Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea, 2011

Hamilton: “Tomorrow’s the day that counts”

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea, 2011
No smiles from Hamilton after taking pole position

Lewis Hamilton kept his emotions in check after securing his first pole position of 2011 in Korea.

Hamilton has endured several torrid weekends this year but bounced back to become the first driver to take pole position this year in something other than a Red Bull.

Hamilton didn’t respond after being told he was on pole position and walked calmly from his car after returning to the pits.

Asked about his undemonstrative show in the press conference he said: “No, I’m happy. I’m very happy.

“Happy to be here and very proud of what the team have been able to achieve over the course of the last few races and for Jenson to have won the last race. And for us to be on the front two rows again and the only ones who can beat Red Bull I’m very, very happy about it.

He added: “It’s just tomorrow’s the day that really counts.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Hamilton: “Tomorrow’s the day that counts””

  1. very true. If he wins tomorrow, then we’ll see the celebrations everyone’s asking for

    1. ‘Do you think’ I have my doubts ,I think Lewis sees another difficult year ahead and one race win will not change that. I think he feels his true speed his nullified by tyres that don’t allow him to drive at his maximum pace. If he slows to offset the wear problems his driving style gets him into serious problems. Jenson’s mindset is the opposite he has been gifted a great chance to win a few GP’s with tyres that suit his slightly slower maximum pace and his stronger more mature mindset.This is a great shame for true F1 fans , GP’s are not autotests , surely we want to see the real fastest guys wheel to wheel, I hope I am wrong ,but I feel it may be all over for Lewis.

      1. Agree with you except the last sentence that it is all over for Lewis. I am sure Lewis will adopt as Pirelli are still new and teams and drivers haven’t mastered the new rubber completely. We have seen drivers like Webber, Massa, Sutil…etc who found the pirellis tricky in the first part of the season have improved and are getting very close to their respective team mates and sometime beating them.

        With Lewis and Button the case is opposite. Lewis was strong in the first part of the season but now Button seems to have understood the rubber better and is usually very close to Lewis in qualifying and for the last few rounds better than Lewis during race.

        So all drivers are learning the rubber and I am sure talented driver like Lewis will adopt as well. This year Mclaren didn’t enjoy great Winter testing so maybe next year Mclaren drivers will enjoy better testing days and have more time and data understanding the new Pirelli rubber.

        Also remember Hamilton at the beginning of his carrer was very tough on his tyres especially front left and had a few tyre failures like in Turkey 2007 and next year Lewis was on a 3 stopper in Turkey to not have similar tyre troubles but he adopted to Bridgestone very well later and won many races and a Championship.

        BTW i would like more linear and less degrading tyres hopefully next year so that races are only 2 stopper and rarely a 3 stop race. The quickest drivers like Lewis will shine brighter with those tyres, currently tyres are having too much role in racing but post tyre wars they are suppose to be standard/neutral and favor ‘smooth but not the top quickest’ drivers like Button more.

        All in all Lewis had great qualifying today, hope he gets the much needed win tomorrow. Next year surely will be better for him tyre wise and he would adopt and make the required changes to get the best out of the new Pirellis.

      2. All over for a driver who gets pole by over two-tenths?

        Red Bull have been totally dominant in qualifying since Japan last year, putting aside Hulkenberg’s brilliant but aberrant pole in the rain at Interlagos. And Vettel every time bar three. That’s a crushing advantage. It’s taken McLaren a long time to be get back on level terms in qualifying, and it’s Hamilton who has achieved that psychological breakthrough. Not Button. It’s a huge boost for the team, so I really can’t see how it’s the end for him.

        1. I should have said it could be all over if next season goes the same way as 2011. I just fear he has this playing on his mind so much it has created this awfull dark mood. I am one of his greatest admirers I want to see Lewis, Alonso and Vettel able to really race one another with the best man (fastest) winning.

          1. I see what you mean if next year is the same. But in a way it can’t be. Vettel is the confirmed new star of Formula 1, so Hamilton has to adjust to that fact. Button has rooted down at McLaren and a real opponent, much closer to the competition Alonso gave him in 2007. At the same time the car seems to have finally caught up with Red Bull. I don’t see that changing radically next year. If Hamilton ‘resets’ himself mentally, it doesn’t look at all bad, even with the tyre issues, which are maybe being overplayed due to a couple of bad setups. He’ll simply have two strong rivals at least in 2012, Button and Vettel. Alonso who should be and indeed looks worried, since Ferrari have fallen away and there’s no reason to suppose they’ll out-develop their two main rivals over the winter.

  2. Well, I see Hamilton is being level-headed about it. Unlike some of his fans that I’ve seen (elsewhere) on the internet, who claim that this was the “defining moment of his career”.

    1. I agree on him being level headed here. Silently feeling confident and wanting to go out there to race.

    2. McLaren have been quick. And generally, Lewis has been quicker in qualifying too. I’m glad to see Lewis back on pole, but tomorrow is what counts, there are no points awarded for pole…

    3. I agree more with obsevation from interviewer in postquali pressconference: you’re taking it all in.
      Hamilton kept his mouth in check, not his emotions!
      Hè clearly felt something, I cannot look in his head, but I think this was à milestone for him and that touched him more than hè wanted to show.

    4. hahhahah defining moment? People reach way more than they should. Goodness.

  3. Lewis’ mental state has taken a battering this season. I can tell he really does care about his reputation and what people think about him and he’s had to put up with a lot of deserved criticism and a lot of undeserved criticism too.

    He’s probably sick and tired of media attention and just wants to concentrate on doing the job and preparing for next year. I’m sure the off-season can’t come soon enough for him.

    1. He showed he can go back to his usual form. He also knows that the race hasn’t yet started and Massa is still there to fight against, so he is waiting before exulting :P

  4. Well said. We will see.

  5. Oh, come off of it….

    1. It appears the post I responded to has been deleted?

      1. Sorry guys, I posted this in the wrong place :P

  6. He takes pole position and then looks like a broken man, i hope if he wins tomorrow he manages a smile on the podium. If he is in the same mindstate he’s in right now i can imagine him just not even bothering with the champagne he seems that down, just absolutely zero excitement and it’s horrible to see. It’s as though he needs to be psyched up or something..

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with this. I was really looking forward to hearing him back to his old self with a celebration of pole, but to hear and see him so down is awful. I doubt it’s just level-headedness – it seems much more like the response of a depressed man to me and I really do wish him all the best. When he’s firing on all cylinders, both on- and off-track, he’s one of the most exciting guys in the paddock.

    2. I disagree, you don’t make pole comfortably from Vettel and an able teammate without being psyched up in some way. Why should he be exuberant? He’s received a barrage of criticism this season, and completely contrary to what his worst critics allege, he has taken that on-board. It’s simply gone past a certain point for Hamilton where a good performance, maybe even a win tomorrow, isn’t enough anymore. I think it’s a good sign. He has serious work to do. And the team – clearly there’s a bit too much irony in the fact that one race after Vettel wins the championship, McLaren confirm they’re level, and probably a touch ahead.

    3. Something is visable wrong…

  7. Tomorrow is all that matters for certain!

    1. you mean “for sure” !

  8. When Lewis said he was happy he actually sounded suicidal. I don’t think I’ve seen him so glum! :P:P Jk. He was probably overwhelmed but congratulations to him and Mclaren.

    1. @Steph
      Again I agree, looks like he meant what he said on Thursday, “even a win here won’t put thing right”

      Really hope he has a stella race I hate to see any driver seemingly that down, especially after great laps in each of the qualifying seconds.

      Alonso wasn’t too happy either (although at least Massa was), must be the time of the year.

      1. Jez* qualifying sessions *
        Got up to early making less sense than normal. lol….. and my ‘s’ key seems to have failed.

      2. @BBT it’s ok. It still read fine to me :) I agree. I like the best drivers to be at their best. Besides, miserable Lewis has gone on for far too long now. You’re right about Fernando but I think it’s just a little frustration and he’ll be back with a bounce in his step tomorrow.

        1. Not too bad a place for Alonso to be, I’m sure, as normal, we’ll see him get every millisecond out of the car he has.
          Really hoping Massa can get a clean race in.

  9. congratulation lewis hope you will win tomorrow race, insyallah

  10. missed the post qualifying reaction on bbc…did whitmarsh even bother to congratulate lewis or was he too busy saying “greeat job from jenson like the programmed robot he is” im not saying there’s no equal treatment at mclaren because there is but whitmarsh definitely favours button there’s no doubt about it.

    Just hope hamilton learns from all this and uses his experience better next season thats all he needs to do to start winning regularly again. He’s the best driver britain have produced since probably stewart in terms of natural talent. I want him to win tomorrow probably just so we dont here mansell blagging about his 92 championship win..AGAIN!

    go on lewis son!

    1. did whitmarsh even bother to congratulate lewis or was he too busy saying “greeat job from jenson like the programmed robot he is”

      Lol. Not going to get into all those conspiracy theories about favouritism at Mclaren but to me that image is hilarious

      1. On another site I commented almost 18 months ago that Lewis would not win DWC under Witmarsh.
        I resonate with Tom’s comment fully.
        The amount of McL press about Lewis at the moment incl Witmarsh’s sudden support of Lewis makes me feel intuitively that There is a concerted effort with some at McL to destroy his career. Maybe they don’t like rappers or prefer a………I leave that to your imagination.
        I would like to believe that Martin was given a talking to by someone or ones because the turnaround although difficult is noticeable. Did Lewis’ father upset him that he decided he’d take it out on Lewis? Just speculation, but the truth has to lie somewhere in all this.

        Anyway JB may be brilliant , at least thats what Martin says, but a lot of people feel that Lewis is Special as do I.

        Even if he never won another DWC he would still be Special to me and most probably to many of you out there, whilst JB will always be good and maybe very good in some eyes but NEVER Special.

  11. Vettel’s celebrations is really annoying other teams. I just read Martin Whitmarsh interview and I can’t believe he said that:

    Whitmarsh added that one of the best elements of Hamilton taking pole was that he did not have to make a move for the radio button to turn off Vettel’s normal post-chequered flag celebrations.

    “Pole position is lovely to get but we are here to try and win the race, and I think that is more important to us,” he said.

    “I have to confess we do listen to some of the other drivers and, on the monitor, I have a driver button. Afterwards, when they have gone on pole, I have to turn it off immediately so I don’t have to hear Sebastian whooping it up in the car. Today I wasn’t feverishly looking for that button to turn it off, so that felt good!”

  12. Wow. now that is how you win pole. Not just waltzing away by 2 seconds in a rocketship. Great driver.

  13. I think Hamilton is taking the right approach to the situation. He’s gone out and proven that the desire and pace hasn’t been lost in the recent emotional batterings he’s taken, and he doesn’t need to do anything more. He has the raw speed to be fastest, but I doubt even he knows for himself whether he’ll be okay tomorrow if for example he has to pass Felipe Massa in the race.

    There’s no point in getting excited or cocky over a pole position, especially in Lewis’ case. I really hope he or Jenson wins the race, but even then, I don’t think the moment will require wild celebrations and such public displays of jubilation. He knows that his confidence and trust in himself needs some repairing – and a win tomorrow won’t do that for him instantly.

    1. Great post, fully agree with your point of view.

  14. In the rare occasions I find myself in front of a football match (usually mildly inebriated to make the experience tolerable) I tend to wonder whether any footballers have considered not celebrating their goals?

    Smash one in the back of the net, turn on your heels and jog back to your half. No smiles, no acknowledgement, job done. ‘I put one past you, now I’m going to do it again’. I think there’s a workmanlike cool in that kind of attitude, so I can respect what Hamilton’s done here.

    Frankly, it’s his pole position and he can celebrate it (or not) how he chooses. And I think his deliberate act of non-celebration will make Vettel’s fist-pumping “that’s what I’m talking about” sound even more forced the next time we hear it.

    If there was a point to it (we mustn’t read too much into this sort of thing) maybe it was that?

    1. That’s also a good theory. I think we all tend to read into things a little too much, being fanatics!

    2. That’s a nice theory. I would imagine I would like to do it just like that!

    3. Yes, everyone needs to be more like Kimi Räikkönen.

    4. Emotion at 200mph is a weakness and he’s finally realised this. Ferrari told Massa to get Hamilton hot under the collar to generate a mistake at Singapore. Anyone driving angry loses the sense of perspective so this could mark the turning point in his career and make him a better driver ultimately.

    5. Aha Keith I hadn’t considered that!

      Also, Button is quite a celebrator, so maybe he’s trying to re-establish brand Hamilton. I love Jenson, but sometimes his “i’m going shopping with my girly friend and buying shoes” tweets are a little too human. I like worshipping my idols, and Lewis’ machine like persona is something we can get behind, it shows drive and determination.

      Just my thoughts, looking forward to the wake up call tomorrow ladies and gents!

    6. He doesn’t want to celebrate too early I think.
      He knows without a strong race (aka victory) he will still be looked down upon.
      I hope he get’s it done tomorrow. He deserves some good luck!

  15. Yep that’s a great shout Keith, and a good analogy with football.

    I can’t help but think this is about the amount of criticism he has been receiving though. Even from segments of the media who are usually pretty good, “due to the unique way they are funded”, journalists have looked at his pace in Japan falling back through the pack and questioned if his speed has been lost somewhere along with his cool this year. Quite frankly I find this ridiculous.

    The non-celebration could be putting RBR’s over the top antics in perspective, but it could be a sign that Lewis is closing up shop emotionally due to the quantity and ferocity of the criticism he has received this year. It’s been a tough year to be a Lewis Hamilton fan, but today showed that given a car that is at least on par with his main rivals, he is still arguably the quickest driver in Formula 1 today.

  16. COTD for Lewis Hamilton I think.

  17. Good on you Lewis for the pole today ……probably sad because he knows that he will chew right through his rubbers tomorrow and tat JB will once again walk away with the glory. I’ m putting money on Massa taking out Ham tomorrow …….god knows its long been overdue !!! I’m not a Massa fan – but somethings just need to be taken care of !!!

  18. Yinka Babs (@)
    15th October 2011, 22:40

    Why will he celebrate a pole position despite all the criticism he had faced this year?
    His action only shows a very strong determination to win the race.
    I wish him all the best in the race.

  19. The understated, controlled radio made a refreshing change to the normal over the top “that’s what i’m talkin’ about” Vettel celebration. Lewis and mclaren sound as if they realise its tomorrow that really counts, not today and its not all about about creating the right image for a certain brand of energy drink.

    Hopefully Hamilton will get a good a good start and he’ll have no one around him to try and overtake or be overtaken by and he might avoid some controversy for a change.

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