May the best man win
Title Showdown 2014
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Hamilton Gives Mercedes Home Pole; Rosberg in wrong place, wrong time
News
XPB.cc
Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  06 Jul 2013   |  4:16 pm GMT  |  248 comments

Lewis Hamilton extended the Mercedes run of qualifying dominance to take pole position in a tight session for the German Grand Prix, edging out Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

It is the first Mercedes-Benz pole position at the German Grand Prix since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 at the Nordschleife.

With this morning’s final Free Practice session highlighting Vettel’s pace it looked set to be a home pole position for the German driver, especially with Hamilton seemingly lost on set up. Midway through FP3 he described the car as “undriveable”.

However, come the afternoon there were a number of drivers contending for the top spot.

This was brought about by higher air and track temperatures which played in to the hands of Lotus and Ferrari, initially showing them as the pacesetters. Massa was on top in Q1 and Q2,. But they were unable to match the single lap pace of Hamilton and the Red Bull duo when it came to crunch time in Q3.

It could have been another front-row lock out for Mercedes as Nico Rosberg has had the upper hand over Hamilton throughout the weekend. But a touch of complacency from last weekend’s winning team saw the German sat in the pits whilst those around him improved in Q2 and pushed him out of the session. They had totally underestimated the track improvement during the session.

“We misjudged how quickly the track was improving and got caught out,” said Mercedes boss Ross Brawn. “He clearly had the pace to qualify at the front today but found himself on the wrong side of the top ten by half a tenth.

“Ultimately, the final decision on the pit wall rests with me and it’s clear we could have done a better job today.”

The fortunes of Rosberg’s team-mate continued to rise, however. He saved his best for the perfect moment to take his 29th career pole and the third this season, by 1/10th of a second.

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed, to be honest, because I have been struggling since first practice this weekend,” said Hamilton. “We were so far off this morning that we took the set-up back to where we started, tried to analyse everything and just worked really hard to improve it. I’m so grateful for the work the engineers and mechanics did for me, and it’s all down to them really.”

The higher track temperatures allowed Lotus and Ferrari to generate heat in their tyres and with Felipe Massa topping the first two phases of qualifying he looked set to put himself amongst the front-runners.

But Ferrari turned their attentions to the race for the final ten minutes of qualifying and opted to run the prime tyre as they look towards the race. This is in the hope of gaining track position when the cars ahead pit early after starting the race on the tyres they used in today’s session.

For Lotus, their downfall thus far in 2013 has been their qualifying pace as they have most often began the race at the tail of the top ten. Today they were able to take fourth and fifth on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen claiming the bragging rights ahead of Romain Grosjean.

The long run pace that was illustrated in Free Practice puts Lotus in with a good chance of a podium tomorrow, should the temperatures remain high.

Daniel Ricciardo once again impressed his potential future employers Red Bull Racing with a strong run to sixth on the grid, sandwiched between the Lotus pair and the two Ferrari’s behind. Following his fifth place grid slot in Silverstone, Ricciardo is hitting the form of his life at the ideal moment.

Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg complete the top ten and allowed themselves a free choice of tyres for the race after not setting a time in Q3. This is set to leave us with a number of cars beginning the race on the prime tyre, as Ferrari, Button, Hulkenberg, Rosberg and Di Resta likely to attempt a different strategy to the top six.

Alonso and Massa will start the race on the medium tyre and seek to make up ground when the front runners hit high degradation on the soft tyres around lap eight.

“The strategy we used today was dictated by looking at our average qualifying performance, given that pole is not yet within our grasp and the two scenarios were either starting fifth or sixth on the Soft tyres or start sixth or seventh on the Mediums,” said Alonso.

“We won’t know the true worth of our choice until tomorrow. Maybe here it’s not too important to start from the front because the Soft tyre shows very high degradation and so, from lap 8 onwards the run of pit stops will begin and traffic will build up. At that point we will have to push like if they were all qualifying laps.”

It was a desperately disappointing day for Williams as both cars were eliminated in Q1, on the weekend they celebrate their 600th Grand Prix. For the team that dominated the sport during several periods, this was a tough centenary.

GERMAN GRAND PRIX, Nurburgring, Qualifying
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.398s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m29.501s +0.103s
3. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m29.608s +0.210s
4. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m29.892s +0.494s
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m29.959s +0.561s
6. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m30.528s +1.130s
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.126s +1.728s
8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.209s +1.811s
9. Jenson Button McLaren No time set
10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber No time set
11. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m30.326s +0.501s
12. Paul di Resta Force India 1m30.697s +0.872s
13. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m30.933s +1.108s
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m31.010s +1.185s
15. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m31.010s +1.185s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m31.104s +1.279s
17. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m31.693s +1.146s
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m31.707s +1.160s
19. Charles Pic Caterham 1m32.937s +2.390s
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m33.063s +2.516s
21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m33.734s +3.187s
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m34.098s +3.551s

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
Tags:
248 Comments
  1. Hal says:

    Congratulation to Lewis. Although I had doubts over free practice his Q1 & Q2 times gave an indication that he had it in him to be on front row. Didn’t expect him to get pole though considering Vettel’s pace in free practice. He & team pulled it out of the bag. Fingers crossed for race although I see a Red Bull winning it (most likely Vettel).

  2. Gul says:

    Praying for Lewis then Murray win. Come on boys.

    1. Curly Jefferson says:

      Don’t forget the Lions win. And the upcoming Ashes victory over the Aussies.

  3. muatasim says:

    James

    What do you think about Ferrari stratigic call ?
    My feeling it will not work, as it didn’t for Vettel in China

    1. James Allen says:

      If it’s as hot tomorrow as the forecast suggests it will be interesting. I think Ferrari have done something interesting here and it may yield a podium for Alonso. Lotus will be quick over race distance too.

      Red Bull should take the win, but you never know.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        I feel Alonso lost the Championship today, he would be outside de Podium…

      2. Anop says:

        I feel the other way round. It’s a risk but one Ferrari had to take. Fernando at best would have been 5th instead he is 8th with a good strategy. It’s exactly what red bull tried in China with Vettel. It didn’t work for them in China as they had high degradation but Ferrari is good on its tyres and has arguably the best race pace. I have a feeling it’s going to be a cracker. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

      3. uncas says:

        I don’t think so, I’ve got a good feeling with Ferrari’s strategi…….

      4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        I was right for once… :)

      5. All revved-up says:

        Just a guess on my part. Perhaps the thinking is that after the front runners pit when the soft tyres run out, Alonso will be able to run in clean air – while Rosberg/Massa hold up the chasing pack when they come out of the pits.

        Hamilton and Vettel will need to build a 25 second gap before their softs run out.

        It’ll be fascinating to see how it unfolds.

      6. Martin says:

        Your guess seems ok. Some are suggesting that the softs will last around 8 laps on full tanks. If so probably at most four of those laps will be quicker than the Ferraris on mediums at the start with the rate of degradation. Ricciardo could be a bit of a delay for them, although Massa on the clean side of the grid would be a good bet to be ahead after turn one anyway.

        The 25 second gap won’t happen, but when the leaders come out of the pits they will have mediums that are 11 laps younger than Alonso’s if we assume a lap 8 pit stop.

        The interesting bit will then be how late Ferrari can leave its last stop, and if we look at China, whether the last stint is like Button’s or Vettel’s.

        As you suggest, running in clear air will be critical for Alonso. Hulkenberg’s DRS pass on Vettel in China probably cost Vettel getting both Lewis and Kimi in China.

        The Toro Rosso team comments suggest that Daniel is out of position and he could well sink through the field. But, what we seen in the past is that giving up grid positions to run the harder tyre is rarely a benefit. For Ferrari it worked out it was only going to lose a few places, so it might be okay.

        Cheers,
        Martin

      7. Tim says:

        Hamilton and Vettel will need to build a 25 second gap before their softs run out..
        Flipping heck, that’ll take some doing ;-)

      8. aveli says:

        it’s not like they are not good at overtaking,

      9. Grabyrdy says:

        It’s a bit hard to understand how Alonso could say that only 5th or 6th was possible on the quicks when Massa had topped both Q1 and Q2. You’d think Ferrari would let at least Felipe go for pole. They must be very very sure of what they’re doing.

    2. Grant H says:

      I can’t see it converting into a race won myself, when the front runners pit they will come out on new mediums and alonso and others will start losing time, I can’t see the front runners getting stuck in traffic overtaking is possible here,alonso does have a habit of turning these situation into a podium mind

    3. gudien says:

      All the talk of drivers wanting to go to Ferrari. LOL! Alonso is probably plotting his way into the second Red Bull seat this very minute.

      1. FerrariFan says:

        I had the same thought. But nobody is even considering the possibility. He must have some performance clauses in his Ferrari contract.

      2. Laplce Bessel says:

        Hahaha….thinking outside the box, are we?

  4. Matthew says:

    I think Webber is trying to say something with that arm leaning on top of the shoulder
    :P

    1. Matthew says:

      What is the height distribution amongst the drivers?

      1. Glennb says:

        Tallest, DiResta 1.85m > Shortest, Massa 1.66m. Thats shorter than Johnny Herbert @ 1.67m. I have no idea what that is in pounds, shillings & pence ;)

      2. Kenny says:

        Di Resta = 6’1″

        Massa = 5’5″

      3. Phil Glass says:

        I guess that would put Massa somewhere alongside Anthony Davidson stature-wise

      4. brendan says:

        6 foot 1 my ar@e,i no Bernie is 4foot ha

  5. Valentino from montreal says:

    When Hamilton crossed the line and got Pole , TV cameras showed the Merc garage all jumping of joy , then the cameras showed the Germans spectators , who were alot less joyfull ..

    Like I said , Without Schumacher behind the wheel , the Germans could’nt care less about ” Brackley-Petronas F1 Team ”

    ….

    1. aveli says:

      they paid for their tickets and their journeys to the track and have every right to support whoever they want. would love to see their reactions to the drama as it unfolds tomorrow.

      1. gudien says:

        Correct. Not everyone is required to be a Hamilton fan, either.

        Personally I look forward to Sebastian Vettel claiming his first German GP tomorrow. Then we shall see the spectator’s reaction.

      2. aveli says:

        you’re quite right, thats why there are 21 other drivers.
        like it or not, the race outcome will be what it should be and so will the spectators reaction.
        am looking forward to witnessing it all tomorrow.

      3. Drew says:

        Might be the only time you here a cheer for SV…if he won. My money’s on the number 2 driver though.

    2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      is it you that was talking too much for Rosberg against Hamilton…? :)

      1. Quade says:

        It is indeed. Lol!
        Biased predictictions in F1 are notoriously shortsighted.

      2. Tim says:

        +1
        Indeed they are – remember all the posts saying how Mercedes were headline grabbing with ‘glory’ runs, in pre-season testing, and couldn’t possibly have caught up with the front runners pace? Where are the same posters now? Perhaps their mouths are too full of humble pie to speak ;-)

    3. testgate rules says:

      they are following vettel. And looks very likely to get the win tomorrow, unless lewis has anything different in mind.

      1. Sid says:

        Rosberg successfully managed to annoy Vettel today! :)

    4. Joel says:

      Get over Schumacher – had he been driving, he would have binned the car a couple of times already this season. More than the spectators, you seem to be less joyful :)

      1. Horno says:

        We will never know, but for sure I would have liked him in the car, just to find out.
        It seems that he always retires one year to early, it’s a shame.. 2007 Raikkonen WDC, 2013 Mercedes resurrection..
        On the other hand, I’m really starting to admire Hamilton more and more.. He is the perfect guy to take Schumi’s spot, although I also do not under estimate Rosberg..
        Mercedes have the best driver line up, and this comes from a Scuderia/Alonso addict..

      2. Tim says:

        It seems that he always retires one year too early….
        Correct me if I am wrong (Val)but didn’t the Brackely-AMG-Petronas Team announce Hamilton as their new driver before poor old Shuey had a chance to say he was retiring? Ooops, is that a bit like being told you’re surplus to requirements? ;-)

      3. Horno says:

        Schumi didn’t want ti commit long term, and Merc was not keen that.. But should he have wanted to commit up untill 2014, he could have stayed; I’m positive about that.. The guy is worth more than only his race craft.

    5. Andrew M says:

      Oh well, I guess us British fans will have to be excited in their stead. What a chore.

    6. SteveS says:

      “the cameras showed the Germans spectators , who were alot less joyfull ..”

      If they were booing you might have a point. Or if they cheer their heads off if Hamilton breaks down … but I suspect they’re a classier bunch than the Canadian and British spectators. (Which isn’t setting the bar terribly high)

      1. gudien says:

        Why cheer madly for a driver (Hamilton) whom has, already in his young career at Merc, been widely quoted in the press as desiring a seat at Ferrari?

      2. Tim says:

        Desiring a seat at Ferrari, (at some stage in his career, according to the quote I read) doesn’t exactly put Hamilton in an exclusive club amongst his fellow F1 drivers. However, being one of the few drivers they would consider, does ;-)

      3. F1fan says:

        Cheering when a competitor retires is always an unsportive reaction. No matter in which Country it happens, no matter which Country the Driver is from whose car broke down.

      4. Lezza says:

        Sorry, don’t buy that.
        The rafters lifted at our place when Vettel quit the British Grand Prix, and will so again if he suffers misfortune at the Ring. Entitled to dislike him. May be a brilliant driver, but afflicted with character defects. We also used to cheer when Hamilton suffered misfortune at Maccas, but since he shifted house and showed signs of maturing, we quite like him and wish him him well. Anyone who thinks F1 is a sport is delusional.

      5. Anne says:

        Depends… If a particular driver has a serious accident. I agree with you it´s in bad taste to cheer even if that accident helps your favourite team/driver to win. But if a car just stops and you celebrate that your team wins I don´t see anything wrong. It´s clear you won´t be sad if your team wins.

      6. Tim says:

        Is unsportive a real word, or did you make it up ? ;-)

      7. aveli says:

        class no longer exist in society.

    7. Tim says:

      Hey Val, I see you have given your, somewhat wayward, race/pole predictions a rest – is your crystal ball broken, or did you take my advice and ask for a refund?. You also seem to be backing off on your NR is quicker than LH crusade. See you at the end of the season for a tally up.
      Take care ;-)

      1. Valentino from montreal says:

        Funny ! Btw , my predictions are more accurate than you give me credit for … Vettel is still going to be world champ in 13 and also 2014 !! And Rosberg still has ALL of Merc’s wins so far , so as Biff in ” Back to the future ” says :

        ” make like a tree .. , and leave ”

        : ))

      2. Andrew M says:

        You predicted Hamilton would outperform Rosberg at Silverstone and then Rosberg would win when all the drivers ahead of him hit problems? Awesome.

      3. Tim says:

        So, let’s recap and review, from all your myriad predictions at the beginning of the season – the only one you are still claiming is, wait for it, roll of drums , taa daa – ‘SV will be world champ’. That’s not likely to win you many prediction awards, is it? In fact as predictions go, it’s really a bit of a non starter, wouldn’t you say?
        I might just have a flick back through and find some of your less than accurate predictions, for you/me to enjoy :-)

        So, as Fleegle might have said to Bingo -

        Best make like a banana and split ;-)

      4. Elie says:

        Ha ha love it Tim !

    8. cos says:

      @ no. 5 er let me get this right the team cheer when one of their drivers gets pole, the German supporters aren’t as happy as they wanted to see a German on pole…and this is somehow breaking news to you??

    9. DJ says:

      Am sure the crowd will be respectful and not boo a Hamilton win, unlike the boorish Silverstone and Montreal crowds. Shame on them

    10. Justin Case says:

      C’mon Val…………..As if you wouldnt have contiued to tune in to Canadas best TV series ever……. De Grassi Junior High….if ‘Joey’ left the show after the first few seasons.

      Same with Michael………the team is bigger than the driver

    11. David C says:

      Maybe they were supporting the German driver, the triple world champion. Ot maybe they have a preference for Nico bacause he’s German. I spent a bit of time in Germany and I’ll tell you one thing there will be no brittish style cheering if a brittish driver breaks down to let a non German pass. They have too much class for that. I’ve had tHe privilege to attend a few German GP and I have to say great fans who would never stoop to the level of silver stone this year.

      1. Tyemz says:

        It’s not about Brits and Germans. The crowd in silverstone cheered because Vettel’s withdrawal opens up a slight possibility that the season won’t end early afterall. I’m not a Brit or German or Spaniard but I cheered as loud as the silverstone spectators (in front of my TV) when he retired for two reasons:
        1. It opens up the WDC
        2. Multi 21

      2. Jake says:

        Agreed German/British had nothing to do with it. The Brits have a sense of fair play and they believe Seb screwed over Mark and Mark has a big following in Britain.

      3. Tim says:

        +1
        As a neutral, you are in a perfect position to comment.

  6. Canadian Fan says:

    Great job by Lewis! He is the fastest on the grid over a single lap on any given day. Always able to lay it down when it counts.

    Nice to see Lotus looking competitive again after a few sloppy races.

    Is that a new lap record by Hamilton? Or are the lap records only set during the race? (1:29.486 by Schumacher, 2004).

    1. Glennb says:

      During the race.

    2. SteveS says:

      “He is the fastest on the grid over a single lap on any given day”

      The evidence of the last several years says otherwise.

    3. Andrew M says:

      Lap records are only set during the race, but frankly they mean less and less as time goes on.

    4. Fireman says:

      That’s Lewis alright. Phenomenal one lap speed.

      1. User0815 says:

        I like Rob Wilson’s analysis regarding Rosberg vsHamilton on the lastest episode of “The racer’s edge”, think it’s pretty accurate:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGsdq5XzEW8

    5. Schum says:

      @Canadian Fan: Lap records are only set during race. MSc did it with a V10 and tyres with treads.

    6. Tim says:

      I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure lap records are set during the race and not qualifying.

      1. Richard says:

        Around Silverstone it was quoted by the BBC that Lewis had a new “qualifying lap” record!!!

    7. F1fan says:

      If he were the fastest, he would have most pole positions.

      1. Lizard says:

        I know, vettel would have 39 Poles even in a HRT. If hamilton was really fastest he would have the most even in much slower car then red bull. you are right.

      2. Richard says:

        Not so because it depends on car set up and balance, and indeed how fast the actual car is.
        This year Lewis has been feeing his feet, and the car is still not quite to his liking, but the scales are starting to tip in his favour at Mercedes.

      3. Elie says:

        Ahhmm.. The car has something to do with it too.. He hasn’t been in a Red Bull for 4 years has he.

  7. goferet says:

    Brilliant performance by Lewis and the team’s mechanics and engineers. Judging from Lewis’ expression, he sure didn’t expect to do this well more so with track temperatures at 41C.

    Gutted for Rosberg, it’s always frustrating when a driver loses out due to the team’s strategy mistakes but as always, we learn from our mistakes.

    Good effort by the Red Bull drivers too however taking into account Vettel’s pace from FP2 and FP3, they sure let this one slip through their fingers.

    Looking at Lotus’ pace, it appears their significant upgrades from Silverstone are coming up to speed though, am surprised Kimi got the better Grosjean after his good form in the earlier part of qualifying.

    Amazing performance from Ricciardo again, Massa, Jenson and Bianchi too however, surprised the Force India haven’t enjoyed this track >>> new 2013 tyre problems perhaps.

    Right, lets see how tomorrow will pan out but am not sure those that have gone for the mediums have called it right >>> I mean this strategy didn’t work out too good form Vettel in China.

    1. LewisTheBest says:

      kimi had been quicker than romain since q1 and q2.

      In his final lap, button ruined kimi ‘s outlap and he failed to heat up the front tyre fast enough and hence losing a few tenths.

    2. testgate rules says:

      ricciardo a redbull in 2014?

      1. Horno says:

        Nope, gotta be Raikkonen..

      2. Lezza says:

        So, explain the rationale behind the assertion.

      3. Horno says:

        They also helped in at WRC, so he has the connections+otus isn’t what he is looking for.. He only cares about winning.

      4. Kingszito says:

        Sorry, Kimi has signed for Red Bull already, don’t ask me how I know this. Ricardo to Red Bull is just to hype the situation. The young man should focus on what he is doing currently. He is doing great! One day he will be a Champ no doubt about that. It’s written all over him.

      5. Pete says:

        How do you know? Are you Bernie? :p but JA doesn’t seem convinced!

      6. Tim says:

        the deal is done – it’s Kimi who has the seat.

      7. James Allen says:

        I’m not so sure..

        There’s quite a push internally for Ricciardo

      8. Tim says:

        To be truthful I am only repeating what Johnny Herbert said on Sky, I have no idea who has got the seat. Although, if I am honest I would prefer it to be Riciardo as I think Kimi is overrated.

      9. Gareth says:

        and you can be sure Mr Vettel, wants Riccardo

      10. Veena says:

        Kimi overrated. Actually its the other way.

      11. Luke DLP says:

        I still don’t get why RB would want Kimi..? They’ve already got a guy who will (more than likely) have 4 WDCs by the end of the year so why do they need another ready-to-go world beater? Especially given that this guy has already left the sport once and probably has only a couple of years left in the game (before he moves on to racing spaceships or something). I think they’d be better looking to the future and trying to get RIC up to speed before VET heads over to Ferrari in a couple of years..

      12. Elie says:

        Without any shadow of a doubt- Kimi is the most underrated driver In F1 in more than 30 years.

      13. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        In Red Bull they are crazy if they do not pick HULKENBERG, today he got P10 in qualy with a historic crap car. Maybe Marko just wants to justify himself putting a driver from his academy.

        Otherwise, maybe HULK can go to Ferrari sooner or later.

      14. Matthew Cheshire says:

        It wouldn’t be as crazy as funding an entire F1 team to train drivers only to sack them every 2 years.

        Winning races and championships is just bragging rights and media exposure. Winning with your own drivers is better again. Kimmi and Riccardo both fit the Red Bull brand in different ways. The Hulk makes little sense. RB already have a German driver. An international team would be a better asset, especially with Vettel dominant.

      15. Tim says:

        I don’t disagree with you, also it’s not the first time Hulk has delivered in quali’. If the rumours about him not being paid are true, then I guess he needs to sort something out, as his current drive may not last much longer :-(

      16. Trickle says:

        I believe Hulkenberg is on the ferrari path, not red bull. If Massa goes this year then I’d expect Hulkenberg to go to Ferrari.

        As for the Red Bull seat. Always liked JEV and I think he seems to do better than Ricciardo usually but has the lion’s share of bad luck. (That said Ricciardo did great in qualifying yesterday).

        Paul DiResta to go to Lotus if one of those seats change and Bianchi to go to Force India.

        Guttierez, Webber, Massa, Grosjean, Van de Garde to all go end of season. Chilton would go but I imagine Marussia needs his money too badly.

      17. User0815 says:

        German press reports that Hulk has cancelled his Sauber contract with immediate effect, but will continue to drive for them. The reason being that Sauber are not able to pay him anymore. If that’s true, he’s now free to go whenever he wants, while Sauber is free to get a paydriver.

        James: Did you hear anything about that and is it likely to be true?

      18. James Allen says:

        Yes, I heard that.

        Lotus are very keen on him

      19. BW says:

        Mexican rookie made it P14 in this crap car, ahead of Force India and Toro Rosso..

      20. bearforce1 says:

        The hulk. But maybe the Hulk would be too competitive.

    3. Fireman says:

      Rosberg could try similar strategy as Ferrari and get a good result if the long run pace with the prime tire is there.

    4. Nick says:

      Wasn’t Ricciardo the last driver to set a time on the softer tyres ?
      It would’ve been “amazing” had he qualified 4th.

      1. Greg (Aus) says:

        And where’s his team mate? Oh that’s right, P16 and almost a second down on pace in Q2. It’s a great effort in that car.

        I suspect he he wasn’t going to set a time either until they saw Ferrari pull the prime strategy. Hey, why not take the free spots?

      2. Nick says:

        I’m putting it in perspective, Greg. Yes he did beat his teammate, good for him, but would’ve he beaten the Ferrari had they set a time on the softer tires ?
        He did well to get into the top 10 but 6th place was more like handed to him than he doing something special to earn it.

      3. Greg (Aus) says:

        Fair call mate; though I reckon he could have had Hulk and Button even if they had bothered to set a time. The special bit was getting that car into Q3 to begin with.

      4. Lezza says:

        What’s the point here, Nick?
        Who gives a hoot what tyres he was on?
        Isn’t it all about having a go, regardless of equipment stature, track conditions, politics et al?
        And another point re the RB seat opening.
        The Finn has all the charisma of a dead fish.
        Riccardio [especially after his teeth job] has a nice smile and a good personality.
        That’ll get him him over the line.

      5. Geronimo says:

        Raikkonen is certainly one of the most popular drivers on the grid!
        Ricciardo will get Webber’s fans i suppose. That is, about nothing outside the Anglo-Saxon world.

        For both performance and marketting he doesn’t stand a chance to get the RB seat if Raikko’s in i’m afraid. And to be perfectly honest, if you put aside his qualifying results (a minor part of a F1 driver job), he’s hardly impressed compared to his teammate…

      6. Nick says:

        Never knew that charisma and a nice smile win you races and championships. Learned something new today.

      7. Nick says:

        Surely its about having a go and I appreciate that, but making a 6th place to be a grand achievement when none of the drivers below him set a time on the faster tires does seem a bit over the top.

    5. Quade says:

      Yeah, sad for Rosberg. Fingers crossed for him to charge through the field like a bat outa hell.
      The right strategy could still see him on the podium.

  8. aveli says:

    hamilton starts the story again and we’ll find out how he plays it in the middle and how it finishes tomorrow.
    the red bulls are both in the best positions to play a huge role on how the story ends. alonso and massa are not that far off and it’d be nice to see how rosberg moves up the field.

  9. goferet says:

    Fun facts

    a) The new Nurburgring doesn’t necessarily favour the pole guy. Taking into account the races held at the European Grand Prix and Luxembourg Grand Prix i.e. 1984 + 1999-2007 + 1997-1998, only Schumi has won from pole (2001 + 2004) >>> Webber won from pole too in 2009 under the German Grand Prix.

    However,

    b) The last time Mercedes were on pole in 1954 (at the old Nurburgring), Fangio went on to win.

    c) Lewis has equalled Fangio’s pole Record with 29.

    1. Pete says:

      Thanks!

    2. cos says:

      @9 ….dude…seriously?? whats with you and stats? Did you used to write for Wisden in a prevous life? ;)

      1. goferet says:

        @ cos

        Lol… I just love stats that’s all.

      2. David C says:

        Goferet lives stats 9 out of ten people know that.

    3. aveli says:

      those things don’t mean a thing! focus on enjoying what’s happening now. the future will soon be revealed and you’ll notice how unique it is.

  10. Glennb says:

    Congrats to Lewis and his fans. Bummed for Nico but thats the way it goes sometimes. I stll reckon (hope) that Webber is worth a few dollars each way tomorrow. He’s had good long run pace all weekend and knows his way around here. Disappointed Ferrari didn’t have a go in Q3. Felipe was looking good in Qualy and could hve strted well up. Way to go Daniel :) looking good son. The kid seems to be stumping up at the right time. Hoping for a good points finish for him tomorrow. They ought to put him in a RB for the Silverstone / Pirelli tyre test.

    1. Fireman says:

      I think Ferrari should’ve put the cars on different strategies to minimize total failure.

      1. gudien says:

        Scuderia Ferrari seem to lack the critical ingredient for success. In the ‘Days of Shumacher’ the team had Ross Brawn there to call strategy faultlessly. Where does Ferrari excel now?

      2. Sasidharan says:

        Sad to say …..gambling!

      3. Tim says:

        Ross Brawn there to call strategy faultlessly..
        I wander if Nico considers his strategy calls quite so faultless? Dropped the ball in quali’
        yesterday ;-)

      4. Elie says:

        Yeah agree with this

    2. Matthew Cheshire says:

      And Ferrari should put him in a red car in 2014. If the Kimi rumours pan out.

  11. aveli says:

    the last fia rule states that there should be no publication of hamilton breaking a lap record.

  12. Paige says:

    Great job by Lewis and the team to get the car right. Lewis still looked somewhat uncomfortable on the pole lap- one noticable instance in which he had to control a slide, a couple of unoptimized apexes- but he took what he had and got it done. I’m not so sure he can keep the Bulls behind him like he did in Silverstone, but if he can stay ahead in the first stint, he could pull it off. The tires are more forgiving when you’re out front in clean air, but I’m not so sure that the balance in the car will even be there for him.

    Poor Rosberg. He did have speed today. It would have been close between he and Lewis for pole, but there definitely could have been another Mercedes lockout of the front row.

    Lotus looks very quick this weekend. Raikkonen was strong in qualifying, and the car showed stronger pace than it has since Spain. Lotus has been kinder to the tires than the other teams, but just hasn’t had the pace in the last three races to make use of it. Let’s see if they do this weekend.

    Ferrari is the big wildcard. That is an interesting strategy that they are choosing to do a long first stint, and it’s something that could pay off for them. They didn’t have the pace to challenge for the front two rows today, so instead of gunning it for the second row with Lotus, they’re going to try a long first stint on the mediums with a hot track, get out front in clean air in the first pit stops, and use a fresh set of softs in the race.

    Tomorrow is going to be a very close and exciting race. The teams were VERY close on pace today. Personally, I think Lotus and Ferrari might have a little something to challenge for victory tomorrow.

  13. goferet says:

    Food for thought.

    Only three drivers on the current grid have won the German Grand Prix >>> Lewis, Webber and Alonso.

    Taking into account Alonso already has 3 wins (one shy of the record 4 held by Schumi), the theory goes that Alonso may never win this race ever again.

    As everybody knows Alonso is no Schumi.

    1. DonSimon says:

      You mean he doesn’t have bridgestone build him custom tyres?

      1. zombie says:

        You mean like the ones Hakkinen had in 2000 and 2001 and yet lost the titles ?

      2. DJ says:

        I think he meant “Alonso is no Schumi”. Obviously they are different individuals :p

      3. Dutch Johnny says:

        Brilliant coming with that bridgestone story… Funny how i never hear any one complain about hakkinnens championship. In ’98 they almost where the only one on bridgestones when they won it… Double standards?

      4. Aussie F1 Fan says:

        Yawn… Like they did for Mclaren in 98 and 99?

  14. Jame Bond says:

    I actually think that Ferrari should have splited strategies. Massa was fastesi in Q1 and Q2 so he could have gone with softer compound and start around P3.

    1. Fireman says:

      +1!

    2. Anop says:

      Exactly what I also thought. But looks like they are pretty sure that the strategy will work tomorrow and cause of that it makes sense to put both the drivers on the same strategy. I see Ferrari playing it beautifully tomorrow to get maximum points for constructors. They won in China and Spain on pure strategy and race pace. I know its a long shot but I for one won’t be surprised if they win tomorrow.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        For me:

        1st HAMILTON
        2nd WEBBER
        3RD VETTEL *

        * Explaination: Vettel will be wide at he will be lucky enough to recovery and pass Kimi in the last stage for getting P3…

      2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        (The Perfect Script)TM

        So Alonso will be P1 in lap 10 when everybody pit for mediums(HAM, VETTEL, WEBBER, RAIKKONEN). They have average 10 second-gap in the pocket against Alonso.

        Alonso is in clean air in P1 but soon with used Mediums, while everyone has new Mediums in that lap 10.

        In lap 27 Alonso will pit for more Mediums and maybe he can get P5. He gains some seconds closing the gap with front-runners.

        Around lap 33 the 4 front-runners will do the last pit for Mediums. After that, Alonso will fight for P4.

        In lap 52 Alonso pit for Soft, while the others are in used Mediums. Everybody is quick and nervous because Alonso is faster…

        Alonso gains 1.2 seconds per lap, maybe overtake Grosjean, Ricciardo, but not Webber.

        In that point Vettel goes wide and it is passed by Webber and Kimi.

        Vettel fight back for P3 and get the podium.

        No explosion, no gearbox failure, nothing.

        Pirelli can breathe, the nightmare is over.

    3. Anne says:

      They might split strategies in pit stops depending how good or bad things go.Qualy was not important for them. But honestly I don´t trust Ferrari with this experiment

    4. Sasidharan says:

      Then how can they say…”Alonso is faster than you”?

    5. Nigel says:

      Unlikely, as I think he’d already used all three sets of options before Q3.

  15. Joel says:

    Now that Webber is starting right after Vettel, what are the odds that he will get a clean start? :)

    1. Schum says:

      none !

    2. Tim says:

      For goodness sake, that nice Christian Horner and Dr Marko have both stated that Red Bull do not have number 1 and 2 drivers. Now what more do you want? Honestly, there is no pleasing some people ;-)

      1. User0815 says:

        The devil’s advocate would says you’re right:
        Red Bull have no reason to please Webber anymore and Webber has no reason to please Vettel anymore.
        But Red Bull have plenty of reason to make sure Webber does not spoil Vettel’s hopes for a title.
        But Red Bull are not stupid, they know they need Webber’s points for the constructor’s championship.

        Now one could think about the possibility that Red Bull could buy out Webber and install the Hulk just to make sure. Bearing in mind, that Hulkenberg would need some time to adapt to the car and the engineers, which contains the risk of falling behind Mercedes in the constructor’s, this seems unlikely.

        However, as Murray Walker used to say: “Anything can happen in Grand Prix racing, and it usually does.”

    3. Rob says:

      Webber, as much as we love him, will drop the clutch too slow or too fast, and will end up behind a charging Alonso by lap 2. Historically, this seems to be the pattern. Then he will have another “great recovery” in the closing stages to reach a max of P4.

      That, or he takes both SV and himself out of contention within the first 5 laps as part of another “See I’m a scrapper!” show piece.

    4. All revved-up says:

      Didn’t Webber have a great start at Monaco? He lined up next to Vettel on the starting grid.

  16. Irish con says:

    Ferraris decision is a gamble but as its harder to overtake here than at china it could well pay off and the last 5-9 laps should be very exciting with the Ferraris coming through in a new soft tyre.

    I am not a Lewis Hamilton fan by any means but what he did today seriously impressed me. He was nowhere all weekend basically but pulled it out of the fire and stuck it on pole. Great job by him.

    1. Sasidharan says:

      Rosberg would have got the better time if he had scraped through to Q3

      1. Richard says:

        No!

      2. aveli says:

        could have would have don’t have.

      3. Elie says:

        Ahhmm.. Lewis has out qualified him all year. What’s the basis of your guess .. What Lewis has done is nothing short of outstanding. Nico has been in the team for 3 years – Lewis is new and already doing the job !

    2. User0815 says:

      If the Ferrari manage to keep the rest behind, which is hard because of the DRS, the first tire change could bring them back into the pack. They’d need to overtake some of them to gain any advantage, which I think is possible because of DRS. But it’s likely that all that fighting with the pack will impede them, compared to starting on softs and running like anyone else.

  17. SteveS says:

    Mercedes seem to be making a habit of messing things up for Rosberg.

    Good thing he’s not Australian, or the conspiracy theories would be flying thick and fast!

    1. Greg (Aus) says:

      It was an interesting decision and no mistake. Better to wait for it to be a pattern of behavior before it becomes a conspiracy theory ;-)

      That Britney sure has been quick…

  18. Yassin says:

    Hi James,

    I was wondering if you could give your opinion on something,

    I see that if Kimi matched Grojean’s second sector time he could have been on pole.

    Is this from set up or something else, plus why are the Double DRS is not on the cars?

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      Kimi said it was the first sector that cost him, couldn’t get the tyres up to temperature

      1. Elie says:

        In Q1,q2 Kimi was purple in Sec 1 . As soon as I saw Button come out – I knew he was going to loose a tenth or two..He would have been an easy P3.

    2. Martin says:

      The speed trap figures show Kimi 3 km/h down on Grosjean. Judging by the numbers in P1, P2 and P3. They tried different set ups in P2. Both used Kimi’s wing level in P3 and then Grosjean went back to the one he set his P2 top speed. Wind direction and fuel levels mess things around a little, but I think this stacks up. Sector two only two corners where Kimi’s greater wing level is going to add much – the slower S bends before the kink.

      The passive DRS system may have been a bit tricky with the Schumacher S curves as those are corners where the cars accelerate through at close to the limit at around the point where the fluid switch might be tuned to work. The Nurburgring has few long straights to make much of a gain anyway. Kimi’s top speed is only 294 km/h.

      Cheers,
      Martin

  19. Anne says:

    Congratulations to Lewis, another pole.
    Up front looks really promissing. Lewis, Seb, Mark and Kimi. I can´t wait to see what could happen in that first lap.

    I don´t know what to think about Ferrari´s eccentricity.

    1. Anop Valimbe says:

      I would say we should enjoy what Ferrari did. I like it as it does mix things up. They know they cannot beat Merc, RBR and Lotus on one lap so why not do the other best thing – do a different strategy.

      1. Anne says:

        The heat helps them. And that doesn´t seem to be the case with Mercedes or RB. But I don´t trust Ferrari, Dominicali in particular. I only trust their drivers but nothing more

  20. Kingszito says:

    Lewis pulled it together when it really mattered. I thought Vettel or Webber had this one. I hope Lewis maintains his position at the race with his new setup. Time will tell though! I am very sorry for Rosberg, hope he makes up some places at the race. Lotus and Red Bull are favorite for the race win. However it will really make my day if Lewis wins, he really deserve it after what happened to him at Silverstone!

    1. aveli says:

      they all deserve to win. the past will remain in the past, the present is often embraced and the future always reveals itself, come rain or shine.

  21. All revved-up says:

    Why did Hulk not set a time to get in front of Jenson? Is there some sort of “code of understanding”? Is the Hulk going to start on brand new mediums, while Jenson and the Ferrari’s on used mediums?

    1. BW says:

      Button didn’t set time, so he doesn’t have to use the best-time-tyres.

      1. All revved-up says:

        Thanks. I just read Button making some comment about cat and mouse with the Sauber. I must have missed that on the TV coverage.

  22. Sergio says:

    Wow! Imagine same situation in Silverstone with Hamilton instead Rosberg… Can you? Probably not. hmmmm. Let’s think: after Paris, no penalties, no British Media crusade against laughable verdict, Mercedes improves his race pace, HAM in the World Champ struggle…Ross Brawn strikes again! This is F1! Cheers!

  23. Olivier says:

    What a race it is going to be:

    1. Vettel vs Hamilton, the Silverstone battle revisited.

    2. Rosberg will have to race his heart out in front of his (second) home crowd. That would be a hard fought victory for him. But not impossible.

    3. Not sure about Ferrari’s poker game. Throw in the black Lotus and Webber’s grit and you got a hell of a race.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Not sure there was any battle between Hamilton and Vettel in Silverstone. Hamilton was comfortably controlling the lead till his tires blew out. Same with Vettel, he would have won the race easily had his gear box not failed.If everything goes well I am hoping Hamilton will win it. That will be a great result. I also hope Alonso will drive one of his classic races and make it to the podium by the end of the race.

      Overall, I can’t see how Alonso can keep up the title challenge this year with this car. Only a sustained effort by a resurgent Mercedes and some bad luck for Vettel can prevent him from running away with his 4th championship.

  24. K says:

    Using the reasoning usually used against Vettel:

    “Hamilton make 2 mistakes and still got pole. Just proves how fast the car is and what a brilliant designer Mercedes have. They also sabotaged Rosberg’s run to make sure he is no threat to Hamilton. It is easy winning from pole so if Hamilton can;t, it means he is an average driver in the fastest car”

    1. SteveS says:

      Yup, spot on.

    2. luqa says:

      LOL!!! As someone else said- good thing Rosberg is not an Aussie ;-)
      Seriously though, great lap by LH, but I wish he would stop moaning about how bad the car is- he’s starting to sound like that other Mclaren driver. That doesn’t get you too many fans when the evidence actually points to the fact the current car is the fastest over one lap..
      On another point-the “Brain” Brawn has now compromised NR twice in 9 races and the “team” has let him down in two more= almost 45% of the time… Coincidence- or just “bad” luck?

      1. User0815 says:

        Hamilton is an English driver, Rosberg is a German. Mercedes are an English team with a German badge.. I thinks that makes a good conspiracy theory. ;-)

    3. A says:

      Awesome, totally agree!

    4. DonSimon says:

      But anyone reasonable knows that is nonsense and not worth repeating. Not everyone thinks in binary terms. They are both amazing drivers, let’s stop being partisan and enjoy arguably the most talented list of drivers of all time.

    5. Quade says:

      Its true!
      I saw Ross Brawn cutting something on Rosbergs car when it was night, then somebody else injected Rosberg when he was asleep. :)

      Haha!

    6. LewisFTW says:

      What is wrong with you? Lewis is regarded as the fastest driver in F1 along with Alonso. He made two mistakes and still got pole, that shows true pace compared to everyone else and probably a faster red bull car. He is ahead of Rosberg in the WDC standings which says everything. Nothing is just down to the car. Stop hating on Lewis just because red bull didn’t get pole.

      1. K says:

        “He is ahead of Rosberg in the WDC standings which says everything.”

        Button was ahead in the WDC standing over the 3 years against Hamilton, so that says everything too then?

        Fact is, Rosberg got all the wrong strategy calls which cost him lots of points, 2 DNFs and a teamorder against him and he is just 7 points off Hamilton. And has 2 more wins.

        The point I made was, when Vettel got pole the way Hamilton did now, people would just brush it off as the car/Newey. So they have to be consistent and say it was the car/designer now too when Hamilton did exactly the same as Vettel.

      2. Tim says:

        Button was ahead in the WDC standing over the 3 years against Hamilton, so that says everything too then?..
        I was going to reply to your post and explain the weakness’ in your argument – but then I thought, what’s the point?

      3. Colombia Concalvez says:

        How come Button came ahead in point you biased hater ?, explain that ”Nothatreallyno”

      4. Hal says:

        Hamilton fan here. Never once tried to belittle Vettel because I am also fan of the sport (first and foremost). A sport is at its best when the participants are at the highest calibre – at the moment you have 5 WDC – all great in their own way.

        Point being I wish people would be happy to have a favourite without having to put other drivers achievements down.

        I know what you are getting at but if you are an F1 fan try to ignore them not fuel it. One of the reasons I read comments here is a because generally the posters are a lot more reasoned than some other sites.

      5. SteveS says:

        The thing is, I can’t tell if that’s serious or a parody.

      6. Tim says:

        Maybe, it’s a serious parody ;-)

    7. Surya says:

      I don’t understand why some guys bring this conspiracy theories to the table. Ask the attention which Nico is receiving is only because he upped his game this year. Last year this time around he was not even the talk in the media. Though Nico is doing a good job he never really fought hard for the win at Silverstone. It is very right to say that he was gifted the win. Meaning look at Webber from 3rd to 15th and then second in the race driving his heart out. I don’t see Nico doing that.

    8. absolude says:

      +1

    9. Tyemz says:

      If that’s true then it seems someone close to RB might be working for Merc. spoiling one driver’s race to favour the team’s pet is an art that has been perfected by RB and RB only!

    10. Richard says:

      I can’t make up my mind if you have the wooden paddle out or just dim!

    11. Joel says:

      Had Rosberg not made a mistake on his first run on soft’s, he would not have been eliminated. He messed up, but salvaged it in the 2nd lap but about .167 secs slower than Hamilton. But, that difference was good enough from 6th (Ham) – 11th (Ros). No doubt the team messed it up. However, Rosberg knew that they aren’t going to run the second time in P2. His messup in the first run is partly to blame too.

  25. Dani says:

    Hi James i have a question off topic here:
    2 questions actually
    1- Are current f1 cars faster than previous eras? one one hand, the current cars have high down-force and great aero but on the other hand, the old generations car ( 80,90s, early 2000) had more torque and power..which are faster f1 cars?
    2- I notice that drivers don’t make major mistakes now, for example in the 90s, drivers would be leading the race and then make a mistake and crash ( Damon hill did it a few times in 95) but now it seems like f1 drivers make way fewer mistakes, why is that so? is it because these drivers are better than older generation of drivers or because the current cars are so much easier to drive? please reply thnx

    1. James Allen says:

      Good questions.

      Some lap records stand from the V10 era, but you always have to be careful about circuit changes in the interim

      There was more testing in the past, so the drivers did more kms in the cars, But they were also more unreliable in those days, so didn’t finish as much. I think the standard is very high today

      1. Dani says:

        thank you

    2. Jonathan says:

      one of the most significant changes when it comes to reliability is the paddle shift gearbox.

      When the drivers had manual gearboxes they had to take one hand off the steering wheel (although we should remember steering is all they used it for!) to move the gear lever – as well as using a clutch pedal. This gave several opportunities to ruin a car. Gear changes were all but impossible through many corners. Those that tried it risked wrecking gear box or engine as well as the possibility of driving off into a gravel trap from which there was often no return. This lead to a great many overtaking opportunities. Miss a gear change and you were overtaken and hoped you could find the right gear again.

      Engineers used to talk of gearboxes that were a pile of bits at the end of a race whilst their team mate might be able to use theirs in the next race.

      Modern engine management has made it so much easier – even if a gearbox has a problem the ECU will not let the engine rev into oblivion.

      It makes me laugh when they say traction control is banned. TC as many know it is banned but the ECU does the same thing in another way. The ECU knows exactly how fast the car can accelerate at any point and any gear. If the engine revs rise faster than it knows is possible it backs off. TC is banned at the wheels but it is impossible to ban them from achieving it in the engine.

      In other words reliability has largely been achieved by removing the chance of a driver making a mistake.

      Mechanically the cars are easier to drive but physically there are much greater g forces to cope with a a whole host of extra switches and options to monitor and adjust (especially KERS and DRS). The game has changed so it is far too simple to say they are easier to drive. One could say easier to drive but at least as hard, if not harder, to race.

      1. Dani says:

        thank you for your reply !! i really enjoyed reading your comment

      2. Jonathan says:

        you’re welcome.

        I can see others have added some good points too. Well done for asking questions that have triggered some excellent responses. It is so refreshing to see well thought through responses that are not triggered by bias, prejudice or fanboy status!

        Maybe this could be the basis for some really interesting comparative articles for some of the quieter times James?

    3. ferggsa says:

      Dani, I am sure James will have better answers than myself but here are some thoughts:

      Technology is always evolving and modern carbon cars are lighter and stiffer than old steel, aluminum, glassfiber ones and makes for faster cars
      Same goes for brakes, suspensión geometry and aerodynamic downforce/drag, as well as engine efficiency

      In most F1 tracks you need a balance of power versus nimbleness and downforce, so in general I would assume most modern cars are faster around the track than older more powerful, but heavier and less efficient ones

      You can tell that even now with Red Bulls being faster overall than the rest even if they have a “poor” top speed in straights

      This brings me to think it must be easier to drive a modern stiff car with controlled power, lots of downforce and driver assists than forcing a post-war Mercedes through the full Nurburgring or Monaco

      On the other hand G forces and sheer speed requires a lot more strenght, reflexes and precisión then the old days, so it is a different game alltogether
      Just imagine the effect of modern lateral Gs at Eau Rouge on the late Froilan Gonzalez belly

      On the error subject I think drivers have changed to be more complete athletes than before and thus cope better with endurance, stress, concentration, reflexes, etc., and I guess most have some phsico advice in terms of managing results

      I would also venture to say telemetry data gives them info that before only came through “seat of the pants” perceptions and this helps them to avoid errors that in the old days came from pushing to find the limits, not to mention radio orders like “slow down Seb, you are going too fast”

      1. Dani says:

        thank you I agree, drivers seem more complete these days

    4. Mr Ed says:

      One of the commentators gave a good description on this recently. He said with the current cars the focus is very much focus on handling and balance. If they get it right the car goes where you point it and the driver’s job is to point it in the right direction at the right speed. When you hear a driver complain about the car being undriveable it’s because they haven’t got it quite right and he’s struggling to position it on the track.

      In years past this was more the norm and the drivers were constantly wrestling the cars around, forcing them to go where they wanted and consequently there was more potential for it to not go quite right.

      1. Dani says:

        interesting, thanks !

    5. Spinodontosaurus says:

      F1 from 2010 onwards is as fast as it has ever been (with the exception of 2012), despite what certain groups of nostalgia-blinded fanboys would have you think.
      2004-spec cars are faster around engine tracks such as Monza and Montreal, but only equally as fast if not slower elsewhere, despite modern F1 cars carrying 40kg more ballast.
      The Red Bull RB6 of 2010 had silly amounts of mid-corner grip – it was flat though Copse at Silvertsone, Turn 8 in Tukrey and Turn 9 in Spain!

      If you ever get the chance to find laps such as Vettel’s Australia pole laps in 2010/2011, his Hungary pole in 2010 or Monaco pole in 2011… watch them.

      UK users can see his Hungary 2010 lap here:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8873828.stm
      Others will have to make do with this cropped version with commentary on Youtube:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MGXeW6aeT4

      1. Dani says:

        good point thnx

    6. Sasidharan says:

      Thought for Question 2:Better simulators?

    7. Tim says:

      q2. The circuits have a lot more tarmac run off areas now. The same areas before were often gravel traps. This means when a driver makes a mistake now, their race is no longer over, as it would have been in the past.

    8. Amritra j says:

      To your second question, my opinion is that there has been huge change in the human performance element.

      Be it physical training and fitness, nutrition, mind management and the general job of being an F1 driver.

      Better technology to practice on (simulators) is a huge part of the equation as well.

  26. FerrariFan says:

    While its perfectly understandable why Ferrari chose the counter-strategy for Alonso, its confusing why they did it to Massa. Massa was quick in both Q1 and Q2 and they should have given him new softs and let him compete with the others. He would have qualified in the second row and remember his starts are great. Why can’t Ferrari split strategies. I don’t agree with their strategy. They always choose the least adventurous strategies.

    1. Anop Valimbe says:

      It is maybe because they are so sure that starting on medium tyres is the best strategy for their cars and if it the best strategy then why not put both cars on it? I think its a brilliant strategy which should pay off if Fernando and Felipe have a clean race.

      Vettel could not make the same strategy work in China because DRS made it easy for Fernando and Kimi to clear traffic and the red bull was not as fast as the Ferrari on race pace.

      However, if its difficult to overtake tomorrow then Ferrari are in with a chance as Ferrari have the race pace Red Bull and Lotus has.

    2. franb says:

      Because if massa out qualified Alonso in that scenario it would just highlight further what a poor qualifier Alonso is and Ferrari protects their #1 driver.

    3. All revved-up says:

      Ferrari want to use Massa as a road block against the front runners when they change tyres from soft to medium after 8 laps or so. This will allow Alonso to build up a gap in clean air.

    4. Sasidharan says:

      What I feel is they are confident about “what they are doing”.

    5. Jake says:

      Simple, if they put Massa on a different strategy how can they use him as a gauge for Alonso.

  27. Marcelo Leal says:

    In the last years, I would say the “one lap pace” (raw talent/speed) is like this:

    1 – Hamilton
    2 – Vettel
    3 – Webber and Rosberg (tough battle)

    In a “same” car scenario…

    The other drivers I think are pretty “regular” in terms of “one lap pace” (raw speed). And that is the talent I really like to watch and appreciate in F1.

    The race is important to watch another talent: overtake skill.

    Alonso and Kimi are “constant” drivers in race pace. What gives Alonso an edge is that he has the constancy AND he has some good overtake skills. But, in my opinion, Hamilton is the best in overtakes after Senna.

    In the rain, he is the only one in the same lap as Senna. Like in Silverstone (2008), just two drivers in the same lap…

    So, Lewis Hamilton is the best driver after Senna. The greatest in the current grid.

    1. SteveS says:

      I rate Hamilton highly as a driver but his fans are, shall we say, unusually prone to hyperbole.

      Yes, Hamilton has had some good drives in the wet. But so have all the other top drivers – Vettel, Alonso, Button, Kimi, and others.

      Yes, Hamilton is excellent in qualifying. But is he better than anyone else on the grid? Better than Vettel? That seems doubtful.

      For some reason a lot of people who yawn indifferently when Vettel wins pole (and make some silly crack about Newey to boot) go into paroxysms of ecstasy when Hamilton does the same thing – even when it’s obvious that LH’s car is quicker over a lap than SV’s.

      1. Nigel says:

        “it’s obvious that”

        You are making the same mistake you (rightly) point out in Marcelo.
        Hamilton’s Q3 lap wasn’t perfect – but neither was Vettel’s. It’s not obvious to me which was the quicker car.
        The only time we can be certain about these things is when drivers are competing in the same machinery.

      2. SteveS says:

        “It’s not obvious to me which was the quicker car.”

        The Merc is a quicker car over one lap – as long as the track is dry. Every single time it has been dry n Saturday this season, one of the two Merc’s has been on pole. If THAT is not obvious than nothing in F1 is. I doubt if you’d say “It is not obvious that the 2011 RB was the best car that year – we’d have to see all the drivers in the same car to know that”. This “we can’t really say” stuff is trotted out only in carefully selected situations.

      3. kurik says:

        Completely agree that some Hamilton fans can get a bit carried away. I am a big fan of lewis but he is one of the best and not necessarily ‘the’ best. Vettel,alonso,kimi are undeniably in the same category and I respect all their skill car or no car. At this point it’s about the championship: do you have the tools and can you make effective use of it with the skill you have and team behind you because no driver wins on their own. A pit lane mistake of management mistake can end it just as well as the driver.
        Whoever wins deserves to win and all others just have to do better next time. Simple as that.

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      How someone can think Mark and Nico are faster that Alonso over one lap is beyond me. Alonso has an awesome one lap pace, thats why his score with Massa for the past 3 years is the biggest diference of the grid. Problem is that he is one of the bests (maybe THE best)race drivers ever and people think he kind of “underperforms” in Q3, but as said before, looking his face-to-face with Massa you can see that is not true.

  28. Jordon191 says:

    Had the thought that Webber is still seriously quick, despite what his detractors like to say. To get within one-tenth of Vettel for any human being is remarkable; then consider the fact that his size and weight v-a-v Vettel gives him a handicap of at least a couple of tenths per lap, and you’re talking someone who is still, at age 36, seriously on it.

  29. Richard says:

    I think we have gone past the point where Nico Rosberg will get the better of Lewis Hamilton. While Lewis was struggling with set up, of course Nico found it difficult not to go faster, but once the team had sorted Lewis’s car out then I think second would have been the best Nico could have extracted from qualifying, and even that was at risk from Sebastion Vettel. I think that Lewis could actually gone a bit faster because his pole lap while being fast enough was not perfect, perhaps another couple of tenths. In the race Red Bull are going to be very difficult to hold off especially if the Mercs tyres degrade faster, but we will see. The option tyre will not last long, and I think Lewis could be in as early as lap six.

  30. Frank says:

    Vettel had one mistake, Hamilton two mistakes on their fastest laps. It just shows how almighty the Mercs are in Q3.

    And funny people are asking, if Webber will get a good start tomorrow. Just asking, because, why would RB give him a car, that is quick for P3 in the first place??

    And what about Malaysisa, Brawn, Rosberg, Hamilton?

    Today they didn’t let Rosberg out, because of misjudgment.. LOL!

    Ross Brawn, the “tactic fox” misjudged the situation, when a lot of drivers were told about the changing wind in Q1 already.

    I think Mercedes desperately wants Hamilton to get his first win and Rosberg was so much quicker on this weekend than Lewis (again).

    How should they explain why Hamilton gets the double amount of money than Nico at the end of the year?

    The “cheaper” driver has two wins, the teamorder in Malaysia, DNF in Australia, and technical issues in China….

    But today it was the wind LOL!

    1. trev says:

      ‘I think Mercedes desperately wants Hamilton to get his first win and Rosberg was so much quicker on this weekend than Lewis (again).’

      Yet if Rosberg had been quicker than Hamilton in Q2 he would have been safely through to Q3.

    2. Richard says:

      Rosberg was not faster than Hamilton in FP1. Set up problems prevented Hamilton putting in representative laps in FP2 & FP3. In qualifying Hamilton was faster by a couple of tenths when he wasn’t really trying. I think you will from this point see just why Hamilton is worth the money. The only reason Rosberg won in Monaco was because the others could not overtake easily, and he won Silverstone by default after Hamilton’s tyre failed, and Vettel’s gearbox packed in. Rosberg has had an advantage in familiarity with the Mercedes car and systems, but the scales are starting to tip the other way now as Hamilton feels his feet.

    3. Joel says:

      Lewis was quicker than Rosberg in both Q1 & Q2. Enough said.

    4. Jake says:

      Like him or hate him Lewis brings a whole lot of media attention to the team. The amount of publicity that Merc get from this is huge.
      Last year nobody was talking about Nico. Merc are getting their moneys worth. The qualifying strategy was the same for both drivers, one run and save the tyres. The team misjudged the cut off time, it could just have easily been Hamilton. There is no conspiracy, the team will be judged on where they finish in the WCC they need Lewis and Nico both to do well.

    5. Tim says:

      Ross Brawn, the “tactic fox”..
      If there was any justice, you would receive some sort of an award for that! The rest of your post is nonsense but – ‘tactic fox’ – well that is pure gold :-)

    6. Hal says:

      This is akin to the conspiracy theories regarding MW @ Mclaren trying to savotage Lewis to make Button look good by some deluded Lewis fans (I’m a fan but not deluded). I won’t use the word I used before as James didn’t like it (don’t know why tbh) but lets just say I find this view rather silly.

  31. Robert N says:

    Did the Ferraris run on the medium tyre in earnest?

    If not, why did they allow Massa to get ahead of Alonso? That will mean that Alonso will have to start on the dirty side …

  32. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    GUIERREZ finally deserve a good note, he qualifies P14 ahead Sutil, Vergne and the two Williams. And it is Nurburgring.

  33. John says:

    The article says regarding Ferrari drivers: “But they were unable to match the single lap pace of Hamilton and the Red Bull duo when it came to crunch time in Q3.”
    This is not true. They did not attempt to fight for the pole position. Massa would have been P4 with his lap from Q2. They made their mind well in advance of how they want to approach the race. The idea is to use the soft tyres at the end when the car is the lightest and try to overtake if necessary.

    1. Richard says:

      They did not fight for pole because they were not fast enough. Both Ferrari and Lotus appeared faster than they actually were because track temperatures increased dramatically when they did their Q2 stint. They therefore went for an alternative strategy.

  34. Lai Lai says:

    Call me Crazy. But I see a Ferrari 1-2 finish.

    1. Rob says:

      Hey, crazy! ;-)

    2. Anop Valimbe says:

      You are not the only one out there my friend.

    3. Matthew Cheshire says:

      You are crazy.
      Unless there is a Monaco sized pile of wreckage, there is no chance of that. And if there are mass casualties, Massa will probably be one of them anyway.

      1. Lai Lai says:

        @Matthew Cheshire, NO CHANCE you say, So in your vast F1 experience you don’t think a guy like Alonso could win a race like today? Why would there need to be a Monaco like wreckage when Alonso has shown he can’t dominate a field from behind, he’s passed Lewis how many times this year? Canada, Spain I could go on. But your the expert.

      2. Lai Lai says:

        *CAN DOMINATE*

      3. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Hey, remain calm, F1 is just a form of entertainment. And you did request to be called crazy.

        Of course Alonso could have won, but a 1-2 for Ferrari was impossible without some spectacular event(s) occurring.

        Interesting now is that if I could tell that Massa was never going to finish, what are Ferrari thinking? Probably wondering what Hulkenburg wants to get paid.

    4. TheRealGDG says:

      Hi Crazy…I tend to agree with you. Strangers things have happened!

      1. Matthew Cheshire says:

        The Eurovision is the strangest thing I can think of, but a Ferrari 1-2 this year may beat that.

  35. Phil Glass says:

    Hi James, very slightly off topic:
    there is a rumor that if Kimi makes the podium he plans to keep his helmet on for the podium ceremony. Have you by any chance seen the haircut?

  36. zombie says:

    Ferrari are toast :( I’m afraid this year will be the beginning of end for Alonso-Ferrari dream marriage. Ferrari better start hunting for Alonso’s replacement for 2015.

  37. McHarg123 says:

    James.
    I know Ricciardo is strongly backed and linked to the RB seat for 2014, but surely other teams would be keen to snap him up, in the case that Kimi goes to RB? Maybe Lotus? or perhaps Ferrari?

  38. JustaBrit says:

    The Lewis Hamilton bandwagon rolls on. Actually it gets old. Yes he is bloody quick over one lap,but will he be in F1 long enough to develop the maturity needed to ensure he is remembered for the right in 10 years time?
    He has a showbiz company as his managers and i may be wrong but Mclaren seem to mention teamwork far more often now Lewis has left.

    Now its seems with Merc that LH is far more relaxed, BUT without the discipline imposed by Mclaren will he be able to remain focused on the job he is paid to do. i cant help thinking that he has too many distractions and is allowed the freedom to pursue them; has he the mental strength…i wonder!

    1. Richard says:

      I disagree, I think Lewis is focused on doing a good job at Mercedes, and it is starting to show as he feels his feet. Give Lewis the car and he will deliver, unfortunately rear tyre performance is Mercedes’s Achilles heel, and we wait to see if those problems are behind them or further work is needed. Personally I think they need to improve a bit more to hold the Red Bulls at bay.

      1. Me says:

        “unfortunately rear tyre performance is Mercedes’s Achilles heel”.

        Despite a secret and illegal 1000km tyre test.

      2. Richard says:

        Well I think todays result demonstrates that Mercedes did not gain any advantage with the Pirelli test. They actually were unaware of what Pirelli were testing which was entirely for their benefit. Personally I’d get rid of high degradation tyres completely as it creates an uneven barometer of car performance. Fortunately for Red Bull they seem to have the ideal compromise for tyres.

  39. Justin Case says:

    Who says hard work never pays off???

    The two teams who couldnt get their cars to work with the tyres finally got it right……………….they got the tyres to work with their cars!

    Keep it up Red Bull and best friend Bernie

  40. JohnBt says:

    If weather is blistering hot as predicted Lotus and Ferarri will be up there. No tyre blow ups so should be an exciting race.
    Track temp hit 42 on Saturday.

    Nico will be the unhappiest man but let’s see what he can do for the race.

    Was surprised the reds didn’t allow Massa to use softs for Q3.

    Turn 1 at Nurburgring can change the order, usually.

  41. Elie says:

    Ferrari seem very confident in their strategy. As it seems very bold not to split strategies and have 1 car start on the softs and actually go for a top 5 or 6 in Q3.

    That was an awesome drive by Lewis the onboard showed he was on the very limit and that snap at t10 I think was a mighty save to only loose a tenth!.. I don’t think much of the character -Lewis but he is an epic driver make no mistake.

    Without dramas I think Sebastian will take the lead within a 5!laps and disappear. The heat will expose still some weakness in Mercs tyre management. But like many have stated – the end of the race should be awesome !.

  42. the drivers in the first two rows need to be wary of the ‘first lap nutcase’ especially webber. if they all maintain grid position over the first lap then webber stands a mighty chance at sepang redemption.

    let the lights go out……

  43. gregmon says:

    Lewis was great on Saturday, it’s a shame Mercedes still have their car eating the tyres… Not funny going backwards! :-(
    Hope that first win will come one day, sooner rather than later!

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer