Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton back on the circuit at the Abu Dhabi test this week

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Today, Lewis Hamilton is back in action in Abu Dhabi as he samples Pirelli’s 2017 tyres.

With less than fourty-eight hours after losing the title to team mate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton was called upon by Mercedes to assume tyre testing duties initially assigned this morning to Pascal Wehrlein.

It’s not clear why Mercedes have decided to change its line-up and split its testing  workload but perhaps it felt compelled to call upon Hamilton as a bit of retribution for balking at team orders during Sunday  evening’s showdown in the closing stages of the race.

Mercedes will run Hamilton in the morning and Wehrlein this afternoon, while Ferrari and Red Bull will also take to the track with Kimi Raikkonen on hand, and Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Pirelli’s next extensive test is scheduled on February 27 in Barcelona, where all 2017 cars will appear.

Hamilton “super excited” with nothing to lose

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In an interview with the media today, Lewis Hamilton says he is “super excited” for the final race of the 2016 Formula 1 season, knowing he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The Briton heads into the race starting from pole position knowing he must win, but even that won’t be enough as he needs team-mate Nico Rosberg to encounter trouble and finish fourth or lower, therefore the championship is out of his hands.

In his interview with the media, Hamilton is happy with what he has achieved so far and is happy with how the weekend is shaping up. Hamilton said the following:-

‘It has been a great weekend so far. Today, this weekend, I got the car in the sweet spot and faultless mechanics again.

‘I knew I had pace throughout the rest of the lap. I didn’t overcook it into Turn 1, that was where there was a little bit of time [to gain], otherwise the rest of the lap I had it under control, so maximising those areas.

‘I am sitting on pole here right now. I feel energetic, I feel confident. Having lost the championship in 2007 – I knew what it felt like. But I have everything to gain tomorrow so I am super excited about it.’

No matter the outcome, Hamilton further says in his interview that he will be proud of what he’s achieved this season, with many of his lost points a result of reliability problems rather than driving errors, and knowing he’s done his best is what counts. Hamilton added the following:-

‘I came here to drive like I have been doing. If I perform at my best in these [last few] races I can be here knowing I gave everything and can walk away feeling proud.

‘I have other things coming away but managed to battle through all of the adversity I faced this year and I am proud of it.’

Mercedes withdraw official protest after the Japanese GP

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Mercedes has withdrawn the protest against Max Verstappen at the Japanese Grand Prix, yesterday and allowed the FIA to publish the official race classification four and half hours after the chequered flag fell at Suzuka.

Shortly after the race, Mercedes initially protested Verstappen’s defence of second place from Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka’s final chicane, arguing that Verstappen drove erratically and in a dangerous manner. However, by the time the protest had been lodged and the stewards convened for a hearing, both Hamilton and Verstappen had left the circuit and were unable to give evidence.

Under FIA procedure, the stewards decided to defer the investigation to the U.S. Grand Prix, meaning the result of the Japanese Grand Prix was set to remain provisional until the next round in two weeks. At that point Mercedes withdrew the protest, just one hour and 20 minutes after it had been officially lodged.

The plot appeared to thicken soon after when Hamilton took to Twitter to say: “There is no protest from either myself or @MercedesAMGF1. One idiot said we have but it’s not true. Max drove well, end of. We move on.”

It is not clear who Hamilton was referring to as an “idiot”, but the tweet was later removed and replaced with the following post.

 

Asked why the protest had been withdrawn, a Mercedes spokesperson said the following:-

“We have done this in the interests of establishing a final official result this evening once it became apparent that the hearing could not be concluded today.”

As a result, Verstappen will keep his second place finish at Suzuka ahead of Hamilton in third.

Rules of Engagement: Mercedes’ statement regarding its drivers

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It was released by the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team this afternoon a statement to the world’s media regarding the state of play over team orders at the team going forward.

On the last lap of the Austrian GP last Sunday, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided on the track which saw Rosberg sustain front wing damage; Hamilton carrying on to win the race and as result of this, many comments have been circulated and debated by teams, drivers and fans regarding the incident.

Here is the full statement released by Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team regarding team orders as follows:-

“This morning at the headquarters of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team in Brackley, UK, positive meetings were held between Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Our drivers were informed that they remain free to race for the World Championship.

We believe this is the essence of Formula One, including between team-mates. As passionate racers, we want to see them racing, and so do the fans of Formula One.

However, this freedom comes with a duty for our drivers to respect the values of the team.

In the past five races, there have been three incidents which have cost us over 50 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

We have therefore strengthened our Rules of Engagement to include much greater deterrents to contact between our cars.

With these in place, we will trust our drivers to manage the situation between them on track. Their destiny is in their own hands.

The drivers were also reminded that we may issue instructions during the race to protect against a potential loss of Constructors’ points, such as we did at this year’s Monaco GP when Nico was instructed to let Lewis pass.

If the drivers do not honour the revised Rules of Engagement, we may impose team orders as a solution of last resort.

Finally, we restated our belief in Lewis and Nico as the best driver pairing in Formula One.

Since 2013, we have won together a total of 43 races and 40 further podium finishes, plus two consecutive World Championships. This record speaks for itself.”

Hamilton closer to grid penalty after power unit change this weekend

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It was announced this afternoon that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of a grid penalty after Mercedes fitted the last complete power unit of his season’s allocation ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Under the regulations each driver is allowed to use five of each power unit component before incurring penalties and Hamilton is now on his fifth MGU-H and turbocharger of the year. He says it is now inevitable he will use a sixth of those components over the remaining 13 races, which, if taken at the same race, would result in a 15-place grid drop at one of the future races.

He has now used three internal combustion engines and MGU-K units as well as four energy stores and control electronics.

In an interview with the media this afternoon, Hamilton has no idea what has happened but is dealing with the situation as best as possible. Hamilton stated the following:-

‘I don’t have an answer to why it’s happened the way it has but I’m starting with my last [full] engine this weekend and so I will have at least one race where I start dead last, most likely two, probably. With two more fresh engines I’ll have to take the sixth and seventh [components]. The worst thing is that I am the only Mercedes driver [including drivers at customer teams] to have this, so for sure it’s difficult for us as a team and it’s difficult considering we are the Mercedes team, so you wouldn’t expect it to happen.

‘If there is 40 engines you would hope that we would have the best of the 40 but that’s just the way it goes and I’ll just have to do the best I can with the one I have now and hopefully the next one or two I get it doesn’t happen.’

When further asked if he was frustrated by the issue, Hamilton added the following:-

‘Well for sure it’s not easy to look at the table and you see eight Mercedes drivers and everyone else is on the normal plan, on their second engine and still have four engines left and I only have one left, for sure it doesn’t feel great but there’s nothing I can do about it.

‘Speaking to anyone about it won’t make no difference, it is what it is. I don’t fully understand why it’s happened but I just hope that Mercedes grows from it and I hope they learn something from the faults that they’ve found on mine and hope it doesn’t happen to the rest of the Mercedes-Benz engines.’

Hamilton finally added that the Mercedes team will aim to lessen the impact of the penalties by making the component changes at circuits where overtaking is possible. Hamilton concluded with the following:-

‘I will try to look to take it at a circuit where I feel like I will be able to get the furthest up, closest, maybe a track where I might be able to catch up and maybe try to challenge for a win,” he said. “That’s my thought process and I have to go into it thinking I can still win it. There might be safety cars, there could be all sorts so I will try to have an optimistic view on it but it’s not that easy to overtake at some places so…

‘The percentage chances of Nico winning and me finishing second or further back is obviously higher, but we all try to minimise firstly the engines that we have to take. It is what it is so you just have to deal with it and try to weave your way through it.’

Hamilton goes back to Melbourne spec engine for the Russian GP

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It was announced after qualifying yesterday that Lewis Hamilton has switched back to his original engine of 2016 for the Russian Grand Prix after encountering an MGU-H in qualifying.

Hamilton will start from tenth on the grid after the engine issue occurred ahead of Q3 on Saturday. Mercedes introduced an upgrade to that power unit ahead of the weekend but had the original engines used at the Australian Grand Prix on stand-by as replacements in case of any problems.

The spare engine has been fitted with a new turbocharger and MGU-H, his third of the season of the five allocated to each driver, while the control electronics and energy store have also been replaced to “eliminate them as a potential source of the problem”.

To ensure Hamilton’s spare was replaced with parts of the same specification, Mercedes flew out a brand new fuel system on a chartered jet overnight to Sochi which arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning in a bid to maximise his chances during the grand prix.

The MGU-H failure was Hamilton’s second in two races — described as a “freak” occurrence publically by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. He will retain tenth on the grid despite the change as he is yet to exceed the five engines allocated to each driver throughout a season. He moved on to his second power unit after the issue in China.

In qualifying the reigning world champion received his second reprimand of the season for failing to correctly rejoin the track after an off in Q1. Another reprimand this season will automatically lead to a ten-place grid penalty as two of the three reprimands must be related to driving — in Bahrain he was given one for reversing his car on the race track.

Hamilton: Horrifying race but positive experiences

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In an interview with the media today, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton feared his seventh place finish at the Chinese Grand Prix would result in a bigger points deficit to team-mate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship.

Rosberg won his third race in a row on Sunday to extend his advantage over Hamilton to 36 points in the standings, while Hamilton sustained damage in a first corner collision and battled back to seventh. Despite the low finishing position, in his interview with the media today, Hamilton took some positives from Sunday’s race. Hamilton said the following:-

‘A pretty horrifying race really but there’s some good experiences, with the overtaking. At one point I went around somebody around the outside of Turn 7 and around the outside of someone at Turn 8 so I love doing that stuff you know — catching people where they are not expecting it and even with the damage on the car. So there are some proud moments out there today, but is it 50 something points now?’

When he was told it was 36, he added the following:-

’36 behind? Oh ok. That’s not as bad as I thought, I feel pretty good right now. I thought it was 50 points so I was like… wow.’

It is clear that luck hasn’t been kind to Hamilton since the start of the 2016 season, but it is great to see Hamilton is still in positive spirits and still hasn’t given up hope of retaining his championship either. But you can be sure that Hamilton will learn from today’s race and use this as motivation to aspire to for the rest of the season ahead.

The damage to his car was caused by the front wing folding under the car after contact with Felipe Nasr and breaking part of the floor. He was able to pit for a new front wing, but Hamilton further on in his interview believes that the damage to the floor was of a similar magnitude to the damage he sustained at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Hamilton added the following:-

‘It felt similar, but I’m not aware if it was worse and it doesn’t look as bad. I got a good start and was taken it very cautious once I got into Turn 1. Kimi went off, and a couple of the others — I don’t know if they touched — but I was trying to avoid them when Kimi came on. As I went to the inside, one of the cars on the inside was trying to avoid Kimi and turned into me.’

Overall, it is clear what Hamilton believes happened to him in the race today and there is nothing he could have done about that apart from resolve what happened and drive his own race as a result of that as well. But even though things didn’t go his way in Shanghai today, all Hamilton can do is learn from today and work on getting prepared for Sochi in two weeks time as much as possible and try to regain ground on Rosberg if he wants to retain his title which will be his ultimate aim.