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ANALYSIS – F1 2014 THE STORY SO FAR: Mercedes
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  07 May 2014   |  10:20 am GMT  |  229 comments

With the first four ‘flyaway’ Grands Prix out of the way, it’s a good time to assess the start each team has made to the season and look at how each team has fared so far with the new hybrid turbo technology.

This time we look at 2014’s runaway leaders, Mercedes, who after a clean sweep in the first four races, look unstoppable.

Mercedes

Best result: P1 (Rosberg, Australia; Hamilton, Malaysia, Bahrain, China)
Best grid slot: P1 (Hamilton, Australia, Malaysia, China; Rosberg, Bahrain)
Average grid slot: 1st.
Retirements: 1
(Hamilton, Australia)
Constructors Championship: 1st
Drivers’ Championship: P1 Rosberg, 79pts; P2 Hamilton 75pts

Fastest race lap, gap to pace setter
Australia: +0.000s (Rosberg fastest lap 1:32.478)
Malaysia: +0.000s (Hamilton fastest lap 1:43.066)
Bahrain: +0.000s (Rosberg fastest lap 1:37.020)
China: +0.000 (Rosberg fastest lap 1:40.402)

What’s gone right?
Just about everything. From the moment Mercedes W05 hit the track in Jerez it was abundantly clear that the Brackley squad, in partnership with their Brixworth power unit developers, were well ahead of the game on reliability, performance and potential. By the time the team had completed its pre-season programme it had logged 4972.644 km of testing. Williams, also powered by the company’s PU106A hybrid power unit, were their closest rival with 4893.432 km and the closest non-Mercedes powered team were third-placed Ferrari with 4488.516 km. Taking the chassis out of the equation, the four Mercedes-powered teams had put in a total of 17994.408 km, whereas the four Renault-supplied teams had managed just under half that with 8743.332 km. Williams’ Felipe Massa set the fastest time of testing but Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished pre-season with the second and third-fastest times.

And their dominance of testing has been repeated in the heat of battle. Rosberg and Hamilton have been quickest in all but two sessions this season so far (Fernando Alonso in FP1 in Australia and Daniel Ricciardo in FP3 in China, in which neither Mercedes driver set a time). In the sessions that matter the pair have been imperious, with the only real pressure coming from each other.

After the opening ‘flyaway’ remains streets ahead of the competition. Mercedes has a 97-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship and that battle looks as good as won now. Rosberg heads the Drivers’ standings on 79 points with one win and three second places and Hamilton is four points adrift with three wins and one retirement. What’s not to like.

What’s gone wrong?
You would have to say hardly anything. Hamilton’s retirement in Australia after just two laps due to a misfiring cylinder slightly took the shine off Rosberg’s excellent win in Melbourne (he led every lap and won by 24 seconds) but since then the team have hardly put a foot wrong. Hamilton’s hat-trick of victories have been superb, with the 2008 champion in blistering form in Malaysia and China and both Mercedes men offering up some enthralling racing in Bahrain.

If there is anything to go wrong it will come in this next, European phase of the season. Traditionally the period when teams crank up development, it is key to Mercedes’ season that they repel any challenges from rivals as the development cycle spins up, as team boss Toto Wolff admitted this week. “We know our rivals are going to be relentless in their effort to close the gap on us so our aim is to increase the advantage we enjoyed at the last race, in China,” he said.

Technical chief Paddy Lowe added: “The objective is to not only match, but to better the development rate of our rivals”.

Strong points of the team and car
At the heart of Mercedes’ dominance so far has been a mix of ingenuity and good old-fashioned preparedness. As mentioned elsewhere on this site the team had Geoff Willis leading an inner group solely focused on the integration of chassis and power unit for the past two years and it began investing heavily in energy recovery expertise at Brixworth as long as six years ago.

The result is an exceptionally clever power unit that benefits from having the turbo’s compressor at one end of the engine and the turbine at the other, linked by a long shaft through the vee of the engine. The benefit apparently comes from less turbo lag meanin that less of the energy from the ERS is required to keep the turbo spooled up off throttle. With more energy available from ERS, the ICE is needed less and less fuel is burned.

The innovation helps on the chassis side too with the positioning of components leading to better weight distribution and a better centre of gravity as it has enable the team to move the gearbox further forward.

Elsewhere, the team has one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid, with both showing they are capable of allying outstanding pace to the complex demands of race management made by F1’s new technologies.

Weak points of the team and the car
Few. The car appears to have few real flaws, though of course refinements will occur across the season. The only issue could be the developing rift between Hamilton and Rosberg. The pair have already demonstrated that losing to the other is a painful business, with a stoney-faced Rosberg admitted on the Bahrain podium that “I strongly dislike coming second to Lewis, that’s really not something I enjoy”. There may come a moment during the season that one is required by the team to give way to the other and how that situation is managed will be interesting. It is, it must be said, a nice dilemma to have.

Where do they go from here?
The short answer is forwards. This weekend in Barcelona is likely to be telling. The Circuit de Catalunya is famously something of an F1 bellwether. If a car goes well there it will go well anywhere. If Mercedes see of challenges from redeveloped rivals this weekend, and if their own technical progress, maintains or stretches the gap then the only questions remaining will surely be at which race the teams’ title is taken and which of Mercedes’ drivers is eventually crowned champion.

Overall Marks out of 10
Mercedes – 9/10
Nico Rosberg – 8/10
Lewis Hamilton – 9/10

How many marks out of ten do you give Mercedes so far? Leave us your comments on this post in the comments section below.

* Interesting to note, as we went live with this post, Mercedes announced a new partnership with a sponsor, new to F1, which they say is the first major partner to enter Formula One as a direct consequence of the new efficiency-based rules, with hybrid turbo engines.


The deal is a relatively small one, but they hope significant and the start of a trend, with leading fan and motor provider ebm-papst. The company provides external cooling for the cars in the garage and on the grid, bearing in mind that the temperatures inside the side pods can each 120 degrees. They also have an innovation for improving the conditions for the mechanics in the garages in hot countries, all based on more sustainable technologies.

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229 Comments
  1. Random 79 says:

    The goal Mercedes stated when they took over Brawn was to recreate the legendary silver arrows.

    It seems it’s mission accomplished.

    1. Jock Ulah says:

      Your clairvoyant powers grow stronger by the day!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Lol…though with any luck I’ll turn out to be a fraud :)

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Thing is, will this year be a silver-wash, or will the Charging Bulls and the Prancing Horses deflect the silver arrows downwards?
      The one hope – the one hope! – is that the Bull brigade do have the facilities, budget and personnel to go toe to toe with Merc in the development arms race this summer. Trouble is, will have the power, torque and drive-ability to metaphorically kick the Silver Arrows in the teeth?
      By the way, the best analogy I heard about torque (from James May, I think!) is that of an electric pencil sharpener – the faster and harder the rotations happen to the pencil, the quicker it is sharpened – but if the pencil is too brittle it will break, while if the moving parts inside the sharpener are not tough enough the torque will break the parts inside too.
      So think torque, think pencil sharpeners! Weird analogy……….but actually quite accurate.

      1. Random 79 says:

        That is actually pretty good, although last I saw Clarkson still doesn’t understand what torques are at all :)

      2. Richard says:

        Yes all torque is is a force acting at a radius, quite different to power which is the rate at which work is done. I find people are obsessed with power, but it is largely a function of rotation, and one shudders to think what power may be available higher up the range than the measily 10,500 they seem to be operating at, but of course it’s about fuel conservation as well. it is actually torque that makes a car feel it’s accelerating hard. Something we may all be familar with at the traffic lights!

    3. Sebee says:

      I’m with you partially on the “resignation” that this season is all Mercedes, all the time. Drink a Coors Light in toast of the Silver Bullet.

      But I’m still hopeful that someone will turn up the heat on them as of this weekend’s race. So I’m not going to do a President Bush “Mission Accomplished” declaration just yet after 4 races. With Russia perhaps a question, we have 14 races and 15 races worth of points to play for still. I know they will win it all, but it would be nice if someone made them sweat a bit.

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah, I’m not sure you give up on this season yet. This is the season where the most development will happen with these new regs, so significant changes could happen through the season.

        I don’t think the Sochi race will happen … how can they go there with what’s happened?

        And then lastly, I’m still hoping against hope that they’ll end the insanity and scrap the double-points rule soon. I know, not likely. It would have to be done before the summer break.

      2. Sebee says:

        Look, if Putin wants the event I think we can all agree it will be safe and it will be done.

        Lots of time between now and then. It would be incredible publicity for F1 and Russia to make it happen. I don’t see how either can miss the opportunity. While I’m with you on the point of obvious issues, I actually think 99.5% chance Russia goes ahead this year as things stand right now.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        RE KRB: Mr Putin signed the contract for the Russian GP personally with Mr E – you know that little chap, very honest, very trustworthy, very reliable, very straight-talking…….
        Perhaps Mr E could ask Mr Putin to be a character witness for him?

      4. Random 79 says:

        All credit to Mercedes, but I think the best races in 2014 are going to be the ones where both Mercs have a mechanical failure – then we’ll see some racing! :D

      5. Sebee says:

        What, you don’t think they will take each other out at some point fighting for P1? :-)

      6. Durabilll says:

        Bahrain was pretty darned good racing and both Mercs were running!

      7. Random 79 says:

        Resulting in both Mercs having a mechanical failure? ;)

        Yes, it could well happen :)

        To be clear, what I was originally thinking was if the Mercs are set to win the majority of the races this year then if both Hamilton and Rosberg retire from a race for whatever reason then the rest of the pack will be keen as biscuits to capitalise on the opportunity, which should result in a good hard fought race.

    4. Joost says:

      Based on the statistics so far I can’t understand why Mercedes wouldnt deserve a 10. They haven’t done anything wrong, and if so, this was deminished by the fact that they gave us the biggest excitement in Bahrein.

      Mercedes – 10/10 ( what did they do wrong )
      Nico Rosberg – 8/10 ( fairly beaten so far )
      Lewis Hamilton – 10/10 ( what did he do wrong )

      1. John S says:

        Hamilton did not finish the first grand prix.

      2. Poyta says:

        I guess the cylinder problem in Australia for Hamilton is the only reason they have not received a full 10/10. It was quite a points loss to their constructors title – most likely cost them 18 points.

      3. Random 79 says:

        I think the standpoint is that there’s always room for improvement.

      4. Ben says:

        I initially was surprised that Mercedes and Hamilton did not get 10 out of 10 but I thought about it and decided that James was right. 10 out of 10 imply’s they have been perfect but Hamilton retired from the first race (due to a mechanical failure) so Mercedes have not been perfect with Reliability and Rosberg qualified on Pole for Bahrain and had fastest lap in Australia, Bahrain and China so Hamilton has not been perfect either.

    5. C63 says:

      You might be a little premature with that announcement, but only just a little ;-)

      1. Random 79 says:

        (shhh c63 of course it’s premature to say they’re the new silver arrows but if mercedes keep winning like this it’s going to be a whitewash which is something that nobody but mercedes wants so the only hope for us is if toto, niki and paddy all think it’s game over and then maybe they’ll relax and pat each other the backs and say how well they’ve done and never mind old whatshisname that actually did all the ground work last year and meanwhile the other teams might just be able to sneak up behind them and catch them with their pants down and then maybe just maybe we’ll actually have a decent championship fight but don’t let on otherwise they might figure out the plan so just keep it on the down low and go along with what i say alright cheers)

        No on the contrary C63 I think Mercedes have it all wrapped up boy those other teams don’t stand a chance! :D

        ;) ;)

      2. Andrew M says:

        I think we’ll have a decent championship fight anyway, I don’t think Lewis will beat Nico at every race all year long, and who knows what reliability will throw into the mix.

  2. Kingszito says:

    Please correct the following mistakes:_

    China not Chinea

    “Best result: P1 (Rosberg, Australia; Hamilton, Malaysia, Bahrain, *Chinea)”

    Lewis is P2 not P4

    “Drivers’ Championship: P1 Rosberg, 79pts; *P4 Hamilton 75pts”

  3. Witan says:

    Mercedes greatest threat is hubris.

    The second slightly less threat is a frustrated driver, who is constantly trying too hard to beat a team mate who is faster, causing havoc.

    1. Mhilgtx says:

      Mark Webber comes to mind. However I think Roseberg is more well rounded than Mark and what makes him a little slower than Hamilton is what will make him able to deal with being second fiddle to Lewis

      Also their age similarity and familiarity with each other should make it more palatable for Roseberg. Now if Hamilton is ungracious and degrading that can change.

      1. Peter says:

        Nico is without doubt a better and more intelligent driver than Mark. He is terribly underrated but this is as good a season as any to show his brilliant world class talent.

      2. Quade says:

        How is it possible for a driver to be underrated? We can see their performances and weight those against their circumstances.

        Rosberg is not underrated.

        And in the same equipment, Mark Webber beat him as his teammate at Williams.

      3. KRB says:

        @Quade, Webber beat him when he was in his prime, in his 5th season in F1, while Rosberg was a rookie. And he beat him by a whopping score of 7-4! I believe Rosberg would beat Webber over a season as teammates now, and would have since the 2011 season. 2010 was the last decent full season that Webber had.

        Rosberg is no exceptional talent, but he is up there.

  4. Phil says:

    I’m no Hamilton fan but I can’t really see why he shouldn’t get 10/10.

    8/10 for rosberg feels about right. He has been pretty comprehensively beaten by his team mate so far but maximised his points against all others.

    I don’t know if half marks are allowed but I’d give the team 9.5/10 – just dropping a half mark for the retirement in Melbourne. Although to be honest I’d give them 11/10 for letting their drivers race in Bahrain.

    1. NickH says:

      Lewis should get a 10, he would be 4 out of 4 wins if not for his reliability problems in Oz

      1. aveli says:

        rosberg out qualified Hamilton in Bahrain.

      2. Fortis96 says:

        He said wins, not qualifying

      3. NickH says:

        Yes what is your point? You don’t win anything in qualifying. Even with a worse set up Lewis can still beat Rosberg, even starting behind him

      4. aveli says:

        @nickh, if james allen awards 10 to hamilton, he doesn’t get any points either. may be if hamilton had scored 4 poles and 4 wins james would’ve awarded a 10.

      5. Quade says:

        We can’t say if Lewis would have won for sure in Melbourne.

    2. Dave Emberton says:

      Yes 10/10 for Hamilton, and I don’t think you can really fault Rosberg either, other than not being quite as fast as his teammate.

      1. stewart says:

        I agree 10/10 he has been faultless

      2. matthew says:

        2 3rds and a 4th in quali is pretty poor tho,especially in that car.

      3. Timmay says:

        Yeh, as if being consistently slower than your team mate matters in car racing.

        Mercedes 10
        Hamilton 6
        Rosberg 3

      4. KRB says:

        Is this a serious comment? Why a 6 and 3? I think Lauda and Mansell know what they’re talking about when it comes to drivers, and both have remarked recently about how Hamilton has made hardly any mistakes this year. Their exact words were “he doesn’t make mistakes” and “he’s been near perfect”.

        He did mess up his final quali lap in Q3 at Bahrain, which cost him a chance at pole, but considering he won the race the next day, it wasn’t a mistake that cost him, ultimately.

        Before you answer my first question, it was rhetorical.

      5. Breton says:

        6 out of 10!!!

        You really don’t like Hamilton do you!

      6. NickH says:

        Haha 6 out of 10! Which areas can he improve? Make the car literally fly or something?

      7. Andrew M says:

        You’re funny.

    3. Quercus says:

      I agree with those scores. 9.5/10 from me too.

      I think when Mercedes hired Lewis they were making sure their overall package for 2014 would be close to perfect. They knew only a driver of the HAM/ALO/RAI calibre would be certain to deliver the goods consistently.

      1. Purple Helmet says:

        You’d put Raikkonen in the top 3?

        He seems way off of Alonso, no better than Massa. Rosberg is a lot closer to Hamilton.

      2. Joost says:

        Boy, would Raikonnen be a dissapointment in his current form… :-)

      3. Quade says:

        Not the current Raikkonen who seems to have partied himself into a premature old age.

    4. Fastfastfast says:

      +100

    5. ruben says:

      spot on comment

    6. Random 79 says:

      Hamilton has been extremely impressive, but he did make a small mistake in China where he out braked himself.

      Still, no-one’s perfect.

      1. FADA says:

        Vettel used to do the same as well, even on good tires.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Vettel is still doing the same.

    7. Andrew M says:

      If Mercedes are a 9 then no other team gets more than a 5. OK, I’ll give Force India a 6, but no-one else get more.

      Similarly, if Hamilton only gets a 9 for missing out on one pole in four races then no-one else gets more than a 6. Vettel got a 10 from Gazetto at the mid-year point last year for far less.

      1. Aaron says:

        I’d rate Force India’s performance this year as only just behind Mercedes. Force India are currently 3rd in the constructors and only just behind Red Bull. For such a small team that’s incredible, and it’s not all down to the Mercedes power unit as McLaren and Williams have the same engine and are miles behind in the table.

    8. German Samurai says:

      Hamilton held on for victory in Bahrain, but Rosberg had better pace throughout the race and was quicker in qualifying. That’s enough to warrant 9/10.

      Plus, all he has to beat is Rosberg. There are many drivers on the grid who would have 3/4 wins if they were in Hamilton’s position.

      1. KRB says:

        So you’re saying that Rosberg had better pace in the race in Bahrain, but still Hamilton beat him? Pretty good, no?

        I would give Hamilton a 9.5, 0.5 off b/c of the blown last lap in Q3 in Bahrain.

        As for your second paragraph, the same sentiment would apply in 2009 and 2011. Both Button and Vettel had clear no. 2′s in Barrichello and Webber.

      2. Poyta says:

        Rosberg had better pace in Bahrain? From memory Hamilton managed to get a 10 second lead before the safety brought them back together again. I don’t recall a single race where Roseberg had more pace than Hamilton – some practice sessions yes but never when it counts.

      3. German Samurai says:

        “Rosberg had better pace in Bahrain? From memory Hamilton managed to get a 10 second lead before the safety brought them back together again.”

        Rosberg got off poorly on the grid after out-qualifying Hamilton. He slowly reeled him in until the first pitstop. Hamilton was put on options, built a gap with the undercut, then a few laps later brought in Rosberg and put him on the primes. You can’t compare the second stint only the first where Rosberg had much better pace.

        I agree Rosberg should have made a pass stick on Hamilton in the final laps, but Hamilton was driving very aggressively in defending his position which made it hard for Nico. Had Nico not moved out of the way of one of Hamilton’s chops it would have taken one or both out of the race which would have been unforgivable. Nico had to exercise some prudence.

      4. C63 says:

        @German Samurai
        Plus, all he has to beat is Rosberg. There are many drivers on the grid who would have 3/4 wins if they were in Hamilton’s position…..

        Please name the ‘MANY’ drivers on the grid who could have held on for the win in Bahrain, like Hamilton did.
        When the safety car was deployed, I doubt there was anyone watching who didn’t think Hamilton was toast (I bet you were hugging yourself at the prospect). Yet he held off Rosberg who, as you say, was the faster package. For your ‘many’ drivers to have 3 /4 wins they would need to have won in Bahrain as well.

      5. Breton says:

        +1.

      6. Sebee says:

        Vettel. Yeah, I said it.

      7. Still I Rise says:

        +1

      8. KRB says:

        @Sebee, Vettel? Maybe. He’s held on when Kimi was on his back a few times. He did blow the lead in Canada 2011 on the last lap. He was reeled in and passed by Lewis in Austin 2012. Those are two races I believe he should’ve won.

        I think Hamilton and Alonso are the best on the grid when having to defend a lead.

      9. C63 says:

        @sebee
        Vettel is yet to beat Ricciardo (in a race where both have finished) this season. As a 4x WDC, he should be brushing his teeth with his relatively inexperienced teammate, yet he is not. Do you really believe Vettel would have managed what Hamilton did in Bahrain?

      10. Ahmed says:

        But clearly rosberg can’t have 3/4 wins in that car

      11. Andrew M says:

        Yeah, I think it’s a much better strategy to award points on what we think might have happened in various scenarios than what actually happened.

      12. Quade says:

        How does a faster driver end up behind a slower driver in the same car? Mystery!

    9. C63 says:

      Apart from the bit about not being a Hamilton fan, I agree 100% with your post.

    10. Stuart Harrison says:

      Yeah, hard to understand what one needs to do to get 10/10 in this review? :)

      If Merc & drivers don’t deserve it, you have to ask who does!

      Ros – 9/10
      Ham – 10/10, pretty faultless season from him so far
      Merc – 9.5/10, but for the issue with Ham’s car in Melbourne, they’d have a perfect 10 IMO.

  5. Jenks says:

    It probably won’t be, but IF this season continues to be a 2-horse race, the title might be decided by retirements. Look at how long it’s taken Lewis to scrape the points back, through no fault of his own. With no other drivers currently able to take points away from your teammate, and if every time your car fails, your teammate picks up a win, those double points races at the end of the season might be vital.

    Great job by Mercedes though.

    1. Aaron says:

      This is what I fear and I really hope the championship will not be decided by mechanical reliability. With the two Merc drivers odds on to finish 1- in every race, if you have a mechanical failure leading to a DNF, it takes 4 race wins to claw back the gap. Break down in the last race of the season and you would need to have beaten your team-mate 8 times to get back on level terms.

      1. Poyta says:

        I know its a worry. Let hope theres no DNF’s for both so we can see a fair fight between the two boys and there’s no question of which is more deserving.

    2. Andrew M says:

      Yeah, Rosberg is reaping the rewards of having such a dominant car that no-one has been able to challenge him on his off-days for second place in Malaysia or more notably China; if the Mercedes advantage was similar to the 0.5 sec/lap advantage Red Bull have had over the least few years he’d probably have missed out on the second step at least once and maybe twice.

    3. Timmay says:

      Hope this is prophetic. If Rosberg (or Vettel) could win thanks to double points I WOULD LAUGH MY ASS OFF

      1. KRB says:

        So you’re not about the best driver winning the title then? Just an ABHer (Anyone But Hamilton).

        It’s possible that Hamilton could win 15 races and still lose the title to Rosberg. Such a result would be a complete farce.

      2. Jenks says:

        For a driver to possibly lose a title based on an unpopular points system that might only be around for one season. That would hurt.

      3. Timmay says:

        You misunderstand me, Hamilton would deserve the title, the FIA and the stupid selfish teams would deserve the fallout from their stupid rules. Hammy would be peoples champion (as if that means anything), and my evil sense of humour would be satiated by reading these forums

      4. Random 79 says:

        And you would be in good company :)

  6. goferet says:

    It has surely been a dream for Mercedes in 2014 for it’s one thing having the fastest car and entirely a different thing having a dominant car with pace to spare.

    For sure, the team deserves to reap the fruits of their labour after hard years of toil and sweat and it’s all thanks to having the right people in the right places and also a major thanks to Schumi who urged the team to pull out the cheque book for you can never win in this sport on a budget.

    Now the only thing left is to have good development throughout the season to keep the chasing pack in check but with money in the bank, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Regards the Lewis/Rosberg battle, if Lewis wants to avoid potential conflict and hurt feelings in the future, he needs to keep putting in the brilliant performances for with Rosberg a long way off, he would have no choice but to admit his teammate was the better man.

    What would cause chaos is if Lewis & Rosberg are close in points till the end of the season, in this scenario whoever loses would find the disappointment a bitter pill to swallow.

    Overall, it’s nice seeing another team taking the fight to Red Bull for now we at least get to see different people on the podium.

    P.s.

    A point on Lewis, it’s being reported that nowadays he only travels to races solely with his trainer.

    This would contradict the happy bubble story of 2011.

    As the fans suspected, what unnerved Lewis in 2011 wasn’t the happy bubble or girlfriend troubles but rather Vettel and his Red Bull car.

    Yes Lewis was having a strong season in 2011 till the botched qualifying in Monaco and with Vettel on pole, desperate times called for desperate measures as Lewis felt the title was slipping away fast.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Interesting theory about Lewis was somewhat rubbish in 2011 – yes, I suspect he was psyched out slightly by Sebastian and Red Bull’s speed and consistency – also add on Jenson speed and consistency and Lewis was down in the dumps.
      I’ll give him credit, he was matured beautifully, its been a long, painful process, but he has added thoughtfulness and patience to his blinding speed.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        I would like to think Lewis picked up the thoughtfulness and patience traits from JB by watching how Jens’ season panned out in 2011.

      2. spactus says:

        The only problem Lewis had in 2011 was Witmarsh and Mclaren.they thought Lewis star power was too much,and alot of resentment developed in the team towards Lewis.They couldn’t handle the meteoric rise of Lewis form shy young lad eager to learn to mega world super star, dating a pop star.
        Lewis had won the championship and dating pop star and Ron wanted to put him on curfew like a 12yr child,I suspect lewis told him to f of.

        From then on it was all hands on deck to humiliate Lewis by getting a mediocre Button to beat him.
        With the entire team working against him, Lewis over drove to compensate and got into a few sticky situation.Remember Turkey 2110 where the team deliberately lied to Lewis trying to get Button pass

        2011 wasnt about Vettel its was all about Mclaren Waring with Lewis,and having Fired his dad,Lewis was isolated, and had no one to help him see the smoke from the trees.
        he thought his driving could do all the talking,so Withmarsh would sabotage his strategy and break agreements they made before races to rattle and upset Lewis,then Leak info to the press that Lewis is a bad looser and is in melt down

        Things got so bad that Bernie said that Lewis was thinking about sitting out 2013.

        When getting Button to beat Lewis didnt shake him,the team gave Button a raise said he had a job for life,then publicly offered Lewis a pay cut.yea IT was bloody personal between Lewis and Mclaren

        Mclaren were so enraged at Merc taking up Lewis that Ron flew to Germany to stop it so that Lewis would have no good option and be at his mercy to be humiliated with a pay cut.At the time everyone assumed Micheal was staying and no big good drives were available

        I suspect in response to MERC signing Lewis.Mclaren Hastly signed Perez,HASTILY signed Honda,Hastily signed Kevin….Ron unexpected come back

        The Mother of all Irony is that since Lewis left everything Mclaren has done is directly or indirectly as a result of Lewis leaving.

        2011 was just a blip for Lewis but his leaving Mclaren has left a deep hole,one thats gonna take atleast 5 yrs to fill.If you dig a hole for someone sometime you remain trapped in your own hole.thats Mclaren for you today

      3. Joost says:

        I guess that’s one way to look at it. ;-)

      4. Torchwood Five says:

        Part of 2011, was that after a few times that Lewis crashed into people enough times that even I thought he should perhaps sit out for a couple months, Massa kept crashing into HIM, and Lewis was being unfairly penalised for those incidents.

        Up until Alan Jones, I think, was a guest steward, and penalised Felipe for a change.

      5. Gaz Boy says:

        Macca’s problems are a lack of vision, direction and clairty of thought in their technical department. Drivers don’t design F1 cars, engineers and aero boffins do. Macca’s engineers and aero boffins are not as good as Red Bull and Merc’s. That’s the reason for their decline. Same for Ferrari. F1 is mostly engineering technology, and Scuderia Woking are lacking badly relative to their rivals.

      6. Mike Martin says:

        Excellent post. Not sure where you got some of the inside information. If it’s true it’s pretty shocking.

        Thanks for sharing.

      7. Ben says:

        While I am a Lewis fan and believe that McLaren have cost him WDC on multiple occasions I think it is a ridiculous conspiracy that they did it maliciously. They cost him WDC through incompetency not because they couldn’t handle ‘his meteoric rise’. His rise as a world sports icon was only a good things for McLaren and they wouldn’t want to stop that (unless it was affecting his racing which I’m sure so people would argue that it was). McLaren did not try and get him to take a pay cut at all, it is quite well known that they offered him the highest pay of anyone on the grid but he decided to go to Mercedes and way because he could see that was where all the engineering talent was moving. McLaren are a team that races to win and they know that Lewis is one of the best drivers on the grid, I don’t see any signs of sabotage only incompetence.

      8. aveli says:

        some people are just scared of the truth. if hamilton crashed into so many people in 2011, how is it that he only retired 3 times in that season? how come he has scored more points per race than almost all champions?
        don’t be afraid of the truth unless you suffer from a genetic defect.

      9. Still I Rise says:

        I couldn’t agree more, well said, very well said.

      10. Quade says:

        Yes, Withmarsh threw Lewis to the dogs and did everything to leak wicked stories to the press.
        The first shock was when Lewis and Button crashed and Withmarsh came out to publicly blame Lewis! What sort of manager does that to their staff?

        The other thing was Lewis Ali G “joke.” It was a cry out that he was facing invincible hands, but he got knocked down by Withmarsh again. He only had to wink in 2011 to be given a harsh penalty.

        How many people wouldn’t suffer slack performance faced with such a barrage?

        All Lewis needed to do was change teams and the result was IMMEDIATELY visible.

      11. flesh says:

        I entirely agree I feel after the opportunities given to lewis by maclaren winning the drivers title was never enough for them. they wanted him to be whatever they wanted him to be and to do it with a big fat smile on his face they never wanted a world class driver they wanted a commercial, corperate puppet who would just rolled over and tak whatever crap they through at him.

      12. AuraF1 says:

        Yes in my exclusive and expensive F1 sports psychology clinic I treat the complex emotional baggage of modern drivers – I say ‘would you like a car that’s 1 second clear of the field?’ And amazingly they all cheer up! It’s better than Prozac though a mite more expensive… ;)

      13. Thompson says:

        @Ben

        Only after Merc had made their offer to Hamilton.
        Did you see the interview with Ron talking market value and global economy with ref Hamilton’s contract negotiations.

        That post is pretty extreme spactus, but scarily believable.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      PS Do you reckon if Mr Rosberg keeps being taken to the cleaners by Lewis then Paddy and Toto will invite another chap called Nico to the Merc motorhome for a cup of coffee, a piece of cake (low fat of course), and a “nice chat” involving a contract, salary, status et al?
      Well if my name was Paddy and one of my drivers was consistently being humiliated race after race, then I would have a nice chat with the Incredible Hulk………”So Nico, fancy driving a silver car with a Merc engine for 2015? Sign on the dotted line son!”

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        I think Lewis beating Rosberg is the best thing to happen to the team because this would mean stability within.

        You see it’s not like Mercedes are looking for a number 1 driver and so with Nico scoring strong points for the team there’s no need to change a winning partnership.

      2. Poyta says:

        And who’s to say that Lewis wouldn’t be able to humiliate the Hulk? Rosberg has been doing the best job he can considering and bring the maximum points for the team so I doubt his contract is on the line .

      3. KRB says:

        Does anyone have any inside info on when Rosberg’s contract is up? He signed an extension in 2011, but that could mean it’s up this year, or next year, or beyond.

      4. C63 says:

        I like The Hulk, but the reality is that he is simply too big for modern F1 cars. Why would a top team ‘design’ in a disadvantage to their package? Putting the Hulk in one of their cars literally means they are carrying unnecessary ballast – no team in their right mind would put an extra 6 or 7 kilos in a car if they didn’t have too. Personally, if I was making the decision at Mercedes, I would stick with the driver line up they have. They can’t do better than finish 1st and 2nd so what would be the upside for hiring a faster #2 driver?

      5. Gaz Boy says:

        I think – think! – next year the weight limit is going up from 692Kg to 702 Kg, so I think that will cancel out the Incredible Hulk’s weightiness – he can’t help his genetics!
        Mind you, there’s big and there’s Montoya…..

      6. Andrew M says:

        Why would they need Hulk if they’re winning both championships already?

      7. Gaz Boy says:

        To go for the “yoof” vote?
        As Red Bull have shown, put a (relatively) young, hungry, motivated, excellent technique chap behind the wheel of your chassis and you get results and performance!
        And when it comes to youth, hunger, motivation and excellent technique, I can’t think of anyone more worthy than The Incredible Hulk!

    3. Andrew M says:

      “Regards the Lewis/Rosberg battle, if Lewis wants to avoid potential conflict and hurt feelings in the future, he needs to keep putting in the brilliant performances for with Rosberg a long way off, he would have no choice but to admit his teammate was the better man.”

      Just out of interest, at what point is that *not* a good strategy?

      1. goferet says:

        @ Andrew M

        Lol… touché

  7. aveli says:

    mercedes have done brilliantly so far but the competition is hot on their wheels. i can’t wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds. i’m particularly glad about hamilton’s response to his critics.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/10810877/Formula-One-Story-of-the-2014-season-so-far.html

    1. pallys says:

      Thanks for this, an excellent piece of journalism.

      I did start to wonder where the ‘cerebral’ advocates had disappeared too, they seem un-eerily quiet of late. Credit to Daniel Johnson to point out that not only is Hamilton faster in the teamate battle he is making his tyres last longer and using less fuel.

      1. aveli says:

        i’m glad you enjoyed that. some people wrongly think vocabulary is a measure of intelligence. have a listen to hamilton’s demonstration of superior intelligence while discussing senna’s approach to tabac corner at monaco. brundle’s intrigued by senna entering tabac while the car was in neutral and hamilton simplified that by saying it would be crazy to go into the corner single handed. so for senna to shift down a gear, he would have his hand off the steering into tabac. as soon as hamilton explained, brundle calmed down. which one of them is more intelligent?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cli2XEoca24

    2. aveli says:

      hamilton refers to his dealings with harvard and oxford university students in this link.

      1. aveli says:

        the two biggest seats of learning in the world.

  8. Matt says:

    I’m really looking forward to the coming race weekend in Barcelona. So many fun stories to watch this year. Especially looking forward to the duel between Lewis and Nico. I hope that Mercedes permits them to race fairly and openly with no team orders implemented. The three week break has felt long and I’m anxious to see the cars in action again. It should be interesting to see how much work Mercedes has done over the break and if anyone has closed in on the silver duo.

    1. Sebee says:

      You’re absolutely right.

      Spain will tell us what we need to know about the trend for next few races. Then of course as of Singapore is the final stretch where things could get a shake up.

      If Red Bull or Ferrari can light it up and challange Mercedes, it may be a close season yet.

      But if we see 2s per lap domination in Barcelona like we did in Bahrain, the remainder of this season is just a formality.

  9. Derek Ekins says:

    I would give Lewis a 10 – he has won every race where the car didn’t let him down. What more could he do?

    Nico gets a 9 from me, it looks like he is not quite as fast as Lewis but he is not really putting a foot wrong.

    Mercedes I would also give a 10, ok so they had one retirement but things do break. They have provided the machinery to completely dominate every other race.

    1. Richard says:

      Lewis didn’t get pole in Bahrain, so no, a 10 would be wrong. Other than that, he’s on it.

      1. Derek Ekins says:

        The only points available are on Sunday! ;-)

      2. NickH says:

        He still won the race though, no points are given on Saturdays. Very likely he would have 4 wins in a row without his Oz engine issue

      3. Richard says:

        But, he did have an “Oz engine issue”. Should have, could have, and would have doesn’t count in F1. You’re suggesting that Saturday is completely irrelevant, which it clearly is not, unless you go by the name of Fernando Alonso.

      4. German Samurai says:

        Agreed.

        Plus Hamilton’s piloting what is likely to be the most dominant car in F1 history.

        It’s not like the start of last year where Red Bull was fighting the Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes. All he has to beat is Rosberg who is clearly the number two driver in the team hierarchy.

      5. KRB says:

        Clearly the #2? Give me a break!

        “Likely most dominant car” is stupid to say when we’re only 4 races in. The McLaren MP4/4 won the first 11 races of 1988, and 15/16 overall. If the W05 can do that, then you’ll be in the ballpark.

      6. Breton says:

        No it’s more like the end of the year with Vettel winning 9 on the trott!

        The Mercedes isn’t even halfway to the dominance of last seasons Redbull!!!

      7. German Samurai says:

        “KRB Reply:
        May 8th, 2014 at 2:37 am

        Clearly the #2? Give me a break!

        “Likely most dominant car” is stupid to say when we’re only 4 races in. The McLaren MP4/4 won the first 11 races of 1988, and 15/16 overall. If the W05 can do that, then you’ll be in the ballpark.”

        I’m well aware of F1 history.

        Hamilton will likely win his second championship in the most dominant car of all time and only having to beat team number two Nico Rosberg (it was confirmed at Malaysia 2013 that Rosberg’s #2 driver when Brawn refused to let Rosberg pass Hamilton despite being much quicker).

        In a way it will be a hollow championship for Hamilton in that it won’t really prove anything we didn’t know about him. Only that he beat Rosberg which is expected and why he’s paid a lot more than Rosberg.

        It’s not like 2010 where Vettel proved he can win a championship against the best on the grid — Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Webber who all had fast cars that could have won the championship.

      8. KRB says:

        I’m well aware of F1 history.

        You just refuse to acknowledge it. If Car A wins 93.75% of the races that it contests, and Car B doesn’t, then how can Car B be better than Car A? If Mercedes win every race, I will be VERY surprised. That would be the first time in any season where less than 3 drivers won races.

        Malaysia 2013 didn’t confirm Rosberg as #2, in as much as Multi 21 didn’t relegate Vettel to #2 status. You know that yourself, but you’re just playing dumb, for the sake of some silly argument.

        Rosberg was given the better strategy call in India, which got him a podium, and left Lewis to linger behind Massa. So I guess from that you’d conclude that Lewis is the #2? S-I-L-L-Y.

        How much more does Lewis make? I don’t think it’s double (close though). How much does Vettel make, vis-a-vis Ricciardo? And where does Rosberg rank, in absolute terms, in the F1 drivers’ pay stakes? I believe he’s 5th. He was 5th too, in the Team Principals’ driver poll from last year. But hey, what do they know, right?

        2010 proved that?!? All 2010 proved is that the RB6 was such a great car, that the RBR boys could have their fun taking each other out (Turkey), or taking out competitors (Vettel at Spa), have some significant reliability issues, and STILL have the cushion room that when they finally got serious, got their head down, and didn’t overdrive the car, that they could rattle off 3 wins from the last 4 races (and unlucky not to win the 4th) to eke out the title.

        If RBR had lost the championships in 2010, it would’ve been a criminal case of ineptitude. They were able to get away with a multitude of errors in 2010, b/c the car afforded them that luxury.

      9. SaScha says:

        If Lewis only gets a ) for bein 1 time 2nd in qualy with faulty BBW system, nico should get a 6 because he did not make it to the front row 3 times and lost every race against Lewis so far

  10. rigsby says:

    Congratulations to Mercedes. An absolutely brilliant job. Unfortunately it has made for a fairly dull season so far, apart from Bahrain.
    Let’s hope the other teams can make a fight of it, otherwise the snorefest will continue.
    To quote Viz magazine, How do you make Formula One twice as exciting? Do the ironing while watching it. Fingers crossed it won’t be like this all season.

  11. George says:

    this started a thought about the end of season, if Hamilton and Rosberg are still at it by last race will either of them really be totally satisfied with a championship in their hands solely because of BE’s double points fad? how will history judge the winner who grabs the title simply by winning the double pointer?
    However, I suspect Hamilton will prevail..

    1. Random 79 says:

      There might be two winners:

      The one in the record books and the one in our hearts.

      It was a silly idea from the start.

    2. KRB says:

      The law of unintended consequences at play. I don’t think your scenario is what BE and the powers-that-be had in mind when they crafted it. But that’s the way it goes.

      Can’t legislate for stupidity.

  12. Davej says:

    I think I would give the team a 9- because of Aussie. However as for the drivers I would give Rosberg an 8 and Hamilton a 10. Hamilton has clearly extracted more from the car. In Malaysia and China Nico wasn’t too far ahead of Vettel and Alonso respectively. Also Nico’s been outqualified by the Red Bulls in those races respectively.

    Take Lewis out of the equation- would we be saying that the Merc is as dominant as it is? We would probably be saying Merc has better race pace but qualy is quite close. Which is why I find it funny when some people try and discredit driver ability because clearly in this case, one driver is making a sizeable difference to performance compared to his team mate.

    Final note, I think Nico is struggling to accept that Lewis is doing a better job. His outbursts in the media say alot, like when he said he would “WIN in China” and some of the comments that James touched on in the article. So if anything I think fireworks might come from Nico if this trend continues.

    1. Mike Martin says:

      Sorry to disappoint everybody. There will be no fireworks from Nico Rosberg. Nico is just not into Lewis’s class. Just do a wiki CV search and see the difference for yourself. Let’s not over hype Nico Rosberg here. Let’s not forget he is still on Eddie Irvine numbers(Nothing to write home about).
      Nico is a good number 2 driver that can keep Lewis honest.Nothing more, nothing less….
      By no intention I want to hurt Nico Rosberg fans with my comment. I am just stating facts.

    2. Fortis96 says:

      Nico has been saying a lot since the season started and he has yet to back it up. I don’t know why he’s not use to finishing 2nd to Lewis, after all Lewis has been doing this to him, since their junior formula days.

      What puzzles me is that prior to the start of the season, many touted nico to have the upper hand, due to his so called “superior interlect”. Lewis was basically seen as the lead footed, unintelligent clown. How wrong were they.

      1. NickH says:

        +1 Well said.

    3. aveli says:

      rosberg knows exactly how good hamilton is because they were teammates in karting. hamilton is older than rosberg and a much faster driver than rosberg and yet rosberg was promoted into gp2 while hamilton was held back to do another year in f3, the year in which hamilton won on every track. rosberg was only promoted ahead of hamilton simply because his dad is an ex champ and they knew that he couldn’t possibly beat hamilton. i think hamilton wasn’t happy about that and fell out with mclaren so took his services to williams who turned the hamilton’s away so his then girlfriend’s dad sponsored him to race in the f3 Asian series, macau.
      so rosberg’s talk of not liking being beating by hamilton is simply cosmetic. he knows exactly how hard it is for him to beat hamilton and only saying that to keep the public’s hopes up. we all saw how he rugby tackled hamilton in parc ferme, he loved that battle with hamilton in bahrain.

    4. KRB says:

      Well, he’s still leading. If he wins in Spain, then it’s 3-2 … that’s a big difference from 4-1. I heard his “I’ve been faster in the dry” remark, which I don’t really get. In qualifying, yes he was faster in Bahrain where it was dry, but he was slower on race day in Malaysia and China, both in the dry.

      Nico beat Lewis in Spain last year, which was the first track he beat him on in 2013 (ok, he was faster in Malaysia). Let’s see what happens Sunday.

  13. F1.6T says:

    Let’s hope Merc have learned from the past and develop the s#!t out of the W05 as they have started well the last 2 seasons and then faded away. It will be exciting to see what steps Renault make over the next 3 events as they claim they will be at full power from Montreal onwards and the next 2 tracks are less ‘power dependant’.

    Exciting times ahead.

  14. Krischar says:

    Lewis easily deserve 10/10

    Lewis have not put a foot wrong ever since the season start to this point. Lewis has amplified quite a bit from 2013 to 2014. The way he chastened Nico was superb. Lewis already have one hand on the WDC aside the car failures lewis should and will seal the WDC from here. I will take lewis WDC / his performances anyday over the Hierlooms won by Seb vettel. Go lewis for 2014 WDC

    As far as Nico he needs to raise his game. Nico sounds very positive when he retorts. Yet this is his best chance and he needs to improve as soon as possible. Otherwise game over soon for him. Still a very likable pilot though. 8/10 is fair for nico

    Mercedes could have been rated 9.5/10 instead of 9/10. The only blip came in Melbourne where lewis car have failed. Despite this Mercedes have produced the fastest package by some miles and deserves quite a lot of credit for their engineering excellence

  15. Mike from Colombia says:

    Rosberg does not deserve an 8.

    Lack of racecraft in Bahrain made him look very inferior. Driving beyond his abilities in China qualifying looked desperate.

    If Hamilton had performed as Rosberg has done then he would have got a 6.

    If Rosberg had performed as Hamilton has done…he would have got a 10.

    1. Mike Martin says:

      +1 I agree

      Good luck with this can of worms you just opened.

      1. Mike from Colombia says:

        Drivers get +1 to 2 points if they are media friendly.

    2. Joost says:

      Agree

    3. AuraF1 says:

      Lack of race craft? Really? Sure he is clearly beaten by Hamilton there but surely that’s a testament to Lewis’ immense skill rather than a denigration of Rosberg?

      Because logically that would mean Lewis going toe to toe with a driver ‘lacking race craft’ would just be average. So you’ve managed to insult Lewis there. Well done. :)

      1. Torchwood Five says:

        There are grounds for lack of race craft.

        Before team orders were imposed in Malaysia 2013, Rosberg passed Hamilton several times, and lost the place immediately, before eventually being told to hold back.

        I was disappointed this year, when he passed Lewis even more times in Bahrain, he was still losing the positions on the next corner, showing no apparent improvement in that area since 2013.

        So yeah, I think negative comments on Nico’s “race craft” are justified.

        On the other hand though, going in the other direction, after Nico’s bad start in either the 3rd or 4th race, getting through the cars to maintain Mercedes’ run of 1-2 finishes redresses the balance.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I see your point but I disagree – fundamentally lacking race craft would indicate that the majority of drivers would have taken the places back. It’s basically saying he doesn’t have the basic skill set of a high class driver. The fact that he’s been overtaken in return repeatedly by Lewis should probably suggest that Lewis just has an unusually high degree of race craft even amongst the rarefied air of formula 1.

        I’m not a big Rosberg supporter or anything I just think that because someone gets beaten by a superior driver doesn’t mean they lack basic skills – it means their opponent displayed a superior skill set on that day. It’s effectively saying that because there were occasions where Senna overtook Prost and Mansell we don’t laud Senna, we suggest that Prost and Mansell lacked race craft. Sometimes that’s just a silly statement.

        We’ve not had as close a teammate battle in a while realistically – and so given we’ve seen Rosberg pull off many decent overtakes in the past, the fundamental assertion should probably be that he has excellent race craft but not compared to Hamilton – at least not the 2014 versions of each.

        It’s just basic logic – if Lewis says it was one of the hardest physical and mental challenges fighting closely with Rosberg – then we say Rosberg is driving at a 5/10 and is a poor racer – we’re effectively asking why Lewis struggled at all? The insult is against both of them.

  16. Gaz Boy says:

    If a team is locking out the front row of the grid and leading the field home with a 1-2, then that team is going in the right direction. So Merc must be very happy with life at the moment, and with their budget, facilities and personnel its potentially a silver-wash this year.
    I must say, on the driver front, I am disappointed with young Mr Rosberg so far: his qualifying, race pace, traffic ability and race-craft have been inferior to his team-mate. Having said that, Lewis has finally – finally! – matured into the great all round driver he always threatened to be, but a combination of a wayward personal life, a rather badly operated team at Macca and “too much success too young” has probably held him back in relation to that young Mr Vettel.
    Actually, its that old cliche about British drivers seem to be very successful in their 29th year. Mike Hawthorn (1958), John Surtees (1964), Jim Clark (1965) Jackie Stewart (at the start of 1969, although he turned 30 mid way through that year), James Hunt (1976) and Jenson (2009) – all won the world championship in their last year of their 20s! Coincidence? Is Lewis about to join the 29 British club? Well if Mr Rosberg doesn’t improve any time soon I suspect he will.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      PS
      Merc 9/10 (that little problem in Melbourne prevents me giving them a 10)
      Lewis 9.5/10 (again, that unreliability meant we didn’t get to see Lewis in Melbourne proper, that’s not his fault so I’ll just knock half a point off)
      Nico – 5/10 (Blown away in Malaysia and China, and totally outfumbled by Lewis race-craft in Bahrain. He must improve or he will be relegated to the No.2 driver already this season – and possibly Merc may swoop for another chap called Nico…….)

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Really? Again what is this? If Rosberg is so poor then it just means Lewis is a middling driver who got lucky as well – if Rosberg out qualified him in Bahrain that means Lewis was beaten by a 5/10 driver so he should be ashamed.

        I think people like you are doing Lewis and Nico a disservice here. If Rosberg kept Lewis fighting in Bahrain then either he’s very good (but not just quite good enough) or Lewis is only slightly less rubbish!

        And Mercedes will be swapping Rosberg out for the Nico who was massively out qualified by his teammate at Bahrain will they? ;) I assume they were paying more attention than you lol.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Read my comments Squire – Nico was blown away in Malaysia and China fair and square! If Nico had put up more a fight in those aforementioned races I would have given him a higher rating.
        Facts – Nico 1 win, Lewis 3 wins. No arguements there!

      3. AuraF1 says:

        Sorry read your comments again and still think you’re making a silly statement. Lewis himself has made collossal errors before – and he’s also said that fighting closely against Rosberg is one of the toughest mental and physical battles he’s ever faced – you are basically saying Lewis had his toughest battle against a poor driver – meaning Lewis is a barely above poor driver.

        Sorry you’re logic fails me. :)

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Aura F1: I don’t quite get your conspiracy theory……………I don’t go in for psycho-drivel or whatever………….I prefer the Anglo-Saxon approach of straight talking no nonsense conclusions.
        And the conclusion is this: Lewis 3 wins, Nico 1 win. Nico taken to the cleaners in Malaysia and China. Needs to improve. Quickly. He’s too slow against Lewis.
        That’s my conclusion after 4 races. Lewis: fast. Nico: slow.

      5. AuraF1 says:

        lol. OK – sorry me saying you’re talking nonsense sounds like psycho-drivel. You are obviously a plain-spoken individual. So here’s my assessment – you are talking crap.

      6. Ahmed says:

        Let’s just keep it simple then… Hamilton beat rosberg 3 out of 4 times… Maybe using the term “race craft” was abit too technical

      7. Gaz Boy says:

        Aura F1: Fair enough if you don’t like my opinions (that’s what a forum is for) but you have to be myopic* to think Nico has been a match for Lewis so far this season.
        Personally, I hope Mr Rosberg, for the sake of the championship, wins some races this Euro season to stop the championship becoming a one way street, a la 2011 or 2013.
        *Myopic – meaning naive, ignorant, blinded or deliberately avoiding the truth.

      8. SaScha says:

        Lewis brakes were faulty in Bahrain therefore he was slower im qualy

      9. AuraF1 says:

        @ Gaz Boy – You might want to recheck myopia when it comes to reading my posts as well buddy – You will notice I have never said Nico was a match for Lewis – in fact quite the opposite. Again my issue was not and never has been that Nico is better or even equal to Lewis’ performances. I said as much several times (I’m pretty sure that was written in fairly plain-spoken honest down to earth say-as-as-I-see language for you ;).

        My point was suggesting that Nico is a 5/10 driver is a silly opinion. If the guy leading the championship and proving to be an admirable second in quality to Lewis only gets you a 5/10 in your book then you’d have to knock down Lewis’ score from a perfect 10 to a merely above average 6 or 7.

        Look it’s not advanced philosophy class to point out that Lewis says Nico was the toughest fight he ever had – and you saying Nico is just a poor driver managing only a 5/10 is logically saying Lewis has only marginally beaten Nico on occasion and lost out on a qualifying position to him (yes I think we all agree Lewis would have likely won in Australia) makes him only marginally better.

        Obviously we are all entitled to our own opinion but once you throw it out there others can point out why it’s nonsense. If you’re ignoring my argument that Lewis is clearly better but that doesn’t make Nico a bad driver then you aren’t following. That doesn’t make you plain spoken it means you haven’t read before replying.

      10. Pat M says:

        Wow, 5/10 seems a little harsh for the guy leading the driver’s championship – how far ahead would he have to be to get a 6/10 :)

      11. Gaz Boy says:

        Beating his team-mate fair and square on the track? Winning races? (Plural).

      12. Pat M says:

        OK, I get it, you don’t like Rosberg…

      13. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Pat M: No, not at all, I just think Nico has been too slow…………I hope for the Euro/Canadaian he finds some speed and gives Lewis a hard time, just for competition sake.
        I actually want Nico to win a few races to prove me wrong! I just want this championship to go down to the wire, not another 1992, 2001 or 2004, 2011 and 2013 which was a walk in the park for one driver and an uphill struggle for his team-mate.
        Prove me wrong Nico, prove me wrong!

      14. NickH says:

        I agree Gaz, the only race where Nico has actually been close was Bahrain. Lewis said himself his setup was wrong, and he still beat Rosberg. The races where Lewis has been happy with his car (china, Malaysia) he has destroyed Rosberg. 3-1. (Would be 4-0 if he’d actually finished in Oz)

    2. Rich B says:

      you’re disappointed with rosberg, were you expecting him to match lewis then? I wasn’t.

      maybe on the cliche but, in fairness to jenson, he didn’t have a car capable of winning regularly until 2009

    3. spactus says:

      wrong Lewis finally has a car 1.5 faster than every other team,every time Lewis has a few good result the same stupid mimme about finally maturing.7yrs in f1 now and I suspect 10yrs from now people will still be talking about maturing

    4. Ahmed says:

      Your f1 trivia is impressive to say the least.

    5. aveli says:

      what is this nonsense about hamilton maturing? was he immature for his age before? did you miss his performance in 2007? was that an indication of immaturity? who doesn’t mature with age? leave that nonsense out of it. he is as good as he is period. you can only see his results because he is in a team which values him as a great champion and have provided him with the fastest car to do a job for them under fair conditions. at mclaren hamilton felt the need to tweet his telemetry data as all wasn’t well, the team did things he didn’t like and felt the need to tell the world. their loss in the end.

      1. Torchwood Five says:

        Agreed.

      2. Alan says:

        “at mclaren hamilton felt the need to tweet his telemetry data as all wasn’t well”

        THAT WAS IMMATURE!

      3. aveli says:

        i don’t think tweeting the telemetry was immature at all. he felt bullied and he was too strong and too competitive to just sit there and take it so he attempted to draw the media’s attention to it. bullies normally retreat from the eyes of the public. all hamilton asked for was an equal playing field and mclaren tried to tilt it against him. is he not better off now?

      4. Still I Rise says:

        At McLaren Alonso black mailed the team and caused them a $100 million fine, very immature from Alonso. So what’s your point ?

      5. Alan says:

        Yes, it was very immature there are much more mature ways of dealing with internal politics… internally. This shows without a shadow of a doubt that not all people mature with age.

        As for Alonso… very immature from him too… but I wasn’t comparing Hamilton with him was I.

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        Did you miss his performances in 2011? Crash, bang, wallop? Spa 2011, possibly the most bizarre accident in modern day F1?
        I felt after he won his championship in 2008 Lewis was slightly distracted for all sorts of reasons. Jenson went through a similar time period in his early 20s, but then, like Lewis, Jenson got his priorities sorted out, and his performances on the track became more polished, more rounded, and now the results are coming.
        Look at Sebastian – no personal and emotional baggage. And look what he has achieved in the last few years!

      7. aveli says:

        I think you have got it all wrong. are you suggesting that hamilton crashed more often than all drivers older than him in 2011? look at the statistics for a moment and you will realise that he retired won 3 times, was on the podium 6 times and retired 3 times. he out qualified button all season and only scored fewer points than button because of bad luck. mclaren was more at fault than he was.
        hamilton has always been more mature than his age. his critics simply tried to criticise him in less obvious parameters but the truth is he is the best driver to have stepped foot in the sport and there will not be another as good as he is in our lifetime.

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        You’re obviously a committed Lewis fan!
        Listen, I’ve nothing against Mr Hamilton, I’m actually pleased for him. I was just making what I thought was a valid point that Lewis head was all over the place, for several different reasons – and yes, you are partly right, not all of his own making.
        For this year, Lewis has got his head in the right place, he’s with a team that is disciplined and well prepared, he’s matured beautifully and he’s delivering where it matters: on the track.
        I wish Lewis well, because at least in 2014 one Englishman will win a world championship, unlike those 11 (plus subs) chaps in a certain tournament in Brazil! Perhaps Jenson and Lewis can give the England team advice about winning a world title on Brazilian soil!

  17. james encore says:

    You do seem to be saving 10 for absolute perfection.
    When a team gets 4 wins out of 4, (3 1/2 finishes). 4 fastest laps out of 4, 4 poles out of 4, leads every race lap, and is top of the time sheets in 10 out of 12 free practice sessions … and then gets 9 out of 10 some folk in Brackley might think there’s no pleasing some people :-)

    And the cars aren’t even burning the full amount of fuel and don’t seem to have used their 8th gear yet

    It will be very hard indeed to catch them

    1. kent says:

      well said.

    2. MikeP says:

      Totally agree, what does it that to please Mr Allen ? I’m really really not a fan of Hamilton but even I’d give him 10 out of 10, credit where’s it due Mr Allen.

    3. Mike Martin says:

      Nico Rosberg missed pole position 3 times. He spun his car during Quali. He also could not defeat his teammate in Bahrain while Nico was on faster tires and has been defeated 3 races in a row.

      Only one point difference,. interesting……

      Lewis missed pole in Bahrain due faulty brakes and DNF in Oz due car/PU problems. Both not his fault.

      But thanks anyway mr Allen for your marks and opinion. Good we see things different so we can discuss it here.

  18. Grant H says:

    I think 9.5 for merc, the only fly in the ointment being the oz retirement, but basically perfection and dominance on a level we have not seen, not even RB had this kind of advantage in first 4 races

  19. topo dipericolo says:

    Nico – 7, 8 at most.

    I know that sounds harsh – Good driving, fair and competitive enough but lacking the extra X-factor to make him more than average in F1 driver terms. Evidenced by:

    1) Failed to get on the front row in 3 out of four races in a car that everyone rightly raves about. If there are significant mitigating circumstances I missed them.
    2) Should have won 2 grands prix this season. Bahrain: Fair enough to get done off the line but the race was handed back to him by the safety car but failed to pass Hamilton.

    Kind of hard not to give Hamilton 9 or 10.
    1) Front row in all 4 races, pole in 3 including in difficult conditions
    2) Defence of his track position in Bahrain was sublime driving.
    Out of the car he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and the less said about fashion sense the better, but in it he’s been very good indeed.

    As a result of the shocking points scoring system Rosberg still finds himself ahead and I’m sure he’s pretty thrilled with that given how the races have panned out.

    1. KRB says:

      The points system in place is not currently fulfilling the function it’s meant to … that is, separating the drivers based on driving ability. At least not at the top, that is.

      A DNF for either of the top two likely means a gap of 25 pts to make up to their teammate. That is a huge gap to make up, with the competitive order as it is currently (i.e. Mercedes likely to finish 1-2 in a normal straight-forward race).

      If you could guarantee me that Lewis would only have one more DNF than Nico, I’d be confident that Lewis could win out over the season. But with Lewis already at one DNF and Nico none, another could be a big blow.

      I think it’s to Lewis’ benefit were the pack to close up some to Mercedes, such that they could break up some Mercedes 1-2′s, and create some greater points separation between Lewis and Nico.

    2. frankvm says:

      Even with the previous system of scoring points the results are the same.
      Rosberg: 34 (1 win – 10 & 3 second places @ 8 points – 24)
      Hamilton: 30 (3 wins)
      Hamilton would still be 4 points behind.

      1. Timmay says:

        The best system was 1991-200(4?).

        Hamilton would have 30. Rosberg 28.

      2. KRB says:

        That 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system was HORRIBLE, even worse than the current system. It was only introduced as an anti-Schumi measure. In that system (W10T8 – Win10,Top8 score), a win is only 25% better than 2nd. That’s way too low.

        Before it was 10-6-4-3-2-1 … that’s too much for a win I think (five-thirds on second place), 67% more. 9-6-4-3-2-1 was a better method. If you had a DNF with a teammate that won, you could make the gap back with three 1-2′s (you’d be tied on points, ahead on countback!).

        There should really be a best x of y results system (as there used to be, prior to 1991), to minimize the damage from unreliability. Even if it was best 16 of 19, or even 17 of 19, a DNF wouldn’t weigh as heavy. Brabham DNF’d out of the first two races in 1960, and didn’t contest the Indy 500 (as like most of the European-based drivers), then rattled off 5 straight wins to take the title, as only the best six results counted (out of 10 total races).

  20. Nuno says:

    why not 10 for Mercedes? How can it get better than that?

    1. aveli says:

      they had a retirement in melbourne.

  21. ben says:

    What does Lewis need to get a 10?

    1. Random 79 says:

      1 more ;)

      1. Ben says:

        Touché

    2. Mike from Colombia says:

      He needs to be a Lewis without the last name Hamilton.

  22. Kidza says:

    I keep hearing the saying about Barcelona “if a car goes well there it will go well anywhere”. Yet Vettel won the last two WDC but struggled at Barcelona. Maldonado and Alonso won there in 2012 and 2013 and didn’t win anything after that.

    Could somebody please explain this to me. Was it about the tyres in the last two seasons?

  23. Fastfastfast says:

    9 for Merc – Oz retirement for one of their cars.
    10 for Lewis – Perfect so far.
    8 for Rosberg – To miss the front row twice in a dominant car is inexcusable

    The only time one of the Merc drivers should be told to move out of the way for the other is when a driver from another team has even a remote possibilty of snatching the WDC. If only Nico and Lewis are in contention then they should fight it out on track, double points or no double points. May the best Merc driver win.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “May the best Merc driver win”

      +1

  24. Pkara says:

    I Agree with Mr J. Allens synopsis on Mercedes : 4 race evaluation. ..though I’d give Lewis a 9.5 mark…as he did nothing wrong in the Aus race.The car failed not the driver.
    See what happens in Espana & Monaco with regards to any advances in car development by Mercedes & how it slots in with the other teams developments.

  25. Gabe says:

    The only thing that will keep the championship fight interesting is if Hamilton has another DNF soon. He’ll have to fight like crazy to make up the points deficit.

  26. Yago says:

    These are the first marks that are about right, but completely out of proportion compared to some other irrisory scores. Lewis 9 is about ok, he is not a ten because Rosberg has been faster in some conditions, and during the whole Barhein weekend. I probably would give him a 9.3. Together with a 9.7 to Alonso (those 0.3 to 10 are because he didn’t maximize his last lap of Q3 in Australia), these are by far the best performers of the year. I know people ten to give higher scores to new guys as Ricciardo, just for the novelty, but this is how it is objectively.

  27. Van says:

    Mercedes have done a brilliant job, and Ross Brawn’s role in getting them to where they are now cannot be understated.

    The danger, in my book, is that they put something on the car that doesn’t work as expected and totally upsets the balance and turns it into a different beast. We saw with Brawn (essentially the ex-Mercedes team) in 2009.

  28. Malcolm says:

    Nico has recently commented on how he had taken pole position last year at Barcelona, in the WO4, whereas Lewis at the time, was still learning to find that comfort zone to enable him to extract the best, from the WO4. Hamilton now has expressed that he is much more confident and comfortable in this season’s WO5, and IMO will enable him to possibly blitz the field at Barcelona this weekend during qualifying, as he did in 2012, with a car that he was comfortable in, the Mclaren MP4-27.

  29. Methusalem says:

    Mercedes, up until now, has all the characteristics of an “A-Student”

  30. Richard says:

    I think the scores are fair, however I can,t help feeling were it not for LH then the mercedes advantage would not be so big. Nico is a great driver and ambassador to mercedes. However he does not posess the raw speed of LH. I just hope the team can give lewis a reliable car for the rest of the season. It seems difficult to appreciate how much damage was done by the DNF in oz.

  31. Lawrence says:

    All of the “… so far” articles have been great. Thanks James.

  32. Mhilgtx says:

    I give Ross Braun a. 12

    The rest 9 and 8.

    I can’t give tens to anyone that is driving a car that much more powerful than the rest.

    I give 5 to Renault who really screwed the pooch with their power unit. How they could have gotten it so wrong is really amazing but I suspect even if they got it right the Merc is brilliant enough to still have the advantage. Ross Braun is truly a great mind and a loss to F1.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I’d say 5 for Renault is charitable :)

  33. Timmay says:

    Watching F1 live since 1995, Mercedes this year is the most dominant car I have ever seen. It will carry their underperforming drivers to the championship with ease.

    Mercedes: 10
    Hamilton: 6
    Rosberg: 3

    1. David in Sydney says:

      Sort of McLaren early 1998 and Ferrari in early 2000s – question is whether teams will be able to catch up without extensive in season testing…

    2. Random 79 says:

      We’re not going to end up with another Button Brawn 2009 debate are we?

    3. Dean Reynolds says:

      Ha ha ha….. a truly reasoned and considered view. That bitter taste at the back of your throat must be killing you.

    4. Breton says:

      Watching with blinkers on IMHO

  34. Gilles V says:

    I would give a 11 to the engine designer

  35. shri says:

    It would be interesting to see what happens when Red Bull and Ferrari are in full swing of development. If they catch up it will make the season interesting and if they cannot come close in 3-4 races championship would be over.

    Lewis is completely zoned in on the title.

    Nico needs to get going and start beating Hamilton very quickly and not rely on DNFs of Lewis to claim being ahead in championship.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      I think Lewis is a shoe in for the title – he is going to do a Schumi this year (and just like with Schumi it’s not going to be boring seeing someone on top of their game wipe the floor with his competitors)

  36. Ahmed says:

    Quite simply put, the silver arrows have hit the bulls-eye… And as James states in the article, the W05 is not only ahead on development but ahead in terms of potential as well…

    A question to the aero-boffins on here… Would it be possible to integrate the sort of vent tht the RB10 nose has on to the W05′s nose? Surely there’s a benefit to it since it is somewhat disguised in black paint as opposed to the traditional RBR colours? It seems as if though Lotus and RBR had similar ideas in mind and reports suggest mclaren or catching this train too… Your thoughts?

    1. KRB says:

      I read on another site that Merc is expecting a 0.6s gain with the developments they’re bringing to Spain. Seems like quite a bit.

      1. Ahmed says:

        Seems like quite a task for even the ‘blue army’ to stop this german blitz-krieg.

  37. Kbdavies says:

    Lewis deserves a 10/10 just based on his performance in Bahrain alone – his 2n place grid slot not withstanding.

    I don’t think ANY driver has been able to keep his teammate behind him whilst being on inferior tyres and with the added disadvantage of 2 DRS zones!

    Also, the way he has beaten Rosberg at the other races and the gaps he pulled out should mitigate any other negative that went into that 9/10 he was given.

    Lewis keeps getting held to a far higher standard than other drivers – why? I do not know. If Rosberg had driven like Lewis this season, or Alonso, they would be getting a 10/10.

  38. Roberto says:

    If I were a Merc fan, I’d say 10/10, but I’m not. Therefore I’m giving them a 2/10 As “Humpy” Wheeler (former General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway) might say, “You’re stinkin’ up my show.”

    I say ban them both for the rest of the season so that we can have a taste of good racing. As it stands now, we can expect one or the other to win all the remaining races……….. Dang! It’s getting harder and harder to be a Ferrari fan.

    1. Random 79 says:

      If only we could change 2014 to 2004 and then no-one would have any complaints about a dominant team.

      The hard truth is that Mercedes have done the best job and the harder truth is the rest need to do better – even Ferrari.

      1. Roberto says:

        “The hard truth is that Mercedes have done the best job and the harder truth is the rest need to do better – even Ferrari.”

        Well, that’s precisely the problem if one is a Ferrari tifoso. And the sad fact is that as others do better, so will Merc. And that explains why I’m whining and crying like a silly school girl. I also own a Ducati, so I have the pleasure of crying on MotoGP weekends too.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Lol Roberto :)

        When your teams are struggling I think it’s good to have a sense of humour and you have a good one :)

        Keep it up and don’t worry, Ferrari will come good.

        About Ducati I’m less sure, but Ferrari yes :)

  39. holly says:

    Hamilton a 9 for driving a 1.5 faster car than anyone, he is not driving better than Alonso for example, the only difference is the machine both have.

    1. Fastfastfast says:

      He is driving to the maximum, save for Bahrain Quali, that the car allows.

      How do we know that if Lewis was on the same Ferrari that Alonso is driving, he wouldn’t match Alonso? Especially in qualy trim, I think Lewis has a slight advantage. We all know what happened between him and Fernando in the same car in 2007. Tied for 2nd in the WDC.

      Besides, It’s not fair to compare drivers in different cars. I think both deserve a 10 in their respective teams.

      1. rudyBB says:

        Whenever I read that comment I disagree. Both are excellent qualifiers, and say BOTH, including Alonso. I put the same level. The minimum difference was due to give the last lap with minimum fuel and Lewis often not complied with agreements not respected team and Alonso’s turn

      2. Yago says:

        You are the first one here I agree with. It is exactly as you put it, very well said.

      3. KRB says:

        A nitpick: they didn’t tie for 2nd in 2007. Lewis finished 2nd on countback, Alonso 3rd. It’s the smallest gap between 1st and 3rd, in the DWC standings, in the history of F1.

      4. Davej says:

        “Tied second” Wrong! Have a look at the standings, they were not classified joint second. Lewis was second, Alonso 3rd

      5. Fastfastfast says:

        A bit of nitpick as per KRBs post above, but my point stands with regards to Lewis and Alonso being equal in same machinery so to say that Alonso is driving better than Lewis as per Holly’s post is unfair. Lewis should be judged against Nico only. And in my opinion he should get a 10.

  40. Dean Reynolds says:

    I tend to agree with the majority of sentiments here. The scores given for Mercedes and Rosberg seem about right. I fail to see what Lewis has done not to merit a 10 though. Not put a foot wrong so far. He has put Nico and his critics firmly in their place and long may it continue. Think it’s far from a done deal yet though as Nico will bounce back….. Just don’t think he will have quite enough to beat Lewis. Mercedes have produced an almighty car, one that will be remembered in the same vein as the MP4/4…. On that basis alone I believe they deserve a 10.

  41. Richard says:

    My feeling is that the only blot on the copy book of Mercedes is Hamilton’s engine failure which was known about in the parade lap before the start of the race. A simple insulator failure, but one that cost Hamilton the race. On subsequent performance I think it is quite likely had that not happened Hamilton would also have won in Australia, but it is conjecture. Given that however his subsequent form merits 10/10 score.

  42. Ryan Eckford says:

    Mercedes have been awesome so far this year, and if it wasn’t for the engine issue for Hamilton in Australia, it could have been four easy 1-2 finishes. They have no real weaknesses at this moment.

    As for the drivers, despite him not leading the championship at this moment, Hamilton is beating Rosberg well right now, and it seems whatever Rosberg is trying, it is not working. For Rosberg, he needs to show some more guts in combat, and not rest on his laurels in terms of his supposedly better ‘cerebral’ ability compared to his teammate. Otherwise, it will be one way traffic for Hamilton, straight to his second world championship.

    Overall, Mercedes are doing a far superior job compared to their competitors, and it will take a very long time to catch them.

  43. Thompson says:

    I’d give 10′s across the board for the Merc team. They have performed without leaving any one behind.

    Rosberg’s 10 comes simply because without Hamiould be dominating this season so far. He is doing a superb job and getting all he can from the team and car.

    Hamilton’s 10 comes because he is taking this car to its limits and is driving outstandingly up till now – beating his teammate in equal equipment and who has .equal team support

    1. Thompson says:

      Phones…….

      Above should read – If Hamilton was not around Rosberg would be dominating this season so far..

      1. KRB says:

        True that …he’d have 4 wins from 4. It’d be like 2009 and 2011 over again, a driver in a dominant car with an easy-to-contain teammate. This is assuming that Nakajima was in the 2nd car.

  44. Carl Craven says:

    It’s easy to give the drivers such high marks when they have such easy machinery to work with. That’s not very objective.

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