July 6, 2008

Hamilton hits back

No doubt about it Lewis Hamilton drove an almost perfect race and made only one small mistake. The Mclaren driver really needed this win and in this manner as his stock had plummeted of late.

Lewis' talent in the wet aside, I think there were three key moments in this year's British Grand Prix...

At the start, Webber moves over to block Raikkonen and leaves Hamilton a nice wide path to the inside of turn one. Raikkonen who had a good launch off the line was stuck on the outside and behind the Mclarens.

The second key moment is when Kovalainen finally rolled over for Hamilton. Lewis was certainly faster and Heikki probably values his job, getting past gave Hamilton a vital cushion over Raikkonen.

Before the pit stops Kimi was reeling the Mclaren in but then the huge mistake by Ferrari, leaving the same tires on. Inexplicable error on many levels, at the most basic, why gamble when a second place would have meant a comfortable lead in the driver's championship for Kimi? After that it was all over, you can't drive in the rain on slicks and some will point out that the cleverest move of the race was by two ex=Ferrari men, Barrichello and Ross Brawn... It's not the first time Ferrari make such errors and they will catch hell for it.

Hamilton though drove extremely well and this time seemed to manage his tires properly, no chorded tire mistakes this time.

But what in the world happened to Massa? Talk about hero to zero... He spun more than Sutil and got passed by Nakajima. Only last year that epic duel in the rain with Kubica, this year you almost have to wonder if there might not have been some undisclosed mechanical issue.

I did not get to watch the race live today, but I hope some of you enjoyed watching here. Join us again for the German GP in two weeks!

(photo: Cahier archives)


  1. Although Lewis did drive a good race, I also believe that he had a full wet setup for today's race, while Kovi had a dry seutp, thus why Lewis was so far off in Q. And I think Massa made such a mess of himself because he also had a dry setup under the car.

    What I cant understand is why Ferrari didn't bring in Kimi a third time and take the gamble to switch to full wets. Same thing goes with BMW and Kubica.

  2. I think without that mistake in qualifying Lewis would probably have been on pole. If so could he have been on a wet setup then ?

    You may be right though.

  3. I thought when it was wet they could change things before the start of the race for safety reasons? Tyres (or Tires!) obviously being the first thing.

    Switching engine/throttle maps is something that can be done quite easily too I imagine, probably from the cockpit. Brake bias is also controlled in there. So other than front and rear aero and the tyres is there a lot that's not available at the flick of the drivers thumb that needs to be changed?

  4. Hard to say about Hamilton and pole....They did say Heikki was lighter but maybe Heikki had more of a dry setup and Hamilton more of a compromise.
    During the first part of the race Hamilton and Raikkonen were on the same pace, with the Ferrari catching up so I think Kimi was every bit as quick. After the tactical mistake of leaving both cars on worn inters...well it was all over then.

    Not switching tires I would have thought they might short fuel for a quick stint and try to pass Hamilton in the pits...

  5. I think Massa just can't drive in the rain. Even if he was on a wet setup he wouldn't have been that far back. This isn't his first bad rain race. I think it shows how much the drivers relied on their driving aids from last season.

  6. Is it just me or does it seem that Ferrari has horrible decision makers when it comes to tire strategy? They're always taking huge gambles when it comes to rain conditions - it's unforgivable. Especially when Mclaren strategy is so consistent with their strategy (both fuel and tire)...

  7. Perhaps Massa's car was aligned like the Steexter?


  8. undisclosed mechanical issue?

    Yeah, its called lack of TC thats the mechanical issue. I was watching the footage of Massa Vs. Bob then remembered they had TC.

  9. I believe that Ferrari left Kimi and Massa on their old tires because they thought that the track was going to dry out. In that situation a full-warn set of inters basically become slicks and will be faster then a medium-warn set of inters. That was Ferrari's gamble in order to let Kimi win the race.

    I think Ferrari might have called an audible if they could have seen that Mclaren was changing tires as they probably thought they were going to leave on an old set to (such as China 07) but because of Mclaren being so far down the pit lane they were at a disadvantage at seeing what they did to Lewis's car. By the time Ferrari had fueled the car Lewis hadn't even got to his pit yet.

  10. this was the GP won by the weathermen...

    I think Ferrari's error was not thinking championship. Raikkonene had the speed to at the minimum keep up with Hamilton if not pass him. Obviously with the wrong tires that was not going to happen. It's not that Hamilton is that much better than everyone else.

    Now I see that after comparing himself with Nelson Mandela, Ham is quoting Martin Luther King....

    if you want to read a gushing race recap article take a look at this one.
    They even quote Kipling!
    "...But is there anyone else in the field who could have driven like that?" Hello, yes Raikkonen until they put the wrong tires on....Hello Yes, Barrichello was 14 seconds a lap faster on full wets..

    Hamilton had a great drive but let's not proclaim him god's gift just yet. He still is the guy who rear ended a car in the pit lane....

  11. I think it's a mistake to overlook what Rubens has accomplished in years past. He knows a lot about winning GPs and World Championships and will be stellar when Honda puts a car under him (esp with Ross on board).


  12. BTG you guys noticed David Coulthard managed to his someone again this past week end?


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