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Lewis Hamilton Takes Dominant Pole In Wet Shanghai Qualifying
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  19 Apr 2014   |  8:44 am GMT  |  327 comments

Lewis Hamilton has put himself in the box-seat for a hat-trick of race victories by mastering the wet conditions in Shanghai to take pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, heading Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel.

The 34th pole of the Briton’s career, his third of 2014, was thoroughly dominant, as he topped each phase of qualifying with a margin over the Red Bull pair and the sister Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

However, come the top ten shoot-out and Hamilton stepped up a gear, initially holding provisional pole by 6/10ths of a second over the pack as the intermediate tyre reluctantly began to offer some grip. With the gap closed first by Vettel and then Ricciardo, an improvement of 4/10ths saw Hamilton hold off his pursuers with a 0.6s margin.

It set a new British record for pole positions,

“This weekend started out with some troubles in P1 (practice 1),” said Hamilton, referring to the almost 30 minutes of track time lost to suspension issues. “We made changes overnight, in anticipation of a dry day today. I love this track in the wet anyway. Our car is great, there is a long straight down the back which helps us relative to the others.”

A wet final free practice session this morning had been expected to carry on through the afternoon, meaning in little running during practice and the field unsure of the pacesetters heading in to qualifying.

Mercedes, Red Bull and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso rose to the top.

Last time out in Bahrain Hamilton made an error on his final qualifying lap and was unable to challenge Rosberg’s pole time, but today it was Rosberg’s turn to make an error, locking up in to the penultimate corner and losing a time which would have given him a front-row start. He had been 4/10ths up on Hamilton’s benchmark at the time.

The German will therefore join Vettel on the second row and look to use his power advantage to out-drag his countryman into the first turn.

For Alonso, who has been on the pace for the duration of the weekend in dry conditions, the appearance of rain proved to be a small disadvantage but nevertheless kept the Spaniard within touching distance of the cars ahead. In front of his new team boss, Alonso will be in favour, more so than Kimi Raikkonen who could only manage eleventh place.

The third wet qualifying session in the four races of 2014 will not have pleased Williams prior to the session. Their wet pace has not been as competitive as in the dry, but a sixth and seventh place start for tomorrow’s race, with Felipe Massa beating Valtteri Bottas, gives the team a chance to gain points on Force India and McLaren.


Force India had a mixed day, with Nico Hulkenberg taking eighth place in another strong display a Sergio Perez found himself down in sixteenth. They currently sit second in the Constructors’ Championship, a position which they could likely lose this weekend to Red Bull but will feel it is important to maintain their lead over McLaren.

The Woking squad had a poor day with Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen unable to improve on the intermediate tyre in Q2 as the rain increased and ended the day in twelfth and fifteenth respectively.

A surprise appearance in Q3 was made by Romain Grosjean, the Frenchman having his strongest qualifying of 2014 to take tenth place, whilst Pastor Maldonado did not take part in the session due to power-unit issues.


Meanwhile it escaped the notice of no-one that this was the third time in four races that Daniel Ricciardo had out qualified his four time world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel.

“It was really good,” said an ecstatic Ricciardo. “Only the last set of tyres in Q3 I managed to pull something out. The rest of the session I wasn’t particular comfortable. That last lap I put it all out there and got the lap.

“In the dry we still have good pace, the Mercedes are quicker, but I’ll keep my head down on the straight and try to catch up. The long runs look promising but whether it’s good enough (to challenge Mercedes) I don’t know.”

Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, Qualifying

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m53.860s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m54.455s +0.595s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m54.960s +1.100s
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m55.143s +1.283s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m55.637s +1.777s
6. Felipe Massa Williams 1m56.147s +2.287s
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m56.282s +2.422s
8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m56.366s +2.506s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m56.773s +2.913s
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m57.079s +3.219s
11. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m56.860s +2.831s*
12. Jenson Button McLaren 1m56.963s +2.934s*
13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m57.289s +3.260s*
14. Adrian Sutil Saube 1m57.393s +3.364s*
15. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m57.675s +3.646s*
16. Sergio Perez Force India 1m58.264s +4.235s*
17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m58.988s +3.472s**
18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m59.260s +3.744s**
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m59.326s +3.810s**
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 2m00.646s +5.130s**
21. Max Chilton Marussia 2m00.865s +5.349s**
22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus

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327 Comments
  1. Dufus says:

    Disco Dan doing it again to VET.
    That is the real story this year.

    I mean seriously give anybody on the grid Merc power this year and they stand out.

    “Dominant” and “Master Class” so often used by the British media(BBC etc)to describe their local hero HAM should be reserved for the likes of ALO. Give ALO a good car and we all know he’d be the “Teacher”. Hell he is now isn’t he in an under performing Ferrari ?

    1. me says:

      You mean like he did when he was up against a Rookie in 2007?

      1. Spectreman says:

        You mean like when you forget to mention that MacLaren was openly favouring said Rookie?

    2. Still I Rise says:

      ”“Dominant” and “Master Class” so often used by the British media(BBC etc)to describe their local hero HAM should be reserved for the likes of ALO. Give ALO a good car and we all know he’d be the “Teacher”. Hell he is now isn’t he in an under performing Ferrari ?” – Alonso had his change back in 2007 in the USGP, Alonso was faster than Hamilton but he failed to overtake same like Rosberg failed in Bahrain, so stay away with your nonsense. Alonso is not as good as people like you trying to make him.

      1. JMji says:

        Oh Yeah oh Yeah, that’s the man right there !

      2. Grant H says:

        Alonso the “Teacher” what like ham in his rookie year then vs 2x alonso, morally ham won that year in my book

      3. Grant H says:

        Ps sorry my comment was meant at dufus!

      4. StevenM says:

        Not only did HAM won mentally, but Alonzo couldn’t get HAM out of his head for 3 or 4 years after…

    3. James Clayton says:

      The British Media also use such terms as “Dominant” and “Master Class” in relation to Alonso and Vettel when the occasion calls for it (as it often does).

      1. Devilsadvocate says:

        Nice try, pretty sure vettel would have to come from the back with a wheel or two missing to even squeeze “he’s ok” from the British media.

        You guys really take the cake when it comes for blind dedication to the home team. Some would call that an inferiority complex, I just think it’s funny.

      2. TimW says:

        Thats total nonsense, Vettel has had plenty of praise in the past from the UK press, obviously not this season though.

      3. RichyS says:

        I don’t think the Brits are too bothered as they design and build the vast majority of the cars anyway.

      4. James Clayton says:

        http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/24697483
        http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/oct/26/sebastian-vettel-f1-champion-indian-grand-prix
        http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/24990882
        http://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/383146/Martin-Brundle-Sebastian-Vettel-s-the-best

        Vettel has consistently been praised by the British media, and rightly so. Alonso just as much.

        But I guess some people only see what they want to see. Some would call that an inferiority complex, I just think it’s funny.

      5. MistressofSpeed says:

        +1

      6. blacbul67 says:

        +1

    4. Andrewinwork says:

      Well, you say its under performing

    5. Craig N says:

      Just like 2007 when they had the same car?

      You didn’t watch F1 when Lewis has dragged his under performing McLaren further up the grid than it should of been?

      Alonso has tried to do what Shumacher did with Ferrari,has it worked?

      Meanwhile Lewis goes to Mercedes….

      Alonso is a great driver but so is Lewis.

      Do you really think there is no bias towards Alonso in Spain?

      1. Purple Helmet says:

        +1

        In 2007 Hamilton was a rookie, Alonso was already very experienced. Alonso had signed his McLaren contract the year before, and the car was designed with that in mind.

        Which makes Hamilton beating him even more impressive.

        The conspiracy theory of Alonso fans that McLaren would hire the WC on a fat contract, partner him with a rookie and then favour the rookie is utterly ridiculous.

      2. Steve says:

        yes sadly its the only excuse they can make when their hero is matched by a talented rookie. In fact McLaren their entire business is built on being rational and scientific – and letting their drivers race-not favouritism…If indeed Ron did have a clause in Alonso’s contract for preference (which seems unlikely) all it shows is that ultimately – Fernando was not able to beat him on his own merits…and in order to win championships he needs to be given a pass over a competitive Rookie.

      3. Anil Parmar says:

        Bare in mind, 2007 was Hamilton’s best season in F1 and he finished on equal points with Alonso, winning on countback but losing in race finishes (10-7). Amazing season from him though; it’s a shame since then he hasn’t matched it..until maybe this year?

      4. Marybeth says:

        Here is a conspiracy theory: FA was the last person in Kimi’s car at Bahrain practice. Now the car is all messed up. Would not even run in the first practice. Odd, isn’ it…? Does Ferrari not know FA’s history…? Why did they allow this…?

    6. Chris says:

      Hey Dufus, I agree with your comments on Dan but give anyone the Merc and they would stand out, does you include Rosberg in this summary?

      Without Lewis and his 3 poles this year so far the Red Bulls would have 3 Poles, Merc just th3 1.

      If I remember correctly the teacher was taught by the new school boy in 2007 and this is not the BBC, James is normally pretty well balanced in his views I find.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        “Without Lewis and his 3 poles this year so far the Red Bulls would have 3 Poles, Merc just the 1″

        Nice assessment!

      2. Aey17 says:

        ++++ 10

    7. Rich B says:

      Hamilton beat Alonso in his rookie year, besides Alonso gets plenty of praise by ‘british media’ when it’s due and so does vettel

    8. Grant says:

      HAM beat ALO as a rookie….

      Enough said.

  2. AlexD says:

    Rosberg is an interesting guy…he behaves as if he knows he is better than Ham. He wants to equal the victory score this weekend but he fails to remember that if not for the engine failure on Hams car, Rosberg would most probably be without a win and would not be leading on points.
    Anyways, I am not a Merc or Ham fan, so…

    Kimi seems to be really struggling. Will alonso get a penalty for not slowing down under the yellow flag? Ferrari is really poor. But….Ricciardo is impressive.

    1. Sebee says:

      This is not what it would have been like with Alonso and Kimi in last year’s car.

      It seems some drivers are perhaps having an issue with that rear energy recovery braking bit. I think both Vettel and Kimi may have real issues with it.

      are there any “complaints” about this system from any drivers?

      1. super seven says:

        Rosberg was highlighting braking issues as part of the reason why he couldn’t match Lewis’wet weather pace.

        Lewis is a little quicker than Nico, but I didn’t expect that kind of gap. He was consistently about a second faster than his teammate through qualifying, which is a huge gap in equal machinery. I wonder if Nico has a setup more biased towards dry weather than Lewis, since the forecast is better for the race tomorrow ?

      2. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I read Lewis set his car up for a dry race as well. We sometimes forget that those guys aren’t machines, I guess Nico just had an off day. When your team mate is Lewis and he’s on top of his games, the gaps tend to be big.

      3. Jack78 says:

        Hamilton and Paddy Lowe said Hamilton’s car is set up for dry conditions, so dry or wet Lewis should have the pace tomorrow.

    2. justafan says:

      The gap from Kimi to Fred is certainly bigger than expected. It certainly vindicates RBR’s driver choice.

      1. Grant says:

        It certainly does, even though it was for the opposite reason.

      2. Torchwood Five says:

        I really wish posters would not use odd names for drivers. At least put the correct name in brackets, please.

        Fred?

  3. Oly says:

    And now imagine what Alonso would do to Vettel in the same team..

    1. Sebee says:

      He’d ask to have Vettel crash so he could win. :-)

      1. Ash says:

        +1….hahaha!!!!

      2. H.Guderian says:

        Hahaha!!!!

        Vet is being *crushed* by Ric.
        Imagine what ALO would do to the “wonder boy”.

        Vet x Ric is a harsh reallity check fou you, huh???

      3. Sebee says:

        I’m OK with it, really. This is F1, eventually it’s not your turn. If RBR and Vettel came out of the gate strong Mercedes would pick up its toys and leave. So consider this potential end of a streak as a gift. I mean…didn’t you spend entire 2013 seeing Hamilton win like only once? You’ve suffered enough!

        I’ve been eating steak 4 years. You have some now. My belly is full.

      4. Jean-Christophe says:

        Brilliant! haha

      5. Oly says:

        If by that you`re saying that Vettel would perform like Piquet jr. did, you are probably right.

      6. Sebee says:

        I said he’d ask. We should know by now Vettel is not yielding to team mates.

      7. Kay says:

        Or Vettel crashing into Alonso Turkey 2010 style, then not accepting the blame and call his team mate an idiot?

    2. justafan says:

      Perhaps he would loose like with Hamilton.

      1. Oly says:

        Mmmm.. no. I`m not a Ham fan but could never question his possible 2014 title because of the dominant car. Ham and Alo are in the league above the rest.

  4. Peter says:

    What is going on at Ferrari is this car is built for Alonso or is he just dealing better with a week car or has a different driving style? Surely, Kimi is not a slow guy, he should have gone to McLaren they can build a car for drivers with oversteer preference.

    1. NickH says:

      Alonso prefers understeer, Kimi likes the car like Hamilton and Michael. Sharp nose, slightly loose rear end

    2. Sebee says:

      Some drivers really must not like that rear energy recovery breaking system. That’s my theory.

    3. justafan says:

      Did Mac want him back?

    4. Fireman says:

      Kimi had huge problems with the gearbox in qualifying. Not to mention the whole weekend, with car sitting in the garage. The article doesn’t find it so important to mention it.

    5. keke says:

      Kimi likes his rear end loose… are talking about F1?

  5. NickH says:

    Good job from Lewis, and Riccardio. Vettel highlighted in the post qualifying presser that Riccardio is simply doing a better job at the moment. Alarm bells ringing for Rosberg, he can see the title sleeping away already

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Yes, Mr Rosberg does seem a bit lost….so does Mini-Mag come to think of it.

    2. KRB says:

      Nico is still up by 11 points, and will still be leading even if he follows Lewis home in China.

      This is certainly a year, if it keeps going as it has, where Bernie’s gold medal system would likely be the better way to decide the title. The thing is if you have a 1st-DNF, like Nico and Lewis had at AUS, then it takes four 1-2 wins to erase that deficit. In years past, in the 9-6-4-3-2-1 era for example, you could erase a 1st-DNF deficit with three 1-2′s. Plus back then they only took the best x results in a season, x usually being about two-thirds of the races that season. For example, in 1988 they took each driver’s best 11 results, out of 16 total races.

      That year, Prost actually won more total points than Senna, but Senna won on the Best 11. Now that year Senna only beat Prost in wins by 8-7, so there wasn’t a major difference. But this year it is actually possible that Lewis could win 14 races, the MOST EVER in a season by anybody, but still be beaten on points by Nico winning the remaining 5 races. If such a thing happened, it would be horrible for the sport. As it is, we have to hope that misfortune with reliability will even itself out over the year, but there is certainly no guarantee that it will. The “best x of y results” system was good for removing this misfortune factor, but then it also could lead to a leading driver, later in the season, working to deny results to a pursuer rather than going for the best result for themselves (e.g. Prost on Senna JAP’89; Senna on Prost JAP’90).

      I think a “best x of y results” system, where x was 75-85% of y, could remove misfortune as a factor, but would also include enough results so as to capture who indeed was the best driver for the season.

      Right now, with the Merc’s advantage, a win is really only worth 7 points. If you’re beaten in a Merc, and finish, it still likely means you gain 18 points in the table. And so a non-finish is more debilitating than it otherwise would be in a 2-3 team, 3-5 driver title fight. I think it actually might be in Hamilton’s interest for some other cars/drivers to catch Merc up, to hopefully insert themselves in between Lewis and Nico in some future race results.

      Another idea I had was that any driver, in order to win the DWC, would have to have at least 3 less wins than the winningest driver in a season. Last year this would’ve meant that the title would’ve been decided at the same race (IND’13), b/c Vettel with 10 wins after that race, could not be caught by Alonso or Rosberg each on 2 wins, with 3 races remaining.

      What it would mean in a 19-race season is that any driver winning 12 races would win the DWC. And really, isn’t winning what it’s all about?

      1. David Murdoch says:

        +1. Even though Rosberg starts 4th tomorrow he has that nice 11pt cushion. I reckon he will be more relaxed than Ham tomorrow. Hamilton is probably worried about a mech failure or a bad start. That first race will still be fresh in Hamiltons memory.

        Ham is probably wanting the RB’s to hold up Rosberg as much as they can. He is probably also secretly praying for Rosberg to have a mech failure to even things out in the championship.

      2. StevenM says:

        We have double points this season. ..

      3. KRB says:

        Yes, an abomination if you ask me. Maybe Merc should ask that double points be dropped in return for the exhaust noise change.

      4. KRB says:

        I didn’t go thru the maths before, but the double points race at the end does mean that it’s possible that Lewis could win 15 races, and still not win the title!

        HAM: 15 wins, 1 2nd, 3 DNFs = 393 pts
        ROS: 3x25pt wins + 1x50pt win + 15 2nd’s = 395 pts

        Such an outcome would make F1 a laughingstock.

        In the history of F1, only a few times has the DWC not had the most wins.

        Here’s a list of any year where others won more races than the DWC:

        Year DWC Wins … Pos-Competitor(s) Win(s)

        1958 Hawthorn 1 over 2nd-Moss 4; 3rd-Brooks 3
        1964 Surtees 2 over 3rd-Clark 3
        1967 Hulme 2 over 3rd-Clark 4
        1977 Lauda 3 over 3rd-Andretti 4
        1979 Scheckter 3 over 3rd-Jones 4
        1982 Rosberg 1 over 2nd-6th Pironi/Watson/Prost/Lauda/Arnoux, all with 2
        1983 Piquet 3 over 2nd-Prost 4
        1984 Lauda 5 over 2nd-Prost 7
        1986 Prost 4 over 2nd-Mansell 5
        1987 Piquet 3 over 2nd-Mansell 6
        1989 Prost 4 over 2nd-Senna 6
        2008 Hamilton 5* over 2nd-Massa 6* (*BEL 08)

        So in 64 seasons, only 12 times has the DWC not won the most races. Of those 12 seasons, 7x the DWC had one less win than the winningest driver(s); 3x they had two less; and 2x they had 3 less wins. Never has a DWC won four-plus fewer races than the winningest driver(s) in a season.

  6. Luis Pastilla says:

    Was Kimi blocked by Massa?

    1. James Clayton says:

      I don’t think it counts… nobody was on a flying lap. They were all on out laps trying to get better track position for their main run. It was all a little awkward but don’t think penalties can be applied in those circumstances.

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Kimi made a hothead rookie error.

      He shouldn’t be messing with Massa on his out lap. Instead of making a gap behind him, he had to take a couple of goes to pass, only to get stuck behind whoever was infront of Massa.

      Unluckily the rain made conditions worse, so that turned out to be his only real shot. I guess you could also say unluckily he was also driving a Ferrari T4XI, and unluckily Alonso is in the other car!

      1. Luis Pastilla says:

        Not so.

        To slow down further behind Massa means tyre temp dropping too low.
        Massa was going too slow but still hogging the racing line. Why? when he had nothing to gain?
        I suggest the hothead is not Kimi.

    3. Fireman says:

      Yes, but Kimi was not on flying lap. But it did botch Kimi’s next try.

  7. Gaz Boy says:

    Well, I did ask in a previous post any chance of a shower………….
    No real surprises that the downforce heavy Mercs and Bulls dominate, but yet again that smiley wooly haired Australasian chappie is outqualifying his 4 WDC team-mate. And by half a second! That’s impressive. Fernando wrestled that Prancing Horse to fifth is also very commendable. And where was the choc-ice bloke? Only 11th.
    What’s happening at Macca? 12th and 15th? They have gone backwards pace wise since Melbourne. And this time they can’t blame Mr Whitmarsh!
    Williams performance was decent, and well done Romain, like Fernando he wrestled a somewhat wayward beast into the Top 10. By the way, when I mean wrestled a wayward beast, I didn’t mean Romain and Pastor had a WWF style bout!
    And yet again, the Incredible Hulk being a wunderkid in difficult wet conditions. Luca, get onto the Hulk’s manager – there is the man to build the future of your team around!
    Can I just say, despite all of the negativity this year, the future of F1 on the track is bright. I have been very impressed by Daniel, the Hulk, Mr Bottas and even that young Kyvat, those four will go onto greater things. I’m not saying they will be future world champions, but I do think they can put together a credible challenge for a championship. A championship pedigree driver need the elements of good driving technique, an even temperament, mental capacity, motivation, good communication with his team and measured consistency. And Dan, Hulk, Mr Bottas and Kyvat seem already to possess those qualities.
    Daniel has already been employed by a Big Boys team, hopefully Mr Bottas, Hulk and Kyvat will sign a contract with big four in the near future.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      PS Why does Pastor play the drums in the F1 band?
      Because he’s at the back.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        enjoyed your post gaz boy. could you possibly amend your antipodean outlook to encapsulate the correct ethnic nomination? daniel is an australian in the context of nationality. i expect we are all, regionally, classed as australasian but it would be far more accurate if you used the former description.

        yes, we do have some exciting new prospects looming by way of new young talent and it is time for some of the older chaps to move on in the very near future. i am very impressed with the likes of ricciardo [not as new as some of the others] and especially bottas/kvyat and magnussen.it’s all looking good.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Kenneth – thanks.
        Yes, you are technically right about Daniel, duly noted. He’s doing a superb job for himself, his parents and family, his team, his country and his commonwealth.
        I bet Jonsey is frothing at the mouth in the minute! I do believe Alan and Greg Rust are fronting Channel 10 coverage, is that correct?

      3. super seven says:

        Yeah, trying calling Poms like myself ‘Europeans’and see where that gets you :-D

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Re super seven: ah look, we are all part of the same planet aren’t we?
        Not sure about Pastor though……..or Mr E come to think of it.

      5. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Super seven: Also, what’s wrong with our neighbours in France and Italy? They make great little cars, their food and wine is stunning, they are the epitome of fashion and chic, and are so amusing!
        In my experience people in the UK who hate Europe are usually retired colonels with side parted hair, v neck jumpers, grey baggy flannel trousers and thin little moustaches who think the Britain in the 60s was the decline of civilization and the Britpop 90s of Oasis, Cool Britannia and New Labour was the apocalypse!

      6. RichyS says:

        @Gaz Boy: neither can build a decent engine…

      7. super seven says:

        Re: Gaz Boy

        Most Brits that I grew up and worked with in my early career don’t hate or even dislike Europe, but we definitely have an islander sense of identity which is not European.

        I’ve spent plenty of time working in the South of France and around Milan in northern Italy, and it’s great (the food is far better in the former location). I even learned enough of the languages to avoid the stereotype ‘Shot louder and louder and slower and slower in English until the bloody foreigners understand you’.

        I’m an expat now living in the USA, so I’m not the best person to comment on the last almost 20 years back in the UK, but I still consider myself English / British, and have never considered myself European.

  8. kenneth chapman says:

    great quali and hamilton did an exceptional job. on an almost even footing ricci drove a phenomenal lap to get so close to the mercedes and in so doing proved a point. vettel can be beaten.

    even though it is very very early days i am both relieved and excited that ricci has made a great start. considering the difference between him and the experience of those all around him he is doing remarkably well.

    tomorrow will be quite another day as it is forecast to be dry and then we will see just how much further ahead mercedes are from the rest of the pack. should be a great race especially if rosberg can take it to hamilton. s for the ferraris, well not much to say really. FA is doing the very best but raikonnen is a great disappointment. very ragged.

    1. Chris says:

      Agree 100% here, Dan the Man, Lewis on Fire and Nando making Kimi look silly at the moment at least….

      1. Dan G. says:

        And for much less than this people were putting Massa down for the last four years.

        Ferrari is a disgrace, plain and simple. And Kimi is eating the same pie Massa has been eating for a long time. There are no miracles in this sport.

      2. Matthew Cheshire says:

        So has everyone stopped crying about Red Bull missing an “amazing super duo” with Kimi and Vettel?

        There is one more step to go. Someone will need to admit Marco was right.

  9. KING Arthur 2 U says:

    Rosberg starting to see why teammate gets paid way more. Reckon team orders on the horizon. Must say Lewis more focused this season

    1. Random 79 says:

      There’s no denying that fastest car or not Lewis is nailing it.

    2. justafan says:

      Please no more team orders. Last year was bad enough.

  10. James Clayton says:

    I love a wet quali session; mostly because it means that the front runners get to start on at least half-sensible tyres.

  11. Uncle Bumber says:

    Superb lap by Lewis , i thought Nico might grab pole after Lewis complained about the car yesterday.

    It would be great if the bulls can keep Nico in 4th then the championship points will practically be even

    I wonder if Vettel is wishing Webber never left !

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      No way for the Bulls to keep Nico behind if it’s dry. But in the rain, maybe.

    2. justafan says:

      Ricciardo is a very good replacement for Webber. And he’s not grumpy.

      1. emerty says:

        Not yet. Wait until he’s been shafted by RB a couple of times….

  12. KRB says:

    Good job by HAM, RIC, and ALO. Interesting to see 4 Renault cars in the top 10. Woe be McLaren. Surprising, that.

    I guess this means that Pastor’s 5-place penalty will carry over to Spain?

    I didn’t change my picks before quali, so I’m screwed for this round, at least for a big score.

    1. Sebee says:

      Rain tomorrow too?

      1. KRB says:

        Has the forecast changed? I heard dry and 19C, graining to be a big issue on a green track.

        If there is a threat of rain, expected say 30 mins into the race, then you’d have to start on the mediums, no?

      2. Sebee says:

        Safety first!

    2. I have these thoughts of the penalty being carried on to the next round.
      James,is there any regulation concerning this?

    3. super seven says:

      Quip from NBCSN’s pitlane reporter.
      ‘With his 5 spot grid penalty, he’ll be starting from Beijing’

      1. KRB says:

        Haha, Buxton said that? I miss that broadcast. I would watch the BBC-on-TSN feed live, then watch the race again on the then-Speed broadcast. I know some people don’t like Matchett and Hobbs, but I always found them brilliant. I’m more partial to Varsha over Diffey, but they’re both very good.

      2. super seven says:

        Best laugh of qualifying.

        I find Lee ‘Dippy’ a bit annoying, but Matchett and Hobbs make a great combination.

        I sometimes watch the ad-free coverage on the Spanish language station. Spanish isn’t a language that I’ve learned any of, but it’s amusing to find out how many English language words sneak into their coverage:
        Safety car
        Pull rod
        Push rod
        Los Pits

        It’s also amusing too listen to their reactions when a South or Central American racer makes a move. Sergio’s pass for third at the last race was heralded by a very enthusiastic ™Checo Checo Checo Checo!” from the commentator. :-)

      3. Spectreman says:

        To super seven: Mexico is part of North America. Central America is something the US invented because they want some distance from those they consider their inferiors. (Much like Brits not considering themselves European, btw.)

      4. Alexander Supertramp says:

        hahaha!

  13. Kingszito says:

    Ricciardo is really making a very strong statement with his speed and drives. This guy is the real deal. He is not just beating Vettel but his is consistent in doing so.

    Well done Lewis. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race. I hope it’s another thriller.

  14. Michael says:

    I am really enjoying what Ricciardo is doing to Vettel. I always thought Vettel was going to be exposed this year. He finally has a teammate who is quick and not intimidated by him. Keep up the good work Daniel. lol

  15. Thabang says:

    Job well done by Mercedes With a focused LH displaying his class…a marriage of man and mean machinery.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      This is Paradise for Hamilton and his fans, not easy for Hamilton, but it never was easy to go to the Paradise neither.

  16. Will be an interesting race tomorrow.I expect Nico to blow past the Bulls down the straight.Congrats to Hamiliton;he is proving hard to beat in a good car.

  17. Blackmamba says:

    That Vettel is useless, another Damon Hill only with more titles.

    1. Sebee says:

      Like it or not…they don’t take those away.

    2. graham says:

      WTF???

      1. Random 79 says:

        I’ve been assured that everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how silly it may be ;)

      2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Believe that a guy who wins 04 WDCs with a Newey’s rocket (two seconds faster than anyone else) is the best driver in F1 history.

        *THIS* is silly.

        Button (far from a top notch driver) drove an impecable season with that super Brawn and drove as a mid field driver on a very good McLaren.

        Do you think Button a genius???

        As I said before, VET is the most overated driver in F1 history. Just that.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Maybe it was Pastor using a sneaky alias?

      4. Random 79 says:

        @H.Guderian

        Did I ever say that I think Vettel is the best driver in F1 history?

      5. super seven says:

        What’s the fuss? :-)

    3. hal says:

      I’m a Hamilton fan but there is no need to disrespect other drivers like that. The Red Bull for past 4 years was a dominant car but they don’t drive themselves and you have to admire Vettel’s consistency over those years.

    4. Mark V says:

      I’m not a huge Vettel fan but just because he’s been beat a few times is no proof he isn’t still a great driver, or that Ricciardo is superior. Rather I think it is simply more proof that no driver no matter how good is immune to the effects of a car that does not suit their particular style. Put Seb and Dan in the Mercs or any other car tomorrow and the tables might be turned.

      1. KRB says:

        Well said. You need to feel comfortable in the car, or else you won’t be able to explore its limits.

        Like last year Rosberg was better in the wet with the W04 than Hamilton, but now it seems Lewis is better in the wet in the W05.

    5. dufus says:

      Now even i would not go that far and im shamelessy biased to his previous and current Aussie team mates.
      Vettel deserved most of his titles.

  18. Richardd says:

    LEWIS SEEMED TO BE HOLDING IT TOGETHER THROUGHOUT, GREAT QUALIFYING SESSION. PEREZ CONTINUING TO BE TOPSY-TURVY

    1. Kenneth M'Boy says:

      Isn’t that the truth. You can see why McLaren were fed up with Perez. He should be soaring with confidence and be right up there with his teammate, instead he is lagging behind. A shame really cause Force India need both cars up there to maintain their strong position.

      Something tells me though that Ron is seeing fifty shades of red as his team go backwards. Who will be the first scalp from McLaren? While Jenson’s beating Ron’s new boy, Kev, I’d say he is safe so a high profile player in the design team must be sweating it.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Yes, the gap between Perez and Hulkenberg was huge, biggest intra teams. Still, he’s not bad at cutting through the field, so who knows where he will end up.

      2. Since he’s in charge (no matter what the org chart wants to look like)… Does Ron have enough hair left to even make it worth the effort?

  19. Richard says:

    Actually in Bahrain Hamilton had a brake issue that forced the error you refer to. Today Rosberg was overdriving for the conditions probably due to Hamiton’s onslaught as his championship charge gets underway. Rosberg needs to calm down and re-assess his position, but each time he gets a drubbing from Hamilton will further dent his ego. He needs to re-group. Red Bull again push forward a little by the wet conditions. but I expect Rosberg to re-take second place in the dry.

    1. NickH says:

      I agree, Rosberg is taking a beating mentally

      1. AB says:

        “For Lewis, it is the same as it is for all of us – if he does not have a car balance that suits him, then it is not easy. And, of course, Nico is fast. But Lewis has not lost his speed. It is still there. He will come back and then he will shock you all.”
        - Jenson Button on Lewis Hamilton in 2013.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        And Formula 1 is a much a cerebral sport as it is technical………
        Having said that, Lewis is in his prime, he’s got his focus back, he has no distractions, he is settled in his personal life, he has a big salary increase, and I have always reckoned a driver is at his peak in his late 20s/early 30s – look at Mika, Michael, Jenson, Senna as evidence for that theory.
        Of course, Nico is the same age and has a fairly stable life too……………but he just lacks that “killer instinct” when it comes to wheel to wheel scraping in my opinion. I can’t imagine him doing a “Lazarus” like Jenson at Canada 2011.
        Still, lets judge the drivers on what matters: the race.

  20. Rusty Range Rover says:

    Fair play to HAM. Well deserved. Happy for RIC again, great drive (although ROS helped him to
    P2 with a spin). It’s now 3/4 for against VET. You little beauty Dan!

  21. Daniel says:

    Hamilton proving once again that he is one of the fastest in F1, he certainly has Rosberg rattled. Rosberg pushing too hard and making mistakes just like last race.

    Dan Ric, 2 stopper tomorrow may give him a chance at the win.

    Vettel out paced again,I think it is getting to him, you could see it on his face. Hope RBR don’t give team orders tomorrow and let Vettel pass Dan, but the way RBR treated Webber, you can’t help but think Horner will.

    1. Sebee says:

      Can you change the setup after quali to take out some wing for example? I think you can make small changes right? No more of that wet setup issue that carries over to next day now adays?

      What is the weather like going to be tomorrow?

      1. Kingszito says:

        @Sebee you are one of the guys I like reading their comments on here because of the information you bring to the site (although I don’t agree with all). What happened? I can’t believe that you don’t know that it is forecast to be a dry race tomorrow by now? Have you lost your interest in F1 all of a sudden because Vettel is being beaten? Mate no condition is permanent, you have to find a way to enjoy the sport like we did for the past four years when Vettel was beating everyone. It’s still early in the season.

      2. Sebee says:

        Kingszito,

        I have not lost interest. Simply some events are at weird times, I have kids, also value rest. Thus I don’t always wake up for quali (even to see Vettel take the pole) if it’s at a weird time – which is where they would remind me that we won’t see rain and can’t change setups. Races OK, but quali, I can’t always kill my entire weekend sleep schedule. Soon we return to Europe and all will be right with the world for a while again. Please forgive!

      3. Steven M says:

        Nope, parc ferme conditions for the car, no setup changes

      4. James Clayton says:

        No changes until the first pit stop

      5. KRB says:

        I don’t think you can change wing angle, but obviously tire pressures you could. Of course if it’s dry they’ll be on totally different tires than quali.

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I don’t think Red Bull have better tyre wear than Mercedes, so I doubt Ricciardo will be able to surprise Lewis. Unless Lewis messes up his start,I think it’s going to be a fairly easy win for him, controlling the race from the front.

      1. KRB says:

        There is no such thing as an ‘easy’ win. Easier wins, relative to other wins, but in an absolute sense, any win is the culmination of 90-120 mins of pure focus.

      2. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Did you see Lewis on the podium? I’m sure he was thinking how easy his win was. He was very happy, because he’s looking good for the championship, but he’s a racer and today he just had to cruise. Off course he had to focus, but this was the easiest win of his career.

  22. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    Four races and three wet qualys, I wonder if this has ever happened before. It gives extra interest as in the dry nobody would threat the Mercs, but with the liquid elemente there is always a bigger chance of someone making a mistake (like Rosberg today).

    Daniel again showing he is no Webber 2.0 and it really looks like Seb will have his hands full trying to beat the Aussie. If the situation keeps like this it will put the last 4 years on a very different perspective…

    Lewis faultless, no mistakes on tricky conditions and giving 0 oportunities to the rest when he has advantage, that’s how a championship is won. He could even take the WDC lead tomorrow, at this moment he seems unstoppable.

    Fernando beeing Fernando, always pushes the car to the limit no matter the situation. We are so used to this kind of performance form him that it doesnt stand out anymore, but 1.1 seconds between him and Kimi in Q2 its something that would be the center of attention if achieved by any other driver.

    1. NickH says:

      Kimi’s car is the only one in Ferrari with problems all the time

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        If you really believe what you are saying and it makes you feel better, so be it.

    2. NickH says:

      if you do some research you’ll discover Kimi had problems with downshifts causing the rears to lock up. All the problems seem to be with Kimi every weekend

    3. Luis Pastilla says:

      Has Kimi had a trouble free car in any weekend so far? Oh yes, Malaysia, when rookie Kevin sliced his rear tyre on lap 1.

      ALO will be less comfortable when Ferrari stop letting RAI down.

  23. uncas says:

    what a huge advantage Merc has!! I think RB will challenge them by mid season but will it be late?? Maybe….

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Rb is inching closer and I think Barcelona will grant them a nice opportunity to at least tickle Mercedes.

      1. the_rh1no says:

        Being tickled by a bull sounds dangerous. That red bull car is definitely a great downforce package. I think they will might still struggle in Barcelona 40hp down is a lot to make up; even if Barcelona is a high downforce circuit. They seem destined to be in the hands of Renault engines – if those can be improved then we might see them tickling!

      2. Michael says:

        I have news for RB is not inching closer. It only seems that way because of the weather conditions which suits the RB10. In dry conditions the advantage Merc holds will return. The weather forecast for tomorrow calls for a dry race.

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Have to agree with you after seeing the race. Still, we are coming back to Europe, so the R&D war is on full throttle now!

      4. M_E says:

        everytime I see vettel in interviews he always has that “just you wait till we get back to europe, mercedes wont know what hit them with the updates we have been working on” naughty smile on his face. he has an aer of “I know that the car is not ideal now so Im getting solid points on the board, this will be the difference between winning and losing the championship this year for me!” like the way it was for the Brawn won the WC.

        Im not saying thats how it gonna be, but thats how it comes across to me in interviews.

  24. Harshad says:

    Why is Kimi having all the issues?

    Australia—>Problems in practice+race
    Malaysia—>Problems in race
    Bahrain—>Driven car with broken chassis all weekend
    China—->Problems in practice+gearbox issues in qualifying!!

    He seems to be running on “webber luck”, Hope his situation improves.

    In Post Quali interview Kimi said, he is having problems downshifting in dry+wet. Whenever he downshifts his rear tyres lock up!! And Ferrari hasn’t been able to solve this problem during the entire weekend.

    Can’t remember when did last time a driver had so many problems at the start of the season!

    1. NickH says:

      I agree I don’t understand why it’s always his car with problems

    2. Methusalem says:

      Perhaps paying back for leaving Ferrari in 2008?

      1. HP says:

        it wasn’t 2008, it was after 2009 season. and fyi he didn’t leave, he was kicked out to make way for alonso

    3. Luis Pastilla says:

      It may be the case that Kimi’s mechanics and race eng are not of the same calibre as those on the other side of the garage. He inherited Massa crew. Could it be they need to up their level from Massa to Raikkonen?

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Luis, if you consider that Massa was (on average) between 0.5 and 0.7s slower than ALO AND Kimi is being 1.0s slower than ALO, you may realize that his crew has to *lower* their level to suit Kimi.

        Agree???

      2. Luis Pastilla says:

        Agreed to wait till Kimi gets a problem free car then make assessments about who is faster….

        that OK?? Happy Easter!

      3. H.Guderian says:

        Alo and Kimi have the same car.
        AND the car is new for both drivers.

    4. chris says:

      I’ve already told you. kimi doesn’t have a car which suits his driving style because he signed a contract to replace massa.
      in lotus he had the car he wanted because he was in a better position.
      he’s not him who has to adjust to something that doesn’t fit. noone could change a 14 years driving style in 4-5 races, turning it to the exact opposite. it’s the car that needs to be adjusted,but alonso’s driving style it’s just too different and in ferrari they don’t care about second drivers.

  25. goferet says:

    HAMazing display from Lewis on his 34th pole, that was a perfect demonstration of speed + calm and yes congrats to him for scooping the record of most poles by a Brit.

    Another star of the day is Riccardo for despite struggling earlier, he kept his head down and produced the goods in Q3. For sure, this performance proves Marko has a good eye for young talent.

    Decent performance by Alonso for coming in as the best of the rest behind Mercedes and Red Bull and being the super consistent racer he is, always appears to hug that 5th spot.

    Perhaps Williams brought some upgrades for they haven’t suffered as much as previous wet qualies so it’s good to see them in the top 10 and with Massa’s explosive starts off the grid, it looks promising tomorrow.

    Likewise it’s good seeing the Lotus finally make it to Q3, they are getting back to the sharp end.

    Solid effort by Hulkenberg once again, Vergne and lastly Kobayashi considering both Marussias were faster than both Caterhams in the dry on Friday.

    1. Sebee says:

      HAMazing? It sound like a product on late time TV that can make your bacon crispy in the microwave in 30s.

      Make perfect bacon in 30 seconds. It’s HAMazing!

      1. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Lol… You have just given the ad people an HAMazing idea.

      2. Steven M says:

        hes making bacon of Rosberg and Finger boy! LOL ZING!!

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Go Massa! Attack the bulls/Nando!

  26. Harshad says:

    Congratulations Lewis and Daniel, both of them drove fantastic laps to get P1 and P2 respectively.

  27. fox says:

    Vettel is being exposed again. Thank you Ricciardo. Sorry for watching finger boy victories during several years. The price of those titles is diluting quickly…

    On the contrary to Vettel, exposure of Alonso is completely positive. The man is doing his job in slow red car.

    1. Michael says:

      @ fox now we know why Vettel was “waxing poetic” last season about appreciating what he had accomplished the last 4 yrs. He knew things were going to change significantly and it has. Those days unfortunately for him are gone. This years F1 is for “real” drivers. No blown diffusers or cars that stick to the road. Vettel needs to raise his game.

  28. German Samurai says:

    Absolutely incredible effort by the Red Bull drivers to split what seems be the most dominant car in F1 history.

    You have to say Hamilton almost underperformed to only be half a second quicker than Ricciardo given his enormous speed advantage.

    I think Rosberg’s mentality was all or nothing in going for pole at the end. Even from 4th he’ll get a comfortable 2nd place tomorrow, thus retaining his lead in the championship.

    Raikkonen is turning into a disaster for Ferrari. It was reckless throwing $20m at a guy who got beaten by his teammate Massa in 2008 and 2009, and was outclassed by his teammate Grosjean in the second half of 2013.

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s hardly as dominant as the 1992 Williams!

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Or the 2002 and 2004 Ferrari’s!

      2. graham says:

        or the 1988 McClaren….16 out of 17 wins in the hands of Prost and Senna.

      3. Phenom says:

        Or the 1998 Mclarens! Your definition if history is rather short..

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Phenom: are you sure the 1998 Macca’s were dominant? OK, 9 out of 16 races won is good business, but they were pushed very hard all season long by two certain red cars with Ross, Michael and Eddie at the helm!
        Amazing to think 1998 was the last time McLaren etched their name on the constructors title.

      5. justafan says:

        Merc is more dominant than Ferrari ever was. See my response to James.

      6. Phenom says:

        Gaz boy – as a Hakkinen fan I was just absolutely blown away by their dominance in the Australian GP, I had never before seen one team lap the entire field, I didn’t even think it was possible. :)

      7. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Phenom – I’ll give you that, yes the 1998 AUS GP was a nice walk in the Albert Park for Mika and DC – although the middle bit was interesting!
        I was privileged to be at Silverstone in 2001 when Mika won that year’s British GP. He was trail up braking to the rotation point, to keep the weight on the nose to eliminate understeer. Mika was mega on the slower Luffield section of Silverstone, even better than Michael. I remember on the practice sessions watching Mika threading the Macca through Maggots/Becketts…..inch perfect, beautifully poised, slight pre apex oversteer……….the rest of the competitors didn’t stand a chance!
        Do miss Mika, he was a legend.

      8. KRB says:

        The 1988 McLaren had ten 1-2′s over 16 races. The F2002 had nine 1-2′s; the F2004 had eight 1-2′s.

        Let the W05 get somewhere close to those figures before even suggesting it’s on the same level.

      9. German Samurai says:

        “It’s hardly as dominant as the 1992 Williams!”

        It’s at least as dominant. No-one got within 1.7 seconds of the Mercedes in Bahrain.

        It was 2.5 – 3 seconds a lap quicker than the field in the final stages of the Bahrain race.

        “Or the 2002 and 2004 Ferrari’s!”

        I mean seriously. Schumacher never enjoyed a 1.5-2 second advantage over the field. The Mercedes’ built a 24 second lead in the last 10 laps.

        If this isn’t the most dominant car in F1 history it’s the second most dominant.

      10. Anil Parmar says:

        bare in mind, whilst it’s incredible dominant, the margins for improvement and development curve are MUCH larger than they were in 92 or say, 2011 when Red Bull were winning (when updates on bought a tenth or two). The teams will find updates worth SECONDS this year; the advantage will close down significantly.

      11. KRB says:

        Not even close to the 1992 Williams. In the first three races of 1992, they won every race, finished 1-2 in all of them, won pole in all of them, and in the first 3 races only 5x did other cars finish on the lead lap!!! ON THE LEAD LAP! Schumacher and Berger 2x each, and Senna once.

        In the first 3 races of 2014, non-Merc cars have finished on the lead lap a total of 29 times.

        Yeah, just as dominant. Did you watch any of the 1988 or 1992 seasons??

      12. German Samurai says:

        “bare in mind, whilst it’s incredible dominant, the margins for improvement and development curve are MUCH larger than they were in 92 or say, 2011 when Red Bull were winning (when updates on bought a tenth or two). The teams will find updates worth SECONDS this year; the advantage will close down significantly.”

        No, I think they’re much smaller since most of the deficit is with the engines where development is effectively frozen. Red Bull or Ferrari will not claw back the Mercedes advantage this season, therefore Mercedes will become the most dominant team in F1 history.

        In 1992 teams were finding finding massive gains with active suspension, semi-automatic gearboxes, electronic systems, so that’s simply false regarding 1992.

      13. M_E says:

        @you lot, its the margin of arsekicking on the finish line that equals dominance not how often a car won, and truely comfirmed when BOTH cars do it not just the one.

        mercedes ass kicking margin was 2.5 seconds a lap when averaged out for the 11 laps after the safety car. they showed their hand that day which really surprised me (but I understand why at the same time, they wanted to build up a pit stop length gap again just in case and because they could!)

        whatever way you put it thats an arse kicking car. I wasnt following the arse kicking index (avg 10th per lap difference over competition at race end) up until say the last decade so I cant comment on how dominant Hills Williams, Hakkinen’s McL and Schumachers Fer etc was during their wins, but would love to see finishing times for races of the fields those cars were in for the seasons they clearly dominated. I was watching those races, but only became aware of how important the car was in the last 15 years say versus driver.

        There is a caveat however and that is that if the car truely is dominant one driver earns preference with the other acting as a ‘backer upper’ to slow the other teams down to give the nb1 driver the best chance of the win, but for me that was a rare occasion. when BOTH drivers were let go hell for leather in Bahrain last month that screamed dominant car not just good drivers.

      14. TimW says:

        M_E, laps after a safety car often produce large lap time differences, remember Seb in Singapore last year? The reason for this is obviously because there is only one or two cars in clear air, the rest are bunched up and either attacking or defending (or both).

      15. neilmurg says:

        Or the BT46b

      16. Gaz Boy says:

        Ah, the fan car…………..that one should have never been allowed, purely on safety grounds. Imagine if that fan had come off with a driver following close behind? Lean sliced racing driver?

      17. Random 79 says:

        What about the safety car?

        That has to have led more laps than any other team combined and none of the other cars can ever seem to pass it without it letting them through.

      18. Sebee says:

        Well, let’s wait a bit and make a judgement after season ends. I have a feeling this Mercedes may overtake the dominant safety car to be the only car to sweep the season.

      19. Random 79 says:

        Wise words Sebee :)

      20. justafan says:

        It is, James. 3 races, 3 wins, 3 poles, 3 fastest laps, every lap lead. Williams was not so successful, not even in 1992.

      21. KRB says:

        Huh? Did you even look up the 1992 season before commenting?!? Williams won each of the first 3 races, with 1-2′s in each of them! They also led every lap of the first 3 races, and had pole in each of the first 3 races (Mansell won the first 6 poles that year). They had 2 fastest laps, and in the one they didn’t (Mexico ’92), they had lapped everyone up to P4!

      22. justafan says:

        Thanks for proving my point, KRB.

      23. KRB says:

        Not sure how it proves your point, maybe you can elaborate.

        In the first 3 races of 1992, only 5 other cars remained on the lead lap at the end, over those 3 races! This year, 29 non-Merc cars finished on the lead lap in the first three races.

        THAT is arse-kicking speed.

    2. NickH says:

      ‘You have to say Hamilton underperformed’

      Do you really? Have to say?!

      Red bull have been close in quali when it’s wet all season so no, you wouldn’t ‘have to say’ he underperformed.

      You would have to say Rosberg underperformed qualifying 4th

      1. Ahmed says:

        It seems people havnt noticed that Hamilton set his time before ricciardo went out on fresh tyres. When it became clear tht ricciardo wasn’t getting closer thn 0.600 to pole and rosbergs spin it wasn’t necessary for hamilton to go and improve on his time.

    3. NickH says:

      How was Raikkonen outclassed by Grosjean? Strange view. They changed the tyres mid season which suited Grosjean, Abu Dhabi qualifying Kimi turned up really annoyed cos they never paid him, yet he qualified half a second ahead of Grosjean on tyres Grosjean preferred. Not sure how you get to your conclusion

      1. Luis Pastilla says:

        +1
        :) :)

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Have Lotus actually paid Kimi his 2013 salary in full now, or do they pay him back in instalments?
        “Never mind the championship, when are you going to give me my money!”

    4. Richard says:

      What you forget German Samurai are the wet conditions that close up the opposition because they can’t use the high speed. What matters in those conditions is downforce which is an area where Red Bull excel. Had the conditions been dry I expect the gap would have been over a second.

      1. NickH says:

        Exactly, come on German Samurai it isn’t rocket science. The Mercs engine advantage is blighted slightly by rain

      2. German Samurai says:

        If Ricciardo can get within half a second of the most (or second most) dominant car in F1 history, then imagine what he’d be doing in the Mercedes!

        Ricciardo qualified 3rd in the dry of Bahrain too.

      3. Richard says:

        All is not as simple as you perceive! The Red Bull car is still very good in terms of it’s chassis/aerodynamics, they are merely down with regard to the Renault power unit. Once improved to Mercedes level they will be lethal. Mercedes in the meantime need to improve their downforce levels to be on par with Red Bull in the longer term. I suspect the reason why Ricciardo is getting the better of Vettel is because the character of the power and torque delivery. Credit where credit is due Ricciardo is doing an excellent job so far.

      4. KRB says:

        GS, what is your evidence for the W05 being the most dominant car in F1 history? Empirical evidence, please.

        I expect crickets.

        For example, in the 1988 San Marino GP, Senna on pole was 3.352s up on the first non-McLaren car! That other car was Piquet’s Lotus, which had the same Honda engine in it, as the McLaren’s, plus it was faster than them in the speed trap!

      5. German Samurai says:

        “GS, what is your evidence for the W05 being the most dominant car in F1 history? Empirical evidence, please.

        I expect crickets.

        For example, in the 1988 San Marino GP, Senna on pole was 3.352s up on the first non-McLaren car! That other car was Piquet’s Lotus, which had the same Honda engine in it, as the McLaren’s, plus it was faster than them in the speed trap!”

        In 1988, McLaren had the strongest driver line up in F1 history.

        Senna would have destroyed Piquet in equal equipment, let alone the all-conquering 1988 McLaren.

        In 2014, Mercedes has a journeyman driver with 4 race wins from 150 starts. The other driver is Hamilton who often finds himself being beaten by Rosberg over the course of race weekends. Hamilton also got beaten by Button over the course of a season in 2011.

        So as you see, Mercedes in 2014 has a different calibre of drivers piloting their cars compared to McLaren in 1988.

        Even with this calibre of driver, Mercedes was able to pull out a 24-second lead in 10 laps in Bahrain. No other car got within 1.7 seconds of Mercedes.

        Unless Mercedes have mechanical failure they are unbeatable. It’s unfair that Vettel, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo are unable to challenge for this championship.

      6. KRB says:

        [mod]

        So how do you explain Riccardo Patrese qualifying 2 secs ahead of the great Senna regularly in 1992?

        It’s unfair? It’s what happens in F1 from time to time. Vettel had the benefit of a supercar for most of the past 4 seasons. No one else had a realistic shot at the title.

        Talk to me if it’s the same in 3 years’ time.

      7. NickH says:

        @Richard. Well said

      8. justafan says:

        Wise post Richard, very true.

    5. Alexir says:

      Bit too early to say that about Kimi, dont you think? sure he had difficult weekend in Australia, not comfortable with the car at all, still managed to score decent points from the race. In Malaysia his race was completely destroyed by Magnussen. In Bahrain he had much better weekend, despite having difficult time in practice sessions, but unfortunately Ferrari’s race pace was terrible and the best Kimi could have done would have been 9th ahead of Alonso if he hadnt failed at start.

      And this weekend seems to be repeat from Australia again. lost 1st practice session completely thanks to technical probelems in the car, 3rd practice session was wet so couldnt catch up the lost pratice time…Kimi said already yesterday that when you loose one pratice session entirely its always going to be difficult weekend, playing catch up with the rest and on top of that wet qualifying didnt help him at all + he said he had some problems with down-shifting.

      So overall Kimi hasnt got one entirely trouble-free weekend yet, but if we look at his pace in dry conditions in Australia and Bahrain, it wasnt miles off from Alonso. For sure these are not the results Kimi wants himself, and he needs to improve, but so does the TEAM needs to improve to get rid off these technical difficulties and overall improve the handling and the speed of the car.

      If Kimi continues to have these issues throughout the whole season then both himself and the team need to look themselves to mirror, cause obviously they need to work better together….but ye, I would just want to see that one, trouble-free weekend for Kimi which we havent seen so far. It seems the moment Kimi went to Ferrari, he has suffered from much more car-related problems than Alonso, although Alonso also seems to better deal with the car they currently have.

      1. German Samurai says:

        “Bit too early to say that about Kimi, dont you think?”

        I have been saying it about Raikkonen since 2008.

        He got beaten by Massa. Massa is not a top tier driver. Then he got beaten by him again (up until Hungary).

        I think throwing $20m at Kimi was a poor choice when you had Hulkenberg begging for a drive.

        I don’t think Kimi’s consistently fast, and then you have other things like often having a poor attitude and not working well with engineers.

      2. Alexir says:

        And the same guy managed to score more points than anyone else besides Hamilton during 2nd half of 2009 and drove brilliantly in 2012 and first half of 2013, scoring the record of the longest points finish streak. Overall Kimi looked more stronger than in long long time during his Lotus stint, so no wonder Ferrari signed him.

        For sure Kimi has had difficult start of the season, but there is still plenty of time to turn things around. And even if they had chosen Hulkenberg, Ferrari still wouldnt be fighting for wins. Right now Ferrari’s lack of performance is not Kimi’s fault, the car needs major improvements. Also where does your “not working well with engineers” comment comes from? Ask whoever has been working with Kimi over the years, I havent heard any of them saying negative stuff about Kimi. He is very precise about giving feedback, this is confirmed by Martin Whitmarsh, James Allison, Mark Slade etc. Maybe some Italians dont understand Kimi’s Finnish nature, cause their cultures and way of talking are quite different, but otherwise your statement is just pure rubbish

    6. SaScha says:

      @GermanSamurai.
      Ricciardo set his time later than Hamilton,on an improving track

    7. Ed Bone says:

      “Hamilton almost underperformed”…. er, no he was sensational, as was Riciardo.

    8. KRB says:

      First two paragraphs each contained a silly point.

      How can you be 0.6s ahead and underperform? Even if you think the car is 1s quicker, then why should that driver over-drive the car? I don’t think the Merc is 1s quicker than the Red Bull, at least not in the wet. It was a very good lap from Hamilton. To suggest otherwise is just silly.

    9. Phenom says:

      Are you watching the race right now German Samurai? The most dominant car in F1 history is sure showing it’s stuff back in 5th place! Maybe Nico doesnt feel like overtaking anyone just yet…

      Gaz Boy – I had the pleasure of seeing Mika and Schumacher at Monaco, they were the only 2 girls constantly brushing the barriers lap after lap through the swimming pool section. Mika is truly one of the greats ‘for sure’ ;)

      1. Phenom says:

        2 cars! Not 2 girls… God you can tell it’s the weekend!! :D

  29. Mike Martin says:

    What a legend is Lewis! Absolutely great photo and what a very NICE helmet.

    Mr Allen/James, what is the difference between a wet and a dry setup? I once heard Jenson say modern F1 cars actually don’t have different setups.

    During race games I make the suspension softer, play with the break balance and down force. I am curious what do F1 teams do?

    1. James Allen says:

      Little bit extra wing, bit softer as you say.

      Mainly it is switches on the steering wheel for diff settings, diameter of wet tyres is greater etc

  30. Matt H says:

    Vettel needs to up his game. Ricciardo is proving to be the real deal and if this continues will throw a real spanner in the works for Helmut and Horner. Hope they allowed to duke it out like the Mercs but I doubt it. Anyway Red Bull again steady improvements, Merc flying as usual, Rosberg will pick up for the race no doubt and Force Indias seem a tad out of position no doubt from the wet quali. Hope for an intriguing race with Ham winning.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “if this continues will throw a real spanner in the works for Helmut and Horner”

      Why? It’s not like the previous situation with Webber where Marko was clearly biased toward Vettel. Both Vettel and Ricciardo are Marko’s protégés and as far as Horner is concerned I don’t think he cares who is in front so long as someone is challenging Mercedes.

      1. Matt H says:

        Disagree mate if your building a brand your gonna want vettel to be champion as many times as schuey if possible that would make him and red bull in the greatest ever category. The Ricciardo situation is making this seem like a number of people think… That vettel is a tin pot champion and that a rookie can dust him head to head. Considering the whole viewpoint that vettel only won because the red bull was a superb machine and webber was naff kind of sits right at present based on the first few races . If this continues then it would only strengthen that point!

      2. Random 79 says:

        If you’re building a brand, sure.

        But Marko and Horner aren’t building a brand, they’re running an F1 team that happens to be owned by a well established brand, so as much as they might like to see Vettel get his 5th consecutive WDC as long as at least one of their drivers is bringing in the results to win both championships it shouldn’t matter which one it is.

      3. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        “if your building a brand your gonna want vettel to be champion as many times as schuey if possible”

        BINGO!!!

  31. All of you that knock Lewis I hope you are taking note. Where is Rosberg? Even Vettel has been out qualified I think three times by Riccardo.

  32. Ahmed says:

    2009 was brawns double diffuser dominance, rbr dominated the next 4 seasons with thr high downforce blown diffusers… So what is the talking strength of merc besides the PU? Anyone out thr spot something significantly innovative or different tht they pulling out such times even in comparison to their customers? Much has been said tht thr strength lies in their engine layout n th chassis being developed around this layout but my question to James and anyone else here: is this a design for long term success or is 2014 going to be a flash In the pan? Will the other manufacturers be able to copy ths idea for 2015 and beyond?

    1. Kay-Gee says:

      Interest question, I too suspect they have something more than dominant PU and layout.

      1. Ahmed says:

        Another interesting point is how much effort and money was put into their new extremely short nose which many f1 experts deemed impossible to pass the crash tests. Apparently it has become the most expensive nose in f1 history. Surely the juice is worth the squeeze in this instance? Their strength isn’t skin deep and I’m no expert but would it be possible to somehow channel more air through this design to feed their turbo and at the same time achieve wat lotus has set out to do with thr twin tusk?

    2. James Clayton says:

      “is this a design for long term success or is 2014 going to be a flash In the pan?”

      Well, assuming the advantage *is* due to the way the engine is packaged in the car, and assuming that other teams & manufacturers *can* figure out how Merc are doing it, then presumably they can copy the idea for next year.

      However this means that the chasing teams will be running a completely re-designed chassis next year, where as Merc will be evolving the concept they already have. That being the case, you could expect that they would still have some kind of an advantage, albeit not such a big one, at least at the beginning of next season.

    3. M_E says:

      it looks like it is efficiency and squeezing every last drop of recoverable energy out of the PU more than anything now. coulthard was mentioning in commentary that given all that its possible they are running a lighter car (less fuel needed for race worth something like 3 tenths/lap, and something else he mentioned which I think gives 4tenths, ontop of that you have the brute power of the merc engine [currently 40hp up on Renault] all merc customer teams have and you have close to a second before you even get to the downforce or chassis!)

      I keep hearing about engine freezes, and if its as obviously sewn up now as I believe it to be, and they cant do much (other teams) to fundamentally change the engine, then that will mean mercedes domination for a number of years until the engine regulations are defrosted again! and mercedes will be the new red bull in terms of domination. fair play to them, they played the long game and will dominate for years now. extremely clever.

      I think mercedes had this plan for over 5 years, develop for the new futureistic f1 (PU) and let red bull dominate for 4 years (so not able to develop as much the power unit as they wanted to win the 4 WC they did) clearly Mercedes have been developing the PU technology for years, and probably all the way back to the days of Brawn GP if not further, and probably knew the plans for future change transformation to green F1 that were coming down the track long before media started talking about it too!

      I wouldnt be surprised if they dominated for nearly a decade now depending if the regulations stay the same about engines and it should, they invested massively in this car for at least 4 years Id say and if bernie goes changing the regulations again so others can compete with them, if I was mercedes Id be suing them for HUGE HUGE amounts of money to compensate for 4 years of development wasted and 3 years of loss earnings as such (concentrating on future development vs taking the fight to red bull)

      1. M_E says:

        James,

        when did the media start reporting about the sea change in regulation change to a greener f1 which would eventually give rise to the notion of the PU?

        I mean the different stages, first stage: bernie (or whoever) wanting a new greener f1 to reflect society.

        second stage: vague idea when new ideology would be put into practice as regulation.

        and third stage: date set for the changeover and sea changing regulations for 2014 cars.

        what were the specific years for those announcements?

      2. James Allen says:

        Mosley started talking about it around 2006/7 from memory. KERS was part of the thinking when that came in 2009.

        Real energy behind hybrid engines from there. 2010 into 2011 the Technical Working Group was working along with engine builders and FIA on shaping rules. Originally looking at V4, but that was vetoed by Ferrari I think. V6 was voted through in June 2011.

      3. M_E says:

        @James

        thanks. looks like I was right then, merc have been working on this for at least 5 years and more directly 3 years (the majority of time RB were dominant), added to that they were engine suppliers and it was an absolute masterstroke to come into F1 as a full team and not just engine supplier anymore.

        A part of me thinks they wouldnt have done what they did if the payoff wasnt at least 3 years of total domination and a further few years of constructor titles at least once the others made big inroads into their designs and the big teams were back near competitive with eachother. Then again maybe they were going for a quality vs quantity return and deciding it would be worth it for a season or 2 of total dominance the headlines of the domination would create and get the ethos out there that ‘mercedes are a car to think of when you think of energy saving green road cars’ genius marketing, crafty germans!

      4. Ahmed says:

        I think the loophole on engine homologation is that they are allowed to improve reliability so if there is a performance gain “as a result” of the improved reliability it is allowed.

  33. Pritish says:

    James, are there any indicators that Ferrari are truly faster in the dry or were they just running lighter in practice than the others. The current difference after qualifying is huge!

    1. justafan says:

      Difficult to say, for we don’t know fuel levels in friday’s practice when Alo dominated Fp1.

  34. furstyferret says:

    Are there any more nico rosberg specialist tracks to come for the rest of the season#

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      He scored pole in Barcelona and Monaco, so he’s probably pretty good around there. He was strong in Singapore last year.. Lewis’ season really needs to start, Bah. and Mal. are traditionally not his favorite tracks, but he’s always fast in China.

    2. Kingszito says:

      Rosberg was never a specialist in China more than Hamilton is. Hamilton has won twice in China to Rosberg’s once, and has been in Podium more times than Rosberg in China. Those (Ted Kravitz) proclaiming Rosberg as a Shanghai specialist is just baseless.

  35. Brett says:

    A couple of points.
    1. I have never seen a driver of Raikkonen’s caliber struggle so much with a car. He looks like a shell of his former self. I wonder if Ferrari will look to Hulkenberg for 2015.

    2. Can we please stop the Alonso to Mclaren rumors. Why on earth would he want to go there. I know Ferrari continually fail to deliver but Mclaren has the Mercedes engine and can’t even beat Force India and Williams. They have lost their way and will only be slower with Honda.

    3. Vettel’s star is beginning to fade. Do people now realize that he was just a good driver in a great car. Does anyone really think Alonso or Hamilton but be having this much trouble with Ricciardo.

    1. German Samurai says:

      “1. I have never seen a driver of Raikkonen’s caliber struggle so much with a car. He looks like a shell of his former self. I wonder if Ferrari will look to Hulkenberg for 2015.”

      Don’t you remember 2008 and 2009 when his teammate Massa beat him? He was also consistently beaten by his teammate Grosjean in the second half of last season.

      Even when he won the championship he needed Massa to move over for him in the final race, he need the rookie Hamilton to spin going into the pits of Shanghai and then have mysterious gearbox problems in Brazil.

      Then you have the face that Raikkonen had all those years driving a Newey designed McLaren and couldn’t win a championship.

      “3. Vettel’s star is beginning to fade. Do people now realize that he was just a good driver in a great car. Does anyone really think Alonso or Hamilton but be having this much trouble with Ricciardo.”

      Ricciardo was incredible today, but so was Vettel to get third and split the most dominant car in F1 history. To even get within one second of the Mercedes is a heroic effort.

      Even in early 2012, Mark Webber was quicker than Vettel in several races.

      Look at two weeks ago. Rosberg out qualified Hamilton and had better pace throughout the race than Hamilton. No-one was saying Hamilton star was fading.

      Even Alonso struggled in qualifying against a Massa last year.

      1. Alexir says:

        “Even when he won the championship he needed Massa to move over for him in the final race, he need the rookie Hamilton to spin going into the pits of Shanghai and then have mysterious gearbox problems in Brazil.

        Then you have the face that Raikkonen had all those years driving a Newey designed McLaren and couldn’t win a championship.”

        And yet you seem to forget how Kimi suffered 2 mechanical failures in 2007, in Spain and in Nurburing…both cost him valuable points, while Hamilton only suffered misfortune at Nurburing as well at that famous first turn where many went to the sand when there was so much water that they couldnt turn/stop their cars. Anyways without those mechanical failures Kimi’s situation would have been much better.

        And again have you perhaps forgotten WHY it was that Kimi never managed to achieve championship in Newey-designed Mclaren? Or let me guess, it doesnt even matter to you that Mclaren (or should I say Mercedes-engine) was unrealiable back then.

        For sure, I can say as Kimi fan that he seems to struggle lot more than Alonso for example when the car isnt into his liking…and especially so in wet conditions where he clearly is not up to the level where he should be.

      2. NickH says:

        You do know that at 07 brazil race Massa was fueled very light in quali to secure the pole and control the race so that Hamilton couldn’t get away. Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race when Massa peeled in. Kimi would have won the race anyway.

        As for the newey Mclarens, Kimi would have easily won the ’05 championship had they not blown up every other race. Alonso’s 05 championship is probably one of the easiest ever in the sport, all he had to to was cruise around and wait for Kimi to blow up, or just finish 2nd when Kimi actually finished.

      3. German Samurai says:

        “You do know that at 07 brazil race Massa was fueled very light in quali to secure the pole and control the race so that Hamilton couldn’t get away. Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race when Massa peeled in. Kimi would have won the race anyway.”

        Yet it took Raikkonen until the final pitstop to get past Massa. Not a convincing way to win a championship. He couldn’t get it done on track so Ferrari got it done for him in the pits. Explicit team orders were a big no no back then.

        “As for the newey Mclarens, Kimi would have easily won the ’05 championship had they not blown up every other race. Alonso’s 05 championship is probably one of the easiest ever in the sport, all he had to to was cruise around and wait for Kimi to blow up, or just finish 2nd when Kimi actually finished.”

        Kimi was less reliable and had more bad luck, but he had a faster car and made more errors than Alonso.

        At the Nurburgring Kimi retired but it was completely his fault.

        Then you had Brazil where he completely botched his final qualifying run. He should have won that race. Instead his teammate Montoya beat him.

      4. NickH says:

        @German samurai.

        In regards to 2005, you mention a couple of races. You forget half the races in the season that Raikkonen was 15/30 seconds ahead and broke down from certain victories. [mod]

      5. German Samurai says:

        “@German samurai.

        In regards to 2005, you mention a couple of races. You forget half the races in the season that Raikkonen was 15/30 seconds ahead and broke down from certain victories. [mod]”

        I only mentioned a couple of races because it was only a couple of races where he broke down in the lead.

      6. Chris says:

        “Look at two weeks ago. Rosberg out qualified Hamilton and had better pace throughout the race than Hamilton. No-one was saying Hamilton star was fading.”

        Now you are being silly, did you watch the last race? Lewis won btw, on the slower rubber.

      7. Dazzler says:

        The most dominant car F1 history ?

        Nonsense.

        Or does your history only go back to 2011 ?

      8. Hansb says:

        Alonso hardly struggled against Massa. Adjusting your car for one fast lap (Massa) and fail big time in the race because of that. And most of the time even slower in qualification….

      9. justafan says:

        I expect Kimi to be faster in the race. He was never a good qualifier. However he holds the current record of fastest laps by active drivers. Even in the whole history of F1 only Prost and Schumi were faster in that regard.

      10. Anil Parmar says:

        He was also out performed by Grosjean in the second half of last year as he couldn’t get on top of the tyres..

      11. KRB says:

        “the most dominant in F1 history”

        Not even close. What you’re engaging in now is called the Big Lie. If you’re German, you should know all about it.

    2. Ahmed says:

      Raikonnen is a second tier driver like Button.

      Alonso will be looking to make a move and Mclaren may be his best shot. Mclaren needs a reshuffle as did Mercedes but no matter what they do, button can not lead and develop their car into a title winning package. For this they need a driver like alonso, n while doing ths, magnussen can take notes from the samurai himself. How ironic is it tht Mr enzo once said “aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines…” Well Mr E, it seems that the prancing horse has bad aero even tho Mr rory byrne is behind thr latest creation and an even worse engine package.

      Ricciardo may be getting th better of vettel now bt this will be short lived. Its may even take the entire season but make no mistake, when vettel strikes ricciardo will be the first to feel it.

      1. HP says:

        alonso can develop a car? not convinced! but he can defo destabilize the whole mclaren team thats for sure!

      2. justafan says:

        Alonso didn’t develop the Ferrari into a winner like Michael did. But his career is still in progress so we wait and see. Michael took 5 years to develop the Ferrari into a winner. Alonso is in his fifth year with Ferrari now. Time to deliver Fred!

      3. chris says:

        strange so many intelligent people change their minds as the wind blows. until november 2013 raikk was one of the best. now he is a second tier driver just because he signed to be n 2. he has zero dignity as a man, but his talent remains.
        bipolar disorder spreading?

      4. Ahmed says:

        We can argue all day about which driver can develop a car better but it probably boils down to consistent feedback to the engineers but one thing is for sure, Alonso will muscle the most out of any car and he can lead a team.

        @chris I was never a raik fanboy so no bipolar disorder here mate ;)

    3. justafan says:

      It would interesting to see Alo partnering with Ric. Who would come out on topß

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        He would do with him the same he is doing with Kimi and the same he did with Massa.

      2. justafan says:

        I believe it when I see it.

  36. Chris says:

    Ricciardo!!!!! I really thought Vettel had him today but yet again it was not to be. Finger boy is starting to look just a little bit average to me in Quali and we have to start to question if it was all the toys on the previous Red Bulls that made him special.

    Maybe Nico (Ros) is regretting stating he was beat Lewis here at China but still all to play for.

    Nando showing yet again why is is still the cream in my eyes anyways.

    Looking forwards to tomorrows race, bring it.

  37. Racyboy says:

    When Lewis and Nico eventually trip over each other,I bet Dan is there to pick up the pieces.
    I expect to see him on the podium tomorrow.

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      “I wanna be a paaaart of it”

  38. Glorz Kodzo Dzramedo says:

    Well done Lewis. Stay focused and determined.

  39. Glory Kodzo Dzramedo says:

    Well done Lewis. Stay focused and determined.
    Keep up the good work and keep getting better and better

  40. JohnP says:

    According to Rosberg on the F1 site he had a problem with breaking and also a problem with timing on his steering wheel. This told him he was two tenths down when he was half a second up so he pushed like crazy when he needn’t have and spun. James, what were the sector times comparing Hamilton’s and Riccardo’s lap? I am interested to see if Hamilton is gaining time on the straight and the red bull chassis is better through the infield. Also the comparison between Hamilton and Rosberg’s 1st and 2nd sectors?

    1. furstyferret says:

      He was half second up on lewis 1st timed lap, lewis was 6ths up on rosberg on that lap, rosberg would have been2nd at best, a mminimum of half a second away from lewis, hams day today

      1. JohnP says:

        Was Hamilton 6ths up on Rosberg or his previous best, of which rosberg was up half a second on? This would have put him 1ths ahead. You may well be right though because I haven’t actually seen the sector times I am just going on what Rosberg said. Can’t deny it was Hamilton’s day, but I don’t think it will be like Malaysia in the race, if Rosberg has a good start it will be interesting to compare race pace. The question is Rosbergs mindset though, if he is as stressed out as he looks could he end up in an accident trying to make up to much time like Hungary last year?

      2. JohnP says:

        Sorry I mean 1 tenth not 1 tenths

    2. Kingszito says:

      Rosberg was only up on Lewis provisional pole time. At best Rosberg would have beaten only the two Red Bulls if he had completed his best lap without that incident. Hamilton bettered his own provisional pole time and was up on Rosberg’s time before his incident.

  41. Paige says:

    The scary thing is that Lewis actually could have improved his lap, as there were a few corners where he entered a little hot.

    Nevertheless, Lewis was untouchable today. He seems for the first time in his career to have his head clear and to be very focused and methodical, and he has delievered some absolutely masterclass performances so far this year. If he makes it three wins in a row, his train will be a very hard one to stop.

    And speaking of the only one who can stop it, Nico clearly cracked today. He got beat handidly in Q1 and Q2 and in the first run of Q3, and he made some really desperate attempts to gain time on the final set of inters. He is lucky that he didn’t do something to endanger the car with that prayer of a corner entry at the end of his final lap in Q3. This overly eager approach probably cost him the front row. Rather than desperately trying to beat Lewis, he would have been better off getting a clean lap, getting on the front row, and then having a go at Lewis in the dry tomorrow with the advantage of having run more laps.

    Ricciardo just continues to impress. Any questions as to whether or not he can be a top level driver in the sport are now out the window. He’s outqualified his 4X World Champion teammate in 3 of the first 4 races. It’s still early, of course, and Vettel will be back with a vengeance. But Ricciardo has the goods..

    1. Dr Lewis says:

      +1

      Absolutely

    2. Ed Bone says:

      Agree, Ricciardo is the only driver I have seen since Lewis arrived that can really shake up the grid.

  42. clyde says:

    Wow where has Ricardo been hiding since 2012! All he needed was a good car to prove himself ….Also since he gets only 2.5M compared to Vettels 16M he seems to be good value too :-)

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Wow, 2.5M. that’s a pretty raise in comparison to the TR days! Can you believe those guys, best job in the world (I would do it for free) and they get paid millions to do it, rockstars!

    2. TJ says:

      I thought he proved he had the goods when he consistently qualified a piece of rubbish Torro Rosso in the top 10, often being 10 places or so in front of Vergne. I don’t think he needed a good car to prove his ability which is why Red Bull signed him up.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Vergne is not the best in qualy mode, but he managed to snatch some saturday victories from Ricciardo, especially in wet conditions. Today he was p9 in his TR, I’ll bet you he could have done what Ricciardo did today! But yes, Ricciardo is the better driver overall.

    3. justafan says:

      Absolutely. Brilliant idea to promote Ricciardo. Btw that Kvyat guy seems fast too.

  43. Grant H says:

    Nice one Lewis new british UK pole record

    Good to see new boy ricciardo show vet up, really impressed with the Ozzy

    What happened to nico!! Lost the edge!

    1. Krischar says:

      Nico made far too many mistakes under pressure from lewis in quali

      Kudos to lewis that was stunner in Q3 and when it comes to the ultimate pace showdown in F1. Lewis is certainly one of the best in the history of F1

      Lewis for the WIn and WDC in 2014, Go lewis

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Hope there is F1 in paradise! Imagine all the greats at the peak of their abilities dicing it out. A GP with the biggest names ever in equal cars. Senna, Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Alonso, Vettel (?), Lauda, Prost, Moss, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button, Fittipaldi, Schumacher, Hakkinen, Piquet Sr., Gilles Villeneuve, Graham Hill, Mansell,Hunt,Ascari and Brabham make it 22. Best grid ever?

  44. Grant H says:

    *pole

  45. Nick says:

    Hi James, I’m sitting at the first corner in Shanghai and was interested to watch the wakes from the cars today. It appeared to me as though the wake off the Red Bull was noticeably different to the other cars. It seemed to angle of the rear and converge closer to the rear wing whereas the others was straighter and converged further back. Is this an indication of anything significant in aerodynamics?

  46. Cheesypoof69 says:

    I don’t think Hamilton was that dominant. There’s an aura of sensationalism around British drivers when they win, nor necessarily here but virtually everywhere and it’s a bit ridiculous. Personally I don’t think Hamilton was that amazing, Rosberg was faster than him on first lap before mistake so he wasn’t untouchable.

    Speaking of sensationalism, Vettel, the greatest thing since sliced bread apparently everywhere, touted as a godsend. I can find dozens of articles proclaiming him as an all time great, looks ordinary next to Ricciardo who himself never looked outstanding until now. If he gets beaten by his team mate is this guy now the greatest also? Blah. Hoping for a good race… and by race I mean everyone else other than Mercedes of course. Go Williams!@#

    1. Krischar says:

      Yes Cheesypoof69

      Vettel is just a average pilot who was flattered by the quickest package and subdued team-mate for the last 4 seasons. I simply do not rate vettel not even in my top 10. Daniel clearly will fluster him soon and we are lot closer to another race like turkey 2010

      Given the speed and consistency which Daniel Ricciardo possess, vettel cannot put the smiley face all the time as the season progress like he does now in front of the media

      4X WDC mere stats, nothing else period.

      1. German Samurai says:

        Vettel out-qualified Ricciardo by 1 second in Malaysia in similar conditions. Then Ricciardo was unable to keep up with him in the race (though didn’t get blown away).

        In 2009, 2010 and early 2012 Webber would have weekends where he’d dominate Vettel.

        If we’re going to discredit Vettel because a teammate beat him, then we should do the same for Hamilton who got outscored by Button in 2011 and Rosberg has been able to often dominate Hamilton on race weekends.

        We should do the same for Alonso who was barely able to out-qualify his bunny of his teammate last year, got beaten by his rookie teammate in 2007 and beaten by teammate Trulli in 2004.

        Schumacher of course was never beaten by a teammate (except when he tried to comeback as a 41 year old after sitting at home for 3 years).

      2. Richard says:

        Schumacher had all the advantages like no.1 status at Ferrari, special tyres. Schumacher if he were young today would be no different to any other top driver. – Unless you have a fast car forget it.

      3. Mike from Colombia says:

        Even then, he appeared faster than Rosberg towards the end.

      4. German Samurai says:

        “Schumacher had all the advantages like no.1 status at Ferrari, special tyres. Schumacher if he were young today would be no different to any other top driver. – Unless you have a fast car forget it.”

        Michelin was the superior tyre from 2003. I don’t think anyone will argue that.

        Michelin was getting test data from three top teams (McLaren, Williams, Renault), while Bridgestone was only getting test data from one top team (Ferrari). That was a huge advantage for Michelin in terms of development. 3x the testing miles for the tyres.

        Schumacher blew away every teammate. Number one status had nothing to do with it. I know you’ll bring up Austria 2002, but at the time Schumacher had 44 points and Barrichello could only manage 6, plus Ferrari had missed out in the final race of 97, 98 and 99, so they were taking no chances.

        No different to Schumacher moving over for Irvine in 99, Massa moving over for Kimi in 2007 and Massa moving over for Alonso in 2010.

      5. justafan says:

        I don’t think Vettel is slow, remember he’s got more titles than Alonso.

    2. Dr Lewis says:

      Your statistics are of course, far better.

      Why bother watching.

      Let alone commenting.

      Anyone qualifying in the wet with any kind of success is actually doing an amazing job.

      Go past a lorry on a bike or in a car in the wet and come back and make such comments…

    3. Grant H says:

      Rosberg was faster yes but lewis final pole lap was quicker again and rosberg was nowhere in Q2

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        At which point was Rosberg quicker?

      2. Grant H says:

        Was referring to post above ie nico was slightly quicker than lewis 1st Q3 run until he made a mistake, however Lewis would of beat him anyway as the second Q3 run was quicker again so its a null point

      3. TimW says:

        In the imagination of the many people who really don’t like Lewis and are having a hard time coming to terms with his success.

    4. Richard says:

      Hamilton was good when it mattered, Rosberg wasn’t!

  47. trev says:

    Come on then Seb. Right now is your chance to cement your Legacy as a truly great driver. Not when the RB’s development catches up and you drive off into the distance. Although the way you are struggling to match Dan, then that might not be a given either.

  48. Alex Trickle says:

    The Vettel bashing and Hamilton praising by British fans seems to know no bounds.

    Yes Ricciardo has outqualified Vettel 2-1 (on even terms, not count Aus as Vettel had engine issues) but in my opinion this does equal dominating. If come summer break he is up 7-1 then yes we can all jump on the “Vettel only won because of his car” bandwagon.

    Similarly all the Hamilton is “amazing” praise – Rosberg look set to take pole away but made a mistake so by no means is Hamilton untouchable. Credit where credit is due though Hamilton’s defense again Rosberg in Bahrain was great! Still too early to claim one better than the other though.

    As I said yesterday though – glad one Lotus is now finally getting in the mix. Hopefully it’ll just be up and up from here. Had a rocky start to F1 but I really like Grosjean :)

    1. Kingszito says:

      There was no time Lewis’s pole position was under any threat because he was going even quicker than any driver who was up on his provisional pole time in the same lap. The best Nico could have achieved without the mistake was beating the two Red Bulls because Hamilton had him covered in the same lap.

    2. James Clayton says:

      It’s a shame… you appear pretty balanced in your feedback of Vettel, which I quite agree with.

      But Rosberg only ever look set to take away Hamilton’s provisional pole – Hamilton then went on to beat his own time by another 0.6 tenths.

    3. hal says:

      You are wrong I think. Rosberg was not set to take pole because he was up on Lewis’ provisional pole by around 0.4 secs and not his final lap time. He would have got second without the error.

      Anyway, if’s and but’s are meaningless.

  49. Pkara says:

    WELL DONE LEWIS
    KICK ASS PERFORMANCE !

    CheesyPoof69 keep taking your Lithium :-D

  50. cometeF1 says:

    An interesting grid it seems. Let’s see if either or both RBs can keep Rosberg behind them.
    Riccardo is really showing something, doesn’t he? Vettel will surely be annoyed to be in the position he is in. I would not write him off just yet though. I believe, the fact that he is being pushed by his teammate will actually help him in the long run.
    Hamilton bare any misfortune, has that one in the bag, so lets hope for plenty good battles for the nine remaining point finishes.
    I am glad to see Grosjean up there. Seeing where Lotus started this season, it is quite an achievement. I don’t expect much from them tomorrow and hope to be surprised as I really like Grosjean.
    I am not the biggest fan of Hamilton but it has to be said that he is making the most of was he was given. That being said I hope he won’t walk this season all on his own. Looking, as usual, forward to the race. Marc

  51. Phenom says:

    I have to say James you do seem to have a little preference for Nico which comes across in your writing, in the same sentence as summing up his qualifying you reference how he beat Hamilton in Bahrain and insinuate he would have done so had he not run wide. In reality Hamiltons final time would still have been 2/10s quicker and you don’t mention Rosberg’s second attempt and second subsequent mistake where he spun the car.

    Not having a pop at all mind but I often wonder how anybody can be completely impartial about a sport they love :)

    And also this is the best F1 site on the net bar none so again, please don’t take my comments as having a dig, just giving an opinion.

    1. hal says:

      Agree the writing is a bit vague on this point but I highly doubt it was deliberate.

    2. matthew says:

      plus both ham and ric had to pull out of thier final flying laps because of nico’s spin.ric was actually going faster than nico on that lap,and lewis was even quicker than ric.so nico wouldnt have got pole,,,no way….plus in bahrain,lewis had a brake leak in quali,thats why he locked up.

    3. Mike from Colombia says:

      Have to agree here

  52. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Sure, having the best car helps. But Lewis was all over the place and in total command. Nothing to take away from his performance, hopes he manages the hattrick tomorrow. Rosberg has not been able to achieve a front row in all three wet qualifyings. If Red Bull closes the gap to Mercedes, I can’t see Rosberg winning the championship against Ricciardo/Vettel.

    Also, honorable mention for Vergne. That guy is always in the mix in wet conditions. However, this could be his last year in F1 if he doesn’t find a new team. You can’t be in a junior driver program for ever.

    Magnussen is really struggling, it’s looking more and more likely that his graduation came too early. Lewis had thousands of miles of experience by his first GP, so naturally Kevin would need 1 or 2 full seasons to achieve a similar level of experience. But I can’t see him beat Jenson in the near future. Btw, Mclaren’s overall performance was again very poor. I wonder what Ron was thinking, seeing Lewis clinch yet another pole while his team was out in Q2..

    1. JohnP says:

      Wouldn’t expect someone with a name like yours to be commenting on an F1 forum?!?!?

      I actually agree with what you say about Rosberg, he isn’t all that great in the wet. Schumacher often had the beating of him when the rain came down.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Yeah, Michael had good pace in 2012 in general.

        Btw, the name is from the movie ‘Into the Wild’. Must see if you haven’t yet!

      2. JohnP says:

        Michael did indeed, reliability plus the odd error in judgement cost him the points to beat Nico.

        I have seen Into the Wild, it’s just I thought it wasn’t really a film a lot of F1 fans would like, with Chris being quite anti society he probably wouldn’t have approved of F1. That will teach me for being stereotypical to F1 fans.

    2. Ahmed says:

      Button has brought Mclaren down to his level of mediocrity… Mp4-28 was hailed by button as the best Mclaren he had ever driven. Their mp4-29′s double podium in Oz was gifted after hamilton and vettel suffered Dnf’s together with ricciardo’s exclusion. Mclaren need to sign Alonso so he can lead the team before they become the new Williams

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        The thing that baffles me the most with the situation at Mclaren is that they supposedly turned their focus on the 2014 challenger pretty early. I don’t know whether it’s the drivers, engineers or other staff,but their level of quality is below par for a team with those resources. It’s just not right, it’s been going on for over a year. They are battling teams which have half their budget. You might be right in considering that the Australian podium was a fluke.

      2. Kingszito says:

        +1

        How come McLaren suddenly become so bad after Lewis left?

        Either their drivers are not driving the car to its full potential or that Button can’t develop a car.

        McLaren might not be the best car , but they have not been this bad in recent memories.

      3. Ahmed says:

        At the end of the day, we talking about “mclaren” not a midfield team. However, on th very same token we have ferrari, who have arguably the best driver on grid(alonso)who can develop a car and mighty personnel in terms of engineers and practically an unlimited budget so the big question is, what has caused the mighty to have fallen this hard?

  53. Didier says:

    Which teams belong those 2 slow grey cars ? are MCLAREN to ashamed to put their logo on their cars ??? seems odd to me ,they are the only cars a non f1 car fan could not tell what brand they are , not on tv anyway

  54. Didier says:

    looks like vettel is only “4 times red bull champion ” nothing else

    1. justafan says:

      So what? Many good drivers only won their titles in the same team, including Ascari, Clark, Stewart, Senna, Mansell, Hakkinen, Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen amongst others. In other words, Fittipaldi has won titles in 2 teams, does that make him a better driver than Clark who won only in 1 team? Think about it.

  55. Methusalem says:

    I was amused when former F1 driver Christian Danner stated on ‘RTL’ that Ricciardo is faster than Vettel because Daniel came from a weaker team (Torro Rosso) and had a worse car than now, whereas Vettel used to drive a better car. LOL! Why don’t people simply accept the fact that someone is just better?

  56. Matt says:

    Well done Hamilton and Ricciardo. Hamilton has seemed to put his focus into F1 this season. I’m glad to see that. Dan is driving incredibly well. He is great fun to watch. Surprised so many are writing Vettel off as if he was given championships by divine intervention. I believe he deserves some respect and lets be patient before we run him out on a rail as if he was no better than an Andrea De Cesaris.

    What on earth is happening to McLaren? Melbourne seemed so promising and now the project has seemed to go sideways! Come on boys.

    Great job for Vergne too! He shouldn’t be overlooked as he is doing a pretty good job.

    I hope the race will be half as exciting as Bahrain.

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Agree. Vettel deserves some more respect here.

      If the haters think Vettel is so poor….well what does that say about Mark Webber?

      Seems to be simply uncomfortable with the car and finding his feet. The confidence from 4 world championships will allow him to rise again…maybe not to the top, but certainly better than he appears to be performing at the moment.

  57. JohnBt says:

    Good quali session, so many twitching cars trying to stay on the track. Should make a good dry race knowing Hamilton will pull a huge gap and if Rosberg passes Vettel……
    Ric’s been very sturdy for his quail and may Alonso jump a few positions with his rocket start although his spaceship is not that almighty. Am looking forward to the race.

  58. 45triode says:

    massa next to alsonso in 3rd row could be a critical start for both of them. i reckon massa will not give an inch to alonso.

  59. Yago says:

    Fastest drivers of the day: Hamilton and Alonso. Hamilton an incredible performance in an incredible car. Alonso an incredible performance in an awful and unbalanced car. Comparing Alonso’s driving today with Raikkonen’s, it is amazing to see what a difference pure talent can do. Alonso is the best driver in the rain I have ever seen (not seen Senna, I was too young). Probably the best of all times. To whoever has interest, re watch Hungary 2006.

    Then it comes Ricciardo (however he did not maximize all his potential performance).

    Then the rest, MILES away.

    Sometimes F1 is very sad. Why can’t we see a battle between Hamilton and Alonso, the most talented drivers (by miles) of te grid? This Alonso thing and the cars he is given to drive is getting really sad.

    Final word on Rosberg: wow, what a bad bad drive. So many errors. It is clear this guy is good, but not great.

    1. Ash says:

      I can remember Alonso blaming aquaplaning for crashing out in Japan 07 with the best car on the grid, a race which his team mate won in the same machinery.

      Alonso is good but Lewis is superior in the wet in my view from the evidence I’ve seen over the years.

    2. AstonMartin says:

      So.. what you’re saying is Ricciardo could have been higher than P2 if he could have just ‘maximised his potential’?!
      Come on, he beat Vettel who is definitely not a push over. I think he did what he could.

      Anyway, I’m no a Ric fan but applause to him, he is very consistent.

      1. Yago says:

        Ricciardo did a very good job but… he didn’t maximize his potential. He did a super fast sector two in his second lap (he did two fast laps in his last try in Q3), but he did loose a bit of time in the other two sectors due to tyre wear. Had he done that middle sector in his firs lap, he would have been pretty close to Hamilton. So he did not maximize his potential. That tells you how much faster than Vettel he was. Impressive stuff.

    3. justafan says:

      Best driver in the wet was Schumi. By Far. Spain 96, Spa 98, Spa 92.

  60. danny almonte says:

    McLaren are in a downward spiral and Hamilton is vindicated once again for abandoning that sinking ship when he did. Honda power on the horizon won’t be making a huge difference. Brawn needed a Mercedes engine to turn the Honda chassis into a world champion. McLaren’s problems are much deeper.
    It seems obvious that Button has had too much influence on the team. Button seems happy if he is close to or beating his team mate, regardless of the team’s standing.

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Doubt Button has any influence on Ron whatsoever.

      They need him in the team for now and also possibly next year.

      1. justafan says:

        Very true. The only driver who ever had influence on Ron was Senna.

    2. matthew says:

      i agree,button seems like he doesnt care when he’s poor in quali,he lacks passion imo,good driver tho.he doesnt make things happen tho.he waits for things to happen,and trys to make the most of it.mclaren have gone backwards since lewis left.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Button needs a team mate that can realy push him, basically someone who is faster. Perez was not able to do that on a regular basis and Kevin doesn’t seem ready. I don’t believe for a second that JB has been consistenly on top of his game in the past year.

  61. Simon Lord says:

    I’m sure if he were a Kiwi you’d be only too happy to apply the epithet ‘Australasian’, as the Aussie media often do. But in the week of Anzac Day, let’s stick together again. I know I, and a lot of others on this side of the Tasman, are looking forward to Ricciardo’s first win just as motor sport minded Aussies have celebrated Scott Dixon’s successes. And just maybe an Australasian pairing will win Le Mans in a Porsche this year?

    1. KRB says:

      Can’t wait to watch Webber at Le Mans this year.

  62. TimW says:

    Brilliant driving from Lewis, totally outclassed Rosberg. I think Nico needs to do what Jenson did and just concentrate on delivering the best quali lap he can, rather than obssesing with beating Lewis. Nico was clearly overdriving today in a vain attempt to catch Hamilton, and the result is 4th instead of 2nd. There will always be days when Lewis is unbeatable, when that happens it would be best to make sure he finishes as close as possible to the front rather than risk getting beaten by the Red bulls.
    The Lewis bashers seem to have it in their heads that Nico was about to snatch pole when he spun at the last corner, total nonsense, he wasn’t even close.

    1. Ash says:

      We’ll Said…..

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