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Lewis Hamilton learns how to lose gracefully: ‘Nico did a better job today’
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Jun 2014   |  9:28 pm GMT  |  71 comments

After coming in for heavy criticism, even from his own fans, for the negative way in which he responded to defeat in Monaco, Lewis Hamilton was noticeably different in Montreal as he came to terms with Nico Rosberg’s surprising pole position, albeit by just 7/100ths of a second.

Hamilton has by far the stronger record here and had been ahead all weekend until the decisive final runs in Q3. And yet Rosberg found a way in and Hamilton now has to recalibrate and try to regain the initiative tomorrow.

As in Monaco, Rosberg did the better lap in the first runs of Q3; he did a 1m 14.946 to Hamilton’s 1m 15.054s, provisional pole was his and it was up to Hamilton to go out and set a better lap.
The Briton has had pole here three times and won three Montreal races, but he made a small mistake and lost time in the second sector, losing his chance of taking it from Rosberg, who only made a small improvement on his second run of 0.072s. It was enough to edge ou Hamilton, who did a 1m 14.953s lap.

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 16.23.59
“Nico did a fantastic job today, so congratulations to him,” said Hamilton, smiling in the post race press conference. “Just wasn’t the greatest qualifying session; sometimes you have good ones and sometimes bad ones. But it’s great that for the team that we have got the 1-2.

“I went wide a couple of times in turn six and then turn eight but Nico just did a better job today so I need to work hard.

“It’s not that easy (for the race), especially with Nico being so fast, so overtaking is going to be very difficult; to overtake the same car as mine.

For all the good sportsmanship in these answers, it is potentially a significant moment in the championship battle, as this is a track where Hamilton will have expected to beat Rosberg on pure pace and have the upper hand in the race.

He still might; overtaking the sister Mercedes won’t be easy without an error from Rosberg, but he will have a chance on strategy tomorrow. If Rosberg leads the opening stint he will have priority on the stop lap, but Hamilton can try to offset against him – as Rosberg tried to do unsuccessfully against Hamilton in Spain – and the Briton could pull it off.

A safety car is a distinct possibility here and he could try something there too. Mercedes are committed to giving the lead car on the road the priority on calling stops, but they also give the other car a chance to do something on strategy. The problem is that the lead car’s engineering team is aware of what that is and can take steps to cover it.

This is why it’s harder to race a team-mate for a win than a driver from a rival team.

Did Hamilton crack today, as some former drivers are saying in the Montreal paddock? It was only a few hundredths of a second, but he was up by a tenth and a half at the point where he made his mistake and it meant that he dropped 2/10ths on the lap.

Fine margins, but then that’s what it has been for most of the season.

Rosberg is strong at the moment and has a chance to build some momentum of his own; a win tomorrow takes him 11 points clear of Hamilton, should the Briton finish second.

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How to lose gracefully!? – More like don’t make a fuss when you’ve obviously been [mod]! Lewis has always been fair in his approach, never seeking to gain advantage other than on the track. Only the naive think it was a genuine mistake by Nico desparately wanted to stop Lewis’s charge. When Lewis makes a mistake he holds his hand up every time, it’s just that the anti Hamilton brigade like to present it otherwise. – Brundle is as bad on Sky bad mouthing Lewis when the opportunity presents itself! It’s actually the first time I’ve watched Sky’s presentation while on holiday and I have to say I found it decidedly second rate as compared to the BBC.


lewis already knew how to lose gracefully.he showed that in aus,and when he didnt get pole in bahrain and canada.he only had a problem in monaco because he thought nico cheated,like many other ppl.


For all the comments about Nico being the cool, calm and collected one, I couldn’t help but notice that when hamilton whascatching him he sounded a little rattled on the radio when asking about brake bias.

Maybe that is just my interpretation of it.


Actually you’re quite right! Rosberg knew that if things carried on as they were he would probably lose the race win to Hamilton. In the event the pit stops played in Hamilton’s favour for a change, but his brakes were already critical. So much has been written about Rosberg handling his ailing car, but in fact it was only in response to the engineering team optimising the settings to manage the situation. Hamilton’s brakes were already failing and so the team could with the benefit of experience could give Rosberg the best possible chance of making it to the end of the race.


This waiting for an evening race is incredibly dull. But thanks to all you guys and your comments, plus JA’s site and article, and the race is a little closer.

IMHO, le a fan and admirer of Hamilton from his debut in F1 (and before), since his his Monaco 2011 post-race interview I started to lose some of that admiration and ‘fan-dom’. It was his response to being called to the stewards so frequently, and then he went and had his stupid shunt with Button in Canada. ‘Is he MAD!’ I yelled at the TV. His impatience to get past Button saw him drive into a disappearing space. He was back on form in 2012 and 2013, so still a huge admirer of his race skills, just not such a huge fan as back in the day ;-0)

‘He’s got to start that fire in his belly !’ Is something I’ve felt about Nico. He’s suffered the Britney jokes, no doubt spent much of his life being compared to his sublime father, and so far never really been in a championship winning car. This is his time as much as Hamilton’s. It’s incredibly tight between them on the track, but the results are all that matters. Whether 0.079s in qualifying, or 1 or 2 seconds by the race end – times that suggest there isn’t often any real-world tangible difference between their talents – it’s the points that decide the WDC, and I’m really glad finally that we’re getting to seem Nico has finally lit that fire.

If these two can keep the title thrilling, competitive and open-ended till season’s end, thank you F1 gods, and I wish the best racer – however fractional the differences -good speed!

Great to see Vettel 3rd, someone who in years past I would have bet he’d be on pole every qualy.

Hope Massa and Bottas, who also seem on fire with Williams, get to provide some great action with Vettel, Ricciardo, Alonso and Kimi.

It breaks my heart to see Button not included in the fights at the pointy end, but what to say? Heck, I hate it Kobayashi doesn’t have a decent drive too. No one cares about our boo-hoos.

Hulk, Magnussen, Perez always have their eyes on points too. And also feeling it immensely for Grosjean, but if they and the remaining drivers want our extended sympathies they need to show the kind of ‘fire’ Kvyat is amply demonstrating.

Hope you all enjoy Montreal 2014 – now just under 1 1/2 hrs away – and it’s as fascinating as we all hope for.


Cannot win……

Last week petulant, this week…. :-/

Looking forward to this race, curious to see what will happen if Hamilton tries to overtake Nico.

Rosbergs new determination makes me nervous. He simply is in a win win position – if he loses he was supposed to if he wins it’s because Hamilton cracked. At no point is his position questioned or simingly his actions.

Benefits of privilege?


It’s the anti- Hamilton brigade as usual. Presenters/Broadcasters are going to have to learn to be more even handed in their approach otherwise they lose credibility when the public at large can see the truth of the situation.



Despite strategy do you think Hamilton’s best chance is to keep within the DRS range early on and pass Nico on the track? Must be on Rosberg’s mind that there are a lot of perceived string Lewis tracks coming up


He cannot pass him on track, without an error from ROS. Has to be strategy


And what a mistake Rosberg made as he very nearly put it in the wall just managing to save it in the last instance.


Yes set up makes quite a difference to seemingly identical cars!


*strong tracks I meant!

Tornillo Amarillo

What hurt to me is ROSBERG’s first run was better than HAMILTON’S 1st and 2nd runs…

So nothing to do for HAMILTON, he was beat and that’s it, it”s rare, a really strange “new” situation for him in Canada, so for me it’s not that he “learns how to lose gracefully”…

Same car, ROSBERG is getting a great setup, maybe this is what HAMILTON is thinking, not really only his own fault on track.



I posted a comment like 4 hrs back. It still doesn’t show up here. Why?


You have to wait for comments to be moderated before they show up.

Depending on how busy James and his merry minions are and how many chili tacos they’ve just eaten it can sometimes take a while.


After Nico got pole at Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying during the press conference:

Lewis, a little disappointed perhaps? At the end there what happened?

Lewis HAMILTON: No to be honest I’m not. You can’t always get it right. Congratulations to Nico. He’s done a great job this weekend and he’s been improving and picking up his pace and he had a really good at the end there for us. Obviously I made a mistake on my last lap, locked up and went straight on but generally I’m happy. I’m really proud of the team for us to continue to keep moving forward and progressing as we are.

Yes, lewis only learnt how to loose gracefully after the monaco backlash.


Now I see that my comment was already posted( #18 ) but it wasn’t showing up until now. Mod, please delete this one.


Key points of interest for me:

Considering that Lewis seems to have a better fuel usage, can he go aggressively low and see if he gets a better start than Nico?

Will be pleasantly surprised if Seb gets a podium – expect Willims to clinch it.

How many safety cars? I’m thinking at least 2 – will help aggressive strategy if perfectly timed.. This is where Williams might lose out.

If Lewis doesn’t lead after the first corner I expect him to stop one extra than Nico but then he can’t go aggressive on fuel – key decision!!


I dont understand why and how every body blames Lewis for the body language in Monaco when NR had something similar in the previous races where he lost to LH. During the podium interviews LH gave credit to Nico (Bahrain, China, Spain) and NR did not even bother and came out loud “”I Dont enjoy coming second to lewis”” “” one more lap i would have had it etc etc””. This just shows the bias which LH is upto.

Interestingly there was a big banner put up by the fans in the Montreal stands which read as below.

“” Lewis is Quick, so Nico uses Tricks””.


The broadcasters can say what they like, but there’s no kidding the fans. – They have eyes!


Lewis Hamilton learns how to lose gracefully…….NO NO NO….Lewis did not “LEARN” anything today, he just lost fairly and squarely and graciously accepted it for what it is, unlike at Monaco when everyone wanted to force him to be GRACEFULLY ACCEPT about being [mod]


You are absolutely so right!


Ouch. the best of the rest are almost .7 behind? That’s huge!

Well done Nico, kept your head under pressure and delivered a great lap!

Nope. I’m not posting comments too quickly. Can’t say I like the revamped site. It used to be nice and simple, now it feels cluttered and confused. Maybe I will get used to it and start liking it.


No mention of Nico making a mistake in his qualy 3 runs….seem to remember he locked up or ran a slightly poor line, but I’m not sure, can anyone clarify?


After Nico got pole at Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying during the press conference:

Lewis, a little disappointed perhaps? At the end there what happened?

Lewis HAMILTON: No to be honest I’m not. You can’t always get it right. Congratulations to Nico. He’s done a great job this weekend and he’s been improving and picking up his pace and he had a really good at the end there for us. Obviously I made a mistake on my last lap, locked up and went straight on but generally I’m happy. I’m really proud of the team for us to continue to keep moving forward and progressing as we are.

Yes, lewis only learnt how to loose gracefully after the monaco backlash.


He cracked? For 2/10 of a second? That’s an exceedingly harsh interpretation. Break the 75-second lap into 2/10-of-a-second pieces, and Rosberg took 374 to do it in, and Hamilton took 375. Hardly a failure; just one tiny mistake.


I think its interesting that the 2 tenths stat is being used rather than the actual margin of 0.079 secs that was the difference between 1st and 2nd.


Please not another Englishman who laden show to lose gracefully

James Clayton

What a rediculous headline and article. Lewis was beaten fair and square on the track today; a totally different situation to (what he perceives to have) happened in Monaco. Did anybody really expect him to have tantrums when being beaten in such a situation? Has he ever done so in the past??


this looks like a lesson learnt from Seb’s book…Question is, after accepting his defeat does he have it in him to bounce back in next qualifying rounds? Some people fall further behind after accepting defeat.


I think your being a bit harsh on Lewis, he is normally very gracious in acknowledging team mates on the rare occasions they out qualify him. Lewis received a lot of criticism after Monaco, but then he receives a lot of criticism for everything he does or says. Along with a large number of people in F1, Lewis thought he had been cheated out of a chance to win and showed these feelings clearly, and also answered the myriad of questions honestly. A lot of people thought he should have hidden his anger and lied to interviewers when asked about the incident, but I’m certainly not one of them.

Scuderia McLaren

Like I said…

LH is a quiet bunny now.

Nico effectively cut off Hamilton’s ’emotion drives great performance’ style of competing. He’s been sterilised now, via embarrassment, and Nico now lands blows by default as he changed the game to the way he wants to play it. Data crunching to get the speed. A sterile and surgical battle. Supported by the guy that blessed the rains down in Africa. Supported by the board.

What is evident in the past fortnight is Nico has a plan, a strong mind, and is quick so well done Nico. Mind of matter and all that.


The difference between here and Monaco is, I think, in Monaco,LH was not given the chance to complete his final qualifying lap. Which he thinks it would be a pole lap. And the opportunity was taken away in, he thinks, very dodgy circumstances.

When LH loses fair and square, he takes defeat gracefully, as in Barhain. This is, in my opinion is the difference.

James, you agree ?

kenneth chapman

there is no doubt in my mind that the ‘competetive imbroglio’ is still there and in full bloom. like others, body language is a great indicator and hamilton certainly was not a happy chap. that’s fully understood given his penchant for being moody when he doesn’t get it all together.

conversely rosberg was cooly incontrol and it is important that he maintain his equilibrium as that is the key to staying ahead. some people have commented that hamilton was being gracious in defeat. the point is, what else could he do or say?

i should think that, barring any unexpected events, that these two will be battling it out in front and the real game will be for who gets the scraps. that is where all the excitement will be.


This is not the first time or last time he’ll find himself on the losing end of a qualifying session with NR. When two drivers are lapping within hundredth’s of each other, the tiniest slip or misfortune is often the difference between P1 and P2. Even a great qualifier like LH can get it wrong when margins are so fine, but this is the kind of stuff that the title fight will hinge on. Without argument, the playing field was level today, which was not the issue last time at the most critical moment of the weekend. Lewis is pretty hard on himself, and as has often been the case, he admitted he did not perform well enough, made the mistakes when the pressure was on, no blaming the car or team. The article’s title is a bit provocative in my opinion, but can’t blame James for that 🙂 We already had a precedent in Bahrain where Rosberg comfortably outqualified Hamilton, and there was no whining there, the same acceptance that every day won’t be your day. Look forward to a good contest tomorrow


I agree with you about the article being provocative. Hamilton is always gracefull in defeat when he feels that the playing field has been level. When he feels he has been cheated he is not happy (rightfully so in my opinion). Even after he won in Turkey a few years ago he was visably angry, feeling that he was cheated by his team/team mate (Mclaren/Button) earlier in the race. The suggestion that Hamiltons behaviour in Monaco was that of a “sore loser” is unfair.


Exactly, virtually all the drivers have faces like stone when they feel they’ve been aggrieved in some way (Alonso at Monaco 2006, Webber at Malaysia last year), and Monaco was no different. Lewis’s response here was virtually identical to how he responded to being beaten in Bahrain – wasn’t a great qualifying, congratulations to Nico, focus on the race although it will be tough etc

Furthermore, I guarantee you that if Nico had spun at the hairpin and brought out yellow flags effectively ending the session Hamilton wouldn’t have been nearly as cordial!


It is interesting that Lewis is not vastly far ahead. If his principle advantage is just raw speed he should be beating Rosberg comfortably on Saturdays – and oddly he was during most of the practices -I can only conclude that either Rosberg is faster than he’s had credit for previously or Lewis really does have a few off days where he’s significantly below par as he’s generally not had the same gap as he holds on Fridays.


And an old Schumacher who had been smoking cigars for 3 years was the faster Mercedes driver in 2012. So how good are both of these 2? Or aren’t ?


Rosberg has defeated Hamilton 3 out of 4 qualifying sessions this year when the track is dry.


I don’t get the point. You can’t discount the wet qualifying. If anything, success in the wet is a greater indication of skill and so their record in the wet is very relevant.


The point is that Hamilton has not been so strong on the dry track as in the wet. Rosberg has been better than him on a dry track so far.


Yes but so much is due to set up so it’s difficult to be categoric.

David Hamilton

It’s also worth noting that this circuit is particularly tight on fuel, and that so far this season Lewis seems to have been able to be consistently more economical, giving him the option of running the car on more fuel at some point…


And that accounts for diddly squat, maybe he starts off with less fuel? That might be the reason he kept himself out of DRS range until the end of the first stints in Bahrain and Spain. Didn’t stop Nico from being faster in both those races though did it?


Is it possible that Lewis’ better fuel consumption has been due to generally being in clean air out front? Or is it just pure driving style? (Or possibly Nico been using that higher engine mode more frequently than alluded to!)

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