Analysis: Did Hamilton back Rosberg up in Hungary and other stories from the race
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Lewis Hamilton
Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Jul 2016   |  7:57 am GMT  |  144 comments

Not the thriller that last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix proved to be, this year’s event was nevertheless tense in the battle between the Red Bull and Ferrari cars and strategy was pivotal to the outcome for a number of drivers.

Ferrari has not had the best time of it lately when it comes to strategy decision-making, but in Hungary they were on good form with two very different strategies for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen that saw both finish the race ahead of where they started.

Max Verstappen

Sebastian Vettel
Pre-race considerations
It was extremely hot in Budapest; the track temperature was up to 56 degrees at the start of the race, but qualifying had been interrupted by torrential rain, which meant that all drivers had plenty of new tyres to plan their strategy around and the track was pretty green on race day, having been washed clean on Saturday.

The Pirelli tyre choice of supersoft, soft and medium suggested a two stop strategy would be the fastest, with supersoft the starting tyre and then two stints on softs. To make a reverse strategy work, (soft-supersoft-supersoft) would require a driver to be able to do 20 laps on supersoft, which was pushing it. Meanwhile any strategy that involved the medium compound looked uncompetitive, but should anyone take the chance, hoping to keep track position, the key was to stick with it.

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari hit the sweet spot – on strategy at least
Although a result of fourth and sixth may look quite a disappointment after winning this Grand Prix last season, Ferrari can be pleased with the strategy decisions at least. The car pace remains a problem relative to the Mercedes, but also now the Red Bull cars.

However the Scuderia took the right decisions in Hungary on race day and it meant that Vettel finished fourth from fifth on the grid, while Raikkonen finished sixth from 14th on the grid. So what did they do right?

The first move was with Vettel, whose stop at the end of Lap 14 triggered the first round of stops for Mercedes and Red Bull.

Ferrari were in a great position with Vettel as he was able to stay close behind the two Red Bull cars ahead and Max Verstappen began to struggle with his rear tyres after around 8 laps. This pulled him back towards Vettel and within range of an undercut, which Ferrari gladly took.

Daniel Ricciardo

Some pundits have questioned why Red Bull did not pre-empt that undercut from Vettel by stopping first. The answer is because they didn’t have enough of a gap back to Hulkenberg, Bottas and especially Raikkonen, who was running a long first stint on soft tyres so would not be stopping until around Lap 30. Red Bull were trying to pull a gap, when Vettel pitted. They had to react with the lead car, which was Ricciardo and the Verstappen a lap later. This condemned the Dutchman not only to losing a position to Vettel, but also falling behind Raikkonen.

This separated him from Ricciardo and from then on his race was not for the podium but for fifth place with Raikkonen. But while he was on the wrong end of a strategy call for once, the real reason he was in that position was because he had not managed the tyres well in the opening eight laps, unlike Ricciardo.

A tiny detail, but worth mentioning is that Vettel also had a small stroke of luck; immediately prior to his first stop, he didn’t have a gap back to Raikkonen and would have come out behind his team mate, requiring some team orders to get him past the Finn. But Raikkonen lost time behind Hulkenberg, meaning that Vettel emerged just ahead as he exited the pits. Drama avoided.

Max Verstappen Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen earns driver of the day plaudits
Kimi Raikkonen may have ended the race frustrated by the way Verstappen blocked him as he tried to overtake, but he had a very strong drive to come through from 14th place and make the reverse strategy work. The key to it was his ability to make the supersoft tyres in the second stint last 21 laps. No one else in the top ten managed it, although Daniil Kvyat did something similar in the minor placings.

Raikkonen should have been able to clear Verstappen, given the difference in tyre pace, but the Dutchman blocked him, using double moves that the Finn felt were unacceptable. At one point they even made contact, damaging Raikkonen’s front wing.
It was a really good strategy from Ferrari and had Raikkonen cleared Verstappen he would have caught the Vettel & Ricciardo battle, which would have been very interesting.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s ‘management’ endangers result, Ricciardo loses sight of Vettel
One of the more noteworthy cameos at the front of the race was the warning given to race leader Lewis Hamilton from his Mercedes team that he needed to pick up the pace around half distance, as he was backing himself and team mate Nico Rosberg into the cars behind, namely Ricciardo and Vettel and putting the team’s 1-2 finish at risk.

Hamilton said afterwards that on a hot day such as this, there was no need to push the car to build a ten second gap, but he was ‘managing’ the race too severely. While he would have been aware of the gaps back to Rosberg and Ricciardo, what he might not have been aware of was the general picture and what is known as the Safety Car window, whereby a badly timed Safety Car could have meant that Vettel gained track position over all of them, had it fallen favourably for him.

Red Bull sought to exploit this situation by pitting Ricciardo on Lap 35, which was very early in terms of reaching the chequered flag on a set of soft tyres. But he was trying to push them onto a reaction.

Instead the Mercedes picked up the pace dramatically (see Race History chart below) and cleared the danger, stopping six laps later. Whilst understandable by Red Bull on one level, this early second stop was also a risky move as it showed they had lost sight of Vettel as a threat from behind and he almost got Ricciardo at the end when the Red Bull struggled on its tyres in the closing stages.

The UBS Race Strategy Briefing is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists and from Pirelli

Report Sm Rect bann

Race History and Tyre Usage Charts – Kindly Supplied by Williams Martini Racing – Click to Enlarge

Illustrating the relative pace of each car and showing the gaps between them in seconds. An upward curve shows strong pace.

Note the pace of Raikkonen in second stint and transpose that onto third stint; if he had been able to clear Verstappen he would have been right in the battle for the podium with Ricciardo and Vettel at the end.

Contrast Hamilton’s pace in the early part of the middle stint with his pace after lap 33 when he was warned that the team would reverse the drivers if he did not speed up, as Ricciardo was threatening them. It’s clear the degree to which he was ‘managing’ the race, but also there is no question it put not only Rosberg at threat from Ricciardo, but also both of them at threat from Vettel if a Safety Car had fallen at the wrong moment.

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144 comments

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1

Not every race can be a classic and this one isn't in any danger of that accusation! The Mercedes have pace to spare, it must be so downheartening to RB ando Ferrari. If Ham was backing Nico up, why did Nico not give it a go for the lead? He could hav pressured hamilto to go faster. Are these the new rules of engagement? Whosover shall be first at T1 shall remain there until the chequered flag!

2

Why is no one mentioning that Lewis was intentionally trying to force Ros to wear out his tyres to a point that it threatens Ros's second position? I doubt that this was "Merc's new rule of engagement".

3

@ aezy....exactly the point i was going to make and you beat me to it!!! there is no doubt that the new rules of engagement ensure that there is no real racing between them despite what wolffie says. it was an orchestrated result. As for wolff's staement that he feared the red bulls were going to give them a run for their money...what a hollow prediction that proved to be! he must think that we are all just so dumb. the mercedes can just turn it up whenever and wherever it suits them. all the evidence points to that.

4

Kenneth. No doubt? Really? I assume that as there is "no doubt" that you have some evidence to back up your claim? I think there is massive doubt that such a plan exists, or that Mercedes would even try such a thing. A silly thing to say in my view as this latest conspiracy theory will be shot to pieces the next time the two Merc drivers start racing each other.

5

I think the pre-race instructions from Mercedes to both cars to mind the tires in the high heat on Sunday was more responsible for the race quality we saw between Nico and Lewis than any R.O.E instructions. Also, do not forget Nico knows that he has one "easy" win in the next three races due to Lewis taking a big engine penalty - most likely in Monza.

6

Rosberg seemed quicker at times (just after pit stops for example), but as we've seen on many occasions, unless you're that much quicker that you can actually overtake, all you do by following closely is knacker your tyres.

Hungary is not known for its overtaking opportunities.

7

I agree, Rosberg seemed lacklustre all race long. He was once under 2 tenths behind Hamilton when he made a mistake. Next lap around he was already 1,8 seconds behind. Very strange

8
devilsadvocate

Right, Rosberg pulled to within 0.5sec at least twice in the race only to be over 1sec back the next time the two went through a timing checkpoint. Call me skeptical but about the only way that could happen is by team orders. Even if he was driving a Manor he would have been able to hang on long enough for at least one attempt in the next DRS zone, just look at Rosbergs pace all race long. the only other plausible explanation is that he basically just checked out on those two laps, because all race they were never more than a tenth or two off each other's overall pace. The gap at the beginning was basically the gap that Hamilton had on lap one after the first few corners.

9

Klaas and Devils advocate. Sorry to disappoint you guys but the gap to Rosberg only went under a second on 4 laps out of 70. On two of those (laps 21 and 67) it only went to just under a second, (0.963 and 0.927) but I believe you are talking about laps 52 and 62. On lap 52 the gap went down to 0.619 seconds, and then increased to 1.208 on lap 53. A similar story on lap 62, down to 0.687 and then rising to 1.137 a lap later. So no evidence of any team orders, just two drivers working through the traffic, and the one in front with a few tenths in his pocket that he can use when required.

10

Spot on! And on those occasions, Hamilton was encountering back markers.

11

jean Luc, yes Bottas on lap 52 and the wretched Guttierez on lap 62.

12

TimW to the rescue.
Hamilton is the best we get it.

13

Just introducing a few facts into the debate SB. Do you disagree with anything I have written?

14

@sb
Ohhh please!
Can't you just stop with your pretentious remarks and add something a little constructive to the debate.
And "we get it". Who's "we"? Is there a group of you writing your post??

15

Watch Vettel when being chased. All lap long the chaser is within a second EXCEPT at the DRS line when Seb squeeks out the difference and he can do this lap after lap.

16

i fully agree with you, if every race was a classic then they'll all be prdinary..
i think Hamilton managed his race well, saving his engine for future races.

17

Why are the teams allowed to tell HAM to speed up? but not tel BUT how to fix his brakes? these radio rules are bonkers.

The race would have been more interesting if ROS was pushed back into RIC, may have made ROS challenge HAM instead of just following home like a faithful puppy.

18

You answered your own question. The first scenario is telling the driver WHAT to do (go faster) while the second is telling the driver HOW to do it. First one allowed, second one not.

However, I agree that where brake effectiveness is concerned, not being able to tell the driver how to fix it is just stupid.

19

With regard to driver coaching: How about applying time penalties to driver coaching or even communication to driver. Then the team could weigh the benefit of comm with driver vs time penalty.

20

they can even tell one driver to let their teammate pass them.

21

Yep, it's ridiculous.

Driver coaching is one thing (and that rubbish should be banned), but diagnostics and problem solving are another thing entirely.

22

that was me being sarcastic random79...i don't think it matters so long as it applies to all teams and drivers equally.
one thing i like least is inconsistency.

23

"one thing i like least is inconsistency"

And yet you watch F1 - What are we going to do with you aveli? 🙂

25

in the application of the rules of cause..

26

Agreed, and making it sad and boring for racing fans that some drivers get preferential treatment...

27

I was wondering what your thoughts were James and if I wasn't looking for it I may well have missed it.

Another balanced overview on an article I look forward to reading every post race Tuesday..

28

I noticed after everyone of the front runners had pitted for Soft's that Lewis Hamilton was not using all the road and more at the final corner - around the time of his radio message "Struggling for pace". I thought he might have been going for a graining phase as the track was still relatively green (still building up rubber on the racing line) and the Soft compound rubber was brand new, meaning it hadn't been put through a heat cycle. I thought LH had severe understeer problems on his first set of Softs, and that may have been the case, but in all probability he was just nursing his rubber through that graining phrase until the tread pattern cleaned up and bedded into the track after some relatively gentle laps.

It's possibly significant that LH was struggling slightly with the left front understeering, while both RBs towards the end of their stints were struggling slightly with the left rear overheating. Max was really dropping off the pace significantly with an oversteering left rear tyre at the end of the first stint on the super-softs, which contributed to him losing time and getting jumped by Sebastian Vettel and falling behind Kimi. Hungary is a mainly rear limited circuit and yet the Mercs were possibly experiencing front graining problems, suggesting the front warm up isn't as quick as the RBs (which overheats its rears more than the Mercs).

Kimi Raikkonen did brilliantly to make the softs last 30 odd laps on full tanks and a green track - and he was being held up in traffic, with the resultant "dirty air" causing his tyres and car's temperatures to massively increase in the hot turbulent air of following another car. He showed remarkable constraint after the race after Max's reprehensible blocking tactics - I'm surprised he didn't think of having a "chat" with the young Dutchman.........

29

I think we should remember that contrary to popular belief, HAM is a smart driver and needs to manage he's engine usage/life as well. so this race was a great place to do just that

30

A couple of points there....firstly, verstappen has been lauded as a driver who can race hard and at the same time preserve his tyres. as the report states, his tyres were suffering after just eight laps? second point is that james mentions 'verstappen employing 'double moves' whilst blocking raikonnen. is that meant to convey the fact that verstappen breached the double move which is normally penalised? the third point is that i think, but cannot possibly know for sure, that hamilton certainly backed rosberg up knowing full well that he had lots more on tap to move away if and when ricciardo was close enough to attack rosberg. at that stage ricciardo had put in some stunning laps to come from 6/8secs away to be 2.8 secs adrift! the actual message that we all heard may not have been the first as we never ever get to hear all the comms only the ones that the FIA want us to hear. i actually thought that it was strange that there was a not too subtle threat to take things into their own hands if he didn't comply!. what we also don't know is that whether rosberg was telling the pit wall that hamilton had to pickup his pace as well. thanks for the info james, always good to read the follow up. helps to make some sense of what the pit wall get up to now that they can't 'drive' the cars any longer.

31

How one earth have you accrued minus twelve votes? Is anyone else seeing this?

32

@ aezy...you've got eyes like a hawk! i never even noticed it and now it appears to have been fixed hahaha If it was kosher then that's fine by me as not many people agree with what i say anyway. c'est la vie.

33

Aezy, no but Kenneth's post appears to be a lighter shade than the others on my screen. Has Kenneth broken JAonF1?!

34

Oh....can someone make one of my comments +22,222? This one will do. I'm going for high score.

35

Nico reminds me of Schumacher... in as much as he has a selective and dubious interpretation of what constitutes fair play, however, he seems to have a fairly significant skill deficit in comparison.

He didn't lose the race at turn 1 due to a bad start, he lost it because he didn't have the bottle of the drivers around him.

If not from a team perspective, then certainly as a driver, Lewis was entirely right to push him back in to the range of Ric & Seb.

If Nico wasn't in such a good car, we wouldn't be wasting oxygen discussing it.

Frankly, I am stunned that Merc signed him up again.

36

How come ROS out qualified and scored more points than Schumacher then!!!!

37

Are you suggesting that Rosberg is better than Shumacher was? Don't be ridiculous. Shumacher was 42-44 when Rosberg outperformed him. On top of that he was returning after 3 years away from racing. If beating such a teammate is an exploit by Rosberg's standard then Rosberg's a loser.

38

The Schumacher that Rosberg was paired with was a pale imitation of the version from his first career.
If Rosberg had gone up against 90s and early 2000s Schumacher i suspect it would be a very different story.

39

In 2012 Schumacher also had the worst reliability and fortune to a start of a season than I can remember any driver having. Something like 5 out of the first 7 races affected with issues outside of his control. Showed his class at Monaco 2012. Shame amateur Bruno Senna cost him a penalty.

40

I can understand them resigning him ,every teams likes a good steady no2, but on the money reported,blimey if those figures are true merc have to be bonkers

41

@ferret
And I don't think they are true.
What would it do for Nico"s reputation if we found out he gets half of what Hamilton gets?
A little white lie doesn't hurt anyone, especially Nico?

42

Well Merc have access to a ton more data than us armchair critics. They also have the fastest F1 car and most desirable seat.
So, it looks like their facts tell them that he is worth a lot more than many on here believe.

43

No doubt. On the other hand, Nico signed a 2-yr contract when his teammate signed on for 3, and his teammate is getting almost double the wages. So it looks like their facts tell them that he is worth a lot less than many on here believe.

44

I think Red Bull forgot who they were racing. Strategy wise they brought a knife to a gun fight. But it must be nice to have that half a second button on the steering wheel.

45

But it must be nice to have that half a second button on the steering wheel.

It's called the 'Jenson' button... unfortunately it requires rain to activate it.

46

those breed (classic drive) will come to end soon.
this is era of kamakazis

47

But for the lack of overtaking thought it was a good race that also countered some myths that had been taking hold. Before the race we knew that Hamilton would fluff the start, Nico's brakes would disintegrate in the heat, Supermax would be on fire and scorch all ahead of him, the red cars would go backwards, there would be at least one safety car and JB would retire with a broken car. At least one myth still holds.

48

Brilliant comment mate ??

49

Clearly Raikkonen would have been right in there for the last podium spot if he'd qualified on at least row 3. May have even kept the Mercs a bit more honest.

50

Clearly not.
If he had qualified higher he would have been on the same strategy as Seb not the alternative recovery strategy he was on and would in all likelihood have finished where he did or maybe best case behind Seb.

51

had RAI qualified in the top ten, he would have started on supersofts, so his race would have been completely different. had he started in 11th place, it gets interesting as he starts on softs and maybe comes out ahead of VES and is in the mix with VET/RIC

52

You must ask yourself why did Mec not tell nico to push that would make hamilton go faster

53

@ pem
Who says he wasn't pushing?

54

As much as I want to see balls to the wall flat out racing that was a thinking mans race from HAM, as good as any race done by Le professeur Prost I don't remember too many complaints when he was managing his pace to conserve fuel and win at the end as others fell by the wayside. Different times eh.

Its not long ago HAM was more than forty points behind, he is a World Champion and knows what has to be done to win. He needs to protect his PU to manage his penalties, its not surprising then if he manages his pace accordingly. If ROS was that much faster then he should have passed him cleanly on the track. Oh sorry I was talking about ROS.

As for VES the odd move if fine but persistent blocking should be punished and punished hard. The stewards have access to all the data so if they say its fine then that's that.

The low point of the weekend for me was the tacit acceptance by the stewards that a really minor lift is OK for double waved yellows. This sets a bad precedent if you ask me.

55

Mark my words, this kid is going to cause a big accident soon.... it is something to do with this new generation of kids, no respect at all for anybody, do what I want attitude, no punishment, no consequences, I am not responsible type of life.... although I really want to be wrong.

56

Monaco '15 might've learned him about making cleaner passes, but definitely his erratic defending is going to end in a big shunt somewhere. I just hope when it happens that his car doesn’t get off lightly while someone else's gets launched into the air then the barriers.

57

Unfortunately Peruvian, you won't be..

58

@just_a_bloke
There seems to be a lack of consistency in your views on the race stewards. When discussing Max defending his position from Kimi you claim "The stewards have access to all the data so if they say its fine then that's that".
You however immediately contradict yourself with your next sentence regarding Nico's pole lap "The low point of the weekend for me was the tacit acceptance by the stewards that a really minor lift is OK for double waved yellows". Why do you now question the stewards decision? Do they now not have all of the data available to them? Is it because of the driver who benefited?
I understand we are all expressing our opinions here on this site however a modicum of consistency and objectivity would help elevate your opinion. Stewards decisions are frustrating most when they lack consistency in their application of the rules. Finding their decision frustrating purely because of the driver who benefits/suffers is understandable yet not adding much to the discussion.

59

Ok I see where you are going but please be assured this isn't driven by fanboy mentality. I genuinely think the issues are different.

In the light of the Bianchi investigation not slowing for yellows was a MAJOR factor in a fatality, it now seems a slight lift is all that's needed, I don't care who the driver is double waved yellows represent a potentially serious incident, be prepared to stop.

From my perspective, and I could be wrong I don't have a racing license, the VES/RAI incident was hard racing, that's what I want to see. I personally think there is too much molly coddling and softly softly when drivers are arguing over one move rules and waved blue flags. Hopefully the guys/(gals) on the track can draw the line themselves between hard racing and blatant blocking. what comes round goes round. As it happens I really, really, wanted RAI to pass VES.

If we all had the same view the world would be a dull place.

60

I have held a racing license for many years (succesfully) the simple issue is that max brilliant or not has not spent time in classes where waiting to see what your competitor does then driving into that space while braking early is something that gets sorted out very quickly in the lower classes, particularly when you move from karts to cars - while f1 has no brake lights (for the arm chair guys) some lower but just as fast classes have NO MIRRORS and thus the little shimmy moves the young chap is using would end up in disaster. All he is doing is enjoying the fact that he has mirrors. He just did not spend enough time in the lower classes understanding the responsibility that comes with them.

Good? Yes. God? Nowhere near and until it's clamped down on he is a ski slope waiting to happen. Thank goodness it was Kimi behind him.

61

@Archer - I read @just_a_bloke's comments differently. Blocking yes/no is an easy decision to make when the car telemetry and video evidence is available. The complaint against the stewards on the yellow flag incident is that, even with all the data available, they made a judgment call as to whether Rosberg had slowed sufficiently. There is nothing in the regulations to define an actual figure in absolute or percentage terms that is acceptable as slowing down. Thus it becomes a purely arbitrary stewards decision, one where I think they should have been much, much harsher with a real penalty against Rosberg. Not slowing sufficiently under double yellows was what caused Bianchi's accident. Rosberg, and all the other F1 drivers who think the barest lifting of the foot is acceptable need to get some safety reeducation.

I believe the matter was more difficult to judge because there may have been a switch from double to single flags at some point during the incident and the track was continually getting faster. But I don't see that as an much of an excuse - being allowed to set the fasted time, on a lap that included a section under yellow flags is not a good message to send out.

62

I reckon Lewis was pacing himself. After the shunt on FP2 he was in the dark regarding long pace durability of the Tyres in the long stint phase. So regarding Rosberg no he wasn't ditching him into the Red Bulls clutches. Both turned up the dial on their engines and they were away "far from the madding crowd."
Besides Lewis dialled his engine down and tried to limit the stress on his last engine of the season before the penalty engine.
Gutteriz didn't help much as he failed to let Lewis pass. Most back markers gave way but a certain decided they wanted to slow the front runners down. Gutteriz deserved a few points on his licence and an obligatory eye test [Mod] ? That should programme his brain to observe the blue↪ flags.

63

Lewis still has two engines (ICE) left to use (i believe) before taking a peanlty it's the other parts of the Power Unit he has used 5 of, the MGU-H and turbocharger I think.

64

You're right. Both Rosberg and he have used 3 ICE's.

HUN16 PU Elements:
http://www.fia.com/file/45375/download?token=QKlF0ZKg

65

No he hasn't he is on his last ICE engine.

66

Nope. See link above.

67

Can someone explain the chart to me again? At the start, Hamilton was 5 seconds behind something-or-other, then he dropped to around 26 seconds behind something-or-other at his first stop, then at the end he was exactly on zero.

So what does zero represent? Average lap pace for the ultimate winner? That doesn't make sense as the line would have to slope upwards after lap 1 to represent a flying start to the lap.

Help!

68
Torchwood Mobile

I just scroll past the things.

I too belong in the "don't know what the hell they are on about" club.

The written analysis and comments are great though.

69

Each line represents how far behind (or in front) of a mythical metronomic average lap time each driver is at any point during the race. Because it's a standing start they do below average on lap 1. They continue to do below average as they have full tanks, but may start to catch up to the mythical car before a pit stop sends them 20 odd seconds further back. The winner starts and finishes the race at the same time as the mythical car because it's using his average as the zero line! Safety cars and rain affected races sometimes see the driver lines going ahead of the mythical car, but it is always balanced by them falling behind again.

70

Yes, I get that but it's still too confusing for my simple mind. Surely one of the smart people reading this blog can devise a simpler chart?

71

This format is apparently used by the teams, so perhaps if we all invested some effort in understanding it better we'd all find it useful, too.

72

I find it really useful as it gives an insight into who put in quick laps when, who pitted when and what their relative pace compared to other drivers was. Far more info than we ever get simply by watching the race!

73

The zero line is the winners time divided by the number of laps in the race.
The drivers lines represent their times compared to the above line. Remember the following, that for the first half of the race the times will be slower that the zero line average. The second half of the race, the times will be faster that the average. You can tell this by the slope of the lines. If they are going down, then they are slower than the average, and if they are going up, then they are going faster that the average.
One other thing to remember, is that the gaps to the zero line is cumulative. For example, if a driver is 5 seconds slower than the winners average after the first lap, and 5 seconds slower again after the second lap, then the cumulative difference after lap 2 is 10 seconds.

74

Hamilton knew the distance to Ricciardo. He knew the time needed for a stop. So he was trying to stay ahead of Ricciardo at a stop but so close that Rosberg would loose to Ricciardo. This was foul play to the team and Mercedes gave a warning to him.

75
MistressOfSpeed

Pray tell me. How does HAM know the distance to RIC?

Pit boards typically display tyre lap stints (the information preferred by ROS); or track position, lap no and time to driver running behind if you are the front runner. The person on pit board duty only holds the board perpendicular to the wall for his driver and more often the time displayed varies slightly from the timing app information that we access through the F1App on a lap by lap basis.

Does this mean that HAM notes the position of all the driver on track from the big screens and then reads and registers EACH and EVERY pit board as he passes by! Doubtful

76

That is one way to look at it or you could look at it that Hamilton was just managing his pace out front looking after his tyres and most importantly his engine. When the team warned him of the threat from behind he upped his pace which he probably wouldn't have done if he was intentionally trying to slow Rosberg down. But I'm sure you'll see what you want to see

77

You fail to mention that Verstappen was stuck behnd Ricciardio and complaining about the low pace of Ric (the grandma quote). In his post race comments Max states he was pulling a gap to de Ferrari's but than got stuck behind a slower car. ruining his race..Canada reversed for Max but he deals with it a lot better than Ric did i feel. No complain from Max about better pace in clean air and all that jazz.

78

Hmm, he was complaining a bit afterwards. Thing is, he could have helped himself by 1) out qualifying Ricciardo, or 2) out dragging him at the start. As he did neither he had to tuck in behind Ricciardo, and he'd lose the first stop benefits given to the lead car. So then he needed to show he had better tire management. He couldn't do that. Lastly he needed to hit his marks for his pit stop, to make sure he didn’t get stuck behind Kimi. He didn't, so that was his race done. He can't have too many complaints.

79

No complain from Max about better pace in clean air and all that jazz.

Errmm... would that be the Max Verstappen who (on fresher tyres) was dropping away from (Ricciardo) by half a second a lap when they were both in clean air?

80

But Ricciardo was managing his tyres better so Max may have been faster in that part of the race but as his tyres went off it then caused him to lose out to Vettel and nearly Raikonnen. The quickest way to the end of the race isn't necessarily driving as quick as possible.

81

After seeing the headline, I wonder if Lewis would back Nico up on a USB stick or CD?
Or just upload to the Cloud ??

82

Only if Toto gives permission to do so....
Of course, that ain't coaching (a driver).

83

We all have our own interpretation of F1’s colourful language . . .

84

Richie J you love your comic bubbles.
But Max was doing more movements than a constipated elephant ?

85

@Biffa - a *constipated* elephant does very few movements, by definition!

86

I got it ...very cryptic...?
Yes so a constipated elephant would be motionless.
But Max car and steering are not suffering from constipation. Therfore he is the opposite suffering from the squits.
Meaning he is all over the place .
Zig Zagging. Leaving big chunks everywhere. That's why Kimi ended up in the shunt.
But be aware..
The elephant would on his 12th day approx . .. experience a double yellow flag because
Man will he be doing movements .
We are talking seismic chart shattering. ?

87

A constipated elephant wouldn't be doing any movements Biffa. On with the opposite problem would be doing many! Not sure if we've strayed from F1 related comments!

88

You keep posting that hilarious picture. Funny that most comments on here seem to disagree with the point you're trying to make.

89

Currently (1.00pm GMT, 26 July) –
54% of those polled say ‘it was acceptable defensive driving’
So the vociferous nay-sayers constitute the minority.

90

Wouldn't say it's a minority in the pole. It's quite close in terms of votes. Even the vote against Max is high now.

91

Maxexit is Maxexit. The vote stands!

92

Yes I saw the poll.. isn't it strange that the results don't in any way reflect the overwhelming amount of comments critical of Max's driving? I guess that's what happens with a vote system that allows people to vote unlimited times.

Early on the results were about 60/40 in favour of Max getting a penalty, but I guess that was before the vote was hi-jacked by the bandwagon (you included maybe?). Pretty meaningless poll as a result. Thankfully the comments give the true picture.

93

pretty sure votes are ip locked, just because most votes are made by people who don't comment doesn't mean they aren't accurate

now to cast my own vote in favour of max

94

Just had a look back there and no, i can't vote again,so that's wrong

95

Albert you are mistaken You just have to turn your phone off and your Internet connection . Wait a few hours (put phone on charge if you fancy a top up) turn your phone on log on from a different search engine and vote. Your IP address then is read by pole site as different and you can vote again. If you're IT savvy you can do that without turning your phone off and just switch to a fake Web address.
I assume that's how Max has accumulated so many votes. While the postings suggest the opposite.

96

You can do the same when voting if you like someone's posting. Turning your system off the rebooting it you can vote again and again. That's why you get some posters with 60+ votes which in the new system is either real or something seems to going on in the Twilight Zone.

97

Really? Who can be bothered to go to that trouble for a few extra votes?

98

That is supposed to be facetious, isn't it?

99

I wouldn't but i reslised there was a flaw. In the system. I came across it by accident (Camb Uni Staff and yes officially attached to the nerd world in creating safe secure examinations marking )
There are a lot of of people who would James. Can also go through a different VP system which scrambles your WiFi.
It's a Big Bang Nerd World and you know it's just something that excites that sort of group.

100

The idea of a poll is to collate a clear overall response without the necessity of comment.

So what you’re saying is the only legitimate views are the ones contained in negative comments and that a simple Yes/No answer is meritless and constitutes a ‘hijacking’ if it’s contrary to your opinion.

I guess you’d prefer a dictatorship to a democratic vote

101

Dictatorship? ????
With your captions it's more of a Banana Republic. All Hail President Ritchie January and his crazy propaganda !! Great explanation regarding steering input by P Kara in a previous article.

102

No it's because when I checked the poll last night it was about 900/650 in favour of the penalty, then a few hours the later the total opposite. Suspicious that so many visited Mr Allen's website in such a surge late on a Monday night. Democracies such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe adopt similar multi vote system during their elections.

Yes comments normally correlate to the rating/vote. Strange to suggest otherwise.

Interestingly Brundle has labelled Max's defending as 'junior formula driving'.

103

Yep have to agree with you NickH.
The Max fans are multi voting .
I think Max is a future champion but as Brundle put it his middle of the road defense and slight sneaky inputs then a bigger move shows a jittery interpretation of the rules. He needs a big penalty in future.

104

@ nick H ...yes, you are so right. i have just read the comments made by brundle and i fully concur with his analysis. brundle is highly qualified to make these observations and i do take his comments seriously.

105

Welcome to the ‘conspiracy’.
The poll’s holding steady at around 54% in Max’s favour.
Believe what you want to.

106

Funny that in the JAonF1 poll more than 50% agree it was good racing not double movement.

107

I don't think Lewis was backing Nico into the Red Bulls to try and hamper Nico, I think he was just trying not to take too much out of the tyres, and perhaps struggling to get heat into them in the early phases. A risky strategy as it always leaves you open to attack if you make a mistake or perhaps a certain driver forgets what the blue flag means!
I see some people are coming out with the idea that the lack of attack from Nico can be attributed to new "rules of engagement" from Mercedes. what nonsense! Can you imagine either driver ever agreeing to such a plan? I am sure it wont be many races before we see some racing between the pair which will prove that no such rule exists, but at the Hungaroring Lewis simply had Nico in his pocket. Nico spent most of the race just out of DRS range, which is exactly where Lewis wanted him.

108

I agree, Lewis could have been trying to frustrate Nico into a mistake with this tactic?

109

Chikano, I don't think so, I don't think Lewis was thinking about Nico's race at all. The Mercedes advantage was sizeable at this track, the only possible thing that could undo them would be high tyre wear due to the high track temps. I think Lewis was simply covering off the only thing that realistically stood between himself and victory.

110

"he was backing himself and team mate Nico Rosberg into the cars behind"
Alternatively, since Lewis was actually maintaining a 1-2 second gap to Nico. you could argue that Nico was controlling the pace and was backing himself into the following cars. It was clear that when Nico got within a second Lewis responded. If Nico wanted to up the pace then perhaps he should have applied a bit more pressure on Lewis. We got the race we deserved. We give the drivers fast degrading tyres, ludicrous engine penalties on top of that we restrict their fuel and then complain that they are not driving fast enough for our entertainment. There has been no clear strategy for F1 for quite a few years now, just a series of half baked ideas and even more comical rules, and don't get me started on the complete lack of consistency on race penalties. Oh! and a millisecond lift of the throttle is more than adequate to ensure I am capable of negotiating any hazard and/or marshal I encounter on track during double waved yellow flags.

111

About RBR:
Since Vers was behind Ricci and Vettel right behind, RBR could risk a non-optimal strategy on Vers to protect his and Ricci [later] position from Vettel.
Fact is Ferrari had a 31 lap on Option tires rehearsal in practice, I would consider a stop for Vers from lap 12.
That would be a RBR INITIATIVE, however RBR opted to REACT to Ferrari's move, which led to a 2 lap for Vettel undercut.
In this scenario [Reactive] Vettel would surely overtake Vers, at least.

IF RBR had the Initiative, in the worst case Vers would be stranded behind Hulk, Bottas and Kimi, but AHEAD of Vettel.

*sorry for the caps, but there is no bold and underline options.

112

About the Vers vs Kimi feud.
I used to like Kimi when he was the "silent killer", but he turned into "moana man".
From Ninja to Brawler xD

Kimi was never side-by-side Vers, so he has nothing to complain about.

113

Of course Hamilton was back Rosberg into Ricciardo. There's more than enough evidence to know that Hamilton is a dirty player. The things the media let him get away with because he's a British driver stagger me.

114

You added SO much to the wonderful conversation we are having!

115

aelfwald, "There's more than enough evidence to know that Hamilton is a dirty player." I would love to see it.....

116

It was very discouraging to see that Hamilton got away scott free after showing his middle finger during the race (when lapping Sainz I think it was). Is that how a true champion should act? Is that the image FIA and Mercedes wants younger generations to copy from? I love Hamilton as the racer and when charging hard through. But such arrogant, rude behavior from him leaves me extremely sad.

117

Cyber, we have seen drivers make that same gesture on numerous occassions before, and nobody ever got a penalty for it. I seem to remember David Coultard doing the same to Michael Schumacher many years ago, surely it's just the same as swearing on the radio?

118

I wonder where the VES not managing the tires well comment comes from. The way I saw the situation was that VES was (thinking he was) faster than RIC in the first stint, but the team ordered him to stop putting pressure on RIC (team radio: you're still within DRS range, response: but I'm driving like a grandma). VES then dropped back 2 seconds and stayed there, but fell in the clutches of VET. Was this RIC managing something there or is that too much of a conspiracy...

I wondered why VES didn't stay out longer than he did to build more of a gap to the runners behind but it seems he missed his marker at the pits therefore losing a little bit of time, maybe enough to drop him behind RAI and really destroying his tires.

119

I think that if VES was truly that much faster than RIC and being held up, he could have punched out personal best laps once RIC pitted, but instead he pitted next lap, most likely as he had no tyre life left.

120

"but he was ‘managing’ the race too severely" was this a quote from Lewis or your opinion James? Also, Rosberg at the time of the call was lapping slower than Hamilton and not close to the DRS range.

121

Yes, I clocked that unsubstantiated comment too.
He was managing for sure.....but "severely" to screw his team mate up? Fact is we don't know. Personally, if he was, good on him. Merc are guaranteed the Constructor's. The WDC is all to play for. Backing your team mate up (if he did indeed do it) isn't really in the same league as ramming into him or sabotaging his quali lap.
Brundle commented that he looked Hamilton in the eye and asked him if he was backing Nico up and MB said he was confident Lewis wasn't.

122

I'm quite happy to admit that these strategy reports sometimes make my brain feel like a bowl of spaghetti.
To my simpleton intellect it was a simple case of Lewis winning as slowly as possible which has always been the safest way to win.

123
Tornillo Amarillo

But that doesn't explain why ROS showed anything in the race to deseve the crown. He has showed bad sporting behaviour with double yellows in qualy, but he doesn't beat HAM on track on Sunday in a fair way, in a straight fight, even he doesn't fight in order to provoke a mistake to the driver ahead!

124

I thought Mercedes had a bit if a cheek asking him to speed up,if he was managing his engine then it's because of the reliability issues that they gave him at the start of the season.

125

using double moves that the Finn felt were unacceptable

What is your view on this James? Using these words I get the feeling that you side with Raikkonen in this.

According to the Sporting Regulations this is allowed (imho) because it is one move to defend and then one move to go back to his line (doesn't matter whether or not this move is also a defending move) before turning in for the corner.

126

My understanding of the rules are that you can defend one way, then move back to the racing line. I'd you do this, however, you are required to leave at least one car width gap. You can't crowd someone off the track with a return to the racing line.

The question of whether he broke the rules hinges on whether he left one car width when he jinked back left.

127

My thoughts exactly and imho he left enough room before turning into the corner.

128

HI James, Can we have an explanation of the penalty Button received? It does seem strange that a problem with the brakes wasn't considered a safety issue. Has there been any word from the FIA on this? If this isn't a safety issue what would they rule that is? Button was obviously very frustrated by this and will this be resolved before the next race?

129

I think the reason he was penalised was because the indication of a fault was not followed by an irrevocable instruction to return to the pits.

This rule was made very clear before the weekend began. They were OK to tell him about the problem, but the next instruction should have been to pit the car.

130

The problem with that is that this was an issue with Buttons brakes. If he is told to head back to the pits but loses his brakes completely and takes someone out. This could be very dangerous and I'm sure in the original ruling there was an exception for safety issues.

131

Hi James, a thorough, interesting and thought provoking analysis as always.

In answer to your headline, yes I do think Lewis was managing his pace massively. And yes, that probably had an effect of that backing Nico up towards Daniel, hence the radio call telling him to speed up. I think Lewis knew exactly what he was doing when he said "struggling for pace here" and good on him. Seeing as he's had to drive around a couple of lemons early in the season, it's fair enough that he babies his engines as much as he can at this stage. Especially if what he says is true and he's probably going to need to take two engine penalties before the season is over. If Nico doesn't like it, he could always barge him out of the way. Sorry, pass him, I mean pass him!

🙂

Other thoughts on the race:

1. What a masterclass by our world champion hey James? A champion's drive in an Alain Prost style, winning at the slowest pace possible. He swatted Nico off like an annoying fly every time he came near. Perfect.

2. Fair play to Daniel, he had a better performance in Hungary. However, without the Alonso spin, it could have been different and the strategy did not help Max at all. But yeah, Daniel had a better race no doubt. I hold my hands up to all his fans on here and will accept all the grief they feel like giving me. It's ok, I'll get there in the end! 🙂

3. To temper all the hype from the DR is the greatest thing ever brigade, let's just remember that in Q2 Max was pretty much SIX tenths faster on a track showing massive evo and DR crossed the line after him therefore getting better evo. That doesn't happen by chance, it's about feel and skill. Max is still learning the car but on a level playing field I still think Max has the measure of him, both in the car and out.

4. Highlight of the weekend for me was Seb's amazing save from a tankslapper that would have seen many people heading into a huge accident. I'm not a fan of the guy by a long shot but that was amazing reactions and car control and I watched the replays over and over. Credit where it's due.

5. I actually found the race way more entertaining than most posters here it seems. Lots of interesting tussles, plenty of talking points and obviously I was happy with the winner.

6. Radio ban, yep, we all agree on that one, utterly ridiculous implication of something that the sport needed. Good old FIA, ask for overtaking and we get DRS, ask for bans on in car driver coaching and we get Jenson getting a penalty after serving a penalty for the same thing. Amazing, couldn't make it up.

7. Pole lap being set while passing through a waved yellow zone is simply unacceptable. Yes I'm taking track evo into account. The on board of Nico passing the incident shows everything we need to see. I agree with most of the other drivers, it sets and extremely dangerous precedent and needs to be MUCH more clearly defined.

8. Max's weaving. Yes it looked a bit much, but as much as I'll be vilified for saying this here, I think Max does an extremely good job of making the second move look like corner turn in. The rules allow it (hence no penalty) and that's that. Right on the edge I agree but within the rules is within the rules. See Lewis's pass on Nico at COTA 🙂 🙂 🙂

9. Post race presser was possibly the performance of the season from Lewis. Absolutely on top of his game. I found the deference from Nico and surprisingly Daniel (Max certainly wouldn't have) really interesting. Lewis is starting to feel like he's on top again and once he gets his game face on like this, well... the only thing that can beat him are engine penalties.

Mama said knock you out. BOOM.

Brilliant.

🙂

132

This is an interesting installment of this typically superb serial, much fudging going on in it [no good]. Nonetheless...

At the front:
1. Can we (all of us paying attention) admit that we have another MMC (Mercedes Managed Championship) for 2016; boo-hoo, but true.
2. That being outed, the only driver who Lewis is really competing with, is Nico.
3. Lewis will face a grid penalty, due to no fault of his own, for equipment failure, which will severly disadvantage him against his only rival for the championship.
4. Also, by backing Nico up, there is the chance that another driver will pass him, or even better, result in Nico being taken out of the race
5. If your team mate isn't as good as you, you can count on not being passed by him, as long as you don't make a mistake.
Lewis did the right thing, totally within he rules, and if Mercedes doesn't like it, they should fire him!
MMC (Mercedes Managed Championship):
a. winning at the Hungaroring confirms the untouchability of the Mercedes machinery, compared to everybody else, for yet another year.
I normally applaud success like this, but I'm extremely tired of it, now.
Red Bull v Ferrari:
It doesn't look good for Ferrari, and while ther may be the odd track that they have superior potential to Red Bull, in the remaining races of the season, the previous races (for the most part) had this comparative the other way around.
Rules:
We had several high-profile examples of the inconsistent application of the rules and there seems to be trends, favouring drivers/teams over other. The Max double-swerve is a weighty addition to the evidence supporting the likelihood that Max is geeting systemic benefit from this inequitable enforcement of the rules, but we've seen this kind of favouritism for REd Bull already this season, even before Max made the step up the the senior team.
I predict a noticeable drop off in viewership, as fans become disillusioned with the corruption of the 'sport', and the inescapable fact that we are (and have been all year) in a MMC (Mercedes Managed Championship), notwithstanding the fact that this is their home race.
If there is a big drop-off of viewership for the German GP, home race for Mercedes, then we can expect the same humming and hawing, about the problems in F1, by the FIA and Commercial rights people, aboiut 'what to do?'; while we all know that they are the real issue.

133

Dean, I'm relatively new here but I like the cut of your jib.

Not in full agreement with the rules bending (I just think they're terrible at doing everything and as a result are rubbish at writing clear unarguable rules) but the rest of it is pretty much bang on to me.

The ONLY thing getting me through this period of F1 (even as a Lewis fan) is that I had to sit through four years of Red Bull. Ok, I'll admit current domination is heavier but I can remember sitting through PLENTY of GPs where Seb was two seconds ahead at the end of lap one. I guess at least Lewis has a more talented team mate who is allowed to race him. But yeah, even this is wearing thin now.

That said, I still find the sport, the racing, the politics, the tech and everything hugely entertaining.

134

Dean Cassidy, can we all admit to watching a managed championship? In the complete absence of any evidence whatsoever to support that theory and with no real reason to even suspect it might be true, the answer is a resounding no.

135

throw it open to the crowd TimW.
The only races in 2016 that have NOT been Mercedes 1-2s, are the ones where they took each other out.
They play up this team rivalry, as if it is the championship... well, because it is the essence of the championship.
Whenever anybody gets a bit closer with developments, they pull just enough out of the grab-bag of ready tricks (not already put on the car, so as to preserve the illusion of 'competition'), to stay ahead, but ... not too far ahead.
Got to keep some fans watching, or the massive amounts of money invested will not yield the forecast return on investment.
The evidence is so abundant, it seems way over your head, or gross naivite?!

136

Dean, so what exactly are you saying? That Mercedes are managing the championship by sandbagging? Or that they are telling the drivers before hand who is going to win which races. You say that the evidence is abundant, well help a "grossly naive" fella out and share some of it with the crowd, because I haven't seen anything that might suggest your claims might be true.

137

Ham is beating ros while running lower power settings to save his engine, and ros still cant win...he done well to win this race at a grannies pace... if roles were reversed you think ham wouldnt have overtaken and won...ros is shaken bad!!!

I wish ham had new engines left as i think it would be hammer time and he would win well over 10 seconds etc

138

Clearly it did not help Kimi to be sent out at totally the wrong time by his engineer for Q2. On a fast drying track he was the first to make p1, and seconds later was out.
p14 on a track you can't overtake on left him a mountain to climb [although he managed about half a dozen overtakes actually]
I'm not sure that Dave Greenwood [a lovely chap by all accounts] is the best for Kimi........ Can Dyer be enticed back?? or even Stella who followed Alonso to total oblivion at McLaren?!

139

Phil,
greetings.
the other side to the coin, also seeming a bit ... strange, Max going out too late to get his last timed lap.

140

@ Dean
I hope sincerely that Max has better luck in his career than Kimi had throughout his!

141

James, theoretically would the optimum strategy have been supersoft supersoft soft? Tyre deg looked v low.

142

I didn't think the race was that bad. It was a series of tense battles that could have had a very different outcome if new tyres weren't in such plentiful supply. I wasn't plussed with ROS getting the pole like he did. I thought it was poor form. He seems to have a penchant for that sort of activity. I thought VES was a bit aggressive in defending at turn 2. I thought RIC had the better of VES on Sunday particularly in the first stint where VES ran out of tyres and was all over the place like a dogs dinner before the stop. VES will be a WDC in the future IMO. Particularly when he develops some patience and maturity.

What really frustrated me though was that bloody camera shot at turn 12 and 13 where the cameraman was using the peep hole through the fence and then panning back. If they director didn't use the shot 30 times through the race, I'll be very surprised. It may have been arty but it gave no feel for the speed or grip level of the car.

143

So Hamilton was managing his pace. Too much being made that was endangering a 1-2 for the team.
If Prost was doing this, people would have been waxing lyrical at what a genius he was. Conversely, if Hamilton had pulled out a 15 second lead, killed his tyres or suffered a mechanical failure, James would have been all over him for not winning at the slowest possible speed.

Supreme race-craft by Hamilton if you ask me. Managing the tyres, car and reacting when he needed to, when the pit told him to.

No one can blame him for looking after his car and trying to outscore Rosberg given what has happened this season.

144

Unless the following car is under team orders to not pass the lead car there is no such thing as "backing up" a car. The solution is simple, pass the car that is holding you up!

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