Hamilton quickest as Ferrari hit trouble on final day of Bahrain test
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  09 Apr 2014   |  5:13 pm GMT  |  323 comments

Lewis Hamilton ended the first in-season test of the season almost 1.5 seconds clear of his rivals as Ferrari were forced to call an early halt to their final day with a damaged chassis.

Mercedes spent the day tyre testing for Pirelli and Hamilton’s best time came in the morning session when he posted a lap of 1:34.136. That was good enough to stand for the rest of the day, with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne second with a lap of 1:35.557. The Frenchman got through 63 laps of the Sakhir circuit despite bringing out the red flags in the morning when he went off at Turn Four. Hamilton, meanwhile, managed a total of 120 laps.

Kevin Magnussen was third fastest on his second day at wheel for McLaren. The Dane’s running was limited, however. A car problem pitched him into the gravel traps shortly before lunch however and the team spent much of the afternoon repairing damage to the chassis. He emerged late on to record his P3 time but was restricted to just 26 laps in total.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, was forced to call a halt to his day’s work after just 12 laps. The Spaniard was running the chassis raced by Kimi Raikkonen in last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix and the team discovered damage to the chassis that could be traced back to the Finn’s collision with a kerb at Turn Four during FP1 of the race weekend.

A Ferrari spokesman said that the team had repaired “the local damage during the weekend, but it has now become clear that there was also some consequential damage, unseen over the remainder of the weekend. This damage became only apparent this morning, and we stopped running on a precautionary basis in order to fix the chassis.”

The day’s fourth-fastest time went to Bahrain GP podium-finisher Sergio Perez. The Mexican recorded a time of 1:36.586 over his 64 laps.

Red Bull Racing also encountered problems. The team’s morning programme was disrupted by an electrical issue that forced the team to shift the planned mapping work to the afternoon session.

That meant that Ricciardo spent most of the second half of the day on information-gathering runs focused on aero data.

“There were no real performance runs, just pure testing,” said the Australian afterwards. “At the end of the day we got a few medium-length runs in and a few balance changes, like we did yesterday. So, not really a day for the timesheets but one for the people at the factory and the guys behind the laptops.”

Jules Bianchi was sixth fastest, with the French driver also putting in a healthy 93 laps for Marussia. Giedo van der Garde took over from teenager Sergey Sirotkin at the wheel of the Sauber C33 and the Dutchman’s best time of 1:37.623 was good enough for seventh spot on the timesheet.

There were more problems for Renault-powered runners. Caterham got through a productive morning and continued to make progress in the afternoon, but after 66 laps, Marcus Ericsson stopped on track at Turn Eight, his CT05 sidelined with an ERS problem.

Romain Grosjean, though, could only manage 17 laps, Lotus again suffering with power unit issues. A grim Grosjean later said that the issues were “just not acceptable”.

Finally, Williams test driver Felipe Nasr finished in tenth position as the team devoted its final day to tyre testing for Pirelli.

Bahrain Test – Day Two Times
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.136s 120
2. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:35.557s +1.421s 64
3. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:36.203s +2.067s 26
4. Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.586s +2.450s 63
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:37.310s +3.174s 67
6. Jules Bianchi  Marussia 1:37.316s +3.180s 93
7. Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1:37.623s +3.487s 77
8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:37.912s +3.776s 12
9. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:39.263s +5.127s 66
10. Felipe Nasr   Williams 1:39.879s +5.743s 64
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:43.732s +9.596s 17

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is this article about redbull or isn’t there one for mercedes?


take hamilton out of a race and it would be boring like melbourne. put him in a race and it’d be a thriller, like bahrain. unfortunately there isn’t a single driver who could play his role.


i have been searching youtube to see of there has ever been a driver winning a race in a slower car involving exchange of positions as we witnessed hamilton display in bahrain on sunday? there may have been some exchanges of positions down the field but certainly not upfron. am keen to see them so please don’t be shy to post the link.


Conventional thinking would have had Nico take that race by a fair margin. Nico had better set up and the faster tyre, the win was in the bag.

Lewis defended superbly for sure, however Nico did get in front and that should have been game over for Lewis. So why did Nico not win as pretty much everybody expected? With equal engine power, other than skill, the only other difference has to be related to the ERS and the way it can be used to defend and attack. Looks like the Cerebrally challenged Lewis just used his ERS better.


jake, hamilton said he tutored mechanical engineering students from oxford and harvard universities so I’m not surprised he out calculated professor nico.

so far i still haven’t come across a race as exciting. none from fangio, stewart, clark, prost, senna, schumacher and vettel.


@kenneth chapman, over the malaysian Grand Prix weekend, hamilton said so to the cameras and it was on the sky site. i cannot remember the title but you should be able to find it if you watch his interview videos over that weekend. are you asking because you find it hard to believe?

kenneth chapman

@ aveli re hamilton ‘tutoring harvard and oxford uni engineering students. now that is interesting. could you please post the source of this information as i am somewhat sceptical?


Ferrari = such a joke you don’t even need to be able to deliver a joke well to make the whole room disentegrate with laughter. Just say “Ferrari”.

Testing is so important, you’ve screamed for years that you can’t test in-season, now you’ve got a test and you blow it by running a car you knew had been damaged? oh, it was damaged worse than we thought. Couldn’t see that one coming?


Not a problem if your Competitors are also struggling. Merc, already 1.5 seconds a lap ahead, only managed 4 race distances, so no real loss.. 🙂


I thinks what sucks about all this for Alonso is that he won’t be champion with Ferrari. Ferrari seems to be comfortable with the fact that they’ve been coming 3rd or 2nd in the constructors for years while Alonso has been fighting to become 1st but he can only get as far as 2nd, blood, sweat and tears. What else can explain why the hell they didn’t get the bloody “wind tunnel” sorted out until after the 3rd year. Ferrari is more than solvent backed by their sponsors, Santander and Alonso principally. This year only shows how they’ve been riding the backs of their sponsors while everyone else has been working to be winners. The Ferrari excuse is growing tired.


Yes Beaverbill you are spot on mate

Alonso is Winner and simply born to win alone, nothing else. Whereas Ferrari are team with bunch of people who does not simply have what it takes to win ever since 2009 to this point. As you nailed it Ferrari are happy with P2, P3 or even P4 in WCC standings. Even then without Alonso’s Colossus efforts four the last five season Ferrari would have not even finished inside P5 in the WCC

It’s no brainer Alonso have to leave this Lackdaisical team and find some other option himself for 2015 to have decent shot at WDC. The crisis which Ferrari have will not be resolved anytime sooner. As far as santander they have to find partners who are only interested to win and be NO 1 in what ever they do rather tahn being with failure Ferrari


I’m guessing Alonso has 2-3 years left in him at his peak.

Reality is can he win a 3rd title in those years at Ferrari (or even Mclaren)? In my view it is doubtful.

It is my opinion that Alonso has to start looking after himself and try and get himself into a Mercedes or Red Bull.


Do not see Merc being interested in Alonso. He has history with equal status at a team. he would need to prove that is behind him for a season or two with Kimi and by then it is probably to late. If Merc change their line up then I think only Vettel is in with a chance and that really depends on how he handles DR this year. If DR is close or dare I say ahead, then even Vettel has no chance, better to stay with what you know.


murray walker says f1 is if spelled backwards. it’s all possible.


I wish Alonso have more than 2-3 years, maybe somewhere in the region of 6-7 years. The man is real treat to watch on the track and he gives every once of himself week-in / week-out for F1


I’m sure he’ll be around longer than that, but most drivers lose pace after 35 and rely more on their experience etc.

There are exceptions though like Mansell.


Is there any real significance to the fact that Lewis posted the fastest time while doing tyre testing for Pirelli? I am assuming that Pirelli are testing experimental compounds that may or may not, depending on test results, make their way into the race tyre production run for next season. If so, then Lewis has proved to be fast on a tyre that no one, including himself, can use this season.

Shouldn’t we be looking at who is fastest on 2014 production race tyres instead?


Read the report from Pirelli. They stated they were doing comparison test. They would run a new test tyre and a control tyre in the same conditions and compare the results. There is every chance Hamiltons time was on the control tyre, most likely a tyre from the current range.


Aldo Costa has designed one gem of a race car in this years Mercedes.


Ferrari has to fire Pat Fry and let James Allison run the show in terms of car design. Then he can listen to both the drivers properly and give them what they want even if they end up with 2 different configs of Chassis for each driver. James Allison is the best man to decode Kimi’s economical way of speaking when it comes to feedback. And yes I really don’t think the Ferrari engine is terrible in terms of design. It might be that they lack the software coding to get everything out of it working perfectly. Face it, Ferrari is not gonna show up building sub-standard engines. If they are not so good at the technology side as in with something out of their comfort zone, they quickly learn and become better. In 2009 Ferrari engineers struggled with KERS. But now we see similar technology on the La Ferrari road car. Upgrade the software or employ more people who can do it for them. So yeah, then come back in 2015 stronger!

Considering, how things are going so far, I guess, Alonso will run out of patience before any of the above can happen.


ferrari are not the only team in f1 the other teams also want to win and it’s a team effort.


The problem with your thesis is that the software is central to the power unit working competitively. I wonder if Ferrari got a little ‘tractor’ about it all and downplayed the software development.


I am continually surprised that many experts are still saying that Rosberg is supposedly the more ‘cerebral’ of the two Mercedes drivers. I feel that Hamilton has proven to the doubters that he is actually the more ‘cerebral’ driver out of himself and Rosberg in the last two races.

So James, who do you think is the most cerebral out of these two, and in the whole of Formula 1?


This is a bit of a pointless argument. Lewis himself has said Nico is smarter than him – he speaks 5 languages and has a host of mathematical and statistical skills that Lewis doesn’t – but that only matters if they are playing the ‘speak 5 languages game when describing aero modelling calculations’ game – when it comes to close quarters racing, even the ‘cerebral’ drivers can admit that raw instinct is probably more useful.

I think what Hamilton has proved is that just because he’s a more ‘instinctive’ racer doesn’t mean he’s incapable of understanding the complexities of overall race strategy. It’s not a zero-sum game – just because you are good at one thing it doesn’t automatically make you bad at the other.

In terms of ‘cerebral’ (which is a vague term anyway) – clearly Button, Vettel and Alonso are up there in terms of ‘managing a race in their heads’ – they ask for more information and think about the race in more strategic terms as a natural approach. Lewis clearly doesn’t work that way – and he’s fairly proud of that – that he can sit in a car and go fast instinctively. I think this shows up in his occasional rants to his engineers – one minute it’s tell me more, the next it’s stop talking to me. That’s the sign of a guy who is occasionaly overwhelmed with information, but clearly he is more naturally gifted than most and can handle it overall.

I think the argument of who is more cerebral is answered easily, it’s Nico. The argument that probably annoyed Lewis is that saying Nico is more cerebral seemed like saying Lewis was dumb and raw talent only. Lewis is clearly very smart and he’s now proved that.


auraf1, with all due respect hamilton was asked if rosberg was more intelligent and he responded saying rosberg spoke several languages etc. he never said rosberg was more intelligent than he is. on the contrary, he said it wasn’t true that people say rosberg is more intelligent than he is. he made references to several contributions he had made to the engineering of his car.

hamilton is not any more instinctive than any of the drivers in f1. what I don’t understand is that people label hamilton as instinctive but never call any other driver instinctive.

all the drivers are in competition to drive f1 cars fast. hamilton does that better than all other drivers and some people don’t like it so they try to find other ways of belittling hamilton. he outdrove alonso in his rookie season. if alonso was more intelligent he would’ve out driven hamilton when they were teammates. he knew he couldn’t so he resorted to other means. hamilton outdrove kubica in f3 time and time again. what does he have to do before all this talk about cerebral, intelligent and instinctive stops? i remember a few years ago when the official f1 site carried out a quiz on all the drivers hamilton scored higher than rosberg, alonso, vettel and kubica. that is the only test of intelligence i have seen so why is that not used as a measure of intelligence?

i bet james allen has extremely fleshy palms.




how would you cope if hamilton wins most of the races this season james? or will you ask him to tone it down too?


Please respect the site, that’s all


i agree with you aveli,,,james couldnt answer your questions because theres no proof to back up what theyve been saying.james you say its one dimentional,but this constant nonsense about lewis is one dimentional,it started when lewis and button were team mates.i love how lewis keeps proving his doubters wrong.but he seems to have to keep proving himself every race weekend,despite having such a strong record in f1.he’s beaten every teammate he has,and 2 of them were world champs.


With respect to James I’ll make my final point. I disagree. As I pointed out in my original comment I am NOT one of the people saying Hamilton is unintelligent etc. I am saying this is MOTOR-RACING and all the talk of ‘cerebral’ and ‘intelligence’ is mostly POINTLESS. As Boogwar said very eloquently – we have a system in this sport to decide who’s the best driver – it’s called the championship points system.

Whoever wins at the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether they were ‘instinctive’ or ‘cerebral’ – these terms mean nothing. We have ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. Sometimes we have valiant losers. Sometimes we have slightly undeserving winners.

I am not a particular Hamilton fan nor detractor. I am pretty objective. He is almost certainly the fastest single lap driver ‘inherently’ and one of the raciest drivers since Senna. In the same manner I think Nico Rosberg is a very talented driver but he’s yet to prove himself more than the son of a champion. Can he do it? Sure. Is he naturally faster than Lewis? Probably not. But as we’ve seen with countless champions – the outright fastest driver is not always the champion at the end of the year. If it was we’d just watch the qualifying and call that the whole game.

I just love F1 and the different personalities and engineering that comes out in this competition. I don’t hate ANY driver. I may occasionally have a bad word for Maldonado for being reckless or Vettel for being petulant – but I don’t think either is a bad driver. I’m not bad as a karting racer myself and even I am objective enough to know that even the worst F1 driver would whip me on any circuit.

But as this is James’ site and he’s asked us to stop, feel free to reply, but I won’t respond any further. Luckily this didn’t descend into childish name-calling like so many F1 sites, so thanks for that.


Can you please turn down the constant Hamilton stuff? It’s very one dimensional


Was it Einstein who said…’Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’…? Cerebral ‘prowess’ is a measure that is hard to quantify. Kinda like the uncertainty principle in quantum phys. It could be argued that intelligence is a product of what is known and how this knowledge is applied. Since what is known is always in a state of flux (ongoing process) its hard to know at any instant in time. So why bother? Instead focus on the resultant vector (WDC points) as a ranking system. Its the only one that counts, in my opinion, in these days of cerebral setups and cerebral race strategy and cerebral tyre strategy et al….


“But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

The fish might believe it’s stupid, but at least it will still be happy to know that it’s light years smarter than the guy who’s sitting there judging the tree climbing fish competition 🙂


Well put. If this were the grand master chess championship we could worry about outright ‘intelligence’ (which everyone is struggling to define in the social and biological sciences anyway) but fans of Nico and Lewis can relax and use a much better assessment which is the points system.


There are people who think the driver is juggling the fuel usage and tyre degradation against the race pace in their heads. The reality is that there are a team of people with computers working all that out and keeping the driver up to date with the required lap pace and engine modes etc.

If you take the argument to the ridiculous then Einstein should be WDC. The fact is, no matter how smart you are that can only get you part of the way to the top, the very best drivers do not think how to drive, it is instinctive, and that is an ability you either have or you are on this site as a fan… 🙂


+ 1,000,000,000


I wouldn’t describe Hamilton as cerebral but my contacts at Marc say that he’s more than capable of dealing with all the management aspects of modern F1 cars.

The most intelligent drivers are probably Vettel, Alonso. Kubica was pretty special too.


dc comes across very capable at analysis james and he analysed the bahrain race excellently. mcnish turned up at the end of the race with negative analysis about mercedes benz allowing their drivers to race but as soon as he heard coulthard’s supportive comments about mercedes’ contribution to the show by allowing their drivers to race he soon changed his tune. i know mcnish was with you james because i listened to you. your commentary didn’t relay the whole story until i watched the bbc hi lights. what a race!


here is another example james, on sunday rosberg and hamilton started the race on the same tyre. when the red lights went off, hamilton chose a shorter distance to get to the first corner by keeping his steering wheel straight while rosberg weaved defensively, travelling a longer distance to the first corner. which one of them made a more intelligent choice?


james, if you look at some footage of schumacher (best wishes) driving the mercedes, you will notice that the takes his hand of the steering to adjust the brake balance, which is a long metal bar running alongside his leg. both schumacher and rosberg drove the car like that for 3 years but as soon as hamilton got there he asked them to remove it as it heavy, and replace the brake balance controls with buttons on he steering wheel. is that not demonstration of superior intelligence? that change allowed them to position the extra weight to improve performance of the car. hamilton listed several changes he made I just cannot remember them now.


This cerebral stuff is really starting to interest me. I personally think people are overdoing it just so there is a narrative that fits.

It would be interesting James if on a slow news day you could do a piece (not on any specific driver) but just on the cerebral vs instinctive drivers, who tends to come out on top.

My guess is that there could be a middle ground somewhere else the cerebral suffers from analysis paralysis and the instinctive just pulls off the audacious or memorable but regularly bins it or misuses the car potential.



Much as I like him as a person I always felt DC suffered what you call analysis paralysis.


Ferrari power pack seems to be working in the back of the Marussia, with Bianchi 6th…”Fernando…..Bianchi is faster than you”..!!!


Whilst everyone is having a handbag fight and ripping in to the Ferrari establishment, did it ever cross anyones minds that Ferrari might have wanted to get to the bottom of Raikkonens issues by putting the car he used in Bahrain under the microscope by letting Alonso have a test in it.

I thought (whether from the contact or set up) that Kimi’s car looked like a slug on Sunday.

Ferrari need to have a less “desperate to win” approach and slow down and be cunning about their approach to inovation from now on. If you force it, you wont achieve anything.


Great comment. I have often said Ferrari needs to change its mentality and start to really “enjoy” going racing again.

Innovation comes from people having the freedom and creativity to do things differently. Im sure all staff appreciate the pressure of working for the prancing horee and don’t need it reminded to them every day- both inside and outside the organisation.

However in order to drive that change Ferrari need different leadership an a fresh perspective. This is what most people bashing Ferrari rightly see.


Another trouble year for Ferrari, rather embarrassing for a sports car manufacturer. I really wonder what adjectives Alonso would’ve use if not for the fat paycheck. Kimi must have prepared the refrigerator stocked up with ice cream. Did Bee Gees write that song Tragedy specially for Ferrari? If they do catch up it has to be a miracle from god knows where.

Goodness, Merc has even a larger lead than when Red Bull was dominating. So in 2014 there are now 2 series for F1. If in China Merc takes the win by more than a minute I consider this year doomed! Will Bahrain be just the one race that we are lucky to have seen, I sure hope not.

Maybe Maldanado is the saving grace we can keep when races gets boring then radio him to whack someone hence a safety car for the last 10 or 15 laps for close racing.


There is no point extending the gap anymore than the time penalty for a pit stop, (as we saw last week the SC can wipe that out), better to save fuel/tyres/engine.


Mercedes look absolutely solid with both drivers. Despite McLaren’s assertion I doubt any team will catch Mercedes, certainly not soon enough to challenge for the championship, but of course they have to remain optimistic. Not even sure McLaren’s assertion that they are the second fastest team, certainly they don’t have as good a chassis as Red Bull, but then who does! There may be some close races towards the end, but I suspect the constructors will long have been wound up with maybe only the WDC to be decided between the Mercedes drivers.


it’s all possible.


So is a manned mission to Mars, but they have not done it yet! I don’t see anyone getting close before mid season, and given that Mercedes will also be developing I think it’s an extremely tall order.


that’s possible too.


Hoping for this failed testing Domenicali will be finally fired.


Fernando Alonso must be thinking what did he do in a previous life. He last won a world title 8 years ago! How many more opportunities will he get? Ferrari are going backwards.

Lewis looks mega lately, his move to Mercedes was a genius move. Taking a hit last year with the sole focus on 2014 and its paying dividends now. Rosberg shows signs of impressive pace but its his consistency over the season worries me.

Should be a fantastic battle. Although we have a dominant car in the Mercedes, as long as the two team mates are close it should make it interesting.


Also, Lewis didn’t really take a hit last year. The 2013 Mercedees was light years of the McLaren. Had he stayed there, he would have had a winless season (his first, surely?)


how do we know that? hamilton could’ve made that mclaren go much faster.


@bob, hamilton is as good as he is and nothing i say will change that. hamilton drove for mclaren in 2009 with a car which performed poorly out of the points most of the time at the start of the season. he pushed the development of the car in such a direction that he qualified on pole and won the race and from then on, scored much better points for the rest of the season. if you think otherwise, why is it that mclaren weren’t able to win last season and we will see if they can win a race this season. if it’s the car then they should be able to do it with or without hamilton.

secondly, i know that hamilton won the race in hungary with a car which wasn’t capable because rosberg didn’t do so well in the same car. the wolf said hungary was hamilton’s race last year.

why does it pain so much?



First of all, at Hungary last year he qualified on Pole, so how exactly you figured out that the car wasn’t capable of a win I don’t know. Merc’s issues last year was tire wear. Considering Hungary is a VERY hard track to overtake on, winning from pole is hardly a massive feat.

Second of all, when will you lot stop telling us that Hamilton won with a bad car in 2009? Hamilton did NOT win with a bad car in 2009 – he won with a good car that was all but brand new after the pathetic start to the season they had.

At the start of 2009 when he DID ACTUALLY have a bad car his results were pathetic. His round 6, 7, 8 and 9 results were 12th, 13th, 16th & 18th respectively. It wasn’t until the 10th round and after they had given him a basically new car did he win.

If Hamilton is so brilliant and ‘can win even in a bad car’ how exactly do you explain his results in the first half of 2009???


I said he could’ve, i didn’t say he would’ve.


Not even Lewis would have put that McLaren at the top, however arguably he could have led development in a different direction which may have resulted in a fluke podium. It’s all speculation, the car was a dog.


we will not know because he wasn’t there to do it. all I know is he won in hungary last year with a car which wasn’t capable of a win and he also won in his mclaren which started the season at the back of the field. am able to cope with events which actually took place.


A couple of tenths, maybe?

There’s not a driver on the grid who could have dragged that McLaren to the top step of the podium.


And how do we know that?


That McLaren was over a second per lap off the pace. and never even got close to winning anything. You and I both know that Hamilton (or any driver on the grid) could not make up that deficit over Button.


Thing is, he didn’t know that, nobody did. He was leaving a front running team for a middle order team, that’s one very large gamble!

Good for him I say.


I like Alonso, I really do. But I don’t think he needs to look quite as far back as a previous life to find potential bad karma! 🙂


Maybe only as far back as a previous team.


RE C63: Of course, I forgot Singapore 2008.

You are right, Fernando has been involved in two teams that have dubious incidences of legality for one reason or another…….

Having said that, what goes around comes around, perhaps Ferrari cocking up his race in Abu Dhabi 2010 and Kimi shunting him at Suzuka 2012 was evidence of that?



More recently still, I would say that little episode at Singapore can’t have helped top up his good karma reserves. Although, to be fair, he insists he knew nothing about it beforehand. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ……..


I do believe you’re right 🙂


A team based in Woking by any chance?


I don’t think many people here remember that Raikkonens chasis has different front end compenents made for Kimi and I bet they wanted Fernando to test and see if these are workable going forward. ( Of course Fernando cant handle Kimi having a better set up- can he )

Sounds like Kimis chasis was well & truly $&%^ed if they were aware of some damage before the race- but to retire the car completely tells you it was well and truly Goohhnne! One day Kimis bad luck will run out- and he might even be able to fight for a top 6- how tragic!

Ferrari F14T-If it looks like a duck and goes quack , quack- its a duck!

kenneth chapman

so even with a bespoke car kimi still cannot get the business done? look, kimi is a good driver, but i really don’t think that he is anything special. his WDC was hardly an emphatic/crushing victory over the rest of the field was it?

raikonnen on the day can be as good as any the others but he is no standout and i really think his reputation is overblown.


If bespoke means trying to counter the cars inherent failures….Noones stopping Fernando doing that — Are they ? Isnt that what they hired them both to do..?? And from all accounts the car is far better than before the Bahrain weekend. I would suggest that is why Fernando tested it- to confirm the findings.

Its not the work of a minute or a weekend.Certainly not after launching your car off turn 4 kerb and cracking the chassis.That said I am a little disappointed in Kimi because he seems to be playing it too cautious at the starts ( although thats worked for 2 years)of the last 2 races both times going round the outside of Alonso and then pulling back. He will need to up that aggression from here on in if hes to make his mark.

To be honest unlike most people I dont judge drivers solely by their wins ( look at the turnaround everyones done on Seb–Hhha!) although noone could argue with Melb 13 as being extraordinary ( damp start-broke traction but twice, fastest laps on oldest tyres etc). Singapore, even Monaco drive back from 15 to 10 in 3 laps were magic, Germany holding Seb out & Hungary catching Hammy in a faster Mclaren. He doesnt drive an average car super fast like Alonso but he knows how to improve an average car, & in great cars – he has no peer- we saw that in 03,05,07…Sometimes faster than all by 2 sec incl team mates!) just remember only half the mech failures in Mclaren & he would easily have been triple WC..

To conclude in wheel wheel racing he absolutely and unequivocally has no peer that Ive ever seen in any years or formulas over the last 40years!- Other top drivers often push the car beyond their control. Raikkonen is precise beyond compare and rarely makes those mistakes and his racing etiquette is spot on! His manoeuvres are sublime and other drivers are often mythed at how they just got passed. These are the qualities of exceptional talents not just “good” drivers.

heinzman (fan of: ALO)


Are you aware of any discussion between LDM and Ross Brawn either last year or this year?


I’m sure they have spoken on a regular basis over the last few years – don’t forget they worked together for 10 years. That doesn’t mean that he will come back as TP there. But anything is possible

Ross took a sabbatical and wanted to come back as Ferrari Team Principal in 2008/9 but LdM went with Domenicali and Ross went to Honda.

That worked out extremely well financially for Ross as he bought the team then sold it to Mercedes for €123 million!



I do not see Stefano D as astute leader or boss for the team

Why Ferrari do not want to fire him at any costs? Do Ferrari owe anything to Stefano D? Had This been Football manager job Stefano D would have got sacked within the first 6 months of his reign

Also is there any info on Martin W? What are the chances of Martin W or Flavio to become the team boss at maranello?

Alexander Supertramp

what’s the difference between MW and SD?? They seem to have a similar management style.

Tornillo Amarillo

I think we cannot realize how BIG is the gap between Merc and the rest, it’s something unusual, maybe James you can explain to us when happened something like this in F1 and see if this is one of the most astonishing advantage and thanks to what… just the engine?

We are living a living history here…


Look up for the 1988 season to see such a dominance, with the mp4/4 or the 1991/2 with the amazing fw14


Here’s a link to a video from Sky F1 that explains the Merc power unit and how it creates interesting advantages in their aero:


Tornillo Amarillo

Nice video! I guess Honda is watching it again and again!


Thanks for that one.


I’ve commented elsewhere with this thought, maybe here it will get a response?

With the split turbo, the engine bay can effectively be split into hot and cold zones, yeah? Suppose they duct air around a close fitting cavity that surrounds the turbo’s hot side. Let’s say they take air from the outside, like from a NACA port, and push it through that hot turbine section. And blow the rear diffuser with it. Maybe they are stalling a wing also? It would only work when the car is moving at speed, but they could say the air is cooling the turbo. Its not exhaust. Mebbe that’s one of the things they’re doing…unless blown diffusers are specifically forbidden in the rule book. But I agree with you. A one to two second differential cannot be down to engine alone. Can it?


@boogwar, i know that the redbull is faster than the mercedes in the corners because brundle made a video superimposing vettel’s and hamilton’s qualifying laps in malaysia. vettel was so far behind after the first sector, mostly straights and cough up in the second and third sectors to clock nearly identical times.


Aveli, This is a genuine question. Could you tell me how you know that Red Bull is faster in the high speed corners? I find data hard to come by without splurging on the internet…


the redbull seems faster in the high speed corners and 3 of the mercedes powered cars have higher top speed than the mercedes car.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, I like your answer.


Did not Ferrari know the chassis was already damaged? And yet they elect to use it and ship Alonso’s chassis back? Seems odd, no?


What would happen if Ferrari left F1? The “heritage and fan base” appear to gain them a disproportionate amount of funds. I have no idea how their presence is equated to a dollar figure. No Ferrari love or hate here, just mulling their impact to F1 in modern times.


It would be nice to see the other teams get a more equal share 🙂


As long as Mr E remains de facto head of F1 a more egalitarian F1 fiscally speaking is a pipe dream.

Still, Munich awaits……………


Let’s hope there is change when it comes to the fiscal distribution of F1 – for the smaller teams it can’t come too soon.


I believe I am correct in saying the way F1 is currently administered, almost certainly breaches EU competition laws. For whatever reason, (presumably because they are frightened of Bernie) the smaller teams have held back, so far, from mounting any sort of a legal challenge. Interestingly (or not depending on what you find interesting) I read yesterday, the smaller teams are rumoured to be threatening the FIA with an investigation into the legality of the F1 Strategy Group unless some form of cost control is introduced.

Still, if Bernie loses in Munich – how he can win, he admits paying the bribe, the recipient of the bribe is serving time for taking it, what is there to discuss – then it could be all change at the top anyway.

Interesting times…..


I’m worried that Ferrari, along with the other Ferrari-powered teams will become backmarkers this year in Monza – due to supremely poor straight line speed. I do wonder if they’ve geared their ratios too low or too high in accordence to their power. Perhaps they overestimated their power unit during the pre-season testing, and chose the wrong ratios.


They get a joker to change the ratios though don’t they? So they could react if they’ve messed up that badly.


“Mercedes spent the day tyre testing for Pirelli …”

Interesting choice of words, brings back some memories from last year haha

Craig in Manila

The interesting thing is that, if you take HAM and ROS out of the equation, it’s actually a very competitive grid with no clear standout leaders.

I mean, HAM/ROS are whole seconds ahead of everyone (INCLUDING the other Merc-powered drivers) both during Quali and also on fastest-laps of the race itself.

Does this imply that it’s not actually the Merc engine that is making the majority of the difference, it’s the Merc chassis/car itself ?

Or perhaps the Merc Factory Team has a more-powerful powerunit than the Mercedes customers are getting ?

I mean, drivers like BUT, PER, MAS and HUL are not slow drivers. They should not be 1.5 to 2 seconds slower than a car with the same engine, should they ?


I read somewhere that it has alot to do with the petrol they use.

It claimed they can up to 30% more power, I’m not sure how accurate this report is.


Maybe its in the code:

If car = W05 then

Set power = 100%


Set power = 80%

End if



you missed a bit-

if car = RB and driver = DR then gosub Fuel


Set Fuel = 105%



That looks very BASIC 🙂


Nice one 🙂


The theory seems to be that the other customer teams only got details of the power unit once they signed the contracts which was always after the car main points were laid down – so the design couldn’t be adjusted to the power unit – whereas the Mercedes chassis works team requested a number of design points from the Mercedes engine team and so could build and optimize the whole package. Yes Hamilton and Rosberg are very fast – I’m

Sure they’d be near the front at most races but the size of the gap is down to merc getting it all right and integrated.

Again this should have been an advantage for Ferrari but they’ve apparently blown it.

Alexander Supertramp

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the correct answer!


Damn fine question!


When I started watching F1 the red cars were no were and no one expected them to build a good car MS and his team dragged them back to the top and since then they have slowly drifted back to the mid pack.

It might be awhile until they get a team that can change things again


MS, Ross & Todt played their part in Ferrari’s dominance early last decade. But, the big & mighty part was played by the unlimited funds and testing (esp on their own track). MS used to come early to track and go round and round and round all day long without getting tired.


In the early 2000’s all teams had the same opportunities to test (hence why the teams based themselves at Silverstone), and Toyota had the biggest budget. McLaren had essentially the same budget as Ferrari, plus they had Newey designing their cars. Williams BMW and BAR had massive budgets too.

If it was as simple arriving at the test track early in the day and spending money then Ferrari wouldn’t have gone from 1979-2000 without a drivers championship.

Also, you ignore the fact that Schumacher was only ever given the best car on the grid in 2001, 02 and 04.


“So in 2000 and 2003 he didn’t have the best car, in spite of the team winning by far the most races and winning the constructors’ championship both years? OK.”

The McLaren was clearly the fastest car in 2000. 2003 there was no clear best car. Schumacher would have won the championship in either the McLaren or Williams.

“It also should not be ignored that Schumacher had the benefit of bespoke tires (first from Goodyear, and later from Bridgestone). While engine, aero and suspension changes can each gain you fractions of a second, a different set of tires can help you gain *seconds*. Ferrari’s ability to leverage virtually unlimited milage to fine tune their chassis to maximize their tires only compounded this edge. This was an advange that no other team or driver had enjoyed during that era.”

Alonso had bespoke French tyres for his French car in 2005 and 2006.

Ferrari were at a huge disadvantage being the only top team using Bridgestones. Renault had 3x the testing data (McLaren, Renault, Williams) compared to Bridgestone who relied solely on Ferrari.

By 2003 it was clear that Michelin was the superior tyre, but Ferrari and Bridgestone had a winning partnership. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Kind of like how Renault had generally been viewed as the weaker engine throughout the V8 era, yet won 4 straight titles with Red Bull.


It also should not be ignored that Schumacher had the benefit of bespoke tires (first from Goodyear, and later from Bridgestone). While engine, aero and suspension changes can each gain you fractions of a second, a different set of tires can help you gain *seconds*. Ferrari’s ability to leverage virtually unlimited milage to fine tune their chassis to maximize their tires only compounded this edge. This was an advange that no other team or driver had enjoyed during that era.


So in 2000 and 2003 he didn’t have the best car, in spite of the team winning by far the most races and winning the constructors’ championship both years? OK.

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