. Didn’t know that.

  91. hero_was_senna says:

    No he wasn’t.
    He was a rookie coming into F1 with a team that had nurtured his career for 10 years previously.
    Unlike today, he had a full winter of testing alongside the 2 times World Champion.
    The press were putting pressure on Alonso as to winning his 3rd WDC. Nobody expected Hamilton to challenge Alonso over a season.
    Ron Dennis favoured Hamilton throughout 2007, much to Alonso’s quite rightful indignation, he’d been promised leadership of the team yet was being ignored for Ron’s blue eyed boy.
    As DC puts it, Ron does great honeymoon selling. Hence why Alonso reacted the way he did.

  92. For sure says:

    Come on man, I know you are a fan and don’t wish to annoy you but how on earth he had more pressure than any other driver in his rookie seasons?
    Nobody expected him to do anything other than learn as much as possible from Alonso. That’s it..He didn’t have as much pressure as JV who was also very competitive in his rookie season.

  93. hero_was_senna says:

    I’m so convinced that you’re a ghost writer for David Icke.

  94. Dave C says:

    Don’t worry as long as Vettel is in F1 and has a relatively competitive car there’s no chance Hamilton will win another title, even in the best car on the grid Lewis couldn’t do it, it took a stunt by Glock and his team “basically racing Fernando” to shine so don’t expect too much, ok a few wins maybe but the title is too much to ask.

  95. Sebee says:

    Dave,

    After pre-season testing, we don’t see who’s hungry. We see who’s fastest. :-)

  96. Dave P says:

    I dissagree… before testing everyone is certain they have the best car, keen to get out there and show it, prove they have worked the hardest Morale is high etc… After testing the only people left like this are the best… ask JB after 2009 pre season testing

  97. NJ says:

    I think teams like HRT were plenty hungry too.
    To wit, HRT starved to death.

  98. Anne says:

    A sandwich won´t be enough. They are very very very hungry. Lewis needs to organize an afternoon tea at Ritz in London. Wait they are Germans. An October Fest in January

  99. Yos says:

    Stzfano Domenicali is that you sur?

  100. Scuderia McLaren says:

    I meant Rosberg for Massa replacement, not Hamilton.

  101. Kay says:

    Eh?
    I recall Ferrari’s interest in HAM for 2008… might be wrong though.

  102. Sebee says:

    OK, that’s a good one.

    2 points on the board for you.

  103. Doug says:

    McLaren have a very well respected policy of not having a number 1 driver.

    Just because Alonso expected to be team leader doesn’t mean that Ron Dennis promised him this position…I’d love to know where you get your information from?

    In reference to the article, it sounds like the usual PR guff.

  104. Scuderia McLaren says:

    +1

    You are spot on. 2007 was perhaps Hamilton’s lowest pressure season in terms of expectations.

  105. Wheels says:

    Wow!

    What the hell did the relationship between Dennis/Alonso have, absolutely, anything to do with pressure on Hamilton? Certainly, it had an effect on how the threesome got along–but pressure????

    And furthermore, it seems to me that any individual who waited ten long years to have his moment on the world stage, (especially at his age) fulfilling his lifetime dream, with the recognized (by the motor racing world) abilities he possessed, would have the most unimaginable pressure weighing upon him.

    Now, you are making absolutey no sense, whatsoever! Man, the lengths some fans will go to dis’ Lewis Hamilton…. Well, whatever floats your boat….

  106. hero_was_senna says:

    Doug, team leader doesn’t mean number 1, quite a difference.
    Wheels, personally, my favourite driver is Alonso, followed very closely by Hamilton. I love the fact that they are warriors to the core.

    But if you think a rookie has any pressure on them, you’re mistaken. A rookie is expected to make mistakes. Why do you think Hamilton’s performances were so much of a surprise to the world?

  107. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Hiya Lewis (Wheels), no offence intended. Just some fans opinions. Good luck with 2013.

  108. Wheels says:

    Hey, Scuderia McLaren, buddy!

    Don’t mind the Lewis crack…. I’m guilty as charged! Dust off the guillotine! Line up the firing squad! Just plain, sue me!

    Yeah, Lewis is the real deal, for me, alright…. Pure racer, balls out, foot flat to the monocoque floor–no bull….

    Any ol’ how, from what angle do you honestly come to the conclusion that a rookie in F1 feels no pressure in terms of making mistakes because of low expectations on the part of his Team boss!

    Look, go hunt down Romain Grosjean and have a word. He’ll certainly school you…. In fact, I can recall my start in Karting, way back in the day–ancient times.

    Man, I was terrified about spinning in front of someone or taking another driver off, and absolutely no one was looking over my shoulder or brow beating me. And you think it’s no-thing for a rookie in F1 to make a big cock-up? Anyway your opinions are great fun to fathom!

  109. Wheels says:

    By the way, hero was senna….

    The above message applies to you also–still, I dig were you’re coming from….

  110. KRB says:

    A rookie has no pressure on them?!?! That is a crazy statement. If a rookie doesn’t perform they are GONE, no matter how many junior titles they garnered, etc. And that’s a rookie on a feeder team. If you’re a rookie in a McLaren, you have to justify your getting the drive over other possible candidates.

    If Lewis would’ve binned the car in the first couple of races, I’m sure there’d’ve been murmurs that McLaren should’ve gone with the ‘safe hands’ of de la Rosa, etc.

    This all just reeks of another sad attempt at historical revisionism.

  111. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Wheels, chill out man.

    Wheels:
    “Man, I was terrified about spinning in front of someone or taking another driver off, and absolutely no one was looking over my shoulder or brow beating me.”

    How are your experiences in go-karts relevant to this discussion. So you were scared racing karts… And?

    Wheels:
    “Anyway your opinions are great fun to fathom!”

    As are yours, Lol.

    Maybe you could try reading the opinions. I don’t think anyone is saying Hamilton is bad. Don’t take it so personal dude.

  112. Scuderia McLaren says:

    KRB, no one has said there is NO pressure on an F1 rookie. There would be mammoth amounts. Our statements are about relative pressure of expectations on a rookie or established big team driver. I maintain my veiw as per above.

    “2007 was perhaps Hamilton’s lowest pressure season in terms of expectations.”

    I didn’t say he had NO pressure. But in 2007 he had the fastest car in the pitlane, excellent junior experience, excellent preparation and little real expectations. Even Ron said that he should not be too disheartened at being .5sec off Alonso. No where else in F1 would a team mate be encouraged not to worry if being .5 off teammate pace.

  113. KRB says:

    SM, HWS wrote “But if you think a rookie has any pressure on them, you’re mistaken”. An absence of ANY pressure = no pressure. Yeah, I might be too pedantic about this, but nor should I or anyone else have to guess at what HWS “really” meant. Same with saying that Dennis “favoured Hamilton throughout 2007″. Throughout means for the entire period, when we all know this isn’t true. He certainly wasn’t favoured at Monaco. And at Indianapolis, it’s clear from the victory-lap radio to Ham that what transpired was that Alonso was denied preferential treatment, having explicitly asked for it in the race. Equal treatment I guess looks like preferential treatment when you’ve usually been the beneficiary of it in the past.

    In summary: words matter.

  114. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Point taken KRB.

    I will pass on your sentiments re: pressure to HWS. Incidentally, I don’t think Lewis was under no pressure. Also I think they both got equal treatment in 2007. I won’t repeat the points I have stated above again.

  115. Steven says:

    Umm… HE doesnt HAVE to explain anything to anybody, if he wanted to leave because he likes the color of the Merc better he could, without having to explain it. He’s free to race with any team that wants him. he doesnt owe YOU or anybody else any explanation for HIS desicion…

  116. Davexxx says:

    It’s just all the same waffle, that any driver in the same position would say. You can’t use any word except ‘challenge’ when you’re having to move to an inferior (as of 2012) team!
    As for leaving McLaren, I think he just got fed up with them trying to rule him, just like any teenager leaving his family to gain his independence, and cockily assuming his brilliance will see him do well with the alternative team. (We’ll see on that).
    On a separate issue, I’d assume Lewis doesn’t really know Ross well enough to be totally bothered IF it turned out Ross left Mercedes; Lewis will simply drive as best he can regardless of who his boss is. (He’d also enjoy poking Ron Dennis in the eye if he happens to do well!)

  117. RodgerT says:

    Ferrari had reliability in 2012. Mercedes, not so much.

  118. Kay says:

    The best engine still needs a car with the best aero for speed.

    2010 F-duct McLaren vs Mercedes. Same spec engine, different results.

    Though of course, a driver certainly helps to make a change :)

  119. Scuderia McLaren says:

    ;)

  120. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Huh?

  121. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Lewis has done nothing but praise his former team. If anything, call him what you like, but he is gracious and honourable to his former team.

  122. Mitchel says:

    Daily Express?

    Is Princess Di involved….?

  123. Kay says:

    One or two of his cars during that period were awful though…

  124. James Allen says:

    Yes. It’s a perpetual struggle and it gets everyone down. But it’s not always as simple as that.

    There may be a line which says what you outline above, but it’s often in a longer post which makes some good points.

    We eliminate the ones which only spout one of the lines and don’t add anything more

  125. Martin says:

    Mike,

    I agree with you. Especially as Ross Brawn is usually willing to provide much more detail than his team boss counterparts, who treat everything as a competitive risk.

  126. Anne says:

    When a particular desicion doesn´t make too much sense I believe some explaning is needed.
    I´m not a die hard McLaren nor Hamilton fan but I know people who are. Lewis had let people down. Mercedes is not Red Bull. Why does Lewis believe he has a much better chance to win in Mercedes than in McLaren? If he believes that. We don´t know

  127. Anne says:

    Ok so Lewis wanted to be independent and free. And if Ross is gone Paddy Lowe comes in from McLaren. So your teenager left his parents house to end up living with his uncle.

  128. schumerak says:

    ^_^ that made me laugh so much

  129. Elie says:

    I’ve ghost busted his stories more than once – no more

  130. Anne says:

    You are 100% right. Besides the engine and aero. A driver needs a team. And Mercedes right looks like they don´t know how to put a team together.Who is in charge of what. That part doesn´t look clear.

  131. Martin says:

    What to me might be more interesting would be reliant on Mercedes continuing its trend of being faster in qualifying than in the race.

    If we look back at 2009, the car was poor at the start due to a lack of downforce. Lacking downforce is a greater penalty in qualifying than the race due to downforce hurting tyre wear. That combined with KERS allowed Lewis to put together some strong races, especially in Australia.

    If the Mercedes is midfield in qualifying, but more likely to go back in the race than go forward, we could see an interesting side as it is rare to see Lewis defensive in a race as it isn’t the car characteristic of th McLaren. Valencia is one track in the last few years where this as applied.

  132. Wade Parmino says:

    I think the maximum was achieved out of the cars in as far as the driver factor goes. Schumacher still had as much pace as he ever did. It was just that he made a lot more mistakes than he used to.

  133. TimF says:

    Look on the bright side, many people say the future of F1 is bleak because there is so little interest amongst young people, but judging by many of the comments on your typical F1 forum, most posters are about still at junior school.

  134. Martin says:

    There aren’t any significant aerodynamic changes and the car packaging is the same so everything is transferable from 2012 to 2013. It is nothing like 2008. Mercedes has a lot to work out as it has to remove its DRS and get the Coander exhausts to work – which it didn’t in 2012. It also has to decide whether to continue with the Lotus style DRS that it didn’t get to work in 2012 either.

    Mercedes is probably one team that has struggled to get its car packaging right in the last three seasons. Wheelbase lengths, weight distribution, CoG height. All things that affect tyre wear. The top four teams have it right, but Mercedes needs to figure it out.

    The knowledge is there, so Mercedes should be able to close a lot of the gap, but there’s nothing in the rule stability that suggests Mercedes would gain anything by looking to 2013. This year is a bit different, with the new engines, which will have much less exhaust energy than the current engines.

  135. Stickymart says:

    +1

    There has been some disgraceful speculation and mass slating of Hamilton on this thread, and for what? That he’s come out (in an interview) to show some support for his new team? So easy to brush this off as simple PR when it seems to me like genuine optimism. Everyone should wait until the first race of the reason before damning Mercedes, and maybe wait until teh last race of 2014 before judging Hamilton’s decision to move. I don’t remember any other driver being so vilified for wanting a new driving experience, give the guy a break.

  136. Sebee says:

    Gentlemen,

    No one is trying to be rude. And there is no such thing as disgraceful speculation.

    My prediction may not materialize just like James’ prediction may not materialize.

    Read my comment again. I don’t want it to be right. I want them to have success. But I simply don’t believe they will. I’ve wasted 3 years trying to be be optimistic and hopeful with this team. There will not be a 4th. I will eat my humble pie if needed. Until then, they will not fool me with their optimism, hunger, PR talk, etc.

    I was on the band waggon. It was a slow waggon for too long.

  137. Tim says:

    Couldn’t agree more. They’ll even say, “this is OT, but…”.
    Ya can’t make it up, lol.
    On topic, I’m very keen and happy to see a super motivated Hamilton. He is exciting.

    Tim

  138. Alexyoong says:

    Rosberg annihilated Schumacher, he must be confident

  139. Glennb says:

    The problem with Rosberg out qualifying/performing Hamilton is that the Hamilton fans will just say that Rosberg has been driving the car for years, Lewis has not. If Hamilton out qualifies/races Rosberg, then Hamilton is a hero.
    Lewis can’t lose, Nico can’t win ;)
    I’m a bit of a fan of Rosberg and look forward to the battle. When the flag drops, the BS stops.

  140. JEZ Playense says:

    Should Rosberg prove to be the quicker Merc driver over the entire season, his stock may rise, however Hamilton’s will surely collapse.

  141. Andy says:

    When you say 3 best drivers, I presume you include Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel in those three. I think it’s 4, if Kimi can continue what he did last year in a Lotus which was often inferior to Red Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari. If Lotus can produce a race winning car in terms of pace from the outset, I think Kimi’s looking great to break Vettel’s run of titles. By contrast, I can’t help but see Lewis and Mercedes struggling. Mercedes are normally on a decent pace at the start of the season, then tend to fall back. I don’t even know if that pace will be there at the start of the year – and Mercedes will then have to out-develop everybody to even snatch a win or two, recent history shows that Mercedes tend to not be the best at developing. A lot to prove if they want to be World Champions in 2014.

  142. Sebee says:

    So a German team gave up developing a car on what they new was possibly Schumi’s last year?

    Are the rules changing so much for 2013 that there was reason for this?

    You’re absolutely right that this team has a history of not being even close to others on in-season development.

  143. For sure says:

    That’s what I was thinking haha. The guy wasn’t even criticizing Lewis..He was just stating the obvious..

  144. AlexD says:

    Really? I though everybody voted Alonso the best, also James Allen and fans here and also team bosses.

  145. Sebee says:

    Maybe because everyone is busy looking at cheesy Mercedes commercials with Kate Upton and lowbrow references.

  146. Glennb says:

    He tried that but Christian shooed him off :)

  147. Rockie says:

    The 10 title-less years before V3TTEL I cant remember anyone mentioning Newey, had Webber been the top driver there am sure Newey wont be the God he his right now.

  148. Cos says:

    Well said Elaine… although I don’t expect the car to be world class leading…some on here are talking as if the season had already started and Merc had brought a Robin Reliant to a demolition derby.

    Also agree with Glennb’s comments re Hamilton and Rosberg…Merc already said they weren’t expecting too much from the 2013 car…so if Nico beats Lewis, its well done Lewis..but if it’s the other way round you can be rest assured its because the car wasnt as bad as Merc said it was for PR .

  149. cos says:

    …Henry VIII who had a well known penchant for food…and wives I believe

  150. KRB says:

    Hmm, some Hamilton fans might. I wouldn’t. I think Hamilton will win the qualifying battle, but I think it will be much closer than Hamilton with Button. I rate Rosberg as fast over one lap. He is very underrated, b/c he just doesn’t elicit any emotion (positive or negative) from anyone.

  151. KRB says:

    I think Horner didn’t actually believe that Lewis was seriously considering leaving McLaren. Of course he was also wary of the “two roosters” thing. But if it was possible to keep team harmony, any team principal would want Hamilton driving for them, to really see how fast their car can go.

  152. KRB says:

    2008 – best
    2009 – bad
    2010 – 2nd best in 2nd half
    2011 – 3rd best, only 1 win

    And he was the chief designer before 2008, so could rank 2006 and 2007 as very good cars from him as well. But then you could say he was just evolving from earlier Byrne designs.

  153. KRB says:

    I seem to recall Korea this year he was on the defensive from the first pitstop, with a broken anti-roll bar. He was able to hold Kimi off for quite some time with some great defensive driving, but see it relies on someone who actually prefers to race (Kimi) than just saying ‘get out of my way, or I’ll make you!’ (that would be Maldonado).

    He then snagged the artificial turf, which meant he had to defend from Perez for the final point, which he managed to do.

    I also seem to recall a great defensive drive from Hamilton in the 2011 British GP, keeping Vettel behind a whole stint, causing Vettel to pit early. That was when McLaren forgot to put enough fuel in Lewis’ car, so he had to coast for the last third of the race.

  154. KRB says:

    A team doesn’t scramble around like that in the final days w/o it being obvious to all that they seriously overplayed their hand.

  155. toleman fan says:

    +1 to the question.

    It’s kind of traditional for ttfkat* to respond to success by losing its drivers, technical staff, tyre contracts and sponsors (say you don’t believe me & I’ll post a list. You have been warned ;) ). But in recent years, that’s not tended to happen till after the team has picked up a championship or two…

    * The Team Formerly Known As Toleman

  156. KRB says:

    He was a rookie in a front-running McLaren. That’s the added pressure. Same as JV with Williams.

  157. Simon Lord says:

    Totally off topic but I’ve always wondered why people talk about ‘Robin Reliants’, putting the model name before the manufacturer. After all, you wouldn’t talk about an ‘Escort Ford’ or even a ‘Scimitar Reliant’, would you? Anyone got any ideas?

  158. James Allen says:

    Yes, there is a new one for 2014 which is being trialled during this season. It has much more capability.

  159. david nelson says:

    Martin Brundle did a piece at McLaren for Sky about the ECU as some/many will have seen. McLaren also manufacture ECUs for NASCAR & Indycar (I think). I seem to remember a 2014 (prototype) sitting on the shelf. That piece I presume was filmed early in 2012 if not before.

    Can you tell me, Mr. JA, does all telemetry go thru the ECU or is that a separate….er….thingy?

  160. Cos says:

    …maybe it’s the same reason some people continue to refer to all brands of vacuum cleaners as ‘Hoovers’ ?…(of course I fall into this category!!)

  161. Simon Lord says:

    For a dominant brand to become a generic, like Hoover or Sellotape, isn’t unusual and is quite comprehensible, but a Reliant Robin hardly qualifies as a dominant brand, surely?

  162. Tom says:

    “The only driver on the grid to have won a DWC in a car that wasn’t the best”

    That would be Kimi Räikkönen (2007)

  163. KRB says:

    Already went over this in another thread (“Confident Alonso …”), but here are the facts once again:

    ** Ferrari in 2007 **

    Fastest laps: 12/17 (six each for Kimi/Massa)
    Wins: 9/17 (six for Kimi; 3 for Massa)
    Poles: 9/17 (six for Massa; 3 for Kimi)

    When Massa is getting six poles, the car is good.

    The Ferrari and the McLaren that year were the equal top car, trading track-specific superiority thru the year (e.g. McLaren best at Monaco; Ferrari best in Brazil, etc.).

    McLaren led for 524 laps (HAM 321, ALO 203) in 2007; Ferrari led for 512 (MAS 300, RAI 212) laps … the next nearest driver was Kovalainen with NINE LAPS!!!

    2007 was a McLaren & Ferrari show pretty much. If anything, the F2007 just nosed it as far as the machinery was concerned, with the marginally better driver pairing of Alonso and Hamilton making up the slight gap for McLaren.

  164. Tom says:

    KRB

    You have good facts to back your claim so fair enough.

    But I don’t fully agree with this logic: “Ferrari was the best car. That’s why they won the Constructors title”.
    McLaren would have won the WCC if they weren’t excluded in 2007. That would make them the best car going by that logic.

    And if the driver pairing of Alonso and Hamilton made up the gap, it can be argued in the same way that Kovalainen was the reason for the gap in 2008.

  165. KRB says:

    Tom, I said that Ferrari had the best car in 2008. In 2007 the Ferrari was equal best with McLaren.

    Point taken on Heikki. But still, 7th?? Heikki wasn’t that bad … some of that was the car.

    McLaren would only have won the Consructors in 2007 if there was no team penalty arising out of Hungary. With that penalty, they would’ve finished 1pt back, with one less win, even if they hadn’t been excluded.

  166. Scuderia McLaren says:

    +1

    Agree with you about his crap attitude. Buthe is one fast boy.

  167. Dan says:

    …in 2010. Not in 2011/12.

  168. Dan says:

    Problem Nico has had is as he should be evolving as a driver, he has had Schumi gradually improving if never quite attaining the heights of his first career, and an almost constantly declining car, to make things confusing. These factors have muddied the waters.

    In his rookie year Nico lost something like 12-6 to Webber in qualifying, set the fastest lap in his first race and was getting pretty close to Mark at the end of the season, a respectable debut certainly. 2007-2009 he obliterated a few teammates, who were deemed not to have been that good, but that happens if you obliterate them.

    2010 he surprised everyone by beating Michael very easily, but the Merc gradually declined, and in 2011-2012 Schumi outfinished Nico 14-9 when both drivers finished. That’s a little unfair because it probably should be about equal, but it still shows a slide towards Schumi, who in 2012 besides Nico’s brilliant China win, generally put the Merc in more interesting places that year (one has to wonder what would have happened had Spa been the third race instead of China).

    Hamilton I believe will have to advantage in wet conditions, as Schumi did over Nico in 2011 and 2012 as he knew the tyres and his skills slowly came back. Schumi is a rainmaster, Hamilton is a semi-rainmaster, I don’t think Nico is either of those things.

    DRS helps Nico though, and nullifies Hamilton’s overtaking skills somewhat. Also the car next year will be more familiar to Nico. I can see it being an interesting battle, with Nico possibly getting edge in qualifying, but Hamilton winning out in most of the races.

  169. KRB says:

    They said “one of the most”. Still, McLaren has won the most races of any team since they joined in ’66.

  170. Carlo_Carrera says:

    F1 history doesn’t start with the entrance of the McLaren team.

    Ferrari has won 25.76% of the F1 races they entered, McLaren 25.17%. Ferrari is the more successful team by any measure.

  171. KRB says:

    I’m not disputing that at all. Just saying your initial reply was not necessary, if you had read what was written correctly.

    Is not McLaren “one of the most” successful teams in F1? There, that was easy, no?

  172. Carlo_Carrera says:

    McLaren is “one of the best”.

    Ferrari “is the best”. Isn’t that easy?

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