Insight: How two highly improbable events swung the outcome of the F1 Monaco GP
Monaco 2016
Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 May 2016   |  6:36 pm GMT  |  277 comments

The Monaco Grand Prix always triggers plenty of debate and this year’s race is likely to be one of those famous races that people talk about in years to come.

It was a race that hinged on two highly improbable scenarios. It was a race which Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing should have won. Instead it was Lewis Hamilton who triumphed entirely due to strategic decision-making and pit stop execution; both his and Mercedes’ as well as Red Bull’s.

Looking at the bigger picture, on a wet/dry day this was one of those races where virtually all of the race outcomes for drivers were decided by strategy decisions. There were many decisions to take; the three podium finishers all chose a different dry weather tyre compound once the track was ready for slicks.

So let’s take a deep dive into why people’s races turned out as they did and how hard it was at various junctions to make the right decision.

Monaco 2016
Pre-Race Considerations

After a sunny weekend, it rained on race day. This was the first proper chance for teams to race the Pirelli wet tyres, but without the teams having any real data about them, least of all how they might perform on the low-grip Monaco circuit or how long they might last on a drying track.

Meanwhile Pirelli had brought along the Ultra Soft tyre for the first time to a Grand Prix, a tyre that was designed to be around half a second per lap faster than the Super Soft, less durable but likely to get up to temperature more quickly than the Supersoft and Soft tyres. Or so it was thought..

Lewis Hamilton
How two highly improbable scenarios swung the outcome of the race

In Spain two weeks earlier Mercedes gifted the race victory to Red Bull when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took each other out on the opening lap.

In Monaco Red Bull returned the favour, making a mess of Daniel Ricciardo’s strategy and pit stop execution when he had the race under control with a 13 second lead.

But the most remarkable thing about the race was the probability of two very unusual things happening in succession that decided it.

Lewis Hamilton had an unusually slow out lap from his pit stop – seven seconds off the pace – which looked to have gifted the race back to Ricciardo. But then Red Bull didn’t have the tyres ready for Ricciardo at his stop a lap later, so the win swung back to Hamilton.

Hamilton had lost time in the wet tyre conditions at the start behind his teammate Rosberg, until the German let him through on Lap 16.

At this point he was 13.4 seconds behind Ricciardo and of the front-runners behind them, Vettel, Alonso and Hulkenberg had already stopped for Intermediate tyres.

Monaco 2016
Over the next five laps, the gap from Ricciardo back to Rosberg grew by five seconds, before he pitted for Intermediates, indicating that one Mercedes at least was not thriving on the wet tyres on a drying track.

This stop left a gap back from Ricciardo to third place Rosberg of 43 seconds. So there was no pressure on Ricciardo from behind Hamilton to make a stop. The pace of the leading intermediate runners, Perez and Vettel was the same as Ricciardo’s, so there was no evidence that at this point the intermediate tyre was faster.

It was now just about Ricciardo’s pace relative to Hamilton on similar wet tyres and protecting a lead. Hamilton had closed initially when he cleared Rosberg, but Ricciardo was able to then hold him at 12 seconds.

The golden rule of race strategists in a situation like this is “mirror the car behind”, in other words, you have track position, so don’t be the first one to make a move; instead mirror whatever move the ‘hunter’ behind you makes and you have him covered.

However, once Rosberg stopped, Red Bull decided that this was the moment to pit Ricciardo for intermediates. Bear in mind that, although no one knew it yet, we were still six laps away from the first drivers making the move onto slicks, which were Ericsson and Magnussen.

After the race Ricciardo correctly argued that there was no hurry to pit him for intermediates, as it put him ‘in a race with Hamilton we didn’t need to be in’.

More importantly it gave up the most precious thing of all at Monaco, which is track position.

The key to the decision was the lack of knowledge about the new wet tyres from Pirelli. With so little knowledge, it was considered a risk to keep running on them. But when Ricciardo was ahead, he was able to monitor the gap to Hamilton and there was no need to be the first to move.

Hamilton would have had to be at least nine seconds closer than he was to be able to jump Ricciardo by stopping first and the chasing pack were over 40 seconds behind.

Ricciardo, Hamilton

Once Red Bull blinked, Mercedes were presented with an opportunity to miss out the intermediate tyre stage and hold out to move directly onto the slicks. But it was risky, due to the lack of knowledge about the wet tyres.

On Lap 24 the intermediate runners began to find more pace; the lap times came down by three to four seconds per lap. But as Hamilton had half a minute advantage over third place, he had nothing to lose by staying out.

Ricciardo easily caught Hamilton. At this stage the race was still likely to be Ricciardo’s as the Australian had fresh intermediates on which to attack once Hamilton pitted for slicks, which he did on Lap 31.

This decision was triggered by Sergio Perez’ pace, which was matching the intermediate tyre runners. That is what a strategist is looking for in the crossover from inters to slicks.

As for the decision to put Hamilton onto UltraSofts, that was all about the speed of the tyre warm-up. Having got himself into a position where he was ahead of Ricciardo, Mercedes knew that Ricciardo would be able to attack on the next lap and then pit, so they needed the tyre that was going to be there for Hamilton straight away on his out lap and especially to race Ricciardo when he went into St Devote as the Australian came out of the pits.

But Hamilton left the door wide open for Ricciardo with a slow out lap, seven seconds off the pace! So Red Bull just needed a conservative pit stop to regain the lead.

There was a choice of three dry compounds to fit to the car. They had seen Mercedes fit Ultrasofts for Hamilton, which was ambitious with 47 laps to go, double the length of any stint managed in practice.

But Mercedes was prepared to take that risk; all the emphasis in the tyre decision was on that first lap out of the pits for Hamilton. At the back of their minds was the likelihood of more Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car laps to give the tyres a rest.

Crucially, Red Bull pitted a hard charging Max Verstappen on the same lap as Hamilton. He was put onto the Soft tyre.

This meant that the team was resetting from that stop when the call was made to bring Ricciardo in. There are two tyre sets ready for each driver on a rack in the garage at any given time in the race.

The problem was that, because the pit wall in Monaco is above the garage, rather than looking into it, the strategy team missed a simple step in the process, which is to confirm that the tyre set they wanted – a new Supersoft – was actually in the garage. It was in fact around the back.

Daniel Ricciardo

This caused the 10 second delay, which cost Ricciardo the race. He rejoined just behind Hamilton, despite a 35 second stop, where 25 seconds was the norm.

Why the change of plan to go to the Supersoft? Mercedes had surprised Red Bull by taking the UltraSoft. The decision not to put Ricciardo on Softs like his team mate, but to go SuperSoft was a compromise between the better tyre warm up of the Supersoft, for what was going to be a close call into Turn 1 with Hamilton, against lasting 46 laps to the finish, which Red Bull was not confident of doing on UltraSofts.

Sergio Perez
Perez and Force India win the strategy game

If ever there was a race result, which was down to strategy, it was Force India’s fantastic podium with Sergio Perez, who had started the race in seventh place on the grid.

Because of the decision to start the race behind the Safety Car, there was no scope to make up places at the start. The Mexican held seventh for the opening stint, until Ferrari pitted Vettel from fourth place for intermediate tyres on Lap 13. He was the first of the front-runners to do so. Button had pitted in Lap 8 but his pace was still well short of the leading cars by the time the decision was taken at Ferrari.

Ferrari’s motive for the stop was clear; Vettel had Rosberg and Hamilton just ahead of him, with Rosberg clearly off the pace – so there was an opportunity to jump them by stopping first. Their calculation foundered on the fact that Felipe Massa in the Williams had no incentive to make a stop to intermediates and so Vettel came out behind him and stayed there for six laps. Massa pitted on the same lap as Rosberg, so the Mercedes stayed ahead, but then Sergio Perez came out between them, having delayed his stop to intermediates. He also jumped Hulkenberg by doing this.

At the second stop to slicks, he did the opposite and pitted early, undercutting Rosberg. Force India put him on the Soft tyre, which turned out to be the best one to be on.

Vettel stopped a lap later to cover Perez, but to everyone’s astonishment, the soft tyre on Perez’ car had great warm up and he retained his position over Vettel, who took the same tyre. As there was no pace offset from the tyres, Vettel was stuck behind Perez for the rest of the race.

The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen with input and data from several of the leading F1 teams’ strategists and from Pirelli.

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RACE HISTORY & TYRE USAGE GRAPH, Kindly Supplied by Williams Martini Racing – Click to Enlarge

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Tornillo Amarillo

Yes James, it was risky "due to the lack of knowledge about the wet tyres."

And as a fan I should disagree with TOTO… HAMILTON staying in full Wets was not a “gamble”!

Staying in full Wets was a logical HAMILTON’s decision because IMO the available technology for reading weather is great to know if the rain is going down in the city but it cannot read if certain part of the circuit is still wet or is drying quickly, so just the driver can “read” in the lapse of one lap or two how fast the track is drying, how the current tyres behave, and feel if the pit-stop for intermediates tyres can give him and advantage or just would be worthy for two or three laps, compelling to a new time-costly pit-stop for Ultra-soft, Super-soft or Soft tyres.

So IMO first “Champion-decision” from HAMILTON was to stay in full Wets. Of course the team has to validate with its technology if the driver instinct is right, and evidently they couldn’t say Lewis was wrong. Fortunately Lewis was absolutely right.

Second “Champion-decision” was to put Ultra Soft… My God, that was a really risky decision, who has decided that-the driver or the team? I don’t know. Soft tyres had been OK for me for a very long stint ahead  . I imagine in some race or practice they learnt the Ultra Soft is hard enough, did they? Anyways, the Ultra Soft won the race, so I won’t complain!

Third “Champion-decision” was to have the Ultra Soft work for that mammoth second stint. It was really a “purple mammoth” and HAMILTON made history here. From Wets to Ultra Soft, nobody did it before, and additionally having such a long stint is not just a “Champion-decision”, but mostly a “Champion drive”, given that he was chased by an excellent RB car driven by an excellent driver (RICCIARDO) who had the upper hand until the team ruined his pit-stop. For sure RICCIARDO is World-Champion material! Remember Monaco is perhaps the most difficult circuit for a driver, that’s why many drivers hit the barriers or other cars there, including KIMI, VERSTAPPEN, & MAGNUSSEN, to say few of them.

So IMO HAMILTON did there his finest win ever, while RICCIARDO showed that he has step-up, because he had deserved the updated PU, he did the pole, he led the race, he got P2 at the end bettering ROSBERG, both Ferraris and the current highly rated teammate VERSTAPPEN, he got a bunch of points for the team, he got third now in the driver standings, and… after the race he was still NOT HAPPY! So I think it’s much from him to come in Canada and certainly he could smile again.


I'm sorry, but can someone explain to me how the decision to keep Hamilton on the wets and then straight onto the slicks made any difference AT ALL to the outcome of this race?

The ONLY thing that made a difference was the RedBull pit stop. Had Hamilton pitted for inters like everyone else, he in fact would have been closer to Ricciardo prior to the RedBull stop and subsequently further ahead after the RedBull stuff up. The outcome of the race would have been no different, at all, had Hamilton put inters on or not.

All this nonsense talk about a master stroke from Mercedes and Hamilton for staying on the wets like it somehow won him the race are ridiculous to say the least.


Had Hamilton pitted for inters like everyone else, he in fact would have been closer to Ricciardo prior to the RedBull....

I'm not sure whether I have missed something in your post - but how would Ham have been closer to Ric if he had stopped for inters? He was in front of Ric by virtue of not stopping for inters and he would surely have been behind him had he done so, most likely the 12 odd seconds that he was trailing by, when Ric stopped for inters and Ham didn't. Track position allowed Ham to drive at his own pace and control the race. If Ham had stopped for inters he would virtually have guaranteed a second place - not doing so meant he was in a position to capitalise on any mistakes that the opposition made.


To be fair, that is actually the textbook dictionary definition of a gamble. If you get it right you are a hero, you get it wrong and you are just embarrassed. If Ricciardo had made the move out of the Chicane stick and driven off to the flags, everyone would be calling for Totto's head saying "how could he be so shortsighted to put on Ultra Softs with 40+ laps to go!"

They were in a position they didn't expect to be in, with a much faster car behind them, so they did the only thing that would give them a chance, put him on the stickiest fastest tire and pray that he could overcome the deficit of Ricciardo banging in a quick lap before pitting the following lap. Even then it almost backfired on them even then because Hamilton had such a terrible out lap. Their gamble was saved by Redbull making an even worse gamble trying to put their driver on a tire they hadnt planned on using in the race.

So today we are [mod] on Redbull instead of Mercedes because of strategy gambles, thats the nature of the beast.


You know, when you're not using the FOM broadcast abbreviations (HAM, ALO, RIC, ect.) you don't need to write their names in allcaps.

It's also hard to consider this one of Hamilton's finest ever wins when it was literally handed to him on a silver platter. He drove very well and managed the tires better than most expected, but a truly great drive does not involve inheriting a win because RBR were caught sitting on their thumbs when they pitted.

Unless you think Hamilton intimidated the pitcrew into screwing up 🙂


Personally I wouldn't say it was Red Bulls pit crew that mucked things up - they don't decide which tyres to fit. Responsibility must surely rest with the strategist(s) who misread the situation.


"you don't need to write their names in allcaps"

Thank you for being that guy so that I didn't have to. This, and also "HAAS". Haas is a name, not an acronym.


"it was literally handed to him on a silver platter. "

You know what the word "literally" means right?


Yes of course he was "literally handed the race" and obviously deserves no credit whatsoever.... I mean, who let his stay out on worn full sets when everyone else was on slicks ? And what a stupid idea trying (incorrectly as it turned out) super sports and managing them a lot longer than anybody else has managed, really, Ham should have been black flagged and banned for several seasons for this


First decision - absolutely agree, that as a champion asserting his experience and authority at a time of uncertainty. Well played Ham
Second (and third) decision - I disagree with you as the article clearly states the Soft was actually the faster tyre over the remaining duration of the race. And as another poster has pointed out they were actually behaving oddly and slow to warm up, well certainly on the Merc they were slow anyway. i also see the third decision you call out as a direct result of second so both same imo.

But certainly agree it was a fine and well deserved win by Ham. Some call it lucky, but I see it as a driver who pushed the odds and made sure he was there all the time to take advantage of an opportunity if it should arise.

sunny stivala

What I cannot understand is why people still saying Mercedes drivers took each other out, when it was crystal clear who crashed into whom.


Just as it was crystal clear who ran whom off track. Or are you not familiar with the concept of cause and effect? [Mod]


You mean how Lewis has been running Nico off the track? Japan 15, US 15, I can go on


Okay, You need you read the rules thoroughly. Stuart decisions are based on the rules not from their thumbs. I would love explain why the situation is different.

Tornillo Amarillo

Stewards officially said the clash in Barcelona was a race incident & nobody clear to blame, so not punishment at all.


so same as Spa 14 yeah? 😉


Had Lewis hit Nico at the rear end when he tried to pass, the situation would have been Spar like. But Lewis front axle was Nico's rear axle before Nico shoved him off the road. Lewis didn't stubbornly stick there he had no choice but to avoid the collision by going straight on the grass with a hope that he may recover and salvage the few points that he could. But then on the grass, he had no control of his car.


I'm pretty sure they also said that Spa 2014 was a racing incident. But that didn't stop Mercedes from publicly blaming and shaming Rosberg did it???


hamilton understood what he set out to do and he achieved it so to him it wasn't a gamble but to those who didn't understand it appears as though it was a gamble..


Second point isn't actually the case. The ultra soft was not actually the best or a "winning" tyre to be on. They expected it to have the best warm-up characteristics but bizarrely it wasn't and the soft was better (and super-soft), as the article explains. We saw this repeatedly after virtual safety car slow periods where Ricciardo was able to get his harder tyres working well much quicker than Hamilton and was all over him until Hamilton's tyres warmed and then he could control things. Plus there was the fact Hamilton had his 7 second slow out lap.

Also, Coulthard in his commentary actually expressed his surprise at Hamilton going on the ultra soft, saying "that's a higher operating temperature tyre".

So the ultra soft, surprisingly, turned out to be a drawback! Ironically Red Bull planned to put Ricciardo on the best tyre (soft) until allowing Mercedes to mess up their minds and game plan. So fair play there to them!


"If you can keep your head while all about are losing theirs............"

Intense pressure is a strange thing, it can really turn great people to mush. David Beckham was a genius but under the inferno of a sudden death penalty shoot out at Euro 2004 he crumbled under the pressure and missed. Chris Waddle was a world class No.7 but he wilted under the strain too of a sudden death penalty shoot at World Cup 1990 and fired the ball into the ether..............even Mr Reliable Steve Gerard got it horribly wrong in the World Cup 2006 floundering under the pressure of expectation.

And in the blast furnace heat of strategical decisions that was Monaco 2016, Lewis Hamilton and Merc F1 put Red Bull under such intense pressure that they fumbled and cracked under the strain of a vital pit stop. However, that is what great drivers and teams do - they rattle their rivals into crumbling into an error. They key is to be close enough to maximise an opportunity should a rival slip up - which they did.

Daniel's Ricciardo comedy pit stop reminds me a bit of Rubino at Monza many years ago when, leading, he pitted only to find his team wern't ready, and by the time they had all tyres and wheels on for Rubens, Juan Pablo Montoya had passed by and held onto win. The key was old Burger King Montoya was close enough to Rubens to take an opportunity [to win] if Rubens made a mistake and his team made a Keystone Cops pit stop.

Pressure - you give or it or take it in racing. Rise to it or crumble to it.


Lewis Hamilton and Merc F1 put Red Bull under such intense pressure that they fumbled and cracked under the strain of a vital pit stop. However, that is what great drivers and teams do - they rattle their rivals into crumbling into an error.

My God this is hilarious!

Tell me, how exactly was it that Hamilton put ANY pressure on RedBull?

Oh, hang on, I know what it was - must have been that out lap that was 7 seconds off the pace!

What a tactical genius!


I think the Ultra soft choice threw Red Bull

HAMILTON gave them a chance with a slow out lap though


Which team did the Beckham guy drive for? Williams?


well said gaz boy....even ricciardo said he helt he had the pace to pull away from the mercs under all conditions and saw no reason why the team got him involved with hamilton's race.
the word hamilton alone puts them under makes them jump!


"They (sic) key is to be close enough to maximise an opportunity should a rival slip up."
Good thing Rosberg is such a team player. Sometimes a great driver needs a great No. 2
I don't think any pitstop from when in a battle for the lead is made without pressure. It's a long bow to draw to say it all came down to Hams/Mercs pressure. A lap seven seconds off the pace is hardly pressure.


Then why did RB mess up the pit stop for DR? Either my theory that would crumbled under the pressure of having to pit immediately after Lewis stop, or they deliberately sabotaged DR's stop..............

Red Bull have got 2 default operational positions - complacency and panic.


Sounds like you just have a bugbear with RB. Neither complacency nor panic won them four CCs on the trot. Sure there was pressure but nothing extraordinary.
Put it down to a logistical oversight.


.............RBR are suffering from a dose of ring-rust. Theyve only won 4 races in 2 years.....theyve lost the sharpness and edge to those snap-decisions they were making with Vet/Web 2010-2013. Maybe now they know they can win again on certain circuits those mistakes under pressure will disappear. #:)


Racehound, Ring-rust? Sounds painful....


You can get ointment apparently.


Yep, Red Bull totally misread the race and Lewis sold them a couple of dummies which they readily accepted. A truly great race by Lewis and his side of the Mercedes garage.

Tornillo Amarillo

Great James. I realize that not only HAMILTON put a set of new Ultra-Soft, also GROSJEAN did it in lap 30 (before HAMILTON who did it in lap 31), WEHRLEIN at the same time than HAMILTON, and GUTIERREZ later (lap 32), and all of them have managed to make a purple mammoth stint of 45 laps or more in those new Ultra Soft. But incidents hampered the result for GROSJEAN (P13) and GUTIERREZ (P11), and WEHRLEIN got P14 that is not bad for Minor.


wehrlein finished second last, 2 laps down.


I wouldn't be surprised if they can do the entire race (in Monaco) on one set of ultrasofts.
I don't see anythig momouth about it.


Roseberg did the same stint on USED set of ultrasofts.
What I can read out of all of it, is that ultra soft is rather still too hard.
The whole range Pirelli has is way to hard.


Its an absolute [Mod] joke Pirelli one year create tyres that are too soft, next too hard next soft again then they demand & get control of tyre temps pressures and they still have tyres that noone understands not even them... They are the single biggest external problem for F1 by a country mile.. Thats what happens when FOM direct Pirelli to artificially try to tamper with the chemical compunds ... Its always going to be a guessing game.. Thats not racing...


Bravo Elie, I can't agree with you more.
I say, bring in another supplier (Michelin) give them also 25 days of testing a year. And war is on, just as it used to be for decades. F1 is about excellency in every department, so why not with tires as well?

Tornillo Amarillo

Because Michelin was a complete disaster before.

Maybe with Pirelli's tyres is like some cheap girls' bracelets: the same freaking ring but in differents colors (purple, red, yellow...).


So they were disaster because they brought innovation in F1?
Or because they were pushing the limits and found themselves in a hole for not being able to run Indy 2005?
Or they were disaster for winning several World Championships (WDC and WCC) and about half of the races they entered (remember they were never sole supplier)?
I guess their biggest "disaster" was for not willing to fill Bernie's pockets by declining on track advertising,


Amazing Race which had everything from
Rain , Bad Pitstops , team drivers taking each other out, verbals on team radio and any amazing tyre strategy from Lewis and a melt gown by Ricciardo. Superb GP. Usually it's a convoy of cars in a train going around and monotonous. But last Sunday was an entertaining event.


And overtaking, don't forget overtaking.


So much fun to read.

Tornillo Amarillo

James, a serious question:

Has Haas had his hot hip-hop hat off if Gutierrez marked his first point?


The golden rule of race strategists in a situation like this is “mirror the car behind”, in other words, you have track position, so don’t be the first one to make a move; instead mirror whatever move the ‘hunter’ behind you makes and you have him covered

Which was exactly what RBR failed to do in Spain, robbing RIC of the race there.

the race was still likely to be Ricciardo’s as the Australian had fresh intermediates on which to attack once Hamilton pitted for slicks,

I don't get why they were in such a hurry to bring him in: HAM had lost time on his out Lap and wasn't likely to make all of it (or any!) back on the second lap on slicks.

AIUI only the race engineer talks to the driver - except for congratulations at the end or if a driver won't follow a team order. The guys in the garage would have to go through the engineer to tell driver to go around - but do they stick to the orders even if they can see a problem ?


Right, they put themselves under pressure unnecessarily. With the 7-8 seconds Hamilton lost on his outlap they could have just fitted the Softs they were planning on fitting and with the almost 10 seconds they had in hand come out in the lead and warmed the tires up before Hamilton was even in the rearview mirrors. With the softs switched on, Hamilton would have really had to push to close down the remaining gap before he had lost his advantage of the ultrasoft, but even on subsequent laps after pitting Hamilton was still struggling based on how quickly Ricciardo closed him up and forced his error down into the chicane (speaking of pressure) even though Ricciardo was on a tire that was supposed to be over a half second slower.

That or they could have sent Ricciardo on another lap to give themselves enough time to get the supersofts from out back, and he would have probably still had a sizeable advantage coming out of the pits.


It is psychological. Who will make, no recall!, the decission to delay Max stop? If it is the garage they will in effect be saying "sorry guys but we cant do 2 pitstops within 40 seconds", if it is the wall they will be saying "i dont trust the garage that they can do it in 40 seconds". So nobody will make that call. Probably the team knows -or have as a rule- that they can normally do 2 pitstops within xx seconds, and based on that they take their race decisions.
Also Max went to softs, so that should not take away from Ric going to supersofts.


Because it was the right time to pit, the error wasn't timin at all it was execution. Even with a very steady slow stop of 5 secs they would have been ahead. If they waited another lap Hamilton could have gotten his tyres up to speed, or the interns could have lost a bit of pace, or Ricciardo could have locked up, or there could have been a VSC neutralising Ricciardo's pace advantage etc etc


I dont agree because they had 12sec and they also had an indication on the Ultras from Grosjean who pit first. I dont remember the exact delta but it wasnt huge..there were a few [Mod] by RBR & the pitstop itself was just the worst of them. Honey Badger got it spot on when he said " We did not have to be in that race with Hamilton"- they were miles up the road. They put themselves in that position by not mirroring their Only real competition then they failed to tell Dan to go round again when the tyres werent ready. The pitstop itself was just a consequence of the earlier failures.

I dont know what RBR racing are doing but both times at Spain and Monaco when they made their stops I was certain they lost Dan the race. Maybe they wanted Max to win that from the outset because its usually the 2nd car that acts the block and forces the opposition to mirror-'not the guy winning the GP. But Monaco was crazy they had daylight to the rest- bizarre.


To clarify, I meant the right time to pit for slicks, not inters.


Maybe it was the right time to pit, but I don't think it was clear cut. If the drying track was hurting everyone on wets so each lap was slower than the last then staying out for too long was a danger. They only knew what the first half of HAMs out lap was like and it was slow, if he'd gone purple in the last sector (which he didn't) and if the next lap had been a really fast one (and I don't think it was - but I don't have the times) then changing soon would have been right. My impression was that if RIC had done one more lap on the inters it would have increased the gap or not lost all of it. If someone has the lap times I'd love to know one way or the other.


Good point. Why didn't they ask him to do one more lap?


That's a good point. In both races RB pitted before the chasing car, which is either a self-assured/confident move, or they are trying to avoid the undercut?

If you couple that with their qualifying strategy in Monaco by starting on the SS instead of the US (had it not been thwarted by the rain) -I wonder again, was that inspired or a hedge because they weren't entirely confident of their pace?

I'm hoping that with PU's that are getting closer to the benchmark they have faith in the car so they stop second guessing themselves.


Was anybody else surprized besides me as to how well the full wets lasted on a drying track and Hamiltons tyre life with the Ultra softs?


Some plainly were because so many felt they had to go full wet to inter to slick.
Others feel (and Ham is one) that there is only a small interval when the track is too wet for slicks, but not wet enough to use full wets. The track has to be almost dry before it will destroy the full wet. (This is very different from the Bridgestone "monsoon" tyre). If you have track position at Monaco it doesn't matter if the guy behind is two seconds faster on inters if you can get onto slicks when the full wets start to fall apart.

It was a complete guess how long the Ultra soft would last on a track which started wet, what temperatures would they run, how hard would the driver push, what would the surface be like, how much would they slide about. If it had been dry I would have been amazed if anyone stayed on the tyres they qualified on past half distance.


Unless the whole tyre range is rock hard of course, like this season.


I was surprised but I wasn't astounded, if you were able to do that anywhere it's Monaco, where you have the magic combination of very low tyre deg and it's virtually impossible to pass. Generally the tyres last much longer than advertised.


Yes, I was amazed that the wets didn't disintegrate, and couldn't believe that Hamilton went all the way to the end on one set of ultra softs. It looked like the Mercedes had trouble warming its tyres though, so clearly it doesn't work the tyres as hard as some of the other cars.


the ultrasofts didn't perform as well as the supersofts under those conditions. hamilton drove to ensure the tyres would make it to the chequered flag with him in the lead..
those who had no clue as to what he was going, found out when it was too late..


It's true, wet affected races are frenetic especially when the track dries out hence decision making becomes crucial i.e. when to switch to inters or drys.

Now it would appear Rosberg's pace in the first stint may have gifted Mercedes the win for with Ricciardo far ahead, this meant Lewis decided to take a risk by going onto the one stop

Likewise, Red Bull made a mistake in the pitstop as they switched from the softs to supersofts which decision was a by-product of Lewis taking the ultrasofts.

In hindsight, if Red Bull knew the softs were working well, they wouldn't have changed their mind

As for Force India, what we can learn from their strategy is, it's always better to delay a change to inters on a difficult to overtake track


On Force India - they just split the strategy between Perez & Hulk!


red bull were involved in the tyre test and mercedes weren't..


So in layman's terms Hamilton took a huge gamble, and was presented the opportunity, by the fact that Vettel, Perez and Rosberg were 30+ seconds behind him and lucked into a win, not this 'amazing drive' that everyone seems to be going on about.

and secondly Red Bull thought it was a clever idea to pit Verstappen before Ricciardo on the same lap in monaco giving them 'unfortunately' no time to get Ricciardo's tyres ready properly.

Let's face it the 'surprise' by mercedes to go straight onto the ultra softs was no excuse not to have the supersofts ready for Ricciardo. And to pit Verstappen who has no chance of winning the Grand Prix on the same lap as the de facto winner at that time only indicates one thing.

Get out of there Dan!!!


Pitting two cars in one lap is no problem. The problem was the tires were outside the box and not on the racks in the box. The expected and available two sets ready for DR were not used. It was an error from the strategy team, not the pitcrew!


On normal tracks that would be the case but the short lap and awkward garage layout make it much more risky


during a gamble there is a possibility of losing so hamilton's strategy couldn't be classed as a gamble.


Ok so as a decent points haul was always on the cards for him there wasn't much, if anything, to lose. He took a punt as red bull had brought ricciardo closer than what would have been expected. A win wouldn't have been on the cards with the strategy hamilton adopted unless there was an issue with ricciardo's car, crash or blunder by red bull. Fortunately for hamilton there was..


But Hams strategy relied on a mistake from RBR to win, so it definitely wasnt a certainty (as I have posted above it was a great win by Ham so not knocking him).
So how would you classify it?
Personally I would say that he was maximising his chance to win if RBR slipped up - which they did. Which was very smart and positive thinking.


no f1 race result is a certainty...


Hamilton had track position, both had to stop at least one more time, the slow outlap on the ultra soft was the only reason Lewis needed the RB slip up. A normal fast outlap should have had Lews back in front.


How does that work?! Ricciardo almost retook the lead even being stationary for 12 seconds. Lewis out lap was '7 seconds off the pace. You can do the arithmetic.


Exactly right - and a normal out-lap appears to have been what Red Bull were anticipating as they changed their mind regarding Rics tyres so he would be able to battle Ham when he rejoined at St Devote - obviously expecting Ham to be there or thereabouts.


"So in layman's terms Hamilton took a huge gamble, and was presented the opportunity, by the fact that Vettel, Perez and Rosberg were 30+ seconds behind him and lucked into a win, not this 'amazing drive' that everyone seems to be going on about."

They were 30+ seconds behind him because they pitted and he didn't! Your "layman's" analysis seems to think that gaps just magically appear on racetracks at random.


hamilton couldn't have taken a huge gamble because there wasn't a chance of him losing anything. he was already second and faster than everyone except ricciardo so what was there to lose. he simply applied a little pressure on red bull and they fell apart.


They didn't just magically appear. The gap created just meant he could gamble on it paying off without dropping too far down the order


The gap appeared because he was gambling, not in spite of it.


But does Ham/Merc not deserve any credit for the strategy which made the gamble possible? Remember, no other front runners tried it.


@Chris_S You make a good point and I'm surprised more people aren't discussing it. The Golden Dutch Boy was 54 seconds off the pace but RBR still brought him in just seconds (about 30) before they were planning to bring RIC in. They should definitely delayed Verstappen's stop until until after RIC had been serviced. I know the conspiracy theorists would love this but I think in this case it was just RBR incompetence rather than a deliberate conspiracy.


@InternationalFanOfMystery, F1 teams are able to do stacked pit stops, so 45 seconds (time between VES leaving the box and RIC entering) should be more than enough to have the tyres ready.


And to pit Verstappen who has no chance of winning the Grand Prix on the same lap as the de facto winner

I think Verstappen came in before Hamilton; therefore Red Bull didn't know they were going to need to pit Ric


Tell me, why were all the other drivers so far behind?
Oh, and he still had to drive the car defend against ricci and likewise for ricci, he still had to drive the car and try to get around hami.


Easier to defend in monaco than overtake. A dry line had formed but it remained wet offline at the two overtaking points. To overtake ricciardo had to move off the dry line, on other circuits you have much more room ......

Martin Wingate

Nope.....Red Bull will come good. Dan should stay


You are probably right, but i don't want to see another webber situation stifling good talent!


The best place for Daniel, barring a seat at MERC is at Red Bull if he is serious about being a WDC.


I agree. This will only make the honey badger stronger.


'Why the change of plan to go to the Supersoft? Mercedes had surprised Red Bull by taking the UltraSoft.'

So, it appears it wasn't quite the unforced error [claimed by many] from Red Bull which 'gifted' Hamilton the win after all. Red Bull were thrown off balance by the Merc/Ham strategy call to go ultras and in the rush to change their mind they overlooked where they had left the super softs.


And yet it never ever happens to any other drivers leading races despite the pressure. Pressure exists in all the races often with the driver in 2nd far closer to the lead than Hamilton was. Funny how it has emerged as such a big talking point at this race that Lewis won. It really is just a case of certain fans trying to justify Hamilton's win. It gets worse the more you bang on..

It really is amusing how many on here are talking up this 'pressure' as if there has never been any pressure during a pit stop in any race before.

Lewis drove well and won, but it was very lucky.


Honestly Nick, I can't believe you're still sulking about losing your bet. C'mon dry your eyes, chin up - it was only a couple of hundred quid! What's that saying - something about betting being a mugs game? Wise words 🙂


Haha C63. Yes that is the saying ????However I gamble infrequently and only bet when there's some decent value in it. I won't be betting on the sugar water company again any time soon. Looking forward to Canada so I can forget the Monaco debacle.


C63- Im still perplexed they went onto Inters so quickly & then having caught Lewis they went off them even quicker despite him losing so much time on his Ultra Soft-surely they could see what was going on behind them!!!... Anyone could..Oh thats right RBR like most other geniuses think Lewis is an idiot and his tyres would go off & Mercedes would miscalculate like last year- instead they were caught with their pants down.. I gotta tell ya I Was in disbelief several times in that race... No more fizzy drinks for that team for a month - crazy!


Well Elie, Red Bull must have worrying about something as they fumbled the ball more than once. As Ric said after the race, they didn't need to pit him for inters in the first place - his times were still good and it put Ham in front and as we all know track position is everything at Monaco. Then they reacted to Ham/Merc fitting ultras and whether anyone likes it or not - that reaction was the start of their woes and effectively where Ric lost the race.


What I don't understand is why, once they realised the purple tyres were out the back, didn't they just fit the tyres that were close at hand? Even saving one second would have got them in front of Ham.


Even saving one second ...

Well, according to James strategy report above - Red Bull were anxious there would be a wheel to wheel fight at St Devote with Ham, as Ric rejoined and they didn't want to be caught out by being on the slower soft (rather than the super soft). However, in his reply to me below he says that Red Bull would have known that Hams out-lap was slow and there was no need to panic - so why they still felt the need to fit a faster tyre and be ready for a battle at St Devote is puzzling as they apparently knew there wouldn't be one.


i agree entirely..


I think it showed a real lack of clarity of thought from the engineers. It seems they were initially concerned about the pace that Perez and Vettel were showing on the Soft, and Hamiltons choice threw them off -when it should have been irrelevant.


Pressure makes fools of everyone. How many penalties, putts, pots, doubles,drives, serves and returns have been missed over the years when the chips were down?


When you think about it practically nobody thought Lewis could make the ultras last the distance... so why the panic by RB? - they could have just bolted on the nearest available tyres and the race would have been in the bag.


I think the bigger question is how come the ultra softs lasted 48 laps when they are supposed to last a handful of laps with a large performance advantage. Pirelli have no idea how their tyres are going to perform!


Best question asked so far & I guarantee you noone has a clue not even Pirelli. I think the key factor was they temps being low and Monaco putting such little load through them that & the fact everyone had to tip toe around the damp patches..The driver is king at Monaco & whatever you feel through the wheel is verified through the data then you just go with it. They had Grosjean go on them first & one two others straight after so they had constant comparatives & thats all you could do. From that angle it makes what Lewis ventured to do very special


so why the panic by RB?.....

Pressure is the simple answer! It's so easy after the race, sitting with your lap top in front of you, perhaps a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, analysing what a team/driver should or could have done differently. But making the decisions in real time, with the responsibility of getting it right and having to take the heat if they get it wrong - don't underestimate what that does to people and their thought process. We now know Hams out-lap wasn't great and that Red Bull needn't have flapped quite so much - but Red Bull wouldn't have known they had that luxury at the actual time as the out-lap was happening at the same time as Rics in-lap. So the extra time wouldn't have become apparent until the lap was completed - by which time Ric was already leaving the pit lane and rejoining the track (I'm assuming Ham didn't lose all 7 seconds at the first corner, but the time was lost across all 3 sectors). In addition they were concerned that Ham on the ultras would be able to overtake Ric at St Devote as he re-joined (remember they expected Ham and Ric to be more or less at that point at the same time and track position at Monaco is everything), hence the last minute decision to switch to the super softs to give Ric a chance if there was a battle at at St Devote. All the while the clock is ticking - tick tock tick tock- Ham is getting closer, they can feel his hot breath on their necks - tick tock tick tock - we are gonna throw this race away if we get it wrong - tick tock tick tock - which is going to be; the softs or the super softs, quick decide Hams in the final sector by now, travelling at full racing speed, Ric has to re-join at the pit lane limiter of 50 kph(?) - tick tock tick tock. Right, let's go for the super softs - the snag, of course, was they were right out the back of the garage and everyone had forgotten that - because of the pressure of the situation.


'because of the pressure of the situation'

You've said it quite a few times now. To be honest if what you're saying is really the case, don't you think we'd see it more often??
You must surely agree that being stationary for over 10 seconds with no tyres in sight isn't really a common occurrence. What really happened was just a massive balls'up regardless of any pressure being applied. I guess that's why RB are changing their pit crew.


red bull were well organised with their tyres ready but decided to put on super sorts because hamilton was all of a sudden much closer and they were scared of going against hamilton at the later stages of the race on warn tyres with similar performance as hamilton's. they call it panic. caused by hamilton's pressure...


don't you think we'd see it more often??

Fair point Nick, but it tends to overlook the fact that the circumstances were pretty unusual. Changeable conditions (in this case a drying track) mean it's much easier to get things wrong as it's harder to predict how the race will develop - much more thinking on your feet is required. Couple that with it being Monaco, where overtaking is very difficult and track position is king - not to mention the kudos that accompanies the win - and it's easy to see why strategic decisions take on a far greater significance. Hence my suggestion that pressure was at the root of Red Bulls woes. As I said elsewhere , with the benefit of hindsight it's easy to see what went wrong but in real time it's not quite as straightforward.


you mean tyres up?


I disagree. It could be just as easily suggested RB didn't feel under pressure so they felt they had time and space to change their minds over the tyre choice. Going to the SS was an extra precaution they obviously had time to consider and (thought) they had time to implement. The logistics caught them out.
If the strategist was under so much pressure why would he consider changing strategy mid lap?


I guess you could argue that Red Bull didn't feel under any pressure - if that was the case though, why did they forget where they had left the super softs (they were in their blankets ready to go, so they hadn't just been abandoned) and why were they changing their minds about tyre choice - ready for a battle with Ham at St Devote if they knew his out-lap was slow and there wouldn't be a battle as he wouldn't be there? Seems to me that someone wasn't thinking too clearly. Of course this is all very easy to say with the benefit of hindsight.


That's not quite true

RB would have seen Ham's sector 1 & 2 times and have seen that they were slow.

The flap was because a basic step was kidding which was ensuring that the set number the strategist wanted was actuall in the garage. They had a set of softs ready same as they had fitted to Max. If they'd just fitted those Ricc would be a Monaco winner now


If they'd just fitted those Ricc would be a Monaco winner now....

And if my Aunty had a moustache she'd have been my Uncle 🙂
I can't help feeling that is also said with the benefit of hindsight.
James, I will of course bow to your superior knowledge in this matter. However, it is clear that Merc/Hams decision to go onto ultras caused the Red Bull strategy team to change their mind and that, for whatever reason, is where the, ahem, wheels fell off the Red Bull pit stop and their troubles began.


Not necessarily...

My aunty developed a moustache in her mid-fourties...Oh, we used to squirm when she came in for the kiss hello!


getaway - who d'you think you're kidding? You say it made you squirm but I can tell you liked it really 😉

Tornillo Amarillo

Who was the driver and when who got three tyres of one colour and one different, I think in 2015?


Bottas iirc. Certainly a Williiams at any event.


Yes, Bottas at Spa last year.


To the right honourable James Allen............hang your head in shame for using the I word!

If only Red Bull hadn't screwed up DR's pit stop............

If only Nigel Mansell's tyre hadn't exploded in Adelaide......

If only Schumi's engine hadn't exploded at Suzuka..

If only Kimi Raikkonen hadn't been let down by poor reliability in 2005.........

If only Lewis Hamilton had won at Singapore and Abu Dhabi 2012.....

If Fernando Alonso hadn't pitted too early at Abu Dhabi 2010.........

If Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle didn't miss their penalties......

If only I had got the 6 numbers on the Euro Lottery............


Exactly my thinking (I assume you meant missing!) in which case the rants on here would be about how Merc let Lewis down by not asking Nico to move over sooner. With this year's attitude I believe Lewis would be saying 'we nearly did it - a shame Nico didn't let me past sooner' rather than claiming to have been screwed like Ricc.


@ james...i was unaware that had happened. the pivotal point in the race was when riccardo was stationary for 13 seconds allowing hamilton back into the game. end of story.


does that suggest you can't cope?


there you go again kenneth.....who gave you permission to give me instructions?


True enough, but that's only part of the story. Why were they in that predicament - it was not an entirely unforced error. They reacted to the Merc/Ham strategy and that is where their problems began. Of that there is no doubt.


It is thus.


So there you go, end of story. No need for a race report or strategy analysis, that one occurrence was the only thing that had any bearing on the result.....


Agreed, It was RB that made MB and Lewis look inspired. They had to throw snake eyes to win, and RB handed them the dice full of ones!


Lakefoureyes, they also had to get their strategy bang on, get their pit stops perfect, and of course Lewis had to deliver some very fast laps in the wet, and complete a 47 lap stint on the unknown ultra soft tyre, they had to do that as well.....


'and complete a 47 lap stint on the unknown ultra soft tyre'

True.. But it's becoming more and more clear as the races tick by that the whole Pirelli tyre range is just too hard (KR & MV in Spain). Lewis said himself over the Monaco weekend that the tyres should be much softer in general this year.


NickH, remember with Pirelli it's not just the compound. The tyres contain chemical bonds that break at high temperatures and cause the tyre to lose grip. Hopefully the promised racier tyres for next year will be softer and not designed to fail. It's inevitable that hard compounds come with a single tyre supplier as there is no point risking a failure, but you are correct that they could go a bit softer.


Common sense will not get you any recs around here LFE ????


James, any ideas why mecedez opted for the ultra softs with 47 laps to go? The outlaps of all the cars who opted for the ultra softs were at least 7secs off the pace on there outlaps, indicating that it was the incorrect choice?
Superb analysis anyway!


It says it in the article. They wanted the trye wich had the best chance of warming up quickly enough to be able to perform an undercut on the out lap.


Hamilton was struggling with the Ultra to get pace, so was everyone who tried Ultra, that suggests had Red Bull not messed Ricciardo's pit stop he would be improving his lead on Hamilton and he could have controlled the race easily. Had it been so, it would have looked like they made the wrong strategy call.



Merc got away with it thanks to RB pit screw up


James... As a matter of conjecture, do you think Merc were expecting Ham to get to the end on the Ultra-Softs?


Thanks for that clarification james.


so now you know hamilton's pressure got to red bull..


@ aveli....stop dreaming.


Because balls.


Is balls a LHFC code for luck?


No balls is code for "lets take risks". In all honest Merc and hami didnt have that much to loose. If it didnt work he would have ended 2nd, and with Nico in 6th he would still have made up points. If it hadnt work we might even had had a much more fun race to watch, as Lewis would have been attacking all the way to the end.

P.S. Kenneth, just so you know your [Mod] for Lewis comes through your posts, so you get very little respect on here. I bet if it had been Jenson instead of Lewis you would be all over this site talking about what a great call it was...Keep on [Mod]...


@ steven M...really. when have i ever been a button fan? you're dreaming.


@kenneth....i don't need your instructions...


He drove a good race and made the most of the circumstances outside his control.
Those that try to imply it was a masterful performance and an indication of his ' greatness ' are, I wouldn't say delusional, though definitely a little nieve.


Did you read the post above? the LHFC are a [Mod] lot.


It would be interesting to hear why Hamilton's out lap was 7 seconds off the expected pace...


hamilton said the track surface was wet and cold so he slid all over the place. he said he could see ricciardo coming out of the pits ahead of him be he knew ricciardo would slide because he was on the wettest part of the track.


The article suggests that the prevailing opinion was that the ultra-softs would warm-up quickly, but the Channel 4 commentators said quite the opposite: that some drivers had struggled to heat them, often taking two laps. If they knew that, why didn't Mercedes?


He had a Rosberg moment and forgot how to drive a race car or the tyres took a long time to heat up, take your pick.


It was not just Hamilton who was struggling with Ultra.


...especially with all those corners he cut!


I believe they call that 'playing to the whistle'.


Wait?! He cut more than one!! Where?!


Maybe he had something in his eye?


Naughty Random!


Like it Random 79
Like it ???? Two seasons ago .
Lewis defended even though he had something in his eye. Against the Daniel aka The present Moaning Minnie.


If you look closely at the lap you'll see Lewis is texting Beebs...


Boy you have a good memory!!!

Martin Wingate

Agree - I am assuming it was because they Ultras didn't come to temperature as quickly as envisaged and / or the track was still a bit borderline.


Mercedes were struggling to get temp into the tyres, once they got them got they were quick, but it was taking too long to get the heat into them. Lewis struggled for a lap or do after losing tyre temp during the virtual safety car period as well.


Hamilton said he struggled for temperature at the start but once they were warmed up, he drove to ensure the tyres would make it to the end of the race..


Yes, he came under intense pressure from Dan after the safety car periods until they came back in.

Great analysis, James. I was wondering how Red Bull could have got themselves into such a keystone cops moment. Having the tyres available seems so much 'pit stop 101', but the cramped confines of Monaco's pit complex present some challenges that are unique in F1


I was looking at some stats for Checo and found some interesting numbers after 44 MB dominant races, 2014, 2015 and 6 races in 2016, thought I'd share

HAM has won 22, 50% of them, doubling in 2 and a third seasons his previous record which took him 7 years to build up
ROS has won 15, 35% of them, IMHO not a bad record either
RIC and VET have 3 apiece and VES 1, so 4 for RBR and 3 for Ferrari

To compare, in the RBR years from 2010 to 2013, VET won 34 races against 7 from WEB

In terms of podiums, which is what I was looking for:
MB has 71, 54% of them
Ferrari 24, 18%
RBR 18, 14%
Williams 13, 10%
FI 3, a small 2.2%, all by PER
McLaren 2, 1.5%, BUT & MAG
Lotus 1, 0.7% GRO

So yes, MB has been real dominant, but HAM did not trounce ROS as badly as most fans expected
And of only 6 podiums from the non top 4 teams, PER has 3 of them, so not a bad record for him


did you calculate the percentage races rosberg won in a fair fight with hamilton, where they both finished the race?


I am sure he also counted when Nico didnt finish the race but Lewis did.


are you still counting? keep your eyes peeled for another vital statistic this weekend...


his best wins would be from when he was in Mclaren


Sorry this was meant for previous article


And this has to do with this article how? Trying to feel better for being a NR fan?


So True - strategy/luck played a bigger role in the outcome. Some of the errors are very surprising really; given Gap to Massa, should have been a definite no for Ferrari to stop Seb. Even Force India reacted to that pitted Hulk; in a way Perez was lucky to be behind Hulk. Surprised that Lewis was the only one to not move to inter - how come no one else tried? Typically, Red Bull is very good with strategy; so pitting Ricci for inters was very surprising... Stars finally aligned for Lewis - but he did drive brilliantly - was smooth all the way.


Real shame for DR. Will be interesting to see if they are within maybe half a sec of Merc in quali in Canada, if so, on such an engine dependent track, could really set the season up for a potential battle for DWC between him and the merc drivers. Especially since RBR will prob slightly favour him over Max partly to make up for this blunder, and both the Merc drivers will keep taking points off each other. And maybe even Vettel could jump in on that battle too.


Ferrari seems to be far off and slipping.


Why was Hamilton's lap so much slower, was that mirrored in all the other ultra soft runner's times?


TV showed a replay of him missing an apex and skidding momentarily off the track at the swimming pool exit - it wasn't shown live but looked as though it was probably about the same time as DR was already in the pits. So the slow outlap may not have been apparent until sector 3 and hence too late for RB to react.


Let me put some data here out-laps and the following 2 laps


Hamilton 1:49:8 1:41:8 1:30:6 1:30:4
Grosjean 1:49:6 1:40:8 1:33:5 1:34
Wehrlein 1:51:7 1:41:2 1:32:4 1:40:6


Ricciardo 1:56:4 1:33:9 1:30:0 1:35:3
Alonso 1:47:7 1:35:2 1:27:3 1:42:9
Sainz 1:51:9 1:38 1:29:6 1:26:6


Perez 1:48:7 1:34:5 1:29:2 1:26:7
Vettel 1:48 1:34:8 1:27 1:25:1
Hulkenberg 1:51:5 1:39:3 1:29:4 1:26:3


Presumably the 1st lap of Ricc included the issue at the pit stop? Unless he made a mistake, I can't remember watching the lap.


Octavio, very interesting, thanks for posting. Where do you get this info?


The FIA's has all the lap times after each race, under Event and Timing Information.

For Monaco:

History Chart has them all.


If you didn't get the link, try search Monaco GP lap times 2016..... that's how I found it.


Cheers Octavio!


Couldn't get the heat as some sections of the track were still damp & the tyres were not heating up. Though in the final laps Lewis got 7secs plus ahead of Ricciardo who grained his tyres after the early attempted overtake and wear and tear of front tyres.


Its almost like RedBull were so desperate for a win (on merit and not with the mercs taking each other out) they choked under pressure. Shame but I'm sure we'll see Daniel win a race beforethe summer break.

One question though is why would Renault give RedBull an upgraded engine and not supply both their works cars with one? Especially after the fallout of 2015


Dan got his first RBR win Montreal on 2014. I suggest its possibly sooner than he thinks


By the time that RIC hit pit in, did the pitwall know that tires were not ready? If they had known at that time and simply had him drive through the pits and stop the next lap, would the time delta have been shorter than the botched pit stop? Or could he have pushed and built a new lead on his worn inters and stopped a few laps later?


Let me explain it to you...
Theres a pitlane speed limit, ok? Got it? Ok, it takes MORE than the 10 seconds he lost to drive through the pit lane. Therefor he would have had to drive through the pit lane twice, which would have added to more than 10 seconds. Got it? Get it? Good...sigh...


Youd be making 2 pit stops....


Clearly, but the pit lane isn't very long and the track isn't that fast. I want to know does a drive through plus a good pit stop take less time than the pit stop with the car motionless for as long as it was.


No. The math was explained in the comment above.

If you assume 22 seconds to drive through pit lane without stopping, then that is double the 10 seconds that he was stationary.

Scenario 1; A bad, 10 second pit stop:
22+10 = 32 seconds

Scenario 2; an aborted stop and another stop of ~2 seconds:
22+22+2 = 46 seconds.


One stop would be faster, even if the car sat stationary for 22 seconds.


By entering the pits, he'd already committed himself to losing a big chunk of time. They would have lost far more time sending him round again than the time spent fumbling for the super soft. They would have been better off shoving on the soft tyres (assuming they weren't also round the back of the pits)

Martin Wingate

Great synopsis, James. A really fascinating race and I enjoyed reading this.
I assume Hamilton's very slow out lap was due to the Ultras not coming up to temperature quite as quickly as envisaged, and due to the borderline nature of the circuit.
Would have been interesting to see how it would have all played out if Hamilton wasn't held back by Rosberg at the beginning.
Really tough luck on Ricciardo but his time will come and I hope for his sake he keeps the faith with Red Bull who are looking like a force again


James/Fellow forum, 2 questions for you. 1) Do you think there was anything special about Lewis' drive, or was it just that he kept it clean? I've seen a lot of comments to that affect, but I thought his wet times were quite good

2) What's with the teams not understanding the tyres? Same with Barca, the mediums can do 2 stops, and Ultra and Softs have their own unknown performance.



It was an excellent drive, especially the extended sting on wets - the only question mark being why his out lap on ultra softs so was so slow


coulthard was royally cool at the start of the race. brandle helped him into commentary and now he's taken off....


he said the track was slippery and the tyres lacked heat as he cooled them driving through the puddles in the pit lane...


do you have the sector time for Lewis in his outlap ? I remember he had a moment at the exit of "La piscine" (the right/left corner where Max crashed on Saturday). Not sure it costs him over 5 sec. but that could be part of the reason.


His out lap was slow because the track was partially wet (just outside racing line), and he was cautious.

Martin Wingate

Hmmm we were hoping you were going to tell us James!


Hi James, I recon HAM was taking it easy as he would of had wet tires from the pit lane which still had a lot of standing water on it and he also knew he had a big lead over third and probably was thinking "this will be a easy second with good points" until RedBull gifted the win. Stick with them Dan they will help you win a WDC, they have invested a lot of time and dollars in Dan they wont throw that away, if not this years WDC it will be next WDC and then Max will be ready to step up and win one of his own. Dan will win a WDC with RedBull. Dan Chin up mate 😉


So much Praise for James in the first minute!


Could you find out the reason for the slow out lap then..when at Canada? 🙂


James, But his gap was small compared to others who pitted around the same time. Indeed his out-lap gap was the best compared to others.


Mercedes are also using more Ultra Soft allocations in Canada compared to the other teams. Assume they'll be faster on them on a super fast Canadian circuit. Heat won't be an issue as they'll get them up to temp quicker there then on a damp track in Monaco. Unless it's a mix weather weekend. Still a Mercedes engine track .
Hopefully Williams will be more pacey to. Seems they've gone backwards in their developments.
Will they decide to change both drivers next Season?


i find it much easier to talk of events happening at present rather than those in the future. talking about future events is mostly a waste of time because more often than not they are not as predicted...just like red bull found out on race day in monaco..


Perhaps the track was still moist and slippery?


The two factors are probably closely related. If they had warmed up faster, they probably wouldn't have lasted as long.


Would it be an excellent drive if Ricciardo won the race? If Ricciardo won the race that outlap with Hamilton on ultra soft would have people questioning his tyre choice. IMO Ricciardo drove an incredible race (same for Spain) only for his team to stuff up, and he didn't cut any chicanes!


Could it be the excessive wetness still of the pit lane? Would that have been enough to lose all the tyre blanket temperature enough to mean they were stone cold by the time they got to the thin dry line out on track, especially as there aren't really fast corners to help with warm up around Monaco? Was the Merc pit box nearer the entry or exit of the pit lane?

Also - was the ultrasoft surprisingly hard to warm up for everyone (relative to the supersofts and softs), or just the Mercedes cars?


If you could look at the lap times of the drivers, the data shows Supersofts and Softs were faster than the Ultra following the laps after the pitstop.


The big loser out of all of this is young Max Verstappen. The Honey Badger will shed the last vestiges of youth and come back even stronger after this unfortunate series of events. Any childish illusions that he had about fate or destiny, the kind that Hamilton still clings to, will be shrugged off and replaced with a depth and power that will lead him to a now inevitable driver's championship. This will be remembered as the weekend Daniel Ricciardo became a man. Poor Max will be left in his wake, another innocent casualty of the ever expanding human spirit.

Tornillo Amarillo

It depends, the great Gilles Villeneuve names the F1 circuit in Montreal, but he didn't win a Championship. Max has to focus and stop crashing, because his championship crown is not "inevitable" as you say.


I meant Ricciardo's championship is inevitable.


Damn! Does that mean he stops smiling 🙁


The smile will change, wait and see.


Question from an occasional viewer:- re Hamiltons outlay, is it possible that standing water in the pit exit dropped the temp of the ultrasofts further outside their workingrange in comparison to the supersoft and soft hence the slow outlap in comparison??


Fittingly that the gamble pays off in Monaco. Didn't realise Wehlein also did the same thing - looks like he finished well up the order too.


Who is in charge of actually bringing the tyres to the car and how much can he decide?

If that was my job I would have shod the ones I had ready rather than the ones ordered by the bosses if it meant a slow pit stop

Of course I might be out of a job even if RIC had won


The timing during the race indicated Ricciardo was on used super softs James. Did Red Bull accidentally give him a scrubbed set in the confusion or is that all they had?


DR's strategist(not sure if they are shared) has shown they are too focused on their rear view mirror.

They've forgotten that at some point, with the fastest car, the lead, and the fastest driver on the day, there is no need to even look at their competitors, and focus solely on the stategy that gets their driver to the finish line in the fastest possible manner.

Especially in Monaco, what Mercedes did or didn't do with LH didn't matter at all. As Merc proved, once LH inherited the lead, track position is everything. RBR has let the competition dictate their own strategy for DR two races in a row and its blown up on them.

Like inviting foxes to look after your hen house! You're gonna get screwed as DR would say.


@James Allen, I haven't been able to find any info as to why the safety car stayed out so damn long at the start of the race. 7 laps behind a safety car on a track which is barely wet, for the "best drivers in the wold" is an embarresment to the sport. What on Earth happened there? Brundle and Hamilton both made comments which suggested that it was a farce that Race Control did not bring the safety car in sooner.

I appreciate wanting to start under the SC to avoid a T1 melee, but 7 bloody laps?? 2, maybe 3 was all that was needed.

What were they so worried about?


Had Hamilton not voiced his frustration, we might have seen a few more laps of Safety Car. I thought they might go all the way if the rain continued. 😛


I guess Palmer's Shunt straight after the start gave an indication!


@James Allen, c'mon man! We have to keep the Hamiltons, Alonsos, Buttons, Vettels etc held back so that the Jolyons (or Jolyoff) can make it safely down the straight? Everyone else knew the painted lines would be slippery, did Jolyon not get the memo?


An indication that the rain tyres arent propper rain tyres or an indication that Palmers time at Renault will soon be up ?

Eduardo de Bono

As I thought. Red Bull cocked up completely under pressure.


Great article James. One thing that stands out for me and from other races like Spain, is the point of having so many dry tyre options that Pirelli clearly have not manufactured consistently between each.

Ultrasoft - 45 laps at Monaco. Lewis said they only really fell off the cliff in the final lap.
SuperSofts - Quicker to heat up than Ultra's but go off quicker it seems than the Ultra's.
Softs - Judging by Perez lap times was the quicker and more durable choice over the SuperSofts. Unless Force India have made major gains on performance for this race compared previously with RB and Mercs.
Mediums - at Spain, after an initial quick two laps they settled into a consistent time lap after lap without any evident fall off toward the end of the race.

Surely if Pirelli are going to the effort of making numerous tyre options, they should provide a linear performance/durability from one option to the next.

UlstraSofts you would think should be fastest, quickest to heat up and very short durability. 45 laps doesn't make sense.
Why bother having Hard option when, I from memory Rosberg finished the race on Mediums after his first lap pitstop at Sochi in 2014?


Your analysis of the tyres seems to not take into account that different circuits and conditions work the tyres differently. eg in Sochi the surface is not very abrasive at all so does not wear the tyre out very quickly but Silverstone works the tyres much harder.

I assume that your analysis of SS is based on the fact that Ricciardo was able to switch the tyres on quickly at Monaco but they went off towards the end of the race. This was in a wet (drying) race (track temperature is low) on a track that does not work the tyres hard and when Ricciardo is following another car pushing to get past. Because he was pushing and following this meant the tyres wore out much quicker while Ham was trying to conserve his tyres to get to the end. In different conditions it would have been much different


Any of these models cannot factor out no. 1 treatment by their teams. No wonder then that most in the top 10 benefitted from no. 1 treatment at various times in their F1 careers (MSC, ALO, VET, JYS, SEN, etc.). Having a sustained lopsided partnership, as Schumacher had with Barichello, Alonso had with Massa and Fisichella, and Vettel had with Webber, results in higher standings in these models. It helps doubly because there's a gap to the teammate, plus the no. 2 teammate brings down the perceived strength of the car to the model.

From the article: "The reason a driver has been elevated to exalted status in these rankings is to put it simply, due to consistent exceptional performances in cars and teams where others fared less well."


Lewis and Heikki


I guess the track layout of Monaco helped Lewis to preserve the full wets before his pitstop and extend his first stint to make the direct switch to ultrasofts possible. And still guessing that in a normal race track the blocks in the tread of the full wets would move around more, overheat the tyres and destroy them sooner or later.


James- why did Red Bull fit used (4 lap old) super softs on Ricciardo's car? Wouldn't the age of the tyres affect their durability versus ultra softs and their performance versus softs? Was there a thought that used tyres would heat up faster? In the end, Ricciardo's tyres went "off" way quicker than Hamilton's tyres.


IMO, Red Bull should have just put the softs on (the tires that were apparently already available in the garage) and sent RIC out ASAP. What is always paramount in Monaco, is to not lose track position. Had RIC come out in front of HAM, then regardless of the tire compound, RIC would have kept HAM behind him for the rest of the race. RIC was a mere 2 seconds away from coming out in the lead of the race.


Yep, that's it Vivek. Crazy really.



Mercs choice of U Soft (because of desire for quick warm up) made them doubt. Fatal


How very true.


Perhaps next time they'll wrap up in Koala Skin ????????????????
Well it seems to work for some Aussies in the Outback ????????????????

Ricki Sanguinetti

Hamilton said after qualifying that the tires DR was on made no difference,nor an indication who would stop first.He said there was barely any difference as the US was as hard as the SS in Monaco.This is a clear indication Mercedes had done meticulous study of the tires before qualifying than Red Bull.
They took into effect the presence of the SC and VSC would have on the tires durations and made an inspired guess.
Whereas Red Bull, IMO ,due to lack of front running is dusty.Unless for intra team politics,they have made bad calls on two consecutive races.Or,as the "wise ones" say,they were reciprocating Mercs gift at Barcelona.
For Ferrari,it was since winter testing that l have maintained the car was not up there,as led to believe.As to when Ferrari fans will begin to call for the scalp of both pilots is a matter of time.But that will be stretching the top of an inherent issue.
We need more and more of such reporting,Thanks James.


The race should have been Daniel Ricciardo’s – he was on superb form all weekend - including a fantastic pole. Without that botched pitstop – initiated by panicking Red Bull to switch from softs to super-softs (firstly giving away (holy) track position (lap 23) and then seeing Hamilton on ultra-softs) – he would certainly have won the race.
But Lewis Hamilton is a deserving winner. He kept extracting more than decent lap times from ageing Wets triggering the bold strategy of staying out and then making the jump straight from wets to ultra-softs – and making them last for 47 laps. During the last 10 laps or so he had to push these old ultra-softs very hard to keep the temperatures up. No wonder he got applause from Paul Hembery and it was the right call from Mercedes to give him a chance to fight for the win.
Nico Rosberg definitely doesn’t excel in wet or changeable conditions but neither did Alain Prost (e.g. Imola 91, Donnington 93 etc.) a driver eligible for my all-time Top 10. Nico is no Alain, hence, don’t be too harsh. He had a day to forget – but he won’t. Team player Nico will now have his contract extended . Dieter Zetsche was in good spirits on Sunday – also as a result of a historic 1-2-3-4 sweep for Mercedes AMG at the Nürburgring 24h - and if I were Nico I wouldn’t wait too long to put my signature.
And the popular vote goes to …. Sergio Perez. I’m very happy for him with his 6th and well deserved podium. Drivers like him are never in the limelight and will never be WDC but don’t give them an opportunity! Force India experienced a great Monaco weekend.
Monaco has never been Ferrari territory (or Williams) and based on third sector performances in Barcelona I had anticipated Ferrari to do worse and McLaren to do better than their respective Saturday grid positions. As such, I think both can be more or less satisfied with the outcome of the race - exception applies to Raikkonen. But Ferrari needs a good result in Canada (Sergio Marchionne probably attending) or a crisis situation is inevitable.
So far this 2016 season is pretty enjoyable and Montreal usually doesn’t disappoint.


The lap times show that Hamilton's wet to ultra softs "strategy" was in fact slower than Ricciardo's wet to intermediates to super softs "strategy". If Hamilton had mirrored Ricciardo's strategy he would have been in front by an even greater margin after Ricciardo's disastrously slow pit stop. My view is that it wasn't all that great a strategy, if fact without Redbull's horrendous pit stop it would have ended up as bad as it really was. At the checkered flag Ricciardo could have been around half a lap in front, if he wanted to drive it home.


@Gary. No. Hamilton was about 12 s behind Ricciardo when Ricciardo pitted for inters. Assuming Hamilton would have about the same pace as Ricciardo on intermediates, Hamilton would still be about 12 s behind Ricciardo when pitting for slicks on lap 32 (in case mirroring Ricciardo). With the wet to ultrasoft strategy, Hamilton was in fact in the lead when pitting for slicks. So Hamiltons strategy was faster.


This analysis off the the Grand Prix is spot on. But there are other things I deduced from the race and the chatter beforehand.
I'm afraid Kimi has lost it. He ought to realise himself that he's lost that little bit that some do with age. It happened to Michael when he came back. The other elder statesmen, Alonso and Button got the best out of their car in the race. As experienced drivers should, they rarely make mistakes, The last couple of seasons Kimi has made them regularly and he has come out a poor second best to Vettel.
Using what Red Bull did to poor Kyvatt as a precedent, surely Max's antics in Monaco should see him swapped with Carlos jnr for Canada?
On a lighter note we learned that there is a driver worse than Lewis in his inability to hide his feelings - Daniel Ricciardo. Poor Dan just could not raise a smile could he? If he possibly can, I think he will move on next year, although with the progress of the Renault unit it could be a big mistake.
Then looking at the cars I was surprised how quick the Force India was. It surely indicates a great chassis to do well in Monaco AND in wet conditions. Difficult to understand, with the Mercedes engine in the back, why they haven't done better at more orthodox tracks. Canada should be interesting.
Williams, on the other hand, since the current regs started, continues to show poor downforce through corners. Whatever they do, they seem incapable of finding a solution. In fact, if anything it seems to be getting worse.
McLaren, once again, predicted great things for Monaco. As Alonso and Button have indicated, if it had been a dry race, they would have struggled to score any points. Eric ought to learn to keep it buttoned (no pun intended). But I see Ron is predicting great things again (next world champs after Merc). Someone should tell him to shut up until the cars do the business on the track. "Title sponsor within months" and "wins before the season ends" were two of his more memorable quotes at the beginning of last season. Now I see he predicts a wonderful future for Stoffel. Oh dear sorry Stoffel.
Anyway, back to my first point, any Kimi fans, tell me why I'm wrong about your man.


If Stoffel doesn't get the drive next year, Ron has well and truly lost it.

With aero changes and more crucially behaviour of tyres set to change (with wider tyres), can't think of better year to introduce a rookie.
There is no substitute to experience, but those changes should level the playing field a bit.


Good article James. Personally, I don't think RB panicked nor do I think Mercedes were inspired. RB just messed up and gifted the race to Hamilton. All they needed to do was bolt on the immediately available set of tyres to get Daniel to the end. Even assuming for a minute Hamilton had quicker tyres and/or a quicker car these factors would have been negated because Daniel would have had the skill to keep Hamilton behind him on the narrow streets of Monaco until the chequered flag. Although I have to say upon reflection and as an Aussie myself I was disappointed by his "screwed over again" comment during the post-race interview especially as it was made in front of the Monaco Royal Family and a world wide audience. I'm sure his mechanics are pretty disappointed too. He now needs to re-focus and be pleased that RB are seemingly ahead of Williams and can compete with Ferrari.


Not his mechanics that he felt screwed over by but strategists and Horner. There were decisions to pit and give up track position in the last two races that are... Dumb! Dumb decisions don't win races or championships and ultimately that's Horner's responsibility- not the pit crew.


Fozxr6: Agreed! That's why I said his mechanics would have be "disappointed" whereas Horner and the strategists should feel embarrassed. DR would have known that this disaster had been caused as a result of decisions on the Pit Wall, hence his statement "screwed over again". To my knowledge the mechanics largely or only act on instructions from the Pit Wall.


Great read ????


Im absolutely stunned at the decisions taken in this race!.

1. Absolutely No reason for Red Bull to pit Dan when they did at the first stop!. If there was any doubt Any whatsoever about the full wets,Dan still had as James said 12sec to wat h Lewis and his times. ! Hamilton was the marker. A) “mirror the car behind”,
2. I do not for on second buy the argument that RBR responded to Perez - that is the stuff of complete insanity!- he was more than 40sec behind!!! Who reacts to that!.Besides as James said the golden rule is b) "“mirror the car behind”, - that was Lewis - not Perez, not Rosberg not Yogi Bear!
3. There is a clear problem with RBR if noone knows where the correct tyres are even before the race ! Let alone when a driver is winning a race and pulling into the box!- absurd!! if they werent sure they could've done another lap!. They had time!.

Red Bull racing were gifted a race by Mercedes leaving Rosberg holding Hamilton up more than 10sec the RBR gave it back by not “mirror the car behind”, & noone else!- there were Never Ever racing anyone else.

At the end of the day (like him/ or loathe him).. Lewis made a bold but common sense decision to stay out on full wets - it was utterly totally visible that the dry line was only a few laps away. Lewis lap times on the wets were controlled and consistent. Yes ultimately the final RBR pit stop ended Dans chances. But lets not forget- they did not need that extra stop either. I cant help but agree with Ricciardo "We did not need to be in that race with Lewis"!! I was sat here screaming it out during that race.. Ive got it wrong before but this was certainly not one of them.

Finally Pirelli are controlling the racing by not allowing any flexibility in the tyre temps and pressures run by the teams. Evidenced by the fact last year you couldnt do 20laps on SS now tou can do 45 on US.


very interesting post ellie. it looks like it's taken you four days to post this yet red bull only had less than an hour to make their decisions on the pit wall, some decisions were made in seconds so give them some credit.
how do you like this article?


Im not a WDC winning team am I ! & slowly accepting theres more to life than JAonF1. Besides posts dont show for a day or sometimes.

I liked Austin '12 but because he thought hard to knock Seb off his perch but tbh I really like Spa 08 - even though he tech lost that to Kimi - I still think he won that. 2 best drivers Ive ever seen


You've been saying you'll leave for years.....anyway, do u reckon Kimi can get a contract extension to thrill us for another season? Both of you have so much more to give....comedy us the fans of F1


Sorry Mr Taxi but I feel your just trying to take me for a ride


so hard to narrow it down to one. fuji 2007 silverstone 2008 monaco 2008 spa 08 as you said. so hard, spa probably is the best due to the battle at the end in the rain but it was taken away from him by the stewards..


Track position, track position, track position. Dan had it, two races in a row and someone in RBR chose to give that up. For no reason - particularly in Monaco. Dan had control of the race, was the fastest at the time so why put him into a race he didn't need to be in. So, that person needs to go. The only thing RBR need to say is we have fixed the issue at the source - whoever in the strategy team has no bottle to roll the hard dice - changing agreed prerace strategy in Spain and then breaking the golden rule of Monaco - track position. If their resignation is not on the table then RBR aren't serious about winning championships. Someone other than Dan has to grow some Balls in RBR and stop being overawed by the Max factor. If they had done a championship job there would be 20 more points on Dans championship points and Nico would be worrying about Dan stealing the title from him not Lewis crowing over being back thanks to the strategist.


Crucially, Red Bull pitted a hard charging Max Verstappen on the same lap as Hamilton. He was put onto the Soft tyre.

This season reminds me of 2007 McLaren, especially if the Renault upgrade delivers in Canada. Red Bull seem to be caught in same "Rookie champion" heartwarming story that saw McLaren back Lewis over Alonso leading to a loss of the championship.
Phenomenal drives by both Ricciardo and Lewis in changing conditions. I feel for Ricciardo, though like Alonso in 2007 ( and till date) he must wonder which other team will give him a better chance.


‘. . . the strategy team missed a simple step in the process . . .’

Sorry, this just doesn’t compute –
It implies that with all the technology available in F1, line-of-sight (or lack of it) overrules and negates all other options.


Thanks for your insight James, but I disagree with the statement "virtually all of the race outcomes for drivers were decided by strategy decisions". Hamilton nearly lapping Rosberg, plenty of overtakes and many crashes are data points that strongly suggest that driver input has the most significant bearing on race outcomes for drivers, which is one reason that wet/dry races are typically considered more exciting than an all dry affair.




This race, was the perfect example of why one of my cures for F1 is going there where weather is unpredictable. If it had been a dry sunny day at Monaco, the race would have been another bore-fest (or close to it). Now we have loads to talk about. Sprinklers might be controversial compared to other options, but I sure do believe that we all have to give that idea some SERIOUS concideration !! Only to be used if a race starts to turn out in a bore-fest, hit the panick-sprinkler button.


Great insights. I would just like to say how much I enjoyed this race despite there being very little actual overtaking. The sense of drama and tension was palpable and it reminded me of what F1 used to be like in the ninties. Hit +1 if you agree.


James, would Hamilton still come out in front of Ricciardo if he didnt cut the final chicane in his outlap ? Compared to Ricciardo and Vettel, Hamilton has been pretty lucky so far this year. Only race he didnt finish was because of his collision with Rosberg. He was lucky in Australia when he was on course for a fourth place at best and then the Alonso-Guitirez crash gave him a free stop and a second place. Then he was lucky that he wasnt blamed on his crash with Bottas even though he cut in front of him from the left side ignoring there was place for 3 cars on his side. Then he got lucky for not getting a 10 place grid penalty after Spain and again he got lucky with Ricciardos botched pit stop in Monaco and that Rosberg followed team order because his contract isnt signed yet. Of course he is also lucky driving the most dominant car in F1. Alot of luck going his way yet the mantra is somehow that he is unlucky and winning against the odds ???


Blinkered. You may as well copy paste repeat, the theme doesn't seem to change, I think everyone has got it by now.


You will get some abuse from Lewis fans.

Carlos Marques

So in other words, Max managed to take another win away from Ricciardo. Nice.


James, waaaay of topic....But here it goes.
Why is it that I get the emails notifications when someone replies to one of my comments but when I cut and paste the link into my browser the reply isnt there?
And also, with the new layout, which I love, the website doesnt remember my name or email anymore.


The system send you an email when you get a reply, but moderators read the comments first and if they approve they appear on here


James, I have two questions for you.

Is there any further explaination to Rosbergs woeful pace? To come seventh in the race winning car seems pretty awful. Are we all very willing to put it down to the drivers lack of feel..?

Secondly Ferrari. Do you think there's a chance they've slipped back to the 'Alonso era' of erroneous aero development? They seem to be having the most underwhelming season considering expectations.


Rosberg pace is a strange one - certainly brakes were blamed as an issue, tyres cooled and he didn't have the feel

Psychological side can't be counted out after Spain collision. He wasn't on his A game all weekend

Ferrari seems to have problems with traction which meant they weren't in it at Monaco

Remember that in Spain the Ferrari was faster than Red Bull but they didn't play s good hand on strategy

Development has moved them forward but Merc and Red Bull have too and RENAULT step moves them ahead of Ferrari


Thanks for the reply. I would have expected Rosberg to feel he did the right thing in shutting the door in Spain, despite the double dnf. Fascinating to think that Red Bull may have jumped Ferrari...


James I think its early days to make such conclusion about Rosbgers psychological side. The upcomming races will be decisive mainly after Hamilton cut his points gad at almost half. It something that should hurt him somewhere. Because now the game is changing, he can't afford bad result like Monaco, therefore Rosberg will take more risks. Risks will increase pressure and erros can be right at the turn. With Redbull in great shape, things couldn't be worst for Rosberg championship win. He will face more challenges and more battlesd. He have no more guarantee that in bad days he will still be the number 2 driver in both qualifying and race result. Other conclusion is that Hamilton will make less GP to close the gap as Rosberg expected before. Defintely the game has changer. It's like a new championship. Rosberg can fall dramatically like in 2014 after spa.


I understand the notion of RedBull gifting the race to Mercedes, but I also think that Mercedes' early race tactics in not forcing Rosberg to cede earlier, might well have gifted the race to RBR. Had the move been encouraged after the second lap of Rosberg losing 3 seconds a lap and Hamilton being within a second of him, and given Hamilton's sold reeling in of Ricciardo, we could have had a very close race on our hands - one that probably would have hinged directly on in/out laps and laps chosen to pit. As it was, the RBR debacle of a stop nullified the mistakes Merc had made at the start. Yes, Ricciardo would have been fancied to win without the poor stop, but I don't necessarily think it's as clear cut as is being made out.


I don't buy the notion of Redbull gift the win to Mercedes. Mercedes putted too much pressure in Redbull. When Ham pitted Redbull found an unique opportunity to jump Hamilton as it's pretty complicated to overtake a car in monaco. So Redbull hurried their pit stop. I think we should give more credits to both mercedes and hamilton. Pits errors can happen, and both mercedes and hamilton force that to produced. Say that Hamilton is lucky is a misunderstanding of basics concept of motorsport.
An other factor responsible of that is the shut down communication between teams and drivers. So rival teams have less information to spy their concurrent.
Be able to keep a well balance redbull car in quicker and suited tires is definitely not lucky. that just show the 3 times world champion class of Lewis Hamilton.



Why Hulkemberg didn't get penalty for crossing the pit exit line during his second pit stop. He actually crossed the line twice on the same exit.
This might even impact the championship, since he finished ahead of Rosberg. Maybe you can ask Charlie, or someone in the know in Canada next week?

I thought stewards are giving the drive through penalty to everyone who even touches the line, let alone drives all over it...twice.
Please check this video on 1:06:43.

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