Hamilton: When I had traction control I could put the pedal down as quickly as Vettel
3 October, 2013
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.
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.
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)
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