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Hamilton insists that Honda has "something extra"

NEWS STORY
02/07/2021

As Honda insists that improved performance is down to hard work and a better understanding, Lewis Hamilton insists that the latest power unit has "something extra".

The world champion was speaking just moments after today's second session in which he and teammate Valtteri Bottas had finished 1-2, out-pacing title rival Max Verstappen by 0.217s.

Rather than admit that he and his team are bouncing back after suffering their fourth successive defeat, Hamilton continued to hint at a performance gain from the Japanese manufacturer.

"They've definitely got something extra in their bag, I already know that," he told Sky Sports.

"I think we've made some small progress today," he added, "but I think they still have the two-tenths or maybe it's a tenth and a half, something like that.

"We've definitely made some small steps forward," he admitted, "but not enough to close the two-tenths.

"Over a single lap, that felt OK, it felt pretty good, but I just expect them to turn up a little bit more tomorrow.

"They've got... they've almost basically got the qualifying mode that we used to have, and I asked the guys, I don't understand where they get it from, but it's impressive and we've got to work hard to try and see if we can match it tonight."

"The current performance improvement is a result of the hard work of Honda and the teams," said Honda's F1 Technical Director, Toyoharu Tanabe just an hour earlier at the official FIA press conference. "Under the current PU regulations, we need to submit any changes, so, only allowed to change for reliability, cost reasons and logistics. Then we need to submit very detail to the FIA first and then the FIA approve the changes and the FIA distribute documents to the other PU manufacturers.

"We need to have approval from other PU manufacturers to change any single part's specification," he insisted. "So, we are very careful to change the performance. And it is not possible to improve performance during the season. That is my answer to that suspicion."

"It's been a bit of a struggle," said Hamilton of his day, "in P1 it was a bit of a struggle because I was just trying a different variant of the car and the car was unhappy. So then I had to make some more changes back, similar to what I had last week, some other adjustments, and it felt much better so I'm generally happy with where the car is.

"I'm probably not going to change too much. Because most often, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, most of the time we try to eke out more and it gets worse. So it will be the tiniest of tweaks."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Oil Leak77, 03/07/2021 12:10

"Anyone who knows the true Lewis Hamilton story, wont be surprised at his sense of Entitlement."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 03/07/2021 1:04

"@ JCR...none of them, they are in disarray. They cannot even get their stories straight. There is too much going on and their [ Mercedes ] incessant whining is a good indicator on which direction they are taking. I'm quite surprised that Mercedes let Hamilton run off at the mouth like he's doing. What he's suggesting is that Honda/Red Bull are cheating and for a major corporation that's just not acceptable. A stiff legal protest would shake them up further and needs to be implemented. Earlier this year they Mercedes were saying to the world just how much they were enjoying the 'competition' !!! Judging by the 'petulance' and the suspect allegations levelled at RB/Honda I would suggest that this was just another 'porky pie'."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by jcr, 02/07/2021 23:14

"When They (MERC) have their much talked about debrief,
One would think they would at least get their stories straight
Toto says no updates, Hammy whines, Allison says yes updates, Hammy says I knew all along !!!
Who are We supposed to believe ??"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by alvarezh3, 02/07/2021 21:26

"Yes Lewis, I'm with you, Honda has had "something extra" that had been restricted in performing, and it's called..... Max Verstappen! He has the tools now and he's preventing you from enjoying your customary unchallenged and leisurely performed Sunday afternoon country rides to the top step of the podium.

It looks like the days of performing at maximum level for a few laps until freed from a DRS attack are over Lewis, now it's the whole race with no guarantee of a podium, much less a win (althought I should think your future holds for a few Champagne bottles to uncork).

Not of your liking, I dig it, times are changing Lewis, but like "Ice man" likes to say........ "It is, what it is!". :-)"

Rating: Positive (8)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Apexing, 02/07/2021 19:32

"Funny, I don't recall Hamilton whining at all when he was accessing "party mode" on his Merc...

@flyinglap I agree - Hamilton (and Wolff to a lesser extent) is accusing Honda of blatantly cheating. You would think someone on his team would put a stop to that..."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by flyinglap, 02/07/2021 19:21

"I am sick and tired of this supposed 'psycological warfare' deployed by the Mercedes team and especially by its champion, Sir Lewis, along with his principal, Toto Wolff, every time they fail to win. And even when they do win, which is most of the time since the very intoduction of the hybrid engine formula (which incidentally they themselves were instrumental in introducing and ready for it well in advance compared to all the other manufacturers who naively accepted the 'challenge'), they still keep annoying us all with their claims that they don't have the fastest car, and so on and so forth ad nauseam. Their tactic did work two years ago with Ferrari, and now they try the same trick with Honda and Red Bull. By the way, Max Verstappen was very vocal back then against Ferrari, but now it is the turn of Red Bull Honda to be the recipients of the same treatment. What goes around comes around. In any case, I find it quite enjoyable to watch the Mercedes team and its drivers perform under the type of stress that all of their rivals have been experiencing for years and years, and I am looking forward to the continuation of an exciting season. Finally, in the position of Honda, I would instruct an army of corporate lawyers to study a potential ricourse against Mercedes on the grounds of defamation, quite frankly. There is a limit to whining, and beyond that it becomes a very serious matter with potential multi-billion repercussions."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Mad Matt, 02/07/2021 17:53

"Well to be fair.. and I don't really want to be as he's coming across as a whiner, Honda have done a good job in getting more out of their hardware as they've grown confident in the reliability and from better understanding how to set it up... all fair and legal. So, well done Honda."

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Greg, 02/07/2021 17:21

"Why am i not winning. What can i do..."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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