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Rosberg and Hamilton raise their game as championship battle intensifies
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Jun 2014   |  9:11 am GMT  |  128 comments

They may not have won in Canada, but there was evidence that both the Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, produced performances which illustrated how much the pair have developed as drivers in recent times, as their title battle intensifies.

Rosberg surprised many by taking pole on one of Hamilton’s strongest circuits, but in the race his management of a car, which had series problems with ERS, brakes and fuel consumption was impressive and it was noticeable how Hamilton nuanced his driving, by planning waves of attacks on his team mate, rather than driving all-out, as he might have done in the past.

This is perhaps to be expected in two drivers who are now entering the peak of their careers; Hamilton is 29 and Rosberg will be too, shortly.

But it also shows how, when there is a championship at stake and everything is raised to a higher level of intensity, drivers find new depths in themselves.
Hamilton’s drive was noted internally at Mercedes as something of a milestone; he would not have driven like that a year ago. Faced with an on-form and confident Rosberg, he had to regroup after the shock of losing out in qualifying. He didn’t win the start, despite the better getaway off the line, Rosberg shut him out into Turn 2.

So then it was down to attack plans and strategy. What was most noticeable was that he did not sustain the attacks, but built up and pushed, retreated at times, to regroup on energy, fuel and tyre saving and then came again. He was trying to break Rosberg’s rhythm.

Rosberg made a mistake, going straight on at the T13/14 chicane for which he was lucky not to be punished, as he broke the DRS tow by doing so.

This was an interesting marker for the season, as it was clear that in a finely balanced decision the stewards didn’t want to affect the outcome of the race and the title battle. Hamilton came again and observers and insiders were of the view that had both cars remained healthily, the Briton would probably have prevailed in the end.

That said, Rosberg’s drive also took him to a new level. The team were amazed that the car came home in one piece after hitting problems around half distance. It was the first time this season that a car has finished a race without the MGU-K unit working.

This year the engineers give the drivers messages every lap on settings changes for many parameters of the car as a matter of course. When trouble hit, Rosberg was making multiple changes every lap to solves problems, like something out of the movie Apollo 13.

When both cars hit problems with electronics on the Energy Recovery System, this meant three main things: the car was down on power with no electric boost; the fuel consumption increased as a result; the rear brakes were being asked to do something for which they were not designed.
Rosberg dug in and made it happen for himself; as long as the car kept running, there were points to be scored. He was helped by the Force India cars one-stopping which slowed their advance and that of the Red Bulls. Without that he would have finished lower down the order.

“All of a sudden, our ERS just stopped – on both cars at the same time – which is crazy,” said Rosberg in his post race You Tube video review of the Canadian Grand Prix.

“So then I was pushing so many buttons trying to get the thing going again and at the same time battling Lewis, who had the same problem.

“I thought my race was over and he would easily pass me.

“From then on I just lost out at the pit-stops because we had a problem with the left-front so I lost a position to Lewis there, which was really unfortunate. Then he had the brake failure so I had to be even more cautious with the brakes as we had been saving them all race and that made it really challenging because we put the brakes even further forward, just using the front brakes and doing qualifying laps because I had the whole train of cars behind me.

“It is unbelievable that it worked out with a second place, it’s a great points finish but obviously a really bad result for the team in general because we want to win, but there you go.”

One way of looking at it is that Hamilton’s two retirements have now handed 43 points to Rosberg. Hamilton seemed quite calm about it after the race, presumably believing that some day soon, the law of averages will mean that Rosberg will have a reliability setback.

But as the cars develop and the new technology finds better reliability, that may be questionable.

And the driver himself has shown that he knows how to keep his head in a crisis.

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There is one overiding thing to remember about this championship battle, and that is Rosberg’s lead has been inherited by default whereas Hamilton’s lead albeit short lived was generated on the track by successive wins. While this is an unfortunate state of affairs it is F1 and the trailing driver (Hamilton in this case) rather unfairly then has the unenviable task of attempting to rack up the points again. I do feel that the fans at Montreal had the right jist of it when they held up a banner to say Lewis is fast, Nico uses tricks! – And seems to have been the most fortunate. The Monaco debacle perhaps should be left unsaid, but we all know who gained out of it, and I don’t believe in coincidences of that nature.


– The two Merc drivers definitely seems close from the outside.

– However 2 DNF for Hamilton out of 7 races and he is only 22 points behind while Rosberg no DNF tells a different story.


“Hamilton’s drive was noted internally at Mercedes as something of a milestone; he would not have driven like that a year ago.”

Good article, balanced assessment based on facts rather than subjective commentary on personalities.

It’s going to be really interesting to see how this battle develops over the season.

I do feel Lewis has the egde despite Rosberg’s recent good form. After all, HAM has one championship under his belt, very nearly won another. That experience could prove the deciding factor.

And he is keeping himself focused, despite the setbacks, this much is clear.

kenneth chapman

sorry to double dip chaps, but wouldn’t it be interesting to have one race where there was no communications from the pit wall other than a board telling them where they were running and the gap to the nearest competitor. they could all have fuel readouts and the number of laps left to complete. they could choose when to change tyres and what tyres they wanted.they could then drive their own races! or could they?


but wouldn’t it be interesting …

not for me or, if replies are any indication, anyone else 😉

kenneth chapman

@ rob newman…isn’t that a major part of the current F1 problem? the drivers are to a large extent just ‘puppets’? sure, they have to actually control the car, but it is all under instruction..fuel save/lift &coast, go to mod 5, save brakes,conserve tyres, short shift, cool brakes, drop back, maintain 2 sec gap……”who am i racing”? call charlie, he crashed me, maintain station, multi 21, learn bite points etc etc etc. and on it goes.

surely there is something wrong here when the drivers just do as they are told like highly paid automatons. when they are,rarely, left to actually race, like the last ten laps in bahrein/montreal then we see what we should see all of the time. racing….


It is true that both drivers are doing a good job. But they are being massively helped by a team of talented people who tell them when to push, when not to push, what settings they should use, etc. etc. So it is not just the drivers; more credits should go to the people who do most of the driving behind the scene.

In my opinion, it is not that Hamilton doing something differently or he has improved. He is just doing mostly what the engineers are telling him.


Like all drivers then, eh? The RBR pitwall did most of the driving the last 4 years, is that what you’re saying?

It’s a team game … drivers aren’t out there all alone. They’re alone in the car of course, but they each have entire armies behind them figuring out when’s the best time to stop, when to push, when the tires are in the right operating temps, etc.


I hadn’t realised how hard done by hamilton is, or is this just a Hamilton fanboy thread?

I’m not a Hamilton or rosberg fan, but am enjoying watching two closely matched drivers battling, and preventing the Mercedes domination of the season being too boring.


It’s fair to say there are a lot of Hamilton fans on this site – it’s UK based and Hamilton is a popular driver, what do you expect?

It’s also fair to say Hamilton has had the sh#t end of the stick more than once this season and that Rosberg has been very fortunate (more than once).

As a self professed neutral, would you disagree with these two statements?

BTW , I agree with you – the competition between the two Merc drivers has saved everyone from what would be a very boring domination. Ferrari and Red Bull please take note 🙂


Hi c63, I’d agree Hamilton was unlucky in Australia, Rosberg may have been lucky at Monaco (we’ll never know if Hamiltons lap would have been faster), and I think Hamilton’s driving style may have contributed to his dnf in canada.

So I wouldn’t disagree with your statements, but wouldn’t think any of that is unusual in any team or f1 season.

The nationalistic focus on the drivers theme irritates me – its an international sport, with multinational teams funded by multinational corporations. I find it hard to get too nationalistic about that -love the technology, strategy and speed though 😉


How about 2012.. The guy just cant catch a break!.


I’m not a Mercedes fan, nor a Rosberg fan, and neither a Hamilton fan, but Perez sure made Rosberg work for his position just as did Hamilton. Rosberg sure did earn his second place on the podium, he had to fight the whole way through and I’ll take my hat off for him, great job!!….. but Hamilton broke him. Rosberg got pressured into breaking late and ran the chicane after several laps of Hammy on his back end, but it must be noted, he just didn’t run that chicane, he matted the accelerator and kept going as if his mortal life depended on it!! Rosberg didn’t let up! Hamilton chased him down and due to many laps trying to wear Rosberg down. Hammy’s car broke but Rosberg broke before then! It took a few laps for Hammy to break the advantage that Rosberg gained by cutting, but in the end Hammy did it and I think he paid the ultimate price for it. I wish I could really feel bad for Hammy but the FIA had been ever so kind to him in the past, (and on more than several occasions!), so there’s no tears for him on that note but, saying that, I feel we were well cheated from a well deserved race, even if the results possibly would have ended the same.

Rosberg chumped out and deserved a penalty, while Hammy also deserves a hats off for a great race.


Hamilton was ‘allowed’ to win four consecutive races so that Mercedes could force Rosberg sign another contract for a lesser money. Now that Nico has extended his contract he will be the only one to win the championship. It’s becoming more and more obvious: this is a German team, and there is no way a British driver could be allowed to become a champion.


Hamilton suffered an unlucky failure at the first off the back of testing and then both drivers suffered the same problem in Canada – Rosberg was just very, very lucky to bring it home.

I’m not a huge Hamilton fan, but I think it’s a bit insulting to him to say he was “allowed” to win.


i like watching him out of hairpins, the car shoots out like its on rails. rosberg is yet to copy hamilton’s sling shot out of hairpins. i don’t know how he gets so much grip in tight bends like that.


Nico rosberg at this moment in time must be considered the luckiest driver in f1 history. he is driving what may turn out to be the greatest f1 car ever produced. and by taking every bit of data possible from one of the fastest drivers to get in a f1 car. he has given himself the opportunity to drive in a way he thought he could never do. he is driving faster and better now and its got nothing to do with his own natural driving ability. the only thing we can credit him with is having the foresight to realize beating lewis Hamilton on a regular basis in the same car is going to be impossible so if I cant beat him I will just become him as a driver hence the all consuming need for Lewis’s data. now I know your all screaming but lewis has access to nico’s data but lets be fair what could he learn after all he would of already viewed it once as his own.


But have u noticed everytime Ros comes under the pressurevl from HAM he makes mistake like Montreal and the chicane.

IF he wants be champ he will havd to deal with pressure from behind.


@flesh, Lol…. true dat

Button benefited in the same way.

Its odd but Hamilton did get the jump on Rosberg before his brakes failed.

No one mentions that.


it didn’t last very long though. his brakes failed in the first hairpin, effectively the first corner.


Come On Lewis you can do it.

Roseberg has had the luck & cutting chicanes & getting only a caution from the officials still stinks.

Lewis just needs to Kick Ass & show zee Geeman some Dunkirk spirit 😉



he doesn’t need to do that. he needs to pray that things don’t go wrong for him for the rest of the season. he has a cross tattooed on his back and he says he believes in god so i guess he will pray.


Finally! Someone notices that Hamilton is driving fantastically this year. Thank you James.


I’m struggling with the maths, but am trying to work out what Hamilton’s two retirements really cost him.

He lost two wins, so 50 points, but in addition Rosberg gained 7 points of his own by taking a win where the best he’d have got is a second, and let’s say he got a second where the best he’d have got was a third in Canada, so another 3 points there.

… But if that’s right Hamilton’s two retirements have cost him 60 points, but that doesn’t make sense somehow. What have those two retirements really cost Lewis?


Given he was in the lead both times you would say 50 points


if hamilton had earned those 50 points, rosberg wouldn’t have got the points he has so andyfov is right in his analysis.


I think I got a handle on it in the end. You have to think about how it affects the gap between himself and Rosberg.

If he’d won the first race he’d have had a postive gap of 7 points, but ended up with a 25 point deficit, so that failure effectively cost him 32 points.

Canada’s tricker to quantify because Rosberg had a failure too.


That they are both doing a good job is obvious. Hamilton has better speed, not by much, but he has. He also seems not to be the luckiest of the two to date. In a situation where all goes well for both, I would think Hamilton would win in most cases in present form. If Rosberg manages to up his game at a greater rate than Hamilton, it would become so close between them that even small errors would decide who the champion is. While not so please to see a team dominate again, as the drivers are allowed to race and are closely matched it will still be a season to follow till the end. I always liked the underdog, so I hope it happens for Nico. To whomever the title goes to, i hope we won’t find out before the last two races. Marc


rosberg might have upped his game tremendously since hamilton joined mercedes however am not sure hamilton has improved as much. he seems to be driving at the same level as he did last season. the gap between him and rosberg last season was a lot bigger than it is this season although hamilton struggled with the brakes. this season, rosberg’s performance is a lot closer to hamilton’s. it appears as though the engineers have studied hamilton’s parameters and passed them onto rosberg to adjusts his. even his seating position was changed to enhance his driving.
hamilton seemed a lot better than rosberg on the brakes in canada though, rosberg couldn’t believe how hamilton braked so much later than him without locking up and questioned the team to find out hamilton’s brake bias and they told him hamilton’s was more to the rear so he adjusted his accordingly.
the stewards made the right ruling on rosberg cutting the chicane in Canada after all hamilton was behind him as they approached the chicane and he hadn’t done that on any of the preceding laps.


Maybe its because Lewis has been on top of his game for a few years now. Not saying he cant improve – because he says he continually aims to do so but He is the benchmark -Rosberg always had to make up ground but he seems to be doing just that.


The luck seems to be with Rosberg, so far. If you noticed in the race he got lucky in the race earlier on when he barely missed hitting the wall under pressure from Hamilton. Combine that with the break he got on straight lining the chicane, and then getting the break with the systems going bad and not ruining his race. It kind of smacks of Vettel when all the bad breaks went to his Aussie teammate last year.

People say that it all evens out……but I don’t think that is the case… the end of the season we will know. Hamilton needs some good luck, because he has the speed, but so far this season, no luck.


I would agree luck does come into play if chasing for the WDC. Look how Vettel’s luck helped him out sometimes. How in 2010 he was lucky Alonso could not get past the Russion. And 2012 (i think) when he spun and faced the opposite way in Brazil!!! and still managed to finish the race.

In both occasions – if it wasn’t for a bit of good fortune he wouldn’t have beeen WDC.

For the WDC -you need 1. a good car 2. Good driver and 3. Lady luck…..


“Hamilton needs some good luck, because he has the speed, but so far this season, no luck.”


Scuderia McLaren

It always boggles the mind how far we have come as humans in our understanding about a great many things, yet we still can not quite comprehend ‘chance’ and try to apply a flawed logic of ‘law of averages’. That’s as ridiculous as thinking the world is flat or leeches cure aliments.

*Stands on soap box*

Come hither Lewis Hamilton fans, hear me. Nico is not ‘due’ reliability issues and Lewis has not nessecarily had his ‘share’ of reliability issues. In a broad and general sense, both Nico and Lewis have a 50-50 chance of suffering the next Mechanical DNF. If you like, you can sacrifice a virgin to the sun god Helios, but that’d be just a waste of a good virgin wouldn’t it?





or leeches cure aliments…..

They do!

Doctors use them to stimulate blood flow when a severed finger (for instance) has been re-attached.

Scuderia McLaren

Of course they do…

-rolls eyes-



roll your eyes all you want. It doesn’t change the fact you are wrong.

here is a link to a BBC article regarding the use of leeches in todays hospitals:

I look forward to your apology 😉

Rubinho's Keyfob

This very topic was covered on TJ13 this week (although in an article that’s being pedantic about a particular subject, it’s particularly annoying that the use of the term “inter team battle” is still being used (*)):

To be fair, the drivers themselves tend not to fall into this trap – they say things like “if it happened to me this weekend, it could happen to him next weekend”, which is of course quite correct …

(*) It’s “intra-team” 😉


Well in a fair battle with no reliability woes Lewis will easily see off Nico and win WDC by a bigger margin. I do smell the issue within MB. Do they really need only a german to win WDC? I hope the this is not the case, yet if we consider the rotten luck lewis had this season thus far. We can see Mercedes do have a favourite they may not sabotage lewis and his chances yet if given a choice MB will pick rosberg over lewis all the time

Lewis have unbelivable speed compared to Nico and rest of the grid bar Alonso. Nico afterall rode his luck in montreal couple of times to keep the lead over lewis before prblems have hit both cars. Lewis will come back stronger and i fancy lewis to win the WDC irrespective of the reliability woes and mental pressure which he suffered in Monaco and Montreal

Lewis is easily miles better than vettel/Nico and co…


why would mercedes benz favour rosberg and sign hamilton while rosberg on contract with them? i don’t think they favour any of the drivers, they just want to get the best possible results every race.


Yes but its not inconceivable – look at how the Germans/Austrian openly backed Vettel. Stealing parts from Webber and blaming Webber fo any collision between them. And how about Prost and his French support at the race directors…

You cannot blame them everyone has a soft spot for his fellow countryman

If it comes down to 1 point/race for the WDC – I wonder which way the balance may lean @ MB….. (lets hope not)


@silver arrow, mercedes have no reason to want to favour any driver. they said they will not favour any driver and i believe them. hamilton is incredibly strong mentally and will not allow himself to be bullied like that. rosberg wouldn’t accept any form of bullying either.


Is it just me, or does aveli not sound, uh, like aveli?


Is that really a fact though, aveli? We fans cannot possibly know the exact truth. Not that I’m in any way insinuating that Mercedes is/plans on sabotaging Lewis, but to say that they won’t favour either driver with such certainty is a bit naive.


why didn’t they just make it easier by signing two German drivers? they do not and will not favour any of the drivers. they have told us the truth about their racing philosophy.


@ Aveli

Mate, I did stated MB will not sabotage lewis and his chances intentionally, yet all the rotten luck have been endured by lewis and not Nico. People here speak about the law of averages yet there is no gurantee that rosberg will have reliability woes later in this season. Instead rosberg may have a perfect season which could be the difference between WDC win/loss when the season concludes.

Yes MB want perfect result every race for the team, yet if a 1-2 with rosberg being first followed by lewis will surely put more smile on their face rather being the other way around

Anyways my point is if lewis does not have any more relaibility woes he will win the WDC for sure.


we don’t know what will happen in future races but we certainly will find out at the end of each one of them.

when was the law of averages passed?




Failure on the stewards’ part for not enforcing track limits. Rosberg locked up, ran off, gained time, broke DRS, and set fastest lap.

What’s there NOT to penalize?


When I was watching the US coverage the commentators mentioned that another driver ran off at the same point earlier in the race and gained time, and the driver was not penalized. I can’t remember who they said the driver was. But the commentator thought because the stewards did not issue a penalty then, they may have felt they should not penalize Rosberg to keep their decisions consistent.


Think it was JEV in the Torro Rosso whilst Kimi was alongside him trying to pass – this was later in the race to the Mercedes pair-. Again there was many compkaints about this. Bottom line – stewards failed & should have done job-Very very poor weekend for decisions


they are not meant to make up the rules as they go along. they will only penalise a driver if the cut the corner to prevent being overtaken or to overtake.


@ Gaz Boy

Golly, I had forgotten Sound of Music was filmed in Austria, hopefully the fans will love the sound of the new engines as they bounce off the hills.

Wet race in Austria would be another rival teams prayer answered hehe.


“The hills are alive with the sound of………………..GET OUT OF MY WAY NICO ROSBERG!”

Go on Youtube and check out footage of the 1975 Austrian GP. It was won by Brambilla in the March-Cosworth, his only victory. It was sopping wet and the race was stopped early because the conditions were so dangerous – bear in mind this was the original O-ring, with long straights, mega fast corners and no run off areas at the curves……………..

Also check out footage of the 1980 Austrian GP when Derek Daly spun off into the infield at one of the sections of the old track where there was actually run off……………but in the fields there was barbed wire! Fortunately for Mr Daly he went into backwards, otherwise he would have been decapitated!

Barbed wire at a grand prix circuit??????? What were they thinking of?


Well that’s one way to stop people cutting chicanes…


It’s very hard to be a Hamilton supporter sometimes. His luck is just unbelievably bad, 2012 included.

I would put money on Lewis clawing back the defecit only to suffer reliability issues at Abu Double. 🙁


The law of averages does not apply to luck; luck is indiscriminate. Lewis could just as easily face several more DNF’s due to mechanical issues whilst Rosberg romps away with ‘free’ unchallenged wins. Of course it could equally work the other way. Both drivers have driven excellently this season and either would be worthy of winning the WDC. I can’t help but feel, given how close the driving has been between Nico and Lews, that the title battle may run until the double-points finalé in Abu Dhabi. Clearly, the WCC will be wrapped up before then, but a DNF by either Lewis or Nico in the last race would almost certainly lose them the championship.


we will find out at the end of each race.


I say there is no law of average as to reliability problems, their chances of being hit with reliability problems will always be 50/50 for both of them.

The law of average were reliability is concerned is just the gamblers fallacy.

PS, Trying to get used to the new site format.


Statistically, when you flip a coin (assuming everything else is the same) there is a 50/50 chance it will come down heads or tails. No matter how many times you flip the same coin, even if there have been100 heads in a row, the next time you flip it the odds are still even on how it will land. Reliability problems are not the same as tossing a coin – everything is not equal. How the car is being driven, weather, road conditions, other drivers mistakes, something in the drivers eye, pit crew mistakes etc…


armed with all that knowledge, you still do not know what will happen in the future, learn to wait to find out the outcome.


sorry c63, i thought you assumed you could tell the future. as you know very well, it’s all possible so we’ll have a much better idea in november.



Not sure what your point is. Of course I don’t know what will happen in the future – I didn’t say I did. Just pointing out that reliability is not a random occurrence like the previous poster (Sunny S) suggested.


If you’re talking about the next race, or the next few races, this is right. Past results have no bearing on future results. But if you look at the 19 races as a whole, while you can’t expect the DNFs to even out, you can expect that Rosberg will see some over the entire season.

I hope that the DNFs are only plus/minus 1 at the end of the season. The last thing we want in a season like this, is for reliability to trump ability.


Isnt that what Bayesian theory is for? To use previous data to help calculate probablity?

Surely, we can assign a value based on past failure rate over the whole of the season for past 10 – 20 years.

Is this acceptable?


why should rosberg see any problems? ask chilten.


Mercedes obviously have to talk up the positives out of a bad situation, but was this really a great/noteworthy drive by Rosberg? After Hamilton was out he didn’t have to push the car nearly as hard, and the fact that a Merc can still come second without the ERS just underlines the dominance of their car more than anything else. Sure, he held of Perez for a long time, but it’s not like he was dancing in the braking zones to do so.


I think rosberg drove out of his skin to finish second. if you noticed, he bent right over with his knees straight on the podium at least once, stretching his fatigued leg muscles. a clear indication how hard he had to work in that car.


Balanced commentary from you, James. Something that has been lacking lately on this site. I do feel that Rosberg has raised his game this year. Lewis is definitely not having it his way. Still it is difficult to ignore the fact that Lewis has had 2 DNFs all from positions of advantage compared to Rosberg. That’s 50 potential point down the drain. And yet he has “only” a 22 point deficit. Lewis has been the better driver, but Rosberg the luckier. But I don’t want to take away from Rosberg’s performances, I mean he just out qualified Lewis in Canada…and not many drivers can say that. The way he drove that car to the finishing line was impressive as well.

James, whats up with this:”You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”. It is my first comment in weeks?


What browser are you using?


In my case it is happening with:

1.iPhone 5s and Chrome

2. iPaid Air and Chrome

3. PC – chrome of firefox

It is not all the time, but every now and then.

Still do not get notifications when people reply on my posts.




I’m getting the same “slow down….” message using iOS 7 Safari.

Also my name always goes in capitals ignoring the fact that I’m not typing in capitals…


Uhhh not getting the message anymore ….

Still capitals on the name is strange. It shows all in capitals while typing the message but in reality after sending the message shows different hAnsb last time. Curious if its different now.


Wolff “In Montreal, we were trying a new cooling system for the first time. The new software went crazy.”

So that’s what went wrong!

re: your comment “I do feel that Rosberg has raised his game this year.”

Lots of folks say that, but for me Nico has been driving reasonably well for at least the last 5 years. In 2013 the difference between the Merc drivers was basically Nico having 3 car failures and Lewis having none. On balance Rosberg is actually due a bit more luck if you look at their time together as team mates.

During the Schumacher return I think people didn’t really rate Rosberg, be that because they didn’t like MS or whatever. Even at the start of this year many still didn’t rate Rosberg as anywhere near as good as Lewis, even though he was level with Lewis last year if you take out those car failures.

What’s happening this season should be no surprise to anyone who follows F1 closely. Lewis and Nico were always going to be close, just as they were last year.

To suggest Nico has raised his game this year I’m afraid shows a bit of ignorance, it’s the first time Nico’s ever had a WDC capable car that’s all. Just because the car is faster/slower doesn’t mean the driver has suddenly become quicker/slower….


Sorry Paul I got myself in a mix with Silverstone but 4th place was like a total loss that day.

You keep mentioning Nicos mechanical failures but how many of those were in a comfortable lead of a race??.. Now you have to use some coomon sense to be taken seriously..The point of all this you’ve exposed on yourself– Nico HAS upped his game -it may be very marginal but its made him very competitive against the very best – & where was he before this….Further you compare a guy thats been in the team 3 years in 2013 to someone that just joined then and still managed to beat him.. Thats very under rated any way you look at it


But of course you are ignoring the misfortune that Lewis had, most of which struck while Lewis was in the lead. Compare that to Nico’s he was already running in low point position so didn’t have much to loose. Lets know forget the cracked chassis. Last year Lewis had Nico firmly covered.


“In 2013 the difference between the Merc drivers was basically Nico having 3 car failures and Lewis having none.”

That totally ignores the lost win Lewis had at Silverstone (where Rosberg lucked into it) and the fact he got hit from behind by Vettel in Japan. Don’t get me wrong, they were very closely matched, but Lewis had the advantage over the course of the season no matter what way you cut the results.


This has been beaten to death. Anyone who thinks Rosberg would be level or ahead of Hamilton if the “luck factor” was removed in 2013, are myopic.

There’s Silverstone … 13 pts down for HAM, 7 pts gained for ROS (that’s if VET still retires). **Paul’s** points/finish stat only works if you don’t count Hungary as a classified finish, which it was (19th). Rosberg was only getting 2 pts max that day anyways, after his error closing the door too early on Massa during the first lap.

In China he was running 5th or 6th early on, when he developed suspension problems. He was running just ahead of Grosjean and Vettel, both of whom would’ve passed him in a normal race (as Kimi passed Lewis, and Vettel was on Lewis’ gearbox towards the end of the race). Looking at the lap history charts for that race, it does look as though he has okay pace … he has a hiccup on lap 4, but no worse than Button’s that lap. He is about 0.7s slower on avg over the next bunch of laps. Then for laps 12-14 he beats Lewis’ laps. On lap 15, though, he’s running 8th, has already been jumped by Vettel, and is about to be passed by Hulkenburg.

I think Rosberg, with a normal race, would’ve been lucky to get out of China with 7th or 8th.

Add that to Australia 6th, that’s a total of 8 + 6 + 2 = 16 pts lost in AUS, CHN and HUN. So add 16, take away the 7 he gained at GBR, then take away the 13 lost by Lewis at GBR. That’s a net of -4 … and that’s before we even take into account the actual final points separation, which was 18 pts. If anything, Nico was closer (by just a smidgen) than he otherwise should’ve been in 2013. That’s not even taking into account Japan, which was just an unfortunate racing incident for Lewis (i.e. there was no driver error). In a normal race in JAP, he likely would’ve ended up 4th.

This year, even if you give Nico the win in AUS had HAM stayed in the race, and even say Nico leads home a 2-3 in Canada, that’s 33 pts lost by Hamilton. Of course, it’s entirely likely that he could’ve beaten Nico in AUS, then we’re talking about even bigger points (e.g. +25 for HAM, -7 for ROS, 32 pt swing).

In the “points lost thru mech. or tire failure” stakes, Hamilton is far, far ahead of Rosberg, in their time together at Mercedes.


Hamilton’s tyre failure at Silverstone took him from 25 points to 12 for fourth. Rosberg went from 18 points (lets assume Vettel still retires) to 25. That’s a 20 point swing.

Now let’s look at Rosberg. He retired from 6th in Melbourne, 5th* in China and a whopping 9th in Hungary, so that’s 20 points lost. The same as Hamilton from Silverstone.

Even ignoring the Suzuka crash, Hamilton comes out ahead. Not a blow out by any means, but comfortably enough. I don’t remember Rosberg’s wing failure in Korea, but I can’t believe it cost him more than a few points; I’d wager Hamilton’s gearbox failure and change in Bahrain cost him at least as many points (a fact most people forget because he overcame that to beat Rosberg on track anyway).

Also, your “points per average per race finished” stat is flawed for several reasons, like the fact that Rosberg was behind Hamilton in all three races where he retired. I’m surprised anyone could quote such a stat and expect it to hold any weight to be honest.

*I can’t remember but it was certainly no higher than that


@**paul**, if speed didn’t matter in f1, why do they go out of their way to measure sector times and lap times? f1 is fundamentally about speed. points are only used to record the results.


Elie, I can take people seriously when they know what happened… but…

At the British Grand Prix, where Lewis’ tyre exploded some fresh rubber, a series of safety cars and some good driving saw him take P4 that day. He didn’t retire.

RE: The incident where Lewis hit Vettel (it was Webber who forced Lewis across) rather than Vettel hitting Lewis BTW. That’s a racing incident, somewhat different from a part in the car failing – out side of the drivers control – causing a DNF. I didn’t mention Rosbergs wing failing in Korea either when talking about racing incidents that cost points. The Merc of Rosberg in 2013 had 3 failures completely outside of his control that ended his race. Lewis had 0 of those. The other elements even themselves out really, so in those three races would Nico have scored a total of 18pts (the difference between him and Lewis at the end of the season)? Almost certainly.

Looking at a points per race finish stat (i.e. where Nico’s car didn’t fail) Rosberg scored more points per finish than Hamilton.

Speed/Time doesn’t matter Aveli, it’s points that count in F1.


Woops meant 25 pt diff


You beat me to it. Silverstone meant a 50pt diff due tyre failure (Lewis lost 25. + Nico gained 25) & Lewis still finished ahead in his 1st year at Merc. Nico I feel has developed well in the team and being a smart calculating driver- he would be learning a tremendous amount from Lewis data. Also I would suggest that this analytical approach is very suitable to the 2014 cars & regs. as their are so many variables.

Its a total learning curve & for people to say he has not improved in 2014 is rather ignorant because he was never this complete a driver and hes at the right age where he is putting it all together


i think the timers tell the story a lot better than the points. secondly the season is only 7 races in with 13 to go. rosberg is a great driver and we’re still waiting for him to fairly finish head of hamilton when both cars finish.


Say, am of the view that what will eventually separate Lewis & Rosberg in the title race won’t be reliability (as the cars are fairly reliable) but rather who will have the most poles.

So far we have seen the driver on pole finish ahead of the teammate (with the exception of Australia and Bahrain) as it’s proving difficult overtaking a fellow Mercedes car.


I disagree, I suspect reliability may decide this championship. After Lewis’s first DNF, he had to beat Rosberg 4 times to close that gap. As it stands after Canada, he is 22 points behind. Assuming that the Mercedes cars finish 1-2, he has to beat Rosberg another 4 times to regain the lead.


Good point. I thought Lewis will walk over Rosberg Jnr in the qualifying battle once the F1 circus returned to Europe/Canada, but it hasn’t happened thus far………….

No one has raced these new turbo F1 cars at Zeltweg, so who comes out on top at Merc after qualifying is anyone’s guess………………mind you, I’m assuming it will be hot and dry when the hills are alive with the sound of these new engines to paraphrase Julie Andrews………….with the Red Bull Ring being located over 2000 feet above sea level in the gorgeous Styrian hills there is always a chance of an afternoon shower! Every race at (the old) Osterriechring from 1975 to 1978 was rain affected………..yes, 4 consecutive years running the Austrian race was doused with rain!


James is the website not sending notification on post replies anymore as I have not received any since the switchover.. Thanks

Im really disappointed in the stewardship of the Montreal GP because whilst you rightly say James- “they did not want to effect the outome of the race” by not enforcing the track limitations correctly they DID effect the outcome of the race!!. Had Nico just went off and gradually came back on track it would be no big deal. But the fact he buried his right foot gained 1+ sec advantage. Set the fastest lap & broke Lewis’s DRS range- it put Lewis on the back foot and most likely increased the heat sink in the power unit and braking problems one step further than it did for Nico in clear air. Had Nico been given a 5 sec penalty it would be Lewis in clear air and the lead of the race ( & rightly so).

I wouldnt want Lewis to think he is being unfairly treated- he tends to do that well enough for himself. But the reality is there are drivers that for one reason or other always get the raw end of the stick. Be it team, stewards, car failure, or a fairly indecent serving of all these things. I would suggest Raikkonen and Hamilton are exactly these 2 drivers for surely we would be talking of them in multiple WDC already but for “curcumstances” – both suffered this at Mclaren also. I think truly gifted people have these things thrust upon them to keep them humble and balance their extraordinary talents against tbose around them.


From what I have been able to read so far, although you are correct in that the fastest lap was set because the timing line is on the straight immediately after that corner, Rosberg backed off on the next two corners and gave that advantage back to Hamilton. I’d be interested to know if anyone has the lap times for those two laps to back this up.


I’ve seen that posted a few times by people and it’s pretty unlikely.

On the lap he cut the chicane Rosberg did a 1’18.62, Hamilton a 1’19:24, so he gained roughly half a second/six-tenths.

On the following lap, Rosberg did a 1’19.65, Hamilton a 1’19.53. So the only way Rosberg could have given the time back to Hamilton is if over the rest of the lap he was roughly half a second faster than Hamilton, at a time when Hamilton was clearly faster (he’d closed down to within DRS range before the mistake and did so again afterwards).

Also, using the hugely non-scientific method of re-watching it on TV and looking at Rosberg during turns 1-2 on the following lap after the lock-up, he certainly doesn’t appear to slow down and let Hamilton close up.

So basically, I think it’s nonsense.


Typically in the past drivers have been allowed to miss the chicane ~ twice before being punished, provided there wasn’t a clear overtaking opportunity.

I remember there was one year where Webber was following a car that missed the chicane three times, preventing a pass, without a penalty, and a number of people were up in arms.

Seems consistent enough!


he gained a unfair advantage,isnt that against the rules.



Thats a borderline interpretation of events. if he’d done the necessary to make the corner, he would likely have been passed on the next straight, as he’d have lost momentum.

I’m somewhat skeptical that Ham wasn’t attempting to overtake. If Ros had braked earlier (eg,early enough to stay on-track), the move would have been on.

Possibly more to the point, if he hadn’t floored it across what is supposed to be a safety run-off area, he’d still have been at risk of being passed along the straight. Just my opinion, but that was brazen enough to be worthy of action.

The former regularly comes up as a bone of contention (between some pair of drivers, not just Ros/Ham): its fairly common for the driver ahead to profit this way. This race was somewhat unusual for it to be a formal investigation and a blunt warning after being let off.


with all due respect, rosberg didn’t cut the chicane to avoid being overtaken and didn’t cut the chicane to overtake hence no penalty for rosberg.


@Andrew m and Elie


I re-watched this incident, to check whether Rosberg gave any time back on turns 1 & 2. Just before the incident Rosberg was a shade over half a second up on Hamilton. Over half a lap later he was still + one second up.

It’s quite clear he did not give the time back. How he escaped punishment is a mystery. In both Monaco and Montreal Rosberg has benefited from his own error – that simply cannot be right.


Exactly .. Why would he – if he wasnt cautioned. He gained un unfair advantage & should have got 5 sec penalty


Backed off on the next 2 corners where, purely coincidentally, there is no passing opportunity?


Yes, I noticed that too and mentioned several times….still not word from James.


We have made a change let us know if that fixes it


Btw the “posting too quickly ” appears to have stopped




James, I didnt get a notification for this so I guess not.

Fyi Im using Iphone


James, still not working and I get a message that I am posting too fast. I am using chrome on iPad and PC and the mesage on both


Still not working thanks James


I’m still not getting e-mails…


Hi James,

I’m a long-time reader, but a first-time poster. What a great site!

I was wondering whether Rosberg may have damaged his power unit by driving for so long without his MGU-K. Is he is the first driver to complete the race after losing his MGU-K? If so, is he likely to take a new power unit for the next race or is this something that can be fixed?



Hmm, good point. Even on the fuel consumption, Rosberg’s always been using more fuel … that’s more fuel through the system, every race. They are both on their 2nd internal combustion engine (ICE), though Lewis did use a 3rd control-electronics unit in this race, which might’ve been the one that failed.

Also, would the MGU-H have been cranked up to recover the lost power from the MGU-K?

I would think they would both take new engines to the British GP.


THE MGU-H works by acting as a brake on the turbo in Generator mode (or spinning the turbo up in Motor mode) so instead of venting excess boost pressure off via a waste gate it makes electricity. You can use that to turn the wheels but it’s not going to make up for the loss of the MGU-K it’s also not clear with the control electronics shot, whether anything was going into the battery, or could if it could be routed into the MGU-K in motor mode.

My guess is the turbo was still working with the MGU-H otherwise it would have had horrible lag, and then boost until it hit the fuel flow limit and the car would have been undrivable.

Christian Horner was saying Red Bull were 60HP down. If my sums are right Rosberg was down by 160 so Red Bull had a 100 HP advantage. The other Mercedes runners had 160HP on Rosberg, and he had a Brake problem on top. The chassis and aero on that car must be good and Rosberg put in the drive of his life.



@James Allen

I am still not receiving email notification of a reply to my post. The website will now allow me to enter my email address correctly (lower case) but no emails. I know this is being worked on and I am not moaning – just letting you know,

cheers 🙂



I get the posting too fast message on both my lap top (internet explorer) and I pad (Safari). Often for the first post of the day!

I have started, as a precaution, to copy my post before clicking the comment button then all I have to do is log out of the website, log back in, find my place and then paste my comment back in – no trouble at all 🙁

Incidentally, I don’t get email notification when someone replies to my post.


It is a WP issue with some users. I’m using an iPad to reply here and doing many replies one after another and don’t get any such messages, nor on Mac, PC or iPhone.

We’ve tested out various machines and browsers and don’t get the message. As for the emails, we checked the notification box so it should work.


Everything’s too fast for IE 😉


There are a few people experiencing this, but we cannot replicate it on Safari, Chrome or IE.

It should settle down. Thanks for your patience


It’s too much of a coincidence that both ERS units stopped at exactly the same time on the same lap.

Could it have been because the engineers or drivers changed some setting, say to adapt the car to less fuel or conditions at that time in the race? Either that or something in the software that was the trigger at the same time both cars?

Has Merc said if they have found the reason and are working on a fix?


I’m not surprised at all, the cars use identical parts which went through near identical conditions so it’s not strange that they both failed after the same number of laps under those conditions.

that said, i think race control should turn off the mercedes mguk after every four races to spice things up a bit.


The law of averages will mean that Rosberg will have a reliability setback


Not necessarily.

For instance Lewis didn’t have a reliability set back in 2013 but he retired in Japan after Vettel tapped his rear.

Yes it true, the Mercedes pilots are pushing each other to great heights and as always great drivers use this extra pressure to propel themselves to better form were as the good drivers may crack in this hostile environment.

Now, the thing that makes Lewis box office gold is the fact he hardly wins anything comfortably for he’s always hit by a number of problems such as punctures, gearbox failures etc which in turn leads to great viewing as shown by the fact that whenever Lewis has had a decent car, the title has always gone to the last race e.g. 2007, 2008 and 2010 (2012 being the exception)

As for Rosberg, he did well to nurse a car lacking ERS but as Wolff said, it was pure luck Lewis didn’t finish the race whilst Rosberg did.

Anyway, job well done by the Mercedes team for not only managing a volatile situation but for letting their drivers race too.


Yes, I agree with that: let the racers race…………..good on Merc.

Thing is, engine’s breaking is part of motor sport, as is wheels falling off, a snapped axle, brake failures, suspension collapsing, gearbox grinding………….when F1 teams are pushing the limits of technology and physics, things do break, and I think most racing drivers accept that, even if unreliability is annoying and niggly.

Lewis and Rosberg Jnr can’t control their cars reliability (to an extent) but they can control themselves: not making mistakes, not shoving the Merc in the barrier, keeping an eye on fuel and tyre wear, that sort of thing. I personally think the WDC will come down to the driver who has made the least errors whilst fighting under the heat of pressure!


@ Gaz Boy

Apparently Ron Dennis doesn’t believe in luck and so if something on a car fails, according to him, this simply means somebody in some department didn’t do a good enough job.


Good old Ron – always have a scapegoat ready!


Thats probably why it doesn’t seem a bundle of laughs working for the woking team


I was very impressed with both drivers’ performances and agree with everything written here. Hamilton, because he was following Rosberg for most of the race, was probably bound to come out worst as his car was not in clear air and was having to do more work in higher temperatures. How might things been different if Rosberg hadn’t straight-lined that corner and Hamilton had been able to take the lead and, more importantly, be in clear air?

All in all, both drivers will feel satisfied with their performances: ROS because he managed to nurse his car when HAM didn’t; HAM because he was clearly the faster driver in equal machinery. I think they can both be comforted that the Mercedes engineers won’t let cooling become a problem again.


James, I have a question – since the new release of your blog, I do not get email notifications when people reply to my comments and so I do not know where the discussion is going. Is it how it should be now?

Thanks for letting me know.



Same here.

It’s not essential, but it is handy to have.


For example, I did not get notification that you replied. I would say we need to get this basic functionality back. James – any comments from you? Thank you!


In my defence I did send you a letter in the mail to let you know. It should arrive in two to three weeks 🙂


Good point, had not noticed that yet.

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