Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Pre-Korea analysis - Hamilton anticipating stronger outing 04 Oct 2013

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 4 October 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Preparations, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Thursday, 3 October 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 4 October 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 22 September 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 rear detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 21 September 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Preparations, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Thursday, 3 October 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 21 September 2013

Lewis Hamilton was in one of his deep, pensive moods here yesterday and wasn’t all that inclined to recall his past exploits at the Korea International Circuit, dismissing two second place finishes and a pole position as “nothing good enough to remember, I would say.”

But the Mercedes driver did admit to remembering following the safety car in heavy rain during the inaugural event in 2010 and to yelling ‘Come on, let’s go racing!’.

He also professed to liking the track: “I really love it, they did a good job,” he said. “It’s nice to drive. You don’t get as many people coming to watch as we would like, but then it’s quite far from the main city. Just arriving today, seeing how beautiful the weather is, the scenery around it, it’s really quite a peaceful place.”

Everyone outside Red Bull seems to have come here expecting Sebastian Vettel’s domination in the RB9 to continue, despite Christian Horner being at pains to play down the whitewash that was Singapore, which followed on from those low-downforce demonstrations in Belgium and Italy. And Hamilton’s comments were interesting.

“The last couple of races haven’t been so good for me. But before that I’ve just grown with my understanding of the car, how to really extract the most from it. We have been working better each time as we’re growing as a team in terms of how we communicate and everything. So I hope this weekend is even better in that sense. We’re constantly making changes, even after the last race weekend, there were some things we can improve on, particularly on communication. So we’re hopefully going to see a better weekend this weekend.

“I’m actually really surprised this year that the car is good everywhere. It’s been a real blessing and I anticipate it should be strong again.

“I don’t personally think that Sebastian’s performance in Singapore was a one-off. I think that’s the true pace of their car. Perhaps they have a lot more in the bag than we get to see, so it’s just cruising, generally. I think in the race on the restart everyone’s pushing flat out so there should be no reason why they should be able to pull away that much quicker.

“If you look at their onboards, he’s on the power, full throttle at least twenty metres before everyone else which is a huge advantage. There’s nothing we can really do, we’re always asking for rear downforce, always want to be able to get on the power sooner. But the last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was what, 2007, 2008? 2007 when we had traction control, so it’s a lot different.”

Hamilton also spoke of the perfect lap, that all racers seek:

“I don’t think there is one,” he confessed. “I think you can always improve. Even if you do pull off a great lap, there’s always some areas where you feel you could potentially gain, but then perhaps you lose in other areas. The laps we get in the simulations are generally perfect laps. But of course that’s something we’re all trying to do every single time we go out and the closer you get, the more exciting it gets.

“As to whether or not we can keep up with the Red Bulls, we’ll see – but my target really is to get these guys, the guys in the red,” Hamilton said, nodding across to Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, sat alongside him in the FIA press conference.

Seeing the two cheerfully together in the press conference it was hard to think back a few years to the time when the Brazilian and Hamilton seemed to have a magnetic attraction to one another that saw them collide several times. Massa grinned and said he hoped to stay in F1 when his time with Ferrari draws to its conclusion later this year, and that he has high hopes of that.

“I think I’m quite optimistic that I’m going to find a good direction, a good solution,” Massa said, without going further into speculation linking him with either Lotus or Force India. “As I said, I will not change my mind. I want to have a car that can give me some good possibilities to fight, not a car in which I would not have a chance to fight.”

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 merchandise, click here.