F1 Winter Break
Rosberg on pole as engine fire ends Hamilton’s qualifying chances
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  26 Jul 2014   |  2:32 pm GMT  |  178 comments

Nico Rosberg stormed to his sixth pole position of the season at the Hungaroring as an engine fire wrecked Lewis Hamilton’s chances on his first lap out of the Mercedes garage. The Briton will start the race from the back of the grid.

Joining Rosberg on the front row will be Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas third ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.The session was barely five minutes old when Hamilton – exiting Turn 13 on his out lap – radioed his pit wall that he had a fire on board his W05. With the back end of the car engulfed in flames the Briton eventually pulled over at the edge of the pit lane entrance where his car was surrounded by marshals who quickly extinguished the blaze. Mercedes later reported that a fuel leak led to a fire in the engine.

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 14.22.52

Also extinguished were Hamilton’s hopes of a fifth pole position at the Hungaroring, The Mercedes driver will start from the back of the grid.

He will be joined there by Pastor Maldonado. The Lotus driver also failed to set a time during the session, locking up at Turn Five on his out lap out and soon after grinding to a halt at turn 13.

There was more drama at the end of Q1 as Jules Bianchi put in a great lap to demote Kimi Raikkonen to 17th. Ferrari had been trying to get the Finn through the Q2 without resorting to the soft Pirelli tyres but the Finn’s medium-tyre best time of 1:26.792 was not good enough to make it through and he lost out on a Q2 berth by just over six hundredths of a second.

A number of drivers did make it through on medium tyres with Rosberg, the Red Bulls, both Williams driver, both McLarens and Alonso all saving a set of soft tyres and progressing to the next segment.

Also eliminated in the session, in order behind Raikkonen, Kamui Kobayashi, Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson.

At the top of the Q1 order was Jean-Eric Vergne who set an impressive 1:24.941 on the soft tyre to finish ahead of Rosberg and Vergne’s Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat.

Q2 was less incident-packed, with Rosberg easing through to Q3 in P1 ahead of Vettel, Ricciardo and Bottas.

In the drop zone, however, was Nico Hulkenberg, the only remaining Force India following Sergio Perez’s early exit from the session with a hydraulic problem. With Daniil Kvyat in 10th place and three tenths ahead as the final runs began, Hulkenberg looked to be in trouble.

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 14.25.57

The German delivered a lap of 1:24.647 to dislodge the young Russian but the Force India driver still did not look secure as Kvyat set personal best times through the opening two sectors. However, Kvyat erred late in his lap, losing control under braking into Turn 12 and sliding off circuit. The spin left him in 11th, ahead of Adrian Sutil, Perez, Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean and Bianchi.

As the teams readied their cars for the start of the top-10 shootout, rain began to fall in the pit lane.

Teams rushed to get in a banker but the result was that Rosberg went wide at Turn One on his first run as he ran out of grip and moments later Magnussen lost control in the same spot.

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 14.27.41

While Rosberg carried on, the outcome was worse for the young Dane, however, as he went straight on at the corner and slammed into the tyre barriers at high speed. He was unharmed and soon out of the wrecked car but the session had to be red-flagged as the tyre barrier was rebuilt.

When the session re-started Rosberg seized control, setting a first-run benchmark of 1:23.236 ahead of Vettel and Bottas. The gap to the champion was only two tenths, however. Bottas improved with his final run, jumping into second place with a final lap of 1m23.354s, just 0.118s shy of Rosberg’s time.

Vettel, though, went one better, claiming provisional pole with a time 0.035s ahead of Rosberg’s.

There was no hint of celebration, however, as Rosberg was flying on his final lap. He was 0.2s up after the first sector and he continued to find time across the lap, eventually claiming his sixth pole of the year with a lap of 1:22.715, just under half a second clear of Vettel.

With Bottas third, four hundredths ahead of Ricciardo, fifth place went to Fernando Alonso. Felipe Massa was sixth in the second Williams, ahead of Button and Vergne. The final top-10 places went to Hulkenberg and the unfortunate Magnussen.

Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.227 1:23.310 1:22.715 20
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:25.662 1:23.606 1:23.201 16
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.690 1:23.776 1:23.354 19
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:25.495 1:23.676 1:23.391 18
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.087 1:24.249 1:23.909 17
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.592 1:24.030 1:24.223 19
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.612 1:24.502 1:24.294 21
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:24.941 1:24.637 1:24.720 19
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.149 1:24.647 1:24.775 22
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:26.578 1:24.585 13
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:25.361 1:24.706 14
12 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:26.027 1:25.136 12
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:25.910 1:25.211 11
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:25.709 1:25.260 10
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:26.136 1:25.337 16
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:26.728 1:27.419 14
17 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.792 5
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:27.139 10
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1:27.819 7
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:28.643 10
21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes No time 2
22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time 1

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This is what I'm talking about.

Lewis may be faster as some claim.  Faster means higher loads and more deman placed in parts,  PU, etc.  That has to shorten usable life of components, and playing the long game in a sport with such fine margins can make all the difference.   You don't win  GP in one race and it can all be down to Lewis being unlucky. 

I know some of you will claim that the parts should withstand the racing demands.   But every part has a limit and a balance between what it can deliver and for how long vs. weight, thickness of materials, life of lubricants, etc.  That's why buyers prefer used cars driven by older people vs. 20 somethings.  


Sebee, seriously you have to drop this. It's just plain nuts.

This is another exhibit as to why the Drivers Championship should not be an "all results count" contest. The whole point of the DWC is to suss out who was the best driver over an entire season. But when one driver is compromised by a pitlane start, through no fault of his own, and the other is on pole, a fair comparison of driving talent cannot be made by the points attained. A system of "best 15 of 19 races" would work to exclude the misfortune suffered by every driver, in different doses, at different times in their careers.

The "all results count" system only came into being in 1991, after Prost complained about the old system after 1988 (in which he scored more points overall, 105-94, but lost 90-87 in the final reckoning). The thing is, Senna was the better driver in 1988, he won 8 races to Prost's 7. WINNING is what it's about! It was clear from the races that Senna was the better driver whenever they went wheel-to-wheel.

If one Merc starts so far back of the other, we're not likely to get anymore dices like we had in Bahrain. That's what we want! Since then, it's just felt like a total tease ... there's the anticipation that it might happen (CAN, GBR, GER if a SC set up a reverse Bahrain scenario), but then it never comes off.

Will we get that Senna-passing-Prost-down-the-pit-straight moment, that we had at Suzuka in '88? I certainly hope so.

I hope that we see Rosberg starting some future races from the back, or further down the field, so that we can judge his "recovery drive" skills properly, instead of having to put a "n/a" beside that box on his DWC Report Card. Obviously Lewis did well in both Austria and Britain, starting in the lower top 10, and then in Germany he limited the damage, though it could've been one better if he hadn't broken his wing (and possibly even on for the win if that dead-cert SC had appeared with 17 laps to go). As of right now, with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, you'd have to give him an A-, at the very least a B+, on that score. It will be much harder today in Hungary, even if there is rain. Also doesn't help that Magnussen is now starting from the pit lane (so will be ahead of him in that queue). Also, if he has to pass Sutil on track, look for some "accidental" contact from Sutil. A top 5 would be a great result.


Jeezus.. there are 54 replies to Sebee's original post here, 16 more replies than original posts on James' article alone! o_O

I agree this is just nuts.

I surprised myself that I even bothered to read through all that non-sense from Sebee in this one original post alone, even more surprised to see people tried to talk sense and attempt to argue. Any attempts to argue with Sebee is destined to lead to nowhere.

If someone prefers to stay in an illusion, s/he has every right, no? 😉


Right, so the brake rotor that exploded in Free Practice 1 last week wasn't totally NEW? You're saying Lewis shortened the rotor's life instantaneously?

Now, on a slow outlap, you're saying Lewis put "higher loads and more deman" on his PU?

Let's just think about this theory. Someone who stresses his engine more also more likely than not uses more fuel while doing so, and yet, Lewis has been notable in using quite a lot less fuel than Nico. Also, Lewis has been extending his tires longer than others. How exactly has Lewis been stressing his car so that it breaks a new rotor and develops a fuel leak? I doubt there's a thing that a driver could do to cause a fuel leak. And what about the first race of the year. The car is virtually new. It has only three free practice sessions and one qualifying session on it before it failed after a couple laps.

Your theory has very little evidence to support it.


@Sebee, since I can't reply to your reply of my comment, I'll reply above it.

No doubt drivers have different driving styles; however, your notion just doesn't make any sense. Last week, Lewis' brake rotor failed after having done how many laps? Zero? If what you say is true that a driver's style can stress a car and its components, how does Lewis so stress a rotor that it fails on the first lap? Why hasn't Lewis broken a rotor before, when he's done dozens and dozens of laps?

If Lewis had broken a rotor after say 250 laps on the same set, or whatever the rated life of the rotor is, then fine, Lewis ran the rotor beyond its useful life, but to use that theory and apply it to Lewis when his rotor is new is just laughable.

And no matter how hard Lewis drives his car, how is he responsible for the fuel leak? If anything Lewis is a fuel sipper, given that he's consistently used less than his teammate this year.

As for shifting more often, since both drivers have access to each other's data, why has it taken Nico so long to figure out how to use less fuel, if all it took was shifting more often, or short-shifting? If Lewis was risking his engine, don't you think his engineer would say something?

Mind you, I'm just asking you why your post doesn't stand up to reason.


You could be attacking curbs harder adding various twists and vibrations to chassis. I'm sure you've seen slow mo shots of F1 car hitting a curb and shaking like jelly?

To save fuel you could be shifting to higher gear, or more often, putting more shifts per lap and more vibration into engine at lower gear.

Mind you, I'm just showing you a few possibilities. I have no data to prove it.


Let's take a look at each of the DNFs suffered by Hamilton.

1. Australia: An engine misfire due to a spark plug wire insulator that split its seam. The root cause was a manufacturing fault, which Mercedes rectified by changing their manufacturing process (the insulator is now extruded, not molded, thus eliminating seams completely).

2. Canada: Overheating MGU-K, leading to brake failure. The overheating was experienced by both Mercedes cars, so the team was likely running a bodywork configuration with marginal cooling performance. Having said that, it was reported that Nico was running with more front brake bias, as that is his natural preference, while Lewis' normal preference is the opposite. So one can say that Lewis' preferred setup, combined with the circumstance of running in Nico's wake for most of the race, would have been a contributing factor to the eventual brake failure on his car. So let's call this one 50/50.

3. Germany: A front brake disc broke into 3 pieces during qualifying. The brake was newly fitted just prior to the qualy session, so we can rule out normal wear as a contributing cause to its failure. Although the root cause is still under investigation by Brembo, it's a safe assumption that either a design or (more likely) a manufacturing defect was to blame.

4. Hungary: A fire caused by a fuel leak. The parts within a car's fuel system (i.e. tank, fuel pump, fuel lines, etc.) are not considered to be "high wear" items. These parts are typically changed after a certain mileage is attained, but their lifespan is not expected to be affected by driving style. It's more likely, given that a racecar is normally torn down after each race and then reassembled for the next one, that the fuel leak was caused by human error by a mechanic during the car's assembly. However it's worrying that Hamilton reported a braking issue prior to the fire, which may indicate a more complex problem.

So in all, only 1 our of 4 mechanical issues experienced by Lewis so far can be reasonably attributed (at least partly) to the driver's driving style. In all the others, Lewis was blameless.


@Sebee, you're wandering into fool territory with this. I'm assuming that you believe Vettel's driving style leads to less mechanical problems, compared to Lewis? Then how to explain his run of reliability this year, compared to previous years?

How to explain JEV? He's considered to have a smooth driving style, in the mould of Button, and yet he's already had as many DNF's as all of last year!

Something doesn't compute here.

If the fuel leak from Hungary qualifying traces back to a mechanic's error, then I'm sorry, but you just can't have that in an F1 team. Put him in a desk job instead.


and yet no one has been reprimanded or disciplined for incompetence, suggesting that the bosses approve of their work.



i like facts and this response presents many. thanks


Can't rule out driver on other 3. Forces by choice of line? Attacking curbs more aggressively? It's all plausible that driver made a contribution in all 4 cases. And the fact that Nico drove through the Canada problem further makes me wonder if his slightly more delicate approach made the difference.


For all the posters who are saying Lewis is harder on the car I hope when you buy a car, computer, phone or anything and it stops working or does not work properly and you go back to the seller they simply deny responsibility and tell you that you are harder on the car, computer or phone until you see the stupidity of your argument.


Just because no-one's mentioned it yet, I'll pour even more scorn on your laughable "theory" by pointing out that last year Rosberg had 3 race ending mechanical failures to Hamilton's none. Even if you count the non-race ending failures like the Silverstone tyre blow-out and Lewis needing to change his gearbox in Bahrain, Rosberg was ahead. If Mercedes produced a car with the same advantage in 2014 last year, Lewis would have trounced Rosberg by and even larger margin than Rosberg is ahead this year because of their respective unreliability.

It's down to nothing more than random chance of which driver the quality control failures occur to. Or, to put it another way, "luck".


Different cars, different technology.

But fair enough. You agree then that he's just a very unlucky dude then. So much for 2014, luck says you can't have it Lewis.


Unbelievable !!!.

@Seebee I used to respect you as a valuable commentator to this forum......but really this takes the biscuit.

Drriving the car hard would affect things like suspension etc. ....but a fuel,leak???

Maybe the fuel was flowing too fast through the pipes?

Great quali by Seb by the way, he's obviously learned to take it easy lately as he's not getting so many mechanical failures .


Agree. I can't see in what way one can abuse a racing engine and burn less fuel compared to his team mate.

It's german team, they'll surely prefer Rosberg to win it all.


All the things you mention are just pie in the sky theories.

You can’t believe that someone can be that unlucky.?

Lets say each event as a 50/50 chance of happening on one car or another.

Put it another way, try playing roulette and getting a perfect red/back/red/black sequence.

Doesn't happen that often, in fact getting a run of one couler or another happens a lot.

Why can’t you accept Lewis is just having a run of bad luck……..s**t happens as they say.

Quite frankly it wasn’t that long ago that people used to say Lewis couldn’t conserve

his tyres or save fuel.

Now both of those theories have been debunked.

Next we have people like you saying that saving fuel could be damaging his engine with




How about this?

He brought the brake temp up to high temp too quickly, not putting in the correct cycle into the material which made it brittle and failed. Plausible?

How about those tires in Silverstone? He was all over the curbs. Not a factor? Maybe he hit those new curbs here hard once or twice too many and boom, fuel leak.

How about he saves fuel by up shifting earlier or shifting to higher gears more often. You ever feel the vibration and how hard an engine works when you have lower RPM and higher gear?

This is a delicate precision machine, not a tractor.

Now, these are theories as I don't have telemetry, info, wasn't on Lewis' shoulder. But I can't believe he is that unlucky. Or he knows that he is and is just self fulfilling the prophecy.


Oh dear Sebee. I'm beginning to wonder whether you understand this sport at all.


You obviously believe Lewis is hard on his car- please explain how that has been the case this season. The only possible time this could hold true is Canada and even then Rosberg was suffering with the same issue but owing to being in front was able to manage the brakes more effectively.

As to the first two, I don't believe all the conspiracy nonsense, I simply believe it is misfortune. Is Vettel 'jinxed' this season? No, he's just been unfortunate. It happens.


Yes. I understand that the options on the table are.

1. Lewis is unluckiest guy on the grid. Assuming luck is real why bet on such a jinxed driver by the way?

2. Mercedes don't want Lewis to be WDC.

3. Lewis does things that are hard on his equipment.

Anything you wish to add?


What are you trying to say Sebee? That the succession of reliability issues seen on Hamilton's side of the garage is down to his driving style? Tell me you are having a laugh Sebee. If you are not then come up with another explanation because this one does not hold; and don't say it is bad luck because what is happening here,in my view, is beyond bad luck.


From my observation Lewis has been brought in as insurance so if another team gets a car as fast as theirs, he'd be able to use his superior race craft to put up an amazing fight and still win. However due to their superior speed their golden boy Rosberg can actually win everything while being a very good driver as apposed to great as Hamilton is. Rosberg's failure in the UK was due to them ensuring things don't look too blatantly obvious.

I say this as a black man born and bred in London, I've occasionally caught people red handed sabotaging me, so I'm speaking from experience. It only takes one person to sabotage his car, so I cannot say for sure that the management know about it. But its not rocket science to put a stop to it. Always have a second person double check everytime work is done on his car. place a 24 security detail using man power and cctv monitoring.I know some of you may think this just a "conspiracy theory" however when you do some research its amazing to realize how many of the these are actually true.


I (rarely) agree with Sebee, but in this case I think there is something to the "Hamilton is harder on his car" theory. Because it ISN'T just this one season, or even this one team. Remember in 2011 when his teammate Jenson Button took second in the WDC to Vettel, beating Lewis fair and square? Oh, but Lewis had a string of DNFs, pit problems, etc...lots of mechanical issues that JB mysteriously rarely suffered. Now we are seeing the SAME PATTERN repeat...this time with Nico, and on the Mercedes team.

So - the CONSIPIRACY THEORY clearly doesn't hold. The Ham Fans tried that at McLaren, but it is too wild to think there are TWO teams conspiring against their highest paid driver. The only constant would be...er, Paddy Lowe? Can't see it being him., can you?

But in both cases he has a more dynamic driving style against a smoother and usually slower teammate. And in both cases he is having way more failures.

Coincidence? Ummm, I think not, personally.


well mercedes bosses are not sacking those people responsible for those errors does that mean the bosses approve of the errors?


Why would Merc sabotage itself. Makes no sense whatsoever. To much money on the the line here. They pay Hamilton more than Rosberg, if they favoured a German why is that so. Teams want the constructors, thats the direct payout, WDC is more a PR piece, may help with sponsors but most sponsors are smart enough to bank on the team not the driver, they do the due dilignece as hard as any corporation In Mercs case, they are going to get the WDC and Constructors this year, it really does not matter to them who it is.

People cite the Piquet incident, but that was different, they were trying to sacrifice Piquet, with Piquet full knowledge and agreement, in order to benefit the team above other teams. Not for one internal driver over the other.


Neither theory holds. It's a series of unfortunate events. That's it.


This is possible. But a well paid mechanic who gets to travel the world would risk being caught on hidden camera or by other mechanics, fired and shamed? I think that theory is more far fetched than my theory about Lewis pushing his hardware harder.


I don't believe this has to do with his driving style nor for him being the unluckiest on the grid nor Mercedes not wanting him to be DWC. I am left with the following explanation, whether that is plausible or not : Some isolated mecanic may be messing with Hamilton's car when he's got the opportunity. What do you think Sebbee?


So what is it? Nail it down for me please.


and you know all this by sitting in front of the tv with no data or evidence at all. impressive


ok i'll impress you further. i suspect the evil that plagued him at mclaren has followed him to mercedes. a rogue fitter is being paid by someone at mclaren to sabotage hamilton. they feel they invented hamilton and he should be loyal to them forever but he has decided to join another team and they don't like it. they also ensured hamilton didn't win the championship at mclaren so that they can return to take over and make it happen.

this is possible because we have all read stories about a prominent f1 official being exposed by journalists to visit prostitutes. the journalist were paid to carry out such an act. if that can be done, then a fitter can be paid to sabotage hamilton. another issue is, if mercedes want to get rid of this, they can take off any fitter whose work results in a failure on hamilton's car and provide them with further training.

quality control is not only subjected to materials and components but to the human resources as well.


So, are you saying that Vettel is too harsh on his equipment and that accounts for him suffering the greater unreliability compared to Ricky, at Red Bull?

I have seen you write some nonsense, however this has to be amongst the most ridiculous of your 'theories' espoused on this website. Hamilton suffers a suspectedfuel leak on the first lap out of the pits for Q1 and some how this is down to him being too hard on his equipment. Brand new disks, less than 5 laps old (at Germany) and they fail. This is down to Hamilton being too hard on his equipment as well I suppose. Best of all a cracked insulation sleeve on a spark plug at Australia and again this is a further example of Hamilton being too hard on his equipment.

Please explain how, if Hamilton uses less fuel during the races he is, at the same time, driving the car harder and stressing the PU more than Rosberg?



So do you still say Hamilton is harder on his equipment than Rosberg ?


Tell me, what's your excuse for Vettel today? He was, once again, soundly beaten by Ricky and Hamilton finished in front of Rosberg despite starting the race from the pit lane! Happy days 🙂


C63, that's right. The other theories are even more far fetched than driver style.

I know what you mean about engineering. But these cars surely have various tolerances that are very fine with weight savings and aero in mind as priority. That's why they look different than a G63.

I just have a hard time believing that it's all bad luck. And once you look at the other possibilities, seems my theory may not be that far off.



At least this guy puts a theory out. Whether you like it or not you bring up some examples of it not being a factor....

I did!

I wrote quite a long and comprehensive post 'debunking' his theories. Now this is just a suggestion and please feel free to disregard if you like - but perhaps you should try reading the comments before posting your reply 😉


Your calling his theories nonsense but in your response you don't put together any sort of alternative explanation. So what is your comment actually worth? There are lots of people who just want to take pot shots. At least this guy puts a theory out. Whether you like it or not you bring up some examples of it not being a factor but his theory has surely applied on at least one occasion.

At the end of the day Lewis' side of the garage is doing a worse job than Nico's. Be it quality control or their driver who has been outdone in qualifying on several occasions and who last weekend crashed into one or two people. You get what you put into it...


I suggest that you each toss a coin ten times and then write down the results of the 'round'. Then repeat for ten rounds. You might be surprised by how rare '5-5' rounds actually are. Equal probability does not guarantee equal results.



I believe I covered one part of your theory in my earlier post, ie 3 of the failures Hamilton has suffered are not attributable to his driving. It's possible, I will concede, that Canada was due to Hamilton being stuck in the hot/dirty air from Rosbergs car and consequently his rear brakes overheated - perhaps he should have taken a leaf out of Rosbergs book and straight-lined the chicane and reduced the stress on his rear brakes 🙂

Now, for your theory that Mercedes don't want Hamilton to win the WDC and are deliberately sabotaging him. As I see it, there are a number or problems (gaping holes!) with this:

1 - why recruit Hamilton from McLaren, at considerable cost , and then not give him the best equipment?

2 - Hamilton is by far and away the most marketable driver (between him and Rosberg) so why would Mercedes want Rosberg to win the WDC? The reason Mercedes go F1 racing is to sell cars - the Germans don't particularly care about Roseberg (50,000 odd spectators on race day at the German GP proves this) so what do the rest of the world think or care?

3 - (For me) the most significant reason to reject your conspiracy theory - how do you keep it secret? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, the Mercedes Board has had a word with the Totenator and said 'Ve don't vant ze Englander to vin ze vorld drivers championship, ve vant ze Monegasque who pretends he is a Deutchlander to vin'. Who does the Totenator entrust with this delicate task of scuppering Hamiltons car? The Totenator can't go messing with the spanners - he is all bandaged up - and once he has shared this secret with another member of the team it's no longer a secret. If word got out it would be a PR disaster [on a Biblical scale for Mercedes] and I just don't see them going down that route.

So, we are left with the 'unluckiest guy on the grid' theory. Although, to be fair, he is sha##ing Nicole Sherzinger, earns circa £20,000,00/annum, has a private jet, and homes in Monaco, Colorado and the UK - so I am not entirely sure unlucky is the word I would use 😉


...also Steve, with the Renault PU it is easier for us to make sense of Vettel's issues as well. Even for me as a Vettel fan, I understand what's going on.

Lewis' issues are just trivial, and honestly if it's all luck, he should go into the GA area after fans leave and look for a 4 leaf clover in the field.



It's no secret that Vettel isn't liked much around these woods. I like him, and Daniel. We know his 20 or if you like 40 points deficit would be overcome if not for failures. He's had a harder time to get used to this car. I also personally have a hard time calling him unlucky this year vs. Lewis because he's just come off 4 year run. But looking at it on a season scale, Vettel hasn't had it so lucky, and won't based on PU count.


"are you saying that Vettel is too harsh on his equipment and that accounts for him suffering the greater unreliability compared to Ricky, at Red Bull?"

I haven't seen anybody around here even ADMIT that Vettel has suffered greater unreliability compared to Ricciardo! In that matchup it's allways "Vettel is being exposed as a bad driver, Danial is kicking his butt". And the people making that claim are, for the most part, the exact same ones hyperventilating about Hamilton's misfortunes.

The fact is that Rosberg has now outqualified Lewis six races in a row. Some people are entitled to point out that there are extenuating circumstances behind this, but not the ones who don't care what the circumstances are with respect to other drivers.


Oh, I was thinking about that fuel saving thing. Wonder if Lewis is shifting to higher gear more often to achieve this. Would love to know how many shifts Lewis makes on a lap vs. Nico is the bottom line.



I'm trying to put forward a theory with some probability. Take a moment and consider the alternatives to my theory. What are they? Lewis is either the unluckiest guy on the grid or Mercedes really don't want him to be WDC. Any other theories left I overlooked?


my thoughts exactly...using less fuel means he's using the engine more efficiently.


You can't blame a driver for a fuel leak or a brake disc failure, please!


...you can if you're biased enough 😉


Many things made have a higher failure probability early in their life cycle. I find it highly probable that even if tested correctly, if these components don't have a proper lighter load break in cycle they are probably more likely to fail. Be it a brake disc, or fuel hose. I just have a hard time squaring how Lewis appears to suffer majority of these on luck alone. Also, this PU reliability was always mentioned as area of concern as season goes in. I find it hard to believe that Lewis' reliability will improve as season progresses and PUs have more and more mileage and visit hot places.


Im afraid james, certain people will claim lewis is a car killer, he's so good at this that he can go out and break a carbon fibre break disc after one lap, then he shows his unique skill again in Hungary , causing a fuel leak after one lap, rant over but there's still tomorrow, lewis just needs to score as many points as he can, rosberg still needs to finish, and with the merc starting to look fragile, all is not lost..


nor can you blame a driver for a broken insulation sleeve on a spark plug.


You don't win WDCs in one race. It's early, give me a break! 🙂


Sebee: "these are theories [...] But I can’t believe he is that unlucky"

That's what all of the conspiracy nonsense boils down to. Confirmation bias and "I can't believe it"

Yes Lewis drives more aggressively than others do and yes that may in part be a contributing factor to some of the reliability issues he has. Yes he screwed up in qualifying twice recently, but the brake failure and the fuel fire are just reliability issues that could have happened to anyone.

If this was the other way around and Lewis was winning most races while his teammate suffered reliability issues noone would be talking about conspiracy crap.

Toss a fair coin enough times and eventually you will get a string of 100 heads in a row. that doesn't mean the coin is biased, or someone is rigging the throws, it's just random. People are far too quick to ascribe meaning to random events, because generally it's more comforting to believe (there's that word again) that someone somewhere is in control.

F1 cars are amazingly complex have a lot of parts that can fail and cause a DNF. The fact that some cars break before the race finishes is not at all surprising.

It's little more than a quirk of chance that a) Lewis has had a string of recent failures (bad luck) and b) they have happened mostly in qualifying and not in the races themselves (not so bad luck)

If he had had a brake disc shatter on lap 1 of the actual race, or his car had burst into flames on lap 1 of the actual race, then he would have got zero points from a possible fifty.

there's a long way to go and Nico has plenty of opportunity to screw up the WDC between now and Abu Double, equally Lewis can still beat him or the luck will even out, either this season or next.

Please quit looking for excuses for Lewis and crying conspiracy. The racing is spectacular this season. RedBull are in the doldums and Vettel is being trounced by Ricciardo. Williams are back near the sharp end and their car looks great too. Bottas Magnesson and Ricciardo are all exciting talents to watch over the coming years, there's great racing happening up and down the field in most of the races, the engineers have finally been allowed to build new engines after god knows how long of a development freeze, Niki Laudas press interviews are a breath of fresh air, and you keep filling the comments section of one of the best F1 blogs with tired and pointless conspiracy crying about "Lewis and the evil Germans".

Please give it a rest.


...can't all be down to Lewis being unlucky.


Who is the guy that handled the plug insulator (Aus), brake disc (Hoc) and Fuel line (Hun)?

All the same person? Can he / she "accidently"give the disc a drop? can the insulator and fuel line be twisted a few more times to leave nice cracks?

Matthew Cheshire

But there are two sides to that argument too. If Lewis is tougher on cars than other drivers, it isn't a recent development. He's an aggressive driver. That's what Mercedes hired. They now haven't given him the car engineered or built well to get the job done.

Fuel injection systems run at high pressure. The system must be designed to withstand much higher stresses than a driver can ever subject them to. Hitting a few kerbs is nothing compared to hours of intense vibration for hours at 100 bar.

Lauda was right to apologise. Mercedes-Benz will be Uber unhappy with their reputation for reliability taking a nose dive.

Hamilton is not to blame.


So he's just jinxed? Ok, settled then. Mercedes team, back the other fast driver with speed and all the luck. Pointless to put too much effort into Lewis. See the problem Rich?


yes it can


Now a car fire...un-believ-able...! Really!


James, kindly lets us know who makes those decisions at Ferrari pit wall with regards to Qualifying.

In Silverstone, they messed up qualifying for both the drivers and now they messed qualifying for Kimi.

I can't believe they just keep repeating the same mistakes again and again. What an Epic Failure this team has become.


Ferrari what stupid idiots. A driver puts his trust in the team and gets nothing in return. At least they have apologised to Kimi but this really should not be happening at a team like Ferrari.


Simply - their resources were squarely fixed on the other driver and his needs. They have forgotten that it's a team sport and they need both drivers to be competitive and score good points for the team to get ahead- this attitude goes way back to the Roman era, basically.


Kimi said that he questioned the decision not to go out on two occasions. The decisions are made based on advice from the strategy group back in Maranello, then Pat Fry and the race engineer at the circuit

This was a howler - Mattiacci will be very unimpressed as it was clear to everyone that there was a risk of Bianchi improving on softs with Raikkonen having not done enough on mediums to be safe


Other than his revelation last year that he had not been paid by Lotus, I can't recall seeing Raikkonen as candid about a team's mistakes and weaknesses as he has been with Ferrari this season, so things must be pretty bad indeed over there.

It makes me wonder if Ferrari has the will and courage to do whatever it takes to fix both their systematic problems and whatever is preventing Kimi from getting the most from his car, or if they will merely throw him under the bus again by letting people continue to think that he's just slow. (I find it hard to believe a driver with more than twice as many career fastest laps as Ayrton Senna could ever be so slow).


James, I am quoting Kimi yesterday

"when I fitted the Mediums I had a problem with the left rear and I had to pit earlier than planned. The telemetry didn’t show any problem on the car, so I hope that the data will point us in the right direction for the next two days.”

this is not a problem the driver can fix. It must be the skill of his engineers to fix it. They have nice evening and they dont fix this problem for today. That is why both cars match exactly on the soft tyre, but there is a gap of 0.6 with the medium tyre.


Yes I heared Kimi say to Sky that. He said that he told them several times but they insisted not to go out.

Also the medium tyre left rear refuses to work on the car. They have this problem in practice friday but no data to fix it. Kimi needs new engineer and new crew.

Also James, why Alonso smile to Sky TV and say "We decided Kimi safe when Ham and Mal go out" as if he can make decision for Kimi strategy. And why he smiles?


How much bad luck can one guy really get? It really looks like Hamilton is not meant to take the title. It is not all down to the driver, sorry. Rosberg just seems to have more luck. The only hope for tomorrow is for Rosberg to DNF and for Hamilton to get some points. Unlikely.


I don't want to wish bad luck for Rosberg (or any driver for that matter), just like I would rather see Lewis qualify by merit.

Would prefer to see proper racing all round.

The Merc has a huge advantage over the rest of the field, so Lewis can still make it well inside the points, IMHO.


F1 Gods have spoken. What are we going to do rest of the season?


Has Lewis punched a nun in the face?????????

Seriously, there is no conspiracy theories with Lewis. It's not bad luck. It's bad preparation.

It's all about QC - Quality Control. And Mercedes Quality Control has gone somewhat wayward since mid summer, apart from Austria. Leaking fuel tank? That's pretty serious. And dangerous too.

If a car breaks down, its not bad luck, its because either a component isn't strong enough or somebody forget to tighten something properly. I'm afraid the Mercedes team aren't checking their components thoroughly or properly enough. Last week Lewis had a shocking brake failure, and now he has a leaking fuel tank. Both of which the consequences are catastrophic - Lewis could have been barbecued had he not been more alert............

Still, as long as the car can be fixed, its not the end of the world for Lewis, even starting from the back/pit lane at Hungaroring. It may rain tomorrow, and even if its dry, Lewis can still come through the pack to score decent points.

Thank goodness Mini-Mag is alright. Big knock - just to show that safety can not be taken for granted. As for Ferrari's woeful lack of strategic nous with Kimi..............oh dear. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot............

Big shout to Bottas, Nando and Jenson, good qualifying from all three. And their starting from the clean side of the grid, which we all know is hugely advantageous.................

It's all down to the rain Gods tomorrow......................


and Massa. dont forget Massa can take at least one or two out by the first corner,


Good point. Massa will take out himself and someone else at the first corner and then blame Perez/Magnussen/Alonso/Alan Permane....


Unbelievable! I have never seen anything like this. This was the one race Hamilton had to win. Maybe, the rain and Vettel can stop Rosberg from winning another easy race.


You know things are bad when the Hami fans are hoping for a Vettel victory.


Let us hope it happens


Made my day!!!


Such a shame. Rosberg always dominates when Hamilton out. Clearly. Lewis looked dejected. Poor guy. If Hamilton has one more dnf it could be all over for his championship. The spare car needs to be brought back out. Reliability shouldn't ruin the racing.


No wonder. It was before as well. Take 2012. When MS out for tech problems - Rosberg takes a lot of points. This tells me that the Lewis's garage (former MS's one) doesn't have enough control ...

Yngwie Malmsteen

I support Ferrari but since Monaco and Canada..... I'm turning into a mega Lewis Hamilton fan!!

alexander supertramp

Underdog, am I right?


What did i say last week? as long as Mercedes have the constructors and drivers title as good as secured they will would engineer the title for Rosberg through the advanced knowledge and understanding of parts life fail points etc etc basically through modern day understanding of technology materials and there reliability.


Stranger things have happened In the world. For Lewis it must feel like 2012 again. No race distances completed In pre season. An immediate failure in australia. Hampered preparation in China and silverstone. Unexplained brake failure last week. Now a fuel leak. I think Canada was a consequence of a combination of complex technical factors that the team couldn't predict. Add to that some typically interesting decisions by the fia regarding penalties (their absence rather) and safety cars, which have had a huge influence on the world championship. The complexity of the sport can at times diminish the purity of the contest. For so much to depend on qualifying does not make sense either. A rethinking of aero regs and complete freedom of tire strategy would be a good start.

Trust in corporations , the media and institutions is at an all time low nowadays. Real cases of industrial corruption and political shenanigans abound. Both championships will go to mercedes and using reliability to influence the Wdc is possible, though likely to be impossible to prove. An at worst 39 point gap going into summer does not augur well for lewis. A good way for the team to defuse tensions though...


Kevin Green here demonstrating why casinos make a fortune. (human beings do not understand random, and see patterns where none exist)

Hamilton has had a run of bad luck.

There is absolutely *zero* chance of anyone in an F1 team deliberately causing a fuel leak for any driver, ever.

In any case it's much, much better press for Mercedes if both their cars finish 1-2 than one of them retiring every race, even if a German wins the title.

On paper there are 9 races after this (8 races and 1 double pointer) and were Lewis to win all of them and Nico finish 2nd then that's 63 points that can be made up.

If Nicos luck turns and he DNFs then gaps can close very quickly this WDC will go all the way I reckon.

Seasons not over till the fat bloke sings.


isn't it normal for a company to provide further training to incompetent staff? what are mercedes doing about their incompetent staff?


This is an intelligent comment. The conspiracy nonsense being espoused by some is the same silliness used to explain Webber's bad luck last year. Conspiracy types tend to selectively omit information that does not feed their desired narrative, for example Vettlel's greater ureliability in 2010 (multiple retirements from the lead) or his relative car reilaiblity bad luck compared to Ric this year. In all of these cases, it is simply a run of bad luck, looked at in isolation.


That is laughable

You have 65 travelling crew working on the car, many of whom have been with the team since Honda, Brawn days, why would they go along with a conspiracy like that and how on earth would they keep that quiet?


HI James, I mostly agree with you. It does look quite absurd to think and question why the crew would do such a thing.

However, I can't help but think of the case where the late Nigel Stepney, former Ferrari Mechanic, was found to have put some white powder in Raikkonen's / Massa's (or both their) cars and to have sabotaged them. It sounds crazy, definitely shocked the F1 circle back then, and still seems quite a horrific thing to do but it happens.

I also recall there were some articles / reports / comments from F1 figures saying that one or some team(s) even tried to place a member of their team into another team to spy on their work, and the person was paid by both teams. Sounds too unrealistically movie-like, yes, but somehow I tend to believe these stories to be true. Can't really rule any possibilities out as long as there's human credibility factor to be considered.


That was a rogue guy acting alone

This would require someone skilled to be told by management to do something to sabotage one of their drivers cars.

Hard to imagine and Impossible to keep that quiet


Well James race finished you prob have not yet by the time you have read this but go and watch the live telemetary inc the commentators points/comments/opinions and the team driver radio and tell me you do not think differently now!


Saved by the safety cars! something clearly needs to change there how can someone fairly come from the back of the grid inc spinning off the track then go on to (I prosume at this time 13:59) go onto win the race, can they not use gp tech to effectively space the cars out through the braking/throttle systems to bring the cars back to there pretty much exact track positions as of the time of the req safety car call out


Now sunday 13:10 UK time and there you have it job effectively done! Hamilton fails under the "engineered" pressure, Rosberg's to lose now...Which he won't if he slips any points from after the race win today which he has other than for reliabillity (which he probably will not) they will just create another issue for Hamilton.. come on like manufacturer German driver "ideal in mercs eyes" not to mention long term team player who is very pleasant and proffesional V new comer very good driver and likely to be a title challenger under another team not to mention outspoken idiot who will happily point fingers at team mates etc....The exact situation and its objectives has kinda got Mclaren Hamilton Alonso scenario written all over it again.....All the same clever thinking!


i think there is a record of who fitted each of those components which failed so why can't those people or the person responsible to replaced or taken off for further training?


Maybe ask someone from within that has far more knowledge of the workings within the teams than you or I.............why not ask Lewis on the side as going by his recent comments it would appear to very much think so and so he should be....oh and for the record as you will probably recall from my comments of the past i am about as far away as possible from being a Hamilton fan in any way so its far from being a fan campaign!


Sabotating a car is a major crime because it can result in bodily harm or even death. Wrongly claiming someone to have done a major crime is a crime in most countries too.

Hamilton has the brake balance shifted more back than Rosberg and used a different brake system for this reason. However Brembo changed the brake disc supplier this year. German TV said that because of this Ferrari and RBR bought all 2013 Brembo discs they could get to be safe from surprises.

Don't know when Hamilton changed to Brembo this year ot last?

Drgraham lewis

James you are only as strong as your weakest link in any quality control system. Just ask your Merc contacts about their paint disasters in the 90's.

To argue this is all Lewis 'bad luck' is to completely fail to understand any quality assurance or control system. Yes racing can be arduous but there is systemic issues on Lewis H side that clearly need addressing. Merc obsession with a title and equality are getting in the way of addressing this reality. Do you think Ross would not have undertaken a nuts and bolts rethink on this by now?

That's what happens when no one is in charge is the usual argument and while trite - the comment has elements of truth. One guy is doing ok, we are ahead in the points by a mile and developing all aspects of the car. Why turn that upside down? Must be bad luck.

Its not an unusual mindset in any sport or industry. There is more literature and research on that aspect of manufacturer/racing than almost anything else.


James, it only take one or 2 well-placed techs to effect a sabotage. They don't ALL 65 have to be in on it. Its not like the whole car disintegrated. Just one carefully jiggled component is all it takes to make the car kaput.

There's no way all this bad luck is co-incidence.


Did anybody catch Hamilton's remark saying "this is gone beyond bad luck and it has to be something else"? Can Formula 1 mechanics be this incompetent?


it's not incompetence on the part of any individual or even the whole team of mechanics and technicians. rather more likely, it's some systemic process

failure that's punching a hole in their Quality Control! the increased likely-hood

of it occuring on Lewis's side of the garage could also be just part of that failure

and not down to incompetence (or malice).


does mercedes not have a record of who fitted what? can they provide them with further training or will they burry their heads in the sand and wish it would go away?

they should offer me a consultancy role and i'll make my small contribution.


The fix is in, its clear.


alright, brace yourself now, there is going to be a flood of conspiracy comments from brits on hamilton being sabotaged!. Remember schumacher having a lot of retirements in 2012 season driving a merc??


Am no hamilton in any way at all i frankly detest him but it takes little thought to realise whats what and how it could be engineered so to put it


No not at all as every driver/car will have genuine reliability issues but somethings really funny going on here and the messages today to let nico past and the comments from others ie commentators even nico and toto really points at a prefered title winner as lets face it they cant lose either the constructors or drivers now.


Well, in that case will you accept that Merc 'engineered' Rosberg car to fail in the british GP to give Hamilton a popular victory??


Lol... bonkers qualifying session >>> in a way was very unpredictable as we saw unexpected rain, strategy mistakes and fires.

Congrats to Nico for securing another pole position, at the moment, the lad is riding his luck and make hay while the sun still shines.

More impressively was how Nico saved his car at a wet turn 1 which caught out the rookie Mini-mag.

Very good drive from Vettel for securing provisional pole and more importantly for maintaining his advantage against his teammate over the course of the weekend >>> maybe the old Vettel is back.

Bottas keeps impressing the paddock for not only does he have that 1 lap pace but his race craft has also improved tremendously.

Alonso did what Alonso does best by being consistent hence securing 5th place once again.

Else where, great effort from Vergne and the Hulk for making it through Q2 plus Bianchi did well too to make it out of Q1.

Regards, Kimi, that was a unfortunate rookie mistake from the team and worst of all on a weekend where Kimi was showing a little bit of spark.

Last but not least, I was worried when Lewis topped all the free practice sessions for that could only mean a DNF in the race.

Luckily disaster struck during qualifying so the fans can at least look forward to some fun times.


@ Goferet

"Kimi was showing a little bit of spark." - Can you en-light me on what spark kimi have demonstrated over the weekend ?

Both Alonso and Kimi did run on the primes. Alonso was easily 0.8 tenths quicker than Kimi and that made all the difference between getting through to the Q2 or crashing out in Q1. People here blame Ferrari at all costs for the shoddy performances of Raikkonen. I do not see any blame on the part of Ferrari team with Lewis and pastor reliability woes. No one expected bianchi to improve the time to certain extent where he managed to. It was stunner from bianchi. Jules was not fast enough in S1 and S2 yet he managed to pull it together in the last few corners of the lap

Bottom-line is Bianchi impressed and raikkonen failed miserably once again when it mattered the most.


They set basically the same time in Final practice even though the car is more suited to Alonso than Kimi


It was noticeable in FP that Kimi was doing well on softs but not on mediums. On softs he beat Alonso once and got beaten twice (with marginal difference). So that is spark people are talking about.


"Regards, Kimi, that was a unfortunate rookie mistake from the team and worst of all on a weekend where Kimi was showing a little bit of spark."

Not a clever move by the team, but in all fairness, if Kimi had actually been as quick as he's supposed to be, he wouldn't have been knocked out.


But he hadn't been as quick and the team knew that immediately after the lap. Being down by c.a 7 tenths on your team sitting right above the Q1 drop zone is not a time to prioritise saving tires...

There seems to be a lot less attention and effort being made on the Raikkonen side of the garage.



That's true.

Apparently Alonso was 7 tenths faster on the same tyres Kimi had on.


Every driver at some point of his career will have a string of bad races. Schumacher in the middle of 2000, Hakkinen in 1999/2001, Kimi in 2003/2005 and so on. Luckily for Hamilton, he is driving a car which is a good 1.5s/lap faster than the rest. So another podium is not really out of question. Besides, Rosberg lost a race while leading 3 races ago. And he may lose a couple more during rest of the season.

Drgraham lewis

Yes and if you take a closer look much was resolved by a close look at the organisational and support structure. Wow are they missing Ross Brawn...


Rosberg was about to be passed out on track when he 'lost a race' 3 races ago.


This you cannot say 100%....about to be passed....please. I have seen some races where he was about to be passed....but...at the end....he wasn't.


You are stating a hyposthesis and not a fact! Anything could have turned out in that race. Please stop making such blatant statements.


If Lewis pulls this WDC out of the fire (excuse the pun) it should go down in F1 history as one of the all-time great F1 triumphs over adversity.

Mentally speaking, it has to be very challenging to keep coming back to the track on Sunday mornings projecting a positive mindset, for the team, fans (and especially the world media) after being sucker-punched by bad fortune on the Saturday.

Whilst glancing over at your rival, floating on a white, fluffy, cloud of good fortune, weekend after weekend!


"If Lewis pulls this WDC out of the fire (excuse the pun) it should go down in F1 history as one of the all-time great F1 triumphs over adversity."

2010 ring any bells?


In one of the bbc podcasts - I remember James saying at the beginning of the year that this championship will come down to reliability.

how true is it becomming...

But he also said HAM should win this year. So far 1 out 2 is true lets see what happens.


He still has plenty of time and double points (ugh!) at one of his strongest tracks Abu Dhabi at the end of the season.

He's very strong on most of the Tilke tracks at the end of the year, so plenty of time to recover. It's not over yet


I like your "ugh!" there, James 😉


Hamilton's strongest track is not a predictor that he will do well- don't be "fooled by randomness" - if you know what I mean.


James, to be clear - I do agree with you, completely the same opinion, but I have to say that this year "he strongest track" just doesn't work. Rosberg was winning at his strongest track this year.


Maybe he used up all his championship-winning luck on that last lap in Interlagos 🙂

The thing about conspiracies is that they are clearly ridiculous, except that Singapore 2008 happened...

Then again, Nico Rosberg is not very marketable compared to Hamilton and none of my German friends consider him German so as a conspiracy it doesn't really make sense, especially since the entire team is based in England and senior management is Austrian!


Did Hamilton use the power unit from German GP where he recovered two dozen of places? May be the resource of the unit just ended? Hungarian GP is known for the use of used engines.


My prophetic powers tell me no Mercedes on the podium in Hungary. I see red of car 44 in top three.

This is the best chance of the year for Alonso to win!

alexander supertramp

No no, you said it! Car 44 on the podium it is!


Pardon my mistake, car 14 !!!


WIth the benefit of hindsight, both car #14 and #44 ended up on the podium.

So what's the score for the next round? 😉


That... Was... hilarious! Oh the drama! Lewis has sulked on and off this season...I think at one point his PR team told him to tone it down but here we go again. Maybe Lewis should go tell Nico about how he's not really German again... Or how he was spoiled as a child and doesn't want it enough. Yes... That must be the answer.

All these fans acting like he's the least lucky guy on earth... Really, has anyone read the news? He had a brake failure last time in qualy so why act like it was the worst outcome... If it happened in the race he'd have zero points. Instead he finished 3rd. Same goes for today... At least it didn't happen in the race! He could still win and Nico might get another gearbox failure. But as is apparent... Someone get the violin out... its all over.


This kind of comment I can understand, you're not a great lover of Hamilton....that's plain.

But yes you're right .....it's only quali.....it could rain tomorrow....etc.

Following Lewis as a fan is a roller coaster of emotions......we've had the downs....the ups are coming.

Fast fast fast!

@Gazza - And I wouldn't have it any other way! That's why for me, Lewis is the most interesting and most exciting driver on the grid today. He's not a bad driver either. The only driver who has won a GP in all his years in F1 and the only driver who has equalled or beaten two world champions, both defending champs the year Lewis raced against them. No, he's not the best but I root for him each and every Sunday. If it wasn't for Lewis' DNFs and his ability to bounce back from it, what a yawn current F1 would be. Can't wait until Abu Double!

Drgraham lewis

You might wish to read my other comments. Luck has nothing to do with it. Success has a lot to do with it frankly and a lack of focus other than one car is ok - must be luck...

By the way have you ever had brake failure in a racing scenario or a car catch fire with a fuel leak? It would seem not according to your comments.

Its a life a death issue - I would suggest even your bravado would take a knock after a couple of such incidents in a fortnight.

The truth is one side of the two car team is not performing as well.

You will of course suggest its Hamilton - you know the chap with the best strike rate here of anyone and fastest in all practices.

Rather than assume Mercs focus on all equality etc is actually beyond their organisational structure and resources and as such quite possibly creating these issues. It must be Hamilton and his ability that's the issue?

Of course the only other team professing such (but with 40 years of managing such) is doing really well too...


Its better to have bad luck in qualifying rather than having it during the race.

Hamilton still has the chance to minimum finish at P2 and still be in the hunt for WDC.


Minimum P2?!? So I'm guessing you think he still has a chance at the win?!?! There's no way he can win at the Hungaroring if it's a normal race ... that's just plain impossible. To win, he would need either 1) Nico to DNF, 2) benefit from a SC, or 3) rain to cause havoc in the race, and more than likely a combination of two or more of those.

Anything's possible I suppose, but the probability of it all coming together for him is very, very low. But still that's why we watch ... to see that 1 in 50 freak race.



Re-read your comment 😀

Fantastic race that was.


Rosberg will probably win this year judging by how the luck seems to be panning out, but I don't think he's going to get much credit for it.

I don't buy the conspiracy theories though. There is no way Merc would deliberately do this, it's making them look like purveyors of total junk at the moment. Even if they did want to sabotage Hamilton (and I really don't think they would), there are much more subtle tweaks that would take 0.5s off without having the embarrassment and damage to your reputation that these spectacular failures have produced, not to mention the huge risk to the driver of brake disks exploding or engines catching fire.

They really do need to get their act together, because Hamilton will be back at McLaren if it carries on like this.


Sick of all the stupid conspiracy theories already. Why would the team sabotage their own car? Come on people, seriously, get real. They moved heaven and earth to get Lewis there, why screw him over now?

In 2005, Raikkonen had many more mechanical failures than Alonso - in fact I remember around this time in the season he was either retiring from the lead or getting grid penalties for failed engines at almost every race! It almost certainly cost him the championship - did anyone at the time chalk it up to anything other than bad luck?

Can't stand people bashing Nico either - what's he supposed to do, stand aside and let Lewis win?

I feel sorry for Lewis but it's not over, not by a long shot.


Good post Tom, alot of the comment is just too focused on conspiracy, and around one driver.

The real conspiracy is Lotus on Maldonado, the things they've done to make sure he doesn't win, phew!



Do you really expect us to believe that Mercedes did not set fire to LH's car in order to stop his getting pole and guaranteeing his win tomorrow.

Next you will be telling us that aliens don't travel billions of light years across the universe just to do donuts in a crop field, stick a probe up the behind of a gentleman who lives in a log cabin, and zap a page 3 girls t#t's.

Give yourself a good slap and get on board with the "the are out to stop Lewis train".

You would have thought that after winning the World Cup, the Germans would let Lewis have a fair crack at the WDC!



You see it all so clearly 🙂


Yay... Finally someone with some common sense!


James, will Lewis require a PU/ gearbox change? If so, will he be penalised 1 grid place for this race AND carry over 4 for Spa? How can we check to see how many PUs and gearboxes each driver has used, so far this season? Many thanks


Hi yellow belly,

Checkout this link, it covers the power unit element use, and a bit of discussion on how the penalties apply. Apparently they do carry over.




No penalty is just for one race

Likely to need new PU.


James, can you give us the stats on the number of engines, gearboxes, mgus used by the merc drivers? I wonder if Hamilton has used up more of these resources? If the season's quota is exhausted before the final race, I understand that penalties would apply. Thank you!


Check the FIA website under event information


James, thanks for the reply. I ask the question because, according to formula 1.com : "If the grid penalty imposed cannot be taken in full at one event, the remainder of the penalty is carried over to the following event. For example, if a driver qualifies 15th and is then given a 10-place grid penalty he’ll be dropped seven grid places to 22nd and last at that meeting and then the remaining three grid places from wherever he qualifies at the next event."


Yes Kimi made the mistake of not putting a lap in together! Well, yes all weekend he was struggling on the primes and was pretty comfortable with the Options. But the team should have let him get another lap in. He clearly wanted to!!

Kimi has always been good here coming through the field both times in a Lotus. But a Lotus is a Lotus. With this Ferrari, I hope he gets into the top 10. What are his options? Attacking with the Softs?

Apart from all that, a great edge of the seat Quali session. Make all the conspiracy theories you want. With half of the season and the double-points finale to go, Lewis can surely fight back. It is still going to be close. The Lewis fans have to realize that and stop being bitter just because this year's campaign is not a walk in the park for Lewis. I mean come on, what did you expect? Lewis would go winning all the races without an ounce of a challenge from Rosberg?? Not to forget, Rosberg was not even intimidated by Schumacher. Do you really think he fears Lewis?

Special mention to Bottas showing Massa who's boss 🙂 If I am not wrong, he was 9 tenths faster? We keep getting a new talented Finn in every generation of F1. Well done Sebastian to make an all German front row. Loving the 2014 F1 season so far. Bring on the second half!


Yes, Bottas is faster, but not that much. Massa is running this weekend with an old used floor (not sure that's the proper word, in Brazil it's called "assoalho"; anyway, it's some part in the bottom of the car) - Williams didn't have time enough to fix the damaged one from last race.


The only real chance for Raikkonen is to do the reverse strategy to the boys around him and get as much clean air as he possibly can to jump them in the pits. However, he's been having a big issue with the LR Medium tire which leads me to believe that he wont have the pace or the degradation to be able to pull it off.

Unless his team can find a workaround Kimi may be stuck up the proverbial without a propulsion device.


James, you mentioned in the preview that "it’s normal for teams to use an engine which is towards the end of its life – on its third or fourth race"

so ... is that possible the Merc team such strategy and backfired today? cheers


Look on the bright side hamilton fans. After all the mistakes and misfortune he's still only 14 points behind Rosberg. That's only 6 points in the old, proper, scoring system, which is nothing. When things start to go Hamilton's way he'll easily catch up.


"After all the mistakes and misfortune he’s still only 14 points behind Rosberg."

Except the after effects of today's qualifying incident have yet to be applied to that figure...


Earlier weather forecasts had a high probability of rain for Sunday. What are the local weather reports for tomorrow. If it rains... Anything can happen.


Whilst the original DNF in Australia put Lewis on the back foot the turning point of the season to date was Monaco. Nico was looking groggy from a series of strong races from Lewis and then a ‘mistake’ from Nico gave him pole. It was a low blow, wether deliberate or not, only Rosberg will know. He was completely unabashed by his good fortune, probably benefiting from the polish gained at his Swiss finishing school. Lewis on the other hand looked like a bad looser.

Since then it appears that Lewis has been looking for a knock-out blow in qualifying only to miss the target slip over and for it to go the other way. At least the last two failures were outside his control.

Far from conspiracy I think there must be another reason for Rosberg’s good fortune. With all this talk of Magic buttons in Mercedes I think that they have just not told Lewis where it is.

On the other hand with all of this Magic about it could all be Wizardry. Come to think of it Nico does look a bit like Draco Malfoy. He is driving extremely well but It seems whatever he does his good fortune knows little bounds. It was only the collective will of the crowd at Silverstone that overcame the spell.

I read that most of the Teams in the Paddock and other observers thought that Hamilton should have started from the Pit Lane in Germany. Also I read that Nico changed his rear brakes between qualifying and the race. If the latter were true they should probably have both been started from the Pit Lane. Now that would have been interesting. Perhaps tomorrow…….no Draco, sorry Nico, still has his wand.

Whatever it should be an interesting race, let us hope so.


Stephen Taylor

James do you think that drivers who might 1 stop i.e Sergio Perez might prove crucial to how many points if any that Lewis and Kimi score tomorrow? Also do you believe it is crucial to Kimi's race that he get ahead of the likes of Esteban, Romain and Jules at the start of the race or should he bide his time ?


Grojean will do his utmost to hamper Kimi, as too Perez as you say.

But I think Kimi will be past and up to p10 in 5 laps. After that it is his own team that worries me.

They will do strange things to send him back to p16 by means of strategy !!!


I think Kimi is quite capable to bring himself back to P16 on his own........


In Hungary kimi will be fighting all race to make it to P10, and im not sure if he will reach that high. Of course, that's on a dry race, if it rains maybe he DNFs, maybe he wins...


To all lewis fans

Vettel was P5 in the driver championship standings around the Singapore GP in 2010.

He had another set back in Korea when his Red Bull/Renault caught fire…

So there is still much, much hope for you, unless you think RB was sabotaging Vettel’s car in Melbourne, Bahrain, Barcelona, (Spa,) Korea etc. that year.

But Lewis does not have room for errors anymore like in Q3 in Montreal, Spielberg, Silverstone, but as I wrote, it is not over for him yet.


Yeah, Vettel P5 after the Italian GP of that year. He was 28 pts down on Webber after Belgium (31 back of HAM). Hamilton could be down by that much, or more, after today's race.

As James has said above, it did help that there were other cars that could win races in 2010, and create some points separation between Vettel and Webber, who were in the best car. I also think Rosberg '14 is a better driver than Webber '10 was, though Webber did indeed beat Vettel in straight fights at ESP, MON, and GBR that year. I'm not sure the same can be said about Rosberg this year, vs. Hamilton. Has Nico beaten Lewis in a straight fight, when both have had solid races from the front w/o controversy? Monaco would be the closest thing to it, and that's the easiest one to control, but of course the Q3 incident, and then the fortunate (for Nico) SC timing, makes me disregard it as a straight fight. Whereas Lewis has beaten Nico is a straight fight in MAL, BHN, and ESP this season. BHN was even tilted against Lewis, with the late SC, and he still won out.

Anyways, Lewis needs to get on another good run, as Vettel did in the last 5 races of 2010 (including the DNF from race lead in KOR), and which Lewis had from MAL-ESP this year. 4 consecutive races not on the front row is simply unforgiveable (ok, two were out of his control, but still). There's no point in having an amazing car if it doesn't see the finish. Merc have to get that through their heads.


In 2010 there were 6 cars capable of wins, all taking points off of each other


Meaning there was more preassure for whoever was the leader. Plus, the RB was the fastest of them all, and Mark and Lewis gifted the other contenders with their DNFs at Korea and Singapore respectively.


Indeed, I am a Ferrari fan....but I wish all Lewis fans to keep faith:-) He can still win!


Excellent Lap by Alonso in quali

A potential P7 or P8 grid spot has been turned into P5 by Fernando, superb performance.

Lewis have all the bad luck and karma on his back for quite a while, i do not believe in the conspiracy theory. Yet all the reliability woes now make the task difficult for Lewis. I hope he recovers tomorrow and finish in top 5 despite the track does not have too many overtaking spots.

Kudos to Bottas, disappointed with Dan Ricciardo though


Ferrari had been in the top 5 and 6 all weekend in practice, so he's just where he should be really. Kimi has been up there all weekend also in top 5 or 6 but Ferrari thought it was a good idea to not do another lap. On the option tyres Kimi has been just as quick as Alonso as he can actually get his front tyres warmed up but he struggles on the harder mediums as they don't warm up as fast and he gets understeer


To be fair, Fernando's natural position yesterday was 6th, he did a nice lap and was 5th, but there is nothing more he could do.


I think this whole topic is blown out of proportion. Every driver experiences good luck and bad luck. Sometimes these bouts of luck come in bunches, sometimes spread out. A quick look at Nico and Lewis's F1 careers tells me they have both experienced the same percentages of retires from races (12-13%). We all know the Merc is fast, but somewhat fragile and right now the cards are landing against Lewis. But over the course of a couple of seasons it will even out.


i won't lie i feel beaten, betray and whatever you can had by mercedes behavior but we know why it is like that and we cannot state it. i just hope lewis writes a book before mercedes actually kill him! this made me understand now that senna never fouht prost but he fought the far west and the entire FIA ... ouhf! the ballestre time ... and carl davidson suffering it in a new form ... we know what what when you let lewis race fairly with anyone, it's suicide. james i know you won't post most of my comments but that your blog anyway


Lewis having a fuel leak is not bad luck it 's sloppy mechanics, Lewis having slow pit stops compared to Nico is not bad luck its a sloppy team. Lewis having a brake disc failure is sloppy Quality assurance in the team. It seems to me that bad luck is bred by focus going elsewhere in that German team? People say you make your own luck, it occurs to me that LH's half of the Mercedes garage is manufacturing the bad kind of luck. - They need to get a grip and give LH a car that hangs together...Simples...


Did Rosberg "storm" to pole position? Hardly. Rosberg is having the easiest run to the WDC in history. Give Hamilton parity and he'll smash him all over the park.


Sauber *really* need Sutil and Gutiérrez to keep their heads on Sunday and make the most of a rare, tolerably competitive performance at this circuit, by scoring some priceless points...


I truly believe that Sutil would much rather just ruin Lewis' race, if at all possible. Screw Sauber!

How his turn-in on Lewis last race wasn't even investigated, I'll never know.


I am dying for Nico to break down just to equalise the title fight. This is boring. I WANT to see a Nico Rosberg win the title ONLY under extreme pressure. As I want for ALL titles. Vettel's titles in 2010 and 2012 mean way more than the easy strolls in the park he had in 2011 and last year.


This conspiracy theory is too dangerous for a team to consider it. Unfortunately for Lewis, a combination of factors work against him. Despite the situation, best thing he can do is to keep cool and avoid talking, he is not always good at it. Not to mention openly congratulating his team mate, sometimes he really sucks. He is a great driver, nobody is taking that.


It is disappointing what has happened to Lewis ... again. I think the forecast for the race is for heavy rain, so it could be a blessing in disguise to start from pit lane, and set up the car for fully wet conditions. He can still make the podium, as overtaking is much easier in the wet as people tend to make more errors in the wet. Turn 1 will be an ice skating rink, so passing is definitely possible there, Turn 2 the same, at Turn 3, there is the possibility of running wide and losing a position, so passing could happen there, Turn 4 is possibly the same as Turn 1, Turn 5 possibly the same, although the passing opportunity from that could come at the Turn 6/7 chicane, where errors/mistakes will be made during a wet race, after that for a few corners, it may be tough to pass, although there could be the issue of aquaplaning/touching slippery kerbs/spinning on the exit of Turn 9 and Turn 11, so passing is possible there, Turn 12 will be an ice skating rink, so passing is possible, you can spin at Turn 13 in wet conditions, so passing is possible, and it will be an ice skating rink at Turn 14, so passing is possible, although the overtake may be completed at Turn 1.


It's not telling the story I'd like to see, but the headline photograph for this story is excellent. Right place right time to tell a key story of the year.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yeah, I loved the photo, what a bad luck for HAMILTON!

Sunday is different thanks God.

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