Mercedes press home their advantage – will they be caught before it’s too late?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Apr 2014   |  8:24 am GMT  |  406 comments

“We still cannot think about catching up with Mercedes. Then again, the season is not over, so anything should be possible,” said Sebastian Vettel yesterday.

“The truth is that we have a great car, and now we need to work on the upgrades and implement them in the best possible way to make sure we get more power out of the engine.”

With their third one-two finish in four Grands Prix yesterday in China, Mercedes moved 97 points clear of their nearest rivals, Red Bull, in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship.

There is still a long way to go, but as the teams come home from the fly away races, preparing for the start of the European season, the question on everyone’s mind is – can they be caught?

In the drivers’ championship it is still relatively open; despite winning the last three races Lewis Hamilton is still not on top in the drivers’ table showing how damaging a non finish can be. It will be a long time into the season before other drivers like Vettel and Alonso can be ruled out.


But in the Constructors’ Championship, the game may soon be up, if Mercedes keeps racking up 1-2 finishes.

The key to what happens next, as in any F1 season, is development. Last season Red Bull was off the pace at the start of the year but then won nine straight victories in the second half. That was down to development; Red Bull did a lot of it while many of their rivals did less, instead focussing on the new 2014 hybrid technology.

This year they are all in the same boat; with the relative immature hybrid turbo technology, everyone is on a steep learning curve and as next year will be run to largely the same rules, it is a straight arms race to develop the car and power unit package within the rules to get the most from it.

The speed of development and the competence of F1 engineers can be shown by the reliability improvements made already in the first four races. In Australia there were just 15 finishers, yesterday in China there were 20; just two mechanical retirements.

The Mercedes team is where it is because it planned and prepared for the 2014 rules earlier and committed more resource earlier than its rivals. The team had Geoff Willis leading an inner group that was solely focussed on integration of chassis and power unit for the last two years. They invested heavily in people and Energy Recovery expertise at the engine factory in Brixworth from as long as six years ago.


The Renault and Ferrari powered teams are at a disadvantage as a result of all this and they simply have to catch up, as all the team principals have been saying. The rules don’t allow performance development on the engines now that the season has started, but engineers can do two things which will see a large improvement in performance.

The can make changes for reliability or safety and they can work with their chassis partners to maximise the performance of what they have. In the case of Renault and Ferrari the work in these areas will bring a lot more performance. Sebastian Vettel for example, is not getting the most from his car because he’s uncomfortable with the stability and the power delivery. Once he gets that sorted he will be much faster, meanwhile Renault will close down the 22km/h speed deficit it has to Mercedes. By the time we get to the long straight at Abu Dhabi in November that deficit will have been reduced significantly.

The question is, will it have been done in time for any team to stop Mercedes winning the championship?

“We’ve got to if we are going to make a championship of it. We have to take the fight to them,” said Red Bull’s Christian Horner. “We are going to give it everything.

“I believe we can take the fight to them, we just can’t concede too much more ground. We were 22km/h slower than them on that 1km long straight today – that represents almost 100 metres – we are giving it away on the straights and that is where we have got to improve, it’s quite simple. And hopefully we will have doe steps towards that in Barcelona.”

Teams were noticeably cautious about throwing update parts at the cars during the flyaway races as it is so easy to get lost on a development path in the early stages of the season when the cars are away from the factory for almost two months. Updates need to be validated properly to allow a team to move forward.

But everyone will have extensive ideas about how to improve their cars, also from the Bahrain test, which was timely and these will be in production now; you will see them in Barcelona, where the competitive picture behind Mercedes could change as a result.

Mercedes has work to do too, but it is closer to the maximum now than its rivals so there will be diminishing returns as the season goes on.

The development race this time around is linear and there are no distractions regarding next year.

It’s a sprint race towards a finish line in November, in other words


Mercedes has no intention of letting up; it has pressed home its competitive advantage, which is the first rule of sport, unlike McLaren and Williams, for example which have not really taken full advantage in the early Grands Prix of the Mercedes power unit while Renault and Ferrari were struggling.

“Hopefully (Mercedes will develop), more than all the other teams; we want to go to Barcelona with the biggest step, that’s our ambition,” said Nico Rosberg yesterday. “Barcelona is a chance for us to extend the advantage that we have and that’s the approach that we have going to Barcelona, 100 percent. ”

2014 F1 Constructors’ Championship
1. Mercedes 154
2. Red Bull 57
3. Force India 54
4. Ferrari 52
5. McLaren 43
6. Williams 36

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1

I want to comment on one part of the article. Here’s the quote: “That was down to development; Red Bull did a lot of it while many of their rivals did less, instead focussing on the new 2014 hybrid technology.”

Here is my question: Was this a poor move on RBR’s part? Last year was the end of an era in F1. Now we have this homologation for what, 5 years? Mercedes look like the cat who ate the canary because they scrapped the program relatively early last year.

Regarding what Mercedes have accomplished thus far, they certainly have made all the right moves of late regarding personnel. For about two years they have been gathering talent and changing the way F1 is run. I remember when Toto Wolff said the position of a team principle is a thing of the past. At the time my jaw dropped at the blaspheme that fell from his lips. But now, I’m not so sure…Ferrari’s new appointment looks an awful lot like a move toward what Mercedes has already done. And in this new F1, the garage and pits seem to be equal to the drivers in extracting the real-time performance out of the car as the race unfolds corner by corner, lap by lap. It’s no longer 80-20 driver to pits. It’s now more like 50-50. So having the right people on the pit wall is more paramount to success this year than it has been in previous years.

I would be remiss if I did not say I feel it is an absolute shame Ross Brawn is not there to share in all this success: this is a racing team who’s very existence is solely because of him.

2

“Mercedes has work to do too, but it is closer to the maximum now than its rivals so there will be diminishing returns as the season goes on.”

Massive assumption.

3

Yes, I have to agree. Maybe not with such a bold statement, as the folks at JA on F1 have forgotten more about F1 than I will ever know, but I think you are right. All the big F1 teams with the budget, resources and personnel have the ability to greatly develop the car over the course of the year. And Mercedes is no different. Mercedes will end up much quicker at Abu Dhabi than they were in Melbourne. The problems the other teams face is they have to get EVEN with Mercedes before they can even think about being quicker. And all they while, Mercedes can rack up 1-2’s.

4

Additionally, I’m not so sure Mercedes is actually using their maximum. Look at the fuel figures during the races. In China, Lewis was ALWAYS in the lead in terms of fuel usage. Sometimes significantly. I think at one point as much as 4kg less than the other runners in the top 10. Therefore he was going quicker with a HEAVIER fuel load, and obviously not using his PU anywhere near it’s maximum.

5
kenneth chapman

a wildly massive assumption.

6

I just think it would have been better to apply the engine freeze halfway through the season instead of before a wheel has turned at the first race.

7

Now that’d drive up costs, not what the FIA wanted.

8

Homologation. No one ever claimed it made any sense!

9

James,

How will Renault be faster in the straights in AbuDhabi if performance related development is freezed?

Also is it really true that Renault lacks power? How come the Lotus and Torro Rosso are fast in the straights then?

10

Hello James! I’m very sorry for the off topic question, but I need your help. I would like to go to the Austria GP (but I don’t have the tickets), so I’m wandering if you know can the tickets for general admission be bought right at the track (like for Monza, they always have them), or it’s not the case for Austria? Thank you!

11

I would expect so.

You can buy them from F1.com I believe

12

Its good to see different faces on the podium, but I dare say MB dominating the season wont feel much different to the last 4 RB seasons come November. Hopefully Rosberg can take the fight to Hamilton and make him earn his wins like Bahrain. Watching newly promoted Ricciardo steal Vettel’s show must be a humbling experience for the great champ.

13

The difference between the Renault & Merc PUs is NOT 22km/hr – that was the difference between the fastest (Mercedes) and slowest (Red Bull) cars.

A fairer comparison would be to take the average of the Merc-powered teams and the average of the Ferrari- and Renault- powered teams. You will see that the difference is less exaggerated.

Red Bull, as ever, choose to run with more downforce than everyone else in order to maximize corner speed.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/04/19/2014-chinese-grand-prix-pre-race-analysis/

14

This talk of F1 being boring is… boring.

I started watching F1 during the Schumacher/Ferrari years. I watched as a cohesive team of talented individuals alternated between crushing mastery of the formula and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. I both loathed and admired their domination and ruthlessness. Schumacher’s dedication, and the team’s work ethic, were inspiring. To me, this is the essence of F1.

We had a few flashes in the pan since then, before Red Bull and Vettel came along.

In all of Red Bull’s dominant period, I could only sit back with a mixture of frustration and admiration at what they and Vettel accomplished. But mostly, admiration. The synergy they achieved was fascinating.

For all this talk of whether Vettel is a great, or what a genius Newey is, the truth is that their success was the result of an incredibly strong, confident team. I applaud each and every one of them for their success. It wasn’t boring, it was beautiful.

Now, it’s Mercedes’ turn at glory. They have out-innovated everyone and deserve the success they are enjoying. They abide by the same rulebook as Ferrari and Red Bull, and they all had same opportunity to develop their respective power unit and chassis concepts. And as a Hamilton fan, I’m lucky enough to cheer at his successes so far this season.

Ferrari (and McLaren) are in disarray and have been for years. Red Bull have the misfortune of suffering from a weak link in the form of their engine supplier. But, it’s up to them to do better.

Some ‘fans’ find F1 boring, I suspect, because a team/driver they like isn’t winning (or because a team/driver they don’t like, is). By all means, cheer your favourite, but also learn to admire the skill, hard work and dedication of all these drivers and their teams.

Other fans don’t like the quieter (yet more powerful and challenging) technologically-fascinating formula. Understand this: without these changes, Renault and Mercedes would have left the sport and Honda wouldn’t even consider re-joining in 2015.

I’d suggest those ‘fans’ don’t know what F1 is about. There have always been periods of dominance spearheaded by wonderful innovation, drastic rule changes, ruthless players – and change. Since started watching nearly 15 years ago, people have been saying that F1 is boring and yet here we are, with more races and teams than ever.

15

hamilton is about to do something murray walker has never seen in the history of the sport.

only if he will admit to it at the end of this season.

16

hamilton is about to do something murray walker has never seen in the history of the sport.

17

‘…Last season Red Bull was off the pace at the start of the year but then won nine straight victories in the second half. That was down to development; Red Bull did a lot of it while many of their rivals did less…..’

Err – I think that this was more down to a change in tyre construction after Silverstone which Red Bull appeared to lobby strongly for – coincidentally this new construction suited the RBs perfectly. Some ‘development’!

18
racing_dynamics

No its Vettel that does all the work while the rest are just hanging their balls in the pool..

19

Going back to the double points situation at the final race in abu dhabi in golf and tennis there are what we commonly know as the four majors which for a number of reasons stand out from every other tournament I think it would be good for formula 1 if double points were awarded at the four most favoured gp by drivers and viewing public which are Silverstone,monza,spa,and of course Monaco it would spice things up considerably

20

Monza, Monaco and Bahrain are the best for me

21

it’s over. hamilton should win most of the remaining races.

f1 has decided to go down a developmental dead end with these hybrid engines. how can they be called efficient when the cars take all day to fix. i sympathize with the mechanics and technicians. as if the season isn’t long enough without the lengthy repair times.

the engine manufacturers cannot claim that hybrid power is innovative and they cannot claim that it helps with road car develpment. soon 95% of all road cars will be all electric. as f1 racing engines they suck. they’re more like truck engines in that revving them harder doesn’t get you anywhere. the engines cannot be defined as more energy efficient. they are less efficient because the additional battery power is incredibly expensive.

on a horsepower per $1 value of fuel they are less efficient. then there is all the additional weight.

as i’ve mentioned before, the manufacturers are not on a level playing field. mercedes is an industrial behemoth compared to ferrari and renault. of course the benz engine is going to be better. in china the top 10 were separated by over 3 seconds. bit of a joke really. the wec sportscars are closer in quali then f1.

i’m over it. the only interest this year is watching the rookies develop. kyvat is very impressive.

22

simple answer. no, they will be not.

23

Having watched F1 for many, many years, including the dominance by Williams and McLaren in the 80’s and 90’s, sadly I think this season is a wrap for Mercedes.

There might be an interesting Hamilton vrs Roseberg battle for the Driver’s title, which I feel Hamilton will win, but at most we might see a few closer battles from the rest of the teams (RB and Ferrari) possibly coming a little closer to Mercedes, but that will be it.

As everyone has pointed out Mercedes absolutely did a fantastic job (and spent a huge amount of money) with both their car and especially their PU. Renault was clearly caught napping and so was Ferrari a little. The clever but obvious “split turbo” design by Mercedes is probably not something that can be engineered in a few months and by that time the lead will well be out of reach.

Mercedes were very clever in concealing this design by presenting “official” pictures of its PU that did not reflect it. They clearly outfoxed the competition! That design (if it can be copied since engine specs are frozen) solves a lot of important limitations inherent with turbos. For starters the pressurized air going into the intercooler is colder (since the intact turbine is farther away from the red hot exhaust turbine) and has much less distance to travel both in and out of the intercooler (thus further reducing lag). Since the intake charge is already cooler than its rival engines, Mercedes probably were able to use a smaller intercooler (also further reducing turbo lag), which probably had the added benefit of being able to design tighter body work which further helps aerodynamic efficiency. The cooler air alone allows for a more dense air to fuel mixture to reach the engine giving just the mechanical side of the engine more power to begin with (not to mention the packaging benefits it provides on the software-electrical side of the PU).

It seems a very obvious solution that both Renault and Ferrari should have thought of and are now at a clear disadvantage with their integrated turbo design. I think Renault and Ferrari know this and unfortunately it will be an up hill battle that will not be won unless a redesign is allowed to happen. Although Ferrari seem to have made some strides while Renault -who recently claimed to be close to maximum PU integration – are clearly way behind and given all the embarrassing problems they suffered during testing and the lack of performance in their PU this has got to be a PR image “nightmare” for them. Rob White (Deputy Managing Director)should really resign or get fired.

Honda still have time to study the design and come up with their solution and have been clever to wait to introduce their engine until next year.

I see the end of a RB Renault partnership at the end of this year and Renault will be left with probably just two teams – Lotus and Caterham -if they continue. Renault F1 had its glory days but all things must come to an end. The French and the French car companies really can’t compete against the all conquering German Juggernauts. No insult intended…

24

Ferrari actually has a very similar design, except they didn’t split the turbo far enough.

25
kenneth chapman

just to take up a few points there F1fan. if as you postulate, the red bull/renault relationship ends what are the options for red bull? they will not get the honda as that has already been stated. mercedes will not supply them for obvious reasons. that leaves ferrari and unless there is a miracle in the offing why would anyone want to go down that path?

if all that comes to pass then red bull will have to endure the renault for some time to come. if the dominance of mercedes carries over then red bull will be out in the cold…in a manner of speaking. maybe james can get his crystal ball out and search for an answer.

26

Asl Infiniti to develop PUs for them. Afterall their logos are placed on the RB’s sidepods.

27

Infiniti is a Nissan Brand, and Nissan is part of the Renault Group

28
kenneth chapman

no, i somehow don’t think so. well wide of the mark there.

29

Good point. But I believe there would be other manufacturers that will be coming back. I have not heard that Honda is exclusive to McLaren, but perhaps you are right. I really don’t think RB will race just the sake of racing they have been too successful in the past to just show up and something will be done to change the PU supplier.

30

Thanks for clarifying the Honda situation, but if I was Honda, I would rethink that strategy especially if it would mean a Newey penned RB machine.

The way RB are publicly criticizing their current PU, I can’t see the relationship lasting.

Renault needs to come up with the goods for 2015 and beyond or it will lose more teams (McLaren to Honda means one available Mercedes PU for another team next year)… I think this year Renault is too far behind the Mercedes engine without doing a significant redesign. Could they pursue and develop a split turbo design – a la Mercedes given the engine freeze? It seems the best solution out there at the moment.

31
kenneth chapman

@ F1 fan…..just a few days ago the head of the honda racing org announced that mclaren will be the sole recipient of their engine in 2015 and that supply may be held over into 2016 as well.

it would be very unusual for a team to switch to another, as yet unknown, supplier with only some seven or so months to go in the current season. it simply would not happen.

32

Nice post. Why does the air going into the turbo need to be colder?

33

The colder the air going into an engine the more power it will produce because the air is denser and you can pack more air/fuel mixture into the combustion chamber. Ever notice how your engine runs better when the weather is cold compared to very hot days… If you start with colder air going into the turbine you have an advantage throughout the entire pressurized process – If all engine manufactures use the same size intercooler for example, then the one with the lowest initial air temperature going into the cooler will have a lower temperature going out of it – thus producing more power from a denser air/fuel mixture. Plus the proximity of the intact turbine to the intercooler is greatly reduced and is probably shielded from the hot exhaust manifold. If you look at the Renault V6 Turbo youtube design video, you can see just how far air has to travel before it gets to the intercooler (passes right by the hot exhaust manifold (which probably raises the temperature even more). The Renault design shows a real lack of engineering creativity and the results speaks for themselves. As I stated the Renault engineers were caught sleeping or perhaps that 35 hour work week and the 6 week vacations didn’t help.

34

“The cooler air alone allows for a more dense air to fuel mixture to reach the engine giving just the mechanical side of the engine more power to begin with”

It says so in the text, in plain English, the cooler air is thicker, and more air(oxygen)goes into the cylinders, resulting in a more powerful explosion

35

Ease up tiges, but thanks, I wasn’t aware that produced a more powerful explosion as you say.

36

Exactly

37

This is not 2009 when the double diffuser of BrawnGp could be copied. From my understanding in Craig Scarborough’s explanation that the Merc PU turbo charger is mounted on the front of the PU which gives them much more power, so teams can’t copy this as it’s a major design change and Merc looks much slimmer and tighter on the rear (top view). Lewis’s tyre management was superb in China and fuel was no issue at all. And they have not even maximized their performance, I daren’t imagine how many more extra seconds they will pull away.

Don’t want to be pessimistic but my gut feelings tells me Merc can only fail through reliability gone wrong which is very unlikely or Lewis and Nico taking each other out also very unlikely, so it will be Lewis’s WDC and Merc WCC.

Only scenario I can see will be Ferrari, Red Bull, Force India and Williams suddenly improve massively and start closing the gap and the fight begins….I sure wish they coulda.

If all stats stay as is from the last four races we have two series running this year as it is already.

Nevermind we can still enjoy the second series eh.

38
heinzman (fan of: ALO)

James,

Earlier this year, there was mention of a BMW return to F1. Have you heard any more regarding this?

It seems that the turbo-six would suit their business. Would they be under pressure to return from the commercial side given the enormity of Mercedes’ success?

39

Not heard anything on that.

I suspect not and I don’t think Toyota has any plans in the pipeline

40

James,

Hope you can give an opinion on this because it has bugged me since Brazil 2012.

I noticed that after Vettel’s first pit stop he came out just behind Alonso and Kvyat in 4th, 5th and 6th I think.

Kvyat was yet to stop but had position on the track and was entitled to race. He immediately pulled wide in turn 1 to let Vettel through. This made me ask a few questions.

Why would he compromise his own race by slowing in this corner when he did not have to?

Would he have done this for any other cars?

Was he advised over the radio that Vettel was coming out of the pits and in effect told to move over?

Does this mean that there are two cars out there that the Red Bulls never have to race?

Does this mean that from a strategy point of view that there is potentially a four car team, and is that legal?

41

It wouldn’t have been the first time a Toro Rosso had held up a Red Bull (Abu Dhabi 2010 comes to mind), but I think Kvyat was thinking two things:

First – fighting Vettel would just slow them both down.

And second – don’t irk your bosses (as well as your potential potential future team-mate) 😉

42

Always know who pays your wages at Torro Rosso.

(Clue: He’s an Austria billionaire of Croatian descent, he owns a certain drinks company.)

43

You miss my point.

He did not have to race Vettel, but by pulling over where he did he would have cost himself about a full second around that long first turn. He did this to save Vettel time.

Your second point basically confirms my opinion that this is a four car team. I.e. the Red Bulls are unlikely to ever have to race a TR.

44

Whoever decided to R and D the spilt turbo is a genius… I’d love to know more about these people…

45

The difficult thing is figuring out exactly how fast the Mercedes is.

In 3 of the 4 races this year, Mercedes has had one driver out front gradually drawing away to a 15-20 second win, certainly not giving anywhere close to 100%. The only circuit where we have gotten something of an idea of how big the Mercedes’ advantage could actually be was in Bahrain, when the two drivers pulled out 20+ seconds over the rest of the field in 10 laps while gunning it out for the win. It could be that Bahrain flattered the Mercedes advantage somewhat, but right now, I think we have to say that Mercedes is at the very least a second clear of the field right now on raceday, maybe even more.

This is going to be extremely difficult to draw back. Sure, the development curve is steeper given that we have a brand new set of regulations, but I think this applies to Mercedes as well. For example, their chassis was designed for the nose that was on the car in China, not the one they raced the first three races with. I am sure that they are also identifying ways to improve the car, and they will be gaining time throughout the season.

Most of the deficit is probably due to the layout of the Mercedes power unit, as it allows not only greater efficiency of both fuel and ERS usage, but also major weight distribution benefits for the chassis. The other two manufacturers can’t copy this layout, so that’s an advantage that is basically built in for the rest of the year. The Mercedes customer teams can make changes to take advantage of it, but they clearly have other balance issues keeping them behind. But I also suspect that Mercedes has a better balanced car than the others. Having the extra horsepower doesn’t really help you make tires last longer than anyone else, and Mercedes has also done that better than anyone else so far this season. So it will take really big swings from the others to catch up with this beast.

46
racing_dynamics

but according to some “serious experts” here it seems that the silver arrows have already more or less maximised their potential.. so they only way is to go down & being passed by others.

47

Double points gives us the best possibility of an exciting finish.

Maybe Bernie knew early on how dominant Mercedes would be, so felt something like double points was required to make it more interesting between the Mercedes drivers.

Rosberg just has to avoid trouble and make sure he finishes since he’s almost certainly guaranteed second position every race. He probably only needs to beat Hamilton 1/3 races from now until the final race to be able to snatch the title in the final round.

If Hamilton wins 10/14 and finishes second every other race, and Rosberg wins 4/14 finishing second every other race, Rosberg will only be 38 points behind Hamilton going into the final race.

I think Rosberg is quick enough to get closer to 6/14 race wins, so it’s set up nicely. I mean, there’s always drama with Hamilton’s girlfriend. Maybe they break up and Hamilton gets down on himself. Rosberg will win 9/14 races in that instance.

It’s far from over.

48

Double points for only some races was, is, and forever will be a stupid idea.

You’ve just detailed a scenario where one driver could win 13 races (joint highest in a season), and the other 6, and the winner of 6 would be champion … and you think that’d be a good outcome for the sport??

It’s clear from what you’ve written that you don’t consider Rosberg as worthy champion material. At least when Rosberg Sr. won, he only won one less race than the winningest drivers (though there were five of them with 2 wins each!).

7x has the DWC won one less race than the driver with the most race wins. 3x have they won two less, and 2x have they won three less. Never has a DWC won four-plus fewer races than the winningest driver(s).

49

double points will go to 2nd place also 🙂

So if the Hamilton went into the final race just 14 points ahead, he could afford to finish 2nd to Rosberg and still be champion.

50

I’m talking about if Hamilton has a mechanical breakdown or crashes out.

51

I’m so pleased for Hamilton. No doubt he has allowed distraction to take his eye from the ball from time to time, and Button certainly capitalised on that on 2011 but the boy is clearly the fastest out there and had been since he arrived in F1. I would say that his melt downs, mistakes, distractions etc have all been due to frustration; frustration at seeing another guy sweep up title after title when really, Lewis felt that he was the man who would rewrite the record books. I don’t care what excuses Fernando had for 2007, Ham gave him a run for his money way more than any true rookie should have done. McLaren let Lewis down time and time again but still, he collected poles and wins. Finally, with the best car at his disposal, he’s showing everyone who’s boss.

C’mon folks, anyone putting up an argument for any other driver needs to get real; Hamilton is the fastest and best racer.

52

James, off topic

If I understand correctly the Strategy Group includes RBR, MB, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams because of history, WCC, political savvy, being friends with Bernie, etc.

Lotus is there because of its WCC placing last year, then what happens to the Lotus vote if, say, ForceIndia ends up higher in the standings this year?

53

Simple, they lose it and FI gets onto the F1 Strategy Group!

GIven what Bob Fernley has said about it, will be interesting next year if he’s sitting on it!

54

More of a reason to cheer for FI

55

Get the popcorn ready 🙂

56

Don’t buy it from Silverstone though – In my experience eateries and drinkies cost a fortune during the grand prix weekend in Northamptonshire/Bucks!!!

Mind you when the aroma of a burger or sausages rolls across the Silverstone air………..you just have to succumb to the temptation, even if it does cost a fortune.

Montoya enjoyed a few burgers at Silverstone during his F1 career, no doubt about that.

57

Anything can happen in F1. I’ve seen so much bad luck fall on LH over the years that even during these last 3 races, I’ve worried about pit stops or bad strategy calls derailing his outstanding performances. So far that hasn’t happened and he’s done the business.

You only have to look at Fernando in 2012, who was leading the championship by a wide margin and had 2 DNFs back to back and Vettel overhauled him. While his car was a dog and that’s not the case for LH this year, it still means that it isn’t safe until it’s mathematical.

The W05 may not have any weaknesses right now, think about it, good on tires, best in class in fuel/performance ratio, good on aero, good on traction and devastating in high speed straights. With 2 elite drivers hungry, they can only beat themselves.

58

I doubt Mercedes has shown is true pace, all they need to do is open a gap and manage it. There’s a very good chance that they have a while nother second on hand.

59
racing_dynamics

its all good.. afterall James’s only a human which he is entitled to side his fav team & driver so does everyone here.

60

We saw their true pace after the safety car in Bahrain, where Hamilton and Rosberg drove away from the rest

The gap was exacerbated by Perez being on old tyres, holding the others up

61
Jean-Christophe

Perez didn’t hold up Ricciardo, did he? And you lose time when you fight for positions. Besides, Hamilton held up Rosberg who was in the faster tyres. If Lewis was on soft tyres he would have gone quicker

62

Good point, I forgot about that.

Do you feel there’s no more room for improvement?

63

That wasn’t their true pace, because both cars are running with engines turned down.

“We can [turn it up] if we need to, but we don’t need to right now. I have no idea [how much], there are so many different engine maps I don’t know which one it is; they just tell me to put it in one. But I’m told there is more…”

– Lewis Hamilton

64

Strat-6 is what the drivers can control. There are obviously other settings available to the engineers which is why they told Lewis that there is more power than they are using.

65

They were at full wick when they were battling … strat-6 seems to be their full-on engine map.

66

Also, they were fighting wheel to wheel with each other.

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