Lewis overconfident at Baku

What a difference a couple of races can make to a driver. Nobody could argue that Lewis Hamilton has had an atrocious start to the season but a better turn of fortune in the last two rounds and clearly the boy from Stevenage is riding high on a crest of confidence.

Widely reported in the media, Hamilton’s made it clear of his thoughts of the new street circuit at Baku calling it a ‘motorway’.

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“I don’t really know what to say about it,” he said. “It’s just another new track. There’s one very tight spot on it. It’s got a very long straight… I don’t really have a lot to say about it.

“Monaco is the street circuit. And they don’t make them like that. I don’t know why they don’t, but why don’t they just make street circuits like they used to? I don’t understand. It’s super wide in some places, as wide as a motorway almost in some places!”

Perhaps Lewis’s memory is short. He himself raced during his F3 days at the notorious Macau street circuit in China, probably the most demandingly tight yet super fast and dangerous street circuits in the world. Over the years Macau has seen a number of driver deaths, even in recent history. Indeed the Baku track has quite a few similarities to the Chinese circuit including a ridiculously tight section not too dissimilar to Macau’s famous hairpin section of Melco with it’s lead up of the Solitude esses. Baku and Macau also share some Monza like fast straights so these tracks are very much bipolar in nature.

Yesterday the tight castle section of Baku was doing the rounds on Twitter

Lewis’s attitude (frankly bordering on arrogance) to the challenges of Baku resulted in him admitting yesterday that he’s only practiced a mere 8 laps in the simulator, dismissing Mercedes not insubstantial investment as not much better than a Playstation.

“I could spend £100 on a PlayStation and learn as much.” mused Lewis to the press yesterday.

“If you race the track at the weekend, and then on Monday you’re in the simulator you miss the bumps. Even the curbs and speed are different. You can not feel the speed, you do not experience the physical aspect,”.

The Mercedes driver also declined to join the rest of the paddock with the traditional track walk, although much like Kimi, he rarely has walked any circuit since 2010.

Perhaps Kimi should remind Lewis of Silverstone 2014?

Since the track walk, other drivers have serious concerns over track safety however.  Button, the most experienced driver on the grid, said: “It is a concern for everyone if you have a failure. Turn Three, seven and 14, there is very little run off.

“The speeds are going to be higher than Monaco. I was surprised. It is more the heavy breaking corners that are going to be a little bit worrying. Turn Three is probably the biggest one. And Turn Seven you have three TECPRO barriers and then concrete. There is no room for errors. Nothing.”

Perhaps Button has in mind the terrifying high speed Indycar crash last weekend at Newgarden. It’s widely reported that the same barrier technology in place there failed, allowing the drivers roll hoop to penetrate at speed. TJ13’s Tourdog investigated this issue last year after Carlos Sainz crashed out at Sochi with similar results. (Click here for article link)

Rosberg added his concerns for the Baku circuit safety “I really trust the FIA to get the job done, they have all the calculations and simulations. They know exactly the speeds. There are given rules they have to make tracks, so I would hope that they stuck to them. I’m doubting it a little bit, looking at those corners.”

22 responses to “Lewis overconfident at Baku

    • Nicer pun. No one else had trouble before or after the accident with the sun. The Sky team seem to forget that point while making excuses for the accident. At least Lewis didn’t blame the sun.

      • I meant ‘nice’. The evening sun was in my eye and didn’t see it before hitting post.

  1. “Lewis’s attitude (frankly bordering on arrogance) to the challenges of Baku resulted in him admitting yesterday that he’s only practiced a mere 8 laps in the simulator, dismissing Mercedes not insubstantial investment as not much better than a Playstation.”


        • Mail online, the real tin foil hat, $12 hipster head wear claim to be able to protect people from electromagnetic smog.

          • Fish n chip paper…… I think you’re a perfect fit for the content they write.

          • Told you I had a tin foil hat,now to sit back and let the £ roll in. I wish I could get a PlayStation for £100 but that comment says it all from Lewis,these games are getting very realistic.BTW I totally thrashed the field in the 2014 season,seb and Lewis both ended up with damaged cars when the oddball made an overtake,

          • Of course I never drove an F1 car (though did try a simulator once, didn’t end up very well), but from the early Codemasters series I find the F1 2011 to be very realistic. It’ll miss all the denivelations and bumps you’ll get with the real thing or in a proper simulator, but it does give you a proper taste of what an F1 track or driving an F1 car feels like — it’s important though to NOT use full traction control and to get rid of automatic braking. In any case, the F1 2011 soundly trumps F1 2010 (too choppy) or 2012 (too arcade and unrealistic).

            So yeah, I kinda get when Lewis says you can get the hang of a track from a mass-consumer off-the-shelf game…

          • @landroni
            I still think gp4 is the best one ever. Graphics got better in recent games but game play didn’t.

          • Yeah, got one copy after FH mentioned it a couple years back in an article. Playing with the keyboard is dumb, though. Will give it a proper spin once I get a wheel. Looked good on first try, though can’t remember much in terms of bumps or denivelations in the tarmac… That’s what really floored me in the simulator.

  2. “Dismissing Mercedes insubstantial investment as not much better than a play station”……

    Hmm interesting, given what he actually said was…..

    “Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg recently described parts of Mercedes’ simulation of the new Baku street circuit as “weird”, and Hamilton said he drove just eight laps in the sim ahead of this weekend’s European Grand Prix because of the tool’s limitations.

    “I don’t drive the simulator a lot because it’s not at it’s best at the moment – we’re working on trying to make it better,” Hamilton said.”

    Lewis Hamilton says he can learn “the same amount” about Formula 1 circuits playing computer games as he can by driving in the Mercedes simulator.

    “I could spend £100 on a PlayStation and learn the same amount.”

    Hamilton said simulator was more use to engineers than drivers, because the sensations of driving a real car cannot be replicated correctly in a sim.

    “There’s a difference between driving a simulator and driving the real thing – you have no emotion,” Hamilton added.”

    But is that not the same simulator that use to make Michael Schumacher sick back in 2011?

    Anyways, if anyone cares to actually read exactly what he said, you can find it here….


    “Perhaps Kimi should remind him of Silverstone 2014″….

    Relevance? What Kimi did then was nothing more than stupidity trying to re-enter the track at that speed. Lewis didn’t walk it then either and he didn’t do what Kimi did. He didn’t walk new circuits like Korea, India, Austin, Sochi, Spielberg, Singapore or in Mexico. Did he suffer some form of mishap at those events that he could’ve avoided had he joined in the track walk?

    And what does driving in Macau have to do with Baku? Did something happen to him in Macau that could happen to him in Baku as s result of not walking the track?

    • What Kimi did then was nothing more than stupidity trying to re-enter the track at that speed.

      Nah, that’s Charlie’s handwash. The accident happened because of the bump, and Kimi would’ve likely crashed even at lower speed. I blame Charlie and the FIA though for making sure they ignored that bump as well as they could. I still recall them spending 1h to fix the barrier, when it really was the bump that needed addressed…

    • Some people get sick in simulators, because their body misses the physical effects of driving a racecar. This mismatch causes the sickness. Schumi had it at Ferrari as well.

  3. And what, when Lewis rises the 1st place trophy on sunday, was he right not to do a walk and do more than 8 laps on the corporate playstation? Do we get an article like that as well?

  4. When one is rich they don’t know what things are worth. Last I checked, last week actually, a ps4 cost just under 400€. If lewis finds such a good deal he can show me where because I’d love to have one for that money. Hell I’ll even buy 10 so I can make some profit.

  5. I sense a malodorous whiff of an anti-Lewis bias in the article. Am I wrong?
    Anyways, going by today’s practice sessions, his over-confidence seems justified.
    But the real proof of the pudding may be in the eating of humble pie tomorrow and or after the chequered flag on Sunday when the Baku fat ladies are sure to be singing to celebrate my mixed metaphors..

    • Fat ladies now singing… ‘wheel meet again,dont know where,dont know when..’ or the other great hit ‘ blinded by the light…’ only joking as it should really spice up the race tomorrow,lets hope for a clean start from all the field. I am always amazed how the drivers manage to talk themselves into such corners, Lewis has a love hate relationship with the media and his comments this time have put unnesesary pressure on himself

  6. Honestly, of course  Hamilton made many mistakes yesterday, but what was Mercedes thinking? I also do not understand why Hamilton did not ask for changes during FP3. If your car doesn’t feel good, especially when it comes to braking on a street circuit, there’s a need to  apply immediate measures. Mercedes recently saw Rosberg in Monaco with no pace but apparently learned nothing from the debacle. Hamilton should have immediately made clear that the setup needs to be changed. Instead, he has taken the blame on himself … Why Mercedes missed that, is beyond me. Now he hardly has enough tires to start, and will probably out-brake himself in the race again a few times. While watching FP3, as Hamilton came into the pits after his mistakes. I just thought, okay, they’re trying something new, apparently does not work and will change the setup accordingly. But Mercedes didn’t, they should have known better, or are they trying to spice up the race..in making sure that both their cars don’t run away into the distance!! Well Rosberg proved last week that he couldn’t overtake, while Verstappen could, so this week it’s  down to Hamilton!

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