Mercedes director Toto Wolff is not bothered by Lewis Hamilton’s failure to win a race so far in 2013, believing that it is too early in the season to write off his chances.
Hamilton has scored three podiums in 2013, but teammate Nico Rosberg has already won a race – the Monaco Grand Prix – causing many to question the 2008 world champion’s pace. However, Wolff is sure that Hamilton will bounce back, although he concedes that the Briton may have been surprised by Rosberg’s results.
“A lot had been written about it not being clear what Nico’s pace was compared to Michael. Now, he has proved that he is really fast, and it’s surprised Lewis, but I don’t think it’s a problem,” Wolff told Totalrace.
“We saw just how much in Canada, where he [Hamilton] would have been on pole if not for the braking error. I think we will see great races from Lewis. I have no doubt. I don’t think there’s any reason to say that he’s having a problem or difficulties.”
Wolff believes that, for Hamilton, it is just a case of settling into the Mercedes setup.
“It’s too early in the season. He’s just starting with the team while Nico has been here for years.”
Hamilton will be keen on breaking his duck at the next race, the British Grand Prix, which he won in front of his home fans in 2008.
Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”
The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.
“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”
Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.