Hope vs Glory?
Austin 2018
US Grand Prix
One hand on the title: Hamilton takes Japanese F1 GP win
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Posted By: Editor   |  07 Oct 2018   |  9:24 am GMT  |  661 comments

Taking full advantage of a race of desperation for championship rival Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two and claimed his 71st Formula One victory to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings to a mighty 67 points.

Determined to try and make up for lost ground in yesterday’s qualifying, Vettel’s lightening run through the field from eighth on the grid was halted when a mistimed move on Max Verstappen sent him spinning out of contention.

With Mercedes one challenger down, they had only a racy Verstappen to worry about in the closing stages of the race, but they were mostly untroubled as Hamilton’s win was backed up by a second place for Valtteri Bottas.

The result means that a win for Hamilton at the next race in Austin will secure him the drivers’ championship if Vettel fails to finish in second place.

“The whole weekend has been very strong from the team, it’s a great one-two for Mercedes, a true showing of the real strength in depth we have as a team,” said Hamilton.

This track is the best in the world, I don’t know why they don’t make tracks like this any more, but every second of the run was great fun. I was able to look after my tyres the way I wanted.

“Obviously we’ve been racing for a long, long time, but the happiness I have is as high as always. It’s a great feeling.”

With faster tyres, Verstappen came into contention for second place in the closing stages of the race, but instead had to settle for third – despite having a five-second time penalty for an opening-lap collision with Kimi Raikkonen.

The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo fought through the field and gave a fine example of an ‘overcut’ to finish ahead of Ferrari’s Raikkonen in fourth.

Vettel’s recovery drive brought him back to sixth place, but the Ferrari man will be under pressure to at least validate his status to the team and deliver a strong end to the season after another driver error at Suzuka.

Despite the threat of a usually fast-starting Max Verstappen, both Mercedes got off the line perfectly and led the Dutchman into turn one.

Further back, Vettel had one of the starts of his season and jumped both Toro Rossos to run in P6 after the opening sequence of corners. His opening lap progress continued by passing Haas’ Romain Grosjean into Spoon corner.

Vettel was then gifted another place when Verstappen and Raikkonen came together on the opening lap; the Red Bull driver out-braked himself and ran across final chicane, but edged Raikkonen wide upon rejoining the track, which allowed Vettel to pass his team-mate for P4. Verstappen was given a five-second time penalty for failing to rejoin the track in a safe manner, something which the Dutchman labelled “ridiculous”.

“I braked a little bit too late into the chicane, I did everything I could to get back onto the track, and I think I did it in a safe way because I wasn’t crazy fast onto the track,” said Verstappen after the race.

“Kimi chose the wrong line into the chicane, he could’ve also just waited for me to come back onto the track and we touched a little bit. I think it’s really ridiculous, those five seconds.”

Further back outside the top ten, Charles Leclerc was attempting to pass Kevin Magnussen into turn one, but a very late defensive move from the Dane resulted in the Sauber tagging the back of the Haas, puncturing its rear tyre.

The shredding tyre was spreading debris all over the circuit, and the safety car was deployed. A few backmarkers used the opportunity to pit for medium tyres.

With the cars bunched up under the safety car, Vettel went straight on the attack when the track went back to green and, at the first sight of a gap, went for the overtake at Spoon corner.

However, the late lunge resulted in the pair making contact, which spun Vettel around and sent him to the back of the field, leaving his already-slim championship hopes in tatters.

Daniel Ricciardo had made a good start and was cutting his way through the field. The Australian made light work of the Force India and Toro Rosso drivers, and eventually passed the highest midfield runner – Haas’ Romain Grosjean – for fifth place on lap fourteen.

Up front, Hamilton was reporting an increase in vibrations from the power unit, but his lead appeared unaffected by this.

With the gap between fourth-placed Raikkonen and fifth-placed Ricciardo now closing, the Finn pitted on lap seventeen for fresh medium tyres in an attempt to defend against Ricciardo and undercut Verstappen.

However, the Ferrari man returned to the track in traffic, which prevented him from taking advantage of Verstappen’s five-second penalty, and also lost him a place to Ricciardo. He ended up in fifth place when Verstappen and Ricciardo pitted for softs and mediums respectively.

With Vettel trying to make his way through the backmarkers and midfielders, he extended his supersoft tyre stint in order to capitalise on free air and try to gain positions over the pit stop phase. This dropped him outside the top ten, but the fresh soft tyres allowed him to scythe his way through to sixth place with around 20 laps to go, but by now he was 40 seconds behind fifth-placed Raikkonen.

With Verstappen on the softer tyres and being able to get more pace out of his Red Bull than Bottas could out of his Mercedes, he began to reel in the Finn, whittling down the gap to around two seconds prior to a virtual safety car deployment for Charles Leclerc’s stricken Sauber.

Despite Verstappen having just over ten laps after the VSC to try to make a move on Bottas, the Red Bull could only really put the Mercedes under pressure when negotiating the backmarkers, and the Bottas had enough power in free air to keep Verstappen at arms’ length.

In the battle for ‘best of the rest’, Force India’s Sergio Perez got a strong restart after the VSC to mug Haas’ Romain Grosjean for seventh place at the chicane.

Up front, there were no further power unit complaints and Hamilton was untroubled as he took the chequered flag to take his 71st victory – his 50th with Mercedes – and lead Mercedes’ 4th one-two finish of the season.

Verstappen’s third place was followed up by a strong recovery drive for Ricciardo, who finished five seconds adrift of his team-mate.

Raikkonen was not instructed to let team-mate Vettel through, suggesting that Ferrari have all but given up on the drivers’ championship. Vettel taking the fastest lap in the closing stages meant that he denied Hamilton a ‘grand chelem’ victory – pole, win, lead every lap & fastest lap.

Perez built up a gap to Grosjean in the final few laps to secure the ‘class B victory’, with Esteban Ocon finishing ninth and Renault’s Carlos Sainz taking the final points-paying position from Pierre Gasly in the final laps, denying Toro Rosso a point on Honda’s home soil.

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 53 Laps
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 12.919s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 14.295s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 19.495s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 50.998s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 69.873s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 79.397s
8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 87.198s
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 88.055s
10 Carlos Sainz Renault 1 Lap
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1 Lap
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1 Lap
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1 Lap
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1 Lap
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari DNF
19 Nico Hulkenberg Renault DNF
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari DNF

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

Who is your driver of the day at Suzuka? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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1
Torchwood Mobile

Monza. Ferarri wanted to keep Kimi. There last WDC, and lately, the only one out of their pairing, the better performing.

The family owning Fiat, over-ruled them to honour Marchionne’s wish, and booted Kimi out.

That is when the Prancing Horse started to falter.

2

It also looked like Marchionne wanted Ferrari out of F1. Maybe this is the way:)

Downhill since Spa/Monza

3

Where do you get your facts?
I am of the opinion that keeping Kimi would have been the better option alongside the new youngster, but would not make statements of facts like above without solid proof.

4

Is Verstappen new Maldonado?

5

Hopefully KMag is starting to understand that his aggression isn’t working for him, although it hasn’t yet dawned on Perez after all these years. Of all the current drivers, only Max actually gains a little ground from cheek. Meanwhile Hamilton sails ahead with his mind wedded to prayer, gratitude and meditations on love. His example of winning with positivity and spirituality should be noticed by other drivers.

6
Tornillo Amarillo

What is the real responsibility of Vettel in this disastrous year?
Could you imagine Hamilton nowadays in qualify getting out with intermediates when is not raining?
Is Vettel pushing the team for the right decisions in strategy?
Vettel crashing alone being in P1 at the end of the Germany GP, is only equivalent to the moment in that rookie year for Hamilton, in China 2007?
If Vettel wanted to emulate Schumacher in the way the latest has inspired the team to reach the top, well, he has fallen short. Or Schumacher went too far…?
If the same Vettel’s errors were made by Hamilton, what we had said about him? That he is getting old? Distracted by all his off-track activities, planes and fashion?
If the same Vettel’s errors were made by Bottas, Kimi or Ricciardo? We had said they are not at the level Formula 1 requires, that they should be replaced.
But what do we say about Vettel…?
Not much, because he is a good guy.

7

Gotta correct one thing….. Vettel’s tyres in Germany were perfectly driveable, Hamilton’s were totally shot.

8

@Tornillo Amarillo

All great questions but I do believe Ferrari shares alot of the blame in all of this.

Mercedes knew the progress that Ferrari made in terms of machinery so they added another element to their title defense – unconditional support for their number #1 driver.

Ferrari produced a comparable and some say a better overall package than Mercedes this year but failed to produce a better overall strategy to make sure their # 1 is taken care of.

Yea, Vettel is also responsible for alot of Ferrari’s failures this year but is it because of the lack of support, the ineptness of Ferrari operations or the pressure of carrying Ferrari’s hopes and dreams on his shoulders? Or is he really just not good enough to bring that trophy home to Maranello?

9

That is a pile of BS! Ferrari have favoured Vettel over Raikkonen all season and all last season without doubt. Raikkonen has not been allowed to win a single race! Ferrari are just better at disguising it as tactical/race situation as opposed to a direct order.
Ham’ is being favoured now because he has put himself in that position against Bottas, If it were the other way round they would favour Bottas. (Hamilton might not be so obliging as he has not been in the past)
NB! I am not a Hamilton fan, But I acknowledge that he is exceptionally good, but I do not discount that given the superiority of the car he only has to be better than his team mate and would find it more difficult against a more competitive team mate, (E.G. Nico)

10

*Hesitations from the PU

11

I tell you something, losing that championship to Rosberg two years ago, made Hamilton him turn around on his ways to getting things done, just driving the best he can when he is allowed by the engineers. He is never been so strong mentally. he is on the top of his game.

12
Tornillo Amarillo

Editor, now 5 drivers in the midfield (F1″B”)separated by only 4 points!
Perez, Kevin, Hulk, Alonso, and Ocon.
Who is gonna win the title “Best of the Rest”?
I would like Ocon, go Ocon go!

13

(Disclaimer: haven’t gone through every season yet)

*Odd Stat of the Day*

It seems that we’ve witnessed an odd occurrence (in the history of F1) happen quite frequently of late. You might see a single race winner languish further down the standings, but it is relatively rare for a multi-race winner (multiple wins in one season I mean) to finish lower than 5th in the table.

Yet it looks likely that we’ll see our 4th occurrence of it in the last 7 seasons. If Ricciardo ends up 6th, he’ll join the following as drivers to win multiple races and finish 6th in the table:

2017 – Verstappen
2013 – Rosberg
2012 – Webber
1982 – Arnoux

1982 is particularly weird, as 2 wins was the most anyone had, yet none of the 5 drivers that did it ended up winning. They finished 2nd through 6th, while Keke won the title with a lone win!

14

KRB

1982 was odd indeed. 11 drivers won a race, 9 different drivers won in 9 consecutive races. A lot happened that season, with Keke finally winning the WDC

15

Hamilton just looks on a different plane to the others at the moment. Mercedes, too. I think that’s a big part of why Lewis is able to perform at such an incredible level so consistently – he trusts and expects the team to work well, so all he has to worry about is his own driving. He’s able to pay attention to all the tiny little things, all the marginal gains that add up to ultimate performance and as long as he’s able to do that, as long as someone else doesn’t put clear water between themselves and Mercedes on the car front, it’s hard to see anyone challenging him.

That said, the gap between Hamilton and Vettel is being made to look bigger than it truly is because although Ferrari have produced a great car, their organisation and sporting performance leaves a lot to be desired. For good reason, Vettel doesn’t feel he can trust the team right now so he’s having to try and direct things from the cockpit, rather than concentrating purely on his driving like Hamilton. He looks tense and nervy, and he doesn’t have the headspace to weigh up risks like he might otherwise. We saw it in Hockenheim, where he pushed too hard through a wet infield section and became the only driver to crash out, and we saw it yesterday again. His justification for tangling with Max – that he believed a move was on because Max’s car was derating – was not without foundation, but it needed a driver (considerably) more cooperative than Max not to shut the door. I think a better-supported Vettel would’ve known better than that, but it’s clear he doesn’t trust the team to get it right in qualifying and he doesn’t trust them to get it right on strategy, and trying to orchestrate things from the cockpit is just leaving him spread too thin. Ferrari need a new sporting/strategy director, and fast.

16

You guys amaze me, no one ever puts any blame on Vettel, somehow Ferrari are to blame for stupid mistakes on track and ridiculous attempts to overtake…Vettel is the issue at Ferrari and they will continue to fail until they put him right somehow. I cannot fathom ow he managed to win 4 titles.

17

He had the ultimate favour at Red Bull. Plain and simple. Everything was geared around Vettel. Webber had a few look ins but it was angled always to Vettel. Then came along Redemption Ricci and Lordy Looordy blew him out of the park. Off he shuffled to Ferrari and well the rest is Prancing Law of Dynamics aka kicking oneself in the family jewels with a photo of Enzio Ferrari. While shouting Forza Ferrari .

18

Can’t the answer be both are to blame? Vettel has always been a ‘win it or bin it’ kind of driver, even at Red Bull he had plenty of silly mistakes. But he also beat Nando at the final round twice and had two utterly dominating seasons. Red Bull managed to keep it together on his behalf when things went wrong. Ferrari as a team seem to cave under pressure when Mercedes and Red Bull don’t, both on a tactical and developmental level. They make the wrong call often and the car falls back as the season progresses.

.

So you have a very fast but twitchy driver and very good but twitchy team. They have the great misfortune of competing against a driver and team at the very top of their game.

19

It seems Sky commentators gone to your head too. All these nonsense excuses for Sebastian’s silly mistakes. If he was doing what he supposed to do – driving without making stupid mistakes, being aware of his surrounding and not taking any risky chances – he would have been leading the championship right now even with all the mistakes that his team has made.

What Ferrari needs more than anything is either a high-caliber driver like Lewis or somehow persuading Lewis away from Mercedes. Either way, good luck with that.

20

Vettel’s lightening run ?

or should that be lightning?

21

How will Vettel go down in history? As the Crash Kid who got lucky at Red Bull and never had a strong team mate, bar Ricciardo?

I guess next year will tell us when he faces the highly regarded Leclerc.

Next year it is up or down for Vettel.

22

Jmv. Yep, his reputation is on the line. If Charlie takes him to the cleaners as Danny Ric did, then Ferrari will focus in him and it’s probably over for Sebastian.

23

I think few would argue that Hamilton is driving better now than at any stage of his career… and in a way this should give hope to Vettel, that he can refocus, draw a line under this year and put together a much stronger challenge next season. People tend to have short memories, and it was as recently as the 2016 season when Hamilton himself had a scrappy campaign with inconsistent starts and unnecessary racing incidents. I think he learnt a lot from that season and we saw him change his approach from 2017.. it’s all part of how a F1 driver matures. They learn to see the much bigger picture. At first you have to learn how to get the car home to win the race, then you have to learn how to drive in a manner that maximises the championship as a whole, not just the chances for one race. Seb, despite having 4 championships under his belt, is still on that learning curve, and I believe that is also true of most drivers,

24
Torchwood Mobile

@Vano – among things that history, media and fans choose to overlook in 2016, is that Hamilton’s starts only improved after a) he practiced AND b) Mercedes investigated, and removed two components from his steering column.

That tells me that there was a mechanical cause to his consistent bad starts as well.

25

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

On the subject of Lewis Hamilton and his scrappy campaign, what you need to realise is that at beginning of each F1 season Lewis tries everything he can – from playing around with the car setup to changing his driving style – in order to get the maximum out of the car as opposed to his team mates that try just to get the best result. That’s why at the beginning of each season it looks like he’s not up to speed compare to his team mates until after couple of races he finds the magic formula and he goes from strength to strength and he blows everybody away as season progresses. If you can remember at McLaren he even lapped JB in the same machinery in Canadian GP and it took Jenson almost two third of the season to find the right setup to match his driving style.

What Lewis can’t do is to control the car’s reliability. Back in 2016 Lewis could have won the championship with a big margin if the car’s reliability issues were evenly matched on both sides of Mercedes garage. I’m not trying to say that Lewis never make mistakes but he didn’t lost 2016 WDC because Nico was a superior driver or because Lewis was making too many mistakes.

26

Hamilton had “unnecessary racing incidents” in 2016? Do you mean Spain? Were there others?

27

I can’t remember which season but there was a time when Hamilton couldn’t help keep away from Massa

28
Torchwood Mobile

@skansub – 2011.

For me, this is a slim defense of Vettel on Verstappen at Suzuka.

Early 2011, after a bereavement, Hamilton was crashing into everyone.

Later, he can get past everyone except Massa, and got penalised every time, till one of the stewards noted that it was Massa doing the colliding – thank you Alan Jones.

On to Seb, he apparently passed several cars at Spoon before meeting Verstappen, which offers an olive branch of defense at to why he tried to take Max there, rather than wait for a wider bit of track.

29

why don’t you tell us what you do remember instead of making up stories?

30

That was 2011.

31

hamilton waves with all five fingers stretched out wide.

32

It’s not over until it’s over but I’m pretty sure before this season is over I’ll hear Seb says it again – as he said it so many times already – he didn’t give me any room and we touched.

33

I rewatched the VER/RAI incident. Max had the possibility to go straight after a lock up, there was enough room. But he chose to cut just across the apex. Raikonnen went a little deep in the corner and had some oversteer so he couldnt have gone for the inside line. They would inevitably touch regardles of what RAI did – the only way to avoid the crash for RAI was to stop the car. Max broke 2 rules – failing to rejoin safely, and forcing other driver off the track which should have resulted in a more severe penalty or a place swap at least.
Enough of this biased approach to VER.

34

Enough of this biased approach to VER.

Good thought.. try it!

35

Eric I really respect Max and his skill, I didnt suspect he`ll beat Ricc so dominantly (reliability played a factor but still). He has a very mature second part of the season but still he is prone to aggresive and unnecessary behaviour on the track. I know a Senna-like approach to fight for every inch is very likeable but the truth is you can have enjoyable and good racing even without taking such risks. Imagine his car jumped on the kerb and went straight into RAI.
I do not pinpoint every VER move as silly, just point out the ones that are.

36

Because cutting the track is ilegal so he came up with this solution. Idea was good but, trying not to loose any positions, to aggressive.

37

Given the fact the very driver he collided with (RAI) is convinced that he could have given Max more space for rejoining the track, and that Max did not deliberately hit him…

How can you state that you are not biased?

38
Torchwood Mobile

@bonensoep – given that Max rejoined the track at such speed that he swiped another car off the other side of the track, and you are arguing with anyone saying he rejoined unsafely, how can YOU say you are unbiased?

39

I think that’s just Kimi being chill. Ultimately it’s Max’s responsibility to rejoin without causing others to have to avoid him.

40

I think it’s too much to ask of an Italian team to understand a Japanese weather forecast.

41

All the Ferrari guys were glaring at their weather monitors. Just next door Verstappen went outside and had a good look at the sky and the tarmac. It glistened just a bit. He knew what this meant in Suzuka. ‘Fit me slicks’ he told his team.

42

different languages.

43

Amusing trivia to make the flight to a Austin a bit less tedious

Louis Camilleri, is also named Carey.

44

Again stewarding gives cause for concern

Tom Kristensen: Driver Steward, from Denmark

K Magnusson: Haas driver, from Denmark

Mag’s dangerous [illegal] booking move on Leclerc was deemed OK.

Does F1 need urgent reform of stewarding?

45

As I mentioned before I did not watch the race. Magnussen is one of the Vikings so he can’t have done nothing wrong:) Just kidding of course, but he’s raised his game though this year.

46

I did’n’t watch the race:))

But I say yes in general. Don’t think it has to do with nationality if that is what you imply

48

Nothing illegal about Magnussen’s move, because it happened before (not in) the braking zone. What Vettel did to Hamilton the previous race was much worse, but that also escaped penalty. I think many posters here overestimate how much other people’s judgments are clouded by nationality.

49

I just thought of something else.
Imagine Max V when he retires down the line in a decade and half from now.
If he was the guest ex F1 steward you would have a totally different form of F1 race penalty outcome.
Or would he become like some ex smokers who gave up smoking then became a fervent voice of zero tolerance to smokers.
Could you end up with old Max V being a stickler for the rules of F1?

50
Torchwood Mobile

@B K Flamer – no offence, but you and Jolyon Palmer – BBC podcast – had literally the same thought.

51

Torchwood Mobile
Haven’t seen podcast.
Only watched the Channel4 live race and after race show straight after race on Channel 4.
After which it’s been JAF1 and MotoGP catch up and WRC catch up , Speedway catch up and Super bikes catch up. So sadly missed it.

52

@BKF… Just to illustrate, Max earlier this week: “If it was me calling the shots there’d hardly be any penalties”.

53

Lemwil
You ard Missing the point…
The Max of the Here and Now. The Present.
Might say that.
You don’t know how he will think in the future. Hence the ex smoker analogy.
The most cheating wrestlers (real wrestling greco-roman not fake WW bull crap) end up being the most rule obeying judges in competition when they retire. It’s like something rewires reboots and its now about the Governing Body rules more than win anyway you can.
So I’m saying the Mature retired Max in the future may be a stickler for the rules. As then he has to think about the juniors coming up and the perception of fair racing. Not extreme leave a foot space, for a wide car and then say “I left him plenty of room!”.
HE still has the teenage angst mode on the radio “I don’t care !!”
That needs to be reeled in a bit as it sounds like he is having a teeny strop all the time.
It will be interesting to see how he matures when (if) he is driving for the 2 big teams like Ferrari or Mercedes in the future.

54

BK Flamer, I got your point. Was just pointing out present Max is even tougher than many think.

55

I would think so, nagging about how the young kids can’st handle the meandering correct or not at all

Or even more likely, a total rules facist. Taking eveery opportunity to tell’em how it used to be like when he was the golden boy. Got no slack, just fair stewards that gave him harsh but fair penalties:)

56

in a decade and a half he is on par with Kimi now (even younger) so not an old and frustrated driver who compensates as steward.

57

Where do you see Kimi frustrated? I rather see Max frustrated already, at this golden age

58

They should have a bank of stewards that are officially set for the whole season and go to all the races. Rather than have different ex drivers and local dignitaries as officials.
FIFA and The Premiership have set quality controls on who they deem to be great refs. They are on full time contracts and every aspect of their judgements throughout the season are assessed. Anything short of excellent and you’ll find them demoted to lower league games or dismissed.
I find it incredible that F1 still has a open steward policy. Hence the variation in judgements.
It’s time for F1 to acknowledge they are having too many variables in judgements throughout a race or throughout a season.
The hit on Kimi was deemed a 5 second penalty then the KMag one was odd one then the coming to with Vettels lunge on Max V. Then Alonso on the grass.
A set steward bank for the whole season should be the way to go.
P Glass I actually agree with you post.

59

They had a permanent steward for a few years, he got quietly dropped as a concept, no idea why.

60

Change of FIA President

61

iv’e been trying to say that or some time. What is the difficulties there, to achieve that, a pool of stewards

62

They should have a bank of stewards that are officially set for the whole season and go to all the races. Rather than have different ex drivers and local dignitaries as officials.

Agree BK, that would certainly be a good start.

63

Yes!

64

!Yes

65

Two hands firmly on the WDC, but the conclave wants another round. Expect white smoke in Austin.

No one else is on the ballot though, but it’s exiting.

66

One hand on the CABRON and the other oth the ugliest creation i’ve ever seen.

67

it may look ugly to you but doesn’t hamilton carry well?
he even waves with all four fingers and a thumb stretched out wide.

68

Well he tries he’s best I presume

69

There were many ugly F1 trophies in the past that I didn’t like but this wasn’t one of them.

70

Hongary… brrrr.

71

Not the slightest? You’ve got an acquired taste my friend.

72

Nope, this one wasn’t so bad imho. That French Donkey Kong look-a-like thing, now THAT was ugly!

73

The worst trophies imo, were the horrible little plastic walnut whip thingies that Santander (?) presented. Cheap and nasty looking.

74

It looks like a Cabrón

75

While there is no doubt Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers ever, he will be a victim of being labelled as being at the right place at the right time, from being in front of Ron Dennis in 1990’s! However what he will or may not achieve is the caliber of Senna in terms of pure emotive rawness (although there is) since he is part of such a well oiled and tuned machine that is Mercedes F1. For the same reasons Schumacher May be labelled better than him too. However all said and done the debate of the best driver in this generation (Hamilton vs Vettel vs Alonso vs several others over one season – Button, Rosberg, Webber etc.) is finally settled – it is head over shoulders Hamilton. Vettel is too error prone and rightly was envied and also not admired by Alonso and co in his title winning years. He needs a well functioning organization behind him such as RBR to pull off a WDC even in the best or equally best car.

76

Just an observation…..the Schumacher comparison thing?

Both were supported by their parents getting second jobs and both were talent spotted and supported financially by racing teams.

Schumacher: Straight into championship winning team Benneton courtesy of Briatore / Ecclestone / Eddie Jordan negotiations, then onto a rebuilding Ferrari team with Ross Braun which became utterly dominant.

Hamilton: Straight into championship winning Mclaren team courtesy of Ron Dennis, then onto a rebuilding Mercedes team with Ross Braun which became utterly dominant.

Given their strikingly similar starts and career paths and the fact that Hamilton has beaten some of Schumi’s records and is on the way to matching his WDC’s if he stays in F1 as long as Schumi did, I fail to understand how Hamilton could be labelled as “being in the right place at the right time” and Schumi not!

77

hamilton is the best driver f1 has ever seen and there will not be another better in our lifetime. if results are what you count as greatness, you can assess his results once he has stopped racing. one thing for sure is that no one has driven in the wet better than he has, no one has qualified on post better than he has. no one has defended their position better than he has, no one has overtaken better than he has, no one has chosen a team to race for better than he has, no one motivates a team to perform better than he does. there isn’t a single faculty in f1 driving he doesn’t out perform anyone in the history of the sport.
from all of the above evidence, one can only conclude that he is the best to have driven an f1 car and there will not be another as good in our lifetime.

78

No matter how well functioning organization behind him is, an equally best car is not going to be enough to pull off a WDC.

79

How do we define which is the best car? the obvious way is to say the best car is the one which wins the WCC. Lewis is one of only a handful of drivers to win the WDC in a car which did not win the WCC that year.

80

so long as antifans are disrespectful towards hamilton he will win. he said that’s his motivation to win and the funny thing is, i have a sneaky suspicion that his winning motivates them to be disrespectful towards him. what a vicious circle this is? like an itch. it’ll go on and on and on, like ariston.

81

…on and on and on….

….Just like other things around here…

82

Good thing the are then!

83

It’s increasingly looking like next year will be a defining year for Vettel, when the young gun Leclerc arrives, will Vettel surrender to his lesser self – the sulken one, or rise above his current inability to compete under pressure. Because Leclerc will take it to him, and I suspect Hamilton as well- I’m looking forward to that one.

84

I agree with you. I do believe that the pressure though will make a smarter Vettel. He has already coped with Ferrari pressure; he always has been fast but too rushy… now with a very fast driver at his side he needs/evolve to be smarter… and I am sure he will… He like Schumi is a team builder. Alonso he is not fundamentally that, even if he tried to do so lately. Another important thing is… settings.. I do not know enough Leclerc to know his setting preferences. Vettel likes rear sealed cars (that is why he was struggling against Ricciardo as they were on opposite developments); a Kimi or Ham prefer high precision on the front handling as far as I understand.

85

vettel has already lost to leclerc. ever since ferrari anounced leclerc, vettel has made mistake after another. he has lost long before the competitions starts.

86

Vettel will make a great “wingman” 🙂

87

I must say I was most confused by the penalty given out to Alonso, I have no idea what else he was supposed to do. He was overtaking Stroll on the outside of the right hander into the chicane and Stroll moved over on him, leaving him nowhere to go but onto the grass. Any “corner cutting” was simply a result of his attempt to avoid serious contact. Quite a baffling decision.

88

Well for the first part of the corner yes, but he didn’t need to go full speed through the gravel trap after that corner. I think that was the deciding factor for the penalty.

89

I think it was because he ended up ahead of Stroll afterwards. Definitely he was pushed off, and had to take the escape road. Race Control should have been on the phone right away saying he needed to cede position or it would be sent to the stewards. Then only Stroll would’ve been penalized.

90

I can’t help but feel Ferrari need to punt Vettel and bring Alonso back.

91

You are half right……Alonso did nothing at Ferrari. I don’t think Vettel ever will. The Ferrari team is good enough to build the quickest car at the start of the season but they always lose ground because they don’t have a driver capable of developing the car.

What they actually need to do is pick the phone up, dial +44 and ask how much it will cost them to have a Brit pick up next years WDC for them.

92

alonso has a huge great torch in his hand which he uses to set every bridge alight.

93

The part of the culture he took (unknowingly) from Japan, was not the honorourable Samurai’s.

It was more of a westerm mix/confusion of the original kamikaze/harakiri code, but again completely mixed up in some mumbo jumbo that basically is to infliltrate and destroy the team employing him. With a unintended sideeffect that destroys himself at the same time.

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