Hamilton taking too many risks for Hill, Lauda. - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hamilton taking too many risks for Hill, Lauda.

Hamilton taking too many risks for Hill, Lauda.
Tue 14 Oct, 10:22 AM

Damon Hill and Niki Lauda have both said that Lewis Hamilton needs to calm down if he is to take F1 title.

Former Formula One world champions Damon Hill and Niki Lauda have said that they can see Lewis Hamilton missing out on the world title for a second time if he fails to rein in the impetuosity that cost him vital points in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The Briton, who went into the race with the chance of securing his first crown if results went his way, left with his lead over Felipe Massa reduced from seven points to five after failing to score following two incidents on the opening laps.

Having lost the lead to Kimi Raikkonen off the line, Hamilton attempted a rash overtaking move at turn one, dropping the top four cars down the order as he, Raikkonen, Massa and Heikki Kovalainen were all forced wide, and then clashed with Massa on lap two as the Brazilian attempted to re-pass the McLaren. Both Hamilton and the Ferrari driver were handed penalties that dropped them to the tail of the field, but Massa managed to recover to eighth, and was then promoted to seventh when Sebastien Bourdais was penalised.

With a sense of déj* vu pervading the paddock as Hamilton and McLaren appear to wobble with the title in sight, both Hill and Lauda have warned that the Briton needs to refocus if he is to avoid a repeat of last year's disappointment. In his rookie season, Hamilton approached the final two rounds, in China and Brazil, with a 17-point lead over eventual champion Kimi Raikkonen, but ended up losing the title by a single marker.

"Lewis is impatient to win that first title, but you can't force it," 1996 champion Hill BBC Radio 5 Live, "There's no question about his speed or ability, he just needs to stay cool and let it happen.

"It's a mark of Lewis's career - he's always been very keen to get the job done and move on, and you need that impatience, but it can sometimes trip you up if you're not wary. Sunday's race was a lesson, and Lewis learns very quickly. He'll look back and think maybe it would've been better to settle into it more and got his rhythm going."

Despite having had his own heated rivalry with the German, Hill suggested that Hamilton needed to develop the kind of mental focus that helped Michael Schumacher to take seven titles.

"Even Michael had his moments, but you could rest assured that he would usually bring it home," the Briton said, "He had a very cool head, an ability to detach himself and not let that impatience get the better of him. If Lewis keeps a cool head, then he'll be fine. I think he will get the job done."

Lauda, meanwhile, told n-tv.de that he had been dismayed to see Hamilton making the same sort of mistake that cost him a title shot in 2007.

"I am disappointed with Lewis," the three-time champion sighed, "He threw away the championship last year in the same way, with absolutely unnecessary risks."
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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World's press slams 2008 title chargers

World's press slams 2008 title chargers
Tue 14 Oct, 09:09 AM



F1's two main championship challengers headed from Fuji to Shanghai following the Japanese Grand Prix amid a wave of press criticism.

The sport's title protagonists at this time of the season are usually being prepared for looming heroism, but their antics at Fuji Speedway has left sections of the media wondering about the credentials of the next champion.

'2008 threatens to exist in the memory as the year of missed opportunities; a wasted championship,' Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport charged.

Corriere dello Sport explained: 'Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton in Japan continued their desperate attempts to lose the title.'

Spain's sports newspaper Marca pointed the finger mainly at Hamilton, who from pole position incurred a penalty, crashed with Massa, and finished the race out of the points.

'History repeats,' Marca said, harking back to the Briton's lost 2007 title. 'He had the best car and pole position, but was unable to take a back seat to his ego.'

Another Spanish newspaper remarked: 'Alonso showed that he is without peer, if his car is competitive.'

France's Le Parisien dismissed Hamilton and Massa as 'young and unstable' challengers, and former McLaren driver Mark Blundell agrees that the pair have displayed a 'lack of maturity' at times this year.

1996 world champion Damon Hill told BBC radio's Five Live: "Lewis is impatient to win that first title, but you can't force it."

Even Hamilton's bosses were unimpressed with his overzealous first lap at Fuji Speedway. "Lewis can sometimes be a bit too fiery," Mercedes' Norbert Haug told the German press.

McLaren chief Ron Dennis added: "It would have been nice if Lewis had been a little bit more prudent in the first corner."
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hamilton rebuked by F1 rivals over Fuji tactics.

Hamilton rebuked by F1 rivals over Fuji tactics.
Wed 15 Oct, 03:34 PM



McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has come in for yet more criticism from his F1 rivals over his driving in the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji last weekend, as he insists that he respects all of his competitors and has not 'hurt anyone'.

Having already had his mental state and end-of-season approach called into question by three former Formula 1 World Champions, Lewis Hamilton has now come in for criticism from his rivals too over his patchy Japanese Grand Prix performance last weekend.

Hot on the heels of Sir Jackie Stewart, Damon Hill and Niki Lauda's fears that he is on-track to throw the title away in much the same manner as he did this time twelve months ago [see separate story - click here], and Robert Kubica's description of his driving style as being at times 'too much', 'aggressive' and 'dangerous' [see separate story - click here], Hamilton has been challenged by two more competitors about his overly-assertive on-track manners following his desperately late-braking into the first corner at Fuji Speedway as he attempted to atone for a tardy getaway from the lights.

"What Hamilton did at the start at Fuji was not clean," underlined reigning F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, who was forced off the track by the Briton locking his wheels and almost slithering into the Ferrari into turn one. "He didn't give me a chance to turn into the corner.

"You have to learn how to find braking points when you are six-years-old in go-karts. Obviously you should know how it goes at this level."

"Hamilton makes up his own rules," added Kubica, speaking to Sport Bild, "particularly at the starts."

"In the next driver meeting, Jarno Trulli will ask [Hamilton] why he blocked him for two laps when he was a lap down," added Toyota's Timo Glock - who also found himself on the receiving end of the McLaren-Mercedes star's aggression in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last month - in an interview with German broadcaster RTL. "Jarno lost one-and-a-half to two seconds, because Hamilton would not obey the blue flags."

Forced onto the defensive once more, Hamilton has stressed that he is not beginning to crack under the weight of pressure that this time last year saw him all-but ditch his hopes of clinching the crown in the Shanghai pit-lane gravel trap as he insisted on fighting Raikkonen for the lead of the Chinese Grand Prix when he didn't need to.

"They are my opponents," the 23-year-old told German newspaper Bild on the subject of his aggrieved rivals, "and if you are going for the championship as I am, it has to be expected that your rivals try to put maximum pressure on you even off the track.

"I don't feel like I've hurt anyone; I have good friends among the drivers and I respect them all. I am also sure that they respect me as well, but clearly not everyone is going to publicly support me, and why should you praise your opponents?"

As to comments attributed to him earlier this year in which he is alleged to have rated himself better than his F1 hero, the late, great three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, Hamilton was unequivocal.

"I never said that," he underlined. "I definitely wouldn't say it about Ayrton because he's my favourite driver.

"I think he's the best driver there ever was and, to this day, I still don't believe anyone would beat him. If I could achieve just a small part of what he's achieved, it would be a dream for me."
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