F1 Winter Break
Rosberg on pole in Spa as Hamilton suffers brake issue
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  23 Aug 2014   |  2:25 pm GMT  |  246 comments

Nico Rosberg claimed his seventh pole position of the season ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who said he had suffered with a brake issue in the final segment of the wet session. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel took advantage of the tricky conditions to finish third ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Spa had seen torrential rain fall 45 minutes before the start of the session but by the time the green light went on at the end of the pit lane to signal the start of Q1 it had largely abated. Conditions on track were extreme however, with low grip and almost no visibility in the spray.

The early pace was set by Hamilton, the Mercedes driver logging a time of 2:09.492, to head Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo by just under two tenths of a second. The conditions were clearly treacherous, however, and after a trip through a run-off area following radio traffic from his team, Hamilton told his pit wall not to speak to him during his flying laps. Elsewhere, Esteban Gutierrez was in trouble, the Sauber driver coming to a halt at Stavelot corner.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 14.32.10
A dry line was forming, however, and after a handful of drivers had opted for full wet tyres the field gradually began to switch to intermediates. With three minutes left in the session, Hamilton and Rosberg were in control at the top of the timesheet, but at the bottom the drivers in the drop zone were Andre Lotterer and Marcus Ericsson of Caterham, Marussia’s Max Chilton, Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and the non-running Gutierrez and Force India’s Sergio Perez. Lotterer was also outside the 107% mark, his time of 2:19.870 well over three seconds adrift of the cut-off.

The German made it through with his final lap, however, posting a time of 2:13.469 to finish just under a second in front of team-mate Ericsson, who finished in 22nd position.

Perez too made it out of the drop zone, rising to P12. It was the opposite story for team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. The German dropped to 18th place and out of the session, complaining that his brakes had “felt colder and colder” and that he had “lost all confidence” in his car.

Also out were Pastor Maldonado who finished ahead of Hulkenberg, Max Chilton, Gutierrez, Lotterer and Ericsson. Rosberg topped the segment ahead of Hamilton, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas and Jean-Eric Vergne.

The standout performance was from Jules Bianchi in the Marussia, who made it through to Q2 for the second year in succession here, on merit.

Q2 saw the condition change throughout, with a mid-segment shower soaking the track once more. Vergne hadn’t emerged in the early part of the session and when the rain came it looked like he had left his runs too late. When he jumped from P16 to 12th with his first flying lap, the signs looked positive, but as he kept running on intermediate tyres and kept improving, so too this those around him and positions in the lower reaches of the top 10 remained fluid throughout.

In the end, Vergne could not muscle his way into Q3 and finished 12th, just behind Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat, who had risen to P8 but then dropped back to P11 as first Jenson Button and then Sebastian Vettel found sufficient improvement to slot into P10 and P7 respectively.

At the top end Hamilton finished Q2 in P1 ahead of Rosberg with Fernando Alonso third ahead of Bottas.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 14.30.41

Q3 saw conditions improve through, with the session ending in bright sunshine. Vettel set the first lap of the segment but it was Rosberg who set the pace, recording a lap of 2:05.698 as Hamilton complained about his brakes not feeling right. Mercedes issued instructions as to how the Briton could get temperature into his brakes but the tactic seemed not to work as the Briton could find no way past his team-mate when the final runs took place.

Rosberg claimed pole with a time of 2:05.591, just over two tenths clear of Hamilton, who afterwards he suffered with a glazed brake.

Red Bull Racing profited in the conditions with Vettel third and Ricciardo fifth. Fernando Alonso split the Renault-powered pair. Williams, expected to be Mercedes main challenger here, finished sixth and ninth, with Bottas quicker than Massa. Kevin Magnussen qualified in P7 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button was 10th.

Belgian Grand Prix – Qualifying
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2:07.130 2:06.723 2:05.591 22
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2:07.280 2:06.609 2:05.819 22
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 2:10.105 2:08.868 2:07.717 24
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2:10.197 2:08.450 2:07.786 21
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 2:10.089 2:08.989 2:07.911 21
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 2:09.250 2:08.451 2:08.049 23
7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 2:11.081 2:08.901 2:08.679 22
8 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 2:09.885 2:08.646 2:08.780 21
9 Felipe Massa Williams 2:08.403 2:08.833 2:09.178 20
10 Jenson Button McLaren 2:10.529 2:09.272 2:09.776 22
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 2:10.445 2:09.377 16
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 2:09.811 2:09.805 13
13 Sergio Perez Force India 2:10.666 2:10.084 16
14 Adrian Sutil Sauber 2:11.051 2:10.238 17
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 2:10.898 2:11.087 16
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 2:11.051 2:12.470 14
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 2:11.261 9
18 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 2:11.267 8
19 Max Chilton Marussia 2:12.566 8
20 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 2:13.414 4
21 Andre Lotterer Caterham 2:13.469 9
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 2:14.438 9



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Is Lewis is starting to sound like Button? When he gets beaten, the car is never quite right...

Alastair Isherwood

I couldn't agree more. I think lewis' diamond earrings are playing with his cognition again. Rosberg is looking solid, Hamilton is looking susceptible. He needs to get some guidance as pulling out the list of excuses every weekend isn't going to win him a championship......


Do hi-tech carbon brake disks get 'glazed' - sounds like something that happened in the 1970s with steel brake disks and old-school brake pads...


This is a quote from the BBC:

Glazing is when the pad surface becomes coated in crystallised retarding material, usually as a result of not being heated up in the correct manner.


The fastest thing in F1 today is Lewis Hamilton's quick-draw excuses. Never fails. So boring.


Yeah, I mean, Lewis obviously complains too much... "My brake exploded"... "My car caught fire"... "I've only got 5 cylinders firing"... When really he should just get on with driving the car.

I mean, next you'll hear Rosberg complaining that if he'd just had all 8 gears, he could have finished the race at Silverstone this year.

Gee... 9 degrees C in the wet, and Hamilton had brake problems? Unbelievable. I mean, he worked so hard to sell the idea he had brake problems that he ran wide at La Source twice, just so he'd have a convincing reason to not get pole.

I think the takeaway from this is if you don't like the driver, he complains too much, and if you like the driver, his car is unreliable.


That's not Lewis complaining, it's Mercedes giving him an unreliable car! If the car isn't functioning it's impossible to run in a race let alone win. I mean what do you expect? Do you expect him to run with a car on fire, continue with a damaged engine, or brakes? If the brakes don't work the car doesn't stop!


So Nico Hulkenberg is also a halfwit, since he could never get his brakes to the right temperature... and Paddy Lowe apparently doesn't know what he's talking about when he said "... in the wet it is always difficult to get the right brake temperatures - not too hot, not too cold,".

Good to know.


He is the one in charge of the pedal. When its cold and wet you work your brakes to keep them up. Simples. Any half wit can do that. I though it was more the traction that cost him. Its no biggie. He will have Rosberg tomorrow. No way Rosberg beats him if there is no crashing and the cars run.


I assume you work for Mercedes and know for sure that Lewis didn't really have a braking problem?


It does sound a little convenient, although Rosberg has complained the car wasn't right on occasion (like in China), so who knows?

I think the start is the best chance for Hamilton to win tomorrow, he's generally been stronger there and in spite of some close finishes the lead car after the first lap has tended to be the winner, as the other car can't really use strategy to beat them.


Rosberg has telemetry problems all weekend long on China. There is no way to compare the situation.


I was under the impression that King Lewis was the master at 'driving around' problems. I must have read that a hundred times before. Seems a glazed (read, cold) brake does not fall under the category of 'problems' otherwise he would driven around it. That was a shot at the zealot section of his fan club, not the normal fans 😉

Missing pole by a smidge is not a real biggie here anyway. Psychologically it's not ideal but in reality it's fine. Long, tough race etc, etc.


Yes I'm sure the race wll fall into Hamilton's hands again and I won't be dwn the circumstances or the superiority of the car it'll be Hamilton' brilliance...

Yet the reality is Hamilton is out qualified again by someone who was beaten easily by Webber and also had troubles in 2012 quite often in quali against a 43 year old.

Quali battl at Merc: Nico 8-4 Hamilton.


Rosberg is becoming to strong for Hamilton to manage....


Lewis is definitely msking rosbergs life easy in qualifying latley, small mistakes again, ill big rosberg up as a 1 lap hotshot, when lewis gets his qually mojo back, whacks in a stonking lap, and then rosberg beats it, then I shall give rosberg credit, he's yet to earn any of his poles this year fair and square againts lewis, not rosbergs fault, thats down to lewis, as for the race, barring reliability problums and dodgy pitstops it should be a great battle between the 2, its a fifty fifty call, a bit disappointing at the williams, I suppose they needed dry qually, but should be storming in the race, a good 3rd for seb, alonso his usual consistent self, barring the mercs, who will disappear, it should be a great race for the last spot on the podium


Make all the excuse you want but the fact was look at Rosbrg's lap! it was slow and steady and scared to go near any apex, this car is overwhelmingly good and yet we have a couple of overrated drivers both constantly trying to throw the championship away.


How did Rosberg not win this pole fair and square?

Rosberg drove fast - Hammilton choked

Thats pretty fair and square to me.


Brake issue or not - 2nd on the grid is better than being at the back or starting from the pit-lane!

Incredibly, this is Lewis first front row start since Canada!

Anyway, keep it clean and tidy into the 1st corner lads! I've posted this earlier, but I think if you're going to have a standing start at Spa, the old downhill pit start into Eau Rogue is better than doing a clutch start and then to have whack on the brakes - with a full tank of fuel remember - into the tight fiddly La Source. That's just asking for trouble...............

I hope I'm wrong, but 9 times out of 10 there's some sort of incident into La Source. Remember 2012?


Indeed. As I said in a previous post on another thread, poles are nice, and it's definitely been too long for Lewis to notch one up, but what is absolutely essential are front rows. And he's got that today. He won from 2nd in 2010. Since 2005, the race has been won from pole 3x, from 2nd 4x, and from 6th 1x (from 8 races).

Haven't we all been wanting for one of the Mercedes drivers to pass the other for the win? And not just at the start, like in Bahrain.

Let's hope there's no incident at turn 1 that wrecks the race as a spectacle. Grosjean's idiocy at the start in 2012 took out two of the title challengers, and was terribly cruel to Sauber (Perez out from P4, and Kobayashi thrown to the back after starting P2).


Well Spa has had the biggest first corner incident probably ever... just ask David Coulthard about it.


He still probably has nightmares about that!


I do agree with you. I went into the season supporting Hamilton vs Rosberg (seeing how bad Ferrari was and having no chance to see my favorite team challenging for the win)….but Rosberg gain my respect and I am starting to believe that Hamilton might be a bit over-rated. Talented, but lacking something to be on par with greatest drivers.


I'd like to see ROS take the WC this year because I think HAM needs to realise that he's one of the best, not the best... as amazing as he is, he just doesn't walk on water...


How many races did Rosberg win before this season ? How many did Hamilton win ? Rosberg is a very good driver with and OUTSTANDING CAR, Hamilton is an OUTSTANDING DRIVER with an almost outsanding car. I do not like Toto Wolf body language when Lewis is faster in practice and qualis, it changes when Rosberg is faster. There is a hidden agenda between these two.


I think it is quite clear that Hamilton did have a brake issue in Q3. It was self evident that something wasn't quite right because having been dominant suddenly in better conditions he was struggling, and that being the case he did well to be just two tenths behind his team mate. As to how it came about I suspect it was due to tempering the brakes in treacherous conditions. Anyway should be fixed for the race. I was surprised at the margin Mercedes had and I wonder what upgrades they brought, but it should be noted that this is a circuit where power and traction count, but further surprisingly it was in the wet and one wonders what the margin is in the dry. Beyond that I hope it's a dry race.


That's because he is both weak minded and a prima Donna ... He might might have a tenth on Rosberg, but Nico makes up for it with being almost as fast as Hamilton and being constantly more concistant. Let ham get into his excuses... As DC mentioned.... Hamilton was on charge of those brakes. He didn't manage them he got out driven by Rosberg once again. Rosberg is a much more complete driver than Hamilton. Full stop.


Tim OK Rosberg put a final last lap in as the circuit was improving, but before then Hamilton had dominated as he did in Q2, and would have done in Q3 had it not been for a glazed brake disc. Timesheets show what was done over a period but not how it was done and what the prevailing conditions were. Not to take anything away form Rosberg as his Q3 laps were solid. Always a tricky circuit as it can be dry in one area and wet in another, but I'm hoping for a dry race.


Hamilton dominant in Q1 and Q2? Maybe my understanding of the time sheets are wrong then...


Agree, 2 seconds advantage over the rest of the field? I don't think even Ferrari in their pomp from about 2001 to the end of 2004 ever had that huge gap over anyone else.


Lotterer out-qualifying Ericson should be an embarrassment to those who write and receive the cheques that keep him there.


More interesting was Lotterer confirming something I've suspected for awhile... F1 cars have lousy downforce and cornering capability compared to LMP.

While the Caterham isn't exactly the class of the field, the slowest F1 car really ought to be faster than the fastest LMP.



Makes sense as the LMP cars are all wing, look at the front and rear wings on those things - and that's not even looking in-between. Remember, this is the class of car that Weber took flight in thanks to rear down force. So it makes sense that it would be better into turns than 2014 F1.


Saw that, yes. F1 has managed to hold on to the perception or "tag" that it's the pinnacle of motorsport.

kenneth chapman

@ rob O1...i think perhaps you have misread lotterers' comments. he actually said that the LMP1 car was faster in the corners/he could drive the car harder through the corners. no where did i see him say that the audi R18 was faster on a full lap than the caterham. that would be stupid comment to make and lotterer is not stupid.


The Caterham is still faster than any LMP1 car, to the tune of over 5 seconds per lap around Spa.


Caterham is faster than the fastest LMP1 car, at Spa in May the best an LMP1 car could do was a 1:59 and over the whole week a sub 2min lap was achieved only ONCE, now in FP3 the Caterham managed a 1:54.2, over 5secs quicker than the Porsche 919 and that was in FP3 and a drying track, I'd bet this Caterham would do a 1:51 on a rubbered in bone dry track in quali, so no LMP1 cars are not that quick.

So even current F1 cars doesn't have "lousy cornering capability compared to LMP", F1 cars are over 12secs a lap quicker than the fastest LMP1 cars and that's with the Toyota having almost 1000hp, imagine F1 cars with bigger brakes and 1000hps.


Apparently the F1 car brakes earlier than the WEC car, as the WEC car has more downforce


"who said he had suffered with a brake issue in the wet session."

Another excuse.


Yeah.. right up there with "my brake just exploded" and "my car's on fire".

Hamilton's such a slacker.


@Nick, it amazes me how people will remember things the way they want to. Rosberg wasn't long gone when Lewis had the problem with dirt in his eye in Monaco. Hamilton was 0.691s behind Nico at lap 62 (of 78), just three laps before dirt got in his eye. Throughout that race, he was able to close up to Rosberg at will. On lap 65, he lost 2.3 seconds, and that was basically it.

Lewis' race pace at Monaco was strong, and better than Rosberg's. Nico was saved by the SC coming out when it did that day, denying Lewis any shot of jumping him at the pit stops, which is the only realistic way to jump a sister car at Monaco.


Or how bout 'There's something in my eye'...

Clearly it wasn't Rosberg in his eye - he was LOOOONG gone!


You mean like engine failure or break failure?


Looks like the best 6 divers on the grid filling the top 6 spots.

Maybe, not in the correct order, but will be a good race tomorrow.

The correct order is obviously subjective as always 😉


Maybe it's a question of confidence on brakes, maybe he's not handling pressure so well. Hamilton is quicker and Rosberg gets most of poles. Pressure is high, but let's hope he still can win tomorrow...


Lewis can't drive in the wet, he said as much in the post qualifying interview this afternoon. Never has been able to. But he's still a great driver!


Where exactly did he say that?


Spa 2008?

I'm no fan of Lewis but that was truly heroic stuff.


If i recall correctly, Ham took pole from Ros in Malaysa in pouring conditions by over one second.



He finished over a minute ahead of the next car, and at some stages was lapping at 3 seconds per lap faster than anyone else?

Not good enough for you?

And against Button he was often almost comically faster in the wet.


Do you have any more jokes?

What about Silverstone 2008!?


Ha ha that made me laugh.

Lewis is probably the fastest in the wet, do you not remember Silverstone 2008? Class above.

kenneth chapman

@ roboi......in fact if i recall correctly the acciodent between vettel and webber was put down to hamilton weaving all over the track. that was going to be webbers maiden F1 win, given the speed that he was closing down hamilton. vettel also broke down in the garage and was in 'tears' after that little episode. what? did someone call him a wuss?


Fuji 2007? He had to make a teenager crash into the back of Webber for him to have a easy route to victory, but before the safety car both Webber and vettel were closing in on him. Monza 2008? I remember a 20 year old Vettel in a inferior car beat the best car in the wet that season (McLaren) quite comfortably, where did Hamilton finish again?


Agreed, HAM can definitely drive in the wet. Other HAM wet master class races confirm the observation: Fuji 2007 and Monza 2008


In 2014 you still talking about 2008 when the mclaren was the best car to be in, in the wet in 07 and 08.

How many races did he win in the wet against Button?


Another break issue for Lewis? Well he is going to have a hard time tomorrow not just with Rosberg but also with Vettel, Alonso and Ricciardo. And again rain could play a role tomorrow as well.

kenneth chapman

it actually is 'brake' not 'break' anne.


don't be so pedantic


And Anne should have a capital letter 😉


If we are all going to be pedants, it's actually 'Anne' not 'anne', Kenneth.


It's always nice seeing the drivers fight their machines especially at a undulating track like Spa.

Congrats to the Mercedes team on their first 1-2 since Canada, it would appear on engine based tracks the team is about 2 seconds faster.

However, I was surprised Rosberg got the job done for wet qualies haven't been his strongest.

Also surprised Red Bull ended up being the second fastest team but I guess the wet conditions played into their favour >>> but we wait for dry conditions to get confirmation of this.

Alonso did well to finish ahead of both Williams and Mclarens and places himself in a nice position to avoid first lap incidents and thus score some good points as usual.

I think Williams will be disappointed with the performance for the rhetoric going into the weekend was giving Mercedes a run for their money but now it's up to the drivers to make the team proud on race day.

Likewise Mclaren didn't put in a good showing and with average grid slots, points maybe tricky as Mclaren have tended to score big once they qualified high up.

Special mention to Bianchi for making it through Q1, in my book he has done enough to secure a top drive.

Also special mention to Grosjean for maintaining his record of having the best qualifying stat against a teammate in the field currently 11 to 1

Last but not least special mention to new kid of the block Lotterer for getting one over his teammate at the first time of asking.


Bianchi will be announced as a Ferrari driver within the next 18 months - and on merit too.


I hope Ferrari gives another big cheque to RAI and he's gets the drive next year to learn what he can from ALO (before he retires or goes to Williams or McLaren).


RE Goferet and Random 79: 12 odd months from now, you watch, Bianchi will be confirmed as the Scuderia's Knight in Nomex Armour.

Perhaps he's the "chosen one" who Ferrari can base themselves around to revive their World Championship aspirations. Make sense - they did it with Niki Lauda and Michael, so third time lucky with Bianchi?


I still reckon he should stay at Marussia.

It might be frustrating for him right now but with a little patience his F1 future with Ferrari should be fairly secure. I might be completely off the mark, but I think that moving to another team (essentially abandoning Ferrari) would jeopardise that.


I would put him in a Sauber. Can't do bad than what Guti is currently doing.

Get some perks from Ferrari on the engine side to have their protege in the team.


Sorry James, perhaps there' some confusion: what I meant was assuming Kimi's contract is water-tight for 2015, Bianchi will stay at Marussia and then this time next year be confirmed as a Ferrari driver for 2016.

We all know it will happen sooner or later - why else would Ferrari pour lots of Euros into a drivers career? It certainly isn't out of charity!

Actually, "farming" out a driver - i.e letting him race in a small team while the bigger team whose sponsoring him picks up the bills - is actually a very good way of getting young blades experience of Formula 1 and then a couple of years later promoting them to the "big boys" division.

Apologises for that term "farm team", but I'm sure everyone knows what I mean even if it does sound a bit cliched.


@ Gaz Boy

That would be fantastic, hope Marco takes a chance on Bianchi the way Red Bull did with Ricciardo.


Where should he drive next season then?



Glazed brake on Lewis car. Hope this doesn't mean any dodgy brake issues on Sunday.

Hope Lewis gets a good start & golden balls is pushed into 3rd place by Vettel.

Come on Lewis no more hiccups from his side of the garage.

On another note with the Russians invading Ukrainian again with there so called military lorries painted white & not waiting for checks by Red Cross. Surely this should be a sign not to have a race in Russia.

If heavy artillery & weapons are being transported on the sly (which no doubt is happening). How on earth can the F.I.A justify the presence of F1 in Russia. It can only represent Bernie having no care other than a big fat bank account of Roubles. It does show he is a unscrupulous individual. I can remember when F1 raced in South Africa when Apartheid was in full swing. Bahrain were still doctors are facing death penalty for helping injured people.China Abu Dabi were asians servants are used like slaves.

Seems like Bernie loves regions were Amnesty International & UN deem corrupt & have poor human rights issues oh not to mention Azerbaijan. I assume of Pol Pott was alive we'd be racing there too.


You forgot to mention they race in the USA.....the most corrupt war mongering nation on planet earth.....


Ok let's be political then with fairness mate. Based on what you have written there should be no race in UK, USA & AUS for invading & essentially destroying Iraq for so called "weapon & mass destruction". Or in any of the countries that supported G. Bush & T. Blair's riot over nothing. Now there is more terrorism, suicide bombing, civilian killing than the world has ever seen. UK, USA & Aus to take the biggest blame for this worldwide chaos. And these three countries killed more civilians, women & children than terrorists for the name of protecting the world. They didn't even hide their convoys full of explosives!!! So, please F1 has politics within itself anyway, Russia is a fine place for any sport. We are not cheering anybody's bad actions, just want to enjoy nice clean fast race in a great track. And for Lewis, he need to accept being beaten fair & square. Enough of blaming the rest of the world for his own issues. That's like G. W. Bush himself.


If they go to America with the stunts they pull they will go anywhere. Remind me who did the invading that has caused all the mess in Iraq?


I could swear US and Britain have been constantly bombing and attacking countries all around the world for the last 20-30 years. For no good reason either. And yet, they use nice euphemisms to make it seem like it's all not a big deal. Like all those people dying in bombings are just some numbers, just some statistics.

War in Ukraine is not against Ukraine. Ukraine lost its chance of freedom when US-sponsored "freedom fighters" overthrew Ukraine's corrupted president in a violent, armed conflict, bordering on civil war. Only then did Putin decide to react, because Ukraine is too close to allow US to run its puppet regime there. All in all, there's no Ukraine anymore. It's just a territory that will be controlled by either Russia or US. I'd personally prefer it to be Russia, for the sake of the balance and because of the fact it's on their border, and most importantly, Russian allied states tend to have much more stable governments. Wherever US interfered to "help", the devastation and explosion of violence ensued.

kenneth chapman

@ brace....your comment re'US sponsored freedom fighters overthrew etc etc etc' could you please post the source for this 'enlightened insight into the genesis of the current conflict'?


"It’s just a territory that will be controlled by either Russia or US. I’d personally prefer it to be Russia"

Would you prefer Britian be controlled by Russia also?


I applaud your informed and unbiased comment. Bravo!


Russians invading Ukraine? How much you really know about it? Are you even close to these events? People are so naive and will swallow pretty much anything that politicians and media will push to support propaganda. Ukraine is nothing but a battlefield and it is a story between US and Russia.


When a Russian humanitarian convey drives into another country without permission and straight into a stronghold held by pro-Russian rebels you can understand how dodgy it appears... the truth is the first casualty of war...


How close are you? You seem to have it all figured out?


Well said Gazboy...Seems like Bernie is back to being 'Darth Siddius' & bringing his darkside contracts with him. That man could probably squeeze blood from a stone. I'm sure he sits in a regeneration chamber like Darth Vader 😉

He'll outlive the Ebola virus 😀 or pay it to go away 😉


Mr E was interviewed by the BBC, and he was 100% insistent that Formula 1 would roll into Sochi for the weekend of 10-12 October this year.

Eddie Jordan on the BBC was also pretty insistent that the BBC live coverage will take place at Sochi this year as well.

If Mr E says F1 is going to Russia, then it's pretty final in that decision. Like Pkara, I have my own doubts about hosting an event that is Mr Putin's vanity project, but Mr E says he has a signed contract for F1 to go to Sochi and that he intends to honour that agreement.

At the end of the day, what TV spectators such as ourselves think is irrelevant when it comes to the murky world of contracts in grand prix racing: sad, but true. I've resigned myself to the fact that F1 is going to Russia, I don't agree with that decision, but to a certain extent the teams and television companies don't have any choice in the final decision.

Mr E does.


Why do call him golden balls?

kenneth chapman

@ MSTA....they don't. that nomenclature belongs to 'the golden child' by default.


Because he has the gall to be ahead of Hamilton in the standings.


On the Lewis front, I'm sure he'll try his best! Just get that clutch bite point correct first off...........

As for the political front, yes, it's sad that Formula 1 dips its toe into dubious waters. I know grand prix racing is a "world championship" but for "world" read "western world". The tension in the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and China should persuade F1 to stick to its heartlands in Europe, the New World, Oceania and Japan.

May common sense prevail.


I'd be happy with a 16 round season in Europe - the WC thing is impressive but perhaps the World means drivers from all parts of the world, not flying all around the world. What a waste of money.


RE DC Coret: In all fairness, the grand prix at Texas and Silverstone have nothing to do with Bush/Blair, where as the GP Sochi is Mr Putin's personal vanity project, as the GP's in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi to a certain extent.

I think Pkara has a valid point in that ethics have small bearing on finances, at least in the world of Mr E. That's the point - Mr E's world is a bubble, seemingly disconnected with the reality of the violent flux that the planet in 2014 is going through.


Yeah, because Europe and the New a World have no blood on their hands. Paging Tony Blair and George W. Bush. Illegal invasions and torture are fine when it's the west doing it in the name of freedom. And of course, the British Empire was nothing but fair, tolerant and peaceful.

***Canadian living in America.


Come again C63 and buzzzzzzz? 🙂



Hey, can you tell me why they call it 63? It’s still a 5.5L right?...

Not entirely sure why you are asking me, perhaps you should address your question to Mercedes. The engine in a C63 is a normally aspirated V8 with a cylinder capacity of 6208cc, so not quite 6300cc - mind you, motor manufacturers often take licence in such matters and tend to round things up.

With regard to your original comment, I'm afraid the waters are no nearer to clearing and remain muddied - perhaps you would be so kind as to clarify?

As for you claiming to be not worried about Vettels performance this season, I have to say I am surprised. I know the Red Bulls are not going to win either championship this season and therefore it doesn't matter, in that sense, but even so. Surely you would have wanted/expected the current 4x WDC to be a little more impressive against the teams #2 (you said Vettel is #1 in team).

I know I would. Hey ho, I guess you just have lower standards than me (and many others) or perhaps you are just trying to put on a brave face 😉


Not sure what you mean - are you referring to the fact the 4x WDC finally out qualified his teammate? I suppose , sooner or later it had to happen.


OK, my hopes are back!


C63, those darn issues early on with Renault are really costing them. Even if MB has reliability issues they can't take advantage of it as RBR are in worse engine situation to MB drivers.

I wanted the 4 timers to defend, and while RBR are only ones to win, this is not the type of defence I hoped for. I had moments where math got my hopes up, but I was foolish - there was no hope.

Google G55 Car and Driver and read the "Exit Interview" of a G55. Very funny, and covers this 63/55 thing.


I was actually pleased to see this. Hopefully RIC has a better race set-up/strategy but a 4xWDC deserves respect and is a skilled driver.


What if Vettel pulls up to Rosberg on start and they squeeze Lewis far and wide into the hairpin. Thoughts?


Actually, since he has 4 WDCs already, I'm not at all worried about Vettel this season. Thought you knew what I was talking about, but bi-turbo is still in service apparently.

Hey, can you tell me why they call it 63? It's still a 5.5L right?


Gazza, you were saying? Are your lips glazed together? 🙂


Riccardio went way off the track before the last chicane on his quickest Q3 lap, surely that time must get deleted?

kenneth chapman

@ nickh...correct me if i'm wrong but that was ricci's last lap i think and even if he did pick up a few tenths over what he had already posted he gained no advantage in grid position as a result.


@Mbraz. Yes I saw a lot of drivers going off track but I didn't see a lot of drivers going off and then improving their time. To be fair I was having lunch at the time so I maybe missed some that did!

@Kenneth No he definitely did vault up the order from about 8th to 4th/5th at the time.

If it was Vettel I'm sure all of you would have the same opinion 🙂


That is amazing that out of all the people that went off track you picked out Dan. There were plenty of drivers going off track and not one of them got there laps deleted.


He did, but looking at it at the time it seemed like he might have lost a tenth or two anyway - it wasn't exactly the smoothest exit to a corner I've ever seen.

I have a feeling that if not for that he would have matched -if not beaten - Vettel's time.

Regardless, those three wise men above me are right - wet conditions, stuff goes sideways.



He could well do, but as far as I'm concerned I'm happy if Vettel can get every pole position from now until the end of time so long as it's Ricciardo that keeps winning the actual races 🙂


Second that 🙂


The Magi are alive and writing on the JAF1 website!

Let's face it, the FIA and FOM could do with at least Three Wise Men..............preferably one to replace a small chap with a pudding basin haircut, and the other two to do the production/direction of the live TV feed which actually concentrates on the racing rather than the pit lane eye candy.


So after the demise of Vettel and all his problems all season in quali, race, winter testing and practice sessions he is still only 7-5 down in quali against Ricciardo (better than 8-4), am I the only one in seeing that Vettel might still beat Ricciardo in the qualifying battle this season especially if Vettel goes up a gear like he usually does in 2nd half of a season?


"Extenuating circumstances"

(Standing water, spray, low grip).


Wasn't it same for everybody then?


Not if he lost time, if he gained an advantage by doing so, he'll probably will. Sadly I haven't seen the footage so I'm not able to tell what the "(dis)advantage is.


Rosberg left the track every lap. As did Ham in at least Q1. Its wet, stuff happens.


It does. There's no rule saying 'it's wet you can go off track, stuff happens' though


Are they able to fix this despite parc ferme?


Clearly there are plenty of people who know absolutely NOTHING about brakes and just assume that when Hamilton say's he had a brake problem that automatically means the team has given him faulty equipment.

If indeed he did suffer from glazed brakes then it's HAMILTON'S FAULT!

Clearly he didn't bed them in correctly as I highly doubt he overheated them.


that's me. Thanks for the explaination.


Yep. Plenty of precedent. Its a safety issue anyway.


He's certainly had the luck, but Rosberg continues to do no wrong.


Monaco and Spa - 2 places we say belong to fast drivers and Rosberg took both Poles. If he closes the sale tomorrow for both wins, only one thing left to do this year.


KRB, I don't care really. Just pointing out facts. This is Spa, not Monaco. Pole is nice, but not nearly as important. We'll have a fight today. Lewis will be hard on the toys again - which means we should have continuation of action from Hungary. That I care about!


Spa I'll give you, but at the risk of opening a can of worms there's no way I'm counting Monaco as a clean victory for obvious reasons 🙂

This was also impressive because it was in the wet, and previously Rosberg has been solidly behind Hamilton in all wet qualifying (when Lewis has bothered to finish his laps...) so fair play to him, he keeps putting himself in the best position.

We'll see what happens tomorrow, will we actually get a duel for the lead that doesn't fizzle out? If anywhere can deliver it surely Spa can.


Sebee, are you a full-on Rosberg fan now? He snagged pole, congrats to him for that. He deserved it.

Nico needs to seal the deal tomorrow ... his pole-to-win ratio isn't all that great this year: only 2 out of 6. It's even 2/5 if you remove DNFs.


Kimi needs to beat Alonso here tomorrow to claw back some dignity. It's here or never I reckon.

kenneth chapman

@ glenb....as bob dylan said in his immortal hit, 'dignitys' left the room' & ' at one time he coulda been the champion of the world' la di la,' and the all white jury agreed'.......something like that or have i got it mixed up?


You have it mixed up.


The RAI story is over. Ferrari needs to put him out of his misery. Again.


Not so Sebee.

I'll admit I've never been a fan of Vettel and I've enjoyed watching Ricciardo beating him this year, but I wouldn't say I've jumped on the Vettel is rubbish bandwagon.

I would say that Button is a driver who needs his car to his liking, but on his day I reckon he's still as good as the best of them.

As for Kimi he is still one of my favourite drivers, but can you tell me honestly that he's doing a better job this year than what Bianchi might do with his car?

And finally Hamilton - he's quick, no doubt, but I can't say I've ever been a huge fan.

All I said to start this was that I think Ferrari should give Bianchi a shot and I stand by it.


You guys are brutal. Guy forgets how to drive in a blink with you guys. Vettel, Button, Kimi...all has-beens. Only Lewis knows how to drive?

Telling you...drivers late on brakes don't like these electric doohickies.


Kimi is a busted flush..................


I have to agree - it's getting a bit late in the day for the "Kimi will improve" line.

I've said several times now that Bianchi should stick with Marussia until Ferrari are ready to take him on, but here's something I said late last year in regards to Ricciardo: "Somebody give that boy a Red Bull".

They did, and I think it turned out pretty well, so now I'm saying in regards to Bianchi: "Somebody give that boy a Ferrari".

Are you listening Luca?


Great job by Rosberg and with Lewis right next to him, we should have an exciting race tommorow. Kimi looked promising in practice but didn't deliver when it counted. Still could be a threat in the race tommorow. My star of the day though was Littered. Embarrassing for Ericson.

Honourable mention to Hamilton's excuses for being plain slower than Nico.


LOT is a class act.


A true champion is one who delivers when it matters most. I am a big fan of Hamiltons' but I must say, his glass mental is letting down his lavish talent, giving the edge to the more controlled Rosberg. And the winghnings aren't doing any good. I am afraid, this championship is Rosbergs' to lose because he is mentally stronger.



Interesting that you believe Rosberg would have made it through the entire field without contact. He couldn't make it past one driver without hitting them today - perhaps its not as easy as you thought after all.


When Rosberg starts from the last row on the grid and the next race from the pit lane (through no fault of his own, with mechanical failures), we will see how mentally strong he is.



When Rosberg found himself down to something like 4th or 5th, after a fluffed start at China, he didn't look too impressive. In Hungary, he also made very heavy weather of overtaking. Rosberg is plenty fast, out front in clear air, but when he has to mix it in close wheel to wheel situations he just doesn't cut the mustard. Dismissing Hamiltons recent drives from the back of the field demonstrates a lack of understanding, on your part, of just how difficult that was. Here is a link to a GP2 race, where Hamilton overtakes a great many drivers (following a spin) - you might find it interesting to watch.



With the best car in the field by 2 seconds a lap I think he will do just fine - and not ruin the bodywork in the process.


Yes I agree. Its very hard to come back the way he has. I though he would have been reduced to a mess by now but he hasn't. He's a star. No doubt. But, so is the berg. Way better than I thought. How good was Schumacher! He still had it at 42!!!


Still!! Rosberg's the average driver!


Huh? Anyone who's watched F1 would know that Rosberg isn't "average". He's a very good driver. I don't think he's as good as Hamilton, but he's been having a great year this season.


I was saying after the first four or five races that Hamilton had become finally the complete driver, and had closed partially the gap that separates him from Fernando Alonso. He is not far from the overall pure speed of Alonso, I mean the average speed in all different conditions (different cars, tyres, weather, one lap pace, 1 stint pace, etc). As I say, he is close, the closest of all them, but not quite there. So I thought he had closed the gap regarding consistency and traffic and overtaking management. There was still a not big gap in overall average speed and a bigger one in terms of race management, the ability to read the race, an special ability that Alonso has which I think is unique in the history of the sport.

So as I said, I thought Hamilton had partially closed the gap, and he was very close. However, now I am sad to see he still makes mistakes, and doesn't seem as comfortable as Alonso on the edge. He still lacks that ultimate consistency. I am wondering if he is going to get ever there. I really hope so, because I really want to see a fight between Hamilton and Alonso for the championship, with a version of Hamilton similar to that of the beginning of the year.

I think if he wins this year, he'll get there, and if he does (and Ferrari gives Alonso a good car) we could see something very special, maybe unique in the history of the sport.


Well, I'm a Hamilton fan ... I don't think many Hamilton fans have dismissed Nico out of hand. Those that do - like I said - haven't been watching the last few seasons of F1. Nico is a very solid driver.


I was being sarcastic! I am a Rosberg fan! 😛


what a surprise lewis made a mistake

hulk biggest disappointment


FI were vert confident in their long runs race pace, but coming from 13th and 18th will be a tough ask. Not impossible, but difficult.

Having said that, perhaps being at the back of the grid for the Hulk is actually a benefit in disguise - we all know the mayhem that usually happens at the 1st corner!


Started to think......why there is a common opinion that Hamilton is better than Rosberg? I really do not see it this year...:-)


Ham 2 dnfs ros 1 dnf_ ham 2 major qually dnfs, ros 0 qually issues, and ham is only 11 points behind, reverse the problums and lewis would be well clear with one hand on the wdc, all in all with the issues ham has had to rosberg, he's doing ok, when he's had no probs, he's consistently been the quicker driver, its time all the anti ham fans to put things into perspective, if the issues had been reversed all we would here is , lucky hamilton, but all we get is prost like, steady like rosberg, who they all forget has made so many mistakes this year, and can you imagine the uproar if it had been lewis in Monaco bringing out the yellow flag to stop rosberg getting pole, this site would still be banging on about the cheat hamilton..


When are people going to stop thinking the quickest drivers are necessarily the best? Hamilton is faster than Alonso but has NEVER outpointed him and in better cars most of those years I may add.

Yes, he has such bad luck (as Vettel) but he has made qualy blunders in at least 2 races. He was close to disaster in Hungary trying to get to the front too quickly - Button said it right - he overreacts and does silly things when under pressure.

Quite frankly, as much of a whiner as Vettel is, I think he has handled his misfortune better and will prove the naysayers wrong from here on out.

HAM is still is the better driver and in good shape to win the WDC, but I'm beginning to wonder if he has the emotional stability to handle it.


if ifs and buts were candy and nuts ….. If only Hamilton fans could take their hands of their WDCs and deal with reality - we wouldn't have to listen to their delusional dreams of a fairer, pro-Hamilton result every week.


damn right, at end of quali I reflected that on equal fortunes Lewis could be maybe 40 points clear by now at least. . he's done the hard work but missed the rewards. But as the saying goes you make your own luck and somehow he's got to get on top of the fortune fairy who's been a bit fickle; lets hope she comes back for the rest of the year, 1F she does the WDC should go his way, and thats a F1 1F if ever there was one.

Exactly what is a glazed disk anyway?

Good luck Lewis!


You fail to mention Rosberg's lost points with car issues that didn't result in a DNF, in China he had debris stuck in his front wing, couldn't challenge for win, in Canada he had the same problem Hamilton had but managed it better but still lost the win, in Hungary his brake by wire failed and had to push the brake bias all the way to the front, that coupled with the safety car cost him the win, then of course the biggest wammy at Silverstone where Hamilton took that win when Rosberg was leading, if it wasn't for all the issues Rosberg would be well in the lead!


This is a very good point and one I asked HAM about this evening. He feels positive, given the problems and the gap after the problems he has had


Because Lewis has beat Rosberg on track nearly every time.

Rosberg is ahead, because Lewis has had so many issues.


Nico is seriously quick in all conditions. He owned Lewis again today.


Yes seriously quick Nico that could only qualify 10-10 against a 43 year old Schumacher in 2012 and also the same Nico that was smashed by Webber in 2006 at Williams, maybe its because Hamilton isn't as good as the brits try to make out he is, after all Hamilton was beaten by a 'slow' Jenson Button.

kenneth chapman

hahaha a glazed brake!!!!....the dog ate my homework.


Oh Kenneth, how can someone who does so much good with all his Vettel-bashing also do so much wrong?


Interestingly, I don't think Lewis has ever been entirely comfortable - in terms of the "feel" - with the brakes on his Mercedes steed ever since he joined the team in early 2013. I think his preferred brakes are only available to McLaren - contractual issues I think.

Perhaps James or Matt Meadows can investigate the brake set up - both literally and manufacturers set up - at Mercedes, because while it hasn't hugely slowed Lewis down, a slight lack of feel for his car's braking feel has certainly nullified a lot of Lewis advantage compared to his Macca career. A lot of Lewis lap time advantage at McLaren, especially in qualifying was down to his ability to brake late, yes, but crucially, not to brake AS MUCH as his opponents.

Like I mentioned, perhaps James and Matt Meadows can investigate this issue, because I have a feeling Lewis is still a bit niggly over his brakes feel. I may be wrong, but it could explain why he has been outqualified in a straight fight when you would have expected Lewis to wipe the floor with Rosberg Junior on a Saturday afternoon.

It's all about the feel................with the left foot of course!


How many years are we going to be talking that Lewis is never entirely comfortable with his breaks? Do you think Alonso is very comfortable with his Ferrari? You make things work for yourself and find a way around problems to be the best out there. If I think about my work environment, it is the same - you never feel comfortable and it is rarely the case that things work only to my strengths, but I have to find a way to be the best out there considering everything I have at my disposal. Period.

Today Rosberg was better and today Rosberg made his breaks work for him, Lewis did not.


Yes I think you are right with this. This years car while much improved (in terms of brake feel) over last year probably still isn't exactly what Lewis wants, and loses a bit of time because of it. Of course it also depends whether Rosberg would derive any improvement from using the same set up. All that said I think Rosberg has been underrated for a long time. It should also be remembered that car characteristics suit particular drivers, and that is no better demonstrated by Vettel's turn of fortune against Ricciardo this year. The reason why Schumacher was so dominant was because he had Ferrari build him precisely the car he wanted with all the most suited components including tyres. Given all that driver comparisons are fraught with difficulty. Anyway it's going to be an interesting race.


Akebono calipers are the ones he had at McLaren, which he can't have at Mercedes b/c it's exclusive to McLaren, as you said.


The team said it was a cold brake. My experience with glazed pads is from overheating, not underheating. Was it hot or was it cold? Cant be both.... Come to think of it, it wouldn't matter. Lewis can drive around problems 😉


Two thumbs up! Perhaps his canine buddies Roscoe and Coco took a leak on his wheel....


coulthard was surprised that there was so much steam coming off the trees. please someone tell him the trees are living things generating heat while carrying out transpiration.


They are also exposed to the sun's rays just like everything else, but I expect it was just more evident than usual. Water was also evaporating from the track in good measure.


Maybe Hamilton should stick one or two of those trees next to his brakes, help warm them up a bit? 🙂


I still think DC has flackbacks to 1998 when he a) wiped out half the field at the 1st start and b) in the re-started race had a bit of "aggro" with Michael! In those instances, its understandable he sometimes gets things a bit wayward at Spa.

Got to hand it to Mr Tight Trousers, to completely write off half the F1 field in a matter of 10 odd seconds is quite an achievement..................


Random, don't give Maldonado any ideas................

Mind you, a couple of years back, the Romain Empire in his wild and wooly era was having a crack at DC's World Title.................


Kind of makes Maldonado look like an amateur 🙂


He is an ex F1 driver....


is it a good idea he sticks to talking about f1?


I do agree with you. I went into the season supporting Hamilton vs Rosberg (seeing how bad Ferrari was and having no chance to see my favorite team challenging for the win)....but Rosberg gain my respect and I am starting to believe that Hamilton might be a bit over-rated. Talented, but lacking something to be on par with greatest drivers.


Needless to say title seems very convenient..Lewis couldnt fight back when it was needed..that sounds familiar!


Credit where credit is due, a qualifying master class from Rosberg.

Perhaps it was actually Hamilton's brakes suffering from the extra weight of his oversized watch which made the difference today (check the weigh in footage). Probably worth about three tenths a lap!

And why was the world feed giving us pictures of people in the garage in the closing seconds of a qualy session?


Because the director is a [choose your own expletive].

We want to see cars on track - if I wanted to see celebrities I'd read a magazine.


Agree, you get the impression the directors/producers are chasing F1's image instead of chasing the cars via the cameras.

Another irritant is just before the start when the director pans to a shot of Christian Horner or Ron Dennis, or whatever TP is around. Who wants to say a sweating TP tensed up when the race is about to start? What does it prove? That TP's get nervous before a start? Who doesn't?


Vettel delivered...... Lol.

Has the beast awaken, if all go's well and he finishes ahead of DR what will it mean?

Kimi getting closer to Alonso? - chances of him having issues come race day.

Hamilton's one win at this track was from p2 ....... An omen?


VET will come on like gangbusters as his confidence is increasing even through the bad luck so we will see what Dan is made of. I think VET will consistently out race him the remaining races but I've been wrong before:)

Kimi still one second down on Alonso - I think most Kimi supporters have faced the facts.

kenneth chapman

@ jon...who will finish up with the most points at the end? vettel really does have to put in some incredible races if he is beat daniel.he needs to outpoint ricci by approx 5 points every race to finish up 2 points ahead.......i think. don't forget that in the analysis of the YTD daniel has had his points deleted in race one, a DNF in race two and a ten place grid penalty in race three which just about negates vettel's issues over the same period.

ricci has nothing to prove but vettel certainly does. excuse my rampant bias hahaha


All the more impressive that RBR had trimmed the car with low dowforce for the race, like last year. Eau Rouge will have been a thriller in the wet today for VET and RIC


Well It's actually a low downforce track! Obviously a compromise has to be met, but straightline speed has proven more important than grip in the twisty section. Hamilton had a higher downforce set up last year and got wiped out by Vettel in the race as his car was not fast enough along the straighter sections

kenneth chapman

i would've loved to be a viewer at eau rouge watching both red bulls transit!!!! salutations for just getting through are in order.

a pity that ricciardo had his moment at blanchimont otherwise he would've clinched third and beaten vettel. it was wet and merde happens. nevertheles he is is still, along with vettel and alonso, in a position to attack and given the race pace that DR has it should be a great fight for the bottom step.


James was Vettel carrying more down force than Ricciardo?

I saw some footage of the 2 Redbull cars and it looked like Vettels had more down force.

Can you confirm?


Curiously, last year Fernando ran his car with skinny wings and yet despite being on light downforce was delighted with the handling of his car as he battled through the field to finish 2nd.It was the same in 2012 when Jenson also ran a skinny wing set up and was thrilled with the balance of his car to the extent he dominated qualifying and the race.

Strange - you would taking off downforce would be detrimental to a car's balance and high speed handling, and yet as Jenson and Fernando have demonstrated, apparently not. How does that work out?

Ah, aerodynamics, the invisible black art of motor sport.


Thanks for pointing that out James, I was just about to comment on the dry weather, top speed setting RB employed.. I wouldn't write RB off yet in this race, but can they make up the gap? Even NL indicated SV shouldn't be written off yet.

Also DR's long run race pace was competitive, splitting the Mercedes. Could be quite interesting and entertaining!

alexander supertramp

Too bad for Lewis, but it's a very long race tomorrow and Spa is an honest track, Lewis or Nico, the fastest tomorrow will come out on top.


Not much talk about Vettel here - he seems to be finding his groove even though his bad luck continued causing him to miss much needed practice. I would say superlative is not too strong a word for todays effort.

Though it means little if RIC beats him (again) tomorrow, If VET follows through and starts accumulating podiums and beating RIC, it will be interesting to see how RIC handles it. I think RIC is going to find beating VET a lot more difficult than the previous races.


2 wins in his first year at RedBull. RIC has done his job this year even if he finishes second to VET for the rest of the season.


Only 2? You're behind the times my friend 😀


You're right - that was an excellent effort by Vettel.



Agreed Ricciardo's off road adventures helped, but I'm just trying to be fair here - If I can praise Ricciardo every time he does well then the least I can do is acknowledge when Vettel does the same.

kenneth chapman

@ random.....yes, vettel put in a good lap but he beat ricci by default owing to daiel's off at blanchimont. no doubt vettel is the improve. not before time though, is it?



Let's face it, Lewis was destroying Nico, then Monaco happened, which totally knocked Lewis out of sync.

If Lewis has no issues tomorrow (unlikely) I can see him easily beating Nico.


" Lewis was destroying Nico" Hmmmmmmmmm

If I remember correctly Nico gave Hamilton the race of his life at Bahrain and then again at Barcelona, hardly "destroying" .


You should also remember Rosberg's car was faster with better set up, and the faster tyres. It is testament to Lewis's skill keeping Rosberg behind.

tyres, tyres, tyres

Nikki Lauda said after qualifying Hamilton didnt listen to his engineers how to warm up his brakes in these conditions properly and thats why he didnt get the best out of his car today. Not a biggie, happens to all of them at some point but 100 % driver error James, no reliabity issue no matter how much you try to paint a different picture to cover up his shortcomings once again after you did the same after the last race. Maybe it is sponsor related again or because he is british but you make an awful lot of questionable excuses lately for a certain Mercedes driver. Have you been taken over by Sky by any chance ?


Absolutely agree with you. It is purely Hamilton's fault and it is Rosberg on top, being faster and more consistent. We might all be surprised by the end of the year that Rosberg is in fact a better driver. And if he continues like this, he is the one who deserves a title.

All I wanted to see this year is a title won because of a driver and not reliability problems. If from now on there are not going to be any reliability problems for Hamilton and Rosberg will still win it, he is a better driver.


If there are no reliability problems between now and season's end and Rosberg wins by fewer than 20-odd points then it wont prove he's the better driver, he'll have just won it because of Hamilton's poor reliability up until now. This was a strong performance from Rosberg but it doesn't magically wipe out what's already happened.


Couldn't agree more! I think James has his Hamilton fan club membership card sitting beside his laptop when he writes some of this stuff.

But it's the same with a lot of British journalists - I'm getting sick to death of it. Every qualifying and every race where Rosberg beats Hamilton all we hear is how Hamilton 'lost pole' or 'lost the race'. It's never 'Nico beat Lewis', oh no!

The headlines on a lot of British F1 sites are the same. When Rosberg get's pole it's 'Rosberg just edges Hamilton to pole' or 'Hamilton issue costs him pole' but when the entitled little princess Hamilton takes pole it's 'Hamilton takes dominant pole' or 'Hamilton unstoppable' or other such nonsense!


with all due respect james is not a natural fan of hamilton. he said so in the past however i suspect he's trying to be supportive for professional reasons and is leaving some holes.

james is certainly not as you describe him. he prefers alonso and we all know alonso is spanish. it's better to draw a conclusion based on more than a single piece of evidence.

kenneth chapman

@ nick, you hit the nail on the head. how true that all is.


If you look in the top right hand corner of your screen, there should be a red box with an X in it. Now, if you can manoeuvre the mouse and hover the pointer over the X - managed that, good - now right click the mouse.

Voila, all your troubles and woes gone 😉


Haha, Tyres is definitly right !!


Lewis Hamilton said he wants to inflict maximum ‘pain' on team-mate Nico Rosberg .... maybe this was his way of doing it 🙂


Pole would be nice, and it's definitely been too long for Lewis to snag one, but if Hamilton wins tomorrow, how much will Rosberg's pole today matter? Puts him firmly in line for the Pole Trophy though!

kenneth chapman

@ clyde....to some people the pain is the 'pleasure'.


Perhaps he's trying to cause the pain of being a celebrity that'll come ROS' way with winning his first WDC over HAM?

HAM: "If you think it's easy being cool a famous and a WDC ROS, you just try it..."

ROS: "I am German. And my Dad was a WDC. I can handle it...bro"


Well done Nico; he beat Lewis fair and square. But , I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow- barring mishaps, I expect Lewis to win.

Now, how about wet weather, changeable conditions maestro being out qualified 1.1 seconds by a rookie?


David Coulthard pointed out that brakes glaze due to driver inputs.True that Hamilton had car problems for 2 qualifying sessions.Neverthless, it is impressive that Rosbeg is 8-4 up against Hamilton who is considered a very fast driver.

My money is still on Hamilton to win the race.Expect him to beat Rosberg at pitstops.

Also hope Red bull doesn't screw up Vettel's strategy tomorrow. Can't see Ricciardo finishing again ahead of Vettel without overtaking him on the track.


hearing strange rumours now and then


Shocking prediction.....................Macca will stick with their current driver line up for 2015 by offering them both a one year extended contract.

Another shocking prediction.................Ferrari will stick with their current line up for 2015........as will Red Bull.............as will Merc..............as will Lotus............

Of course, my guesses are all supposition, but I think for continuity the top teams will stick with their lot for 2015.


I think Button will be one of them, looking that way

kenneth chapman

@ james.....have your ever observed the 'renewable contract lap'. it is a very unique phenomena that when contracts are up for review that the driver in question always seems to be able to conjure up a few tenths that weren't there before???


I think BUT deserves his seat for next year, even if it's only to appease Honda. Imagine the fairy tale... does lightning strike twice?


I'm now bored with every time lewis doesn't get a pole blame is always elsewhere!

alexander supertramp

Not really fair, Lewis is the kind of driver who blames himself easy when performance is missing. He actually tends to do that too often. He took the blame for: Canada, Austria and Silverstone. Perhaps you feel Hockenheim and Hungary were his fault?


Rosberg's speed is causing Hamilton to make mistakes, it can't be easy to handle being with a quicker teammate than himself after all those years of having if his own way.

If I were him I'd forget about qualifying and put all my focus into the long run pace, the car is quick enough for a one-two on any circuit.

IMO Rosberg will win the title, he's as fast if not faster than Lewis and seems to make less mistakes when on the limit.

alexander supertramp

Nico seems to have a slight edge in quali (which between these two fast drivers is a matter of form), but I feel Lewis has a bigger edge during races.



A team mate now who is a faster qualifier! That must hurt after having a team mate for 3 years at Macca who was a faster race driver!

And before you all start, I suggest you do a little homework! Button started BEHIND Hamilton over 75% of races together yet got more podiums. That tells me that Hamilton was by far the better qualifier but Button was the better racer!


Button had three more podiums.

Now, let's count up all the podiums Hamilton lost through no fault of his own (may well be missing some too):

Spain 2010

Malaysia 2012

Spain 2012

Valencia 2012

Singapore 2012

Abu Dhabi 2012

vs Button:

Italy 2012 (pretty sure that's all)

Enough "homework" for you?


Finally someone with some sense talking, however I still have a feeling Hamilton will steal this championship ala 2008, I said it first.


James, any word on the fear/risk that Lewis' breaks will be marginal during the race as a result of the issue during Q3?


No, they can clean the disc up before the race and he will be fine in the dry tomorrow

Should be a great battle for the win


David in Sydney: You can't expect a driver to go into a race with defective brakes! It would be a safety issue come the first corner. Yes a driver can clean his brakes up with pressure, but it might take a few braking sessions to restore.


So much for parc ferme...


You are allowed to make repairs, there is a list of what has been done which is issued at around 1pm on Sunday


Andre Lotterer did a good job beating Ericsson by nearly a second in Qualifying. How did you rate Lotterer's qualifying performance James , were you impressed with him? I certainly was.


Yes definitely. It has put a few things in perspective

We may see him again, I reckon.


I think it would have given us a better feel for Lotterer's real f1 ability had Kobayashi been in the other car. Ericsson, too me, is not much of a marker and whether Lotterer has driven a poor F1 car or not (I believe he tested in F1) he has a pile of miles at Spa in all different conditions.

James, did Caterham not bring the first upgrades, in quite awhile, to Spa?

kenneth chapman

@ james... i would certainly second that. he did an amazing job really although the other side of the garage is a poor comparison being a rookie.


Where/When do you think we might see Lotterer again James .? Also what do you mean when you said his performance ' put a few things in perspective'?




Hi james I know this is of topic, but ted kravitz on his note book mentioned that max chiltons dad, maybe putting together a deal to buy marrusia, have you heard any rumours?


Yes, there are suggestions he may buy in, not necessarily buy the team.


I'm a bit confused by the Chilton thing. Fair enough getting a leg up from your Dad if he can afford it, and you're talented enough to take full advantage, that's what Dad's do, lucky Max. But to go on paying to keep Max somewhere where he clealry doesn't belong just makes them both look a bit silly it seems to me.

kenneth chapman

if chilton senior does follow this line through then surely it is a very dodgy business decision, all things considered. patriarchal duty is fine otherwise why bother?


James, no word within the press room that Max needed his daddy to buy the team to keep his drive?


I bet max wishes his dad was a billionaire, he could pick any team, tell the old man to invest, and hey presto max number one driver


He's the one in control of the pedal and therefore managing the temps.


Bloody hell, those Lotus drivers were working hard! That car looked a real handful and both cars spun during the session! Usually when you have a bad season you pray for rain but I can't see that being the case at Lotus this evening.


Once again its a Merc front row. I agree that Nico seems to have the measure of Lewie. Seems with Lewis its always something. Today it was a glazed disc. Lewis has been doing this long enough to know better IMHO. But s*** happens. Great seeing Kimi getting his act together.

And again my complaint is with NBCsn. They should have titled the broadcast The Lewis Hamilton Show. The first 10 minutes was pretty much exclusively Lewis. A montage of Lewis's breakdowns, fires, mistakes, what he did or didn't do in Canada, Germany, Hungary and all the "woe is me" shots. Give it a break already there are 21 other drivers on the track but the broadcasters don't seem to care about the cars on the track. Only what happens to Lewis. To be fair there were a couple of 3 second in car camera shots of Alonso, Vettel and Riccardo. To be clear I'm not a Lewis hater yet. The media working themselves into a drooling frenzy over Lewis will. The bottom line is I think Nico is the better of the two. Nico has been with Merc since day 1, with Schumi. Nico, in my opinion is probably the more complete driver. He along with Schumi helped develope the car, giving him insight that Lewis just doesn't have and never will. He stepped into a winning drive at McLaren and did the same at Merc. He doesn't seem to be able to overcome little mistakes that become a major problem at some point during a race weekend. Glazing a brake disc? It can be cleaned up, just don't do it again tomorrow. There may be a bull, prancing horse or a Wiliams on the podium tomorrow. In fact, it wouldn't bother me if both Mercs fall out. Close the points gap up a bit, make things a little more interesting. I find it ironic that fans that belittled Schumi and Vettel's domination would be gushing with praise over Lewis doing the same.


Just hoping for some rain and a drying track for some pit lane rushes and mixing up in the race.

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