Tous Avec Jules #17
Sochi 2014
Russian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton on Mercedes: “We’re way faster than I expected”
News
Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 06.46.06
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Apr 2013   |  6:49 am GMT  |  76 comments

Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes’ positive start to the season, with a pole and two podiums, is much better than he expected, but believes there is a lot more to come from the Brackley team.

Pre-season Hamilton had managed expectations carefully, not wanting to over promise and under deliver given how poor Mercedes were in the second half of 2012. However he is right there in the championship with the group of title contenders, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, on 40 points.

On the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton has been speaking extensively about the work team principal Ross Brawn has done behind the scenes in the last 18 months to restructure the team and believes that their current competitiveness is down to that.

“I remember meeting with Ross (Brawn) before I signed; he came to my house and we sat down and he told me all the plans and I have been in the sport long enough to understand what he was talking about. I could see that Mercedes were en route to making some very positive changes – that they were really, really determined to turn things around. He showed me what potential there was in the car and I thought ‘wow, this sounds good’. Of course I didn’t know how good it would be and, to be honest, I never expected it to be as good as it is now. I thought it would be a slow but steady improvement – but it is way faster than I expected.”

He has noticeably been talking Brawn up recently as rumours continue to swirl that Brawn will be on his way out of the team at some point, with Paddy Lowe believed to be on his way there next season.

Hamilton believes that the infrastructure changes the team made during 2012 have a big part to play in their current competitiveness. One of them was upgrading the wind tunnel at Brackley to 60%, which took away development time on the 2012 car, but is helping them now. As a team through its various guises of BAR, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes the team has got lost on design and development several times, but Hamilton feels that the plan Ross Brawn and his team have put in place will lead them to the winners’ circle,

“I think that they’ve been lost before. They have even said that. The aerodynamics, the wind tunnel – people were in the wrong place – so they took a step back and tried to analyse everything and move things into the right position. The car has just been on a positive curve since they changed the wind tunnel – since they made all these changes within the last half year – and they’ve been improving at a very serious rate.”

The Mercedes is a fast car, it ended the pre-season testing period looking very competitive and Hamilton was on pole with it in China, a repeat of Mercedes 2012 success there. But they were unable to repeat the win as the car is still to heavy on its tyres. A careful look at the lap times from Shanghai shows that the lap times were dropping off at the end of all Hamilton’s stints and he did not have the potential to pit when Lotus did and make it to the finish. So he accepted losing second place, but retained a podium finish ahead of Vettel. This showed an acceptance of their situation in races, which still needs to be improved to match the benchmark Lotus and Ferrari cars.

Mercedes has the hydraulically linked suspension system known as FRIC, which so far is 2013′s must-have gizmo and this helps, but there is still work to be done for them to win races. Mercedes was very competitive in Monaco last year and Hamilton is always very fast there, so that looks like a good bet for the team’s first serious crack at winning a race. He could have been close in Malaysia had he not lost time driving into the wrong pit garage early in the race.

Read the whole Hamilton Q&A here: http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2013/4/14473.html

Hamilton said that being significantly faster than his old team McLaren, “is probably the biggest surprise – where we are in relation to them.

“The McLaren at the end of last year was awesome – the quickest car on the grid – and usually if you have the quickest car and there are not massive changes in the regulations you carry that into the next year. So it should, again, be a quick and awesome car, but for some reason – I don’t know why – it hasn‘t happened that way. But that is not my concern anymore!”

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
76 Comments
  1. Elie says:

    James do you note a hint of sarcasm in Lewis’ comments – ” for some reason – I don’t know why – it hasn’t happened that way”. In the full interview it followed the comment that Mercedes is faster than they expected to be . So putting it all together the comments suggests he’s had a large part in these things – which ,truth be told one must feel that he has..

    I think it’s double edge sword Mclaren are feeling in winter – first Hamilton then Paddy Lowe. Sure there are hundreds of people involved in the development of the MP4-28 but is it a coincidence that they key leader in design & the key go forward guys are no longer there. Like I said when it was launched Mclaren will always get there or thereabouts regardless but it will take 6-7 races before they do then the fight for the titles will be marginal for them at best and when they do they will have more drivers ahead of them including Lewis this time

    1. Wayne says:

      It’s not sarcasm at all, it’s barely disguised glee! And who the hell could blame him! I think he’s been very professional about the whole thing…… so far.

      I reckon McLaren will be on the podium regularly within three races from now. It’s their modus operandi (for some unfathomable reason) to start slow.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Perhaps he could take longer than 3 GP’s into his new and exciting life to begin veiled taunts and insults at the team that made him what he is. That gave him the opportunity to earn millions. That funded an impeccable program for his junior career to give max chance if success. The one that helped him challenge for 3 WDC’s (07,08 & 10 could win it at last round) where he barely executed one of them and threw 2007 away in the gravel at Japan.

      2. KRB says:

        The gravel in China y’mean … and that was more down to the team gambling unnecessarily rather than playing the percentage game to close out the championship. Hamilton didn’t need to win, or even podium, in China to win the title. The team should’ve brought him in a few laps earlier, even if it meant that another stop would be necessary later on. The speed gap between the McLarens and Ferrari’s that year, as compared to the rest of the grid, was so great that even going ultra-conservative, a 5th place finish would’ve been easy to secure. 5 pts would’ve put him on 112 pts, eliminated Kimi, and meant that Alonso would have to win in Brazil to snatch the title.

        2010 he could’ve won, but it would’ve been more down to RBR blowing their dominance advantage. One blown wheel rim in Spain would’ve made the difference.

        2012 was the most egregious frittering away of a title that McLaren effected on Hamilton. Simply unforgiveable.

        I don’t know what the problem is at McLaren, but there’s something there. It’s as though they psych themselves out, and freeze up. I was just reading a report of last year’s race, and how the McLaren pit errors cost him over 15 sec’s in the race. So a 5th becomes an 8th.

        Did you resent Senna or Prost leaving McLaren for other teams? Be happy that Hamilton added to the McLaren story, with some absolutely thrilling race victories. He’s the 3rd most winningest driver for McLaren, after Prost and Senna.

      3. Scuderia McLaren says:

        MO to start slow? What are you on. Yeas has happened in a season or two but their MO.

        2012- Mclaren / Button win Rd1Australia
        2011- Mclaren / Hamilton win Rd3 China
        2010- McLaren / Button win Rd2 Australia and Rd4 China
        2009- McLaren / Hamilton didn’t win till Rd10 Hungary. In this instance, they started slow.
        2008- McLaren / Hamilton win Rd1 Australia
        2007- McLaren / Alonso win Rd2 Malaysia

        So in the past 6 years, McLaren has won either 1 or 2 GP’s in the first 4 rounds (the start of a season). In that time, only 2009 did they start slow. The same trends continue back. Occasionally McLaren have a season every 5 or so years that they don’t have a GP winning car within the first 4 rounds or “the start of a season.”

        Hardly a modus operandi of a team. Facts are always better than fiction I find.

    2. Carl Craven says:

      “So putting it all together the comments suggests he’s had a large part in these things”

      Please . . . . . get real.

      I think the investment in the wind tunnel, a huge amount of behind the scene talent and the hydraulic suspension were all in place before Lewis even stepped in the place. Lewis just brought his driving talent.

      1. Elie says:

        There’s no doubt the car is much improved & your right driving talent helps otherwise you don’t just stick it on pole in your 3rd race with a new team and out qualify your excellent team mate who’s been in the team for 3 years…it’s early days yet.. But already reality is biting hard

  2. Kay says:

    Hamilton made a very good move to Mercedes, at the right time as well.

    McLaren making a massive change in suspension setup and not carrying 2012 car design over to 2013 is a big mistake.

    Kudos to Ham.

    1. Wayne says:

      Signing Perez wasn’t a great move either – it’s like McLaren panicked. Compare Perez’s first season at McLaren (Perez already being an established F1 driver) to HAM’s first season (new to F1) and this suggests there is a massive gulf between them in terms of talent and/or coping with pressure.

      On the Brawn front, I simply cannot bring myself to believe that the Mercedes board are not recognising Brawn’s input into this success. While Lauda blows pointless and often inflammatory and rude hot air all over the place while actually achieveing nothing and Wolfe looks on from on high – it is Brawn and his team that have worked to give HAM and ROS this decent car. Brawn and his team took the tough decisions last year that has led wto this year’s upturn.

      In my opinion, the worst thing that could possibly happen to Mercedes is that Lauda and Wolfe, in some utterly inexplicable way, are able to claim credit for this season’s turn around at the expense of Brawn.

      Lauda is a bloody detriment to the team, constantly spouting media sound bites that undermine the team principal – I would not hire the guy to polish my ‘helmet’ until he learnt some decency and manners. I have no idea if Wolfe will be of any benefit in the future.

      Brawn oozes authority and control in a way that no other team boss in the pit lane does, as he showed recently when Horner buckled under VET’s ego and Brawn calmly assumed control and issued actual orders rather than pathetic sounding pleas. Horner was actually begging his driver to listen! Good grief!

      1. Wayne says:

        On a side note, and I realise this is controversial – why do we constantly hear from F1 drivers from a number of generations ago (Lauda, Moss, Stewart etc)?

        It’s like the media wheel them out actually hoping they will say something a bit silly due to either their age or the generation gap between their time as a driver and now (see Sir Sterling’s recent comment for example – a comment not made from a root of malicious intent but simply a comment from another era. I actually feel sorry for him and the media reaction and I don’t want to feel ‘sorry’ for such a decent man).

        These guys really should retire from the public eye with calm decorum and integrity rather than continue to allow themselves to be baited by Journo’s looking for the next headline. I have respect for their achievements and for the times they lived through – but honestly – how much of it is relevant now?

        I do very much buy into the ideals of honour and decency and being ‘gentlemen racers’ which they often exalt, but sadly even this is no longer relevant in modern sport.

  3. gudien says:

    Great article. The last paragraph, for me, says it all; why indeed did McLaren chose to throw away the fastest car and start over for this season?

    Who made that decision at McLaren? Is it done by committee? Decisions such as this are very expensive over the course of a season.

    We as fans of the sport can always blame the drivers, Button and Perez. It’s the easy thing to do. Sponsors however look at the team’s lack of performance rather differently. Again…expensive.

    1. iceman says:

      We have to bear in mind that the course of the season has just barely started. They didn’t make those changes in order for the car to be faster at the first three or four races.

      1. Wayne says:

        Yes they did, of course they wanted the car to be fast immediately – it just did not work out that way. They did not design it to be fast when it’s too late.

      2. iceman says:

        If they wanted to make sure they had the fastest car at the first 3 races, they would have just evolved their car that was the fastest at the end of 2012, wouldn’t they. The radical changes were to open up development paths through the season.

        No doubt they would have wanted the car to be fast immediately, but that was not what drove the decision to “throw away the fastest car and start over” as the original poster put it. It’s equally no good to design a car that wins the first 3 races and then goes nowhere while everyone else moves forward.

        Given that the goal of that decision was specifically to make the most of the car over the full 19 races, it is clearly premature to judge it after 4.

      3. anon says:

        And some of their developments on this years car might feed into the 2014 design.

      4. Joel says:

        Probably none; if there is any, then it will be minimal. It is one of those excuses thrown around by some of the hardcore McLaren fans.

      5. aveli says:

        why would mclaren take 2013 developments into 2014 if they aren’t fast enough in 2013?

      6. Andrew M says:

        We’re three races in and the lead McLaren (Jenson) is already 40 points off the lead, and they haven’t even turned the corner yet; that gap is likely to get bigger before it gets smaller. McLaren didn’t design things to be like this, they just screwed up.

      7. Tim says:

        They didn’t make those changes in order for the car to be faster at the first three or four races…..

        Why would you say that, do you imagine the teams like to handicap themselves for some reason? If so, I cannot imagine why.
        Surely, it’s never too soon to be winning and it’s always too soon to be losing :-)

      8. iceman says:

        Why did I say that? I thought it was pretty self-evident. It would be a pointless and irrelevant goal. No F1 championships are awarded in Shanghai or Bahrain. Clearly any F1 team will aim to build a car that is as fast as possible over 19 races, not 3 or 4.

      9. Tim says:

        Sorry, iceman, I don’t follow your logic.
        I am afraid it is not self evident to me, and what would be a pointless and irrelevant goal?
        The only thing that is (almost) pointless right now is the Mclaren constructors points total.
        Try facing up to the reality of the situation – McLaren have made a right old hash of things. That’s it, end of, finito.

      10. iceman says:

        Based on a couple of replies to my post, it appears that people have not read the original post that it was in reply to.

        At issue was McLaren’s decision to “throw away the fastest car and start over for this season.”

        It doesn’t seem terribly controversial to point out that their decision was based on maximising development potential for the whole season, and so it’s premature to judge that decision based on only the first 3 or 4 races.

        If for some insane reason they had only cared about maximising performance at the early races, they could have simply evolved their fast 2012 car couldn’t they. If they’d done that, they’d probably have won all the championships awarded at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Woohoo.

      11. Tim says:

        Iceman
        I can only speak for myself, but when I read your original post it appeared (to me)that you were suggesting McLaren had deliberately designed their 2013 car to be slow at the first few races – I quote “They didn’t make those changes in order for the car to be faster at the first three or four races”. That was why I responded as I did, asking why would they do that? I now understand your point and apologies for my error. However, it doesn’t change the fact that they have failed in their intention. We are over a 5th of the way through the season already and McLaren sit a lowly 6th in the WCC. It will take a miracle for McLaren to turn things around now, I would estimate 4th is their most optimistic target.
        As I said earlier,it’s never too soon to be winning and it’s always too soon to be losing :-)

    2. Wayne says:

      I don’t think anyone is balming the drivers, just like no-one blamed the drivers last year when McLaren blew 100 + points for HAM, or the year before when the car was not great until the seocnd half of the season or the year before that when the car started 2 secs off the pace and so on and so on. It’s all on the Team. A Team that has no excuse what so ever.

      What we can blame the drivers for is not maximiseing what they have been given. BUT is doing this and Perez is not.

    3. David says:

      The decision to dump last years design was probably made by Paddy Lowe!!!
      David

      1. Joel says:

        It is easy to blame a guy who isn’t there to defend himself (Paddy). Paddy had put so many years, close to 20 yeras at McLaren.
        I think he was overlooked as Martin’s successor, in favour of Sam Michaels. So, it is only logical for Paddy to move on, afterall it was a kick to his groin from McLaren…

      2. Ambivalent B says:

        Sam Michaels is the sporting director at McLaren. Beats me how you think Lowe been passed up on being the team principal. I think the TD comes higher up the pecking order than the sporting director.

  4. Michael Powell says:

    I still don’t see the apologies from the know-alls who were assuring us loudly that he had made a bad decision in moving to a different team.

    This reflects the stick-in-one-job mentality we have in some parts of UK society. Ten years should be the maximum, if you are still with the same company after that you are just there for the tea and sympathy.

    1. Grant says:

      Well it’s much easier to criticise and attack, but hard to apologise when you realise you were wrong.

    2. Wayne says:

      I know, comical isn’t it!

      I made the point last yer that it was a perfectly logical move, not because I expected the Mercedes to be fast but because…well, what did HAM have to loose if you bothered to look at objectively?

      He was clearly not going to win the WDC with McLaren (they even have the temerity to state that this is not their aim) so why not go and not win the WDC with Mercedes and get more money and freedom to boot. Made perfect sense to me!

      1. Cliff says:

        I too believed that it was a ‘logical move’, but for different reasons. I just felt that the relationship had run its course! In addition, the signing of Simon Fuller offered Lewis the chance to capitalise on his image…something McLaren would never had allowed. For me, I’d rather see McLaren winning, but the fan in me still wants to see Lewis Hamilton at the top of his game.

        PS: you were on the money comments in your earlier post on the Mercedes Management.

    3. Carl Craven says:

      I for one was a critic of his move and I am still out on it’s longevity but I am very pleased to see Lewis prove me wrong.

      Is that good enough for you?

      I also believe Jenson Button to be a great racing driver too as he was very closely matched with Lewis and the only driver ever to beat him over a season ;)

      1. Joel says:

        On the season when Jenson beat Lewis, Lewis lost (yes, they died) two of his best friend. Also, he had a turbulent time with his personal life.
        His immature personality allowed him to carry over the issues over to the race track. Yes, we can forgive him that season. Hopefully, he will mature into a well rounded racer like Alonso. His Mercedes move is just the first step in that direction.

      2. Carl Craven says:

        While I am sure that Lewis would have taken those deaths very emotionally, I really can’t see them affecting his performance over a year.

        It’s just too much to use them as an excuse.

        It’s pretty obvious that Button beating Hamilton really irks his fans.

        Just take it on the chin. Lewis is an awesome racing driver. So is Button, so is Alonso Vettel Massa Kimi etc. You can buy your way into F1 but your drive tends to last until the cash runs out, or. . . . you can drive your way into F1 and Button is one of the most experienced drivers on the gird, and that is not for nothing. Why can’t people simply accept that without having to come up with excuses?

    4. Me says:

      …the season isn’t over yet…

    5. Timmay says:

      I always thought he made the right decision – but for 2014 & 2015. Only Mclarens massive epic fail has made it the right move already in 2013.

  5. Ryan Eckford says:

    I think Mercedes are faster than any of us expected. Mercedes are there or thereabouts so far this year. They have a good car over one lap, and they have a good race car. I am not sure if it is coincidental, but they have been better in the hotter conditions in Malaysia, compared to the relatively cooler conditions of Australia and China.

    Is Malaysia a rear-limited circuit? Is Australia a front-limited circuit? Or are the conditions having an influential impact on the results so far in 2013?

    1. KRB says:

      Well, to go off of FP2 in Bahrain, they won’t be there on Sunday. Ferrari, Lotus, and RBR all look faster than them, on both qualifying and long runs.

      Bahrain is hot, rear tire limited, and the first track where thermal tire degradation is the most prominent.

      Right now, it looks like a damage control weekend for Mercedes.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        As it will yearlong, like last year and the previous. They start strong and dwindle pretty quick. Hamilton’s quality allowed them to score two opportune podiums early on, but I think that’s more or less going to fade.

      2. KRB says:

        You really think they’re going to go backwards like last year?? As JA has said, Monaco could be a good track for them. I would also put Canada up there too. Hamilton especially goes very well there.

        And while they’ve shown some speed in qualifying trim, race pace is the main thing, and I think they’ve always been the 4th best car in that regard from the get-go, going off of the best car/driver combo’s.

      3. Mahmood says:

        Looked like they were running a way heavier car all the rest. Saturday will show their true pace for the race.

    2. Brian Fantana says:

      Mercedes are 4th fastest on the grid. I was expecting them to be 5th fastest. Not exactly water to wine stuff.

  6. Richard says:

    I think Lewis Hamilton has been very candid in what he says, and in a sense it has required a leap of faith by him in joining the team this year. Beyond that it also comes down to trust in what people like Ross Brawn was telling him about the changes to the infrastructure that he had made, and the belief they had in what that potentially could deliver. One thing is for sure that Mercedes replace Brawn at their peril, and I think it is one relentless machine that is currently in motion and so far apart from a couple of reliability issues they haven’t put a foot wrong.

    1. KRB says:

      Without doubt, it was a leap of faith. When was the last time a top driver freely chose to move to a perceived lesser team? One could say Jacques Villeneuve, though Williams in 1998 were not the Williams of the previous decade. Of course Michael Schumacher to Ferrari for 1996.

      Vettel from STR to Red Bull was of course a move up (bigger team, bigger budget) even though STR had beaten RBR in the 2008 WCC.

      Similarly Button to McLaren in 2010 was to a bigger budget team, and a higher pedigree team.

      Alonso to Renault for 2008 was not by free choice.

      Hill moving from Williams to Arrows was not through choice, having been dropped by Williams.

      Really, only the Schumacher-Ferrari example fits, though even then Ferrari was still the winningest constructor (by 1 over McLaren!) when he joined up with them. Mercedes have only 10 wins to their name since the advent of F1, yet we know they have a great history in the sport. I think most would agree it would be good for the sport if this former titan (ok, only for two years in F1, but for large chunks of the pre-F1 era) could regain some of that former standing.

      However it all turns out, it was a supremely ballsy move from Hamilton.

  7. Laurence H says:

    The last sentence of the article must have been said with such glee!! Good on him.

  8. SunnyD says:

    It’s pleasing to read what L.Hamilton is saying about the beginning of his mercedes career. All very positive! Without a doubt its good for formula1having another genuinely competitive team up there on the grid. One thing that does concern me though is the increasing trend in racing is the drivers to manage his tyres. Pirelli did make last season a spectacle,because of their undurable tyre compounds. That was”novel”to watch. However,me personally,would prefer to watch/know that most of a drivers job during a race,is spent exploring and sucking the limits out of the machinery he has around and beneath him. The engine and chassis to be exact. Tyre management seems to have become a drivers main concern. Im aware that tyres and a driver/teams knowledge in getting the optimum out of them has always played a part in F1. But not the main concern. Call me”old-fashioned”but i prefer to watch the best drivers wringing the neck out of the beast they are sitting in! Any thoughts J.A?

  9. goferet says:

    Personally, am not that surprised Mercedes are showing good form, what would have really shocked me is if their car was still uncompetitive taking into account the talent that’s behind the scenes.

    Yeah, am thankful to the good work by Brawn for getting the troops in line and also for convincing Lewis to join this team for it would have hurt to see Lewis heading no where with Mclaren.

    Also for this team’s and Lewis’ future, am hoping Brawn isn’t pushed out for his record speaks for itself, besides it’s only fair he reaps where he has sowed.

    Anyway, concerning the tyres, it seems Mercedes are learning on the job. If you notice each race, they are getting better and better, so they will get on top of this too.

    Right, in all the postivity concerning this story, one can’t help feel sorry for Schumi.

    Yes, the big man deserved more reward for his courage by coming out of retirement than the one podium he achieved.

    1. Wayne says:

      Yes especially as Merc totally sacraficed last year’s car and Schumi’s last ever season in preperation for this year. Schumi deserves a lot of credit for not creating a media storm over this and just clamly and professionally getting on with it.

  10. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Talk about hype and fickle minds. Three Grand Prix into the season and he has two 3rd places. One thanks to team orders, the other was almost snatched had it not been for another straight.

    Yes, it’s good. I am taking nothing from Hamilton or Mercedes. But it’s not mega. At no point during the last last three races has he looked like winning was even a true possibilty.

    It’s just not enough for me the believe they have a chance at a sustained year-long WDC challenge. Mercedes have started strong in the past, so logically it’s this factor + Hamilton talent = two opportune 3rds. Well done for taking some opportunities, but the performance has to lift to a higher meritorious level and be sustained to even think about WDC. That’s hardly “wow!”.

    Mercedes don’t develop well either. Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren do. I’d be surprised if Hamilton finished in the top 6, let alone WDC challenge tbh.

    1. Wayne says:

      No one said it was ‘mega’ or ‘wow’ so what are you talking about? What, you just saw (or invented) an opportunity to have a go?

      Also, it’s all relative isn’t it – perhaps it is ‘mega’ and ‘wow’ when compared to last year, no?

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        When asked if he felt after a back-to-back podiums that he was in a title fight, Hamilton said: “I am. I definitely feel like that at the moment.”

        Also Steward has echoed this and a few others.

        I assume winning the WDC is mega and wow. I assume challenging for the WDC is mega and wow. Don’t you?

        Therefore as i wrote above, based on the fact that the 3 GP performances seem opportune, it hardly means Hamilton is going for it, it is therefore not Mega or Wow.

        I didn’t invent an opportunity to have a go. I simply don’t think any reasonable person would think he is a WDC challenger. Funnily enough, Hamiltin does. See my point?

      2. KRB says:

        Hmm, I took his comments more as “yeah, it’s possible” … in no way were they “yeah, i’m a favourite or in with a good shout”. He’s only 5 pts off where he was through three races last year, and of course we saw that campaign fly off a cliff, so anything could happen. Things could take off, they could go off the rails, or they could muddle along. We just don’t know yet.

        I wouldn’t be putting money down on a Hamilton WDC right now … I think any of ALO, VET, or RAI have a better shot at it at the moment. But I think we need to see a few races after the European season commences to get a decent idea of where the DWC is likely headed.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Fair point…but they’re still better than McLaren right now, which is the main point :)

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Lol true.

        If we could just mate Mercedes start of season to McLaren’s end of season we might have a WDC challenger.

    3. Timmay says:

      Exactly

      This time last year Mercedes had won a race that shouldve been a 1-2.

  11. Anne says:

    Mercedes is having a great start of season. But that was the case last year as well. People didn´t pay a lot of attention because it was Rosberg and not Schumacher leading the team. And now Hamilton makes the team relevant. However last year after the race in Valencia where Schumacher was in the podium Mercedes went missing in action. I wouldn´t like to see that again this season

  12. David says:

    Small difference, perhaps, but the headline and the quote it is based on are different things:

    The headline, (Lewis Hamilton on Mercedes: “We’re way faster than I expected.”) implies a judgement on raw speed.

    The actual quote: “I thought it would be a slow but steady improvement – but it is way faster than I expected.” is actually about pace of development.

    Of course, the Merc is faster than expected! But that’s not quite what Hamilton is saying.

    1. Joel says:

      Now, you have confused me. Guys, usually, don’t mean what they say. They only think after they have said it.
      Also, guys also don’t read too much between the lines :)

  13. F12012 says:

    Big test this weekend, he will be doing well to get another podium this race, if he does, the car has potential

    1. KRB says:

      Doesn’t look good. I think a Hamilton podium would require retirements from one or more front-running cars.

  14. JohnBt says:

    [But that is not my concern anymore!] Says a lot.

    Lewis has always been a very good driver and he’s maturing well. I’ll bet he will be on top of the podium, maybe a few times too. I do feel sorry for Nico though and I’d like to take my words back.

  15. madmax says:

    “He could have been close in Malaysia had he not lost time driving into the wrong pit garage early in the race.”

    How exactly?? He was in critical fuel saving mode, his team mate and the two Red Bulls were easily faster. Button would have also jumped the Mercs if not for yet another messed up pitstop for McLaren.

    So how exactly was he close to winning the race? Did he dump out fuel in the 5 seconds he lost in the wrong pitstop?

  16. Joel says:

    James,
    His comments about “Sam Michael throwing him out of McLaren garage”… I find it amusing.

    Is McLaren that bitter about Hamilton leaving? Martin Whitmarsh atleast on the outside seems like an affable person. Does anyone know how Sam Michael is? What’s his reputation in the paddock? I see him being groomed to potentially replace Martin at some point. But, is he more like Ron Dennis? In every picture I see him – he has the same grim face.

    1. aveli says:

      sam michael joined mclaren from williams. not sure of how much successes he’s had.

  17. Trespasser says:

    I swear, there is no team more viciously criticized than McLaren. Yes, they did screw up the start of the season with this car, doesn’t mean they won’t fix it.

    What counts it’s the result at the end of the season. That’s what counts. Let’s just wait and see what happens. If McLaren beats Mercedes in the standing I am curious what Hamilton will have to say.

    I really think that Mercedes will win a race this year and also that McLaren will fix their car and be in contention even tough not for the win, for runner-up most likely. Like last year in 4-5 races from now most teams will get to grip with the current tyres and the pecking order will be more clear.

    @James Thank you, you are are doing a great job. We fans need someone like you.

  18. Anne says:

    Maybe off topic but for those Hamilton fans I recomend you to read his column on the BBC website.

  19. Well says:

    Mercedes always did well the first 4-5 races, so so far no surprises really.

    Then they drop off the map. I would be very surprised if that doesn’t happen again within a few races, like the last 4 seasons (including as Brawn GP).

  20. aveli says:

    hamilton is mot just a brilliant driver, he is also technically excellent and his team look to him for direction when it comes to making changes to the car for improved performance.
    mclaren’s sam michael kicked hamilton out of their garage when hamilton when to say hello to his former racing team. this is a clear indication of how much respect they had for hamilton while he raced for them. shame on to them!

    1. Sam in Woking says:

      He left for Mercedes. He can go hang out in their garage.

      1. aveli says:

        i think he knows that and he does that too. mclaren are trying to play down the fact that they kicked him out in anger. hamilton visitted red bulls garage on a race weekend and they didn’t kick him out. bitterness has no common sense.
        in 2007 mclaren had all the data to build and test a ferrari f1 car and still lost the championship to ferrasri so how could mclaren lose anything to mercedes in a 5 minute visit?

  21. Martin says:

    McLaren cannot win a WDC with Button and Perez, even with a good race car. Neither of them are good enough in qualifying. I don’t know what Whitmarsh was thinking when he signed Perez.

    It is not that Perez is bad just that he is a Button clone but not as good. Hulkenberg or Kovalained would have at least kept Button honest, especially in qualifying.

    Re: Mercedes. I don’t think they should be too worried if Bahrain doesn’t go as well as the first three races as it is a circuit completely different to everywhere else in terms of low grip and high track temperatures.

    Spain will be the acid test. If Mercedes are still in the hunt after everyone brings their major upgrades, I think they will be able to sustain their challenge to the end of the year and at the very least defeat McLaren in the constructors chamionship.

    I also think they have a strong chance of a win in Monaco, Abu Dhabi and especially Canada where Lewis is usually very strong.

  22. I have just realised how brilliantly fitting it is that Lewis ‘frickin’ Hamilton has a device on his car called FRIC lol

  23. Steve JR says:

    It’s great to see Lewis happy again. From a career move, he made a gamble that seems to be paying off and one gets the sense that he would still be happier at Mercedes even if the car wasn’t as good as it is.

  24. Carlos says:

    Michael Schumacher legend tribute, will be under scrutiny since Lewis Hamilton joined the team where the ex Ferrari driver spend two years and unable to justify the title attributed to him by the media.

  25. Carlos says:

    Michael Schumacher legend tribute, will be under scrutiny since Lewis Hamilton joined the team where the ex Ferrari driver spend two years and unable to justify the title attributed to him the by media.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer