Will Lewis Hamilton bounce back stronger in F1 2017 after a “year of growth” ?
Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton
Posted By: Editor   |  14 Mar 2017   |  7:27 pm GMT  |  372 comments

Lewis Hamilton reckons his 2016 Formula 1 season was “a year of growth” after losing out in the world championship fight with his former teammate Nico Rosberg.

The British driver, who is entering his 11th year in F1, lost out to Rosberg by just five points following a tense season finale in Abu Dhabi. Rosberg retired from F1 just five days later, depriving Hamilton of the chance to get even and regain his title from his long time rival.

In an interview with the latest edition of F1 Racing magazine, Hamilton critically appraised his season and singled out his starts as an area that cost him dearly in his fight with Rosberg, which was also hampered by reliability issues at key moments throughout the year.

Lewis Hamilton

He said: “It wasn’t a spectacular year to be honest, which is kind of crazy when you see that I had so many wins. It was still a successful year for the team in that we won the constructors’ championship again, but 2016 was not the greatest year for me with the drivers’ championship and my starts. But it has been a year of growth. I’m still fighting; still pushing.”

It is interesting that he highlights his race starts, which certainly cost him points last season; but also as the starts are even more in the hands of the driver this season, with changes to the rules on torque control, which must be 100% controlled by the driver, with no presets on the steering wheel.

Despite losing the 2016 title to Rosberg, Hamilton vowed to “bounce back” as he described the workload that drivers need to put in to be successful in modern F1.

He said: “It was a very trying year and one of the most challenging years for me on a personal level with things weighing heavy on my heart. I think people take for granted that we’re wealthy and successful and make lots of money and that it’s easy, but they don’t realise how hard we work.

Lewis Hamilton

“It doesn’t matter how much money you make; it doesn’t mean that you don’t work hard. Our engineers work incredibly hard and the weekends are the most intense – 20 incredible weekends. Formula 1 is just so technical right now that you need to be on it, on it, on it, on it, on it – mentally and physically.

“So yeah, 2016 was up and down, but I’m glad I’m strong enough to bounce back from lots of different scenarios and I take those strengths and those positives from race to race. I genuinely leave the negatives behind and just take the positives.”

The 2016 season was a negative chapter in Hamilton’s ultra-successful history. He did score 12 poles and 10 wins (to Rosberg’s eight and nine), but he lost out to a team-mate for the only the second time in his F1 career over the course of the season – something that will have hurt given his competitive nature. Rosberg’s retirement also robbed him of the chance to win back the world title in a new car and new season.

Lewis Hamilton

So what can we expect from Hamilton in 2017? He has already spoken openly about Ferrari being favourites heading to Australia after winter testing, but many observers still expect Mercedes to be the team to beat when the engine modes are turned up to the maximum for qualifying in Melbourne.

If Mercedes has maintained its place at the head of the F1 grid – and our analysis of Ferrari’s long run pace shows, this may not be case – then the 32-year-old will surely start the season as the favourite to win his fourth world championship.

But, should he achieve that goal, will he continue along the lines of Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher, or will he follow Rosberg into retirement? Mercedes’ management, who have only handed new signing Valtteri Bottas a one-year deal and know that the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Alonso are coming to the end of their current contracts this season, will be anxious to know the answer, not wishing for a repeat of the shock of Rosberg’s sudden retirement in December.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s comments suggest he is willing to make the commitments necessary to win back the world title this year. His speed is showing no signs of waning; he clearly outpaced Bottas in testing. And if he can get on top of his start issues and Mercedes doesn’t have the reliability problems it suffered last year, then surely it will be up his rivals to answer the bigger question of how to stop him in 2017.


How do you think Lewis Hamilton will fare in 2017? Do you expect him to win back the F1 world title or not? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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1

The only driver out there that could beat lewis in the same car is Fernando Alonso

2

Hamilton may come back stronger but as I have said many times that Ferrari chassis is better. Unless the Ferrari engine is a lot worse than Mercedes I think they have a game changer to my untrained eyes.

Some much smarter than m think I’m right. They say the Mercedes is more suseptable to any bad air flow and the Ferrari seems more planted.

I think raising suspension parts doesn’t help. I’m not a big Ferrari fan but they have one cool looking car this year. Also NO manufacturer has ever won back to back through rule changes.

I don’t like the shark fins and really hate the T wings. I hope they get removed or in the case of the shark fins maybe reduce their size and make them more shark like. Or let the fans vote on it.

How Hamilton feels is low on the list. How his car feels is more important and he thinks the Ferrari is faster. It would be real hard for Mercedes to copy Ferraris solution this year but maybe many teams will win races next year.

3

“It wasn’t a spectacular year to be honest ” really !! 12 poles and 10 wins in one year , still moaning,, leaving in dreamland my friend. The record will show in 2016 the F1WC was Nico Rosberg the rest is [Mod].. get over it..

4

Hamilton stated a few times that he intends to be in F1 for another 10 years last season. He reiterated as such when Rosberg ran away from the sport with his tail between his legs. So why invent a spurious retirement question out of thin air for the sake of an article?

5

James there are some really excellent impartial commenters on here I wonder being a newbie have you ever done a story about who was the greatest driver without looking straight at the stats.I mean Villeneuve senior would be rated higher than just his stats and Senna was taken before his time and some drivers have had the luxury of winning wdc in dominant cars.In fact I would rate Mansell a better driver than Ham.Have you ever done a story on this or consider doing one?

6

Hahahahahaha brilliant……just brilliant. I take it all back……you, dear boy, are a comedic star in the making. Keep these witty, insightful comments coming 😗

7

I like Ferrari but did I carry on to you about it when you called them arrogant even though they have won twice as many championships as everybody else.No that is your opinion and you have a right to it so what gives you the right to carry on the way you are because I do not think he is as good as you?

8

Personally i dont think this yrs car will suit his style of driving. He will be struggling to get the max out of the car.

9

I’d have thought the exact opposite would be true, to be honest. Lewis likes a pointy car with an active rear end, which the new cars should give him. I suspect the 2009-16 cars actually haven’t been to his taste, but he’s not a driver that’s very sensitive to how the car works – he’ll be one of the very fastest whatever you do with the cars, like Kimi and Alonso and probably Max, too.

10

Lewis might have served himself well if, on his own time and at his own expense, hooked up with someone like John Force or one of the other NHRA legends for some personal training on starts off the line. These folks are the world masters at this motorsport specialty. I’m not saying he should try drag racing. Toto wouldn’t allow that. But a week of training in a non F1 car ( not covered by testing restrictions) with a top drag racer might add that extra bit of car control off the start line. It’s all about torque feel through the right boot again.

11

Graham, i think you miss understand the complexity of a modern formula one car, the start is a process governed by strict procedures that must be adhered to. It is far more of an engineering exercise than a test of “feel through the right boot”. Lewis wasn’t known for his bad starts prior to last year, neither was Nico who had a similar number of poor getaways. Four bad starts out of 21 may be a poor performance by F1 standards, but the fact that he got 17 good ones points towards him knowing how to do it.

12

Good response. The fact that both Rosberg & Hamilton suffered a similar amount of start issues does indicate an inherent problematic Merc clutch.
We forget that other drivers from other teams also had their fair share of poor starts. Pretty sure Kimi and Max had quite a few poor starts-as did Ricciardo in one of the latter races but because Merc was involved in the championship battle, the spotlight was more on their starts
The start procedures are changing again for 2017. Let’s hope Merc have found a way to decrease the variability in their clutch performance.

13

Lewis new his 2016 challenge went up in smoke with his engine failure. He then went on to win the last four rounds very convincingly. The question should be will he continue 2017 the same way he finished 2016.
The only fly in the ointment I see is the relationship with Toto over the unnecessary team orders.

14

Why would lewis have to bounce back. He had the most wins, podiums and poles. If anythings, its mercedes who has to work on its reliability.
To this day, I’m still bothered by fans and pundits alike glorifying Rosberg’s cowardice as heroic. The man is an exceptional driver but not a racer. No driver worth their salt would vacate the most coveted seat in F1 at the tend age of 31. Hopefully, king lewis the 44th wont be beaten too badly but bottas the winless…

15

Is there any truth in the rumour that Mercedes was nursing a damaged crankshaft throughout testing?

16

Individual drivers will stand out moreso this year, as opposed to 2011-2016; drivers no longer have to drive to delta as they can push the car during a race. I can see him dominating Bottas ,whom I think is a great driver but his time at Williams didn’t impress me that much.

17

Win the title through sheer talent on Bottas? Most likely.
Do better in weaker areas? Requires ‘copying’ as he puts it. Most likely won’t.
Meanwhile F1’s new wunderkid, Verstappen is and will be doing just that on top of his talent.

18

Look.. I like VES but some of his fans do him no favours. He is a POTENTIAL all time great but potential is the imperative word here. He has achieved 1 win so far…..1 win that was inherited twice. First as merc were out the race…second cause RIC was kinda shafted by RB. The guy is an immense talent but he has a long way to go.

19

If Ves was in the merc he would have 3wdcs

20

scott:

Not if Hamilton was in the other Merc.

21

Right…

Course he would…

22

There you go with opinions again Scott. Where are the facts?

23

Uh, he was beaten by RIC last year!! Your argument falls down instantly.

VES ain’t no Senna … he doesn’t have the one lap speed for that comparison. If anyone he’s like Schumacher.

24

Who wouldn’t?

25
The Grape Unwashed

LKFE: Who wouldn’t?

Rosberg? There’s lots of drivers who wouldn’t have won the last 3 WDC in a Mercedes with Hamilton as their teammate! 😀

26

But he did, and in my view he barely makes the top 10 drivers on the grid list. I’ll admit that Nico has improved significantly as a racer in 2016.
My point remains that such is the level of dominance of the MB over the rest of the field that it’s caused a complacency in Lewis’ driving, and his approach to the sport…and frankly bored us to tears…
Not his fault, and i think if he had a more challenging teammate, he would raise his game -but in my view the last 3 years have seen Lewis fall back to Nico’s level.

27

He did not fall to bounce back, his car did.

28

I wonder how much influence a driver could have in the car failures. Could a driver’s driving style increase the likelihood of an Engine/system failure? Similarly, given the highly technical nature of F1 and remembering that drivers couldn’t get any information from their team at the start of the year, is it possible that a driver could miss-manage Engine mode/system configs and increase the likelihood of a system failure? Not meaning to be biased against Hamilton (though I admittedly prefer other drivers), just trying to understand what impact a driver has on the reliability of his car.

29

did you not hear what rosberg said about hamilton’s intelligence and mental strength? rosberg said he is very very clever. so clever he goes into the grey and never go over the boundary. something professor rosberg just couldn’t manage..

30

Another misinformed Hamilton detractor. Some of Hamilton’s engines problems occurred in the practice/qual sessions where there was no radio ban and his engines was freshly installed, fresh out the wrapper, not pushed. Merc have already said his engine failures were due to a design/manufacture fault but the detractors have to keep pushing the blame onto Hamilton. Perhaps Alonso is to blame for the McLaren constantly braking down, or Rosberg was responsible for his failure in Abu Dhabi in 2014? See how daft that sounds?,

31

Did you ever consider the possibility that his unreliability was self inflicted by overdriving

32

scott:

So did Hamilton overdrive his cars in the years he won 3 world titles? Did he overdrive his car when he was cruising to a probable victory in Malaysia last year?

33

thanks for the great analysis appreciated

34

scott:

Ok all flippancy aside you’re saying that Hamilton overdrove his car. I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this but if you’re saying that he thrashed the living daylights out of his PU to the point of it failing you’re wrong.

My understanding is that modern F1 cars have their PU’s set to ‘safe’ engine modes or performance settings and it is therefore not possible to drive them onto the ground. When Hamilton was cruising to victory on a new engine in Malaysia he was not racing anyone for track position and it was possible/probable that his engine was ‘turned down’ so that it wouldn’t be under unnecessary strain. This being the case why would it blow? It was later determined that a mechanical issue was the culprit. Consider also that after the GP Mercedes Executive Technical Director, Paddy Lowe, publically apologised to Hamilton on behalf of the team for letting him down, a statement that would not have been made if Hamilton’s problems were self-inflicted.

35

Thats a bit better.Yeah being an Aussie I really meant was he floggin the guts out of it.Realize they would have rev limiters and such but you can still be pretty savage on the gear.If you look after the gear it will look after you.ps your a better man than the 2 below

36

No problem Scott. I’m an Aussie too. All good!

37

Here you go again Scott. We are talking about the finest F1 machine ever created here… And lewis OVER drove it??? Wow… Thats some driver.

38

over revving the engine is not a possibility then thanks for the explanation

39

Wouldn’t that show up in the stats then?

http://www.statsf1.com/en/statistiques/pilote/divers/abandon.aspx

Of the current drivers, only Bottas and Ricciardo have suffered less retirements, on a percentage basis.

Also, did Lewis drive more smoothly in 2015 to only have 1 race affected by unreliability, compared to 2016 when he had 4-5?

You’re not helping yourself scott.

40

so it is not a possibility thanks for explaining that to me and one day i hope to have as many stars as you

41

Stars mean nothing, other than that I’ve been around for awhile.

Say silly things, expect to be called on it. It’s easy to just put out garbage … it’s the refuge of lazy commenters. Say interesting and thought-provoking things, and it will be noted, and will lead to better debate. Cheers. 🙂

42

How can one over-drive a brand new installation at the start of a FP/qual session? Naive, desperate suggestion by a typical detractor. I’ll go tell Alonso his car is breaking down due to over driving shall i?. What utter detractor nonsense!

I’d argue Hamilton is perhaps kinder on his cars than most. Why? Because he has the best reliability rate of any F1 champion in the history of the sport. Yes, i know you can’t compare reliability in different eras, but it’s still worth mentioning. PLUS, on the current grid, over his career, Hamilton has the best reliability rate of any current driver except Ricciardo & Bottas. Now, if he pushes harder than the norm, why is he topping the reliability charts?

No, Hamilton’s engines problems were bad luck/manufacture faults.

43

That’s a pretty one sided response clearly from a Hamilton lover to a genuinely interesting point, i’d be interested to learn more on this

44

Work it out.. Freshly installed parts, failing in practice/q session–hardly driven, hardly out the wrapper, no radio ban, should tell you all you need to know.

45

Hamilton just needs a little luck this year and he can easily win a 4th title. Bottas won’t be anymore competition than Rosberg was when the car didn’t break on him. As far as retiring goes, I’d think he could really cement his legacy by going to another team and showing he can win in a third car.
Personally I think Alonso is just as good a driver, he’s just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Timing is everything in motorsports.

46

did you not see the 2007 season?

47

He’s changed his tune somewhat from last season, where he just blamed unreliability as the sole cause of him failing to win the championship.

During the last 4 races, and in the aftermath, he seemed to want to discredit Rosberg’s achievement, by moaning about his reliability problems.

I felt this denied Rosberg his moment in the sun to an extent and reflected poorly on Lewis’s sportsmanship.

48

Rosberg was never really on Hamilton’s level. If you look at all of his 23 victories, only one or two were really outstanding drives. Compare that to drivers like Hamilton or Alonso, or even Jenson Button, and you’ll find that in many more cases, it was the driver who made the difference on the day.

I still feel a lot of people are unwilling to give Rosberg credit where it’s due, however. He bounced back from his drubbing in 2015 and really transformed his approach. He worked incredibly hard and sacrificed a lot and it was that hard work and focus that enabled him to stay close enough to a superior driver that a few technical issues could swing the title that way. At heart, racing is about all the things you do, small and large, that improve your chances of winning. You could argue Rosberg’s title is the ultimate expression of that. He extracted every ounce and let luck do the rest.

49

He just can’t win with some of you….can he. I think the fact he hasn’t mentioned the reliability issues is because he’s let it go. The guy is a winner and that gets up some people’s noses. Part of what makes him the winner he is is his ability to put things behind him. Sure, he vents his frustration like any driven individual would but he’s back on it next time around.

50

I get it your his father

52

He’s a winner, no doubt, and is one of the all time greats in terms of his record. He’s also overcome a lot to get into F1 and be successful.

My point is that I think it’s important to lose with grace, which I don’t think he did by harping on the reliability. He’s now saying that there are things he could’ve done better, which implies his loss wasn’t solely due to mechanical factors outside his control, but also due to factors within his control – i.e. The starts.

Some people think losing with grace automatically means you’re not a winner, but I disagree.

53

When did he ‘harp on’?

He stated a fact. Once.

For clarity one start may not have made a difference but he knows they are in his control.

Engines blowing up while the other 43 carry on happily…?

Not so much.

Get a grip. Harping on. Who would not given his team mates 100% reliability and three year record of never having a Q 3 spoiled by a technical issue!

54

Ok, the tone of this debate may be getting blown a little out of proportion…

To answer your question, he didn’t “state the fact” once, he talked about it over and over. There was his infamous quote in Malaysia about “somebody not wanting me to win this year”. He also blamed his championship predicament on engines at Abu Dhabi – http://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/737021/Lewis-Hamilton-technical-problems-world-title-defeat-Nico-Rosberg-Mercedes,

Mexico – http://www.espn.com.au/f1/story/_/id/17905366/reliability-not-rosberg-big-change-year,

and as far back as June – https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2016/06/lewis-hamilton-feeling-victimised-by-mercedes-f1-engine-reliability-problems/.

Where statement of fact ends, and harping begins, is a matter of opinion I suppose.

It wasn’t just one start either, he made poor starts in Australia, Bahrain, Italy, and Japan. He also had poor weekends in Baku and Singapore. The absence of which would have meant he won the championship.

My point is that he was quick to blame reliability problems as the sole reason Rosberg won the championship, whilst ignoring the fact he made several errors. This came across as an attempt to say that Rosberg championship was purely luck (or Lewis’s bad luck), which is part of the story, but also overlooks the fact that Nico upped his game, and Hamilton made some mistakes of his own – which is he is now acknowledging.

My point is it would have displayed better sportsmanship, if he shook hands with Rosberg and said well done – without then qualifying his congratulations. Doing that would not have diminished his status as a “winner”, if anything it would enhance it.

55

Tom, what you’ve got to understand is that to Drg and quite a few other people here, Lewis Hamilton is above any and all criticism. He has been forged by the Racing Gods from brake dust and nomex atop Mount Panorama. He has been sent to Earth to show us driving perfection. He makes no mistakes, He only gives others a chance. He has no crashes: Felipe Massa was sent by the devil to thwart him. He receives no good luck; Crashgate was merely the expression of His Divine Will. Praise him. Praise him or be damned.

56

He did shake hands and say well done.

By one start I meant that could of made the difference. He had two bad starts. Two further were technical issues. So did many others.

Just tell me this because it’s a common theme with the anti Hamilton crowd.

Why must LH be the only driver year on year who must absolutely have a perfect race every season?

No one is held to those standards but him. No one ever. Yet somehow we must see two starts as the sole reason he lost and not the estimated 50 points he lost by things he had no control over while his team mate serenely carries on crashing into everyone, collecting penalties but enjoying perfect reliability from his engines and being in Q3 for ever race.

Ignore all that – just accept that Malaysia lost him that championship and get over it.

57

What makes him a winner is the merc,seriously people

58

So scott, just eliminate all of his wins in cars that won the WCC or WDC. What do you end up with? I looked at the top 10 winningest drivers, and stripped out any wins in a WCC or WDC winning car. The win list then reads as:

MSC 24
ALO 18
PRO 17
HAM 17
SEN 14
CLA 11
MAN 11
JYS 10
VET 8
LAU 6

The top 5 are higher than the others, so I looked at their winning percentage in those non-WCC-or-WDC cars.

PRO 16.0% (17/106)
HAM 15.3% (17/111)
SEN 14.3% (14/98)
MSC 13.2% (24/182)
ALO 7.6% (18/238)

So the stats show that it’s not just about the car scott. Learn to deal with it.

59

You said yourself that Senna was a better driver than Prost so have your stats changed your opinion?

60

Not really. Don’t get me wrong, I rate Prost very highly, but to place them both, I look at their 3 years going head-to-head. Also have to remember that F1 didn’t include the driver’s weight in the minimum weight measurement until 1995, so even though Senna was slight, he was still giving up at least 10 lbs to Prost. Their percentages aren’t that far apart, unlike Mansell who definitely gave away lots to those guys in the weight department, which likely explains his lower percentage. In 1989-90, Mansell at Ferrari was over 20 kgs heavier than his teammate Prost, meaning an instant 0.6s/lap handicap.

The interesting part for me from those stats is that Hamilton’s strike rate is over double that of Alonso and Vettel in non-championship cars.

61

It’s a lazy Saturday morning, watching WBA v Arsenal (as a neutral), so did the winning percentage for the remaining 5:

CLA 21.1% (11/52)
JYS 15.9% (10/63)
VET 7.8% (8/102)
MAN 7.3% (10/137) *1994 Williams win wrongly incl in prev post
LAU 6.1% (6/99)

62

Interesting krb but it is not all about winning.Remember Senna in the wet in Monaco in the Toleman.We will just agree to disagree,you think Ham is great and that is fine I just think he is overated so can you deal with that?

63

Brilliant wet weather drives are musts for all-time greats … Lewis has plenty (JPN07, GBR08, BEL08, JPN14, MCO16, BRA16). Winning by over a minute at Silverstone in ’08 is the last time that has happened. In Brazil last year he was the only one who didn’t put a foot wrong all race.

Think whatever you like, but expect replies to silly statements.

64

One mans meat is another mans poison and as the great philosopher ‘The Dude’ once said’that is like your opinion man’.Being English you will appreciate that.

65

Should not assume that I’m English. I’m Canadian, born and raised; hockey arenas was where I spent most of my days. I am of English/Irish stock, family emigrated from East Lancashire.

I’m no homer … Button’s driving never excited me, though I respect his ability. Palmer likewise stirs no emotion in me. I cheered for Mansell, but knew back then that he wasn’t as good as Senna or Prost. Hamilton though is the full package, exciting and devastatingly good. All just my opinion of course.

Lastly, love The Big Lebowski. I still remember watching that movie first time, and loving it. I then implored my buddies to watch it, and had to wait ages at the local video store for a copy to come back in (remember those days?), and then we all watched it. They didn’t like it initially, and even I thought maybe I had seen it through different eyes before. Eventually though, they all loved it, and thanked me for introducing them to it. Can’t think of what would be a decent cult movie like it these days … Sharknado is too camp, Boondock Saints not out there enough. Probably showing my age, thinking all the old stuff was better …

66

KRB:

So you prefer the Toronto Blue Jays over the Toronto Raptors? Can’t believe it!

67

Hmm, I don’t follow ya. Of course both the Jays and Raps are my teams for baseball and basketball. They both take a back seat to the Maple Leafs of course!

68

KRB:

No big deal mate. You mentioned that hockey arenas were where you spent most of your days presumably in your youth whereas for me it was basketball courts. I’m an avid Laker fan and loved watching Kobe. But glad that you also get a kick out of the Raptors. Hope they make the playoffs but I think it will come down to the Cavs and the Warriors again although I wouldn’t discount Pop and San Antonio. Cheers!

69

And it was the Maclaren before the merc? What about all the junior series he won on his rise F1. Just be straight Scott… You dont like him. You are making yourself look a little foolish by trying to convince everyone that a 3 x WDC with 53 wins and 61 pole positions…..the fastest guy ever seen in f1….. Is no good.

70

Just not as good as you think he is

71

‘the fastest guy ever seen in f1’

It’s lines like this that really irk the anti Lewis brigade, which I am not part of btw. You almost invite the abuse. Yes, Lewis is one of the best drivers ever.

But ‘the fastest guy ever seen in F1..’

Pure conjecture. You and Aveli should get a room.

72

Some guys here are very sensitive if your opinion challenges their high moral ground

73

Nick. ..OK. ..that comment may be subjective BUT it’s certainly not as ridiculous as you are making out.
[Mod] 😘

74

Having allowed a driver of lesser ability to defeat him through better application (yes, there were technical failures, but they should never proven decisive with the talent differential being what it was), Lewis should be undergoing a period of intense soul searching and doubling down on his efforts. I doubt he will, though. It’s already clear from testing he’s quicker than Bottas. That may change as the Finn settles in at Brackley, but not quickly enough to upset the expected order at Mercedes during 2017 at least.

This is why I’m not sure Lewis will be champion this year. Ferrari looked slightly faster than Mercedes in testing. My gut tells me Mercedes are sandbagging and they’ve still got a little pace in hand, but Ferrari are going to be in the fight for pole and I don’t think anyone on the current grid is better than Sebastian Vettel at controlling a race from the front. Lewis is going to have a real fight on his hands. He needs to be at his very best. He needs to be focused and he needs to work closely with his engineers to optimise the car (which is why accusing your engineers of sabotaging you really isn’t a good idea). Maybe he’ll surprise me and do all that, but what I know for sure is that Vettel and Ferrari will make him pay dearly for every ounce of complacency.

75

At no time had he accused his engineers of anything. Quite the opposite.

He said someone or something…

In the assumption you actually bothered to watch the races – reveiw Abu Dhabi for answers to all your troubles Kenny. That should fit in well with your revision of history.

76

The implication was clear and he upset a lot of people within the team. They even referred to it as an “accusation of sabotage” in their response. If you’re going to accuse the people who are putting it all on the line for you, working all the hours God sends, then you’d better make damn sure you’ve got real grounds to do so. Lewis’ comments last season should never have left Toto’s office.

It’s stupid, really. If, in some bizarro parallel universe where Mercedes would rather hand their faux-German number two driver a sympathy championship (rather than have their global superstar win a third successive one with them), all they’d need to do is put more fuel in his car in qualifying, or during critical stints. Lewis would never know. There are much cheaper and easier ways to sabotage one of your drivers than destroying eye-wateringly expensive power units. It doesn’t make sense on any level, so why risk alienating your team over it?

77

No no grounds for such a statement at all Kenny!

Are you seriously justifying the fact that his and his engines failing even straight after the pain of stockpiling new parts should just be borne in silence for fear of hurting people’s feelings?

Don’t be ridiculous. He had been completely patient until Malaysia. By then Mercedes should have had a handle on it – I am amazed you find Paddys comments about being ‘bad luck’ more acceptable given I know no engineer that would not have turned the house upside down working to find such incredible anomalies within a undoubtedly robust quality assurance system.

Certainly not racing ones.

And as an aside. He Never had another failure did he and at no time did he blame his team engineers, he made that clear.

You don’t have to like him Kenny but comments as to ‘how you feel LH should handle matters” are so incredibly daft it’s untrue.

He has won the right to handle matters just however he wishes.

I am sure the team were much happier with Rosbergs methodology – win then dump the team right in it, yet I hear no comment how that might be a little alienating?

78

‘win then dump the team right in it,’

Yes how will Mercedes possibly survive.

79

Ha ha ha,and you are very impressed with all thiose Schumacher tittles which were achieved with the fastest cars and his teammates contractually shackled. We can all knitpick . KRB did the math which showed that Rosberg lost similar amount of points as Lewis with poor starts.You hold Hamilton to the standard you do not hold other drivers.No human can produce perfection in anything they do.For me to be impressed with Rosberg, I have to believe he will still have won the tittle without Lewis’s reliability problems ; but I absolutely do not.

80

I dislike ferrari with a passion. I think they are entitled, arrogant and mediocre to boot. I would MUCH rather red Bull in the hunt with merc but IF they have produced a decent car…. and the last 8 years would suggest otherwise. ….. then I think we will be in for a treat. For years I’ve wanted a true HAM v VET fight. Your comment about VET being the best at controlling a race from the front is absolutely true but his skill coming from behind isn’t as great…HAM on the other hand thrives on the hunt but doesn’t excel like VET controlling a race from the lead. So I’m a bit torn… on one hand I’d love for ferrari to fall flat on their weird Italian noses, on the other, HAM v VET is a mouthwatering prospect. My money would be on HAM for his superior one lap qualifying pace as it looks like qualy will be important this year, but it would be a great battle if the cars are comparable. Throw in VES & RIC and we could have an almighty season ahead.

81

Interesting comment Dean ref running at the front.

I can’t think of one time particularly lately where he has ever been overtaken while running at the front for example other than through failure or weather issues.

I can remember a good few SV races where he was run down by lesser cars while in front although it’s certainly his modus operandi.

Can you name any?

82

No need for apologies. Great bit of insight. I for 1 completely agree on all points. I had also completely forgot about the increased tyre pressures introduced last year and the effect it had on the merc and lewis in particular…..hopefully these new tyres will allow us to see lewis in his element

83

Think you will find they all had increased tyre pressure jeesh

84

I don’t think this year will be about Lewis bouncing back it will be about Ferrari bouncing back and causing him issues. Since 2014 he has only had to compete against his team mate. Hopefully this year it will be other teams.

85

I think this could be Lewis’ last chance for a titel with Mercedes. Mercedes has lost Paddy Lowe and employed James Allison, while Ferrari, after parting with Allison and de Beer, looks strong again. Honda and Renault will not be on the back foot forever. We certainly hoped for a better Honda Engine this year, but since it was a complete redesign, there’s always some risk included. However, if their design made room for more power, they will eventually get their problems sorted and find that power. McLaren’s chassis seems to look pretty good (thanks to, among others, Newey’s long time right hand, Peter Prodromou).

86

hamilton was with mercedes from 2007, much longer than the rest of them….seen many come and go so doesn’t matter to him who comes and goes..

87

I would say the thing that has impressed me about Lewis is his self discipline because he hangs out with celebrities and yet manages not to get influenced by peer pressure and thus indulge in illegal activities
or party too hard

As for 2016 perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because if he won the title last year, it means Rosberg would still be on the grid taking points off him especially so in 2017 when the fight will be tight.

88

Interesting people say that Hamilton is amazing but he could not beat his team mate in the same car.

89

@isha
Yes he could…🤔

90

Hahaha… come on… dont bite people. He’s clearly on the wind up.

91

@Dean, ha ha yes you have figured out my devious plot. Sorry I couldn’t help myself!!

92

[mod] look at what happened on track-not just the points total. Hamilton scored more wins, poles, podiums–he outperformed Rosberg on track, was voted performer of the year by the team bosses. He lost over 50 points to reliability issues while his teammate lost virtually zero. There’s your answer right there. Typical Hamilton detractor who cannot see the wood for the trees. Too blinded by hate.

93

Damn A*….. you took the bait.

94

Reel him in, Isha!!!

95

One of the things that worries me, is that just when the Ferrari seems faster in race trim, we have regulations that make it difficult to follow, difficult to overtake, and 1 pitstop races. If Mercedes still has a qualifying advantage this year will be an even bigger walk in the park for them.

I’m surprised Hamilton is only at 50%.

96

No doubt Hamilton will bounce back from what he probably believes was denied him last season. Racing is in his blood, his DNA and apart from family nothing is more important to him. He’s a natural born racer and when on his game no one can beat him and no one knows this more than himself. Such is his confidence. As much as I would like to see Danny Ric win the whole thing Hamilton and the best F1 car made to date are standing in his way. Have to temper idealism with realism.

97

The obligatory article to stir up the LHFC and their conspiracy theories 😉

98

@redline
Take it easy redline😉 I’ve only seen one conspiracy post up to now. Would say there’s more anti Lewis posts right now. But otherwise, some good posts opening up for debate😊

99

only megastars command such a huge antifollowing..

100

@James K… hahaha… I was just trying to flush out the conspiracy theorists, who have been awfully quiet so far 😉

101

oh I don’t know, there have been a few tin foil comments.

102

I hope it’s Kimi’s year! It would be nice if Valtteri makes a competition of it. Maybe he and Lewis will be in a close and tense battle all year, with Kimi hanging in there and keeping them honest. Then with two races to, Kimi turns it around, eventually winning the title by one point from Valtteri and Lewis, who end up being tied on points.😂😋

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