Championship hopes almost finished, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was able to put on a brave face after the European GP, but it was clear that he wasn’t very happy with the outcome of the weekend.

He eventually finished fourth and a massive 46 seconds off winner Sebastian Vettel. Most tellingly he conceded that his title hopes are slim.

“It’s finished really, in the sense of the championship,” he said. “It’s almost over, really.”

Hamilton said the problem was a simple lack of pace. “It wasn’t a frustrating race, we just weren’t quick enough, it’s as simple as that. The Ferraris were massively quicker than ourselves. We were really struggling to keep up with the Red Bulls and Ferraris ahead of me, I think we were quite lucky to stay ahead of Massa, really. The guys did a fantastic job in the pit stops, the best pit stops we’ve had all year. Unfortunately, just struggling with pace.

“The guys were asking me to stay out longer, I said guys I’m trying to look after the tyres as best I can, so this is all I can do. So I was pushing all the way, but with the tyres I was really, really struggling with oversteer for a long time. Seems like we’ve taken a step backwards perhaps this weekend in terms of performance, or maybe others have taken a step forward.

“I said I would be happy if I was able to keep my [grid] position, so I can’t say I’m happy.”

Hamilton made it clear where the problem lies: “I think we’re quite a bit down on downforce. We’ve not made an upgrade for several weeks now. I mean we’ve had upgrades, the front wing for example, but I mean rear downforce, we’ve really been struggling with that. In the next race we will really, really struggle. Once we lose the engine map we may see some differences there. “I think we might be affected more than the two teams ahead of us. It could be even worse for us.”

Asked whether he was looking forward to his home race, he said: “No! I’m really looking forward to seeing the fans, because they always put a spark in the weekend and make it that much brighter. I hope the weather’s great for us. Of course I’ll be coming there as best prepared as I can, as fast as I can be there.”

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Championship hopes almost finished, says Hamilton

  1. Emma Aitken

    I should imagine it must be dreadfully disheartening to feel, at this stage in the season that there is nothing more you can do, but it surprises me to hear Hamilton talking in such a way. He has always been such a fighter. Clearly he must have had an awful time in the car today and presumably feels that McLaren will not be able to sort a solution to the downforce any time soon.

    Thoroughly boring race, yet again – just for the record. Eddie Jordan kept banging on about how fabulous it is there. Well, it might be all glorious as far as the amenities go in the privileged areas EJ gains access to, but as far as the racing goes, it is just one long procession and even the Pirellis and DRS couldn’t whip up a bit of excitement. Ditch it!

  2. Loti

    How strange to hear Lewis talking down their cars, especially with Silverstone looming and not all tickets sold. The same when Ferrari had the dream team, the others just didn’t seem to be able to step up to the mark. Enjoy it while it lasts Red Bull, the FIA will find some way to slow you down just as they did in 2005 to Ferrari with the last minute tyre rule. Maybe the engine map will do it but more likely it will be the new engine. So do with have a couple of years of ‘the finger’? Most probably. As the regulations become more and more convoluted so the overall effect looks less like motor racing and more like who has the best R&D department

  3. Loti

    Me again! It seems that Lewis has changed his mind and says that he didn’t say what he said and that he and McLaren will never give up. Good for him! Unfortunately as Silverstone is, I believe the most expensive race to attend, I shall not be there to cheer on the McLarens or the Red Bulls for that matter.

    • Hi Loti, good to hear from you, thanks for your comments. BTW for anyone reading this, Loti was once married to a 60s British F1 driver and knew Bruce McLaren and everyone else of that era, so she has a good insight!

  4. Stone the crows

    One wonders if it ever occurs to drivers what it might be like if their team principles were as petulant as they are.

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