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Hamilton breathes new life into title race
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Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jul 2013   |  6:35 pm GMT  |  428 comments

Lewis Hamilton breathed life into the Formula 1 title race on Sunday with a commanding drive to victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Where Sebastian Vettel had seemed in control of the championship race and on course for his fourth consecutive title, now things look a little less certain.

At the very least Mercedes’ form in the second half of the season will complicate the picture, but a string of wins could bring Hamilton into contention.

The Briton, who had not stood on the top step of the podium since the United States Grand Prix last November, led away from pole position and never really looked back. That was his fourth success at the Hungaroring in seven visits and first for new team Mercedes, who he joined this year after six seasons with McLaren.

The 2008 world champion has scored 74 points in the last five races, compared to championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s total of 83 in the same period. So since the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton has shown championship contending form.

Mercedes have had seven poles in the 10 races this season, with three victories in the last five races, and are certainly a team who are in the ascendancy. The key will be whether they can maintain that form.

As their qualifying form suggests, they have been strong over one lap but they struggle to get the tyres into the operating window on long runs and have therefore tailed off in the races. But Hamilton said: “If we can make the tyres last here [in Hungary], we can do it anywhere.

“I feel like I have the car to win ten races,” he added. “The tyres will play a massive part, but I truly believe in this car. The tracks coming up should suit me. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season.”

Vettel still remains favourite to collect his fourth successive drivers’ title. The Red Bull driver has a 38-point lead over nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, with Hamilton a further 10 points behind.

Hamilton’s return to form will complicate the championship now and if Mercedes’ good run continues, with Nico Rosberg, who has won twice this season, also delivering, Vettel’s nearest contenders Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will find it difficult to recover the points deficit.

Hamilton was cautious when asked about talk of a championship challenge. “When you have a win like this, you get excited and think anything is possible and this shows it is,” he said. “But it is still too early to say whether or not we can challenge.”

“I know the team are working hard so that we can close the gap and I hope today is the first step in doing so, but we’ve got a lot of tough races coming up. I just hope that’s not the last time my tyres work for me.”

Hamilton dedicated his victory to ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, who he said he was thinking about during the race. The pair split up earlier this month. “I feel a little bit odd without that someone here,” he said. “The thought on my mind through the whole race was of someone who is special to me and I wanted to dedicate it to her. It’s been the toughest couple of months of my life.

“To come here, after a real downer for the last few weeks, I just wasn’t expecting it [the win]. I’m so proud of the team and grateful for all the hard work, and for [Mercedes boss] Ross [Brawn] for giving me the opportunity to be part of the team.

“Over the weekend my mind has just been in a different place. There are lots of personal reasons why it is different this time. I am still working on getting those puzzles in place and there is a big part of the puzzle out of place at the moment. I didn’t feel like it was a relief when I came across the line. It just felt good to know that I could still do it.”

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428 comments

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1

Let's hope that Hamilton does challenge Vettel, it is getting a little tedious with Seb winning all of the time. Will be interesting to see what Mercedes do if Rosberg is in a position to take points from Hamilton in the next couple of races.

2

Great spot, I'd like to see this too. Nico is not in the position to help Lewis to take his upperhand with WDC.

Quite strange is that Nico's car has "the only problems" like MS had in 2012.

Is it a Merc game - to put a good attention only for the one car? Anyone else sees it like this?

3

No I don't believe there's any unfairness at Mercedes, just bad luck for Nico. Lewis has had more than his fair share of bad luck in the past and while it's disconcerting for any driver I do hope he has turned a corner now, and that Nico's luck will also improve.

5

Nicos fault partly. He drove too long too close behind other cars at Hungary.

6

Even if Hamilton doesn't win, this can be an exciting season.

All we need is for Hamilton and/or Kimi to be within 15 points or less of Vettel before Brazil, and Brazil will be another classic nail biter.

Especially if it rains.

And this is Webber's last race - instead of squeezing Vettel into the wall, I think he may be tempted to go out with a double Red Bull bang!

Just to see the look on Helmet's face.

But, HM is a clever man. Mark will face an engine change!

7

even with an engine change I'm sure MW can still do damge if he wants, after all there is no way to say for certain when a component will fail during the race.

Talking of which I saw an intersting programe about aviation and how humidty was the cause of a B2 stalth bomber crashing on take off..apparently humidity caused a malfunction on the electronics (didn't specify what bit of the plane it was controlling ...well this go t me thinking, quite a lot of F1 cars are now electronicaly controlled...so whenever say there's a problem witH KERS or the DRS not opening etc...I wonder how much of this is down to a fault on the car itself and how much is due to external factors?

Is there any type of legal action that a team can take if say a driver crashes into their championship leading team mate by not yielding on the approach to a corner? I'm just thinking if MW were to try anything, as he's about to leave the team would they in turn try to drag him through the courts oor something? Not hat I think he would. But I'm just thinnking a multi-million pound organisation with loads of lawyers on their pay-roll ......

8

Is there any type of legal action that a team can take ...

I stand to be corrected on this, but I seem to recall that a condition of teams entering the F1 championship is an agreement to accept, as final, the rulings of the FIA and their appointed representatives. This goes way back to when McLaren went to court, challenging the disqualification of Senna from the Japanese GP after he and Prost collided - Senna re-joined the race, having taken a shortcut through an escape road.

9

No, it won't be interesting. We already know what they'll do. It's a foregone conclusion, because they've already done it this year.

The only question is -- would they have the stomach for robbing Nico of a position if he was two or more positions ahead of Lewis, and the cars in between weren't ahead in the championship?

Either way, this is a mighty big ask. It's not impossible, but Merc would have to become a lot more consistent, though.

Seb has finished off the podium only three times in ten races, and has never finished lower than fourth. Between their two drivers, Merc have finished off the podium six times in five races just since the secret test, and finished below fourth four times.

So far, we haven't had both Mercs ahead of Seb a single time other than his retirement at Silverstone, and if they seriously want the championship, they need to be managing that regularly.

If Merc finish 1-2 in every race with Hamilton leading, and Seb finishes third, he'll be overhauled for the points lead in Japan. If Hamilton wins every race and Seb finishes second, he won't be overtaken until Abu Dhabi, and that's just two races before season's end.

On current (post-Monaco) performance, if you pretend the higher-finishing Merc in every race is the same car, they're still only outscoring Seb by 3.6 points per race. At that rate, it would take 14 races to overtake for the championship, and there are only nine left.

One thing I do think we can agree on, though. Merc's claim not to have benefited from the secret test was a bald-faced lie, and even the most die-hard fan has to admit that, at this point.

The results don't lie: Prior to Monaco, Merc scored 72 points in five races between two cars. That's 7.2 points per race. Post-Monaco, they've scored 136 points in five races, or 13.6 points per race -- and that's including the German race where their tire knowledge advantage was briefly negated (and where, not coincidentally, their performance collapsed.) Discount that race, and their real advantage shows itself as a 15.5 point per race average, per car.

The secret test -- and it was secret; you don't race your drivers in unmarked helmets if you're being honest about things -- more than doubled their points haul per car, per race. They learned what they needed to about the new tires at the test, and when they were returned to the old tires they had the benefit of everybody else's data plus last year's knowledge to ensure they lost, essentially, nothing in terms of tire knowledge by not being allowed to test.

The punishment was less than a slap on the wrist, and they profited hugely from cheating.

For that alone, I hope they don't win. If Red Bull were to lose, better that Ferrari or Lotus won. At least it has been longer since either of those teams knowingly cheated. But "tedious" or not, better that Red Bull win, because they are the only one among the front runners that *hasn't* so far been found to have cheated a single time.

[mod]

10

Right on the money Knox, RIGHT on the money.

11

[mod], eh? So my post now doesn't say what I did, when I used no untoward language of any kind?

We're editing opinions now, are we, James?

This will be my last post here, and the last time I read this blog.

12

@knoxploration

Well if all your views are as slanted and unfounded as the ones expressed here then I'm not particularly interested in what you have to say. We all have favourite drivers but at least let's be fair.

13

@knoxploration

I was about to address some of the points raised in your, rather long, post above. Now, seeing as you are leaving us, there doesn't seem much point.
Have a nice life 🙂

14

Hardly ! You had paragraph after paragraph to express your opinion

The last line was too strong - inflammatory and borderline libellous

So it was moderated

I'm sorry if you are so sensitive to this that you overlook the endless opportunities you have had here over a number

15

Maybe you googled your statistics, because your claim that the test Mercedes did in Spain is the reason for their recent result shows that you have little knowledge of F1 or you are plainly being biased. These are new tyres entirely to those Mercedes tested in Spain. And if you think that a three day tyer test would do the miracles Mercedes needed for their tyre management, then why can't you believe that they could achieve the same fit after the first five races of the season.

If Mercedes gained anything during their tyre test, that advantage was wiped out with the introduction of the new tyres, and they were even disadvantage by not allowing them to test the new tyres at Silverstone.

If resolving their tyre problems was as easy as you suggested, you and I won't be discussing about Mercedes and their tyre problem by now.

Red Bull hasn't cheated because no team cared to protest against them for the illegal parts they used to win races and was asked to remove it later. I bet you would call that pushing the envelope because it's Red Bull/Newey!

16

Crossed the line big time there into libel. Please be more moderate in your language.

We don't have time to edit posts, we will delete the entire post next time

17

+1. I was about to say something similar. You saved me the trouble. Cheers.

18

1) you cant cheat if you have (albeit "sort of") permission from the FIA

2) know-ione outside of the team can know if the test was of benefit.... they may have had other development parts ready to address the tyre issue anyway

3) which leads nicely onto this

http://www.f1talks.pl/2013/07/30/mercedes-uzyw-felg-o-podwojnych-scianach-aby-obnizyc-temperature-opon/

19

Yes of course, your right James, my apologies.

As lovers of the sport, we are all really on the same team.

Cheers!

20

Great solution! Lets hope Red Bull don't copy it 😀

21

Double Rim? That's the best Merc can do with 1K of free testing?!

Afforded that luxury, Newey would put them to shame, put them to shame.

[mod] if testing of this nature was irrelevant to performance gains why was/is it banned?

Because teams would be doing it ever single week.

22

General Note to Posters from JA Moderation staff:-

Please don't attack other posters

We are clamping down on people being rude to each other, it lowers the tone of debate

Make your point, disagree if you want, but don't be rude about it.
Thanks

23

You can't draw true conclusions about what they learned from the tyre test or not, because there's not enough information about the tyre spec or what else they did.

Yes, they had more leeway for spec-changes than the teams had at the YDT, but you also don't know if they would have solved the problem or not, because it's all conjecture coloured by team allegiance.

Mercedes have not cheated. They just fell foul of a grey area in the rulebook that meant they had to be punished somehow or other.

24

@Endres

I have no absolute knowledge of whether Mercedes gained an advantage from the Pirelli test and neither do you, or Knox for that matter. What you both have is an opinion, which you are entitled too. What irks me about this, is people who then present their opinion as if it were indisputable fact. It's not, it's just your biased opinion formed mainly by the particular liking or, in this case, disliking of a team and driver.

25

Actually, YES one can draw conclusions, and Knox has shown you how, it's called empirical data coupled with what we can all see bold face, circumstantial evidence.

Brawn is one of the best ever engineering directors, but also one of the best ever cheats.

1000K of secret testing with current cars, oh no, nothing gained there.

26

Rosberg has clause in his contract about equality in the team. But if Hamilton has the better chance to challenge Vettel, then Nico will certainly help him out. The harmony in the team is really fantastic. And yes Vettel winning string of championships is not a lot fun. We are almost back to Ferrari domination in early 2000. I just don't see anybody else but Vettel winning it again this season. Maybe next season will be different with the change of rules.

28

Based on the first half of the season, there is no mystery about whether Merc will order Nico to move over for Lewis. They've done that a few times this year already.

29

Unless I have missed something here Mercedes are not looking a huge amount better than last year in terms of points scored, only in terms of potential through qualy speed that admittedly may be about to be unlocked. Only one driver in both 2012 and 2013 and he is only 7 points up on this point last year. Not very much especially when you consider that Maclaren have dropped right off leaving more points scoring places open. Like it or not diff is Hamilton, yes they have been getting a lot stronger but is that because of a tyre test or because Hamilton is getting used to the car and making it fit him a little better as time goes on. If the tyre test was so usefull surely it would have also pushed nico up to another level to. Monaco would have been 2 merc's on podium last year without Shumi's pen and Rosberg won the british GP through blow outs and retirements.

30

Well, to be fair Rosberg's had 3 non-finishes this year. For 2013, he's scored 12.0 pts/race finish ... in 2012, through the first 10 races, he scored 7.6 pts/race finish.

So it's clear to see the car has improved, as well as other factors (McLaren backsliding, Ferrari's slowed development).

31

Yes the team do but Rosberg is only 7 points ahead. Didn't seem fair to compare points scored by Schumacher to Hamilton as they are different drivers. Rosberg is a constant so comparing his points seems logical to look at how much better the whole package is at scoring points.

32

They have double the points of last year...

33

Apart form the incident where Nico was asked to hold station, he was also asked not to hold up Lewis, can't remember the race, but Nico had missed out on Q3 and was on a different strategy running longer stints on the prime tyres which put lewis behind him due to his earlier stop. They were not racing each other for position as Nico would have to stop also. There was no point Nico holding up Lewis and that had nothing to do with a favoured driver just good race management.

34

Please tell me which races the team asked Nico to move over for Lewis? Is this your imagination or reality? Please confirm.

35

Rosberg should've moved over in Germany, b/c they were in different races ... Hamilton had started on option, while Rosberg had started on primes. To get the best result for the team, he needed to let Lewis by. But he didn't for several laps. Don't for a minute think that Brawn didn't see that, and see what was going on. It ended up helping Raikkonen, as he was able to get on the back of Lewis, who was losing front-end grip trying to get by Rosberg. Silly, silly stuff from Nico, and I've no doubt he heard about it after.

36

They ordered Rosberg to move over on a couple of different occasions in the German GP, plus in Malaysia Rosberg was ordered not to pass Hamilton.

37

To be fair, they asked Nico to hold position, not move over. Also it was only once, very early in the season ,when the team were (I suspect) surprised to find themselves in a reasonably strong points scoring position and did not want their drivers throwing it away scrapping for places.

Having said that, there is little doubt in my mind, the most effective way to run a team and maximise points is to have a clear number 1 and 2 driver.

38

from what i remember, rosberg tried to pass hamilton and after a few failed attempts he as ros brawn to ask hamilton to move over because he was much faster and ras brawn responded 'negative nico' rosberg then said 'remember this' later in the race.

39

Ross Brawn stopped Nico from overtaking Lewis because it was not a question of speed but of fuel saving, and preventing any incidents between team mates when the important thing was to bring the cars home.

40

Isn't it too early to invoke and use the famous 'team orders' at Mercedes AMG?

That's said I'd have never thought Lewis Hamilton would be winning and getting the most of his car this year... This Silver Team has been transformed and found new goals to succeed! Even Schumi is impressed!

I wonder what the other Silver Team, McLaren are thinking right now!

41

I don't think there's much that McLaren could have done to keep him. We already know he approached Red Bull at Montreal in 2011. There are various reasons for this. He was probably frustrated with the progress of the team- the cars, the operational flubs, etc.. I also take him very seriously when he says that he simply wanted to step out and be his own man. All in all, in his mind, it was time for a change. He saw the open seat at Mercedes, he saw the work that was being done and the people that were being brought in, and then Niki Lauda gave him the final sell.

Once McLaren gets a couple of years under their belt with Honda, they'll be fine. They clearly need to hire some new people, but this team has been around the block and through ups and downs before. They'll be back up again. They've got a young hotshoe in Magnussen who seems promising, and they have enough money anyways to hire another talent when Button is ready to hang it up.

42

They've never moved Nico over. They just stopped him overtaking in-case there was a racing incident.

44

Hamilton is a bit bipolar isn't he? On Friday he was all doom and gloom, his car was complete rubbish, etc. Now "I feel like I have the car to win ten races"! The car still is what it was on Friday, the only thing different is Hamilton's mindset.

As for the title race, it never looked close to being over. There is no dominant car this year (just as there was none last year) so titles will be won with patience and consistency over the entire season. Of the four top drivers (Seb, Kimi, Nando and Lewis) LH is probably the one weakest in those qualities. On his day he's as good as the other three, but consistency has never been his strong point.

45

Vettel and Red Bull are very consistent, but I think it is more to do with the way the team is structured and run. On top of that they got on top of the tyre issues very quickly such that vettel was able to steal a march on the other teams and drivers. That said if Mercedes have genuinely got over their tyre issues I believe they will be consistent because it too is a well ordered team. That being the case then I believe Hamilton and Brawn will give Vettel a run for the money which will mean a very exciting second half to the championship.

46

@steve s

No dominant car this season...

Good one !

47

I don't agree with Steve S most times, I wonder if we're watching the same sport most times, but on this score he's right. A dominant car is one that's a clear cut above. The RB7 was dominant, the Brawn was dominant, at least in the first half.

The RB9 is the best car of 2013 so far, but it ain't dominant.

48

I guess the argument hinges on the definition of dominant. I have googled dominant and this is what it says:

'Most important, powerful, or influential'.

On that basis I find it difficult to agree with you, when you say the RB9 has not been the dominant car so far this season. Incidentally, to be clear, I am not saying that Vettels lead is all down to the car, it's not. He is obviously an exceptional driver but if he were driving the Lotus, for instance, do you really think he would be leading the championship by 38 points?

49

I believe it was The Who who said, you can cry if you want. It does not alter the fact that there has been no dominant car this season.

A dominant car is NOT the same thing as a driver you don't like leading the title race.

50

@SteveS

Judging by your silence, it would appear that, as the Johnny Nash song says - There are More Questions Than Answers 😉

51

If, as you say, the Red Bull has not been the most dominant car/team so far this season, then answer me this question; Which car do you think Vettel would rather have been driving, for the first half of the season, instead of the Red Bull? Following your logic there must be a better car. You can only choose one team, not change teams for each race.

Btw My opinion as to which car is the most dominant so far this season has certainly not been based on whether I like Vettel - I am not so sure you can make the same claim 😉

52

Lewis is a wounded warrior. Lucky for us this translates into raw racecraft with a lot of gut. This man is intense. You just gotta love his dedicated driving. It is a pleasure to see him race. Always fighting with his visor wide open.

On a different note. I believe Vettel did have a less authoritative dad than Lewis. This could explain Vettel's more balanced attitude to Life & racing.

To conclude. Lewis shouldn't worry. Everything will come in time. This song sums up all of the above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZg0Pb7KKM&list=PLC38ED2CF1FD11BBE&index=42

Bring on SPA!

53

lewis' driving has been very consistent particularly from 2012 and also this year. don't forget that mechanical gremlins blighted his title charge in 2012. this year he's only won one race and yet he's mixing it in the WDC. based on all these facts i wonder what your definition of 'weak' is.

54

No dominant car... The Red Bull is the only car which has looked fast in all conditions unlike Ferrari and Lotus who have struggled to get heat into their tyres at cold tracks and Mercedes who until now have struggled to keep their tyres cool.

55

Your not liking Vettel and being unhappy he is leading does not translate into his car being "dominant". Vettel has 4 wins in the first 10 races, the same number as Hamilton in 2008 in his "dominant" MP4-23.

56

Red Bull have been the fastest car in probably 3 races this year (Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada). Of course there is no "dominant" car, otherwise it would be like 2011.

57

Yes, I agree. His mood swings are a liability. His obsession with Nicole can't be healthy either. What rich, beautiful woman would want a man so weak and needy? Lewis needs to grow a pair, move on, and focus 110% on his career, as he's not getting any younger.

58

Have u seen NIcole?

And lets not forget who ran down who - a near 30 year old stunning looking woman v a 22 year old millionaire.....low

Every time they break up I hear "Maggie may " playing in the air.

59

I think he could do without her. Maybe it's his first love, but if he steps outside of himself for a moment, he will see that he can live without her.

Personally I think Nicole is just another American, crazy, and she influences Lewis too much.

I hope that he finds a nice British girl instead.

60

You compare your car in relative to other cars in competition not on Friday. Sometimes cars change a lot after Friday. Don't forget that they tested the new tyres for the first time on Friday with some updates. So the car he drove on Friday (set-up wise) must have changed a lot.

Yes Seb showed his quality in Hungary, damaging his front wing while trying to overtake! Live in F1 is a lot easier when you race from the from. If you want to talk about consistency ask those drivers who race day in day out from behind drivers like Nando and Kimi. At least we have all seen how Seb fair in that quality!

61

If Vettel finished 3rd, on a so called "bad" day, then that does show his quality, and how arguing with how good he is, is just a waste of time.

62

I agree. Vettel still finds a way to maximise his points on a bad day, and this is why he's the champion. Don't forget that his front wing was damaged also, but he still attacked until the finish line.

63

I love the way people people keep acting as if it's some fluke of circumstance and not his own ability which allows Vettel to start at the front so consistently. Apparently they roll a 22 sided dice to allocate start positions on the grid, and Vettel's number just keeps coming up first or second through pure dumb luck.

It's not like HAMILTON taking pole, which as we all know is a manifestation of his incredible talent.

64

Really? So who was it who got no points at all after damaging his front wing in turn 2 a few races back?

And does anyone else see the irony in saying Seb doesn't have the quality to race with those not at the front?

65

I'm guessing you're talking about Alonso in Malaysia. And that was a total mistake from Alonso, which cost him dear.

Vettel's too-late dive down the inside of Button was never going to come off, and it hurt his front wing, caused him to have to back off to cool the car, and made a bad situation worse. Surely it cost him some race pace (though not as much as Massa lost with his FW damage).

66

Well said!

I will never forget a comment I heard years ago. I used to sail a great deal and travel to race meetings most weekends. One day a chap who had a top boat and was gifted fresh sails quite often was having an off day. After the race he said he couldn't believe how hard it was to race in the midfield and that is was so much easier when out in front. Just like an F1 car clear air out front makes life a lot easier.

67

Yes if you can get your car out in front like Red Bull have with monotonous regularity then the car and tyres are easier to look after. Nothing worse than being in dirty hot air!

68

oops! I meant "Life in F1 is a lot easier when you race from the front"

69

Actually, last season and this, Lewis has been consistent with his driving; however, results-wise, this year at least, I see where you are coming from.

70

I feel Vettel lost this race rather than LH won it. Merc may have been good this time out, but who knows next race? We've seen before they are very quick one race then nowhere the next. We'll see if the new tyres really suit them or if this was just a good track for them.

71
Colombia Concalvez

You really don't understand it don't you ?. The fact is that Mercedes has/had rear tire problems and the circuit in Hungary was 51 C and Mercedes had no problems. The RBR was superior and still Hamilton put the W04 on pole and winning the race, the point is Vettel lacks overtaking skills but what do you expect from someone who can only win races from front row

72

Hungary is similar to Monaco where merc were also strong. If the rb was superior Vettel would been on pole. Too easy.

73

Vettel's ok at overtaking! But Hamilton has got to the be the best at it. And you need that on a circuit like the Hungaroring.

It was very amusing when Vettel complained about Kimi on the radio, I was smiling all of the way until the finish, HAHAHAHA.

74

Lewis won it because he is the better driver in terms of overtaking.

75

Disagree.

In terms of pure instinctive racing, Lewis is second to none, in the world; this is his key comparative advantage.

These four you have mentioned: Kimi, Hamilton, Vettel, and Alonso, I completely agree, are the current top four drivers, but the pecking order likely changes moment to moment, definitely race to race.

In fact, they are so close right now, nic-picking, this and that is... not really useful.

76
Scuderia McLaren

Yeah, it's tiresome.

That one, and after every win, "this is the greatest won of my career" are starting to diminish what those statements could mean from an emotionally balanced driver.

What I mean is, for example, if Schumi, Hakkinen or Alonso or Kimi say, "it's the best win of my career", you sit up and take notice. If they say "it's been the hardest months of my entire life", you sit up an take notice.

When Hamilton says either of these things nowadays, you kinda just roll your eyes because you have heard it so many times. He has desensitised us a bit.

Now don't get my wrong. That man is FAST. But now his bipolar veiws are shifting from one end of the spectrum to the other even over a single weekend! "The cars crap", "the cars great", "championship is out of the question", "Championship is possible", "can't feel the car"', "best car I have driven next to 08", "this car can't win", "this car could win 10 races", "Go away!", "come back!", "leave me alone!", "look at me!", "I respect Vettel", "I have no respect for Vettel", "I am so blessed and happy", "I am so unhappy because I there I one thing I don't have still!!".

Seriously LH. This is one weekend now. I know some ate not exact quotes, but this is the jist of what we see and hear over a GP weekend I think..

77

Actually, he said it was the most important win of his career, and for a driver who people have derided for years for having been "given" his world championship, being able to go to a different team (where everyone said he would fail), and win a race 9 races into the season-- that's important.

78

"one of the most" are some of you actally watching races or reading the comments from the drivers? I doubt it.

@ScuderiaMcLaren Look at the stats it might help!

79

Given that his (much less highly regarded) teammate already has two wins this season, I don't see quite why it's such an important event. Perhaps I just have a higher opinion of him and greater expectations for him than do many of his fans, but I *expected* Hamilton to win a race (or even two or three) this season.

80

It was his first for Merc, in a somewhat tricky season...

81

Lol great post. I agree. Lewis is up and down like a... well he's up and down a lot.

I take EVERYTHING he says with a pinch of salt.

Looking at the Merc in the first half of the season they've had the 2nd best car, to Red Bull (RBR just sneak 1st IMO). It now appears though that Merc have the best car if they've solved their tyre issues, and I think the title race will be really close. On tracks like Spa and Monza Mercedes power will be a major bonus, whilst Red Bull are always slow (comparitively).

I think a potential major issue for RBR is that their lack of top end speed might hurt them as they're likely to qualify behind the Mercedes, that makes overtaking very very tricky. So potentially we could get to some of the flyaways and have a Silver shaped road block, with the challenger behind unable to make a pass due to this top speed issue.

82

"I know some ate (sic) not exact quotes"

So why put them in inverted commas ?

Amateur psychologists putting words in someone else's mouth is equally tiresome.

Seriously, SM.

83
Scuderia McLaren

I wouldn't say equally tiresome. One's an anonymous Internet commenter (me), and the other is an international sporting and racing superstar (LH) that seems like he needs medication to either lift his downer mood or lower his manic positivity. I think that from LH would be much more tiresome to his team, fans, media and family than my comment is to anyone (except you perhaps).

I think he is mega super epic fast. I think he is probably in the top 2-3 driver on the grid today. I also think he's getting more contradictory and moody and perhaps volatile. And without that, I think he could have been the greatest. But you just can't rely on LH to be stable, race on race, year in year. Until he grows up, he'll only ever be good with everyone acknowledging his untapped potential.

Vettel and Alonso are their acknowledged potential manifest in appropriate results. Like them or hate them, this is off mental strength and stability and consistency in application.

Oh yeah, Nigel, not an amateur psychologist. Just an observer. It seems some agree with me and got the essence of the post. It takes intelligence and a touch of good humour to read between the lines sometimes.

84

I would far rather hear these words from Lewis together with his gratitude to the team every time he wins than the loathsome arrogance of Vettel.

Lewis thanks the team for their hard work and for giving him a car capable of winning. Vettel shouts out that he has just shown the world how to win a race and gives the finger. That is why so many F1 fans dislike him.

As for "best race of my career" it is quite a while since he said it! For a still young driver it is quite likely for him to say such things. We must remember he had many early career races and, after some hard times, it is no surprise to hear such a thing - especially when claiming a first win with a new team.

85

ShaBooPi - Depends on your definition of "non championship cars". The majority of the time (not all the time), the WDC winning car is the WCC car.

If you're referring to cars fighting for the championship, then I believe you'd struggle to find real examples of championship winning performances in cars that didn't fight for the championship.

86

@ ShaBooPi

.."but we've heard him complain a lot at McLaren"...I admit he's no angel and has made his fair share of mistakes...but looking at McLaren at the moment I can begin to understand why he complained so much and why he left.

87

Hey Steve... Vettel may not criticise his team much but what the hell can he criticise them for???? Having the fastest car? Having the most downforce? Having the biggest budget? Having the best designer? Having the weakest team boss?? You can't compare Vettel to the others especially the ones who have put in championship performances in non-championship cars. I do agree though Hamilton is a whiner. He has only put in a championship performing year once since his title... but we've heard him complain a lot at McLaren.

88

Sebastian Vettel is very good at the politics of the sport, unlike perhaps Lewis. But judging by the look of Christian Horner on the post race interviews, they KNOW Mercedes is coming at them, and Adrian Newey has work to do over these holidays.

You know they will work and not play 😉

89

You certainly have an interesting account of historical fact.

Vettel maybe extremely irritating, but he is always humble and quick to shift accolodes back to "the team back at Milton Keys".

After every championship, and on the radio after each win, "thank you boys, thank you, the car was a dream to drive" or something to that effect.

Get real Jonathan.

Scuds makes a very valid observation, HAM does seem to be getting more capricious. Perhaps he always was, the talent is no longer enough, we want the substance now, and it's hard to see.

90

Obviously you don't hear Vettel properly. One of the first things Vettel typically does on the radio is thank the team and say how good the car felt to drive. Loathsome arrogance? Give me a break.

91

What on Earth are yo talking about? There is no driver on the grid who goes out of his way to praise his team more, and who brags about himself less, than Vettel.

"Vettel shouts out that he has just shown the world how to win a race"

When has he done that?

92
Scuderia McLaren

"Lewis thanks the team for their hard work and for giving him a car capable of winning."

Yes sure, today, at this moment. Tomorrow It's a different story, and the day after, and the day after. That's the point.

"Vettel shouts out that he has just shown the world how to win a race and gives the finger. That is why so many F1 fans dislike him."

I disagree about Vettel, but for argument sake lets say he does that for reasons you say, at least he is consistent and therefore bankable by the team. Say what you want about Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen, Schumacher, at least they are consistent and have made their minds up about how they want to compete, how they want to be seen.

Lewis needs to develop a REAL personality. Otherwise it's a bit of this and a bit of that and as per my original post, a GP weekend is filled with contradictory and strange comments from one end of the spectrum to the other. You can't deny that this happens.

93

Bipolar? Its called mind games.

I think the "consistency" fad is a bit old these days too.

94

From some other drivers it would be calculated mind games, but not from heart-on-his-sleeve-Hamiliton. His emotions are genuine, they're just all over the place. He overreacts to both the ups and the downs. Can you imagine Vettel or Alonso winning a race and announcing that they now felt like they could win every race for the rest of the season?

95

+1 Touché LOL!

96

@Tim

Nice one. Please, tell him.

Other drivers are allowed to go way off the scale, but Lewis is not even allowed to open his mouth.

I recall Vettel standing on the podium and liberally sprinkling the f word all over our hallowed TV's just last season, he even continued after when politely reminded that he was live. Then to make matters sink in, he did it again the next race. But, I'm sure it wasn't Vettel, it must have been Lewis with his emotional issues pretending to be Vettel.

Even when Ferrari publicly warned Alonso just last week over the things he was saying, we now realise they were really talking to Lewis.

LOL!

97

Yeah I know what you mean, imagine Alonso saying something stupid and likening himself to a samurai, or Vettel swearing during the live podium interview - it just wouldn't happen with those drivers. It's only Hamilton that says daft things when emotions are running high 😉

98

Hamilton isn't bi-polar, he's just a whining Pom. When things arnt good he cries and whines and complains like a bloody baby, but as soon as its good he acts like he is the king (or Queen with his Diamond Earrings)

99

Lewis just wears his heart on his sleeve. I think its great. He's not boring like most of the other drivers. I eat my words about a four stopper! What a good race win in Hungary. Spa will be exciting now.

100

Consistency is one of Lewis strenghts,[mod]
BTW, Brawn & Wolff said the same about Hungary GP before Sunday. Probably they are all bipolar?!
Out of all top drivers Hamilton made the least mistakes since 2 years. Alonso &Vettel both made more kast season and this season as well!

102

I think you made a spelling mistake - it should have said WINNING Pom . Unlike the Australian drivers on the grid, or the Australian cricketers, or the Australian rugby union team, or the Australian athletes at last years Olympics - no offence btw 😉

103

Finally, the blind squirrel gets some nuts............

104

Anything can happen this season. In 2012, it looked certain to be Alonso's, only for Vettel to swoop in and snatch.

105

Oops! I meant 'swoop in and snatch "it"'

106
Get Well Soon Murray

I'm sure there's a comment in there somewhere

107

Yeah, its re-emphasising emphasis. 🙂

108

Actually it's just one win, not new era in F1. Britons should calm down a bit.

109

The most tedious thing about Hamilton is not the driver himself but the hysterical overreaction with which his fans greet his every single pole position or race win. He's never just a fast driver in a fast car getting the job done, as other drivers are when they manage the exact same thing. When HE does it it's always treated as the most momentous event in the history of the sport, if not the history of the human race.

110

Something to do with popularity I feel!

111

I used to watch F1 in the glory days (80s) but I quit after the 1992 season when technology was ruining it. Started again around 2002 but thought that it was becoming boring. Hated the automatic gearboxes and driver aids.

But a casual flick of the TV in 2008 and the Belgian GP was on, and it was exciting because of

Hamilton!!! Overtaking was back! McLaren and Ferrari were evenly matched.

Lewis just brings out the goodness in the sport!

112

And James Allen was the commentator, hehe 😛

113

Yes. At least we'll have to wait for the next race to see if Mercedes really have fixed their tire problems.

114
Andrew Woodruff

Fully agree.

All the chat about "if LH wins every race and SV comes third" and similar mathematical arguments, are completely irrelevant. There will DNFs for all the challengers over the remaining races, either from mechanical failures or on track incidents, which will completely change the picture.

Also agree with the Hamilton "bipolar" and "needy" comments. Every new pole lap is his best or most profound ever, and every win is his most important. Similarly, every session where he isn't at the top of the timesheet is the end of the world. Seriously, grow up. The complete and very public infatuation with Sherz... Nicole, is also bizarre. Can you imagine Raikkonen or Alonso publicly dedicating a race to their ex?! He's a fast driver, but I think the man needs help.

115

As you should know most of it is team speak [mod]? Anyway yes Hamilton is more open than most drivers, but he is also more popular, and higher profile. Something to do with the exciting way he drives that these awful tyres have reigned in somewhat.

116

No way does he need help! His managers got him a good gig at Mercedes. Thats the only help he needed.

We love him like he is... now let's prove em all wrong and WIN at Spa!!!!

117

Well if he can drive like that when he,s feeling a bit bluesy after breaking up with his woman of 5 yrs I don't exactly see why he needs help.LOL!.

118

Yes, I was just about to accuse James Allen of jingoism, until I doublechecked the drivers' standings and saw that Hamilton has 40 more points than Rosberg, despite the latter having more wins. So, the article is fair enough.

119

Comparison between Rosberg and Hamilton are a bit unfair, but they are both fast drivers.

Let's judge it at the end of the season.

120

You are correct, however 7/10 poles would suggest there is inherent speed within the car. If (and it's a big if) the Merc's truly have resolved their tyre issues then the Red Bulls will have their hands full for sure.

121

Exactly! James said "The 2008 world champion has scored 74 points in the last five races, compared to championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s total of 83 in the same period."

So Hamilton is in contention by scoring less points than Vettel in the same period?

Calm down everyone.

122

No he may get himself into contention if Mercedes have genuinely sorted their rear tyre issues. If Hamilton can keep Vettel behind him he may be in with a shot. - I hope so!

123

Phil Too - Of course but the way a car interacts with it's tyres is almost everything now with the Pirelli's. Red Bull got on top of that quite quickly, and hence Vettel started to do better. The same goes for Hamilton, don't forget he had the tyre blowout at Silverstone in a race he would have most likely won, the same race in fact that Vettel's car gave up giving the win to Nico Rosberg. As I say it all depends on Mercedes having a permanent fix for the tyres - I hope they have because suddenly this season becomes intersting

124

Maybe, but look at the fact that's he's scored 10 less points in 5 races with Vettel having a DFN. One swallow hardly makes a spring

125

Lewis said as much after the race.

126

It's silly to say that he thinks he could win 10 races with it. That'd be a tall order even with a supercar, like the '92 Williams. The Merc at best right now is faster in qualifying than the RBR, and very close to the same race pace. That's AT BEST, and after a big upgrade pkg from Merc.

Spa might suit them (Lewis don't go the high-downforce setup, whatever you do!), and maybe Monza too. Very much down to how their FRIC system works on the tracks.

127

Hamilton said that he FEELS like he could win ten races with his car. - It's all in the detail!

128

Hamilton has won at Spa, Monza, Singapore, Austin, and Abu Dhabi. Even when he doesn't win those races, he runs very well.

If he can sweep that list, and consistently keep Vettel behind him, he'll gain at least 35 points. One DNF from Vettel, and Lewis will be in the lead.

Not saying he can do it-- it would take massive luck at this point, both good luck for Mercedes, and bad luck for Red Bull. In fact, I'm pretty sure without a DNF, Vettel will win the championship.

We've seen unreliability bite the Red Bull, but not nearly as hard as it's bitten Rosberg's Mercedes... if those gremlins cross the garage to Hamilton's car, it's going to be ugly.

129

"If he can sweep that list, and consistently keep Vettel behind him, he’ll gain at least 35 points. One DNF from Vettel, and Lewis will be in the lead."

Well the reverse could happen and he would be out of the title race @ Spa.

130

I hope LH can mount a serious challenge for the championship, but no doubt Vettel is the clear favorite. In fact a stronger Merc plays more into Vettel's hands, and its bad news for Alonso and Kimi. Can't wait for the second half of the season already.

131

Let's assume that from now on Vettel averages a second place, for the nine remaining races, i.e. he has a truly bad season, by RBR standards.

That means that he would lose 63 points, assuming that the same driver always finishes first, in front of him.

If there was only only likely driver hunting him down AND RBR really do this badly, then he could indeed get in trouble. But there is more than one driver capable of hunting, plus it's unlikely that RBR's crew will suddenly forget how to setup a car, during their August break...

Let's not forget that Vettel INCREASED his championship lead this past Sunday, despite finishing third. This happened as a consequence of being chased by multiple drivers.

132

Vettel increased his lead over the next man, but Hamilton's deficit has decreased. If he can consistently take chunks out of Vettel's lead then maybe, but it's far too early.

133

Two DNFs by Vettel/RB (eg gearbox, alternator, KERS, anything), and Hamilton/Kimi wil be right in contention.

I'm not wishing this on Vettel. I have no problems with him winning a 4th WDC. But I've seen enough F1 to know that unreliability can strike anytime anywhere. No one deserves a car that breaks down - but it happens - even to the best teams.

134

The Lewis-Mercedes package is the assumed prime challenger now, this is likely to be confirmed if the Lewis-Mercedes package is on the podium, and fighting for the win in Spa; it is a significant 'if' for me yet, but also a significant likelihood, as well.

In Hungary, there was very little to choose between race pace for the Merc, RB, and Lotus; we see, in Hungary especially, the qualifying pace determines the winner, despite the improved overtaking potential for 2013.

Will it be the same for Spa?

135

The nightmare for RBR will be that Lotus equally is challenging for the front spots with both Kimi and Grosjean. Then if Vettle does not qualify on pole and he falls back into traffic because of not gapping the field and the strategy of Lotus gets the two drivers to the front late in the race, possibly even Alonso or Webber gets in front of him and all of a sudden Vettle's points lead is severely eroded within a few races. Podiums are one thing to maintain the championship lead, but it could easily be worse if its two or more teams getting competitive and pushing him down the points. We will then be hearing "Mark please move over Seb is faster than you!" and complaints about the need for back markers to get out of the way! Boy would that make a great end to the season!

136

And then Webs will not move over and just turn the engine back up to win a race for once! 😀

137

No 'nightmare', the classic panzer strategy, divide and conquor, as long as they remain in the top cluster, look at their advantage!

On pure race pace, the pecking order in Hungary was: 1. the top Lotus, 2. the top RBC, 3. the top Mercedes was a dead tie with the other RBC!

The competition was good in in Hungary, and Spa could be even better.

Spa 'should' suit the Mercedes with the top end advantage, but it is also an aero circuit, favouring the Newey-Red Bull, but the Lotus should maintain an ultimate advantage in one or two driving elements; don;t forget the drivers, certainly Lewis loves it, Sebastian is great everywhere, and Kimi, as those paying acute attention likely know, is the reigning king of Spa, the racers' circuit. I think Grosjean, should he continue his favourable trajectory, could enter the group of Kimi, Vettel, Lewis, (Alonso if Ferrari get back in the game), and Webber, potential race winner at all tracks, including Spa.

But so far, there is no indication that Red Bull will fall out of the leading pack; if the top contenders split the rest of the points, the Vettel-Red Bull package glides (well, fights determinedly, with confidence), to the championship, probably a race or two before the final race. Non? What do I have wrong?

What of Ferrari? Alonso has been kicked out of the party?!? Those paying attention understand that Ferrari still have a correlation issue between their wind tunnel data (and forecasts) and their actual on-the-track reality. Not good, and it shows in the performance of the machinery. I think we could also agree that he Hungaroring is as far from the Ferrari 2013 as any track; so maybe the power circuits will play back a little bit to the Red car.

138

I would imagine that both Horner and Vettel realize with 9 races left, and if Mercedes tire degredation problem is being answered at high speed circuits like Spa, by maintaining a competitive race pace. Lewis is a definite threat to Vettel's certainty of securing the 2013 WDC.

139

Yes, because scoring 10 less point over the last 5 races has really closed the gap. What a threat!

140

If Vettel keeps having races like Hungary even though he had a car with the best race pace then who knows.

141

Mercedes had the best pace, then Red Bull. Lotus of course, played their "one less pitstop" trick, which helped Kimi into second on this narrow track.

As it is, Vettel is stil the favourite, since he's had a blinding season so far, top 4 in every race except the gearbox failure in Britain.

142

Really doubt anyone can stop Vettel from winning his 4th title. Even if by some magic Merc become the all dominating car, Vettel will still have the second best car and score those precious 3rd and 4th places to take his 4th title.

What I think will happen is very similar to last year. Due to the harder tyre compounds and nature of tracks, Merc have a good chance in Spa and Monza. After that though RBR will be back to their best and I can see Vetel clinching the title by the tme we leave India.

PS I sooo hope I'm wrong though

144

All it takes is someone like Grosjean to accidentally take out Vettel in the first corner and another alternator problem DNF (I know they are using a different alt manufacturer :-))

145

It's funny you say that as a DNF for Vettel makes it close but a DNF for Hamilton is game over.

146
Craig Robertson

Agreed, look at Alonso last year, pretty much lost the championship due to the 2 DNFs.

147
nicolas nogaret

nearly won the championship due to ferraris exceptional reliability

149

Do you understand the point scoring system?

First place gets 25 points. Third place gets 15 points. That is a 10 point gap. There are 9 races left. If Merc dominates every race and Vettel "cruises" to 3rd place every race Hamilton will win by 40 points.

150

Do you understand the semantics when you read a message? Did I say that Merc will win all races. I said Merc dominating, which means 1st and 2nd places and don't forget the factor called Rosberg!

151

Do I understand?

You highlighted a possible scenario where "Merc become the all dominating car" and Vettel, by having the second best car will "score those precious 3rd and 4th places".

So your only caveat is that Rosberg would be allowed to win races over Hamilton (in a 1-2 situation) despite being ANOTHER 40 points behind Hamilton in the driver's standings? Have I got that right?

152

The tyres have breathed new life into this championship, and thank god for that. Ferrari have lost the plot and Kimi's qualifying record behind Vettel suggests he won't be able to beat him in the race. So we are left with Merc, who if tyre issues abate may be the only challenger to RedBull, and even they will have to mount an extra ordinary run coz Vettel will not be sitting on his laurels.

153

So far this year, Mercedes are the only team with two different winners and Rosberg has shown that he can lift his game now that he's got Hamilton alongside him. If the new tyres suit their cars as seems to be the case, the second half of the 2013 season could be an absolute cracker!

154

James a very important question, I've posted this many times but still await your valuable answer.

In comments section of one of your previous posts, you said Alonso himself admitted to 9/10 on saturdays while you gave 10/10 to both Hamilton and Vettel.

Now my question is Alonso and Hamilton have repeatedly gave feelers that Vettel owes his achievements primarily to his machinery rather than out and out speed and talent. Firstly Vettel's teammate hasn't been a slouch, he's been considered a very quick driver and especially quick on Saturdays and Vettel's had better of him for the last 4.5 yrs. Many of his qualifying/pole laps have been phenomenal and identical to Hamilton, in my opinion.

So in your opinion where does Vettel actually stand? Is his Saturday speed anywhere near Hamilton or is he overall behind and flattered by his machine?

Do you think Hamilton and Alonso's comments are more to do with frustration/desperation rather than clear admission that Vettel is top of the league driver.

I'm sure me and many F1 fans would love to hear from you.... thanks a ton!

155

Vettel is closer to the max in quali and race each weekend on a consistent basis than anyone else

156

probably because his car and team perform consistently better at every track.mclaren and unreliability cost lewis a huge amount of points last season.lewis and alonso were the best 2 drivers imo.

this season lewis should have 2 wins instead of nico.lewis was unlucky in silverstone,yes nico has had bad luck too,but when you look at where he was in the races,the dnfs were not that costly.

157

Vettel and Grosjean have similar driving characteristics, both are blazing fast. Its just that Vettel has a car that's by far the best.

Grosjean used to crash off the start line, Vettel crashes into those he is overtaking and things at trackside etc behind the safety car.

158

@Bart

Vettel doesn't have much to crash into up front, while Grosjean is always in the mix. When Grosjean is up front, he clearly has enormous speed like Vettel; however when Vettel is in the mix, he crashes just as much as Grosjean used to. I can't recall any drivers (outside Vettel) who are guilty of crashing into trackside bollards while behind the safety car.

If Grosjean had a Red Bull to flatter him, he'd be a multiple champ too, regardless of the number of crashes he had last season and before that.

159

@Quade - If the RBR was "by far the best" you'd have Webber a close 2nd in the championship. As SteveS says, there is no "dominant" car, as you clearly have 3-4 teams capable of winning.

Vettel rarely even crashes. Grosjean crashed a similar or even more times in Monaco than Vettel has in the last 3 years.

160

If you're going to repeat "Vettels car is by far the best" a hundred times on every thread, I'm going to point out a hundred times that you are wrong. There are no cars which are by far the best in F1 these days. It's basically a spec series. The grid in GP2 is further part than the one in F1 on many weekends, including in Hungary recently.

161

I don't care for the guy, particularly as I am a WEB fan. However, I begrudgingly give him his due, as I have always thought he performed at or near the maximum.

162

I have been telling anyone who would care t listen.."The Kid (Vettel) is good." They should get over it.

163

+1, it does confuse me that people continue to question his achievements. Maybe he should team up with Alonso at Red Bull (not Ferrari). It would make fun watching, and though I'm not a betting man, I think Alonso might find some of his old demons resurfacing. To the extent perhaps, that he might be wishing he could have his Ferrari back for his 33rd bday

164

Interesting reply this further confirms what I have always believed!

166

I've been thinking about this also but 1 thing that vettel has done and can't be denied. In the last 13 races vettel has damaged his car 3 times in wheel to wheel combat. I don't deny vettels a class act but it gives ammo to those who want to question him which I am not 1. He also hit the wall in Canada and went off the track in turn 1. He does have room for improvement like and that's the scary thing. But I will say that for me without any doubt Hamilton is the fastest guy over 1 lap.

167

Hamilton is superb in race conditions as well. He can drive consistently on the limit over a race distance (as shown in 2007-08), never gives up (Korea '12 anyone?), and is capable of moments of magic that can change the complexion of a race. Since 2012 his judgement during wheel-to-wheel racing has been generally superb. His ability to pace his races is also vastly improved (practice on Pirelli's makes perfect). There is not much he can do when the car's dire management of these tires require him to pussyfoot around on Sunday's. It's clearly more than a setup or driver thing, as Rosberg is not doing particularly better in the races. Fingers crossed that these problems are now mitigated.

168

You're taking some generous liberties with the facts there. By THAT definition Alonso damaged his car 3 times in wheel to wheel combat between Spa 2010 and Malaysia 2013. He crashed out of 3 races in an eleven race span, in other words.

169

Did you say the same about Hamilton in 2011 when he was crashing into everything and everyone. 3 crashes in 13 races my goodness the length people go to criticise is unbelievable.

170

I think he hit the wall as there was no more room for improvement

Cheers

171

thanks a lot James, much appreciated. by the way whats up with the kimi to Ferrari rumours?

172

Mercedes is one of the fastest cars with two fantastic drivers. It will be tough for Vettel but it is too early to jump into conclusions here. Hungary is extremely difficult to overtake and Vettel didn't have the straight line speed. Otherwise things would have been different. It could be a totally different story at Spa.

173

Grosjean had similar top speed to Vettel, but managed to overtake Jenson. You've got to question why Vettel couldn't. The top speed excuse doesn't wash.

174

Ok, so you're saying Grosjean had the top speed. Then why couldn't he overtake Alonso?

175

Except Vettel passed Button as well, without banging wheels or skipping the chicane.

176

Seb did overtake Jenson. Are you sure you watched the race? First Seb overtook Jenson, then Grosjean overtook him but banged cars with him in the process.

177

If he had that "almighty" straight line speed he would lose his "almighty" cornering speed as simple as that! Which will even thing out. The cars were set up for Hungary according to their respective strengths. F1 is about balancing act. Seb doesn't do well when he is running behind a car because he can't overtake!

178

The "he can't overtake" criticism is just total nonsense. In fact, Vettel performed the most overtakes of any driver last year.

http://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=398856&f=1

179

I think if anyone can challenge Sebastian, it's Lewis. He is undisputed #1 in his team and rides a bullet-proof machine. Vettel in contrast has to live with team orders aimed against him (though he disregarded them the last time) and an unreliable car. Then we have Kimi and Ferdy in the mix as well. It's gonna be an epic season. Whoever wins it in the end will duly deserve it.

180

Unreliable car? He's had 1 dnf this year! If you want unreliable cars you need to go back and watch the racing in the 80s and 90s.

181
Get Well Soon Murray

"Vettel in contrast has to live with team orders aimed against him"

Are you sure about that?

182

Well being asked to stay behind his team mate when he was faster what do you call that?

183

I wouldn't say that Lewis is the undisputed #1 at Merc just yet - don't forget Nico has two wins to Lewis' one - and the only team orders Vettel is going to have to worry about are the ones that Mark is going to be ignoring 😉

But you're right - whoever wins it in the end will deserve it 🙂

184

nico only has 2 wins coz lewis and vettel had problems at silverstone.

so look at the points difference,nico has 0 chance of winning the championship.lewis on the other hand does.

185

Lewis should be. If Lewis was only 20 pts back of the leader (and Nico 60) then it might be different. But Lewis is 48 pts back (!), and Nico's a further 40 back! Merc's only chance at the DWC is thru Hamilton, clearly. It's a decidedly outside chance at that.

I trust Brawn to know what needs to be done, as much as I had no trust in Whitmarsh last year to know what to do.

Which begs the question, why did McLaren go prime-option-prime?! Not sure it accomplished what they wanted.

186

What the!?!?!? Does anyone else on this blog see RBR's team orders being biased "against" Vettel?

187

Yes. Do you recall Red Bull ordering Vettel to stay behind Webber at Malaysia? Does anybody on the blog see RB's team orders as being biaed FOR Vettel?

188

I hate to be a pedant but I feel accuracy is important, don't you? Weren't the team orders with Red Bull at Malaysia actually a pre-race agreement? I believe it was along the lines of positions would be maintained after the final round of pit stops - not favouring either driver in advance, just whichever was in front at that point in the race. I am sure there was quite a lot of chat about it. Apparently, one of the drivers felt he was not obligated by the pre-race agreement that he had entered into as soon as it no longer suited him.

189

Don't mind people who writes anything they want because their reputation is not on the line! If there is any team with out right number 1, that is Red Bull. Remember when Red Bull removed Webber's new front wing and give it to Vettel without discussing it with Webber first. Red Bull are as cunning as they get that's why people with little knowledge of F1 won't recognize their "team orders" even if it's staring them at the face. Team orders come in different sizes and shapes through strategy, pit stops and set ups!

190

That again... Webber wasn't using the front wing in Saturday practice, since his feedback and laptimes from Friday suggested he was happier with the previous spec. Vettel's part failed. What else should RBR have done?

And if anything, it is Ferrari who are the team with the most blatant outright number 1.

191

Team orders against him? LOL Malaysia was the only time...

192

Well, the other one was Turkey 2009, but then, Vettel hardly ever finds himself behind Webber in either the standings, or on track.

193

@KRB - No, look it up before you comment. I did mean Turkey 2009, Webber finished 2nd, with Vettel 3rd. Vettel was told by RBR not to pass.

194

Turkey '10, y'mean? How was that team orders against him? That was Vettel not wanting Webber to score his 3rd successive win, which he would've done, b/c it would've made him the de facto driver to back within Red Bull.

If anything, Turkey '10 was the team trying to help Vettel get by Webber.

195

Webs like the Interlagos circuit, perhaps he can be the fly in the ointmint on that day.

196

An unreliable car?! With a grand total of 1 reliabilty failure this year :))))

197

Since his rivals have had zero reliability failures this year, one counts as a lot.

198

Good analysis but Ferrari looked ominous after Spain and look where they are. Similarly Mercedes looked ominous after Silverstone but had a torrid time the following weekend. The only variable consistently is Vettel's RedBull. So I'm still not riding the Mercedes and Hamilton wave but lets see how following few races pan out.

Looks to me RedBull are going to be closer on saturdays in the upcoming races. They've had a 3 day test and had it not been for Vettel losing a tenth in middle sector on his final hotlap, he'd have pipped Lewis to pole and would have possibly claimed the win as well. They're very close!

199

had it not been for Vettel losing a tenth in middle sector on his final hotlap, he’d have pipped Lewis to pole ....

If ifs and ands were pots and pans and if my aunty had a moustache she would have been my uncle 🙂

200

Exactly.

201

Happy for him....maybe a mraccle happens and he takes the title. A wish from a Ferrari fan:-)

202

For sure, last weekend was very surprising in all respects. Not only was it the hottest it has ever been so Mercedes were expected to go backwards (which Lewis didn't) but also Lewis had never been on pole 3 consecutive times + had never finished higher than 3rd at a track he won the previous year.

I now understand when Lewis said that the Mercedes is the best car he has ever driven taking into account the fact that he also says that he didn't feel he could win 10 races with the 2012 Mclaren.

As for the point of Mercedes having breathed new life into the championship, am afraid, this is a false dawn >>> smoke and mirrors if you will.

For starters, Alonso, Vettel and Rosberg have already had their DNFs this season whereas Lewis hasn't. These things tend to even themselves out sooner or later.

Secondly, this is Vettel we're talking about here, the chap that hasn't qualified lower than 3rd (with the exception of China where he didn't set a time), the same chap that hasn't finished lower than P4 in the races and yes, the same one that wears lucky charms on his ankles.

So no, the championships are already gone, me myself, I will just look forward to the qualifying battles in the second half of the season >>> that's where the real fun is.

P.s.

If Mercedes have really got on top of their tyre wear issues, Lewis and Lowe should take the credit.

Three and a half years of no solutions to the tyre problem is a really long time.

203

If Mercedes have really got on top of their tyre wear issues, Lewis and Lowe should take the credit...

Are you serious with that comment?

204

Lewis consistantly got more out of his tyres than JB last year. I'm not rubber stamping the previous post but Paddy must have been familiar with how McLaren solved the tyre heating issues

205

Not rubber stamping - pun intended or no pun intended ?

206

@ Tim

Yes am serious.

Think about it, for three years Brawn, Nico, Schumi and Costa couldn't figure out why the cars were heating up their rears so badly.

And in enters Lewis and Lowe and all it takes is a couple of months to get it right (hopefully)

207

Who knows , maybe you are right. It would certainly explain why Mercedes were so keen to get Paddy released from his Mclaren contract -if he can pull rabbits out of a hat like that he is worth more than his weight in gold 😉

208

No, it doesn't work like this. It's in the fundamental design of the car. More likely it was the track and new spec tires.

209

You forgot Lewis had a DNF at Silverstone.

210

Fourth place and 12 points is hardly a DNF

211

sorry, lewis had a dnf at Silverstone.... which race did you watch?

212

He didn't DNF he had a blow out and finished 4th.

213

@ Quade

DNF stands for >>> Did not finish... As in did not finish the race.

214

Here I renew my clarion call for a new F1 stat!! ... the Race-Compromising Incident (RCI).

RCI's: for those races where you finish, but where you could've finished higher, if only ______ ______ didn't happen.

Sign the petition please.

215

Yeah, I plain forgot that Lewis did finish that race. My bad.

216

He got 12 points for that DNF. That must be some sort of record.

217

🙂 🙂 🙂

Match that Vettel!

218

"It’s been the toughest couple of months of my life".

We hear this every year from Lewis!

219

If Lewis was my psychiatrist I might be a tad concerned, but he's not! he is a racing driver, who cares about his personal issues? only people who do not have a life. Here is a tip; if you do not like the man and can't stand listening to him or reading about him then don't listen to him and don't read about him, and definitely do not follow him on twitter. Go out more, meet real people and chill.

220
Get Well Soon Murray

I'd take a couple of tough months, be a multi-millionaire and be a full time F1 driver!

221

Just gets worse each time...

222

Fully agree:-) this is where he looses to vettel, pereonal life is a mess

223
Alexander Supertramp

yeah right!

224

Because nobody cares to scrutinize Vettel like they do to Lewis. His accent was even scrutinized on this blog few days back! It's called personal life, because it's personal!

225

So why hebrings it to public?

226

"nobody cares to scrutinize Vettel like they do to Lewis."

Wow ...... just, wow. Vettel gets a thousand times the hostile scrutiny that "Lewis" does. The man can hardly say "Nice day" without catching abuse for it. If Vettel was coming out with the same remarks Hamilton is he would be absolutely crucified for it.

227

Please can you be less aggressive towards other posters.

You are welcome here, but please respect the tone of the debate

Thanks - Mod

228

Agree! Sir Superlative

229

LOL! nevermind that as long as he's putting up a strong fight I'm fine with whatever he says.

230

"Lewis Hamilton breathed life into the Formula 1" This has been my sentiment since 2007. I think we sometimes forget the impact this boy had upon his arrival in F1. So I'm not surprised he's the one to do it this year again. And how the sport needs another win for Vettel; like a hole in the head. Cast your minds back to pre-2007 and see how much the sport suffered due to Michaels' dominance.

231

"And how the sport needs another win for Vettel; like a hole in the head."

In your opinion.

Not everyone is a Hamilton fan or a Vettel fan for that matter, there are other drivers and some people just like good Motor racing, irrespective of who wins.

232

I think you're missing the point here mate. This is not about who you're a fan of, but more like someone wining all the time. The percentage of people who watch irrespective of who wins is (who I would call the die-hard fans) no more than 50 IMO. So when people started switching off during Michael's dominance (and it was all Free-to-air)it wasn't because there wasn't good motor racing. And of course it is my opinion based on the facts presented to me.

233

Its only in F1 the best is not expected to win just because others must be given a chance, I watch to see the best win.

I don't think anybody has called to have Kenyans excluded from marathons so others can have a chance.

234

But Vettel is not dominant he's just ridiculously consistent as an example if you reverse the roles Vettel in the merc and Hamilton in the Bull you would back Vettel to win!

235

Let me get this straight, are you saying that if Vettel had been driving the Merc and Hamilton the Bull (this season), their positions in the WDC would be the same as they are now?

236
Alexander Supertramp

My point exactly. No one would dare to say this with a gun to his head :p

237
Alexander Supertramp

would you? Gun to the head :D? No way!

238

Without a shadow of a doubt. Watch the 2012 season again and you'll see just how consistent Lewis was. He only lost due to McLarens operational failures whether mechanical or otherwise.

239

You really would back Lewis for consistency over Vettel?

240
Thread the Needle

So true, he's a real racing driver

241

I think its not Hamilton, but the new tires.

242

The tyres drive themselves?

243

Do you ask yourself same question when you say its Newey?

244

I think if it wasn't for the tyres, Hamilton would be much closer to Vettel in the championship, probably second, even though he was bedding in with a new team

245

I saw those new tyres drive themselves round the circuit, it's amazing what the new technology can do.

😉

246

"New tires breathe new life into title race"

Sound pretty accurate!

247

Regards the Nicole issue, Lewis should just marry the lass so he can have some peace of mind for as they say, behind every successful man, there's a woman.

In other words, without that some special to share your life with, it's all for nothing.

Maximum respect to the only parents on the grid >>> Massa and Webber.

248

Yeah he should marry her... its probably distance and time away that stops it happening.

249

Hang on, I might have misinterpreted that. Are Felipe and Mark both the only Dad's on the grid?

If so I didn't know that - goferet comes through again 🙂

250

John Button also?

251

I dont think Mark has any children mate. None that I'm aware of anyway. As usual, I stand corrected.

252

and you are not married, right?....

(joke)

253

@ peruvian

Correct, not yet married 🙁

254

Except that Mark Webber isn't a parent - he has no children.

255

@ MikeyB

I understand Webber's partner has a child and so this would make Webber a stepdad.

256

Talk about coolest stepdad ever 😀

257

I don't think so: reading between the lines all the signs are that Lewis has received a 'Dear John' letter, and has taken it hard. Who dedicates anything to an ex-girlfriend unless they're the dumpee?

But look on the bright side; being jilted can push you to either depression or to prove yourself. It's clear that Lewis is definitely in the latter category and will be spurred on by his misfortune. But I don't think the young multi-millionaire will be alone for long.

258
Harrison Vrbanjac

I'll put my money on Kimi for win and podium at Spa and Monza.

259

Can't wait for the odds to come out... Hamilton should have good numbers also

260

I wouldn't for the podium at Monza, thats going to be Hamilton, Rosberg, and Alonso, and if one of those three falls out, it will be a Ferrari/Mercedes powered car.

261
Harrison Vrbanjac

No Redbulls on podium? Come on, both Lotus and Redbull has more chance than Ferrari.

262

Ferrari have very good top speed but are very poor out of traction zones. Spa and monza should be good races for them.

263

If Hamilton can arrange for Vettel to be held up for a dozen laps every race behind a slower car then he'll walk it.

264

Yea, he was held up because he can't pass slower cars. Easy when he leads from the front but in traffic - nah!

265

You seem to forget that it was the Hungaroring (only Monaco is harder to pass), RBR had a low top speed, and Button had no huge slides like Webber did.

266

@Frique @gary - As I said, Button, unlike Webber, didn't make any real mistakes, hence not giving Vettel a major opportunity to pounce on.

267

Lewis didn't have any problem! And on webbo he didn't need the higher top speed - twice.

What I'm suggesting is that Lewis is better than Vett when it comes to this scenario in traffic. The RB philosophy is to be on pole, lead from the front and go like hell for the first few laps to get out of DRS. Vett failed to get pole. Failed to get past the traffic. I don't think he could have passed Lewis on the track either.

268

SO how did Lewis get by then?

269
Get Well Soon Murray

Mark Webber?

270

Enter Chilton 😉

271

You could not have chosen a better photo for this article 🙂

272
Get Well Soon Murray

We needed that result on Sunday.

Before the race all I was thinking was that Vettel was going to storm off into the distnace. Winning by 20 seconds yet again.

Hamilton falls back to a fighting 5th place.

Alonso comes through to 2nd place about 2/3rds of the way through the race but is no-where near close enough to mount a serious challenge.

Kimi looks after his tyres well and gets a podium.

But Wow. What a turn around.

Well whatever has happened to the tyres has suddenly given Hamilton the race pace he's been after. Not saying that he's gonna win the title but at least its going to make the rest of the season a bit more interesting.

And you never know.. all it takes is one DNF from Vettel....

273

More like 2 DNFs from Vettel, I'd say.

With his level of consistency, he'd still be pretty safe if he finished at least 3rd in every remaining race (which is pretty darn likely if he doesn't have technical issues or is taken out by someone else).

274

Its not the tyres. Merc brought new rear rim's with cooling vents on the insides to Hungary.

I guess that means they can now tailor tyre temperatures to track circumstances (or maybe Hungary was a fluke).

275

It was down to the tires. The fronts are less grippy now (2012 constructions, sidewall doesn't shift as much), take less load, so Merc could shift the balance more so that the car's kinder to its rears. Voila, 55 degree track temperature and you'd never know it.

276

So, Hamilton wins a race and is title contender?...

277

It's not that he won a race, it is more to do with the manner in which he won the race despite the conditions that normally would have severely handicapped the Merc.

278
Get Well Soon Murray

Not yet but he's on the playing field

279

Daddy Rosberg won the 1982 WDC with only one victory.

280

Mate, 1982 was a very odd season... Circumstances were different.

281

So? I am not saying circumstances have to be the same, but weird things happen again and again. Just replying to MJR never to rule out possibilities until it's over.

2007, Alonso and Hamilton were both with almost equal chance in winning the WDC at the final race, Kimi's shot was quite long in comparison. In the end Kimi came out on top by a single point.

2008, Hamilton looked to lose the title race until the final corner when he overtook Glock for the 5th position he needed in order to beat Massa by a single point for the WDC.

If things haven't got any more odd, 2009, nobody expected Brawn to survive, let alone win races and ultimately the WDC for Jenson Button.

2010, it was a battle between Webber and Alonso for the WDC at the final race until Ferrari cocked it up for Alonso letting Vettel win the WDC.

Odd surprises will keep coming up so it's not just once ever that it'll happen.

282

And scores 10 less points than Vettel over the last 5 races.

Math huh!?!

283

Vettle had mechanical failure mate. Lewis will have his share as well.

284

In the sky interview Lewis said "I've lost somebody very dear to me, I'm going through a really, really tough time at the moment with the loss of someone really, really special in my life, my world's turned upside down.” I thought oh no, poor chap, who's died? "And it's Nicole you're talking about?" Martin Brundle asks as if he can't quite believe what he's hearing is over a girlfriend.

I’m sorry Lewis I don’t mean to be unkind but please, enough of the girlfriend loss tragedy, move on. Enjoy life, you’re a young F1 driver and a bloody great one, you should be smiling.

285

He is what he is - awesome! If she doesn't want him - her loss 🙂

286

Actually it was clear from that that Brundle and Lewis have a solid relationship. Hes one of the few people that Lewis opens up to and you can tell Brundle has huge respect for his pace and the fact that he wears his heart on his sleeve.

287

Yeah I noticed that Brundle was quite dumbfounded by Lewis "loss" of Nicole comments. It's not a soap opera and certainly not something to be bring up when you just won a GP- the guys gotta man-up little.

288
Jean-Christophe

I agree there! Tired of the girlfriend whining. He should keep that private. The guy is a great driver and my favourite but I wish he had more maturity.

289

If you don't like it don't listen. It takes a lost of maturity to say the things Hamilton said.

If you can't understand how Hamilton feels you never have really loved someone!

290

He's certainly not the love-em-and-leave-em type, that's for sure! Which is what I think the vast majority of us would be were we in his shoes. His way is commendable, though yeah, I don't need to know about it.

291

But it's romantic isn't it. I'm sure he loves her and man enough to express it.

292

expressing it in every interview is a bit much

293

Romance doesn't work that way. This is Hamilton being immature.

294

Exactly. The public weeping over a girlfriend via twitter and t.v. is embarrassing. It is surely not the way to win her back.

295

James I know it's 'off topic' but could find no other way to contact you directly, would it be possibly to do a tech feature on all the arguments for and against Pirelli making the rear tyres wider and taller for next year.

Eg- implications on machanical and areo design, what the date the teams have about the chaticteristics of the new powertrain tell us and why many teams are against it, is that just because they don't want to re-calculate their areo/mechanical designs due to different shape/size or more to do with the greater circumference having a negative effect on the transmition and gearing? Would love to hear yours, Mark Gillan's and anyother 'in the know' F1 personel you can find.

Again sorry for off topic.

296

Interesting suggestion.

My personal feeling is that if the rear wheels had been 'wider and taller' during Michael Schumacher's return, he'd have stormed it!

That was his strong point, using the larger rears to coast into a corner and accelerate away.

298

It's a two horse race between Vettel and Hamilton....and so it's time to start focusing on 2014 for the other teams!

I'm sure all the other drivers will be putting in a special effort to block vettel, Jenson Button style as in Hungary.

299
Get Well Soon Murray

Would Alonso's recent comments give Ferrai a kick up the behind?

300

Hope so... we need them challenging Red Bull. James Allison could be the man for the job, but there are only 9 races left, so perhaps it will not happen until 2014.

Then again in 2014, I don't expect Red Bull to be good. Mercedes should be awesome!

301

I've always thought Button was an easy touch for Vettel, ever since he hardly defended against Vettel in Australia in 2011.

I doubt any driver (other than maybe Webber!) will treat Vettel any differently, if he's behind them.

302

Anyone but Vettel.

303

Can never understand this perspective. I root for a different team, but I appreciate Vettel and his talent. If he wins again we are witnessing the career of a great driver and yet some people can't accept that. Odd.

304

It's because he isn't liked very much, especially after Malaysia. It's because we need someone to change the pecking order. I for one admit I love Senna, but during his battles with Prost I favoured the Frenchman. I backed senna the minute he was up against shumacher. Lewis is similar to senna in track, very gifted and highly respected. If anyone can do it in their current machinery he has got a chance. Vettel has been impressive, but we've never had a proper yard stick to measure him by. Webber is too inconsistent for my liking, so bring on Kimi for 2014- that guy is fast (from my memory of his McLaren days)

305

I'm like you, Rob. Exact same backings I had. Got to like Senna much more after Prost retired.

Dislike Vettel as a person very much so after what happened in Malaysia, let alone Turkey 2010.

He's still a fast driver though, have to respect this, but I don't support him.

Go Hamilton!!

306

What yardstick do we have to measure Alonso by?

307
nicolas nogaret

let's see how his car handles a track with tyre stressing corners before we get excited for a genuine competition for the title

promising , but no more

308

It will be interesting to see if Mercedes will back one driver for the championship.

309

Well, they should! Hamilton's 40 pts up on Rosberg, and he's 48 pts down on Vettel! So yeah, they should be backing Hamilton and making sure, as best they can, that he brings home the better result. Of course they have to keep both drivers motivated for a chance at the WCC.

310

I totally agree with you, but convincing Nico to yield for Lewis will not be easy in the wake of the Malaysian GP incident.

311

That is where slower pit stops come into play. 🙂

312

He is 48 points away from Vettel. Nine races.

5,33 points per race. Sounds doable...

313

That is assuming that Vettel scores 0 points inthe next 9 races. We're talking a billion to 1 against that scenario. Another complication to that theory is a competitor called Kimi. He' a scoring machine. That makes it about 3 billion to 1 against. I hope it does come down to a 3 way showdown for the sport in general but the RB / VET package is verrrry hard to beat at the end of the day.

314

@Glennb

A polite correction if I may - the average points required per race to close the gap has nothing to do with Vettel scoring nil points over the remaining races. Its simply the points difference divided by the remaining number of races. Of course if Vettel did score no points it would make the task of closing the gap considerably easier. But, as you have correctly pointed out, that is most unlikely;-)

315

Polite correction noted Tim 😉

I took it that the OP was suggesting 5 or 6 pts per race would do it, ie 7th every meeting. Interpretation can be difficult at times...

Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

Go Webber!

316

Bigger gaps have been closed. You never know with F1.

317

How much is Mercedes' pace down to the nature of Hungaroring and how much is overall improvement?

Hungaroring is always said to me much like Monaco. Will Merc's pace vis a vis Red Bull hold up at the remaining tracks?

318

We will analyse this in coming days

319

Hamilton won because Red Bull, as usual, took little interest in their straight line speed, rather than Mercedes having improved their tyre performance, especially on a circuit that doesn't load the tyres.

Mercedes performance has been somewhat enhanced by Ferrari's decline and the inconsistency of Lotus.

If Hamilton gets anywhere near a sniff of the championship this year, it can only be because of incompetence by Red Bull, which won't happen.

320

So Vettel won three championships because the redy of the drivers were playing poker

321

Interesting, you prefer to believe that it had nothing to do with Merc getting to grips with the tyres, at least for this race, and Hamilton performing at his best, but was actually due to everybody else getting it wrong. Fair enough, long may the rest get it wrong.

322

Hungary isn't a high load circuit in terms of tyres. Even though the track temperature was high, I don't think it was a true indicator of whether Mercedes had got to grips with the tyres.

323

Well I don't know what else you would call it but clearly the Merc was able to sustain a reasonable race pace, with some reserve when necessary, make the tyres last at least as long as the majority of the field and still had decent grip at the end of the stint.

I accept that this was not a high load circuit and that is why I included the statement "at least for this race".

324
Alexander Supertramp

Silverstone was. Sure, different tyres and temperatures back then, but there's something there..

325

Gary Anderson makes that same point

326

That's an interesting point of view - basically you are saying a team/driver does not win because they are faster/better it's the opposition that is slower/worse.

I guess there is a certain logic to that 😉

327

Does Lewis still desire a move to Ferrari to partner with Fernando?

328

Partnering with Alonso yes, at Ferrari, no way!

329

I am massive Alonso fan

Yet i respect lewis very much. He is quick and very exciting to watch. They have clearly repaired the strained relationship longtime before

We people can speculate all day long who is quick and best.

Lewis and alonso know each other very well during their stint at mclaren, on top of that they have Enormous respect for each other

330

I really hope Mercedes is going to give RBR a run for their money we are going to have a really exciting second half. I am just wondering if Hungary is really a true point of reference.If Mercedes are really on top of their tire issues. Hungary and Monaco are somewhat easy on the tires. Does any of you guys know this or can trow some nice facts in the group that Merc are really getting the better of the new tires? Wow, If Lewis is fighting for the title we are going to enjoy and experience true epicness.Can't wait! GO LEWIS!!