Frustrated Hamilton says Mercedes must “do better” after new qualifying setback
Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes on fire
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Jul 2014   |  2:55 pm GMT  |  291 comments

Lewis Hamilton sent a strongly worded message to his team after dropping out of qualifying in the first session once again with a reliability problem.

The Briton said that this run of setbacks is “beyond bad luck” and called on the team to raise its game, as his championship hopes took another knock.

Hamilton, who trails team mate Nico Rosberg by 14 points in the drivers’ standings, had been fastest in free practice and most were backing him for pole position on one of his favourite tracks, where he has won four times before.

But the Mercedes caught fire spectacularly at the start of Q1 after a fuel leak. Hamilton will probably need a new engine and extensive other repairs and is likely to start from the pit lane, while his team mate Nico Rosberg starts from pole position for the sixth time this season and the fifth time in the last six races.

Whereas Hamilton was able to come through the field from 20th relatively easily in Germany, Budapest is a different challenge. Last year there were only 23 overtakes in total during the race, of which 14 were DRS assisted. The possibility of rain complicates that picture further.

“We’ll have to replace the engine and gearbox,” said Hamilton, speaking to the BBC minutes after climbing from his car.

“There’s a lot going through my mind, but I just have to try to turn it into positives until tomorrow.

“I think it’s getting to the point beyond bad luck – it’s something else. We just need to do better.”

It is the sixth race in a row where Hamilton has not got the maximum qualifying result – Monaco he was unable to complete the lap due to Rosberg going off, Austria and Canada he made a mistake, Silverstone he qualified sixth, Germany he had a brake disc failure.

Reliability issues are mounting up for Mercedes, even though they are in complete control of both championships – in addition to Hamilton’s two recent qualifying issues, Rosberg had a gearbox failure in Silverstone, both drivers had ERS and brake problems in Canada.

Lewis Hamilton after dropping out of qualifying in Hungary

“I honestly don’t know what I can do tomorrow,” Hamilton added. “This is a track where you can’t really overtake.

“I think I will struggle to get into.. the top five. I’ll probably leave here more than 20 points behind Nico. There’s still races to go but I don’t know what else to say.”

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If it was a connection that came loose then it was not locked with wire or however they do it these days

there is absoletly no excuse for a top team to have this happen.The fuel systems in F1 should be bomb proof.


How can a car run perfectly in practice then when it really matters screws up ?


team orders are stupid! and hamilton, a true racer, made the right choice. rosberg would only have finished ahead of him if he had let him passed when the team orders were delivered. rosberg should have tried to pass hamilton on merit rather than asking the team to order hamilton to let him by.

alonso killed it for me today! enough respect to alonso! ricciardo deserves props but his tyres were much fresher. what a drive from alonso!


To stoke the conspiracy theories even more 🙂 I still cannot understand why there was not a safety car at Hockenheim- that was really weird, and I also cannot understand why, in Canada I think, Rosberg accelerates through the chicane run off after missing the turn to gain a huge advantage on Hamilton and not get a penalty of any sort. Gets away with a marginal call in Monaco.

Some would call it fate.


Any thoughts on strategy for HAM anyone? I think quick first stint on mediums, 5 laps perhaps, then on to the softs in free air as he makes up 1 second a lap on the 2nd place runner for 24 laps. Then when 2nd place pits he’ll come out behind HAM who then just has to nurse his tyres until they both make their final stops.


As Allan Jones said about the incident: “Bring back the T-Car, fans want to see drivers on track not sitting on the pit wall!”

Richard cummins

Look Merc would not deliberately do anything to LH car. But surely Wolf and Lowe have to be accountable for what is going on in the team. Anyone can say “they are devastated ” but this is a worldwide multi million pound business. What is going on at Merc is extremely unprofessional and terrible advertising for a car manufacturer. I am a LH fan but see much further far reaching implications from this situation. Merc could find themselves being booed on the podium like Vettel was. How will that go down in the board room? I can see LH leaving Merc and who could blame him? I suppose Martin Brundell and James Allen will be pleased though so that’s something.


I think Lewis is spot on with his initial assessment. At best this is complacency, at worst it is something altogether darker and unsettling. Lewis Hamilton is a great racing driver capable of the very best performances and it is simply unfair for him to be let down like this. Unfortunately where ever there is human endeavour at some point complacency sets in, and this sort of thing is the result. Mercedes in my opinion and at some level have become used to their own success. – Regrettably it manifests itself in areas that are unseen like a fuel connection or similar. Some of course will feel that there is something altogether darker going on, but that of course will be denied at the highest level.


I was impressed by Lewis’s attitude and words (for a change)… sure he’s totally racked off about it (and the other out-of-his-hands issues), but keep those emotions in-check until you’re behind closed doors and then rant n rave about it, if you so desire.

One thing’s for sure, it’s gonna be one helluva race with both him, Kimi and K-Mag making their way thru the field, so we (the audience) will be blessed with many overtaking attempts and actual passes. Also have a feeling that Dani-Ric wasn’t too happy (with his quali effort) and will have the bit between his teeth.

Lewis will be able to make progress, because he’ll have reset his head overnight and be raring to prove what a great racer he is. Plus, with the threat of rain and cars flying off the track that’ll increase the chance of a safety car, thus bunching up the field.


there needs to be a regulation change to allow teams to bring a spare car to each gp

car issues like hamiltons shouldn’t be allowed to spoil the show. it’s not a good look when teams can’t get both cars on the grid. it’s happened a few times this year.

the current situation is very tough on mechanics and potentially leads to more mistakes. if f1 insists on running such complex machines then it needs to make allowances.

the regs could be worded so that the spare car can only be used in strictly defined circumstances.


This latest disaster for LH is unbeliveable. I reckon there are now at least 3 incidents of possible finger trouble on MS/LH side of garage this season – ignition system, brake disc and now HP fuel pipe.

MS also had less reliability.

Seems that there is an issue on his side, and out there someone has a breakdown of the actual incidents. If I was LH I would be demanding that Lauda and Wolff investigate in depth every reliability issue from the very start with MS.

This is not bad luck, it smacks of either deliberate actions or sheer incompetence.

Also a good argument to bring back the T car. LH could have got back to the garage and completed qually.


it doesn’t matter how many years experience the fitters have, they should still be taken off and provided extra training if they fit cars which fail suspiciously mercedes should adopt this as part of their improved quality control. we saw too many of such suspicious breakdowns at mclaren while hamilton was there.

all it takes is the offer of money to make people commit sinister deeds.


What a bunch of doom and gloomers you all are.

Lewis i still going to win the championship, this will just make the champagne taste all the sweeter.


I just ran four trials of 19 coin flips each to see how “luck” plays out over a sample size equal to an F1 season…four seasons worth in fact.

T1 – Heads 10, Tails 9

T2 – Heads 8, Tails 11

T3 – Heads 11, Tails 9

T4 – Heads 7, Tails 12

Longest streak of consecutive flips for one side: 5 (happened once in T2 and once again in T4)

Number of conspiracies to undermine Heads over the four sets of trials: 0

The problem this year is that the stakes are higher. Every breakdown or driving error is amplified in importance with a WDC on the line.

The worst thing about the mechanical issues is that they have robbed us of seeing more great duels between Hamilton and Rosberg at the front of at least 3 races this year. Seeing those duels would have been the sporting ideal, but that is why races like Bahrain deserve the high praise they get. They are rare.

Carlos Marques

Amazing how far we’ve come to think an engine fire is somehow related to a conspiracy theory… remember the 80s when turbos and engines exploded with uncanny reliability…Lewis should remember his big hero had a few engines explode at critical moments in a race and championship, and he kept his mouth shut and (I’m imagining a bit here) kicked a mechanic or two behind closed doors… the same with Michael at Ferrari and Mika at McLaren…these things happen…


Senna keeping his mouth shut, you must be joking, take a look back and you will see just how many times he spoke out, a very emotional character indeed. I was around back then and remember well the many outbursts.


The engine did not fail its the fuel leak Engine failure is commn – but fuel leaks is not. Go on tell me how many time we have had fuel leaks in F1 and how many top teams have suffered this? ! Lewis saboteurs are running out of every possible option to sabotage his car 🙂

Bad engine

Faulty Breaks

Faulty Front Wing

Fuel leaks

Possible other options

Roll bar faulty

Gear being stuck


you are not serious! it is the pattern of failures which is as abnormal as the exposure of the top f1 official with prostitutes, and should be investigated and eliminated if mercedes are not the culprits themselves.


Someone should look at the betting syndicates and how much has been placed on that Mercedes results Investigative journalism is what is missing in F1 as the journalists are seduced with f1 glamour and would never rock the boat. This is not a transparent sport. its run like the mafia ring.

Fast cars, plenty of money, champagne, models and old rich men and people think its all above board LMAO!!


Your post could be very true, now you’re changing my mind. LMAO too.


Well Hamilton is right. Mercedes can and must do a better job. It is quite extraordinary that unreliability is rife at this time of the season when cars were breaking down, left, right and centre in pre-season testing for virtually every team. It just doesn’t make sense. James, what are the other teams saying about the situation at Mercedes? The other teams are not in world championship contention, no matter what they may say, and surely must have a view about the world championship battle, and the speculated conspiracy theories surrounding Mercedes.


it’s not so hard to root out a dodgy fitter is it? but is there a political will to do it? that’s the other question.


I don’t recall Michael Schumacher ever complaining in any fashion against his teams in the years of bad cars, bad calls or unreliable equipment. Like, never! Even Japan in 2006, what a class act!

Lewis Hamilton talks about the team as if he is detached from it. Like he is paying their salaries to provide him with some service or something. How peculiar.


Did you even bother reading the article, or just the headline?

“I think it’s getting to the point beyond bad luck – it’s something else. We just need to do better.”

How exactly is saying ‘WE need to do better’ talking as if he is detached from the team? Hamilton always takes responsibility for his mistakes, I’ve heard many people say that he beats himself up too much. He is right about it being beyond luck and I very much doubt that Mercedes are treating these issues as bad luck, they will be doing all they can to make sure issues like these do not happen again.


why can you not learn that you cannot be in charge of hamilton? is hamilton schumacher? have you ever seen anyone like schumacher or hamilton, or indeed yourself? each human being is unique, there has never been and there will never be on other like that. whatever opinion you have on him, mercedes pays him tens of millions of pounds for his services.


Things could be a lot worse for Hamilton. If these problems (last weeks brake failure and this weeks engine failure) occurred in the race rather than in qualifying he’d be picking up zero points. And that also shoots a hole in the “sabotage” theory. If somebody really wanted to sabotage Lewis’ campaign the time to do it would be after qualifying and before the race.


No, you sabotage his qualifying position so that that he can STILL race to a poor finish. You still need the sponsor’s logos to get airtime on TV during the race. You need those advertising dollars to keep flowing.


Hey conspiracy theorists…

“I’m devastated for Lewis. A Mercedes in flames is not what we want to show the world”

-Toto Wolff

Luck happens or doesn’t, whether you like it or not.



James is it possible teams might be planning to sacrifice at other races so as to have fresh components at the final race with double points? I mean, I’d do it if it was the equivalent of two races.


Lewis Hamilton had problem after problem when he was at McLaren. Since he left McLaren, their reliability has greatly increased.

Paddy Lowe followed Hamilton to Mercedes, he’s in charge of the cars. Toto and Niki can talk all day long, the finger trouble at Mercedes needs to be sorted out by Lowe and I’m not so sure he’s up to the job.


Bring bak t car, so Lewis could of use dat to qualify, start where was supposed to. Not on bak of the grid


As most teams’ reliability is stabilising, Mercedes’s seems to be worsening – serious issues at last 3 weekends.

They’ll be relieved they have two great drivers to maximise points, because without them they could be in trouble in the championship.


Look on the bright side, Lewis is working for his money. How easy is it going to be for him when he does start at the front? Nico is far from the polished driver. I’d say Lewis would be stuffed if he were up against Alonso but he isn’t. He is against a guy who made a mistake in Monaco and was lucky, had no rival in Australia, survived Canada only because he backed off, had no Lewis against him in Australia, again in Germany and now again in Austria.

Lewis can be blamed for Silverstone. He should have finished the lap. Likewise Austria, he had no banker lap. However it is becoming a joke now and if Mercedes want to keep the fastest guy in F1 in their car, they better pull their finger out.

Ironic isn’t it Lewis left McLaren on the back of a Singapore retirement and it was a Mercedes component at fault for that.

On the flip side, put the best overtaker in the best car and let’s see fireworks 🙂

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