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Hamilton versus the car - Do we finally have the answer?

Hamilton versus the car - Do we finally have the answer?

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Hamilton versus the car - Do we finally have the answer?

Hamilton versus the car - Do we finally have the answer?

How many times have you heard or read that Lewis Hamilton only wins because he is driving the best car?

In his time with Mercedes, Hamilton has amassed 75 victories, and there are those who will claim it is because he had no rival given the calibre of the car beneath him.

True, there were numerous occasions when Hamilton effectively only had to beat his team-mate, but then there are those times, such as in Bahrain on Sunday, when the seven-time champion proved he can win in inferior machinery.

GPFans Global sparks a debate...

The Gods were with us!

Without question, Hamilton laid to rest the theories his success has purely been down to the machinery provided to him by Mercedes as he extracted every modicum of performance from both himself and the car to thwart Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Yes, he did run wide at turn four without penalty on 29 occasions, and yes, he was allowed to reclaim the lead after Verstappen had passed him off the track courtesy of race director Michael Masi's intervention.

But Hamilton did nothing more than take advantage of the rules in place going into the race - as did every other driver for that matter - until it was deemed he had perhaps exceeded the generosity of Masi's pre-race notes.

Crucially, Hamilton was on tyres 11 laps older than the Dutchman and should have been a sitting duck. The numbers proved that at the time as data showed he would be caught with several laps remaining.

Even after Hamilton had been allowed to retake first place by Verstappen, there remained ample time and opportunity for his rival to mount another attack.

But as Verstappen's tyres began to lose their life crucial to mount another challenge, Hamilton was able to position his car in the right places when needed, similarly with harvesting energy to repel Verstappen.

If racing happened on paper, the 2021 Bahrain GP would have been over before it had started given the pace deficit between Red Bull and Mercedes. You could argue it was a race Hamilton had no right to win, yet win he did.

As Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stated afterwards: "The racing God was on our side."

Hamilton has done this before

This is not the first time Hamilton has displayed his ability to pull a performance out of the hat when he seemingly had little chance of achieving a result, with last season's Turkish Grand Prix a perfect example.

In qualifying, Hamilton was almost five seconds off the pace as he struggled to find grip on the treacherously slippery, newly laid Istanbul asphalt.

In the race, he then trailed leader Lance Stroll by over a pit stop after just eight laps, and the magnitude of his comeback remains difficult to comprehend several months later.

Here are the facts. Hamilton won that race by 31.633secs, and in doing so claimed his seventh F1 title.

Another prime example of Hamilton's brilliance came in 2009. Following a series of dramatic aerodynamic regulation changes, McLaren had been unable to deliver a car capable of defending his maiden championship title.

The season was comfortably the worst of Hamilton's F1 career as he scored just 49 points - 126 by today's calculations - yet he was able to drag the woeful McLaren MP-24 to not one, but two race victories.

Those wins, in Hungary and Singapore, were no flukes either as Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable margin on both occasions.

The truth is two-fold

There are many other examples that could be used to demonstrate why Hamilton is able to extract more from his car than many other drivers.

Whether or not the 36-year-old is the greatest of all time is a different discussion entirely, although he is, without question, a worthy candidate in those conversations.

Despite Hamilton's prowess, however, it must be acknowledged he would not be a seven-time world champion with a knighthood and almost a century of wins to his name was it not for Mercedes.

To succeed in F1, a driver must have a strong car. Put Hamilton in a Williams over the last few years, for example, and he would not have been able to win races but then nor would he have been expected to.

There is, though, a difference between what a good and a great driver can extract from a strong car. Hamilton is a truly great driver and the pace he is consistently able to unlock often defies belief.

If you look at his record against his Mercedes team-mates, two drivers in exactly the same car, Hamilton won 32 races to the 22 of Nico Rosberg. Against Valtteri Bottas, the tally is 43-9.

And on the evidence of Bahrain, when the collective backs of Hamilton and Mercedes were against the wall, the most successful driver of all time again proved his credentials and demonstrated the W12 is good, but he is great.

Wat vinden jullie?
SeanP

How is it possible, other than stupidity, could you come up with this after reading that article?

And you are so weak brained that you call him a great driver but then turn around and say greatness cannot be measured. Smh

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Regular
Wassamattau
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48
Jan 2020
First Poster
Wassamattau

Wow......thought this was a Lewis Hamilton website for a second. The truth is, throughout his tenure at Mercedes, he has had to beat only one weak driver. Now that he’s won a close race where he was actually challenged by another team, he’s being hailed as a new alternative to sliced bread. No doubt he’s a great driver but because F1 is so car relative as it relates to success, greatness cannot be measured until all drivers can drive the same car with the same performance levels.

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Amateur
SeanP
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3
20
7
Sep 2020
SeanP

How is it possible, other than stupidity, could you come up with this after reading that article?

And you are so weak brained that you call him a great driver but then turn around and say greatness cannot be measured. Smh

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Amateur
krypton
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1
6
17
Apr 2021
krypton

so if Hamilton is beaten, automatically he says they have the best car-yea right!!!, not a quicker driver then, just impossible??, and if someone has a better car in Lewis' eyes, he is 'concerned and suspicious'....says it all really...

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Amateur
AL
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7
44
6
Feb 2020
AL

works both ways--Max got beat in Bahrain yet some Max fans would rather pretend Merc had the faster car

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Amateur
AL
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6
Feb 2020
AL

Max had the fastest car in Bahrain 2021. There's your answer.

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Amateur
AL
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6
Feb 2020
AL

Would also advise a read of an article on here, dated Tuesday 18 September 2018 by Martin Macdonald - the article called 'Ferrari has the best car, but not the best driver'-explains how Hamilton won 2018 title in what many saw as the 2nd best car.

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