Hamilton channels fan feelings

I was reading an article over at Sky Sports F1 and found it humorous on a couple levels. With all the recent comments about the current state of Formula 1, you have to like Lewis Hamilton’s comments today about what he’d like to see in the sport. I know what Lewis meant but it seems to channel the exact feelings of many F1 fans:

“What would be cool, and we don’t see it too often, is a race like Nico and I had in Bahrain last year,” Hamilton said.

“That was like a karting race and that is why karting is so much fun to watch. If we had that in Formula 1 every weekend, we would probably go crazy because it is too exciting. I’d love to have that with me and Sebastian.”

So he’d like to have that Bahrain-type battle with Seb and not Nico? Ok, that tells me he’s not to jazzed about a Mercedes-only duel either. He’d like to see inter-team battles instead of just two Mercs tooling around occasionally banging wheels. I’m with Lewis, I’d like to see that too but I’d also like to throw Alonso in that mix and really get the heart racing.

Lewis also echoed many of the comments fans have made regarding Red Bull’s threat to leave the sport saying:

“It seems really odd for me, having witnessed Red Bull’s success and then the moment that they don’t have success, they get upset about it,” he said.

“I’ve not seen that with any other team. Growing up watching Formula 1, I never noticed that with Ferrari, when they lost the championship after having successes – I don’t remember, maybe they did – but I didn’t hear them complain.

“You just have to keep pushing forwards. There’s no reason for them to give up: they’ve got great drivers; they’ve got a great pedigree; they’ve incredible success; they still have a pretty awesome car.

“All those people that have a job, are they going to get rid of all those people through something that’s not the biggest end? It’s still a success. You just have to work hard at it.”

Well, I’d be rich if I had a dime every time a fan has commented with something very similar.

You know, it does seem to send a signal when even the drivers are starting to sound like F1 fans in their criticism of the sport doesn’t it? If they start sounding like Patrick Allen of Silverstone, we’re all in trouble.

HAt Tip: Sky Sport F1 HQ

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longshot

I’m sorry, but I can’t buy into Hamilton’s hypocrisy here. Not after this from back on the 3rd September … Asked if supplying Red Bull was a good idea, Hamilton said: “If we are serious about winning the world championship, probably not. Red Bull are a great team, but it’s like giving Ferrari our engines.” Hamilton added: “We don’t really need it. There is no financial benefit. We are good where we are.” … so he’s happy to talk wistfully about how great it’d be if there was a level playing field with exciting racing, but when push comes to… Read more »

Negative Camber

He did indeed. He’s a bit all over the map on this one but it does echo what I’ve read from many fans. Regardless, I’ve actually been arguing to opposite of this and taking heat from fans but I stand by my position in that losing Red Bull is a big deal. A really big deal and if I were Dietrich, I wouldn’t want to be subjected to these new engine regulations only to find that my supplier is not competitive and the only person who would supply me will do so by offering last year’s engine. Sorry, that’s crap.

longshot

I think a lot of fans simply don’t like Red Bull, and on that basis they’d be happy to see them leave while assuming that the sport will survive like it always has. But why are Red Bull threatening to leave? Is it simply because they’re not winning? No, its because the hybrid engine rules have given the two works teams with decent power units a baked-in advantage that’s protected by the limited token development (with no testing) and season-long homulgation. Those teams now get to dictate to everyone else as to who gets a competitive engine, and who’s relegated… Read more »

longshot

Also there’s another issue here. Assuming Lotus is bought by Renault next year & uses their engines, this is what the field will look like:- Mercedes power: Mercedes, Force India, Williams, Manor Ferrari power: Ferrari, Haas, Sauber Honda power: McLaren Renault power: Renault/Lotus Honda and Renault have both stated that they won’t be supplying engines to anyone else – Honda because they really can’t right now, and Renault because they don’t want to. According to the FIA’s rules, only 4 teams can be powered by the same engine. So Mercedes cannot offer engines to anyone, and Ferrari can only supply… Read more »

Patrick Chapman

As far as I know, the original rule was that a manufacturer can supply a maximum of 3 teams with engines and to supply more than that, special dispensation is required from the FIA. The rule also stated that manufacturers must supply 3 teams if teams wanted their PU Mercedes got special dispensation to supply 4 teams Ferrari have not applied for dispensation yet, Honda were given special dispensation to supply 1 team for 1 year. So Honda will be breaking the rules by only supplying 1 team for 2016 but nobody has asked them to supply a PU so… Read more »

longshot

Yeah you & me both. To add to the mess, the FOM, the FIA and the Strategy Group all stick their fingers into the pie when it comes to making/bending rules, which leads to stalemate as vested interests prevent any changes. If Todt took an active & forceful role like Mad Max, he and Bernie could team up to push things through but at the risk of alienating the all-powerful manufacturers, and we all know how comical some of Bernie’s ideas can be. But as it is, Todt is happy to sit back and let others decide things which leaves… Read more »

Patrick Chapman

Breaking news. Ferrari will supply Toro Rosso with engines but not Red Bull. That will be really useful as Red Bull won’t pull out and leave Toro Rosso competing. What a mess.

Negative Camber

Here’s the funny thing, Jame Key has made a hell of a car in that STR. Would be interesting to see how well they do.

Patrick Chapman

I am hoping that Red Bull and Toro Rosso both stay for 2016. Red Bull will have a Renault engine and who knows, they might let Toro Rosso have a Ferrari engine. If I was Renault, I would tell Red Bull that I will only supply one team. Just to see if Toro Rosso can Beat Red Bull. Who says that Renault don’t have a sense of humour. Payback time maybe.

Negative Camber

IF memory serves correctly, I think you’re spot on Patrick. They did have a 3-team supply rule and Merc got dispensation. Not sure if that’s till in effect or not as it was a Mosely era regulation right?

Patrick Chapman

I haven’t seen a new rule that changes the original rule yet. Perhaps they made an agreement in a discussion group at somee point and are just working on that. Hence my confusion. Excellent article by the way.

Negative Camber

It may be as simple as that, mate. Fact is, the people I am reading just don’t like the team. I try not to put too much stock in one narrative but in the end, I side with keeping them in the sport. Wonder if they still have Renault’s phone number. :)

longshot

Well according to what I’ve read, they’ve been talking to Abiteboul but he’s said it’ll be a tough sell getting the Renault board to agree to supply Red Bull after all the PR damage they’ve suffered (which I feel they absolutely deserved, but that’s neither here nor there), plus they’ve already decided what they wanted to do in 2016 & supplying Red Bull was not part of their plans. This implies that the old contract through 2016 was indeed torn up, as there’d be no need to negotiate anything if it was still a valid contract. So does DM seriously… Read more »

Junipero Mariano

The regulations made in order to save money and level the field somewhat haven’t really worked in my opinion. Efforts should be made to keep small teams in the sport, but not at the cost of none of the teams being able to mount an effective campaign against the front runner. If the regulations against testing and development were eased a little bit, there are five teams/10 cars that have a realistic shot at winning races and championships, namely Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull, and McLaren. Do we need Force India and Sauber? Of course we do. Upstart drivers and… Read more »

Negative Camber

They haven’t worked in my opinion too.

yoshif8tures

He’s got a pretty short memory. It wasn’t too long ago that Ferrari were threatening to quit and form a breakaway series.

MIE

Wasn’t that over the terms of their contract with FOM (2.5% of the total FOM income and a veto on any rule changes they didn’t like) rather than a lack of competitiveness?

yoshif8tures

The point is that they threatened to quit and Lewis has forgotten. The reason doesn’t matter really.

Eje Gustafsson

True. But ultimately isn’t those demands they made to ensure they stay competitive for the future and also to ensure no matter how they do they are guaranteed good chunk of profit as long as they remain in F1 no matter how they do? Yeah no different ways of achieving a similar goal to have a chance of be competitive the one different is the one team wanted to make sure they would be for the future the other just want to be given the chance of remaining competitive. Here if you don’t give us this so we can be… Read more »

Negative Camber

Was that when they all formed the GPWC? That was over Concorde Agreement right?

Eje Gustafsson

Correct

John The Race Fan

Was this an interview with Lulu or a recording session for his next blockbuster hip-hop album?

Negative Camber

I hope his first CD is Canadian Folk music and then he sends it to JV.

GaryK

I wanted to respond to this article, which I think is entirely on point, with a commentary about the way Red Bull (or a derived version of RBR, ala Brawn Racing) could stay in F1 for 2016 without losing face and getting Renault engines or even someone else’s engines. But as I wrote, the plausible possibilities for the ways this could happen (including Machiavellian but not illegal ways) that I just decided to put it out there multiplied: This Red Bull saga ain’t over by a long shot. There are plenty of arrows in the quiver from players involved and… Read more »