Analysis of Mercedes’ form in last three races
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Aug 2013   |  10:33 am GMT  |  282 comments

Following on from criticism from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo that Mercedes’ form over the five races since its controversial Pirelli test in May damages the credibility of the championship, we’ve done a couple of graphs analysing the car’s race tyre performance over the last three events, with the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan.

In the first graph we compare Lewis Hamilton’s lap times with those of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.

The vertical axis is the lap time, (faster lap times towards the bottom, slower lap times higher up); the horizontal axis is the number of laps in the race. So the race runs from left to right)

Hamilton’s degradation is pretty linear and comparable to Vettel’s on the soft set and he did a very good job on the first set of mediums, from lap 10 to 31, where he was able to push and still maintain tyre life (look at the black plot between laps 10 and 31. Generally speaking this second stint is very consistent)

If you look at our second graph (below) – In Germany the team struggled on the one-off Pirelli compromise tyre which was rushed out after the Silverstone failures.

In Budapest, despite the high temperatures. Mercedes demonstrated tyre degradation in line with the average for the field. It was clear from Budapest that the new Pirelli tyre suits the Mercedes much better, so the indications are they will be strong for the rest of this season, although a note of caution; we still need to see how the tyres cope with high lateral loads on tracks like Spa and Suzuka.

The three race comparison graph (below) of the British, German and Hungarian GPs, it is clear that there were still issues in Silverstone (red plot) and Germany (blue plot) but it’s extremely difficult to extract any definitive facts or trends here, bar the fact the overall race pace of Hamilton at Budapest looks more consistent than the other two races, which is generally due to the driver having a better overall chassis balance and tyre utilisation and the strategy team having more confidence in the driver achieving the required stop laps.

Prior to these races, Monaco and Montreal were one-offs, both with very low tyre energy, where Mercedes’ higher tyre use would not be such a factor anyway. Track position was more decisive in Monaco, where Mercedes and Rosberg had the advantage from qualifying.

Meanwhile in Canada Hamilton was well beaten by Vettel and Alonso into third place; he finished 16 seconds behind Vettel and was caught by Alonso seven laps before the end, but his performance showed that Mercedes has made some progress on improving tyre life in the race. The consistency on Hamilton’s car was much better than than for Rosberg, who needed to make an extra stop.

So, although the championship table tells a very obvious story, with Mercedes scoring almost double the points in the five races since its test compared to the five races before, it’s hard to draw too many firm conclusions about timelines for improvement, other than to say that Hungary was clearly a breakthrough and showed that the team has definitely got its act together now and that the new Pirellis suit it.

* Additional input from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan

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Ferrari were mad to let their technical director Aldo Costa go to Mercedes. Ever since his departure it’s been a struggle, and look at Merc now! Brawn knew and worked with Costa for many years at Ferrari


james, did i mention hungary? no. the comments i have made re hamiltons troubles with the brakes have been well aired in the past. the last comments i have read were published just prior to germany. they were hamiltons comments not mine. that is why i suggested to edward that he look at this in a different manner rather than claim that hamiltons natural talent could/would overcome all obstacles when obviously the problem had been there for quite some time.

obviously he has now mastered the new [to him] brakes but my point was that this was post the ‘secret/private’ test with pirelli where the amount of testing would have been invaluable to the team and hamilton.


We said at the time of the test that Hamilton mastering the brakes on the Mercedes could be one of the key outcomes and he’s not been too shabby since then


thank you james….that is what i have been saying all along. the test wasn’t simply based on the fact that mercedes were totally sympathetic to pirelli and gained nothing for themselves. of course they took every opportunity by cheating [gaining an unfair sporting advantage] when the chance arose.

this was all apart from what they gained vis-a-vis the tyres.


zoso, could you please explain for me what is so obvious considering the dramatic rise in the mercedes performances post the test as opposed to the relative performances pre test?

results would indicate otherwise.


It’s pretty obvious that the test had nothing to do with their improved performance. They came out with a great car during the winter, slowly fixed it’s one flaw and are now reaping the benefits.

Maybe Ferrari should try to get a working wind tunnel before they point fingers at other teams that have clearly done a much better job this season.


@ Sebee. Hope this helps to clarify things for you, also it should help you and others to understand why Mercedes had to be given results from the Silverstone tests.


well edward you have opened up another line of conjecture vis-a-vis the silverstone test results.

consider this. mercedes have literally thrown hundreds and hundreds of millions of $’s into their team and so far, up until monaco have literally zip races in their pockets. an abysmal result, all things considered.

other treams have fared better with the trash tyres than mercedes and they looked as though they were not going anywhere. that is, until they came up with a possible solution but needed to put a lot of testing in place in order to validate the new approach. how convenient would a 1000km test under the guise of a pirelli test be?

the very substance of the pirelli test was to look at the new tyres for 2014 but how can they do that without having a ’14 car, very very difficult. maybe that was only a smokescreen for mercedes to try the new set up on the car. no one can be sure that the car that they raced three days earlier was the same car that they used in the tests. if this scenario has any cred then it was worth getting a slap on the wrist as the current results rather prove a point.if you also factor into this the need for hamilton to get massive testing under his belt to assist his adaptation to the ‘new’ brakes then that alone is a worthwhile result for mercedes.

there has to be more to this than the oversimplistic explanations given by the three entities during the course of the enquiry. maybe i have a suspicious mind but having watched F1 and GP racing prior to the very genesis of the WDC i simply find too many unanswered questions that appear to have been buried….for the moment. it really does bear some further thought. as i have said many times…nothing is ever quite what it seems in F1.


Hamilton like Raikkonen has enough natural ability to handle problems without the seat time and testing you are suggesting. Ferrari used a 2011 car for testing 2013 tyres etc. The tribunal had a lot more than overly simplistic explanations to examine. You have those many unanswered questions because your assumptions and suppositions prevent you from accepting facts. One who locks himself in a cage cannot blame those outside for his lack of freedom since it is he who has the key,


you still seem to be evading the issue that you raised re hamiltons ‘ability’to handle the mercedes brakes by introducing straw issues re other drivers!!!

the published facts then, according to you, are rubbish? if you really want to test this then search online for information and i suggest that you start with the ‘mail online, august 11th’ for starters then keep on going, as there are many more reports, all quoting hamilton himself. i mean, that if hamilton is such a great driver as you infer then how is it that rosberg, a second tier driver, has no problems with the brakes and hamilton has been in the car for some4/6 months? great natural ability.

you can’t forever be locked into denial and expect to post with any degree of authenticity without indicating any qualification.

as for the legal matter surrounding the YDT tyre data being given to mercedes could you please confirm where this was recorded. i was not aware of it but i would like to know the details.


Hamilton seemed to handle the brakes pretty well in Hungary!


if you care to search it out you will find that it was hamilton who claimed that he coudn’t get used to the ‘new brakes’ and that he needed more time to adapt. this was some two/three months ago. seek and you will find.

i am fully cognisant of the facts as i have read the tribunal findings from cover to cover. have you?

if you are willing to accept the findings of the tribunal as the all embracing truth the that is fine. i simply don’t always believe everything that is put in front of me. that is my prerogative. on the other hand if you believe that mercedes did the test out of the goodness of their heart and gained absolutely zero for their troubles then that is fine but also very naive.

as for the other points that i have raised you appear to have simply chosen not to address them? that is also fine by me. finally, the homespun philosophy 101 you dished out is quite childish really.

might i suggest that you open up your mind to some alternatives and learn to question rather than blindly believe everything that you are told.

and again, seek and you will find, hahaha


sorry to double dip here chaps but whilst we are commenting on the pirelli/mercedes ‘secret/private’ tests maybe someone could help out with answers to one further nagging point in the whole saga.

i seem to recall that pirelli said that they had invited teams to test in april 2012 and that the test, that was in fact held with mercedes, occurred some 12 months later! why was it only after one year that this occurred? why was mercedes chosen to hold the tests and not williams/force india et al?

was it all pure chance that mercedes, who were notably deficient in tyre management, chosen?

perhaps i/we will never know the full extent of all the issues in play but it does make for interesting conjecture now that mercedes are knocking on the championship door.


You might have inadvertently put your finger on something significant. If you were having a failure with one item of a particular unit it would make sense to first check the item, later the unit and finally the combination. As a major manufacturer, with a company to protect, Pirelli would have been keenest to use Mercedes if only to verify that the car and not the tyre was the defective component. If the tyre remained untested it could have presented problems for Pirelli.


why mercedes and not maclaren? besides the make up of the tyres tested were, i seem to recall, a new construction for the current tyres and tyres for ’14. the latter took up supposedly 90% of the testing time.

now this brings up more questions, such as, how do pirelli simulate the prodigious ‘torque’ that the ’14 engines will have, into a meaningful test with a ’13 car when it is common knowledge that the differences are ‘major’?

as i have stated before, rosberg said that he was fully informed of what the tyres ‘were’ in order for him to successfully test and i presume that hamilton was privy to the very same data. that data, combined with the lap times, delta times and the overall performance monitoring by the back room would’ve yielded massive amounts of interesting data for mercedes. it would also be interestin to know what the ‘eyes only’ report given to mercedes post test by pirelli contained.

this whole episode has somewhat tainted the season for me.if a team introduces an element that is borderline and it is subsequently found to be suspect then it is removed and that team is back to square one. this is somewhat different as any knowledge that mercedes gained cannot be ‘unlearned’ or removed. this is where mercedes were found guilty of gaining an ‘unfair sporting advantage’. finding all three parties guilty of certain infractions means nothing really. the banning of mercedes from the YDT was in fact suggested by mercedes so they had already factored that into their thinking as a fall back position.

did mercedes suffer as result, absolutely not. look at the results, plus the fact that they were given all the new tyre data post YDT. in summary then, and IMO, the whole season is now affected by the sudden turnaround by mercedes post the ‘secret/private’ tests.

i also presume that you have searched and found the published articles substantiating that hamilton has himself said that he was ‘struggling’ to get to grips with the braking problems, even since winter testing of the new car.

anyway, time to move on now.


They had to have the information from the tests, just a small legal matter.


Who was the first to suffer problems with the W04, Lewis and this was at the beginning of the season, remember the car in the gravel after no braking. Not a driver problem, a manufacturing problem. Kimi had a steering problem, Grosjean had a setup problem. Once these problems were corrected the drivers were able to do their jobs. Why is it any different for Lewis,he already knows how to drive.


well alexx, without being pedantic about this issue i do feel that you need to revisit your use of the word ‘cheat’.

in my lexicon ‘cheat’ is a very clear, concise and apt descriptor of someone ‘who gained an unfair sporting advantage’. this latter term was in fact the finding of the FIA international tribunal into the ‘secret/private’tests.

i do still feel as though this years results will be competetively diminished in substance due to the undue influence of a third party, namely pirelli. i still cannot get past hembery’s statement, when he was reported to maybe have said, when challenged over the trash tyres, ‘what do you want? do you want to see red bull run away with another championship’. that was my recollection of reported events and i have no way of verification apart from the fact that they appeared on many different sites.

assuminmg for the moment that those words were in fact used then IMO it is quite wrong for a third party supplier to be able to influence the outcome of a world championship sporting event.what it suggests to me is that there were other agendas being played out and they were not only a minefield for the players but a complete disaster overall. the possibility that there could have been a fatality cannot be ignored, and all for what? an artifially introduced’frisson’ of pleasure for some mythical circus attendee.


no sheepiness here…but whatever we say about tyres and Merc’s illegal test…we are still in for a great season – has been so far, all the bruhahaha about tyres aside. RB are still the team to beat, Ferrari has gone backwards since Spain, Merc/Hamilton have been entertaining and Lotus/Raikkonen just keep plugging away and coming 2nd – now there’s a combo due another win. Pirelli did as asked – made a tyre that couldn’t last, and the teams have used/misused the product leading to blowouts…who’s at fault, Pirelli for doing as asked, or the teams not staying withing the parameters. Whichever view, it’s still given us entertainment, and the next half of 2013 will be a stonker…


Personal belief, no data to back it up.

I believe that LH benefited from the seat time in this test. Got to work on his braking technique with the Mercedes. He looks more comfortable in the car than he was prior to the test. He does seem to extract more consistent lap times than he did earlier in the season when compared to Nico.


Roman Grosjean said his so called lack of ability was really not due to him but to a fault in the car’s setup. Once Lotus listened to him and corrected the problem he has turned into one of the fastest, most exciting drivers on the grid. Kimi also had a problem with the steering. Corrected now look at his performances, so confident that not even Seb in the Redbull bothers him. The Merc problem was with the car.


I most certainly agree with you. I also would argue that many of the nice folks around here are too harsh on Mercedes. They really did not break the rules (i.e., cheat). They at worst may have straggled the spirit of the rules. So I think we should stop characterizing their action as having cheated. LDM seems peeved that the FIA is no longer performing chart wheels to penalize other teams (such as Max’ favourite whipping team McLaren) in order to apparently benefit Ferrari.

Mr Todt seems to be far more even-handed and diplomatic in his dealing with the teams than his predecessor – who had strike an incredible high level of genuine fear in all the other teams. So far Mr Todt has granted LDM two of his many cherished demands (in- season testing and team orders). But, he obviously will not apparently cruelly penalize other teams in order to benefit LDM’s team


Plz note that my post above is a reply to post # 41


Thanks for the excellent analysis as usual James and team,i would also like to add that the improvement in the performance from the mercs coincides with the change of exhaust system to the rear more akin in size of exit aperture to the red bulls,compared to the rest of the field that have retained a much smaller aperture,Really looking forward to the next races hoping this improved form continues.


It seems to be that a lot of the people posting are jealous of mercedes and in particuar hailton. You guys should be happy that red bull are in a fight.

Lets be real. Be real guys. Would you be so upset if it had been williams that had done the secret test. No you would not. So just be real and honest about your feelings.

Any way hamilton and merc are ready for the fight so red bull and vettel better be ready.


As someone above put it, another sheep…


well david, i’m certainly not jealous of mercedes. why should i be? it is the mercedes backers that are over defensive and refuse to accept that what they did has in any way given them, mercedes, an ‘unfair advantage’. that was exactly what the tribunal did in fact state.

you question the response, had it been any other team? williams for example. yes, my response would have been exactly the same if wiliams had all of a sudden won three of the last five races when prior to that they had been nowhere.

your suggestion that we, i, are dishonest is entirely without merit.


James, did you read my conspiracy theory about the secret test ?


@ frique, your reply to my response is lacking any substance. i put forward, in a non aggressive manner, my answer to your somewhat full frontal attack on my post. you now come back with absolutely nothing except a veiled attempt to dissuade me from commenting on material that is in the public arena. i am fully aware of the legalities.

i specifically asked you to front up with the substantiation that the FIA were there, monitoring the activities of mercedes and pirelli during the entire three days of the ‘private/secret’ tests that were carried out. your response? zip?

either post the evidence or apologise. you simply cannot make those assertions without being able to substantiate them. my assertions were qualified as being more of an inquisitive query than a bald statement of fact.

i have absolutely no problems whatsoever with anyone who questions my interpretations or opinions and if i am in error then i will certainly put my hand up. i am still awaiting your response to my questions re the FIA and also the question that i put to you re ‘mercedes altruism’. lets hear what you have to say or will you simply try to evade the points raised.


Luca knows that tyres in Hungary were a new construction that all teams needed to understand and adapt to.

He just deliberately threw that ‘bone’ out there knowing very well that there’s a lot of foolish dogs out there that’ll chase it anyway.

Well done Luca…



If you can show the average lap time for races prior to the secret / private test & show a similar comparioson between the 3 of them, it will show the delta they have covered post the test – any chance of seeing that?

Looking forward to ti,



It wouldn’t factor in the car developments – everyone is forgetting that the teams have brought many updated parts to the cars since Spanish GP, it not just getting on top of tyres that counts

Ferrari has ton backwards sinc then – nod that’s down to vs development


Good point – what I do wonder is if the development on the car post the test was significant as compared to developments prior to it…

Is there a way if we can number of new parts that has come on to the car?


James, I would like to offer some some constructive criticism as I find the way you lay out the graphs quite poor. Can I suggest that you take a leaf out the way academia publishes and adopt the following conventions.

1. Always have a caption for a figure; it helps readers get an overview of the article before reading the full text.

2. Include axes titles (including units) this prevents the need to go hunting in the full text when you want to know what the graph is about.

3. Graphs are often pixellated; presumably this is due to them being exported (from Excel from the looks of it) at too low a DPI. I use a handy Excel Plugin (XL Toolbox – to prevent such issues.

Many thanks… Mark


I think you could add a graph of the Monaco race too. I think we would be surprise tha Mercedes was treating well the tyres that time and on the next races they failled again. You are comparing three huge diferent tracks and making a wrong conclusion about the tyres degradation on the Mercedes. Hungaroring is a track that, even with high temperatures, don´t destroy the tyres as fast as at other tracks. Hungaroring is more like Monaco than another permanent circuits. I think they still strugle with the tyres. The average speed of Hamilton´s race was poor in my opinion compared to the 2012 race. We can forget that during the practices and the qualifying the 2013 tyres were about 1s quicker than 2012, and during the race the times were not that quicker, and there was nothing that indicated they wouldn´t be 1s quicker than 2012. I think Mercedes still struggles with tyre degradation.


Mercedes and Redbull were lobbying for different tyres after the 4th race of the season- way before the “secret” test had begun. Whilst their concerns were performance related, Pirelli’s concern was safety related. Mercedes and Redbull had already shown at that point, that they had genuine pace except, in the case of Mercedes, that the heat in the rear tyres couldn’t escape and instead caused them to degrade quicker than normal. For Redbull, the tyres didn’t extract maximum performance of their aerodynamic capabilities.

Now of course, Mercedes knew already beforehand about Pirelli wanting to conduct further testing and Mercedes were more than happy to oblige and of course they gained an advantage. But the onus was on Pirelli to conduct the test AND not Mercedes as argued by the lawyer. FIA race director Charlie Whiting knew about the test as well- it is only that once the teams found about it- that they chose to go public with it for some sympathetic vote of confidence from the media and F1 fans, which was nothing more than a smear campaign to threaten and disgrace Bernie and his commercial partners- that F1 is somehow “rigged” and that the FIA is incompetent (in a way true- but not for the sake of secret tyre test). But in this case it fell flat on their faces, mainly because of what happened in the aftermath.

As for Pirelli, they come out of this the biggest losers. Their brand has been severely tarnished after what happened in Silverstone and almost everyone had a field day poking jokes at how god awful the tyres were, when the fact remains the FIA insisted that they keep using these non durable tyres steel belt tyres and were NOT allowed to change to a kevlar based tyre belt. Pirelli, had genuine concerns over safety and the FIA didn’t give a damn. Politics within the FIA and the teams (Ferrari mainly/probably) stood in the way of Pirelli making the right choices for the sake of the sport- they were far too submissive and gave in to politics. They knew the tyres were crap….. but the FIA strong armed them and told them to stick to it or face potential future consequences (i.e you are not going to be a tyre supplier in F1 anymore)

So I am not angry at the secret test- in fact I am delighted they did it, and I was absolutely delighted to see the tyre blow out in Silverstone AFTER that secret test- not because I wished it for Pirelli- but because it just proves how incompetent the FIA really are, they didn’t allow Pirelli the capacity to develop their tyres and they even had the audacity to reprimand Pirelli for the test. Absolute farcical if you ask me! God, I can’t stand the FIA for their incompetence and Ferrari for their constant moaning and groaning!

Go Lotus and Kimi! The purest team on the grid……


My understanding is that in the interest of safety the FIA could overrule the requirement for all teams to agree to the change. They did not do so for one reason and that is that Pirelli refused to declare the tyres unsafe. No conspiracy required just Pirelli trying to save face.



I have to disagree that it was down to the FIA. Pirelli made the tyre that was unsuitable and Pirelli could have forced the change on safety grounds. The FIA were guilty of their usual incompetence in not dealing with the need for Pirelli to test tyres.

You also suggest that the Pirelli/Merc test was for the new 2013 tyre when in fact the majority of the test was for the 2014 tyres. Only part of the test used the 2013 tyre, I do not know the distance they covered with it.


Jake an unsafe tyre by Pirelli would be linked to all Pirelli tyres anywhere in the world. To have that in writing would be a lawyer’s dream.


Jake- I didn’t want to complicate matters but you forced my hand.

First of all the teams were upset that Mercedes got a head start of testing the Kevlar based tyre belts in Barcelona and were not informed about it- that is the FIA’s fault for not doing that, not Pirelli’s.

Secondly, Pirelli, FIA and the teams eventually came to the agreement that they could run the new kevlar based belt for the Friday practice sessions in Montreal. They did it, but it was damp in the morning session and only drying up in the second session. The data for the second session was the only relevant one that the teams could extract data from (as most GP races are dry). Who was the driver that managed the most laps on that session? Alonso 48 laps to be precise. Multiply 48 laps by 4.3= 206 KM. Massa did about 180 KM. That is 386 km of testing in total for the team that did the MOST laps! How many KM did Mercedes get out of the “secret” test in Barcelona? 1000KM. Thats a lot more!

So essentially, the teams were upset that Mercedes got so much more test mileage out of the tyres and the teams refused to use the kevlar based tyres because of that reason alone. So therefore the teams, and mainly Ferrari, put pressure on the FIA to not use the Kevlar based tyres for Silverstone as Mercedes were going to get a huge comparative advantage- whilst completely dismissing Pirelli’s safety concern.

Whilst you are right, that Pirelli refused to declare the tyres unsafe, it was actually the FIA’s decision not to run them for Silverstone, even though Pirelli held private reservations over their safety. The reason they didn’t want to declare them unsafe was for commercial reasons and if they had done that, teams like Force India and Ferrari would have held huge tantrums over Pirelli declaring them unsafe. Pirelli, in order to safeguard their future do not wish to create divisions with other teams, so that is why they didn’t declare them unsafe.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but yes they should have after what happened in Silverstone. But its a good thing the tyre blow outs did happen, because it just shows what a political animal F1 is- that Ferrari only cared over how well these steel tyre belts were running relatively to the rest of the field and didn’t give one iota consideration to the science and data illustrating the consequences that would happen when driving these non durable tyres in a high speed track like Silverstone with huge lateral loads and what it could do to the tyres. The rest as they say is history! I blame the FIA for this, it is crystal clear! But because they are such Ferrari lovers over there in Paris, they didn’t make the correct decision, so there!


Well said…. Not sure what ‘purest’ means though.

Pirelli should have gone public much earlier with their safety concerns, instead of allowing the FIA to tarnish their brand in such an embarrassing fashion.


Pirelli had concerns well beyond F1, LIABILITY.


When I said “purest team” I sort of meant that Lotus are the least likely to be playing dirty politics within the FIA (out of the big teams), they focus more on their performance on the track, rather than lobbying for changes in the regulations! On the other hand Ferrari and Mercedes I believe to have very strong political influence within the sport, both on a commercial level and within the FIA. But you are right, “purest” actually doesn’t really mean anything- just said it for the hell of it.

As for Pirelli, in hindsight they maybe should have gone public with their concerns, but I still think from their perspective, it wouldn’t have been a good idea. The reason is because they want to maintain good relations with the FIA and the commercial partners and keep their concerns behind closed doors. So if Bernie and the FIA are upset at them for whatever reason (like going public with their safety issue), that would have been the end of Pirelli in F1 for sure….


good one, karim.

I agree.

good writing.


They cheated, they got away with it, it’s over.

At least it was one of the greatest minds in the sport who pulled it off, and not just some schmuck.

The rest of the season, may very well be more exciting for it, but the taste is bad.

Go Lotus! Go Kimi!

I feel like some pulled pork.


It’s too early to say that tyre degradation is a past subject for Mercedes, the team has yet to prove consistency in this domain. I think the improvement of tyre management and the arrival of Lowe in the team is not a coincidence. It’s clear that the team benefited of his skills and MacLaren’s hisrotical good tyre management even if He said He has not involve in the improvement.

It’s not engrave in marble that Lewis Hamilton can maintain this kind of concentration and performance and deliver strong results with his hearts problem.

It’s necessary to be carefull with that and remember that the gap with Vettel is 48 points in the championship and the RBR car is a natural winning car. The situation lets only a little room thinking that we will see Vettel driving skills limit if not qualified on pole and don’t able to make his modus operandi win.

It’s a different game when he has to fight in the park. As prove times and again he’s not an overtake driver, he becomes nervous and damageg often his car


Dear Red Team, don’t waste the summer holidays whining and blame-shifting! The Drinks Company and the Silver Arrows are beating you up at yo own game…


Nobody will ever find out how much advantage was to Merc with the Test. They did the test and the tribunal gave them the verdict in form of YDT.

Every team pushes the limit of the rules every single season (some caught and some are smart enough), such is the state of F1.

There is now no point going back to history.

The real question is can the Merc keep up with the RB / Vettel and stop them from 4th consecutive title(s).

Alexander Supertramp

Mercedes have had the fastest car for the biggest part of the season. The car had great pace, but it was hindered by the way it used the tyres. The fact that Mercedes are starting to win isn’t completely due to test, it’s more a matter of understanding the tyres/having tyres that suit Mercedes better. It was a matter of time before Mercedes could harvest the quali speed into race speed and apparently the new tyres helped speed up the process. However, even though we are racing new tyres, I reckon it’s possible that whatever Merc learnt/didn’t learn during the Barcelona test is still usefull in the current tyre situation. I believe Mercedes made a small to medium leap in Monaco, a leap that might not have completely been cancelled by the introduction of new tyres. On the other hand, the “advantage” gained compared to other teams has definitely been cancelled by missing the YDT. So please, let’s eliminate the Barcelona test as a variable for Mercedes’ current form, Mercedes is where it is because they built one of the fastest- if not the fastest- car on the grid.


FWIW, Pirelli today said that Mercedes’ performance in Hungary was not down to the change in tires, but to something they had done. Maybe it is all down to the new wheels.

Alexander Supertramp

I reckon it’s a combination of updates -apparently there is a nice article coming up regarding the subject- and for the biggest part better fitting boots.


So they didn’t really need to do the test after all then…? Thanks for clearing it up.


Mercedes are now “doing the Red Bull”. Qualifying on P1 and controlling the race from the front, managing the tires and gap.

Everything Red Bull was doing for the last 3 race is in danger, because they are trying to do exactly the same as Mercedes are doing at the moment. So if Vettel can’t qualify on P1 and can’t really overtake Mercedes because of lack of the straight line speed, he can’t really save tires. This is where winning races gets difficult.

I hope to see more from Red Bull in the second half of the season 🙂

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