Tensions surface between Hamilton and Mercedes

lewis

 

For the 2015 Abu Dhabi GP, Mercedes AMG F1 set out to counter the criticism from the media that they were ‘remote controlling’ their drivers in terms of race strategy. Toto Wolff relished in pointing this out to Sky TV following the chequered flag: “This time there were two strategies that could have worked so we left it to him [Hamilton], his race engineer and his side of the garage to decide which strategy he would rather go for.”

Lewis also complained in Brazil and Mexico about the lack of opportunity for him to challenge Rosberg by switching strategies during the race, so Mercedes’ response may have been designed to give Lewis his head on the issue.

Mercedes have been consistent throughout the year, insisting there is one race strategist for the whole team and he will call the strategy best for Mercedes Benz and not individual drivers. In Abu Dhabi all this was to change.

Having saved some tyre life on Saturday in Q2, Rosberg commanded the first stint pulling out almost 1.5 seconds on Hamilton during the first lap after the lights went out. Over the next 5 laps Nico eaked out a further 0.7 seconds over his team mate in P2 before putting the hammer down and putting a further 3.3 seconds on Hamilton in the 4 laps before he stopped.

Hamilton’s ‘team’ decided to stop him the following lap, which was clearly the right call because Rosberg was now going even quicker on his second set of tyres. Having started on the super soft tyres and taken the soft tyre at the first stop, all options were now open to Lewis and his side of the garage.

Hamilton set about closing the 6 second gap to Rosberg in a measured manner, averaging just under 0.3s a lap quicker than the German. During this stint Lewis asked his race engineer whether a one stop strategy was doable. If I back off now and look after these tyres to the end, how much time would I need to slow?” Hamilton queried on the radio.

Lewis was informed by Peter Bonnington the numbers had been crunched and this would be impossible, so his strategy should now be to run longer than Rosberg in this second stint. Toto Wolff confirmed Hamilton’s side of the garage thought this would give them the option of running the faster super soft tyre at the end of the race. “It was an off-set strategy and it was worth consideration,” said Wolff. “Go a bit longer, see how that pans out and then if you could have made that tyre last he could have gone on the option [tyre] and that would have been a real go to win the race”.

Rosberg stuck to the optimum strategy and pitted at the end of lap 31 for another set of the harder tyre compound. He emerged around 20 seconds behind Hamilton but was now set to run to the end of the race.

Lewis ploughed on for another ten laps on his second stint, but was losing an average of 1.3 seconds a lap to Rosberg, then on lap 40 Hamilton was told his final stop was imminent and asked whether he wanted the soft or super soft tyre fitting for the final stint.

Mercedes later revealed Lewis refused to respond to this question, so Bonnington and Lewis strategy ‘team’ decided to fit the soft tyre. Toto Wolff later confirmed this decision was made because Hamilton’s ‘team’ were concerned the [super soft] tyre wouldn’t [last].”

Lewis emerged around 12 seconds behind Rosberg, but on fresh rubber he quickly made inroads into his teammates lead at the required 1 second a lap. However, during this phase of the race there were a series of radio instructions given to Hamilton and clearly the team were forcing his hand.

“Ok so strat mode 10, strat mode 10. If you do not comply we will just turn Nico to strat mode 6”. Lewis apparently ignored the instruction and the next Mercedes message was to Rosberg. “So Nico go strat 6, strat 6.”

Around a lap later, Hamilton was now given a team order. “Ok so strat mode 10, strat mode 10 – that is an instruction.”

Lewis apparently this time complied because not long after, Rosberg was switched back to his original engine setting. The radio message confirmed this, “And strat 10, strat 10 please Nico.”

Following the race, Lewis was asked about his tyre strategy in the bull pen round of interviews. It was put to Lewis that the radio transmissions suggested he wanted to stay out, but that Mercedes had called him in. Hamilton appeared to be confused by the question asserting “the team asked me to stop and I stopped.”

Hamilton was pressed on the matter and asked if he wanted to stay on the second set of tyres to the end. After a couple of false starts in answering the question, Lewis replied: “Errrm… no well I would have tried to see… I think… I think if errrm… that was ever an option before – perhaps I could have made them last for.. for a while, but at the time I pitted… for sure I couldn’t take them to the end, I’d taken too much out of the,. But I think if I’d… I’d opted for them earlier on… I think I might have been able to stretch it to the end.”

Lewis was then asked if he’d taken the super soft tyre at his final pit stop, whether he could have caught Rosberg and won the race. Hamilton responded, “Errm… I don’t know. At the end of the day the gap was way to big…. We left it too big… particularly on the same tyres… there’s no way you’re going to able to catch that gap up…so I mean I did everything I could, pushed as hard as I could… which was a shame because I was quicker in the middle stint… so to then… to have that pace and come out 11 seconds behind.. yaeh that’s not such a great feeling.” Lewis would have us believe that the responsibility for decisions on his strategy lay firmly elsewhere rather than with himself.

Lewis did concede, he didn’t have the big picture and “You have to rely on the engineers to give you the optimum strategy at that point,” emphasising again the problem he faced having run long in stint two. “Honestly I don’t really understand it, I came out 11 seconds behind and had a mountain to climb and then the tyres went off.”

As it happened, unlike Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel did fit the super soft tyre for his final stint which was longer than Hamilton’s and the German subsequently made a net gain on the race winner of around 4 seconds.

Lewis Hamilton appears to be suggesting he just followed the team’s instructions and even questions the strategy he had for the second set of tyres. Though Toto Wolff would have us believe Lewis had freedom of strategy and in fact abdicated the responsibility over the final tyre choice back to his pit wall crew.

Maybe Mercedes were just demonstrating to Lewis that the optimum strategy that they have been giving the lead driver on track this season – is in fact the fastest was of approaching the race and that Hamilton’s complaints in Mexico and Brazil were groundless.

Lewis may have left McLaren with the offer of more freedom for his off track activities, yet Mercedes have created a straight jacket for their drivers ‘on track’ opportunities – such as Lewis has never known.

The mystery around the ‘strat’ mode radio instructions unfortunately will have to remain exactly that, due to the fact that neither the BBC or SKY raised the matter with anyone wearing Petronas branded clothing.

Ted Kravitz of SKY did however stir the pot a little when reporting in his ‘notebook’ that Lewis had made a remark casting doubt on his long term future at Mercedes, saying ‘he hoped’ to be with the Brackley team for three more years.

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68 responses to “Tensions surface between Hamilton and Mercedes

  1. I really like this page, and I’m not a Hamilton fan, but this is the second article today “against” the champion, a day after the season ended. One would think you don’t really like the guy 🙂

    But on the other hand, you can only read articles with opinions here …

  2. Wow 2 Lewis Hamilton related articles in one day….

    You guys are starting to get absolutely ridiculous and seem to be trying to push an agenda which is to dehumanise the guy and make him out to be nothing more than a bad apple wherever he goes.

    There was a radio transmission between Lewis and Bono where they were discussing strategies. In the conversation Lewis asked how many laps and Bono replied with something along the lines of ’18’. He then later spoke about tires in which Bono yet again said, that the prime (hard) tires would be the better option to go with, as they’re holding up better. So Toto’s comments that he refused to answer was nothing more than a blatant bold face lie!

    Oh and Toto also had this to say..

    “We left it to him actually,” Toto Wolff told Motorsport.com. “I don’t know what was broadcast, but there was lots of debate between himself and his race engineer about soft tyres and supersoft tyres, and whether to make the stint a bit longer in order to offset himself.”

    So his comments that Lewis refused to answer the radio message, doesn’t really add up at all.

    As for the ‘strat mode’ message, you have somehow forgotten why he was first instructed to go to ‘strat mode 10’.

    When Max failed to move over despite being given two blue lights (which he later picked up penalty points for after the race) Lewis came on the radio and said that he was being held up, the camera even showed him locking up behind Max going onto the first long straight. In the next transmission Bono then instructed him to switch to ‘strat mode 10’ and then we heard Nico being instructed to switch to ‘strat 6’.

    In Ted’d notebook segment, he also pointed as to why Lewis did not go onto the super softs, by referencing Seb, who said that he was suffering massive gaining on his tires after about 4 laps. And let’s not forget, Seb stopped before Lewis, so Mercedes could use Seb as a marker. So their concerns that the options wouldn’t have lasted, was proven to be correct. As for Seb’s 4 seconds net gain on Nico, is that really worth mentioning?

    Give the guy a break man and let the man live!

    • I, for one, would love the FIA to force teams to choose one engine mode at the start of the race and either not be able to change it at all, or only be able to change it at pit stops.

      All this ‘I’m being a good boy and using the mode you tell me to but Lewis is being naughty and using a different one’ nonsense we keep getting it just irritating. Set the car to give maximum power and make the driver adapt their style to save fuel and the engine rather than have it as yet another dial to turn.

      There does seem to be a lot written about Lewis abusing the modes and the impression is given that Nico ‘does what he is told’, giving the impression Lewis only catches him because he’s ignoring instructions. I don’t know if that is the case or if Lewis isn’t doing enough to disabuse us of the situation – I suspect the latter myself. It does say a lot that we never seem to get this sort of thing from other teams though – at least not played on TV. The judge and the press at large may report it, but the FOM director gives the ammunition in spades.

      • The strat mode issue is being played up by the author, so as to convey exactly what you’ve said, “that Lewis is somehow being disobedient whilst Nico is well disciplined boy who never steps out of line.

        But let’s cast our minds back to Spain last year, when he came out and complained that Lewis was using unauthorised strat modes. But what he didn’t tell the world, was that it was he who in his attempt to get pass Lewis in Bahrain, had resorted to such practices.

        So he squealed to the world when he’s given some of his own medicine. And the ‘strat modes’ is to do with harvesting, as per Brundle’s comments in one of the race broadcast after he drove the W06 at Silverstone this year.

        • Are strat modes just harvesting? I got the impression it was a combination of that and other engine settings. After all, harvesting modes by themselves don’t give you more power over the lap, just at specific points, so shouldn’t make much actual lap time difference. Although I guess on a circuit where you can’t fully recharge the battery from braking alone it could make a small difference.

          Your memory is better than mine – I did have an occasion where Nico played the game in mind but couldn’t recall the actual race.

          You highlight The Judge as playing this up, I was trying to make the point that he isn’t alone. He certainly does like digging in certain areas but other parts of the media – and most importantly the FOM director who decides what information gets out – have the same agenda.

          I do worry that there doesn’t appear to be an attempt by ‘Team Lewis’ to address these stories and the general impression that he is at war with the team. They can only destabilise things and we have seen in the past that Lewis can suffer if he doesn’t feel comfortable in a situation.

          It is almost starting to look like the rumours that Merc want a German WDC might have some substance and Lewis is walking in to their trap to get it rather than fighting back.

        • they got a talking to after Bahrain, before they were not told to ignore, so it was ok at that time. in spain it was after the talking to, so they both knew what to do.

      • I had the feeling that Lewis has always felt part of Mercedes was conspiring against him. That’s why this year he has second guessed so many of the calls from the pit like a petulant child. The funny thing is, Lewis is almost always wrong. As much as he bashes Schumacher, he will never be able to process information like Micheal did.

        • Good point AFB – Lewis is giving the impression that he does not trust the team week in week out – a message they will be receiving loud and clear.

          Then again, Lewis reverted to an ‘I don’t have all the information” explanation, when pressed as to why he didn’t decide on the super soft tyre for his final stint. An option Mercedes claimed he was offered, but Lewis refused to speak to the team about which tyre he wanted for his final stint.

          All this does smack of Hamilton being taught a lesson by Mercedes – given his high visibility criticisms in Brazil and Mexico. of course he is incredibly valuable to them, but the Mercedes way is the drivers must do on track as they are told.

          • And, let’s face it, why shouldn’t it be that way?
            Not to forget he has a record for second guessing and has been sad faced from ensuing result.

          • Still hanging on to the claim that he ‘refused’ to answer the team about the tire choice, even after hearing the radio conversation with him and Bono?

          • Actually… now it’s Nutriatown, Orygun, since nutria outnumber the beavers.

    • not a Lewis nor Fortis 96 fan, but far from being a hater of either! am guessing we both heard and saw what the FOM feed and SKY wanted us to… on that basis, I got the same impression as you. and it does seem to be a “he said – she said” self-serving spin conundrum of lies or mis-truths.
      what DOES bother me is that this blog headline is that “Tensions Rise…” while not providing one iota of evidence of such. such attempts to incite mere instinctual first impressions are in fact the domain of sensationalist gossip writers and have NOTHING to do with intellectual and responsible journalism or (Gawd forbid) FOM-approved sources 🙂

      BTW, I coulda done without your last sentence, but your post was an excellent rebuttal !!

      Rich

  3. just speculating here, but wouldn’t it be apparent that Strat Mode 10 is to save the engine and Strat Mode 6 is probably the aggressive race mapping? This sounds different than the Multi-21 instruction; it seems as though the ERS strategies are incredibly important both to qualifying (running w/ the WG open) and to the race (to maximize -time/fuel).

  4. Engineer’s telling drivers to go strat mode 6 strat mode 10 shows just how much of an Engineer’s sport F1 has become. It’s just not on. It’s up to the driver to decide how hard they want to push.
    I sincerely hope the FIA clamp down on the “drivers must drive the car alone and unaided” rule. That would inject immeasurable excitement back into the sport overnight.
    Get rid of the sensors aswell for anything but safety reasons. A driver should be able to “feel” the car, not be instructed by his Engineer or even worse, ask his Engineer for advice.
    Put a digital display in the cars, all the info on that, drivers left to get on with it.

  5. Let’s simplify this: pre-race Toto Wolff said BOTH drivers were using the same strategy. We were afforded the ability to hear the conversation between Bonnington and Hamilton. NOTHING AT ALL pointed to Hamilton taking the strategy into his own hands – “his side of the garage.” In fact, he was TOLD to stay out longer than he wanted, which totally compromised his race and then was told he’d be put on softs rather than super softs, and came out not 11 – 13? – seconds behind Rosberg.

    Post race Wolff tells the abject lie that Hamilton made his own decisions because “we were so criticized after Mexico.” A lie that SkyF1, particularly Damon Hill, was prepped and ready to further. I sent a message to Fortis WHILE THIS WAS HAPPENING, telling him that we are watching the creation of a lie in real time and that, perhaps, before the end of the day but certainly by today commentaries and articles would be popping up repeating the lie.

    Damon Hill was repeating the lie as I wrote to Fortis. Today I read the above commentary… thanks to both of you for proving my point.

      • tj- Did you watch Wolff’s SkyF1 pre-race interview with Ted Kravitz? If not and if you don’t believe me, please solicit others and ask them what he said about the strategy for the race for both drivers. Did you hear the in-race communications between Hamilton and Bono? If Wolff’s pre-race words are to taken as an alleged truth, in-race the strategies for the two drivers was obviously altered to favor Rosberg. I don’t think there can be much argument about that. Hamilton did not “disobey orders” as he has been accused of doing so often (it is interesting that Murray Walker chastised Hamilton for being too much a team player and not disobeying team orders in his own interests). He asked questions, received responses and acted according to the order from Bonnington though he KNEW the order was costing him the race.

        I’ve no reason to lie or twist Wolff’s words, pre or post-race, not to twist Bonnington’s communication with Hamilton.

        I had a long conversation with someone recently about statements Wolff made regarding wanting to do whatever it took to ensure that Rosberg finished second in the WDC relative to Hamilton averring the usual platitudes about wanting to win each race. It was odd to me then, as it is now, that despite his public quotes in an interview for a newspaper, Wolff’s comments and the outcome of the races that secured that second-place finish for Rosberg were discounted as if Wolff never said them and as if the outcomes didn’t happen. All that mattered was Hamilton said he wanted to win but he didn’t.

        Now, I ask you, who at Mercedes holds more sway? Is it Lewis Hamilton, the driver? Is it Toto Wolff the man paying Lewis Hamilton? Hasn’t Toto Wolff proven by now that his primary concern is cementing Mercedes in the F1 history books for a second time —- with HIS name attached to that cementing?

        tj, think about this. You have a vast knowledge of F1 racing. When was the last time, wait, the FIRST time a multiple WDC-winning driver teamed with a driver with zero WDCs not overtly named the #1 driver on the team? How is it possible that Nico Rosberg, in 2013, had done enough during his career to be perceived as equal with Lewis Hamilton? Certainly no one outside of Mercedes would have said that; in fact, no one ever did. Rosberg was ALWAYS known as the guy who never bested Hamilton at any level of racing.

        But if that wan’t enough, you’d think that after 2013 and then LH’s WDC in 2014, he’d be openly recognized as the team #1. Hmmmm, not. And now, after winning the WDC in consecutive seasons and third time overall, who is being talked about as if he was a 23-year old on the rise driver and not a guy about to embark on his 11th season with nothing to show for his time but a sole race win until he sat in a car that was heads above the others on the grid.

        Meantime, Hamilton finished second by one point his ROOKIE season. And despite the wailing that he had the best car, did McLaren with the Constructor’s title in 2007? Or, would they have won if they hadn’t all their points removed? NO. How about the next season. The one Jenson Button said was “easy” for Lewis (I’ll never understand how winning the WDC on the final corner of the final race can be construed as “easy,” but…). Did McLaren win the Constructor’s title? No.

        But this man with a dozen wins AFTER those two seasons at McLaren and before Mercedes isn’t, not only the #1 on his own team but not perceived as the best driver of his time??? His every off-track move is scrutinized and questioned. His every statement is represents an opportunity to question his intelligence or maturity or “English-ness”?

        I know career accolades are handed out after an athlete’s day is done but when does the time come for Lewis Hamilton to be known as one of the truly great British drivers? He’s smashed pretty much all the meaningful records (tied Sir Jackie’s WDCs). And off the track he’s given millions to his and other charities and spent much time with disadvantaged children in England, giving them a glimmer of hope that they might too have a real future.

        When is enough gossip, thrashing and trashing, enough???

        • Maybe you can quote the Wolff interview – it doesn’t appear to be on the SKY broadcast I have recorded. Also you should consider ,when the ‘trashing’ is being done by the team principle – its a VERY big deal

        • “When was the last time, wait, the FIRST time a multiple WDC-winning driver teamed with a driver with zero WDCs not overtly named the #1 driver on the team?”

          The first time? I don’t know.The last time, however, was in 2007, when then newly crowned multiple WDC, Fernando Alonso – and defeater of Ferrari / Schumacher no less – was forced into equal status with a rookie named Lewis Hamilton. I repeat, a rookie. Surely, if one can imagine being Alonso in 2007, it would be a circumstance that constitutes a more egregious slap to a champion than that of presently not placing Lewis as No.1 against Nico; especially given the points spread between Lewis and Nico over the last three years has remained within 55%-45% for all three seasons.

          The entire mess of 2007 stems from the fundamental notion given to Fernando from either an implied, or overtly stated, Dennis-promise that Fernando was to be the man to take McLaren back to WDC winning ways. That clearly was something Dennis didn’t and couldn’t enforce – rightly or wrongly – and thus they (team and drivers) lost the WDC / WCC in the best car to Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari. If you add the drivers’ accumulated WDC points up, as is the calculation for the WCC, you’ll see that without the various penalties suffered by them as a result of the lack-of-No1-fight – which includes Hungary – that they’d indeed have won the WCC. No other maths-manipulation can suggest otherwise. McLaren lost the WCC too in ’07 as a result of Dennis’ mismanagement.

          How is it possible that Nico Rosberg, in 2013, had done enough during his career to be perceived as equal with Lewis Hamilton?”

          Again, as per above… In the same way it was possible that a rookie had done enough to equally lead a team, and fight a defending / multiple champion team-mate, to undermine the efforts to take on the might of the immediate post-Schumacher Ferrari team. None of 2007 is Lewis’ fault, nor is it Fernando’s fault, but in fact it’s Dennis’ fault for his dishonesty to both drivers and his desire to have his cake and eat it too. He threw away the best car and both titles – as well as £100m.

          Mercedes may make the mistake of trying to fight Vettel / Ferrari in 2016 with parity – but at least they are not promising anything that they can’t deliver on. In short, it’s mildly amusing that the beneficiary of one of the greatest “no-No1” team policy calls (2007) is now the focus of the Hamfosi calling into question Mercedes’ decision to deny Lewis No.1 status against a team-mate that’s keeping him very honest. Ironic.

          As I see it, Lewis hasn’t made the team submit to him being a clear No.1; although I have espoused the need for Mercedes to pick a driver that they will predominantly develop a car for to fight a coming Vettel / Ferrari campaign. Swinging car development paths and sporting intra-team driver fighting makes for a very tasty prey for a team like Ferrari; a team that doesn’t fuck around with such things – and I sense Arrivebene is as good as it gets. Vettel certainly is.

          Of course, I run the risk of being being accused of “obfuscation”, which I’ve come to realize means “to provide facts, alternate views and not submit to a baseless theory/rant”. Such is life…

          • I stand corrected about the multiple WDC champion not being named the overt #1 (though there is MUCH controversy as to whether Ron Dennis did promise and name Alonso #1 only to later retract that declaration, not overtly through but passive-aggressively through his actions from the moment the season began).

            As far as the rest, you only gave a tit-for-tat response to the fact that Hamilton, despite an entire racing career of beating Nico Rosberg, is not the clearly stated the #1 driver on his team; the response amounts to nothing. But instead of stopping before you firmly placed foot in mouth you had to press the issue with, “As I see it, Lewis hasn’t made the team submit to him being a clear No.1.”

            Really. As you see it – huh? But in our conversation you clearly indicated that Lewis Hamilton is “uncontrollable.” Hmmmm. Your aforementioned statement was, what, then? A recanting of the “uncontrollable” Lewis Hamilton? An affirmation of Murray Walker stating the Hamilton is too much a team player?… what???

            And since you completely refused to reply to anything else I wrote, your response, as it stands amounts to attempting to render obscure the bulk of my comment for people who only loosely are following the thread. But, then again, that is the core of the definition of obfuscation.

            So how about you do us a “solid” and keep your hand out of my pocket and my directly asking for a response from TJ. I don’t believe he needs you to run interference for him.

            (Oh, and Marek’s response perfectly illustrates what I described in paragraph #4 of the above.)

          • @Dwil, Kudos. I didn’t think you’d stand corrected. Well done.

            So how about you do us a “solid” and keep your hand out of my pocket and my directly asking for a response from TJ.

            I can’t comply with that request. Well, I can; but I won’t. I comment on whatever is published, by anyone – be that article or comment – if it captures my attention. I saw a glaring error, an error you’ve acknowledged re: a notion you put forward as fact relating to multi-champs/No.1 status, and I corrected the content. Nothing personal, mate. Just playing the ball… so to speak.

            If you don’t like your comments subjected to scrutiny, as seems the case now and in other threads here, then simply don’t comment. Feel free to scrutinise my comments if you like – in fact I welcome an academic, non-personal discourse.

            I don’t believe he (TJ) needs you to run interference for him.

            You’re better than that sort of thing, aren’t you?

            Unfortunately your comment has no “reply” button, and I don’t get emails from here, so I’ve replied from the closest netted comment that has a “reply” function – in case you “see” another dastardly conspiracy, or an attempt at obfuscation.

        • “Largely perceived as best driver of his time” depends on who you sample. He has had some shaky years and now his only competition is largely perceived as not being one of the best drivers of his time.
          I think you have to discount the charity givings of anyone who’s unsustainable lifestyle far outstrips the act of charity.

  6. Keep it up.
    It’s impossible to be right always.
    But keep sticking your neck out and keep the brain under the wig in analysing mode.

    It’s what’s best in here – even (or because!?) it makes you cringe.

      • Very good point, unless of course he matures even more and starts cooling off all his off-track activities. Obviously, I’d much prefer him back at McLaren!

  7. Some impressive spin on the “hopes to be with Mercedes” line. The levels of conjecture on here are getting to be quite something.

    If we’re only this far into the off-season and this kind of article is going to be the norm, it’s going to be a long, long, long few months…

  8. Yeah, I’ve also been wondering about the Judge’s big engine story. So, Judge, what is the story now?

    • Not that i have any clue or inside information but Christian Horner did say the engine deal was signed like 3 weeks ago and was quoted as saying “Ironically, the path of development will be one that we wanted to have 12 months ago.” . This does hint at what the judge reported but who knows really.

      • that’s what I took from Horner’s quote..Mind you, I also saw Horner quoted as saying “Ron Dennis won’t be very happy” (which would seem as safe a bet as saying Tuesday follows Monday)…can’t help but feel Christian is enjoying being the center of attention for a while now that they’re not winning every other Sunday

        • Oh yeah there is no doubting their ability to keep themselves in the media even when they are not winning lol . While i’m about 99.9% convinced RBR will be using some form of a renault PU next season, the look on Ron Dennis’s face if they did somehow workout a deal with honda would be priceless haha

      • This means the use of RBRs consultant Illien to help Renault improve and accelerate development. Renault rejected this and Horner means the unbranded engine will incorporate the Illien designed head.
        Illien is an ICE specialist, Its a complete departure from logic to extrapolate that to Illien having designed a new ERS and Turbo in building 9.

        • No, red bull would not need illiens assistance in developing the ERS system in building 9. Actually nobody has ever suggested that so I’m not sure why you’re saying something like that and then using it to disapprove a story. There’s a term for logic like that.

          Red bull doesn’t need illiens assistance for the ERS because they are more than capable of doing that themselves.

          Why do you think Honda is so keen on working with red bull even if it upsets their relationship with Ron?

  9. I had intended to refrain from making comments on TJ13 as of yesterday, but I think the following point needs to be made in order to be fair to Hamilton as there is an alternative explanation of the words attributed to Hamilton:

    TJ13 writes “Ted Kravitz of SKY did however stir the pot a little when reporting in his ‘notebook’ that Lewis had made a remark casting doubt on his long term future at Mercedes, saying ‘he hoped’ to be with the Brackley team for three more years.”

    However, the meaning I attribute to that is that Lewis is referring to his “long term” future for “three more years” beyond the new three year contract he signed in May 2015 which takes him to the end of 2018 season..

    See http://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/616042/World-Champion-Lewis-Hamilton-end-Mercedes-ruling-out-Ferrari-move

    ” .. The 30-year-old has won 22 of his 54 races for Mercedes since moving from McLaren in 2013. Earlier this year, he committed his future to the team until the end of 2018.

    And he says he has no interest in ending his Formula One journey, which has so far yielded 43 victories and three titles, with a rival team.

    “I imagine beyond this three-year deal there could be one more contract of three or four years and that would be it for me,” he said.

    “There was always that talk of driving another car and I have done that. Ticked that box off. I honestly can’t see myself anywhere else.

    “In three-and-a-half to four years time you don’t know where we are going to be. I don’t like to say never, but I think it would be pretty awesome to finish my career with this team. That would be amazing.” … ”

    I also would like to point out that not every journalist is out to be critical of Hamilton, for example here is a a very pro-Hamilton write-up by Kevin Garside which the Hamfosi will enjoy:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/lewis-hamilton-earned-his-victory-lap-so-let-him-party-a6754886.html

    • By the way, Ted Kravitz possibly also missed reading the same news on other media apart from the Express, e.g.:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/34687179

      http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/332312/hamilton-keen-to-finish-career-at-mercedes/

      Hamilton earlier this year penned a new deal through 2018.

      “I imagine beyond this three-year deal there could be one more contract of three or four years and that would be it for me,” explained Hamilton, when asked about his future.

      “There was always that talk of driving another car and I have done that now (with McLaren and Mercedes). I’ve ticked that box off, so I honestly can’t see myself anywhere else.

      “In three-and-a-half to four years’ time you don’t know where we are going to be. I don’t like to say never, but I think it would be pretty awesome to finish my career with this team.”

    • Great… so Toto lied to make Lewis look… whatever… fantastic story!!!! Does he want Hamilton out of the team?

      Also fascinating is that on lap 10: Bonnington instructed Hamilton, “Lewis, box box box box, pit confirm”. He apparently ignored this and was again instructed to box on lap 14 😉

      • “Does he want Lewis out of the team”…

        Well we will find out in the next article you publish. It should hopefully keep us on the edge of our seats until March 20th 2016 😉

        • Answer the question! The Hamfosi say Toto Wolff is lying – but have no idea why. For a conspiracy theory to be remotely believable there has to be a motive.

          • Come on judge, the evidence is there that he lied, why did he? I don’t know. But you have used one his comments in your piece to support Toto’s comments that Lewis was asked something to which he did not reply and along with other tidbits, came to the conclusion that tension has arisen between Lewis and Mercedes.

            Titanracer has even challenged that assumption, because you have not provided any evidence to support such a claim and borders on sensationalism.

  10. Now the question is why have so many people chosen to believe Toto Wolff’s post-race statement to SkyF1 – at least – rather than simply remember and/or refer to the team radio communications?!

    And Toto’s quote to Motorsport.com? “We left it to him actually,” Toto Wolff told Motorsport.com. “I don’t know what was broadcast, but there was lots of debate between himself and his race engineer about soft tyres and supersoft tyres, and whether to make the stint a bit longer in order to offset himself.”

    And people bought it hook, line and sinker.

    Not a good look.

    • Try and calm down a little dwil – people don’t assume Toto is lying first up – secondly, the radio transmissions are not the full story. Not all are broadcast by FOM – and the F1F transcript is only what FOM broadcast.

      But AGAIN – the massive question you assertion about Wolff lying, is WHY? This tin foil hat creation leads to a HUGE conspiracy theory.

  11. People don’t assume Toto is lying… that’s my point. You and others are assuming Wolff is telling the truth.

    But.

    You’re others, as well, – are choosing to believe Toto Wolff who indicated he doesn’t know what was said – “I don’t know what was broadcast, but there was lots of debate between himself and his race engineer about soft tyres and supersoft tyres, and whether to make the stint a bit longer in order to offset himself.” http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/analysis-free-tyre-strategy-not-enough-for-hamilton/ – choosing to NOT believe the communications we have at hand, choosing NOT to believe Lewis Hamilton, who was asked ASAP for his comments and from his response obviously didn’t hear Wolff’s interview(s), but choosing to believe Toto Wolff’s other post-race comment blaming Hamilton?

    Despite every piece of evidence we have at our disposal showing that Wolff was lying post-race, and we must include his remarks pre-race about both drivers having the same strategy, per usual, just like he said in Mexico, Toto Wolff is telling the truth and it is Lewis Hamilton who is lying?

    Do any of you realize how far you’re going to protect what, according to all the evidence we have at our disposal, appears to be an outright falsehood?

    And btw, anyone with DirectTV simply hits “record” and the deed is done… so NO ONE blaming Hamilton recorded both the pre-race interviews and the race, but recorded the post-race interviews… having used DirectTV for 10 years before leaving them I find that really difficult to believe.

  12. No it isn’t very hard – unless you choose to make it so. You’ve not replied to anything I wrote but, instead, ask me a question. And ask a question to which you should know the answer. As a result, I’ll ask you: with a substantial amount of egg on their faces for past strategy failures, why wouldn’t Toto Wolff lie? Further, if Lewis Hamilton is lying and the F1 press everywhere is reporting and opining on this “difference of opinion” between LH and Wolff, why haven’t Mercedes settled the issue once and for all and simply released the communications in their entirety? It’s not as if it hasn’t been done before!

    • Dwil. This is all a bit much. I understand your affinity towards Hamilton. He’s cool. He has a nice chain. Probably a cute apartment with nice curtains and that dog he has. But man. Ease it off a tad. Toto didn’t lie. It’s simply a lot happening in a short period of time, using human memory as a bank for source and collect. It’s scatty. I cannot imagine why Toto would li… Wait. He’s Österreicher? He lied. Lügner!
      Seriously though. Hamilton is a 2x WC with Merc. He’s a prized asset. They ain’t going to determine to lie to him as some way of deliberately foiling his plan to win the race. It’s all a little Charlie Sheen 9/11 is fake sorta stuff.
      Anyway. At least I’m not bias. Its more of what we really need in here. A bit of sanity.
      Go Nico. Los gehts. Bring Lewis zu Ende.

  13. Interesting story coming out about this subject on Motorsport.com

    http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/wolff-driver-tension-may-force-line-up-change

    “If I were to analyse what are the biggest strengths and the biggest weakness of the team, I would say the biggest strength is the quality and the characters of the personalities within the team.

    “The biggest weakness is the dynamic of the relationship between the drivers – and sometimes between the drivers and the team.”

    Could there be more to the judge’s story than just Hamilton bashing?

  14. Please, Fire LEWIS, Please, Pretty Please.

    I Want Him Driving For The BIG REDS, As Soon As Possible.

    Please, Pretty Please.

    GO, 44 !

  15. Sorry, is this another article about triple, and current, World Driving Champion Lewis Hamilton? I don’t think you’ve been watching F1 very long if you think these current antics are by anyway noteworthy; you could writ a book about the Machiavellian antics of so many previous drivers; Piquet? Prost? Senna even. This is incredibly small beer in comparison.

    Hamilton last season: ‘If only you could hear what was happening behind the scenes’, the acknowledged use of Snapchat by Rosberg and his engineers to try and mask information from the rest of the team, the assertion Rosberg is always moaning (witness Austin 2015 perhaps, Spa 2014?, China 2015?) and I think you have another direction as to AMG Petronas and, perhaps, Woolf’s Ire. Lauda is being strangely quiet too, given Woolf and he seem to be falling apart.

    I simply think you don’t like the fella, which is fine from a personal view, but pretty weak from a journalistic one.

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