F1 Winter Break
Hamilton squeezes out Rosberg for Spanish Pole As Vettel Is Sidelined Once Again
Posted By:   |  10 May 2014   |  3:46 pm GMT  |  303 comments

Lewis Hamilton claimed the upper hand in the on-going in-house Mercedes battle as he took pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, heading team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.2s with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo third, a full second adrift of the Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel’s troubled weekend continued as he broke down in Q3 with no drive from his power unit.

Williams Valterri Bottas was a contender for driver of the day with an impressive fourth fastest time for Williams, with Lotus’ Romain Grosjean impressive in fifth for Lotus.

The pole time was 4.5 seconds slower than in 2013. This is mostly due to the cut in downforce on the cars, with this Barcelona track heavily dependent on high speed aerodynamics. The hybrid turbo power units have less to do with it; straight line speeds are up at 337 km/h (210mph) on a Barcelona straight which is not particularly long.

After dominating practice on Friday, Hamilton complained in Q1 that the changes made to the car had made it worse. Rosberg topped Q1 and Q2,but Hamilton dug deep to take the pole. He was a tenth and a half faster than his team mate in both sectors 1 and 2, but dropped a tenth in sector 3, coming out ahead overall.

It is the 35th pole of Hamilton’s career, his fourth of this season and maintains Mercedes’ 100% pole record in 2014. It was Mercedes’ fifth pole in a row, the first time they have done that.

Having set the pace throughout Free Practice, Hamilton had been the favourite to ease to another first place start, however after seeing Rosberg set the pace in Q1 and Hamilton responding with, “What have we done to this car? We’ve made it worse”. it seemed an upset was on the cards.

The same occurred in the second phase of qualifying, this time with use of the medium tyre as a 1.2s buffer to their challengers allowed just one run on the hard Pirelli, as Rosberg held the top spot and looked to take somewhat surprising pole given Hamilton’s Friday pace.

As the final 12 minutes began the Mercedes duo were the first on track, completing most of a flying lap before being forced in to the pits due to a red flag. Sebastian Vettel crawled out of the pits in his Red Bull RB10 and, as on Friday, pulled to the side of the track and to a standstill.

With the session re-started the battle was able to commence once more, but this time Hamilton showed his true pace. A banker lap for both on a set of used mediums was quickly beaten as a fresh set of Pirelli’s were strapped to the W05 Hybrid and Hamilton lead a reverse of last year’s Spanish Grand Prix qualifying, where Rosberg had beaten Hanilton.

“I was really happy on Friday and we changed a couple of small things overnight, just the tiniest of tweaks. But it was a real handful today because track conditions had changed,” said Hamilton. “Nico had a strong P3 and first two sessions of qualifying, so we were making small adjustments to the differential to try and make improvements to how the car was handling for Q3. On that final run, I really had to eke out everything and more from the car and myself to get pole and I’m so happy that I managed it.”

One second adrift of Hamilton was Ricciardo, the best of the rest. He was quicker than Vettel in the first two phases of qualifying before a late lap in the final moments took him to his third top three of the season. He will be looking to achieve his first Formula One podium tomorrow, and with a 0.4s gap to those behind he should be able to do so, reliability permitting.

Joining him on row two will be Valtteri Bottas, who delivered a stellar performance in taking his Williams to fourth place and giving arguably the performance on the day. Romain Grosjean will question that, however, as he gave Lotus something to cheer about with fifth place.

His team-mate, however, had a disastrous outing. Pastor Maldonado kept his foot in on the exit on the long turn three, lost traction and was pitched in to a spin then in to the wall.

Joining Grosjean on the third-row is former team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who was able to get a better hold of his Ferrari F14 T and ahead of Fernando Alonso, who will start in seventh place.

McLaren’s promising start to this weekend on Friday morning proved not to be enough to challenge Williams and Ferrari, but nevertheless allowed Jenson Button to set the eighth fastest time, ahead of Felipe Massa and Vettel.

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Qualifying
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.232s
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.400s +0.168s
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m26.285s +1.053s
4. Valtteri Bottas William 1m26.632s +1.400s
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m26.960s +1.728s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.104s +1.872s
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.140s +1.908s
8. Jenson Button McLaren 1m27.335s +2.103s
9. Felipe Massa William 1m27.402s +2.170s
10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m27.685s +1.597s
12. Sergio Perez Force India 1m28.002s +1.914s
13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m28.039s +1.951s
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m28.280s +2.192s
15. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
17. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m28.563s +1.799s
18. Max Chilton Marussia 1m29.586s +2.822s
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m30.177s +3.413s
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m30.312s +3.548s
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m30.375s +3.611s
22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus

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Luis Pastilla

Kimi ahead of Fern every quali session in spain. And he is not yet up to speed with his car....


neither driver is up to speed with the car. Both are struggling a LOT with the car, particularly applying the throttle out of corners. Here's hoping Kimi doesn't have another poor race.


I think the fear factor Crusty was referring to was the speed Kimi showed when he and Alonso were battling against each other during the Mclaren vs Renault era. And when Kimi didnt have reliability issues, he had the measure of Alonso.

I dont feel that Kimi is still around though. Maybe close if the car is bang on but I dont see that happening this year with the F14T.


I think you rather mean the 2007 Kimi that was beaten by Massa in 2008.


Yeah agree its not the 2005 Kimi- that Kimi noone on earth could touch- not MS not FA - Noone. 2014 Kimi is down a little but when the team gives him what he needs he is as good as anyone ( I refer to Lotus last 2 years)


I hope we are in for a treat when this battle begins in earnest.

This is the one team mate that Alonso fears. He won't say so. But I'll wager he'll be trying very very hard tomorrow.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Are you saying that Alo fears a driver that was beaten BY MASSA, was FIRED by Ferrari and almost retired because nobody wanted to hire him???


H.Guderian (ALO fan)

From the Formula 1 Site (season 2013)

Fernando Alonso

Final Position: 2

Total Points: 242

Wins: 02

Kimi Räikkönen

Final Position: 5

Total Points: 183

Wins: 01

Your concept of "beating" and mine is totally different.


Yes the same driver that was beating them both last year on 1/3 of Ferraris budget


I don't expect Kimi to be on top of his car issues for a while yet, and it takes a while to gel with a brand new crew [who themselves are finding the rules a handful to understand].

On Alonso fearing Kimi:

I do think that Kimi comfortable with his car will require Alonso to give his very best, which is what LdiM intended all along.

Alonso surely fears not only Kimi's speed when it comes, but also that Kimi uniquely doesn't give a **** about yap yap yap...


Not really sure what you're getting at.

LDM brought in Kimi as a slap to Alonso's face. So it is imperative for Luca to make sure Kimi outperforms Alonso.

These past few races have been less than ideal to Luca's plan.


the only teammate Alonso has said he doesn't want to be paired with is lewis


Shame, Lewis is a problem for World Camps, I would honestly not feel bad if I were Ros.


Alonso never said that. Plain wrong.


Fernando fear Kimi? You are funny! Massa gave Kimi all he could handle at Ferrari and look what Fernando did to him?


You dont think Felipes accident changed anything in 2009?? Felipe was runner up to Hamilton in 2008- he has never been the same since! Snap out of it sunshine

Raikkonen consistently out drove them both last year in a Lotus and would have finished 2nd or 3 rd had he not left Lotus.


True, he made the team move Massa out of the way, and then made Massa take a bogus gearbox penalty because Massa was faster than him.

Some drivers have a huge following because of what they are perceived to be, not what they actually are.


Alonso will find a way past. He always does. My prediction: ALO 4th, RAI 5th


Really, Alonso only fears Kimi, I must ask, when did you dream that?


I am happy that Kimi is becoming friends with his car but it does not matter much since the car seems to be s***.


"Hamilton comes off the back foot to beat Rosberg in Q3" shock.


Hamilton 4

Cerebro 1

I guess when it comes to choosing between talented drivers and cerebral drivers who speak six languages, team managers should opt for talent.

Where's Val from Montreal these days? Pretty silent, no? And EquineOx too.


Brilliant.. I love it !


@ Nat Ball

I think Whitmarsh would disagree. Six languages gives a driver a good advantage to better explain himself to the fans why hes relatively slow to his teammate. Its even better if he can do it in Japanese.


I laffed for three minutes straight. Cerebro. James has the best listers on this site man. Crying, I was.




Lewis in the interview, "I was able to drop some pace today and I was still able to get pole", translation, "nico, I felt that I had to make it interesting for the fans, but did you really think you had a chance?...lol


You're cruel hahahahaha


Nice to see Bottas at Williams beginning to make his career. Good luck to him tomorrow.


bottas is now a lot fitter than he was on his rookie season. his face looks much slimmer now with stronger muscles on his shoulders to steady that steering wheel of his through the corners. looking good!


Due to the red flag, I think Bottas used brand new tyres twice in Q3, whilst Massa decided to do his fast lap with the ones from the aborted lap (which possibly helped induce his mistake in the last sector - a mistake he admitted to the Brasilian media btw. He was very quick in the first two sectors, should've been top 5). So apparently Massa has one extra set of brand new set of mediums, which could make a difference in the race. That coupled with a likely very good start and it won't be exactly a surprise if he finishes ahead of Bottas again.


Agree, Bottas seems to be really good during qualy. But he doesn't seem to move forward much during a race. Hope this improves..


Let's hope the Williams can eke out decent stint length on the tyres.


This year, Q3 means who`s Qualifying 3rd


You mean 4th?


Yeah very true that. The dominance of this Mercedes is greater than Redbull ever had. Rosberg just doesn't have the out and out pace to challenge Hamilton. I can't see Lewis losing this now this car is just unbeatable. Ferrari is fast becoming a laughing stock of F1I very much doubt Alonso will still be at Ferrari next season I can see him at Redbull or Mercedes next season.


Ferrari is still respectable compared to McLaren. I doubt any other team would have lost 2012 championship with a car and a driver line up they had. Oh and the brilliant designers and state of the art facility.


and budget too


Mercedes-Benz does not want Alonso.


I too would love to see Alonso at Merc replacing either driver and with Vettel going to Ferrari taking Newey with him and that leaves either Hamilton or Rosberg at RBR with a improved Renault PU that would be an excellent shake up but it won't happen.

I'd like to see Alonso leave Ferrari though that partnership is running stale.


I'd love to see alonso at mercedes with rosberg as his teammate.


Meanwhile, Q1 should be a battle of F1 vs GP2. Richelmi in his GP2 qualifying beat the time of both Caterhams and Marussias. How ridiculous is that!!!

The times should read;

17. Sutil 1.28.5

18. Richelmi 1.29.2 (GP2)

19. Palmer 1.29.4 (GP2)

20. Colletti 1.29.5 (GP2)

21. Chilton 1.29.5

In fact, Kobayashi, who we know is no slouch.... as he was a good match for Perez in the Sauber a couple of years ago, in his Caterham F1 car today would have only qualified 14th in the GP2 category. 14th people!!

I said it over and over again to everyone who would listen on this site before the season even begun.... forget the power tracks like Bahrain, at high downforce tracks like Barcelona, the F1 2014 cars' lack of downforce would be brutally exposed. GP2 is as quick as the back of the F1 grid. It's a huge embarrassment when you consider the budget of the junior series.

Leaving the Mercs aside, F1 is so slow right now that it is painful to watch the likes of Alonso and Raikkonen fighting the cars to the extent that they are. The lack of grip is appalling. I'm sure it will improve over time but even a solid Q1 time today was a mid-1.28, and GP2 was a mid 1.29.

As Perez described it.... embarrassing. Certainly, F1 is no longer the pinnacle of motorsport. Technologically perhaps, but it's no longer the fastest way from A to B.

Raikkonen 2008 - 1.21.6

Raikkonen 2012 - 1.22.4

Raikkonen 2014 - 1.27.1


GP 2 cars dont race for 2 hours do they


Just cut the downforce in GP2 and GP3. Problem solved. Plus the cars would be even more spectacular, like in F1. The young drivers need to learn to drive cars with a higher power to downforce ratio now anyway, to be ready for F1.

Also if the GP2 cars entered an F1 race with 100kg of fuel they wouldn't get very far....

I suspect the cost to change the GP2/GP3 aerodynamics would be the problem.


@Rayz, I don't understand your point at all. While, intuitively, it would seem that a formula that laps faster is a superior formula, given that drivers that lap faster are considered superior drivers, the truth is, the formula are so different that one cannot compare formulas by straight lap time. It's nonsensical, given differing downforce levels. If F1 allowed an open formula where any amount of bhp and downforce were allowed, I imagine you could have a lap quite a bit faster, only limited by the grip of the rubber. Of course, as laps get faster, actual racing gets harder, as brake zones get smaller.

The point is, your comparison makes little sense.


All they have to do to fix this low downforce problem is to make the rear wing wider.


Cant stand it every time they bring in more rules which make the cars slow, its a joke the gp2 cars are quicker than the back markers


do you watch go2 more often than f1?


One of the main problems is that the tyres are extremely conservative, as a result of everyone complaining last year. I think they need to make a step with the tyres to offer better grip


who cares!! F1 cars are still the fastest and most efficient vehicles on earth, anyone can be fast by implementing bigger wings, try this by spending 30% less fuel.


more people watch f1 than any of those motor sport you think are faster than f1.


Hmmm....not sure about that. Fastest round a f1 track maybe. For fastest in the world, as in the real world you need a superbike. TT is about to start. Get yourself to the Isle of Man or come to ulster next weekend. F1 for me is about the tech. I'm all for the new rules and am happy the cars are hard work. I don't want to watch something with more grip than power. More power than grip is always better for us to watch!!!


Those GP2 times were set on soft tyers compared to F1 times which were set on Medium tyres with much lesser fuel. The soft tyer is at least half a second or thereabout quicker than the Medium tyer although I don't know if the GP2 tyers and F1 tyers are made from the same compound. Besides this is early season, I believe the cars would gather speed as the season progresses.

I think watching the drivers wrestle their cars is one of the good things about this season unlike when drivers had more stable cars.


Could not disagree with you more. The 'on rails' downforce monsters of the past few years were not entertaining to watch in the least, these cars are a handful and it is great viewing. Really can you visually see that the cars are slower than GP2? If so, you must have one of those slow motion car overlay graphics built in to your vision in which case you sir are a cyborg and shall refrain from posting any further as I may annoy you and trigger the impending robot apocalypse.


Thank you Craig.

The people who think they know what's best for F1 don't even understand the basics of the current rules.


f1 is a lot better now than it has ever been in the past that's why we all come to these pages.


Re. Steve Zodiac.

How has the "Green" Brigade ruined it? The new engines are not only more efficient but also more powerful. The decrease in speed is down to the downforce reduction. Stick one of these engines in one of the cars from the mid 00's and they would blow the current lap records away.

Its comments such as these that display such a woeful lack of knowledge that makes me want to scream at my computer screen.

Bring back the days of cars 'on rails' with multiple driver aids and no chance of overtaking unless you were two seconds a lap quicker than the car in front? I think not.


Don't matter what you can "see" F1 cars should blow GP2 into the weeds. As usual the "Green and Safe" lobby have ruined it, no noise, no speed, magic. It doesn't matter if the cars seem to be "on rails" that's what F1 is striving for. If the cars are fast enough just seeing the speed that they can corner at will blow your mind! If overtaking is all that matters watch Moto GP and as for all this sliding around, that's for Rally cars, try watching the new World Rallycross. Oh and while we're at it quiet is for Touring Cars!


Probably 4 th


Some new driving technique from Pastor today


not as spectacular as past showings.


Getting sick of these walls, FIA needs to give these walls a race ban for their vendetta against Maldothewalls


Actually it's my fault.

I bet a fiver on Maldo getting into the points here.


Try not to make that mistake again. 3 penalty points = )


You would think he's playing Super Mario


A fiver would have been better betting on him getting into the wall.


Shame on you Phil - you should know better 🙂


To be fair, he got it out of the pits but his issue appears to be getting it back.... His excursions in to walls and Armco etc can't be doing the already strapped Lotus budget much good either - even as a pay driver....


His creativity in finding new ways to dent the Lotus is impressive.


Hmmm..PASTOR WALDONALDO,confirmed change of name on birth certificate.

kenneth chapman

wasn't the 'great waldo' an illusionist?


If only Maldo was.. Maybe the M means very much the opposite- you cant believe what your seeing. Where as the other your believing what you cant see ! Lol


lol thats a good one. Even I would not have accelerated to the wall like that. He also did not brake when he hit Gutierrez at Bahrain.


Strange, the same losers who claimed that car problems suffered by Webber were proof positive that RB was deliberately sabotaging his car now are struck dumb as Vettel's car is beset with problems in every GP while his teammates works perfectly.

(never mind the inconvenient fact that Vettel and Webber suffered the same degree of unreliability at Red Bull)


Surely that proves their point Red Bull? That Red Bull struggle to produce 2 cars that make it to the finish? And in both cases it seems to effect the slower driver more.


Vettel decides his performance deficit to Ricciardo is down to the chassis (not Ricciardo of course), goes back to zero with a new-old chassis and experiences a series of reliability problems.

Otherwise known as making poor decisions under pressure.


There a common theme/ roots with the Mercedes team..wonder what that could be...


100% true. Poor call by VET under pressure by RIC.

kenneth chapman

hahaah someone's rattling the cage.



I'm one of those that believes Webber was nobled when he got too close to Seb.

This is brand new Tec, they still have to get out the manuals when trying to sort problems on this new car. Webbers problems were at the end of the last gen tec's life - Tec which they would have known like the back of their hands.

Big differences there.

Saw a clip of Alonso's dig at Vettel made me smile.

David in Sydney

WEB showed his Championship potential in South Korea, 2010, as much as it pains me to say it.

VET was a better driver than WEB... it could be that RIC is a better driver than VET... here's hoping because it's been case too long since there was an Australian WC!


Speaking for myself I am not struck dumb at all - I am enjoying SV's woes no end(quite happy to say so). Definitely puts a spring in my step when SV and Red Bull have a spot of bother 🙂

Good news for you though, you aren't having to scamper around like a terrier, nipping the heels of anyone who says it's only because of a dominant car that SV is able to win. Every cloud eh 😉

kenneth chapman

@C63...likewise here with the 'spring in the step'. some say he's having some bad luck, others say it is 'kharma' either way, 'tres enjoyable'

@ andrew M....yes, ricciardo has been of the radar simply because the media chose to ignore him. why did red bull choose him for the junior team in the first place? based on his abu dhabi test where he blew vettels best laps into the ether.

for some of us, we had faith and that has, so far, been well placed. it is still early days and anything can happen. i have always expected vettel to come back at him, as one would expect of a four times WDC, and simply take control of the situation. so far that hasn't happened, maybe it will, maybe it won't. ricci is showing some real maturity here and he is relentless in his drive to excel.

i can only hope that he succeeds and can continue to improve. even if he does not go on to great things this season he has at least given me some great satisfaction and enjoyment.


"maybe it will, maybe it won’t"

It won't. It's gonna be quite a while before that RBR is PERFECT, which is what VET needs.

And of course his die-hard fans will remain blind to the mediocrity of his talent.


To those quoting the 2010 young driver test, that was a test at a largely unused track after 55 laps of rubber had been put down; several drivers went faster than their "senior" counterparts (although admittedly not by such a large margin). That's before we get into how unreliable testing is as a barometer anyway (who was backing Massa for pole at Bahrain?)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Ricciardo is a bad driver by any means, but he didn't exactly blow JEV out of the water, and conversely neither of them did anything more than Alguersuari and Buemi before them; would all of them give Vettel all he can handle too? If someone can just turn up and beat a 4 time world champion from a standing start, it just doesn't look good for the sport as a whole, let alone for Seb himself.


Yeah sensible response. I think it is fool hardy for people to write Seb off. Ive always said Seb is a top 4 driver at best but never anymore than that-- I will always stand by that.

People have to accept that the sport is very fluid and good drivers will become better-- truly hope that Dan gets to the point where he cannot be bettered by Seb-thats not that far away if he keeps his feet on the podium and gets that vital experience..

The same people wrote Raikkonen off whose driven every manner of F1 car at the front of the field and hes only just turned a corner. Already faster than the "benchmark" in the sport- lets hope this continues because i can already forsee a few names on here disappearing.



If it makes u happy when your favourite driver/team wins due to someone's mechanical failures, then so be it.

My idea if a champion, is someone who takes on the current champion head on, not wins due to injury or by default.

Say what you like about Vettel's previous championships, he took on all challengers head on and beat them with a much finer margin. Show me one year when Vettel had 1+ sec advantage for 4 races in a row? Even at the end of 2013, RBR never enjoyed such a dominating margin.

This years champion won't be highly regarded as most would agree that there would be 10 drivers on the grid that would win this years championship in the Merc. Rosberg, Alonso, Kimi, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Button, Vettel, Massa, Bottas (maybe others)


@Ahmed Sydney

forgot to say the Merc 2 second advantage is actually a bit of a double edged sword. If the opposition were a bit closer and could 'steal' a second place every now and then it would mean DNF's would not be so crucial. I mean, if you look at the season so far, would you honestly say[remember you aren't biased :-)]that Hamiltons lead over Rosberg actually reflects the respective performances of both drivers?


@Ahmed Sydney

Am I right in thinking you consider yourself to be a paragon of neutrality? Just checking, as your comments lead me to suspect otherwise 🙂

Now to your question of how many drivers could win the WDC in the Bull or the Merc; I would say that would depend a great deal on who the drivers teammate was. For instance, would Webber etc win the WDC in the Merc if Alonso or Hamilton was their teammate? On the flipside could Webber etc have won the WDC in the Bull if they weren't paired with Vettel? Would Vettel have won the 4 straight titles if he had a more competitive teammate, or had he not been favoured so much(remember Vettel was the Goldenchild for Marco and Horner when Webber was in the team)?

Your claims, like a lot of the sweeping statements you read on here, are not as straight forward as they might at first appear.


@C63, at least you are honest in your biased opinion, which makes it easier to understand your one sided statements.

One final question, how many drivers could have won 4 championships in the Red Bull, maybe 2 or 3 (top drivers in F1)?? Webber certainly was not one of them.

How many could drivers could win in this years Merc??? I stated 10 current drivers + Webber.

Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it...

@Grant, 4 consecutive championships sais otherwise...


Dude, VET is being beaten by RIC.

Surely there's nothing to defend there, VET is just not that great.


@Ahmed Sydney

My favourite driver/team aren't winning because of another teams mechanical failures. They are winning because they built a better car than everyone else and the driver that I favour, within that team, is the greater talent.

As for enjoying SV and RBR's woes I guess that I am guilty of a bit of schadenfreude. I can't very well deny it as I have been writing similar comments all over this forum whenever the opportunity presents itself. Thankfully, for me, there have been opportunities aplenty so far this season 🙂


I think Seb was lucky in a way, because he's been off Ricciardo all weekend (admittedly with very patchy reliability), and I think he would have been outqualified pretty handsomely.

I have to be honest, the more they go on the less I'm enjoying Vettel's struggles; what does it say about the sport we know and love if one of the all-time icons of our sport (for love or hate him that's what he is) has been flattered by his car/the blown diffuser/whatever so much that he can't even match a guy who (as likeable as Daniel is) has never really been talked about in the top echelons of drivers outside the Red Bull hierarchy?

Having said that, the season is still young, and Vettel is still ahead in the points table in a Rosberg-kind-of-way. Maybe Ricciardo is the real deal and has just stepped up his performances in a front-runnng car?

Guess we'll see at the end of the season.



the more they go on the less I’m enjoying Vettel’s struggles...

Not me, I'm loving it 🙂

A large proportion (not all) of the Vettel acolytes insisted he could walk on water. They steadfastly maintained it was all Vettel magic and not the car. Where are the now, what has happened?

Truly great drivers are defined by their ability to drive round a problem or deficiency with their cars, they have an ability to adapt - think Alonso, Schumacher, Senna.

Alonso had it about right when he said; if Vettel struggles [later in his career] in an ordinary car, then his 4 championships in a super car will hang very heavily round his neck - I am paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of it.


Not been talked about in the 'top echelon' of drivers does not make you a bad driver. Dan has proven his speed in feeder series, aswell as blowing sebs time out of the water at the young drivers test at abu dahbi a couple of years ago. Dan's qualifying pace is also noted as a major strength for him.


Ohh, I think you are mistaken. Mechanical failures only happen to the second driver at Redbull which is Vettel obviously.




Good to see Kimi finally getting to grips with the car. He only needed 1 lap to beat Alonso's 2 laps


The look on Nico's face when he was waiting for the photo-op after Qualifying said it all. He's been running his mouth ever since China claiming that Lewis has not been quicker- even going as far as to say that he in fact has been quicker than Lewis in the dry, insisting with such self-deluded certainty that seemingly only Nico Rosberg can have that he is getting beat only because three of the qualifying sessions have been wet (as if that is an excuse for losing when you are "quicker") and that he has not had a "normal" weekend. Then we come to today, and Nico has the car dialed in and is clearly quite comfortable in the car judging by the onboards, and he was fastest the whole day. Then, even though the back end was stepping out from him everywhere, Lewis still manages to make adjustments and find 7 tenths from Q1 relative to Nico and takes pole by almost 2 tenths. Judging by his comments post-qualifying, Nico seems to have acknowledged that he needs to find another level to beat Lewis.

This is the best Lewis Hamilton has been since 2007. He is driving at a very high level of focus and cerebral capacity right now, not getting daunted by setbacks and calmly finding what he needs to find to go faster. This is a very bad sign for Nico and for his competition- not just this year, but in years to come.

In other news, hopefully Kimi has shut some people up today. He hasn't lost motivation, he hasn't forgotten how to drive, and he sure as hell isn't a half a second slower than Alonso. The first four races were simply a case of him not being on top of the car. It happens to drivers. It looks like he is much more comfortable in the car than he has been all year, and he beat Alonso today in a straight fight. If he beats him tomorrow, hopefully he will begin to be taken more seriously- as he should be. (Not that it matters to Kimi how seriously people take him, as he emphatically showed today.)

Finally, Grosjean is once again showing that he is top class and that he deserves a top ride. He has done a brilliant job in a very difficult situation to start the year, and he took 5th today in a car that is probably still underdeveloped compared to the cars that he beat today. I'm sure Ferrari and McLaren have certainly taken notice today after he beat all of their drivers (and it is not insignificant that three of them are getting a little long in the tooth). Hopefully, Grosjean will begin to be taken as seriously as Hulkenberg, as he rightfully should be.


Agree Paige, I dont think Kimi or Fernando are on top of their car yet though. The onboards showed some fierce wheel action by Kimi just to keep the car on track. Both have their work cut out. I just hope Kimi takes more command over the start because that will determine if he gets the better result at chequered flag.There is more to come from the F14T and from Raikkonen. What I see is that from here on is that it will be Kimi that is finding go forward in the development path. Allison has been alluding to his specific input to improve the car. Alonso drives a bad car better than anyone- but this is exactly what is wrong with Ferrari it needs relentless direction in developing their cars. People like Raikkonen don t settle for the car being almost there and they make constructive feedback to get it there.

German Samurai

I'm not sure how Rosberg is supposed to look after qualifying?

Why would he be slapping Hamilton on the back? They're championship rivals.


Interesting post. So if you were the Mercedes team boss, would you replace Rosberg next year (assuming contracts weren't an issue)?

Personally I'd like to see the drivers move around more, as it would give us more match ups.

Mercedes seems to be happy with Rosberg, but I wonder what the other teams think of him? Who would ditch either of their current drivers for Rosberg?

On Hamilton, how do you rate is 2012 season? While there were a couple low points with tyre management, I thought in general I could see improvements with experience from 2007.

We've yet to really see Hamilton struggle this year in a race for any reason. It would be interesting to see what he says if there's a race this happens and Nico is still in the championship. Has the "don't talk to me, man/you're not telling me enough" characteristic really gone? Nico had a small hissy fit in China, and other drivers like Alonso and Vettel have them too, so Jackie Stewart's mind management is still a relevant point.

I saw a comment that Mercedes had brought in a sports psychologist to work with the pit crews. The drivers were asked about this and both said they would never use him/one. To me that shows room for growth in both Mercedes drivers.


No way that Mercedes drops Rosberg for anyone but Vettel, who I'm sure they would like to have given that he's a German 4x champion.

Look, Nico is a damned good and quick driver, and he and Lewis have shown they are a dominant pairing in the top car and have so far been a relatively harmonious and non-disruptive pairing. Why would you change anything if they are 1-2 in the World Championship and have won every race and pole? Especially if one of them is German? There's no reason to dump either of them for someone like Alonso. Hamilton has already shown he can beat Alonso, and I doubt that Alonso would have a distinct upper hand on Rosberg in terms of raw pace- maybe in terms of other factors, but not in terms of raw pace. And Nico contributes a lot to the team because he is a very intelligent driver, and you won't find many (if any) out there who would be an improvement in this area.


The simple reason to change is if the car's competitive advantage goes away then you want the best driver line up you can get. Ideally you'd want the driver settled in the team too, so the 2015 line up is relevant for 2016, by when hopefully for fans we are not in a third year of racing where only two drivers can win.

Part of the reason I asked is that Rosberg's place in the pecking order is not something I see much on. He's just generically one of the top drivers, but equally you could argue he's in the same bracket as Webber and Button.


*Unless if RIC overexposes VET of course.


We still need Lewis VS Seb in same car, remember F1 is still mostly about entertainment and it can't get better than that!


Martin, you wouldn't say that HAM having his lead erased, and being on the slower tire, for the last 10 laps in Bahrain wasn't a struggle? Or trundling around with 5 cylinders in Australia?!? In previous years, I could see Hamilton getting down over each of those, and ruing his bad luck. This year he's taken those two hits, and it's only increased his resolve.

Do you think Rosberg has been unlucky this year? To me, it seems like he complains over everything. Ok, his telemetry was out in China, but instead he should look at his good fortune in surviving the 1st-lap contact with Bottas.

As for which teams would take Rosberg, I think there's plenty. I think Ferrari would consider a swap for Kimi. Rosberg was on their radar before. I think if he were available, McLaren, FI, Williams, Lotus, etc. would all give him a nibble. He might be out of the price range of some of those teams though.


@Martin, of course the car failing right from the start won't hurt as much as the car failing 40 laps in with a 20 second lead. But knowing that any DNF this season will likely mean you lose 25 pts to your main challenger, it's a big hit in the standings. Even give Rosberg the victory in AUS; those 18 additional pts for 2nd would look mighty nice for Hamilton.

I agree that track position is important in Spain, but in Bahrain I can't see how you can say he was still well placed to win. He had a 9 sec lead erased, had Nico on the faster tire right behind him (with little life taken out of them, if any), with quite a ways to go to the flag. I thought Lewis was a sitting duck, same as Coulthard and many others. I don't think DC exclaims "how is he doing this?!" for no reason. It was a marvelous piece of driving.

If a Safety Car had erased his lead in Spain 10 laps from the end, I dare say that Rosberg would be expected to win there, when on the faster tire. In Bahrain it should've been even easier than that.

So I think the struggles have been there, he's just not moaning about them (or as much about them) as he has in previous seasons.


On Rosberg, no I don't think he's been unlucky. On which team he'd go to, I don't have a strong sense. James has mentioned that Nico's manager has made a point of talking to teams and keeping his name out there.

On Hamilton, I don't really see the warm up lap of race 1 at the point of failure as having the race won, so I could understand Hamilton taking a "these things happen" approach there. With Bahrain and Spain he had track position and was still well placed to win. So I don't feel the situation is as 'dire' as some he's been such as Spain last year.

KING Arthur 2 U

I can't help but think Lewis was sand bagging a bit as he knew his teammate was up late studying his data last night. He could have left a bit in the bag to give Rosberg a false sense of security then pull it out last moment when it would be hard to look at telemetry in Q3 due limited time. The corny smile on Lewis's face post quali kinda says it for me. Even Nico has question marks how he did it and I do think its a bit unfair that Nico is always the one to take a page out of Lewis's book and rarely the other way round which again brings question to Rosbergs talent.Somebody did say that had MB not taken on Lewis's services they might have not known the true pace of that W05.Lets be fair that boy has blistering pace ask Jenson and Nico has half learnt that but ego still tends to get the better of him


I agree, LH was holding back a little, and why not he is the faster driver.


hamilton doesn't need to give rosberg a false sense of security. he will give rosberg all the knowledge and still drive faster to confirm just how good he is.


lol, I always said that if given a chance, Lewis might have shown us how really fast was 2013 Redbull


I bet Ron Dennis Knows deep down that his McLaren is actually capable of doing much more than 8th

John Wainwright

I completely agree with your appraisal of Hamilton. What erked me today was hearing Eddie Jordan repeating the myth that Lewis is not an inteligent driver. This year Hamilton seems to be able to admit any shortfalls and says that he is relying on his crew more than in the past. I thought that Lewis had put to bed this weak arguement through his driving this season.


What irked me today was hearing Eddie Jordan..

That pretty much says it all.

To be honest I haven't watched F1 on the BBC for a while - I had forgotten they still employed that 'prat in hat' [toupee].



not sure wearing a toupee and being cool go exactly hand in hand. But hey, if you like him that's fine by me 🙂

John Wainwright

Fair point CR63. Can't afford Sky coverage though. I do watch online but live in the countryside so have the internet connection equivalent of a hamster in a wheel. Therefore some of us poor sods are stuck with the wig on legs that is EJ.


jordan is cool. not a prat at all. he got all his predictions right and keeps his wig tidy.


Excellent post.


Totally agree 🙂


I really want to see the pair of Lewis vs Alonso again when both are at his best, to be cleared is Mclaren favour Lewis in 2007?

Lotus has the really biggest step with their car, from the back to jump ahead several teams including Ferrari, McLaren, FI , very very good job from Lotus.


+1 Excellent post!

Maybe Grosjean to McLaren?

Go Lewis!!


When Nico has a problem with setup Lewis blows him away.

When Lewis has a problem with setup, he digs deep.

So far that's been the difference between these two.


He digs deep and still blows him away

David in Sydney

New respect for HAM this season.

I'm not a fan but wow he is driving as well as I've ever seen an F1 driver perform.


Nice work Kimbo.


...And the wall won pole position against crrrrrrrrrrrrashonado!!

Michael Spitale

Good to see Kimi is 2 for 2 in qualy against Alonso in the dry. However, in the rain he seems to be no match for Fernando. He needs to not be so nice at race starts and get some wider elbows at corner one as the other drivers have no fear doing.

Mercedes are on another planet of late.

Leslie D'Amico

The planet that Ross built...


Apparently the Brawnmeister visited his old stomping ground at Maranello a few days ago? Just saying hello and all that?

Don't do it Ross! Don't return to Ferrari!

Just say "Sorry Luca, I've had my time here, I enjoyed it, but I don't want to try and recreate past glories.........that's your charge now!"


Brundle was saying on Sky there is no chance of Ross returning to Ferrari - apparently MB is a mate of RB, at least that's what MB says.


Imperious form from the Mercedes cars for despite everybody having the upgrades, are still a second ahead of the chasing pack.

Also impressive stuff from Lewis for achieving his first dry pole since Hungary 2013 in a car he wasn't 100% comfortable >>> yes, with performances like this, Lewis will begin living rent-free in Rosberg's head.

Once again the honey badger produces the goods by claiming the best of the rest and seeing as his teammate Vettel conked out of Q3 qualifying, in hindsight, it was a mistake to change chassis especially one that hadn't been fine tuned.

Surreal result by Bottas more so considering where the qualifying expert Massa finished the day.

Lotus finally announce their arrival with Grosjean's P5, unfortunately for the sister car, the 2014 machines favour driver skill.

As for the iceman, definitely nice to see him back on his feet, this only means the fans have a major mid-field battle to look forward too.

Last but not least, with Force India having not made it to Q3, we wait and see what magic the team can make of it's new tyres.


Don't forget Pastor the Master at having a Crashtor! I feel sorry for all these barriers and concrete walls on grand prix tracks. What have they done to annoy Pastor so much that he takes out his anger on them?

Great lap from the Romain empire, agree with that. One of those "where did that come from?" moments. He's still got it.


So around what lap do you guys think that Lewis will have to lap Pastor, who is last on the grid? This might be the only exciting part of the race tomorrow. Even backmarkers are not a sure overtake in Catalunya.

Please let the leaders through Pastor. Please.



At least Verstappen didnt have DRS back then so that he could've tried to unlap himself once JP zoomed past him.

Bottas, who was a lap down, was using DRS when he and Lewis touched in Brazil last year, if I'm not mistaken.


That's a very good point about potential trouble lapping intransigent drivers.

Remember Montoya and Joss the Boss Brazil?


@ Gaz Boy

Lol... I think the barriers do not like Maldonado's car number and have decided to try and remove it at any given chance.


"yes, with performances like this, Lewis will begin living rent-free in Rosberg’s head."

Not beginning! Lewis is already living rent free since they were little kids. Don't you have any stats for that?


Its amazing that he still hasn't learned...lol


@ Mike Martin

Excuse me, I stand corrected.


"unfortunately for the sister car, the 2014 machines favour driver skill"

Please don't forget to pass that message through to Vettel as well......


@ Grant

Alright then.


The gap between Mercedes and the rest seems bigger than it was 3 weeks ago, which means the other teams are all idiots, led by Ferrari!


I do think a lot of it came down to the tyres. They really are incredibly hard for the track and Merc just seem to be able to use them better. Ferrari really are nowhere though..


Is it time for a conspiracy theory?

The Merc has been a bit hard on tires and Red Bull has spent the last few years insulting Perelli in the press non-stop.

AND Merc and Perelli had their secret test. Perhaps the tires are conservative for a reason.

Just joking but you never know.

Alexander Supertramp

Great job by Lewis. What happened to Massa? He looked pretty strong and capable of doing even better than Bottas, but by the end he was completely off the pace?


@Alexander Supertramp

He made a mistake in the third sector, that's what he told to a Brasilian reporter. Too bad the TV coverage didn't show it. Also, I'm not sure, but I think he was with the slightly used tyres from his aborted lap (due to the red flag) in his fast lap, whilst Bottas went for a brand new set. Let's see, maybe Massa will have an extra set of brand new mediums in the race.


There seems to be a shift in the relationship between Lewis and a Nico today.

Lewis seemed very distance to him.

In the press conference Nico said "I strongly dislike finishing second to Lewis"

Lewis interrupted him, what did he say?

Lewis is at his peak and in the best car, that should result in a world championship.

I think Lewis would rather Red bull and co catch up a little, to stop Nico coming second. It could end up very strange, if Nico keeps finishing second. Lewis could win like 10-12 races and then lose on the last race because of double points.


Am I the only one who would really love to see some passion and outright rivalry? I can imagine the epic backlash from today's peace and love (and sponsorship dictated) F1 audiences but just once wouldn't it be great to see:

Nico: I strongly dislike coming 2nd to Lewis

Lewis: It's ok, you seem to getting plenty of practice at it..

Hamilton would be lynched but I'd be over the moon at the drama! Think Lauda / Hunt! Senna / Prost!


The only race that could possibly be worth double points is Spa. Just about acceptable. But Abu Dhabi????? Hopefully the championship will be decided before and we don't even need to watch the farce.


bahrain was worth double points!


Lewis's reply was ' you've already said that' in a light hearted way which seemed to throw Nico and made the moment awkward!


I think he said 'you've said that before' or words to that effect, in regards to Rosberg saying something similar in Bahrain.


I think he said "we already know that" or "you've said that before". Which Nico has, to be fair. But Lewis should just bite his tongue there, as Nico saying stuff like that means it's playing with him.

Totally Lewis would rather have some other teams catch up, or at least get close enough to cause problems for Nico.

It's possible that Lewis could win 15 races, and still lose out to Nico winning 4 races. No DWC has won 4-plus fewer races than the winningest driver(s) in a season, and only twice has the DWC won 3 less races. So if Nico won, having won 11 less races, it would be a total farce. I hope it doesn't come to that.



Lewis interrupted him, what did he say?...

You'll probably get about 50 replies telling you that he didn't say that. He said something like 'you've said that before'.


lol and these 50 replies will be so uncalled for.


- Hamilton vs Rosberg

Rosberg is nearly as fast as Hamilton, but he lacks pressure driving ability. When the pressure is on in that last lap, he under delivers. However tomorrow we could have a good fight between the two, but the man who is first in the first corner presumably will win it.

But as I already said before, I see a super focused Hamilton, becoming finally the complete driver. Alonso style all over him right now.

- Alonso vs Raikkonen

We could see here Alonso's only weakness, which I have already mentioned here. He works the tyres very hard in his fast laps, and in the odd occasion in some circuits with high rear tyre degradation and a final sector with high traction demands, he losses time precisely in that last sector, due to tyre degradation. It happened the same to him last year here, or on several quali sessions back in 2007, with the soft compound.

And very good job from Kimi, probably not as fast on shear speed as Alonso as the second sector times show, but using his style to make the difference in the last sector of the lap and match Alonso's time. That's the Kimi we all now, let's see tomorrow if he is able to race Alonso and we can see finally a good fight between the two.

- Vettel vs Ricciardo

Not much to say. However Red Bull has an amazing chassis, and before everybody starts saying how good is Ricciardo, I will say this: Ricciardo is very good, indeed, but he did not completely maximize the lap time achievable by that car today, I fear. I think there were two or three tenths there to grasp.


"he did not completely maximize the lap time achievable by that car today, I fear. I think there were two or three tenths there to grasp"

So what if there were? Vettel was out, he wasn't going to catch the Mercs, so all he had to do was ensure that he qualified 3rd - which he did.

Still, I'm with Davej: Where's your proof?


Alonso also needed an extra lap to get close to Kimi's time. His first attempt was 4 tenths off Kimi's only timed Q3 effort


Yes that's true. But that was because Kimi was slower than Alonso with the hards. And also the first atempt wasn`t very representative, because the tyres were a bit older due to the red flag interrumpting the first round.

But as I (and Alonso in the post qialifying interview) said, Kimi was very quick today.


Fair point I forgot about the red flag. Hopefully Ferrari can at least get 4th and 5th tomorrow


What proof do you have that Ricciardo didn't maximise the car's performance?


Not proofs of course, but feeling.

kenneth chapman

@ yago,....'feeling' really. you'll make a great race engineer someday.


Maldonado's certainly getting his money's worth out of the team.


Impostor Maldonado!


All Lewis has to do is open a gap and manage it, I think it's been clear that he had better race pace than Nico. I don't think that there are enough dossiers that can equalize them, Lewis is just that little bit faster. I also think that the DNF had help him in a way, he's on a mission to erase Nicos lead on the WDC, he had that killer instinct that he had been lacking.


JA, a shot in the dark, but do you have any info on whether Merc put less fuel in Lewis' car, b/c he has shown he can consume less than Nico running at better pace? It was 4kg in China (if the FIA's graphic on it is accurate) ...I can't believe it'd be that much, but even 2kg less would make a difference over an entire GP.


No proof but I think they are able to under fuel the cars, yes. Less than 100kg for the race.


But are they fuelling LH less than NR, b/c he can do the same race with less fuel? If so, it's a virtuous circle for LH.


"Not enough dossiers" lol. Articulately put


Stellar performance by Lewis Hamilton.
Superb 🙂
Did you see Rosberg repeating the same old "as you know I hate coming second to Lewis" at the pole interview after. Hilarious rebuke by Lewis saying
"I think they've heard that before:D!".
Meaning change the record its getting boring now.
Come on Lewis Kick Ass 🙂


2014 F1 Rd5. Spanish GP Post Qualifying Top3 Interview - Hamilton Rosberg Ricciardo - YouTube


Perfectly acceptable response from Lewis to Nico's ugly use of language, hate is a strong word! And drama is good for f1! 🙂


@ Pkara Yeah, I saw it. He needs to get over it because it will continue. If Nico doesn't win Monico he will snap because that is supposedly his favorite track.


+1 rotf


Did Lewis really say that..??;)



Could someone please verify this.


Yes check the interview, after James Allen (think its James doing the Pole interviews) talks to Lewis he questions Rosberg....& the rebuke follows Rosbergs same old statement:D


He said something along those lines, on Yahoo they are reporting that he said "We already know that" although of course, Yahoo is not really a credible source. I watched the interview post qualy and I couldn't quite make out what he said


They don't disappoint, do they, these Mercedes drivers in their non-taxi hybrid cars.


Remember the outrage against tires last year when cars were claimed to be a little bit slower? When in fact that was not the case?

4.5s slower quali time and surely significantly slower race time tomorrow and everyone thinks these drivers are on a limit?

FYI...the super budget GP2 cars were 4s slower than the mighty F1 cars. Where can I place an order for 2 GP2 cars to have fun with?

Hey Random, maths with Sebee episode 5. If F1 pole is 1:25.232 and slowest GP time was about 1s slower than Caterham, how many GP2 cars quali times were within 107% of F1 pole time?


If F1 and GP2 cars are so close now then I have an idea:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in GT races they run several different classes in the same field and then determine the winner for each class.

I wonder what the reaction / result would be if they decided to run F1 and GP2 simultaneously?



Just relax, change your name to Lewy, slip on a silver jacket and enjoy the show.

In no time at all, you'll have forgotten all about Red Bull 😉


Do you know what? I think you are just being deliberately contrary! Your real problem isn't the new formula at all. It's the fact that your wonder boy isn't looking so wonderful anymore. Sour grapes, plain and simple.


100% it was. Vettel was the only exciting thing. Unless somehow someone here believed Rosberg would pass Lewis. I didn't.



That race wasn't exactly the formality that you predicted, was it 🙂


Is this what you really want?

Anyway, Lewis is the man. He will steam roll this field. I hope the waves thanks to Vettel as he laps him....on the 4th lap.

Now....back to our regular scheduled Sebee programming.

Hey, at least I'll get solid 90 minutes of cardio in tomorrow. Regardless if the GP is just a formality.


A: Well first of Hamilton's 1:25.232 in Q3 is irrelevant because only the fastest time from Q1 is taken into account when calculating the 107% rule which was Rosberg's 1:26.764 which works out to 1:32.837 so if we take into account the GP2 quali times which ranged from 1:29.293 for Richelmi to 1:31.558 for Daly then it would seem that all of them would have comfortably been within 107% of Rosberg's Q1 time 🙂

Not bad for a #2 mathematician eh?



You never cared about GP2 spec before and you don't now. The only reason you are mentioning it at all, is because you believe it somehow validates your complaints about the new F1.

The FIA have always had to slow the cars down with changes to the regulations, in particular they slow the cornering speeds. If they didn't do this the drivers would need G suits and, more to the point, if there was a mechanical failure or driver error then the consequences would likely be severe. No doubt GP 2 will have a regulation change that will peg their speed at some point.


Random...612hp 10,000rpm limit V8 GP2 engine is achieving F1 107% lap times.

Seriously...what is happening? I never cared about GP2 spec, but when GP2 cars can qualify for an F1 grid spot, I start to be very interested.


Excellent. But even worse for F1. I completely forgot about the Q1 time setting the 107%. Thanks for that reminder.

That's right boys and girls, the entire GP2 grid is F1 ready! When has that EVER happened at same track that all GP2 cars were within 107%? Bet you they sounded better today too. Anyone at the track care to give feedback?


They were slower today because the 2013 cars were in their 5th year of development against the 2009 rules. On top of that the tyres are much slower this year.

When we come here next year I guarantee we'll be a few seconds quicker.


No aero miracles coming I am afraid.


I say again, what's more important the numbers and stats vs gp2 or the fact that we are watching drivers fighting the cars and not enjoying the benefits of being glued to the road by extreme downforce! I personally couldn't care less what the gp2 times are, how about next year the engines all gain another 150hp and 200lbs ft and we take off even more downforce! Lap times will fall further but it will be phenomenal to watch!


Lol C63 🙂



Perhaps we should cut Sebee some slack, after all he is suffering the ignominy of being a Vettel fan 🙂


Right...so the point of this billion and noiseless engines is to make them squirm around the track in lack of traction vs. getting them round the track in F1 times?

Why not put these guys in GP2 cars I mentioned? Last I checked we would have epic battles and a close grid. Way cheaper too.


They are certainly on the limit in quali. The cars are moving around a lot, not easy to drive. Everyone had low grip today and the rear end stepping out.

It was quite something. The race tomorrow they won't be on the limit much if at all


So you are saying we are more likely to see lap parity between GP2 and F1 race lap times?

At the end of the day James, what does it say about new F1 when 24 GP2 cars put in a lap time within 107%? On what was likely a colder track top.


I thought Rosberg looked a tad sulky whilst he was waiting for Hamilton and Ricciardo to join him for the 'top three' photo - I would imagine he would be used to losing out to Hamilton by now. What did he think was going to happen? Somehow this weekend it would be different? They say he is some kind of a brainbox and speaks six languages, I only speak one and I knew it was going to happen. Maybe he isn't as clever as they say 😉

German Samurai

Hamilton was sulky and non-communicative after Rosberg beat him for pole in Bahrain.

Hamilton is expected to beat Rosberg. That's why he's paid significantly more money.

Hamilton was panicking on the radio in Q1. All the pressure is on Hamilton since this car is unbeatable and his only challenge is from his driver who is the number two driver (Malaysia 2013 the team forbade Rosberg from passing the much slower Hamilton).

If Hamilton's wins the championship it proves nothing we didn't know about him -- that's he fundamentally quicker than Rosberg.

If Hamilton fails to win the championship his legacy is tarnished forever.

A Rosberg second place today means he's only 3 points behind Hamilton. One qualifying lap is not indicative of long run pace either.

Ricciardo might get off the line well and take the challenge to Hamilton in the first corner and Hamilton loses a wing, gets a puncture or is forced out of the race. All of sudden Rosberg is 29 points up in the championship.

It's going to be a long 6 months for Hamilton since simply a little bad luck in 2 or 3 races can completely derail his championship.


@German Samurai

Malaysia 2013 the team forbade Rosberg from passing the much slower Hamilton..

Remind me, did Rosberg manage to make any of his passes on the 'much slower' Hamilton stick? Hamilton had already re-passed Rosberg when Brawn came on the radio and asked the drivers to hold station. Bearing on mind what happened at Bahrain this year, I am not so sure what the outcome would have been had Brawn allowed the two of them to race.

However, with regard to your point about the pressure being on Hamilton, I wouldn't disagree. But it does beg the question as to why Rosberg looked so grumpy. Everyone knows Hamilton is the greater talent - Rosberg isn't stupid so he must know it as well, so why the sour puss?

On a different note, how are you getting on with your list of the 'many drivers' on the grid who would have won 3/4 of the first races if they were in Hamiltons position?

I've still not heard back from you 😉


rosberg is only acting. he know hamilton very well, he said so himself on the official f1 site.


I liked Vettel domination more.

At least he had competition. 🙂


@Sebee I think you just want to provoke response. Vettel had competition only with himself. As Red Bull did less to support Webber.

I know you already know this but just trying to find out if we still recognized you as bias Vettel fan.


I'm asking this through genuinely not knowing but has there ever been a multiple world champion called into question more than vettel?



It's because he's not liked, no other reason. Which is a silly reason.


I don't find intra team battle exciting. I am used to Schumi, Alonso, Vettel. Eventually a team makes a call, end of story.

Alonso was hounding Vettel like a bad smell last 4 years. This year it's a whole new level of domination. Seriously.


Wow! You're one deluded fan, he had 0 competition! At least Hamilton has to battle his teammate, RB always made sure Webber had no chance.


The great thing is we don't have to see him waving his finger in the air anymore!!

He and we will learn alot about mettle this season.

One can often learn more from adversity than victory.



The great thing is we don’t have to see him waving his finger in the air anymore!!..

Also, no more 'faaaaaaantastic drive Seb' at the end of every bloody race.


From who?

Especially in 2013.

Hamilton and Nico are only a few points apart even if things stay as they are in how they finish it'll take 6 races before Hamilton can relax.

1 dnf in favour of Rosberg and it's time for Hamilton to start all over again.

Best season in ages...... I actually prefer Hamilton chasing rather than leading.


Yes Nico could be thoroughly beaten and still win WDC.


Intermittent competition, but never enough to really threaten him.

In those last 9 races last year, he had none. Only the Japanese GP was anything resembling close.

I don't like that Mercedes looks to have increased the gap. I want it to be closer than it is. I don't want Merc to win every race, and I don't expect them to, but it could be much later in the season, a Merc double-DNF notwithstanding.


I don’t like that Mercedes looks to have increased the gap - I do.

I want it to be closer than it is - I don't.

I don’t want Merc to win every race - I do.

Think about it. What a magnificent achievement that would be, although I doubt they will.

So long as Mercedes allow their two drivers to race one another (as McLaren did with Prost and Senna)then I don't have a problem with single team domination. The problems come when you have a Schumacher/Ferrari or Red Bull/Vettel scenario. That's when, for me at least, things get boring.


Agree Sebee. It's getting very old, very quick now. Everyone enjoyed Seb's domination. The crowds even turned to booing the 2 place getters on the podiums for daring to share Seb's limelight. I can only imagine how many fans turned off their TV's today when Seb's car broke down. I was personally in tears. Seb must be beside himself right now.


I'm trying to enjoy it, but it's tough.

Look, on any weekend there was a chance Vettel could be beaten. There was risk and pressure. There is no chance this Mercedes can be beaten. And it's only misfortune that will stop Lewis as many here note. That just ain't gonna happen.

Am I just seeing it wrong? This is the most certain year since 2002.

It comes down to many things that are rubbing me the wrong way. 2s per lap domination, silence, billions spent for little value, GP2 car lap speeds. Maybe I'm just too negative. Let me watch myself tomorrow to see if I enjoy the show. I'm trying, seriously.


Everything you say is true, but the trick is to more or less ignore those two little silver cars and concentrate on the rest of the field 🙂



I'm with you, even in 2011 and 2013 which were Red Bulls most dominating years, qualifying and the race was always interesting. If Red Bull wasn't on pole, then it was always a genuine and true race.

2014 put Mercedes anywhere in the top 6 and they would still finish 1-2.


Nicely done again Glenn 🙂


"The crowds even turned to booing the 2 place getters on the podiums for daring to share Seb’s limelight."

That was soooooo funny. lmaorotf. 🙂


As you used to be so fond of telling us. It's up to the others to raise their game.

Maybe Red Bull and Vettel should spend less time dipping their balls in the pool 🙂


I'm not complaining about domination. Simply excessive domination. And FYI, Mercedes is peeing into everyone's pool with the rocket ships they have.

I think something is flexing on that car. Time to test!


Yeah he had until the Red Bullying started and the tires were changed 🙂 Sorry, I could not stop myself....

Already responded for you.

(but but, the tire were changed because on safe...bla bla.)

P.S Oh Well, at least Vettel does not have to move aside tomorrow for Daniel San


I hated the tire change. Anyone here will tell you, I wad super against it.

That is true....Seb won't have to move over for his team mate. Actually, perhaps when he's shown blue flags.


I don't feel any sympathy for Rosberg. He's been talking too much and believing his own hype ever since he won in Australia. He needs to be quiet and just drive. He looked like he lost his dog at the photo-op. Maybe, he needs to see that sports psychologist Merc just hired.


I can only agree. He talks way too much,i first noticed it when schumacher was still his teammate. Im glad he s getting a whooping from hamilton now: though i hope he will come back otherwise this season is realy over.


I haven't warmed to Rosberg ever since his first season with Schumacher were every single post race interview featured 'well I'm beating my teammate so that's great'. He is a stuck record and is unsportsmanlike and clearly quite insecure otherwise he would not feel the need to mention it quite so much. Also his lack of acknowledgement at any point that Lewis has had a DNF is very immature.


Some statistics (if I am right):

This is the first time in 10 years that Alonso has been beaten by a teammate in qualifying in Montmelo. Amazing job Kimi!! 😉


I believe you are. Though in 2007 Hamilton did beat him in Q2, the true low-fuel qualifying session back then. In Q3 Lewis was fuelled for two laps longer than Alonso, though Alonso still beat Lewis by 0.334s ... even fuel-corrected, he probably still beat him in Q3.


Yes, fuel for two laps accounts for approximately half the difference I would say. If I remember well Hamilton was loosing time to Alonso mainly in the first sector. Each time I remember it, it amazes me how close were Hamilton and Alonso that year on pure quali pace! We should be gifted by a real fight between these two in the same car. Maybe Rosberg leaving after being beaten fair and square this year?


@justafan, do you know that for certain? I've seen speculation re: his contract, but nothing definitive.


Rosberg has a contract for 2015.


Yes that is correct. Trulli was the last driver to do so 10 years ago


Wasn't Trulli one of the drivers who out qualified Alonso? Hamilton too?


Wow, 5 sec's down from last year. So I guess any aero-intensive track will see the 2014 cars lag behind.

Charles Pic, 22nd on the grid last year, would be on pole today with his 2013 time! (1:25.070).

As the teams get better in terms of fuel consumption with the cars, perhaps we should be adding more downforce back onto the cars, mainly with the rear wing. Drag will increase, but the benefit should outweigh the cost.


I was thinking about that when I applied for tickets for Silverstone this year a few weeks ago. Bear in mind Silverstone is all mega fast corners heavily dependent on high speed stability via good aero balance and aero efficiency (i.e if set too much wing for high downforce at Silverstone you'll compromise straight line speed on the long straights) are the cars going to be substantially slower?

Also, are the cars going to sound loud enough going through the mighty Woodcote, Copse, Becketts/Maggots, Abbey et al? Anyone who has stood on the grass banks at Maggots/Becketts during qualifying to hear the wailing engine at full song will know what I mean.



Have you tried Santa Pod? They have a meet over the Whitsun weekend. If loud and impressive is what you want a top fuel dragster will give you that in spades; 0-100 in less than a second, 0-300 in around 4 seconds 🙂

With regards to the current cars appearing slower - they are around 5% down on last years times (at Barcelona). If you translate that margin to speed (although their top speed is actually up, it's the corners where the time is lost)that translates to 10mph at 200mph. So if you think a car flashing by, where you are standing, travelling at £190mph will visibly appear slower to you than one which was travelling at £200mph then I would say you have a problem. Personally, I would defy anyone to tell the difference unless the two cars were side by side.


oops, where did the £ signs come from? Was it me or my Renault developed keyboard.

Me, I suspect 🙂


I hope someone is counselling Rosberg to avoid the almost inevitable emotional reaction to the loss of pole.

The frustration and hubris he must feel after a week of telling anyone who would listen how he was faster than Hamilton in the dry - like Bahrain - must be mind blowing.

The pressure on drivers is immense and it exaggerates the emotions and that can easily lead to poor judgement. Hamilton has been there and done that in the past, Rosberg did it in the wet qualifying only a few weeks ago.

Anger, frustration, feeling the prize slip away, the pressure on your own self perception leads to trying too hard, losing perspective and being susceptible to a severe touch of Maldonadonitis.

Crashing into Hamilton will not enhance Rosberg's reputation nor his career.


You think that's what it's leading to? I think the last thing Rosberg would want is to be DQ'd from the season b/c of deliberately colliding with his main challenger. I don't think it's possible to get away with stuff like Prost-Senna '89, Senna-Prost '90, Schumi-Hill '94, or Schumi-J.Villeneuve '97 anymore (obviously MSC didn't get away with it in the last example).

See also Keke Rosberg's reaction to Schumi parking it at Rascasse in '06, and I don't see how Rosberg crosses that line. Who knows, anything's possible I guess. I don't think it's in his makeup to play dirty. Hard, but fair. As it should be.


Bit of context here:

Lewis Hamilton achieves pole position with a 1m25.2.

Last year Charles Pic, qualified rock bottom in 22nd place, with a time of 1m25.0. Last year's slowest time would have been enough to better this years pole lap!! How about that!

And just for further reference, Rosberg's pole lap from last year was a 1m20.7, so almost 5 seconds faster than Lewis's pole lap of this afternoon.


These cars take serious driving. If you had experienced such you might have an idea. This is how it should be. Driving with more power than grip.

Your comments are making a mockery of racers like senna or Mansel etc.

Its a pointless comparison given the (far better this year in my opinion) power to grip ratio and if you think GP2/3 drivers are 'better' drivers - your being silly.

This less aero trickery combined with more power is always the way to sort the real racers.

Go watch 250 gearbox racing compared to the usual fixed drive - or as I suspect from your arm chair - YouTube it - you will start to understand - particularly if you watch some short circuit stuff.

And yes they are doing in excess of 160mph on many of the tracks. No they do not have seat belts. Yes they do have similar cornering forces to F1 and yes they do stop faster even then F1... Think about that...

Then think about your comments.

Hashtag - former 250 champ!


Flippin' heck Doc! No need to give it to me so full on!

Where on earth did I criticise anything? I was merely highlighting the disparity and extremities between this years cars and last years cars. It really doesn't take that much from my comment to realise that was all I was getting at.

Dear oh dear oh dear!


Apologies for the rant but after a multitude of posters making similar comments I thought I had returned to an earlier poster with a far more critical and frankly silly set of comments.

Pressed the wrong reply that's all - nothing meant by it other than wondering what some posters are actually watching...


Its the return of the Romain empire! Great lap from the young Swiss-Franco driver..........probably the lap of the year so far. Still, its the race that counts.

Also, well done Jenson for wrestling the Macca to 8th on the grid - probably a few places higher than it deserves to be.

Sebastian - what a difference a year makes?????

Anyone noticed that when Luca turns up for a race Ferrari are average, at best? Stay away Luca!


Button is 8th because Massa had problems on his final lap and Vettel retired.


I could be wrong but I think Massa's problems were self inflicted.


Martin Whitmarsh will be proud


True, still a good effort from the Frome Flyer.


Grosjean's was not the lap of the year. He was consistently on amazing times in S2. He and his car had the pace, and he delivered. That's it.

For me the best laps to date have been:

Rosberg's pole lap in Bahrein.

Hamilton's pole lap in China.

Alonso's forth position lap in Malaysia.

Vettel's second position lap in Malaysia.

Ricciardo's second position lap in China.


Fair comments, but I still think Romain's effort today was supreme considering that Lotus has been nothing short of dogs dinner for most of this season!


Yes, I agree he did very good. Maldonado was being very quick also through the weekend, but he did what he did...


Hey fellas if you see that Kenneth Chapman fellow - if all goes well tomorrow for Kimi - please tell him Thompson told you so....... Thanks

kenneth chapman

hey 'fellas' if you see that thompson fellow, please ask him what it was he was going to tell me......very many thanks.

kenneth chapman

@ thompson.... you can tell me yourself, i'm still here.


Vettel= The New Webber


Stop that Bull... everything is just coincidence.



Mercedes=The old Red Bull


No, Much much better


Tough times for Nico, he really needs to beat Hamilton on merit soon or he is going to start losing faith in his own ability. The Merc advantage is magnifying the fight between the pair as it is effectively Mano V Mano with no chance of anyone else putting themselves between them.


Its like having a fight with someone in a cage where no one can stop the fight if your behind is getting your behind whopped...lol. Lol this kind of reminds me of the battle between Barrichello and Button at Brawn GP. I hope Ros will not retire from the sports this year too.


I see Eddie Jordan is one of those who think Nico is a more intelligent driver than Hamilton.

Has he been watching the last 3 races, Lewis using less fuel and making his tyres last well.

The track is very abrassive so maybe Eddie knows something I don't as he seemed to be tipping Nico for the win.

He did say there is no one on the grid to touch Hamilton over one lap.


I don't get the point of this Nico is smarter debate, what relevance has it to the racing?

If anybody can tell me what advantage "being smarter" brings to the race then maybe the debate has merit. Clearly the strategy requires a bit of brain power and some clever software but that is not done by the drivers. The main items for the driver seems to be looking after the tyres while maintaining a reasonable lap pace. Clearly Lewis has enough smarts to master that aspect. Perhaps Nico is not as fast because he is over thinking it. How ironic the supposed advantage is actually his weakness... 🙂


That's going really well for him then...


"He did say there is no one on the grid to touch Hamilton over one lap."

Yes, the same were saying all these guys about vetted these past few years. For the moment, in the two dry qualis, Rosberg has been faster in average. I am not saying Hamilton is not super fast, I just say that it is very easy to do such statements about a driver who is in a dominant car.


if you add 66 one laps together you will get a race distance so what is all this nonsense about being untouchable over one lap? hamilton is the best driver to have stepped foot in the sport and we will not see another as good in our lifetime. I don't know what it is that prevent people from seeing that. he has demonstrated time and time again that he can overtake better than any driver in the history of the sport, prompting the introduction of kers and drs. he has demonstrated that he can defend his position better than any driver has ever done and can put his car on pole better than anyone in the history of the sport. i notice some people nearly saying what they see but opt out for untruths. nor matter what they say, hamilton is as good as he is and will drive as well as he does.

rosberg knows just how good hamilton is and he says so here. he is only pretending i be upset to finish behind hamilton.



let's assume you're right. name a driver who is capable of defending better than hamilton, name one who can overtake as well as hamilton, name one who can out qualify hamilton. we all saw how alonso coped with the rookie hamilton in 2007.

i have heard people refer to fangio as the greatest ever. i have also heard people, including murray walker, refer to senna and schumacher as the greatest ever. as soon as hamilton gets on the scene oh no 'we cannot compare drivers of different eras.' sings the song. i hope you enjoy the rest of the season because the best driver to have stepped foot in the history of the sport will feature, all season long! we will never see another in our life time.

kenneth chapman

@ aveli....tosh


It's been common consensus amongst all in F1 for a few years, that Lewis is the fastest driver in F1 on raw pace, especially over one lap.


@justafan, uh, and he's had the best car for the last four years! Plus he had a very good car in 2009, and is in the 2nd best car this year. A little more context than just comparing absolute numbers is needed.

Lewis gets the outright best car for the first time in his career, and he's making the best use of it. He might even pass Vettel's pole count (45) this year, and will definitely pass him for front rows, in his first season with the outright best car (versus SV's four seasons).

Going up against the Red Bulls in the last 5 seasons, Lewis still managed to get the 2nd most poles and front rows. So far, in 2014, Vettel trails Ricciardo in front row starts, 2-1. So first things first, Vettel needs to beat Ricciardo.


Last time I checked Vettel had more poles than Hamilton. And fastest laps too. And wins as well. And titles as well. And podiums as well. And first row starts as well. And all that from less races as well.


No it's not. The consensus was that Vettel was the fastest. People, even so called experts, tend to get too carried away by results. This is, the driver with the most pole positions is the fastest, which is not true. Normally he is just the one in the fastest car for the longer time. Yes, Vettel was faster than his teammate, so?

kenneth chapman

i do think that that is open to other interpretations.


James,is it true that Caterham has fired Mark Smith?


Love Lewis no nonsense stance in the photo shoot above.


I could only imagine what Alonso or Raikkonen would do in Williams.


Holy...That's a gap.


Great to see Romain Grosjean mixing it at the top end again - and a tiny hurrah for Jenson Button and McLaren, who seem to have really started crawling forward too.


Mclaren will need the luck of australia to see another podium this year.


Really? McLaren pace is worth celebrating?


I thought 8th in Q3 was a bit of progress, yes. The race didn't agree :-}


Happy to see Kimi doing better after that awful race in China. After the latest upgrades to the car, Kimi has reportedly better feeling of the front end of the car and he is now able to feel the available grip of the track the way he wants.


schumacher (best wishes) legged it from ferrari when he heard that raikkonen was joining ferrari. the guy is super fast!


Pastor's Demolition Vehicle Spins Again?




Everyone is better off when he starts at the back.



Opps...have to change back to Sebee before I get used to this nick.


Wear it with pride Lewee 🙂


Everyone always seems to bang on how good this driver and that driver is, at this level they are all top shelf.

Now what would be interesting stick them all in Lewis 's car and see who qualifies quickest then we would know who is the best qualifier.


Vettel's side of garage seems to be under tremendous pressure to deliver.That is 3 out of 5 races wherein Vettel's car is having some issues or the other.They are trying too many changes, fiddling with the set-up which is not allowing him to get into his groove and is affecting his confidence.Brundle,Benson and other experts talk abt his struggle with low down force levels in the car.But I would like to point out that he qualified and raced well in Malaysia with the same car.

My take is that Red bull are still clueless about the troubling issues.Chassis change appears to be a blind shot to see if there are any improvements


I’m getting Fed up with F1 at the moment! After dull and utterly boring seasons like 2011 and the 2nd part of 2013, we were all eagerly waiting for 2014. It would throw up the formbook they said, it will produce exciting racing they said! The only Thing I like about F1 2014 is that we have another winner besides Vettel! Ok, it has altered the formbook a bit, but we are watching non races where one car is Miles faster than anyone, Jeez It’s depressing to see such a big advantage! The last 13 races have been won by 3 different drivers, how depressing is that? We want to see a competition, not a who’s the best of the rest show! No wonder the Americans hate it, it’s boring as hell!!! F1 has fallen deep in my humble opinion and I didn’t even mention the fact that most of the Cars are UGLY as hell, sound horrible and are WAY TOO SLOW!!! Yeah 2014, it’s a cracker, wait for it, letdown!!!!


hold your breath for 4 years before comparing mercedes' dominance with that of redbull.


What a gap! It's even worse than RBR domination only it's Lewis this time. I feel it will be a boring race.

Poor Nico, his body language says it all. Lewis will thrash Nico, no doubt about it.

Am just looking forward to the rest of the field fighting for points. This season seems done and dusted for me. And Lewis will be accused of winning the championship because of the fastest spaceship just like Vettel, but there's truth to it.


Ric was not faster than Vettel in Q1. Even though Ric made two attempts, on the harder tyre Vettel was faster by a tenth..

kenneth chapman

so what?


The article reads "One second adrift of Hamilton was Ricciardo, the best of the rest. He was quicker than Vettel in the first two phases of qualifying before a late lap in the final moments took him to his third top three of the season" which is incorrect.. That's what..

kenneth chapman

@ john... a very minor mistake in reporting...so what? not really worth posting about.

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