Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monza, 2011

Hamilton: Faster drivers take more risks

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Hamilton says taking more risks separates the top drivers from the rest.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

I take more risks than most, admits Hamilton (The Independent)

“I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-faster drivers.”

Indian Grand Prix on Twitter

“Buddh Int Circuit (Latest Images): http://yfrog.com/nv1fnpj http://yfrog.com/h8uxxlnj http://yfrog.com/gzhbafppj

Mateschitz hails unique Vettel, expects more success (The Hindu)

“We knew that Sebastian is capable of top performances. But it came as a surprise to many that he achieved it with such a long run of consistency.”

Formula One Fantasy – Renault?s Vitaly Petrov (F1)

“Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
VP: I would not have to go back in time as I would choose Lewis Hamilton because I think he is a great diver. I like his driving style and the way he performs. I think he knows how to take the maximum out of a car – and obviously he?s a fun person to be with.”

Singapore the right opportunity for a motivated Ferrari (Ferrari)

Felipe Massa: “The early Felipe always wanted to be quickest on every lap, whereas experience teaches you to know when to push and when it?s better to conserve the car and save the tyres. I don?t know about doing another ten years, but I hope to continue for many years to come.”

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Comment of the day

More tips on going to the Singapore Grand Prix from KNF:

If you are in the Walkabout areas, a Kangaroo TV is very useful to have, since the commentary tends to be drowned out by echoes from the buildings. It also helps you follow what is going on since the number of giant TVs is still very limited and there?s a lot of people crowding the areas around them.

The security can be massive killjoys and rather uninformed and uninterested in helping with directions. In ?09, they actually wanted the crowd to walk the long way to the pit areas rather than the shorter distance, which was, in my honest opinion, a rubbish decision.

Also as Roberttty said, it?s been raining heavily here this week, so early birds catching the support races should bring along an umbrella or raincoat.

Also for food and drink, the prices are rather steep, so if one is willing to walk a bit after the sessions, cheaper eats can be found just outside the track area at either Marina Square or Suntec City.

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On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell won the Portugese Grand Prix today in 1986, strengthening his position in the drivers’ championship with two races to go.

Alain Prost took second ahead of Nelson Piquet. Ayrton Senna was classified fourth despite running out of fuel on the penultimate lap.

Ferrari drivers Michele Alboreto and Stefan Johansson were the final points-scorers in fifth and sixth.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 85 comments on “Hamilton: Faster drivers take more risks”

    1. Hans Stuck, that’s what I might say if I had an accident with super glue. Frankly, Hamilton handled the question about him well- let “Stuck”‘s poor F1 record speak for itself.

      Lewis Hamilton is pretty correct about taking risks. Schumacher and Senna were risk takers, and were remembered as the best. It’s just that Hamilton needs to calculate his risks a bit better like those two did, and then he’ll shake off the criticism he has received.

      1. I offer Fangio and Prost as counter examples.

        I believe Fangio quite famously said that the idea was to win by as little margin as necessary.

        1. Bearing in mind of course that as little margin as necessary is a variable based on the strength of the competition.

        2. he said “win at the slowest possible speed”, not margin.

          1. Indeed he did, I was paraphrasing. I believe it amounts to the same thing.

      2. Stuckie was hampered by being far too tall for the F1 cars of that era, particularly when it came to driving them… safely. Let his non-F1 racing career speak for itself though.

        1. Little follow-up (and possible blasphemy :P ): a career in F1 is not the be-all-and-end-all skill indicator in motorsport.

          1. Maybe, maybe not, but is a telling someone to go to therapy (if he really said that) considered constructive criticism? And is it the sort of great advice an F1 champion needs from a driver who never won an F1 race?

            1. Maybe Hamilton does need to talk to someone. Hans Stuck may not have won an F1 race, but he was around plenty of people who did. If Hamilton’s behaviour is abnormal or destructive he would be reasonably placed to be able to distinguish that from the normal behaviour of an F1 winner.

      3. Granted a lot of the risks taken by Senna and Schumacher went disastrously wrong as well…

        1. The stronger your competition is, the greater the risks you need to take in order to succeed. The same is true in all of sport as it is in business, warfare or even life in general.

      4. The trick to doing well in racing is not really to take more risks, but better ones. Taking risks nilly-willy is bound to generate inconsistent results.

        1. Its all very well the armchair critics giving their two-cents worth afterwards when you know the results.

          Hindsight is a wonderful thing isnt it?!

          Lewis has proved that taking risks is what gets you the great results & glory.

          Lewis has taken many risks since his arrival in F1 and a majority of those risks payed off very well – Obviously there will be times where the risks may not pay off – but how will you know until you’ve made them???
          Infact Lewis has always taken many risks even before arriving in F1 and they all contributed to Lewis’ fantastic reputation.

          I find it really dumb and stupid when the media and the non-Hamilton fans come out afterwards with the knowledge of hindsight and blast Lewis.
          Is racing an F1 car so easy and predictable that you will know how every single move or risk take will work?

          We cant expect Lewis and other drivers to know how to predict the future and carry a crystal ball around in their cockpits!

          Its absolutely dumb-founding how the critics expect guys like Lewis to not be allowed to make mistakes – The same kind of mistakes all of us humans are expected to make throughout our lives.

          I also am finding this Hamilton-hating thing to get really silly now.
          -It always seems like in the week running up to a GP – The british media outlets tend to run negative stories on Lewis as if to try and screw around with his mindset for the next GPs – Its no secret that the british media agencies prefer button and want button to finish ahead of Lewis.

          Im saddened by the mentality of the media in this country.

    2. I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-faster drivers.

      You can also say that drivers that ALWAYS take risks are not-so-clever drivers.

      If you have a car capable of winning, and you take too much risks to overtake someone even if you know eventually you’ll overtake him, that’s risking too much. Specially if you really need the points. Like at Monza 2010, Lewis.

      I like LH’s aggressive driving. But it’d be good if he combined it with calmer “think-ahead” attitudes. Sometimes taking the risks isn’t the best option.

      1. BTW, oddly, I cannot enter the independent. “Not available in your area” appears.

      2. Are you really giving Lewis advice??
        Hmm, I wonder if he’ll take it or not?

      3. When your car is a bit far from the top car, you will need to push harder. Lewis failed to beat Red Bull’s Vettel pushing “too” hard but he would fail even if he was taking less risks because RB7 combined with Seb Vettel is too good to be beaten, at least he tried and I give him credit for that. He will have less accidents when he gets a race winning car from race 1 and his team keeps it competitive until the last race. Against this Red Bull car Nobody would win driving smoothly and count on luck, they had to earn it through risky driving…

    3. “You see generally older drivers sometimes that have families and things that kind of lose a little bit”

      Is he taking a dig at Michael?

      Indian GP track surface is still not quite ready isn’t…It is strange certain sections are quite wide compared to the main straight.

      1. He could be, but then again, Schumi’s first child was born in 1997 – and he had yet to win 5 titles after that.

      2. Indian Track itself seems to be ready except putting kerbs. but still lot to be done on landscaping, safety protection & seating side. They still have 3wks left..so hopefully wil be ready on time.

        1. I really think its great they have been posting pictures themselves.

          Learnt something from the scare in Korea last year when no one knew exactly how far it was finished, I guess.

          The track looks pretty much ready, so it should not be too big a job to get everything up and running.

      3. I think Mika Hakkinen is a better example. Won two titles, started a family and suddenly his priorities had changed. Doesn’t really apply to Schumacher.

    4. Way to go for Petrov for implying he wants to drive a McLaren. :D

      And before you say it, yes, I guess you could say that Petrov might want Lewis to move to Renault, but really, it’s in a driver’s nature to find a faster car. :D

      1. Isn’t him only a huge Lewis fan?

        1. I remember an interview with Petrov when he was driving in GP2, he said that he’s favourite driver was Alonso. Guess things changed a lot after Abu Dhabi.

          1. His GP2 days? When he was negotiating his seat in Renault and Alonso was driving for Renault?

            1. No, it was at the end of 2007 in an interview for a Russian sports channel. I don’t think he was negotiating with any F1 team back then.

      2. For me the most important one, and one he answeres quite differently from most drivers so far is this:

        Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
        VP: I think we should stick to consistent rules over many, many years. All these changes make it difficult for the teams and irritating for the fans.

        I fully agree with that

        1. I agree with what he says about the rules. However, the question was about innovations.

          There my answer would be: the rulebook is the limit and for the rest it’s up to the creativity of the engineers.

          It’s a shame that a true innovation, which the F-duct was, has been replaced by a controlled un-novation which DRS is.

          It makes it harder to distinguish between innovations and rulechanges (which are mostly the opposite of innovations).

          1. Banning the f-duct wasn’t just a mindless ban on an innovation by the FIA.
            Two facts to keep in mind:
            1. all teams would have had one by 2011
            2. some teams negociated on safety in the development of f-duct. (Ferrari drivers had to drive sinle-handedly whilst at top speed)
            => I think it was the right call from the FIA to allow a drag reducing system (which the f-duct was) that could be operated electronically from the steering wheel.

            At the same time, the FIA realised that an f-duct on all cars would not increase overtaking, tackle the dirty air problem nnor reduce the performance differences between the teams. It would only increase development and building cost for the teams.

            So rather than keeping the system, the FIA kept the idea behind the system: reducing the car’s drag on the straights.
            Countless meetings with the teams later, the concept of the movable rear wing was born.
            – it’s safe
            – it’s visual (adds to the show)
            – it helps overtaking (finetuning necessary)
            => 3 things the f-duct was not or did not.

            FIA clearly showed that it is very much open for innovations, but it cannot lose track of it’s reponsibilities towards the sport. Innovations may call for a rule change, because of safety or financial reasons.

            Also, the FIA did allow the F-duct and DDD to be used throughout the season. But several teams who didn’t have those things, did their absolute best to have both systems banned. FIA doesn’t ban an innovation it’s own initiative. It bans them when teams ask for it.

            Besides, I think that, by banning both systems at the end of the season, the FIA actually ensured optimal advantage for the inventors. By next season, the advantage would be gone, as all other teams would have copied and finetuned it.

        2. if you keep the rules constant for a long time the costs will eventually skyrocket and the large teams will be untouchable.

          imagine if we had no rule changes since the 80s or even 90s. With today’s technology applied to those rules, the cars would be so fast that drivers would need special overalls to cope with the g-forces. teams would spend a fortune on exotic materials (which are now banned). They would be constantly developing their engine, tyres, ECU software, etc.

          i’m not saying that would be bad, but i think we can agree that this is unsustainable. Both in terms of cost and safety.

          as time goes by and technology becomes more and more complicated, the rules must also be more and more complicated to keep up. usually though the F1 engineers are smarter than the rule-makers and so they are always a step ahead. (otherwise the rule-makers would be working for an F1 team already). because of this we are still seeing innovation in f1 despite the ever more restrictive rules.

          people often blame the rising costs of F1 on rule changes, but that is only the case in the short term. In the long term rule changes are necessary to keep the spending in check.

    5. How credible is the BBC f1 gossips? Jenson wants to drive for Ferrari in 2013?

      1. As with any gossip; as reliable as the source. Honestly I don’t think it will happen.

        1. Source: Jornal da Tarde (in Brazilian)

          Hmm, I think it’s reliable as Brazilian language :D

          1. The source is Livio Oricchio. A good insider, but the article is absolutely speculative. He dont mention any source inside Ferrari.

      2. Why would Jenson want to leave McLaren, especially now when he’s getting to make Hamilton look ridiculous?
        As the championship comes to an end, the gossip season starts with it’s usual topics: who’s gonna replace Massa, Raikkonen’s F1 return etc.

        1. Most people say “Button is having a great year” and “Hamilton is having a bad year” but they’re separated by 9 championship points! The one having a great year is 9 point ahead of the one having a bad year and you say it makes the latter look ridiculous?

          1. Button should be a good 20 points up the road if not for mechanical failures and let’s be honest everyone was expecting Hamilton to thrash him

          2. The fact that Hamilton (who never ceases to compare himself to Senna) is having a bad year with the same car as Button who is having a great year makes him look ridiculous.

          3. I second this comment. People who say this are also saying Webber’s not having a bad year, or Massa.

          4. I not sure about him making Hamilton look ridiculous. Hamilton is expected to be ahead of Button because he is the quicker of the two drivers. Most people didn’t expect Button to be as close as he is to Lewis.

        2. “Why would Jenson want to leave McLaren, especially now when he’s getting to make Hamilton look ridiculous?”

          lol, yeah right..

      3. Its just yet another attempt by the british button-loving media agencies to increase his profile and career prospects by overhyping him.

        Bottomline is that button is only seeming to drive well at the moment purely because his team mate has been having some badluck and off the ball at the moment.
        If Lewis was still driving well without incidents and badluck then button’s current driving wouldnt be looking so great.

        So button needs to hope that Lewis continues to have issues scuppering his races in order for jenson to look good.

        TO beat a team mate only when that team mate is having badluck is nothing to be so proud about. The only time I would make a song and dance about it is when I beat my team mate when my team mate is at his best.

    6. I hate hamiltons attitude. But I love his damn attitude. He is right fast drives are not affairs of risks.

    7. Given this comment, to me now it seems as if he was deliberately setting Monza up as a cautious race for himself. It’s almost as if,

    8. If you have F1 2011 or plan on buying it, then why not join the F1 Fanatic Ultimate Final Civil War Showdown Invasion Crisis Grudge Match Thing? You’ll have fun!

      1. Nice novel idea to have extra fun with the game PM!

        1. Well, everyone is invited to join.

          1. I’m in.

          2. Thanks, but I do not have, nor plan to get the game.

            By the way is the challenge open to both F1 2010 and F1 2011 (dependant on those being app. as fast and doing only tracks both have)? It might be, to allow more people to contest

      2. It seems something logic, a time trial with F1Fs, but as you proved with all the rules you have a great mind, and the way you set up the championship is wonderful. I hope I’ll be able to play!

    9. A bit cheeky from Hamilton when asking about Hans Stuck…

      Anyway, faster drivers take more risks probably because they tend to find themselves in better machinery, and therefore have more confidence in the car not going away from them (e.g. Vettel going onto the grass to overtake Alonso in Monza). Conversely for a car which behaves differently from one corner to the next, or has low grip or power, a driver probably needs to play it safe since chances of going off or hitting a barrier is higher.

      Also, COTD!!! Yay!!!

    10. Wonder if FIA published their version of homologation process for every new / modified racing circuits? This is going to be very tight. I haven’t read anywhere about support races information for the Indian GP and that means, F1 cars will be the “true” judge of the new surface.

      1. there is supposed to be an indian superseries or something like that, if I remember right. Not sure when exaclty that will be though.

        1. It’s supposed to start the week before Christmas, so the F1 race will definitely happen first.

    11. Yeah, Lewis should keep his aggresive/reckless driving style to entertain us at every race (and post-race after the stewards meetings) while Vettel, Alonso etc. take the championships.

      1. Vettel yes. Not sure about Alonso though…

        1. He almost did it last year and if he keeps his current form and Ferrari give him a slightly better car he might get his third title.

    12. Well, I like his approach.

    13. With due respect to Mr. Hamilton, as he certainly knows a great deal more about being a F1 driver than me, I get the feeling if he had raced in the 60’s or 70’s he would simply be dead.

      From the videos I have seen of the era the drivers seemed to show more respect to each other on the track, possibly because they knew an accident equalled death or dismemberment. The risk was certainly higher, not because they drove with reckless abandon, but instead they built their cars with callous disregard for safety.

      1. Good observation.

      2. I agree with that view.

        I like his overtaking skills and it was a good one of him asking about Stucks success. But where other drivers see a problem with Hamilton its not the fact he takes risks, but the fact he seems to take them without much tought about either the chance of them paying off nor much consideration for possible consequences of his actions.

        Looking at Vettels driving in comparison, I get the impression its rather him building up a feeling of what chances are worth taking both in qualifying and the race that made him finish all races this year and finish them right at the front.
        Sure, SV’s car was the better tool to do so, but was Alonso’s or Buttons?

        1. Looking back at Vettel’s overtake of Alonso and given that it was not necessary for him to take such a risk, I’m certain we would have seen a lot more crashes with him involved if he was not taking pole at practically every race…

          1. Surely Vettel would have a far harder job, because that would have meant he does not have the fastest car.
            But I am pretty sure he would not make stupid mistakes really, he has improved since spa 2010.

          2. Who does having pole position have anything to do with it? He could just as well have started 2nd, with Alonso ahead and if they held positions to lap 5 or whatever it was, the outcome would be exactly the same. Vettel was behind Alonso, whether that was because he started behind him, or dropped behind him at the start is practically irrelevant.
            Vettel took a risk yes, but how would he know that Alonso was going to push him off the track? It was first when had dived in for the move that it became clear that he was not going to stay on the track.
            The difference in this risk taking business is whether a risk is calculated well or not.
            And despite getting his hands dirty he was able to keep the car under control while doing so. Therefore it was a well calculated and executed overtake.
            It could just as well have gone the other way, but they are all driving at the edge. It’s just about being better at staying on that edge and Vettel has shown that, while he takes risks he is very good at managing it.

    14. Faster drivers take more risks. True indeed, but better drivers know when and where to take them…
      Comparing Lewis from the season 2007 and 2011 I’d say he’s just a shadow of a driver he once was. He is still a “fast driver” but completely worn out emotionally and mentally. He is sucked in a lifestyle of a celebrity much more then he should be, and he likes it. The other side of the coin is that his racing suffers. However we mustn’t forget partial responsibility of McLaren team in exhausting they drivers for promotional purposes.
      On the other side completely the opposite is Vettel. Guy who eats, sleeps, breaths, lives RACING, and drives the fastest car.
      Lewis is not up to challenge nor McLaren, not now, will see…

      1. Well, Button, Hamilton’s current teammate was also heavily criticised during the first three years of his career (the yacht, Monaco, etc.), when he really needed to be turning in better performances in mediocre cars (e.g. the ’01-’02 Renaults, the ’03 BAR).

        Not to mention that ALL of these guys were all eating, sleeping, breathing and living racing for a good part of their childhood and young adult life.

        Button outgrew that phase during the Honda years, chances are that Hamilton will do so too…

        1. Button was very young when he entered and I genuinely believe he believed that he was the next Senna given all the “Sir Frank didn’t want to make the same mistake twice” headlines of the day. Button only really mellowed out when he saw Alonso and Raikkonen fighting for the 2005 title which Button believed was naturally his given his 2004 performances (remember when JB could qualify?) and the fact the Alo and Rai came in f1 a year after JB. Hamilton is suffering from the same stress but it will take another year of defeat for Hamilton to put his career into some perspective imo.

          As for faster drivers taking risks, I’d like to see this view presented to Lauda who won the 1984 championship with probably the most measured approach f1 has ever seen.

      2. I agree faster drivers do take more risks, but you forget even when they believe they know where and when to take them nothing is for sure.
        They are competing against an equal in a very similar car, and we all know the machinery is different, so there are a number of unequal factors at play in risk taking and track circumstances that play a very big part in whether the risk will pay off or not.
        The fact remains that some drivers will take the risks others will not, and the faster drivers will will out in the long run.
        Has Hamilton changed? – Of course, he has who would’t with the way his life has developed, so would your’s I happen to know someone very close to Lewis on a business level and she says he has change a little but his skill level and driving instinct has not changed. What has changed since 2007, is that now everyone knows about him, his driving style and they prepare themselves to try to compete with him.

    15. Faster drivers take more risks:
      It’s double sided. I love watching it. But for a fan it means his driver is just again walking back to the pitlane.

      Now, since I’m not a fan of Lewis, I really appreciate him taking those risks. Don’t get me wrong here, I equally love it when his risk-taking pays off. But not being a fan of him, saves me from being grumpy for the rest of the race because my hero went off.

      1. One of the reasons why I don’t have any particular allegiance in this sport, that way i’m never disappointed!

    16. Can you give the link for Google+ for your account. The link you have given is just the generic link.

      1. +1 To that commment ;)

    17. “I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-faster drivers.”

      This is equivilent to saying that the best poker players are the ones who take the most risks.

      Yes.. you stand to gain more by risking more but the key is risk management. Something I think Vettel and Button have demonstarted excellently.

      For me though, Alonso this year has judged the level of risk beautifully and found that perfect balance between conservatism and balls-out racing.

    18. Alonso has pulled some stunning moves this season ie taking both Vettel and Hamilton before the first chicane at Monza at the start of the race. But as it is any good job or performance by Ferrari or one of its drivers, is never praised.

      1. By who?

        I assume you don’t mean on here, because I’ve named him in the Driver of the Weekend picks many times.

    19. I know this for sure, Lewis will still finish ahead of Button..even after his worst season ever.

      1. I’m pretty convinced Jenson will beat him NKT, going on his current form.
        Lewis showed himself to be desperate for answers trying the conservative approach in Monza and still coming out behind.

        How about a wager? If Lewis beats Button in the WDC I’ll post on here that NKT is indeed an F1 predictions guru with a far superior knowledge of the sport than MW..

        Deal ? :)

        1. Well, I did the mistake of believing old Webber was going to win against fast but unreliable Vettel last year. So I wouldn’t stick my kneck out this time

    20. “I think the guys in the older days were taking risks, their lives were more at risk I guess. I would have loved to have driven in the olden days,” said the 26-year-old.

      To me this just feels like it’s inside out. The guys back then were taking huge risks because of the nature of the cars and the tracks as they weren’t very safe but I vaguely remember an interview with Stewart where he said something along the lines of these days you can take more risks because back then if you made one mistake you’d likely be dead the next second. I think Hamilton pushes harder because it is in his nature but also because he’s allowed to get away with a bit more in this day and age. It’s impossible to say for sure obviously but aggressive/risky drivers probably do benefit from today’s world of racing.

    21. button is the best thing that has happened to hamilton ; it will not have escaped his attention that a more measured attitude can pay off in the long term as button demonstrates so clearly …if he can learn the balance he will end up the equal of jimmy clark who took risks only when he had to

      at the same time being team mates with hamilton is the best thing that could have happened to button , who’s only weakness has always been that he is a little too risk averse

      in the end , it is all about playing the percentages , winning as slowly as you can as fangio used to say

    22. MW, I’ll take you up on that. I’d say things have been going Button’s way, a bit of luck. In Italy for example, he was behind Massa and Webber, had those 2 not gotten tangled up, I highly doubt he would have finished on the podium. They took themselves out giving him a clear highway, hiding the fact he had a very bad start. At Singapore, there’s not much overtaking..qualifying will be key, and am tipping Lewis for that. 6 races to go 9 points difference, and my money is on Hamilton.

    23. HxCas, it goes both ways. Lewis has also had his fair share of screw ups from Mclaren.

    24. I think Lewis makes a good point regarding ex-drivers family commitments, it means you’re human.

      I don’t expect him to change his style but I think many would agree that his execution needs improvement. That’s the benefit of experience. He will be world champion again but you simply can’t drive a car beyond its limits. That’s not taking risks, that’s plain old stupid.

    25. Lewis doesn’t compare himself to Senna, he looks up to him. And I don’t even see how that’s related to what we’re talking about. Unless you’re just looking to take swipes at him which is quite clear from the trend in your posts.

    Comments are closed.