Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2017

“We’ve done as much as we can” to improve bad 2016 starts – Hamilton

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he has been working over the winter to ensure he doesn’t repeat the poor starts which dogged his 2016 campaign.

Poor getaways in four races last year cost Hamilton crucial points in his championship fight with Nico Rosberg, which he ultimately lost. And changes to the rules regarding clutches this year will reduce the extent to which teams can aid their drivers in making consistently good starts.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Albert Park, 2017
Australian Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
“We’ve done a lot of work over the winter, particularly knowing that the rules have changed this year,” said Hamilton “So, we’ve done as much as we can and we feel that we’ve prepared the best we possibly can.”

“Definitely there were times last year where we would arrive and perhaps it wasn’t the case. So, we made sure that we put a lot of effort into making sure we are prepared this year – or I am.”

Hamilton said he’d been worried he was having an ‘off-day’ early on Saturday before he took his sixth Australian Grand Prix pole position.

“It definitely didn’t start out the best day for me,” he said. “I’ve been feeling great all week and today felt like a bit of an off-day.”

“But as it got to qualifying I felt a lot better. Generally, it went very well and, of course, we can always try to improve.”

“The laps are never perfect, there are little bits of time here and there – but very, very happy with how it’s gone and it puts us in a great state for tomorrow. So, now it’s really about focusing and making sure we do our homework tonight and making sure we’ve got an answer for these guys [Ferrari].”

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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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  • 5 comments on ““We’ve done as much as we can” to improve bad 2016 starts – Hamilton”

    1. I’ve noticed he’s been getting away really well in the pit lane practice starts, but that is without a side by side comparison with another car.

      1. Anton Barbieri
        25th March 2017, 22:25

        James Allen was situated at the end of the pitlane yesterday during practice. He said that Hamilton’s practice starts were all bad with a lot of wheelspin and bogging down. He then commented on Ricciardo’s starts and said that they were perfect every time…

    2. Ferrari have the best starts, that I saw last year. But the Mercedes is almost if not just as capable. I think it all comes down to how much Mercedes wants to lead in to the first corner, given how poorly Mercedes addressed starts and engine reliability last year, and in subsequent years, you have to think more of the same, which is a shame for Lewis, because hes lost a lot of poles and wins due to reliability issues/poor start configs and bad grid positions.

    3. *previous years.

    4. Don’t worry Lew, getting the car started is not so hard. I can give you free lessons in my Panda if it suits you

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