British Grand Prix 2014: Differing styles give Lewis Hamilton good excuse to keep secrets

 

Silverstone

It was a case of good and bad news for Lewis Hamilton here yesterday. On the one hand he was quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg, who is currently 29 points ahead of him in their world championship fight. On the other, his Mercedes cut out and rolled to a halt soon after he had achieved that.

But though team boss Toto Wolff suggested the problem could be minimised because Hamilton would be able to view Rosberg’s data overnight, the 2008 British GP winner suggested otherwise since their different driving styles render such comparisons of marginal benefit.

“The long run data doesn’t really help in the sense that we drive differently,” Hamilton said. “It doesn’t help you in the sense of understanding how the tyres are lasting, and whether you need to put the car into more understeer or oversteer, whether you need to move the brake balance, which corners you want to lift and coast. All those different things you need to practice. It makes it really hard. But I’ll be okay.”

Rosberg’s car has largely been free of problems and he has finished all eight races, winning three and finishing second in the others, but when trouble has struck Mercedes it has largely been with Hamilton’s. “I don’t know why things happen to my car so much,” he said. “Of course we’ll fix it, but I really needed a long run because now I don’t know what the car is going to feel like for the race.”

Wolff suggested Hamilton’s programme in the final practice this morning will be changed to enable him to do some long runs for his race preparation, but inevitably that will take time away from honing his qualifying plans.

Traditionally, team-mates have tried to keep some of their secrets to themselves, and though Mercedes have tried to maintain an open policy where each man can view the other’s data, both Rosberg and Hamilton still try to keep something to themselves to deploy in the heat of battle.

In any true sport, that’s how it should be, and many fans are finding that the endless information relayed to each driver regarding points on the track where he might make up ground on his team-mate is beginning to detract from their contest rather than enhancing it. When Jim Clark and Graham Hill battled for British Grand Prix supremacy at Lotus, or Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet at Williams, they had to figure it all out for themselves and act accordingly.

It was a bittersweet day for Jenson Button, too. His McLaren was seventh but as he finished ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen he noted that the relatively high wind exacerbated a lack of downforce. “We’re struggling with understeer, trying to get more front-end from the car,” he said. “It’s tough out there because it’s so windy: this year’s cars have less downforce than before, which makes the wings very important. When they’re affected massively by the wind, it makes it difficult to get any productive back-to-back results.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn