Hamilton repeated team orders complaint to Brawn

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang, 2013In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he reiterated his unhappiness with Mercedes’ use of team orders to Ross Brawn via email after the Malaysian Grand Prix.


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Lewis Hamilton: Team orders, tactics and a dream start (BBC)

“During that last little part it felt weird that Nico [Rosberg] was all over me and then we were told to hold position. It didn’t feel real for me. For days afterwards, I didn’t feel good about it. I felt very awkward about the situation – I even emailed my team principal Ross Brawn a couple of times telling him I didn’t feel very good about it.”

What’s Next For Shaky Vettel/Webber Relationship? (Speed)

Jenson Button: “The worrying thing is, for example, if you take Mercedes, or even Red Bull, if the idea is you get to the last pit stop and the guy leading is the guy that wins the race ?ǣ which I think might have been the way that Red Bull was ?ǣ basically, you hammer the first part of the race, use as much fuel as you want, you pit before your teammate, you come out in front of him, and that?s it. You just cruise home ?ǣ he can?t overtake you. I?m hoping that won?t be the case from now on. It won?t be here.”

Christian Horner Q&A (Sky)

“It’s totally unacceptable for them to collide and they won’t just be answerable to me, they’ll be answerable to the six hundred people who give everything to provide these two cars. They know that, they understand that, and they’ve demonstrated on numerous occasions that they can race wheel-to-wheel.”

2013 Chinese Grand Prix ?ǣ Free Practice Report Read (McLaren)

Button: “We can?t yet conclusively tell if the upgrades we brought to this race have improved the car. They?re perhaps not as big a step forward as we?d expected ?ǣ the issues with the car are still there ?ǣ but the car does feel a little bit better.”

Grosjean hit by mystery car issue again (Autosport)

“It’s the third Friday of the season and the third time the same story. We went to the updates this morning and it was terrible then we went back to the last race specification and it was worse – from bad to very bad.”

Thousands of Bahrainis mount protest before Formula One (Reuters)

“‘The Formula One is used by the regime to advertise that there is nothing wrong in Bahrain,’ said Abdelwahid al-Nadhkhadha, a 53-year-old company employee. ‘We are showing the world that we are people with demands.'”

Ecclestone Runs Into F1 Apathy in China as Ferrari Lures Elite (Bloomberg)

“Formula One said it trails Italian soccer’s Serie A and the National Basketball Association in popularity in China, and the state-run broadcaster cut its coverage of the 2012 championship by almost one-third amid an audience share of four percent. The tenth edition of the Chinese Grand Prix is April 14 in Shanghai.”

Guadix: a popular drivers? circuit (MotorSport)

Lewis Hamilton, having conquered karting, chose Guadix for his first outing in a racing car.”

“Promote: 5.1 Audio as well as ‘stunning HD'” (F1 Broadcasting)

“I don?t understand the logic in promoting this ?ǣ all the viewers watching will already know about it, so in my opinion it has very little purpose ?ǣ apart from them boasting about their own product.”

Technology explained: F1 airboxes and filters (Racecar Engineering)

“At the end of the straight at the Shanghai circuit where the car is travelling at close to 330kph with DRS open, the air pressure hitting the air filter will be close to 1,070 millibar ?ǣ normal ambient air pressure is around 1,020 millibar. This means the engine produces around 5% more power ?ǣ equivalent to 40 bhp ?ǣ than at ??walking speed?.”

MotorSportTalk?s predictions: Chinese GP (NBC)

“Keith Collantine
Race winner: Fernando Alonso will exploit the Ferrari?s promising long-run pace to useful effect.”


Comment of the day

@AdrianMorse looks ahead to this weekend’s race:

It would be great to see Massa on pole. He?s gone well at this track before, as in his woeful 2011 season this was one of the few races where he finished ahead of Alonso. This race may also be the opportunity for Lotus to qualify at the front, if the softs are working so well for them. And if they do start at the front, I doubt their performance on the medium tyres will be so weak that they will drop back dramatically.

Rosberg looks on it once again. Hamilton admitted that he?s not that comfortable in the car yet, while Rosberg looks at the top of his game since Malaysia. I think Mercedes have a good chance of fighting for the victory here, especially with Vettel admitting he was concerned by the gap to the leaders ?ǣ although he almost always manages to find something for Q3.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

There was just one Ferrari on the grid for the eighth running of the Grand Prix of Syracuse. But Luigi Musso drove it to victory in the non-championship race on the streets of the Sicilian town.

Almost all the other entrants for the race, held on this day 55 years ago, were driving Maserati 250Fs. Jo Bonnier finished second in one ahead of Francesco Godia-Sales.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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  • 35 comments on “Hamilton repeated team orders complaint to Brawn”

    1. Knowing the great expense these guys PR firms go to, I hardly believe what Lewis said is actually true. I’m not saying he did anything wrong during the race (it was really out of his control), but PR firms will do PR. F1 drivers these day just read what the script says.

      1. I’ve no idea why people can’t accept the fact that Hamilton is just a decent guy. It’s like the minute a nice guy shows up in sport, people start thinking that it must be a PR as if no one could surely have got this far in his profession without being a colossal **** hole.

        Hamilton is both a close friend to Rosberg and has only ever asked for equality within a team. Why is it so hard to believe that he was uncomfortable about the use of team orders?

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          13th April 2013, 6:13


        2. @kibblesworth

          I remember Pedro de La Rosa on a Spanish talk show saying that, many people is Spain “hate” him because of his past with Alonso and then he said that Lewis was actually one f the most decent and nice guys he knows in F1.

          By the, he and Alonso are now BFF :)

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        13th April 2013, 1:20

        I believe Lewis.

        For one, if he didn’t believe what he was saying, then he would have done exactly as Vettel did, and celebrated after getting out of his car.

        Secondly, it’s his blog. Obviously it’s going to be edited so that he isn’t caught saying anything too outlandish, but this is something that doesn’t need bending.

        I don’t see why you wouldn’t believe him on this one. Is pretty clear he’s not comfortable with team orders effecting a race the way it did in Sepang.

        1. Because he’s been pushing a point. He showed he didnt like what happened on the podium and directly after the race. He spoke to his team about it during the debrief. You wouldn’t then go and write emails after as well. Why on earth, ever time there’s someone listening, would he keep trying to reinforce his feelings? Because its a PR stunt which as you have proven, grants him points with those who disliked the team orders.

          Again, I’m not saying he feels differently. I’m saying that the lengths he is going to show his feelings is manufactured. The team knew his feelings directly after the race. No need to go to these huge lengths a number of days after the event when the team had already been informed in person.

    2. Jenson Button certainly has a lot to say recently. I guess he’s got to make the news somehow.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        13th April 2013, 1:16

        He makes a good point though.

        1. jimscreechy (@)
          13th April 2013, 9:28

          He makes a rediculous point particularly because it has always been Mclarens philosophy to have the drivers race till the last pit stop. Whitmarsh has said this a number of times over the course of all the seasons he has been in charge. So this is nothing new, and actually I completely agree with this tactic, it is completely fair and sensible. Jensons point is idiotic because he is making it sound as though only one driver is able to take advantage of this policy, which is ludicrous! It’s never been who pits first its been who is ahead.

          1. @jimscreechy

            Completely fair and sensible?!? It’s preposterous that’s what it is.

            A Grand Prix is supposed to be some one and a half hours long, not 20, 30 or 60 minutes….

            Vettel was faster all race. Beat Webber VERY convincingly in qualifying. Lead the race comfortably with Webber unable to close the gap.

            He then stops too early and looses the lead and is told for almost the entire race not to attack Webber. There’s nothing completely fair and sensible about that.

            If Webber had been on Vettel’s tail from the start and had been able to run away with the lead it would have been an entirely different story. But that wasn’t the case.

            Button’s point is completely valid as all Webber did was burn fuel and destroy tyres to try and get in front and then felt entitled to the win for whatever reason…
            That’s not racing. Racing is beating your opponents over a preset distance or time within a certain set of rules and regulations. Webber decided his race was some 20 laps shorter than Vettel’s and then made up the rule that, when he’s in front, it’s not legal to overtake him. A rule he obviously does not recognize when his teammate is in front.

    3. Jenson has a very, very good point there – if that’s a standard strategy then it could get all a bit silly…

      1. It’s obviously what Webber was counting on in Malaysia, no? I’m assuming he used up fuel early on in the race so that he could gain an advantage, probably aware of the fact that if he could stay ahead of Vettel before the final pitstop then team orders would kick in and he would cruise to the win. Didn’t exactly go to plan in the end.

        I’m with Jenson though, I can’t wait to see how this affects Red Bull.

        1. before the final pitstop then team orders would kick in

          Team orders were in place long before the final pit stops. Vettel was being ordered to stay 3 seconds behind Webber as far back as lap 26. So presumably the new rule is that whoever is in front at lap 25 gets the win?

          1. @jonsan, Do you have any direct evidence which suggests this? I know that on lap 26 Vettel was told to look after his tyres; I suppose this could have been interpreted as a team order but it seems to be more along the lines of sound advice. After all, it would have been risky for Seb to try and race Mark and that point as it might ruin the tyres and lost them both ground to a rapidly closing Hamilton. Trying to race Mark at this point would have been silly – Red Bull knew this and so did Vettel, which is why he asked for team orders on lap 28 to go through unchallenged. But of course, this ran the risk of screwing over Mark if Hamilton had tailgated Vettel through. The right team decision was to run the cars as they were until the next pit stop.

            Of course I didn’t have access to the full radio transcripts so I might of missed a direct order given by Vettel’s engineer.

          2. @jonsan, I think you are getting a bit carried away there. Staying abou 3 seconds behind is THE way to keep your tyres working for a longer time, look at how Kimi fared in Australia by doing that, instead of running up the back of Sutil.

            It was rather his team doing the thinking a driver can’t always do himself. Or would you call it “team orders” again when they pitted Vettel earlier to get a better gap to Hamilton over having Webber pit first (as the guy running first). Its not all a conspiracy against Vettel, even if it might have seemed that way to Sebastian during the race.

      2. @electrolite Particularly in one-stop races. We may not be in danger of having one of those any time soon but come the end of the season…

    4. I think we are starting to get the handle at the basic trends of this season, that said I have no idea who is on top at the moment. I’m pretty certain that top teams will run the options in Q2 and Q3 rather than just in Q3. The medium compound (similar to last years soft) is everyone’s chosen tyre. Finally there is obviously a bigger margin between race pace and qualifying pace this season, especially with Lotus Ferrari and FI. After the 2 warm FPS in China, I’m confident that these are some of the facts of this season, everything can change if the current tyre grid is replaced but apart from the form of the top teams the picture of this season is a bit clearer and in 5.1 audio.

    5. Button: “We had that in Turkey [2010] with Lewis (Hamilton) and myself, after the Red Bulls crashed into each other – which was Mark’s fault, obviously,” he said.

      Interesting comment. I wonder if he’s trying to stir the pot, or if he genuinely sees it that way?

      (My opinion – racing incident, neither driver at fault)

      1. Or is he being sarcastic?? (Sarcasm being my primary means of communication, I always have to wonder.)

      2. Drop Valencia!
        13th April 2013, 2:50

        he was clearly being sarcastic, the only people that blamed Webber for that were Red Bull.

      3. lets hope he is either stirring the pot, or maybe simply did never look closer at what happened and its aftermath in the press etc, but does remember the team reaction at the time clearly blaming Webber @jonsan?

    6. Wow, I wil definitely give Lewis all my support once Alonso retires! I can´t believe I hated him so much in 2007. He has really matured well and I find him a driver easy to respect! My hat is off to this guy!

      1. @Karter22

        +1 .. exactly what I feel… I want Alonso to win the WDC .. but if he does nt I would be more than happy to see Lewis win it… He was equally impressive as Alonso last year but very unfortunate….

    7. Happy birthday @kester22

    8. Actually what Button describes fits almost perfectly with what I see as the “mainstream” view on team orders.
      – Team orders are not good or great for the sport, but they
      – makes sense towards the end of the season, when there’s a championship for only one of the drivers
      – should be agreed upon (before the race) to make both drivers understand

      Otherwise he nicely describes the way teams niggle towards more and more use of them when there’s nobody to stop them, especially because of nursing a slight underfuelled car, on tyres they still don’t completely get, with gearboxes and engines that need to run another couple of thousand km. So in that sense its great when they are now a bit less likely to just cruise for the last 20-15 laps.

    9. not sure you’ve got the right link to that Horner interview at SkyF1 @keithcollantine, it currently links to an interview from China 2012!

      1. @bascb Would you believe, the link was actually wrong on their own homepage!

        1. I guess with all the night work, its not easy for a small organization like theirs. And it doesn’t promote their 5.1 Audio, so its not all that important to them :-)

        2. I think you chose that line

          it’s totally unacceptable for them to collide and they won’t just be answerable to me, they’ll be answerable to the six hundred people who give everything to provide these two cars.

          to describe the article well Keith, its really interesting.

          Here we have Horner stating that he is the team principle (and actually the team owner / main sponsor being the one against team orders) but at the same time he needs the guys to respect those 600 guys in the factory, because clearly he himself does not command their respect as a both enough to have them listen to his orders!

    10. Very respectable of Lewis to say what he did about the team orders in Sepang. It was obvious from his appearance after the race that he really does feel this way. He wants to win on merit, not gifts. It’s hard to understand drivers taking gifts of team orders and being OK with it, especially when it is not the final race of the season with the championship on the line.

      1. Lewis could have let Nico through, lol, but as long as he pretends to feel bad it makes it ok that he took the points for 3rd place from Nico?? It was his choice to finish where he did, if he feels bad doing so then maybe that should tell him something for next time.

        I can see it firing Lewis up with a point to prove though, which is a good thing.

        1. True, but it seems at this point both Mercedes drivers are keen to follow the instructions of Ross Brawn. So far anyway. So much has been said now about team orders by the drivers, teams and everybody else, we will see what really happens during the coming races. Should be interesting.

    11. This is funny coz everytime u mention Bahrain its something negative , I live here the only protest we saw was around 30 people holding one sign ! Now it became a thousand !

      I would love to come here and not read politics just sports.

      1. Maybe there’s a conspiracy against Bahraini monarchy but I’ve read recent reports and they did not describe it a being calm.

    12. @Chris: I couldn’t agree with you more. Maybe Lewis is a nice guy and doesn’t want a soured relationship with his teammate so early in the season.
      I don’t understand why so many people are so quick to label him badly when all he ever does is act gentlemanly and courteous to his teammates and team.
      Lewis said it on the podium in Malaysia that he felt Rosberg deserved to be on the podium. There was no PR involved. Lewis is much more of a man than Vettel will ever be.

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