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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Fortune favours the brave as Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain GP with Lewis Hamilton penalised
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Bahrain GP 2017
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Apr 2017   |  5:37 pm GMT  |  813 comments

Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix with a beautifully judged drive ahead of Lewis Hamilton and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas.

The result gives Vettel the championship lead alone by seven points over Hamilton. Ferrari have a three point lead over Mercedes.

It was his 44th career F1 win, the same as Hamilton’s race number, his second this season and his third in Bahrain.

Hamilton and Mercedes were under pressure; he was hit with a five second penalty for blocking Ricciardo on the way into the pits and that played a significant part in costing him the win, after he had served it at the final stop.

It was a day that showed once again the clear pattern of this season where the lead drivers of the Mercedes and Ferrari teams had a clear race pace advantage over their team mates. From pole, Bottas was well off Hamilton’s pace and was asked to let his team mate through just before his second stint as only Hamilton had the pace to mount a challenge to Vettel. Meanwhile Raikkonen had a scrappy start and then complained of further problems with the car during the race. But he was fast at the end of the race, when he almost caught Bottas for third place.

Mercedes said that they gave Bottas too high tyre pressures for the first stint due to the generator not functioning properly.

It also showed another trend for this season; that the Mercedes struggles on the softer compound tyres like the supersoft, so much so that Mercedes opted to leave a set of new supersofts in their blankets for Hamilton’s final stint, preferring to use instead a used set of Softs. The data from Bottas’ new tyres in the second stint told them that.

It was a good race from the point of wheel to wheel action, allaying fears that these F1 cars would struggle to overtake even on a proper race track.

It was also a great race from a strategy point of view with the leading cars taking different strategies on the tyres. Ferrari were bold again on strategy, undercutting Mercedes at the first stop, making the use of the pace of the car in a sure footed performance from the pit wall. Bottas didn’t have the race pace, while Hamilton’s five second penalty meant that Vettel had the edge.

Bahrain is traditionally one of the better tracks for the number of overtakes, especially since it became a night race, so this is something of a high water mark, but encouraging nevertheless.

Sebastian Vettel

Start – Hamilton loses a place

At the start Vettel got ahead of Hamilton as the Mercedes driver had a slower getaway off the dirty side of the grid. He positioned the car perfectly THat said, Verstappen also started on the dirty side and he managed to pass Raikkonen and Ricciardo in the opening turns, the pass on the Australian being particularly robust into Turn 2.

Bahrain GP 2017

The order across the line at the end of Lap 1 was Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Massa, Raikkonen who had dropped down to 7th from 5th, Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Ocon. Palmer had dropped from 10th to 13th. Perez had a great start from 18th up to 12th.

Once the DRS was enabled, the Ferrari closed in on Bottas and Verstappen got close to Hamilton. Bottas got a radio message from the pits to say that there was some overheating but not serious, Vettel continued to shadow him, clearly faster at this stage of the race. Hamilton closed up, making it a leading trio.

After 10 laps the leading five cars were separated by just 3 seconds, meanwhile Raikkonen managed to get ahead of Massa for 6th place, with fours seconds gap to the car ahead he had free air to go in and set a mid 1m 36s lap, while Bottas was holding Vettel to 1m 37s at the front.

Bottas said that his tyre tyres were losing performance and was told that the pressure were high, Vettel went for the undercut on Lap 11. He went for the supersoft tyre, following the strategy Haas had great success with last year. He rejoined into a gap ahead of Palmer.

Verstappen was calling for the same, “I think we should do something like Ferrari” he said. Red Bull pitted him a lap later. Hamilton moved up to the tail of his team mate.

Vettel made great progress on the supersofts, putting a big chunk of time between himself and Verstappen, but the Dutchman went off on Lap 12. The car went straight on with a brake failure. It was bad luck as with what transpired soon after he would have been second at the Safety Car deployment.

Raikkonen pitted on Lap 13, but was not fast enough to to be in the game once again, as far as Ferrari’s strategy challenge on Mercedes was concerned at this stage.

Stroll

All change as Stroll triggers a Safety Car once again

Mercedes did not cover Vettel who was lapping 2 seconds faster than the Mercedes then once again the Safety Car was deployed for a collision between Stroll and Sainz.

This looked like bad luck for Ferrari, with Vettel 18 seconds behind Bottas, but a slow stop for Bottas lost him the lead and with hamilton stacked behind him, he dropped behind Ricciardo. Bottas was put onto supersofts, to cover Vettel, while Mercedes split the strategy with Hamilton on softs, which was the same as Ricciardo.

Hamilton had held up Ricciardo as they entered the pit lane under the Safety Car and was given a 5 second penalty.

Marcus Ericsson had been put onto Soft tyres at the start by Sauber and was up to 8th. He quickly dropped back.

At the restart Hamilton jumped Ricciardo, while we had a great wheel to wheel scrap between Bottas and Vettel, which Vettel survived. Ricciardo lost further places to Massa and Raikkonen. His second set of supersofts not working for him.

Lap 19 and Vettel got his head down, building a lead over Bottas. Hamilton ran third with Massa doing a great job in fourth on soft tyres. Williams had looked good all weekend and Massa was really making the most of it.

Vettel was told that Ferrari expected Mercedes to instruct Bottas to let Hamilton through so as not to hold up his progress given that they were on different strategies and Hamilton would have the penalty. These were anxious moments for the Mercedes team, who had needed to contain Vettel, given that the Ferrari was always likely to race more strongly on a track where looking after the rear tyres is the name of the game.

Perez had worked his way up to 7th, another strong performance from the Force India driver, who had jumped Hulkenberg and Grosjean.

On Lap 20 Raikkonen passed Massa again for fourth, he was no2 7 seconds behind the leading trio.

Vettel had a 3.5 sec lead over Bottas and it was all about the gap to Hamilton, the leading driver on soft tyres

Fernando Alonso was passed by Kvyat and Palmer and said candidly, ” I have never raced with less power in my life.”

Hamilton passed Bottas on Lap 27, with all the hallmarks of an order from Mercedes, with the gap to Vettel now 6 seconds, but realistically 11 seconds behind given his added five second penalty.

Bottas said that the supersofts were not working for him and that the soft would be the better tyre. Hamilton closed on Vettel, trying to judge how much to take out of the tyres, given that he was trying to make it to the end of the race on them.

“Keep your head down, this is an important phase of the race, focus!” Vettel was told by his engineer.

Vettel was working to build a gap to Ricciardo to be able to stop without dropping behind the Red Bull driver. He needed 24 seconds.

Raikkonen said something ‘really disturbing’ was happening to the car and was given some instructions to try to rectify the problem.

Bahrain 2017
Final stint

Hamilton was really fast on the soft tyres, Vettel had the gap on Ricciardo to pit, but he now found himself 18 seconds behind Hamilton with a 20 lap tyre offset and 23 laps to the end. Perez meanwhile was doing a stunning job on 21 lap old supersofts.

Vettel was now over a second a lap faster than Hamilton, but knowing that he did not need to overtake him at the end, due to Hamilton’s time penalty.

Perez and Hulkenberg pitted together on Lap 37 and Perez rejoined eighth.

Raikkonen had been calling for new tyres and was given them on Lap 38. Vettel closed in on Hamilton to 8 seconds.

Hamilton pitted on Lap 41 for soft tyres and served his time penalty. He went onto used softs, but questioned why he hadn’t been given new tyres? Mercedes said it was due to data, meaning the poor performance of the supersofts on Bottas’ car in the second stint. With 14 laps to the end, they felt Hamilton had shown better pace on the softs and that it was the correct tyre.

Hamilton scythed past Bottas on Lap 48, a humiliating situation for the Finn after scoring his first pole position. Hamilton was told he had the pace to win the race and having served the penalty it was all to play for with ten laps to go.

Vettel responded, measuring his pace, with a tyre offset of just 5 laps in Hamilton’s favour. Vettel caught traffic, Hamilton closed by almost 2 seconds on Lap 50 with seven laps to go.

Ericsson broke down with five laps to go, but no Virtual Safety Car or Safety Car was required to be deployed that would have given Hamilton a lifeline.

Raikkonen found some pace at the end of the race as he closed on Bottas for the final podium position.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below

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813 comments

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1

congratulations to vettel on his second win of the season. shame bottas was on pole and just got in the way. thought he could've pulled away..

2

Yeah, what a difference a day makes! All of Bottas's feel good moments disappeared when the lights went out! I think he ended up 18 seconds behind in 3rd place!

3

Apparently a generator broke so couldn't bleed Bottas' rear tyres. I like how Mercedes need a generator to bleed a tyre of ~1psi of air. I think Mercedes are worried Hamilton is going to be beaten by his team mate again this season and it was a plot to slow Bottas down

4

Nonsense. If so it only slowed Hamilton down! It is weird that it failed ... couldn't they have borrowed one off Hamilton's crew 16 metres to their right?

5

Bottas was let down twice today by the team: they didn't pressurize his tyres correctly for the first stint, and put him on the wrong tyres for the second stint. Then, to top it off, asked him to let Lewis by twice.
Despite what Toto said to Sky Sports, he already has made his choice of the team No 1 driver, allways had a soft spot for Lewis.
Really do hope Bottas can do a Rosberg to prove him wrong!

6

Bottas was hired to beat Kimi which he appears to be able to do without too much drama. Even if Hamilton splits race wins with Vettel, Mercedes wins the constructor's Championship.
As long as Bottas out qualifies Kimi on Saturday (3 for 3) and finishes in front of him on Sunday (2 of 3) he will have a job.

7

That is such a naive thought, how in this world would Toto let his trustful, twice WDC for him, driver with legion of followers all over the planet, that has proven whatever they would ask him to, down? Botas is the #2 driver since day 1, he's just chosen not to openly talk about it. It was just a respectful and polite way to not expose his underdog status publicly. After Rosberg retirement Lewis will always be the #1 whichever team he drives for.

We need talk about Santa!

8

You think if Bottas was up to 2 seconds a lap faster than Lewis they'd not instruct Lewis to move over? I refer you to Abu Dhabi last year. (whether Ham would have complied or not....that's a different question).

9

One DNF from Lewis and it's a different ball park at Mercedes. Tricky times ahead for them.

10

One DNF for vettel would would show a different picture.

11

Tricky times ahead for them.

I don't know if you watch Sky - they were chatting about this issue after the race, saying Ferrari had already chosen Vet and what should Merc do? Pat Symonds was very clear on what he would do - choose the driver who represented their best chance for WDC; Hamilton. This is despite him claiming Bot is his friend. I guess PS might know a bit about this sort of thing 🙂
The landscape has changed this year, and it's very clear that the WDC and WCC is not a forgone conclusion where it will be a Merc double and they can afford to to let their drivers fight it out. This year it could be a Merc driver or it could be a Ferrari driver who will win the WDC and the teams need to choose which of their drivers represents their best chance - clearly in Ferraris case that's Vet, just as it's clear that Ham is Merc's best bet.

12

Man, really feel sorry for Valteri, bowing twice to team orders. Bad start, that was the way Merc crashed Nico spine in his first races against Hamilton, now Valteri. Ferrari let Vettel and Kimi compete in spite of Kimi holding back Vettel in China. You don't do that to Bottas in the beginning of his races, you can lower his spirits.

13

do you think bottas would rather be lead driver at williams?

14

AlanF1 In 2016 Kimi had to move over for Vettel plenty of times, why is this even a topic ?

15

Savage, it's atopic because Lewis was involved. Nobody is interested in all the times it has happened before.

16
Ricciardo Aficionado

Turns out it didn't crush Nico's spine.

17

if i was wolff, i'd ask bottas to to play number two while he learn the ropes. if he does a good job in his first season and they are clear the field then they can race. pointless them racing each other while fighting another team for the championships.

18

Aveli. They tech team principal at Mercedes. Why don't apply..you never know

19

@aveli - I hear you however i suppose it depends on how he was employed and what was discussed. If he was employed as a number 2 then fair enough. However if he was not (which i would think is the case) then he should be free to race.
Put yourself in VB shoes, what would you expect if you were a 'racer' and wanted to win your ultimate prize that you may not have the same chance again after this year.

20

unless he was employed to impede their championship effort.

21

"IF"!!!!!
I didn't think you did "iF's"!!!

22

What if Hamilton had been told that versus Alonso in his first season at McLaren?

23

hamilton did overtake alonso at the first corner of the first race of 2007 only for the team to switch them around in the potstops so i guess the team had that arrangement in place until hamilton made it blatantly obvious that he was by far the quicker driver when he chased down alonso in monaco only to be called off by the team. from then on they were allowed to race and he won his first two races in the next two grands prix.
before the season opener hamilton said he was the number two driver but outpaced alonso during the winter testing.

24

then it'd be reversed..

25

Not as let down as Hamilton though. They should have immediately removed Bottas from his race. As it was they didn't until it was too late

Lewis is the faster driver and there's absolutely no chance of Bottas winning the championship. Continuing to be 'kind' to him at the expense of Lewis challenging at the front with Vettel (which he had the pace to do) is sheer idiocy. No chance such thing would have occurred under Brawn's more intelligent leadership.

26

Agreed - especially post safety car with 5 sec penalty for Lewis, he should have let Lewis keep pace with Seb... given the pace Lewis had towards the end, he could have still made a race out of it it.

27

Yeah if Bottas was not ahead of pole I wonder if Vettel would have pulled away.

But anyway, I was hoping for a 2014 Ham vs Ros duel in bahrain. But I accept this chess match deul also! 😀

28

find wonder beyond google maps as we may lose you..

29

@Aveli.. hahaha 😀

30

Didn't help that Merc couldn't pressure his rear tyres correctly on the grid due to problems. Put him on the back foot straight away.

31

The same merc team that has been correctly pressurizing the tyres for donkey years, he gets on pole the day before the machine functions incorrectly, i'm starting to smell that merc might not give team orders but they certainly know how to get their favoured car ahead on the road...

32

People (teams make mistakes). I don't subscribe to this conspiracy or 'nobbling' a team car for the benefit of the other team car. Its just madness to think a team would do it especially so early in the year.

People make mistakes. Red Bull have been doing very fast pit stops for years yet they call their driver in at Monaco last year and they don't have any (not one) tyres ready for him. Never done this before and i bet they will never do it again.

33

Are you saying that Merc might have put too much pressure in Bottas' tires on purpose? This is a real question.

34

Pepe, except that isn't what happened is it? Lewis was behind Valterri at the start, it wasn't until they were both on the right tyre pressures that Lewis was behind him.

35

come on Toto, make it believeable.
If you had a problem with the compressor/generator on the grid, the tyres might have been 'under-inflated'. If someow they were over inflated, you dont need a compressor to fix it, you can check the pressures with a $5 tyre gauge (like the FIA do) and let some air out with your thumb-nail.
This is just another of Merc's phantom car problems to try and look like they are not '****ing on everyone from a great height'.

36

@ Axel....very weak response from wolff...He must think that people are dumb. Just more of his flim flam!

37

Kenneth, I assume you have some evidence that the generator was fully functioning and Toto's explanation was "flim flam"....

38

Generator runs the tire warmers. If you set the tire pressure at too low a temp it will be above target when it comes up to temp.

39

Why was he so slow later on as well?

40

I don't take that tire pressure bull..tire pressures been inspected by FIA before race start. Pls stop that no sense talk

Beside Toto mentioned generator issues not tires in Botta car.

C'mon guys

41

fia only checks minimum pressure - his was one unit higher

42

@S Andretti the FIA regulates tire pressures to be withing sporting regulations, yes. However, teams still have room to adjust pressures to get the balance that they need. They can also adjust some of the Aero in parc ferme. So yeah, it's possible to screw up tire pressures between qualifying and the race, and this will have a quantifiable impact on grip, heating the tyres, and tyre wear.

43

JD. Below is article 12 fia regulation for tyres. Please read . You can see you are wrong

12.6 Specification of tyres :
12.6.1 Tyre specifications will be determined by the tyre supplier, in agreement with the FIA, no later
than 1 September of the previous season for the construction and 1 December for the range
of compounds to be used during the Championship season. Once determined in this way, the
specification of the tyres will not be changed without the agreement of at least 70% of the
competing teams.
Notwithstanding the above, the FIA may decide to change the specification during the
Championship season for safety reasons without notice or delay.
12.7 Treatment of tyres :
12.7.1 Tyres may only be inflated with air or nitrogen.
12.7.2 Any process the intent of which is to reduce the amount of moisture in the tyre and/or in its
inflation gas is forbidden.
12.7.3 The only permitted type of tyre heating devices are blankets which use resistive heating
elements. The heating elements may only act upon the outer tyre surface.
12.8 Wheel assembly :
12.8.1 The only parts which may be physically attached to the wheel in addition to the tyre are
surface treatments for appearance and protection, valves for filling and discharging the tyre,
wheel fasteners, balance weights, drive pegs, tyre pressure and temperature monitoring
devices and spacers on the inboard mounting face of identical specification on all wheels for
the same axle.
12.8.2 The wheel must be attached to the car with a single fastener. The outer diameter of the
fastener must not exceed 105mm and the axial length must not exceed 75mm. The wheel
fastener may not attach or mount any part to the car except the wheel assembly described in
Article 12.8.1.
12.8.3 A complete wheel must contain a single fixed internal gas volume. No valves, bleeds or
permeable membranes are permitted other than to inflate or deflate the tyre whilst the car is
stationary.
12.8.4 Devices which are used to fit or remove wheel fasteners may only be powered by compressed
air or nitrogen.
Any sensor systems may only act passively

44

Not sure how this proves me wrong at all, but thanks for posting a wall of text comment that was actually interesting to read for once (but not for the reasons of backing up your assertion, which it did not.

It was actually someone from one of the teams (forgot who but they were being interviewed on the grid by brundle) that said they make the changes that I mentioned in parc ferme.

So I guess I'm wrong, that engineer is wrong, and the majority of the people posting here are wrong?

Must feel good to be so right in the face of everything going against you.

45

Ah Brundle. ..no comment

46

Not many people like a know-it-all. NO ONE likes a know-it-all who's actually wrong most of the time. 😉

47

FIA check for min and max I believe.
Merc can still be within the guidelines but they set them higher than they wanted to run due to track and ambient conditions.
Can only go on what James and others report. We must all be wrong and you're right?

48

I believe you must go with FIA regulations. Not mine not James. Google it then we can talk..

49
Ricciardo Aficionado

Don't FIA mandate minimum pressures? Bottas' were too high.
(Not that I buy Wolffs PR either...)

50

Yes but they won't stop you if pressures are too height

Only if the opposite

It probably wasn't by much these things are pretty sensitive

51

i wonder if they use honda generators?

52

Bingo!

53

To me It looks like a pump rather than a compressor

54

Is that what's in the back of the McLaren?

55

McL wishes it is 🙂

56

Bear in mind that Honda electrical generators (running on petrol) are famous for their excellent performance, for their low noise compared to competitors and for their compact size. Ask any camper and they'll tell you which generator they'd like to buy one day. 😉
So we can troll on their (current) F1 engine but we don't have any reason to troll on their generators. 😉

57

If you need a generator to go camping, why not just stay home?

58

is that why alonso is going camping in indy?

59

It is exactly that the question put was about A joke on the F1 engine with the well know Honda generator as etalon !!! At least I did so understand it .
Otherwise I am quite a touchy camper myself 😀

60
Ricciardo Aficionado

Bongo... that's a water pump.
... aaah, I see!

61

Brilliant - never thought of that.

62

Nar, they'd still be blowing them up

63

Bet Hamilton's going to be having words with the team after the race about that.

64

that's not in his nature, he wants to win it on merit..

65

@ Aveli....On merit? Is that why he deliberately tried to wreck ricciardo's race. Is that in his nature. Scummy act and he was duly penalised but it still didn't give ricciardo back what he lost, Track position.

66

Bit harsh that Kenneth. Still, always good to see you upset😀 think your anger is misdirected. Lewis held him up but I think you're sore cause your boy is being exposed this year. Ham probably deserves criticism but as always you take it bit too personally. Have a look at Ric's performances to explain your foul mood.

67

give ricciardo back what he lost...

What did he lose? He followed Ham into the pits and came out in front didn't he? Then at the re-start he went backwards at a fair rate of knots but I don't see how you can blame Ham for that - he overtook Ric on the safety car re-start line. Anyone else who overtook Ric after that was nothing to do with Ham - Ric managed that all on his own.

68

I am not sure if it would have been a case but had Hamilton followed in at normal pace behind Bottas and stacked with Bottas's slow pitstop could Ric not have been in P2 at restart instead of P3?

69

could Ric not have been in P2 at restart

I guess nothing is impossible, but it was certainly unlikely. The best information I can find is that Ric was between 2 and 3 seconds behind Bot when the SC came out - that's a lot to make up in a pit stop.

70

No chance, but even if by some miracle he was, he still would've tumbled down the order at the restart. He went from P3 to P6 on the first lap after the restart (passed by HAM, MAS, RAI). So he likely would've gone P2 to P5/P6 anyways.

71

@ C63...There would've been a greater gap on track between them if he hadn't cheated on ricciardo's pit lane time. Why do you think the stewards penalised him?

72

There would've been a greater gap on track between them

How so kenneth? They were bunched up behind a safety car waiting for the track to go green. If Ric had emerged from the pits 10 seconds in front of Ham he would have lost it all behind the safety car - that's what safety cars do (unlike a VSC). Hamiltons actions broke the rules and he deserved to be punished but all this talk of him wrecking Ricci's race is just sensationalist nonsense.

73

kenneth, you are dim sometimes. Lewis was always going to get jumped by Ricciardo when he had to stack in the pits. So it was always going to be them P3 & P4 behind the SC, and Hamilton was always going to storm past once the green flag flew.

74
Devils Advocate

They penalized him because they listened to you I guess kennerh 😉

75

C'mon C63. You know better than that.
Even LH admitted what he did was not correct. He accepted it. Why does his supporters try and mount a case against it?

It has nothing to do with what happened after the stop.

76

Hi Mike, thanks for your calm and measured reply. To be clear I'm not making a case against it - LH transgressed the rules, got caught and deserved the punishment. I'm just trying to keep things in perspective for kenneth who (as usual where LH is concerned) is getting his knickers in a twist and running around as if his hair was on fire. No one had their race ruined and it made absolutely no difference to Ric's race whatsoever - according to the commentary team; Ham was punished as it would set a precedent for other occasions where some one might actually be disadvantaged.

77

@ mikeJ...exactly. well said.

78

Kenneth, Ricciardo was behind Lewis going into the pits, and ahead when he left. Difficult to see how Lewis cost him track position....

79

Tim, it cost him time, when it didn't need to. No matter how much Lewis backed Ric up, it didn't impact how long it took for them to finish Bottas' pit. Lewis had nothing to gain from it.

80

Lewis had nothing to gain from it.

I'm not sure that is so - potentially he might have maintained track position. In actuality he didn't, so it was all a waste of time, and he got past Ric without any drama at the re-start.

81

@ LKFE how very true, but the HLG won't have a bar of it.

82

Kenneth, the HLG wont hear a bar of it because it is nonsense. Instead of sniping why not come right out and tell us what you think Ricciardo lost? He gained track position over Lewis, they came out of the pits and followed the safety car around for several laps, so obviously any time loss is irrelevant anyway. Unless you think differently?

83

In the end, it didn't cost him any time, because behind the SC he could only have caught up to Bottas and then have to do SC speeds. He was P4 going into the pits, and P3 coming out of it. He couldn't have expected any better! O-B-V-I-O-U-S

84

LKFE, it cost DR nothing, he gained track position over Lewis in the pits, and any time lost would have been immaterial as they were only cruising behind the safety car. It was a silly error from Lewis, but trying to pretend that Dan's race was in any way affected is a major leap!

85

Tim, in this case the time lost was a moot point, i agree, but the principle remains the same. Not withstanding the fact that he got track position over Lewis, what if the additional couple of seconds meant he slotted in behind Hulkenberg (or any other slower driver) in the safety car train? It had the potential to ruin Danny race and cost him and his team points.
Using the "no blood, no foul" approach doesn't work when it comes to foul play. What if the same scenario played out to delay Lewis enough so that Vettel got the jump on him under the safety car? I'm sure there would be a few thousand of the army calling for marshal law!
For the record, i suspect Lewis' instincts kicked in and he was only thinking about timing his own pit stop to perfection. I don't think he was trying to torch Danny's race (his car pace advantage would have nullified any concerns he had about getting stuck behind him).
But these rules exist so that they can be applied in all race scenarios, and in my view a 5s penalty was pretty lenient.

86

LKFE, I'm not arguing that the penalty wasn't deserved, it was. I'm just saying that it cost Daniel nothing, which was the original accusation from Kenneth. You think Lewis was only trying to time his own stop, I think he was trying to keep Dan behind! We will never know, but on this occasion no harm was done to either man's race, so we move onto the next one.

87

Kenneth stop this. Its not that serious. Lewis was slow into the box because the air compressor failed. Probably the same one that over pressurized valterri's left rear.

88

@ Oblah...stop this...it is quite serious, serious enough for hamilton to apologise to the team for cheating. Unfortunately he doesn't appear to have apologised to ricciardo. This was a decision by hamilton to impede ricciardo in order to further his own advantage.

89

Kenneth, I really think it's time for you to explain exactly what you think Dan lost. Your previous claim that he lost track position is obviously untrue, so what do you think it cost him?

90
Devils Advocate

I have a felling that RIC has appointed you as his defence lawyer kennerh. Let it go...he has for crying out loud

91

it's call racing if you weren't aware. racing to win as far as he's concerned is how to win. playing politics to win is not on his menu..

92
Devils Advocate

@kenneth: HAMs move was note the greatest and he wad penalized for that and yes, RIC got his track position as he gained one position coming out ahead of HAM.

93

@ Devils advocate...you can actually say 'he cheated'. Yes ricciardo got track position but his track position would've been even greater had he not been 'illegally slowed' by a desperate hamilton.

94

but his track position would've been even greater

What does that mean - in plain english please. How can you have a greater track position?

95

Kenneth, who do you think he would have come out ahead of? No way he would have got out in front of Valterri, he was too far back for that.

96
Devils Advocate

@kennerh Call it what you may, he apologized. Had HAM not done that, he would have probably been up there on the top step of the podium, hence the apologies to the team. As for RIC (who I like as a driver and gentleman), he did not have the pace, so regardless he would have been taken by HAM on track.

I do understand the hatred towards HAM, but you sure need to appreciate that he is a 3 time WDC and these championships were not merited on "cheating" as you put it (and another can of worms is opened now for the HAM haters) 😉

97

@ Devils advocate...You know sometimes people project things that are simply not there. You claim that i express 'hatred' towards Hamilton? Just how wrong you are. Simply because i never actually gush and genuflect before everything 'Hamilton' you take the liberty to label me as such. That is offensive. I don't 'like' hamilton and i certainly don't think he's as great as you all do. My prerogative and that doesn't warrant your venomous attack.

98

You are kidding, right?

99

@ Dsilver gallows....why would i be kidding?

100

@kenneth
that was a reply to aveli - "that's not in his nature, he wants to win it on merit..", sorry. Ham's nature has one time too many showed it's ugly face but I guess that's exactly what his fans prize more about him.

101

@ Silver gallows...sorry for that. It happens some time. One posts a response and one loses 'track position' haha

102

they would i be kidding?

103

True - Abu Dhabi 2016 comes to mind! Ehhh...

104
Devils Advocate

Abu Dhabi 2016 again @Cyber???

Everyone that has anything to do with racing has put an end to this with the same result. HAM had two options, either to race away and win the race with a huge margin, or back Nico into traffic and hope that he wins the WDC that way. He is a racing driver that did everything legally to win the race, so there is nothing wrong with that especially since the WCC had already been finished regardless of the outcome of that race.

I guess when I said above everyone that has anything to do with racing, I meant everyone with the exception of the HAM haters and the Nico supporters.

105

Devils Advocate....Seeing as you've brought this up. Hamilton tried to pull a rotten act on rosberg and it FAILED. He drives for Mercedes and he ignored a team order, twice. He then tried to give an advantage to Ferrari by backing up rosberg. A treacherous in anyones language. How you can defend that is beyond me but then again knowing how your boy can do know wrong then it is understandable.

106
Devils Advocate

@Kenneth...

1- I wasn't the one that brought this up
2- Call it what you may. It doesn't matter to HAM or anyone that knows a thing or two about racing.
3- Do you believe yourself when you type? Ignoring a team order? For the last time, as enough has been said already, HAM is a racer and the WCC was already done and over. It was a race for the WDC and that "order" as you put it was mocked by everyone. If he was at fault, maybe he would not be driving for AMG MERC now, would he??

107

Hey DA, I have also come to terms that Hamilton only had those two said options in Aby Dhabi. And agreed, both perfectly legal per FIA regulations. But to back your own teammate back into traffic is not any behavior from a gentlemen racer. And that was the question raised above. Personally I would have preferred to see Hamilton race away and take that victory in style!

108
Devils Advocate

Again my dear friend Cyber, what HAM did was the only thing he could to try and win the championship. These guys are racers and they will do whatever it takes to win, as long as they do not break rules or put other drivers at risk.

Although you would have to see him race off and "win the race in style" as you put it, this was not an option in the last race. HAM is smarter than racing off and giving Nico clear air ahead of him, especially since he knows what the car is capable of. In light of this, it would not be fair to brand him as "not a gentleman" for trying to win his 4th WDC

109

Congratulations to Ferrari and Vettel on the win - quite a tense race. Although not quite as tense as the commentators would have us believe. It was always a big ask to expect Ham to catch and pass Vettel in the laps remaining after his second stop. Looks like it's game on for the WDC and WCC.

110

Really did you believe Lewis can beat Seb in the last laps? Seb is manage his car, Lewis offense is a game from the paddock of Mercedes. Really, 15 seconds in 15 laps?
Mind games, the leader manage the game always.

111


Really did you believe

No. That's why I said 'not quite as tense as the commentators would have us believe'. I watch Sky and Crofty is getting on my nerves at the moment. If he was commentating on a football match (instead of F1) he would be telling us that even though we are in the final minute, and 3 nil down - there is every chance that we can turn it round. He seems desperate to try and make out that everything is so exciting.

112

C4 was about the same, a race-gasm. And what was up with the video director?

113

I may have made this up, but I seem to recall the broadcasting is all done by FOM. They used to take the feed from the host race broadcaster but this was abandoned as they tended to just follow the 'local' driver rather than focus on what was happening at the sharp end. I have a feeling this changed quite a while back.

114

Yep, I remember thinking the same thing. He was talking as if is was almost more likely than not that Hamilton was going to catch and pass Vettel. He is very annoying. Wish JA would partner Brundle again like in the good old days!

115

Wish JA would partner Brundle again

+1 I've been watching some of the classic races that Sky have been broadcasting lately and JA/Brundle is definitely the best pairing on those. I don't know if you go back far enough to the Eurosport days when John Watson commentated - I used to like him. I can't remember the name of his co-commentator but I wasn't so fussed about him but I liked JW.

116

It was Ben Edwards, who now does C4 commentary. Prior to that it was Allard Kalff, the original inventor of the 'grid walk' on Eurosport

117

Allard Kalff - that's the guy I was thinking of. He never seemed to quite be aware of what was going on - at times it was almost like he wasn't watching. Hey ho , horses for courses I guess - no doubt others thought he was great 😊

118

He's a racer himself - Dutch touring cars

119

James, if you got an offer to replace Croft would you take it? 🙂

120

got an offer to replace Croft

Yes please - where can we vote for that ?

121

well thats because Crofty's always had a Hamilton bias. btw did you notice how much weight he gave to the 'backmarkers' being a variable in the chase? when vettel got some DRS time behind them, he started wondering if Hamilton will manage to get some as well. DRS!! that must be what? .2 secs? lol.not sure how they thought that the chase was really on...also i loved how he said that the safety car helped vettel, when in fact it was quite the opposite. He's not much for reading a race is he?

122

because Crofty's always had a Hamilton bias

Do you think so? I can't say I've observed that - I would say he usually takes the opposite point of view and 'bigs up' his team mate.

123

not much for reading a race is he?

I think it's mostly because he is always getting so excited. On another thread I made the point about how he gets so worked up about Q2 times - he was implying drivers would be downhearted due to the gaps - Q2 is all about getting through to Q3 whilst taking as little life from the tyres as possible. nothing else. He was carrying on like it was for the grid. Don't get me wrong, I understand it's his job (to a degree) but he keeps 'seeing' things which just aren't there.

124

Omg I think we get that now too. It's Martin Brundle and some guy named Crofty. I didn't get it at first but man that guy is starting to get on my nerves. It'll be a simple move and then his voice goes up suddenly to some orgasmic level. Not sure if it's the same one your referring too I guess their broadcast gets sold and rebadged.

125

I know! How do they expect anyone to do that! I felt Merc threw this away... looking at Lewis's pace, they definitely had the faster car... Seb / Ferrari need to thank Bottas

126

@Gravity Seb/Ferrari don't need to thank anyone else besides themselves for building a fast car and Seb for driving brilliantly. Ferrari is the faster car in race conditions, no doubt about it.

127

definitely had the faster car

It's hard to know how much Vet was just managing the gap after Hams final stop. Personally I couldn't see him catching , let alone passing Vet, within the laps remaining. Perhaps without his penalty (not his finest moment) - but even then getting past a similar paced car would have been hard . Seemed to me like the damage was done when Vet came in
for the first stop - the Ferrari apppeared very quick at that stage of the race. Took like 3 seconds out of Ham in one lap I think they said .

128

Mercedes is still the fastest car out there on both conditions qualifying and raceday as well. That win was down to vettel and perfect strategy. Mercedes pit stop howler did help ferrari. One more worthy note is ferrari was kind on tyre, they were able to manage the super-softs better than Mercedes.

129

True - I thought Ferrari's advantage on super soft - both pace and longevity while Mercs was on softs. Given the temperature was lot lower, Merc had a great chance to win this one. Was surprised that they didn't react to Seb's pitstop on lap 10 - they did get lucky with safety car but wasted it with a poor stop.

130

@ C63....I see that hamilton has apologised to the team for his pit stop nonsense. When will he apologise to Ricciardo for trying to ruin his race on purpose? All this from someone who says,
'good things come to good people' ? What a load of rubbish.....

131

You are implying Lewis deliberately try to slow Ric down, the question is why?. Lewis had a five second penalty, there was no way he would get out in front of Ric and therefore no benefit to slow his pit entry. Lewis was slow in the pit entry to let Bottas clear the pit box and avoid having to park behind him.

132

@Jake

polite correction - LH didn't have a 5 second penalty at the time - he got that for slowing Ric.

133

Because if he didn't slow him down, he would have had to wait behind Bottas, while DR has a clean pit stop and jumps him for position on way out

134

@Kenneth - your mate, Ricciardo, said on post race interview that he would have done the same thing, impede following car to keep track position, although he would have done it before entering the actual pit lane.

Your moral high ground defensiveness seems misplaced, therefore.

135

@ torchwood 5.....What happens on the track happens on the track and that's fine...they are racing and can do what they please within the rules when it comes to tactics....but not in the pit lane. That was blatant cheating and the stewards were spot on with their penalty. My comments have zip to do with the 'moral high ground'. That's a cheap shot that falls on barren ground.

136

will he apologise to Ricciardo

Perhaps he has already - I understand they get on quite well and Ric certainly models himself on Ham, so maybe he wasn't as upset as you and understands that successful racers push all the boundaries all the time. It made no difference to Ric's race in any event.

137

Ric models himself on Ham? What on earth would make you think that?

138

@LKFE

It's plain as a pikestaff. All the social media stuff, developing a brand etc. He even has his brand logo on his crash helmet (just like Ham). All he needs are about 50 more wins, 60 odd poles and a hatful of championships and he'll be there 🙂

139

C63, you talk like Lewis owns social media and brand development. In your eyes he may!
It's been going on long before Lewis was born...pretty much every high profile sportsman in the world does it -are they all modelling themselves on Lewis are they?
Hang on...Is Bieber modeling himself on Lewis or is Lewis modelling himself on Bieber?

I'll be watching for Danny to be:
- isolating himself from the other drivers on the parade lap;
- not attending GPDA meetings
- hangin with the b+ -list rappa's
- gratuitous displays of wealth -"can we get a drone to take a photo of me standing on my plane?"

...and then i'll know...Danny Ric....."truely blessed" !!

140

@ LKFE....yes you're quite right but you've missed out a couple of doozys,

Wearing spectacles with clear lenses
Wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night
Wearing 5 kilo gold chains and diamond studs pre and post race hahaha

141

Deny it all you want - it makes no difference to me. Ric would swap places with Ham in a heartbeat!

142

C63:

Now that you've asked I've never set myself up as an "expert" in anything. I wouldn’t be so pretentious but thanks for the complement.

It certainly is no secret that you like to wind up the anti-Hamilton crowd (in retaliation to them winding you up) but here's a little secret for you to consider - if you and Lewis' followers on JA’s Forum didn't respond to every little morsel of criticism thrown at him then perhaps, just perhaps the nonsensical comments would dry up because at the moment you're just like fish swallowing bait or to put it another way you're the fish that actually jumps on their hooks! Do you really think that continually responding to people who have such entrenched positions about him (and yes I will admit positions based on bias) is going to change their thinking? I could have put it more succinctly but what I was alluding to in referring to “time” was that perhaps your efforts could be better directed at posting comments on issues that have more substance. But if you find it more worthwhile (or amusing) fighting what I consider losing battles with some posters then keep up this "childish" (your word) pursuit.

To Danny Ricciardo. Were you not the one that said that he "would" swap places with Lewis in a "heartbeat"? Can you explain to me how you know this? My position would be that he would rather earn race wins and championships than be given them which seems far more plausible, don't you think?

Finally, to Hamilton's 5 second penalty. My thinking, for what it’s worth, is that it potentially cost Lewis more than it did Dan. The delay in Dan's tyre change had no deleterious effect on his race. However, without the 5 second delay Lewis would have been much closer to Vettel in the closing laps and Seb would not have felt comfortable with Lewis on his gear box. Errors occur to the best of racers when under pressure. So this may be the race win that got away from him and how many points did Rosberg win the WDC by?

143

C63:

All this back and forth between the pro Hamilton crowd and the anti Hamilton crowd is just hilarious. Obviously none of you have anything meaningful to do with your time. But let me indulge myself for a minute C63 and say that the most rediculous thing that has been said during these entertaining exchanges is your comment that: "Ric would swap places with Ham in a heartbeat!" Quite frankly mate you don't know the mind of Daniel Ricciardo and never will and I would wager my house that he would rather earn things through effort than bask in the on/off track glory that he would gain by swapping places with your idol if that was even humanly possible.

144

see Adrian - KRB gets it 🙂

145

C63.............To your latest post the only thing I can suggest is that in future don't cast your net so wide or just throw out a line with a hook and no bait and see how you go!!

Danny Ricc better get on the podium this weekend or it could have dire consequences.

146

C63:

No mate I’m not as “dim” as you think and I’ll ignore the name calling.

If you read my post carefully you would have noticed that it wasn’t specifically about you (i.e. C63) winding up other posters and Kenneth in particular but “you and Lewis' followers on JA’s Forum”. It’s no secret that you, Tim and KRB (and others) spend a lot of time responding to rants from the anti-Lewis brigade. Whether these people post their comments because they just want to have a go at Lewis OR as a result of you stirring the pot (which I acknowledge you do) the fact remains that you all respond to negative comments about him. To reiterate, my opinion (and I think you would agree), is that you’re dealing with F1 fans who have such entrenched anti-Lewis sentiments that nothing anyone says is going to change their thinking. Nothing! So I’m merely asking why waste your time interacting with them any more than you have to? Of course beyond that what you do is none of my business and if you find it entertaining to continue to do so you have my blessing. Go for it.

Fair enough, having re-thought it I took the bait regarding Danny Ricc but having crossed swords with you previously about him it’s not always clear when you’re taking the p… or being serious as it would be confusing to any F1 fan following comments on JA’s Forum for the first time because they would not be aware of what biases each poster brings to the discussion. Remember it was you (and then KRB) who thought it necessary to ‘warn’ me about the nature of Ken’s posts?

Speaking of Ken he’s unquestionably an all-in Danny Ricc fan and I can’t fault him for that but not being a Lewis fan myself its not my responsibility to get him to alter his views about him.

As to your last paragraph we agree. I would just add that for Lewis’ sake I would hope that he doesn’t lose the championship by 7 points because he might look back on Bahrain with some regret.

147

Adrian, it's pretty clear to me that C63 is having a laugh, and put out a big net, and man did he ever end up with a big catch! I mean, how many Ricciardo supporter reflex points did he hit?!? It is true that Ricciardo has the new clothing line ... Hamilton doesn't AFAIK but it does sound like something more up his alley than Ricciardo's.

Earn things through effort? I don't get that part of your comment ... has Hamilton not earned his achievements through effort? I'm sure you weren't implying anything like that.

148

KRB:

Fact is mate my post to C63 above was in response to one of his which you never got to read because for some reason the Mods never posted it. If C63 want's to dance fine with me I'll accommodate him.

But anyway your post is what I'd expect from one of the Ham Brothers. Don't take it to heart mate........no offense intended because you might have noticed from my posts that I regard Lewis as the best driver on the grid and I'm not in the business of slagging him. BTW should I feel honored if I'm the biggest fish in the catch?

"Earn things through effort"? Scroll up and you'll see where C63 said that "Ricc would swap places with Ham in a heartbeat." in terms of race wins and championships. Really now. I merely pointed out that no he would't because he'd rather earn them himself. Capise?

149

@ C63....ricciardo models himself on hamilton! dream on pal. Your 'pushing the boundaries' quip is a transparent attempt to play down the fact that he tried a 'cheat' and got caught. Every dog has his day.

150

Do you know what kenneth - at times I wonder whether we are actually watching the same sport. Are you saying that the top teams and drivers don't push the boundaries and bend the rules ? They aren't having an afternoon game of bridge at the WI you know - F1 is high stakes and to be the best they have to push all of the boundaries all of the time. The list is endless of the drivers and teams who have got caught bending/breaking the rules. Yet Ham does something relatively benign and you are carrying on like he was caught drowning puppies out the back of the Merc motorhome.

151

@ C63....pushing the boundaries is vastly different to 'blatant cheating'

152

different to 'blatant cheating'

What Hamilton did was wrong, he got caught and deserved to be punished - which he was . But it was akin to pulling another players shirt - the sort of thing which goes on all the time and often doesn't attract a penalty. Try to keep it in context Kenneth - also remember adopting such a strong stance will usually backfire as sooner or later Ric will do something similar and you'll have to take another month off commenting like you did when Ric was so sulky after Monaco last year.

153

@ C63 Yes, i'm expecting DR to once more 'ape' hamilton and do the 'cheat thing' as you seem to think that he tries to emulate your hero in a 'heartbeat'! The only flaw in your argument is Monaco. Danny didn't have a little weep on the track, he didn't purposefully drive into the No2 marker and he didn't try and weasel off with the champagne and have to be called back. Those differences alone are a departure from emulation in a 'heartbeat'. That will all be rectified in future races i'm sure hahaha Should i expect DR to do a 'pitlane' act in Sochi?

154

The only flaw in your argument is Monaco

I think Ric is aware of his worth and knows he cannot get away with the same sort of actions that a triple WDC can. But to be fair to him he did copy Ham as much as he could.
On a different note - did you see the interview with Bernie on TG last week? The one where he said Ham is the best driver of his generation and the best thing to happen to F1 for a long time? Now there's a man who I know you respect - I wondered what you made of his remarks.

155

It is ridiculous, but predictable. It's as though kenneth is equating what Lewis did, to what Schumacher tried at Jerez '97. It was a foul ... a minor foul. While most of us have rungs in between 1 and 10 on the outrage scale, kenneth just has 'Calm' and 'Hair on Fire' apparently. Or at least where Hamilton is concerned. 😀

156

Or at least where Hamilton is concerned. 😀

Spot on KRB. I won't say if, I'll say when Ric does something similar - 'it'll be what racers do', or 'just showing his competitive nature' or some such. It really was a vey minor thing - thats why the stewards gave such a minor punishment. A 5 second time penalty , which must be just about the least punishment they could give whilst still giving any punishment at all.

157

Did Roscoe have puppies? Is he a she?

158

LOL, like moths to a flame!

159

I agree - they are very similar and hence catching up is one thing but overtaking is totally another. Let me put it this way, if Lewis was on pole and ahead, it may not have been easy at all for Seb

160

[mod]
Hamilton is there to race and to show management that he is better than his team mate. Then, and only then, he should receive gifts from Toto just like the couple he received today. Was he faster than VB on Saturday? Was he that much faster than VB on the 1st stint? I mean, VB had tyre pressure issues but I didn't see LH close to him.
Rosberg left because of this. And Valteri will also leave, because of LH's mind-games with the team.
Just imagine, what would people say if back in the day Ross Brawn would come in on Rubens Chubbychelo's radio asking him to stand down for Michael on race 3 of 20. Or on race 2 of 20 as Red Bull did in China...
Ham [mod] just needs to try harder. In the end, since he didn't get Seb, Toto should have told him to let by Bottas again. Toto didn't have to, Hami boy should have thought about it on his own.
Just to think that Eddie Irvine thinks Seb is a spoiled brat. Facepalm...

161

''Rosberg left because of this'' - Say what ?. What nonsense are you talking ?, Rosberg left because he wanted to spend time with his wife and daughter. Show me evidence Rosberg said that he left because of the fairy tail you mentioned. How many times Raikkönen in 2016 but you make a whole drama cause it involved Hamilton, but yet in the same race Raikkönen had to move over for Vettel as well so why you moaning only about Hamilton's case ?

162

Well summed up

163

Great nick. Wish I had thought of it.

164

Couldn't agree more...

165

You make a few good points there. Well said.

166

John3vtas. Was Lewis faster in the first stint? Hard to say, but there were no team orders in the first stint. Was he much faster in the second and third stints? Yes, a lot faster.

167

I actually thought the commentary team claimed he would trade the place back at first.. but then conveniently no one mentions it.

168

Cheesypoof. Lewis said over the radio that he would give the place back if he couldn't catch up with Vettel. But he did, so he didn't.

169

@ cheesy....yes, i heard that but then it was totally dropped. Monaco 2015 [?] when the team told kvyat to let ricciardo past to tackle the race leader, he did and ricci tried but couldn't make it so ricciardo gave the place back. Sporting gesture. Imagine wolff telling hamilton to give the place back!!! He'd tell him what he told ron dennis, 'go swivel'.

170
Devils Advocate

Well, whatever happens from now on in this season and I can assure you no one can predict what will happen, it is good to know that the only thing we know for certain on this board is that we will always have negative comments about HAM from Kennerh, regardless what happens in the race.

BTW kennerh (or kenneth), RIC was not fast so what HAM did and was rightfully penalized for would not have added any speed to RIC. Sad pill to swallow, but that's reality for you mate 😉

171

@ Devils advocate....I don't have a problem with it...I am passing on an opinion on what i witnessed. One driver trying to wreck another drivers race in order to benefit unfairly. Simple isn't it?

172
Devils Advocate

@kenneth...I'll let it go for now, even though from your posts across the board, it seems that you do have a problem with it. Let us see what happens with the rest of the season. Cheers

173

Congrats Vettel bit of a give away by Mercedes.
Have no idea why he was doing "walk like an Egyptian " in Bahrain.
Lewis unlucky with the 5 second penalty.
Bottas needs to up his game.
Mercedes had the faster car. Bottas had tyre pressure problem.
No.1 drivers doing there stuff for their teams.
No.2 drivers pretty average.
Mercedes need to be good with strategy especially on the double pit.

174

Rupert:

Why was Hamilton "unlucky with the 5 second penalty"? Penalty was warranted because he slowed Ricciardo from getting to his pit box to change tyres and get back on track. That's why! How would this be any different from being blocked when trying to set a timed lap in Q3? He did later admit fault.

175

@ Rupert da bear...Hamilton was a bit unlucky with a 5 sec penalty!!! Deliberately trying to ruin a competitors race like that is really bad sportsmanship.He deserved everything and more.

176

I am not a Hamilton fan. I admire his dexterity as a driver but I did not get fond of him as personality.
This said, I don't think he has to be blamed as un-sporty for slowing in the pit entrance. He certainly considered the loss of time as second-stacked by team Merc ( btw not certain it was the thing to do: a slow first time of the first car nullifies the SC gain for the second car if delayed +8 sec - as it was almost the case)
So, I think he was simply in no hurry and did not think about consequences, his mind boiling with being 3rd thoughts.
To think about him as deliberately slowing Ric is the same as saying he is an idiot not knowing the rule book, or thinking that "nobody is looking". Which, I think, he amply proved it is not the case.

177

he did that walk like an egyptian in australia also. Guess its something to replace the finger

178

Why was Lewis 'unlucky' with 5 sec penalty. It was very clear his intentions.
I don't think Bottas was Merc 'first choice'

179

Yup. True bottas will never be first choice even if he gets some more poles this season. If bottas does not carry himself with strong mindset with all the tantrums like this. He"ll soon disappear or vanish from F1 nor just Mercedes team alone

180

Of course Bottas was not their first choice! He was the ONLY they ever considered for the job. Why? They fed up With the troubled and divide team, Bottas new since day one what his status would be. Realistically? It's total nonsense to expect Toto puting Lewis's already proven strength and skills to risk everything on a newcomer. Don't be fooled by Toto's humbling faces. His, is not a position where kindness or ignorance are acceptable, on the other hand, mercilessly and tyranny a major requirement.

181

Hamilton was ahead on track (pit lane being part of the track) and it's easy to say it was his fastest way to the end of the race by slowing to enter his pit box and not actually having to come to a stop waiting for Bottas. I think it was harsh.

182

@ aezy_doc...No. It didn't matter if he queued or didn't queue. He would only commence his stop when Bottas car left the pit box.

He cannot change that time...i don't know why people cannot understand that. All he did was try and disrupt any car behind him..

183

Stopping twice takes longer than stopping once. I think it was harsh. You don't. Meh.

184

Bring on the next race !!

185

Really hard to believe that anyone could possibly think HAM should have got off scot free, even fanboys.

186

C'mon Aezy...you are are having a loan there aren't you?

187

@Kenneth
Aezy is still having ago a week after the event. Unbelievable that people cannot understand. It does not matter to Hamiltons time if he crawled in at 5kph or stopped 5 times before he gets to his pit or if he has to queue for 10 sec. He cannot start his stop until Bottas leaves the pit box.
Yet Hamilton can delay everyone behind him by slowing and affecting their track position. The only car that can affect Hamilton is Bottas.
Why is this so hard to understand?
That is why he got a penalty.

188

@MikeJ....They simply don't want to acknowledge that their man 'cheated'. Hard pill to swallow i guess.

189

I really don't want to hear any no sense talk about Mercedes. They lost again fair and square

I like Lewis but too much rubbish no sense analysis is just waste of time

Forz💌💌💌a Ferrari

190

Fair and square?

More like...

A fair squander

...by Mercedes. For the good of F1 and PU reliability of course. So there is something in it for them.

191

Bravíssimo!

192

If Merc don't a grip soon Vettel is going to run off with it. Bottas is clearly the number 2 on pace. If he does a good qual lap but is obviously slow in the race then Merc need to be more ruthless and order him to get out of the way.

193

no need for orders, looks like Bottas is the new Hamilton,, he'll get all the bad engines and the incorrect tyre pressures on the days when he's on pole.

194

Development will kick in soon and you'd back Mercedes on that, so I don't see Ferrari running away with it

I fancy Merc in Russia, but Spain will be a Ferrari track

195

The problem is that in both these tracks it's going to be Merc on pole most likely... so even on Ferrari tracks, for Seb to win he needs to have an aggressive strategy - early under cuts, or long first stints...

196

Worked ok in BAHRAIN...

197

Sure they will not walk with it, but this is a new Ferrari Team by a long shot.
What ever was, unlikely will be again.
last year alone, they spend a few hundred of millions to update equipment and facilities to improve development of the car during the season.
Let's see what happens.

198

James for Ferrari to win in Spain realistically I think they need to be on pole. If Merc qualify at that race and Monaco on pole or nick a front row lock out it will be a calamity for Ferrari with almost no hope of winning. Also the Mercedes car is currently a long wheelbase car I wouldn't be surprised if they brought out a short wheelbase version of their car when we get back to Central/Western Europe. james I actually see Ferrari dramatically crumbling away from championship contention when we get to Barcelona and think RBR will also bring out a radically overhauled car for Spain and Ferrari will fall behind them aerodynamically

199

Realistically speaking I think you are underestimating Ferrari, it clear as a day that they had picked their game and doing all the right things. This will only get even more intense once upgrade packages start to come into play. I dont see Ferrari running away simply as Merc still has upper hand in qually but this is only good for the fans. Regarding RBR I think they messed up their car from day 1 and if they do get it up there it will be too late. I think James has much much more insight and can feel whats going on than you or I from news paper clips (I mean digital news clips not printed one) we read

200

Sure RB will bring a magic potion...

201

James, I do not think any track is a Ferrari track. Mercedes is faster overall, on any track. It is just they are not dominant as previously and Ferrari can try to outsmart them. I do not think Ferrari is able to have a straightforward weekend 1-2 as can Mercedes. Still believe Hamilton will win the title and we are going to have Red Bull and Ferrari fighting for the 2nd in constructors.

202

I think the Mercedes is just harder on the tyres which is great in qualifying but I feel it's going to put them on the back foot in races, especially where it's hot.

203

You really can't please everybody, 3 good races in and still complaining, wouldn't you trade these last 3 races for all 20 of last season. I'm sure that all anyone wanted was for Ferrari/Redbull/McNowhere/Williams/or any other team to be in with a shout.

204

Ah well, you'd know

I'm just here and talking to all the people involved so what do I know?

205

Ouch.

206

See, kids? THAT'S how we middle aged folk respond to stuff on the internet. Like Fangio, imagining himself waist-deep in snow.

207
Ricciardo Aficionado

As in, being tetchy 🙂

208

Ricciardo, if you had spent your entire working life involved in the sport, if you knew everyone involved, and you also knew how much effort those people put into analysis of which car is faster, and they were all telling you the same thing, you would accept that as a fact wouldn't you? And if then someone who isn't involved in the sport at all, and hasn't done any analysis at all told you that you were wrong, you would get tetchy wouldn't you?
It seems that for some people the idea that Ferrari have superior race pace is unacceptable, they would prefer this not to be the case, presumably so they can take a swipe at Lewis and Mercedes for failing to win all the races. The problem is, Ferrari really do have a quicker race car, all the data points in that direction.

209

More on some circuits than others and subject to change as the development race kicks in and things like having to run the engine just off the peak if there's a reliability issue etc

It's a fact that, in underlying pace (i.e. fuel and tyre corrected) Vettel was the fastest car in the field on that second stint. Any F1 engineer will tell you that today, having run the numbers.

210

@ James...I can understand the Tyre corrected comment but how do you assess the 'fuel corrected' data. Outside of the team members, not all of them, who knows what the fuel levels are?

211

There is a max load. They are all +/- 2 to 5 kilos so you can plot it

212

@ james...thanks. So the corrections are an estimate then. Some time back there was debate on F1 Technical where some of the more up to date engineers were saying that a couple of teams were able to go as low as -7 to 10 KG at various times?

213

That's harsh!

214

To be fair James, while you certainly get a lot more insider proprietary information than all us mere mortals, there's not really a guarantee that that's (a) accurate or (b) unbiased...

215

I'm not sure why you'd think James would be biased? What reason would he have for being so? Seems to me he'd have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

The funny thing is, I've only ever heard James accused of bias towards Hamilton (by people who didn't like ITV's focus on Lewis).

216

British fellowship. We see it every where EPL teams fail miserably but still believe they have best football..

217

Don't confuse 'most entertaining' with 'best football'.

Bundesliga: 1 team league (arguably 2 but Dortmund not on Bayern's level)

Ligue 1: 1/2 good teams then just village pub teams

Serie A: Most boring league on earth

La Liga: 2 big teams with 1 semi big team, with top 2 teams taking 50% TV revenue. Nice and fair league.

218

After nine years of doing this I'm rather disappointed by that

219

Lol James, love your comments on this

220

Most contributors on this site, including me, have great respect for you, James, but occasionally when someone gives a comment at odds to your view, your counter argument displays an unwelcome arrogance which is unbecoming. Your response to @Alexd epitomises this I'm afraid. The whole point of this site is to hear views from others isn't it? I think I speak for most when I say we are always particularly interested in - and influenced by - your take on things which we know comes from within the sport, with a knowledge we can't hope to have, but when you give a response such as you have given to @Alexd, I for one am disappointed in you. We don't want a site peopled by sycophants do we?

221

F1roborbob wrote

We don't want a site peopled by sycophants do we?

.

Frankly, sheepishly!?, I had to look up the word sycophant and some may accuse me of being one.

I'm grateful to James for this site and my access to it. I get to 'talk' to you all and to 'listen' too. Some days I enjoy myself more here than in actually watching the race.
I don't see ads all over the site, pop up windows to annoy, and endless requests to subscribe for a mere .?. euros or the article remains 80% inaccessible. This is one hell of a gift horse. And frankly looking into the mouth, as others open it, it seems to me that the teeth look pretty good.
Sometimes after I've posted, I regret things I've written. I try to cut everyone some slack and know that I'm cutting myself a whole lot of slack too.

222
Ricciardo Aficionado

No sycophants around here mate.
Question is, where's AlexD's response? One would assume he/she'd have something to say in the face of such a rebuke. Has he/she been [Mod]ed and so refused his/her right of rebuttal and also suffered an infringement upon his /her free speech?
We may never know. Just as we may never know just who is pulling the strings around here. I must say, some of James responses of late have seemed somewhat "un-James". Has Liberty prescribed an injection of populism to combat the inane objectism here? (Ref: C63's anti-"Crofty" tirades) All in the name of improving the show? We may never know. The workings of a global media company exist behind the black mirror, their influence wafts like a sticky web in darkened halls.
I'm pretty certain Toto is entranced by the glitz and American glamour of Liberty's 21st century (3rd rail) facelift on F1, but I would never have thought James would reach for the Botox.
We shall see...
#banthegag#letAlexDspeak#toomuchmoustache
!!!

223

I have no idea what you are saying here - not sure you do - but there's no smoke and mirrors, we play a straight bat, take as we find and that's what this site's success over 9 years is based on - along with deep insight from the people who make the sport, who want fans to understand the sport better and take the time to provide this off the record insights.

That's not a new thing with Liberty - I've always had that as the site's mission statement, ask the older posters.

If I reply to a comment in my name, it is me and if you don't like the "objectivity" then there are plenty of other sites which slant things one way or another and which might better mirror your world view.

For the record Alex D has not responded yet but - as long as his response is not insulting or defamatory - it will be posted here if and when it comes.

Thanks

224

I reckon you're as good at this as anyone, ever - Denis Jenkinson, Roebuck, Alan Henry, Peter Windsor, Bill Tuckey, Paul Frere, Eoin Young. You're continuing a great tradition; accurate, unbiased, contemporary, and in it deep. Thanks for your work, keep it up.

225

Thanks

I was mentored by Jenks in early 1990s and brought him to Autosport in 1993 to do some in depth interviews with leading figures

He was a great inspiration, albeit a particular character!

226

Hello James:-) I did reply 2 times, but my reply was just to share the surprise on how this discussion developed. From my side there is nothing to say, I did not even understand that yoir comment concerned me as I did not see the connection. There was no disrespect, just a different opinion. It is not about who is more right:-) wining an argument is never the most iimportant thing, not for me. So full respect from my side, appreciation of what you are doing, but I do not think Ferrari will win in Barcelona:-)

227

Now I have a reason to watch Spain. To see who was right!

228

He's alive ☺ good man AlexD!

229

Fair play

No hard feelings

230
Ricciardo Aficionado

There ARE smoke and mirrors involved in F1. I guess that's what we want to know about. (the whole truth behind pascal's two race absence for a start)
Aswell as the objective analysis on a Tuesday after a race...(although I already know DR was rubbish on the soft in his second stint, I need to know why)
btw... If my view was mirrored, would it not be behind me?
fyi... You may also like to google black mirror if you don't know what I'm talking about. Not that it helped me any...
AND... Isn't there a lot of information gained from your sources that you need to withhold for them to be willing to keep talking to you?

231

No and I'm fine with criticism and encourage all views (a long as there are no insults)

There is zero arrogance, however the comment showed a lack of respect for the effort we go to in Order to get to the bottom of what's happening so fans can get closer to it.

That's different

232

Do ya get the feelin' that they're lining up at the mo'?

Just slag Ricciardo Afficiando off for being an Australian, James... that'll shut him up!😂

233

James, none of us doubt that you have more information than we do which is why we read your website, and that your technical knowledge is way beyond that of most of us. However, in the final analysis you are also human and perhaps sometimes give in to providing information that supports your loyalties and wihholding some that doesn't.
It is easy to see that Merc are caught between a rock and a hard place. They want a driver 1/2 in the WDC and the constructor's championship. To do that they need two drivers capable of winning. Whatever they might think of him, no-one doubts Hamilton's raw speed and instinctive skills but they also need another driver who pretty much matches him. That kind of driver is not going to take kindly to feeling that Merc are somehow compromising him. It was not clever to do that to Bottas so early on and with the WDC still wide open, even if it was a genuine mistake. Since Bottas got pole he clearly has the speed and the feel of the car.
For the minority here who follow you but are not one-eyed about Hamilton, it does seem that sometimes you say what most want you to say.
An observation - not necessarily a criticism.

234

What loyalties? To whom?

235

Wow, I had no idea folks will make such a big story out of it. I was not even sure, James, that you replied to me. Simply because the mood of my message was not inline with yoir reaponse and therefore I thought you must have replied to somebody else:-) No disrespect from my side whatsoever, James! You do a great job and I respect and enjoy. Personally I have a different opinion on who is going to win in Barcelona, but this is just an opinion, bothing more:-)

236

I didn't really feel @AlexD showed disrespect which I why I think some of us were surprised by your response, nevertheless I should have said your comment "appeared to show arrogance" because I'm sure there is none - a view confirmed by the fact that my comment and others appeared on the site.

237

No disrespect from my side at all...not in case of James or any other forum member:-) Maybe I did not put enough of smileys and was too direct in sharing my views. Yes, I do nit have the same data as James and do not have an access to teams, but it feels that Ferrari is not faster. I have a feeling that Merc will win there and will win most races. They have a faster car and a track record of great development. Ferrari is not as organized, a bit chaotic.

238

Lack of respect? Watch that ego James. Just remember, the reason we all come here is to share our views with other f1 fans...the forum wouldn't be much of a forum without our contributions, regardless of opinion.

239

Hehe, James, the new mood in the paddock seems to be doing some good to you too.
Feels good to read a candid reply from you once in a while! 🙂

240

Meow!

241

Even if Ferrari can keep up with the Mercedes Development race this year, Kimi constantly coming under Red Bull attack would be a worry for them.

So not all do Ferrari have to hope they can match Merc Development rate, they also have to hope Red Bull stays out of striking distance from the back.

242

come on, who really cares about the WCC except the team accountants... Vettel (5 time champ 2017). What's your problem with Kimi, alongside Seb and Alonso their radio comments have been memorable.

243

To be fair James, late last year you countered one of my comments with the assertion that McLaren would be the third best car this year and Ferrari falling behind due to the loss of Allison.

Contrary to most of the media's rhetoric, Ferrari appear to be in good shape.

As to the development race - well, in 2010, it was arguable that Ferrari's development equalled Red Bull's when you consider Alonso trailed Webber by 47 points post Silverstone yet was in contention and favourite by Abu Dhabi...

In the years since, problems with wind tunnel correlation have wrecked the challenges but i didn't see Mercedes open up a gap from start to finish last season either with RBR or Ferrari I'd suggest they all maintained pace with each other.

I hope the pressures maintained as Mercedes seem to make mistakes under pressure.

244

That is what common sense would suggest.
Yet..... "Ferrari was running low fuel loads during winter testing and by the time the season start they will be behind RB and Williams as well....."

245

@Herowassenna - The new flatter operating structure should also help the pace of development. That said, its the same operating structure that the media and other experts said could not produce a good car 😉

246

to be fair to James, he, like everyone else in the universe thought that this year's Honda engine would be better (even just slightly), not worse, than last year's.

247

I think I said they'd be behind Merc, Ferrari and RBR

If you do the maths the McLaren with a Merc level of horsepower that's where they would be

248

James, is there any reason why i only have 1 star by my name.... Have i lost three to aid Ferrari? 😋

249

confidence based on track tempteratures?

250

Great win by Vettel despite the Mercedes being the better car.

Valtteri, Lewis is faster than you...

For a guy that doesn't like abiding by team orders he certainly likes to take advantage of them.

Needed Bottas to move over for him TWICE to finish second in the best car.

They even dudded Bottas with strategy by sticking him on super-softs twice even though he was struggled badly on them in the first stint. Crazy. What's more it committed Bottas to a two stopper, whereas Hamilton had the one stop strategy up his sleeve by going on softs for the middle stint.

Hamilton was dismissing the idea of Alonso going to Mercedes in 2018 saying there was chance it would happen. Maybe Alonso wouldn't get Bottas's seat by Hamilton's.

If Hamilton can't win the championship this year that's two years in a row he's been given the best car (2016 Merc was the best car of all time) but failed to achieve a championship.

251

@anon

In no way, shape or form, was Lewis in the best car during 2016. His team might have been capable of making the best car, but until maybe the last three races of the season, they did not provide it to him.

252

Yes,reliability issues only count when they happen to other drivers , but never when they happen to Hamilton. Did Alonso not have a car capable of winning the tittle in 2007? Did Raikkonen not need Massa to step aside for him to win the 2007 tittle against a rookie Hamilton who got no freebies from anyone? What about the strategy that put Hamilton on the slower tyre , in the last stint at Bahrain 2014? Do you apply your standards to other drivers as well? I am sure not.

253

As Marko said: Seb is the best driver between the two.

254

Probably correct in the grand scheme of things. In terms of real pace Lewis may have little edge on seb. Touugher to find out though

255

I don't think Vettel in a Mercedes would have lost the championship last year to Rosberg. Hamilton got outscored over a three year period against Button too.

256

Button beat Hamilton 1 year! Hamilton won 2 out of 3! It just so happens that 1 year Button won had a higher points differential than the 2 years Hamilton won! Button is in no way a match to Hamilton and everybody knows that! Anybody that thinks that is in denial!

257

That's wishful thinking my friend! Let me guess "a Hamilton hater"! lol

258

You know, all I could think of today was smedley, no you've answered my puzzlement

259

@Anon Who cares ?. I don't see writing this nonsense about Vettel, Raikkonen did moved over for Vettel too this race so why the double standard ?, so why you moan about Hamilton ?. Bottas simply was slow in race pace and had to move over.

260

you can possibly blame Lewis for 2 things - not a strong start from the dirty side and for 5 sec penalty - other than that, he was phenomenal; those laps in the last stint was fun to watch - he showed the full potential of the car... sector by sector... yes, this was his race to win... but he still drove very very well.

261

I think Vettel was just managing his tyres, while Hamilton was driving as hard as he could. Can't take much from it.

262

i don't see how the Merc was the better car??? , from the start of thr race Vettels Ferrari was always right behind Bottas Merc, but Hamilton couldn't get close to Vettels Ferrari, and at the end Hamilton was driving flat out on his newer tyres probably with his engine turnes right up ans Vettel was just easying around and when Hamilton got a little to close Vettel just eased away a little

263

Paul.. it's simple. You see with clear eyes and mind..not the rest of these guys who were watch 2016 racing thinking it's 2017

264

Merc was a match for Ferrari on soft tyre, maybe Ham even faster than Vet, but on Supersoft was where they lost out again. Bottas did 2 x S/Soft stints

265

Can't compare directly since vettel was doing just enough to win. Out was a measured pace saving Pus and tyres

266

For sure the Mercedes was not good on the supersoft? All we saw was Bottas' slow first stint, because of the wrong tire pressure, and then his second stint which was down to him. Would've liked to see how Hamilton would've got on with his new supersofts at the end.

267

He would have gone quick to start then faded as he caught Vettel, Merc were struggling to get the super softs to last, especially the rears

268

Allan. Give me numbers per lap per driver. shows what you believe. No general talk..need help ..let me know

269

Read the Strategy Report on Tuesday it will all he analysed there as always, with input behind the scenes from several of the strategists who were in the race

You have been too strong on done and they were deleted

Also please moderate your language and be less aggressive in your posts

We want this to be a positive place where fans can understand in an unbiased way what happens in F1 - on and off track - and we do not tolerate rudeness or insults

Posters who do that we delete comments

270

Right ok. In that case, which Races this year feature the same Tyre options? Oh but then the climate was at play also.

271

Vettel was clearly faster than Bottas on a mirroring tyre strategy, but ran the Soft Tyre in different parts of the race to Hamilton. Obviously Hamilton was quicker in the end, as his tyres were newer and by then Vettel just had to manage the gap, don't you think?

- The race was already on it's way to being won as Ferrari's strategy seemed more optimal.

I think you could say the same about the 1.5s Vettel was gaining on Hamilton before he pitted.

272

Also Mercs were 0.5 second faster than Ferrari in qualifying on the supersofts.

273

One lap

We are Talking about race stints - Merc didn't see this coming which is why Bottas went s/soft at second stint

It surprised them

274

@ James...whilst not exactly germane to the topic why do we still have this ridiculous rule whereby the top ten qualifiers have to start on their Q2 tyres? Originally i understand that it was to give all the rest a chance to take whatever tyres suited their strategy to close up the field during the race. Nothing ever changes... how often do we see anyone who qualified lower than tenth ever get a podium or even look like it?

275

They start the race on Q2 tires in order to make sure that Q3 is as exciting as possible. Cars that make Q3 are given a set of the softest available compound tires which must me returned at the end of qualifying. This takes away any incentive for cars to take it easy on their tires in Q3 or to sit out Q3 in an attempt to start the race on sticker tires.

276

@ ETM...bear with me here. If teams were able to use whatever tyre they wanted in Q2 without this mandated starting tyre nonsense we'd see faster times from all the runners still in competition. In Q3 then we'd see the top ten racing for the grid positions on whatever tyre they felt would get them best the starting place on the grid. I don't see why anyone would sit out Q3 as they would have made their raring choices free of any encumbrences.

277

We did in the past

The reason we don't now is that the changeover of rules has separated the top six cars from the rest and the cars outside the top ten have more problems getting the (harder across the board) tyres to work.

A decent car out of position can still get a result Perez started 18th and ended 7th, for example, so it does still happen, but as I've pointed out in several posts a Perez podium is unlikely the year due to the field spread

278

@ james ..according to the commentary team on Sky, 19 out of the 20 sunday runners started on the same tyre. therefore the only difference was that the front ten on the grid had tyres that had done mostly 3 laps more! Why bother with this rule?

279

Any idea on the reason for running the SS twice on bottas? After the abysmal first stint and his comments on the teamradio quite early on, I was surprised by this.

280

Hmm yes I remember "Felipe, Fernando is faster than you". It was blasted everywhere and many fans disapproved, despite Felipe being miles away from any title chance, and Ferrari being far from fast enough to truly challenge for a title. That was round 11 or something... and people said it was too early for team orders. But here, with a driver who actually still has a chance in round 3. How odd.

281

Dear co-posters, I have to strongly disagree with those saying anything (good or bad ) about team orders.
You have to consider two things:
-"the team comes first" - That is axiomatic. Nobody can win -can't even race- by himself. Pilot. be he godlike good is no one without the best car. We all saw this lately.
- whatever problem the team has it is discussed internally and public or even discussions with insiders of the F1 circus have no relevance as they can be just a facade agreed by the real inner circle to show.
My sincere belief is that team orders DO NOT exist during a race. There are only acknowledgements of some situation discussed and agreed long time before ( maybe before any driving contract was signed).
And I know what I am saying as I was in fact a No2 in my karting time, and I won races too. But when that did happen, I was knowing (as the NO1 was too) that if leg 1 goes like this and leg 2 goes like that, then team title (first) and No1 title will be secured, and I will get my reward for doing my job well as No2. And this all was nailed before the race weekend. During weekend "team orders" were issued as legs were ran: all OK or things did not came out as expected stay No2.
Of course there was no radio in '70-ies karting.
But the principle is still valid these days I think.
Or, you think that race control in multi-hundreds of millions enterprises as F1teams is left to dilettantes ?!?

282

How odd.

What do you find odd about it? You frequently make remarks which are biased - because you like or dislike a particular driver. That's all that happened when people were up in arms about the 'Felipe, Fernando is faster than you' . Everyone does it, me, you and the rest of the world.

On your second point - a driver who still actually has a chance - do you really see Bottas standing toe to toe with Vettel and coming out ahead? Can't say that I see it myself. The landscape has changed and it won't be a guarenteed Merc double this year. Merc cannot afford to allow their drivers to take points off each other and hand Ferrari any advantage. Ferrari have already decided that Kimi can be sacrificed if it means a win for Vet and Merc will need to choose too.

283

cheesy, don't you think that merc respect the ferrari race pace, the season started 3 races ago and not once it becomes clear which driver has the advantage. At Ferrari its already clear... Wouldn't you say Bottas should be more focussed on securing a contract extension than elbowing his team mate out of championship contention.

284

To be fair to Bottas he did not do anything wrong to help Lewis win the race: he complied with all team orders.
What else was he supposed to do?

285

There are important differences. In 2010, team orders were illegal. Massa and Alonso were leading the race 1-2, and Massa looked comfortable for the win. Mercedes would not have asked Bottas to move aside today if he was leading the race and they were running 1-2. It was only because Lewis was clearly faster, and Bottas was clearly struggling for speed, and Vettel was getting away b/c of it. From laps 23-26 the gap from Vettel to Bottas grew from 2.9s to 6.1s ... an average of 0.8s/lap. It was clear then that Bottas didn't have the legs today.

Didn't matter in the end ... Lewis lost the race by not getting pole yesterday, and then having a less-than-great start from the dusty side, and getting beaten into Turn 1 by Vettel.

Mercedes no doubt knew that Bottas was struggling in the first stint, because of the tire pressures ... it would seem a perfect excuse to pit him earlier than they planned. That would've forced Vettel to stay out. Oh well, it's done. It was an interesting race.

286

They were going for a race win and Bottas was (unfortunately) going nowhere, it's only normal for them to try and maximise the points - if Bottas would have been within a second of Hamilton at the end of the race I am all for switching them back - in this case, mostly because of how bad Mercedes handled the S.Soft tyre, Bottas was nowhere near the second place.
Maybe there was some entertainment value in seeing Hamilton try to pass his team-mate, but from team's point of view this wasn't anything they wanted to see, as the difference in pace was obvious.

This had nothing to do with Hamilton's lack of ability and everything to do with team's interests. (I don't know why but I have a feeling you already knew this but chose to ignore it).

287

Cheesypoof, going into the German Gp 2010 Fernando was in fifth place in the standings with 98 points, Felipe was on 67 and there were 175 points still available. Neither of them were out of the running officially.

288

I think how they handled Bottas was far more dignified than how they handled Massa.

To his credit, Bottas treated the situation very maturely aswell. Seb had to give way to Daniel Ricci a few times in Redbull aswell for the greater good.

289

I dont have a problem with these sorts of team orders... they really jst make sense,
The pitwall probably didnt even have to tell Bottas, he would have seen Lewis coming and knowing that fighting the pass would achieve nothing but risk to both cars, moved aside.
The team dont have to make Bottas the No.2 driver, he's doing a fine job of ensuring that himself.

290

Really.... You question myopic xenophobes?

In UK, on C4's free to air service, we have had highlights from first two races and live coverage today.

Now oher than the ridiculously biased Hamilton love in, the most obvious demonstration of what's important is the podium post race.

In Australia we had nothing shown other than interviews with drvers in the paddock.

In China, following the race coverage we listened to the British national anthem for Lewis but not the German for Mercedes.

Today with live coverage we heard both the German and Italian obviously.

The point being,Ferrari are essentially scum whereas Hamilton is God.

Why else would Ferrari in Germany 2010 be so lambasted yet today's instruction, or McLaren telling Kovalainen that " Lewis is faster than you, don't hold him up" in Germany 2008 be acceptable?

As ever the true story resides in the shadows...

291

Herowassenna. Two very clear differences between Germany 2010 and Bahrain 2017. In Germany Ferrari were running first and second, Massa was ahead and yet was asked to move over do that Fernando could take the win instead. In Bahrain Mercedes were running second and third, and switched their drivers as only one of them had the pace to challenge.
The second difference is, team orders were banned in 2010, but are legal today.

292

So rai didn't let vettee through yesterday?

293

@Herowssenna - quite right. As far as much of the media is concerned, F1 is a British sport. Just like football apparently 😉

294

Why else would Ferrari in Germany 2010 be so lambasted yet today's instruction, or McLaren telling Kovalainen that "Lewis is faster than you, don't hold him up" in Germany 2008 be acceptable?

In the latter example, it's not as though Heikki had been leading the race comfortably up to that point. Hamilton had been leading the race comfortably, was clearly faster than Heikki, but had been thrown behind b/c of a team strategy error (i.e. not pitting him under a SC, while those behind all pitted).

Just had a look at F1 Fanatic's article on that race, and this comment (by an obvious non-Brit) sums it up nicely:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2008/07/20/lewis-hamilton-wins-despite-strategy-blunder-2008-german-gp-review/#comment-180403

It's silly to try to equate the two situations.

295

Cheesypoof, prrdictably you have come up with reasons why it is perfectly acceptable for Fernando to benefit from team orders, but what about Vettel? Kimi clearly moved over for him today, but for some reason you don't find that interesting....

296

Sebastian was behind Kimi at the last race for a significant period with no team order. He had to overtake on his own. It could certainly and in many ways did affect his race. This from Ferrari the team that get blamed for having defined number one and two.

Contrast this with Mercedes who continually claim to not believe in such. They had the team order out well before Lewis was even close enough to challenge. So... what were you saying again?

297

Cheesypoof, if Lewis had been behind Valterri in stint one, there would have been no team order. Merc switched their drivers in stint two because they were on different strategies and despite being told to, Bottas could not stay with Seb. In stint three they switched them again because Valterri was so slow, and there was a slim chance of victory if Lewis wasn't held up at all in passing his team mate. Avoiding the team order was in Valterri's hands, he was told over the radio what would happen if he didn't up his pace, but couldn't go fast enough. Lewis was so much faster he was always going to get passed, but spending a lap stuck behind him would have removed any chance of catching Vettel. It was the right thing to do, and Ferrari would have done the same in the same situation. Just as they used to do with Fernando, although you STILL don't want to talk about that!

298

I think I explained earlier already why I find it ridiculous. One team has championed fairness in their PR etc, Valtteri literally said he felt he had a chance at fighting for the championship the day before, Hamilton didn't even have to try and make any genuine overtakes on him, it was just ordered as such. They weren't even on true different strategies.

Compare this to Ferrari who have yet to use any team orders this season. I believe Seb lost 6 seconds behind Kimi at the last race. Bottas is actually closer to the leaders on points than Kimi. Ferrari even spoke to the media after the previous race saying they issued no order at any point. Colour it however you like, but it was a team order, and I'd prefer no team order, not from the fastest team of the last few years that paints itself in a certain light.

I don't know why you say I won't talk about Ferrari and Fernando, I already did above, it's not my task to write about the history of team orders on a comment. Ferrari in 2010 had a much slower car than the leaders, and their championship hopes were already hanging by a thread. Once again, 11th race of the season. That's the facts. This was race 3. Their driver had a 'fault' cause bad tire pressures, then had a bad pit stop...and then this happened. You must be joking if you think as fans we've been hearing about how horrible Ferrari are with team orders and designated number 1 and 2 drivers, for decades, it's been drummed into us, but now Mercedes come along with all their dominance and are so obvious. I'm not a fan of hypocrisy is all.

299

Cheesypoof, I don't remember saying that Ferrari were horrible, and if they had switched Seb and Kimi in China, then it wouldn't have bothered me at all. Mercedes approach to team orders has not changed, if they had been running one two, (as Ferrari were in 2010) then there would not have been any team order given. They did what they had to do in order to give themselves a chance of winning the race. The fact they were previously the fastest team is irrelevant to what is happening on track this season, the Ferrari is right there, any chance of victory must be taken.

300

I'm not a fan of hypocrisy is all.

This is hilarious to me, considering CP's argument style in another thread here:

https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2017/04/lewis-hamilton-dominates-chinese-grand-prix-ahead-of-recovering-sebastian-vettel-and-charging-max-verstappen/#comment-3731515

If you have the time and inclination, please read through comments #307-316. Where cheesypoof is concerned, there are no rules or constraints when it comes to arguing any point, at any time ... sometimes at the same time!

I would guess he's not a fan of serial drama television series. Too much work! 🙂

301

Oh sweet, I have my very own personal Hamilton hitman, smiling through his teeth at me. I'd note the date down for posterity, but I'm sure he'll remind me of it a year from now.

302

Just lovely ... always dramatic, always playing the victim. Guess I have to up my sweetness quotient, to counter all the sourness. Who got that unreasonable ball rolling in this thread eh?

Your antics brought to mind a great comedy sketch - Tom Hanks as Mr. Short Term Memory on 90's-era SNL - that was tucked away in the deeper recesses of my mind, so thanks for that.

303

Thanks for the running commentary again. Wish I could change the channel ☺

304

Well there's always hope for anyone, but I don't believe you're there yet. 😀

305

They weren’t even on true different strategies

VB second stint Supersofts
LH second stint Softs

I'd call that different strategies

306

All hamilton had to do was sit on bottas' exhaust and wait for wolff to give the team orders thus ensuring that No1 status was implied without hamilton having to complain/ask. Wolff will always concede to hamilton.

307

If VER had not stopped kimi would have been fighting for 5th or lower. The no2 at Ferrari is too slow. Ned to up his game to get some respect.

He didn't need generator issues or any other excuse. It was obvious