F1 Winter Break
Nico Rosberg dominates the Japanese Grand Prix as “sorry” Lewis Hamilton recovers to third after a slow start
Japanese Grand Prix 2016
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  09 Oct 2016   |  7:53 am GMT  |  531 comments

Nico Rosberg increased his lead in the 2016 Formula 1 world championship with a commanding victory at the Japanese Grand Prix as his Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton salvaged third place after making a poor start to the race.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen drove what he considered to be one of his best F1 races, to hold off Hamilton in the closing stages and finish second.

It was the ninth win of the season for Rosberg and the 23rd of his career, putting him level with Nelson Piquet, one behind Juan Manuel Fangio and two behind team chairman Niki Lauda.

Rosberg led away from pole position while Hamilton bogged down off the line, largely due to a poor clutch deployment, but it must be said that the even numbered grid slots had a damp line down them and Hamilton positioned his car to the left to try to compensate for that, but failed to mitigate the problem. He was got swamped by Daniel Ricciardo and the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

The Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg also rocketed off the line –with the Mexican racer shooting into third place from fifth on the grid – which demoted Hamilton to eighth by the time the pack charged into Turn 1 for the first time in the 53-lap event.

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg immediately leapt clear of the DRS danger posed by Max Verstappen, who had moved into second as Hamilton fell down the order, and began to steadily pull away from the Red Bull driver.

Vettel quickly caught and passed Perez for third while Hamilton, who apologised to his Mercedes team over the radio shortly after his poor start, followed Raikkonen past Hulkenberg as they made identical sweeping moves around the outside of the Force India on laps six and seven.

The action settled down approaching the first round of pitstops – Rosberg edging his gap over Verstappen up to 5.0s while Mercedes told Hamilton to concentrate on keeping his tyres alive.

Lewis Hamilton

Red Bull triggered the first stops by double stacking Verstappen and Ricciardo on lap 10 with Rosberg, Perez and the Ferrari drivers following them in to switch to the mandatory hard tyres two laps later.

Mercedes kept Hamilton out for a further lap and he used the full pace advantage of his car in clear air to move ahead of Raikkonen for a net fifth place when he emerged from the pits – where the 2007 world champion was busy overtaking Perez and the Renault of Jolyon Palmer in a brave double move along the pit straight – despite being on older tyres.

Hamilton then quickly caught and breezed past Ricciardo for sixth, which was fourth place in reality as the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were in front of them due to their alternative one-stop strategy.

Felipe Massa

Up front, Verstappen had cut Rosberg’s lead to 2.5s shortly the first stops but the championship leader slowly set about building his lead back up, with Vettel further back in third.

Over the course of the next stint, as Rosberg edged back away from Verstappen, Hamilton, who was fourth for real by this stage as Bottas and Massa were dispatched and they then came in for their single stop for hards, reeled in Vettel.

While Verstappen and Rosberg came in for their second stops on laps 28 and 29, the world champion stayed out until lap 33 before diving in for his own fresh set of hard tyres.

Lewis Hamilton

Although Ferrari brought in Vettel a lap later for a brand new set of soft tyres, Hamilton moved up to third place thanks to the fresh tyre advantage the undercut had given him.

Vettel immediately began to catch the Mercedes and he got within a second of Hamilton before his tyres started to fade and he dropped back from the Briton, railing against the backmarkers and blue flags as he did so.

In the process of rebuffing Vettel’s advances, Hamilton had closed up to just seven seconds behind Verstappen by lap 37 and he quickly started eating into the Red Bull’s advantage.

Max Verstappen

By lap 45 they were running line astern on the track, but although Hamilton closed to within one second and picked up the DRS, he could not find a way by.

But coming to the end of the penultimate lap, Hamilton did get close enough to attack Verstappen at the final chicane, but the Dutch driver jinked right as they braked and the Mercedes racer had to back out of the move and take to the runoff area, which dropped him out of contention for a final lap move.

Rosberg calmly crossed the line to win by 4.9s over Verstappen on a day where he was never seriously threatened, to score his ninth win of 2016 and Hamilton’s third place confirmed Mercedes’ third consecutive constructors’ championship.

Nico Rosberg

Speaking after the race, where he increased his lead over Hamilton to 33 points with just four races remaining, Rosberg said: “What an awesome weekend, for sure. The whole weekend just felt great from the word go, so it’s been very special.

“Especially on this legendary track, [it’s] beautiful to win here. Congrats to everybody, all my colleagues in the team for clinching the third constructors’ world title.

“[It’s] so absolutely deserved, definitely, it’s an unbelievable effort [over] all these years, so lets celebrate hard.”

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel led home Raikkonen in a fourth and fifth finish for Ferrari, as Ricciardo, who had lost time at his second pitstop due to a delay with his right front tyre, came home sixth for Red Bull.

Perez and Hulkenberg ended up seventh and eighth ahead of the Williams pair of Massa and Bottas, their rivals for fourth place in the constructors’ standings.

Romain Grosjean finished 11th on a disappointing day for Haas F1, which did not score a point despite getting two cars into the top ten on the grid for the first time in the team’s history.

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer used a one-stop strategy to move up to 12th for Renault from 16th on the grid ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson beat Fernando Alonso to 15th as Carlos Sainz finished 17th and Jenson Button was 18th on a poor day for McLaren at the home of its engine supplier Honda.

Felipe Nasr was 19th, just ahead of Esteban Gutierrez in the second Haas, and the Manor pair of Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein.

Pascal Wehrlein

No drivers retired for the second year in a row at Suzuka, which is a first for any track in F1 history.

Japanese Grand Prix result:

1 Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1h26m43.333s
2 Max Verstappen, Red Bull +4.978s
3 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes +5.776s
4 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari +20.269s
5 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari +28.370s
6 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull +33.941s
7 Sergio Perez, Force India +57.495s
8 Nico Hulkenberg, Force India +59.177s
9 Felipe Massa, Williams +1m37.763s
10 Valtteri Bottas, Williams +1m38.323s
11 Romain Grosjean, Haas +1m39.254s
12 Jolyon Palmer, Renault +1 Lap
13 Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso +1 Lap
14 Kevin Magnussen, Renault +1 Lap
15 Marcus Ericsson, Sauber +1 Lap
16 Fernando Alonso, McLaren +1 Lap
17 Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso +1 Lap
18 Jenson Button, McLaren +1 Lap
19 Felipe Nasr, Sauber +1 Lap
20 Esteban Gutierrez, Haas +1 Lap
21 Esteban Ocon, Manor +1 Lap
22 Pascal Wehrlein, Manor +1 Lap

What did you make of the Japanese Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Hamiton’s lost this championship most likely, and today, he has no one to blame but himself.

Rosberg fell to last in the previous race and recovered to 4th (assuming Hamilton would have finished), Hamilton fell to 8th but only recovered to 3rd today. Says it all really.


Rosberg has really fought well this year, and deservedly is beating Hamilton. Well done him.
On another note, Alonso and McHonda? What a shower, worse than last year!


Different tracks - Japan is far harder to overtake on so you can't compare.
Fact remains that Nico only wins races that he leads from the first lap. To be honest, I'm sick of Mercedes in general and hope next year is a lot more exciting.


Lewis lost the championship when Merc swapped over key engineers before the season started. Such a thing would knock any driver, and Merc as much as any of us, know that Lewis is an emotional sensitive petal, and he would be hit hard by it. This immediately sent a message as to who Merc favored this year, Lewis' psychology was thoroughly punched and guess what? Lewsis become flakey at best and any normal cock up become massive in his head and he spirals down. We've seen it before, and Merc triggered it again with the engineer swap. My criticism of Lewis is that he didnt have the balls to stand up to Merc and say no. I cant Imagine Senna or Schumacher ever, ever putting up with such a thing. Lewis did, and........... Rosberg is good enough to pickup the scraps and cobble together a weak WDC. But at least now the German team will have its German champion to parade about.


You can't have a team Rosberg and team Hamilton in one team, it is team Mercedes!
So was it ok for Rosberg to have the "bad engineers" for the last 2 years as he had the majority or reliability problems??? That doesn't get mentioned, is it because Hamilton was benefitting? hmmm...


A German Champion that doean't even live in Germany I might add! He'll pick up his trophy and head straight to Monico!


Surely you can have the same jibe at Button and Hamilton.


@ ACx....do you ever listen to the post race comments by the drivers? If so you would've heard hamilton gush about how 'mega' his team were/are for giving him such a great car to drive!. Now does that sound like a guy who thinks that they are rubbish and he wants the others back on his side of the garage? I read wolff's comments and what he said made a heap of sense. You need to remember that hamilton is simply an employee of mercedes and he doesn't get to run the whole show. I know that that is hard to accept but it is mercedes that sign the cheques.


So in other words, Lewis only won the last two years because he had better engineers than Nico?



you nailed it !


I can't imagine Senna or Schumacher becoming flakey amd losing it mentally because of a few personnel changes. It's frankly a weak excuse unless those mechanics are so bad they cost Rosberg the last 2 championships.

Lewis has simply failed to get any kind of grasp over these single stage clutches. Throw in zero mechanical luck (Nico had a season like that too it has to be said) and his title defence has been uphill all the way.


I don't think there has been a season where Rosberg has had worse luck with reliability than Hamilton. I think that there was one season where they were both plagued by difficulties at different points in the season, but I'm pretty sure it was never a case of Hamilton enjoying better luck than Rosberg.


Please do a spreadsheet for reliability issues faced in qualifying, for the past 3 seasons.

If you remove any race results where either faced reliability issues (in qualifying or the race), can you let me know the revised points standings then? Thanks.



Seems a bit disingenuous to only include actual race retirements and ignore problems during quali'. Clearly if a driver starts from the back of the grid due to a problem in quali, that will then have a detrimental impact on their race results.


Plus leaving out the DNF caused by his teammate taking him out at Spa '14!

Also forget 2013 ... DNF's in a non-title-challenging car are not crucial to a title fight.

Mechanically Compromised Quali sessions (since 2014):

Lewis - GER14, HUN14, CHN16, RUS16, BEL16
Nico - none

Lastly, if you take out any races in 2014 or 2015 where either had reliability issues, guess what? Hamilton still wins on points. Likewise this year if you remove all races where either had reliability issues, Lewis leads on points.

Disingenuous is a very kind word to use, C63.


Disingenuous is a very kind word to use...

LOL - I'm a kind person 🙂

James/Alex - I'm no longer receiving email notifications of replies. That wasn't the case when this article was posted originally but has started in the last couple of days. Any suggestions from your tech guys would be gratefully received. As you know I can no longer use my original email address so if this email address goes the same way I won't be able to comment. No big deal I suppose, but still.....

Berk in the Merc

That's very interesting. So Merc are trying to help Lewis win?


I totally share your view. To complete it, each time Hamiltom is boucing back he faced car failures in decusive & key moments. Mercedes do everything they could to hand the title to nico. As odd as it can be, bad starts & engine failures always occurs when Rosbgerg underperform. The Malaysian situation is pretty surrealist, hamilton change 3 engine in Belgium to have a buffer until the end of the year. Guess what? This bloody brand new engine explode in Malaysia when Hamilton lead the race.
I know media pundits will do everything they can to blame bad luck and make no naive like us looks stupid. Their reason is that there so much too loose in criticizing a global multi national brand as Mercedes. This media pundit want nico as champion, mercedes are just delivering it.


Thats absolutely rubbish if you think merc would do it deliberately. I find your comment highly insulting and un educated as a fan of formula 1. You have no substance to your claim.


thanks Chris. I never call people names but people who suggest that any team would even dream of trying to sabotage one of it's drivers over the other, are making an absolutely idiotic statements. it's so stupid, I can hardly believe anyone could think it so.


That's funny - every media piece and commentary I come across suggests they want a Lewis WDC. How they came to Lewis' defence when he smashed into Rosberg at Spain is beyond me.

And Lewis has had his fair share of good luck too, particularly from Monaco on. Everyone seems to conveniently overlook.

Would help if Lewis just nailed his starts!


Spain? Y'mean where the stewards declared that it was a 50/50 incident? Yeah, I wonder why eh?

I wonder about any driver chopping his teammate like that!


These grapes don't taste very good.


The Mercedes race team was NOT swapped one to one between Hamilton and Rosberg for the start of the 2016 season. That is a common and often repeated misunderstanding on what really was done in their organization.
And please notice, they did not swap the race engineers and that is where the real technical program for each driver tends to be sourced from!
It was only 5 people on each side that changed their jobs for this season. Only 2 were swapped, remaining changes were due to folks moving up the ladder and others caused by staff turnover with other teams.
This is actually nothing unusual within F1 (or any other industry for that sake) as its helpful that staff get to do different things for their motivation and career paths.
Rosberg did btw also end 2015 with a string of wins, so see no reason to consider those staff members inferior anyway.


thanks for that info Cyber. when I was working I was a creative director at an animation studio. at one point, I'd been working with the same group of key people for a couple years over many projects. one day, management took away my core group to put on another assignment and gave me a group of newbies. I was gutted at first, but in the end the newbies contributed above-and-beyond and in doing so raised their own experience and value. the original core people also got to "move up" the ladder, so to speak. Mercedes has personnel plans for it's people, building their careers etc. and giving them well-rounded experience so that their careers will flourish long after the relatively short stay of any given driver. even if it had been a complete swap-around (which it wasn't) it should be considered by both drivers to be an opportunity for improvement by all!


@ Cyber...very well stated. I have not heard the actual breakdown of what transpired before so thank you for clearing up the issue. It has been used as a sop for hamilton's sometimes sub par performances. The HLG have used this for so long now that

@ Cyber....many thanks for that very interesting info. Rather takes the wind out of the HLG sails i would think.....


What on earth happened to that post.... nevermind, i think the gist of what i said is still apparent!!!


Lol - what happened there kenneth? You've written the same thing twice in a single comment - did you lose track halfway through?
BTW, whats HLG stand for?


@ C63...Not too sure what happened. I am using an apple mouse instead of my usual apple trackpad and it does some silly things at times!!!! Of course it couldn't possibly be me! HLG. hamilton lovers group. I/we are constantly being called hamilton [Mod] and apart from the fact that that is just silly as i personally don't [Mod] him at all, just find him totally unappealing, narcisstistic and definitely not the god that some some people claim he is . i determined that as the opposite of [Mod] is love, i arrived at HLG. If the cap fits as the saying goes.....


Thanks for the explanation - I shall refer to you as being part of the HHG from now on 🙂 Oh, and I don't wear hats !

On a different note- are you receiving email notifications of replies as that has stopped for me (on this article at any rate).


Regarding your Q re inbox notifications...sometimes. The main problem is that they used to be linked to the site so that you click on and go to the new post if you wanted to respond. This never happens now and if you get an alert and want to post a reply you have to log on to the site and then scroll around trying to find the thread and then the slot!! sometimes i simply can't be assed going through all that. So, if i fail to respond sometimes you know that i am not being rude but not willing to go through the hassle.


Thanks for the clarification - as if I would have ever thought you rude! Perish the thought 🙂
My issue is slightly different - if I receive an email notification then the link still works. It's the email notification which has stopped!


We are looking into that


On a related note James - I have never received an email notification of a reply by either you/Alex or MODS. Is that normal/correct? I am only aware of a reply (such as this one) if I read through all the comments again to find it.


Putte - Perhaps your comment is evidence of a fundamental lack of F1 racing or maybe your dislike for Lewis blinds you to the following facts...
1) there is a huge difference in the overtaking possibilities between the last two tracks
2) Merc had their engines on full power last week and they were restricted this week
To suggest that Nico is better at overtaking than Lewis is just plain silly!


Really? Putte has a lack of understanding? tim his comment is 100%. You are blinded by puppy love for Hamilton


Off course it was not as difficult for Rosberg last week as it was for Hamilton, this week, Hamilton and Vettel DNF, so I don't see the point that Putte is making... the one who was most difficult for Rosberg, Raikkonen, he couldn't do it without penalty...


David, so you disagree with Tim's post? You think it is no easier to overtake in Malaysia than Suzuka? You don't believe that Mercedes turned their engines down this weekend?


The fact is those two drivers are very close in ability. They are probably not the enemies they make out to be either.

The good news for 2017 is larger tires will probably eliminate much of the wheel spin. In fact Hamilton can blame his own bad starts. He should drag racing or something because I think I could start better than that.

Only a DNF can stop Rossberg now. I've been saying that since Monza.


Yes Tim, perhaps...

I've followed F1 racing only since Nelson Piquet's first championship, and I do dislike Hamilton's personality, but neither prevents me from doing fair comparisons between the Mercedes drivers.

Tim, please tell me how many laps Hamilton with the by far fastest car on the track was held up by a teenager in an inferior car at Suzuka? How many laps was that?


well Putte how many car's had Rosberg in front of him, of the big teams? Only four, so he managed to pass one, only Raikkonen and he even couldn't do that without crash... So your dislike of Hamilton is showing.... also Rosberg was very lucky with the VSC's, so you are really biased...


Well, not particularly liking HAM, ROS had to ram Kimi's Ferrari and would have ended up in the gravel had Kimi not reacted fast enough. I don't know which is more clever (although it worked out for Nico).


Hmm, wouldn't a fair comparison be able to see that Hamilton had to burn through his last-stint tires faster than Verstappen had to, because of having to keep Vettel on faster softs at bay for 4 laps? So when he finally caught Max he didn't have the grip necessary to really get on his gearbox.

You could compare this to Nico behind Verstappen in Germany, but there Nico couldn't even close on him.

A fair comparison would also see that he erased a 13 sec deficit to Vettel in full green running ... no VSC to take advantage of and gain a free 10 secs, etc.

So, can you really say you're about fair comparisons?


What a shame...all those years watching F1 and you still can't tell the difference between overtaking at Suzuka and Sepang and you don't understand the implications of turning down the engine's power output......or maybe you're not as impartial as you think?


well you are not impartial, you just said it right, Hamilton also had to deal with the implications of turning down the engine's power, so not a real comparising with last week actually...


So your thoughts on rosbergs attempts at passing max at the german and Canadian gps, look forward to your reply, since youve been watching since 1987, and obviously know what your talking about?


Here's another question. Why is Max seemingly the only driver who has figured out how to hold off a car that has DRS...never mind being the only driver to hold off a Merc.


in Holland they say, because Max needs only 70 percent of his brain to race on the edge were others need 95 percent, so Max has 25 percent more to think about his tactics... so it was great to hear that he figured out if he had a good exit of the last chicane and turn 14, he didn't need his extra power on the drs zone, so he could use it on the other straits... hahaha when he is explaining it to sky it is really nice to see what a smart racer he is....


maybe because he is the only driver getting away with changing direction under breaking, changing direction 2 and more times...


Putte, how many "inferior" Red Bulls did Nico overtake in Malaysia?


Hamilton lost the race today - although even with a good start he might not have got past Nico - but he's been *denied* the championship through bad luck. If he'd had the same reliability as Nico he would likely be leading, based on previous form at the races in question.


There's no doubt about it. If they had the same reliability Hamilton would be leading the Championship. Sky did an analysis of this on there website!


No not bad luck if Rossberg leads by 30 points. Bad starts is Hamilton's own fault.


Remove the 4 races where Lewis had reliability problems, and he'd be 18 pts ahead, poor starts and all!

Not down because of the bad luck my foot!


Like the saying goes...... You make your own luck ...


If he was able to get off the start line as well as Ros does then he would probably be leading the championship. He has lost 3 pole positions through bad starts - all of which he could have led the race.


How about Rosberg's bad starts? He hasn't been perfect. If you're going to make those exceptions for Hamilton, you can't just do that for him, you have to do it for everyone on the grid, including Rosberg. Rosberg hasn't been perfect, either, as I said. You can't cherry pick which races and which driver you choose to do "if he had"s on.


Well said Franklin


I would prefer Rosberg to win the championship compared to Lewis, but I don't see anything wrong with Hamilton's race performance apart from the first lap or the first stint on soft tyres.

In fact, after the first lap, finishing P3 was the best he could have hoped for and he DELIVERED (partly thanks to Ferrari strategy though).

You can most definitely praise Rosberg's recovery in Malaysia, but slightly overambitious to expect a similar sort of recovery in Suzuka, given the nature of track.


Lewis got a lot of luck with his recovery drive in Belgium though. The Ferraris and Verstappen taking each other out, cars crashing and pitting just before the red flag. He was up to 5th without having to lift a finger with just Ricciardo , Hulkenburg and Alonso between him and Rosberg.


And don't forget his lucked in win in monaco.....


All of Ricciardo's victories have been lucked in wins by that measure, didn't make me cheer any less for the boy when they came though, even if I don't want to share the shoe juice!


If Lewis "lucked in" at Monaco, why didn't Nico luck in to at least second?


Ok, Ricciardo can have Monaco, Lewis will take 18 pts there, if Lewis takes his 25 pts in Malaysia, where Ricciardo inherited the win. Deal!


@ KRB...sorry old son, no deal. there needs to be an adjustment there for car superiority. A RB win deserves far more points considering the advantage mercedes have. I am open to offers though......bring your wallet.


I think that LH lost this race and messed up his start by losing focus on this weekend from Thursday onwards with his disrespectful playing around in the press conference and then spitting his dummy out when people reprimanded him and walking out of the post qualifying press session. He acted like the spoiled child he is on the podium today and was put to shame by a 19yr old in a lesser car - not his finest race weekend - Go Nico


Didn't see anything unusual on the podium. You can't expect any driver to cavort around like a ten year old if they've lost. That's just silly. But for the rest, I agree. He's so sure that he's better than Nico that he can't cope when he's not, and he'd rather change the subject by doing silly things than think about it. You'd think he would have grown out of that by now, but evidently not.
Doesn't mean he won't storm to victory in Austin, of course ...


100% Peter. Hit the spot. Well said


yep total agreement Peter, David and sorry Tim, below.
Hamilton has since his year1 in F1 manipulated circumstances as if he was owed titles. And every time I have seen him under pressure, meaning not sailing from pole and leading in a dominant car, he has cracked and even on some occasions been "economic with the truth" (Melbourne one year, Dave Ryan the sacrificial lamb). So he is not a complete driver. And certainly not worthy of titles. Super fast in a fast car I admit. But being fast in motor racing is not everything. Yes, it helps, of course..I am sure of one thing - he could NEVER have done what Alonso did in that 4th rate Ferrari of 2013.


Alonso has never driven a 4th rate Ferrari.


Do you mean the 2012 Ferrari? It likely wasn't as bad as was made out. Comparing against Massa when he had no. 1 status doesn't help. Fact is Alonso has been outscored by his teammates at McLaren. He should beat Button this year, but yeah, it's 36 yo Button.

Plus Hamilton has won a WDC in a non-WCC car. No one else on the grid has, or likely will.


Plus Hamilton has won a WDC in a non-WCC car. No one else on the grid has, or likely will.
Ouch! you know that stat cuts "them" to the bone.
As for the 2012 Ferrari...who says it was second rate? Ah yes Alonso, but how would we know if the car was indeed the best car that year but he was no longer good enough, I'm not saying that's the case but we could only use opinion to debate it and that varies from fan to fan.
Maybe Vettel was just unbeatable during that period, Webber didn't make the Redbull look superior by comparison.


4th rate Ferrari? The McLaren is a dog also, you could consider it 4th rate. Where is he now? A few 7th places here and there. The Ferrari was better than you think it was; Massa underperformed that year. People commonly say the pace Massa had in the car is a true representation of what the Ferrari was like, and Alonso wrung out more. Nope. The pace was there, as Alonso demonstrated, and as other top drivers (Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen) could have too, and Massa simply did not drive even close to par, in part due to confidence issues.


...and what exactly did Lewis do on the podium that you disliked?
He waved to the crowd, accepted his trophy and gave perfectly reasonable responses to the questions. He then sprayed champagne and even managed a smile, despite knowing that he has probably lost the championship, That's hardly spitting his dummy out!
Please get a sense of perspective - I saw worse dummy spitting in the supermarket yesterday when they closed a till!


@ Tim....correct me if i'm wrong but i thought hamilton didn't answer the very first question he was asked? he just prattled on about the track and how good it was to be there blah blah blah. It's always possible that i missed his reply and i'm absolutely sure that some of the 'lovers' will get back to me on that point...


Kenneth. Gasp!! He did what?!! This terrible crime has really made me look again at my Lewis fan status.....


You get a sense of perspective Tim. You clearly have no skills in reading verbal cues or body language. Hamilton was sulking like a child. Nothing you say will change that. [Mod]!


@ david....very very true.


David, who is your favourite driver? Could you give us some examples of him looking happy when he has been beaten?


For some fans it appears that pleasure is only derived from their chosen target being beaten, maybe that's the opposite of being a fan, not sure if that is an anti fan or if there is a suitable non mod name for it,human nature eh! don't you love it. Over zealous fans are far easier to stomach than over zealous anti fans, for me anyway, at least over enthusiastic fans are coming from a positive viewpoint and lack the malice displayed by the anti brigade, the better and more successful the driver the more of the anti's they attract hence Alonso Vettel and Hamilton have the most vitriol and fact twisting aimed at them of the current crop of drivers. Whiners [Mod] winners it seems.


Very good post Truth. Very, erm, true 🙂
I wonder how many of the anti's would turn up their nose at an opportunity for a selfie or an autograph from Lewis if the opportunity presented itself? None is my guess.


Re: your last paragraph, both Hamilton and Vettel DNF'd in Malaysia, so of the top 3 cars he only got ahead of Kimi, and that by barging him out of the way, damaging Kimi's car which allowed him to then pull the gap to overcome his penalty.

Hamilton today got back ahead of Kimi, Dan, and Seb, one on-track and two through strategy.

Again we were denied a fight between the two Mercedes. It's been a very strange year for that.


Yeah it's hard to define. Rossberg is more consitant. Hamilton is faster by taking more chances.

I don't think it has anything to do with the media.


Hamilton seems bored and out of sorts! Maybe, it's time for him to move on and be a fulltime social media star. Let's see how long that last when he's not part of the F1 circus!


well the snapchat pix are a good audition for a disney groundsman job..


@ Michael...it was noted that when the team members all congregated in front of the garage to let rip with the WCC celebrations i couldn't spot hamilton anywhere at all? maybe my eyes are getting worse and i just never saw him but he certainly wasn't standing next to either wolffie or rosberg. The cool down room was very icy as well. That's all good for the rest of the season. Bonhomie was the absent guest......


If you can watch a replay of sky f1 uk you can see hamilton appear for the team photo then sneak off out the back almost instantly.
One senses trouble in paradise.......


In some ways I can't blame him. I wouldn't feel so pumped either after another bad start. It's amazing how bad things have become for him. With all the unreliability problems and bad starts it's understandable he wouldn't want to stick around. And Rosberg just keeps going on his merry way, no unreliability problems, no nothing. It's unbelievable!


Hamilton attended the initial celebrations and left.

Perfectly normal of Lewis when he does not win the race.


@ Jordan....The after race celebrations were not really all about rosberg's stunning win over hamilton. It appeared to me that the festivities were, in the main, to do with mercedes winning the WCC.


You are so right Kenneth Hamilton is an entitled spilt brat. Not a team player and a bad winner as well as a bad loser. Really looking forward to him exiting the sport sooner rather than later


David, it's really not fair you to comment on how Hamilton (or Rosberg [or any other driver]) is or is not a team player, based on a few clips or statements. You're looking at the tip of the iceberg. You don't know what happens behind closed doors. You don't know the interactions the drivers have with the teams. Until you're actually a part of the world, stop making assumptions and these ludicrous claims about who is and isn't a team player.


@ franklin..... are you saying then that the 'cool room' antics are just a mere charade ? Something that masks the true friendships and close personal relationships between both of them. As to the fairness of David's comments well they are, IMO, simply the way he sees it and that it is his prerogative to post his comments in this forum. When it comes to being a team player can you explain why hamilton went directly to charlie whiting when he a 'beef' rather than channeling it through his team? Is that what team players do?


David, it's obvious that you really really don't like Lewis? This being the case are you sure that all of your multiple comments about how terrible he is are entirely fair and accurate?


hmmm.... why don't you take a look at the number of plus signs after his comments. This being said, I cannot remember any driver having a happy face after losing. I think some were even more smoking than Hamilton on occasion.


Gyurio. If you have been looking at the number of likes on a comment and using this information as a guide to it's validity, then you have been badly misled! If somebody posted a comment an here saying Lewis is useless, the worst F1 driver ever and a terrible person, the same people who liked David's comment would like that one. lots of people seem to have a problem with Lewis and "upclick" every negative comment without worrying if it is accurate or not. As you said it hardly seems fair to beat up on Lewis for having the same reaction as every other driver in F1 history, and yet those plusses are still there....


I'm sure you will and when he does leave it will be guys like you who will miss him! It will go back to the same old boring F1 you guys appreciate and love!


When he does leave it will be guys like you that do miss him


@ sars....brilliant, love it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Well done.


Why would be stand next to Nico or the team,he has lost the world championship ,through no fault of his own(blow engine and a wet track in his side) No driver gives a toss about the constructors ..unless you are world champion ..


I do think that you need to get your facts straight. I have just read where hamilton [himself] has denied that a damp section of the track was not a problem with his start.


I haven't read anything regarding the damp start line Ken although I did see the footage of him before the start pacing around the front of his car appearing very displeased and upset about the said dampness on the inside of the grid.
It should be said that it seemed like the damp patch of tarmac may have compromised as many as five others as well .
Sky, during the early phase of their race broadcast mentioned that he ( Hamilton ) had track marshal's attempting to dry it with towels or something alike which Ferrari complained about due to it being being against the sporting regulation's.


@ sars....yes, hamilton was pictured prowling around the start line pre race. When it was put to him post race that was it the dampness that screwed his start he denied it and said it was all down to him and his clutch. It was ricci who said that in order to avoid hitting hamilton he had to cross the damp patch as well as having to give way to a very fast starting FI. Had ricci's start not been compromised by hamilton's botched start then we may have seen a better/different race. DR was bottled up behind the force india for so long that he lost contact with the front runners. Whether or not he could have stayed with them is another question considering his engine problems and other issues.


I doubt even with clean air he could've figured in the finish Ken.
He certainly seemed off the pace all weekend. As to whether there were car issue's or just something as simple as not getting into rhythm with the circuit who knows.
Was certainly an underwhelming performance though.
As for Hamilton, well, I like many are over giving him anymore attention as his antics are just screaming ' look at me'.


Sars. It's only against the regulations if a team member does it, no problem if it's the marshalls. No doubt you and Kenny are impressed with Lewis' honesty in accepting the blame for his poor start?


What he said and what he showed in his body language before the race tell two completely different stories Tim.
It almost appeared like he had lost the mental battle with himself in that sense and the bad start could've been a result of that.

And I was merely making an observation and a fair one at that and yet here you are again, a man on a mission. Aren't you tired ?

And for th


@ sars....I am surprised that you continue to have a dialogue with him. I ceased doing that sometime ago and politely requested that he cease replying to posts which i have directed to other posters...as you do. He insists on still posting to me. Rather pointless really as he knows that i will not respond....it's like the sound if one hand clapping! haha


Kenneth, I am aware that you asked me not to reply to your posts, but unfortunately we don't get to only allow people who agree with us to comment on our musings! Sars said that the marshalls drying the track was a breach of the sporting regs, I pointed out that this isn't true, that's all, no need to get so excited!


Sarsippious, you are being a sensitive little flower today aren't you? I'm just pointing out that it isn't against the sporting regs for a marshall to clean the track. I will leave the body language analysis to the experts....


There is a point in humour where one goes back to the well one time too many, or too frequently, and the comedic value withers away.

I'm trying to teach this to my kids as they will sometimes repeat what they regard as a funny story, believing that I or my wife didn't hear it fully the first time. Or they try to get it in after the comedic moment has passed. It's a very hard thing to get right, and I realize it can be hard, almost painful, to let a comedic opportunity pass, when you think you're sitting on some comedy gold.

Which is all a roundabout way of me saying that I think you've strayed into that area where you're losing impact through overuse.


Fair point. I'll take note and try and keep them unique and relevant.


This is the same team that has given him the last 2 drivers championships - he owes them much more than that they owe him - if he wasn't there Nico would have won the last two championships and Merc would have been just the same without him He should stop sulking and start trying to show a bit of the class that is demanded of a world champ even if he is just faking it as we know he is


here is a question, if Merc have not taken him - a decision I am sure they regretted after the first trials of the car - would he be a glorious third for the last 3 years? Or would he be a "Bottas" today


Regretted how? So that's why they signed him again for even more money? Honestly, some bright bulbs on display today!


Gyurio. If they regretted it so much, why wouldn't they have let him go when his deal expired? Why offer him another multi year mega million contract?


They surely saw at that time that taking Lewis has pulled a big chunk of the cream from the "car cake" on the "driver cake" . If Lewis was not available and they took somebody else to drive it, Mercedes would have been spoken more often that it was with Lewis Hamilton. Just a marketing thought, nothing on Lewis valor>


Gyurio. I'm sorry, I didn't get any of that.


Hamilton was there at the official photo part wearing grey cap and team polo, and as soon as the champagne was uncorked he ran to the back of the garage and slipped out.... i kept an eye on him and he looked really.... like a bad team player, out of sorts... he left his side of the garage celebrating without their man... Nico did the champagne spraying, and encouraging the boys to lift Paddy, Toto etc. I am sure if roles were reversed Nico would have stayed put up a brave face. As a Hamilton fan I was really dissapointed to see his immature behaviour...


You are not a Hamilton fan. Stop it with these lies. You have not, nor will you ever, accept Lewis as he is. You want to remake him into someone else. Shame on you!


it's different when your team (Merc/mechanics) have cost you 59 points - (ref Daily telegraph) last week - and the NR team have uninterupted reliability - LH knows in the same car as NR with same reliability LH would be leading by nearly 30 points and ALL the pressure would have been on NR this weekend, Merecedes let LH down big time this year and taking his team off him last year- is unacceptable. How would you feel watching your mechanics for 3 yrs (his team) who gave him great reliability celebrate - I'd have left too - I'd have fely let down and dumped by the team - I'm selling the UK Merc - bad reliability and I'm convinced merc keep turning my engine down ! Its so easy for Merc to control races - just change the engine output of each engine which Toto said was easily done, that's why there was a second difference between 2 cars over 2 weeks ( one week one is 1/2 a second quicker, the next week the other car is quicker by 0.5 second - there is no way that's reality without chaging output power......... you decide..it's all a fix... it was strage that Toto always said it woudl go down to the wire and that was the plan - and NR has been infront of teh stewards more than anyone - a deserved champion - Spa, Monaco, Spain and 4 x ran people off the road this year !!! A worthy champion.


Lewis came for a quick photo and quickly left before the champaign celebrations. He was sulking on the podium as well. Whenever he doesnt win he gives his champaign to the Merc constructors trophy collector. Didnt talk in the cool down room either.


SB, have you ever seen a driver look happy to be beaten by his team mate?


I read on SKY's website that he left through the back of the garage quite early. Been a rough week for him


I like Lewis but he's making it real hard to be a fan of his these days!


Please stop with these disclaimers. If it's that easy to dislike someone, then you never liked them and were just waiting for the chance to switch off. You are a fraud and you know it.


This Championship is over! Even if he gets Pole he's going to lose it anyway at the start. Hamilton has lost his mojo. He would rather be on social media than practicing his starts. Rosberg doesn't seem to be having problems with his starts!

Nicolas Guilbert

hamiltons bad starts are all result of no focus. Thinking to much on what to write next on SnapShat. He was out of focus at the driver press conference. He may be to in the cockpit at start.


He's told you that, has he?


Where do you expect him to practise his starts?

Take the W07 out for a spin on the streets of Brackley and practise his clutch control in the Tesco car park?

The simulator and practise sessions are the only place for the starts. And he has worked tirelessly with his start engineer when he can to solve the problem. After Canada the only solution his race engineer came up with was that the starts were just "fortune".

Toto Wolff is still saying they have a clutch problem to the media after today.

Make of that what you will. Some will still shoulder all the blame on Lewis. Some will blame the team. Ultimately it's probably a combination of both. Some poor starts due to Lewis's mistakes, but some he had no control over either.


@ jordan...i heard this subject discussed prior to the start and if IIRC brundle stated that hamilton and to a lesser degree rosberg has been practising multiple starts during all track sessions on the week end prior to the race.


The tires get larger next year and wheel spin would be less.

Hamilton's problem is when he does get some spin he just holds the throttle down when he could let up and go back on throttle. At least that's what other drivers on that side of the track did.


JDR, that's hilarious! You should write to Lewis immediately and tell him where he has been going wrong all this time!!


I don't really care where he practices it. He just needs to get the job done. Rosberg doesn't seem to have these problems does he??!!


"Rosberg doesn't seem to have these problems does he??!!"

Hamilton has had the worse starts of the two definitely, but Rosberg has had his share of poor starts - he lost positions off the start in Australia, Canada, China, Germany and Hungary from memory. It's actually been the worst part of the Merc package all year.


Please, please don't tempt fate! It isn't over until Rosberg's lead is unassailable. Right now it isn't.


It might not be over. But, the fat lady is warming up!


I agree.

Last time I checked, this is his tenth year in F1, and last time I checked, his annual driver salary is 40 meuro + much more from sponsors.

Keeping that in mind, you would imagine he would let his driving do the talking, instead of wining over how he is offended by how the media is treating him.

Maybe it's time for Hamilton to devote all his time to enjoying the praise from his fans on twitter instead of breaking down in front of the increasing pressure from realising he's losing the championship this year.


It is also Rosberg's 10th year in F1 and far from losing his mojo he keeps on improving.


Yes, but Rosberg's had so much more scope for improvement!


11th season for Nico. The planets have all aligned for him this year.


Including all Mercedes best engineers and senior management


recovered to 3rd today. Says it all really.....

Different track and different circumstances - you're not even close to comparing eggs with eggs.


NO. He got lucky with the pit stop. Did you watch the race?


How did he get lucky? Looking forward to your usual brilliance.


Massa 08, lucky title for Hamilton. Change of regs and Merc gets it bang on. Guess who just moved there? With a team mate driving like a no2, two easy titles for Hamilton. Now that no2 driver has upped his game - and Hamilton's reaction? Not to mention his fans and the British media. Its unreliability, its the clutch, its a damp patch etc etc etc...all implications that Hamilton is hard done by. Now where are those tissues...


Anyone in that Ferrari in 2008 should have won. Yet Hamilton did. To beat a faster car you need it to hit misfortune sometimes. So not luck. It's one thing when it's different luck between teams, and one when it's different luck inside the same team.


David. In Malaysia Nico dropped to 21st before the safety car, and emerged after it in p17. Several cars ahead of him retired and after an excellent strategy from Mercedes, all he had to do was overtake Kimi and the Red Bulls. He got himself a penalty after a very clumsy move on Kimi and failed to get on terms with either Red Bull. Did you watch the race?


Tim were you watching the same race as everyone else? "Several cars ahead of him retired" The only cars ahead of him on track to retire where Vettel (who punted him down to last) and Hamilton when he was already up to 4th. And the field never bunched up thanks to a safety car so I'm not sure how you would expect even Hamilton to close a 20+ seconds gap in less than 15 laps.

Compare Nicos drive through the field in Malaysia to Lewis in Belgium where he was up to 5th thanks to other cars crashing and pitting under the safety car. Only cars he managed to overtake were a Mclaren and a Force India


Sean, here's the lap by lap for Malaysia:


So at the end of lap 1 he was 17th, not 21st, as KVY, MAG, and GUT pitted for repairs sustained while trying to avoid his car at the first corner, while MAS was behind having started from the pits.

He then passed both Saubers, both Manors, and a Renault.

Grosjean then retired ahead of him with brakes. He spent 4 laps behind Sainz before pitting under the GRO induced VSC.

He was back up to an effective 5th place by lap 21 of 56.

A charge through the pack, one for the ages, this was not.


Definitely not a "recovery drive for the ages" with the pace differential of the Mercedes. Still had to make more overtakes than Hamilton in Belgium though. 3rd place thanks to Max and the Ferraris crashing into each other and cars ahead making the mistake of pitting before the red flag. Only had to pass Alonso and Hulkenburg to get 3rd spot


Sean. Ok maybe several was a poor choice of words, but the fact remains that in the fastest car on the grid Nico overtook no inferior Red Bulls, and hardly even made a dent in their lead over him. he did overtake some much slower cars, but when he caught up to Kimi's Ferrari he failed to make a clean move on him. This argument began with criticism of Lewis for not being able to overtake Max in Suzuka, I simply pointed out that Nico couldn't do it in Sepang (or Canada) either.


yes and after Hamiltons engine failure from last week, they put the power on the engine a little bit down, so you can't really compare the two last races... I think Hamilton is a much better and more sportsmanlike racer than Nico... I hope Hamilton manage to win this year WDC, even all the odds are against him...


Criticism of Hamilton is stupid. Hamilton cooked his tyres trying to reduce the gap and hold off Vettel. That combined with the Red Bulls traction meant it was an almost impossible task. Was actually surprised with the amount of overtaking that did take place yesterday.

It's unfair to compare Lewis yesterday vs Rosberg in Sepang. So many different variables. Lewis only dropped as low as 8th, Rosberg dropped to 17th. Easy to pass in Sepang, Suzuka has only one real place to overtake. Hamilton benefited from poor strategy calls from Ferrari, Rosberg gained 10 seconds during first VSC plus Hamilton retiring, Hamilton had reduced power yesterday... List can go on and on


For the record I thought Lewis' recovery drive at Spa was good, but not exceptional, and I would give Nico the same verdict after Sepang. I would point out that Nico's only difficult overtake came against Kimi, and he made a right balls up of it!
I was impressed with Lewis' recovery drive at Suzuka, I know he only dropped down to p8, but to clear the Ferraris and one of the Red Bulls at that track with a much reduced pace advantage, was for me more impressive than blasting by a few Manors and Renaults on the long straights of Spa or Sepang.


@ C63...considering that hamilton has the fastest car under him yes he did move up to third...so what? When push came to shove he wasn't able to get past verstappen!! let's face it, he's flaky under pressure and it's showing. Rosberg really took it all in his stride and considering the pressure HE was under he did exceptionally well. The end result can still go either way as four races/ 100 points are still up for grabs. One DNF for rosberg and the WDC is up for grabs again. A bit like watching puff pastry through the oven window...still i rise! [maybe]hahaha


Kenneth, was Ricciardo's poor performance today caused by his own "flakiness under pressure"?


Kenneth - how predictable!
I'll humour you; please explain how you have concluded Hamilton is flaky under pressure. I'd genuinely be interested to understand how you have come to this conclusion . Please bear in mind we are discussing a 3x world champion, with 49 GP wins, 57 poles and over 100 podiums to his credit.


What happened to ricciardo today?


He got beaten by quite a few faater cars. He also had problems on the straights according to both ricci and horner. He was off the pace all weekend and i do believe that he also had problems with a 'fuel flow meter' which i hadn't heard before. he is still running in the third position in the WDC and hopefully he can maintain that through to the end of the season. He will get a new engine for COTA so let's see how he goes there.


Max was better in Japan, simple as that. Verstappen was 29 secs up the road.

I'm a fan of Ricciardo's, and w/o doubt he's been better than Max in their time as teammates, but Verstappen is getting better and better. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is peak-RIC we're seeing, and that if the RB13 is a cracker that Max consigns an Aussie to bridesmaid once more.


Kenneth. I assume you believe that fuel flow meter story completely and without question?


Of course kenneth believes the fuel flow story - because it gives his boy a free pass.


C63. I'm confused, I was under the impression that if a driver is beaten by his team mate, then he is described as having been "given a sound beating" and his focus should be called into question. I also thought that any pronouncements from the team citing mitigating circumstances are clearly lies and should be dismissed as the team making excuses for their superstar driver. You know it's almost as if there are two different rule books......


LOL - normally that is the case. However when Ricci is beaten by Max there are always extenuating circumstances and any excuse, er sorry I mean reason, given by the team is accepted without question as true.
I may be wrong, but I thought it was actually listed as one of the sporting relations 😎


No Kenneth. There's nothing to face.

He couldn't get past Verstappen because he's in the second fastest car on the grid, while Merc are running a detuned engine. He wasn't closing on the straights, so he changed his approach and it almost worked. He simply ran out of laps.

Not passing Verstappen doesn't suddenly mean he cracked under pressure and can't overtake to save his life.


@ Jordan...then you might like to ponder the fact that rosberg was able to streak away at the front and control his speed and position at will....all in a 'detuned' identical car?


Nico was in clean air, MAN! Of course he's going to have it easier. This [Mod] is wearing you out. You gotta forget about Lewis. He's living in your head rent-free.


You're right about kenneth being overly obsessed with Hamilton.

When Hamilton has a bad race, and then no one comments on it, that's when you'll know that Hamilton’s days are done. Don't expect that to ever happen though.


Obviously you're new to this site if that is what you think....


Kenneth, the Red Bull had superior traction out of the final chicane than the Mercedes meaning the traditional overtaking method in the DRS zone wasn't available. This meant Lewis had to get creative and try somewhere else, which he did but then Max got "creative" in the braking zone for the chicane....


The difference between running at the front in clear air & following any car is at least 1 sec. LH messed up the start but he didnt mess up your life


@ elie...c'mon, you're just trying to be popular because your 'main man' didn't get up.

Nicolas Guilbert

I don't think the engine was detuned hardware wise/mostly buy software. In that situation he and merc could make an exception. Push the + button af few times.


Nicolas Guilbert. De tuned hardware wise? What would this entail? Turning the mixture screw down?


@Kenneth... flaky under pressure, you do make me smile and it would be funny, except that in Kenneth world you may actually believe that to be true.


@ revilo...i'm just so glad that i can provide you with some joyful material to help you through your day. We live in a troubled world so accept my contribution to your emotional well being....


it is true.under any kind of stress. just remember when his girl left him.


it IS true..


@ ngtgt...yes, i agree but for some it is hard to accept.


If it's true kenneth , please explain how you have reached that conclusion. Also, please then explain why Mercedes hired him in the first place and then (more baffling if he's so flaky) why they renewed his contract and pay him so much. Why do they simply throw money down the drain - this apparent contradiction is perplexing, and I'm hoping you can enlighten me.


Ngtgt. No it isn't. It's hard to think of a higher pressure sport than F1, how on earth would someone so flaky achieve such huge success in such an environment? He is three time world champion in a sport where "flakes" need not apply. When you think about it, it makes no sense whatsoever does it?


The likes of NGTGT never think beyond about 5 secs on any argument. That's why it's so easy to poke holes in their arguments. They haven't moved much beyond stimulus-response behaviour. Humanoid lab rats, basically.


@ KRB pertinent to your last comment....ever heard the saying 'it takes one to know one'. read and inwardly digest.


My last comment = the stimulus

Your reply = the response

Biology in action folks!!! 😃


@ C63...your questions would be served if they were directed to mercedes help centre.


KRB, Well it's certainly "all gone quiet over there" hasn't it?


Ngtg. He was under pressure in Malaysia, and was faultless, he was under pressure when 49 points behind earlier in the season, and overturned that deficit.


Tim - I think the problem may be that you are clouding the issue with facts 🙂


C63. My mistake, I keep forgetting that we are discussing Lewis and facts are so unimportant....


distorted facts certainly are


Ngtg, And which facts have I distorted? if you want to bring some facts of your own to the table, rather than the usual drivel, I'm sure we would all love to hear them.


distorted facts...



Is it just me or was there great racing almost everywhere today? Something about the older classic tracks that just naturally makes the racing better.

Congrats Nico! Untouchable and did everything required to make his claim for WDC this year that much closer. Max did well, he was the only one remotely able to put pressure on Nico.

Poor Lewis, can't catch a break. Was he on Snapchat at the start and missed the green light?

Problem with Lewis is he believes he is supreme to Nico, now watching himself get beaten is playing mind games on and off the track. He now thinks "someone or something" doesn't want him to win. He needs to snap out of it to have a chance at this championship, otherwise he will isolate himself even more into his shell.

Ricciardo had no pace here. Perhaps a penalty from Horner for being forced to have that schoey last race. Haha

Both Ferrari's were back on form in pace. Enjoyed watching Kimi have a feisty race. Sometimes you feel he gives up midway, but he was on the boil today. Good work from Seb as well. Although he really is Mr Cranky Pants these days.

McLaren? Where they even on this race? All the self praise and they're at the back... what happened here?


Kimi had to dodge an erratic Seb in the run to T1...again lol, and it compromised his start. From what I saw, Kimi was the faster of the two all weekend, and just ended up with the worse result because he thought of team first, himself second....something I'm not sure Seb will ever figure out.


Love your work rockman ....


Mercedes engines were turned down, remember?

Nicolas Guilbert

Yes but software wise, I am sure they could put it on at normal level again on a push of a button. and they would do on the last 10 laps for HAM.


You've hit the nail on the head. Lewis believes he is superior to Nico. And he's right - he's a better racer. But Nico is playing to his strengths, he's much better mentally this year and he's taken full advantage of Lewis's bad luck.

So Lewis is in the position where he's about to lose the championship to a slower driver. He justifiably feels hard done by as based on performance alone, he shouldn't be in this position.


It's amazing how people wheel out the "Rosberg is stronger mentally" narrative whenever it suits them. How many people were saying he was strong mentally when he'd just gotten trounced in Germany and the title looked like a pipe dream?

The season isn't over of course (although I think a Rosberg WDC is pretty nailed on at this point), but the only reason he's leading the championship is because of reliability, nothing more, nothing less. Even with his poor starts, Hamilton would be leading the title by a fairly respectable margin (c. 15-20 points) if reliability between the two drivers were even, potentially even more.


@ jim...ever heard the old truism, 'slowly slowly catchee monkey'. a lot of truth in that...


Get real kenneth - Hamilton has been beating Rosberg for the best part of 20 years in one formula or another. If Rosberg goes onto win the title this season (quite likely) that hardly makes Rosberg the better driver of the two and somehow shows Hamilton up to be the fraud you've always suspected he was. I know you're excited and getting carried away but try and keep things in perspective.


@ C63....gosh, you really are taking it all too far. I would put it to you to evidence where i have said, here on this site, that 'hamilton is a fraud' in those very words and not a cheap manifestation of your imagination. when you can do that i will happily accept your criticism. If not then i'm sure that you'll offer me an apology like any decent upstanding english gentleman would? My take on it is that perspective is, in your case, extremely warped but there you go...each to his own.


kenneth, can you see when that happens on here? 🐵


Not sure Nico is slower in outright pace. The qualy record is basically 50/50 since the two of them have raced together.

Lewis is far more aggressive in races though.


Quali record includes a few cases where Hamilton couldn't compete, or where yellow flags gave it to Nico.

Off the top of my head: MCO14, GER14, HUN14, JPN15, CHN16, RUS16, MCO16, HUN16. Nico scored 7 poles from those 8 races. In their time together it's 31-29 in poles for Hamilton. If even just 3 of the 7 freebies were flipped, it would read 34-26 ... makes a difference.

Rosberg is the quickest teammate he has had, over one lap, but Hamilton is quicker.


Sick of seeing this rubbish over and over. Where's the evidence Nico is better mentally? He still managed to lose a 43 point lead mid season...

It's a combination of Lewis not being able to convert his pole positions, and reliability issues.

Nico hasn't driven any differently to previous seasons. His pole position record flatters his speed this season.


@ jordan....two different drivers, two different mind sets, two different methods that suit two individuals. Pointless really trying to make comparisons. Hamilton though has it in the bag......


Hi Jim,

Good point mate,

I think that when Lewis won last year there was an enormous amount of pressure released....namely he had won 2 championships and he had achieved what he was paid to do...anything less would have been considered a massive failure, plus an over inflated salary. He lifted his foot off the peddle for the 3 remaining races and Nico who at this stage his own confidence was well and truly shot won them. This momentum he finished the season with saw him grow another leg and continued into 2016. Kudos to him.

Nico saw a very minor chink in Lewis' armour and that is what he has tried to target all season. Combined with some engine issues/penalties Nico has been able to capitalise on Lewis' misfortune.

When Nico out qualifies Lewis there is usually nothing in it. Remember 2014 Malaysia when the track was wet in FP3 or Q1 or Q2 Lewis was absolutley shredding it, miles ahead of everyone. Nico was crying out to the pitwall asking them which was the fastest line to take, he was absolutely clueless why his team mate was was carving him up? Amateur hour. But hey you go to be in it to win it.


I also think the car came to Nico. After Singapore last year Merc made some big car changes, and Nico has been extremely strong ever since.


Ferrari Strategist are [Mod] what is wrong with them???
Both the Ferrari's seemed faster than Red Bulls & yet they somehow manage to throw it all away.

Now I understand What they mean "Driver has to earn a contract";
1) They will not prepare a championship worthy car & ask drivers to win championships;
2) They will go backwards in development as Season progresses;
3) They will always do politics when there is no need to;
4) They will throw away places to competitors in races & question driver's wheel to wheel combat skills;
5) They will throw the drivers under the bus for their own (team's) shortcomings;

Sometimes I wonder why the Ferrari lure still attracts drivers......

[Please tone down your language or your posts will be automatically deleted - Mod]


Yep, well said Harshad.


Yes,keep your driver out for a lap after lap,while over 2 seconds slowly...then put soft tyres on than wont last the race..it's like if they can win.dont give a Monkeys . Vettel was right behind max( catching him) before the last pit stop,ended up 16 seconds behind at the finish..


I was watching Hamilton 15 seconds down closing on Vettel, thinking myself - keep the track position, leave enought time to pit - but they still managed to lose it [Mod]! I mean - how stupid are they?
I want to see a battle, [Mod] behind Hamilton.
Thank god for Verstappen and Red Bull taking the track position and fighting it out.
How long will be ignorance justified by a fact working for Ferrari?


Totally agree?

Vettel was second? How did Ferrari lose that? No wonder vettel is left to run strategy from the cockpit!


Yeah agree.

Ferrari are truly baffling me.

Even from the armchair perspective it seemed obvious to get Vettel in to cover both Verstappen and Hamilton. Seb had a really good shout at 2nd, he was getting ever closer to VES and was only 1.8sec off before VES pitted. And even if he didn't get close enough to fight for 2nd, he surely would have fended off HAM for 3rd (as can be seen with VES, difficult track to overtake).

To be honest, Ferrari should keep quiet with their criticism towards Seb if they are the ones that throw away points on a regular basis this season.


I cant agree with you more. Ferrari keeping shooting themselves in the foot with both barrels.They are unquestionably the worst team in F1. Given how a team like FI run so close so many times on 1/3 budget.
Raikkonen set 2 fastest laps in succession & spent many laps making up several seconds on the cars ahead. We can only guess where he would have finished had he started 3rd as qualified--& a real question mark on that gearbox change in the first place--all hush.. what a joke.


Not only did Kimi have a suspect gearbox penalty, he had to take evasive action to avoid Seb off the start to avoid another Ferrari T1 pile-up.

I've been saying this for a while now, that Ferrari is terrible at what they do. They remind me of the Boston Redsocks to be honest.

I get why Seb went to Ferrari, to try to live his Michael dream...but why on earth anyone else would want to sign with them is beyond me. Seb and Ferrari deserve each other....both are over rated. I feel bad for Kimi though.


I had an each way bet on Raikkonen at 25/1 before practice to finish on the podium. Couldn't believe it when I watched my recorded program to see him starting 8th.


Think Ferrari need to get a new set of dice...whatever they roll at the moment always seems to come up snake eyes


"They are unquestionably the worst team in F1"....... hahahahaha, yeah Elie that's right.

Your budget argument is laughable. Look where MacLaren are, given their budget, and maybe have a sit down and re-think...


I thought that's why they hired Jock Clear, to have someone who knows Mercedes inside out and how they plan strategies. I guess a lot changed during his gardening leave


No cable TV where i am today and FTA is full of Bathurst so didn't get to see the race yet, but one question: why did RBR double-stack? Was ita safety car situation?


Danny was well down on power the whole weekend, so not representative. Apparently he was a bit last weekend too, so it's a bit of a mystery what's going on there. But hats off to Max - impeccable today and kept Lewis at bay like a veteran.


It wasn't a problematic double-stack, as there was 10+ sec between them on track by then. Both stops went very smoothly, and they made the undercut work for both cars as a result. Risky but it paid off.


thanks @Grod


They came in the same lap but Max already had like 7 or 8 seconds on Ricciardo so there was no delay for either Max or Daniel.

Ricciardo seemed off pace the whole race. Great weekend for Max, nibbling into his teammates lead.


Ricci's engine is shot. New one next week!


ST, I heard him complaining about straightline speed after qualy and the race. How is he on allocations? Has he got one to spare, or is he looking at a grid drop?


LKFE, I assume if that's true about Ricciardo's engine, that you blame him for over stressing it?


Could be Tim!
I don't presume to know...
It might just have a lot of miles on it too?
Lets see, who can we ask????
It can't be anyone with less than 5 stars, surely!
Someone that knows almost everything, and everyone shudders in the wake of his F1 knowledge...


LKFE, I don't have any direct knowledge of these engines so I look to expert opinion to guide me in these matters. The view of people who have a deep understanding of the PUs and how they work, is that there isn't anything the driver can do to provoke a mechanical failure of the engine. I seem to remember that the other week you said that there were lots of things that the driver could do to blow his ICE, I did ask you at the time to enlighten us all as to what these things might be, but you obviously didn't see the question. Perhaps now would be a good time......


No, i definitely responded the other week, but it might not have been expert enough for you.


LKFE, right on both counts, you did reply and no, it wasn't expert enough! Over revving, or "long shifting" as you call it has been impossible for decades due to the simple device called a rev limiter, you can sit with your boot on the throttle all day in a low gear and the engine will only rev to the pre programmed limit set by the engineers. Hitting kerbs is the only possible thing that Brundle managed to come up with as a technically possible thing a driver could do, but really this would put much more load through the suspension and transmission than the engine, he also said that Lewis had been super smooth the whole Malaysia weekend and hadn't been bouncing over any kerbs, so I think this can be discounted. Anymore? You said there were "lots of things a driver can do".....


thanks @bs63


Rosberg Well done, did nothing wrong today. Very well deserved victory.

Lewis can complain all about Max "moving under braking" but then he himself was one of the drivers who said Max did nothing wrong in SPA, where MAX was defending in a much worse way than today. Overall he got himself to blame for P3 & gotta consider himself slightly lucky that Ferrari messed up Vettel's strategy. Otherwise even P3 would've looked difficult.


I was saying exactly the same thing when Lewis blurted over the radio.."what do you think about Maxs moves now !!"


Japan I love you Japan!


I loved it so much that i moved there . Different living there, as opposed to visiting though. Soon found that out. Suzuka..... great track. Think I went to about 27 race meetings there


Number 44: "Max moved under braking" Yes he did, same thing he did to Raikkonen, but when he did that to Raikkonen, you came out siding with him.


That's really hilarious because the ones on Kimi were worse and at much bigger speeds.


+1 and just heard that Merc have lodged a complaint about Verstappen with the FIA in an attempt to get 2nd place off him! Hypocritical to say the least, plus after watching it again, it is fairly clean from Verstappen, he moved once to take the inside line which he is allowed to do (when the incident with Kimi happened he moved more than once) - Hamilton was carrying too much speed to make the corner whether he had gone to the inside or not.


Mandy, Lewis would have made the corner if he hadn't been forced to avoid Max instead of braking.


They've withdrawn the protest, apparently on Hamilton’s request. I don't have a problem with Max's defense. It was pretty late, it was in reaction to Lewis' move, and it was at the start of the braking zone. All 3 are no-no's, but it was pretty obvious he was going to do that.

Really, he needed to get him into 130R like he got Ricciardo.


& Kimis was much much worse


On NBCSports in the US, Will Buxton asked Lewis specifically about the move and Lewis resisted the bait to criticize Max. I noticed the Sky interview did not ask him the same question but that is not Lewis fault. Every one knows this is a Max thing, even Christian Horner was unenthusiastic with his "firm but fair" comment. I personally think it's borderline, but nothing will come of the "Max move" until the drivers just decide to shunts him hard but not moving. It reminds me of the Lewis "cut in after an overtake" move that was used until it cause problems with Nico, and then suddenly it went away. I suspect Mercedes had a word with him. In the "olden days" the drivers would have sorted this out on the track, but right now Max is racing cars that are in the championship fight so they will give him a wide berth.


What driver in their right mind would volunteer to take a big shunt going over the rear of Verstappen? I love close combat racing, but not if the price is mayhem and the safe being of our driver heroes and the sport we love. Afraid nothing will change with 'rules interpretation and their enforcement' until a nasty crash happens...


Hi Cyber,

Totally agree with you mate. Dirty pool. "Try to pass me and we are going to crash". Firm but fair? My ass it is. It's not what I watch motor racing to see. Schumacher did it and Senna was guilty of it as well.

You look back at era's gone past 60's 70's and 80's the likes of Hunt and Gilles, Hill, Stewart, Mansell this is not what they were about.


One day a driver will not move when Verstappen pulls this move. I know you think this does not happen in F1 but consider the following - In Spa 2014, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had the famous incident. When he was asked about the collision with Lewis, Nico said he was tired of the Lewis Hamilton "chop in move" that Lewis had used against him several times including the race in Bahrain. So he "chose" not to move the car so the team could see what would happen if Lewis keeps doing that move. You will notice Lewis stopped that move after that! Like I said drivers should solve this one way or the other.


Max's 2nd place is under protest from Merc.


Not a bad race, well done to Nico, edging closer to the title. Still a lot to play for, so he's got to keep his head down, Lewis is still in it.
It was a great recovery drive from Lewis, his pace was very good, the team made the right calls as well. It's amazing that his starts are so poor, making it easier for Nico. I'm sure his fans would have been expecting Nico to bottle it, choke or crack under pressure. But I guess he's all to aware that this is his best chance to win the title, he can't afford to let it slip through his fingers. On to COTA, Lewis's other "home" race. It's a must win for him, if Nico wins there, then he might as well toss the 2nd place cap to Lewis.


I would expect Rosberg might choke or crack if Lewis had slotted into 2nd behind him. I would have liked to have seen their relative pace on the hards.

Spotting him 10 seconds in the first 5 laps meant Nico was on a Sunday cruise. Easy for Nico to control the race from there.


Seriously, Lewis should not take his phone with him to the car...rabbit ears can wait. Jokes aside, it is not his year. There are many technical issues on his car, his starts are poor too and I do not know if it is down to him or the car. But also, he made a mistake last year when he started to relax and Rosberg dominated last 3 races of the season. It is a psychological game. Rosberg continued to dominated during the first races and is in much better form. The thing is, Hamilton seems to be all over the place. It is not like his only issues are technical, his performance is questionable at times this year and Rosberg is not taking any prisoners.


Go and take a look at the last 3 races of 2015 again. Lewis absolutely did not relax. Mercedes wanted to make sure Nico had a good ending to the season. That's what those races were about.


Verstappen is a genious!
HAM took 20 laps to shave the advantage and another 10 laps inder close contact to MAX.
MAX defense for HAM's attack was so simple and ellegant... brilliant.
HAM strained again his engine on the recovery and IF his Merc engine is the first one to blow again... don't complain.

About Ferrari, how difficult is it to defend from HAM's undercut.
Alonsofication of Vettel at max settings.


Deweberis. Did Lewis strain his engine? How do you know this?


Max is dangerous. End of. Either stick to the right to block the move or take your normal line. You never, ever wait for their move and then move your car to block. Basic principles of racing.


The basic principle is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE have you ever race ?
you are allowed to "change lanes" until cars are starting to break.Only once ! If you do it too soon it is just helping the follower - so he has not to steer from behind ! So a good driver leave it for yhe last moment.
And for those who have never did brake to the full mechanical extent of their car ( evidently have never raced) : nobody is able to change direction when he brakes hard. If one does it means he lifts his foot slightly and misses the turn for sure. It is exactly what happened to Lewis, he fanned left and missed the braking point


Damon, where did you read this "basic rule of racing?"

This isn't Sunday cup gentlemans racing. In F1, you are allowed to make ONE MOVE. That's all the rule says. It doesn't say anything about anticipation or reaction, and it doesn't say anything about the braking zone.

This whole concept of "only allowed to move in anticipation, not in reaction," is some watered down bs that people have picked up from other racing series. In F1, you are absolutely allowed to move in reaction. The rule simply says you can only do it once...which is what Max did.

As far as moving in the brake zone, there's no hard and fast rule agaist it. That's more of a unwritten rule between drivers, and stems from when people were dying at every race weekend. Fact is though, if it's not a written rule, Max doesn't have to follow it, and the stewards cant penalize it. Either the rule needs to be written down, or the drivers need to take matters into their own hands on track and "teach Max a lesson".....but let's be serious, no one on that grid is going to sacrifice their race in the name of "teaching Max a lesson", and Max knows it.

F1 has long been an old boys club full of unwritten rules, and Max is here to say that he doesn't give a [mod]. He's been within the rules this far, and plans to stay there.


Twitch, very few things are specifically banned under the rules, but there is the catch all "dangerous and erratic driving" rule. What counts as dangerous or erratic is open to interpretation by the stewards and certain things are well known by all the drivers to not be allowed, moving in the braking zone is one of them.


Tim, do you think that there is a pattern to the recent dramatic increase in 'very definite' and prolific pro-Max commentation?
I feel it's become absurdly shill-like?

The sanctionless behaviour of the F1 governance is delegitimizing itself in it's ongoing failure to enforce one of the most basic 'driver-longevity-safeguarding' controls.
It's farcical, except it's only a matter of time before it leads to disaster, which will have sickingly grave consequences.
It looks a lot like gross negligence.


Dean. I'm not sure about the commentating, I watch the SKY coverage with Brundle and David Croft, and I haven't noticed those two going overboard. The stewards should have punished Max for Spa in my view, it was one of the most dangerous bits of driving I have ever seen in F1.


Tim: I was thinking about the online contributors, here primarily?


Dean, sorry I see what you mean. Yes lots of overboard comments about Max, it seems people lash out to things they see as a threat, so if you are a Ricciardo fan you might get every dig possible in at Max in order to paint your man in as positive light as possible? Kvyat never seemed to generate the same sort of response, so obviously the Max bashers see him as more of a threat, it's a sort of compliment really.....


I think they will need to codify what's allowed and what's not. Apparently Charlie went to Verstappen after to have a word about the move.

Certainly it would be easy to see in telemetry if they moved while braking or immediately before braking. Of course no one brakes in a fully straight line before rotating for a corner, but it shouldn't be at all jerky.


KRB, it seems these words in his ear are having little effect! He is pushing the boundaries, and as long as he gets away with it, he will continue to do that. His driving at Suzuka kept him in second, when strictly observing the rules would likely have dropped him to third. To be fair to Max it is his job to get that car in as high a finishing position as possible, but both he and the FIA need to remember that in the absence of penalties, the other drivers will have to start doing the same.

Torchwood Mobile

All the Mercedes PUs were turned down as a precaution this race after the blow out in Malaysia.

So even if Lewis used his engine to the limit to recover, it would be within lower parameters of power usage.

If/when it self-destructs, it won't be down to his actions today.


No, if it self-destructs it'll be down to Niki Lauda's remote control 😉


James, on NBCSN they said Vet didn't drop back from HAM just because his tires started going off. Merc gave HAM his higher engine mode. HAM wasn't very clear in his interview about it. Do you know if he did in fact get more engine power to keep Seb at bay?


Vettel just give up,cause his tyres were past their best...the team shafted him again..


👑Well Done Mercedes Constructors Championship 👑
Easy race win for Rosberg.
A great drive by Lewis in getting back up to the podium. Damp start and she'd loads of wheel spin.
Max definitely is cheating with the double moves in defence. Just so obvious and getting away with it. Even the commentators said "one move not two in defence and Max does 2 ". Kimi is so correct in his outrage regarding Max and his double moves. Toto Wolf said he would let the stewards decide even though he said its there for everyone to see he is doing it.
Well done Vettel for the drive and the Blue Flag chatter simply hilarious 😄
Mclaren Honda Shocking display at you home GP. Better luck next time.
Did anyone watch Bathurst through the night?. Awesome too. Had that running on the ipad while the GP in Japan.


Max didn't do a double move. You could argue it was a bit late, but there was only one. Hats off to Lewis for telling Merc to forget it.


So Hamilton now blames the track for his result. What a joke. Max not cheating you [Mod]. Watch the race again. It was fair.

[Please tone down your responses to other comments or your posts will be automatically deleted - Mod]


I agree with you. One move for defence and one back to the racing line, leaving plenty of room for Hamilton.

Hamilton was just stupid to try and make his move there. He never was this close to Max and he should have passed him on the straight using his DRS.

Beaten fair and square by Max




Verstappen had better traction out of the final corner, and there's no braking zone at the end of the straight. Hamilton could not have taken Verstappen down the straight.


You got it. It's much like Barcelona in that respect. Red Bull's main strength negated any chance, absent any mistake from Max.


Well.. i don't know. Did you notice everybody took an alternate line throught the chicane when preparing for a hot qualifying lap? They entered the second turn as wide as possible to carry the maximum amount of speed through it.

Lewis could have forced Max to take the inside line of the second chicane turn, and then have a better exit himself to compensate for the RB traction. With the better speed on the straight, he would have nailed it, maybe.

This move had the same chance like a snowball in a blaze...


Nah mate, it was a fair move. How would F1 look if nobody defended their position anymore?


Rubbish Max did the same with Kimi. Talk about Red Bull accepting their driver does this but when it'll be there turn they'll be flapping Bull at everyone who listens. [Mod] Double standards !!!


Well I don't hear you about Sainz on Guitterez, so indeed double standards.


I saw that. Was it investigated? It was Sainz turning for the corner, and then Gutierrez tried to get out of it, and spun.


If he knew it was coming then stay to the right. He didn't. He waited for the move and then moved into his path. How is that correct? He's basically making it absolutely impossible to overtake him on the brakes without crashing.


That's the idea of defending a position. Making it the other guy hard to overtake. Max did nothing that wasn't allowed, period.


So your point is that Max is making it too hard for others to overtake him?


I'm cool with it, you're not...life goes on..


It was a bit of a reactive block. I have been on about that for years now, but I don't see it changing anytime soon.


@ KRB...yes, you have a point. I don't agree entirely with verstappen's moves and the longer this goes without any penalty heighten's the chance of an accident. Even horner was not too enthused and desopite backing his driver he was not really very happy...IMO.


You must have seen a different Horner then i did because i saw a very enthousiastic team captain. And he was rightfully so because there was no issue whatsoever with Max's defence. Lewis had plenty of time to react but he just ran out of track. It was a half-hearted move.


Hamilton is a beaten man. After all the bad luck (and it is just merely bad luck) he thought Lady Luck had finally smiled on him at Sepang only for formhwr to turn her back on him yet again.
I think that he genuinely believes that he isn't destined to win this year, Sepang only strengthened that belief.
I wouldn't be surprised if Rosberg wins the remaining races, Lewis is a broken man.
Finally am I the only one who hates the fact that Rosberg can't wait to get his helmet off even before he's got out of his car? It annoys me intensely. Not quite as much as seeing him atop of the leader board.


I think that he is being coached on how to increase his star power. He only takes his helmet off when he wins so that the fans will know who he is. Bernie once told Vettel that he was bad for business because after winning 4 championships, he did nothing to promote the sport. Lewis is box office in this regard. Nico may become champion but it will do nothing for the sport. People say he is a family man and does not jet-set like Lewis but look at the generation that F1 is struggling to attract. Lewis has them all...


wellll, as I've pointed out elsewhere Hamilton has had huge luck at other times:
there are not many people who have good luck throughout life..


Ngtg, when has Lewis had "huge luck" this year?


Nico has drove well all season in the dry..hats off to him ,if he beats Lewis ..he deserves the world championship..


Why does it annoy you? I imagine it must be quite a relief to get rid of it after spending all that time in a hot car.


Go Nico.....


[Mod]. What is wrong with any driver taking their helmet off whilst still in the car? Don't really like Rosberg, but he is driving better than Hamilton at the moment. Too much of the Prima Donna attitude with Hamilton whilst Rosberg just gets on with the job. Lesson for Hamilton, perhaps.


He's got nothing to hide of his face, and wants to show his happiness...


No other driver does it or has done it, having said that only Lewis, Verstappen and Danny Ric have won a race so not much of a comparison. I just find it very annoying, makes him look even more smug than he is in my eyes. But I'm biased.


Also, F1 used to be sexy; fast cars, handsome drivers and hot girls. It's lost all of its shine. [Mod]

[Please moderate your comments or they will be automatically deleted. The views you expressed in the comment above are not funny, pleasant, acceptable or welcome on this site - Mod]


I'd say..


He can admit it. Can you? Or are you objective? 😃

I don't really get anyone with a serious [Mod] for any driver. There are drivers I like, and ones I don't. I don't [Mod] any of them. There are some who I like out of the car, but who I think are overrated in the car. It's not a popularity contest, it's about who can drive the best.


Nico-Lewis 100-0.


Good win for Nico, one hand on the trophy now. I don't think Lewis can win now without some reliability hitting Rosberg. If Lewis gets anymore that would be curtains.


let's face it, Nico has been whooping Lewis since this time last year.