F1: what’s it like to go wheel to wheel with Lewis Hamilton?

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarTuesday, April 1st, 2008

 
 

One last little bit of Sepang business to attend to before we turn our attention to Bahrain. Have you ever wondered what it must be like to get into a wheel-to-wheel battle with a driver of Lewis Hamilton’s calibre?

Well, Red Bull’s Mark Webber has described exactly that in his latest column for the BBC Sport website.

Naturally the phlegmatic Aussie was not overawed by the experience, but stressed the need to keep his wits about him and his car on the racing line – especially with a predatory Fernando Alonso in the mix as well.

Here’s what he had to say:

You have to be very accurate with your braking points when you have guys that close, to stop them having a sniff.

No-one’s going to pass you in the middle sector of the lap, so you basically have to concentrate on getting a really good exit out of Turn 14, the penultimate corner on to the first of the long straights. I knew that if I did that, no-one was going to get past me.

Lewis was definitely quicker than me, but it wasn’t like warp speed, he wasn’t all over me. And in these cars it’s so hard to follow. He has to wait until I get on the power and once I am, I’m gone again. Even if he had 6-7 km/h advantage on the straight, that’s not enough to get close.

We had a bit of a fuel pick-up problem so we had to over-fill the car at the second and third stops, so that affected our pace a little bit towards the end.

It would have been nice to come out of the pits ahead of Nick Heidfeld’s BMW and compromise his run to the flag.

Instead, it was Fernando behind me. He’s pretty tough, but he didn’t have the same top speed advantage that Lewis had and I knew as long as I stayed on my line he wasn’t going anywhere. So we’re happy with two points. Read full article here…

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