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Hamilton reveals why title battle with Rosberg is so close this year
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Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Jul 2014   |  1:46 pm GMT  |  141 comments

Lewis Hamilton goes into this weekend’s German Grand Prix in ‘reset’ mode after closing the championship lead of his team mate Nico Rosberg down to just four points with ten races remaining.

All season long the battle between them has been very close, with Hamilton letting himself down three times in a row in qualifying, so this is one area where he will be looking to execute flawlessly on Saturday afternoon.

Interestingly, he has highlighted the abundance of data and the disclosure and transparency between the two sides of the garage as a reason why the battle with Rosberg is swinging both ways, rather than with Hamilton prevailing, as usually happened in their karting and junior racing careers.

“In karting there is no data. There are no pit stops, it’s nothing to do with brake temperatures or how much every you have in the boost button,” Hamilton told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“So when you have an advantage, you carry that advantage. The guy behind can’t see that anywhere.

“The way technology is now (in F1) there is so much information, it is so hard to have anything concealed. Like the experience I had with Fernando (Alonso at McLaren in 2007). When I got to F1 I thought, “Jeez Fernando’s so quick and he is using all these different techniques”. But fortunately there was data. If there wasn’t data I wouldn’t have been able to beat him that year.

“So there are times when Nico is ahead and I’m able to see those things. And there are times when I’m ahead and he’s able to see it. For example the fuel usage. After the last race they found out how I’m saving fuel and he’ll be aware of that now and maybe he’ll be a lot closer on fuel usage.

“Every time that small bit of an advantage disappears, be it him or me, you have always got to find something new.”

XPB.cc

All season it has been very close between Hamilton and Rosberg, with the odd fraction of a second here and there being the difference in qualifying while in the race a slightly delayed pit stop has sometimes switched the order.

Hamilton admits that this makes it very stressful, but he wouldn’t have it any other way,

“It is, but that’s the name of the game,” he said. “It’s great that it’s so close. I’ve never ever in my career wanted to have a year where you just drive half-hearted and you get a win. You want to feel like you’ve done everything, every ounce of sweat that comes off you every ounce of energy you pit in has been done for the good of getting a win and there’s nothing better than that feeling when you get the win. If you outsmart or outwit the other guy and it’s been like that with my team mate.”

Rosberg is ahead 5-4 on qualifying but Hamilton is ahead with 5 wins to Rosberg’s 3. There is no doubt that pole position gives the upper hand on starts, gives priority to the lead driver on race strategy and pit stops and makes life generally easier. So Hamilton will be focussed on that in Hockenheim,

“It’s become more and more apparent to me that qualifying is a really important part of the season. It’s so hard to overtake the guy in the same car, the only way is through the pit stops, ” he said. “So you have to take the high ground, but it’s not easy, because sometimes Nico’s quick, sometimes I’m quick.”

XPB.cc

In the Mercedes preview to the German GP, Hamilton says that he feels the season is a reset for him, now that he is within four points of his team mate, less than the difference between first and second places in a race.

“I feel like I’ve been on the back foot all year, only briefly leading the Championship despite taking the wins I’ve had, so to have got myself just about level was exactly what I needed. It’s almost a fresh start heading into the second half of the season and it’s going to be a really close battle between us.”

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141 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    Great. So all things being equal it comes down to who’s really fastest?

    1. Sebee says:

      By the way, I read somewhere that Mercedes is going to go one step further to either be fair or neutralize this battle – you pick the reason. What they will do is limit strategies for the drivers, and ensure that both are basically on the same strategy. Has anyone seen this confirmed elsewhere?

      1. James Allen says:

        I know for a fact that isn’t true

        They will always encourage different strategies so they have an equal chance and once the Constructor’s is clinched (the management’s main objective) then the drivers can race each other as hard as they like

      2. Sebee says:

        FYI – I read it here. It’s not from the horses mouth, and claims two mediocre sources. I guess I fell for that one.

        http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns28471.html

      3. Rockman says:

        Having Niki Lauda as one of the main team advisers at Mercedes is the reason Lewis and Nico are allowed to race.

        Thank goodness for that, otherwise we’d be watching a very boring season.

      4. Simon says:

        I think Mercedes do allow different strategy, but having said that, the best “alternate” strategy the 2nd car can come up with before Silverstone was to run the soft, hard, soft tyre instead of the lead car’s soft, soft, hard tyre, Hamilton’s potential one-stop switch strategy was a breath of fresh air in Silverstone.

        I’m not sure why the 2nd car can’t undercut the lead car, even with this “lead car have first choice” rule they have, the lead car can choose his pit stop window, and the 2nd car should be allowed to pit either before or after his pit stop, currently it doesn’t seems to be allowed at Mercedes.

      5. Yevgeniy-P says:

        I think that they won’t prefer DC passing into somebody else’s hands! Neither did Ferrari in 2008. Unfortunately, no hard (but sensible!) racing until last 1-2 rounds, though this strategy is understandable.

      6. andrewf1 says:

        They do limit the strategy whilst still offering a slight degree of flexibility. Mercedes allows the drivers to have a different order of stints and tires, but always the same amount of stops.

      7. Kristiane says:

        Thanks for the info James. I trust your sources and information are always reliable.

        When you say they can race as hard as possible once the WCC is in the bag, does that mean the team management won’t care even if they bang wheels or even take each other out in their fierce battle?

      8. James Allen says:

        I don’t think the team will treat them any differently, they will still get equal treatment, priority to the lead car on strategy etc, but they still want a Mercedes driver to win each race\

        However they will be more relaxed about close racing, shall we say.

      9. Kristiane says:

        Wow! If what we are getting currently is monitored and controlled racing by the Mercedes management, then bring it on! I definitely look forward to “more relaxing” racing management from the mighty Mercs! :D

    2. Bobeckyj says:

      “(GMM)” is a man who guarantees “between 8 and 25 unique FORMULA 1 news articles for publication every day.” by sitting at home and quote mining foreign press with Google translate.
      It’s bad enough that websites actually pay for his nonsense, even worse and depressing that people pay it any serious attention. GMM is a synonym for nonsense and an indication that we should all be hitting the back button as soon as we see it on a webpage.

    3. Kenny says:

      Well, so far Lewis is definitely “fastest”, but Nico’s race management has been better than Lewis’. I reckon it will be even to the end…I certainly hope so.

  2. Sparky says:

    I really hope that Nico wins the title this year. Far more mature driver who hasn’t resorted to childish tactics played out in the media. Also seems like a good guy!!!!

    1. Kodongo says:

      Yes, he resorts to childish tactics on the circuit, such as spinning at the end of China Q3, stopping at the end of Monaco Q3 and cutting chicanes in Montréal.

      1. Garry says:

        You’ve absolutely no proof he did either of those on purpose.

        Amazing how people continuously generate fiction based upon their favourite driver/team misfortunes and/or mistakes.

      2. Kristiane says:

        Garry, there’s also absolutely no proof that he didn’t have intent on trying either. Regarding Monaco there is much debate and discussions that Rosberg’s actions in the lock-up does seem a bit odd to happen at that location in that manner. You can look at lap times, sector times, graphs and data but you can’t look into his brain to tell whether he attempted that and falsed everything else by doing what a lock-up should intentionally.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love this current battle and I like them both. I want Hamilton to win as much as Rosberg, at the same time there are certain things I dislike about Hamilton that he can’t keep his mouth shut while at the same time I dislike Rosberg for keep saying “oh I hate coming second to Hamilton” every single time he did in the first 4 or 5 races; and for his tactics such as use of engine maps without team’s approval in Bahrain, and when the same medicine was given to him in Spain by Hamilton he made himself a hypocrite and complained to the media. They are just like boys with toys and throw things out when they don’t get their way. Being competitive sportsmen, they are bound to be like that and it’s totally unavoidable. Even if you put the crappy Kovalainen in Rosberg’s shoes he would most probably have acted the same. The only driver with a WDC whom I can think of that is competitive and yet humble without throw toys around when things didn’t go his way was Mika Hakkinen.

        Put the toys aside, otherwise it is a good battle for us viewers so far.

    2. David Zolve says:

      Yes, especially mature during qualifying in Monaco!!

      1. Aaron says:

        If he did it deliberately (and I’m not convinced he did), I would actually say it is a sign of a very mature, clear-headed driver. Ruthless and unethical yes, but also a sign of someone thinking clearly.

    3. Pranav says:

      I hope the fastest driver wins the title this year. What is this? A reality show? Who cares how immature the drivers are outside the car.

      1. F1 Badger says:

        Sadly he’s probably in a Ferrari!

      2. Kristiane says:

        @ F1 Badger, thank goodness #7 Ferrari driver doesn’t give a damn what people think of him nor does he think he is fast; and #14 Ferrari driver never said he’s fast but consistent.

    4. BJ says:

      WORLD CUP 2014 FOR GERMANY SHOULD BE ENOUGH!

    5. f1man says:

      if you want to award the tiltle for being ‘being good Guy’ Nico should be doing charity ,not to be F1 driver.

  3. Michael says:

    Is there really anything new in this “information” direct from Lewis himself. This is just even more PR from Lewis’ camp, trying to make him seem more mature a driver than he has recently demonstrated.

    I don’t care for Lewis as an information source. It’s only ever just about him. I just want to see him drive.

    1. Sebee says:

      Rihanna has the perfect song for Lewis…what is the title again? Oh yes…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up7pvPqNkuU

      1. Thompson says:

        I swear, I don’t mean to bad mouth or say anything negative towards another poster…….

        But……

        @sebee, wish you’d take your own advice ref the rehanna track – off into the distance

      2. Sebee says:

        Thompson, I am opinionated, no argument there.

        I may very well be the only F1 fan who thinks Lewis should do ALL his talking on the track and less or none off it. Do you think I’m alone with that view?

      3. Thompson says:

        @sebee.

        You’re opinionated & believe you have the right to express yourself – you can do whatever you do then express Youself online or werever lf people want to hear it or not or even care.

        Yet you prefer Hamilton to just drive and have no pov be silent just drive?

        Stop & consider for a moment

      4. Sebee says:

        Thompson,

        My opinions have no consequences on my F1 carrier.

        All I’m saying is that it would be refreshing to have battle mode Lewis. Talking only with his driving.

      5. TimW says:

        Sebee, if you find everything Lewis says so irritating, why on earth would you even read this article, let alone comment on it?!

    2. JB says:

      I always criticise Lewis but reading this article, I felt he presented very well.
      So what if it is PR manufactured… Let least he is trying to become mature.

      It is also great insight to how F1 team push their drivers. That said, I wonder why Red Bull drivers seems to not have this ‘catch up’ type information to help the slower driver…

      1. James Allen says:

        I sheared it because I found it interesting what he said and it makes sense.

        When you look at how close it is between them, it’s surprising. I suggested to him that Rosberg had surprised me with the level he was on and this was his response, so I shared it.

    3. Quade says:

      You want Lewis to begin waxing lyrical about other drivers? Interesting!
      No driver does that and it is certainly not relevant to racing.

    4. Bobeckyj says:

      Most of the quotes come directly from Hamilton, from a post race interview that BBC Radio Five Live did after the British GP. Available as podcast (as is a preview) each race weekend.
      Only the bit from the Mercedes preview at the end of the article is new, and even that is just a rephrasing of what he’s said previously.

    5. Kristiane says:

      It’s fairly easy to turn on the “mute” function during TV interviews and not read his stuff on the internet ;) Just my 2 cents.

  4. Iwan says:

    So what he’s saying is Nico gets an added advantage now by seeing his data then copying that. Other than when he has a fit, is there a time he doesn’t blow his own horn?

    1. aezy_doc says:

      How did you deduce that? “it’s not easy, because sometimes Nico’s quick, sometimes I’m quick.”
      “If there wasn’t data I wouldn’t have been able to beat him (Alonso) that year.” “there are times when Nico is ahead and I’m able to see those things”. Did you read the article?

      1. grat says:

        You shouldn’t let facts get in the way of a really good character assassination, you know.

      2. RacingFanatic says:

        Totally agree with you “aezy_doc”

      3. Iwan says:

        I read it, thanks. Read this again:

        “Interestingly, he has highlighted the abundance of data and the disclosure and transparency between the two sides of the garage as a reason why the battle with Rosberg is swinging both ways, rather than with Hamilton prevailing, as usually happened in their karting and junior racing careers.”

        In other words: If there wasn’t a flow of data like in carting he would have been ahead and stayed ahead. But now Nico can see his data and that enables him to close the gap.

        Did you read the article?

      4. aezy_doc says:

        Look at their results in Karting then. When there was no data sharing, he did stay ahead. Either way, in the article Lewis clearly credits Nico with being faster at times than he is and uses Nico’s data to catch up. There are times when Lewis has said things which are arrogant (or presented as such) but this is not one of them.

    2. C63 says:

      As soon as I started to read the article I just knew there would be loads of comments like yours!
      Hamilton clearly states that he has been the beneficiary of reading other drivers data as well as being the one to lose out. Perhaps try reading the article again with an open mind, who knows – you might learn something.

      1. Kristiane says:

        +1 for putting things right and stating how things should be viewed.

      2. C63 says:

        test message – replies not working for some reason

    3. Sanjay says:

      Did you even read it fully? Or were you skimming for the parts that would reaffirm your hate for the guy. He acknowledges Nico’s pace more than once and says it goes both ways. SMH

  5. Martin Horton says:

    I am always amazed by your inability to state the obvious. The ONLY reason the championship battle is so close is because Lewis has had 2 DNFs to Nico’s 1. The ONLY time Nico has finished ahead of Lewis was in Monaco where a good case can be made that he [mod]. Apart from Monaco, when they have both been running at the end of the race, Lewis has won every time.
    Why is it so hard for you to state the bleeding obvious?

    1. Pedro says:

      Errrrrm, what about Austria? And I think you’ll find the stewards at Monaco cleared Rosberg of your rather emotional accusation of cheating. I think they’re rather better placed than you to form a reliable conclusion don’t you?

      1. C63 says:

        @Pedro
        I think they’re rather better placed than you to form a reliable conclusion don’t you?…

        Please don’t try and tell me the stewards are never wrong. The stewards investigated Alonso/Piquet Singapore and found no evidence of wrong doing – how wrong were they ? It was completely obvious something was up and yet they concluded no action was required.
        In my experience if it looks like a duck, waddles and quacks then the chances are its a duck!

      2. David Zolve says:

        Interesting how he’s never come off during qualifying since isn’t it?!

      3. Malcolm says:

        Well regarding Lewis at Austria……After Hamilton finding himself behnd Rosberg after the start, felt beating Rosberg and the race is on. He also said, ” I easily had the pace but something was weird, my power was DROPPING and his wasn’t,and we need to investigae what that was.” If Lewis hadn’t lost power, victory at Australia just might have been his.

      4. Pedro says:

        @C63
        Oh dear – a completely different set of circumstances years ago proves that you’re right on this occasion does it? The stewards had lots of data including from the team, video etc but you think you know better and are happy to accuse them of incompetence, willful ignorance or even conspiracy? Maybe you should take your own advice above to look at the situation with an open mind (and a bit more maturity. Your observation of ducks is obviously seriously flawed too…..

        @David Zolve
        So Rosberg now has to make further mistakes in qualifying to prove something to you does he? How bizarre – ever heard of learning form your mistakes?

      5. Pedro says:

        @Malcolm
        Heh! This is hilarious! There’s a completely different parallel ‘Hammy’ universe out there – if Hammy wins it’s down to him and his brilliance but if he doesn’t then it’s a conspiracy against hm. Pathetic. Wake up and smell the coffee guys. Hammy IS a very good driver but some of the other drivers on the grid including Rosberg are very good too. Just ‘cos Hammy doesn’t win it doesn’t mean that Rosberg cheated or there was a conspiracy against Hammy. Some you win, some you don’t. Sorry if it upsets you and debunks your theories but life’s like that I’m afraid……..

      6. aezy_doc says:

        Nico beat Lewis fair and square in Austria – no complaints. There are question marks over Monaco, you’d be foolish to think otherwise. Absence of proof is not necessarily proof of innocence but is a reason not to declare guilt. Ultimately, whatever Nico did in Monaco qualifying he still beat Hamilton in the race.

      7. C63 says:

        @Pedro
        but you think you know better and are happy to accuse them of incompetence, willful ignorance or even conspiracy…

        Lets start again, shall we. I accused the stewards of none of the things you mentioned. All I was saying is the stewards don’t always get it right and provided a high profile example of their having made mistakes in the past. Personally, I think the stewards got this one wrong, you disagree. You have your opinion, I have mine – end of.

  6. Grant says:

    ““So there are times when Nico is ahead and I’m able to see those things. And there are times when I’m ahead and he’s able to see it. For example the fuel usage. After the last race they found out how I’m saving fuel and he’ll be aware of that now and maybe he’ll be a lot closer on fuel usage.”

    Wow!!!
    Hamilton always so upfront and honest!

  7. Abdellah says:

    As fascinating as technology can be and as much as it has improved the racing is some aspects, i think it has gone too far. A pure racer like Senna would never have liked this new, technologically dominated and overly artificial formula.

    1. Sebee says:

      I’d say he recognized the potential and knew it was the future. On one hand it can be argued that we made big progress since 1990-1994 period for example to today. On the other hand, I think we could have a very good discussion that the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is not that far off when it comes to F1. I dare say that hand have been tied and developments made a long time ago outlawed and enforcement stronger over past 20 years – but many things have simply been refined not changed. The wheel has not been reinvented in the past 20 years. I think it would actually be interesting to make a list of things that came up in F1 in past 20 years that have made a huge difference. What would that be? FlexiWings? Blown Defusers? And you certainly won’t have anyone argue that in terms of design F1 has gone bizzaro vs years past.

      Just look at the F1 car rolling today? It may be more refined and not as crude as machines of years past internally thanks to improved techniques but is it really that much different than what Senna lived with?

      1. Abdellah says:

        You make a reasonable point, i appreciate that. However, i think the racing has changed not lightly from the ‘years past’, and so the changes F1 has underwent since those old days have made the sport refined where the devil is in the detail, but the pure aspect of it where the driver had to wrestle the car and make it do what he wants to despite the car not wanting to, is bygone and sacrificed in the process, if you like, especially with the TC system besides many other tech intervention or system aids. The cars have changed quite a lot, probably too much.

      2. C63 says:

        I was watching a programme a while back on Sky where they were interviewing Eddie Irvine (Legends of F1 it was called – that’s a laugh) and he was saying that before the days of telemetry slower drivers just didn’t know where they were losing out to their teammates and would go through their entire career not really knowing. Now they have access to so much information and can see where driver x braked, throttle openings etc they know where the time is lost and can try and fix things. He reasoned access to all this information made a slower driver quicker and closed the gap, thus disadvantaging a naturally gifted driver.
        He didn’t say whether he was the naturally gifted driver or the beneficiary of the telemetry :-)

      3. James Allen says:

        Eddie told me something similar fir the Schumacher biography I wrote in 2006/7

      4. VKS says:

        They keep changing things so fast and pure racers like Lewis cant always win!!!!

    2. grat says:

      So Senna didn’t switch to Williams because they had the most technologically advanced suspension on the grid?

      Hrm. Someone needs to stop spreading that vicious rumor, then.

  8. Jodum5 says:

    I don’t mind most of the technology but DRS still makes me cringe.

  9. goferet says:

    This is modern F1 for you for nowadays F1 is fought using spread sheets after Friday practice for gone are the days of drivers fighting their cars for now it’s all about setup >>> get that wrong and your weekend is ruined.

    For sure, the data arrangement situation Mercedes have within their organization can only work if the drivers get along otherwise, the driver that feels he’s losing an advantage would feel hard done by all this.

    Yes, I recall the Mclaren episode between Lewis & Alonso when things got so tight that Alonso begun hiding his setup from the British race onwards.

    But what is amazing though, is that despite the availability of data, Lewis tends to be faster in the race so no, I don’t think data is the be all and end all for talent usually has the final say in these matters.

    Overall, Lewis has a point in that if you can still beat your teammate with all the cards in full view, not only does your achievement mean more to you personally but also you get the respect from the fans should you prevail.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Although Lewis still has a few rough edges now and again, he still has the raw speed to compensate.
      Rosberg Junior is smoother, but lacks the raw speed of Lewis.
      So its upto Lewis to have a bit more finesse, and Rosberg Junior to drag more speed from himself!

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        To be honest, the Lewis rough edges (including bad luck) are what make him fun to watch for this means you can never be sure about a result.

        If Lewis was perfect, we would be getting Vettel-esque seasons e.g. 2013.

      2. C63 says:

        Rosberg Junior is smoother,…

        Anyone driving slower can drive smoothly. Just ask Jenson ;-)

      3. KRB says:

        Regarding your last sentence, which do you think is easier?

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        RE C63: Ha ha! In all fairness, on a greasy or slippery track Jenson’s smoothness is the meal ticket to success.
        RE KRB: Hmm………….when Rosberg Junior doesn’t find the sweet spot on car set-up for whatever reason, he can’t seem to drag raw speed out of his car unlike Lewis who can unleash more performance even if Lewis machine is not entirely to his liking. Does that make sense?

      5. Kristiane says:

        +1 Gaz Boy, AND Hamilton consistently uses less fuel than Rosberg and majority of the field in every single race so far, which means he has a heavier AND able to achieve lap times that are comparable or even at times much faster than his teammate’s.

      6. KRB says:

        Gaz Boy, it was rhetorical. Just as it’s easier (and preferable) to make a fast car more reliable, than a reliable car faster, it’s the same with the drivers. You can’t fully learn stuff like Lewis’ natural speed. You either have it, or you don’t.

    2. Mark says:

      I Have this comment that Alonso started to “hide” his setup after british GP as well….BUT I don’t believe it.

      The Team are the owners of the data, how can a driver hide his car/team setup from the team?

      1. goferet says:

        @ Mark

        Am not so sure, my guess is a teammate can forbid the team sharing his data for I also heard of a story were Schumi forbade his data getting shared while at Benetton.

      2. Al says:

        The setup nonsense was largely from Spanish Journos whose entire career was based on running the “Alonso the Magic one, far better than any other driver” line that got them employed … before FA arrived there was hardly any F1 reporting in Spain. The idea that just the driver is responsible for a F1 car’s setup is blatantly ridiculous, but it did not stop them from repeating this lie.

      3. Kristiane says:

        I wonder the same too. My guess is, he finds a good setup, but does not run it to full potential during the weekend until Q3 and race day when it matters.

        Regarding the data, I think it’s up to the team to decide on transparency between either side of the garage. In Senna days though I think Senna hid his from Prost and vice versa. However, that still led to the cars being developed at such a pace that they were at least 1-2 seconds ahead of the rest.

  10. Adrien says:

    Of course data availability has changed since their karting days. Sometimes you can even find drivers posting data on twitter.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Love it.

    2. grat says:

      Yeah, especially when the driver feels the team misled him. “Sure Lewis… you’ll be just as fast as Button around Spa with this high downforce / high drag wing! You’ll make it up in the corners!”.

      Not saying he was right to do so, but it was so obviously a backhanded slap at the team for screwing his race weekend.

      1. Adrien says:

        My comment was in jest, and what I thought made it humorous. I expect there are very few people who know the full facts of those conversations between the team and driver.

        What we do know is RedBull was very successful, over multiple years, using an approach that was slow on the straights and fast in the corners. So the suggestion that the approach is so silly the only rationale for doing it was to screw one driver is, well, silly.

        I received an email stating there was a reply noting Nicco had also published team data via Whatsapp recently. If someone has a link to that story please post it. Also my experience with WhatsApp is that it is more private that twitter. The sender has to select who the message goes to, much like an SMS or email. I don’t see that in the same league as twitter.

    3. Kristiane says:

      Can’t help but bursted out laughing at work seeing your comment :D

  11. Rich says:

    I’d love to know how he’s so good at saving fuel compared to Rosberg. The Williams drivers seem to come close – are those readings accurate now James?

    It’s a shame he never gets to turn the engine up at the end of the race and actually use the fuel he’s saved. If he’s in second, has a load more fuel but cant turn up the ‘wick’ then what’s the point of saving the fuel?

    Also nice to hear him acknowledge that without the data he wouldn’t have competed with Alonso – surprising admission.

    1. Ben says:

      In the article that Lewis wrote for the BBC a few months back he talks about the fuel saving technique – Lift and Coast and the way to do this saving the maximum amount of fuel while loosing the least amount of time. As you are probably aware these cars have a lot of downforce, the trade off with increased downforce is an increase in drag, so when you lift off the throttle all the drag from the wings causes the cars to slow down quiet a bit it also means that the braking point for the corner is then much later. As Hamilton is famous for (well he claims to be) late braking, I believe this technique falls right into his strengths. He lifts earlier and brakes later or has just found the optimum balance. Obviously Rosberg knows this as well but I think Hamilton just did it better. I am unsure what new thing it is that Rosberg was able to glean from the telemetry so maybe there was another trick he had up his sleeve that he didn’t share with the beeb.

      Does Hamilton not got to turn his Engine up at the end of the race? Then I’d guess he would turn it down less… Personally the Mercedes Engineers should be putting less fuel in his car as he is able to drive faster while using less fuel and this would have a much bigger impact on the total time for the race

    2. Aussie Fan says:

      The thing is, who says he’s carrying the extra fuel in the 1st place? The rules only say you musn’t use more than 100kg fuel DURING the race. You can start with whatever fuel load you please. Starting with less = must save more fuel during race but lighter car to begin the race with…

    3. PxB says:

      I’m sure that, as Aussie Fan says, the advantage of better fuel consumption is that you can start with a slightly lighter car. So you might see Williams with the edge over Red Bull early in the race, but Red Bull coming back later on as the weight difference is reduced.

      Williams seem to have a low-drag car (at the expense of downforce) and that ought to help their fuel consumption. But also I think Massa tends to use less fuel than Bottas (and indeed less than Hamilton). It would be easy to check if only the FIA would include Fuel Used in the race result (maybe Ferrari used their infamous veto against that!).

    4. C63 says:

      It’s a shame he never gets to turn the engine up at the end of the race and actually use the fuel he’s saved…

      According to Mark Hughes they put less fuel into Hamitons car. It varies from track to track depending on the usage – at Bahrain, for instance, Mr Hughes reckons Hamilton had as much as 8.75kg less fuel than Rosberg at the start of the race.

      1. James Allen says:

        My info is that we are talking one or two kilos max under the 100kg

        Maybe more in Monaco, but not the other races

    5. KRB says:

      Well, it’s not likely b/c he’s running less wing, as he’s usually been slower than ROS in the speed traps. He just takes certain corners in higher gears, carrying more speed in, then using the torque to power out. As such, Rosberg uses more fuel and is also by definition harder on his engines (though well within an F1 engine’s limits), running at higher rev’s for longer. Rosberg may need to do this in order to keep the tires in their optimal window who knows? Thing is, there are definitely trade-offs to make in trying to copy Lewis’ fuel usage.

  12. Pkara says:

    Well done Lewis say as it is :-)
    Lewis will drive his heart out at every race.
    The detractors always havs a pin to stick in Lewis whether its from a media stand point or from an utter hatred toward the Man.
    So unlike those anti-Lewis individuals who like to swim in a pool of acidic bile & hatred.
    As a Brit I’m backing a British Racer for the World Championship.
    So Come on Lewis sock it to’em :-)

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Lewis will be alright, he always bounces back!
      Lewis has always had raw speed right from the start of his F1 adventure, but he did lack a bit of maturity, but it wasn’t entirely his fault – I think the managerial split from his Dad left Lewis a bit isolated, TBH, and it showed in some lacklustre displays and silly errors. However, he’s got his managerial side sorted out, he’s good his personal life sorted out, and he’s happy and settled in his new team with a car that responds well to his very abrupt driving technique.
      I actually think some of Lewis past issues was his team. I think the Macca environment was a bit, what’s the phrase, “stifling?” I got the impression in his last couple of years at Woking he was not entirely happy, and so when N Lauda and Ross the Boss got their Mercedes cheque book out, Lewis signed on the dotted line!

    2. VanDerKaemp says:

      Well said Pkara.
      To me, it looks like Mercedes are holding back Lewis sometimes! Not to add, there’s the issue of slow pits-tops since the start of season! I don’t understand why the journalists never got to ask them why he’s not served properly.
      He got his marks wrong one time but it has become a pattern now, the same mechanics as confirmed by their media person on twitter, when he comes to pit they are always 1.5s slower than Nico’s! But to his honour, last race Lewis didn’t complain but motivated the crew and gave them the chance to act fast. We’ll see this week-end in Germany.

      1. James Allen says:

        5 wins in nine races? How is that “holding him back”??

  13. Ben says:

    The Mercedes car is currently in a different league to the rest so far this season but this Championship battle has been really exciting for the win. They are two different drivers and not one of them is miles out in front although I believe Hamilton is going to take it, he is not going to run away with it like Vettel last year. People love to criticise Hamilton for what he says in the media because he isn’t an emotionless robot and actually get upset when he makes mistakes or experiences bad luck but I think this comment shows his true character:

    “It’s great that it’s so close. I’ve never ever in my career wanted to have a year where you just drive half-hearted and you get a win. You want to feel like you’ve done everything, every ounce of sweat that comes off you every ounce of energy you pit in has been done for the good of getting a win and there’s nothing better than that feeling when you get the win. If you outsmart or outwit the other guy and it’s been like that with my team mate.”

    It’s because of this that he is one of the most exciting drivers on the grid and has a huge fan base. It may not be the clinical German dominance that we have seen in the past few years. He is British so is plagued by bad luck and making stupid mistakes when he looks like he has it all tied up. As a British sports fan I don’t know it any other way, we either lose badly or stumble across the line some how in front. It can be painful viewing sometimes but it means you never know what is going to happen!

    1. Pkara says:

      Well said Ben :-)

    2. Chris says:

      Spot on Ben. +1

    3. stewart says:

      So right! :-)

    4. Jason says:

      As a Brit, we can never have sporting dominance. We’re just some cooky little island in the northern middle of the world map and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is nothing clinical with British sport. Just mistakes, heartbreak, raw passion and eventually a crumb of success. That’s how we are and how I like it :)

  14. Gaz Boy says:

    Let us enjoy the racers racing!
    Folks, cast your minds back to 2004 when that season, WDC wise, was an interminably dull procession for one driver and one team. Not to decry Michael and Ferrari, but the lack of inter-team rivalry at the Scuderia made the championship a lovely stroll in the park for Michael.
    Fortunately, the Ferrari bubble was shattered the following year, and in 2005 us spectators got to enjoy the “young guns” of Kimi and Nando arm wrestling each other to the WDC.
    Actually, let us not forget the F1 seasons in the year of our lord 2011 and 2013 – yet again, thanks to a lack of strong team-mate rivalry, both seasons from a WDC perspective were mind bogglingly dull. I actually missed the Abu Dhabi and Texas races last year because I knew it would be a cake-walk for Mr Vettel. Again, not to decry Seb or Red Bull, but a bit of inter-team competition wouldn’t have gone amiss.
    In some ways, 2014 is a bit like 2005. In both years, the reigning WDC was a German who won a record 13 races and was virtually untouchable the previous season. However, thanks to a major regulation change, the reigning WDC and his team has well and truly been nullified. This year, a bright, brash team who have well and truly done their homework have taken over at the sharp end of the grid. The only difference is this year the two young blades who will take the reigning WDC’s crown are in the same team!
    Thank goodness this year the pinnacle of motor sport has two drivers who can fight each other to the bitter end for the honour of the WDC!

    1. R. U. Stüp1d says:

      “the lack of inter-team rivalry at the Scuderia made the championship a lovely stroll in the park for Michael.”

      The correct term is : INTRA-team rivalry.

      I just love the comments written by the great unwashed here, it reminds me of the advantages
      of a proper education.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I think you’ll find squire the (English) terminology “Inter-team rivalry” is perfectly acceptable in the English speaking world!
        Isn’t intra a Latin word, while Inter is an English word dating from the Middle-English period? So one is from the language of Ye Olde England, while the other one is from the language of the Romans and the Pope ie relics of a empire long gone?

    2. Peter says:

      Well said. Though its amazing how many people still claim that this year is boring and ruined .

      1. James Allen says:

        Not Mercedes/Rosberg/Hamilton fans though, funnily enough..

      2. Kristiane says:

        Too many people support one or maximum two drivers only.

        I like quite a few, so it’s always fun to watch as long as there are good battles and there isn’t only Vettel or one driver running away with the WDC and bagging it mid-season.

  15. sami says:

    How about the probable FRIC ban? Is it going to shake the balance of WDC battle one way or another? Of course both Nico and Lewis are top-notch drivers but sometimes little things can be gamechangers.

    1. Kristiane says:

      In that case, Lewis will win a couple of races, Rosberg in the PressCon will say “I seriously hate coming second to Lewis”, studies Lewis’s data in the meanwhile and find out how the heck he did it without FRIC.

      Rosberg has more brains definitely, but Lewis always has the raw talent to pounce his car around competitively.

  16. falonso says:

    ‘If there wasn’t data I wouldn’t have been able to beat him that year’ (Hamilton on his battle with Alonso in 2007 at Mc Laren). This statement is the perfect example of how lies turn into facts in people’s minds if they are only repeated often enough.
    The fact is that they both ended with the same points. So much for the sake of truth Mr Hamilton! The difference was actually that one driver enjoyed the team’s full support while the other did not (which was not Hamilton’s fault – Dennis having to step down for taking the wrong decisions while Mercedes was investing millions to see the competitor win because of his unprofessional choice.) It is also worth noting that in the standings Hamilton was in front because he earned more wins i.e. was less consistent – which by the way has become his career’s trademark (specially if compared to the driver he claims to have beaten.)

    1. James Allen says:

      I took it to mean “beat him in races” rather than over the course of the season

      1. stewart says:

        I thought the same.

      2. Thompson says:

        Don’t spoil it for him James……

        Hamilton won on count back his how he beat him, better results at the end of the day.

      3. Jason says:

        That is how I looked at it too James.

        Furthermore, full team support, more experience on Bridgestone tires, who cares. Lewis — a rookie — matched a driver I believe was BETTER than Schumacher.

        How many other guys in Alonso’s career can say they matched Alonso? Only Trulli and that was before Alonso peaked.

        Even if we say Alonso is losing a bit of talent year after year, he still destroyed Massa and is destroying Kimi. I don’t buy into the whole number one thing either. Ferrari nor Renault before that nor McLaren have ever deliberately slowed the car down for Alonso’s team mate.

        Lewis did well against Alonso. That was the best season ever for Lewis I feel. A season he proved how good he could be. I just wish for him he could have shown that every year without temper and distraction.

    2. Aljo says:

      “This statement is the perfect example of how lies turn into facts”,
      And this post is the perfect example of how if you start out with a fixed mindset you can always find the worst possible meaning.

      I too took him to mean “beat him in races” rather than over the season.

      I was also glad to see him acknowledge and pay tribute to what he got from competing with Fernando.

      Alonso and Hamilton seem to have developed mutual respect, if only their more fanatical fans could do the same

      1. Kristiane says:

        A fan of them both here ;) , plus a few others.

    3. Montyinct says:

      How does “taking more wins” translate to being less consistant? I don’t get it.

      1. Hansb says:

        Alonso and Hamilton ended the 2007 season with the same points.
        So if Hamilton had more wins he must have had more bad results too.
        Hamilton did very well for a rookie and he was very fast, that year, as I understand, partly because of the data they got from Alonso’s car.
        If McLaren would have given only a little more support to Alonso that year.

      2. Montyinct says:

        Hansb, thanks for the explanation. I agree with you, I think Hamilton ‘s weakness if you want to call it that is that he is marginally less consistant than other top drivers but that is all it takes for a driver to finish first or 4th at the end of a season. I feel that Mercedes is using past events as a lesson this season, in the sense that they are not going out of the ordinary to support one over the other, and so in fairness they are not compromising Rosberg’s season and I suspect that Paddy had his opinion on how they should handle both drivers. Hamilton is very capable of winning lots of races but he struggles when things don’t go his way. I hope that he improved the “win or bust” side of him and settle for second. I think this will be detrimental for his season and how he deals with it.

    4. glennb says:

      My understanding is that he *did* beat him in 2007. Equal WC points but a better place tally. Equal wins but more seconds I think. Maybe thirds, don’t remember exactly.
      What’s the problem with his statement? Just curious.

  17. richard cummins says:

    I have to confess I am a Hammy fan but always try to look at all sides.
    I do beleive LH will win the WDC this season but only if he gets reliability. Nico is a fabulous driver but does seem to lack the raw speed. I have to add that up to Silverstone I was concerned LH had blown it.
    Now I think Lewis will go like the clappers and win the next three races. Come on Lewis you can do it!!!!

  18. Thompson says:

    Back to bizniz then…..

  19. Fada says:

    As a Hamilton fan, immediately I read this bit “After the last race they found out how I’m saving fuel and he’ll be aware of that now and maybe he’ll be a lot closer on fuel usage”. I was so sad.

  20. VanDerKaemp says:

    Looking forward to this race. Time to bounce back Lewis! Hope you have worked on your qualifying approach. Not to add, there’s the issue of slow pits-tops since the start of season! I don’t understand why the journalists never got to ask Mercedes why he’s not served properly.
    He got his marks wrong one time but it has become a pattern now, the same mechanics as confirmed by their media person on twitter, when he comes to pit they are always 1.5s slower than Nico’s! But to his honour, last race Lewis didn’t complain but motivated the crew and gave them the chance to act fast.
    We’ll see this week-end in Germany.

  21. BMG says:

    Interesting, so is he saying that he is a better driver than Nico and the only reason Nico is so close is because of the shared information.

    How does he explain Melbourne?

    Someone, please buy him a gag.

    1. Kristiane says:

      How can Melbourne be Hamilton’s fault? Might be better to ask the team for an explanation.

      1. BMG says:

        My point was that Hamilton would have had access to Rosburgs telemetry after Melbourne.

        Remember its was the first race under the new regulations and Hamilton dnf.

        So he has benefited from the shared data.

        To suggest that this the reason why Rosburg is competitive is just wrong.

    2. KRB says:

      I don’t get what you mean? Surely the car is good enough that Nico would be walking this season if Nakajima was still his teammate. We’d all be saying that he’s doing a Vettel, putting it on pole each race, then driving off to the win, if that was the case. It’s only b/c there’s a top driver in the other car that we can see what difference can be made, over and above the car. Malaysia, Bahrain, and China were clear examples of this. We don’t know how Lewis would’ve gone in Melbourne w/o any car issues. I suspect very well, but we’ll never know.

  22. Michael says:

    James,

    Congratulations, I have received an email from someone who commented on a post – a rarity!!! So well done on sorting that out. IT issues can be such a joy. However, I haven’t as yet seen it come through on the website? Email notification hit nearly 2 hours ago: I’d love to comment back to JB, but can’t on my laptop.

    User feedback always a good start – but hey this is F1.

  23. Pete S. says:

    “Jeez Fernando’s so quick and he is using all these different techniques”. But fortunately there was data. If there wasn’t data I wouldn’t have been able to beat him that year.”

    Really, you beat him that year?

    1. Nick_F1 says:

      Yes, just see the overall standing for that year.

      1. Pete S. says:

        How pathetic. 109-109 (don’t give me that BS about more 2nd place podium finishes)

      2. KRB says:

        Pete S, if there was no Kimi in the standings, then Lewis would’ve been champion. There are no co-champions. It’s in the record books as the closest 1-2-3 finish in F1 history.

        Them’s the facts, bud.

    2. Gazza says:

      BS…..????

      It’s called the rules…..it’s a bit like goal difference in football.

      Championships are settled by them.

      Really…… I can,t see what your problem is except an obvious dislike of Hamilton.

      How would you like it settled.?

  24. goonerf1 says:

    I’m not a big fan of data being shared back and forth between the drivers. Within the team by all means, but not the drivers.

    As I’ve said many times on here, F1 should be about driver skill, and sharing data takes the skill out of that.

    Is Lewis is faster, it’s up to Nico to use his racing brain and figure out how he can be faster, or alternatively, come up with an alternative tactic to try and beat Lewis. Same vice-versa.

    1. Drgraham lewis says:

      Absolutely agree – not even the most rampant of fans cannot argue that Rosberg is and will remain the majority beneficiary of the data sharing scenario. I am impressed with Hamilton sharing some of the credit and not making a fuss but let’s be blunt, Mercedes have Hamilton for a reason along with the dats sharing. That’s to add credibility to any Rosberg wins. His stats and sudden increased ability tell quite a story frankly.

      Otherwise a Rosberg plus A.N other junior teammate type win would not carry any kind of credibility with such a car advantage. They may not have been able to guarantee that advantage a couple of years ago but they knew they would have something and the win win was they knew Rosberg would be a beneficiary in the long run.

      Just for clarity – karting most certainly does have exactly the same type of telemetry (if not as complex) as in F1 these days. And yes its useful but and here is a big but.

      Different drivers cannot simply change their game to be ‘faster’ because of a pile of data – otherwise we would all be F1 drivers. Certain aspects yes. There are however ‘things’ that some racers can do and some cannot.

      The data is allowing a given driver to close up on the instinctively faster, better more talented drivers through ‘technical’ aspects – a different line in cornering, different braking points etc.

      However the naturally talented driver has already found these aspects by talent…

      The sad thing is it counting for less and less.

      There is an exact same issue in MotoGP at the moment (as for the last ten years) in that the data and electronic aids have allowed lesser racers and rookies to challenge and break record after record thanks to the ability of technology to reduce that gap. However fast racers will always usually barring DNF, a fall etc, win out (sound familiar?) but there is far less natural difference evident these days and that it is killing that sport.

      Even the promoter there realises that those willing to throw far more money (Honda) at the ‘data’ and its use screws championships and is revising the rules.

      For F1 its sad because we are getting to a point where even the natural racing instinct (something that actually is a key differentiator between racers) is being reduced to the point where its almost not necessary due to the ability of ‘data’ and strategy (along with a completely artificial pile of racing aids for those less able like DRS etc) to reduce the natural advantages to nothing worthwhile.

      Sad frankly but there we are.

      As for the FRICS debacle – frankly the most ridiculous stunt in F1 history – and boy have there been a few.

      Just be thankful if no one gets hurt this weekend.

    2. Kristiane says:

      Can’t agree more.

      Sadly though, that’s just the way it is with F1 in modern times.

  25. Nick_F1 says:

    Hi James,

    Just a question, as I see it (perhaps many others as well), that Lewis’s garage has much more mechanical and other issues than Rosberg’s side. This will be probably the key for the WDC.

    And there were the same issues with the relibility, pit stops, strategy, etc on one side only, in 2010-2012 and it is garage what Lewis inherited from MS. This makes me think that this garage is much weaker than Rosberg’s one.

    So, the question – What’s your opinion – can you compare both garages ? Can it decide the WDC? Any inside information, why there is so much difference, it’s clear seen since 2010 and last until now.

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      No, I don’t think there’s an issue there. The mechanics are all of a very high standard.

  26. Sidecar says:

    [mod] Half the people on here talking about set up and drivin style have probably never had to set up a racing machine and horse it i to a bend at a ton in the wet. Key board warriors!

    Unless we could see the data ourselves we don’t know. Hammy is clearly faster and more aggressive. The berg is clearly a little more clever when it comes to getting the job done, as he did at Monaco.

  27. Hiten says:

    Talks too much of all drivers

    1. glennb says:

      Haha.
      He needs to adopt the Kimi philosophy of dealing with the press :)

      1. Peter says:

        Would he still be as popular if he did though? Got to admit his antics and the things he says ( good or bad ) are part of the reason why he’s always in the media and only adds to the soap opera of F1. Even the haters have to admit that F1 would be a bit dull without him. I for one love the fact that he’s actually human.

  28. Krischar says:

    ““Jeez Fernando’s so quick and he is using all these different techniques”. But fortunately there was data. If there wasn’t data I wouldn’t have been able to beat him that year” – I appreciate lewis for being naive here

    Lewis have confirmed umpteen times in the last five season’s that he always enjoyed the fun while racing against Alonso whether in the same team or even with a different machinery. Lewis have clearly confessed that Mclaren enabled him to see and view the details or data from Fernando’s car back in 2007

    Kudos to lewis for a very candid interview or opinion

    I rejoice the battle between Mercedes pilots which we witness this season. I will feel happy whoever wins the WDC (lewis or Nico). Yet my personal wish is to see lewis lift WDC 2 This is from a devout Alonso fan

    Rosberg have improved superbly this season and the fight he puts up with lewis give the fans a battle to view otherwise WDC fight will become a boredom.

  29. Richard says:

    Ordinarily I think there is about two tenths between Lewis and Nico unless Lewis kicks in his high game, sometimes he can be incredibly fast, but obviously not without an element of increased risk. I also think he is the most naturally talented. I will be surprised if Lewis does not win this weekend. Again no reference to the car failures Lewis has had just the errors which rather gives a false impression.

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