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 Post subject: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 27 May 2010, 19:29  
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7th place. 59 points. Behind Robert Kubica's Renault. Yes, Renault. Remember, that team that many were writing off a matter of months ago after a diabolical 2009 season and uninspirational winter. Before the season, if you had said that Lewis Hamilton would have this few points, then eyebrows would have been raised. Jenson Button is sitting with 11 more points, two more wins and a lot more respect due to his handling - and so far containment – of the aggressive Hamilton, having been written off himself before he even turned a wheel at McLaren. 'Button will be murdered by Hamilton' a certain ex-Ferrari driver said. Others were less extreme, but the general consensus agreed.

So what has gone wrong for Lewis?

Well, pre-season, the main talk was on the tyres and this has been a hindrance to Lewis. Not necessarily in qualifying, but more so in the race, where a long distance on tyres is not his game. He prefers sideways action and going hell for leather. He is the ideal aggressive driver, but this sort of driver is not what is needed in 2010. Compare him to Button – the reigning Champion’s soft tyres lasted 50 laps in Australia. Lewis was complaining of graining after around half of that number of laps.

He hasn’t been aided by McLaren building a ‘halfway house’ of an MP4/25. It was inevitable that someone would have been compromised – Button is the master of understeer, Hamilton of oversteer. Two very different styles. So far, Button has come out on top in terms of points, but it’s not necessarily the case.

If you look at qualifying, Hamilton has held the upper hand over Button whilst his race pace has also been strong in comparison to Button.
Going through the season, it’s easy to see where it has gone wrong. Bahrain was a strong race, 3rd was the maximum possible. Button meanwhile languished down in 7th.

Onto Australia and Hamilton was probably going to finish 4th but for an erratic Australian in the form of Mark Webber. A trip through the gravel and 4 points gone. A small number but it could make a huge difference in November.

In Malaysia, he finished best of the group that were idiotic enough to stay in the garages in qualifying as the rain didn’t relent. His approach was questionable though.

Spain was a disaster. McLaren managed to take the fight to one Red Bull but the other was uncatchable. It was a strong drive, possibly one of his best but the rim exploded. It wasn’t anything to do with the driver, but it’s becoming a worrying fault for McLaren. In fact, three times in the last four years. Whilst those figures don’t necessarily seem startling, it shouldn’t be a common fault. In fact, in that time frame, I can’t recall any other team suffering from such an issue.

In Monaco, the car was just dire. Hamilton, a previous master of Monaco in junior formulae and in Formula One, was subdued and for the first time in memory, seemed generally anonymous. The car was slower than the RB6 (but then again, everything is) and Button struggled even more than Hamilton.

The one bright hope for Lewis is that he’s still in touching distance of the leaders. The MP4/25 is good in race pace, probably the second strongest car in that aspect. However, China apart, the car hasn’t come near to being capable of scoring pole position. Without being near the front and in dry conditions, overtaking is difficult, for 2010 at least. Another issue is the fact that the RB6 is just so fast that so far, only Hamilton and Alonso have really taken the fight to them in the dry, aside from Kubica in Monaco, but that performance was just something else.

For this weekend in Turkey, the RB6 has a substantial upgrade. The F-Duct is on their car as well, whilst Istanbul should suit them much like Catalunya did. I wouldn’t be surprised to see McLaren over a second behind Red Bull on Saturday. The magnitude of the deficit is staggering enough, but take into account that Red Bull are down on horsepower and their pace is simply mindblowing. Experts have been saying that with the Mercedes engine, Red Bull would be between 0.4 and 0.5 seconds a lap faster. No wonder Christian Horner wanted a Mercedes engine.
Perhaps Lewis’ only hope is just to hang on in there, but hanging on in there is difficult when the top two are so fast and the other three or four teams are so competitive. It’s not like 2007 when keeping it on the road would have guaranteed him – at the very least – 4th place. It’s 2010 and anyone out of Alonso, Massa, Button, Rosberg, Kubica, Schumacher and Hamilton himself could finish in 9th, a full 23 points behind the winner, assuming that Red Bull claim a 1-2.

So Hamilton does have a long road ahead, but the season is still relatively young and 13 races remain. The Red Bull’s can slip up and the McLaren can improve. Either way, it’s not over, not yet anyway. Lewis Hamilton must never be written off.

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 28 May 2010, 01:36  
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I agree with your article. I still believe that Lewis is kind of quite quicker than Button apart from those 2 crucial strategy races. As Red Bull have told, their only fears are Hamilton and Alonso and that is quite true considering that they are the only people who might be able to challenge the RBs on the podium on a regular basis

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 28 May 2010, 04:20  
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Even, i agree with it. I m one of those who expected Jenson Button to be dead duck this year :p

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 28 May 2010, 14:30  
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Zack wrote:
Even, i agree with it. I m one of those who expected Jenson Button to be dead duck this year :p


Quack Quack Quaaaa...ccckkkk Quaaaaaaaaa.....

:rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 28 May 2010, 15:39  
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Firstly well done phil on writing such a great article. You should certainly try ur hands on journalism if you are not into something. I think that Lewis without a Manager has too many distractions to handle which was not the case earlier. His Dad/Manager was a protective shield under anyh circumstances & his main focus was only driving the car. I suggest he gets a manager pretty soon. And as phil mentioned his driving style is really aggressive which is good in todays era but every top quality driver has to make adjustments to the new rules & jenson has adapted them very well with his smooth driving style.

You can't wite hamiltin off as he is a real fighter and you never know when he will make fell Jenson like a sitting duck :)
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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 28 May 2010, 15:45  
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f1freak wrote:
Lewis without a Manager has too many distractions to handle which was not the case earlier. His Dad/Manager was a protective shield under any circumstances & his main focus was only driving the car


&doh I completely forgot about that aspect - I agree, I think the lack of a senior figure (Ie his Dad) has really led to some of his impetuosity this year (such as in Australia).

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 28 May 2010, 18:31  
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lewis simply lost big time points (2nd place) during the spanish gp.... but still winless, seems to make him more motivated.

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 29 May 2010, 09:57  
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Fantastic and interesting analysis as per usual :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lewis - What's going wrong?
PostPosted: 29 May 2010, 17:49  
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only one point of note is, the first paragraph, in first line, you stressed a bit too much on Renault. It would have been ok if it was a Kubica article, but not for Hamilton IMO

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