Hamilton believes he has now arrived

Formula One - F1 - United States Grand Prix 2015 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America - 22/10/15 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton ahead of the United States Grand Prix Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic

Formula One – F1 – United States Grand Prix 2015 – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America – 22/10/15
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the United States Grand Prix
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei
Livepic

Simmering rivalries are one of the things that sporting urban myths are made of. Whilst Nico Rosberg has failed to get the better of his team mate Lewis Hamilton, the tension between them is clear for all to see. The Hamilton/Rosberg rivalery has many similarities to the Vettel/Webber duel fought out during their years together at Red Bull Racing.

The statistics show that Rosberg is closer to Hamilton than Webber was to Vettel, but no mater how close he is, it is Lewis who has won the battle of the Mercedes drivers in the past three years and is now an F1 triple world champion.

Niki Lauda revealed earlier this year that Mercedes have sought to minimise the conflict between their two drivers by writing a rules of engagement book larger than the bible. Yet when every on track move is unique, given the nature of racing, it is impossible to envisage every possible scenario and regulate accordingly.

Nico Rosberg was clearly upset with Lewis Hamilton for his turn 1 move in the 2015 US GP in Austin, describing it as “extremely aggressive” in post race interviews. Rosberg on pole failed to nail the start and Hamilton drove up the inside and into turn one at least on track position parity with his team mate. The German driver was pushed wide and off the track costing him 3 places and allowing the Red Bull cars through.

“Turn 1 for sure was very aggressive”, Rosberg stated in the written press media conference. “What do I say? I haven’t seen it, so I cannot comment it,” Rosberg said after the race.

“For sure it was extremely aggressive.

“We hit each other. I would say Lewis came into me, which is not good, but I cannot say any more.”

During race commentary, Martin Brundle questioned whether Hamilton had really put enough steering input into the car to avoid hitting Rosberg, and Paddy Lowe confirmed after the race Lewis had radioed through an apology.

Toto Wolff agreed with his German driver that Hamilton had crossed a line that should not have been crossed. “I think he [Rosberg] has reason to be upset for that particular incident. It was too hard and we need to pick it up and discuss it.

“During the race I was happier because emotionally the race panned out for Nico to win it, and that would have recovered the situation finally. But Nico made that one mistake that cost him the race win. So I think it is important that we sit down in a couple of days and discuss it – because we don’t want it to escalate in to something bigger.”

Mercedes will sit Hamilton down and restate their expectations of the code of on track contact between the drivers, though Wolff does not want just yet to rain on Hamilton’s party. “I don’t want to take anything away from Lewis, as he deserves the title. Reducing our discussion now to that one incident is not right. But obviously we need to talk about it a certain stage.”

Had Hamilton pulled the same move on Rosberg later in the race, it is likely he would have been reprimanded in some way by the stewards. However, the race stewards tend to cut the drivers more slack over lap 1 incidents due to the mayhem of 20 cars hurtling through the same section of track.

In the end it mattered little, because the race ebbed and flowed and following the final VSC it seemed as though Hamilton would struggle to even make the podium. He had tyres over 20 laps old and was being hunted by Rosberg and Vettel on fresh rubber. But then, Daniel Kvyat gave Lewis some relief as he lost his car on damp Astroturf and slammed it into the barrier. This allowed Hamilton to pit under the ensuing safety car from first place, fit new soft Pirelli tyres and emerge second behind his team mate.

Rosberg then promptly handed the race to Hamilton after the restart. He spun up his wheels entering the stadium section of the Circuit of the America’s and Lewis brezzed past to take the lead.

Nico was lost for words when asked to explain what happened. “I am not saying anything was wrong with the car. I am assuming it was a mistake I made. Getting too much wheel spin and getting away with the tyres not fully up to temperature. It felt strange as it had not happened to me before.”

Fresh after winning his 3rd F1 drivers title, Lewis revealed having matched Senna’s WDC winning achievements, there was no one left who he felt he needed to emulate. Michael Schumacher is statistically the best F1 driver in history having won drivers titles, yet Lewis is not driven to equal or beat the German’s records.

“I think for Sebastian [Vettel] being the same country, that will be Seb’s target, for me it was always to get the three that Ayrton had,” said Hamilton. “He wasn’t from the same country as me but it was the guy who inspired me as a youngster.

“I don’t know what I will do next – but there is no one I want to equal or emulate next.

 “I said one race ago, I feel like I had the baton down for myself and Ayrton and will carry it as long as I can and as strong as I can. It’s very humbling experience, especially to equal Ayrton Senna, who meant so much to me and still does today, I feel very, very blessed.”

Despite Lewis’ comments, it is hard to believe he will not enjoy his new achievement and come back next year looking for another F1 drivers’ title. Yet his comments today will leave him open to criticism over his commitment should he fail to put up a solid defence of his title in 2016. And if Nico Rosberg is feeling that whatever he does isn’t good enough to beat Hamilton, maybe Lewis’ comments today will give him the motivation to come back next year and give it his all once again.

61 responses to “Hamilton believes he has now arrived

  1. **Congratulation on your Third Title Lewis!**

    Well deserved, now lets make next year number 4 🙂

    What a fantastic race.

  2. Rosberg has been beaten three years in a row. During their first year as team mates, Hamilton and Rosberg didn’t have anything to fight for, except maybe pride and bragging rights. In terms of who comes out on top, I don’t believe next year will be any different.

    • I can’t see Rosberg defeating Hamilton over a season in the same car either. We need Ferrari to gain a bit more time so Vettel – a driver who I think has been the star driver of ’15 – can fight the defending champion properly. Team vs Team. Driver vs Driver.

      I’ve expressed this sentiment before. I feel F1 can’t take another ’14/’15-esque season. Rosberg doesn’t have what it takes to really push Hamilton over a whole season in the event Mercedes continue with their massive advantage.

      To be clear, I don’t begrudge said advantage. They’ve earned it / paid for it – and the rules allowed them to do that. But either we get Vettel in the Mercedes with Hamilton, or Ferrari gain a relative half a second minimum.

      Fingers crossed. If not, MotoGP is always there.

      • This is what I hope for ’16.. vettel/ferrari against hamilton/mercedes. Because a)battles between two cars that are not the same are much more entertaining and b) those are the two best drivers of the field. (Obviously I think vettel is the better one, but that dont matter 😂)

  3. Your closing para….I’m rooting for him to get title #4. If only to shut up the petulant posturing of the poncy Stewart.
    Even today on Sky, Stewart was stroking himself assuring the world that Lewis would have to be retired several years before he could be considered ‘great’ as a WDC winner.
    Well guess what Jackass. With 3 titles he’s your equal. With 4 titles under his belt, he’d have blown you off despite your ‘the older I get the faster I was’ attitude.
    Way to go Lewis. Hope it happens.

    • It’s important to afford the old ‘n’ senile a wide berth. It’s only fair. We mustn’t loose the ability to smile ‘n’ nod on occasion.

      I’ve a feeling our favourite Scotsman enjoys how much his lack of Lewis-GOAT-subservience irritates the new generation. Old people can be cheeky too, on occasion.

      Lest we forget, the kilted one dared to impugn Vettel’s stake at greatness during the ’12 & ’13 campaigns. In fact, he even did this to the great Schumacher and Senna during their reigns.

      It’s his MO, so to speak. So it’s less an anti-#TeamLH phenomenon and more of a poke from an eccentric Ol’ grandfather. Consider it a badge of honour – if Stewart thinks you’re shit, then you’re in good company with Senna, Schumacher, Vettel and now Hamilton.

      • I listened to him after the race on Sky and it was nothing but waxed lyrics about himself and those from his time.

        Lazenby asked him if both Seb and Lewis were in the same car who would win? The man went into a 2 minute speech and at no point did he answer the question, it was just about him and his achievements.

        • I thought that he did answer ‘Lewis is the fastest driver in F1 at the moment’. Unless that was in a different interview. But in any case. Everything was better during his time, right? 😉

          • He did answer, but that was after he had to praise himself, Clark and Prost.

          • It shows sour grapes unfortunately. You can never compare different eras. Just recognise the greats of each era and let your personal agendas aside. That’s what I’d say. I always admired Sir Jackie but the last few years I have lost quite a bit of respect for him.

    • Er, Jackie had more talent in his little finger than Lewis has in total. He drove and won in a time when tracks and cars were proper tracks and proper cars. And drivers are not considered great until they’ve retired and their careers can be considered in total.

      • I’d bet you the last penny in my bank account that if we could use Marty McFlys Delorean and time travel back to ‘those days’. The likes of Lewis and Seb would beat the shit out the likes of Jackie and the rest you lot keep talking about.

        It’s bloody 2015, stop comparing the current drivers to people who raced when dinosaurs still roamed the land.

    • That was very interesting. And more interestingly, did you see Paddy’s expression? It was as if he was about to go and tw@t Rosberg in the face; Hamilton just put his hand on Paddy’s shoulder as if saying ‘It’s OK, just let it go.’

    • By the way, someone told me that Lewis made a sarcastic comment when he passed he hat to Nico, although I don’t see that in the video. Can anyone confirm this or not?

        • In any case, I agree with what Rosberg said afterwards, it was just usual F1 games. Apparently Rosberg went karaoke later and partied with both the team and Lewis.

    • I thought this was a not so clever way to rub it in, as in: “podium time, put your cap on. You know, the one with #2 on it. #2, get it?”

  4. “The Hamilton/Rosberg rivalery has many similarities to the Vettel/Webber duel fought out during their years together at Red Bull Racing.”
    I’m not so sure you can call Ham-Rosberg nor Vettel-Webber a rivalry. Both were rather one-sided. Sure, Nico is a bit closer to Lewis, but Webber was also closer to Vettel earlier than later, in 2010 he led his teammate in points going into the final race. After that he pretty much crumbled and only offered up the occasional challenge. After seeing Nico the last two seasons, does anyone seriously think he has the mental fortitude to win a season-long battle?

  5. Had Hamilton pulled the same move on Rosberg later in the race, it is likely he would have been reprimanded in some way by the stewards…

    That a rather questionable assertion.
    Side by side going in to the corner like that, you are almost always going to lose if you’re on the outside.
    The rule about leaving a car’s width emphatically does not apply in this situation.

    • That rule only applies on the straights.

      Does the rule not also say something like:

      ..if the car is more half its body length beside the other car, then the corner is theirs?

      I don’t know why most people are complaining, they asked for the drivers to race like ‘those in the past’ and when that happens, most people screaming bloody murder?

      Kimi came over the radio furious because he was constantly being pushed off by on of the TR’s. But no ones complaining because it wasn’t shown at all.

    • Irrespective of the rules, it seems Nico just doesn’t learn, he keeps finding himself on the outside and so it’s Lewis’ corner. It’s not the first time, probably the 3rd this season, I think.

  6. Hamillton is the Champion of Nico Rosberg again… NOT the World… had Alonso or Button driven for Mercedes this year either of them would be Drivers World Champion now… not LH. The Merc provides 99% of the opportunity to be drivers champ. There has been no F1 competition other than Hamilton vs Rosberg for two years. It is time F1 died or reinvented itself.

    • Oh here we go again with the usual BS about what if this person or that person was in the Mercedes. Maybe you should write to the FIA and demand they change the title to, “Lewis Hamilton champion of Nico Rosberg, not the world”

      WingNut, you should be in a bloody NUT house!

      • Suck it up Fortis me old buddy, that’s exactly the kind of thing people said of Seb Vettel when he won his 4 in a row, maybe even you 😉

        For me Lewis isn’t the best in F1, but he’s certainly in the top 3. I think Vettel is probably the best at present, though Ricciardo is proving to be excellent too – he just lacks the machinery to show it. I’d probably rank Lewis 2nd best in F1 at present.

        The issue with winning two WDCs so easily is that everyone knows that the car was pretty much unbeatable over a season, we could stick almost any two team mates in that car and see the WDC taken by them, maybe not the Manor or Sauber boys, but probably the rest of them, even Max & Carlos. That devalues those titles a bit, much in the same way that Vettels wins in 2011 & 2013 were due to the car advantage he had in those two years.

        I’m sure when Lewis looks back in years to come 2008 will be far more satisfying than 2014 & 15, likewise for Vettel I’m absolutely sure winning 2010 will be fairly special, and winning in 2012 when the competition was so intense and close will be the one he values most highly.

        When all is said and done though, the history books don’t care how people win things. It’s only the fans that remember the circumstances of a win. Oh and there is little doubt in my mind that Rosberg isn’t good enough to win a WDC whilst he has one of the top 5 drivers alongside him, be it Ham, Vet, Ric, Alo, Bot etc.

        • Mate if Rosberg would wipe the floor with Bottas and Ricciardo.

          But like Martin Brundle said on Saturday; “everyone has an opinion and you know what about opinions?, they’re all right”…😏😏😏

        • I agree… I rate Vettel as best on grid at the moment and I concur with your assessment regarding Ricciardo,

      • Alonso with the whole team against him drew on points with Lewis the rookie – that’s not beating him.
        Hamilton vs Button was pretty close over their 3 seasons, Lewis faster over 1 lap, JB often making a better job of races. It was 2-1 on individual seasons to Lewis, but JB outscored him on points in their time together, net result ? Well that’s a draw isn’t it?

        So No Lewis hasn’t really beaten either Alonso or Button in equal cars. He’s not lost to them either, it looked very much like all square on both counts.

        • What a load of bullshit!

          I’m sure that the OFFICIAL FIA table that list drivers finishing position showed in 07.. KIMI/LEWIS/ALONSO and the same for the 3 seasons Lewis was paired with Jenson barring 2011.

          So you can write all your nonsensical conspiracy theory and usual nonsense about how Jenson outscored him over 3 seasons, which yet again is only used to make Jenson look good.

          Prost outscored Senna over their 2 seasons at McLaren but each won a title a piece. So who bettered who?

          As for your Alonso claims, that’s just as laughable!

          • Alonso and Lewis finished level on points FFS. Everyone in F1 knows that post Hungary McLaren threw all their support behind Lewis.

            RE: Button and Lewis, it was a tight battle. Winning 2-1 on seasons but coming out second best on points scored doesn’t exactly suggest it’s an easy Lewis win, it suggests it’s more a draw!

            RE: Prost & Senna, The rules were different then, they only took their best 11 results IIRC, so Senna employed a win or bust attitude. That largely explains the points difference.

    • In total agreement WingNut. Hamilton only has one rival. and that rival has his car regularly nobbled by Mercedes to allow Hamilton to shine. Mysterious bad luck, engine failures, accelerator pedals, power surges at the wrong times – it’s been happening for two years at all the critical moments. Nico Rosberg has to battle against both the Mercedes management and Lewis the favored son. Lewis is better than mid-field, but he would make a GOAT’s @#$%%

      • 😂😂😂😂, seems like someone left the front door open at Arkam asylum and all the nut jobs are on the run.

        Seems like we need the services of Batman and Robin….

        • Ah, Mr Fortis. You believe F1 is a level playing field? It’s not totally rigged for financial gain? Sometimes it’s even rigged for entertainment. I guess you also believe that World Wrestling Entertainment is spontaneous. One of us is in the asylum, but how will we ever know who is where? Having said that, it is a brilliant spectacle, a veritable pinnacle, and has been for 65 years. Long may it reign in fantasy and escapism.

  7. While I’m not a fan of Hamilton I do respect that he does whatever it takes to win. We’ve seen this from other champions and I didn’t like Vettel doing it, didn’t like Hamilton doing it but I didn’t mind Schumacher doing it… that was hypocrisy on my part, so I’ve come around. Still don’t admire Button do, no matter what the argument, lol.

  8. Not sure if this will be a double post. I tried to post something along the lines of

    Congratulations to Lewis. While I’m not a fan of his I came to the realization that I disliked how he and Vettel went about getting their WDC, but that I didn’t mind it whe Schumacher did it. That is hypocrisy on my part so I’ve changed my mind on it. While that doesn’t mean I have to like it, it does mean I have to respect it.

  9. @fortis96 … wake up… F1 is an constructors engineering championship that in its current state will only be won with the spending of a billion bucks per year. The performance gap between the Mercs and all other cars is quite apparent. The Merc drivers are competing only between themselves… or are you able to argue somehow that this isn’t the case. There is no credibility in the current WDC… let alone comparisons with the achievements of Senna.

      • fortis96 – Do you ever post anything that isn’t a put down of someone elses opinion? Your love for Hamilton is clear but please let others have an opinion without trolling them!

        • All the time, however this time I’m in the mood to troll the trolls who are trolling. 😉😉

    • “The Merc drivers are competing only between themselves”

      That sort of sums up 2014 and 2015. Here’s hoping 2016 see’s Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull (and maybe McLaren?) all within 0.25s of each other on raw pace.

  10. @de vries… a quick stats review… over 3 seasons Button scored more points and finished 2nd in the WDC for one of those seasons as opposed to LH’s best season finish of 4th… and there is nothing between Alonso and LH’s stats during 1 season at McC…

  11. Maybe Rosberg could test the waters and see how interested other teams would be in him. You never know. We do know, however, the most likely outcome of his battles with Hamilton in the long term.

    • That’s surely his best move. Get out of that Merc team. Lewis is quicker and has the full support of the team. You could tell that from the smirks from Wolff and Lowe(?) when Nico went off and Lewis took the lead. Plus it’d be much better to see if someone else could come in and challenge Lewis than watching Britney getting beaten again.

  12. As significant an achievement as a third WDC is, it is clear that, in the minds of some,the value of his second two championships are diminished somewhat by the dominance of the Mercedes package. It has always been thus – Schumacher in ’02 and ’04 was in two of the greatest F1 cars ever built; Hill and Villeneuve’s Williams’ were the class of the field and so on and so forth. However, from a political point of view, it seems to be making more of an impact upon the perception of the sport this time around. All the talk of ‘improving the show’ and the fact that this is the most technically complicated era of formula 1 conspire to make Mercedes look like unworthy winners – to the extent that conspiracy theories abound in relation to at least 2 of Vettel’s victories this year being races essentially thrown by Mercedes so they don’t look too good, which in my humble opinion at least is nonsense, but which seems to have a lot of traction here and within other F1 fan forums.
    So what is the sport to do? The regulations won’t allow the other manufacturers to catch up quickly enough to head off another year of Mercedes dominance, and why should the Silver Arrows do anything to give their advantage away anyway? Ferrari wouldn’t do it (as hard as the FIA tried to break their hold on the championship); Red Bull wouldn’t do it, again, in the face of considerable attempts to stymie them by the rulemakers during their run of championships, but there is something that Mercedes could do to allow them to keep their dominant machinery and remove the perception that they are unworthy winners – they need to put another top-line driver in the second car. Rosberg is good, don’t get me wrong, and he’s a perfectly good number 2, but he quite simply isn’t Championship material and he can’t beat Lewis over a season. Maybe he would feel he deserves another shot at the championship and he probably does (and he definitely does from a contractual point of view), but I am not convinced that the sport will, in the current political climate, bear another season like the last two without significant numbers of fans walking away. True, the loss of free-to-air coverage has made the biggest difference to me personally, but even I, a total F1 anorak, has missed races in the last two years and not cared about it breaking an almost 20 year run of watching every single race. If it’s effecting me, it’s definitely effecting more casual fans… However, an Alonso or Vettel in car 2 – a situation where, even though the car is the best, the two drivers are equally likely to win the race and truly compete for the championship would be a more than suitable remedy. If Bernie was serious about ‘improving the show’ he should be doing everything he can to make this happen. My candidate would be Alonso; McLaren need the money, and from the base they are building from they don’t need all the driving potential they have at the moment – Rosberg would be an eminently suitable development driver for them alongside JB – and I reckon that £50mil to McLaren and £20mil to Rosberg would probably make it happen – and Bernie could pay that out of his own pocket and not notice it’s gone! I know it’s all fantasy stuff really, but Hamilton versus Alonso II, in the best car, with an improving Ferrari just behind them could make 2016 an absolute vintage year.

  13. I agree with that Erico/Paul… the faces watching the monitors said everything about favouring LH over NR. It would seem that NR has become the token German driver required in a German team. Would probably do him good to have a fresh start elsewhere… I dont think that LH would be happy with another top driver in the other seat and Wolf and Lauda wont upset their favourite son… Vettel/Alonso/Verstappen in the other Merc… not a chance.

    • Alonso: Been there done that
      Ves: would be a similar situation to when Michael whooped his dad
      Seb: bring it on…

    • If Ferrari provide Vettel with the car to fight the Mercedes with, then you will likely find it would be a straight up fight between Lewis and Vettel for the title. I like Nico, he just doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct that Lewis and Vettel both have in spades. Of course Nico could prove us all wrong, but on the evidence shown thus far ? Not very likely.

      The fight most people want to see ? Lewis and Vettel fighting all the way to the end of a season.

  14. Nico Rosberg is basically a nice guy : if he had to choose between killing his main rival to get the ultimate price and letting him live but settle for the second-best price, he would choose the latter. Winners will kill, winners will do whatever it takes to win even it that makes them the pantomime villain, they don’t care.

    In Spa 2014 we saw Rosberg trying to make the kill (and actually he had) and then back-tracking because he (possibly) regretted the move. If Rosberg was more cynical and villainous, he probably would have acted like he didn’t mean it but then slip a “You know I did that on purpose” in Hamilton’s ear with nobody watching. We have never seen that Nico since then, and we probably will never see him again (read the Mercedes management won’t want to see that again). Hamilton moving to Mercedes did show that at least Rosberg is no slouch as a driver but perhaps not good enough to compete at the very edge of the grid. If you replace Hamilton with Vettel, all these Turn 1 moves that Hamilton pulled on Rosberg would be happening as well, except Vettel would be the one doing it.

    For 2016, the best thing would be that Ferrari get some extra upgrades that allow them to fight with Mercedes on a more consistent basis because Hamilton and Rosberg can only race fairly as long as Hamilton is at the front (although with Hamilton now saying that he has achieved his target, we might see Rosberg come back on the attack and finish what he had started in 2014). Vettel and Hamilton fighting each-other would be fairer in the sense that both would have their team’s backing and both would not be afraid of pulling tricks on each-other (and I think Vettel would emerge victorious because it is possible to make Hamilton waver mentally). Rosberg could try his luck elsewhere and leave (he is probably financially secure by now) but whoever steps in next will be #2 to Hamilton, just like whoever steps in for Raikkönen after he leaves would be #2 to Vettel.

  15. When it comes down to it, if you have that much in hand sometimes it makes it so much easier. But at the end of the day, he does the job that he needs to do, so Congrats Lewis.

  16. First up,congratulations to Lewis on Title #3. baisically F1 can not give us another year of Lewis vs Nico borefest, so expect the prancing horse to be hitting the track running next year with Seb #1 and Kimmi #2, without taking points from each other, meaning Mercs can not allow their drivers to be racing each other. Can anyone criticize Mercs when Nico would be driving as a # 2 driver at Melbourne? Apparently Nico has been shooting his mouth off again in Germany, how the last 3 races would be a mini championship, and he’ll be winning all three, hmm… If i were Lewis, for the teams sake that both drivers finishes 1 + 2, I’d give him Mexico and Brasil, but wipe the floor with him in Abu Dhabi.!!
    ,

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