Insight: Hamilton and Rosberg’s head-to-head at Mercedes
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Dec 2013   |  10:35 am GMT  |  338 comments

Following on from last season’s very popular analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings here’s the analysis of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s first year as team-mates at Mercedes.

It was the end of an era when Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes at the end of last season, but has had an impressive first season with the Brackley-based team, outperforming Rosberg who has been at the team for three years, although the trend was towards Rosberg after the summer break and post the Pirelli tyre specification change.

The Briton has complained all season that he has been unable to set up the car correctly and has admitted that he does not yet have the feel he needs on the brakes with the new brake materials he has to use at Mercedes, but his results on the track have been strong. In qualifying, Hamilton has had the upper hand over Rosberg, coming out ahead 11 to eight. However in the second half of the season it was 5-4 to Rosberg.

Hamilton also started on pole five times, to Rosberg’s three, and qualified on the front row eight times to Rosberg’s six. However in the races, it was much closer.

In terms of race wins, Rosberg came out on top, triumphing in Monaco and Britain, although he was aided by Hamilton’s retirement at Silverstone. Hamilton triumphed once, in Hungary just before the summer break.

But when it came to podiums and points, it was Hamilton who just edged it. Hamilton took five podiums to Rosberg’s four while Hamilton clocked up 17 points finishes in 19 races, to Rosberg’s 16, to highlight Mercedes’ reliability and both drivers’ consistency. That was highlighted with Hamilton and Rosberg finishing ahead of each other in eight races apiece.

Hamilton came out on top in the championship battle, finishing fourth overall, with Rosberg sixth. In the season breakdown, Hamilton came out on top in terms of points and podiums, but Rosberg had the edge in terms of wins.

In the second half of the year, Rosberg came on stronger, edging it in terms of qualifying, points finishes and podiums. Neither driver managed a race win after the summer break.

Check out the statistics below to see how close it really was.

Hamilton v Rosberg stats compared (highest respective tally in bold)



Faster qualifying time: Hamilton 11 / Rosberg 8

Poles: Hamilton 5 / Rosberg 3

Front rows: Hamilton: 8 / Rosberg 6


Wins: Hamilton 1 / Rosberg 2

Podiums: Hamilton 5 / Rosberg 4

Points finishes: Hamilton 17 / Rosberg 16 

DNFs: Hamilton 1 / Rosberg 2

Ahead in two-car finish: Hamilton 8 / Rosberg 8


Points: Hamilton 189 / Rosberg 171
Championship placing: Hamilton 4th / Rosberg 6th


First 10 races

Out-qualified team-mate: Hamilton 8 Rosberg 2
Wins: Hamilton 1 Rosberg 2
Podiums: Hamilton 4 Rosberg 2
Points: Hamilton 9 Rosberg 7
Retirements: Hamilton 0 Rosberg 2

Final nine races

Outqualified team-mate: Hamilton 4 Rosberg 5
Wins: Hamilton 0 Rosberg 0
Podiums: Hamilton 1 Rosberg 2
Points finishes: Hamilton 8 Rosberg 9
Retirements: Hamilton 1 Rosberg 0

The JA on F1 2013 year book is now available to pre-order. It is a large format paperback, with a Foreword by David Coulthard and featuring stunning photography from Darren Heath. It retails at £10-99.

Every copy ordered through this site will be personally signed by me. Copies will be despatched on December 7th in plenty of time for Christmas. To order yours and to be sure of getting a copy click on this link: JA on F1 2013 Book

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Lewis had a very successful 1st year at Mercedes. Its too bad hes so hard on himself. With the great disparity between Redbull and other teams and with Vettel's great use of the Redbull advantage I seriously believe that there is nothing more drivers like Lewis & Alonso could have achieved this year.

Tornillo Amarillo


IMO even the stats show it's head-to-head, which driver do you keep if you have to?

HAMILTON would be the only answer for most of the fans!

C'mon, ROSBERG is the best nr 2 driver!

In 2013 he was better than BUTTON, who should retire NOW before ruins his lovely modest career in F1...

Like Webber did.


Rosberg was classified in Hungary even though his engine blew up, it's not logicial to include that in stats as a finish. I know the FIA like to have more people finishign races and include these things, but if you don't cross the line it's a DNF in my book. Rosberg had 3 DNFs due to car, not driver, failure. Lewis had none - his Japan DNF was due driver error of cutting across Vettels front wing. It's EXACTLY this kind of thing that Lewis' fans were citing in the JB battle. So that's what we'll look at here for parity.

Points per finish where the car DIDN'T fail:

Hamilton: 9.94 points per race

Rosberg: 10.68 points per race

I know Lewis fans will mention his bahrain penalty and his exploding tyre @ GB, but equally for balance lets not forget that Rosbergs front wing failed in Korea and he was firmly told not to overtake Lewis at Malaysia which suggests Lewis has benefitted from Number 1 status in that team. The other issues the drivers had were as a consequence of their driving IIRC.

In summary, I think that these drivers are incredibly close, Lewis probably has the edge in qually, whilst Nico appeared to have the edge in a race situation.

I said at the start of the season that Lewis needed to thrash Rosberg to stop his stock from failing. That hasn't happened.

If you're to be put in the same bracket as the multiple world champs of Alo & Vet, you've got to be able to really deliver against midfield drivers. As a JB fan it does pain me, but he's not a top top class driver, Lewis over 3 seasons basically matched him. So what about another driver who isn't top drawer? Nico Rosberg. Well it looks like yet again he's every bit an equal for Hamilton.

It's no wonder that Webber suggested that the only people better in an F1 car than him were Multiple world champions, i.e. Seb & Fernando.

That's not to say Lewis isn't a great driver, he is, but he's had ample opportunity to prove himself to be at the top of the sport like Seb and Fernando, the past four seasons against his team mates suggests he's not quite there though, he's sat with Kimi a good distance back from the top 2 guys in the world, with the likes of Grosjean, Hulk & Webber nipping at their heels...


A couple of very interesting comments and replies Paul.

There are some interesting characteristics with the drivers. With the Malaysian race, we had Hamilton chasing a result to such a degree that through using too much fuel he compromised his overall race time. How much of this was down to the Mercedes pit wall and therefore part of the reason Rosberg was told to stay behind, I don't know. A similar thing seemed to go on in Korea, but in this case Hamilton destroyed his tyres racing Grosjean rather than trying to optimise his race time. Rosberg wasn't necessarily better on tyres over the season, but when it went bad for one of them, Rosberg's lows generally weren't as bad.

The Mercedes set up seemed to be difficult to get right, but Hamilton seemed to be a bit better at getting the car in a window he could use for qualifying. The poles at Germany and Hungary seemed to be about this to me. In Hungary the set up also worked in the race.

On pole positions, the pole in Spa did seem to be a relatively lucky one for Hamilton, as Rosberg couldn't get the last lap in due to his positioning on the track. All through the season Rosberg had the edge when it was wet, which is unusual given their career histories so far.

The Monaco race was one where Rosberg just did enough in qualifying and the race to me. He dominated practice, but just squeaked through. I wouldn't have been surprised if Hamilton would have been faster in the race, but he repeated his error from 2012 in Melbourne and was well over his delta times under the safety and got jumped by Vettel and Webber. It's an area where you'd expect drivers of similar experience in F1 just wouldn't make those errors, especially not multiple times.

I don't know whether it has any impact on Hamilton's race times, but his "just let me drive, man", "tell me more, man" contradictions don't sound great, and there were suggestions after Austin that Hamilton takes effort to manage.

Overall, though, I agree with your general conclusion that in terms of delivering constructors championship points that Hamilton was no better than Rosberg, in terms of being in contention for race wins, Hamilton was right there in Monaco, was on track to win Silverstone and shut everyone out at Hungary. Rosberg edged Monaco by a tenth in qualifying and needed Hamilton and Vettel to strike problems to win in Britain. Which is why I feel Tornillo argues if having to pick one you'd take Hamilton.




All this basically discounts the fact that Hamilton beat/matched Alonso in 2007. Using your analysis Alonso should be in the same bracket as JB and Rosberg as well.


2007, My view? Well Lewis was way quicker than FA expected, but from Hungary onwards it was Lewis & McLaren vs Fernando, be under no illusion about that. Alonso wanted out and went to an uncompetitive team such were the issues.

I think as Massa proved at Ferrari, without team support you're not winning anything - ever!. Alonso stood no chance in 2007 once he'd made the threat to Ron. On that basis I find it incredibly hard to say that Lewis was better than Fernando in 2007 - because without that support from the team, to equal a driver of Lewis' raw speed was a pretty damn good effort. Were their cars equal? Hard to know, at that point in McLarens history they weren't always and certainly weren't during 2008 (as Heikki was very open about how his car wasn't the same after leaving the team - not that I'm saying Heikki was faster before you misread that!). 2009 saw a mature WDC join the team and also Ron leave the F1 side of things - all of a sudden equal equipment is on the table, as it has been since for Lewis.

So 2007 is a tough season to call because of those mitigating factors. Lewis was a semi-novice (30,000m of testing is way more than anyone gets now - so I don't expect anyone to get near the title as a rookie unless the rules change) and Lewis had the team right behind him. Fernando had experience, but equally he had a team who clearly didn't support him to the same level as his team mate.

Would Alonso match JB/Rosberg with no support then? Well nowdays he's a whole lot better, so no, I think he'd beat them.


Cutting across vettels wing? You mean moving to the right to avoid webber, who moved to the right. If lewis hadn't of moved mark would have hit him. Makes me laugh the way some ppl try to blame lewis for every incident he has on track.


Hmm ok. Rewatched this,you have a point about Mark driving towards Lewis, but Lewis isn't blameless, look where Mark is when Lewis hits Vettels front wing.

I'd still be inclined to suggest that you can't resolve the number 10 car of fault here. Yes Webber is a factor, but it's still Lewis who turns across Vettel.If Hamilton doesn't move? It's either a crash, a bang of wheels or Webber turns back away from Hamilton - who would be well within his rights to just hold his ground.

The general point of my post remains though, even if we take out Japan for Lewis and call it a non fault DNF, he still averaged 10.5 points per race to Nicos 10.68 - and fundamentally that's the issue I was raising, that they're very very equal and I'd struggle to rate someone who can't comprehensively beat Jenson or Nico as a top 3 driver in the sport.


Great comment !


Second - If first place was not acheivable due to the restrictions of his car he could have been the best of the rest.


The biggest turn around was change of tyre specification in the middle of the season. Ferrari & Mercedes both looked like giving Vettel run for his money. But the constant comaining from Red Bull, Vettel & Horner forced Pirelli to bring out Vettel friendly tyre. Otherwise I'm sure we would've seen more wins from Alonso, Rosberg, Hamilton & Even Kimi. Other than that, It's impressive that Lewis outperformed Nico over the season. Nico is also a championship material in my view. His advantage over Lewis is that he can manage his tyres better than Lewis. Lewis's driving style grains the tyres quicker than Nico. Everyone thinks Merc has the best engine, not sure if they are going to have the best car or not next year. And if they do, then how much influence did Ross Brawn have in the new car I wonder! Best driver line up for sure in 2013, but the world championship tally under the Ferrari drivers' belt gives Ferrari the best driver pair in 2014.


Supposedly, the new tires should have helped Mercedes more than any other team. Surprisingly, after the new tires where introduced, lost Mercedes his high speed capabilities. I believe the car is too sensitive to set up, that´s why at some races Nico did splendid and Lewis bad. There was an all year inconsistency which I assume is due to the mentioned sensibility, which is opposite to robustness (in term of behavior). On teh other hand, this inconsistencies use to be in many machines related to poor electronic control.


Best driver pairing at Merc? Cannot agree, Ferarri have that distinction by a long way.

If Massa had been a little luckier, Lewis would not have been WDC, and he hasn't achieved a whole lot since...



you mean the same Massa who was slaughtered by Alonso; to the extent where he was fired by Ferrari.

The same Alonso who Lewis ran out of Mclaren.


If Massa had been a little luckier......

Nonsense. By the same token, if Hamilton had been a little luckier he would have won the WDC in his rookie season and gone on to become a double world champion - you can play the 'if only' game all night long and it won't change a thing. The results are what they are, whether you me or anyone else likes them doesn't matter a jot!


But you're wrong. The only race Hamilton won was due to the tyre change.


Time to come back to this head-to-head and introduce the fact that Rosberg whipped Lewis in the social media as recent article shows.

Have UK fans given up on Lewis?


I should think the numerous tyre failures at the British GP had more to do with the change of tyres than any lobbying from Red Bull and Mercedes did...

That said, Nico has impressed this season in my view, and this is from someone who felt Nico didn't get anywhere near the credit he deserved for his performances against Schumacher.


If you get a chance, have a read of Adam Parrs book, The Art of War - it details his period in charge at Williams. It might change your mind regarding the influence of behind the scenes lobbying, even if it doesn't it's an extremely good read.


Considering a lot of Hamiltons critics thought he couldn't handle this tyre management era of racing, he hasn't done too bad has he.?

He like Alonso seems very frustrated with this 80% type of racing we have seen in the last few years

Lets hope we can get back to some flat out racing between pit stops next season.


The other night, I was watching clips of the Detroit GP from 1986 on youtube, with Senna and Mansell battling it out for the lead.

On lap 3, after a bad shift by Senna, Mansell shot ahead of Senna, then around lap 8, Mansell's tires were going off because he'd pushed them too hard under full fuel, and they were degrading fast. The commentators mentioned that the "C" spec tires didn't take kindly to being driven hard in the opening laps, and they could fall off quickly. Senna, however, had nursed his tires in the opening laps, and Senna (and others) were able to easily pass Mansell.

Change the names around, and you could be describing a 2013 race easily**, and I don't think anyone has described the '86 season as "boring".

F1 (or any other racing) has always been about getting the most out of your car over the race distance-- the limiting factors you have to deal with will change as technology changes, but it's still about getting from point a to b in the shortest amount of time.

I think the tires won't be the issue as much as reliability will next year-- I suspect we're going to see a number of blown engines and energy recovery failures.

**Interestingly, the wiki says that Mansell had brake glazing, but the commentators seemed to think his tires were going off, and pointed out wear patterns on one of his fronts.


You make a number of very valid points. You mentioned technology has moved on. There lies the issue with this era of racing. In 1986 they had a certain level of technology and the drivers had to deal with it, hence NM's issues in Detroiy 86'. Fast fwd to now and it's completely manufactured degradation and not due to technogical limitations.. The technology that has evolved is being used to make racing slower not faster! It's comey counter intuitive.


Vettel will still win brah


Looks like they are a very evenly skilled pair. Good for Mercedes, a really strong and marketable driver line up., their own powerpack and lots of engineering talent. They have to be feeling pretty confident that they can win wcc and maybe wdc in the next couple of seasons.

Now the real challenge, can they make a 1600 v6, turbo, Kers, ters power train sound as good as the C63 Amg wagon F1medical car?


It's always sad when the safety/medical car is the hottest drive in the field.


What about the fire truck? You have to give them a couple points for enthusiasm 🙂


Fire truck.

F1 cars don't have flashy lights and sirens...or at least not yet, we still haven't seen the 2014 Lotus 🙂


Give a kid a choice to drive either a fire truck or an F1 car.

Wonder what the % split would be for 1000 kids faced with that choice.




They can't.

63 is all about bass and gargling with gravel.

1.6 V6 is all about motorcycle like 15000 RPM sound - I have a feeling.

I want a real review of the 2014 F1 sound next season from someone who's been to a few MotoGP and F1 races in past 10 years.


Be interesting to see who gets to grip quicker with the regulation change.

Experience (Rosberg) versus one lap pace (Hamilton) ?


Has Rosbo been testing the new car secretly?! Not sure how else he has gained this 'experience' over Hammy


Rosberg outperformed Hamilton 4 races in a row in the first part of the season. Points are the clear evidence of Hamilton having the upper hand in the race distance. So, I don't reckon we can't label either driver as one lapper or better racer. In my view, Nico wins the race win battle & Lewis wins the points over the season battle. So, they are both excellent any given day and enough to win wdc. We can judge who wins the team mate battle fair & square after 3 seasons, not after 12 months. It was fun to watch Noco & Lewis being so close in 2013 on & off the field. The only ingredient they need are two fast cars. Then, Mercedes will a great shot at winning both championships next season. But it could cost them wdc with the best car in hand if they don't favour one driver over the other, just like McLaren in 2007. It will be fascinating to the testing of the 2014 cars, can't wait!!!


The only reason Nico has 1 more win is because Lewis's tire exploded while he was leading, and Nico inherited the win.


Actually, he inherited the win from Vettel, who in turn inherited first place from Hamilton's tyre explosion.


Well, right but... to inherit the command he had to be in the second place. They are well leveled and besides seem to be very good comrades. A good job climate to improve performance in view of 2014.


Don't understand what you're to say with that comment, Rosburg is no more experienced than Hamilton. Please provide a better explanation of your comment.



experience? rosberg's only been in f1 one year longer


I think what is meant by that comment is that Rosberg has more experience of Mercedes systems and driving the car. As with McLaren certain characeristics usually stay the same like brake feel! Sounds to me that the Mercedes car is relatively numb to feel like comparing the old rather numb Vectra to a much to the very good Mondeo, but in that case it was mainly steering, and predictability.


Please do share more details on what you meant by :

"(Experience (Rosberg) versus one lap pace (Hamilton))"


Looking forward to that one 😉


Next year will be fascinating then. Is Lewis underperforming or is Nico just better than he was given credit for. It would have been nice to see Schumacher in the vastly improved 2013 Mercedes just as a reference point on Rosberg more than anything else.


You would rather see one of the greatest champions we've seen battle for the tenth then see one of the fastest drivers of the current era battle it out for wins & podiums? We've already seen the reference point for Rosberg the previous three years. Maybe James can go back & show us the driver comparison for Rosberg/Schumacher.


No I'm not suggesting Schumacher deserves to be in now and Hamilton out. I just meant it would have been nice (and probably more beneficial to Nico) to have seen Schumacher in a reliable and well produced Mercedes like this years than the underfunded, unreliable misadventures of the previous years. I think Nico versus Lewis is fascinating and I'm looking forward to watching that battle over several seasons - it was just a thought experiment to have wondered what the results would have been had Schumacher not suffered so many DNFs and had a competitive car. Lewis has said the Mercedes design is not suiting him yet and he can only drive at 85% as the design philosophy doesn't suit him. I'm just wondering if the car was continually being driven towards Schumachers preferences even for 2013 before he gave up on another year option and they went for Lewis.


I think Webber had the deck stacked against him on many fronts. He was far more competitive on Bridgestone tyres. Vettel has an almost psychic prescience for these Pirellis and Webber did not. Webber was taller and heavier than Vettel and Newey said it cost more in monetary and time expenditure to build developments onto Marks car given less room and ballast to shift about.

To be fair though Webber just looked bored and unmotivated this year. I think mentally he'd checked out and was already only excited about the Porsche career ahead of him where he didn't have to starve himself to keep a drive.

I think it's not disrespectful to say that Lewis is almost certainly a naturally faster and more aggressive racer than Nico but if the future of F1 aerodynamics means he can't have that unstable, on the limit feel to a car, he will struggle against Nico. Like I said the best driver is an unknowable concept - it's always the best driver for that rule set at that particular time who is also possessed of more luck.


Agreed - it will be a fascinating battle next year between Rosberg & Hamilton.

Your point about Mercedes design philosophy not suiting Hamilton and him only being able to drive the car at 85% surely also applied to Webber at RedBull - yet many are quick to write Webber off, while they'll stand up for Lewis under performing?!


I thnk next year the difference between the two is going to grow considerably.


I'm slightly worried about next year because the limitations on fuel usage. Cutting things this fine is going to be bad for addition acceleration. It won't stop the necessary acceleration to do a timed lap, but additional fuel usage in overtaking will be restricted and that adds yet another straitjacket for teams and drivers, although next year I expect tyres to be very conservative.


Yago: Really next year the rear tyres should have been upsized to increase rear mechanical grip levels, but the teams did not want the further change. As it stands controlling wheelspin with the extra torque available is going to be an issue for drivers particularly in the race.


There are rumors pointing to some drivers saying next year cars are undrivable. One lap performances, when everybody is going to be on full power mode, are going to be a joy to watch, and here is were I believe Hamilton is going to have the edge over Rosberg. Then in the race as you say it's going to be critical for the driver and the team to read the race correctly and know when to use full power and when to save fuel. But still, pure talent is going to have a big impact in the races I believe, and as you pointed out tyres are going to be more durable.

At the end, the most complete drivers will excel, as always. I expect Hamilton to be noticeably faster than Rosberg next year, let's see if he is the complete package and can carry that to the whole race and season. I think he will.


I am a little confused by your comment. Rosberg comprehensively beat Schumacher during their 3 seasons together as team mates (in 2 of the seasons he scored almost double Schumacher's points). What more would have been achieved from a further season? Apart from adding to Schumacher's humiliation, I can't see any obvious benefit 🙂


I am not a Schumacher fan or apologist but from my admittedly poor memory Schumacher was hampered by regular retirements to the point that probably even Mark Webber hasn't suffered. If Schumacher had been in the 2013 Mercedes with its greater reliability it might have been a more interesting check point for Nico.

But even beating Schumacher fairly comprehensively Nico hasn't seemed to have earned the kudos that you'd expect. I know several commentators before have suggested he just lacks the 'killer instinct' of a champion but I think he might surprise people. I think there's a problem all fans and commentators have that we tend to rank drivers and then never re-evaluate them. Everyone seems to say now oh it's Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton as the top 3, with Raikonnen leading the next pack which occasionally features Button in mixed conditions. Many forget that the formula dictates the best, not just 'speed'. Hence Vettel being superior 'for this current formula'.

If Hamilton desperately needs a less stable car with more 'feel' I think he's going to struggle against Nico as the formula seems to be heading towards Nico's natural preferences for overall stability.


Ha now I have an image of Schumacher air-guitaring on stage with Jean Todt trying to remember his drum fills from the 'old days'...


There was probably a view that Schumi was tourist, just here to do some marketing and get out the house. A "reunion tour" if you will.

Honestly, I think there is truth to that. And it wasn't helped by slow Mercedes 3 years in a row or reliability. And so, it wasn't long before Schumi said...I'm too old to rip my guts out here. Let me do my 3, thank Mercedes for their early support, say bye to the sport that has given me everything I have.

That is probably why there isn't much value in Nico's "beating" of Schumi.


Nico is good - Lewis always said he expected Nico to do well based on their experience in previous series - all the way back to karts.


Pretty good stuff from both of them to be honest. If the Merc is as good next year as all the hype would have me believe, I think they'll both be in a strong position, with Hamilton the favourite to come out on top.

PS Didn't Rosberg have 3 retirements?


So what does this prove?

For me oit's plain to see that Hamilton came out on top and had it not been for his problem at the B|ritish Grand Prix he'd almost certainly have won that as well making the margin even bigger.

Frankly this isn't rocket science is it?


So good to read replies to your post which are at least not favouring Lewis for no reason. Nico won GP2 in 2005, Lewis won, with the same team (and 6 fewer points) in 2006. They're evenly matched. It's clear there's no great disparity, both in qualifying or racing, or in tyre management, aggression, skill, desire. I for one am looking forward to many great on-track racing moments with these two drivers, hopefully MB can build a car just a touch quicker relative to the field to make them a genuine championship threat - then we'll see the big guns deliver. Regardless of outcome, I hope there's a bloody good fight!!! 🙂


Right, so we'll just forget that Rosberg had twice as many retirements as Hamilton.

We'll also forget Malaysia and the 'Please don't overtake Lewis Nico, he doesn't like it when someone is faster than him and he'll get upset'!



Does Nico's point-deficit to Lewis equal the points he was "forced to lose" in Malaysia?

You may recall that Nico was unable to keep the positions when he passed Lewis in that race; Lewis kept taking the place back.


You are right, but then, Lewis had to down his pace because fuel consumption and that was when the order came up, Nico at that point could easily passed him and go several seconds ahead.


Maybe he needs a bigger pair of earrigs to help with that issue???


It says there that Rosberg had 2 DNFs, so without them he would have done better making the margin smaller.

Hamilton is a good driver, but he hasn't been extraordinary. Rosberg is also a good driver, but he also hasn't been extraordinary.

So what does this prove? They're both good drivers...and if Lewis ended up with more points?

*cough* Jenson *cough*

Sorry, just had to clear my throat.


The thing about Jenson is that he lost to Hamilton 2-1 for the three years they were together. Total points over three years counts for nothing, and let's not forget that McLaren potentailly cost Hamilton the championship in the last year through operation errors.


Wild Man: Because it is relativity within a season that matters. Total points over three years is not taken into account in any way, and doesn't win anything. Jenson had one good year when Lewis was underperforming due to other problems outside F1.


Why does it count for nothing?


Why are you mentioning Button in a Hamilton v Rosberg post. Pretty sure the topic you're inferring has been done to death


I don't think you have to look very hard to find that Lewis beat Jenson at McLaren, 3 seasons together, on the most important measure (points scored) Lewis wins 2-1, obviously when you start looking at qualifying etc it becomes a sound thrashing but 2-1 is still a win.


Believe me I know, but there are similarities.

With Hamilton and Rosberg - as with Hamilton and Button - people for some reason seem to be completely polarized and keep insisting that Hamilton would and did thrash his teammate. So to prove this they come out with all sorts of arguments stating so and so got so many points, podiums, DNFs, coulda woulda shoulda, whatever...

I'm not looking to argue who is the better driver, I'm saying that all three are good drivers in their way, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and despite popular opinion not one of them have thrashed the other.

Colombia Concalvez

@Randon79 What *cough* Jenson *cough* ?, Button only outscored Hamilton because he benefitted from Hamilton DNF's. In Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Brazil alone Button gained 55 points and i have not even mentioned the other races where the team failed Hamilton. So if you wanna come with *cough* Jenson *cough* then explain the whole story what happened and not only half the story that suits you mate.


I'll second that.


Well said


I'm not pointing out half the story that suits me, I'm pointing the half that didn't suit Dale.


So baring in mind that Rosberg has been with the team for ages... Hamilton trounced him.


Hamilton didn't trounce Rosberg. Rosberg won 2 races, best Hamilton 4 qualifying in a row. Three years with the team doesn't mean much when the car is 3rd & 4th best on the grid. They both outperformed the car in my view. Lewis did great in his first season in F1 & won the wdc in 08. So, there is no question about the talent & he was expected to do well, just like Alonso outperformed Massa. But Nico proved that he is in F1 to play second fiddle. Up until 2013, Nico was one of the most under rated drivers on the grid. His stocks are much higher now I bet ya.


I think that is an unfair comment about Rosberg because one has to have the right car to win races in F1. In fact the driver really is the least of it. The car has be competive, plus tyre set up and balance has to be good. Red Bull on the other hand were dominant because they had an excellent car with very good support. A top driver is just the icing on the cake, and it is quite feasible other drivers from the midfield could have won given the tools.- 80% car/20% driver approximately.


Correction, "Nico is not in F1 to play second fiddle & his performance proved that".




And bearing in mind that many said that Hamilton was going to trounce him...he didn't.


@Random79 Your source please.


For saying that many said Hamilton would trounce Rosberg, or for saying he didn't?

For the first:

Have a read through some of the old comments some were putting up soon after Hamilton was confirmed at Mercedes (late 2012, early 2013ish). There are numerous comments saying Hamilton would beat Rosberg, just as there are comments saying Rosberg will do well against Hamilton. I think both ended up being right, but there are also some extreme comments where some seemed to believe that Rosberg would be left in Hamilton's dust and don't I think that was the case.

For the second: Just my own opinion 🙂


Well Rosberg is a faster driver than Button so it was never going to be the huge pace differential there was at Mclaren


For that to make any sense HAM should've improved his performance relative to ROS over the season, and we saw the exact opposite.


Tyres were changed, Rosberg had already raced on 2012 tyres in a Merc.


I think if you take into consideration the DNFs and team orders this can hardly be called a trouncing.


Closer than some thought it might be.


Hmmm maybe I'm being stupid here but according to my calculations the qualifying battle was 11-8?!?

Alberto Martínez

Based on my calculations you´re right.

First 10 races

Out-qualified team-mate: Hamilton 7 Rosberg 3

Final nine races

Outqualified team-mate: Hamilton 4 Rosberg 5

I think Rosberg outperformed Hamilton in qualifying at:










Also Rosberg showed better performance in the 2nd half of the season compared to Hamilton and that does not go together with Hamilton not getting use to the car! If so why was Hamilton weaker in the 2nd half of the season and also the tyres were more durable in the 2nd half of the season as well?? I thought Hamilton was stronger on longer lasting tyres as well? It just shows Hamilton makes all sort of excuses but in the end he is barely better than average journeymen drivers.


Hamilton has struggled on the brakes all season, which has been widely reported on so I'm not sure if you watch the races. Rosberg has been using this braking system for 4 years whilst ham had to adapt to a totally different system he was used to at Mclaren. If he sorts out the brakes he will be the faster driver, like he was against his Mclaren teammates


Yes you like Hamilton its not a lazy thought its an excuse used by both drivers.

Alonso and Hamilton are birds of the same feather.

Raikkonen after 2 years ut adapted like he had never left, Button moved from Brawn to Mclaren you didn't hear any silly excuses or when Vettel moved from Toro Rosso to Redbull s don't understand your argument.


Agreed. I seem to remember Jenson winning two of the first four races of the 2010 season for his new team, he didn't seem to have too many problems adapting to a new car and team.


A bit surprised that LH could not adapt to the mercedes brakes over a whole season. Does not speak well for him. Marc


So after 19 races hes still struggling with brakes, thought he could drive around problems?


You 'thought he could drive around problems?' In terms of different brakes in a new team?? Different brakes than he has been used to his whole F1 career? Not really the same as losing a gear or driving with a broken front wing is it??

Look at Alonso '07 at Macca, he had the same problem, he didn't like the brakes Mclaren were using compared to the ones he was used to at Renault. He even switched back to the ones he was used to!! Would you raise your lazy 'thought he could drive around problems' argument to him as well??

On the brakes and turn-in is where the better drivers make up all their time (look at Vettel and how he manipulates the car on turn in). If you aren't confident in this area then you're not going to be as quick as normal. It's not rocket science


Dave C...Excuses from you mean like Mercedes finding a hole in his chasis? I'll be waiting for the average journeymen driver as you claim that Lewis is, give a pweformance that Hamilton had at Austin in 2012 shadowing Vettel, and passing him to take the win.


To be fair its funny how Hamilton fans and Vettel [mod] always miss the point! I actually said Rosberg is a journeyman racer not Hamilton! Lewis is better than that but in honesty not much better.
You talk about Austin 2012 but again you miss the point.. Maclaren was the fastest car towards the end of the season and also Lewis had nothing to lose whilst Vettel was in a high prrssure title battle with Alonso. The point here is even the win itself for Hamilton was gifted by Karthekeyan's amateur backmarker skills not for the first time during the season and even after Hamilton got passed Vettel easily pegged him so it shows Vettel had plenty in reserve but he had to be safe and with the engine probably in safe mode.
Ok you say a whole in the chassis but then people fail to mention Vettels massive crack in the chassis for his 2010 car between Barcelona and Turkey, it gifted Webber 2 wins and for all the other unlucky events for Vettel like Bahrain, Melbourne, Silverstone, Hungary, korea and even Turkey itself do you really think on pure performance Webber even got close to Vettel in 2010? But somehow most of the Vettel haters seems to think 2010 was 'close' between Vettel and Webber!?? On performance terms 2010 would have been another white wash if Vettel's car had been reliable and dodgy bad lucks didn't happen in silverstone and Hungary.
So to get to the final point: I've seen enough from the past 6-7 years that on this current grid one man stands head and shoulders above the rest and he isn't Hamilton! Or Alonso for that matter so I wonder who I mean. Next year unless Merc has a huge car advantage like we saw in 1988, 1992, 1996 or 2004 then we'll see again Vettek crowned world champion I'm actually getting sick of it and wish Jenson or Raikkonen can put up a fight but its the reality.


Austin '12 should never have been so close such that a backmarker could influence the outcome.

When Lewis went past, Vettel did a mini-shudder move ... he's lucky Hamilton didn't take him out! Vettel of course was none too pleased on the radio, and I doubt he turned his engine down ever, as he set fastest lap on the last lap. He wanted that win, it should've been in the bag, but he blew it. For me, that's a win that an Alonso or Hamilton would never let slip away.

Colombia Concalvez

[mod] It's Hamilton's first year in another car then a McLaren compare to Rosberg's fourth year with the team. I see many of your comment about Hamilton and they are all negative, your really need to chill out!, if you don't like the guy then don't click on the guy's topic. Besides Hamilton is the only top driver who does not need No1 status unlike Vettel, Raikonen and Alonso.


Some of your arguments don't stack up. I don't think Dave C's comments are "I don't like Lewis", but questioning why people rate him so highly given his lack of success against some pretty uninspiring team mates. Yes he equalled Alonso on points in 2007, but lets not forget that it was Lewis + McLaren vs Fernando, hence Alonso wanting FIA observers to make sure McLaren didn't slow his car down... that says lots about the parity in 2007 (post Hungary).

Why didn't Button struggle against Lewis at Mclaren? Lewis had all the experience. More to the point, Why didn't Kimi struggle last year? Why didn't Hulk struggle this year? Completetly new cars. New engines & KERS to learn.

Didn't Hamilton's only world title come in a year when Mclaren DID enforce number 1 status in the team? Heikki did confirm after leaving the team he grew tired of having a car which was far from what Lewis had, and his strategies were compromised to help Lewis win races.

I'm not saying Lewis isn't good - but having a bit of balance is required. Analysis suggests that, unfortunately for you as a fan of his, perhaps he's not a top top driver in the sport - well not unless JB and NR are as well!


I don't buy the whole McLaren vs Alonso thing post-Hungary ... seems to me Alonso did quite well after Hungary, and it could've been even better w/o his mistake at Fuji. If McLaren wanted to sabatoge Alonso, he would not have finished races. It's as silly as Maldonado claiming sabatoge at Williams this season.

As for Heikki, well of course he would say that, wouldn't he? What you're saying is that McLaren took themselves out of WCC contention just for Hamilton's sake? Give me a break!

What was Heikki's excuse in 2009 then? Or do you really believe that McLaren still favoured Hamilton over Heikki in 2009, to their own detriment?


Actually niether did Lewis at McLaren despite what people think. They give equal chances to drivers unless of course it becomes critical towards the end of a season when they need to focus on one driver that is a championship contender.


Vettel never had #1 status?! HAHAHAHAHA!!! You're a very good comedian!! You had me there for a second, I thought you were serious!! =)


Second that !!!


Really? what about: "Please don’t overtake Lewis Nico"


+1 and hahahaha!

Lewis is awesome but think what Schumacher would have done in his 2007 McLaren, or Nico for that matter, or Nico Hulkenberg. I think it's been great watching such a skilled driver but they're all really good! Dave C has given some good arguments, at least counter those with reasoned ones too!

For me I think James' review provides a key bit of info - tyres (at the moment) are more important than experience in the car. And as Heikki showed everyone, if you ain't good with either, you're screwed...


Well it was that ("Please don’t overtake Lewis"- Nico) or what vettel and webber where doing and had they crashed into each other no second place in the constructors championship.

Colombia Concalvez

@Kirk You fail too see the bigger picture for some reason mate, seriously. Rosberg overtook on the first DRS and Hamilton kept repassing Rosberg on the second DRS so what's your point ?, i have not seen you making a big deal of when Massa has to move over for Alonso or Grosjean for Raikonen in Germany.


Is it me or did Lewis just do a Button with his team switch? I'd like to look at Lewis and Nico on a 3 year term.

Year 1 was no knockout. But it goes to Lewis. Even though I keep thinking that there is something about Lewis' driving that contributes to his technical DNFs.


Yeah sure it 'goes' to Lewis when Rosberg's car keeps knocking itself out! I've seen enough to know even Rosberg and Button are more than a match for Hamilton! Drivers like Webber and Hulkenberg would make Hamilton look stupid and Vettel would look like a alien if Hamilton was the 'fastest' on the planet.


Vettel ?, Vettel who can't do nothing in the middle of he pack ?, Vettel never won race fighting.


Oh brother....


This is a myth the best overtake I saw last season was from Vettel and if you don't believe watch Bahrain again the 1st lap he went around Alonso like he wasn't there.

Vettel is one driver that overtakes when he needs to!


And here I thought you were moderating a little bit, in other posts. I guess the silliness builds up inside you, and it simply must spew forth, from time to time.

Rosberg always retired behind Lewis, whereas Lewis would have had a good result (4th) in Japan w/o the puncture at the start. Then of course Rosberg gained 10 pts inheriting the win in GBR from first HAM then VET. Rosberg was on for 6th in AUS, 6th in CHN, and 9th in HUN!! Almost the same amount of points he gained from GBR. Abu Dhabi qualifying was Lewis' before his suspension broke. I said 11-8 or 12-7 in quali to HAM at the start of the season, and hey whaddya know! Lewis' win in Hungary was him out-performing the car, easily the best win for Mercedes this season.

Webber was/is past it for F1, and while I rate Hulk, he isn't as good as Lewis.


And if you consider Brawn ordered Rosberg to stay behind Hamilton in Malaysia, it could have looked an even closer performance between the two of them.


Not really, would be 186 to 174 instead of 189 to 171, neither driver would have gained or lost a championship position. There are a couple of assumptions to remember though, if Ross hadn't told Nico to not try and pass Lewis, assumption 1 is that Nico would have got by, assumption 2 is that the two wouldn't have collided in the attempt and put one or both cars out, and assumption 3 is that Nico wouldn't have killed his tyres in a pointless pursuit of the Red Bulls and needed to make an extra stop.


I was putting this in a greater perspective.

Had their position be reversed in Malaysia, Rosberg would lead the podium count.

Rosberg has also one more retirement than Lewis. If he had scored in Australia or China that would have made them if even more evenly matched.

Anyway, it's F1 so all the could haves, and would haves aren't going to change anything, but it's nice to know 2014 has the potential of a great rivalry between the two Mercedes drivers should they be in a position to fight for the WDC.


Fair point on podiums, but Lewis has his what ifs as well, Silverstone the obvious one. I'm pretty sure Nico was running behind Lewis when his car failed in Australia, can't remember about China.

As you say it's looking good for 2014 between the two of them, I think Lewis will extend his advantage, but Rosberg has impressed me this year so who knows?


That's a really good point - pun intended. With a pairing so evenly matched, in a positive way, it bodes very well for 2014 not being another bore-fest.


Well, to be fair there - Rosberg attempted to pass Lewis twice and was unable to; and then he complained over radio to be allowed to pass. Had he played a long battle, instead of asking Ross's help, he may have passed Lewis eventually.


I don't think we've heard the full conversation between Rosberg and Brawn. By the time it got on air, they would have been talking for a while.

It's highly likely he would have passed Lewis eventually, but Mercedes needed to make a point of giving Lewis a podium as quickly as possible for PR reasons I believe.


I genuinely believe the call was made to preserve fuel and tyres, I also think it was the right call. The Red Bulls had long gone and the team really needed the points for 3rd and 4th.


Liam: Lewis was driving to a delta for fuel conservation which Rosberg should also have been doing. Ross wanted both drivers home not sparring for position using excess fuel or worse.


What are you lot talking about? Lewis was seconds slower per lap, Rosberg would easily have passed him if Ross had allowed it.

Colombia Concalvez

Exactly Joel, exactly.


That's not exactly true, yes, Lewis regain the position, but then he had to slow down his engine because of fuel consumption, at that point Ross didn't let Rosberg to pass, he could easily do it in that point of the race (go and check the live timing if you can find it), even Hamilton said he didn't deserve the third place. What that proves? is Nico a better driver? no, Hamilton was expected to defeat Nico and at the end he did it, he didn't trashed him but won this first battle what I think is the important thing here.


Some things that need to be fixed:

Hamilton didn't retire in Silverstone, he finished 4th.

In the first half of the season, quali battles were 7-3 to Hamilton... after all, Rosberg had 3 poles...

In the second half of the season, quali battles were 4-5 in Rosberg's favour.

Hamilton had 9 front row starts, not 8.

Rosberg had 7 front row starts, not 6.

Overall qualifying battles were 11-8 in Hamilton's favour.


I understood that there's similar head-to-head analysis of RAI vs GRO, but couldn't find it. Could you please add a link or something.


I personally can't wait for the Pic vs Van Der Garde comparison.


Second that.


Wonder who comes out on top in that comparo?


OK, I'll have a crack at it.

Kimi has his consistency, Grosjean has his raw speed.

Ultimately Kimi ended up with more points (with is probably even more significant since he didn't even drive in the final two races), so you could argue that Kimi is the better driver...and yet if I owned an F1 team I'd be looking at Grosjean.

And no, that doesn't make any sense to me either, but there it is 🙂


Hamilton didnt retire in Silverstone. He had a puncture while leading and ended up 4th.


Oh really? pretty good to come back to fourth if you ask me!


He didn't get a puncture his tyre exploded due it's inadequate design and manufacture - had that not happened he'd have won.


I thought that all the Tyres that exploded were being run in the wrong direction and below specification Tyres pressure.


It was a delicate matter. Pirelli couldn't point the finger at teams and drag the through the mud. They found a PC way to work it out.

Again, for me RBR is the reference to what was possible on these tires. End of story.


Really Dale....

Could it have happened because of agressively hitting the kerbs?

Remind me - are the kerbs inside the white lines or outside?

Could it have happened because air pressure?

Could it have happened because of camber outside of Pirelli spec?

Could it have happened due to the direction - didn't I see a photo of a mercedes with RR on RL side?

Please, don't state something as fact when it's not. Tires are a wear component with a defined life cycle and use parameters, which when not followed decrease that life cycle and safe operation period.


So the fact that one driver didn't have any failures outweighs the fact that over a quarter of the grid (some of whom followed the Pirelli instructions to the letter) had failures? Sorry but that's just nonsense.



How many failures did Vettel have?

Do you honestly believe that teams didn't go asking too much of the tires in their attempts to bridge the distance to RBR/Vettel?

I say again, RBR/Vettel are a reference for me as to how this tire product can be used correctly and successfully without issues. Let me remind you, it's a wear component with limited life cycle.


Firstly, not all the drivers who suffered failures committed the heinous crime of swapping the tires (McLaren and Ferrari said they didn't and they had 3 failures among them). Pirelli's excuses for why the tyres exploded on a quarter of the cars in the race were exposed as just that: excuses.

Secondly, there was near unanimous condemnation after the race, from drivers (the GPDA threatened to boycott the next race unless there were immediate changes), teams (even Ferrari and Force India, the two main beneficiaries of the paper tyres, didn't stand in the way of changing them any longer) and the FIA, who instantly ordered the tyres to be changed. The long and the short of it is that Pirelli provided tyres that were not fit for purpose and were, lest we forget, extremely dangerous.



Absolutely about 7 laps. Especially if used outside the recommended parameters, as there is proof that Mercedes did.

Sometimes a person can outsmart themselves. I think many teams tried to be smart with these tires and paid the price.

At the end of the day Red Bull and these tires are a reference point. They show what's clearly achievable performance wise.


Yeah, and the Pirelli safe operating period was about 7 laps.


Correction - the Pirelli tyre was not designed to run backwards. The tyre exploded because the team chose to gain an advantage by not following Pirelli's operating instructions.


I don't think he would have won, Vettel was on 1.9sec behind him and was biding his time.


It was clear Hamilton was the fastest at Silverstone, both saturday and sunday. He would have won quite confortably, his pace was phenomenal, he and his Mercedes were considerably faster than Vettel and his Red Bull. I thought this should be clear to anyone, I see now I was wrong....


What this means to me is that Michael Schumacher's period at Mercedes after being completely out of the sport for 3 years, was a triumph, and I believe if he had stayed on he would have done 'very well' this year.

I for one will be interested in how Hamilton and Rosberg get on in 2014, with, if you like, a new and flat playing field.


MS was out of the league before he retired the first time. Hungary 2006 and you will see that the old Schummacher was sadly gone already.


You must not have watched Japan 06 qualifying, or china 06. Or even his last race?!


Totally agree Rod. I watched the Malaysia 1999 race the other night where Michael came back from injury to help Irvine. He was just on a different level to everyone. He was literally toying with the whole field, lapping 2 seconds faster than Irvine when he felt like it. The way he drove slowly on purpose the whole race to hold up hakkinen and still would have easily won the race is astonishing. In his pomp, he was the only driver who could win in a non-newey car.


I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't miss a race in decades. But you're right. He did have brilliant drives after Hungary (Monaco quali too). Just that compared with what he was, his last 2 years (1995 & 1996) were not as strong. He was already slowing down when Alonso came along. And his second stint was mediocre. Rosberg is a second rate driver and a pretty fair yardstick to Schumacher, I'd say. See how superior Hamilton is to Rosberg, even with a difficult car. Schumacher in his prime was way better than anyone else.


I agree: next year will be interesting; not just inside Merc but the other teams as well. It will all about ability to adapt than outright driving ability, at least in the short term. Then it will be down to which drivers are able to bond with the machine and package to maximize every result (aka Vettel this year).


the most powerful driver in f1, put his name on anything and you can surely sell it.


More than anything, I like that both are "seemingly" getting along very well, despite the fact that they are closely matched.


"Nico, please hold station" from Malaysia makes it even closer..


Yes, if you actually want to evaluate performance, rather than just look at statistics, you would have to switch their positions at Malaysia. You would also have to give Lewis the win at Silverstone.


Sorry, beg to disagree: Malaysia was Brawn manipulation and Silverstone was pure and simple mechanical failure of those condoms playing at being tires.

If you want to play the mechanical issues game- which i don't incidentally, you would have to only compare the average # of points per finished race. ( NR has 2 mechanical retirements to LH 1 and they both had other "issues" car throughout the season)

Don't get me wrong, I'm a BIG fan of both, but for the extra cash LH is collecting from MB he should be putting up significantly better numbers against NR- if he wants to maintain his stature, credibility and a better pay check.


James, aren't your stats a bit misleading?

Podiums, including Top Step Podiums: R6 vs H6

Championship points disregarding Team orders at Malaysia: R174 vs H186

Take into account that Rosberg had one more DNF and you realize that Hamilton and Rosberg were evenly matched in 2013. Especially in the second half of 2013 as your statistics rightly suggest.

Should Mercedes be a Championship contender in 2014, it is surely going to be a great intra team battle!


Silverstone was completely Hamilton's.

It looked like he was checked out already for 2013, in the 2nd half of the season. A bit like Kimi, Fernando after Vettel just demoralized the opposition after his first 3 wins in a row.


"Following on from our analysis of the head-to-head record of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean over two years at Lotus, "

Can someone provide me the link of Kimi vs Grosjean comparison, I couldn't find it.


That was a mistake - Lotus comparison is tomorrow!


The off season is tough on everybody.


So far Rob I'm toughing it out.

It's hard.

Now I know how tough my grandfather had it when he told me he had to walk to school uphill both ways 10km each way.


So you are sticking to your commitment on no smiley faces?


LMAO you just had to get that in!


To me both of them were pretty equal. Add Rosberg's 1 DNF and 14 points difference will reduce even further.

These two get along well, so it looks good for Mercedes next year in terms of WCC.


They get along well because they've known each other forever.


This is interesting, but very dry. There is no real analysis, just a set of stats and text listing those stats in a friendlier way. I'd be interested in if anything changed mid season to make Rosberg catch up, or Lewis slow down (split with Nicole?)?

Hamilton fascinates me as a driver as he seems to be more affected by his personal life than most drivers. Its like he can drive really well all the time, but when he's in his happy place he is something special. Should point out I'm not a Hamilton fan, but he seems to really be able to drag the best out of a car (sadly not the tyres).



Lewis breaking up with Nicole?


Who cares?

Scuderia McLaren

You mean Nicole breaking up with Lewis. Small point, but critical point if factoring in what the break did to his mindset.

I don't think though Hamilton is affected by his life choices as what some would propose. I think he's simply inconsistent and has a narrow window of how he likes to drive fast.

I have observed this inconsistency from the moment new regs changed in 2009 to lower downforce and slick tyre cars. He's produced mega performances but never really seemed to get a WHOLE season strung together at a very high level and maxing the car consistently over his team mates.

Please don't come at me with his cars relative quality over these years, it's not about that.

Scuderia McLaren

TobyS, I agree re: Coaches. I don't quite understand the perception of weakness in F1 if a driver has a coach.

If Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, Roger Federer and Christiano Ronaldo require coaching, why not the Massa's, Webber's and Alonso's of the world?

Ultimately I think this perception stems from the fact motor racing in of itself is a show of courage as well as skill. Unlike those above mentioned players sports. And it is in this that why should a brave man, require coaching for late braking and wheel to wheel tussles. Isn't he a man? Isn't he an old school 'racer' as they put it now days? These are perhaps the sorts of questions associated with F1 and coaching.


Inconsistent fits, but why its happening is, I guess, not important in the long run. I'm still surprised that more drivers don't get coaches. Look at what its done for Grosjean ("it’s no secret I have a psychologist" You don't get olympic athletes thinking that their natural talent is all they need to win (ignoring doping scandals etc).


From after Rosberg's Monaco pole he hadn't a qualifying where something didn't go wrong with the car or a team issue for about 6 or 7 races.

That would have effected the first part of his season badly.


Is this true? Is Ferrari testing a LaFerrari with a F1 V6 in it? If so...very sneaky.


Looks like a modified 458 to me, who knows if the F1 chassis and power-train are under that modified body. It sounded pretty cool though, nice sound when slowing for corners.

Is this even legal within F1 regulations. I guess Ferrari will just say we are testing a turbo power unit as if we have had to develop one for F1 we are going to use some of the R&D we have put in to make it earn us a few quid in our road cars too. Not sure the powers that be would see it that way lol.


Could be a brilliant way for Ferrari to achieve a few things.

1. LaFerrari is first car you can buy with a real current F1 engine in it. What exclusivity! What marketing.

2. Lower engine cost per unit by making volume.

3. Make engines cheaper for customer teams. LaFerrari with V6 F1 can't be more than 2M, they can order 12, take out engines.

4. LaFerrari V6 has warranty therefore, F1 car has warranty.

5. Plenty of engine-less LaFerrari going cheap on eBay in 2014. Get one for 50k or less.


They're not allowed to test current F1 cars outside of approved testing, but jury rig an F1 V6 turbo in a road going car?

Bring it on! 🙂

As you said, the whole point of this little V6 turbo ERS exercise is to make F1 relevant to road cars so I can't see any problems here.


I'm a Hamilton fan but to be fair podiums should really be 5/4 to Rosberg - Malaysia only team orders gave Hamilton the podium.

Not a bad first season loking at the stats and acknowledging difficulties adapting to new braking / chassis set up, but the bizarre swings in Hamilton's post race demeanor leave you with a (probably false) impression that he was way more inconsistent than the other top drivers.

Colombia Concalvez

Another ''so called'' Lewis Hamilton


If Rosberg wouldn't have been better than Hamilton in the final races Ferrari would have passed Mercedes.

And i think even when Rosberg was finishing he had 2 more races with a car failure which dropped him back?


Ferrari would have passed Mercedes if Massa hadn't received that silly drive through. Hamilton's penalty was for a misdemeanor against Bottas.

Nothing is black and white and they were in the end very close teams.

Scuderia McLaren

And if my aunty had balls she'd have been my uncle.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda but.... Didn't.


Slightly off topic but here {} we can see how comprehensively Mark Webber beat Nico Rosberg during their time together at Williams, albeit Webber was closer to his prime whilst Rosberg was still a rookie.

What does this say about Rosberg and evenly matched Hamilton, who is supposedly one of the faster drivers out there against Vettel who has beaten Webber comprehensively?

Colombia Concalvez

So with other words you really believe Vettel is the best of the best ?, just name me one epic race Vettel has won Battling, just one and i will put Hamilton 2008 Spa victory!. IN the middle of the pack Vettel is not good, look how he failed in China 2012 for example.


Off the top of my head I can't recall a race where Vettel had to pass a more-or-less equal car for the lead and for the win, mid race. I guess Malaysia, though we know there was more to that.

He's held onto wins when in front, though even there he let some get away that should never have been in doubt (Canada '11, USA '12, etc.).

Can anyone think of one?


Not a Vettel fan by any means, but to use Spa 2008 as an example of Hamilton's driving prowess and wheel to wheel abilities is stretching it a bit. Raikkonen comfortably had the measure of Hamilton that race and if it wasn't for rain in the last few laps, it would have stayed that way. Hamilton was fortunate the Ferrari was absolutely abysmal on a wet track.

Honestly, apart from 2007, I haven't seen anything special from Hamilton over a full season. Even his 4th place in WDC is flattered by the fact Raikkonen skipped the last 2 races and DNF'd the 1 before.


I call revisionism on this! On the softer tires you're right, Kimi was controlling it. But when they went to hards for their 3rd stints, Hamilton reduced a 5 sec lead down to less than a second, BEFORE the rain came, with 3 laps still to run. If it had stayed dry, Hamilton would have got past Kimi.

Plus the Ferrari was not abysmal in the wet!


Well just put it this way if Vettel was teamed with Rosberg he'd find Nico would be surprisingly easier to beat in quali than Mark. Also it shows Webber is a tremendously fast driver and probably faster than Hamilton over 1 lap. Vettel on the other hand would probably easily beat Hamilton over quali, race and especially over a season.


What a load of rubbish!

Alexander Supertramp

Yeah, so all those great quali battles between Lewis & Seb? That was because the Mclaren/Mercedes were way faster than the Red Bull on those saturdays? Lewis has outqualified Mark on many occasions. I really hope Lewis and Seb become team mates in the future..if you know what I mean.


F1 needs that, it really does...before they get too old.


The Red Bull car is the most agile car on the track by a country mile it is glued to the track as though it is on rails, and now Newey has made it even faster.


Just dumb. I am sure Webber himself would concede that he's never been as fast as Hamilton. I have never considered Webber as a seriously quick driver. Quick, yes, but not at the top end. And getting slower by the year.

Let's see how Ricciardo goes on next year. I consider him as faster than Webber, but again not top level quick.


A lot of time has passed since then.

It shows how drivers develop and improve with experience, it reflects very young drivers weaknesses, and the fading of the powers of older drivers, as Webber has acknowledged.


Not at all, drivers don't really change their raw speed throughout their career as long as they are fit and between 19-39 on average, ok Rosberg was a rookie but both their true speed was shown, I believe Webber would have been quicker than Rosberg on pure pace even this year, it just goes to show how fast Webber really was its just bad luck he was teamed with probably one of the best drivers of all time in Vettel otherwise Mark would be alongside Alonso as the best of his generation, and it also shows Webber has just as much raw speed and probably more than Alonso, Button, Raikkonen and Hamilton.


Unbelievably deluded opinion! When are you going to realise that it is the engineers and designers that make cars go fast, not the driver. A top driver can probably get a couple of tenths better over a lap than an average one. The rest is purely down to set up and tyre balance. One thing you can count on is that Vettel is a very lucky boy being in a Red Bull car designed by Adrian Newey's team. Only in the Red Bull era has Newey had a free hand to exploit the regulations in a manner to his liking. Vettel is fast and consistent, but it is a Newey car that ALLOWS him to be so in this very restrictive formula.


so you know better than james! love to know what you've seen to come up with those comments because I don't agree with any of them.


So I guess when Vettel tested the Williams in 2005, with the V10's, and he was 3.5s off Webber's pace, that that showed Vettel's true raw speed?

Silly, silly, silly!


Well from 2000-2009 Newey cars wasn't exactly the stuff of legends now so I'd say yes Vettel made the difference and when/if he leaves RBR they will just end up like Bennetton when Schumacher left for Ferrari, drivers makes a huge difference especially when we're talking about championship challenges.


I fail to see how you think webber has 'probably' more speed than Raikkonen Hamilton and Alonso. Bit of a guess there


Yes!!! Now I understand everything. The only thing I still doubt is did Adrian design the Red Bulls or was it also Vettel? I think the later, it seems God is not only a driver, he is also an engineer.


No - it shows that modern F1 does not allow a driver to push a car...

If no one is pushing, what are we really measuring?


Goes to show Rosberg's performance against 42 yr old Schumacher was no fluke. And that Schumacher did very well esp in 2011/12 to run Rosberg close despite his age and gap in racing return.


Was just thinking the same myself Zombie. If it wasn't for retirements in the 2012 season schumacher would have beaten rosberg. Getting the Monaco pole proved jus how well he was driving. Probably would have won there too if wasn't for that grid penalty when you see that the race was so processional. Make me think that a schumacher age 26-28 would teach both men a lesson.


Interesting observation re MSC


F1 penalizes real racers... driving to deltas is a joke. Stats based on a joke, are a joke...

That's the honest truth.

Scuderia McLaren

What's a real racer? Are there fake racers in F1?

Is a real racer someone who can't grasp any element of racing outside of flogging their car to within an inch of its life sprint racing style?

Is that a good thing?


Most sports have greats, average and poor participants...

F1 is the only sport, where the equipment is designed to disadvantage the greats, so the manufacturer of the equipment can dictate winning order...

There is a lot of room for fake racing in this scenario... which is why most of us fall asleep watching average drivers win based on their equipment, and not talent.

Scuderia McLaren

Hi Goob. I'm interested in your reasoning in this. Can you elaborate on the quote below.

"F1 is the only sport, where the equipment is designed to disadvantage the greats"

What do you mean by this? I personally never saw F1's modus operandi to deliberately design a disadvantage into the cars specific to the 'greats'. I don't quite understand this.

Ultimately though, don't the greats inevitably emerge and rise up the slippery pole that is F1 to the top cars and subsequently prove their greatness? Senna, Prost, Fangio, Schumacher, Vettel, Alonso, Hakkinen, Brabham, Stewert etc.


I like the Hamilton/Rosberg pairing. I think Hamilton really lifted Rosberg this season because Hamilton is so driven, where Rosberg's ex team mate Schummi wasn't. Hamilton moved Rosberg ahead whether planned or not. Provided they don't get in a pissing contest and can stay good teammates I think Mercedes is on a good path. Hamilton is better IMO, but Rosberg has shown he can drive too. Good stuff.


I disagree, I think Nico has always driven well in F1. Go back to his Williams days and look at his performances.

The difference for Rosberg this year was that this year they had the 2nd fastest car in the sport, previously Mercedes have had a car which was 4th or 5th fastest. That is on the back of the massive investment they put into the 2013 car and also the staff they added to the team.

The Mercedes improved - not Nico, he's always delivered reasonably well in the sport.

Alexander Supertramp

Lewis had the same effect on Jenson. Everything Lewis does gets magnified, even his team battles.


Rosberg's standing has gone up in my eyes, after a credible head to head with Hamilton in 2013. But 2013 is Hamilton's first year with the team.

2014 will be interesting:

2nd year of Hamilton vs Rosberg

1st year of Kimi vs Alonso

Grosjean vs Maldonado

Some interesting head to heads in equal machinery.


Grosjean and Maldonado's machinery might not be so equal after their on track head to heads 😉


LOL. I enjoyed that!

Yes - the Gro-Maldo show will be quite a source of entertainment!


I look forward to Hamilton racing closer to Vettel and being comfortable in his car. But I'm really getting fed up with one of the top 3 drivers in F1 just wasting their talent and not getting on with the job (Hamilton in 2011 and this season).


The difference that I find between Lewis and Nico.....Rosberg's primary goal in 2014 is to beat Lewis, while Hamilton wants to beat them all to secure the Worlds Driving Championship in 2014.


I feel Rosberg is quite realistic. Hamilton out scored Rosberg in Hamilton's first season with Merc, while not being happy with his own performance in getting as much out of the car and the opportunities.

But to Rosberg's credit he has stepped-up and put up a credible performance rather than being blown away.

Rosberg has responded to Hamilton more positively than Maldonado has to Bottas. Maldonado seemed to be overdriving late in the season perhaps out of sheer anxiousness at being out driven by a rookie.

I do agree with your observation that while drivers like Kimi, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are not interested in anything other than being WDC - other drivers like Rosberg and Button seem to set their sights at a more realistic level for themselves (such as being in front of their teammates on points). But if their approach brings the best out of them - I guess that's the right thing to do.

Some of us can't even get into F1 - much as we would like to!

Alexander Supertramp

Well, in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team mate.. Lewis did it and can move on to the next challenge. Nico still has to do it in order to move to the next challenge. But hey, both challenges can be overcome in a single year and Nico could just be the 2014 WDC.


In F1 1st person you want to beat is your team mate!


Hi James, 2 questions.

1.Do you think Vettel starts 2014 with a big advantage in that his team mate is less likely to take points off him than the Hamilton - Rosberg, Alonso - Kimi pairings? Or am I underestimating Ricicardo.

2. I've heard it mentioned since Kimi signed for Ferrari, that some Enstone engineers who worked with both drivers are predicting that Kimi will be unable to compete with the relentless drive of Alonso. What do you think?


Yes, probably, Vettel will have the upper hand,more than other rivals


Given that I don't rate Rosberg that highly, it was a slight fail this yesr from Hamilton in my onion. I would have expected him to end the season stronger.


Lewis was stronger in the final 2 races. He had a incident with Bottas in the final race, but up until then, he was alot quicker than nico. So the final 2 races were lewis's

Alexander Supertramp

You should rate Nico higher. He scored poles, wins & podiums this year! the final conclusion is that 2013 was a learning season for Lewis and at the end of the day he did pretty well. But everyone expects more for 2014, Mercedes will need a lot more if they want to beat Red Bull.


Before the season started, I was thinking this would be like 2009 for Hamilton, i.e. a pretty painful season. Basically because it was clear that Mercedes were aiming for 2014 first and foremost. I didn't expect a win or a pole, or even a single podium! I figured Perez would score his first win, and that Lewis would be behind both drivers from RBR, McLaren, and Ferrari, plus Kimi. So I was thinking 8th would be a credible result.

From where Mercedes were last year, it's been a great season for Lewis and them. But it will only mean something if it acts as the stepping stone to a serious title challenge next season.


Considering there was no no.1 driver and no unscrupulous nobling of the "no.2s car" - of the top teams it was the best competition.

Fact they finished so close together shows they basically got the best out of the package....both did well.


Don't forget that the car was built more around Nico, so he will probably be stronger next year.


Whilst admitting to be a supporter of Lewis Hamilton, I have known that Nico Rosberg was a fast and capable driver long before he drove for Mercedes. They are an extremely capable pair and all they really need is a car capable of multi grand prix wins to have a crack a the title. For a driver to go to a team and get the upper hand actually means a lot more than is immediately obvious. If Lewis's tyre hadn't failed then the the win score would be the other way round, and then of course there are the set up issues. It's very difficult to understand what is the driver and what is set up, because get it wrong and the car will simply not perform well. Anyway I wish them both well for next year, but I will be supporting Hamilton

Alexander Supertramp

I agree with you, they are a strong team. But unless one driver clearly beats the other one, they will take important points from each other in 2014, which will hurt their respective quests to the WDC.


Good for the team in terms of the constructors championship, but they need to let them race unless one of them becomes a serious contender for the championship.


Lewis was always going to be better than the grossly over-rated Rosberg. If Hamilton had been driving a car setup to his taste, Nico would have looked a lot worse.


Who over-rated Rosberg before this past season?!? No one talked about him!!! Nico's benefitted by the comparison to Lewis.


It's up to a driver to setup his car and also no car is designed for a driver I think this part needs to be explained by James.

Engineers design a car to be as fast as possible its up to the driver to drive the car as he can!

It seems this point is lost for a lot of fans and you hear it a lot with the redbull drivers comparism Newey designs the car as fast as possible and the drivers need to adjust to it same as Gordon Murray when he was at Brabham people need to watch the documentary "Architects of F1" and would understand better.


Well Rockie, you may be right in some cases but not all. In 2007 (not 1997, what was I thinking!) cars used Bridgestone and Lewis had been already practicing with them the previous year, before joining F1 while Alonso had only driven the Michelins the year before and it was said then that he was having some trouble adjusting to the Bridgestone.

I don't really see that we should dismiss what drivers say and bag them all as disingenuous brats making excuses.

If Hamilton said he never found the brakes right this year I'm inclined to take him seriously. He's one of the best on the grid and a world champion. He doesn't need to make excuses.

The win in Hungary is rather proof that different conditions do affect different cars and drivers differently.

It's simplistic to say that all cars fit all drivers and the rest is just drivers inventions or excuses.

And of course Adrian Newey will say that Vettel's and Webber's cars are identical, which they are. He's not going to say that they have optimized the car to suit Vettel's style, which is the right thing to do as he is the better driver, in detriment of Webber. He could not say that.


Sure, a car is a car is a car... The problem is that all drivers are different. Some years you can see that some drivers struggle to adapt to the car and the next year the other driver struggles.

One of Lewis' biggest problems this year were the brakes. Nico had been there for 3 years before Hamilton arrived and so he was better adapted to the car.

Alonso's headaches at McLaren in 1997 were Hamilton and also the tyres, which were different than he had used before. And these last years Massa, Button, Grosjean and many others I don't remember now have sometimes complained that the car didn't suit their style.

It seems this has been lost to you. There are plenty of videos for you to watch where drivers talk about it.


Drivers make excuses and would always do so when the same driver who said the car was not designed around him churns out a good performance has the car been suddenly designed around him or has he lucked into it?

Also Alonso drove for Mclaren in 07 not 97 the tyres are same for everyone so its still about adjusting to it.

So when Lewis won in Hungary the brakes were no longer an issue or was it?


Considering they favoured Hamilton from the get go, Rosberg is doing great..

Alexander Supertramp

He was outscored and outqualified by a new-albeit highly rated- team mate. That's not a great result. Nico could find himself playing second fiddle by June 2014..


They have certainly been closely matched over the year. I have a feeling that Hamilton may gain the edge over Nico next year with a car that is built slightly more towards him compared to this year's car.


1st season for Hamilton with Merc. Still eeked out more points then Nico but not the best set-ups in the car.

Close in points shows Nico is not bad.

To me Nico brings the car where it belongs while Hamilton has the potential which did not materialize this year.


Lewis just needs to find a way to adapt his driving style to caress his tyres rather than destroy them. If he can do that, I reckon he will be right in the fight with Vettel.

Alexander Supertramp

In all fairness, the Mercedes still eats a lot more Pirelli than other cars.. There is just so much a driver can do to save tyre life. On the other hand, Seb and Red Bull must be doing something right with those Pirelli's, his tyre management performance was spectacular.


In reply to comment 12 chain above, I was being polite, but thanks for spelling it out, it made my day!

Good to see another Sydneysider on this site.


Some very amusing comments from the always vocal Hamilton bashers! Lots of talk of being evenly matched, and using the same 'fact manipulation' they use to claim that Jenson beat Lewis at McLaren to say that basically its a draw. It isnt. In his first year in a team that has been Nico's home for 3 years, Lewis has outqualified and outscored him. Slam dunk win, and a very good chance that the margin will be wider next year. Rosberg has impressed me this season, he was brilliant in Monaco, but its clear who the quicker driver is. Oh and before people witter on about reversing the Malaysia results, do you want to do the same with Silverstone?


It does not matter dude. Either way, they both have a big challenge ahead of them for glory next year. Every stat is reset with the new rules coming in. And if Lotus do their homework well, Grosjean is gonna be quicker then both of them combined 😛


Still not convinced by Grosjean. Where was he in the first half? A driver can't have four consecutive no-scores and hope to mount a title challenge. If the car and tires suit, he's quick. If not, he flounders.


Lotus will be nowhere next season, unless the Renault engine is the benchmark. No money, and Allison is in Red


Wow Such great insight. So you're telling me the team that does the best job in preparation for 2014 will win? What a concept! I just don't understand why you think Mercedes can't be the team that gets it right over the break.


Plus one to that. So much talk about the second half of the season yet no mention of the cracked chassis Hamilton was driving. For those harping on Malaysia. Fine give rosberg back the 2-3 points he lost because he could not make the overtake stick. Big difference huh?


The way I read these stats is effectively a dead heat between them. And when you consider they parted with Schumacher, who clearly would have outperformed Rosberg had he had no suffered continuous problems with the car (DNF), stupid penalties that in any era other than now would have been called racing incidents, you wonder how good either Hamilton and Rosberg really are? Toss in the fact that Ross Brawn is gone, big rule changes, going to be lots of sleepless nights in Brackley... And I haven't even mentioned the stirring leadership of The Rat


I guess if Man utd beat Chelsea 2-1 you would call that a dead heat as well....



a dead heat eh, an even split if you will?

How about if we had just won the lottery with a ticket we had bought between us - what say we split the prize money using the same ratio for LH v NR stat's for 2013? I'll have the LH 'half' if that's ok with you? 😉


What are you talking about? Schumacher was demolished by Rosberg for 3 continuous years... yes, he was a lot closer to Rosberg in the last year, but the fact is that he was outclassed by Rosberg. May be Schumacher would have caught Rosberg if he hadn't wrecked the car numberous times.

This year was the best year for Rosberg to outperform Hamilton and he did pretty good even though he din't beat him on points, which is what matters. Next year as Hamilton gets more comfortable with the car, he will be even stronger.


A 42 year old Schumacher would have beaten Rosberg in 2012 barring all the mechanical failures, that's plainly obvious (Not talking about tangles, just failures). A 25 year old Schumacher would have sent Rosberg to a psychiatrist. And he would have won the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix age 42 had the massive amateur that is Bruno Senna not braked 50 meters early at turn 1 Barcelona


Your hero in his own words did say that he felt as good in 2010, as he was when he quit first time. Your statements on Schumacher looks like plain excuses. In any year there are guys who are in their early 20s to late 30s. If u r inside the ring, u r inside, that's it; no excuses here. No Schumacher would have sent Rosberg to psychiatrist - just ur imagination.


Nothing like a Hamilton aka Mr.F1 article to fire up a discussion. Love him or hate him, he is still the face of the sport despite Vettels dominance. I give SV his props but people appreciate a winner more when they actually competed and fought for success. For Vettel its been a walk in the park. The red bull pr machine can do their best to make sv's reign look heroic but I'm not going to tolerate or buy it from a fan. Vettel is good but not 30secs good. That's the car. Talent gap between drivers in f1 ain't that big. No if ands or buts, Hamilton vs Rosberg was a battle and interesting. Both men held their own. Here's to more success for the silver arrows next year.


At the end of the day, we don't want to watch Car A beat Car B ... we want to watch the drivers battle it out, in cars that are more or less equal over a season.

Alexander Supertramp

Fair comment


Hamilton may very well be Mr. F1 in the UK, but the rest of the world? Vettel had hard fights for his 2010 and 2012 titles. RBR PR had nothing to do with it. He is good and keeps improving.

Nico and Lewis are a good match and this year was pretty even with the edge to Hamilton.


Those were not battles with other drivers. Those were battles of sv vs the rb to extract the ultimate out of the car. 9/10 he extracts it, starts on pole or p2, then disappears by lap two. In the rare cases where he has a mechanical issue, team doesn't get the strategy correct, or his rivals have a perfect go weekend, we are fooled into thinking there is a battle going on. In those rare cases, Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, Webber etc takes the victory. Where does Vettel finish in those rare cases? Right there in P2 or P3 at worst. Its amazing when a bad weekend means you finish P3 at the worst. Vettel is good but lets not try to make his reign look heroic. Its impressive what he has done but its not really memorable because its been so generic.


This is silly c'mon where do the others finish behind Vettel?

Vettel is the benchmark in F1 might be difficult for you to accept but its the reality.

As a young driver which career would you look to emulate Vettel or Alonso?


Vettel is 30 seconds good and this is why? Vettel is the only driver who in the first 5 laps of a grandprix annihilates the opposition, the last driver to do this was Senna, it's not the car but the driver he has a feel of the car on full tanks that his peers cannot match in every race he does the same!



Tyres were the limiting factor even in Aus he did same the tyres didn’t hold up.....

Now I am really confused. In your first post you state that it's Vettel and not the car - agreed? Now, in response to my query you state it's the equipment that was the limiting factor. Either it's Vettel 'magic' or it isn't - I can't see how you can have it both ways. Perhaps you would be kind enough to clear up this apparent contradiction (or my misunderstanding)in your argument :-).


I am not saying you are wrong, but your statement does raise a question in my mind. If it is all SV and not the car, why didn't he win the first 9 races of the year?


Ops! My bad Tim. I got your comment mixed up. Sorry.


Were you watching? Various reasons actually. Major one is tires. They didn't have it as bad as Mercedes but the rb was eating up its tires. Even then they were the car to beat on race day. Mercs were doing well in qualifying but that pace was useless come race time. By Singapore Newey turned it up a notch on the rb. Remember the traction control rumors and strange engine note? Newey had come up with a clever idea for traction which he perfected by Singapore and Vettel went on a tear from there to Brazil.


Tyres were the limiting factor even in Aus he did same the tyres didn't hold up.


No, his ability to checkout is due to the RB chassis. The car is extremely stable. How often do you see Vettel fight the car? Almost never. That advantage of stability or grip is multiplied when the cars are on heavy fuel loads. We also know the rb is strong under braking. That advantage is also multiplied in the opening laps when cars are heavy. Weight has a direct influence on braking.


You have no idea what it takes to race ignoring that why does he have to fight the car? That's a cause and effect if you set your car up well you don't fight it simple. So why can't Webber do same, or its just Vettel's Redbull ?


Rosberg actually finished 9-7 ahead of Hamilton because he was ordered to stay behind Hamilton in Malaysia despite being clearly faster.

I really don't see this era being that strong. Hamilton matched Alonso in his first season with the same equipment, Button was able to outscore Hamilton over three seasons in the same car, now Rosberg basically matched Hamilton.

Vettel is the class of the field, I still put Hamilton as second best, then the rest. It's hard to say with guys like Hulkenberg he might be as quick as Hamilton. He's certainly quicker than Alonso given what he did in an underfunded Sauber with a customer Ferrari engine.


Oh please? Did you not see 2012,leeis was great, but the car was unreliable. He had 6 dnfs, 3 of those races he was leading. Then he had major car problems in 2 races, one of which he finished with astro turf under his car. Remember that? Plus he had a pole position taken from him. Lewis should have got atleast 100 more points in 2012 . when vettel beats 2 world champion teammates, without number 1 status, or atleast 1 wc team mate, then I'll really be impressed.


2012 was Hamilton's best year, in terms of his driving performances. But he was, as you said, badly let down by the car's reliability, team strategy, and at times calamitous pit work. Plus some of the usual bad luck (I'm thinking of the puncture in Germany), in there to top it all off.

He was only one point off his 2012 points total, from one less race, in a car that habitually flew backwards in the early races.


What I don't understand is Hamilton complaining how different the Mercedes systems are from Mclaren's and car was developed with Schumacher's inputs and not his own, in the second part of the season, whereas no such concerns seems to arise when everything seems to be going well for him in the first half of the season. I have not seen any other drivers complain about things as such.

The underlying problems seems to be set-up and tyre wear issues. The revision to 2012 spec tyres helped Mercedes also ( Remember they were the ones struggling with tyre wear the most in the first half of the season )Hamilton is performing very well when the Car is a particular window of operation but seems to be struggling with the set-up and tyre issues in high downforce circuits.This is an area he knows he should improve and which is why i suspect he seemed downbeat.

Rosberg in comparison seems to be good at setting up the car and I remember him being faster in second half of the season except for Austin.

Conclusion : Both are good drivers, with Hamilton being slightly faster and Rosberg better in technical aspects and adapting well.

But both needs to improve, if they have to catch Vettel or Alonso unless Merc has significant performance advantage.


Lewis was faster in Brazil, and likely would've been in Japan bar the 1st lap puncture. They were equally fast at Belgium and Singapore. Nico had two great podiums in India and Abu Dhabi of course.


Lewis was lucky that it didnt rain in Japan seeming that Rosberg was very quick in wet conditions and had wrong set up for the car expecting more rain during the race..The drivers performance needs to be accounted for inclusive of their mistakes..So there is no pint in saying that somebody would have finished higher, had they not crashed...Lewis made a mistake in Brazil with Bottas and with Vettel in Japan


He had no option in Japan. He either gets struck by Webber, or he moves over, and has to hope others can move in tandem. Vettel had Grosjean beside him, so couldn't move right. A Catch-22 position, though I have no doubt many here will persist in calling it a mistake. That's what they do, and they're quite good at it.


They can only improve as much as the car let's them. This year the Mercedes has had poor race pace particularly when laden with fuel compared to rivals. It's not so much the systems, but the feel of the car, particularly the brakes. It is the feeling a driver gets that enables his engineers to improve things in the right direction.


Rosberg had 3 DNFs Australia, China and Hungary.

Those were good poits for Hamilton 5th, 3rd and 1st

I think both had a good year


James, thank you for the informed comments once again during the F1 season of 2013.

A new era begins next year and I am sure you will keep us as informed as you always have.

Keep up the good work, and have a well deserved Christmas break.

Cheers from down under!


Thanks, We have a comprehensive plan for 2014 build up content


biggest problem I see for Mercedes is that they have two very good drivers that will end up stealing points from each other. Kimi and Alonso will have the same problem at Ferrari.

So looks like another win for Redbull and Vettel with Lotus and Grosjean coming in second in the drivers championship. Now that I have predicted that, I better go and buy a ticket for the next lottery.


If Alonso isn't good enough to consistently beat Kimi, and Hamilton isn't good enough to consistently beat Rosberg, then neither of them would be quick enough to beat Vettel in the same equipment.


How do you know that Kimi or Nico aren't better than Seb in equal equipment?

You don't, (remember, they have both beaten him in inferior equipment) therefore your statement is meaningless and lacks any logical basis whatsoever 😉


Uh GS, the Red Bull was still the best car, even before the summer break! I guess only when the car is all-dominating, that it only then manages to become the best car, if only slightly. 😉


Vettel would because he still finds ways to win when he doesn't have the best of it (2013 before the mid-season break). Alonso needs the car to win, Hamilton has shown in the past that he can win with inferior equipment (not nearly as often as Vettel), Hulkenberg has shown he can do amazing things in an underfunded Sauber.


@German Samurai

Before I answer your reply to my post, I want to pick up on something you have written - 'They’ve beaten Vettel on days where their cars have been quicker than the Red Bull.'

So, when Vettel is beaten it's because of [his] inferior equipment. It must follow logically then, when he wins, it's because of [his] superior equipment. Thanks for confirming that.

Anyway, back to your reply. If you read my post, again, you will see that you have failed to address my point. Nico, Kimi and Seb have never raced in equal equipment, therefore you cannot state categorically who would come out on top. Your subsequent conclusion is therefore based on false analysis and as a consequence is meaningless. Sure, you can make all sorts of comparisons between their respective performances but, as you correctly stated, the equipment makes all the difference. So who is to say which driver would come out on top if the playing field was level?


Rosberg was more or less was similar to Webber in the same equipment. Rosberg lacks consistency too.

Kimi is the same. He's had great cars since his second season and has one championship to show for it. Couldn't win a championship despite being gifted a Newey McLaren. Poor qualifier, inconsistent (few are consistent like Vettel or Schumacher), lacks professionalism, if everything is right can be quick.

They've beaten Vettel on days where their cars have been quicker than the Red Bull. Do you watch the races? This season up until the mid-season break the Red Bull was quickest at only Bahrain and Montreal.

Alexander Supertramp

Grosjean should focus on a top 5 WDC finish before dreaming about more. He's been strong since Singapore, but his first half of the season was pretty poor. He ended the year more than 50 points behind his team mate. Not even counting the 2 extra races.. Besides, how strong will Lotus be next year? What happens if the car is bad and results are poor?


Pretty much evenly matched, those two. I suspect that Malaysia team orders (very unfair to NR, IMHO) deflated NR somewhat, but he coped well. He was on the rise in the second half of the season, and it leads me to believe he will do better than LH next year, especially so because the cars will require more brains to drive as opposed just to raw instincs. LH lacks in this department a natural ability to have a race plan/vision for next 10 or 15 laps, that's what differentiates him from the truly great ones like FA or SebVet. I think NR is better at managing the race overall, multitasking through it (so to speak). Add to it that RossB left (who was favouring LH to the resentment of Stuttgart), and you have a very much open contest. It will be fascinating to watch, albeit less so than FA vs KR.

Alexander Supertramp

"LH lacks in this department a natural ability to have a race plan/vision for next 10 or 15 laps, that’s what differentiates him from the truly great ones like FA or SebVet." There are quite some examples to prove you wrong. The last race, Brazil, is a good example. Lewis was fighting Fernando for p4-even though there was a 5 second gap between them. He was closing in on Fernando in very calculated manner, never overpushing- very much taking the full race lenght into consideration. Don't swallow whatever the mainstream channels feed you. Just because popular media or fellow posters claim Lewis is a dummie does not make it true. He knows what he needs to do have a good race. You mention Seb, but it's easy to plan your race better with a 15-20 seconds advantage..


There is nothing from and about the mainstream channels etc. To put it differently, my take is LH is not a Top 3 racer in the current crop of F1 drivers as many of his fans would like to believe.


Wasn't Schumi always saying that the problems with the tyres at Mercedes were hidden in the genetics of the car?

So a problem which was there for several years. even it was not yet Mercedes. Or were it the gene's of the developer(s)?

So obviously it takes years and to get rid of a bigger design mistake if you have no other big invention to neutralize the other problem.

So the hope is not that the 2014 is designed for Hamilton or Rosberg, but that the new design has way less design mistakes which would take too long to be solved.


Thanks for the analysis James, your website keeps the interest going until the new cars fire up!

Regarding Hamilton and Rosberg, I think this shows a few things:

1. Rosberg is a very good driver. I don't think he the very best in F1, but he was GP2 champion the year before Lewis, and he has taken his wins well. My only negative perception is that he doesn't always take the car forward from his grid position as much as he could.

2. Hamilton's decision to join Mercedes is entirely vindicated, and not just because the McLaren was such a dog this year. He has established himself well in the team, and with next year's car being designed for him and Nico I think he will step up even further. The only negative thing for Lewis is the way he has let his sulky side come up more in post-race interviews this year: at times, he has been far too hard on himself.

This is a good driver pairing, and if the Mercedes is anywhere decent they will challenge for the title. That will test the obvious good friendship between them.

However, I'm pretty sure that this time next year will be talking about Vettel's 5th straight WDC, and Mercedes 1st WCC...


Could be right about Vettel (depends on how the teams go with the new regs), but considering that Vettel got enough points on his own to win the WCC for RBR and Ricciardo is no slouch I'd have to say there's a good chance that RBR will wrap their 5th also.

Other than that we should see the usual suspects elbowing each other for 2nd...again.


James, looks like you are promoting Rosberg in this article even he has scored less poins than Lewis.

This is seen as you takes the second part of the year and compares the final 9 races. You mentioned the trend here ...

Why you didn't do the same in 2012 when you had compared Schumacher and Rosberg? The trend was agains Rosberg but you said nothing about it.

What about a consistency ?


Look, we all know that drivers drive to the pace that the strategist determines to be the "best" pace in order to achieve the best-possible result.

As long as this occurs, we may never ever really know who exactly is the "fastest" driver or the "best" driver.

For all we know, Mercedes did not have the drivers on equal strategies as they wanted Driver A to beat Driver B at one race then wanted it the other way around at another race.

I say : turn off the pit to car communication, let the drivers drive, and then we will find out who the truly great drivers really are.

Alternately, put the name of the strategist on the side of the car as "Co-driver" just like in rallying.

Oh, and it will be very interesting to see how HAM and ROS perform in 2014 and, more particularly, whether Toto & Niki give them both equal treatment.


"turn off the pit to car communication, let the drivers drive, and then we will find out who the truly great drivers really are"

That would be great. I don't see it happening any time soon, but I wouldn't discount the possibility.

After all, a few years back they let them have reverse telemetry before deciding that it was not in the best interests of the sport, so there's a very small outside chance they might one day decide to do a similar thing with the radios; Maybe just let the driver talk to the pit wall, report problems, request a pit stop, etc...

It would have it's down sides, but I think the up sides would be worth it 🙂