Hamilton schools Ferrari

2008-07-21 08:00

Natalie Le Clue

I am not sure what the German for thrashing is, but it certainly came courtesy of Lewis Hamilton in a driving performance that put the rest of the field in Sunday's F1 GP to shame. And if Ferrari are scratching their heads, wondering why Hamilton was so much faster than them, I will give them an answer - communication.

This ability to give feedback on the performance of the car is the most important part of a racing weekend. And the more detailed the feedback, the better. Having been out on the track for a number of laps, a driver must be able to remember not only how the car handled, but the exact response through each corner on each lap.

A good technical driver discussing his past few laps with his engineer makes for fascinating listening. Accuracy is essential. The solution may be the alteration of rollbar stiffness, suspension settings, wing angles, or even driver technique - but once garnered, the mechanics will set to work on the car.

Hamilton is clearly the best communicator out there. And it does not take an expert to draw this conclusion. Just look at how fast he dials the car into the racing track, often, scarily, in the first few laps of a Friday practice.

The fact that he has a peach of a car to work with does make things easier. As this McLaren matures, it seems the window of operation becomes bigger; i.e. the perfect set-up does not have to be found to maximize the car's potential.

And while the Ferrari definitely has a sweet spot, it gives the impression of having to be balanced on a knife edge. Straying from that edge seems to deliver a massive difference in performance, and once something goes wrong in set-up it seems pretty difficult to find one's way back. But does that account for the two seconds a lap that Hamilton was able to pull out over Felipe Massa? A categorical no. A lot has to do with confidence.

Supreme domination

Hamilton's confidence that the car will stick when he flings it into the corner at 150 miles per hour and the belief that he has the fastest car on the track allows him to get into a zone where he believes himself to be unbeatable - a place where he abandons everything to meet up with his destiny and huge hunger for victory.

Silverstone may have been a show in supreme domination, but this was a display of talent beyond the confines of a racing track. And if anyone had any doubt that Hamilton wants to win this championship, let it rest now.

Ferrari should be embarrassed at their performance and take this lesson in driving with hat in hand. Raikkonen is now seven points adrift of the championship lead - obviously not of disastrous proportions yet, but as the reigning world champion it?s now the time to show it.

A common misconception is that Raikkonen is disinterested in the F1 world, but just because he is not as vocal about it, does not mean that he's not as hungry as Hamilton. Let not a few dodgy performances rule out the class of the Ferrari man.

In fact - Write him off at your peril. He will hit back, the question being only when and where. It is now time for all the championship contenders to say goodbye to cordial racing and hello to the battle lines that have been drawn.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.