Lewis Hamilton’s excuses are wearing thin

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Formula One fans are well aware that in motorsport, it is not always about how good the driver is and that the car plays a significant part in winning and losing. Put four times world champion Sebastian Vettel in a 2015 Sauber and see if he can finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari and the significance of the role played by the car in F1 becomes crystal clear.

However, there a two drivers piloting the same car in each team which is why team mate battles during races and throughout the year become fascinating. Barring the odd act of favouritism where the team take say – the front wing from one driver – and give it to the other, when there’s only one of the new spec is available, team mates are in the same machinery and so we know the one who finishes ahead, at that time is the better all-round driver.

Kimi Raikkonen is a case in point. During his first spell at Ferrari, he arrived in 2007, sneaked the drivers title from Hamilton and Alonso by a point by scoring 3 race wins and a podium third in the last four F1 events of the season.  Yet thereafter, he was squarely second to Felipe Massa – even in 2009 when Massa retired from the championship, the Brazilian was 22-10 ahead of the Finn past the half way point of the season.

The Kimfosi spread abroad conspiracy theories about how the Schumacher led car development didn’t suit Kimi’s driving style. (Michael Schumacher at the time was believed to be working behind the scenes as a technical advisor to Ferrari). However, those less engaged in the defence of Kimi’s reputation and status pointed to the fact that Kimi was getting beaten week in and week out by Massa in the same car.

Whilst Jenson Button is held amongst drivers and fans alike in high regard, he too has suffered from a reputation of not being able to deliver unless the car is exactly to his liking. During his time with Hamilton at McLaren, this idea of ‘Jenson the sensitive’ was frequently mentioned meanwhile Hamilton was perceived ‘Alonso’ style as the guy who could wrestle anything around a track and get the best out of it.

Lewis Hamilton is inclined to look for blame beyond himself when he gets beaten. He suggested Jenson’s ‘bubble’ was favouring him during their time at McLaren together and of course being summoned to the stewards for poor driving standards 6 times in 7 races we all know Lewis alleged “it’s because I is black”.

Recently the most respected F1 journalist in Italy called Hamilton to account for denigrating the on track skills of his adversaries. Turini pointed out if Sebastian, Nico et al are not very good, then this diminishes Hamilton’s achievements in beating them. Now Lewis is in danger of falling into a similar trap.

At the 2015 F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Nico Rosberg claimed his sixth consecutive pole position, something only done by seven other drivers, all of whom are world champions. Whilst Hamilton did concede his team mate was quick on Saturday, he again referred to the his belief that “in the last few races, what I can definitely say is there has been a change in the car.”

Hamilton believes the car has been developed away from his liking and driving style and this is giving Rosberg the advantage. However, this polemic is a risky one because it opens the door to the accusation that the car started the year clearly favouring Hamilton’s driving style and not Rosberg’s. This then debunks the myth that Hamilton can get the best out of anything he drives because of course he and Rosberg are driving the same car.

Having known Hamilton since he was 11 years old, it was notable that Ron Dennis attributed Lewis’ negative behaviour sometimes described as petulant and childish to being a child protégé. “They don’t always emerge with the all the right social process or behaviour or tendencies that you like,” Dennis observed.

Lewis was recently asked his opinion about Sebastian Vettel and his response implied Vettel may not be as good as people think, due to the lack lustre nature of his F1 team mates. However, Sebastian Vettel just won the Race of Champions, which pits drivers from all motorsport disciplines against each other in a range of cars. Vettel conquered all put before him, in whatever the machinery they were both given.

Vettel’s all conquering performance in a range of machinery is in contrast with the current message from Team Hamilton, which has overtones similar to that attributed to Jenson of yesteryear. Lewis now needs the car to be just right – otherwise he can’t win.

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42 responses to “Lewis Hamilton’s excuses are wearing thin

  1. Guess it’s easier to write an article criticising Lewis than something commending him on retaining his title. Aw well, water is wet, so no surprise here. 😏😏

    • This article is just stating it as it seems, Hamilton has mentioned after removing a (suspension) part from his car, he’s not been able to regain his peak form from the start of the year.

      It does seem based on how he hasn’t been able to preform he is like the majority of drivers, he needs a car setup just how he likes it, this isn’t criticism rather an observation.

      This has been noted with a lot of world champions in the past.

      • Isn’t criticism? Please read the article again. Bringing up Ron’s bullshit comments and that so called well respected Italian journalists comments and what he said about, is not criticism?

        • “Under Lewis’ peak circumstances, he has shown he’s as untouchable as Senna, Clark or Schumacher was.” “As untouchable” would indicate to me that they were being rated as equals.
          My statement on Hamilton’s car, “more dominant then any that has come before it”, is true. No car has ever dominated like the Mercedes. Hamilton has only had Rosberg to compete with for two years, a different driver might have written another story.

          • Your point has some validity. regardless of the various scoring systems F1 has employed over the years, no team has ever attained the percentage of points available as Mercedes with their W06 in 2015.

          • Rubbish!… Before the W06, the same was said about the Mercedes of Fangio and Moss, then the Williams, McLaren etc etc etc of their respective era…

            If it was a different driver in the W06 other than Lewis, I’d bet my last ££ that you would not be ramping on about it being the most dominant car ever and X driver only had Rosberg to beat.

            You can’t punish or criticise someone achievements because their team built the best car ever seen in the sport. Is that not what’s supposed to be done? Each team building the best car they can? Was their something in the rules that said, “your car can’t be X faster than anyone else’s”? That’s lazy and nonsensical reasoning.

          • If’s and buts as you said previously – in terms of what would be said had it been any other driver…. Then again no – Schumacher suffered the same criticism during the Ferrari dominance years… as did Button for his title… and of course its even easier to win races and titles for lewis than either of those drivers in the most dominant car in F1 history 😉

    • Come on Fortis the media was gushing praise for Hamilton’s 3rd, but now he is clearly being beaten, why? Certainly I have always read, especially from the Hamilton fans such as yourself, that he could make a brick perform, that Rosberg is no match. Even having won the championship there is no way that Hamilton is enjoying, let alone allowing Rosberg to beat him. He is being beaten fairly, doesn’t understand why and is lining up excuses for the Hammerheads to repeat.
      But I’m with you, congratulations to Hamilton on his third title, it just show’s what a good driver in a completely dominate car , set up to their driving style can do.

        • The record book will show that Hamilton won 2 championships in a car more dominant then any that has come before it. You can believe he has attained legendary status if you like, but I haven’t forgotten Hamilton’s up and down performances when faced with a real fight for points.You lose a lot of credibility when you say Hamilton is the equal to Schumacher or Senna, but comparing him to Clark, well that made me laugh.

          • And does your record books show the same for Michael, Prost, Senna, Clark, Seb etc? Because they too had the most dominant car at the time they won championships.

            As for the comment about him being equal to Michael, Senna and Clark, it’s evidently clear that you’ve read without understanding what you have read.

            Cheers 😏😏

    • If a F1 website wants to be taken seriously, they shouldn’t be posting articles like this one.

      • 1st time poster. Totally agree with above comment. Seems like more click bait to my un-trained eye, knowing people on both sides will weigh in with comments. More fool me for joining in eh?!?!
        Rosberg has done well recently, but ultimately the results since Austin were meaningless as the WDC was decided. I hope he can fight next year when it matters like he has in the last 3 races, doing it now proves nothing with the preasure almost completely off. But yesterdays race proves nothing.

        On another note. Love the website and articles normally, just this story seemed like knocking the champion for no reason. I wonder why that is??

  2. Personally I think he has had issues since tyre pressure rules were ‘clarified’. I also wonder if his motivation this season has reduced since he won drivers championship. Lets face it once you have won the title you can relax a bit and I think that is what has happened. I think Nico winning will actually bring back Lewis’s determination for 2016. Plus hopefully Ferrari, Renault (if Bernie gives in), and Honda give Merc some decent competition.

  3. Seems to me like an attempt to scrape the bottom of the barrel, for the tiniest of any old scraps left, in order to extract the maximum mileage from a tired old story.

    This season is over and I am outta here for good.

  4. I find it somewhat naive of folks when they say Hamilton lost motivation after winning the wdc, we should read between the lines when Hamilton says “I know the team has felt the need to be extra warm [towards Rosberg],”. We all know Hamilton doesn’t race to finish second, so it seems to me that Mercs have deliberately slowed him down, allowing Rosberg to run a faster engine mode in Q3 & race. But he showed his true class in that 2nd stint, cant believe Toto had the nerve to say he didnt have the pace. I noticed all drivers burnt off 94 kilos fuel, only Rosberg used 96 kilos and was running in clean air for most of the race, WHY. Did vettel ease up when he won the wdc in India 2013, hell no, he won the last 3 races as well !! The media are trying to create something that’s not really there,and you are all too Keen to gobbel it all up, thanks to Mercedes.

    • Why? Perhaps because Nico was running an engine with something like an extra thousand kilometers on it than Lewis’s. Not only would he have reduced power, I imagine the fuel economy would be affected as well. Now I will admit that Nico generally is heavier on the fuel than Lewis, but that was a bit more than usual (although I admit I haven’t checked any facts, if they are available, to ascertain what “usual” is).

  5. partying too much and having to fly all over the world all the time to support his “team no sleep” lifestyle definitely catches up. were talking a blink of an eye in qualifying times difference and im sure metabolically something is being affected.

  6. I agree @fortis96, it’s comical and as transparent as a plane of glass. It seems some will try to diminish Hamilton’s achievement not matter how well he performs. He’s only just wrapped up his third driver championship with three races to go, more than a two race win point’s buffer, having out qualified his team mate 11-7. As we all know, Rosberg was nowhere up until Japanese GP it being 11-1 in qualifying in Hamilton favour before then. But for .076 of a second in that qualifying session no one would be talking about his resurgence in qualifying. As other commentators have stated, if come Melbourne in 2016 Hamilton wins the race, Rosberg’s recent qualifying and race resurgence will account for even less than it does now.

  7. “Whilst Jenson Button is held amongst drivers and fans alike in high regard”

    Debatable, but not the point, so moving on.

    “During his time with Hamilton at McLaren, this idea of ‘Jenson the sensitive’ was frequently mentioned meanwhile Hamilton was perceived ‘Alonso’ style as the guy who could wrestle anything around a track and get the best out of it.”

    That perception of Hamilton was simply as a result of how terrible Jenson was under anything but a perfect, rear-planted, car set-up. Fans cultivated that perception, Jenson and Lewis fans alike. Jenson-fans to somehow suggest he was still as good as Hamilton if he had the car – had he was a specialist driver that’s somehow better; Lewis-fans to add more myth where none was needed. Lewis was just faster over a lap and a better racer, that’s all.

    But Lewis, like any great, is a specialist F1 driver, which is about finding a peak synergy between car and man to deliver ultimate performance. Under Lewis’ peak circumstances, he has shown he’s as untouchable as Senna, Clark or Schumacher was.

    Personally, and I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve read Hamilton cultivating that perception. In fact, I recall him getting very frustrated at Mercedes at various braking issues as well as at McLaren, at various stages, complaining of incorrect set-up choices. Remember twitter-gate?

    That all suggests he’s happy to allow fans to think he’s as subject to a good set-up as anyone, but he has shown he has a greater peak performance if he gets it right, which happens more often than any of his teammates he’s had so far. What more can be asked of a driver?

    Frank Williams always said, judge a driver by his peak. If we are to do that, we know why Lewis is a triple champ. Hamilton at his best is untouchable, at his mediocre level is a challenge for Nico and Jenson, and at worst is as bad as any driver who’s totally uncomfortable with set-up / car. Seb in 2014 as an example.

    As for Turini, he’s right. Thought about it an personally I’d prefer Lewis to not give the established media an opportunity to twist his ideas. What he said about Schumacher in particular he retracted straight away. Guess that’s the best we can hope of anyone, to accept a mistake and move on.

    As for Ron. Well when Ron doesn’t like you, you’re probably doing something right. So Ron can talk whilst his team is fighting Manor. Naughty comment, but doesn’t anyone really care what Ron thinks?

    F1 might have more versatile drivers, but at the end of the day, a team should find that who has that greatest peak potential and develop them a car they need to deliver greatness. If we’re honest, Mercedes are going to have to pick a no1 to fight Ferrari next year, like WTF says. How can that guy not be Lewis?

    • Neither Lewis nor Nico will take the no. 2 role at Merc, as long as they are in with a shot at the title. And this might end up like in ’81 or ’99 or ’07, where a driver in a ‘slower’ car is winning the title (in this case: Vettel, because I don’t see Kimi do anything of note next year, bar the occasional podium).
      Still, what will Ricciardo do next year? What if RBR turns the dispised Renault around? Another title contender? (Or wishful thinking?)

  8. I do think Lewis is at risk of sounding a bit childish but if you look at his record he’s won in different cars at different teams under different engine formulas (horse power and top end vs massive torque, KERS, etc) when up against people who were no pushover. A Hamilton fan or not that’s impressive. I think the criticism, maybe too strong a word, of Vettel and Alonso is that they are yet to do that.

  9. Blah blah blah, Danny Ric outscored by DK, Sergio Perez outscored Nico Hülkenberg and dear old Jenson Button outscores the main man Alonso, Massa beaten by Bottas ‘again’.
    Choose your pecking order from that, and my bet is it will be different next year.
    Was Bruce McLaren a better driver than his team mate or did he just own the team, because the team owners are the ones who have the most influence over which of their drivers comes out on top, since Schumachers last title in 2004, Ferrari have aligned themselves behind four drivers challenging for the championship, only once have the took top spot, (the team, Jean Todt at the time, backed the right man)

  10. 100% nonsense.

    Lewis’ had plenty of wins in a McLaren that wasn’t the class of the field in the past.

    The title race was over early. He won it. Next year he will be back.

  11. “Lewis Hamilton is inclined to look for blame beyond himself when he gets beaten.”

    As does almost every F1 driver, particularly the best of them, who seem to have the most fragile egos of them all. I remember post race interviews where the likes of Senna and Schumacher, having won the race, still complained about the car. A lot of world champions are sore losers.

    Next season is a new car so we’ll see how both Nico and Lewis do with it. Since Lewis has joined Mercedes he has 22 wins to Nico’s 13. 23 poles to Nico’s 21 and of course 2 world championships to Nico’s none.

    It would be great to see Nico remain as competitive as he has been recently but as mentioned, next season is a new car and a new engine and word is that Mercedes may go for an evolution or a revolution in regard to the car. We will see.

    As for lifestyle. Couldn’t care less about the lifestyle of any driver.

  12. All this vettel bashing has to stop! He is the greatest ever to walk among us! He is schumacher and senna in one! He can turn water in to wine! All hail his royal fastness vettel! Who is Lewis to criticise him! Merely a footnote in the bible of the Vettelians!

  13. I have the feeling Mercedes Hamilton and Rosberg are all in cahoots keeping the “excitement” alive. They have created an artificial excitement to keep Mercedes in the headlines. As it is, the crushingly dominant Mercs don’t even get much TV airtime during races. Instead F1 fans are watching the mid pack Force India vs Red Bull vs Verstappen vs Grosjean battles. Or the Kimi vs Williams battle. The top 3 are as predictable as the championship points gap indicate.

    • Whether you are right or not the outcome is the same. We suddenly have a lot of optimism for next season albeit from the same ones moaning earlier that Lewis did not have any challenge or that Nico was no test and that the whole thing was too predictable. Suddenly the Nico and Lewis show is back on and old fools like Jackie Stewart (yes Jackie we get it, you are Scottish) are suddenly declaring that Nico is a smoother driver and is about to put Lewis in his place next season. Even sites like this are suddenly discovering that Lewis has many faults and beating Nico 3 years in a row may not be conclusive.
      I am just waiting for the TJ13 exclusive where they have been reliably informed by a Merc insider that Lewis was favoured after Spa 14 and that Nico is now the flavour of the month because his ‘proving a point’ antics have finally been ‘paid off’. And that Monza 14 was a sign that Nico has been bending over since but is really better than Lewis afterall

  14. Anyone want to agree with Ted Kravitz who thinks that Lewis might be ill? Sometimes the simple explanation is the most likely. The most likely condition I can think of and common in the young (I won’t name it and it is NOT an STD) is one whose symptoms clear in 2 to 3 weeks but leave one feeling tired for up to 3 more months. Add on a few parties and the odd drink and Lewis could well be feeling knackered. A few weeks rest may work wonders. If Lewis prefers to make car excuses rather than talk about health I think that is quite understandable.

    • Mononucleosis, eh? I had it in my early 20s. But I knew I had it was because I came down with a badly inflamed throat and went to my physician. He performed a blood test and found I also had mono. After leaving his office It was pretty rough. I got over the throat deal (actually, it turned out to be strep) very quickly but was low energy – mono – for about six weeks.

      • Well I think that is what Kravitz thinks as he said in his race notebook report “perhaps Lewis has some lurgi that we don’t know about” and Ted had postulated that from Lewis’ appearance. ‘Lurgi’ is a peculiarly British slang term referring to any unspecified debilitating infectious condition and certainly could include the condition that you mention.

        • And as Autosport wrote, but for a throttle failure in Russia and a ‘gust of wind’/tyre on a slippery kerb in Austin – this would be 5 consecutive defeats for Hamilton and 6 consecutive pole positions for Rosberg. This is more than a co-incidence or ‘lurgi’.

          • What matters is a WDC in the bag first and then coincidences can be something for lesser mortals to ‘tittilate’ over to their hearts content until the next WDC is at stake
            Maybe we can speculate about how often he gets his end away and whether his hairstyle affects his chances whilst we wait for Lewis to create more coincidences.
            Maybe we can just make some stories up, afterall they dont have to be true

  15. We need an East European German commie hypocrite to come and really ‘diminish’ Hamiltons 3rd WDC

    Otherwise TJ13 is running the risk of moving from satire to farce

  16. Long time reader, first time poster.

    My feelings towards Hamilton haven’t changed much since his debut. I’m not his biggest fan. Nor am I his least biggest fan.
    The guy is quick. Very quick. And he has a certain swagger and confidence behind the wheel that he has demonstrated on every occasion he had the tools and circumstances to do so. And I refer to all seasons not just 2015. Bloody good job on 3 titles. At the end of the day he won. Dominant or not. Better than the rest or not. Equal or not… He triumphed.
    It’s his. And he took it.

    As for F1, and the Hamilton/Mercedes effect.. May the gap get smaller, and the racing better.

    Until then.. The best driver on the day will win, no matter how lucky or favored he is. i.e – good old Pastor in his Williams. He was there and he took it.

    Puuuush Fernando. You must puuush.

  17. The best driver has to know how to get the car set up to fast then drive it like that. I got the impression when Webber and Vettel were at Red Bull that Webber was better at setting up and Vettel was better at driving and Webber seemed to think Vettel benefitted from engineers sharing setup data. Did Ricciardo beat Vettel because he was a better driver or because Weber tipped him off to not share setup data??

    The Top Gear leaderboard provides an interesting perspective.

  18. Since 2012, When LEWIS Going To The MERCS Was Made Public, I Know That At Least 2 F1 **Fans** Are Extremely Sad.

    Sorry, 2 F1 **Fans**, The Guy Is Not Dead Yet – Deal With It.

    GO, 44 !

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