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Lewis @ Mercedes: the biggest mistake of his career?


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Poll: Lewis Hamilton has made a terrible mistake (562 member(s) have cast votes)

You reckon?

  1. Nah man, he's gonna be great, relax (255 votes [45.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.62%

  2. He'll probably beat Rosberg, the rest is someone else's responsibility (144 votes [25.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.76%

  3. No biggie, he'll be back at Mclaren in 2016 (46 votes [8.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.23%

  4. OH SHI- (114 votes [20.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.39%

Vote

#851 garoidb

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 20:34

What if McLaren Honda dominate F1 from 2015 - 2020? What if Mercedes pull out...

 

Of course it has transpired to be a great decision for 2014 but who knows what the future will bring. I suspect it will be continued success, but the question posed by this thread really needs to be answered in about 5 years time, not after every time the Mercedes leaves its garage. 

 

What if Mercedes reliability issues cost Lewis the championship this year, and McLaren are equally or more competitive next year? It is certain that driving for Mercedes is better than driving for McLaren this year (and last year). 

 

Lewis's contract is up at the end of next year. Will he commit to a longer term deal soon?



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#852 bub

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 20:44

So far it has not turned out to be a mistake at all, never mind 'the biggest mistake of his career'. Since Hamilton switched, the team he went to has been better than the team he left and he has the most dominant car he has ever had. Regardless of what happens in the future, I think it was a good idea to get experience of driving for a different team.



#853 slmk

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 20:47

What if Mercedes reliability issues cost Lewis the championship this year, and McLaren are equally or more competitive next year? It is certain that driving for Mercedes is better than driving for McLaren this year (and last year). 

 

Lewis's contract is up at the end of next year. Will he commit to a longer term deal soon?

 

First part of the sentence: he will still be better off...  (9 poles, 5 wins so far, and increasing quickly). 

 

Second part, highly unlikely. Besides, Mercedes has a solid base to start 2015 from. You don't overcome a 1s+ advantage overnight, especially with stable regs the following year (as opposed to constantly changing exhaust regs from 2009-2013 which were put in place to slow RBR down).


Edited by slmk, 13 May 2014 - 20:48.


#854 SCUDmissile

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 20:55

Those who doubt LH are usually wrong. :clap:

 

Those who believe in LH will always rub the doubters in it. :lol:   I dunno know if you watched F1 or were on f1 forums in 2007/2008.... but wow is LH polarizing.... Way more then schumacher ever was..... Hamilton has proved all the naysayers wrong at every turn. 

 

2011 he had 3 wins and it's brought up like he was pastor maldonado. :rotfl:

 

Well yes, because his driving was godawful, large parts of the season. Especially by his standards, which we are seeing now. 



#855 bub

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 21:09

Some absolute gold-dust in the opening pages of this thread. 

 

This one's not bad either.



#856 Markn93

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 21:12

This one's not bad either.

Magic! 

 

"Mercedes!! Please no Lewis. Don't do it. The team is Mercedes's biggest white elephant since the Chrysler merger. It's going nowhere."

 

Direct quote, I'm sorry but anyone can see the funny side of that surely. 

 

Edit: Another from an 'esteemed' poster of the Tifosi persuasion "  :lol:  I would put money on it not happening. Lewis isn't going anywhere. If he does go to Mercedes, he's an idiot. "


Edited by Markn93, 13 May 2014 - 21:29.


#857 Kingshark

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 21:18

Forget Lewis, anyone else remember the horrendous Mercedes bashing back in late 2012?

 

Mercedes-AMG 2012 W03 - Part II, page 52

 

Mercedes was worse than all but the new teams at the time, and about 3 seconds/lap slower than Red Bull & McLaren. Little did we know that they'd dominate the sport 1,5 years later.


Edited by Kingshark, 13 May 2014 - 21:18.


#858 aditya-now

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:03

Forget Lewis, anyone else remember the horrendous Mercedes bashing back in late 2012?

 

Mercedes-AMG 2012 W03 - Part II, page 52

 

Mercedes was worse than all but the new teams at the time, and about 3 seconds/lap slower than Red Bull & McLaren. Little did we know that they'd dominate the sport 1,5 years later.

 

Not only bashing Lewis and bashing Mercedes, but the arrogance of McLaren à la "We are a vintage top team, here to stay, drivers come and drivers go, but McLaren is here to stay!"

 

How wrong all those three have turned out....



#859 aditya-now

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:06

Concerning:

 

 

"Mercedes was worse than all but the new teams at the time, and about 3 seconds/lap slower than Red Bull & McLaren. Little did we know that they'd dominate the sport 1,5 years later."

 

One factor amongst many: Lewis replaced Schumi and Lewis is keeping now Rosberg honest. I doubt that Rosberg had to do his utmost to keep Schumi behind. Look at Rosberg now.

 

Concerning Lewis: McLaren fell from grace and Mercedes rose - there is only one common denominator.



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#860 dumm

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:21

I think its amazing what happened to Lewis and 2008 to Vettel.

2012 Mercedes was nowhere, same 2008 with Red Bull, they were even behind STR ... yet both end up with best cars on the grid. Its hard for me to think its total coincidence. I mean what did poor old Alesi do, when he chose Ferrari instead of Williams in 1991 :well:

Nevertheless congrats to hammy



#861 Coral

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:52

McLaren treated Lewis disgracefully after 2009. Once Jenson arrived at the team, it was if Lewis was discarded like an old pair of shoes. I'll never forget the team's reaction after Jenson's win in Melbourne in 2010...Whitmarsh was in tears going on about how "special" Jenson's win was...he was happier than he was when Lewis won the WDC. Suddenly it was as if Lewis did not exist, I could not believe what I was seeing. The McLaren apologists said I was imagining it, but I could see it with my own eyes. It was then I knew that Lewis had to leave McLaren. Also in Melbourne Norbert Haug called Lewis the driver of the race and he was the only person to express sympathy for him...he called Lewis "poor boy" if I remember correctly. It was then that I realised that Mercedes would be an ideal team for him. And so it has proved...even if Lewis never wins anything at Mercedes, he is happier there and is driving better than ever.

 

And he has still had "a winning car every year." :p  ;)



#862 Obi Offiah

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:57

The voting option is still open I can see.



#863 garoidb

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:58

 

And he has still had "a winning car every year." :p  ;)

 

Yes, and 2009 is the only year in which his team-mate did not also win a GP. He has been well served in that respect. 



#864 Markn93

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:58

You knew in Melbourne 2010 Coral? 

 

Now that's foresight.


Edited by Markn93, 13 May 2014 - 22:58.


#865 jjcale

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:17

You knew in Melbourne 2010 Coral? 

 

Now that's foresight.

 

Melb 2010 was a race when they made him pit unnecessarily when he was catching JB..... but of course we were told that we were imagining things when we pointed this out.



#866 Rinehart

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:23

Judging by the current Merc v MaC it's going to have to be some engine to overcome the poor MaC chassis and make it dominant.

My conclusion to from is, having spent a near fortune on the current regs with fantastic results, Merc will probibly be in the sport for some time to come.

Yes I think that is the probable scenario too, but my point was to answer the OT question as fact, that needs to actually happen first! 

 

It looks quite possible that Hamilton could win 3 or so titles on the spin now - I have posted long and tediously about my theories of sustained periods of competitiveness caused by the dynamics of costs and rules in F1. You'd have to say deserved and a brilliant decision to join Merc if that transpires, but we just need to keep in mind the small possibility that McLaren, Honda, Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault or even an outsider such as VAG might turn up with a total game-changer... that is why time needs to pass.


Edited by Rinehart, 14 May 2014 - 09:29.


#867 jjcale

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:26

McLaren treated Lewis disgracefully after 2009. Once Jenson arrived at the team, it was if Lewis was discarded like an old pair of shoes. I'll never forget the team's reaction after Jenson's win in Melbourne in 2010...Whitmarsh was in tears going on about how "special" Jenson's win was...he was happier than he was when Lewis won the WDC. Suddenly it was as if Lewis did not exist, I could not believe what I was seeing. The McLaren apologists said I was imagining it, but I could see it with my own eyes. It was then I knew that Lewis had to leave McLaren. Also in Melbourne Norbert Haug called Lewis the driver of the race and he was the only person to express sympathy for him...he called Lewis "poor boy" if I remember correctly. It was then that I realised that Mercedes would be an ideal team for him. And so it has proved...even if Lewis never wins anything at Mercedes, he is happier there and is driving better than ever.

 

And he has still had "a winning car every year." :p  ;)

 

Yes I remember this as well .... the courtship started as soon as Merc got their own team.

 

Its a shame that Kubica (who did very well that day) got injured, he would have been the perfect team mate for LH at Merc.... but then Merc are very loyal so maybe NR would have got the gig anyway.

 

People forget that LH (and NR) have been with Merc for going on 2 decades now .... they should be the ones welcoming Wolf and Lauda to the team and introducing them to Dr Z and the other bigwigs from Daimler :)



#868 jjcale

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:29

Yes I think that is the probable scenario too, but my point was to answer the OT question as fact, that needs to actually happen first! 

 

LH just avoided two two win-less seasons at Macca - one of them was even podium-less..... surely that by itself is enough to justify the decision .... or does Macca's relative performance not come into your calculation? 



#869 Markn93

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:30

LH just avoided two two win-less seasons at Macca - one of them was even podium-less..... surely that by itself is enough to justify the decision .... or does Macca's relative performance not come into your calculation? 

You never know had he been there....

 

 ;)



#870 jjcale

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:31

Concerning:

 

 

"Mercedes was worse than all but the new teams at the time, and about 3 seconds/lap slower than Red Bull & McLaren. Little did we know that they'd dominate the sport 1,5 years later."

 

One factor amongst many: Lewis replaced Schumi and Lewis is keeping now Rosberg honest. I doubt that Rosberg had to do his utmost to keep Schumi behind. Look at Rosberg now.

 

Concerning Lewis: McLaren fell from grace and Mercedes rose - there is only one common denominator.

 

Money?

 

Anyway, money is heading to Macca again and they will get back on top ..... I can even see LH returning there one day now that Whitmarsh is gone.

 

 

 

I think its amazing what happened to Lewis and 2008 to Vettel.

2012 Mercedes was nowhere, same 2008 with Red Bull, they were even behind STR ... yet both end up with best cars on the grid. Its hard for me to think its total coincidence. I mean what did poor old Alesi do, when he chose Ferrari instead of Williams in 1991  :well:

Nevertheless congrats to hammy

 

 

Wasnt hard to see in either case.

 

Once again .... even us fans can see which direction the money is flowing....


Edited by jjcale, 14 May 2014 - 09:37.


#871 Rinehart

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:36

LH just avoided two two win-less seasons at Macca - one of them was even podium-less..... surely that by itself is enough to justify the decision .... or does Macca's relative performance not come into your calculation? 

I've already said that on the basis of 2014 v 2014 its a flippin' great decision but we don't yet know what the picture over a longer term looks like yet and I have also said, 3 times now, probably better at Mercedes, just need to wait and see.



#872 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:38

Thinking about short and long term benefits, imagine if Button had stayed with the team. He'd have missed out on 8 wins at McLaren, but it would be paying off now.



#873 jjcale

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:47

I'm surprised that only one journo so far has mentioned that their is a rumour about (most likely coming from Brackley) that they will have a good car next year....

 

:smoking:

 

Since we are all being smug :p

 

This was my first response .... amazed to see I actually got one right for a change....

 

Edit: It got even better:

 

 

I'm not talking about a management level/PR rumour .... this rumour is coming from a much lower level of people working at Brackley.

I am going out on a limb with this one as I dont have a direct source there anymore ... but even though its second hand I am prepared to get my hopes up ... just a little bit.

Cant wait for testing....

 

Edited by jjcale, 14 May 2014 - 10:00.


#874 jjcale

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:53

I've already said that on the basis of 2014 v 2014 its a flippin' great decision but we don't yet know what the picture over a longer term looks like yet and I have also said, 3 times now, probably better at Mercedes, just need to wait and see.

 

I dont think Mac-Honda is going to match Merc in 2015 .... after that who knows..... but there have not been any rumours about how great Honda will be like there were with Merc - even going back to mid 2012.

 

I dont think they will be better than Merc before LH's current contract expires .... But if I was Merc I would be extending that deal just in case Macca revive themselves. By the end of this year LH will be seen as the best and also the most marketable driver in F1.... Merc should protect their investment.


Edited by jjcale, 14 May 2014 - 10:32.


#875 peroa

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 12:41

You knew in Melbourne 2010 Coral? 

 

Now that's foresight.

She was not the only one.

Karma always seems to find a way, wouldn't you agree?



#876 Risil

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 16:59

Thinking about short and long term benefits, imagine if Button had stayed with the team. He'd have missed out on 8 wins at McLaren, but it would be paying off now.

 

I was under the impression that Button didn't feel like he'd be welcome there in 2010, and Brawn were stalling over offering him a new contract.



#877 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 17:36

I was under the impression that Button didn't feel like he'd be welcome there in 2010, and Brawn were stalling over offering him a new contract.

 

You're probably right about that.



#878 study

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 23:01

Being a bit bored tonight so being reading the archives, its amazing the crap Mercedes got thrown there way with the Lewis move, well as it turned out they did know something after all.



#879 Afterburner

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 23:04

The last option is oddly fitting, but perhaps not in the way the poll starter intended. :p

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#880 Eff One 2002

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 01:24

Forget Lewis, anyone else remember the horrendous Mercedes bashing back in late 2012?

 

Mercedes-AMG 2012 W03 - Part II, page 52

 

Mercedes was worse than all but the new teams at the time, and about 3 seconds/lap slower than Red Bull & McLaren. Little did we know that they'd dominate the sport 1,5 years later.

Yup, it has been truly an amazing turnaround in performance.



#881 PAGATRON

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 01:38

 

Anyway, money is heading to Macca again and they will get back on top ..... I can even see LH returning there one day now that Whitmarsh is gone.

 

I wonder if he's sitting at home watching the races now thinking.

"Maybe I did back the wrong horse"



#882 Disgrace

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 04:37

Yup, it has been truly an amazing turnaround in performance.

 

It should be kept in mind that those posts were post-Austin 2012. It was a hideous performance, but with hindsight can be explained by the team doing it's 2013 pre-season testing at the races. With fans wishing MS a decent send-off, the reaction is pretty justifiable. In terms of an "amazing turnaround", relative budget increases should also be considered.



#883 garoidb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 12:42

If joining Mercedes wasn't the biggest mistake of his career, what was? Signing the big money five year deal with McLaren at the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008?  I think he was already engaged for 2008 and possibly 2009, so this would have committed him for 2010 - 2012 (but made him extremely wealthy). 

 

http://www.formula1....008/1/7276.html



#884 sheepgobba

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 12:52

I think Lewis won't go back to McLaren. He's been there and 'done' that already... I do feel Lewis might be interested in Ferrari one day or vice-versa, who knows? I feel like he might fancy a drive towards the end of his career. Stranger things have happened in F1 so we never know. 



#885 bub

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:00

If joining Mercedes wasn't the biggest mistake of his career, what was? Signing the big money five year deal with McLaren at the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008?  I think he was already engaged for 2008 and possibly 2009, so this would have committed him for 2010 - 2012 (but made him extremely wealthy). 

 

http://www.formula1....008/1/7276.html

 

China 2007?


Edited by bub, 17 May 2014 - 14:01.


#886 Risil

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:19

If joining Mercedes wasn't the biggest mistake of his career, what was? Signing the big money five year deal with McLaren at the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008?  I think he was already engaged for 2008 and possibly 2009, so this would have committed him for 2010 - 2012 (but made him extremely wealthy). 

 

http://www.formula1....008/1/7276.html

 

I don't think driving for Mclaren 2008-12 was a mistake. 2008 brought him a title and only Mclaren's seemingly terrible standards of car preparation stopped him from doubling up in '12. 2009 was a bad year but across a five year stretch any driver is going to be lumped with a bad car. 2010 and '11 were mediocre but the only better option then was Red Bull. And on the face of it that was a far riskier proposition than Mac.

 

The only year when Hamilton hasn't looked like one of F1's top three drivers was 2011. Given the consistent and error-free Hamilton that emerged in 2012 it may even have been significant.


Edited by Risil, 17 May 2014 - 14:21.


#887 study

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:32

China 2007?

 

I still class that as McLarens mistake. Which team leaves a driver out in the damp with bare canvas tyres. Lewis was a rookie in his first season, this error can' attributed to him in my opinion.



#888 Kobasmashi

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:35

China 2007?


I've always given him the benefit of the doubt with that, his tyres were down to the canvas after all.

#889 garoidb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:41

I don't think driving for Mclaren 2008-12 was a mistake. 2008 brought him a title and only Mclaren's seemingly terrible standards of car preparation stopped him from doubling up in '12. 2009 was a bad year but across a five year stretch any driver is going to be lumped with a bad car. 2010 and '11 were mediocre but the only better option then was Red Bull. And on the face of it that was a far riskier proposition than Mac.

 

The only year when Hamilton hasn't looked like one of F1's top three drivers was 2011. Given the consistent and error-free Hamilton that emerged in 2012 it may even have been significant.

 

I think he was tied in for 2008 anyway, but McLaren wanted to secure their new hot property for a longer period. It is the length of the deal that may have been a mistake, and perhaps the same is true of Alonso renewing his deal at Ferrari too soon.



#890 garoidb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:45

China 2007?

 

I'm thinking in terms of career decisions or omissions, rather than driver errors (or we could go way off topic). The thread is about whether a team switch was his biggest mistake. Most now agree that it was not a mistake at all. In this light, perhaps he should have done something similar earlier (or perhaps not, just a question).



#891 bub

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:52

I'm thinking in terms of career decisions or omissions, rather than driver errors (or we could go way off topic). The thread is about whether a team switch was his biggest mistake. Most now agree that it was not a mistake at all. In this light, perhaps he should have done something similar earlier (or perhaps not, just a question).

 

In that case the only thing I can think of is maybe he could have approached Red Bull when he was a kid instead of McLaren but realistically I can't think of any real mistakes Lewis has made in the sense that you're talking about.



#892 bub

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:56

I still class that as McLarens mistake. Which team leaves a driver out in the damp with bare canvas tyres. Lewis was a rookie in his first season, this error can' attributed to him in my opinion.

 

I've always given him the benefit of the doubt with that, his tyres were down to the canvas after all.

 

I agree it was definitely more the teams responsibility considering Lewis was a rookie but it's difficult to find the biggest mistake of Lewis' career. 



#893 garoidb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:57

In that case the only thing I can think of is maybe he could have approached Red Bull when he was a kid instead of McLaren but realistically I can't think of any real mistakes Lewis has made in the sense that you're talking about.

 

He seemed unhappy at McLaren in his last few years there, and they did not deliver him any major successes. He could have done just as well, if not better, at Renault/Lotus, for example. Alternatively, it might have increased his clout at McLaren in 2010-2011 if he was not still contracted to them for years ahead. Again, as with Alonso at Ferrari, five year deals just seem too long and can be restricting if things go stale. 



#894 bub

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 15:03

He seemed unhappy at McLaren in his last few years there, and they did not deliver him any major successes. He could have done just as well, if not better, at Renault/Lotus, for example. Alternatively, it might have increased his clout at McLaren in 2010-2011 if he was not still contracted to them for years ahead. Again, as with Alonso at Ferrari, five year deals just seem too long and can be restricting if things go stale. 

 

I agree with that but I don't think driving for Renault/Lotus would have brought Hamilton any more success. He might have been happier but maybe not.  



#895 garoidb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 15:44

Unless I got the year wrong, 2009 Monza was when the prior Kers car that started badly due to outwash front wing and had a design direction started to come good.

Lewis got a string of good results and was being looked at pulling close to the championship runners when pushing hard at Monza for 2nd or 3rd, he put a wheel on the kerb and bust his car stopping the late charge.

 

It was a big crash, and there was an element of recklessness to it. It might have had a long term effect in terms of knowing when not to push over the limit.



#896 study

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 15:59

It was a big crash, and there was an element of recklessness to it. It might have had a long term effect in terms of knowing when not to push over the limit.

 

I think he overpushed but in the end, it made no difference to the results of the year, but better to have tried then not to have tried at all.


Edited by study, 17 May 2014 - 16:14.


#897 Kvothe

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 16:04

Unless I got the year wrong, 2009 Monza was when the prior Kers car that started badly due to outwash front wing and had a design direction started to come good.

Lewis got a string of good results and was being looked at pulling close to the championship runners when pushing hard at Monza for 2nd or 3rd, he put a wheel on the kerb and bust his car stopping the late charge.

Lewis was in reality out of the title race by than and was pushing hard to try and catch the faster Brawns, so there was no negative knock on effect, and thankfully it didn't affect the constructors with McLaren managing to pip Ferrari at the end. What it's most significant for is Lewis being on course to smash the fastest race simulation computed by McLaren by 10 seconds before losing it at Lesmo 2. This was when the tyres allowed you to race of course.



#898 Mtom

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 16:09

It was a big crash, and there was an element of recklessness to it. It might have had a long term effect in terms of knowing when not to push over the limit.


If i remember correctly his engineer told him that he is catching the car ahead. Thats why he pushed.

#899 garoidb

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 16:12

I think he overpushed but in the end, it made no difference to the results of the year, but to have tried then not to have tried at all.

 

 

Lewis was in reality out of the title race by than and was pushing hard to try and catch the faster Brawns, so there was no negative knock on effect, and thankfully it didn't affect the constructors with McLaren managing to pip Ferrari at the end. What it's most significant for is Lewis being on course to smash the fastest race simulation computed by McLaren by 10 seconds before losing it at Lesmo 2. This was when the tyres allowed you to race of course.

 

It was a very big crash at high speed, though. He could have been hurt. I'm not talking about points implications.



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#900 study

study
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Posted 17 May 2014 - 16:16

Yeah true. This is the Lewis we know the good and the bad.

 

After 2009 with the introduction of DRS and Pirelli tyres it really took away from Lewis great overtaking skills and made it easier for drivers to pass with DRS rather then working fo it.