F1 Winter Break
Hamilton Manages Monsoon Conditions To Take Malaysian Pole
Posted By:   |  29 Mar 2014   |  12:51 pm GMT  |  352 comments

Lewis Hamilton maintained his clean sweep of 2014 pole positions by claiming the top spot in Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying, heading Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg at a treacherously wet Sepang circuit.

The second pole of the year for Hamilton is 33rd of the Briton’s career, equalling Jim Clark’s British record and the tally of four-time World Champion Alain Prost.

“The lap was far from being my optimum,” said Hamilton, who trailed Rosberg when they were using intermediate tyres early in the session, but had the edge on full wets. “I should have been able to eke out a little more time but thankfully it wasn’t needed. Conditions were incredibly difficult and it would have been so easy to get it wrong today. At times towards the end it was almost impossible to see if anyone was behind me.

“But I’m really happy with the result today. I would love to be able to dedicate a great result to the families of those who lost their lives (on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370). If I could win it and dedicate it to them, that would be great.”

With Mercedes having dominated the weekend so far, putting themselves a second ahead of the field in this morning’s dry final Free Practice session, the heavens opened in typical Malaysian fashion thirty minutes prior to the green light. With the storms relenting and the Safety Car struggling around on its sighting laps the session was held back by fifty minutes to allow the standing water to disperse.

By the final phase of the session, and following a number of tyre changes between the intermediate and full-wet tyre, it was the blue-marked full-wet in use for the final twelve minutes.

Hamilton and Rosberg’s in house battle was split first by Fernando Alonso and then by Vettel as the rain increased. And with five minutes remaining the Red Bull pair, with Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place, pitted for new tyres and the chance for two fast laps to snatch pole from Hamilton. Whilst the Mercedes duo stayed out a lap longer, giving themselves only one lap to try and capture the front-row.

Vettel and Ricciardo were unable to improve on their first laps and when Vettel held back to give himself a gap ahead, Rosberg took the opportunity to dive up the inside of his compatriot, causing Vettel to slow and consequently cross the line after the chequered flag, session over for him.

With Hamilton’s only threat coming from his team-mate, he made a mistake at turn four and had to wait to see how Rosberg would fair on his final lap. The German was able to improve, taking third place away from Alonso but unable to make it to the front-row. Hamilton clinched pole by 0.05s to Vettel, with Rosberg a further 0.6s adrift.

Alonso completed the second row after a troublesome Q2 that saw the Spaniard collide with Danii Kvyat, breaking the front-left suspension of the F14 T and caused the second red flag of the day. The halted session proved fortunate for Alonso as his team was able to quickly attach some new wish bones and send their driver out for the remainder of the session.

They will therefore be pleased to start so high up the grid, beating Ricciardo who shares the third row with Kimi Raikkonen.

“I didn’t see him coming, obviously, on the out-lap, it was a little bit aggressive with this visibility but we were lucky enough to put the car together quickly,” said Alonso.

“The mechanics did a fantastic job, but the car was not totally repaired. The steering on the right was so light and on the left so heavy that it was very strange to drive, but enough to complete qualifying.”

Nico Hulkenberg continued his stellar return to Force India, taking seventh place as his team-mate, Sergio Perez, could only manage fourteenth. Hulkenberg will start alongside Kevin Magnussen, the Dane also beating his team-mate in qualifying for the second time this year.

Jenson Button completed the top ten, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Toro Rosso once again enjoying a wet qualifying session to take ninth place.

Marcus Ericsson was the cause of the first red flag, losing the rear end of his Caterham on the exit of turn three, skidding across the track, in to the barrier and being narrowly avoided by the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez.

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang, Qualifying

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m59.431s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m59.486s +0.055s
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m00.050s +0.619s
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m00.175s +0.744s
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 2m00.541s +1.110s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m01.218s +1.787s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 2m01.712s +2.281s
8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 2m02.213s +2.782s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 2m03.078s +3.647s
10. Jenson Button McLaren 2m04.053s +4.622s
11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 2m02.351s +3.310s
12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 2m02.369s +3.328s
13. Felipe Massa Williams 2m02.460s +3.419s
14. Sergio Perez Force India 2m02.511s +3.470s
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams 2m02.756s +3.715s
16. Romain Grosjean Lotus 2m02.885s +3.844s
17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 2m02.074s +4.891s
18. Adrian Sutil Sauber 2m02.131s +4.948s
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 2m02.702s +5.519s
20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 2m03.595s +6.412s
21. Max Chilton Marussia 2m04.388s +7.205s
22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 2m04.407s +7.224s

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The Ferraris start 4th and 6th. If everything works and we have a dry start I bet Alo to be 1st or 2nd and Kimi 3rd or 4th by the first corner.

BTW, one second between Alo and Rai and thats with Alo not having a calibrated suspension.

Tornillo Amarillo

Kimi will beat it. Kick it.

If Alonso is 1st, where do you put the Mercedes?

Go HULK, now you need some podium finishes.

Arshadhusain Sheliya

Alonso vs kimi, time difference is a little surprising, but we need to give kimi a few races before he gets comfortable with F14 T handling

though F1 drivers are known for there ability to adapt, but its just the 2nd race for kimi.


I don't really understand comments like these.

The F14T is a completely new car both platform and engine. Both Alonso and Kimi did not drive this car last year.

So why is it ok for Kimi to settle in a new car before we can see his potential? And not the same excuse apply for Fernando?

Thank goodness it wasn't Kimi that got hit by Kyvat... The armchair experts will be out in force with racing driver excuses.


The point you need to understand is that Fernando has been no1 at Ferrari for 4 years he understands the team intimately.Kimi has to re-adjust after 2 years at Lotus. The way these two teams operate is very different. Heaven help the short sighted people here!. Kimi was actually faster than Fernando all weekend till quali..look at where he was in Melb -- there is more to come from Kimi as Im sure there is from Fernando by the next few races - we will see a more indicative race pace for both


parts are still being made for raikkonen. wait till he gets his hands and feet on them.


It is the second race for ALO as well. The car is new for both.


Alonso is also adapting. The new car has very little in common with last year's car. You could say Alonso has a tiny bit of an edge because he knows most of the staff better, but that's all.

Arshadhusain Sheliya

it could also be Alonso being able to fidget with the steering wheel buttons quite comfortably, where as kimi is still in the process of getting use to it.


You obviously believe the ferrari glass is half full, dont think they have the race pace personally


The US broadcast showed Kimi in Australia complaining that he was asking for set up changes and the team not working on his car. They were working on Alonso's though. Now I can think of valid reasons for this considering the complexity of the cars and it being the first race.

Seems like the team is working on both cars this week.


Well Im predicting Alonso to be 2nd and Kimi 4th...that's presuming it will be dry race.

As for second between them in quali, Kimi hasnt been exactly good qualifying driver ever and even less so in wet conditions, so wasnt huge suprise atleast for me. I think in dry conditions it would have been much closer between the two and Kimi might have even been faster, but thats just the feeling I got after dry practice sessions.


I agree Kimi had 1 to 2 tenths advantage all weekend in the dry, when the rain comes his problems return and his has big balance issues again


so you judge the pilots based on the practice session? Hilarious at best

We cannot draw any conclusions based on the FP times as to which driver is quicker and who is not. On any race weekend only two sessions matter the most (Quali & Race)

To say kimi would have been faster if the session was dry is complete notion and does not make any sense. Alonso has done a fantastic job in quali with damaged car and steering wheel issues. Alonso deserves more credit for what he has achieved in quali


It's a known fact that Kimi's race setup is bad for wet qualifying so result was expected. I think both drivers can be happy with their starting positions.


Alonso showed up a good quali and should rely on a strong pace for tomorrow, also in wet conditions. He will be a strong contender for Hamilton and Vettel and I would not be surprised to see his victory, because he's the right mood.


I said that's the FEELING I got from the practice sessions....Im not saying that it would have been necessarily been the case, but I honestly feel that Kimi would have performed better, had it been dry qualifying. And Im not saying that Alonso doesnt deserve credit, you are just putting words in my mouth.


Kimi was faster in all Practices especially on the short runs, while Alonso was faster on the long runs.

And you are partly right as the only session that really matters is the Race. Qualification maybe a stepping stone to the podium but how many times have we seen drivers start from behind and still reach the podium.

Anyway lets not jump to conclusions based on just 2 races. Remember Kimi has come back to Ferrari after many years. The systems/brakes etc used at Lotus will not be the same at Ferrari and he might take time to assimilate himself to them. Anyway before you jump at me saying I am a kimi fan boyz let me assure you that I am not and he is not even in my top 2. All i am saying is give him about half season and then lets make assumptions about which driver is superior.

I distinctly remember people writing off Vettel after Australia even though it was a mechanical issue he was suffering from right from FP3 if he had a trouble free weekend he would have given a better representation of Redbulls true pace(might have even been on pole during the wet qualification. But in the dry race he wouldnt be able to keep the Mercedes behind). Again i am not writing off Riccardio. He might have made a great debut at Australia but he still lacks the speed Vettel seems to possess over the long runs. Maybe by the mid season he might fair better.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Man, i'm an Alonso fan my self and i was anoyed about some Kimi fans comments. But to start a "fight" for each comment wich suggest that Alo could be slower for a particular quali session than Kimi is nonsense!


Not so sure if the difference is real. Kimi was faster in dry as observed by all commentators(including A Benson). Track conditions were worse when kimi put on full wets in the end.


Alonso was faster when it counted. The condition was the same for all of them.


Kimi did the lap on full wets the at the same time as the front runners, at the beginning of Q3. The difference is absolutely real, it actually would have been bigger had Alonso not collided with Kyvat.


Kimi was on intermediates and came to pit for full wet before 5/6 minute.


May be I misread this, but wasn't Kimi on interns when he came out in Q3?


He had full wets in his fastest lap also, as well as Fernando.


Very true that I thought Raikkonen was looking better this weeked but then the full wets goes on and Alonso is too fast for him again even with damaged front left, and props to Vettel! Completely outclassed Ricciardo all weekend and nearly stuck it on pole with a car down on drivability and power.


Kimi did seen to be quicker all weekend so far in the dry, Alonso definitely had an edge in the monsoon, Kimi was fighting his car a lot


Well in the wet, being down on power doesn't make a heap of difference.

Michael Spitale

Kimi beat Alonso by a good margin every practice until qualy. The good news is that Kimi looks a lot more comfortable in the dry. In the wet Alonso looked very good.


Tealeaf, Sebastian has always been handy in ultra wet conditions - remember a certain weekend at Monza in September 2008!

You're right about Fernando - he seems to have a slight edge on Kimi, but let's wait for the race. You don't get points for qualifying, but you could as many 25 in the race.


Well Bourdais was multiple champcar champion and yes he was 4th, but 1st and 4th isn't exactly the same thing, also what was amazing was Seb fighting off faster cars in the race to take victory that was the turning point in F1, the illusion of Alonso and Hamilton as thd best drivers were shattered overnight. Remember Brazil 2008 again that Torro Rosso out raced Hamilton's Mclaren please explain why.


The same weekend bourdais got 4th in the torro Rosso. That car had pace that weekend. Yes good quali but no not as amazing as u suggest. Not like alonso hauling a Minardi to 16th or ham in the 09 mclaren


As long as Alonso doesn't do what he did last year, many still believes he threw away a victory that race due to that front wing.


'Tealeaf'; everything you say is true. Too bad Alonso is in the wrong car. Sent his agent to the wrong team last year. Remember? Luca M. does.


Yes Alonso should go back to McLaren for the Honda revolution, as we speak Honda are testing their PU with Merc data.


Their car is down just on power, RBR drivability (mainly bcs of much better aerodynamics) is actually better than Merc', otherwise they wouldn't be so close to Merc in the wet.


tealeaf ....Hamilton behind vettel and hulkenberg on raw pace ...are you serious 🙂


Do you even know what drivability means?

No you don't


Explain something to me please. So Red bull have a better car aerodynamically because they are close to the Mercedes in the wet. If we admit that in the wet the engine advantage is annihilated, how being close (but still behind) means that their aerodynamics is better? And why is it that they are so far ahead of the other teams using Mercedes engines?


Do you seriously believe RBR drivabiltiy is due to better aerodynamics compared to the Mercedes FYI Mercedes has over one second over all teams including the other Mercedes teams running the same power unit. My friend that is not just engine power that is definitely superior aerodynamic. Mercedes has the best package in 2014. The only other time a team had that much gap to the rest in the last 5 years was the Brawn Gp in 2009


No wrong one of the main problems this Renault PU has is drivability, it showed at the Melbourne start and it'll be the same tomorrow at the start, also it's now a engine formula the aero advantage off RBR (if any) won't be the deciding point, Merc are 1 sec faster than RBR in the wet just admit it Vettel is the difference, I admit Hamilton is good and on raw pace is only behind Vettel and Hulkenberg and not much but it's so clear what's happened here. Still saying all that Merc will win easily tomorrow, more power, more mechanical grip and also better consumption, it's their's to lose.


Congrats to Lewis, he seems to be much faster than Rosberg can manage this year.

Magnussen was really impressive once again, that boy has promise - I feel sorry for Jenson, its looking increasingly bad for him.


What do you mean?it's only the second race and up until Jensen gambled on the inters he was ahead of Kevin. He explained his thinking and it makes perfect sense to try, if conditions had eased and Jensen got a result some would have said it was inspired thinking and some would have said " Oh Jensen's rubbish, he was just lucky". Anyway think what you like, they keep wheeling in people that are "going to blow Jensen away" and it ain't happening. That is because, actually, Jensen is quite good.


Well, Magnussen did have that off into the gravel, which damaged his diffuser for Q3.

Hamilton did what was needed. Must say though, I am not a fan of the white gloves or shoes, and I don't like the whiter helmet. Get back to the black gloves and shoes, and your trademark yellow helmet Lewis!

Was that Rosberg diving down the inside of Vettel at the last turn just as Q3 was wrapping up? I don't think a last lap would've mattered for Vettel, in worsening conditions, but who knows.


Could it be that Vettel was happy with second spot and was trying to delay Rosberg and prevent him from getting another lap and displacing him to third?

Just saying,


i think hamilton's new colour scheme looks fantastic! it presents him with majestic flair. it all matches beautifully and that picture above is just brilliant.


Ricciardo, I read.

Alexander Supertramp

Agree, the new white look looks weird. But hey, as long as the guy feels good in the car I don't care if his shoes are pink.


Yes, that meant Vettel could not do a final lap. But as you say, conditions were worse at the time. About Hamilton, I think he is not happy with his performance. Personally I think there is much more to come from him. Since he is at Mercedes he is struggling to exploit all his potential. I am talking about pure pace.


My favourite part of this site is that James Allen responds to posts. 🙂


+1 on that. James is the best. I read him every day.


Yeah, the site needs a warning label, it can become addictive


Ah, but is it James? Perhaps it's like the Beatles autographs that were actually written by their roadies.


If it's not signed Mod then it's me, definitely!!



It adds more 'weight' to the comments, when James chimes in with a useful point or something he has just learned within the paddock that we couldn't get on the tv feeds.



Couraguos in my opinion. Benson stopped comments a long time ago but used to respond rarely.


I'm not sure why Jenson was kept out on intermediates - he was actually ahead of K-mag in Q2, just an odd decision as it was clearly too wet for the inters.


I'm wondering just *how* many more times I'm going to have to hear Brundle say "You'd normally expect Jenson to excel in conditions like this" before it finally clicks...!


He said it was a team decision but finally his. He reckoned that they'd not get much nearer the front with full wets so took a gamble on getting to the front with the intermediates and the rain easing or stopping - neither happened and so it was marginally worse. Had it worked, things would have looked very good. Have to see what tomorrow brings...


Jenson said intermediate was his own decision. As he was running in 8th, and he did not expect further rain, he decided it was worth a 'punt' to get further up the grid.

Alexander Supertramp

They were gambling. His engineer said that they were nearing the cross-over point to switch to intermediates. Jenson could have scored a great grid slot, but they lost the gamble.

And to be fair, Jenson only went over K-Mag after an ultimate run at the end of Q2 while Kevin was stuck in de pits (through his own doing off course).


good gamble ...didn't pay off ; going with full wets , 7th at best ; track turned suddenly to inters ....could have got pole with the others still on wets


He confirmed that it was his decision. Lets not for get he is a (supposedly) master in these condition.


Rosberg was faster in dry in practice and in Intermediate conditions at start of Quali




He's not my Rosberg.

Please don'r be pathetic. This is a balanced and unbiased site.


How many times have we seen Rosberg being faster in Q1 and Q2 then Hamilton beat him when it counts in Q3? Rosberg didn't have a massive advantage in Q1. Ham could still have beaten him if the conditions had remained the same. As for FP3 he got held up by Alonso in front. When he set his time, his tyres were were 2 laps older. Too late


James, you are 100% right and it is important to always understand the complete pictures, analyze all data points available before coming with conclusions. Rosberg looked faster until Q3 where Hamilton was a much stronger driver. Interestingly, the same can be said about Kimi and Alonso. I like Kimi more, but I also think that Alonso is stronger when it matters the most. Kimi was stronger all weekend, but when it mattered the most and with a damaged car Alonso was ahead of Kimi. This is the difference between good and great, ability to find something others cannot and do it consistently. But...too early to judge. I think Rosberg will come on top at the end of the season and Alonso will be much stronger then Kimi. I also do not believe Merc will take the title. It will be Vettel. I do not know how fast can Renault improve the engine and electronics, but it looks like Red Bull will simply when when this becomes the reality. Amazing. Humiliated Ferrari fan:-)


Well, I don't think the HAM vs ROS case is comparable to RAI vs ALO. ROS and HAM are genuinely close, I am talking about Q1-2-3, not Fps. On the other side, it is ALO 6-RAI 0 in Q. ALO has been faster in all six qualifying sessions of the year.


So, u think Vettel is going to win the championship? I don't see how. Where are they going to find a 100 + HP? U also seem to forget Merc is not going to just sit back and let this happen. They will develop there car also. I can't wait for the dry races. The Mercedes difference in performance is going to be quite clear.


Prectise is practis& counts nothing! Lewis always has something to add at Q3,he always is able to improve


There has been little to split them all weekend less than a tenth usually


It's not me who needs to check his facts Grant, but I have saved you the trouble. Nico was quicker in p2 by 0.142, p3 by 0.232 and q1 by 0.019. Lewis went quicker in p1 by 0.337, q2 by 0.402 and q3 by 0.607. You were half right though, when Nico was quicker than Lewis it was by about a tenth, it's just that when Lewis was quicker it was by more like half a second.


@TimW, my comment above was obviously written before race where Lewis dominated Nico but actually Nico posted the fastest time of weekend in P3 a 1.39.0 so check ur facts!! Obviously Lewis was a lot quicker when it counted.

i think Lewis will have the upperhand overall but Nico is going to push him hard, Nico is not much slower


Wrong, when Hamilton has been faster it has been by a significant amount.


C'mon James when is practice an accurate indication of pace between teammates? It's an experiment to set the car up, nothing more.



James, you know very well the leading teams do not run the car at max for Q1.

Mike from Colombia

Rosberg always tries his heart out in every session and always has done.

So much so that Anthony Davidson used to call him the "Prince of Practice".

Hamilton always builds himself up over the weekend.



The only thing that matters about Q1 and Q2 is making sure you are amongst the drivers who go through to the next round. Nothing more. As one of the posters has mentioned already, Hamilton has done this enough times in the past that it should no longer be a surprise.

On a side note, did anyone else hear Vettel 'effing and jeffing' at the weigh in after Q3? Very poor behaviour, it's not like he doesn't know there is a camera there.

If Hamilton had done the same thing there would be 1000+ comments about it by now.


That may well be be but everyone knows that practice, Q1 and Q2 don't really matter. You deliver your time in Q3 and that's all that matters. Hamilton seemingly coming off the back foot against Rosberg by delivering in Q3 isn't exactly uncommon...


Lewis always sandbags in the first stages of quali, so that doesn't mean much.

However, during race simulation in FP2, Lewis got a call on the radio saying he was 9ths of a second faster than Rosberg in the middle sector alone.

It was similar in Australia, unfortunately we never saw Lewis race.


He was never told that he was burning way too much fuel. The message was that he had left too little leeway at the time.


"However, during race simulation in FP2, Lewis got a call on the radio saying he was 9ths of a second faster than Rosberg in the middle sector alone."

Was that the same radio message where he was also told he was burning up way too much fuel?

Alexander Supertramp

I've said it before, Lewis has better race pace than Nico. If we have a normal race, Lewis will win.

Raffique Martin

On top of that, he was spot on with the fuel. Rosberg on the other hand had to be told he was using too much fuel and needed to brake later in order to compete with Lewis.


rosberg seem faster only when it didn't count.


motori, rosberg doesn't only have 25 points but he also has a mercedes benz car with hamilton's old gloves.

Arshadhusain Sheliya

Rosberg still lacks the ability to come out on TOP in difficult conditions,

On his day he does wonders (Like massa) rest of the time he stays out of trouble (good though)


Only the race counts ...buddy


Rosberg has points....


James, i hope ur family doesn't read this comments;)


Q3 is when it matters... Admit it James you love Rosberg. 😉

Tornillo Amarillo

ROSBERG can be Champion, as his father was, with the better car, it's in the genes.

But HAMILTON has the same car, so... Don't think this time!


After reading way too many articles on this website, it's actually clear to see James doesn't have bias on any driver. Which is what journalist are supposed to be.

However, another famous site, F1F, lets just leave it at that. Has a moon sized man crush on Seb. That is also clear to see!

Keep up the great work James!


james is good at his job. i think he has an idea just what type of responses his post attract.


You can deny it James, but it's obvious.

Bottom line 2-0 to Lewis on quali.


Yes and thoroughly well deserved. He's doing a great job.


The media are also humans like the rest of us, therefore they will harbor biases, prejudices and experience emotions, but do their best to conceal them or select facts that confirm their prejudices (known as confirmation bias, I think). 🙂 Some drivers get an easier ride than others. One needs to pay attention as much to what is not said, as to what is. The comments section empowers us to keep the reporters of the action honest 😀 Kudos to James for entertaining other viewpoints...here's mine... a brilliant pole from Lewis under difficult conditions and he deserves mention in the same bracket as the greats ... he and Nico were neck and neck (barely a 10th between them) with Nico appearing to be slightly ahead if anything, but on full wets he found something extra. Lets hope, and James surely you wish too, that Lewis has the luck that deserted him in Aus '14, Brit '13, several times in '12, and can get the win.


I don't love anyone!
But I respect the details of what they all do, when it stands out


but lewis is faster when it counts,like in aus.


I think if Rosberg gets the jump on Lewis at the start he may struggle to get past, Of course I would like to see Lewis win but Nico is really coming good and seems to be as quick if not quicker than Lewis - not sure that was part of the plan at Merc... lets hope they have a trouble free race and we can get a proper comparison


We'll from last season mainly..... but Lewis was fantastic in the race and was pleased to see him win. Let's see what the next few races bring - I still rate nico though and will keep Lewis honest throughout the season,


Seriously, Carl? Where did you get evidence for this from?


when was rosberg faster?


Yes James, Rosberg was faster when it doesn't count.


I was kind of glad to see Rosberg make a mistake in one of the practice sessions, don't think I've ever seen that before.

Not through any malice.... I just feel that Rosberg always drives within what he feels the car is capable and doesn't try and push it so much. I think that Hamilton explores the car a lot more which is why we see him going off quite a lot in practice sessions. Rosberg seems to pick up the fastest times in sessions where Hamilton's made a mistake.

When Resberg puts a fastest time on the table I always feel he's left a couple of tenths in the car. Hamilton also didn't manage to get those 10ths because he pushed the car, made a mistake, and ended up loosing out.

Alexander Supertramp

Rosberg is always fast, it just that Lewis steps it up when it matters.


Odd, I thought it was Sunday that counted 😉


Rosberg will be fast when it really counts ....tomorrow 🙂


Rosberg is fast, but not as fast as Lewis. And when it does count, lewis has proved this. In any case we have a long season ahead and we shall all see what will happen. Last week would have been ideal but for Lewis car that broke down.


Exactly was just about to say apart from the full wets these 2 looks closely matched unlike at Redbull where Vettel handily beat this 'super fast' Ricciardo, looks like Melbourne was caused by that engine failure or Seb would have fought Rosberg for the win.


Dont like Ricciardio ? We get it.

kenneth chapman

@ tealeaf...why do you continually dump on ricciardo? this is his second race for the top team and so far he has done a sterling job so give it a break.


What's with the anti Ricciardo comments? It's his second race in the car!


was just about to say apart from the full wets these 2 looks closely matched ...

It wasn't that long ago you said Hamilton had the legs on Rosberg and, due to the Merc's superior pace, it was Hamilton's championship to lose - remember, when commenting on the pre season testing? You have to be trolling, it's not possible that anyone could be serious and write the nonsense that you do!


Yeah sure RBR doesn't have the pace of the Merc but Vettel is so much better than Rosberg it would have been a fight, also KRB it wasn't 30sec if I remember it was 24sec.


You're dreaming Tealeaf. The Redbull doesn't have the pace to keep up with the Mercs and everybody knows it. The weather conditions was the equalizer in qualy. Rosberg won Australia by 24 seconds. If it's a dry race tomorrow it will be a Mercedes 1-2 barring any incidents.


Haha, yeah right! Rosberg was 30s up in AUS, taking it slow.

Hyperbole when used correctly can be a useful tool to make a point. When it's not, it leaves one open to ridicule.

Guess which side you find yourself on?


Good to see some actual wet weather running for a change, over the last few years conditions like these seemed to get red flagged as soon as the full wets were required.

If it's dry I expect Hamilton and Rosberg to run and hide; if there's more rain I think Vettel has a great chance, the Red Bull seems to have so much more downforce and eliminates their power disadvantage almost entirely.


Take into account Red Bull are running with a higher downforce setup than the rest. A bit of a gamble here me thinks.


Vettel has no chance against Rosberg. Did you see Rosbergs rocket propelled launch off the start line in Melbourne? He was like a demon out of hell. Its only a matter of when, especially if its dry.

If not off the start line, then it will be a slaughter in the first few laps; the RB is no match for the Merc. Evidence? At one point in Q3, Ricciardo slid past Botas around a corner, only for Botas to out-drag him on the straight like taking candy from a baby.

Wet weather might make it tougher though, because RB has the best aero.


Rosbergs start looked faster than it actually was due to the other Mercs lack of power (running on 5 cylinders).


How can you say Redbull has the best Aero, when mercedes has a gap of over a second over other teams using its power units??? The only differentiators must be the Aerodynamic and Mechanical grip that the Mercedes team can produce over the other teams using mercedes power units i.e Mclaren, Williams etc. I would definitely say the Mercedes is the best all round car. Besides the Renault power unit isnt as bad as one might think, I mean it may not be at the level of Mercedes yet but i think the power Deficit must be about 10 to 15% max. Its not just the Redbull but even its sister team the Torro Rosso has genuine pace to stay in the top 10 and Was in the top 6 in the speed traps.


Yes why do you think Merc has a much better launch? its the design of how their PU works with their car, hence why all of a sudden in the wet they look even stronger against the opposition to the rest apart from Vettel, if Seb was in that Merc he would be so far ahead it would make Hamilton look very ordinary indeed.

As for tomorrow wet or dry I think Merc still have too much but the gap is not like the 2 lap throughout a race as Horner claims.


Yeah, he's a sec faster than any other driver. *rolls eyes*

Maybe Seb has an escape clause in his contract, and can go to Merc. Think he would?

The RB10 still has the best downforce, just not enough to be totally to Vettel's liking.

Match these pairs:

1) Button 2) Vettel



Vettel is just the standout fastest driver of this era. To split the might Mercedes and almost to have clinched pole. Wow.


Only in your eyes Aj.

In my eyes he doesn't even come close to Lewis.


Is this the Lewis that was beaten by Button? And having troubles beating Rosberg? Wake up...


Lewis was beaten by Button for one of the 3 years they were team mates and is having no trouble at all beating Rosberg, stick to the facts please.


Eyes wide open, that's why I can clear see Vet is no match for Lewis.

But soon both Vettel and Newey will join Mercedes, and I'm gonna enjoy watching Lewis take Vet to the cleaners.


I can't agree. Vettel possibly is the faster qualifier of the grid, specially on the rain, but I think he still not suffered real pressure in his career with an undriveable car or tricky conditions along a complete season. He never has info at pits: no screen, no bad karma, he needs to be isolated and his team is taking care about him all time long. He is fast, intelligent and German taylored, but I think he's is a kind of driver who depends on factors outside their control. Too emotional.


DR split them last week, so he must be the standout fastest driver of this era....wow


If Vettel was British he would be loved and rated as the best ever. And fans would turn a blind eye to his attitude. Not that I've got any issues with it 🙂


Vettel is by far the fastest driver right now Most consistent too. That is of course subject to change.


what kind of stopwatch do you use?


Huh what? First, it was in the rain, so that removes most of Mercedes' advantage. Then the RB10 has been a lot closer to the W05 in Malaysia, especially in the longer runs (from FP2 times).

How many times did Hamilton split the Red Bulls the last four years, or even more impressive, beat them both to pole? Hamilton was the only non-RBR driver to score pole in 2010 and 2011, when the RB was super quick. Hamilton's scored at least one pole in every season.

Vettel is fast, there's no question. But Hamilton's faster. All opinion of course.


Hamilton and Vettel are both extremely fast. Hamilton has often split Red Bull and Vettel will do the same when presented with the opportunity. I think this year is fantastic as we can see if Hamilton can match the brilliant consistency Alonso and Vettel bring, and if Vettel can bring speed to a troubled car. Bring it on.


why prophecise when the events are all scheduled over the season? we will witness them.


well that's actually wrong. alonso took pole in italy and singapore 2010...

and people say he's a bad qualifier...???


"Hamilton was the only non-RBR driver to score pole in 2010 and 2011" Two poles from Alonso in 2010, in Monza and Singapore.


Yes, apologies. And Hulkenberg's pole in Brazil.

I had it right for 2011.


A redundant comeback. Vettel was the only driver to beat both Mercedes drivers to pole last year. How many times did he do that then? I assure you it was more than Hamilton split the Red Bulls in 2011/12


Vettel should've had more poles last year!! Hamilton stole pole from him in Hungary and Belgium. Switch 'em around, Hamilton would've won pole at those races in the RB9. Dr. Marko had to administer some tongue-lashings after those quali sessions. We know this 'cos Vettel mentioned it at the FIA awards dinner.


So right you are.


It's a bit familiar at the top. And only on the second race. It looks like we may have far fewer surprises this season than we thought.

Alexander Supertramp

Don't count your chickens just yet Seebee, it was a wet qualifying.


nearly is not enough. if he was the fastest he should've got pole under those conditions with that level of downforce advantage.


Where was Ricciardo's downforce?

Oh, I forgot, the team sabotages Vettel's teammates, right?


did you to see the comparison of vettel's and hamilton's laps? vettel was faster in the corners due to the downforce advantage while hamilton was faster in the straights due to engine driveability advantage. better to go by evidence. if you haven't seen it, it's still on the sky site.


The car was very strong in the middle sector though.


It's obvious Vettel is the best driver on the grid, the british media loves to downplay Vettel's abilities always saying its the car well I'll day this, Merc has huge drivability advantage so it's making them look good in the wet as well as the dry, and that 100hp+ advantage as well??? Who are they trying to kid put Vettel and Hulkenberg in that car it'd be 1988 all over again. Sure if it's dry Merc will run and hide but look at 2012 We all thought the same about the Mclarens look how that ended.


Ah you thought Hulkenberg should have got it.


british media down play vettel? absolute rubbish, they've said he's one of the all time greats on many occasions and stirling moss rates him as high as fangio, what more praise do you expect?


Who says this year won't be 1988 all over again?


Put Hamilton, Alonso, and Raikkonen in those championship Redbull cars They would've won the championships also. So, your 1988 comparison is ridiculous. It is what it is. Redbull better hope for rain tomorrow.


Your at it again tealeaf, there is no way you could possibly know that the other guys wouldn't have won those titles for Red Bull ,or that Seb would have won all 4 with Lewis or Fernando as team mate instead of Mark. Remember Jenson dominating the first half of 2009? There are several drivers capable of delivering championships with the best car, and Vettel is clearly one of them, but we don't know if he is the best out there, just that he might be.


Haha no chance, maybe Alonso would have won 2-3 titles in those Redulls but only if Seb wasn't in the same car as well, talking about lower formulas, wasn't Webber faster than Alonso over a single lap back in the days???


Very biased comment. It's obvious that red bull still has the most downforce and that offsets the power disadvantage in the wet. See Ricciardo in Australia.

If Vettel was as good as you say he'd have dominated in the lower formula's like Senna , Prost or Hamilton.

He didn't even win the f3 championship in 2 attempts. Yes, this does matter because you see what drivers are like driving identical cars.

Let's see how he compares to Ricciardo after a couple of years.


Steve, as per James comment you simply do no know what you are talking about.


Lower Formulas doesn't tell the whole story and Vettel was under drveloped as a driver and physically, Senna dominated against poor competition. I mean come on Martin Brundle often racing Senna??? If you're judging by that then its meaningless. Hamilton got smashed in his first F3 season by average drivers and he was older than Vettel, the boy developed into a champion and the best in the world, accept it.


Yes this is true, I agree.

But drivers also improve in an upscale. Perhaps F1 was more suited to Vettel than the lower formulas.

At the end of the day, you only get judged on how you go against your teammate. And he beat Webber convincingly but not really sure how much bias he got from the team. Lets see how this year unfolds, considering Daniel is also a Marko protegé


Vettel was accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team at age 11 in 1998,and kept on winning various titles, such as the Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2001. In 2003, he was promoted to open-wheel cars and won the 2004 German Formula BMW Championship with 18 victories from 20 races.

In 2005 he drove for ASL Mucke Motorsport in the Formula 3 Euro Series. He was placed fifth in the final standings with 63 points, winning the year's top rookie honours. He tested the Williams FW27 Formula One automobile on 27 September as a reward for this Formula BMW success. He then went on to test for the BMW Sauber team.

2006 became a busy year for the 18-year-old racing driver. He drove his second season in the F3 Euroseries, had two guest appearances in the Renault World Series and was promoted to test driver for Sauber in Formula One. A schedule that resulted in a competitive season with several victories, but ultimately no championships. The title was won by Scotsman Paul di Resta, who ended the year 11 points ahead of Germany's Sebastian Vettel. For much of the season, di Resta and Vettel were exchanging the points lead, but the German's focus wavered towards the end of the year. BMW-Sauber's motorsport director Mario Theissen attributed this to the busy schedule that Vettel undertook as his team's test driver in the last three Grands Prix of the 2006 F1 season

He also made his debut in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Misano, winning after Pastor Maldonado was disqualified. At the next round at Spa-Francorchamps, however, his finger was almost sliced off by flying débris in an accident, and he was expected to be out of racing for several weeks. Nevertheless, he managed to compete in the Ultimate Masters of F3 at Zandvoort the following weekend, finishing in sixth place. He also set the third-fastest lap time, and it surprised his ASM team boss Frédéric Vasseur. Vasseur said: "I was impressed for sure, because at the beginning of the week I was sure he wouldn't race! But he showed good pace from the first practice session. I can't imagine he's 100 per cent but at least we know we can be competitive in the next F3 Euroseries round at the Nürburgring next weekend – that's important."

Vettel competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2007, and took his first win at the Nürburgring. He was leading the championship when he was called up to Formula One permanently.(source Wikipedia)


Very biased comment. It's obvious you are determined to describe any car Vettel does well in as superior in some fashion. Since it's clearly not the outright fastest you chose to claim it has the most downforce.

"If Vettel was as good as you say he’d have dominated in the lower formula’s like Senna , Prost or Hamilton."

Senna hardly "dominated" in lower formulas. And Alonso, frequently described as the "best driver of his generation", had a dismal record in lower formulas. This "you have to look at how a driver did before he got into F1 and not at how he did while in F1" position is a crutch for the Hamilton fans. Pastor Maldonado won a number of junior series, including GP2. Hands up everyone who thinks Maldonado is a better driver than Alonso or Vettel?


Senna utterly dominated Formula Ford and FF2000, I remember seeing him win in the wet at Oulton Park by over a lap!!

In F3 my old colleague Martin Brundle gave him a run, but he won the title ok.

It was very clear in his junior formula days that he was exceptional.


It seems this must be pounded into the more unreasonable around these parts ... in 2012 the McLaren was not fastest throughout, and definitely wasn't the best car. Your car can't be the best when you finish under 80% of the races that your competitors finish. There are no points for looking fast in practice or qualifying.


What are you talking man? In 2012, the Mclaren was definately the fastest car. They had 8 pole positions and 7 wins (7 wins like Red Bull) but they scraped two wins (Hamilton was leading the race when the gearbox broke down in Singapore and Abu Dhabi) a pole position (the team's error in Spain with the fuel, he would have beaten Maldonado anyway with that 2 extra liters needed), but a lot of other points because of operational mistakes when changing the tyres.

Red Bull had more luck and was a very reliable car, but mp4-27 was definately the fastest car on the grid.

I give you a source of the analysis of the 2012 cars made by Speed Week


"McLaren consistently fielded the fastest car in 2012, according to an analysis by Speed Week. Although Red Bull and Ferrari ended up fighting for the title, it was McLaren with the consistently faster car, based on an averaging of race laps throughout the 20-grand prix season. Based on all the fastest race laps this year, McLaren was just 1.8 tenths from perfection, the report claimed. Champions Red Bull came in second with an average of 3.8 tenths off the best, followed by Lotus, at seven tenths."


Tell yourself whatever you need to sleep better at night. There's a reason Vettel isn't rated as highly via public opinion as his title wins seem to say. It's cos most people see he's had the fastest car by far. Now the tables turn a little bit and your singing his praise. The Red Bull has proven to be a fast car it finished 2nd at the last race but your making it seem like it's ridiculously behind. Rubbish. If your looking at performances a damaged Ferrari was only 7 tenths down on pole, how come you aren't touting that performance from an even slower car than the Red Bull?


Rohind, your name should be Rohound because your barking daft.i never said every race but they are constructors Champions 4 years in a row which means they had the fastest car. That is simple fact, so do yourself a favor and read a book instead of talking trash. You might learn something.


I guess by your comments, either you are a total novice to f1 or you are a hamilton or alonso fanboy. Itz only in the biased british and spanish media that Vettel is not highly rated.4 championships on a trot are no mean task, my friend. If you are saying that Red bull has arrived with fastest and best package for each race for last 4 years, then you were watching something else


There's only one reason the certain group of Hamilton supporters that won't openly admit Vettel's greatness and it's down to jealousy. It'd make their golden boy look very average.

Ferrari also has a power advantage on RBR and I'd say Redbull are about 1/2 a second faster than Ferrari so the 7 tenth gap is right.


If it's a fully dry race tomorrow - big if - then it will be interesting to see two things:

a) the pace of the cars on full tanks on a bone dry track

b) can they get to the chequered flag?

Of course, it depends on the big man in the sky. I suspect another wet race is likely tomorrow - and a wet race is a complete lottery - Malaysia 2012 springs to mind.


Oh come on. Vettel wouldn't be up there in the dry. Just as Ferrari and Williams aren't as quick in the wet, Red Bull's issues are hidden in the wet.


But he was up there in the dry Aaron, on the podium behind the Mercs but clear of the McLarens etc.


It's obvious that Seb is one of the best drivers, we have no way of knowing who is the best unless they all have the same car. vettel drove very well today but it is obvious from the sector times that the Red Bull still has the best aero package. Mercedes have the horse power but Red Bull have the down force.


Aaron, the Mercedes aero package is clearly better than McLaren's and Williams, but not as good as Red Bull's, Newey Iis still the best.

Tealeaf, Mercedes of course are perfectly entitled to optimise their engine to their car as Renault do for Red Bull and Ferrari have always done for themselves. Nothing wrong with that. As for keeping the best power units for themselves, I think you will find they are all identical. Your comments about Brundle are clearly born from your refusal to accept Lewis as a top driver and by extension your refusal to show any respect to anyone who disagrees with you on the subject, no matter how much more they clearly know about F1 than you.


Brundle talks nonsense and loves to please the Hamilton fans just to boost his own popularity, underneath that 'polite' person lies a ruthless beast, he's quick enough to get rid of James and Jon Leggard as his co commentators when it suits him, I'm for one sick of him ot's not as if his technical knowledge is that good.

It's obvious Merc is keeping the best PUs for themselves and also they've optimised it best for their car that's why the 'privateers' are behind them.


Brundle said put the merc engine is the RBR and you'd have the best car. SV is not the best driver but he has had the best car and currently has a good car which is getting over its issues. Mind with the fuel flow issue they might end up cheating again and getting DQed.


Fine if Mercedes has the horse power. Explain the lap time deficit other Mercedes teams i.e Mclaren and Williams have to Mercedes when they all run the same power unit???? Mercedes has the best package i.e the best Aero+mechanical+engine package over the rest inculding Redbull period


Even with the same car its hard to tell due to driver preference of setups and conditions at a given time.

David in Sydney

Don't mind wet races but I hate wet qualifying.

Is that you on the F1 app commentary - BBC feed?

Was listening while playing Mahjong. Very civilised. Lost quite a bit of money. 🙂


love it, man!


Yes it is me, Allan McNish and Jennie Gow BBC feed is now taken live on F1 App

Darrin from Canada

Really enjoying Allan McNish (and you of course)during the FP broadcasts. His commentary in Australia telling the F1 drivers how to drive a turbo car properly was fantastic, and made total sense. Him telling you that your age was showing was kinda funny, as I am a lot older than either of you.

Also happy to see an F1 app that is actually pretty good. Excellent move on someone's part.


I just bought the f1 app for that reason and couldn't figure out how to get the feed to work for FP 3. Maybe next race unless I stay up tonight.


You need a fast connection and have to look at the settings in the menu. Maybe try to deactivate some of the other features?


It worked fine for me.


what was the outcome of the bottas/ricciardo incident in Q2?


Three place grid drop for Bottas plus two points on his license.

Bit harsh I think considering the terrible weather, the terrible visibility, that it was only Q2, and also that in the end Ricciardo comfortably made it though to Q3 anyway, but that's just one man's opinion.

Meanwhile Kvyat cleans up Alonso who he could see in front of him and not a peep...


Yeah, that's because it was more FA's fault taking a very wide line before turning on to DK. He can't just evaporate into thin air for the mighty FA after the door was left wide open for him.

Extremely harsh punishment for VB. I've seen worse with no repercussions, let alone points and demotion. (Shakes head in disgust,)


Its weird, although all track camera work is supplied by FOM (so I keep hearing), it felt like different broadcasters got different angles.

BBC show's overhead view consistently looked like Kvyat was slightly ahead of Alonso when they touched, even while the commentator was saying the car behind should be at fault.

Sky's overhead view seemed like a slightly different angle, as it consistently shows the opposite.

However, from Kvyat's car cam, it is Alonso's car that turns into him.

Difficult conditions, I doubt Fernando saw him with all the spray, the angle, and fact he was cornering, but on balance, it looked like the Ferarri banging into the Toro Rosso, rather than the way you read it.


It's true that Alonso turned it in very late, but then there was no need for Kvyat to go steaming up the inside from way back either.

Probably it was just one of those things (and to be fair maybe Kvyat had a small problem with his brakes at that moment) but it just seemed strange to me that there was nothing said about it after they slammed Bottas for less.


i think they have radio communication as well.


Agree Bottas penalty was a bit harsh, but could be worse - could be at the back of the grid, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Random, no disrespect, but I disagree that Sky F1 is better than the BBC coverage. I know DC and Eddie's ahem (cough) sartorial elegance isn't the most visually pleasing, and it is a bit of an anti-climax to watch highlights of a race when you know the result. However, the banter between presenters is superb, Mark Webber is onboard giving some superb insight into the genus that is the modern day F1 driver, Tom and Lee manage to get some off the cuff interviews that are very telling, and DC and Ben are informative and precise in their commentary role without ever being patronising. And let's face it Random, some of the races the BBC doesn't show live, such as Bahrain, Monaco, Hockenhiem and Hungary are, in the dry, boring follow my leader processions anyway!

I bet I get a load of replies bashing the Beeb, but I think it gets its coverage spot on.

Big up the BBC!


I wouldn't presume to say which is better: We had the did get the BBC feed a few years back (with Jonathan Legard and Martin Brundle), and before that from memory we had the ITV feed (with either Murray Walker and Martin Brundle or James Allen and Martin Brundle), and now we get the Sky feed (with David Croft and Martin Brundle), but since the common denominator there is the one and only Martin Brundle it's all good 🙂


Yeah the penalties today were a bit odd...Bottas can consider himself unlucky but for Kvyat not to get a penalty...hmm.


Bottas was given a 3 place grid penalty and 2 points on his license.


So the Merc is a second and half faster than the rest, and according to the pundits Hamilton is half a second faster than everyone else, add the two together and you get 5 hundredths ahead of Vettel, hmm

Nice to see the return of the HAM helmet, what was it again, hard as a marshmallow? As for "still I rise" all I can say to that is 'FACEPALM'!!!?


Equinox aka Taipan please don't sully the reputation jaonf1 site with your usual Anti- Lewis rant like you do at Crash.net. We actually enjoy and appreciate intellegent and non biased conversations on this site.

You actually posted the same drivel, verbatim at crash.


Oh just so well said...

Amazing how when certain site posters have finished creating their own little sycophantic world by getting rid of any sensible contrast to their biased message they need to push onto other sites.

Considering that was a banker lap... Well done Lewis.


HAM is the shortform they use in live timing on TV and on the timing board at the tracks.

What does the name Equinox mean? (dirty hippy)


It was a wet session, meaning most of Mercs advantage gets completely wiped away. Top speed is only important in dry conditions.


where did you get a second and a half from? More like half a second.


He's talking about dry conditions. I have a feeling all this RB love is going to disappear in Bahrain and reality is going to set in.


So am I, it's half a second wet or dry.


The merc has the >1 sec advantage in the dry, in the wet the engine plays less a factor (less on throttle) so the field particular the bulls will close up, in the wet downforce counts more and I think its a reasonable to agree the red bull is most planted out of corners


Also i think both mercs didnt get most out of car on that occasion, Lewis 2nd lap was partially compromised by traffic in front/visability whether or not that contributed to the off track moment not sure but think he could have got more out


Actually the traction advantage goes to the Merc powered cars and especially the works team, yeah sure about the laps but Vettel didn't even get a final lap on new tyres, it'll be a race tomorrow for sure, besides who want's to see Merc dominate and win easily eh...


55-thousandths, or 600-thousandths, the advantage is still 8 metres.


the rules don't include time difference margin.


no facepalm for Vettel missing out on another qualifying lap at the end?


Ok, the Merc is the best car but to be fair to Hamilton, he has had his fair share of poor Mclarens so to notch up 33 poles is pretty impressive.

Also impressive was Vettel. He has a real chance this year to put in some great drives without having the fastest car.

Lastly, when is the Hulk going to get a top drive? He's clearly one of the best out there and currently blowing Perez away. I think in a top car, he'd be racking up the wins.


The Mercedes is a better car but in all fairness, if it wasn't for Hamilton, Red bull would have had 2 poles while Merc none despite their massive car advantage 🙂


James what time does the race start tommorow?

David in Sydney

7pm Sydney. Looking forward to those late night races... not.


James what did I do with my keys? I'm sure they were here somewhere.


They are probably in your pocket

Dont bother James with these questions, better ask Random, he knows best what the rest of us are doing

And dont ask Sebee, he'll say VET ran away with them


I might know what everyone else is doing, but I still don't have any idea what I'm doing... 😉


And tea leaf will say Lrewis stole them


Can't help you there, but remember your library book is due back this week and don't forget to get more worming tablets for the dog!


...plus in the UK the clocks go forward tonight. Don't miss the race start!

What the heck are Williams in particular, an McLaren playing at with their qually strategies! Inters on a wet track fair enough, but not lap after lap after lap.


I think I'm understanding more and more why Claire Williams didn't look too happy after the first race.

They clearly started off with a very strong car but conditions and Caterhams (and a small mistake from Bottas) conspired against them in Melbourne. I think Clare was all to aware that Williams needed to make hay while they could, as McLaren and Red Bull have already brought upgrades to race 2 and I'm sure Williams realize they'll most likely be slipping down the order pretty rapidly until they reach a plateau somewhere in the midfield.

The points they missed out on in Melbourne may well ed up costing them a place or two in the constructors championship come the end of the season.


You have the opportunity ask one of the most informed F1 journalists in the world anything you like...and you ask that? 😛


Can't stop laughing


And unbelievably he gets an answer too.


I am surprised James answered:-)


You say that Random, but I remember when Monaco used to start at 4 o clock UK British Summer Time, one occasion when I rushed back from the supermarket (to get some Nescafe, gotta have your cups of coffee to get you through Monaco) to switch on the TV for 1 o clock only to check the TV listings and read it was actually starting three hours later!

Apparently, the 1981 Canadian Grand Prix started in European time around 6 o clock because there was a delay about the insurance because of the sopping wet weather.

And then of course there was Korea 2010 and Canada 2011..............times, literally do change!


True enough Random - but as you know, races can be delayed quite a bit - like I said Korea 2010 and Canada 2011 springs to mind. And the old fashioned print media is terribly unreliable!


Yes, but that's why we have this new invention called a "TV Guide", which through the very latest in printing technology can list ahead of time and with an almost FIA degree of accuracy the times that various shows and events are due to be shown on your television - and they're usually displayed in your own local time no less! 😀


The irony is that James chose to answer HIS question!!!


16-00 Malay time 09-00 UK time


Has the wet weather helped Redbull?


Christian Horner's comment before Qualifying would suggest so.

He says the RB car is slow on the straights, so that would mean, with no-one able to push too much, it looks much better, and it's ability to corner well is more of an advantage.

Adrian Newey was praying for rain, albeit a shower, after all.


Most definitely. In the dry Merc has a big advantage. As Christian Horner said Maybe, a second faster.


Not really, look at Ricciardo best part of a second slower than Vettel, just wait til you watch the start of the Mercs! Their traction is better than RBR and in the wet drivability is key hence why they're even faster compared to the rest when its raining, Vettel is just a alien and if his car was healthy at Melbourne he would have challenged Rosberg.


Ok Tealeaf, we all get it. You are in love with Vettel and given the way you keep going on you probably believe if his car had of been fine in Australian he would have already won the championship. When you look at reality though vettel (with a working car) was still close to a second off the pace of the Mercs in Aus so would not have challenged Rosberg.


Vettel was a lot slower slower than RIC in Melbourne so dont go counting your chickens just yet Tea-Leaf !


When was he slower than Ric? When the PU started playing up???


It's the money that helps Redbull!


is money not heavy?


Overall (with respect to the entire field) not much but in terms of closing up to Mercedes yes.

In the dry Vettel was still next best after the Mercedes but there was a significant time difference between them. The wet has allowed him to close within striking distance of the Mercedes.


From various paddock whispers it seems the Redbull is the class of the field in terms of downforce (and just look at the shape of the thing it's absolutely gorgeous!), in wet weather this is a big help. They are unlikely to be anywhere in the dry where the underpowered Renault will lose ground on those long straights.


Yes.It gave additional wings to the car


Top speed isn't important in the wet so that's helped them a lot. Although the opposite can be said for Williams who I bet are praying for it to be dry tomorrow.


Fantastic quali by Lewis.But Phenominal drive by Seb- i tip my hat to him. All weekend it looked like Kimi was the man to take it to the Mercs and if its dry and very hot- I think he is still a strong chance - hats off to Ferrari for making the changes he needed and Im sure theres even more pace to come from his car!

Zachary's Disease

Hats off to Kimi....even thou he's in the final chapters of a career that promised more than he delivered, he has realised that perception is very important in F1. I've noticed he has been much more vocal in pointing out what is wrong with the car since he's come back. When Grosjean was out qualifying him he made sure everyone heard what was lacking on the lotus. And now he's paired with one of the greats of motor racing he needs to tell the world what he needs to get him closer to Alonso's pace. Even thou they both are not used to the new car it seems Kimi will get the benefit of doubt and once again Fernando will not receive the credit he deserves. Alonso has given Kimi another lesson today. This time in wet weather driving. But most will say poor Kimi needs more time....and like Massa, lightening might strike once or twice this year but fernando will turn the screws bit by bit and we should see a broken Fin by monza.


Very true Kimi -deserved more than he got at Mclaren - at that time no one on earth was his equal not even MS. But for those Merc engines he is a triple wc. Funny how people talk about Grosjean yet he was out qualied 11:8 and when Lotus reverted to the short wheel base chasis Kimi was 1/2 sec faster at Abu Dhabi.. Grosjean was comprehensively taken apart over both years in every conceivable driver pairing stats..more so than every pairing in F1.

Kimi was faster than Fernando in the dry conditions and the wet definitely is not a strength of his . Both friday sessions saw him find Mercedes pace so its encouraging for the rest of the year. Fernando has 4 years head start a Ferrari- lets give Kimi a few races to find his feet.. Look already how far hes come since Melb and I think Fernando is already getting a bit nervous..with his bs spin already starting


"I have to say that the car was not totally repaired - the steering on the right was so light, on the left it was so heavy. It was very strange to drive but enough to complete the qualifying."

Obviously the problems with steering and front suspension following the incident with Kvyat, did not make the already very difficult track conditions any easier for ALO. Yet the guy both manages fourth AND beating for 2nd consecutive time his team mate RAI. RAI, who had no problems at all with steering/machine. Not bad for the bad qualifier, ALONSO! 🙂


Alonso is a not bad qualifier mate, i do understand what do you mean

Alonso had to drive around the problems in quali with the car after the damage which was mend by the Ferrari team in FP2. yet alonso have done a superb lap and his efforts today reflects the class which he possess. Simply brilliant

Alonso is bad qualifier? This is a clear myth and complete drivel

Had alonso not suffered the issues in FP2 and had a car which does not have any issues. He would have finished in P2 or P3.

Here's one who hope to see the magician heroics come the race day tomorrow


Yes, I was obviously being totally ironic. His stats compared to his team mates spells it out.

Also, his record in the wet is very indicative of how good he really is compared to the others - as in the wet the downforce levels are more equal between different packages (flattering the bad designs) and the driver skills is the decisive factor. I recall what he did back in 2012 when it was wet...yes, magic 🙂


What is funny is that Kimi (or Kimi fans at least) are always talking about the steering feeling Kimi needs to feel the car and exploit his potential, and that he is not finding the spot he likes at the moment. So small changes are needed that could make a big difference on Kimi's performance.

Then Alonso goes out with a steering wheel that can be turned with one finger to the right, but all the strength of the two arms is needed to turn it to the left, and in his first (actually second) lap he is one second clear of Kimi Raikkonen.

Indeed, it is a bit ridiculous. What Kimi has to do is put his head down and work hard, and stop talking about set up issues or frond end feeling or whatever. All drivers have setup issues, all setups can be improved. Has anyone heard talking Alonso about setup issues? No, that was something Massa was always talking about. I don't want Kimi to follow that trend. Just work harder, and if you get as soundly beaten as he is getting, just say "well played" to your teammate, and "I will work harder to beat you the next time".


"Not bad for the bad qualifier, ALONSO!"



Fernando "150%" Alonso

Is a battlefield out here :-S


Well done Lewis 🙂

Also seems Redbull has officially caught up, now once they get their way with the fuel flow the momentum may actually swing to them!!

Who would've have thought lol

Anyway here is me wishing for a very entertaining race tomorrow and especially for Lewis to win and Rosberg 2nd 🙂

P.S what happen to McLaren and Williams( please Williams, don't disappoint)


"Also seems Redbull has officially caught up"

Yup, only 1.5 seconds adrift of Mercedes in dry conditions...


Williams don't like very wet conditions at the moment - it was the same in Australia

They have been a bit unlucky so far!


I think williams earned their bad luck this time. Sending both cars out with wrong tyres and hoping weather to cahnge was gambling big time.


They'll be hoping we don't get a freak rain storm in Bahrain then! 😉


They have not been topping the time sheets in FPs in dry conditions.have they?

Alexander Supertramp

Right! This is the time to capitalize on a great car and back to back quali's are hit by rain. They desperadly need a dry race.


Another nice wet qualifying session with plenty of action and yes red flags, however, the rain at the end of Q3 rather spoiled things a bit as the drivers weren't able to improve their times as the flag fell.

Anyway congrats to Lewis on equaling a record 33 poles for a British driver, it was a good performance more so as it was touch and go between him and Vettel.

Likewise, good result by Vettel and Red Bull, the wet sessions have worked in their favour as this means the team hasn't been losing time on the straights as the Renault engine is down on power.

It would appear that Rosberg was the most affected by the rain because he looked the most comfortable on the medium tyres during practice >>> or perhaps Lewis was keeping his gun powder dry, who knows.

As for Alonso, he sure was fortunate the car was able to get fixed in time otherwise, Malaysia was proving to be a unlucky venue after last year's DNF.

Apart from Lewis and Vettel, the other star of the day has to be Hulkenberg. He sure loves his wet conditions after the surprise pole at Intelagos 2010.

Mclaren made a couple of mistakes with the tyre strategies but overall, the front wing upgrades don't appear to have brought added performance.

Shame about Williams but lets see what they can do with their race pace.

Right, seeing as it's very difficult to rain on both qualifying and the race, I reckon we will have a fun dry race tomorrow.


I still can't figure out why Q2 was redflagged for the Kvyat/Alonso collision. No broken cars or significant debris on the track (that one could see on TV anyway), the weather was not worse than at other times, etc.

It certainly helped Alonso out by allowing them time to fix the suspension. I hope he bought the mechanics a nice dinner - super piece of work to get that fixed.


"Apart from Lewis and Vettel, the other star of the day has to be Hulkenberg."

I hope the only reason you don't think Alonso was class of the field today even when he ouqualified his world champion teammate by a whole second with a damaged car its because we are so used to that kind of performances from him that it just doesnt stand out anymore.


@ Mocho_Pikuain

Lol excuse me, I missed Alonso's performance by mistake.

Yes he too was a stand out performance.



Can Ferrari work on Alonso's car to balance the steering during parc ferme?


They can replace anything broken or damaged


Yes. but can they recalibrate?

Interesting no one's talking about the noise today...


It was terrible.....I really-really hate it,especially the whistle when the car is approaching the corner. Did you hear the noise form the on-board camera? Man..........shocking. They killed the sport.


From memory, the Bridgestone intermediates could clear that amount of water.


I wouldn't read too much into this qualifying session, rained out yet again. It is very hard to judge a car's true performance level in Noah's Ark conditions.

That's the second wet qualifying session. Does the Big Man in the Sky not want to see this new turbo-hybrid cars on low fuel being wrung their necks by the drivers?


Still, at least in Bahrain next week it will be dry, so whatever the outcome tomorrow, Bahrain will be the first time that the cars can actually have their necks wrung for an entire weekend on a dry track.


I have a feeling Bahrain is going to be a Mercedes domination.




I'm not a Hamilton fan, and his touchy horde do tire me at times, BUT hats off to the man. He did it.

In the photo opt Hamy is all smiles, but I wonder how Toto, Nicki and the others feel at Mercedes. Maybe it's just because of the wet, but the speed of Vettel & the the Bull is amazing (consider where they were in testing).

We only hear about the Renault power plant at the Bull when they're not happy. It's beginning to look like we'll hear less and less about Renault.


A bit early to start thinking the Renault PU issues are resolved. Look at Lotus, their problems can't be all their own. How many Renault powered cars retired at the last race?


You're right Jake. It is too early. It's just that given where they were in testing, the progress made is so much more than anyone was expecting. All the talk was about seeing Vettel race from the back of the field.

Let's pack our suitcases. Bahrain is only six days away.



The Renault gets no credit when all is well.


it's pretty clear that our adrian hasn't lost his touch , the RBR clearly has the best downforce as shows in the wet when you can't use all the power anyway

mercedes isn't going to be alone at the front for long if renault get their engine sorted

have to be a little sorry for team willie ...really competitive in the dry when they can use the power they have , but really midfield at best in the wet when they can't


Jenson Button is getting destroyed once again. He's always been a solid number two.


Unfortunately for Jenson the new boy looks like the real deal.


Except when he wasn't--2009 (WDC?) and 2011 (2nd in WDC to Vettel).

He was trying an alternate strategy that had conditions changed could have got him on pole. Gutsy call, even if it didn't work out.


not at all, button was on inters.


Sorry but he didn't get destroyed. You are wrong.


Of course he's getting destroyed. Button is just an average driver. All things being equal Kevin Magnusson will eat him alive. He's younger and faster.


In a stunning revelation it was later announced that Mercedes had used a mixed set of full wets and intermediates for this pole lap.

Merc says their data indicates this was the fastest way around the track and that FIA rules notwithstanding they are going to do it their way.

If the FIA attempts to discipline them they will sue and FIA can just lump it.


In a stunning revaluation, some posters don't know the difference between regulations and directives. Somewhat amusing though.

kenneth chapman

can you provide the source for this revelation? would appreciate it.


Rain is where great drivers set themselves apart from very good drivers.

Looking team by team, Hamilton got 6 tenths from Rosberg, and Vettel and Alonso a full second from Riccardo and Raikkonen.

When people say Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso are a step above the rest (Rosberg, Raikkonen, etc.) thats the reason

Another interesting comparisons in Force India and McLaren: Hulkenberg got 8 tenths from Perez although at different times so not really comparable, and Magnussen TWO full seconds of Button, although again they were in different tyres, so not really comparable.(although still it say a lot about both of them)


Button got desperate and 'gambled' on inters instead of full wets. I'm sure he'll be 'gambling' with his strategy during the race.


I agree somewhat with you for the teammates on the same tire, but you can't compare when they are on two different compounds-Button was up a couple tenths on MAG at the end of Q2, both on inters, so what does that say? Probably says not enough data!


i thought that qualifying took place in abnormal conditions, in the wet?


Good effort by Alonso with a "broken car", I suspect that FP was not representative, I beat Alonso was working on the race and Kimi in other stuff, and the FP practice comparison was useless.


What is most interesting is that the car was really broken. I watched on RTL and the commentator (former driver) said Alonso would be missing Q3 100 percent. So the damage was quite serious. Respect to his talent.


The talent is with the mechanics that repaired the car and allowed Alonso to get out for Q3.


His talent did not fix his car so that he could race again. I am shocked that mechanics were able to do it, good job!


I clearly don't understand why people are thinking RB10 is slow car.they might hav less straight line speed as it has been all these years. They hav made big step forward from bahrain to aus and know in malaysia and the mercedes engine advantage counts for nothing when it rains .


The weather flattered them today though; in the dry they are losing almost a second on the straights so when the others are using DRS to overtake Seb and Ricciardo, they will struggle to do anything.

The main issue they have is reliability..they must finish the race tomorrow and get some points on the board.


Well, if that's the case. The engine advantage will play itself out in a very dry Bahrain. I suspect it won't be pretty for Redbull.


WOW Vettel

Pure class, wonderful drive. It will be interesting if as I assume by the speed trap they are running with a bit of wet setup.

WOW Hulkenberg

For me this guy is already one of the best 4 or 5 drivers on the paddock.

WOW Alonso

Having put a second on Kimi without convergence of the set up settings on the front, due to the collision with Kvyat, is something only he can do. Pure talent.

These three performances were a level above the rest.


Agree, specialy on the Hulk matter. I don't know why is he still on a midfield team. Lack of strong sponsor? Its wasting his talent there.


Hulkenberg getting the force india up amoung the big boys is fantadtic.


I'll sign that!


you are right, Alonso and Vettel did got qualy in those conditions and with their technical issues. That's why they are champions.


Just a comment on the Alonso-Kimi comparison in free practice, as I see people confusing things here. Alonso was running with more fuel than Kimi in all Fps. Their program was different for this race. Alonso was more focused on the race, as there are difficulties with tyre management. Alonso was asked if he had some kind of problems in free practice, and denied it, he explained the difference on fuel loads with the other side of the garage.

However, Kimi did very good laps in practice on soft tyres, while Alonso's were far from perfect, as Hamilton's.


Anyone think Alonso deserved a penalty for turning in on Kvyat?


yes , but being ferrari he will get away with it


Will Magnusson be able to change his damaged diffuser in parc femme conditions before the race?


bring Hulkenberg in Mclaren next year alongside the young dane...the hulk is being wasted!


button does a better job.


Hulkenberg would smash Magnusson.


Amazing job by the Ferrari pit crew, at least to a layman like me. Exactly how long did they take to repair Alonso's suspension? 7-8 minutes I guess?

To me, this was the outstanding moment in the qualifying.


If we had a race Kit I bet you $5 I could change it in under 7 days 😉

Very good job by Ferrari 🙂


Well, what did we really learn?

Mercedes is clearly ahead, but what trend?

It seems their pace advantage is smaller.

There is no arguing that they have pace they hold back during free practice, (even if they have the top times in free practice); but are they still holding back advantage in the bag, to manage the spectacle?

Lewis, good; surprised people haven't followed the past five years very closely.

I do find it extraordinary that Alonso is a second faster than Kimi; I'll keep my eye on that.

Anyone surprised by Vettel's extraordinary capability, have not been interpreting the past five years very well, nor the fact that Red Bull are on the precipice of challenging the Mercedes advantage. The machinery, besides power, is AT LEAST as good as the Mercedes, slightly better tire management, which shall be a factor tomorrow, if dry.

The Hulk continues to dazzle, and I echo one comment about bemoaning his lack of a top drive; let's hope for it by next year, at the latest.

I'd like to have my money on the red 7, but I think the blue 1 is going to be the challenger for the silver twins.


fantastic picture up top of the best f1 driver to have stepped foot in the sport sporting his new stylish helmet and matching gloves which complement his race suit and car livery perfectly.

what a crazy qualifying session, button went for it and was unfortunate as more water fell onto the track. I hoped button was on pole today to add spice to the racing tomorrow. hopefully we'll enjoy an exciting race.


Hope RBR doesn't sort out their issues anytime soon. Would love to see Vettel hustle an imperfect car for most of the season.


It's always more interesting in the rain.

Let's hope for the rain on Sunday.


I hear that Red Bull are protesting the results of qualifying. They are claiming that their timing systems show Sebastian Vettel in fact crossed the line before the end of the session.


Were they using a Gill's timer?


Can anybody explain to me whether and how can Renault and Ferrari catch up with Mercedes in terms of engines?

Is there a way for Ferrari to reduce the 50-75 hp deficit and make the engine lighter? Can Renault get on par with Merc and therefore allow Red Bull to dominate again?

What is possible and what these teams are going to be doing?


slightly off topic but, 2nd grand prix of the year, and hardly a mention of tyres!

The drivers are racing again.

Thank you F1