Hamilton: When I had traction control I could put the pedal down as quickly as Vettel

Lewis Hamilton in Korea

Lewis Hamilton in Korea

Lewis Hamilton is resigned to the fact that championship leader Sebastian Vettel is enjoying a huge advantage at the wheel of the Red Bull RB9 because he is able to get on the power far earlier than anyone else, reminding the Mercedes driver of a time when his car had the aid of legal traction control in his rookie year.

Speaking ahead of the Korean Grand Prix, Hamilton said, “If you look at the onboards, [Vettel] is on the power at least 20 metres before everyone else, which is a huge advantage.”

“There’s nothing we can really do. We’re always asking for more rear downforce and we always want to get on the power sooner. But the last time I was able to put the pedal down that quickly was in 2007 [at McLaren] when we had traction control. It’s a lot different,” ventured Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in Singapore

Although Mercedes have been the closest to Red Bull for most of the season, in Singapore they were clearly lacking the muscle to push hard in the race.

Hamilton believes that Red Bull simply have a far stronger car than anyone else, and that perhaps the World Champions even have something extra in store should the need arise.

“I think that is the true pace of their car. Perhaps they have a lot more in the bag then we get to see. So they are just cruising generally. On the restart everyone is pushing flat out so there’s no reason why they could be able to pull away that much quicker,” mused the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion.

Lewis Hamilton trails Sebastian Vettel in the championship race

Lewis Hamilton trails Sebastian Vettel in the championship race by 96 points

Hamilton made a move from McLaren to Mercedes at the start of the season, and admits that he is still adapting to his ‘new’ team and the Silver Arrows with which he has won once so far this season, and is hoping he continue the positive momentum at Yeongam.

He said, “The last couple of races haven’t been that good for me, but before that I have been growing an understanding of the car, growing an understanding of how to extract the most from it and we have grown as a team in terms of how we communicate. I hope this weekend is even better in that sense.”

“We are constantly making changes, even after the last race weekend there have been things we can improve on in terms of communication. So hopefully we’ll see a better weekend this weekend,” concluded Hamilton who lies third in the championship, albeit 96 points adrift of top spot. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tamburello_1994

    “Rivals will never figure out Red Bull secrets” – Vettel

  • yellow helmet

    seems like lewis has been reading grandprix247 lol

  • Bec

    FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer has found no irregularities with the Red Bull, and said Vettel’s car complies with the regulations.

    Bad losers always try to apportion blame somewhere else.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Nice to see you still bombing around here Bec.

  • dawn

    i wonder how much red bull as paid the fia and bernie off they seem to get away with alot of stuff and vettel will never be a good champion

  • Tamburello_1994

    “Inside the car you try to maximise the car, it’s true that when you find a Red Bull you see they are faster than you in the corners but it’s also happened sometimes with other cars and we don’t say anything like Mercedes was pole position and winning easily in Hungary and you have the same feeling. But as I said, all the things are good and it’s up to us to do a better job.”

    – Fernando Alonso

  • Taskmaster

    Hamilton is an excellent driver, and an even better internet/Twitter troll. His comments were obviously scripted to put him in this discussion, and nothing more.

  • Kili Liam

    … speaking about irregularities, when was the Pirelli/Mercedes (2013 car) tyre test?

    RB is just being smarter … smarter than the others! As always!


  • Rupert Suren

    Just explain to me why Vettel’s engine note is unique and amazingly similar to that of cars which had traction control in the past.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Funny Mark Webber does not have this magic thing on his car…

  • Red Bull Cheats

    So zvettel says there is something awesome about the Red Bull. So it is the car, not the driver! And Webber does not get it! That is totally BS. So Vettel is king because of the team giving him an awesome car, and not letting Webber have it!

  • Post

    Red Bulls have been, are & will always be thieves….Just like their drink & the FIA gov is a greedy double faced corrupted body. Regardless, it has nothing to do with Vettel…& he is a super driver.

  • James F1

    Alonso said: “They are using something different compared to the other teams but something that is completely OK.
    “They pass all the checks every race so it’s up to us to do a better job.” – Quoted from the BBC by Alonso

    Red bull are smart, intelligent and forward thinking… I like Vettel because he isn’t on Twitter, he isn’t in the headlines for the wrong reasons and doesn’t blame anyone else but himself if he fails. Unlike Alonso and Hamilton….

  • Tinto

    Lewis, the twitter master dixit!

    @Rupert Suren: Mate, wrong attitude keeps you confined in the same circle. Pick Seb your driver, and voila!

  • Kili Liam

    @Tinto: ahahahahahahaah

    @Rupert Suren: “what we hear, may not seem what we think it is”! I’m being completely honest with you. We don’t really even know what that is! I think only Giancarlo knows! ahhahahah Since McLaren started to supply F1 teams with “the main electronic box”, I think such a think like traction control is less probable to be developed/installed/used in a modern F1 car. My guess!

    Webber? Well, isn’t he leaving F1? Wasn’t he almost always “pro Alonso” instead of being “pro RB”? In this one, I think RB is doing just fine.

    But anyway, these R just thoughts …

  • fools

    Minardi has been in F1 for years. He knows what he heard and saw at Singapore. I really truly believe now this traction control is the main topic of Vettel’s success. Its not question when TC was first created it was banned right away because of the ease it brings to driving. Well heck, TC is an aid for driving to tame a beast (machine).

    There is proof. Google Mark Webber TC picture. You see 2 pictures of 2 skid marks. Only TC does this. That was reported on Webber’s car months ago before Vettel became victim. I remember the picture on twitter well before it was deleted by Alonso and Webber perhaps maybe chatting about the TC over dinner. Or maybe not. However to see to drivers together for dinner to leave there teams to just meet during the season shows how vital the meeting could of been and what was exchanged verbally between the two drivers. Which is why it was deleted or rumored to be.

    Now this month hot off the press months later is TC on Vettel’s car. I dont doubt they have it now.

    Doesn’t validate anything, I’m not the FIA. Just saying…..

    Guess will never know. Right NEWEY?

  • fools


    Perhaps it is in his contract he cannot be on Twitter or any social networking. Remember RB own Vettel. Not the other way around. You wouldnt want the kid to go ape shit and Tweet TC telemetry do you? lol

  • Kili Liam

    Fair enough, but, according to some sources, “… the dotted wheel spin marks may also have been caused by a phenomenon of resonance in the rear suspension.”

    Also read the “UPDATE” part:

    And I think, by now, all other teams would be calling “foul”!

  • KC

    “Just explain to me why Vettel’s engine note is unique and amazingly similar to that of cars which had traction control in the past”

    It’s not unique, nor is it amazingly similar to that of cars which had traction control in the past. So there is nothing to explain to you, other than that you don’t know what you’re talking about and need to stop repeating poorly understood whispers.

  • KC

    “Funny Mark Webber does not have this magic thing on his car”

    Since the “magic thing” is Seb Vettel the only way Webber could have it on his car is if they build a two-seater version of the RB9 and let Webber ride in the back.

  • alonso_is_slow_IS_AN_IDIOT

    Webber? Well, isn’t he leaving F1? Wasn’t he almost always “pro Alonso” instead of being “pro RB”? In this one, I think RB is doing just fine.

    you might wanna think of the time when was webber treated fairly in RB as well, rare isnt it?

  • KC

    Webber has always been treated fairly at RB, except for the times when he was treated more than fairly. Most teams would have sacked him for his behavior long ago.

  • Kili Liam

    Since the link I last post didn’t pass the “censorship”, here it goes:

    «… “Bumps or traction control?” a report by Italy’s Autosprint said.
    The photo shows Mark Webber’s single seater exiting a corner in Canada and leaving rubber marks on the track due to wheel spin.
    But, apparently moments into the wheel spin, the rubber marks become dotted, as if to depict the kicking-in of a form of traction control, which is not allowed in F1.
    The photo was sent in by a reader, who admitted that the dotted wheel spin marks may also have been caused by a phenomenon of resonance in the rear suspension.

    Such tire marks cannot be the undisputed proof that Red Bull is using some sort of a traction control device.
    In 1984-1985, the Michelin-shod F1 cars used to leave similar tire marks on the tarmac under powerful accelerations. Michelin’s Pierre Dupasquier explained at the time that the flexible sidewalls of the radial Michelin tire generated major tire deformation under extreme loads, producing these marks, as there were no traction control systems at the time.»

    From a site across the web …

  • Kili Liam

    @alonso_is_slow_IS_AN_IDIOT: if Webber ever felt unfairly treated, I think he had multiple chances to change team. He never did, after 2007. But I also feel that the only one securing his seat was his austrian boss.

  • Funny

    Funny, everytime there’s a comment bashing/condemning red bull, KC will be there to back redbull/vettel up… Did red bull pays you to do this?? lol

  • dj

    Vettel racing fair is a true champion. Vettel is protected. I’m a fan of f1. I like a lot of the drivers in F1. But how can a driver sit in the car knowing that his car has a advantage that the rest of the field don’t have nor this team mate. You have won world titles, now to win them fairly. It’s not because he wins all the time that people boo him. Its because his car is so different to everybody elses and in particular his team mate. Why don’t they first inspect both red bull cars just before they go to the grid. properly, not paid off. Be interesting to see if riccardo gets the same car next year.

  • farizY


    since when having a far superior package; able to win titles, is not fair? I thought F1 is all about innovation, getting ahead of everybody else while remain within the regulations? FIA found nothing wrong with RB. Sour grapes.

  • farizY


    We have GP2 and other supporting races for that. Identical cars, only difference, is the setup.

  • Frijns for WDC

    It is the RBR car.

    It is just in a league of its own.
    Vettel is a good and very consistent driver, the RBR is a miracle on wheels. (with only little help from the pirelli steel/kevlar change)

    It appeared that RBR has found a clever way of engine-mapping, which allows them to drive with an “off-throttle-blown-diffusser” Thats why Vettel can put the pedal to the metal that early, and thats why he doesnt need to ‘man-handle’ the car through certain corners where other do have to.

    another thing is that RBR has developed 2 very hansom updates last winter.
    1 is inside the rims. it has some sort of groove (which is very laborious and expensive to make) to have way better control of tire temps and degs. (the whole inside of the rim is redesigned)

    Also RBR focused a lot on aerowork in slow corners (below 130Kp/h) especially to counter the ‘jig’ that the car experiences during cornering. And they appear to have a very clever engine mapping that mimics the off throttle blown diffuser.

    (if this mapping is found ‘legal’ we must assume that they found a loophole in the regulation.. i despise that way of working, but ok, legal is legal)

    The singapore track has 23 corners, of which most are below 130kp/h , if there was 1 circuit where their advantage would show, it would be there.

    Knowing all this, makes Vettels achievement less controversial, and it only shows that any top-driver would have performed the same driving that RBR.

    im not making this up, btw, im just parroting someone who seems to know what he is talking about.