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Your F1 2011 questions answered - part II

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Murray Walker | 17:24 UK time, Monday, 4 July 2011

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has extended his dominance of the 2011 season at the European Grand Prix in Valencia with another win. I look at who might be able to close the gap on the runaway leader - and give my thoughts on Lewis Hamilton's future.

Watch my answers below.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Hey Hey murray yet another great Q&A.

    I would like to say lewis is a really great driver but leaving mclaren would be a massive mistake so he should shut up and get on with it.

    Thanks for all the great memory over the year.

  • Comment number 2.

    I would like to say lewis is a really great driver but leaving mclaren would be a massive mistake so he should shut up and get on with it.


    As I said on another blog, it isn't really Lewis bringing his future up - it's the media. He hasn't mentioned his future to the press. The only reason it feels like he is moaning about it and wants a move to Red Bull is because that's all the newspapers seem to talk about at the moment.

    Not saying he won't leave of course - that's ultimately my point; no one knows for certain and at the moment it is all nothing but speculation. My only gripe is that the constant reporting on it makes it seem like Lewis is engineering a way out, and this in turn is making people frustrated with him, which is evident by some of the comments on blogs around the BBC - perhaps yours included, when you say "he should shut up and get on with it".

    Lets all just wait until something definitive comes up from either the teams or the man himself!

  • Comment number 3.

    Great work again Murray...
    Agree completely - Kubica is the man, lets hope he makes it back to full fitness after his terrible injury. However I feel Di Resta to be a far better prospect than Nico Rosberg. He's displayed talent, maturity and pace after only a handful of races. Lets not forget Nico has been at this game for quite some time now and not been picked by a top 3 team... I fancy the Scuderia may have an eye on PDR as a possible replacement for Massa...
    And what about the forgotten man of top line motorsport, Gary Paffett? Will we ever see him in an F1 drive?

  • Comment number 4.

    Rosberg is a different class. He is the man. Rosberg beat both Hamilton and Kubica in F3 and is the ONLY other man in the Vettel/Alonso League. Kubica was beaten by Heidfeld 1 out of 2 seasons people love to wax poetical about him but he isn't as good as Rosberg, Vettel or Alonso pure and simple.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks for answering my question, Murray. And what a thoughtful answer it was. Rosberg was the driver it was thinking of when I wrote the question, but Murray's right that Kubica would be more deserving, if he can fully recover. Being Scottish, I'm a big fan of Paul di Resta, but I think his next move will be to Mercedes rather than straight into a top 3 team (although Mercedes could always improve and get themselves up there).

    Really enjoyed your recent documentary, Murray - keep up the great work.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Murray, we regularly hear a torrent of negative comment about Lewis from Brundle, DC, EJ and to a lesser extent recently Jake.

    Lewis has achieved more and done more for F1 in his short career than all of them combined.

    Are they really best placed to be so critical?

    Isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

    PS really miss your enthusiastic positive commentary. Much better than the negative back-stabbing against our own British driver we get from the current crop.

  • Comment number 7.

    why do people get so over defensive on Lewis Hamilton. fromm a neutral point of view it really irks me, there is this irrational uncompromising view that he is holier than though when a lot of the evidence and things he has done show him to be ruthless, slightly immature and a touch arrogant.

    Let me first say he could be, given the right car and mental direction be one of the greatest of all time, the closest to senna since he was taken. but until he gets his head straight he will never do it.

    Just watch the torrent of irrational abuse I will get for simply asking the question.

    He is at a very interesting point in his career, for all his natural speed (IMO over one lap faster than anyone on the track) it's his mental side that I feel let's him down, at his age he should start to see it and address it, not publicly but within himself, if he does that then I think we could have someone who can dominate.

    Murray you are legend it pains me to think there will never be another Murray

  • Comment number 8.

    ...and is the ONLY other man in the Vettel/Alonso League

    Obviously a tortured Hami hater.
    Also isnt it funny how in some peoples minds Vettel is now a racing god even though he's never had to duel with anyone this season. Yes typical German efficiency with minimal mistakes and for that I applaud him but lets just see how he does when he can no longer light a cigar and plant his car on pole every other Saturday - we've already had a sneak preview when under real pressure in Canada.

    Regarding comments on Rosberg - for me he just doesnt seem ruthless enough on track whether attacking or defending.

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Murray,
    Good to have you back.
    I totally agree on Robert Kubica - he is a natural talent has hasn't been able to shine due to the limitations of the cars he's driven so far...It would be interesting to have seen him given the opportunity to drive alongside Alonso at Ferrari, but there must be concern on whether he can recover fully both physically and mentally from his injuries. I wish him a speedy return as a fully fit Kubica in the right car would certainly be a match for any driver.

    And as for all the drivers driving in the same cars - go watch A1 it still on? I rest my case.

  • Comment number 10.

    I would have personally put Nick Heidfeld in an opinion of drivers who deserve to enter a top team - I think that after Rubens Barrichello, Nick is probably the unluckiest driver to have raced in Formula One in the last 10 years. He still holds the record for Most points without a win and most podiums without a win, but in his career has had some fantastic drives in mediocre cars. When he was with BMW Sauber he was often beaten by Kubica in 2008 but he has also outraced many other team-mates he's had.

    I think he's pretty demotivated at the moment and I would love a team like Red Bull to give him a drive (if Webber leaves). Unfortunately with the way the 2011 season is going, I think he might be hanging up his helmet after Kubica can make a successful return.

  • Comment number 11.

    Thanks Murray, really enjoyed listening to your thoughts =)

    Although i have only one difference in opinion. The driver i would like to see being given a seat in a top team is......Bruno Senna. Not an obvious choice perhaps, but after looking at his 2010 stats at F1 Fanatic website, it seems that given the circumstances of each race Bruno did well against his various team mates, often out qualifying and out racing them.

    Some will point to his gp2 career and say maybe it wasn't exceptional or he didn't achieve a championship win, but once again i would say to look at the circumstances Bruno raced in. he doesn't really have that much experience compared to some other drivers, and he did often have bad luck in gp2 that stopped him bagging a championship. yes i am an Ayrton fan, but really i am trying to look at bruno's performances as objectively as possible.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    @12 (matt-Stone)

    "Give it a rest Murray, you've passed your sell-by date, old chaps !!"

    "carping back to yesteryears when there were hardly any talents about"

    -Rudeness,arrogance and ignorance all in one short comment.

    You haven't got a clue have you mate.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Vettel is a good driver but certainly not as good as is being made out. It is clear Hamilton is trying to drive around the car's obvious weaknesses ... and trying too hard which results in mistakes. Put Vettel in the Mclaren and he would come nowhere, put Hamilton in the Red Bull and he would dispose of Vettel.

    Hamilton has not become a bad driver overnight, but I think F1 is continually shooting itself in the foot here. I want to see drivers racing and drivers putting their skills to the test. I think we should step away from all the traction control mechanisms that are present, launch control and all that malarkey. I want to see Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Button Hamilton, Schumacher and whoever else has the raw pace battling it out on race day and let the best man win.

    There is no doubt Vettel is only leading the championship because his car is so far ahead of everyone else's.

  • Comment number 16.

    'There's a clip there of Mansell in your footage, carping back to yesteryears when there were hardly any talents about, most were dustcart drivers with inflated egos.. just rubbish !!'

    Say Hamilton, Button, Mansell and for the hell of it Barichello were to drive the same car around the same track how do you think they'd compare?
    Well how about the TopGear lap times?
    1:44.3 – Rubens Barrichello
    1:44.6 – Nigel Mansell
    1:44.7 – Lewis Hamilton (wet & oily)
    1:44.7 – Jenson Button (hot)
    Obviously Nige was a bit rubbish when driving his 1000hp dustcart around!

  • Comment number 17.

    @ 4-F1-2-1-2-1

    Lol get your facts right pal.

    Rosberg won F3 in 2004 but Lewis won it in 2005 his rookie year ..

    2005..F3..Rosberg's win didn't come close to what Lewis achieved in F3,don't let your hate for Lewis blind you from the facts lol.

    Lewis alongside Alonso and Vettel are above the rest ,i know it eats you up but it's fact.

    ASM and Mercedes further improved on their performances of the previous season. The championship was dominated by Britain's Lewis Hamilton, who had been a protégé of the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team. He achieved a record-setting 15 race wins from 20 starts, thirteen pole positions and ten fastest laps. Hamilton graduated to GP2, winning that championship in his rookie year. He subsequently went on to become the youngest ever F1 world champion in 2008 with McLaren, winning the title in his second season.Also competing in 2005 was Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel, who finished the season as the highest-placed rookie.

  • Comment number 18.

    @ 4-F1-2-1-2-1 ..He also beat RedBull racing and Vettel that year..

    Truth hurts doesn't

  • Comment number 19.

    As for the BBC F1 team and the bias British media,they are obsessed with Lewis. They forget that Jenson has had two shuts in his last 4 races one knocking Alonso out and the other cutting into his team mate.

    The we have Paul Di Resta who has had a shut in his last 4 races equalling Lewis. The British media are trying everything they can to unsettle Lewis before this weekend and they are desperate for Jenson to finish in front of Lewis this season.

    They can keep it up all they want but it wont change the fact that Lewis will finish in front of Jenson again this season even with the DNF.

    Jenson says he is hoping for rain lol, how pathetic is that. So what he is really saying is unless it rains he can't keep up with Lewis Alonso or Vettel and Webber..

    Embarrassing to say the least..

  • Comment number 20.

    Come back Murray, all is forgiven - just enthrall us with tales from the cript !! Nah, only joking. No need to be rude to Mr Walker.

    Anyway, its pouring down here at Silverstone, and I'm certain I saw a duck waddling across the track just now....jeez, this is worse than cricket. Typical English weather, ah?

    I don't know why I bother, it will be Vettel again surely, and another 25points. Lets just concentrate on Button, he'll relish the wet, so he reckons. But might I remind him it was the rain and the safety car which lent a hand in securing the Canadian GP for him.

    And back at Valencia, our Jen was back to his ol' boring self. But don't hold back, Man, if you've got it in you, go for it, big time !!

  • Comment number 21.

    The most exciting bit of the practice was Murrey's comentary! He'd make the most boring race special! It's magical to see/hear old clips with him doing his stuff.

    It would be interesting to put Vettel, Alonzo and Hamilton in the same car and see what happened. IMO those are the only really special racers there are at the moment.

    Some keep saying that Vettel's only winning because of the car, but where's Webber almost always been? Maybe this weekend it's his turn to shine.

    The practice time gap was the closest it has been between the Red Bulls and cars behind. We might get some actual racing in the future, although unless it rains, I can't imagine too much happening at Silverstone, because it's hard to overtake and has only one section of DRS open. I'll still watch it though.

  • Comment number 22.

    19. At 18:16 7th Jul 2011, dane wrote:
    As for the BBC F1 team and the bias British media,they are obsessed with Lewis. They forget that Jenson has had two shuts in his last 4 races one knocking Alonso out and the other cutting into his team mate.

    The we have Paul Di Resta who has had a shut in his last 4 races equalling Lewis. The British media are trying everything they can to unsettle Lewis before this weekend and they are desperate for Jenson to finish in front of Lewis this season.
    Absolutely correct!!! Hit the nail on the head.

    Apart from the usual talking up the possibility of a penalty for Lewis which we now routinely see from the F1 pundits, they were just quiet on how good he was at Silverstone dispite a fantastic race with that slow car.

    The typical pattern we see now is the microscopes come out when Lewis has a bad race but when he has a good race like today there is little to no comment and ofcourse the opposite is true for Jenson.


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