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Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jul 2013   |  6:35 pm GMT  |  428 comments

Lewis Hamilton breathed life into the Formula 1 title race on Sunday with a commanding drive to victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Where Sebastian Vettel had seemed in control of the championship race and on course for his fourth consecutive title, now things look a little less certain.

At the very least Mercedes’ form in the second half of the season will complicate the picture, but a string of wins could bring Hamilton into contention.

The Briton, who had not stood on the top step of the podium since the United States Grand Prix last November, led away from pole position and never really looked back. That was his fourth success at the Hungaroring in seven visits and first for new team Mercedes, who he joined this year after six seasons with McLaren.

The 2008 world champion has scored 74 points in the last five races, compared to championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s total of 83 in the same period. So since the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton has shown championship contending form.

Mercedes have had seven poles in the 10 races this season, with three victories in the last five races, and are certainly a team who are in the ascendancy. The key will be whether they can maintain that form.

As their qualifying form suggests, they have been strong over one lap but they struggle to get the tyres into the operating window on long runs and have therefore tailed off in the races. But Hamilton said: “If we can make the tyres last here [in Hungary], we can do it anywhere.

“I feel like I have the car to win ten races,” he added. “The tyres will play a massive part, but I truly believe in this car. The tracks coming up should suit me. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season.”

Vettel still remains favourite to collect his fourth successive drivers’ title. The Red Bull driver has a 38-point lead over nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, with Hamilton a further 10 points behind.

Hamilton’s return to form will complicate the championship now and if Mercedes’ good run continues, with Nico Rosberg, who has won twice this season, also delivering, Vettel’s nearest contenders Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will find it difficult to recover the points deficit.

Hamilton was cautious when asked about talk of a championship challenge. “When you have a win like this, you get excited and think anything is possible and this shows it is,” he said. “But it is still too early to say whether or not we can challenge.”

“I know the team are working hard so that we can close the gap and I hope today is the first step in doing so, but we’ve got a lot of tough races coming up. I just hope that’s not the last time my tyres work for me.”

Hamilton dedicated his victory to ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, who he said he was thinking about during the race. The pair split up earlier this month. “I feel a little bit odd without that someone here,” he said. “The thought on my mind through the whole race was of someone who is special to me and I wanted to dedicate it to her. It’s been the toughest couple of months of my life.

“To come here, after a real downer for the last few weeks, I just wasn’t expecting it [the win]. I’m so proud of the team and grateful for all the hard work, and for [Mercedes boss] Ross [Brawn] for giving me the opportunity to be part of the team.

“Over the weekend my mind has just been in a different place. There are lots of personal reasons why it is different this time. I am still working on getting those puzzles in place and there is a big part of the puzzle out of place at the moment. I didn’t feel like it was a relief when I came across the line. It just felt good to know that I could still do it.”

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  1. James Hadley says:

    Let’s hope that Hamilton does challenge Vettel, it is getting a little tedious with Seb winning all of the time. Will be interesting to see what Mercedes do if Rosberg is in a position to take points from Hamilton in the next couple of races.

    1. SteveS says:

      Based on the first half of the season, there is no mystery about whether Merc will order Nico to move over for Lewis. They’ve done that a few times this year already.

      1. Anon says:

        once.

      2. Optimaximal says:

        They’ve never moved Nico over. They just stopped him overtaking in-case there was a racing incident.

      3. gregmon says:

        Isn’t it too early to invoke and use the famous ‘team orders’ at Mercedes AMG?
        That’s said I’d have never thought Lewis Hamilton would be winning and getting the most of his car this year… This Silver Team has been transformed and found new goals to succeed! Even Schumi is impressed!
        I wonder what the other Silver Team, McLaren are thinking right now!

      4. Paige says:

        I don’t think there’s much that McLaren could have done to keep him. We already know he approached Red Bull at Montreal in 2011. There are various reasons for this. He was probably frustrated with the progress of the team- the cars, the operational flubs, etc.. I also take him very seriously when he says that he simply wanted to step out and be his own man. All in all, in his mind, it was time for a change. He saw the open seat at Mercedes, he saw the work that was being done and the people that were being brought in, and then Niki Lauda gave him the final sell.

        Once McLaren gets a couple of years under their belt with Honda, they’ll be fine. They clearly need to hire some new people, but this team has been around the block and through ups and downs before. They’ll be back up again. They’ve got a young hotshoe in Magnussen who seems promising, and they have enough money anyways to hire another talent when Button is ready to hang it up.

      5. Richard says:

        Ross Brawn stopped Nico from overtaking Lewis because it was not a question of speed but of fuel saving, and preventing any incidents between team mates when the important thing was to bring the cars home.

      6. Tim says:

        To be fair, they asked Nico to hold position, not move over. Also it was only once, very early in the season ,when the team were (I suspect) surprised to find themselves in a reasonably strong points scoring position and did not want their drivers throwing it away scrapping for places.
        Having said that, there is little doubt in my mind, the most effective way to run a team and maximise points is to have a clear number 1 and 2 driver.

      7. aveli says:

        from what i remember, rosberg tried to pass hamilton and after a few failed attempts he as ros brawn to ask hamilton to move over because he was much faster and ras brawn responded ‘negative nico’ rosberg then said ‘remember this’ later in the race.

      8. andrew c says:

        Please tell me which races the team asked Nico to move over for Lewis? Is this your imagination or reality? Please confirm.

      9. SteveS says:

        They ordered Rosberg to move over on a couple of different occasions in the German GP, plus in Malaysia Rosberg was ordered not to pass Hamilton.

      10. KRB says:

        Rosberg should’ve moved over in Germany, b/c they were in different races … Hamilton had started on option, while Rosberg had started on primes. To get the best result for the team, he needed to let Lewis by. But he didn’t for several laps. Don’t for a minute think that Brawn didn’t see that, and see what was going on. It ended up helping Raikkonen, as he was able to get on the back of Lewis, who was losing front-end grip trying to get by Rosberg. Silly, silly stuff from Nico, and I’ve no doubt he heard about it after.

      11. Jake says:

        Apart form the incident where Nico was asked to hold station, he was also asked not to hold up Lewis, can’t remember the race, but Nico had missed out on Q3 and was on a different strategy running longer stints on the prime tyres which put lewis behind him due to his earlier stop. They were not racing each other for position as Nico would have to stop also. There was no point Nico holding up Lewis and that had nothing to do with a favoured driver just good race management.

      12. Tom says:

        Unless I have missed something here Mercedes are not looking a huge amount better than last year in terms of points scored, only in terms of potential through qualy speed that admittedly may be about to be unlocked. Only one driver in both 2012 and 2013 and he is only 7 points up on this point last year. Not very much especially when you consider that Maclaren have dropped right off leaving more points scoring places open. Like it or not diff is Hamilton, yes they have been getting a lot stronger but is that because of a tyre test or because Hamilton is getting used to the car and making it fit him a little better as time goes on. If the tyre test was so usefull surely it would have also pushed nico up to another level to. Monaco would have been 2 merc’s on podium last year without Shumi’s pen and Rosberg won the british GP through blow outs and retirements.

      13. James Allen says:

        They have double the points of last year…

      14. Tom says:

        Yes the team do but Rosberg is only 7 points ahead. Didn’t seem fair to compare points scored by Schumacher to Hamilton as they are different drivers. Rosberg is a constant so comparing his points seems logical to look at how much better the whole package is at scoring points.

      15. KRB says:

        Well, to be fair Rosberg’s had 3 non-finishes this year. For 2013, he’s scored 12.0 pts/race finish … in 2012, through the first 10 races, he scored 7.6 pts/race finish.

        So it’s clear to see the car has improved, as well as other factors (McLaren backsliding, Ferrari’s slowed development).

    2. Formula Zero says:

      Rosberg has clause in his contract about equality in the team. But if Hamilton has the better chance to challenge Vettel, then Nico will certainly help him out. The harmony in the team is really fantastic. And yes Vettel winning string of championships is not a lot fun. We are almost back to Ferrari domination in early 2000. I just don’t see anybody else but Vettel winning it again this season. Maybe next season will be different with the change of rules.

    3. knoxploration says:

      No, it won’t be interesting. We already know what they’ll do. It’s a foregone conclusion, because they’ve already done it this year.

      The only question is — would they have the stomach for robbing Nico of a position if he was two or more positions ahead of Lewis, and the cars in between weren’t ahead in the championship?

      Either way, this is a mighty big ask. It’s not impossible, but Merc would have to become a lot more consistent, though.

      Seb has finished off the podium only three times in ten races, and has never finished lower than fourth. Between their two drivers, Merc have finished off the podium six times in five races just since the secret test, and finished below fourth four times.

      So far, we haven’t had both Mercs ahead of Seb a single time other than his retirement at Silverstone, and if they seriously want the championship, they need to be managing that regularly.

      If Merc finish 1-2 in every race with Hamilton leading, and Seb finishes third, he’ll be overhauled for the points lead in Japan. If Hamilton wins every race and Seb finishes second, he won’t be overtaken until Abu Dhabi, and that’s just two races before season’s end.

      On current (post-Monaco) performance, if you pretend the higher-finishing Merc in every race is the same car, they’re still only outscoring Seb by 3.6 points per race. At that rate, it would take 14 races to overtake for the championship, and there are only nine left.

      One thing I do think we can agree on, though. Merc’s claim not to have benefited from the secret test was a bald-faced lie, and even the most die-hard fan has to admit that, at this point.

      The results don’t lie: Prior to Monaco, Merc scored 72 points in five races between two cars. That’s 7.2 points per race. Post-Monaco, they’ve scored 136 points in five races, or 13.6 points per race — and that’s including the German race where their tire knowledge advantage was briefly negated (and where, not coincidentally, their performance collapsed.) Discount that race, and their real advantage shows itself as a 15.5 point per race average, per car.

      The secret test — and it was secret; you don’t race your drivers in unmarked helmets if you’re being honest about things — more than doubled their points haul per car, per race. They learned what they needed to about the new tires at the test, and when they were returned to the old tires they had the benefit of everybody else’s data plus last year’s knowledge to ensure they lost, essentially, nothing in terms of tire knowledge by not being allowed to test.

      The punishment was less than a slap on the wrist, and they profited hugely from cheating.

      For that alone, I hope they don’t win. If Red Bull were to lose, better that Ferrari or Lotus won. At least it has been longer since either of those teams knowingly cheated. But “tedious” or not, better that Red Bull win, because they are the only one among the front runners that *hasn’t* so far been found to have cheated a single time.

      [mod]

      1. Optimaximal says:

        You can’t draw true conclusions about what they learned from the tyre test or not, because there’s not enough information about the tyre spec or what else they did.

        Yes, they had more leeway for spec-changes than the teams had at the YDT, but you also don’t know if they would have solved the problem or not, because it’s all conjecture coloured by team allegiance.

        Mercedes have not cheated. They just fell foul of a grey area in the rulebook that meant they had to be punished somehow or other.

      2. Endres says:

        Actually, YES one can draw conclusions, and Knox has shown you how, it’s called empirical data coupled with what we can all see bold face, circumstantial evidence.

        Brawn is one of the best ever engineering directors, but also one of the best ever cheats.

        1000K of secret testing with current cars, oh no, nothing gained there.

      3. Tim says:

        @Endres
        I have no absolute knowledge of whether Mercedes gained an advantage from the Pirelli test and neither do you, or Knox for that matter. What you both have is an opinion, which you are entitled too. What irks me about this, is people who then present their opinion as if it were indisputable fact. It’s not, it’s just your biased opinion formed mainly by the particular liking or, in this case, disliking of a team and driver.

      4. Graham says:

        1) you cant cheat if you have (albeit “sort of”) permission from the FIA

        2) know-ione outside of the team can know if the test was of benefit…. they may have had other development parts ready to address the tyre issue anyway

        3) which leads nicely onto this
        http://www.f1talks.pl/2013/07/30/mercedes-uzyw-felg-o-podwojnych-scianach-aby-obnizyc-temperature-opon/

      5. Endres says:

        Double Rim? That’s the best Merc can do with 1K of free testing?!

        Afforded that luxury, Newey would put them to shame, put them to shame.

        [mod] if testing of this nature was irrelevant to performance gains why was/is it banned?

        Because teams would be doing it ever single week.

      6. James Allen says:

        General Note to Posters from JA Moderation staff:-

        Please don’t attack other posters

        We are clamping down on people being rude to each other, it lowers the tone of debate

        Make your point, disagree if you want, but don’t be rude about it.
        Thanks

      7. Vlad says:

        Great solution! Lets hope Red Bull don’t copy it :D

      8. Endres says:

        Yes of course, your right James, my apologies.

        As lovers of the sport, we are all really on the same team.

        Cheers!

      9. Kingszito says:

        Maybe you googled your statistics, because your claim that the test Mercedes did in Spain is the reason for their recent result shows that you have little knowledge of F1 or you are plainly being biased. These are new tyres entirely to those Mercedes tested in Spain. And if you think that a three day tyer test would do the miracles Mercedes needed for their tyre management, then why can’t you believe that they could achieve the same fit after the first five races of the season.

        If Mercedes gained anything during their tyre test, that advantage was wiped out with the introduction of the new tyres, and they were even disadvantage by not allowing them to test the new tyres at Silverstone.

        If resolving their tyre problems was as easy as you suggested, you and I won’t be discussing about Mercedes and their tyre problem by now.

        Red Bull hasn’t cheated because no team cared to protest against them for the illegal parts they used to win races and was asked to remove it later. I bet you would call that pushing the envelope because it’s Red Bull/Newey!

      10. Hal says:

        +1. I was about to say something similar. You saved me the trouble. Cheers.

      11. James Allen says:

        Crossed the line big time there into libel. Please be more moderate in your language.

        We don’t have time to edit posts, we will delete the entire post next time

      12. knoxploration says:

        [mod], eh? So my post now doesn’t say what I did, when I used no untoward language of any kind?

        We’re editing opinions now, are we, James?

        This will be my last post here, and the last time I read this blog.

      13. James Allen says:

        Hardly ! You had paragraph after paragraph to express your opinion

        The last line was too strong – inflammatory and borderline libellous

        So it was moderated

        I’m sorry if you are so sensitive to this that you overlook the endless opportunities you have had here over a number

      14. Tim says:

        @knoxploration

        I was about to address some of the points raised in your, rather long, post above. Now, seeing as you are leaving us, there doesn’t seem much point.
        Have a nice life :-)

      15. Richard says:

        @knoxploration

        Well if all your views are as slanted and unfounded as the ones expressed here then I’m not particularly interested in what you have to say. We all have favourite drivers but at least let’s be fair.

      16. Endres says:

        Right on the money Knox, RIGHT on the money.

    4. All revved-up says:

      Even if Hamilton doesn’t win, this can be an exciting season.

      All we need is for Hamilton and/or Kimi to be within 15 points or less of Vettel before Brazil, and Brazil will be another classic nail biter.

      Especially if it rains.

      And this is Webber’s last race – instead of squeezing Vettel into the wall, I think he may be tempted to go out with a double Red Bull bang!

      Just to see the look on Helmet’s face.

      But, HM is a clever man. Mark will face an engine change!

      1. Cos says:

        even with an engine change I’m sure MW can still do damge if he wants, after all there is no way to say for certain when a component will fail during the race.

        Talking of which I saw an intersting programe about aviation and how humidty was the cause of a B2 stalth bomber crashing on take off..apparently humidity caused a malfunction on the electronics (didn’t specify what bit of the plane it was controlling …well this go t me thinking, quite a lot of F1 cars are now electronicaly controlled…so whenever say there’s a problem witH KERS or the DRS not opening etc…I wonder how much of this is down to a fault on the car itself and how much is due to external factors?

        Is there any type of legal action that a team can take if say a driver crashes into their championship leading team mate by not yielding on the approach to a corner? I’m just thinking if MW were to try anything, as he’s about to leave the team would they in turn try to drag him through the courts oor something? Not hat I think he would. But I’m just thinnking a multi-million pound organisation with loads of lawyers on their pay-roll ……

      2. Tim says:

        Is there any type of legal action that a team can take …
        I stand to be corrected on this, but I seem to recall that a condition of teams entering the F1 championship is an agreement to accept, as final, the rulings of the FIA and their appointed representatives. This goes way back to when McLaren went to court, challenging the disqualification of Senna from the Japanese GP after he and Prost collided – Senna re-joined the race, having taken a shortcut through an escape road.

    5. Nick_F1 says:

      Great spot, I’d like to see this too. Nico is not in the position to help Lewis to take his upperhand with WDC.

      Quite strange is that Nico’s car has “the only problems” like MS had in 2012.

      Is it a Merc game – to put a good attention only for the one car? Anyone else sees it like this?

      1. SaScha says:

        Nicos fault partly. He drove too long too close behind other cars at Hungary.

      2. Richard says:

        No I don’t believe there’s any unfairness at Mercedes, just bad luck for Nico. Lewis has had more than his fair share of bad luck in the past and while it’s disconcerting for any driver I do hope he has turned a corner now, and that Nico’s luck will also improve.

  2. SteveS says:

    Hamilton is a bit bipolar isn’t he? On Friday he was all doom and gloom, his car was complete rubbish, etc. Now “I feel like I have the car to win ten races”! The car still is what it was on Friday, the only thing different is Hamilton’s mindset.

    As for the title race, it never looked close to being over. There is no dominant car this year (just as there was none last year) so titles will be won with patience and consistency over the entire season. Of the four top drivers (Seb, Kimi, Nando and Lewis) LH is probably the one weakest in those qualities. On his day he’s as good as the other three, but consistency has never been his strong point.

    1. billy says:

      Hamilton isn’t bi-polar, he’s just a whining Pom. When things arnt good he cries and whines and complains like a bloody baby, but as soon as its good he acts like he is the king (or Queen with his Diamond Earrings)

      1. Tim says:

        I think you made a spelling mistake – it should have said WINNING Pom . Unlike the Australian drivers on the grid, or the Australian cricketers, or the Australian rugby union team, or the Australian athletes at last years Olympics – no offence btw ;-)

      2. Justin Case says:

        Finally, the blind squirrel gets some nuts…………

      3. Phil Too says:

        +1

      4. SaScha says:

        Consistency is one of Lewis strenghts,[mod]
        BTW, Brawn & Wolff said the same about Hungary GP before Sunday. Probably they are all bipolar?!
        Out of all top drivers Hamilton made the least mistakes since 2 years. Alonso &Vettel both made more kast season and this season as well!

      5. Vlad says:

        Lewis just wears his heart on his sleeve. I think its great. He’s not boring like most of the other drivers. I eat my words about a four stopper! What a good race win in Hungary. Spa will be exciting now.

    2. Quade says:

      Bipolar? Its called mind games.
      I think the “consistency” fad is a bit old these days too.

      1. SteveS says:

        From some other drivers it would be calculated mind games, but not from heart-on-his-sleeve-Hamiliton. His emotions are genuine, they’re just all over the place. He overreacts to both the ups and the downs. Can you imagine Vettel or Alonso winning a race and announcing that they now felt like they could win every race for the rest of the season?

      2. Tim says:

        Yeah I know what you mean, imagine Alonso saying something stupid and likening himself to a samurai, or Vettel swearing during the live podium interview – it just wouldn’t happen with those drivers. It’s only Hamilton that says daft things when emotions are running high ;-)

      3. Quade says:

        @Tim
        Nice one. Please, tell him.
        Other drivers are allowed to go way off the scale, but Lewis is not even allowed to open his mouth.

        I recall Vettel standing on the podium and liberally sprinkling the f word all over our hallowed TV’s just last season, he even continued after when politely reminded that he was live. Then to make matters sink in, he did it again the next race. But, I’m sure it wasn’t Vettel, it must have been Lewis with his emotional issues pretending to be Vettel.

        Even when Ferrari publicly warned Alonso just last week over the things he was saying, we now realise they were really talking to Lewis.

        LOL!

      4. Gazza says:

        +1 Touché LOL!

    3. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Yeah, it’s tiresome.

      That one, and after every win, “this is the greatest won of my career” are starting to diminish what those statements could mean from an emotionally balanced driver.

      What I mean is, for example, if Schumi, Hakkinen or Alonso or Kimi say, “it’s the best win of my career”, you sit up and take notice. If they say “it’s been the hardest months of my entire life”, you sit up an take notice.

      When Hamilton says either of these things nowadays, you kinda just roll your eyes because you have heard it so many times. He has desensitised us a bit.

      Now don’t get my wrong. That man is FAST. But now his bipolar veiws are shifting from one end of the spectrum to the other even over a single weekend! “The cars crap”, “the cars great”, “championship is out of the question”, “Championship is possible”, “can’t feel the car”‘, “best car I have driven next to 08″, “this car can’t win”, “this car could win 10 races”, “Go away!”, “come back!”, “leave me alone!”, “look at me!”, “I respect Vettel”, “I have no respect for Vettel”, “I am so blessed and happy”, “I am so unhappy because I there I one thing I don’t have still!!”.

      Seriously LH. This is one weekend now. I know some ate not exact quotes, but this is the jist of what we see and hear over a GP weekend I think..

      1. Jonathan says:

        I would far rather hear these words from Lewis together with his gratitude to the team every time he wins than the loathsome arrogance of Vettel.

        Lewis thanks the team for their hard work and for giving him a car capable of winning. Vettel shouts out that he has just shown the world how to win a race and gives the finger. That is why so many F1 fans dislike him.

        As for “best race of my career” it is quite a while since he said it! For a still young driver it is quite likely for him to say such things. We must remember he had many early career races and, after some hard times, it is no surprise to hear such a thing – especially when claiming a first win with a new team.

      2. Scuderia McLaren says:

        “Lewis thanks the team for their hard work and for giving him a car capable of winning.”

        Yes sure, today, at this moment. Tomorrow It’s a different story, and the day after, and the day after. That’s the point.

        “Vettel shouts out that he has just shown the world how to win a race and gives the finger. That is why so many F1 fans dislike him.”

        I disagree about Vettel, but for argument sake lets say he does that for reasons you say, at least he is consistent and therefore bankable by the team. Say what you want about Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen, Schumacher, at least they are consistent and have made their minds up about how they want to compete, how they want to be seen.

        Lewis needs to develop a REAL personality. Otherwise it’s a bit of this and a bit of that and as per my original post, a GP weekend is filled with contradictory and strange comments from one end of the spectrum to the other. You can’t deny that this happens.

      3. SteveS says:

        What on Earth are yo talking about? There is no driver on the grid who goes out of his way to praise his team more, and who brags about himself less, than Vettel.

        “Vettel shouts out that he has just shown the world how to win a race”

        When has he done that?

      4. Bart says:

        Obviously you don’t hear Vettel properly. One of the first things Vettel typically does on the radio is thank the team and say how good the car felt to drive. Loathsome arrogance? Give me a break.

      5. Endres says:

        You certainly have an interesting account of historical fact.

        Vettel maybe extremely irritating, but he is always humble and quick to shift accolodes back to “the team back at Milton Keys”.

        After every championship, and on the radio after each win, “thank you boys, thank you, the car was a dream to drive” or something to that effect.

        Get real Jonathan.

        Scuds makes a very valid observation, HAM does seem to be getting more capricious. Perhaps he always was, the talent is no longer enough, we want the substance now, and it’s hard to see.

      6. Vlad says:

        Sebastian Vettel is very good at the politics of the sport, unlike perhaps Lewis. But judging by the look of Christian Horner on the post race interviews, they KNOW Mercedes is coming at them, and Adrian Newey has work to do over these holidays.
        You know they will work and not play ;)

      7. ShaBooPi says:

        Hey Steve… Vettel may not criticise his team much but what the hell can he criticise them for???? Having the fastest car? Having the most downforce? Having the biggest budget? Having the best designer? Having the weakest team boss?? You can’t compare Vettel to the others especially the ones who have put in championship performances in non-championship cars. I do agree though Hamilton is a whiner. He has only put in a championship performing year once since his title… but we’ve heard him complain a lot at McLaren.

      8. Cos says:

        @ ShaBooPi

        ..”but we’ve heard him complain a lot at McLaren”…I admit he’s no angel and has made his fair share of mistakes…but looking at McLaren at the moment I can begin to understand why he complained so much and why he left.

      9. Bart says:

        ShaBooPi – Depends on your definition of “non championship cars”. The majority of the time (not all the time), the WDC winning car is the WCC car.

        If you’re referring to cars fighting for the championship, then I believe you’d struggle to find real examples of championship winning performances in cars that didn’t fight for the championship.

      10. Nigel says:

        “I know some ate (sic) not exact quotes”

        So why put them in inverted commas ?

        Amateur psychologists putting words in someone else’s mouth is equally tiresome.
        Seriously, SM.

      11. Scuderia McLaren says:

        I wouldn’t say equally tiresome. One’s an anonymous Internet commenter (me), and the other is an international sporting and racing superstar (LH) that seems like he needs medication to either lift his downer mood or lower his manic positivity. I think that from LH would be much more tiresome to his team, fans, media and family than my comment is to anyone (except you perhaps).

        I think he is mega super epic fast. I think he is probably in the top 2-3 driver on the grid today. I also think he’s getting more contradictory and moody and perhaps volatile. And without that, I think he could have been the greatest. But you just can’t rely on LH to be stable, race on race, year in year. Until he grows up, he’ll only ever be good with everyone acknowledging his untapped potential.

        Vettel and Alonso are their acknowledged potential manifest in appropriate results. Like them or hate them, this is off mental strength and stability and consistency in application.

        Oh yeah, Nigel, not an amateur psychologist. Just an observer. It seems some agree with me and got the essence of the post. It takes intelligence and a touch of good humour to read between the lines sometimes.

      12. **Paul** says:

        Lol great post. I agree. Lewis is up and down like a… well he’s up and down a lot.

        I take EVERYTHING he says with a pinch of salt.

        Looking at the Merc in the first half of the season they’ve had the 2nd best car, to Red Bull (RBR just sneak 1st IMO). It now appears though that Merc have the best car if they’ve solved their tyre issues, and I think the title race will be really close. On tracks like Spa and Monza Mercedes power will be a major bonus, whilst Red Bull are always slow (comparitively).

        I think a potential major issue for RBR is that their lack of top end speed might hurt them as they’re likely to qualify behind the Mercedes, that makes overtaking very very tricky. So potentially we could get to some of the flyaways and have a Silver shaped road block, with the challenger behind unable to make a pass due to this top speed issue.

      13. Paul says:

        It was his first for Merc, in a somewhat tricky season…

      14. grat says:

        Actually, he said it was the most important win of his career, and for a driver who people have derided for years for having been “given” his world championship, being able to go to a different team (where everyone said he would fail), and win a race 9 races into the season– that’s important.

      15. SteveS says:

        Given that his (much less highly regarded) teammate already has two wins this season, I don’t see quite why it’s such an important event. Perhaps I just have a higher opinion of him and greater expectations for him than do many of his fans, but I *expected* Hamilton to win a race (or even two or three) this season.

      16. SaScha says:

        “one of the most” are some of you actally watching races or reading the comments from the drivers? I doubt it.
        @ScuderiaMcLaren Look at the stats it might help!

    4. deancassady says:

      Disagree.
      In terms of pure instinctive racing, Lewis is second to none, in the world; this is his key comparative advantage.
      These four you have mentioned: Kimi, Hamilton, Vettel, and Alonso, I completely agree, are the current top four drivers, but the pecking order likely changes moment to moment, definitely race to race.
      In fact, they are so close right now, nic-picking, this and that is… not really useful.

    5. Doobs says:

      I feel Vettel lost this race rather than LH won it. Merc may have been good this time out, but who knows next race? We’ve seen before they are very quick one race then nowhere the next. We’ll see if the new tyres really suit them or if this was just a good track for them.

      1. Richard says:

        Lewis won it because he is the better driver in terms of overtaking.

      2. Colombia Concalvez says:

        You really don’t understand it don’t you ?. The fact is that Mercedes has/had rear tire problems and the circuit in Hungary was 51 C and Mercedes had no problems. The RBR was superior and still Hamilton put the W04 on pole and winning the race, the point is Vettel lacks overtaking skills but what do you expect from someone who can only win races from front row

      3. Vlad says:

        Vettel’s ok at overtaking! But Hamilton has got to the be the best at it. And you need that on a circuit like the Hungaroring.
        It was very amusing when Vettel complained about Kimi on the radio, I was smiling all of the way until the finish, HAHAHAHA.

      4. Doobs says:

        Hungary is similar to Monaco where merc were also strong. If the rb was superior Vettel would been on pole. Too easy.

    6. Torchwood Five says:

      Actually, last season and this, Lewis has been consistent with his driving; however, results-wise, this year at least, I see where you are coming from.

    7. Kingszito says:

      You compare your car in relative to other cars in competition not on Friday. Sometimes cars change a lot after Friday. Don’t forget that they tested the new tyres for the first time on Friday with some updates. So the car he drove on Friday (set-up wise) must have changed a lot.

      Yes Seb showed his quality in Hungary, damaging his front wing while trying to overtake! Live in F1 is a lot easier when you race from the from. If you want to talk about consistency ask those drivers who race day in day out from behind drivers like Nando and Kimi. At least we have all seen how Seb fair in that quality!

      1. Kingszito says:

        oops! I meant “Life in F1 is a lot easier when you race from the front”

      2. Jonathan says:

        Well said!

        I will never forget a comment I heard years ago. I used to sail a great deal and travel to race meetings most weekends. One day a chap who had a top boat and was gifted fresh sails quite often was having an off day. After the race he said he couldn’t believe how hard it was to race in the midfield and that is was so much easier when out in front. Just like an F1 car clear air out front makes life a lot easier.

      3. Richard says:

        Yes if you can get your car out in front like Red Bull have with monotonous regularity then the car and tyres are easier to look after. Nothing worse than being in dirty hot air!

      4. Mr Ed says:

        Really? So who was it who got no points at all after damaging his front wing in turn 2 a few races back?

        And does anyone else see the irony in saying Seb doesn’t have the quality to race with those not at the front?

      5. KRB says:

        I’m guessing you’re talking about Alonso in Malaysia. And that was a total mistake from Alonso, which cost him dear.

        Vettel’s too-late dive down the inside of Button was never going to come off, and it hurt his front wing, caused him to have to back off to cool the car, and made a bad situation worse. Surely it cost him some race pace (though not as much as Massa lost with his FW damage).

      6. SteveS says:

        I love the way people people keep acting as if it’s some fluke of circumstance and not his own ability which allows Vettel to start at the front so consistently. Apparently they roll a 22 sided dice to allocate start positions on the grid, and Vettel’s number just keeps coming up first or second through pure dumb luck.

        It’s not like HAMILTON taking pole, which as we all know is a manifestation of his incredible talent.

      7. Bart says:

        If Vettel finished 3rd, on a so called “bad” day, then that does show his quality, and how arguing with how good he is, is just a waste of time.

      8. Vlad says:

        I agree. Vettel still finds a way to maximise his points on a bad day, and this is why he’s the champion. Don’t forget that his front wing was damaged also, but he still attacked until the finish line.

    8. TheLollipopMan says:

      Yes, I agree. His mood swings are a liability. His obsession with Nicole can’t be healthy either. What rich, beautiful woman would want a man so weak and needy? Lewis needs to grow a pair, move on, and focus 110% on his career, as he’s not getting any younger.

      1. Thompson says:

        Have u seen NIcole?

        And lets not forget who ran down who – a near 30 year old stunning looking woman v a 22 year old millionaire…..low

        Every time they break up I hear “Maggie may ” playing in the air.

      2. Vlad says:

        I think he could do without her. Maybe it’s his first love, but if he steps outside of himself for a moment, he will see that he can live without her.

        Personally I think Nicole is just another American, crazy, and she influences Lewis too much.

        I hope that he finds a nice British girl instead.

    9. Anon says:

      No dominant car… The Red Bull is the only car which has looked fast in all conditions unlike Ferrari and Lotus who have struggled to get heat into their tyres at cold tracks and Mercedes who until now have struggled to keep their tyres cool.

      1. Bart says:

        Red Bull have been the fastest car in probably 3 races this year (Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada). Of course there is no “dominant” car, otherwise it would be like 2011.

      2. SteveS says:

        Your not liking Vettel and being unhappy he is leading does not translate into his car being “dominant”. Vettel has 4 wins in the first 10 races, the same number as Hamilton in 2008 in his “dominant” MP4-23.

    10. Taps88 says:

      lewis’ driving has been very consistent particularly from 2012 and also this year. don’t forget that mechanical gremlins blighted his title charge in 2012. this year he’s only won one race and yet he’s mixing it in the WDC. based on all these facts i wonder what your definition of ‘weak’ is.

    11. Olivier says:

      Lewis is a wounded warrior. Lucky for us this translates into raw racecraft with a lot of gut. This man is intense. You just gotta love his dedicated driving. It is a pleasure to see him race. Always fighting with his visor wide open.

      On a different note. I believe Vettel did have a less authoritative dad than Lewis. This could explain Vettel’s more balanced attitude to Life & racing.

      To conclude. Lewis shouldn’t worry. Everything will come in time. This song sums up all of the above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZg0Pb7KKM&list=PLC38ED2CF1FD11BBE&index=42

      Bring on SPA!

    12. Tim says:

      @steve s
      No dominant car this season…

      Good one !

      1. SteveS says:

        I believe it was The Who who said, you can cry if you want. It does not alter the fact that there has been no dominant car this season.

        A dominant car is NOT the same thing as a driver you don’t like leading the title race.

      2. Tim says:

        If, as you say, the Red Bull has not been the most dominant car/team so far this season, then answer me this question; Which car do you think Vettel would rather have been driving, for the first half of the season, instead of the Red Bull? Following your logic there must be a better car. You can only choose one team, not change teams for each race.
        Btw My opinion as to which car is the most dominant so far this season has certainly not been based on whether I like Vettel – I am not so sure you can make the same claim ;-)

      3. Tim says:

        @SteveS

        Judging by your silence, it would appear that, as the Johnny Nash song says – There are More Questions Than Answers ;-)

      4. KRB says:

        I don’t agree with Steve S most times, I wonder if we’re watching the same sport most times, but on this score he’s right. A dominant car is one that’s a clear cut above. The RB7 was dominant, the Brawn was dominant, at least in the first half.

        The RB9 is the best car of 2013 so far, but it ain’t dominant.

      5. Tim says:

        I guess the argument hinges on the definition of dominant. I have googled dominant and this is what it says:
        ‘Most important, powerful, or influential’.
        On that basis I find it difficult to agree with you, when you say the RB9 has not been the dominant car so far this season. Incidentally, to be clear, I am not saying that Vettels lead is all down to the car, it’s not. He is obviously an exceptional driver but if he were driving the Lotus, for instance, do you really think he would be leading the championship by 38 points?

    13. Richard says:

      Vettel and Red Bull are very consistent, but I think it is more to do with the way the team is structured and run. On top of that they got on top of the tyre issues very quickly such that vettel was able to steal a march on the other teams and drivers. That said if Mercedes have genuinely got over their tyre issues I believe they will be consistent because it too is a well ordered team. That being the case then I believe Hamilton and Brawn will give Vettel a run for the money which will mean a very exciting second half to the championship.

  3. Quade says:

    Anything can happen this season. In 2012, it looked certain to be Alonso’s, only for Vettel to swoop in and snatch.

    1. Quade says:

      Oops! I meant ‘swoop in and snatch “it”‘

      1. Get Well Soon Murray says:

        I’m sure there’s a comment in there somewhere

      2. Quade says:

        Yeah, its re-emphasising emphasis. :)

  4. Olli K says:

    Actually it’s just one win, not new era in F1. Britons should calm down a bit.

    1. KRB says:

      It’s silly to say that he thinks he could win 10 races with it. That’d be a tall order even with a supercar, like the ’92 Williams. The Merc at best right now is faster in qualifying than the RBR, and very close to the same race pace. That’s AT BEST, and after a big upgrade pkg from Merc.

      Spa might suit them (Lewis don’t go the high-downforce setup, whatever you do!), and maybe Monza too. Very much down to how their FRIC system works on the tracks.

      1. grat says:

        Hamilton has won at Spa, Monza, Singapore, Austin, and Abu Dhabi. Even when he doesn’t win those races, he runs very well.

        If he can sweep that list, and consistently keep Vettel behind him, he’ll gain at least 35 points. One DNF from Vettel, and Lewis will be in the lead.

        Not saying he can do it– it would take massive luck at this point, both good luck for Mercedes, and bad luck for Red Bull. In fact, I’m pretty sure without a DNF, Vettel will win the championship.

        We’ve seen unreliability bite the Red Bull, but not nearly as hard as it’s bitten Rosberg’s Mercedes… if those gremlins cross the garage to Hamilton’s car, it’s going to be ugly.

      2. Rockie says:

        “If he can sweep that list, and consistently keep Vettel behind him, he’ll gain at least 35 points. One DNF from Vettel, and Lewis will be in the lead.”

        Well the reverse could happen and he would be out of the title race @ Spa.

      3. Richard says:

        Hamilton said that he FEELS like he could win ten races with his car. – It’s all in the detail!

    2. Tim says:

      Lewis said as much after the race.

    3. Phil Too says:

      Exactly! James said “The 2008 world champion has scored 74 points in the last five races, compared to championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s total of 83 in the same period.”

      So Hamilton is in contention by scoring less points than Vettel in the same period?

      Calm down everyone.

      1. Richard says:

        No he may get himself into contention if Mercedes have genuinely sorted their rear tyre issues. If Hamilton can keep Vettel behind him he may be in with a shot. – I hope so!

      2. Phil Too says:

        Maybe, but look at the fact that’s he’s scored 10 less points in 5 races with Vettel having a DFN. One swallow hardly makes a spring

      3. Richard says:

        Phil Too – Of course but the way a car interacts with it’s tyres is almost everything now with the Pirelli’s. Red Bull got on top of that quite quickly, and hence Vettel started to do better. The same goes for Hamilton, don’t forget he had the tyre blowout at Silverstone in a race he would have most likely won, the same race in fact that Vettel’s car gave up giving the win to Nico Rosberg. As I say it all depends on Mercedes having a permanent fix for the tyres – I hope they have because suddenly this season becomes intersting

    4. Tim says:

      You are correct, however 7/10 poles would suggest there is inherent speed within the car. If (and it’s a big if) the Merc’s truly have resolved their tyre issues then the Red Bulls will have their hands full for sure.

    5. TheLollipopMan says:

      Yes, I was just about to accuse James Allen of jingoism, until I doublechecked the drivers’ standings and saw that Hamilton has 40 more points than Rosberg, despite the latter having more wins. So, the article is fair enough.

      1. Richard says:

        Comparison between Rosberg and Hamilton are a bit unfair, but they are both fast drivers.
        Let’s judge it at the end of the season.

    6. Andrew Woodruff says:

      Fully agree.

      All the chat about “if LH wins every race and SV comes third” and similar mathematical arguments, are completely irrelevant. There will DNFs for all the challengers over the remaining races, either from mechanical failures or on track incidents, which will completely change the picture.

      Also agree with the Hamilton “bipolar” and “needy” comments. Every new pole lap is his best or most profound ever, and every win is his most important. Similarly, every session where he isn’t at the top of the timesheet is the end of the world. Seriously, grow up. The complete and very public infatuation with Sherz… Nicole, is also bizarre. Can you imagine Raikkonen or Alonso publicly dedicating a race to their ex?! He’s a fast driver, but I think the man needs help.

      1. Gazza says:

        Well if he can drive like that when he,s feeling a bit bluesy after breaking up with his woman of 5 yrs I don’t exactly see why he needs help.LOL!.

      2. Vlad says:

        No way does he need help! His managers got him a good gig at Mercedes. Thats the only help he needed.
        We love him like he is… now let’s prove em all wrong and WIN at Spa!!!!

      3. Richard says:

        As you should know most of it is team speak [mod]? Anyway yes Hamilton is more open than most drivers, but he is also more popular, and higher profile. Something to do with the exciting way he drives that these awful tyres have reigned in somewhat.

    7. Fireman says:

      Yes. At least we’ll have to wait for the next race to see if Mercedes really have fixed their tire problems.

    8. SteveS says:

      The most tedious thing about Hamilton is not the driver himself but the hysterical overreaction with which his fans greet his every single pole position or race win. He’s never just a fast driver in a fast car getting the job done, as other drivers are when they manage the exact same thing. When HE does it it’s always treated as the most momentous event in the history of the sport, if not the history of the human race.

      1. Vlad says:

        I used to watch F1 in the glory days (80s) but I quit after the 1992 season when technology was ruining it. Started again around 2002 but thought that it was becoming boring. Hated the automatic gearboxes and driver aids.
        But a casual flick of the TV in 2008 and the Belgian GP was on, and it was exciting because of
        Hamilton!!! Overtaking was back! McLaren and Ferrari were evenly matched.
        Lewis just brings out the goodness in the sport!

      2. Vlad says:

        And James Allen was the commentator, hehe :P

      3. Richard says:

        Something to do with popularity I feel!

  5. ngwe_f1 says:

    I hope LH can mount a serious challenge for the championship, but no doubt Vettel is the clear favorite. In fact a stronger Merc plays more into Vettel’s hands, and its bad news for Alonso and Kimi. Can’t wait for the second half of the season already.

    1. deancassady says:

      The Lewis-Mercedes package is the assumed prime challenger now, this is likely to be confirmed if the Lewis-Mercedes package is on the podium, and fighting for the win in Spa; it is a significant ‘if’ for me yet, but also a significant likelihood, as well.
      In Hungary, there was very little to choose between race pace for the Merc, RB, and Lotus; we see, in Hungary especially, the qualifying pace determines the winner, despite the improved overtaking potential for 2013.
      Will it be the same for Spa?

    2. Spyros says:

      Let’s assume that from now on Vettel averages a second place, for the nine remaining races, i.e. he has a truly bad season, by RBR standards.

      That means that he would lose 63 points, assuming that the same driver always finishes first, in front of him.

      If there was only only likely driver hunting him down AND RBR really do this badly, then he could indeed get in trouble. But there is more than one driver capable of hunting, plus it’s unlikely that RBR’s crew will suddenly forget how to setup a car, during their August break…

      Let’s not forget that Vettel INCREASED his championship lead this past Sunday, despite finishing third. This happened as a consequence of being chased by multiple drivers.

      1. All revved-up says:

        Two DNFs by Vettel/RB (eg gearbox, alternator, KERS, anything), and Hamilton/Kimi wil be right in contention.

        I’m not wishing this on Vettel. I have no problems with him winning a 4th WDC. But I’ve seen enough F1 to know that unreliability can strike anytime anywhere. No one deserves a car that breaks down – but it happens – even to the best teams.

      2. Richard says:

        Vettel increased his lead over the next man, but Hamilton’s deficit has decreased. If he can consistently take chunks out of Vettel’s lead then maybe, but it’s far too early.

  6. Adam says:

    The nightmare for RBR will be that Lotus equally is challenging for the front spots with both Kimi and Grosjean. Then if Vettle does not qualify on pole and he falls back into traffic because of not gapping the field and the strategy of Lotus gets the two drivers to the front late in the race, possibly even Alonso or Webber gets in front of him and all of a sudden Vettle’s points lead is severely eroded within a few races. Podiums are one thing to maintain the championship lead, but it could easily be worse if its two or more teams getting competitive and pushing him down the points. We will then be hearing “Mark please move over Seb is faster than you!” and complaints about the need for back markers to get out of the way! Boy would that make a great end to the season!

    1. deancassady says:

      No ‘nightmare’, the classic panzer strategy, divide and conquor, as long as they remain in the top cluster, look at their advantage!
      On pure race pace, the pecking order in Hungary was: 1. the top Lotus, 2. the top RBC, 3. the top Mercedes was a dead tie with the other RBC!
      The competition was good in in Hungary, and Spa could be even better.
      Spa ‘should’ suit the Mercedes with the top end advantage, but it is also an aero circuit, favouring the Newey-Red Bull, but the Lotus should maintain an ultimate advantage in one or two driving elements; don;t forget the drivers, certainly Lewis loves it, Sebastian is great everywhere, and Kimi, as those paying acute attention likely know, is the reigning king of Spa, the racers’ circuit. I think Grosjean, should he continue his favourable trajectory, could enter the group of Kimi, Vettel, Lewis, (Alonso if Ferrari get back in the game), and Webber, potential race winner at all tracks, including Spa.
      But so far, there is no indication that Red Bull will fall out of the leading pack; if the top contenders split the rest of the points, the Vettel-Red Bull package glides (well, fights determinedly, with confidence), to the championship, probably a race or two before the final race. Non? What do I have wrong?
      What of Ferrari? Alonso has been kicked out of the party?!? Those paying attention understand that Ferrari still have a correlation issue between their wind tunnel data (and forecasts) and their actual on-the-track reality. Not good, and it shows in the performance of the machinery. I think we could also agree that he Hungaroring is as far from the Ferrari 2013 as any track; so maybe the power circuits will play back a little bit to the Red car.

    2. Vlad says:

      And then Webs will not move over and just turn the engine back up to win a race for once! :D

  7. Malcolm says:

    I would imagine that both Horner and Vettel realize with 9 races left, and if Mercedes tire degredation problem is being answered at high speed circuits like Spa, by maintaining a competitive race pace. Lewis is a definite threat to Vettel’s certainty of securing the 2013 WDC.

    1. Phil Too says:

      Yes, because scoring 10 less point over the last 5 races has really closed the gap. What a threat!

      1. Anon says:

        If Vettel keeps having races like Hungary even though he had a car with the best race pace then who knows.

      2. Bart says:

        Mercedes had the best pace, then Red Bull. Lotus of course, played their “one less pitstop” trick, which helped Kimi into second on this narrow track.

        As it is, Vettel is stil the favourite, since he’s had a blinding season so far, top 4 in every race except the gearbox failure in Britain.

  8. McLaren78 says:

    Really doubt anyone can stop Vettel from winning his 4th title. Even if by some magic Merc become the all dominating car, Vettel will still have the second best car and score those precious 3rd and 4th places to take his 4th title.
    What I think will happen is very similar to last year. Due to the harder tyre compounds and nature of tracks, Merc have a good chance in Spa and Monza. After that though RBR will be back to their best and I can see Vetel clinching the title by the tme we leave India.
    PS I sooo hope I’m wrong though

    1. Multi 21 says:

      Do you understand the point scoring system?

      First place gets 25 points. Third place gets 15 points. That is a 10 point gap. There are 9 races left. If Merc dominates every race and Vettel “cruises” to 3rd place every race Hamilton will win by 40 points.

      1. McLaren78 says:

        Do you understand the semantics when you read a message? Did I say that Merc will win all races. I said Merc dominating, which means 1st and 2nd places and don’t forget the factor called Rosberg!

      2. Multi 21 says:

        Do I understand?

        You highlighted a possible scenario where “Merc become the all dominating car” and Vettel, by having the second best car will “score those precious 3rd and 4th places”.

        So your only caveat is that Rosberg would be allowed to win races over Hamilton (in a 1-2 situation) despite being ANOTHER 40 points behind Hamilton in the driver’s standings? Have I got that right?

    2. kfzmeister says:

      All it takes is someone like Grosjean to accidentally take out Vettel in the first corner and another alternator problem DNF (I know they are using a different alt manufacturer :-))

      1. Craig Robertson says:

        Agreed, look at Alonso last year, pretty much lost the championship due to the 2 DNFs.

      2. nicolas nogaret says:

        nearly won the championship due to ferraris exceptional reliability

      3. Rockie says:

        It’s funny you say that as a DNF for Vettel makes it close but a DNF for Hamilton is game over.

  9. blackmamba says:

    The tyres have breathed new life into this championship, and thank god for that. Ferrari have lost the plot and Kimi’s qualifying record behind Vettel suggests he won’t be able to beat him in the race. So we are left with Merc, who if tyre issues abate may be the only challenger to RedBull, and even they will have to mount an extra ordinary run coz Vettel will not be sitting on his laurels.

    1. MikeyB says:

      So far this year, Mercedes are the only team with two different winners and Rosberg has shown that he can lift his game now that he’s got Hamilton alongside him. If the new tyres suit their cars as seems to be the case, the second half of the 2013 season could be an absolute cracker!

  10. Sid says:

    James a very important question, I’ve posted this many times but still await your valuable answer.

    In comments section of one of your previous posts, you said Alonso himself admitted to 9/10 on saturdays while you gave 10/10 to both Hamilton and Vettel.

    Now my question is Alonso and Hamilton have repeatedly gave feelers that Vettel owes his achievements primarily to his machinery rather than out and out speed and talent. Firstly Vettel’s teammate hasn’t been a slouch, he’s been considered a very quick driver and especially quick on Saturdays and Vettel’s had better of him for the last 4.5 yrs. Many of his qualifying/pole laps have been phenomenal and identical to Hamilton, in my opinion.

    So in your opinion where does Vettel actually stand? Is his Saturday speed anywhere near Hamilton or is he overall behind and flattered by his machine?

    Do you think Hamilton and Alonso’s comments are more to do with frustration/desperation rather than clear admission that Vettel is top of the league driver.

    I’m sure me and many F1 fans would love to hear from you…. thanks a ton!

    1. James Allen says:

      Vettel is closer to the max in quali and race each weekend on a consistent basis than anyone else

      1. sid says:

        thanks a lot James, much appreciated. by the way whats up with the kimi to Ferrari rumours?

      2. Irish con says:

        I’ve been thinking about this also but 1 thing that vettel has done and can’t be denied. In the last 13 races vettel has damaged his car 3 times in wheel to wheel combat. I don’t deny vettels a class act but it gives ammo to those who want to question him which I am not 1. He also hit the wall in Canada and went off the track in turn 1. He does have room for improvement like and that’s the scary thing. But I will say that for me without any doubt Hamilton is the fastest guy over 1 lap.

      3. Bart says:

        I think he hit the wall as there was no more room for improvement
        Cheers

      4. Rockie says:

        Did you say the same about Hamilton in 2011 when he was crashing into everything and everyone. 3 crashes in 13 races my goodness the length people go to criticise is unbelievable.

      5. SteveS says:

        You’re taking some generous liberties with the facts there. By THAT definition Alonso damaged his car 3 times in wheel to wheel combat between Spa 2010 and Malaysia 2013. He crashed out of 3 races in an eleven race span, in other words.

      6. Samir says:

        Hamilton is superb in race conditions as well. He can drive consistently on the limit over a race distance (as shown in 2007-08), never gives up (Korea ’12 anyone?), and is capable of moments of magic that can change the complexion of a race. Since 2012 his judgement during wheel-to-wheel racing has been generally superb. His ability to pace his races is also vastly improved (practice on Pirelli’s makes perfect). There is not much he can do when the car’s dire management of these tires require him to pussyfoot around on Sunday’s. It’s clearly more than a setup or driver thing, as Rosberg is not doing particularly better in the races. Fingers crossed that these problems are now mitigated.

      7. Rockie says:

        Interesting reply this further confirms what I have always believed!

      8. Sossoliso says:

        I have been telling anyone who would care t listen..”The Kid (Vettel) is good.” They should get over it.

      9. Samir says:

        +1, it does confuse me that people continue to question his achievements. Maybe he should team up with Alonso at Red Bull (not Ferrari). It would make fun watching, and though I’m not a betting man, I think Alonso might find some of his old demons resurfacing. To the extent perhaps, that he might be wishing he could have his Ferrari back for his 33rd bday

      10. Bryce says:

        I don’t care for the guy, particularly as I am a WEB fan. However, I begrudgingly give him his due, as I have always thought he performed at or near the maximum.

      11. Quade says:

        Vettel and Grosjean have similar driving characteristics, both are blazing fast. Its just that Vettel has a car that’s by far the best.

        Grosjean used to crash off the start line, Vettel crashes into those he is overtaking and things at trackside etc behind the safety car.

      12. SteveS says:

        If you’re going to repeat “Vettels car is by far the best” a hundred times on every thread, I’m going to point out a hundred times that you are wrong. There are no cars which are by far the best in F1 these days. It’s basically a spec series. The grid in GP2 is further part than the one in F1 on many weekends, including in Hungary recently.

      13. Bart says:

        @Quade – If the RBR was “by far the best” you’d have Webber a close 2nd in the championship. As SteveS says, there is no “dominant” car, as you clearly have 3-4 teams capable of winning.

        Vettel rarely even crashes. Grosjean crashed a similar or even more times in Monaco than Vettel has in the last 3 years.

      14. Quade says:

        @Bart
        Vettel doesn’t have much to crash into up front, while Grosjean is always in the mix. When Grosjean is up front, he clearly has enormous speed like Vettel; however when Vettel is in the mix, he crashes just as much as Grosjean used to. I can’t recall any drivers (outside Vettel) who are guilty of crashing into trackside bollards while behind the safety car.
        If Grosjean had a Red Bull to flatter him, he’d be a multiple champ too, regardless of the number of crashes he had last season and before that.

      15. matthew says:

        probably because his car and team perform consistently better at every track.mclaren and unreliability cost lewis a huge amount of points last season.lewis and alonso were the best 2 drivers imo.
        this season lewis should have 2 wins instead of nico.lewis was unlucky in silverstone,yes nico has had bad luck too,but when you look at where he was in the races,the dnfs were not that costly.

  11. Rob Newman says:

    Mercedes is one of the fastest cars with two fantastic drivers. It will be tough for Vettel but it is too early to jump into conclusions here. Hungary is extremely difficult to overtake and Vettel didn’t have the straight line speed. Otherwise things would have been different. It could be a totally different story at Spa.

    1. Kingszito says:

      If he had that “almighty” straight line speed he would lose his “almighty” cornering speed as simple as that! Which will even thing out. The cars were set up for Hungary according to their respective strengths. F1 is about balancing act. Seb doesn’t do well when he is running behind a car because he can’t overtake!

      1. Bart says:

        The “he can’t overtake” criticism is just total nonsense. In fact, Vettel performed the most overtakes of any driver last year.

        http://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=398856&f=1

    2. Quade says:

      Grosjean had similar top speed to Vettel, but managed to overtake Jenson. You’ve got to question why Vettel couldn’t. The top speed excuse doesn’t wash.

      1. SteveS says:

        Seb did overtake Jenson. Are you sure you watched the race? First Seb overtook Jenson, then Grosjean overtook him but banged cars with him in the process.

      2. Bart says:

        Except Vettel passed Button as well, without banging wheels or skipping the chicane.

      3. Rob Newman says:

        Ok, so you’re saying Grosjean had the top speed. Then why couldn’t he overtake Alonso?

  12. justafan says:

    I think if anyone can challenge Sebastian, it’s Lewis. He is undisputed #1 in his team and rides a bullet-proof machine. Vettel in contrast has to live with team orders aimed against him (though he disregarded them the last time) and an unreliable car. Then we have Kimi and Ferdy in the mix as well. It’s gonna be an epic season. Whoever wins it in the end will duly deserve it.

    1. Lewis says:

      An unreliable car?! With a grand total of 1 reliabilty failure this year :))))

      1. SteveS says:

        Since his rivals have had zero reliability failures this year, one counts as a lot.

    2. Steven says:

      Team orders against him? LOL Malaysia was the only time…

      1. Bart says:

        Well, the other one was Turkey 2009, but then, Vettel hardly ever finds himself behind Webber in either the standings, or on track.

      2. Vlad says:

        Webs like the Interlagos circuit, perhaps he can be the fly in the ointmint on that day.

      3. KRB says:

        Turkey ’10, y’mean? How was that team orders against him? That was Vettel not wanting Webber to score his 3rd successive win, which he would’ve done, b/c it would’ve made him the de facto driver to back within Red Bull.

        If anything, Turkey ’10 was the team trying to help Vettel get by Webber.

      4. Bart says:

        @KRB – No, look it up before you comment. I did mean Turkey 2009, Webber finished 2nd, with Vettel 3rd. Vettel was told by RBR not to pass.

    3. Stu says:

      What the!?!?!? Does anyone else on this blog see RBR’s team orders being biased “against” Vettel?

      1. Kingszito says:

        Don’t mind people who writes anything they want because their reputation is not on the line! If there is any team with out right number 1, that is Red Bull. Remember when Red Bull removed Webber’s new front wing and give it to Vettel without discussing it with Webber first. Red Bull are as cunning as they get that’s why people with little knowledge of F1 won’t recognize their “team orders” even if it’s staring them at the face. Team orders come in different sizes and shapes through strategy, pit stops and set ups!

      2. Bart says:

        That again… Webber wasn’t using the front wing in Saturday practice, since his feedback and laptimes from Friday suggested he was happier with the previous spec. Vettel’s part failed. What else should RBR have done?

        And if anything, it is Ferrari who are the team with the most blatant outright number 1.

      3. SteveS says:

        Yes. Do you recall Red Bull ordering Vettel to stay behind Webber at Malaysia? Does anybody on the blog see RB’s team orders as being biaed FOR Vettel?

      4. Tim says:

        I hate to be a pedant but I feel accuracy is important, don’t you? Weren’t the team orders with Red Bull at Malaysia actually a pre-race agreement? I believe it was along the lines of positions would be maintained after the final round of pit stops – not favouring either driver in advance, just whichever was in front at that point in the race. I am sure there was quite a lot of chat about it. Apparently, one of the drivers felt he was not obligated by the pre-race agreement that he had entered into as soon as it no longer suited him.

    4. Random 79 says:

      I wouldn’t say that Lewis is the undisputed #1 at Merc just yet – don’t forget Nico has two wins to Lewis’ one – and the only team orders Vettel is going to have to worry about are the ones that Mark is going to be ignoring ;)

      But you’re right – whoever wins it in the end will deserve it :)

      1. KRB says:

        Lewis should be. If Lewis was only 20 pts back of the leader (and Nico 60) then it might be different. But Lewis is 48 pts back (!), and Nico’s a further 40 back! Merc’s only chance at the DWC is thru Hamilton, clearly. It’s a decidedly outside chance at that.

        I trust Brawn to know what needs to be done, as much as I had no trust in Whitmarsh last year to know what to do.

        Which begs the question, why did McLaren go prime-option-prime?! Not sure it accomplished what they wanted.

      2. matthew says:

        nico only has 2 wins coz lewis and vettel had problems at silverstone.
        so look at the points difference,nico has 0 chance of winning the championship.lewis on the other hand does.

    5. Get Well Soon Murray says:

      “Vettel in contrast has to live with team orders aimed against him”

      Are you sure about that?

      1. Rockie says:

        Well being asked to stay behind his team mate when he was faster what do you call that?

    6. Anil Parmar says:

      Unreliable car? He’s had 1 dnf this year! If you want unreliable cars you need to go back and watch the racing in the 80s and 90s.

  13. Sid says:

    Good analysis but Ferrari looked ominous after Spain and look where they are. Similarly Mercedes looked ominous after Silverstone but had a torrid time the following weekend. The only variable consistently is Vettel’s RedBull. So I’m still not riding the Mercedes and Hamilton wave but lets see how following few races pan out.

    Looks to me RedBull are going to be closer on saturdays in the upcoming races. They’ve had a 3 day test and had it not been for Vettel losing a tenth in middle sector on his final hotlap, he’d have pipped Lewis to pole and would have possibly claimed the win as well. They’re very close!

    1. Tim says:

      had it not been for Vettel losing a tenth in middle sector on his final hotlap, he’d have pipped Lewis to pole ….

      If ifs and ands were pots and pans and if my aunty had a moustache she would have been my uncle :-)

      1. Quade says:

        Exactly.

  14. AlexD says:

    Happy for him….maybe a mraccle happens and he takes the title. A wish from a Ferrari fan:-)

  15. goferet says:

    For sure, last weekend was very surprising in all respects. Not only was it the hottest it has ever been so Mercedes were expected to go backwards (which Lewis didn’t) but also Lewis had never been on pole 3 consecutive times + had never finished higher than 3rd at a track he won the previous year.

    I now understand when Lewis said that the Mercedes is the best car he has ever driven taking into account the fact that he also says that he didn’t feel he could win 10 races with the 2012 Mclaren.

    As for the point of Mercedes having breathed new life into the championship, am afraid, this is a false dawn >>> smoke and mirrors if you will.

    For starters, Alonso, Vettel and Rosberg have already had their DNFs this season whereas Lewis hasn’t. These things tend to even themselves out sooner or later.

    Secondly, this is Vettel we’re talking about here, the chap that hasn’t qualified lower than 3rd (with the exception of China where he didn’t set a time), the same chap that hasn’t finished lower than P4 in the races and yes, the same one that wears lucky charms on his ankles.

    So no, the championships are already gone, me myself, I will just look forward to the qualifying battles in the second half of the season >>> that’s where the real fun is.

    P.s.

    If Mercedes have really got on top of their tyre wear issues, Lewis and Lowe should take the credit.

    Three and a half years of no solutions to the tyre problem is a really long time.

    1. Quade says:

      You forgot Lewis had a DNF at Silverstone.

      1. Ben Dickson says:

        He got 12 points for that DNF. That must be some sort of record.

      2. Jake says:

        :-) :-) :-)
        Match that Vettel!

      3. goferet says:

        @ Quade

        DNF stands for >>> Did not finish… As in did not finish the race.

      4. Quade says:

        Yeah, I plain forgot that Lewis did finish that race. My bad.

      5. KRB says:

        Here I renew my clarion call for a new F1 stat!! … the Race-Compromising Incident (RCI).

        RCI’s: for those races where you finish, but where you could’ve finished higher, if only ______ ______ didn’t happen.

        Sign the petition please.

      6. Rockie says:

        He didn’t DNF he had a blow out and finished 4th.

      7. sid says:

        sorry, lewis had a dnf at Silverstone…. which race did you watch?

      8. Roger says:

        Fourth place and 12 points is hardly a DNF

    2. Tim says:

      If Mercedes have really got on top of their tyre wear issues, Lewis and Lowe should take the credit…

      Are you serious with that comment?

      1. goferet says:

        @ Tim

        Yes am serious.

        Think about it, for three years Brawn, Nico, Schumi and Costa couldn’t figure out why the cars were heating up their rears so badly.

        And in enters Lewis and Lowe and all it takes is a couple of months to get it right (hopefully)

      2. Fireman says:

        No, it doesn’t work like this. It’s in the fundamental design of the car. More likely it was the track and new spec tires.

      3. Tim says:

        Who knows , maybe you are right. It would certainly explain why Mercedes were so keen to get Paddy released from his Mclaren contract -if he can pull rabbits out of a hat like that he is worth more than his weight in gold ;-)

      4. Andrewinwork says:

        Lewis consistantly got more out of his tyres than JB last year. I’m not rubber stamping the previous post but Paddy must have been familiar with how McLaren solved the tyre heating issues

      5. Tim says:

        Not rubber stamping – pun intended or no pun intended ?

  16. Jarv027 says:

    “It’s been the toughest couple of months of my life”.

    We hear this every year from Lewis!

    1. JohnBt says:

      LOL! nevermind that as long as he’s putting up a strong fight I’m fine with whatever he says.

    2. A says:

      Agree! Sir Superlative

    3. AlexD says:

      Fully agree:-) this is where he looses to vettel, pereonal life is a mess

      1. Kingszito says:

        Because nobody cares to scrutinize Vettel like they do to Lewis. His accent was even scrutinized on this blog few days back! It’s called personal life, because it’s personal!

      2. SteveS says:

        “nobody cares to scrutinize Vettel like they do to Lewis.”

        Wow …… just, wow. Vettel gets a thousand times the hostile scrutiny that “Lewis” does. The man can hardly say “Nice day” without catching abuse for it. If Vettel was coming out with the same remarks Hamilton is he would be absolutely crucified for it.

      3. James Allen says:

        Please can you be less aggressive towards other posters.

        You are welcome here, but please respect the tone of the debate

        Thanks – Mod

      4. AlexD says:

        So why hebrings it to public?

      5. Alexander Supertramp says:

        yeah right!

    4. Kay says:

      Just gets worse each time…

    5. Get Well Soon Murray says:

      I’d take a couple of tough months, be a multi-millionaire and be a full time F1 driver!

    6. Jake says:

      If Lewis was my psychiatrist I might be a tad concerned, but he’s not! he is a racing driver, who cares about his personal issues? only people who do not have a life. Here is a tip; if you do not like the man and can’t stand listening to him or reading about him then don’t listen to him and don’t read about him, and definitely do not follow him on twitter. Go out more, meet real people and chill.

  17. Frique says:

    “Lewis Hamilton breathed life into the Formula 1″ This has been my sentiment since 2007. I think we sometimes forget the impact this boy had upon his arrival in F1. So I’m not surprised he’s the one to do it this year again. And how the sport needs another win for Vettel; like a hole in the head. Cast your minds back to pre-2007 and see how much the sport suffered due to Michaels’ dominance.

    1. Thread the Needle says:

      So true, he’s a real racing driver

    2. Rockie says:

      But Vettel is not dominant he’s just ridiculously consistent as an example if you reverse the roles Vettel in the merc and Hamilton in the Bull you would back Vettel to win!

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        would you? Gun to the head :D? No way!

      2. Rockie says:

        You really would back Lewis for consistency over Vettel?

      3. Frique says:

        Without a shadow of a doubt. Watch the 2012 season again and you’ll see just how consistent Lewis was. He only lost due to McLarens operational failures whether mechanical or otherwise.

      4. Tim says:

        Let me get this straight, are you saying that if Vettel had been driving the Merc and Hamilton the Bull (this season), their positions in the WDC would be the same as they are now?

      5. Alexander Supertramp says:

        My point exactly. No one would dare to say this with a gun to his head :p

    3. Me says:

      “And how the sport needs another win for Vettel; like a hole in the head.”

      In your opinion.

      Not everyone is a Hamilton fan or a Vettel fan for that matter, there are other drivers and some people just like good Motor racing, irrespective of who wins.

      1. Frique says:

        I think you’re missing the point here mate. This is not about who you’re a fan of, but more like someone wining all the time. The percentage of people who watch irrespective of who wins is (who I would call the die-hard fans) no more than 50 IMO. So when people started switching off during Michael’s dominance (and it was all Free-to-air)it wasn’t because there wasn’t good motor racing. And of course it is my opinion based on the facts presented to me.

      2. Rockie says:

        Its only in F1 the best is not expected to win just because others must be given a chance, I watch to see the best win.
        I don’t think anybody has called to have Kenyans excluded from marathons so others can have a chance.

  18. Peter says:

    I think its not Hamilton, but the new tires.

    1. Fireman says:

      “New tires breathe new life into title race”

      Sound pretty accurate!

    2. Jake says:

      I saw those new tyres drive themselves round the circuit, it’s amazing what the new technology can do.
      ;-)

    3. Rob Hooper says:

      I think if it wasn’t for the tyres, Hamilton would be much closer to Vettel in the championship, probably second, even though he was bedding in with a new team

    4. SaScha says:

      The tyres drive themselves?

      1. Rockie says:

        Do you ask yourself same question when you say its Newey?

  19. goferet says:

    Regards the Nicole issue, Lewis should just marry the lass so he can have some peace of mind for as they say, behind every successful man, there’s a woman.

    In other words, without that some special to share your life with, it’s all for nothing.

    Maximum respect to the only parents on the grid >>> Massa and Webber.

    1. Quercus says:

      I don’t think so: reading between the lines all the signs are that Lewis has received a ‘Dear John’ letter, and has taken it hard. Who dedicates anything to an ex-girlfriend unless they’re the dumpee?

      But look on the bright side; being jilted can push you to either depression or to prove yourself. It’s clear that Lewis is definitely in the latter category and will be spurred on by his misfortune. But I don’t think the young multi-millionaire will be alone for long.

    2. MikeyB says:

      Except that Mark Webber isn’t a parent – he has no children.

      1. goferet says:

        @ MikeyB

        I understand Webber’s partner has a child and so this would make Webber a stepdad.

      2. Fireman says:

        Talk about coolest stepdad ever :D

    3. peruvian says:

      and you are not married, right?….
      (joke)

      1. goferet says:

        @ peruvian

        Correct, not yet married :(

    4. Glennb says:

      I dont think Mark has any children mate. None that I’m aware of anyway. As usual, I stand corrected.

    5. Random 79 says:

      John Button also?

    6. Random 79 says:

      Hang on, I might have misinterpreted that. Are Felipe and Mark both the only Dad’s on the grid?

      If so I didn’t know that – goferet comes through again :)

    7. Vlad says:

      Yeah he should marry her… its probably distance and time away that stops it happening.

  20. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

    I’ll put my money on Kimi for win and podium at Spa and Monza.

    1. Richard says:

      I wouldn’t for the podium at Monza, thats going to be Hamilton, Rosberg, and Alonso, and if one of those three falls out, it will be a Ferrari/Mercedes powered car.

      1. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

        No Redbulls on podium? Come on, both Lotus and Redbull has more chance than Ferrari.

      2. Anil Parmar says:

        Ferrari have very good top speed but are very poor out of traction zones. Spa and monza should be good races for them.

    2. Vlad says:

      Can’t wait for the odds to come out… Hamilton should have good numbers also

  21. Lee says:

    If Hamilton can arrange for Vettel to be held up for a dozen laps every race behind a slower car then he’ll walk it.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Enter Chilton ;)

    2. Get Well Soon Murray says:

      Mark Webber?

    3. gary says:

      Yea, he was held up because he can’t pass slower cars. Easy when he leads from the front but in traffic – nah!

      1. Bart says:

        You seem to forget that it was the Hungaroring (only Monaco is harder to pass), RBR had a low top speed, and Button had no huge slides like Webber did.

      2. Frique says:

        SO how did Lewis get by then?

      3. gary says:

        Lewis didn’t have any problem! And on webbo he didn’t need the higher top speed – twice.
        What I’m suggesting is that Lewis is better than Vett when it comes to this scenario in traffic. The RB philosophy is to be on pole, lead from the front and go like hell for the first few laps to get out of DRS. Vett failed to get pole. Failed to get past the traffic. I don’t think he could have passed Lewis on the track either.

      4. Bart says:

        @Frique @gary – As I said, Button, unlike Webber, didn’t make any real mistakes, hence not giving Vettel a major opportunity to pounce on.

  22. Random 79 says:

    You could not have chosen a better photo for this article :)

  23. Get Well Soon Murray says:

    We needed that result on Sunday.

    Before the race all I was thinking was that Vettel was going to storm off into the distnace. Winning by 20 seconds yet again.

    Hamilton falls back to a fighting 5th place.

    Alonso comes through to 2nd place about 2/3rds of the way through the race but is no-where near close enough to mount a serious challenge.

    Kimi looks after his tyres well and gets a podium.

    But Wow. What a turn around.

    Well whatever has happened to the tyres has suddenly given Hamilton the race pace he’s been after. Not saying that he’s gonna win the title but at least its going to make the rest of the season a bit more interesting.

    And you never know.. all it takes is one DNF from Vettel….

    1. Quade says:

      Its not the tyres. Merc brought new rear rim’s with cooling vents on the insides to Hungary.

      I guess that means they can now tailor tyre temperatures to track circumstances (or maybe Hungary was a fluke).

      1. KRB says:

        It was down to the tires. The fronts are less grippy now (2012 constructions, sidewall doesn’t shift as much), take less load, so Merc could shift the balance more so that the car’s kinder to its rears. Voila, 55 degree track temperature and you’d never know it.

    2. Chris Chong says:

      More like 2 DNFs from Vettel, I’d say.

      With his level of consistency, he’d still be pretty safe if he finished at least 3rd in every remaining race (which is pretty darn likely if he doesn’t have technical issues or is taken out by someone else).

  24. MJR says:

    So, Hamilton wins a race and is title contender?…

    1. Phil Too says:

      And scores 10 less points than Vettel over the last 5 races.

      Math huh!?!

      1. Marcelo says:

        Vettle had mechanical failure mate. Lewis will have his share as well.

    2. Kay says:

      Daddy Rosberg won the 1982 WDC with only one victory.

      1. Marcelo says:

        Mate, 1982 was a very odd season… Circumstances were different.

      2. Kay says:

        So? I am not saying circumstances have to be the same, but weird things happen again and again. Just replying to MJR never to rule out possibilities until it’s over.

        2007, Alonso and Hamilton were both with almost equal chance in winning the WDC at the final race, Kimi’s shot was quite long in comparison. In the end Kimi came out on top by a single point.

        2008, Hamilton looked to lose the title race until the final corner when he overtook Glock for the 5th position he needed in order to beat Massa by a single point for the WDC.

        If things haven’t got any more odd, 2009, nobody expected Brawn to survive, let alone win races and ultimately the WDC for Jenson Button.

        2010, it was a battle between Webber and Alonso for the WDC at the final race until Ferrari cocked it up for Alonso letting Vettel win the WDC.

        Odd surprises will keep coming up so it’s not just once ever that it’ll happen.

    3. Get Well Soon Murray says:

      Not yet but he’s on the playing field

    4. Jake says:

      It’s not that he won a race, it is more to do with the manner in which he won the race despite the conditions that normally would have severely handicapped the Merc.

  25. Rich B says:

    In the sky interview Lewis said “I’ve lost somebody very dear to me, I’m going through a really, really tough time at the moment with the loss of someone really, really special in my life, my world’s turned upside down.” I thought oh no, poor chap, who’s died? “And it’s Nicole you’re talking about?” Martin Brundle asks as if he can’t quite believe what he’s hearing is over a girlfriend.

    I’m sorry Lewis I don’t mean to be unkind but please, enough of the girlfriend loss tragedy, move on. Enjoy life, you’re a young F1 driver and a bloody great one, you should be smiling.

    1. David says:

      Exactly. The public weeping over a girlfriend via twitter and t.v. is embarrassing. It is surely not the way to win her back.

    2. JohnBt says:

      But it’s romantic isn’t it. I’m sure he loves her and man enough to express it.

      1. Fireman says:

        Romance doesn’t work that way. This is Hamilton being immature.

      2. Rich B says:

        expressing it in every interview is a bit much

    3. KRB says:

      He’s certainly not the love-em-and-leave-em type, that’s for sure! Which is what I think the vast majority of us would be were we in his shoes. His way is commendable, though yeah, I don’t need to know about it.

    4. Jean-Christophe says:

      I agree there! Tired of the girlfriend whining. He should keep that private. The guy is a great driver and my favourite but I wish he had more maturity.

      1. SaScha says:

        If you don’t like it don’t listen. It takes a lost of maturity to say the things Hamilton said.
        If you can’t understand how Hamilton feels you never have really loved someone!

    5. Elie says:

      Yeah I noticed that Brundle was quite dumbfounded by Lewis “loss” of Nicole comments. It’s not a soap opera and certainly not something to be bring up when you just won a GP- the guys gotta man-up little.

    6. Anil Parmar says:

      Actually it was clear from that that Brundle and Lewis have a solid relationship. Hes one of the few people that Lewis opens up to and you can tell Brundle has huge respect for his pace and the fact that he wears his heart on his sleeve.

    7. Vlad says:

      He is what he is – awesome! If she doesn’t want him – her loss :)

  26. Clear View says:

    James I know it’s ‘off topic’ but could find no other way to contact you directly, would it be possibly to do a tech feature on all the arguments for and against Pirelli making the rear tyres wider and taller for next year.
    Eg- implications on machanical and areo design, what the date the teams have about the chaticteristics of the new powertrain tell us and why many teams are against it, is that just because they don’t want to re-calculate their areo/mechanical designs due to different shape/size or more to do with the greater circumference having a negative effect on the transmition and gearing? Would love to hear yours, Mark Gillan’s and anyother ‘in the know’ F1 personel you can find.
    Again sorry for off topic.

    1. Torchwood Five says:

      Interesting suggestion.

      My personal feeling is that if the rear wheels had been ‘wider and taller’ during Michael Schumacher’s return, he’d have stormed it!

      That was his strong point, using the larger rears to coast into a corner and accelerate away.

  27. W Johnson says:

    It’s a two horse race between Vettel and Hamilton….and so it’s time to start focusing on 2014 for the other teams!

    I’m sure all the other drivers will be putting in a special effort to block vettel, Jenson Button style as in Hungary.

    1. KRB says:

      I’ve always thought Button was an easy touch for Vettel, ever since he hardly defended against Vettel in Australia in 2011.

      I doubt any driver (other than maybe Webber!) will treat Vettel any differently, if he’s behind them.

    2. Get Well Soon Murray says:

      Would Alonso’s recent comments give Ferrai a kick up the behind?

      1. Vlad says:

        Hope so… we need them challenging Red Bull. James Allison could be the man for the job, but there are only 9 races left, so perhaps it will not happen until 2014.
        Then again in 2014, I don’t expect Red Bull to be good. Mercedes should be awesome!

  28. Dane says:

    Anyone but Vettel.

    1. David says:

      Can never understand this perspective. I root for a different team, but I appreciate Vettel and his talent. If he wins again we are witnessing the career of a great driver and yet some people can’t accept that. Odd.

      1. Rob Hooper says:

        It’s because he isn’t liked very much, especially after Malaysia. It’s because we need someone to change the pecking order. I for one admit I love Senna, but during his battles with Prost I favoured the Frenchman. I backed senna the minute he was up against shumacher. Lewis is similar to senna in track, very gifted and highly respected. If anyone can do it in their current machinery he has got a chance. Vettel has been impressive, but we’ve never had a proper yard stick to measure him by. Webber is too inconsistent for my liking, so bring on Kimi for 2014- that guy is fast (from my memory of his McLaren days)

      2. SteveS says:

        What yardstick do we have to measure Alonso by?

      3. Vlad says:

        I’m like you, Rob. Exact same backings I had. Got to like Senna much more after Prost retired.
        Dislike Vettel as a person very much so after what happened in Malaysia, let alone Turkey 2010.
        He’s still a fast driver though, have to respect this, but I don’t support him.
        Go Hamilton!!

  29. nicolas nogaret says:

    let’s see how his car handles a track with tyre stressing corners before we get excited for a genuine competition for the title

    promising , but no more

  30. Warren says:

    It will be interesting to see if Mercedes will back one driver for the championship.

    1. KRB says:

      Well, they should! Hamilton’s 40 pts up on Rosberg, and he’s 48 pts down on Vettel! So yeah, they should be backing Hamilton and making sure, as best they can, that he brings home the better result. Of course they have to keep both drivers motivated for a chance at the WCC.

      1. Warren says:

        I totally agree with you, but convincing Nico to yield for Lewis will not be easy in the wake of the Malaysian GP incident.

      2. KRB says:

        That is where slower pit stops come into play. :-)

  31. He is 48 points away from Vettel. Nine races.
    5,33 points per race. Sounds doable…

    1. Glennb says:

      That is assuming that Vettel scores 0 points inthe next 9 races. We’re talking a billion to 1 against that scenario. Another complication to that theory is a competitor called Kimi. He’ a scoring machine. That makes it about 3 billion to 1 against. I hope it does come down to a 3 way showdown for the sport in general but the RB / VET package is verrrry hard to beat at the end of the day.

      1. Quade says:

        Bigger gaps have been closed. You never know with F1.

      2. Tim says:

        @Glennb
        A polite correction if I may – the average points required per race to close the gap has nothing to do with Vettel scoring nil points over the remaining races. Its simply the points difference divided by the remaining number of races. Of course if Vettel did score no points it would make the task of closing the gap considerably easier. But, as you have correctly pointed out, that is most unlikely;-)

      3. Glennb says:

        Polite correction noted Tim ;)
        I took it that the OP was suggesting 5 or 6 pts per race would do it, ie 7th every meeting. Interpretation can be difficult at times…
        Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.
        Go Webber!

  32. John Marshall says:

    How much is Mercedes’ pace down to the nature of Hungaroring and how much is overall improvement?

    Hungaroring is always said to me much like Monaco. Will Merc’s pace vis a vis Red Bull hold up at the remaining tracks?

    1. James Allen says:

      We will analyse this in coming days

  33. Andy says:

    Hamilton won because Red Bull, as usual, took little interest in their straight line speed, rather than Mercedes having improved their tyre performance, especially on a circuit that doesn’t load the tyres.
    Mercedes performance has been somewhat enhanced by Ferrari’s decline and the inconsistency of Lotus.
    If Hamilton gets anywhere near a sniff of the championship this year, it can only be because of incompetence by Red Bull, which won’t happen.

    1. Tim says:

      That’s an interesting point of view – basically you are saying a team/driver does not win because they are faster/better it’s the opposition that is slower/worse.
      I guess there is a certain logic to that ;-)

    2. Jake says:

      Interesting, you prefer to believe that it had nothing to do with Merc getting to grips with the tyres, at least for this race, and Hamilton performing at his best, but was actually due to everybody else getting it wrong. Fair enough, long may the rest get it wrong.

      1. Andy says:

        Hungary isn’t a high load circuit in terms of tyres. Even though the track temperature was high, I don’t think it was a true indicator of whether Mercedes had got to grips with the tyres.

      2. James Allen says:

        Gary Anderson makes that same point

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Silverstone was. Sure, different tyres and temperatures back then, but there’s something there..

      4. Jake says:

        Well I don’t know what else you would call it but clearly the Merc was able to sustain a reasonable race pace, with some reserve when necessary, make the tyres last at least as long as the majority of the field and still had decent grip at the end of the stint.
        I accept that this was not a high load circuit and that is why I included the statement “at least for this race”.

    3. Surya says:

      So Vettel won three championships because the redy of the drivers were playing poker

  34. Gudien says:

    Does Lewis still desire a move to Ferrari to partner with Fernando?

    1. Tim says:

      Partnering with Alonso yes, at Ferrari, no way!

      1. krischar says:

        I am massive Alonso fan

        Yet i respect lewis very much. He is quick and very exciting to watch. They have clearly repaired the strained relationship longtime before

        We people can speculate all day long who is quick and best.

        Lewis and alonso know each other very well during their stint at mclaren, on top of that they have Enormous respect for each other

  35. Mike Martin says:

    I really hope Mercedes is going to give RBR a run for their money we are going to have a really exciting second half. I am just wondering if Hungary is really a true point of reference.If Mercedes are really on top of their tire issues. Hungary and Monaco are somewhat easy on the tires. Does any of you guys know this or can trow some nice facts in the group that Merc are really getting the better of the new tires? Wow, If Lewis is fighting for the title we are going to enjoy and experience true epicness.Can’t wait! GO LEWIS!!

    1. Quade says:

      Mercs innovative rear wheels for Hungary are discussed (or speculated on) here by technical folk:
      http://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14607&start=2775

    2. Glennb says:

      Fair question Mike. The way I see it is that Hungary was the very first race weekend with the new ‘hybrid’ tyre. ie, 2012 belt plus 2013 rubber. Additionally, only 2 compounds were used, as you would expect. Soft & Medium. Hungary was also unique for its very high track/ambient temperatures over the weekend. I say its way to early to judge who has or hasnt got on top of the tyres until more compounds are used on different types of circuits in different types of conditions. It IS fair to say that Merc were on top of the tyres used at Hungary in the conditions present. I think its also fair to say that HAM drove a beautiful race and *maybe* flattered the tyres and possibly the Merc. No disrepect intended there, just a rare HAM compliment from me ;) In my opinion, we will get a better picture after say 3 more race weekends.
      SPA for me is the ultimate drivers circuit. I hope that the new tyres are stable enough for us fans to see a great race between many great drivers. Many a great overtake has happened at SPA. Regardless of who wins I just hope to see the guys racing to the flag.

  36. Erik says:

    Once this team has a string of success, it will be very interesting to see the dynamic between memberes of upper management. They are so top-heavy, let’s see who is credited most with the success and how the others feel about it.

    1. Paige says:

      Yes, and there has already been some hint that at least one guy at Mercedes thinks of himself as quite a bit better than the others, as revealed in a recorded phone call for which he is the victim of attempted blackmail (I speak of Herr Wolff, specifically.)

      Undoubtedly, lots of praise will be heaped on Paddy Lowe, as many will connect the dots between the point of his arrival and the taking off of the team. Personally, I think someone like Brawn could really give a rat’s ass who gets the credit. He’s already shown he can function just fine and without ego in a superteam management structure in the Ferrari days. This is something for which Brawn deserves a lot of credit, historically. I think Lauda is just happy to have his name associated with success without actually being given most of the credit for it.

  37. Formula Zero says:

    That was the best drive by Lewis I have seen. His passes reminded me of Schumacher’s drive in Monaco 2006 where he started last & passed several cars to finish 5th. It was a great specticle. However, every decision seems the right decision in a winning car. The table always turns when the car is not winning. From championship’s sakes I’d love to see another 3/4 drivers give Vettel the run for his money. But in reality, it is extremely unlikely. Mercedes might be able to challenge for the constructor’s championship with the best driver line up in current grid. But I see this year’s driver title is just a walk in the park for Vettel. He really gets the best out of the fast Newey chassis. Even on a bad day Vettel finishes on the podium!!! But it’s great to see Lewis is enjoying racing again.

    1. SteveS says:

      If Mercedes are going to challenge for the constructors title they need to start giving poor Rosberg a decent car.

      Speaking of Mercedes car, there are reports of them using slots in their wheel rims.

      http://www.f1talks.pl/2013/07/30/mercedes-uzyw-felg-o-podwojnych-scianach-aby-obnizyc-temperature-opon/

      Any thoughts on the legality of this, James?

      1. James Allen says:

        Studying it with Mark Gillan

      2. f1talks says:

        Mystery of Mercedes wheel rim slots solved in cooperation with Craig Scarborough and Tobias Gruner. It’s not a slot but only rubber/Teflon band used by many teams to seal the breaks. Here is my full explanation – http://www.f1talks.pl/2013/07/31/nie-podwojna-felga-a-opaska-pomaga-inzynierom-mercedesa-zarzadzac-temperatura-opon/

      3. Quade says:

        As far as legality is concerned, there are some arguments that rims are homologated at the start of the season. The question is if Merc have found a loophole, or if only certain dimensions are homologated.

        Having a slot is excitingly innovative. It surely looks like a device that can be tuned to suit the unique characteristics of each track. If that’s so, Merc could jump from being a tyre devourer to being the best tyre whisperer. Time will tell.

        I think cooling air is sucked in at the brake fairings and expelled either above or underneath (and outside) the diffuser airflow so as not to harm its function.

      4. SteveS says:

        Sounds like a rotating duct to me. Which would be, you know, illegal.

    2. PK says:

      How you can compare starting 1st and finishing 1st in Hungary to starting last and finishing 5th in Monaco is beyond me…

      1. fada says:

        Glad you admitted. I am not supporting the comparison, but i know that given proper analysis, and a critical review of both drives, some sort of comparison be made.
        But as you said, it is simply beyond you. :)

    3. L says:

      All his passes were with DRS on cars with much older tyres (Button) or against cars with much older tyres and Hamilton’s fresh (Webber twice).

      There was nothing spectacular about Hamilton…the Mercedes was spectacular and Vettel being held up by a couple of cars because he lacked the top speed to overtake. People exaggerate so much.

  38. Richard says:

    Walk in the park for Red Bull, I’m sure they’ll have a masterplan B. And even if they don’t…So I really hope this Hamilton title talk is real.

  39. i really am getting rather tired of all this hoo har about hamiltons win. so what. yes, he drove well, and secured the top step on the podium but let’s get a bit of sanity into this. other drivers have done it and they never seem to garner all the ‘gushing’ that accompanies this particular win.

    to top it all off why do we need to be inundated with hamiltons private follies? dedication of races is pathetic and in this case sickeningly saccharine. more suited to girly magazines than to hardcore F1followers.

    1. Quade says:

      Its sickening to us blokes, but try telling the women that! And I’m speaking from experience, the wife’s an avid F1 follower, as are an aunt and a female cousin.

  40. Jonny Baker says:

    Fantastic race last Sunday, great to watch. Hamilton certainly delivered, and if both he and Mercedes can maintain their form, he has an outside chance. Biggest problem is Vettel and RBR are so strong, they will have to gift some points away through mistakes, unreliability, etc…

    My question is, James, will Mercedes impose team orders to help Hamilton? You know Ferrari and Lotus will to help Alonso and Raikkonen. Surely Mercedes will have to as well should the situation arise. Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamilton need every point possible to beat Vettel/RBR.

  41. Thread the Needle says:

    Even on a bad day Vettel is finishing third so hard to see Vettel losing it, but Hamilton’s got a chance of win at Monza and Singapore so who knows, it could be close

  42. sid says:

    Jamea, whats the word on kimi to Ferrari rumours? any substance to them?

  43. JohnBt says:

    [Where Sebastian Vettel had seemed in control...........for his fourth consecutive title, now things look a little less certain.]

    Thank you for that. I can’t take it anymore with the “Oh noooo, there goes Vettel again with his fourth WDC”.

    If the tyres were like the everlasting Bridgestone Hamilton will smoke the track, now that Pirelli is more conservative Vettel will lose some sleep.

    Wouldn’t rule out Kimi at all. Somehow wherever he starts he’s on the podium. Either Kimi or Hamilton for the title, as for Alonso…ermmmm.

    1. Bart says:

      On the everlasting Bridgestones, I remember Vettel winning the title (despite more car unreliability than the other title contenders). I don’t think he’s losing sleep.

  44. Multi 21 says:

    48 Points sounds like a lot.

    But when you factor in then next 2 race will be Red Bull’s weakest of the season, it should make the points gap much narrower going to Singapore.

    Let’s not forget that at Spa, Vettel didn’t even make Q3 last year. But he benefited from Grosjean’s carnage to recover to 2nd place by the end of the race.

    Monza will be even harder for them. They are consistently at the bottom of the straight line speed charts.

    Lots of people are saying that the form for Hungary won’t hold and Merc will struggle on most other tracks. What is this based on?

    Merc have been on pole just about everywhere: Slow, twisty tracks like Monaco & Hungary. Fast, high-load tracks like Barcelona & Silverstone. If they start from the front, then Vettel has to find a way past without a straight line speed advantage, and just like Hungary, he faces the prospect of being stuck in traffic and losing position.

    With these new tyres having lower degradation effects, Merc’s disadvantage has been severely reduced.

    I’m calling it an even money shot already. Although that assumes Hamilton can outscore Vettel by a combined 25-30 points at Spa and Monza.

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      +1

    2. Bart says:

      Actually, I’d consider Vettel to be pretty good at Spa- commanding win in 2011, 2nd last year (beating Kimi, who started from 3rd), 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2008.

      Italy is the one RBR may struggle. Vettel made the difference in 2011, but otherwise, RBR tend to be under par around there.

      1. Multi 21 says:

        I’m not saying Vettel is bad at Spa, my contention is the CAR will be the limiting factor.

        2nd place last year was a great result considering where he started, but in reality, 5 cars were eliminated at the first corner and they all started from the top 10. The only drivers he finished ahead of despite starting behind them were Di Resta, Webber and Raikkonen.

        His fastest lap was only good enough for 9th best, although strangely enough it was 0.1s better than Button’s best. Now I’ve confused myself!

      2. Rockie says:

        Thats ignoring the fact even after the crash he was still 12th with 5 cars eliminated

  45. Marcelo says:

    Nico wins 2 races, Brits say “pure luck”

    Lewis wins 1 race, Brits say “Title contender, the best there is. He will win the title!”

    Get real.

    1. Musa says:

      What Brits? I don’t recall anyone saying it was pure luck. Nico is a great driver and deserved the wins. He did inherit the Silverstone win as Lewis’ tyres blew, but Nico drove superbly to win the Monaco GP.
      Sometimes some people need to *think* before spewing up stuff.

      1. Rockie says:

        Someone has just proven his opinion right below!

    2. SaScha says:

      Silverstone was pure luck for Rosberg, and Monaco he was 0,09 sec better, for the rest of the race Nico was a road block at Monaco.

  46. Racyboy says:

    “The thought on my mind through the whole race was of someone who is special to me and I wanted to dedicate it to her.

    If he can drive like that while pre-occupied with a recent break up and not tyres then he should go close to winning the c/ship.

    Seriously though, we’ll know if Merc are on top of their tyre issues after Spa and Monza.

    Unfortunately for Rosberg, his role now is to put himself between Hamilton and Vettel.
    If Seb is out-qualified by 2 or 3 cars for a few races, this thing could turn around very quickly…with Kimi picking up the pieces in Brazil.

    1. krischar says:

      Exactly

      If vettel starts few races from P3 or P4 highly unlikely yet not impossible. He will become more vulnerable in traffic like we noticed in hungary.

      Lotus and Mercedes can out qualify RBR it seems at this point.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Well in fairness, he would have overtaken Jenson a lot easier on a different track, say Spa for instance, even Monza..

      2. Jake says:

        And Kimi

  47. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Poles seems reachable, more wins too, but for thinking in the Drivers Championship I would like to have only a 25 points deficit. Now is 48 so still early days.

    About the girl and the psychological mindset… I’m really tired about that and I wish not to hear never again any thing about that, even though I’m a big fan of Lewis. You have to do your training, simulations, psyc coaching, whatever, and go to the weekend for the fans and glory.

    More important, we need a plan, like poles, front rows,ROSBERG finishing ahead of Vettel and others contenders, and TEAM ORDERS in favor of Lewis, I guess.

  48. Hiten says:

    Even though Merc didnt gain any benefit out of the secret testing..they managed to resolve their tyre issues…Commendable!!!

  49. Elie says:

    I think it’s becoming very clear that there are certain tracks that drivers are just naturally better suited to – the Hungaroring is just one of those for Lewis. What we will find is that Spa will suit the horsepower of the Mercedes and Lewis is strong there usually- same can be said about Singapore and Abu Dhabi – he always seems to be very strong there. Monza too should suit the Merc but a few others will go well there- same as Austin. As I see it Lewis has very strong chances at least 3 circuits and good chances at 2 others. This will make the championship very close.
    What may be the winning thing for Sebastian is that Lewis and Kimi are very close – both in terms of performance and points so the circuits that they (or Fernando) miss Seb will get for sure.
    The battle between 2-5 may keep Seb ahead because on “bad day” he still finishes 3rd.
    What Im looking forward to now more than anything in the last 4 years is the battle between Kimi and Lewis especially at Spa- I just fear that the Merc is slightly better now that its overcome its tyre deficit..
    Comeone Lotus hang in there !

    1. Rockie says:

      How many times has he won at this circuits you talk about apart from Hungaroring that he has won multiple times?

      1. Elie says:

        Singapore he won 2009 and retired last year in a comfortable lead (3rd in2008)
        Spa he won in 2010 and 2nd 2008 and fought for the lead two other occasions before retirement.
        Abu Dhabi he won 2011 and retired in the lead easily the fastest last year. Before a Kimi won
        Monza & Austin he won last year (2nd in Monza 2007)
        You can’t blame him for mechanical failures. Sure Hungary is special with 4 wins. But now he’s got his tyres working his next favourites should be ok too.
        The test starts now the last 4 years have been about Red Bulls dominant package- now I believe they are equal.
        On most of these circuits he has enjoyed commanding pole and I think he will do that this year too.

      2. SteveS says:

        Red Bull has not had a “dominant package” for the last four years. In 2012 they were very far from dominant- the best car of the year was the McLaren.

      3. Rockie says:

        Check other drivers and you would be surprised!

      4. Elie says:

        Rockie, Im not here to read your mind and provide facts. Say your piece or leave it be. If your talking about Vettel – Ive already addressed that.

        Steve S Red Bull have been the dominant package at least 3 of those 4 years except last year where they were about at par with Mclaren and had it not been for mech failures and 4 major operational errors Lewis would have been fighting for the championship- that’s undeniable but aim sure you and Rockie will deny it anyway

      5. Paige says:

        Don’t just look at the wins. Look at the pace he has showed at those tracks.

        Spa- two poles, a win, and another win that was taken away.

        Monza- two poles, a win, a second place, and a podium that he threw away in the closing laps in 2009 while trying too hard to catch Button at the end.

        Singapore- two poles, a win, and a likely win that was taken away by a mechanical failure.

        Abu Dhabi- two poles- including for the very first race there, a win, and two other likely wins that were taken from him by mechanical failures (2009, 2012)

        Austin- Won the very first race there and narrowly lost pole in a car that arguably was not as well-suited to the circuit as the Red Bull was.

        So there is ample reason to point to these tracks specifically as places where we can expect Lewis to go very well. He hasn’t racked up the same record at those tracks as he has in Hungary and Canada, but he has at least a couple of poles and a win (except Austin, where he just has a win) and a few other wins that were taken from him by mechanical failures or Stewards’ decisi-ons. His record at these tracks in addition to Canada, Hungary, and China (two poles, two wins, the seemingly annual podium)- is just better than it normally is at other tracks.

      6. Rockie says:

        Head to head how is Vettel different? at the 3 tracks Spa Monza and Singapore you might actually be surprised.

  50. L says:

    The Merc is definitely the fastest car, as long as they can make the tyres work in the race, nothing will stop them with this kind of dominant car.

    1. krischar says:

      NO

      RBR is still the quickest car out there followed by Mercedes and lotus

      Vettel simply was not able to pass Jenson which costed him the victory

      Credit to lewis for his complete efforts to take the victory.

      Mercedes are still not sure themselves as to how much tyre issues have been sorted out.

      Mercedes and lotus have to keep pace with RBR car development from SPA onwards if they do then we might exciting finale at brazil otherwise Game over. Vettel WDC

      1. Paige says:

        Not so fast.

        Lotus have been the quickest car in race trim the last two races. On top of it, they have finally learned that with Kimi, they can do one less stop than the other teams and remain competitive. I expect them to finally start employing this strategy, which they should have been doing all year and would probably have netted them another win or two and certainly more points. As long as Kimi qualifies in the front three rows, he will clearly contend for wins, and if he can lift his game for qualifying and get in the front two rows more often, he is the guy who I really look to to take some wins and give Vettel a difficult time.

      2. SteveS says:

        Not only is the RB not “the quickest car out there”, it has not been that all year, so claiming it is “still” the quickest car is doubly wrong.

      3. KRB says:

        The RB has been, w/o doubt, the best car to have for the first 10 races. There’s no debating that. They haven’t always been the fastest on race pace, but they’re always in the top 3 on that score, at every race, whereas each of the others (Lotus, Ferrari, Merc) have had some nightmare race weekends where they were total non-factors.

    2. Anil Parmar says:

      Red bull were still faster in both quali and the race tho. If Seb didn’t make those mistakes in qualifying he would have easily taken pole and would have walked it. His race came undone due to poor strategy and the mistake behind Jenson.

      Merc cant really on those things happening every race.

      1. SteveS says:

        Seb made no mistakes in qualifying.

      2. krischar says:

        Seb made clear mistake in Quali

        Seb made no mistakes ?

        vettel said he could have got pole in hungary if he had put in a more perfect lap. On rare scenario seb accepted his mistake in the interview after quali in hungary

        RB9 is complete beast and the best car out there by miles. The tweaks which Pirelli made to the tyres did helped Mercedes

        However Lewis was simply too good for vettel and unbetable in hungary for Seb. Denied him pole with a stunner and then passed button drove a clear race and took consummate victory

        Vettel made mistake and failed to pass a very slower Mclaren in front of him for nearly 12 laps which costed RBR the victory. Heck even webber started 10th and finished 4th

        [mod]

      3. Bart says:

        @krischar – It is not the “best car by miles”! Ho wridiculous are you trying to make your comments look? RBR have won 4 races out of 10 so far, Mercedes 3, Ferrari 2, Lotus 1. The top 4 teams have all had weekends where they haven’t won, but were in contention for the win.

        Lewis did well in Hungary, but don’t get yourself carried away with him being “too good” for anyone. His own teammate has more wins.

      4. nicolas nogaret says:

        his team said he made mistakes at three different corners , and he said he could have been faster

        on the other hand ham said he did a good lap , but not special

  51. Torchwood Five says:

    I am very glad that Lewis has won a race this year.

    His comment that his thoughts were on Nicole throughout the race…well, I hope that is hyperbole, because it doesn’t sound very safe, and that worries me.

    I will admit to wondering if she walked due to media suggestions that Lewis should “leave Nicole and Roscoe at home, and concentrate on the driving”.

  52. dimitris says:

    I am surpised that most see a duel between Vettel and Hamilton unfolding in the second half of the season. I think it is going to be a four man race. If Mercedes continues to be competitive in the races, Rosberg will fight for the WDC as well, and podiums and victories will spread out among the four, especially if the second drivers, Massa, Grosjean, and Webber take podiums or take a victory or two. Webber can certainly do it, he will not move over for Seb, and Grosjean is overdue. Lotus and Ferrari will certainly be stronger in the second half and given the consistency of Kimi and Fernado I would certainly not write them off.

    1. Quade says:

      Rosberg is 40 points behind Lewis and 88 behind Vettel. I don’t see how he can fight for the WDC, all I see from now are team orders.

      1. dimitris says:

        My mistake, I intended to include Nico in the group of drivers who can fight for podiums and victories. I agree we will see a lot of team orders, but the second drivers can claim victory and podiums if they are at least two positions ahead of their team mate. They will certainly not be ordered to yield their position to the driver of the other team.

  53. Sean says:

    With Ferrari not being able to develop the car during the season as well as Red Bull and Mercedes and Lotus not being able to perform consistently, I think Hamilton winning at Hungagoring is just what this championship needs.

    James, while Brawn mentioned that there are several factors to why the W04 was able to perform so well at the Hungaoring, could you tell us if the 50 deg C track temperature or the slow speed track characteristic has more impact on tyre wear/durability?

  54. John says:

    Vettel will win.
    Hamilton and Rosberg will just steal points from each other and Hamilton will have a brain fart of some sort. As good as he is , he seems to throw in a silly mistake every now and then.

    Alonso and Kimi have a greater chance of winning this then Hamilton

    1. krischar says:

      Alonso have a chance ?

      Are you sure ?

      Last 4 four races have clearly given us pointers as to what is going to happen from SPA onwards.

      RBR will improvet he car further and will look to get at least a 2 tenths over mercedes. what is more positive ? Seems like mercedes and Louts can improve the cars as well to match RBR

      It’s a three way shoot from here on for the WDC between lewis, vettel and Kimi

      I forsee this at end of the season

      WDC – Vettel, lewis, Kimi,

      WCC – RBR, Mercedes, Lotus

    2. Paige says:

      Rosberg will steal points from Hamilton? What has he done in the last four races to suggest that this will happen? He finished ahead of him one time, and that was only because Hamilton was the victim of a freak tire day while Rosberg had the good fortune to avoid it.

      Hamilton has sorted out his braking issue, and he has been consistently quicker since Canada, routinely outqualifying him by 3 tenths or more. Even at the Nurburgring, where Hamilton had a difficult time finding the right setup for himself, he managed to beat Rosberg in Q1 and Q2 before taking pole.

      Rosberg had a great start to the season and a good run of pace up to Monaco, a stretch in which he was quicker despite the fact that Hamilton was outproducing him. But Hamilton fixed the problem, and unless Rosberg significantly steps up his game- and that’s how big of a step he needs to make, a significant one- his job is going to be to get Constructor’s Points. I’m not going to say he will have to move aside for Lewis, if for no other reason than that frankly, it’s not very clear that Nico is ever going to be ahead of him for the remainder of the year.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Lewis’ last “mistake” was Monaco, he threw away 2nd place there. other than that I believe he’s been very very consistent in his performances.

      1. KRB says:

        2nd place was gone the moment the SC intervened. I watched the tape of that race around those pitstops, and there’s no way Hamilton could’ve emerged from the pits ahead of Vettel, even if he was bumper-to-bumper with Rosberg in the pits. I’m not even sure he could’ve kept 3rd place, it would’ve been very close.

        Which begs the question, how could that happen? All of the cars should’ve been travelling to the same delta under the SC, and Vettel and Webber were momentarily held up behind the SC. Was Rosberg going at the low-end of the SC delta time? Did they lose the time having to slow at Ste Devote b/c of the Massa crash, and that Vettel didn’t have to, having bypassed it in the pits when the SC was called?

        Really, Merc were stupid keeping both their cars out that for an extra lap when a SC looked a near-cert. If Hamilton had come into the pits on the same lap as Vettel, he would’ve emerged ahead of him (assuming similar pit stop times), and then Hamilton could’ve ensured that Rosberg would emerge back in the lead w/o having to rush as he did to just get out in front of Vettel.

  55. Hansb says:

    On the one hand I really wish Lewis in his Mercedes can take the WDC this year, looking forward on the analysis of his changes.
    I have nothing against SV but the challenge from KR and FA is not strong enough, they may suffer from the new tyres but that excuse doesnt bring an exciting championship.
    On the other hand however, and I hope it turns out to be wrong in the coming races, this new tyre seems to be the perfect match to the Mercedes. If that is true it does have a artificial taste.
    Funny side note, Redbull urged for this more durable tyre, now it can cost them the championship as they wouldnt have thought the Merc would be that strong.

  56. Spyros says:

    Sorry if this sounds like seeing the glass as half-empty, but I don’t see the good news.

    I’m quite happy for Hamilton, but having multiple drivers chase after Vettel, who is already well-clear in the points and in the fastest car, doesn’t spell ‘turnaround’ to me.

    Last Sunday Vettel extended his championship lead, in a race full of problems (for him). The reason is because the winning driver was different to the one that was closest to him, up to that point.

    Anything is possible with almost half the season still to go, I suppose, but even if RBR has below-par performance throughout, they’re won’t exactly disappear, will they?

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Off course Vettel is still the big favorite, but the headline says it all: He breathes new life into the title race, not more than that- for now.

  57. Matt W says:

    I feel this is wishful thinking to be honest. For Hamilton to catch up you would need near catastrophe for Vettel, but his package is by far the most consistent. Mercedes in comparison have extremely heavy peaks and troughs. They only need one more bad race to be virtually out of contention, if they aren’t already.

    Obviously anything can happen, but I think we need to be very careful about declaring a false dawn for Merc.

  58. gregmon says:

    All things being equal, in the same conditions, car and resources… Lewis Hamilton is the best when it comes to wheel-to-wheel battles!
    The way he drove past Sunday, it’s like he was in another mindset or level. Overtakes were surreal, i heard somewhere that he made the call for first pit-stop…is that true?
    I wonder why certain drivers are able to deliver superman performances at some tracks, making their fellow team-mates so averages? Kimi at Spa is untouchable for instance, Lewis in Canada just seems like he’s driving beyond the limits. What is that?

  59. Paige says:

    I think the team we need to really start talking about to challenge Red Bull are Lotus and Kimi. They were in a bit of no man’s land from Monaco to Silverstone, but you really cannot argue with the race pace of the car in the last two- or with two straight second place finishes by Kimi. They have plenty of momentum on their side at the moment. Furthermore, I think they finally learned the lesson that they should have learned after they won Australia:

    Play to the strength of your car with your strategy, which is tire management.

    They won in Australia because they had a competitive car that could do one less stop than the others. Period. Being able to do one less stop with a competitive car is a HUGE advantage. You already have a 15-20 second advantage to start the race in total race time. Why the hell would you ever give up an advantage like this by going with the same strategy as your opponenets? Kimi probably could have won a couple of other races this year if Lotus had simply started every race with the plan that they were going to do one less stop than the others. He certainly would have won in Germany. The strategy certainly was responsible for getting him up to 2nd from 6th. I would look out for Lotus to do the same strategy for the rest of the year- in which case, as long as Kimi qualifies in the first 3 rows, it is game on for the championship from here.

    As for Merc, Niki Lauda said it best:

    They won in Hungary because of Hamilton’s driving. Period. They weren’t as quick as the Red Bull, and they didn’t manage tires as well as the Red Bull. (In the first stint, Lewis’ options fell off the cliff two laps before Vettel’s.) They won the race because, again as Lauda said, Lewis made up the difference. He got a great start to stay ahead of Vettel, he got himself clear of the DRS zone, he wasted no time making key overtakes after pit stops while the tires were good, and he drove a calculated race in clean air- managing gaps and tires. I think the next three races are going to really play to Merc’s strengths with the car and Hamilton’s strength’s as a driver, so I wouldn’t rule them out to take another couple of wins and gain big points over this span. Hungary showed that, more than anything for Merc, they need to execute a game plan perfectly and have Hamilton working more magic in the car, because they are not going to do it based on an inherent advantage in the car- which, aside from single-lap pace, they don’t have to the degree that Lotus or Red Bull have. So I have some doubts as to whether or not they will be able to pull it off over the full remaining distance of the season.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Well, there is hope of even better general race pace for the Mercedes now that they have a better understanding of the tire problem. They will almost certainly be quite quicker in Spa. Monza and Singapore are also tracks where they would already be quick enough. They have till october 6 for Korea, a race where RB is clear favorite. Those 3 fly away races before Korea -and Japan- are of vast importance. Mercedes won’t win the championship by Korea, but they can be out of contention by then. So for now, all hope is very fragile.

      Great to hear Ross Brawn saying they have some nice upgrades coming for Spa already.This could be Paddy’s input given that he probably knows why Mclaren was so fast in Spa + Monza last year.

    2. Kbdavies says:

      Very well said!

  60. Taps88 says:

    guys lets not forget that last season alonso had a similar gap to vettel at round about this point and still managed to lose the championship. there are still 225 points up for grabs and i honestly don’t think vettel has sealed this just yet. although i must say judging by ferrari’s recent slump, it’s now probably a 3 horse race for the title between vettel, kimi and ham.

    1. Rockie says:

      Why do people keep bringing this up? Alonso was leading not based on car performance but for unreliability of others. Hence when others became reliable the inevitable happened.

  61. nicolas nogaret says:

    although every other team had tested the new tyre before , mercedes had not and therefore they were unsure as to how it would work on their car ; verdict ? so far , so good

    but I am not too sure as to the reality of a competition for the WDC !

    it is pretty clear that , in clean air , the RBR is still the fastest round a lap under normal circumstances [ at least in vettel's hands ]; so starting from pole it is hard to see another car which will beat him , and front row gives a chance to lead after the first corner ! having said that , vettel clearly feels under pressure from hamilton in qually , and his record shows he makes mistakes under those circumstances [ eg he should have got pole in hungary ]

    so , ok , some chance for hamilton , but frankly rosberg is too far back

    ferrari ? the car is fairly quick , and if alonso was in hamilton’s league as a qualifier maybe ; but their glory days were based on having tyres specifically tailored for their car , and it isn’t the case now

    dark horse , kimi ; not that the car is as quick as the RBR , but it isn’t far behind , and with the possibility of one less pit stop at many circuits you would think he had a chance ; but unfortunately , as he says himself , kimi is no longer quick enough in qually , so I can’t see it

    if only there was a new season starting at spa !!!

    1. Sleeves says:

      If Kimi and Lotus will have a chance, they must have the financial muscles needed!
      There’s been much talk about Infinity getting 35% stake in Lotus F1.
      James, what do you think?

      1. James Allen says:

        You are right – they need more budget

      2. dimitris says:

        Apparently the deal with Infinity Racing, according to reports, will be finalized shortly. Perhaps this explains Boulier’s optimism regarding Kimi’s WDC chances. Lotus, however, needs to find a better balance between race and qualy performance. It seems they sacrifice the latter for the former.

      3. Femi AKins says:

        So basically, the Enstone team will be selling 35% of the company to a subsidiary of the company that originally owned 100%.

        Anyone think Renault wants some of the kudos back?

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      You just have to feel that Lotus rely too much on strategy rather than on pure pace. Kimi won in Australia on strategy, in other races he’s almost always behind Vettel. Kimi could win this year’s WDC like he won in 2007, with the leader’s(s) tripping at the end of the year.Kimi is the most consistent after Vettel, he is ready to take points if the likes of Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso fail to finish or have other misfortunes. But so far, the Lotus has no clear advantage over the RB. At best it’s on par on race day, whereas the Mercedes has a slight edge on saturday. Sad to say, but to me Kimi’s best hope so far is for Vettel to DNF once or more.

      As for Alonso: things were looking great at the beginning of the year, now I believe he’s out of the race, even though it’s so early day.

      1. Frique says:

        Kimi won the title in 2007 because the FIA not only sanctioned McLaren with a $100M fine and exclusion from the WCC but they were also excluded from the WDC as well. It was not made public for obvious reasons.

      2. Rockie says:

        Wow just wow go back and read through that period at least before you comment its ridiculous reading a comment like this!

      3. Frique says:

        Thought there would be one:-) Don’t need to go back and read. Saw the entire thing and prob recorded it as well come to think of it. Lewis being left out with his tyres showing canvas in China was no accident. Kimi was no where until after the FIA hearings so go figure. Forget who was driving the McLaren. Do the maths and see for yourself.

      4. Bartholomew says:

        “Lewis being left out with his tyres showing canvas in China was no accident.”

        Welcome to Mclaren!

      5. James Allen says:

        I remember that day so well. We were screaming for McLaren to bring HAM in for new tyres. But they were trying to go for gold and win the race, when they could have secured the points to give him a shoo in at the last race to win the title.

  62. Alexander Supertramp says:

    RBR very much still the favorite, but it can be done!
    Lewis needs:

    1. Consistency (he has been pretty consistent since 2012)
    2. Vettel losing a little/a lot of his own consistency. This one is very important
    3. Nico up there fighting the bulls as well. For the matter, throw in Fernando, Kimi, Jenson (Spa!),..
    4. Even more pole positions, clean air is vital!
    5.The Merc in harmony with Pirelli. This is still the biggest variable, but Spa, Monza and Singapore shouldn’t be a problem for Mercedes.

    It’s a tall order, but it’s doable. He’s among the big favorites in Spa, Monza, Singapore, Austin. Vettel big favorite for Japan/Korea/India. The other races are swing races. I believe Lewis is in good place when it comes to his driving, no matter what people say.

    1. Femi AKins says:

      Swing? :-)

      Any bell weather ones as well

  63. SteveS says:

    People are beating up on Alonso, so let me point out that these “difficult to overtake on” tracks, namely Monaco, the Nürburgring, and the Hungaroring, really don’t play to his strengths. He generally does not qualify well, but he does generally manage to make up several places during the race. It’s no coincidence that he’s suffered so much on tracks where overtaking is quite difficult. I can see him starting sixth at Spa but finishing on the podium.

  64. Ales says:

    Simple and true: »[Hamilton] is starting to pick up momentum and move in the right direction,” Ross Brawn said. “So we honestly don’t know where the limit is, because we are on a journey with Lewis and we don’t know where the limits are.«

  65. Il Leone says:

    I do hope Lewis can make a fight of it with Seb this year.

    And I also hope he can stop obsessing over Nicole. Let her go man and concentrate on your driving!!

  66. Thompson says:

    I would just like to say although we are only midway through the season I told you guys Hamilton would be a good bet for the WDC a few races ago…… What??… You don’t read me?

    Those odds would have shortened quite abit now.

    Loving the new bipolar thing some of you have now come up with.

  67. Fan says:

    Red Bull need a consistent 1-2 finish from VET and WEB. Even if its a 2-3 or 3-4, the bulls need their second car to be taking points off HAM and RAI each race. I hope they get the reliability issues addressed. The 25 points in Silverstone didn’t help either.

    1. Bartholomew says:

      True, but they did only have one reliability DNF (and one team error DNF) so far. As it is, Vettel’s championship lead seems to be fine for now, without 1-2s.

  68. Paige says:

    One more thing I will say:

    Ferrari is bringing an apparently big upgrade package to Spa.

    They may not have been the best at updating the car the last two years. But this is a new year, they know what their problems were in the past couple of years, and now they have probably more pressure to deliver progress with the car than they have ever been.

    We can’t count them out yet, either. In 2010, they did manage to deliver a big upgrade around the same time of the year that saw Alonso take 3 wins in 4 races and the championship lead into the last race of the year. (Before tactical goofiness cost him a title.)

    Something tells me Ferrari has a little fight left in them this year.

    1. James Allen says:

      ALO said that, but when I asked the Ferrari designer he said Spa package was nothing special, just one of a series of upgrades

      I think they have lost some confidence in their updates and don’t want to talk them up too much in anticipation in case they don’t work

  69. Justin Case says:

    I would like to congratulate Pirelli for turning this championship around for the two teams who suffered so much with tyre wear earlier in the season……….Also well done to red bull and Mercedes for sorting performance issues that held them back at the start of the season……by getting someone else to fix it for them!

    What a fascinating second half of the season we have in store……

  70. zx6dude says:

    It was so funny listening to Vettel moaning about Kimi. And Kimster? Just laughs. Brilliant! So glad Kimi is back!!!

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