Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton: “I don’t want to go into any negatives…”

Lewis Hamilton has refused to blame Nico Rosberg in public for their collision on the last lap of the Austrian GP, stating instead that people can draw their own conclusions.

Rosberg was deemed responsible by the FIA stewards, who said that the German did not leave enough “racing room” for his team mate.

“Honestly, I don’t want to get into that,” said Lewis when asked if he felt Rosberg was to blame. “I don’t want to go into any negatives, I want to focus on the fact I won today and I will enjoy that. Honestly, getting dragged down by that sort of stuff…

“You guys can see it – you guys can see the manoeuvre, and how it evolved. And you can take your own opinion from that, I have my opinion on it, but I will keep it for myself.”

Hamilton said that Rosberg’s mistake at Turn One at the start of the last lap was crucial, as it allowed him to gain momentum.

“It was definitely costly for him. I think he turned in early and clipped the kerb, which you never do, you don’t like to do, as you can’t get on the power. He also turned in early, clipped early, and bounced and couldn’t get power.

“It is easy when those things happen to follow and do the same thing and not get a good exit, but I managed to keep my shit together basically, and do the corner just as I did previously. Great on brakes, and I got a really good exit.”

Regarding the pass he said: “I would have loved to go to the inside, but he had covered the inside and I went to the outside and even got ahead, which was mega, it is very hard to do that here. It’s hard to follow at Turn 1, if he had done normally as the lap before, I wouldn’t have the chance but fortunately the opportunity came.”

Asked about team boss Toto Wolff’s frustration with collisions he hoped there would be no more issues this year.

“It is not something I go out to get involved in. I don’t go out to get caught in collisions. Today as you could see I drove as wide as possible, within the white lines, so I left a lot of space, three cars could have come on the inside of me there.

“As a team boss and team, the team want to finish 1-2, that is our goal and my goal, I want to be at the front of the 1-2, but certain circumstances have led us to where we are today. And we have a lot of races ahead and we will continue to race, I am fighting for the World Championship so we will keep fighting, and hopefully through these experiences there will hopefully be no more and hopefully a lot less than what we have had so far this year. Hopefully they are a blip in the mist and we will continue racing forward.”

Hamilton insisted he wanted to focus on his victory.

“Shit, what a race man, the last couple of laps! This is such a hard track to overtake and I didn’t know, last year I was trying to race and get the win, I didn’t know if I would get an opportunity open but that is what I live for. I live for racing so I feel fantastic right now. I am excited now to hopefully ride this wave on to the next race.”

 

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Barcelona clash now history, Mercedes insists

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg insist that they have put their controversial Barcelona clash behind them.

Both Mercedes drivers and their boss Toto Wolff say that the matter is closed, and their focus is now on Monaco.

Barcelona was the worst feeling but, like I always say, the true test is how you get back up when you’ve been knocked down,” said Hamilton. “It was a tough moment for all of us after the race, but it’s now chapter closed and looking ahead to Monaco.”

I was gutted after what happened in Spain,” said Rosberg. “For myself, but mostly for the team. We’re in this together and I know how hard everybody works to make these amazing cars, so for us to leave them both in the gravel is the worst possible scenario. But we’ve talked it through and now it’s time to leave it in the past.”

Clearly, Barcelona was tough to take,” said Wolff. “We came away upset at an opportunity missed, but this is racing. The drivers know how we operate. The team is responsible for giving them the best possible cars and they are responsible for getting the best out of them, and for bringing them home. When we let them down, we apologise to the, and the same goes the other way. It’s a pretty normal culture – we deal with setbacks together and we move on.”

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Two motivated drivers good for Mercedes, says Lowe

Paddy Lowe says that Nico Rosberg’s successful end to the season will be a huge benefit to Mercedes heading into 2016 – and the team technical boss believes that the team has a driver pairing reminiscent of the Senna/Prost era at McLaren.

Lowe says that it was important that Rosberg went into the winter in a good frame of mind.

“Absolutely, because it’s very important to the team to have two strong drivers, two fully motivated drivers,” Lowe told this writer. “And that includes the belief that they can win, and not just races, but championships. We’ve got that in spades in this team to an extent that I can’t really recall since Senna/Prost.

“That makes for fantastic racing, and while the sport gets criticised and we get criticised for some reason for our dominance, in a position of dominance the thing you must provide is some competition between the two drivers.

“I think we’re allowing that, and I think we have two drivers that are capable of delivering it, because they can both be stronger than the other at different race tracks. So it’s perfect.”

Lowe acknowledges that there’s no obvious explanation for Rosberg’s recent run of form.

“There’s probably no one more frustrated by that than Lewis Hamilton! Somebody asked me has Lewis lost it a bit now he’s champion? Absolutely not. I think you take one race at a time. People don’t look at the scoreboard, they just come to an event that they want to win.

“Lewis will be pissed off more than anything that he lost. He’s in good humour, but underneath he’ll be thinking, ‘Shit!’. He’s got some proper respect for Nico’s ability.”

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Rosberg unable to explain run of five poles

Nico Rosberg continues to be mystified as to why he his qualifying form has been so impressive in recent weeks.

The German secured his fifth straight pole in Brazil, much to the frustration of team mate Lewis Hamilton. However, he doesn’t know why things have turned around for him.

“Unfortunately I don’t have an explanation for it,” he said. “What I do know is that I’ve been working on it, if I’m now faster in qualifying then great, it seems that my work is starting to pay off. Because it was one of the big weaknesses, and definitely one of the reasons why Lewis won the championship this year, because that helped him a lot for sure, to be starting first all the time. Of course I’m pleased, but more than that, I don’t know.

“It’s so complex, it’s just trying to understand. The facts are last year I was the quicker guy in qualifying, and this year I was outqualified totally, so something has changed. It’s a matter of digging into it and pushing on and trying to understand the various reasons, and trying to make improvements wherever you can. There’s not been one big thing that I’ve changed in any way, so it’s just really going at it. But it seems that I’ve made progress, which is great.

Rosberg denied that the end of the championship battle had allowed him to relax in some way.

“No, not at all. It doesn’t change. With the way it was in the championship in the end the pressure was on Lewis anyways, because he had everything to lose. I was hunting. So it doesn’t change.”

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Wolff on Hamilton: “Do I want to have a robot in the car?”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has downplayed Lewis Hamilton’s discussion with the pit wall when he was asked to make an extra pit stop in the Mexican GP.

Both leader Nico Rosberg and Hamilton were told to come in after a suitable window to third place Dany Kvyat allowed them to make a free stop and not lose position. The tyre change was essentially a precautionary one after the team inspected the option tyres that came off the cars at the first stop.

One of Hamilton’s showed excessive wear – actually 10% higher than had been predicted – and that prompted concerns about the life of the primes that the drivers had expected to run to the end.

Hamilton actually opted not to come in at the first time of asking, and he ended up losing time to Rosberg, who had two laps on fresh rubber with which to extend his lead.

“It’s emotions and a race driver in a car,” Wolff told this writer. “He needs to question and needs to ask, it’s perfectly reasonable. We have the overview out there. We were down to the canvas on the option tyre [from the first stint], we had the gap, and this is why we decided to do it.”

Hamilton’s questions to his engineer showed that he clearly didn’t understand why the team wanted him to pit.

That’s why it’s perfectly reasonable to have the discussion. Do I want to have a robot in the car? No. I want to have the best racing driver. The best racing driver is how he is. He questions things, and we saw that with Vettel. It’s absolutely no problem, as long as the team keeps the overview. No issue at all for me.”

“That’s why it’s perfectly reasonable to have the discussion. Do I want to have a robot in the car? No. I want the best racing driver. That’s how it is. He questions things, and we saw that with Vettel. It’s no problem as long as the team keeps the overview. No issue at all for me.”

Meanwhile Paddy Lowe admitted that Hamilton was at fault in not coming in when asked.

“Technically it’s incorrect not to come in when we said,” he said. “Just looking at it from his point of view he clearly just completely didn’t understand why we were doing it. When a guy is driving around at 350kph you can’t really give them a full technical explanation that takes a couple of minutes.”

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Toto Wolff: “They are enemies in the same team…”

Toto Wolff admits that the first corner clash in Austin between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will lead to a discussion with the two drivers in order to calm the situation.

The incident followed a similar one in Suzuka, where Rosberg was edged wide and lost momentum.

“Lewis came on the radio and said it wasn’t on purpose,” said Wolff when asked by this writer. “I think it’s something we are going to talk about in a couple of days, but this is a moment to celebrate a World Champion who deserves to be World Champion, and then once emotions have cooled down, we should discuss.

“It’s clear that a racing driver who has just lost a World Championship for a second time against his team mate in a tough race where certainly Turn One wasn’t very nice, and he lost it by his own mistake. I think we have to respect for that.”

Wolff admitted that the last three races will have a different feel given that both titles are won.

“Flat out! Actually, we have been unleashing them all the time already. I don’t know, I have never been in that comfortable situation of being able to sit in a race and enjoy it like a fan, watch it. But then it’s also a crucial moment now to make sure that today’s race won’t release consequences within the team, and splitting the two sides of the garage.

“Celebrate the World Champion, let a couple of days pass, emotion cool down, have a chat. It’s never easy, it wasn’t easy the first time around. I think we’ve gained some experience, I’ve gained some experience, I’ve been around a little while now, and I just need to have a calm approach, but a firm approach, about how we would like them to compete out there.”

Asked if Rosberg would eventually be happy for Lewis he said: “That’s never going to happen. They are enemies in the same team. It’s clear that we cannot expect him to cheer up in such a situation.”

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No tyre conspiracy in Singapore, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is adamant that he doesn’t believe in any conspiracy theories regarding the tyres used by Mercedes in Singapore – and says that the team’s problems were a result of set-up issues.

After qualifying in Marina Bay Hamilton challenged the media and his team to find out why the drivers had struggled for grip, and since the race his engineers have conducted an in-depth analysis.

“Whatever happened, happened,” he said today. “I believe there are reasons in our balance and our set-up that we had, the avenues that we went down which affected the car the way it did and the tyres the way it did, and the other teams perhaps did better than us. I don’t believe in all that conspiracy stuff, we just put it down to the technical side of things, and we could have done a better job.”

Hamilton says that the team is satisfied with the results of its post-race investigation.

“I can’t tell you what the team have come up with, but they have come up with a lot of solutions, a lot of reasons for it being the way it was. The majority of them believe at least one of the many solutions, or reasons for it that we’ve came up, with had a domino effect. I’m confident that it’s been understood, but they will continue to do analysis, I’m sure.”

“It was consistent, it felt the same all weekend. We obviously changed the set-up, so it felt better by Saturday in qualifying, it felt better by the race. But generally it was the same. It felt normal to us, we didn’t have more grip at one point, and less grip later. That’s the grip we had all weekend, and it felt normal to us. It’s just the others had more.”

He added: “I believe it was specific to Singapore, so we should go back to normal weekends, really.”

However he said that the team was not taking anything for granted.

“Well you can never say never, thinking that it was just a fluke or anything like that. Sometimes there are going to be situations like that whether it’s this year or next year or the year after. I’m hoping that we’ve learned from that weekend, and hopefully it won’t happen again.”

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