F1 Winter Break
Mercedes drivers split on favourite status: Hamilton “satisfied” with Pirelli changes
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Jul 2013   |  9:44 am GMT  |  169 comments

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg believes that his team are now the favourites for victory going into this week’s German Grand Prix. However team mate Lewis Hamilton disagrees.

Speaking in a Mercedes phone in from Stuttgart, Rosberg said,

“Fortunately yes, we are slowly but surely we are dropping into the role of being favourites,” said Rosberg. “Which is fantastic as such. The development rate during the season, which was our weakness in the past, seems to be going well at the moment. It’s a fantastic momentum we have in the team at the moment.”

“I don’t think we are favourites,” said Hamilton, despite acknowledging that the development rate of Mercedes is “impressive”. “I think Red Bull are still the favourites, they are leading the championships but we are improving and getting closer to them.”

Mercedes F1 team CEO said that Mercedes has the two best drivers but hedged his bets; “there will be other tracks linked to ambient temperatures where we are going to struggle a bit. This is in the DNA of the car.”

“Nico has proved that we can win with the car so I’m sure that at some stage a win will come,” said a subdued Hamilton.

The Englishman was very outspoken on Sunday night about the tyre failures, questioning whether anything would be done to improve safety and wondering if it might take someone getting hurt before something is done.

Today he said he was “satisfied” with the changes that had been made, “But when we get there we will see; everyone is in the same boat. I’m glad that action has been taken,” he added. “It is still a concern. We need to see how it goes, but I’m sure they have taken the rights steps.”

On the subject of swapping the tyres around from side to side, Wolff said, “Lots of teams swapped the tyres and did this for many race. There is quite a bandwidth on tyre pressures you are entitled to use. So I guess Pirelli are going to be more clear on advising the teams in terms of camber, tyre pressures and swapping the rear tyres.”

Both of the drivers would commit on whether the change of tyres would hurt Mercedes’ competitiveness, but Rosberg said, “We don’t have much experience on these tyres, we ran them in Montreal, but I’m confident that with the car we have it doesn’t matter much which tyres we have. IN general we have a very quick car so I’m confident we can stay where we are, more or less.”

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Just shows Nico's inexperience. He is yet to learn the art of managing expectations that Alonso, Vettel and Lewis are expert at. If I were him, I'd be worried. Ham is getting used to the car; he totally dominated him in both Canada and Sliverston. He is lucky to come from GB with a win. But he is not going to be lucky all the time.

James Allen, yes, Lewis is subdued, why would you expect otherwise... may i remind you that real champions aren't happy except when they win.


Nico will soon learn not to be so forward with his opinions. It was the same with the sneaky tyre test, Nico couldn't keep quiet too. He is inexperienced, perhaps Ross Brawn should call him aside for a word.

Unduly raised expectations aren't not good for any team.




I remember after his first podium, Lewis went about how Mercedes is the second fastest team behind Redbull - only to fall behind in the next few races. He has learnt from that.


Refreshing to see an honest F1 driver instead of guys who put their team down in order to make them personally look great. They are fastest in quali by a mile and there race pace is getting better all the time. I like nico alot and maybe he can win the WDC next year, It would be great to see a german win the WDC in a silver Arrow.


"It would be great to see a German win the WDC in a silver Arrow"

I would rather not see another German win the WDC for a while.

8 WDCs of out the past 13 years have been won by a German.


I know they have been successful but a German driver winning in an Iconic German brand such as merc would be something special (ok both merc engine and the team are in fact English based in England but its still Merc). It would be like an Italian winning in a ferrari. LH winning in mclaren was also pretty special.


no one doubt Nico's speed, but just go back to a few weeks ago when, during the testgate, he was giving more info than necessary - remember, "of course we knew what type of tires we were testing' - to realize that he might not be as smart as he would like us to believe. and contrast that to Ham's comments during the episode. He comes across as a too excited person.

By saying we r favorite, he is not putting any pressure on Ham - this is a guy who has partnered Alonso - but the pressure is on the team now.. that's why Wolf tried to quickly deflect the favorite tag.


About test gate I admire his honesty and him telling SV is consistent with mercs claim they weren't hiding it. Also about knowing what tyres, well that was a case of stating the bloody obvious. I would say he more enthusiastic than excited and I find him very professional. I love Lewis as a driver but when I read his column on bbc I'm often left dissapointed, he spent have a column explaining how excited he is to wear jeans and then the next week he's walking around with a bull dog taking it to races. I just wish he could get it together and focus on the racing.


Rosberg is a smart guy - he's just calling it as he sees it. I wouldn't put much weight in Hamilton's comments or mood swings to be honest. They can change drastically from one interview to the next.

If the tyres do improve in durability I can see it benefiting Mercedes and maybe Hamilton. Having said that, Button got close to him despite not being a match on speed. I see Rosberg as possibly faster than JB and definitely less susceptible to handling imbalances. He's also one of the most intelligent drivers on the grid.


Lewis teammates are always "intelligent."

Its been so from Alonso to Heiki to Jenson and now Nico. It does seem a bit too much of a coincidence. No?


Exactly what are you talking about then? Who said all Hamilton's team mates are much more intelligent? Kovalainen certainly wasn't especially when he said he would pass Vettel safely before Monza 2008 as if Seb wasn't a threat but was made to look like a fool after the race when he got dropped by 1sec a lap by the Torro Rosso,but anyway the fact is Hamilton is a brilliant driver and on his day as good as anyone but some of the things he says or do sometimes do make you question how genuine he is.


I honestly don't know what you're getting at. Actually I think most F1 drivers are intelligent, especially the good ones. Lewis is no dumbo either - he's very articulate for example. Rosberg though is a very technical driver and according to those who know both (Nigel Roebuck for example) quite different to Keke who was more a Lewis-type swashbuckler who loved oversteer. Keke said Nico got his intelligence from his mother!


Nico might appear "inexperienced" but I do appreciate his confidence in saying it like he sees it. There's already too much PR and "expectation management" so some candour is a refreshing change.


Prides comes before the fall! Save the mind games for when you are about to win the either trophy or both. Nico has been a back and midfield racer and has to learn how to handle expectation and being at the front..


Lewis is subdued, why would you expect otherwise…

I am a big fan of Lewis and really admire his driving. But, don't you find the down in the dumps, somewhat sulky demeanour that he adopts every now and then, grates just a little? What on earth has he got be unhappy about? He is young, fit and healthy and has more money than he knows what to do with. Things could be a whole lot worse.


@Tim - You obviously haven't done competitive spirts to a high level. Successful sportsmen are extremely competitive. They compete to win, and not come 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Anything less than a win, though appreciated in the grand scheme of thing, is still regarded as a failure; and rightly so.

His teamate beat him, so he has every reason to be sulky.


@Tim -

Well not all sportsmen have the same mindset - and some are more competitive that others - Lewis, Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel and Senna spring to mind. In recent history, i can't remember any of them being happy when they are beaten - especially when they believe they have the car to win. Alonso is always sulking when he doesnt win (watch him before they do the podium ceremony), Vetttel always sulks when he is beaten. Schumacher will go as far as cheating to win (Monaco parkinggate). It is simply a mindset thing


Thank you for that insight into the mind of a competitive sportsman. It had occurred to me that might be the explanation. However, for your theory to hold true, then all the drivers who don't get pole or the win should be similarly downcast, shouldn't they? Personally, I think it's more to do with the on/off relationship he has with Nicole that is the problem. Either way, I still find that it grates with me as I don't want to see a gloomy guss being interviewed.


Have you seen Nicole? I think I would be just a tad subdued also.


Oh no ! I must rush out to buy OK magazine.


Well he doesn't have to worry about Nicole anymore does he now they have split up. Again.

Just a side issue, one of the reasons he bought the private jet was so he could save time in crossing to USA to see Nicole. What is he going to do with the jet now??


Hardly dominated him at Silverstone, Nico was smashed by Schumacher at Silverstone last year but it means nothing, also in the race he was 3.9sec behind Hamilton even though Hamilton was pushing like crazy and probably using more fuel again much like Malaysia, but yes after the Pirelli tyre test Mercedes has won 2 races and have arguably the best car, coincidence?


The team made a mistake with the fuel at Malaysia, they have not repeated that mistake since. Opening a gap to the second car at the start of the race is a proven race strategy.

Hamilton has an excellent start, opens up a gap to an on form Vettel in a very fast Red Bull removing the risk from the dreaded DRS and yet you still try to find fault with what the majority of people, fans or not, would describe as the perfect start to a GP.

How would you describe lapping half a second faster than your team mate in an identical car if it is not dominant?


There was no mistake with fuel at Malaysia. Hamilton was pushing hard to keep his car running at the higest revs just to stay in touch with the Redbulls while Rosberg was managing the same pace without the aid of those extra revs thus saving more fuel than hamilton. This whole fuel load bs was invented by Mercedes because of the bad PR they received due to the enforced team orders. Dont believe watch the race again and listen to the team radio. While Hamilton is being told he needs to converse fuel, Rosberg is being told he can push to the end



Lewis has been managing expectations from day one.

On a different note where are all those F1 specialist and commentators that said Lewis made the biggest mistake moving to merc? (James included)


Did I say that? Really? I think you'll find I said it was brave, but understandable


Yes Nico is putting enormous pressure.... but if Lewis claims to be one of the best, he has to beat the best. although, it seems to be the case that he, par Kalv, always had strong teammates. While you can't say the same about Vettel and Alonso.



You always inferred that it was not a good decision but some of us always said where is he going? Lewis is going to Ross Brawn, Bob Bell, Geoff Willis, Aldo Costa and the might of Mercedes. Some of us are happy but clearly NICO is putting enormous pressure on lewis now.


I'd be adverse the calling Nico "inexperienced". That said, he does seem to be getting easily carried away with the performance of the car this season.


But he is 'inexperienced' when it comes to being a front runner in a lead team.

The only way he can beat Hamilton is by luck in my opinion.


I am a big fan of Lewis, but to suggest the only way Nico can beat him is with luck is pushing things a bit, don't you think? I didn't see a lot of luck when Nico beat Lewis at Monaco, Silverstone yes, but not Monaco. Having said that, so far, Lewis has finished ahead of Nico more times in quali', more times in the race and has more points in the championship - so quite what he has to do in order to silence his critics and doubters I don't know 😉


He is having a lot of luck but still behind LH. LH's consistency is great to see for a change. I don't think NR is inexperienced. Perhaps just excited and a bit too honest!! Great to see him in a car in which he can get results. I believe LH is the faster of the two but also that they will keep each other honest which is a win win situation for the team


I'll put money on Hamilton finishing ahead of Nico.


You make your own luck in this world...


Well... seems he is having A LOT of luck.


I think you would have to say nico is inexperienced in these situations. Not too many times has nico rocked up for a race and been asked questions about winning races and the championship before. He has to get used to the differences of competing at the front of the grid now.


I think perhaps you both underestimate Nico's intelligence in this, one of the reasons he is so highly rated by Brawn and others in the past. I feel he is deliberately announcing the arrival at the top to keep pressure on the troops in terms of motivation and further raise believe and it also keeps the pressure on his team mate!


Here’s wishing you well for the old-drivers’-test this weekend.

Suggest you personally check that the tyres have been fitted correctly –

Remember it’s your lives ‘they’re’ messing with.


Hmm... I think am siding with Rosberg on this one.

Mercedes have shown to be the qualifying force of 2013 for if it wasn't due to the wrong tyre call on a wet Malaysia and a wet final corner in Canada, Mercedes could have been on pole at every circuit so far bar Melbourne.

And with the introduction of these new more durable tyres, this means Mercedes may not slide down from their qualifying position >>> but of course as noted, this will be dependant of silently lower track temperatures e.g. Germany.

As for Lewis, I believe he's trying not to create too many expectations but it's was really odd when he said after Silverstone qualifying that the Mercedes is the best car he has ever driven plus Vettel is nervous about the team and hence commented they were bloody quick on Saturday.

Anyway I too am very impressed and congratulate the team of the leaps and bounds they made in a very short period of time and yes, thanks to Schumi too for urging the team to pull out the cheque book for in this game, you can't win on a budget.


Lewis had a first lap puncture at the Nurburgring in 2007 and 2009 plus another punture in 2012.

Won it in 2011.


Funny, I figured MSC would have asked Merc to get the chequebook out during his tenure at the team...


2009-2011 was a period when companies were evaluating every dollar spent due to a worldwide recession. Now with record profits and a stable economic outlook, i would imagine auto companies increase the investment in R&D - and F1 is a part of that program. Anyways, there is no comparision to the dog of a car Merc had in the last 3 years to what they have produced this year.


The mercs are rising and I'm really glad, I can see next year really being their year. It would be amazing to see Nico as WDC next year. A German WDC in a silver arrow sounds perfect although Lewis will be fighting hard too. It's a bit of a shame for Michael though as while he was there the car was a nightmare, then again he has 7 WDC, 91 GP wins and is remembered as the greatest driver ever do I don't feel too bad for him. Every time I hear from Nico I can't help feeling he's a class act, it's so stylish now for drivers to put the car down to make yourself look great but it's a team game and Nico comes across as a member of the team.


Sorry fella, only Schumacher fans think he's the best ever. Statistically you're right though.


Also I watched all MS seasons and never once wanted him to win a WDC, I was always up for the Williams or mclaren or anything else really. But I always knew deep down that he was the fastest. I think a lot of people were the same but instead of accept the obvious they just hate the guy so much they can't accept his achievements. I do defend him a bit on here but I wasn't his fan when he was racing.


and only senna fans think he is the best, and only fangio fans think he is the best ever, I guess it's a matter of opinion.


Last year was hockenheim not nurburgring but your right overall.


Lewis meant the merc was the best car he had qualified around silverstone not in general


You've been following Lewis too closely to pull those stats out 🙂

I can get you on a technicality though. 2007 was the European GP and 2012 was at Hockenheim, so in some way they are not all the same race.

I'll be interested to see how Vettel goes. His German GP record hasn't been brilliant. It was his worst weekend performance of the year in 2011 (partly due to set up issues cured in Hungary). Last year there was the penalty for passing on the run off area and he looked fast/ragged. 2010 he made a mess of the start and 2009 he was out done by Webber. 2008 at Hockenheim for 8th was a good result.




@ Martin

Lol... Just realized my mistake. Thanks for the correction.


It's way too soon to be labelling Mercedes as favourites. They have had two wins this year, one at a track that suited their car and the other involved a fair amount of luck - the Red Bulls are far from beaten. Mercedes are definitely heading in the right direction, though.

If God is good and the Angels prey really hard then, who knows, they may well mount a challenge for the titles 🙂


Lewis has a real shot of winning this title if he can win a few back to back races, especially if Merc have really turned a corner with tyre degradation.

I can't help feel gutted that Schumacher put up with that car for 3 years and NOW it's turned out to be good AND reliable.


Ow come off it, Schumi couldn't keep up with Rosberg, Lewis is another step up from Rosberg.

If Michael were still racing, he would be number two to Rosberg.

Lewis is slowly but surely settling into the team, he has proved the last two races he has Nico covered.


I dont think you can say LH is another step up from rosberg yet. NR has 2 DNFs from Mechanical issues and was team ordered not to take his earned podium at Malaysia while LH has had perfect reliability (except at Silverstone however a bit of luck with the safty cars helped him complete a fine recovery)and is still only 7 points behind. If NR had passed LH at Malaysia it would be only 1 point.

I think Merc has two great drivers and i look forward to seeing some great battles between the two. I hope there isnt pressure on the team to support LH to justify his wages though.


They are both great drivers but for me Lewis has far from proved himself a step up, maybe he will but at the moment they seem pretty similar to me.


Lewis has joined a new team, he is having to adjust to everything that has changed.

A safety car in Monaco caused mayhem with the pit stops and Lewis lost two place and he was looking very good for the win at Silverstone.

So all being even, even with the podium that Rosberg should have had Lewis is easily a step up and will prove it sooner rather than later in my opinion.

That pole lap that Blitz'd Nico in the same car was no fluke.


"... if he can win a few back to back races, ..."

A few = three or more

Either means winning 3 or more on the trot, or winning 2 consecutive races on 3 occasions. Either way, yeah, he'd no doubt be in title contention if that happened! Easier said than done though.

Still far too early to extrapolate from one race, and a chaotic one at that.


Totally agree - what a shame for Schumacher. To think he was getting close to (and even beating) nico by the end of the 3 years - and how good nico has shown himself to be against Lewis this year - you can't help but feel the quality of Schumachers comeback was badly under valued!


Roberg had two failures with it in Australia and China, so it hasn't been perfect, but the recent reliability has been okay.

Thread the Needle

I always had a feeling that the year Schumacher left, Mercedes would built a great car the next year, but I do believe Hamilton and Lowe's arrival have benefited Mercedes, the whole team has stepped up a notch

Lowe may have only officially start work recently, but he's got to have had some input into this years can already


He had lots of input into this years Mclaren too..


Schumi in this year's car wouldn't be giving Rosberg a run for his money any more than he did in the 3 previous years.

Lewis and Rosberg seem far closer; Lewis probably a bit faster, but Rosberg a bit easier on the car. Both have had pole positions, and Lewis has more points although Rosberg has two wins. Both have had good and bad luck at various races.

If we are going to see one car edge ahead, I hope it is the Merc, because they have two good drivers, closely matched and no team orders so that will start to get very interesting.


Schumi in the first half of his last season was bettering Ros. Qualifying apart, his race pace was better than Rosberg and he was leading in comparison until reliability problems stuck.


They have had the fastest car in quali all season and the fastest car in the race in 3 races so far and still Lewis wants to pretend it's not a great car. He learned to talk himself up by downtalking the car, a la Alonso.

Too bad for him his teammate has 2 wins and 3 poles, while he has 0 wins and 2 poles.

If Vettel had that Mercedes and had wins and poles, Hamilton would have been the first to say how the Mercedes was easily the fastest car and how the designer is brilliant. And how they cheated to get it fast in the race of course.



Please don't make things up.

Its ridiculous the way "facts" get conjured whenever Lewis is even only remotely concerned.


Mercedes had the fastest car in multiple races. They are just being limited by the cheese tyres over a longer stint. The qualifying pace proves this.




I wish I had written that 😉


This really depends on what you mean by fastest car. For the fastest car you only have to look at the top speed figures.

However if you are talking about fastest race pace, this is a combination of many factors the tyres being one crucial element.

Saying Merc has best race pace but for the high tyre degradation is the same as saying Lotus have the best race pace but for their slower top speed. You can't isolate one element from the rest, you have to judge the whole package.

At the moment Red Bull has the best package, but Merc appear to be closing the gap.


>Lewis wants to pretend it’s not a great car. He learned to talk himself up by downtalking the car, a la Alonso<

Palpable nonsense.

Drivers who are trying to "talk themselves up by downtalking the car" tend not to give interviews (as Hamilton did after Monaco) saying stuff like this;

"I don't put it down to bad luck. I just wasn't good enough over the weekend. The whole weekend has been a missed opportunity,"...

"I've got lots to sort out on my side of the garage, and within myself, and I'll take time to do that. I'm not quick enough, not on it enough, so I need to get on it."


It's difficult to talk yourself up immediately after making a stupid mistake in public, as Lewis did in losing two places to the RB's in Monaco.


Alonso seems to manage it


If everything someone does is wrong to you, then you might want to search elswhere for whats really wrong.


the guy has raced all his life, nearly won the f1 championship in his first season, won it the following year missed out on many others and understands better than anyone here what it takes to win the championship.

what credentials do you have which are superior to his?

prophecy is the least profitable profession. why don't we wait and find out the actual results?


So now someone has to have the same credentials as the driver they are critisizing? So how about all those people critisizing Vettel then?

You know Vettel, the guy with much more credentials than Hamilton?

Fact is, Hamilton knows how to serve the childish comments towards Vettel but when he gets the same (i.e. fastest car, being beaten by his teammate who is good but not great), then it suddenly is not allowed?


Oh you should know by now the rules used for Vettel is different to others.

As of this season am convinced Vettel is the best driver out there right now as even with a faster car he was beating the merc before his gearbox gave up!


Can you let me know the three races where the Merc was the fastest race car?

I hope you're not saying Britain or Monaco ... both tracks where the Red Bull set the fastest lap. Monaco was all down to qualifying position, but race pace is something different. In Britain at best you could argue that the Merc was equal fastest with Red Bull.

If it wasn't for a couple of late pit-stoppers in two races, the Red Bull would've set the fastest lap in all but the opening race (Kimi in AUS).


I agree with this, Hamilton will always claim his car is not the fastest even when it clearly is and he keeps saying how fast Vettels car is. I think he is trying to convince himself he is faster so the car Vettel has must be better

Right now the Mercedes is the fastest car and they have a chance for the title but it will be hard for them to beat Vettel.


Last years McClaren was the fastest car for more races last year than the Redbull but you wouldnt think that from all the anti SV/RBR propaganda out there


Well thats how the cookie crumbles when it comes to Vettel.


I think your getting carried over the merc. It's single lap pace is clearly the fasted. But don't forget both Bahrain and now Silverstone the tyres went pop ! And the races where they didn't - they went backwards from the start. Lewis is 100% accurate to remain guarded when Red Bull lapped everyone up to P5 at Canada and had the gearbox not let go on Sunday he was a a good chance at hunting the tyre wreckers down. I think it's fair to say they are clearly no2 right now but they are without doubt contenders at a rapid rate of knots !


how on earth was it the fastest car in the races except for silverstone?! horribly biased comment.


and please prove to me with facts, and not just who you like or dislike etc.

Nic Maennling

No one has to prove anything to you. This is an opportunity for "comments", thanks to James Allen. People say what they feel.


Did you read the article or just making a load of stuff up in your mind?

Too bad for Lewis, why is that then? because from what i can see he is beating Nico in the standing, looks like he is getting faster race by race, destroyed Nico in Quali and his race pace Nico couldn't match, it's all looking good for Lewis, Nico won't be lucky all the like he was at Silverstone.


Please remind me, which was the 3 races they had the fastest race car? Their car is the fastest car on Saturday, but on Sunday it's not even 4th fastest. Unless you watch F1 races without Live Timing. The only race you could argue that they were the fastest was at Silverstone in the hands of Hamilton before his tyre failure, but then it was inconclusive as no one could tell if Vettel was saving tyre or if Hamilton could have defended his position or extended his lead.

Their car seems to be fast on Sunday's recently, but let's still wait until they win a normal race because Monaco (due to lack of overtake) and Silverstone (due to tyre failures, safety cars and Vettel's retirement) was not a normal race to conclude that Mercedes is the fastest race car.


To be fair to Hamilton, he was leading the British GP, and was pulling away from Vettel, while Rosberg was passed by Vettel, running third. Rosberg did a good job, but it's a lot easier when the two faster guys in front both have car problems.


Hamilton hasn't won a race yet and is still sitting in a good position in the championship (still ahead of Rosberg).

The next 5 races he has won before (GER, HUN, BEL, ITA, SIN) I am sure he will win at least 1 or 2 of them.


You do not have to win a GP to win the championship consistency is the key.


I have to disagree with the winning part, every champion has won at least one race in their winning year.

But I agree that consistency is key and is why Raikkonen (constant point scorer) is sitting 3rd.

Thread the Needle

Nico's getting a little carried away here, even if you do have the fastest car, you really want to direct the focus elsewhere, in this case to redbull


In my opinion, this year, Mercedes have the fastest car. Till Canada, the Ferrari was the fastest race car followed closely by Red Bull. If Mercedes have managed to solve their tyre problems, then they will have the best car for 2013. This years drivers championship is going to be very interesting...


As a wise old saying goes - time will tell who is right, Nico or Lewis. IMO in this case Hami is right 😉


I think its natural both drivers react like they have. It is understandable Rosberg will be talking things up, this is likely the best F1 car he has ever driven.

On the other hand, Lewis has been here before with a car off the pace and work to do to catch up. We have to remember it was only a few races ago they were being lapped.

Red Bull still have quite an advantage.


I'm not sure you are right about Red Bull's advantage...


Has there even been a driver whose mood is as closely scrutinised as Lewis Hamilton? Is he happy, is he subdued, "cut a low-key figure" etc, etc. He's human, we have emotions.

@K: having a great car in Quali means nothing. Points are given on Sunday. And just where did you get this idea that Mercedes has the fastest car in the race? Vettel was miles ahead of the field in Canada. Lewis and especially Rosberg had no answer. And just look at Rosberg's 2 wins so far: Monaco; cars unable to overtake and lucked into the Silverstone win. 1 more lap and Webber would have won and let's not forget what happened to Hamilton and Vettel.

People are so clouded by their antagonism towards Hamilton that they don't take the time to pay attention to what he says.


So when Vettel puts it on pole and he gets criticized for even daring to put it on pole and have the audacity to win from pole, people are talking nonsense then? Measure with the same standard or lose credibility.

Mercedes did have the fastest car in the race too for multiple Sundays, they were just limited by the cheese tyres. Anyone can see this.


So if a car is "limited by tyres"- it cannot be the fastest car - can it ?- because it won't finish the race ahead. Whereas the Red Bull is not quite as limited and does finish fastest more often than not.... Really pointless comment Ok ?relax that's a rhetorical statement.


@Quade: Actually, it categorically does - it means that the winning car completed the race in the shortest, ergo the quickest. time. Same all the way down the field, to the slowest car finishing last.


Saying they are limited by the tyres means they can't be fast for very long, even though they might be the fastest.

Finishing the race as "ahead" does not require (or equate to having) the fastest car.


I think Merc possibly have the fastest car, but are limited by the tyres too.


"let’s not forget what happened to Hamilton and Vettel."

You seem to have forgotten that Hamilton drives a Mercedes.

Hamilton fans have a remarkable ability to spy "antagonism" towards him where none exists. Rosbergs assessment of where Mercedes is at is more accurate than Hamiltons, that's all.


Thats because antagonism can't hide itself, especially when "facts" have to be made up to support the crusade.

Rosbergs words might or might not be accurate, but the blind hatred against Lewis (whatever it is) is uncalled for.


This last line is spot on Cari.Lewis over the last year or two has been very honest and frank in his comments. I think he speaks very honestly and fairly.Too many F1 followers some how get too personal when evaluating drivers. They dont know the team politics or see what the drivers see and know behind closed doors and what they are told to say. Some drivers can hide behind the lines really well and make it an art form :- Fernando and Jenson and others are a bit more direct :- think Mark, Lewis and Kimi


Agree completely, Elie. Couldn't have said it better


totally agree. well said.


when they were both asked if they knew which tyres they were testing, one of them said no and the other yes so this doesn't surprise me.

hamilton has lived through spygate and liegate and therefore understand the power of journalists. rosberg is yet to go through the gates.


I think Lewis is playing it down a little, in his mind he will definitely want to win in germany this weekend, but is keeping expectations low because he won't want to pressure the team and i think Nico is naturally a bit more excited as it's the best car he's had in a long time. Let's see how the weekend unfolds though, but I think that mercedes are looking very strong


Both Mercedes drivers could be favorites, if they show they can win in a hot climate. This is the key of their success.


Hamilton leaves McLaren - they fall out of the top 10, under Button and Whitmarsh.

Hamilton arrives at Mercedes - the go from a dog of a car to winning races.

People underestimate the feedback and engineering data generated by a genius driver.

I would be my house that if you swap Button and Hamilton today, the Merc will fall out of the top 10, and McLaren would be back on top.

Credit where credit is due... Merc is now going to attract the best engineers too, because they know their efforts will not be wasted on Hamilton... Button on the other hand, will cause engineers at McLaren to pursue more fruitful ventures...


Mclaren have a fundamental problem with the car design, they did not anticipate the aero effect of the pull rod front suspension, making them use a primative front wing. The car lacks a significant downforce, no driver is going to win a normal race (dry, without an accident as bad as Spa last year) in it, not Lewis, not Fernando, not Seb, not Kimi.



Whilst you are correct in you analysis, you shouldn't forget that a good driver extracting the maximum from a car lets the engineers know exactly where they are and the quality of his feedback will determine the direction of progression. Jenson nor Perez extract the maximum from the car, so their feedback is already compromised, leading engineers in the wrong direction.

Do not forget the 2009 McLaren started the season much worse than this one but was winning races towards the end of the season in the hands of Lewis. You alsko underestimate the effect of personality in gettingg more out of people you work with. Lewis is more competitive, more impatient and less likely to tolerate failure than Jenson.


I understand your point, I just think this problem is insurmountable. I do believe Jenson is on the second level of drivers in terms of talent (the four I mentioned being the first level), but even Alonso only won one race in 2011, the race with severely limited EBD, imo not a normal race for that season, some cars are so bad no driver can bridge the gap to the front.

Mclaren tried to compete with a car in its first 'generation' of development against cars in their fifth to second 'generations' of development (rb9 the son of rb8 etc.), then over reached with the change to pull rods.

Alonso could compete in last years Ferrari by maximising the cars potential and because Mclaren made too many technical and operational mistakes and Red Bull were forced to change the concept their 2011 car was built around, requiring half the season to really regain most of their losses. Jenson isn't doing the first, but their opponents are also having a much better start to this season.

The two teams that made the best start to 2009 (new regulations) had huge budgets and weren't in the 2008 title race. They also chose the right development direction, trying to gain aerodynamic advantage instead of chasing kers like the established leading teams. So they have an advantage, but also a challenge they failed last time. Lets wait and see if they get it right this time.


As Hamilton is an engineer what a joker! Probably Ferrari should get Vettel so they can start winning, fans say the darndest things.

Colombia Concalvez

Agree with everything, but we all know people don't want to give Hamilton credit for it. You really don't think it's a coincidence that McLaren is suffering now right ?. I knew a long time this would happen to McLaren. Look on tv, McLaren barely get's air time, it's all Mercedes-Benz and RBR.


We should also remember not to give him all the credit, it is a team effort.

Would Hamilton be scoring more point than Button? I think yes, but that McLaren would still be a dog, sad really, how far back they have fallen from the front runners. The problem is they don't know why, this does not bode well for 2014.


Nico lucked into the British GP win when Vettel lost his gearbox. He did well to hang on to Vettel but was not making any serious challenge. On a good day at the right track the Merc may have the edge but I think the Red Bull is still the more polished race car on Sunday.


Don't you think there are a lot of "good days" and "right tracks" for Mercedes recently? Monaco and Silverstone are very different tracks...


Do you think Nico would have won the Monaco GP if he was not on pole?

Lewis demonstrated that the Merc had a slight advantage over the Red Bull at the start of Silverstone. We do not know if he could have maintained that pace for the race duration. Mark managed to close the gap on Nico showing the pace the Red Bull had in reserve. At Silverstone the Merc and the Red Bull were very closely matched but I still think Red Bull had the faster car.

The question now is what will be the position on the new tyres?


Much of the reason it's considered Mercedes was in the same league as Red Bull is due to Hamilton pulling away from Vettel rather than Nico catching Vettel at Silverstone. The car is still the same.

Tornillo Amarillo

Great equality, relationship and respect between drivers in Mercedes, it's not the same in Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren.


What a joke. Thee is more equality between Vettel/Webber than between Hamilton/Rosberg. Brawn always has a clear number one and number two driver. Unfortunately for Nico, he's has not been given a shot at trying to be No 1.

Red Bull and McLaren = no team orders.

Mercedes and Ferrari = team orders.


I must have missed that radio message at Monaco telling Nico that Lewis is faster than you.


Don't make me laugh.!! RBR don't have team orders?- the team is Vettel.

Equality between Vettel/Webber? Now that is a joke.


@Mike M - But then did nothing when that order was disobeyed...


I really don't understand how people keep claiming that after malaysia, where they pretty openly tried to execute an team order in favor of webber.

Danny Almonte

Mercedes could move forward once they ditched Schumacher. He took too long to get up to speed and was very inconsistent. They seem to be handling the tire degradation now that they have two quick and consistent drivers.

Mercedes are second in the championship but are too far behind Red Bull to be called favorites. They are solidly in the big three. Lotus are pretenders.


They are not too far behind (less then 2 wins behind Vettel), it's still only first half of the season. And if they have solved tyre issues, their pace will be scary.

It might be that their biggest problem will be which driver to back for the title. Because if they are splitting wins between them, Vettel and maybe Alonso can still win.


Mercedes probably won't mind splitting the points between their drivers, if it gets them the WCC. After all, that is where the money comes from. The WDC, whilst important to the drivers (& fans) is just the icing on the cake as far as teams are concerned.


4th not 3rd - that's what Toto said.


Spot on.

Go back to the start of the season and Merc stated their aim was to be third in the constructors standings. None of the drives considered they had a chance in the drivers championship. Whilst there is always going to be rivalry on the track I think there is far more emphasis on scoring maximum points for the team.

I think next year will be different.


"Mercedes are second in the championship but are too far behind Red Bull to be called favorites."

He said they were favorites to win in Germany, which they are. He did not say they were favorites to win the WCC/WDC, which is what a lot of people seem to be attributing to him. Though they have a very decent shot at both of those as well.


It shows that Nico is far more naive and open while Lewis has learned from his idol Alonso to play down the car. Kudos to Nico for being honest and not downplaying the car. I agree with him.

All revved-up

I'm just indulging in some speculative fun; with the caveat that we have seen with pre-season speculation about Hamilton making the wrong career choice - that F1 is such even experts get crystal ball gazing dramatically wrong.

If the temperature of the rear tyres comes under control for Mercedes, then the team is certainly favorites for the WCC. The Hamilton Rosberg plus car with race winning potential - is a serious point scoring machine. Ferrari with Massa's inconsistency, will not be able to compete. Red Bull will need Webber to see out the F1 season on top form and contributing serious points - without squeezing Vettel into barriers (ala Brazil).

So WCC looks wide open and interesting.

As for WDC - Vettel holds a +40 points advantage over both Mercedes drivers. So he enjoys a buffer until Red Bull and the teams strong on technical development, master the New 2013 Tyres.

I suspect RB, Ferrari and Mercedes will get there (master the New 2013 Tyres) - just not sure who will master the new tyres first. Lotus will suffer this change during the James Alison void.


Mercs gained a lot from secret testing. Their improved race pace at a high speed circuit like silverstone after their slump in barcelona stands perfect testimony to this. Redbull on the otherhand tried to solve their tire issues themselves and seem to have overcome it.


Did Rosberg really claim that Mercedes are favourites for Germany ?

Maybe he clarified his statement, but "...slowly but surely we are dropping into the role of being favourites" is not quite the same thing as "we are favourites".

Before (at the very earliest) the end of first practice, I don't think anyone in Mercedes or Red Bull really knows who has got their nose in front.


Phew, I'm glad someone else read the article.


Before most of you start criticizing Lewis, he did not say that the car is not good, he only rejected to admit that Mercedes is the favorite car to win in Germany, which is rightly so. That does no mean that Mercedes cannot win in Germany but looking at the fact at the last race, there is no doubt that Nico inherited the race win from Vettel and probably from Lewis too. Nico and Webber changed their last tyres on the same lap, and Webber overtook 3 to 4 cars, yet could have overtaken Nico who was running in front all along.

Mercedes is getting better race by race, but are they favorite, not until they win in a normal race or perform very well consistently like RBR. I am very sure that Mercedes can turn the table on RBR if they keep on with their current rate of development.


Honestly some people are absolutely blind. Nico has just won a GP and is obviously still buzzing especially after the Mercs have dominated Saturdays. But seriously folks had it not been for SC and a gearbox failure at Silverstone- the outcome would have been very different and it didnt take a rocket scientist to know what would happen at Monaco with a front row lock-out !..

Mercedes still have a lot to learn on Sundays to be equal to Red Bull who lapped everyone up to P5 at Canada (including a Merc), so lets not get too excited just yet ! Lewis is 100% correct-there is no politics, no deflection, and as someone else has said-hes been there far too many times over the last 3 years when hes been chasing the Red Bulls & YEP-everyone is still chasing RBR in the points FACT.

The favourable thing going for Mercedes is the new tyres being tested which is a re-balancing act for all teams and possibly giving Mercedes some peace of mind for attacking slightly more on Sundays..But as the drivers say..lets wait see !


If my uncle was a woman, he would be my aunt.

Nico has 2 wins, Hamilton 0. Nico had 2 DNFs with technical problems, Hamilton 0. Full stop.


Just so that you know. There is no championship for the driver with the most wins. The championship is based on a points total. Full Stop.


OK conceded


Well, there is. If both Championship leaders have the same amount of points.


Clearly another "hater".. This is about Why Mercedes cant be seen as no 1 just now. Not "who's your father".


Ok let's finish your 'facts'. Hamilton has more points.

Personally all this is tedious. Both great drivers doing an excellent job so far. Full stop.


Ask yourself who is in a better position to judge the Merc. Lewis who last year was driving arguably the best car at the end of the season or Nico who was driving the car that did not finish in the points in the later part of the season. Put Nico in a car that can compete ant he is going to think it is the best. Lewis on the other hand can tell that it still requires some work to match the Red Bull consistently. I will take the comments that come from experience,(Lewis, Brawn), over the comments that come from euphoria, (Nico).


No two cars are the same to thats a very myopic point you made there not like Hamilton made the most of the good car he had.


Sorry, not following your argument.

The point that you obviously missed completely is that Hamilton last year was driving a very fast well sorted car compared to Nico driving a very poorly performing car. This puts Hamilton in a better position to judge the relative performance of the Merc. What experience does Nico have to judge the relative performance of the 2013 Merc when he has never driven a top performing car before now. What Lewis achieved with the McLaren has nothing to do with it, he obviously drove it!


Maybe you have a short memory Rockie, It seemed to me that McLaren blew it for Lewis last year with all the mistakes, failures they made. He was on it last year!


I dont have a short memory but I think you do Mclaren won 7 races same as Redbull the only difference is the consistency of the drivers the problem was even when they didnt have probs he was getting beat Australia 2012 comes to mind yes he lost 2 wins both that wasnt even guaranteed as we saw we Vettel at Silverstone but if you believe he was on it oh well what can I say as he had same amount of wins as Button and thats considering Button had problems between China and Silverstone!


I think Lewis is absolutely right, yes Mercedes have had some success, but they still lag behind Red Bull by a significant number of points, and they need to make further improvements with rear tyres and the aerodynamic efficiency/downforce areas to be really capable of reeling in Red Bull. Things do not stand still in F1 and Red Bull will be working hard to find another significant step to stay in front so Mercedes need to keep up the good work, and we'll judge their relation performance at the end of the season. - but I rather hope they can pull it off!


Rosberg didnt say the championship just the race at Germany.


"Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg believes that his team are now the favourites for victory going into this week’s German Grand Prix."

of course they are. They've won two of the last three GP's, they've clearly got their tyre issues sorted out, plus the German GP will be held on tyres which Mercedes (but no other team) has prior experience with.


I don't think Nico and Lewis are really saying much different here. I think they just have different interpretations of what "favorites" constitutes.

Nico seems to be interpreting the word "favorites" as meaning "among the favorites".

Lewis seems to take the word as meaning "absolute favorites".

So they are both right. They certainly can be considered among the favorites now, but it's still overly optimistic to consider them absolute favorites.


At the end of the day VET is likely to be a winner as ALO has 2 more frontrunners now to challenge WDC, IMHO.


What's interesting is the way that various outlets can take a one word quotes from the same statement and use it to create different headlines depending upon what part of the story they think will resonate most with their audience.

JA seems to get the gist of the quote with the headline "Hamilton 'Satisfied' With Perelli Changes".

Other outlets are stressing the danger aspect and hinting at a possibility of more accidents in the next race with this headline "Hamilton Admits He Still Has 'Concerns' Over Tyres".

Funny how even a fairly bland statement can be reported in various ways.

LH "I am satisfied, but only when we get there [Germany] will we have a better idea how it is for us. Everyone is in the same boat, but I'm glad action has been taken. It's still a concern. We'll see how the weekend goes but I'm sure they've taken the right steps to make it safe."


It is curious to know that Hamilton has Alonso, Button and Rosberg leading him 2 victories to nil in the year he had them as team mates...in Button's case Hamilton finished 3 to 2 and in Alonso's cas it ended 4-4, We will see how Rosberg will fare.


Interesting statistic..


Hamilton and Alonso always like to point out their cars are no the best. I think they believe it makes them even greater when they win. The Merc is almost a half second faster than all other cars in qualy and seems to be as good as the rest in race trim now. However, they always want you to think Vettel has the fastest car by far.


Merc is not a half-second quicker than the others in qualifying. In the races in which they won poles before Silverstone, they were at most about 3 tenths ahead of the next fastest car. In Silverstone, Rosberg was less than .2 of a second ahead of Vettel. It was only Hamilton's unbelievable lap that put him .45 of a second ahead of Rosberg that made the car look that much quicker than Red Bull. And it was only Hamilton in the race who had quicker pace than Vettel and the other Red Bulls; Rosberg was slower than the Red Bulls and slower than Hamilton.

The braking issues seem to be on their way to being sorted out for Hamilton, even if he says there is some more work to do. That should really scare the rest of the paddock, especially after the pace he showed at Silverstone.


Can i just say how good it was to see Lewis finally be able to push the Merc in the final stages of the Silverstone race. At the moment Lewis is just not getting too carried away, why do people look into things too much. Everyone just take a chill pill 🙂


Racing drivers are self centered people. When they say "we" they really mean "me"


Had Lewis taken the Silverstone win from pole with Seb second then I would agree that would make Merc the favourite for the German GP. The problem is he didn't and Nico's win was not convincing as it required a puncture and a DNF from the cars ahead, not to mention the fast closing Mark Webber in the last few laps. We can't conclude from the Silverstone results that the Merc was the best race car, we can only say that it is up there with the best.


RBR vs Mercedes, NR vs LH, SV vs the rest of the grid...all in all a rather good season, no? I'd say RBR remain the team at the top UNTIL they are consistently beaten in races by either Merc, Ferrari, and hopefully (but unlikely!) Lotus. What we're seeing is the usual "talking up" or "talking down" by drivers and teams. Yes, Merc has 2 wins, race pace is good, and they've inched up a few places the WCC, fact is (points show!) that RBR are still consistently stronger and faster over the season ths far. IF and WHEN Merc get sorted and are able to string a few wins/podiums together, THEN i'd say my money is on LH to take the fight to SV as he has experience in fighting for a WCC. NR is a very good, and IMHO underrated driver, and with some luck and a good car, a future WDC - remember that he's driven delivery trucks for the last 3 years (that MERC was awful), so allow the lad to be exuberant and excited when suddenly given a chance at a win, whichever way it comes. Each driver who has won a race or a WDC has had some luck in some way...little example, Alonso wins at Nurburgring(2005, was it) for Renault after Kimis' front left suspension shattered with a lap remaining - after Kimi had led fronm the front and driven the wheels (literally, as we saw!) off the Mac.So, yes, NR's wins have been luck, but you also must be in the right place at the right time, as Webber stated in the interview. In all the comments though, we overlook Ferrari and Alonso...like him or not, you can bet he will drag the Fezza back to the front...we al saw waht he did when the "prancing horse" started last season as a "stumbling donkey"...this season is far from over and i reckon we're in for a few excellent races in the 2nd half of the season...

But please, somebody tell KR to go to RB...Lotus can't give him the car he deserves, lacking just that last bit of pace/development...

Roll on Neurburgring on Sunday...


"And, of course, Nico is fast. But Lewis has not lost his speed. It is still there. He will come back and then he will shock you all."

- Jenson Button

We're only partially through the season. But if the last two Grands Prix are any indication in terms of lap times, Jenson seems like he's on to something here.

Oh, and he's a world champion himself. Perhaps we should listen to him. Or to Alonso, who has also been effusive in his praise of Hamilton despite their falling out years ago.

I think it's great that Rosberg is performing so well, and in fact it's great for Hamilton. He has always been at his best when he's been motivated by a teammate who challenges him. He was unbelievable in his rookie year against Alonso, and he stepped his game up to a whole new level in 2012 after Button beat him in 2011. He got beat in qualifying a few times this year by Rosberg, and he went back to the drawing board, diagnosed his problem (braking), and set about fixing it. In a way, I think this sort of challenge is exactly what Lewis needs to take the next step to fulfilling his potential as a driver, as it seems to be forcing him to take a mature and focused approach that perhaps he was missing when he was younger. In my mind, this has really been the only thing that has given Alonso an edge over him.


I totally agree with your comments. To some people, Lewis can never do anything right. Out of all the top tier drivers, Lewis has had the most challenging teammates in his career - Alonso, Button and Rosberg.

He matched Alonso on points and beat him in poles as a rookie. He beat Button twice, lost to him once and annihilated him on poles. In a new team, with a teamate with 3yrs experience in the same team, he is not doing too bad and is ahead on points.

It is so funny that in hindsight, the fans now think that Rosberg was "underrated" now he is giving Lewis a run for his money - never mind that Rosberg has been in the team for 3yrs and SHOULD be giving Lewis a run for his money.

It is so funny that Button was regarded as another journeyman; even with his 2009 title until he beat Hamilton 1yr out of 3 - and that was spun out of all porportion and Button stock suddenly improved.

It is so funny that as a rokie, he beat a 2 x WDC, but that was excused as Alonso being on the Bridgestones for the first time, and Lewis having thousands of kilometeres in the McLaren simulator.

There is obviously a pattern. Anyone that beats Lewis has there stock automatically go up, but when he beats them, then there was a reason why, or it's no big deal. It is almost like they want to see him fail, and are happy when he does. Haters will always be haters - no matter what, as their hate is not based on logic or objectivity.


You are seriously giving Button far too much credit...

He is merely the lotto winner of F1... nothing else...

He did not orchestrate the double diffuser WDC of 2009... he just happened to be there, when Charlie Whiting failed to provide clear direction on the matter, when asked by teams if it was legal...

Button is giving such bad Data at McLaren right now, that the engineers can't develop the car beyond 10th and lower... this is not the signs of a real WDC.


Lewis is just playing down the car so he has an excuse not winning or just incase he gets beaten in the fastest car. Maybe Merc should slow down there car in quali and go for a better race setup.

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