Insight: Key indicators that show whether Ferrari favoured Vettel in Monaco F1 GP
Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 May 2017   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  350 comments

Looking back over the last few years’ Monaco Grands Prix, a pattern emerges, where controversial strategy calls have decided the race outcome.

When it is so hard to overtake, the decision-making is critical.

Last year it was Red Bull’s misstep on Ricciardo’s strategy and then an error in the pit stop itself, in 2015 Lewis Hamilton lost the race on a bad strategy call, in 2014 he was angry because Mercedes stopped both cars on the same lap behind the Safety Car, giving him no chance to challenge.

This year Ferrari had their drivers 1-2 in the grid, but the driver who took pole ended up losing the race on a strategy call, to his team mate.

As the winner was the driver on whom Ferrari is basing all its hopes of winning the world championship, then apparently the rationale becomes clearer.

But did they really favour him at Raikkonen’s expense? Or was there more to it than that?

There has been a huge amount of interest in this story and hopefully here, with a deep and careful analysis, taking in the private views of several of the F1 team strategists who were active in the race, we will get to the bottom of it.

Monaco GP 2017

Theory 1 – Ferrari favoured Vettel over Raikkonen

Although they are not open about it, Ferrari’s ethos has long been that the drivers’ championship is what matters to them, not the constructors’.

They have less need to worry about the financial aspects than other rivals, who prioritise maximum team points scoring in races because the constructors’ table is what pays the prize money.

Mercedes’ ethos is always to get the maximum team score, but also to win the race, but to do that they would not sacrifice one car and have that driver finish fourth instead of second as a result. Ferrari would and they have done it as recently as China with Raikkonen.

So is that what happened here in Monaco?

Raikkonen was leading the race and the rule in Monaco is when leading don’t be the first one to make a move.

There was no real pressure from behind from Mercedes or Red Bull, even though Max Verstappen had just pitted to try to undercut Bottas. Raikkonen still had margin.

He was catching up to Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber; as he came through Turn 18 on his in-lap to the pits on Lap 34 he was 2.2 seconds behind the Swede, so he would have caught him on Lap 35 and may have taken some time to pass him.

At the same time Ferrari strategists would be looking for the gap that Raikkonen would be dropping into after his stop and it looks like they believed he would clear Button and have just Wehrlein to pass on his out lap. Another lap or two and he would have easily cleared both, but he would have encountered Ericsson anyway, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

Kimi Raikkonen

The tyre performance was clearly dropping off; Raikkonen was doing 77 second lap times and had begun to back his team mate Vettel into Bottas in third place.

The radio traffic made clear that both team and driver felt the tyres were near the end, probably down to around 25% left on the rears. The team strategists have access to a data screen that plots the tyre degradation lap by lap and other strategists could see Raikkonen’s deg curve clearly.

However, strangely, on the lap before he pitted, Raikkonen’s middle sector was 35.799s, which was four tenths faster than his previous laps. That would normally get your attention and indicate that there is potentially something left in the tyres and some strategists, under no pressure to stop, would leave him out.

As the team operates a policy of the lead car having the pit stop priority, perhaps what Ferrari should have done is ask Raikkonen what he would like to do and let him make the decision.

They didn’t do that, made the decision for him and he pitted. His in lap was slightly slower than Vettel did later, as was his stop itself and on the out lap he encountered traffic – losing around 1.5 seconds clearing Button and Wehrlein. He passed Button in Sector 2 of the lap and Wehrlein in Sector 3.

Vettel stayed out, found great pace over five laps and managed to pit and come out ahead, which many think is what Ferrari intended all along.

Further evidence for this theory is that Ferrari did not do in the first stint what a team would normally do when seeking a first Monaco win since 2001 and ask the second car to drop back several seconds from the lead car to hold the field up to protect the lead car against Safety Cars and other risks. (They did do this in the second stint to protect Vettel’s position, with Raikkonen dropping back.)

Sebastian Vettel
Theory 2 – Vettel won the race himself, not because Ferrari gave it to him

There is no denying the fact that Ferrari would have wanted to give their lead driver the extra seven points to make a maximum 25 on a day when his main title rival Lewis Hamilton was struggling and scored just six points.

And although that was the outcome, there is another theory about how they got there, which is that Vettel won the race in a way that no-one could have predicted.

Vettel was faster on the day and had he been stopped first he would have undercut Raikkonen. The data shows that. You can also look at Verstappen’s out lap from the pitstop on new Supersoft tyres to see that Vettel would have been even faster and would have undercut Raikkonen.

So if it was pure cynical pragmatism to get Vettel ahead, that’s what Ferrari could have done, clean and simple.

At this point, because Vettel had been sitting behind Raikkonen, Ferrari would have no clarity on what the degradation curve on Vettel’s tyres looked like – because he wasn’t running at his own pace. So they would not know what his potential pace was. This was also true for Ricciardo in the Red Bull, who did the same thing as Vettel, also with a positive outcome.

What actually happened was that once Raikkonen stopped, Vettel cleared Ericsson and then over the next five laps pushed hard. The first three laps were faster than Raikkonen had been managing; on Lap 34 he did 76.5s, then 76.4s and 76.2s, which shows that he was working out the best operating window for the tyres.

Sebastoan Vettel, Monaco GP 2017

What was astonishing were the next two laps, when he found the sweet spot; 75.5s and 75.2s. This is two seconds faster than Raikkonen had been doing before his stop on worn ultra softs. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo did something similar.

No-one operating in the F1 pitlane on Sunday would have seen that level of performance coming, even Vettel himself didn’t see it coming. He just pushed for all he was worth in the hope that it might give him a chance to win.

Actually the reference showed that Raikkonen was still on schedule – despite the traffic with Button and Wehrlein – to be ahead of Vettel at the start of Lap 37.

What swung it Vettel’s way was those two laps 37 and 38 which were in the 75 second range that meant when he pitted on Lap 39, he came out just ahead.

Anyone who tells you they could see the pace on those two laps coming ahead of time is lying. It was an astonishing performance and it won him the race.

Kimi Raikkonen

Our conclusion is that this is one of the most fascinating scenarios we have encountered in the UBS Race Strategy Report since it began in 2011 and you can convince yourself either way depending on your own theories or biases.

There are a couple of things that don’t add up in Ferrari’s behaviour, which hint that Ferrari favoured Vettel, such as pitting him into traffic and also that quick middle sector for Raikkonen just before he stopped that hinted that the tyres still had some life in them.

But our conclusion – having spoken to insiders, the drivers concerned and strategists involved in the race with deep knowledge of the tyres and what they were doing – is that Ferrari got the outcome it wanted, but on this occasion favouring Vettel wasn’t what they set out to do when they triggered Raikkonen’s stop on Lap 34.

Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull pincer movement on Bottas

This was not Mercedes’ weekend; apart from Free Practice 1, they had problems all weekend with the tyres, getting them into the right operating window and paid a price for it, with fourth and seventh at the chequered flag.

Bottas did a wonderful job in qualifying to bag third place, but in the race he suffered with his tyres and was a sitting duck as a lone player against the Red Bull pair. Red Bull did what they often do in these situations; they split strategies with Verstappen trying the undercut and Ricciardo the overcut. If Bottas had stayed out, he would have been undercut.

Verstappen’s plan failed because his pit stop was a shade slow, due to poor position in the pit box. Ricciardo went long and, like Vettel, found good pace in the tyres to jump both Verstappen and Bottas for third place.

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

Race History & Tyre Usage Charts

Kindly provided by Williams Martini Racing, click to enlarge

The number of laps is on the horizontal axis; the gap behind the leader is on the vertical axis.

A positive sign is an upward curve as the fuel load burns off. A negative sign is the slope declining as the tyre degradation kicks in.

Raikkonen’s tyre degradation is clear at the end of the first stint, as it is for Bottas. Look at the astonishing pace of Vettel and Ricciardo on used ultrasoft tyres, once they clear the cars ahead.

On the Tyre Usage chart observe that, once again, the third Pirelli tyre compound, the hardest of the three, was unused again. This has been the case at most rounds.

The three tyre compound rule, which gave plenty of intrigue and interest last season, is simply not working this season as the tyres are too hard.

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Vettel won fair and square, end of.


Strange, strange…
Strange, how a myth perpetuates itself, how everybody jumps on the bandwagon and no one accepts evidence to the contrary.
The myth? “(In Monaco) ultrasofts will only last till about lap 30-35”.
If you subscribe to that (and everybody appears to do so) you will agree to the following:
– Max’ undercut opposit Bottas was the right strategy at the right moment (kenneth, adrian).
– Kimi maybe could have done more to protect himself against VET’s overcut.
– the fast laps (around 33-38) put in by RIC and VET were absolutely amazing and totally unexpected.
James Allen certainly subscribes: “No-one operating in the F1 pitlane on Sunday would have seen that level of performance coming. Anyone who tells you they could see the pace on those two laps coming ahead of time is lying. It was an astonishing performance (…)”
I must be a strange customer because I DID see it coming, and neither am I lying.
I maintain that the ultrasofts could be expected to last (way) into the 40s laps, at least for Ferrari and RBR. Mercedes were struggling. I sure expected this to happen, and it changes the whole complexion of the game.
Now the story becomes:
– Max’ undercut hardly was the ‘preferred’ strategy. It was the right strategy but at the wrong time (lap 32). It should have been applied at around lap 40-42. Now, regardless of the move’s success, Ricciardo was the only one bound to profit, whereas VER and RIC could have outmaneuvered Bottas completely if RBR had been more patient.
– Kimi was called in at lap 34, condemning him to lose by the same argument.
– the fast laps put in by RIC and VET were selfevident and to be expected.
The race History map appears to vindicate my opinion. It’s not just VET’s and RIC’s curve that are steep at lap 37. Take a look at HAM’s curve (the blue one). After he gets into free air (lap 36) he’s doing fine on his ultras. The curve is inclined upward and only levels off at lap 40-42. Remember, Merc wasn’t exactly great with its tyres.
So, how to interpret this? If you’re on the bandwagon then this is yet another unexpected drive – now we’ve got 3 of them. I’d rather apply Occam’s razor: of two scenarios the one using the least assumptions and coincidences is likely to be the correct one.
Scenario A. US last until lap 35 max. Amazing performances by RIC, VET and HAM beyond lap 35, totally against all odds.
Scenario B. US last until about lap 42 at the least. No amazing performances, just amazing tyres.
Take your pick.
Frankly, I don’t doubt there were indications of some tyre degradation around lap 30 say. But I couldn’t care less: we’ve seen that before and it turned out that the new Pirelli ultras lasted longer than expected. We should not let us befool by that once again.
Don’t expect Arrivabene and Horner to change their minds. They have had awkward explanatory sessions with Kimi and Max, they will not be interested in any reinterpretation.
Kimi and Max might be, however.


I just want to add one more crucial thing to this story. Even if we all agre to Vettel Winning the race no matter Ferraris intensions or strategy, with I obviosly dont. The crucioal poit here is that, and that is what, if I understand you correct James Allen, is that Ferrari did some moves that helped Vettel or favored him, or more importantly they did not favour Kimi (they could have let Seb back the field or just let Kimi decide and other things). If that is so then Kimi had not first priority, he had not the best strategy, support and so on as he should as polesitter. Thats my point here and that meant he was’nt given the best chance to win the race, it enything it compromised it. What Seb did fast laps and so on we can leave aside for a moment. Who knows what laps Kimi would have trowed in if given the same opportunity. we will never find out. But my guess is if Ferrari had given all the priority that comes with pole he had won the race.


It should not be needed a complicated story to tell what happend, or understand it. It simply was not possible to pass Kimi (by Vettel) in normal conditions had he had the favorable strategy, called first priority. If Lierty mean what they say then this is what needs to change. No doubts about faul play, just consistency (even though some will always find conspiracys, but the are few and far between, albeit loud). But looking at it in a sober way it’s hard to see that this was not a conducted race from Ferraris strategists. We would not be talking about this if Kimi had pitted last, it seems most people are convinced,even before the race that the overcut is the way to go. Either way with low tire deg you stay out as long as you can i the streets of Monaco, traffic, heating up the tires turbulent air and so on. If we had had the other way around, Vettel had pitted first, I cant see how we could have this same discussion. That says a lot.

Charles Robinson

This was a fantastic read! I only started following F1 about five years ago, not really knowing anything about it, so I’ve been keen to learn as much as I can. This site, and especially the strategy reports here have consistently been the most interesting and informative F1 journalism I’ve found. I’d say this one was the most interesting to date, not only because of the reactions to the race result, but because the evidence is a little ambiguous, and there are plausible defences of both interpretations of Ferrari’s decisions. Given the data available, I think the conclusion of the article was very reasonable.

Personally, while I was rooting for Vettel, I would have loved to have seen Raikkonen win this one. Those two fast laps Seb put in, however, seem to have sealed it for him.

I also hope that the rest of the season stays close between Ferrari and Mercedes. I’ve never been a fan of Hamilton (I’ve found him more likeable this season), but he’s undeniably a phenomenal driver, and (assuming both teams maintain the kind of form they’ve had over the last six races) if he wins the WDC, it will have been very well-earned!


Well done to Ferrari on getting the 1-2 finish it’s an awesome result & the goal was successfully achieved regardless of which driver won! I think it’s a good problem for Ferrari to have when both drivers can be in a position to win rather than just having Seb to fight against the Mercs on his own & Kimi’s nowhere near them failing to help the team.

I like Kimi but Seb is obviously faster, is able to get more out of the car & much more consistent. Kimi needs to do much better with the great package he has as 4th places aren’t good enough. Kimi’s side of the garage gave him a good car all weekend & he pulled his finger out to get pole which was a great result for him & the team. However, in the race he was outpaced by Seb as the data & laptimes show & lost it. No one could’ve predicted the overcut would be more effective here nor Seb being able to put out those blistering laps once in clean air. The overcut also worked for Daniel so I don’t think that the strategists were geniuses & that clever to predict that. Still think Seb would’ve been able to win the race with an undercut.

Kimi was heard on the radio asking if they were going to pit or not – seems that he wanted to pit as per the plan that the lead car pits first. He was struggling with pace even before reaching the backmarkers then had to pass them plus him having a slower pitstop than Seb didn’t help either & to only lose out to Seb coming out of the pits with such a small margin isn’t something that I think Ferrari could orchestrate.


I guess that what this article gets to very well is the subtleties that are at play in strategy, that we don’t really see when the race is going on in our living rooms. And, full credit to James and the strategists sharing their information, because I think it is making the Strategy Report an ever-improving product (and it has always been very good).

Overall, I wouldn’t say this was the most fascinating strategic race we’ve seen since 2011 but I can see the fascination that would arise from the subtleties and their misleading directions (I too found it fascinating!). I still take away from this that Ferrari gave Vettel the chance to win. Raikkonen pitted to cover off Bottas and Verstappen so they were guaranteed a Ferrari lead; they asked Seb what he could do speed-wise. He was immediately quicker than Kimi before his stop (but not after his stop). But then he nailed the 1m15s laps to get out ahead, and he needed them. So I do also agree that Vettel went out and made it count. But yes it can be interpreted in different ways and there are strong cases that can be made either side.


‘Perhaps FERRARI should have asked Kimi what he would like to do, and let him make the decision”.
According to autosports race commentary Kimi asked his pit wall if its time to stop, and then FERRARI pit wall called him in.


James, good with two theories! Nothing to fight about!
Do you think there is a risk that Kimi will end his F1 career?
Why I ask, suddenly Giovinazzi gets P1 tests with Haas!?


In Barcelona BOT held up VET to the benefit of HAM. While in China RAI was allowed to race the quicker VET and that may have cost VET a race..So who exactly is using team orders and who is not ? And let’s for a moment go back to Bahrein.. Can you imagine if Ferrari had put the wrong tyre pressure on polesitter RAI and then asked him to let VET pass without a fight because naturally he would be struggling, and VET won the race? Can you imagine the press (British at least)? Because that’s EXACTLY what happened in Bahrain with the 2 Mercedes boys. Ferrari are just doing what it takes to win. For those who don’t like VET it seems unfair, but for neutrals it makes total sense. And for the press, i just hope next time Bottas is pushed aside or sacrificed for the sake of Hamilton, they will put the same effort in their analysis.


After reading many comments and analyzes, I thought l would visit the concerns again.
Still think that, while Ferrari surely did not mind seeing Vettel up front, it was not orchestrated as such. I feel that Raikkonen could have held on to the win had he push above what he did.
Prior to his stop you would be tempted to believe that he could have upped his pace for 2 to 3 laps, that assuming he knew he would be pitting on the lap he did of course. He did not up his pace or not in the way Vettel did once freed. He, Raikkonen either could not or choose as a strategy to back up Vettel into the ones behind. Why would he do that? That surely would not endear him to Ferrari, jeopardizing a 1 2 for the team. I mentioned this because I read a couple of comments to that effect and while l don’t believe it, it still needs consider l think. What over reason can you give him for not going faster at the end of his first stint?
Maybe he simply could not and in this case again Ferrari had to pit a driver to cover off by then Ricciardo who was on a charge, and by so not given a top 2 podium away. Most people some well informed and some not so, tend to believe that the undercut was not the best strategy. Based on what I have seen, it seems so. Usually the leading driver in most race gets to pit first, or maybe is given priority on the call. Kimi was called in, some say that he asked if he was going to anytime soon, and then was called in. i did not hear that during the race or in the radio transcript l found so don’t know for sure about that. That would indicate that he wasn’t told ahead of time which in itself is weird. To be fair I did not read in the same transcript Vettel being given the information ahead of time either. Maybe that is just how Ferrari do it, no Hammertime warning.
We know what happened then, Vettel pulled a few fine laps and came out a couple of seconds ahead of Kimi. Race decided, Vettel#1 treatment at Ferrari a given now for many, even Hamilton whom did not seem to find it ironic for him to bring it up. The main reason given is that, to be fair, Ferrari should have brought Vettel in the following lap, which many of the same people hated the past few years whenever Hamilton, him again, was not given the opportunity to adapt his strategy to try and get ahead of his teammate. Ironic again is it not?
We could see the event as Ferrari letting their drivers dice it out on their own or as in favoring one over the other. I go with the former myself.
Last, I can understand that many of Kimi’s fans are less than please at the whole thing, but fair play to the many that see it as Kimi not having the pace to favor his own fortune. it actually looks like more of the Hamilton’s fans than the ones of Kimi, are showing outrage. Ultra soft coming again in Canada right? If Vettel wins that one I wonder what he is going to be accused of this time. Marc


Wonderful analysis, James!

Question – are you going to the Canadian GP? Yes? It would be my first F1 attendance ever. I’ve been a fan of your work for a LONG time. Are you open to have a brief meet & greet session of your own after Friday afternoon to say hello to those of us here who are going? It would be super if you do. Thanks in advance.


Regardless of the conclusion Ferrari robbed Kimi of the win. For sure if Kimi or anyone else was on pole an in the same situation they would have won even if the person behind was faster. its monaco . Thats just disappointing . i dont expect kimi to beat vettel over the championship , the age gap is too much in current f1 , but to rob him where he actually has done everything required to win is disappointing. IN 2015 kimi actually told he was ready to support vettel for the championship if necessary , but this was not required.


Kimi was not robbed, he didn’t have Sebastian’s pace and that’s why he lost.


I looked at another one, that came out like this!
Lap Raikkonen Vettel
30 1:17.105 1:16.636
31 1:17.074 1:17.166
32 1:17.663 1:17.052
33 1:17.034 1:17.188
34 1:34.039 1:16.592
35 1:19.518 1:16.446
36 1:16.114 1:16.264
37 1:16.133 1:15.587
38 1:15.606 1:15.238
39 1:15.527 1:32.673
40 1:17.709 1:18.650

Raikkonen would later confirm after the race he hadn’t requested to stop. “I was called in and that’s about it,” he told reporters.

Vettel beats icy Kimi in Monaco

Nor was there any meaningful threat of Raikkonen being ‘undercut’. Valtteri Bottas, the only car in the top five at that stage in the race to have previously pitted, was over 25 seconds behind – around six seconds more than is required at Monaco for a car to pit and emerge ahead.

Moreover, the Mercedes was running slowly after switching from ultrasofts to supersofts: Bottas’ first full lap on the slower of the two Pirelli compounds was a 1:17.783 – almost eight tenths of a second shy of Raikkonen’s final lap on ultrasofts.


I love watching F1. But this past weekend, I found that I enjoyed the Indy 500 much more. I really hope Alonso gets a good car next year because it’s such a waste of talent in the current car.

My wife who occasionally watches the races with me was so excited that her super friends (i.e., Super Aguri) won the Indy 500. I couldn’t break her heart by explaining that 1) they are different formulas and 2) Super Aguri doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe she’ll watch the Montreal race with me as well.


Thanks to James for the analysis, and for looking at both sides of the coin. There seems to be a consensus that Vettel got the better strategy – whether deliberately or accidentally.

But that doesn’t mean they ‘engineered it’, as such. There might have been logical reasons for Ferrari’s management to hope quietly for a Vettel victory (the same 43 points in the constructors’ championship regardless, and a better outcome in in the drivers’ championship), if it could be achieved without them taking each other off or having to overtly order Raikkonen out the way.

But even so, Ferrari didn’t ‘fix’ the result in the same way as they did in Austria 2002 – by deliberately getting the cars to swap places. On this occasion, they split the pitsop strategies (as Mercedes also did occasionally back in 2014 when running 1-2) and opened up a window of opportunity for either driver to win, rather than just favouring their leading car. What gave Vettel the victory was his own pace at that moment – it could easily have gone the other way if he hadn’t made it stick.

In other words, Ferrari gave Vettel an outside OPPORTUNITY to leapfrog Raikkonen, but what made it happen was that he delivered five blisteringly perfect laps when the chance was there. Even then, he only JUST emerged ahead of Raikkonen by a few car-lengths.

Sentimentally, I thought it would have been nice to have seen Raikkonen return to the winner’s circle. But if Vettel had continued to circulate at the same speed Raikkonen was going at before the pitstops (1.17), he’d still have been miles behind when they reconvened. It was the fact that he was able to go faster and didn’t put a wheel out of place at the right moment that gave him the win. As such, it’s difficult to argue that he didn’t deserve it.


in my simple, unscientific opinion… Vettel and Ricciardo accepted after lap one that there wouldn’t be an opportunity to pass unless there was a safety car and chose to take it marginally easier on their tires. When Kimi who had opened up a solid lead, used up all the love in his tires, it forced him into pitting first and Vettel was able to use his advantage of slightly less used tires and clean air to open up a gap – complimented by Kimis slower outlap.
No conspiracy, just motor racing. Bad luck for Kimi who was flying all weekend.
Ricciardo benefited when Max’s strategy concerned itself with Bottas and Daniel was able to utilise the extra life he had preserved in hjs tires to sneak ahead in the same manner as Vettel.
It’s a shame that the most exciting news out of this race weekend was a “Vettel conspiracy” when really what we all know is that it was a total borefest around a circuit that is virtually impossible to pass on (as proven by anyone who attempted a move)
I’m pretty sure if this race were held at Imola, we all would have much more interesting things to talk about after the race. In fact, Alonso’s absence was the highlight of the Monaco weekend. He chose the right race to be in. Let’s all just agree to make Monaco a non-championship event in historic f1 cars with a few guest drivers from days gone by and get these f1 cars onto some real racing circuits.


(no)Marbles, you wrote “When Kimi who had opened up a solid lead, used up all the love in his tires, it forced him into pitting first and Vettel was able to use his advantage of slightly less used tires…”. Everyone knows that the car that follows uses more of its tyres as it slides more. How come SV used less of his tyres? Get as scientific as you can “marbles”, I will enjoy reading it.


James, I guess you tried to be objective. However, you wrote “Vettel was faster on the day and had he been stopped first he would have undercut Raikkonen. The data shows that. You can also look at Verstappen’s out lap from the pitstop on new Supersoft tyres to see that Vettel would have been even faster and would have undercut Raikkonen.” I find this statement strange. KR was faster or as fast as SV whole weekend. What data shows that SV was faster? You say that the data of MV shows that SV would have been faster if he stopped first. I don’t get it. MV lost to DR because DR stayed out. Why do you presume that KR would have stopped immediately the next lap after SV stopped? So that SV would overtake him? Sorry but this is strange logic. Your statement does not hold water. SV would have encountered the same traffic that KR encountered. The fact remains that Ferrari knew that after the pit stop KR will join the race behind two slow cars and that SV will have clean race track ahead of him. If the situation would have been opposite, would they have left KR out five laps after SV went to pit? Despite everything KR came very close to SV when SV left the pits. Therefore, how can you claim that KR was slower than SV? I don’t say you are biased but I think you buy too much into what the “insiders” say. The insiders may be biased. Who knows. Finally, Ferrari has the full right to order the drivers any way they want. It is just that they want everyone to believe that this happened because SV was faster, which on the day was not true.


He offered up nothing to back up that conclusory statement.


What I miss in F1 is the freedom of drivers and mechanics to speak freely without “politicians who stand behind and record everything they say, like the old Soviet era!
More spice, think of what Mansell, Irvine, Senna would have said the same sitiuation as Kimi! So colorful F1 could be!
Now drivers are coached to become politicians and diplomats, to serve the team and brands!


agreed! wouldn’t it be great to see KR’s engineer face the press in a situation where he could speak freely!!! All we get is carefully guarded sound bites. I still prefer old clips of F1 races over anymodern race no matter how many times I see them.


Then, Kimi’s mechanic would say; – I was so angry, it was not my call, I wanted him to stay out for at least 3 more laps! I could see that he would come out in traffic with that call! I could also see that his tire came back to life on the last lap.
If I was in charge Kimi would have won the race !!!


James, thanks for the excellent feature – it’s always difficult to read the strategy calls while watching the race and Ferrari’s choice was meant to be controversial.

Can you or anyone tell me, why Sergio Perez pitted so early in the race? That wrecked his race after a fine Quali performance… and before a race lap record. We had an advert break when it happened and I was left in the dark.


James, do you cross paths much with Leo Turrini? (thinking the top echelon of F1 journalism might be a small world?) – according to him, being a Ferrari insider, there were no team orders “because I know what I’m talking about and because we were only in the 6th race.”

This seems to chime right historically, Ferrari usually letting their drivers race early season and only later favouring their lead if it becomes critical.

Funny, considering the ensuing furore following Monaco, that Turrini also mentions Il Drake, Old Man Enzo, said “se facciamo primo e secondo, io non accetto obiezioni” => “if we’re first and second, I do not accept any objections”.


I think Ferrari was covering Bottas with Raik, even though Raik was P1, and Ricciardo with Vettel. Just to guarantee their 1-2 finish, regardless of Vettel finishing 1st or 2nd. Ferrari prefer security to risk usually. Even 2nd Vettel would still gain a substantial advantage over Hamilton.


Could it be that Kimi cost’s himself by being more uncommunicative during a race?
We do see that Vettel doesn’t like being challenged in the same team really and
probably puts in double the hrs to make sure he has every advantage.
KR is probably past that amount of commitment at work.
Would be the start of tension elsewhere but I think KR is realistic and may be setting himself up for another year at ferrari.


They wanted Seb to win, full stop. No way if it was the other way around and Kimi started P2 they would have left Kimi out there if they knew the overcut was going to put him in front of Seb. Seb would have gone nuts if he started Pole and the team got Kimi around him on the over cut. Would never, ever happen

It’s simple. they should have pitted Vettel the next lap and all is fair. They saw Bottas, Verstapin and Kimi were either in traffic or slower on the SS tires. If Vettel comes in next lap they hold their one ,two. they wanted Seb to win.


And? You think getting a poll today is gifting a race win tomorrow. Well, Kimi had to do better, he was slower than Seb, full stop. Wouldn’t be sad Kimi to get a win just because he was the poll man?


People here, especialy Kimi and Lewis fans, who are complaining about Ferrari strategy are actually saying that Ferrari should have stoped Vettel from winning the race. They expected that they go on the radio and say slow down Seb cause you gonna pass Kimi. Hilarious


I’m sorry I don’t understand why this is getting so much attention. 10 years ago maybe but team orders are legal now and have already been used by Mercedes this year to favour Hamilton. Of course Ferrari played it so Vettel could win, we all knew they would. Why wouldn’t they? Can we focus on the real news that Mercedes and Hamilton are floundering as opposed to the fake news that Ferrari employed team-orders OMG.


JA, Jonathan has just hintted to an excellent subject, floundering.


great article James, thanks.


Great article, as always.
I have to agree with previous posts about some of the media speculation over Raikkonen and Ferrari. Watching Sky coverage, they were essentially ready to conclude their preconceived notions as soon as Vettel had the lead. The “are you a number two driver” question in particular was downright rude.


Yea, pretty painful to listen to those guys, so full of sh$t. It was not speculation, it was pure manipulation, even they knew it they would have said it anyways. I do recommend to read the press conference after the race and follow Andrew Benson’s sick insinuations to manipulate the answer.


In-spite of such a detailed and data driven analysis there will be arm-chair experts here who first form an opinion and then try to look for supporting evidence even if it does not exist.

What matters is the world of F1 knows what’s what and that’s that.


Of course Ferrari are pinning their hopes on Vettel. Just look at the results leading up to Monaco. At least they can win the Driver’s Championship because there’s no way Raikkonen is going to uphold his end of the team when it comes to the Constructor’s Championship, no matter what happened at Monaco. Raikkonen just isn’t up to it over the course of the season.


I’ve been massively Kimi’s fan, for a looong time… but, I say it before and I will say it again, right now Kimi is #2 driver not because Ferrari or Vettel or Monaco, He hasn’t perform thats it, and didnt start this season either.

He knows it and he can only be mad at himself to be honest, conspiracy theories are BS.

And even if Ferrari want to give Vettel all the chances, well they are in their god’s right to do it lol, are real F1 fans arguing about team decisions, really? like that has never exist.


I am amazed how people on here are reacting. Both drivers have an equal right to try and win the race. Just because Kimi was ahead does not mean he must be allowed to win.
If you look at the outlap times for all the top 6 drivers, Seb had the best time of them all. Better than Vestappen or Ricardo neither of whom had traffic on their outlaps. Also the only reason the undercut did not work for Vestappen was due to the slow pitstop. So the undercut should have worked for Vettel.
For those arguing to leave Kimi on for a couple more laps to clear backmarkers should look at how fast Ricardo was catching them. He was over a second faster when in clean air. He might have ended up undercutting both Ferrari’s in that case.
If Kimi could lap in the 16’s I am sure they would have left him on track. At his pace he had to stop.
Vettel showed in clean air he had the pace to match Ricardo. Plus he has equal right to try and win the race. So those arguing Vettel should have been brought in the next lap make no sense. If they did bring him in next lap that would mean they were giving the win to Kimi.
Kimi had the chance to defend his position. He couldn’t match Vettel and lost.


Some sanity finally. Both drivers have equal right to win. Mirroring the lead drivers strategy greatly reduces that possibility. And Ferrari had to cover two scenarios: Bottas / Vers (undercut) & RIC (overcut). Slow laptimes from Kimi dictated everything.


Hi James, always the good analysis. I don’t think it’s quite difficult to understand. Let me have samples. In these years with the possibility for undercut, the car closely behind will pit earlier to try to undercut the opponent. This will not do between the teammates. The driver has the good result on Sat will favour to pit first on the normal situation. Similar as the previous years with the refuel rule. The car pitting later will be lighter to have quicker laps before pit. Between teammates, the favoured car will be pit later. For this case which we think it’s ‘fascinating’ is because the car pit later could get the better result under the tricky traffic situation in Monaco, which is not same as these years’ normal situation. While to follow the fair rule between the teammates same as undercut, lighter car, Ferrari should pit Seb just one lap after Kimi’s pit to make the Kimi-Seb 1-2. Ferrari’s strategy last Sunday is same as allowing undercut between teammates. So I think it Favoured Vettle. If under the same situation but Kimi and Seb changed the position, Ferrari will not allow Kimi to try several quickest laps out, they will call Kimi to pit just one lap after Seb’s pit. Do you agree? This could also support my view that Ferrari favoured Vettel. I’m not saying whether it is correct to do so as early as round 6, to my opinion, Ferrari favoured Vettel last Sunday.


I think the outcome looks that way, but rather than pure manipulation I think they arrived at the outcome by a mix of a miscalculation (not bringing him out ahead of Button – one car is easier to lap, two is more time consuming) and then Vettel doing a better than expected job on his final two push laps


I do not think it was “pure manipulation” either, but I do think they favored SV over KR, that seems pretty obvious based on number of factors as I have discussed in other comments. My point all along is that they set it up in a way that subtly favored SV and he seized the opportunity; even then it was extremely close. This was of course logical by Ferrari, but as I have said I find it a little distasteful at this stage of the season.


James this is wonderful! Great analysis of what I thought was very interesting race.. despite the lack of overtaking.


Finally, an objective analysis from an unbiased journalist. Thank you James.


@ james…again, a clear distillation of facts and well reasoned objectivity. Well done.

Craig in Manila

Clearly, Seb realised (was told?) that Kimi pitting early and the track emptying ahead of him was his opportunity to try to get the lead and he went for it.
He was then suddenly able to do some hot laps in clean air. So be it.

But, in the laps before Kimi’s pitstop, was Kimi running at an instructed delta/speed or was he allowed to push harder if he so desired ?
Could he have been five seconds up the road if he had wanted to be ?

Further, after the pitstop when it was becoming clear that Seb was making his move, did we hear a Ferrari engineer saying “PUSH PUSH PUSH KIMI” ?
Or did the Ferrari engineer just let him think that all was ok and that he would be back into the lead in due course ?


Kimi was indeed pushing as much as Vettel during those same crucial laps!
Both Kimi and Vettel made their fastest race laps during lap 38+39.
Case closed.


Great article James, clarifies many doubts.

Based on the numbers, here’s what I think: –

Kimi was around 1.2 seconds ahead of Vettel when he pitted, and lost 1.5 seconds to him when overtaking Button and Wehrlein. Also, his pit stop was 0.3 seconds than Vettel’s (If I remember correctly). This means that Kimi was a net 0.6 seconds behind Vettel.

Vettel pitted 5 laps after Kimi, and excluding the lap Kimi had to overtake traffic, he had 4 laps to overcome a deficit of 0.6 seconds. Now consider the following points:

1. As James said, Ferrari couldn’t have had an idea of HOW much faster Vettel could go when running behind Kimi. For all they knew, he was only as much faster as the rate at which he closed the gap to Kimi in latter stages of the first stint i.e. around 0.150-0.200 seconds a lap. Ferrari only had reliable performance and tyre-degradation data on Kimi, and since he was leading the race, it’s not a stretch to imagine that they could have considered the same data as at least a minor reference point for Vettel’s tyre deg.

2. The radio traffic indicated that both Kimi and Ferrari felt that the tyres were at the end of their life. True, Kimi was 0.4 seconds faster in Sector 2 (than his previous laps) the lap before he pitted, but it could just have been a case of the driver trying to extract the most out of whatever life the tires had left. We’ve seen many drivers do this in previous years, and even set personal best sector times on their in-laps.

Considering the points above, it is possible that Ferrari expected brand new supersofts to perform better than 35 laps old ultrasofts.

For Kimi to overcome the 0.6s deficit in 4 laps, he had to be at least 0,150 seconds a lap faster than Vettel i.e. slightly faster than his team-mate who was running on old ultrasofts, which Ferrari might have expected.

But surprisingly, when Vettel took his pitstop, he came out more than a second ahead of Kimi, which means that Kimi was actually slightly slower than Vettel in those 4 laps (around 0.1 to 0.2 seconds per lap), which must have been contrary to Ferrari’s expectations.

Note: – As mentioned in the article, Vettel got lucky with Ericsson pitting just ahead of him. Otherwise, he could have lost around 0.5-0.8 seconds lapping the Swede, assuming he caught him at a corner. This would have negated almost all of Kimi’s deficit to Vettel.

So, it turns out that Kimi was slower than Vettel on new supersofts and in clean air, and slightly unfortunate with Ericsson pitting. I think that the two under 75s laps that Vettel did truly were unexpectedly outstanding. Ricciardo was in a similar situation and setting great laps, but even his best was 1.16.0…a whopping 0.8s slower than Vettel’s best.

Kimi didn’t lose because of being sent out in traffic, he lost because the overcut turned out to be a better strategy due to Vettel doing a damn fine job. Assuming Ferrari based it’s strategy on Kimi’s tyre deg and used at least some of that data as reference for Vettel, they couldn’t have known that the German would be as fast as he was in the end.

I’m with the theory that Vettel won because of his pace and that Ferrari weren’t intentionally favouring him.


Great comment Neutron! I think you nailed it. In line with James’ analysis but I think the key was the fact Kimi still wasn’t faster on new tyres. Vettel deserved it.


Does anybody remember “Fernando is faster than you”‘
The F1 and the media are plenty of cynicism


Nice article.

Seb did well and Kimi lost too much from the first backmarkers till his stop. Even so, Seb was lucky with the Sauber pitting as the undercut, no matter the tyres, is usually king, the overcut is so rare. I also thought Max would have jumped Bottas even though it was just one lap.

Do you think Kimi would have had a better shot at the win if he’d paced the first stint slower, as there is no overtaking here, saving his tyres for a fast blast at the end prior to his stop?



In what degree ~ 0.5 sec difference of pitstop times between Seb and Kimi has played to race outcome? That .5 sec was to Seb’s favour, also the team could not certainly planned that. If not this .5 sec, would Kimi retain the position?


Superb analysis as ever and I feel Vettel pulled it out of the bag. On an aside is there any info on what set up error Merc made to Lewis Hamilton’s car. I think the channel 4 coverage mentioned that they could not amend the issue under Parc ferme rules but they knew what the prole was. I’m intreigued about the mechanical engineering side of things.


I will try to make this short.

Problems faced by Ferrari just before first round of pit stops.

1. Bottas now 2+ second behind and now Ferrari are facing traffic. (Same traffic that had already cost Ferrari 4+ seconds)
2. Because of the proximity of bottas before the stop Ferarri cant wait to see if under cut can work (Verstappen nearly got the undercut work on Bottas and plus with traffic it has been proven that Bottas will catch up remember 4 seconds already lost in two laps)
3. Safety car (Ferrari could not afford to double stack. The second car would likely lose second and possibly third)

With those three then it is obvious that Ferrari have to stop on immediately to keep the win, so the questions for the team order folks are

i. Who should Ferrari have stopped first?
ii. When to stop the other Car?

Please consider a that an accident can block parts of the track (the whole track is an advantage to those who have not pitted and a block at pit entry or exit favours those who have already pitted as (long as the race is not stopped).


If they did favour Vettel, I don’t blame them! Kimi, while fast on his day, doesn’t have enough of those days. He ain’t going to win this championship. Hamilton is a major force t be reckoned with and if Ferrari are to beat him, then Vettel is your man. For the past few years, Kimi has been trounced by his team mate…he gets it right once and the Kimi crew are up in arms. He’s very cool, no doubt and very fast…but past his best.


I am a Kimmi fan too, yes, all your observations are correct. He is past his best. Stil, I am one of those that think Kimi is not so cool as some say, it is a Finn thing, emotional stuff or lack of it, but poorly hidden sometimes. Watch him when he wins, he enjoys it, or last case, Monaco podium. That was quite weak in fact, that wasn’t an Iceman. The way he is talking gives hints about his mental power, but hey, that’s Kimi and many of us are hoping he is gonna be around F1 for many years to come.


To those of you here that are so insistent that Ferrari invoked team orders in this race, you are also saying that Redbull thus favoured Ric over Ves as well. We all know how laughable that theory is.
Now refer to the Spanish Grand Prix of 2016. Pitting first and giving up track position sometimes just has the possibility of not being the correct call, as both Ric and Vettel found out that very day to the detriment of their own winning chances.
Where were the CT’s then I ask?


Sarsippious, the two instances are not the same, Red Bull were trying to get at least one of their cars in front of Bottas, Ferrari already had the one two sewn up.

Torchwood Mobile

I don’t understand why saying something about one person or entity, ALWAYS means that we are saying it about other persons, despite not mentioning them.

Surely people have done the same thing, for different reasons, before!


The similarities in this instance make it applicable. By saying one and not the other it leaves yourself open to questions on you’re intent and reasoning.

Torchwood Mobile


I don’t mention apparent similarities, and here, Red Bull, because they are not on my radar.

That you and others seek to put them onto my radar, says more about your own intent and reasoning, than mine.

We have a television programme in the UK called Countdown.

A computer is given a series of numbers, calculates a total, and people cleverer than me have thirty seconds to do their own mental calcs to reach the same figure.

Much of the time, different people get to the same result, but via a different route; and that is the logic that I apply to F1 – that two people, entities, teams end up at the same place; I do not assume that A and B followed the same reasoning, just because they ended up at the same place.


@ sars……How very true.


Superb analysis and this is what ai was also thinking and writing:-)


Thanks for the detailed analysis. The simple analysis is that everyone who stopped early, lost out. I don’t think any of those teams foresaw that.


I think they foresaw it but still had to try it, at least with one driver.
Usually this is done with the slower driver at that point of the race, the only exception was Red Bull, but they had something unsolved from last year.


Interesting theory James but personally I disagree. I don’t recall the last time the lead driver pitted so many laps before the guy in 2nd at Monaco. There was no real urgency as there was still a comfortable gap to Bottas, and they clearly gave up the prime strategy for Kimi when they called him in first.

As you say, Ferrari have the luxury of being able to focus solely on the drivers championship, but when that comes at the expense of the sports fans at the marquee event, that’s where Ferrari start to appear to be above the sport. That’s fine and all, they didn’t break any rules, but in 3 years when we are seeing continued decline in the sport it will be these incidents that will be responsible.


“Raikkonen was leading the race and the rule in Monaco is when leading don’t be the first one to make a move.”

So, why?


Was he the first to make the move? It was Max, then Bottas and them Kimi. Can you count? See my fingers?


“…rule in Monaco is when leading…”

(I carefully read this very carefully written article three times before commenting)


exactly! that alone suggest a lot.


Kimi’s question before pitting may have triggered the action to pit him. And by the way, what is wrong with Ferrari decision? Oh, Lewis…
It is a many hundred million business trying to maximize the race results, let’s be honest, Kimi will not be a champion at the end of the year, so giving a chance to Seb to win in his tough fight with Mer is common sense. VET does not have too many turbo replacements than LH, maximizing Seb points is critical goal.

Aaron Noronha

Because if they had pitted Vettel first and he had undercut Kimi, people would have cried saying why was Kimi left out on older tyres. Thats why


Pitting first or pitting after Kimi would have made little difference to not only the race outcome but also those here who want to believe team-orders we’re in place irrespective of the facts presented to them.


“He (Raikkonen)was catching up to Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber; as he came through Turn 18 on his in-lap to the pits on Lap 34 he was 2.2 seconds behind the Swede, so he would have caught him on Lap 35 and may have taken some time to pass him.”
“What actually happened was that once Raikkonen stopped, Vettel cleared Ericsson”


Aaron Noronha, thx mate. Better than my posting


JA must have steely nerves 🙂


Or steely something else.

At least its refreshing to see an objective matter of fact run down of the race data and resolve from an English F1 website. No wonder the uproar by many folks as the UK press/tabloids are thriving (profiting) by fueling the conspiracy thoughts. As do an unfortunate driver…


I could not agree more. JA is the best man, happy to have him around.


@JA, after reading your race strategy report twice and looking over the lap times for KR and SV very carefully the only conclusion I can come to is that Ferrari intentionally decided to set up a situation where the positions would be switched. You claim Vettel was faster and let’s assume that is true for sake of argument, but KR had track position and track position is nearly everything in Monaco. You claim that SV could have undercut KR and taken the lead the way but there is nothing to to support that view. He would have had one lap to make that work because if it were an honest race, KR would have reacted to that on the next lap and their is noting to indicate that SV had that much speed on one lap to make it work.

Ferrari very cleverly stage managed a swap of its two drivers, plain and simple. One can argue the merits of that. I for one don’t like it at this point of the season but claiming this was all on merit by SV is nonsense.

Aaron Noronha

If Vettel had pitted and done the undercut. Ferrari would have to keep Kimi out to cover Riccairdo. If the team gives both the drivers a chance to win then why should it hamper Vettel by calling Kimi in the next lap??? As i recall Vettel stayed out 5 laps. So you are basically saying you wanted Ferrari to choose a strategy that would ensure Kimi would have won the race even if he was the slower race driver??? As for assuming. Look at the lap charts its pretty evident from it that Kimi was struggling for pace. look how his laptime line starts to be erratic instead of a smooth curve. And how he was asking the team help to get the back markers out of the way but struggled to get closer to them. There is no assumption here its plain fact. And FYI the gap between Kimi and Vettel was 1 second. Max was able to set his best middle sector & the fastest final sector of any body on track on his out lap. Vettel would have surely been more than a second faster than Kimi on his outlap sufficent for him to undercut Kimi.


One thing that really surprised me was how badly cars were affected by turbulent air. I wouldn’t have thought that was such a big problem in Monaco, but perhaps the tunnel effect of a street circuit exacerbates that problem. Many cars were slowed once they were in 2 sec of the car in front. That’s crazy!

The only driver who did better – that I noticed – was Vettel. He seemed comfortable until he was within a second, or even slightly less, of the car in front. Kimi seemed to really struggle with this as he came up to Button and Wehrlein and it seemed a very long time for the blue flags to come out.

Not sure this is relevant to this particular debate.

I actually don’t think Ferrari are so clever as to have pulled this one off in favour of Vettel. So many commentators were lamenting their strategy decisions last season. Now they’re geniuses. I don’t think so.

And finally one other thing. The article does mention that Ferrari might have asked Kimi about pitting and we never heard an obvious transmission of that. However, we did hear Kimi ask about pitting just before he made the stop, suggesting that he was considering it and perhaps thought his tires were ready for changing.


Excellent insight, thx. Many good points, but the nicest was the first before last paragraph about Ferrari strategists. I was also thinking that Kimi’s radio message may have expedited Ferrari decision to pit him, not sure about that though.

Carlos Marques

My suspicion Ferrari orchestrated the finishing order was confirmed when the Ferrari person who went on the podium to collect the constructor’s trophy was all animated with Vettel and completely IGNORED and turned his back on Kimi. Lack of respect.


The Ferrari person that you refer to is Riccardo Adami, who is Vettel’s race engineer. He was also Vettel’s race engineer back in the Toro Rosso days, so no wonder they celebrate now being back and winning together at Ferrari.
Think you are over interpreting things that are not there.


I think you’re making things up.


Full disclosure: I am in the #7 club.
But as I mentioned in my comment after the race, this was a race that Vettel won!

Now who knows how the cars are ‘prepared’ prior to the race; if anyone says they know, then they must have slept with the car (if you did, please let us know).
But, I was somewhat surprised at Kimi’s drop off, prior to encountering the first of the back marker traffic.
Was it actual drop off, based on tire wear, or could it have been a tactic by Kimi?
Regardless, what we saw in the race, was Vettel erasing the cushion that he’d been creating, and getting to within a second of Kimi; surprisingly little performance hit from following so close to another car?!
Now, at that point in time, if I am Ferrari, I must preserve my best alternative for winning the race, with either driver, but preferably Seb, for sure (because he is currently leading, utterly regardless of how he came t olead the championship)!
Now, they could have left both cars out, longer, but closing the optimum operating window to try to get a 1-2, as one/both of the cars could have hit the cliff on the tires, and compromised their likelihood for winning the race (the priority objective for this race!)
While James gives the benefit of the doubt, for a Seb undercut, I don’t believe any of us could say with reasonable validity what would have happened if Seb had been pitted, into traffic, first, for either him, or Kimi.
Back to Ferrari, the pragmatic approach would be to pit Kimi first, give Seb a chance to see what he could do in clear air, and maximize the likelihood for the Ferrari 1-2.
That is what they did, and despite being a huge Kimi fan, that is what I would have done, too!
After that, it was all Seb Vettel.
He made his own luck and advantage, and rightly won the race, and Ferrari got the 1-2 at Monaco!

Again, you have to look at this period, prior to Kimi arriving at the back markers; this is my question mark, and this is where Kimi failed to win the race.

It is what it is.


Dislike long postings, but enjoyed yours. Well said, sensible and fair. I have the same unknown about undercutting, Vettel may have won or not, but I am inclined to believe in a positive result. Both drivers are favorittes for me, in time I have become a more VET than RAI fan, so the result was great. I wish Kimi were more of an Iceman after the race.


Fully agree with you @deancassady and I am in the #7 club also! ;o)
I am certain that Kimi will be equally satisfied when browsing through all the data. It was the right thing to do at the time and it is what it is.

From seeing all the responses to this subject, it actually appear to be more other drivers’ fans that wants to stir the pot…


Ferrari favors Vettel, and it favored him in Monaco. End of the story. A dishonest attempt to manipulate realty, James!


A typical case of today’s world: all over the place convictions are struggling to face up to science and absolute data.




Excellent, James. Thank you.


Nice analysis but where is the detailed lap by lap data to back it up? A couple of commenters in the race report thread provided the detailed lap by lap comparisons for KR and SV which are very informative. After looking over that data the only conclusion I can come to is that Ferrari did in fact favor Vettel, not blatantly, and SV had to make the most of it which he duly did, but Ferrari clearly set up a situation where Vettel could get by. He did put in some good laps but even with those laps and KR being dumped out behind JB and PW, he barely cleared KR. Everything stinks of a set-up.

I would be pissed if I was KR; track position is everything in Monaco and they clearly disadvantaged him. Simple logic tells you there was no need for KR to react and cover VB in third. KR was racing SV, not Bottas, but that of course is not the way Ferrari acted. Ferrari orchestrated this perfectly for Vettel. Again it wasn’t a total give away, but it was no accident and it was not down to Vettel alone.

I notice JA has offered no explanation for why they dumped KR in traffic when he could have easily cleared them if left out another lap or two.

The whole thing stinks and disappoints me as a fan. I want to see great racing, not some stage managed outcome. I know, I know, we always get some of this, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. If we are 14 races in to the season with some real competition then by all means they should do what they need to do, but in race 6 it is total bullshit.


Very well put. Thank you for that.


“I want to see great racing, not some stage managed outcome. “

You must be infuriated by the goings on at Mercedes then, where they’ve been stage–managing their races from the very first race of the season.


James, considering the ongoing building work to expand Monaco into the sea, are there any plans to alter the F1 circuit at all? It really seems an ideal opportunity to lengthen the track to help overtaking.


James . What you think of tyres war back . And ross brawn ? I am tired of this pirelli controled show


@Didier… and what do you expect to see then?


I think Ferrari did it on purpose, there is no other explanation for leaving him out for those five laps, I can’t help thinking that if five laps in clean air wasn’t going to be enough for Seb to clear Kimi, then it would have been six or seven. or however many it took. I also think it was justified, Seb has earned that backing from the team, it is tough on Kimi, but he should have done more at the start of the season.


‘there is no other explanation for leaving him out for those five laps’

Absolutely. Pit Kimi into traffic, give Vettel the overcut (generally assumed before the race as the way to go). And yes 5 laps made it so blatantly obvious.

At the end of the day they pay Kimi’s salary so they can do what they want but it’s the denial that is difficult to tolerate.


NickH, agree with all that, but to be honest the denial doesn’t bother me either! Just the way it is, they all do it.


+1 I agree on all points.


I don’t think the, ‘leaving him out for 5 laps’, is part anyone’s argument of a conspiracy/unfair treatment. If Vettel was lapping strong enough to jump Kimi then of course his engineer/garage is going to keep him out. That’s part of general competition and it would be bonkers to do otherwise. So yes, they would “do it on purpose.” Same happened with Ricciardo. They didn’t tell him, “sorry mate you have to pit the lap after Max to play fair.”

Peoples concerns are whether Ferrari deliberately compromised Kim’s strategy through bringing him in early and into traffic, and whether it was advantageous at that point of the race to pit first.

As others have pointed out, to protect against a safety car it made sense for Ferrari to bring one car in straightaway. And the pace of people who pitted showed that an undercut was possible (if a gamble with traffic).

The only point of suspicion for me is Ferrari bringing Kimi into traffic (although there was that other Sauber, which Vettel got lucky with it pitting).

But I agree mostly with James. I think Ferrari may have given Vettel an “assist” with the Kimi traffic but probably weren’t expecting Vettel to show such pace and weren’t overtly forcing any team orders. Of course when Vettel showed a sniff of a chance then they’re going to happily let it play out. Bit that’s largely racing in my book.
Ultimately Kimi didn’t show the pace he needed to stay ahead. And he should have built a bigger gap in the first stint to protect himself, of he could. I doubt Hamilton would have allowed Bottas to close within 1.5s before the pit window. And I say all this having liked Kimi to have win.


Not sure about this whole protecting from a safety car thing, if a safety car had come out then Kimi could have pitted under it and gained the same advantage as Ricciardo.


Same happened with Ricciardo.

It wasn’t the same with Ric. Red Bull had tried to jump Bot with the undercut and Max and failed , so they then used the overcut with Ric and succeeded. Max was stuck behind Bot which was his hard luck – no way Red Bull were turning their nose up at 3rd place to save Max’s feelings .


C63, perfectly logical.


It’s not often we sing from the same song sheet C63!


Let’s hope it’s not the last 🙂


Vettel’s lap times were so good, if the team had forced him to pit, now that would be a team order. More importantly, they had to cover Ricciardo who hadn’t pit yet, in case of a SC that might grant him the lead. Either way I fail to understand why Ferrari are obliged to pit Vettel right earlier.


Re, the team order was telling Kimi to pit when he didn’t want to.


Kimi didn’t want to pit? Did he say so?


They left vettel out for five more laps to cover off ricciardo. You ask why? What if there was a safety car / red flag / VSC. Then RB will win cause they get a short / free pitstop. That would have been a LOL moment of pure stupidity right and we will all be laughing at them. No matter what way you look at it. It was good strategy. They had everything covered in ensuring the win. Vettel won because of his PACE and how the circumstance played out.


F1 fan, pitting early makes you more vulnerable to a safety car ,not less! Kimi dropped behind Ricciardo when he pitted, what of teh SC was called then? Ricciardo stays ahead, if Kimi had pitted fter Ricciardo then he stands to benefit, not lose out.


So if a safety car came, they would have to stack both ferraris and it will end up 1&3. Yeah i guess kimi could have won but that was not the optimum reault for the team. And i was replying to your comment anout why they left vettel for fove more laps.


F1fan, why is it the race leader who has to sacrifice his strategy to guard against a safety car?! If the Ferraris had to stack in the pits then Seb would be disadvantaged, not Kimi, let Seb worry about that!


Very good point. I think many miss the need to account for the risk factor of a safety car scuppering things. It’s why teams pitted at least one driver at the same time as other teams as a means of risk avoidance. It seems too many people are basing judgements without assessing the probabilities and information to hand at the times decisions had to be made.


it is tough on Kimi, but he should have done more at the start of the season.

He should have done more in the race. People are upset that Seb was given five laps in clean air on the ultrasoft? Kimi had thirty laps in clean air on the ultra-soft and failed to capitalize on it. As soon as he got out of the way Vettel showed what the car was really capable of.


Busa, it is his perogative as race leader to control the pace.


Bit it is not wise, because you can lose the win and come second as a result. It’s better to build a cushion, if you can.


If no one’s feelings are hurt at Monaco, it means they didn’t hold the race. If Ferrari did execute team orders, this is the first time they did it without pulling their pants down while pounding their chest.


Great analysis James, thanks for the objective write up. What I do fail to understand though is the red Bull scenario. Yes, they had a chance on Bottas with the undercut but they were always going to come back on track behind Sainz. Carlos wouldn’t have had to move over therefore the pair would have lost valuable time. Ricciardo would always benefit from this?


Hi James,

This is one hell of a analysis, I massively enjoyed reading it, even more because I always examine the laptimes very carefully, make some charts and my conclusions were mostly the same after being crunching the numbers.

There is one thing that you didn’t mention that IMO was important in Ferrari having to choose one of the 2 drivers to stop in lap34 (just immediately after Bottas pitted): to cover against a Safety Car and eliminate any possibility of losing the win.

My reasoning here is that depending where you are on the track a Safety Car can destroy your race. And given that at that time Bottas and Verstappen had already pitted Ferrari had to think how to face the risk of a SC, so they needed to pit at least one of their drivers to protect the lead, that way Ferrari made sure they had at least one car in front of the competition (Bottas / Verstappen) in case a SC was brought. Given Raikkonen was leading he should have had the pit stop priority and therefore was the chosen one. Does this make any sense to you?

Thanks for all the fascinating stuff you share here.


One thing I didn’t see mentioned in the article, although perhaps I somehow missed it, or it is thought less relevant than it seemed to me…

I didn’t save the recording and I haven’t looked up the exact numbers to verify, but, as I recall, Raikkonen’s pit stop was 3.5 seconds while Vettel’s was 3.1. ( I don’t recall at all the total time in pit lane for each, and I’m not suggesting that Raikkonen’s was intentionally slow.) Vettel didn’t come out very much ahead of Raikkonen and it seemed to me at the time that those 4/10ths were actually pretty significant in Vettel getting the lead.


Total pitstop time from entry to exit (pitlane time plus actual stop time) were:
Vettel: 24.306
Kimi: 24.833.
Think it was also shown on screen during race (if some care to re-run), where Kimi’s actual stop was something like 0.2 secs longer than Vettel’s. So Kimi’s drive through the pitlane was a bit over 0.3 secs longer than Vettel’s.


Vettels on board shows him make a switch change on his steering wheel as Kimi pitted. It is likely he turned the engine up? I wonder if Kimi had the same engine mode available or if Vettel used a qualifying mode. If Kimi had that mode available it’s unlikely he would have used it, as Ferrari didn’t tell him to hurry on at any stage. I guess Kimi presumed he had track position before Vettels stop so it was a case of just bring it home.


you can convince yourself either way depending on your own theories or biases.

Ferrari *WOULD* shuffle their drivers to put the chosen one – who is leading the championship – in front. They have form in that regard.
Post race they said it was planned before the race that Kimi would stop first – I don’t think they could have known that would favour Seb . So this time they got the result they wanted without needing to “do a Ferrari”


Excellent stuff. You’re right, it’s easy to see and understand both theories. Either way, Ferrari got what they wanted.


Lewis has started playing mind games bluntly by saying Ferrari favored Vettel in Monaco..but he is going to fail big time because Vettel does not follow too much news/ media just for this purpose only


VET will hear it anyways, but who cares. Think why LH said it? Whatever reason, quite a few in fact, that is Lewis. I hardly wait to see the gap increasing, then you will see more of it. And more noise on this forum.


This is why I love this forum!


A lot o sour grapes all around because Vettel won and dully increased his points lead over Hamilton. Vettel on his day has no equal on F1 grid ! The strategy report Theory 2 is 100% correct.


Yes gogo, not all the grapes are from Kimi fans either, are they!


Right on. Hurt then salted, must be terrible.


I agree with James that I don’t think it was as much Ferrari giving it to VET as much as it was VET seizing the opportunity. Those laps that VET and RIC put in on the used ultras were magic and no one could have predicted that. Verstappen’s reactions to losing out on the overcut and the need for the team to sit down with him and show him the race data proves that. I have been very impressed with VET work ethic and ability to lead from the cockpit on a number of occasions this season. He has great presence of mind and knows what is going on in the race around him and what needs to be done at any point to win.

I feel a little sorry for Kimi and his fans, but in all honesty he has floundered the past few seasons and has been outclassed by ALO and now VET. He lacks the killer instinct. At any point he could have tried to open the gap to VET during the first stint when he was in clear air, but he could not or did not. Even after he’d been passed in the pits he immediately dropped back and accepted second. Could you see VET or HAM doing that? He should have been all over VET gearbox pressing him but he gave up (or didn’t have the pace) I don’t think Ferrari has a #1 driver, but RAI lack of aggression / pace gives the appearance that it does. Winners put themselves in the best position to win. Kimi did not do that.

Meanwhile over at Mercedes HAM looks more like a clear #1. We may be left wondering in this instance with Ferrari what the intent was, but there is no doubt that he has benefited from explicit team orders on multiple occasions this season alone and has BOT to play rear gunner for him (e.g. my job was to slow down VET – no actually Bottas your job is to win races…) I found HAM’s comment that Ferrari had appointed VET as #1 as ironic as it was tasteless. Already the excuses are being bandied around for his apparent impending failure to win WDC a second year in a row…


Good article James. however I don’t agree in certain points, in regards to conclusion/theory 1
1- Ferrari won total 16 constructions and 15 driver championship. out of this 10 was won both as constructor and driver. Means, your theory of Ferrari more focusing on driver champion is not correct
2- Kimi middle sector was 35.457 vs 35.328 for Vettle . so Vettle had better grip obviously
3- Kimi pace was slowing not consistence from lap 16 then got slower from lap 17 till he pitted, while Vettle speed matched Kimi till 5th lap then started to get faster and faster till was almost half a second before Kimi pitting
4- from lap time, you can clearly either Kimi was struggling till pitting or was slowing Vettle, it should be other way around if he is faster than Vettle
5- No one can predict traffic within almost impossible to overtake track as Monaco
6- His times was new tires is no match with Vettle after pitting. Kimi clearly struggled with tires before and after pitting
7- In regards your point of Ferrari ideally would ask him what to do. lets say right, but wouldn’t be his call first? Means wouldn’t he the one to ask as LH does in several occasion!!!

I myself a Kimi fan, but lately his performance is not as expected for world champ. I personally think his performing is greatly affected by Switching his Lotus time engineer Mark Slade with Dave Greenwood


“1- Ferrari won total 16 constructions and 15 driver championship. out of this 10 was won both as constructor and driver. Means, your theory of Ferrari more focusing on driver champion is not correct”

That includes results going back to the 1950s, the current Ferrari team definitely operates in the way James laid out.


Thanks James – I enjoyed this analysis. I don’t think anything is conclusive one way or the other. That said, Ferrari do seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place as I would say that Vettel has a better chance of winning the WDC than Riakkonen who is somewhat less than consistent. What do you think?


Interesting and balanced view, but you’re not going to convince me that Ferrari didn’t split strategies to give Vettel an advantage.


Agreed !


That’s like trying to prove the colour of the Lords underwear, I see 🙂


They didn’t split strategies, actually, both drivers were on one-stopper 😉


Think it’s fair to say there’s more to strategy that the number of stops cars make 😉😉


You sound like you wished Ferrari had stacked VET behind RAI pitting on the same lap, because that would’ve been the only way Kimi was ever going to win this GP.


Or possibly pit Vettel the lap after Raikkonen, like Mercedes always did with Hamilton & Rosberg. Or give Kimi actual choice in when he was going to pit. I don’t care that Ferrari favour Vettel, it’s the sensible thing to do, just making out like they didn’t is just ridiculous.


Honestly James, by the time you have come out with this report the only thing I have on my mind is – If this was not a narrow dangerous track to over take on, Vettel would have simply overtaken Kimi on track if he was faster. Then there would be no such controversies. They should make Monaco a race without points. Have your glamor but spare us this torture with this instigating negativity nonsense.

Hamilton said it after qualifying, barring mishaps at front, it would be tough for him to get points. Even toward the end of the race he found it better to sit behind Sainz till the end. Monaco is amazing for its sheer madness.. but please make it a non championship round. This is not how championships should be decided.

All this controversy would not arise if the track allowed the faster driver to simply overtake on track.

I am sure Kimi looked icy because he did not have the relevant data on the podium and unsurprisingly guessed that he was short changed. But the thing is.. Kimi did not have more pace than Vettel today.

I wonder how awkward it must be for Vettel, how the media yanks his chain so miserably even when he is the faster driver. But atleast he gets good practise for when they really do have team orders later this year. All drivers learn to take it in their stride.

But for us the fans, I do not know why some sections of the media are trying instigate so much un-ease? It seems this section is trying to ease itself into realization that indeed at some point in this year Ferrari will start supporting one lead driver.

Then Merc will do the same. But sections of the media want to set up Monaco for saying “Ferrari started it first so Mercedes followed”. But it was Mercedes that started it with Bottas in Bahrain.

Mercedes allowed Lewis to pass Bottas twice using instructions because Bottas was the slower car on that day and it made sense to give Lewis a chance.

But Kimi and Sebastian were getting caught by Daniel at an alarming pace and Kimi was unable to respond. So they pit Kimi and released Vettel. What is wrong in that?

Yet its so sad how some section of the media are turning this into some sort of low quality entertainment that feeds on negativity.

If you want racing, solve the issue of tracks that do not allow proper racing. As for the media, please keep it wholesome.


You should have wrote this as a Haiku.


Anyway, I am glad is one of the few platforms that are truly Balanced in their coverage.

Also I am grateful for the site’s wonderful community of users and moderators that provide a platform for so much expression.


Kimi wonders, while Vettel wins
So many in the media with hidden Agenda
While few of us fans weep


@Sebee.. i swear 😀

All this happens when I am in a hurry yet want to post. Then i press enter with all the haphazard emotions showing through. Also I probably need an editor 😀

Haikus are so much fun to write in though!


If I may quote KRB…5,7,5! 🙂

Trust me, we’ve all commented with rethinking. I’m pressing cancel more often myself recently.


5 7 5! 😛


I’ve read this twice and I have no idea what you are trying to say


Hi James, have you considered creating a word or character limit to comments? I don’t think this is an appropriate place for essays.


lol, I also hate when people put those really long coments and explanations, don’t understand why they can’t keep it simple and give the straight point…

But I do keep simple, just Ignore them.


If I could like this post multiple times I would…I like a debate/argument as much as the next person but most of the long answers are just nonsensical.


Let’s make June Haiku month at JAonF1! 🙂


considered creating a word or character limit

@Joffrey.. for character limits there is twitter ! The reason is so awesome is because of the freedom of expression!!


If the points made are good and the discussion is appropriate, I don’t see why this should bother you.
I am sure that if a post is say, 2 pages long, it wouldn’t pass the moderation, so far the modding here is excellent.

Scroll through or ask the post’s writer for a TLDR, sometimes it works wonders.


I found it easy to understand. He basically said 90 % of the brit F1 media stinks.

Imo the good that came out of this race is that the 25 points gap from Vettel to Hamilton is a much better reflection of their season so far than the meagre 6 points Vettel had over Hamilton before the race. So far 6 races into the season Hamilton has won 2 races thanks to timely safety car intervention after rookie mistakes by Giovanazzi and Vandorne and not a single one on merrit. Bottas has won on merrit once by the way. Vettel has either won or was the other guy who challenged for the win. If Hamilton had contributed any useful set up data in Russia and Monaco Bottas might have been able to put the car on pole position there too, what do you think James ? On RTL Germany they said that Rosbergs and Hamiltons set up converged over the years and last year when Hamilton often went into a dead end road with his set up after free practice he could just copy Rosbergs before qualification and still be competitive. But now with Bottas new to the team and maybe having different preferences on set up the charmed life of Lewis H. seems over at least for time beeing until Mercedes gets Bottas closer to Hamiltons preferences. Mercedes car is fundamentally still slightly faster than Ferrari when they get it into the right window and their extra boost for Q3, starts and restarts is very effective and particuarly Bottas has demonstrated this over and over again with his Q3 laps, starts and restarts for those who paid attention.


@ Topper…good post. Hamilton refuses to share his set up data with Bottas….lucky Bottas.

Aaron Noronha

He intends to say that Monaco should be a race where points shouldnt be considered because its hard to overtake and most races are just a procession.


The 3rd and last paragraphs are key –
When in doubt, focus on the shortest ones!


@James.. haha sorry.

If i had to condense that it would read-

1.) Keep Monaco GP on the calender because its mind boggling to imagine F1 cars going around those narrow streets so close to the barriers.

2.) Make the Monaco GP a non championship race without points like Ross Brawn was suggesting- perhaps to try experimental Qualifying formats etc.

3.) As long as these cars are wide enough to prevent overtaking in Monaco, and are SOLELY Dependant on PIt stop window calculations. Hence it becomes tedious for the fans when some sections of the press (Definitely NOT though, which is one of the finest platforms covering the sport) start creating tension in the virtual world about this race weekend, (for the last few years I may add)

– If Ferrari let the second driver Vettel do a undercut, this section of the media would have torn them apart. Since Ferrari over cut, its becoming fodder for instigating rude suggestions trying to create conflict within drivers inside a team from external sources.

I will not mention the reporters name since they do the pen interviews “together” but Kimi was asked on his face if he was the Number Two driver. This question right after a race where Kimi has not been shown the relevant data of how the race panned out.

I am sure yours being one of the best Websites on F1, the concerned reporter may come across this. IS IT FAIR to ask Kimi if he is the second driver at that moment of time? 🙂

I have been a fan of Kimi for years and it felt like a Slap across my face watching him having to answer that. Off course Kimi must have been feeling a whole lot of weird stuff in his head right at the moment but the reporter was playing on emotions there.

I liked the race, it was fun to watch, but at the end why Do i come out of the weekend with a bad feeling? Watching your hero being asked questions like that.


Red Bull pulled the same strategy with VES (early stop) and RIC. So, are they also now under investigation of favouritism of 1 of their pilots ? Don’t think so.

IMO there was no manipulation from Ferrari, Kimi was just not good enough to win the race, this is my reasoning :

1. If Kimi had built a gap of 5 or 6 seconds, he would have staid ahead after the stop. he just wasn’t able to do that. Don’t forget, that contrary to Seb, he had been racing in clean air most of the race
2. Only Kimi is responsible for the deg of his tyres. It was because of the deg that he wasn’t able to pass the backmarkers.
3. At this stage Seb was inherently capable to go much faster (as we would see later) + he started losing precious time behind Kimi : BOT and VES were closing in fast on Seb.
4. Seb won this race on his own merrit, saving his tyres (i say it again, in dirty air, something Kimi was not able to do even not in clean air), passing the backmarkers in no time, and pulling out these astonishing times out of 40 lap old US tyres.
6. Yes, Kimi came back in traffic, but he also was equiped with a completely new set of soft tyres, which normally gives you an advantage compared to 40 lap old US tyres.
7. Seb rejoined the track just a few metres ahead of Kimi, taking in consideration the above, a margin too small to accept the thesis of the team deliberately favouring one pilot (and also because they had the undercut scenario available for Seb which would have put Seb clearly in front)

I understand that Kimi fans are hugely disappointed, but i don’t understand/accept that they are searching for external causes and manipulation from Ferrari instead of focusing on the performance of Kimi. Kimi had a fantastic weekend, but Seb was just brilliant, and won this one completely on his own merrit, not because of Ferrari favouring him. That, imo, is an unworthy analysis for his stellar performance.


“I understand that Kimi fans are hugely disappointed, but i don’t understand/accept that they are searching for external causes and manipulation from Ferrari instead of focusing on the performance of Kimi.”

It is mainly fans of Rightful Champion™ and team from BRACKLEY who are looking to vent their frustration 🙂


2 is false: Kimi’s tyres weren’t worn, they were OK-ish, but Kimi didn’t have the faith in them that VET had.
3 is false: BOT and VES were on nearly identical times after their stop. Before they pitted they came closer because RAI was slow in passing lapped cars
4 is false: Kimi’s tyres were OK but out of optimal operating window
6 is impossible to prove. VET and RIC were quite a bit slower after their stop than the laps before!


I love facts people :)!

Thanks for saving me the time to write a similar post.

Torchwood Mobile


Did Verstappen or Bellof get pole for the first time in 128 races?


That’s why no-one gives a [mod].


“That’s why no-one gives a [mod].”

What a fantastic sentence!


@ Sebee…you can’t use the word ‘mod’ here as it means mostly something scatalogical, demeaning and insulting. Please refrain in future.


Ah, but they did in the 70’s!


Why should it matter at all?
You get pole to have an easier shot at win on Sunday, but it’s never granted.


@ Torchwood Mobile.
Impressive reply, great build-up of arguments..Did you know that the annual World Debating Championship takes place very soon ? Don’t wait to do something with your talent.


James, fair assessment but why was Kimi so angry? The man was literally seething with rage. There is disappointment but this was unbridled rage, which leads me to think something was up.

Kimi had the same pace as Vettel this weekend, he knew the only way to win was to back vettel into bottas, forcing ferrari’s hand and potentially winning. Ferrari was always going to swap during the pitstops. Not a fan but I’m gutted for kimi, he really deserved it.


I thought that was his usual happy face.


I’m glad someone knows what Kimi’s “seething face” is!
I thought it was the same face he pulled the day before when he got pole!


I spoke to him after the race and I wouldn’t say he was ‘seething’

He was disappointed not to win. But he has had times when Ferrari has deliberately used him and jeopardised his result to help Vettel, as they did with Massa and Alonso in the past. This wasn’t one of those, as I explain in the article

He made it clear after the race that he needed to see all the data and hear the explanations before he knew what had happened to him.


There are two parts to it
1. Any journalist finds it hard to get Kimi to talk. Thats Kimi …and the reason why he has so many fans. Doesn’t show too much emotions and doesn’t try to say “Hey Monaco…how ya doing”
2. Nico Rosberg was so nervous to come close to Kimi, let alone ask the right questions.


I spoke to Kimi quite a bit after the race and he was disappointed but he was certainly not ‘seething’

He was smart enough to know that he needed to get a full debrief before saying anything he might regret

Ashish Sharma

A request for when you meet interview him next time. Do ask him and let us know, what he thought after the post-race debrief and after looking at the graphs.


This is one of the more absurd conspiracy theories I’ve heard in a sport where concocting conspiracy theories is a favorite pastime.

Kimi was slow. That’s the beginning and end of it. If you look at the laps times by driver Kimi was running in the 1.17’s prior to his pit stop and failing to open up a gap either to Vettel, or more importantly to Bottas in third. His lack of pace was threatening the possibility of a Ferrari 1-2 finish. Once he came out with fresh rubber he was notably faster, including setting his faster lap of the race.

Meanwhile Vettel, who had been bottled up behind him, was finally able to unleash his true pace and promptly started lapping 1.5 secs quicker than Kimi had been managing on the same tyres. One point five seconds! Later, after Vettel changed to the super-soft and both were on the same rubber, he continued to leave Kimi in the dust. This is simply not debatable – Seb was far faster than Kimi in Monaco.

The ONLY way Kimi could have won this race was if Ferrari had been willing to deliberately compromise Seb’s race, and risk a 1-2 finish for the team, in order to ensure a Kimi victory.

Lastly, let me point out that we have seen a team repeatedly and incontrovertibly favor one driver over another this season. That team is Mercedes and the driver favored has been Hamilton. But somehow that is never blown up into a fake “controversy” by the press.


I guess maths isn’t your thing, so don’t bother. Some people read a clock to see how late it is, Others like to know what makes the clock tick. This article explains why it was time for a stop, when the cars stopped.


Did you bother to read the article?

I fail to see how a detailed analysis looking at the pros and cons of the arguments constitutes a ‘fake controversy’ !


chill out man, I don’t think Busa was saying that YOU are doing a fake controversy, I understood more like “media” keep talking bout conspiracy theories all the time,

Yours is not an article about the controversy, yours is an article about data facts and strategy.


Did you read my comment? I did not say that this article was a “fake controversy”. I said the whole fake controversy over this matter was a fake controversy – a position which your own article only reinforces.


I don’t think Busa’s criticising this article but rather the media’s love for conspiracy theories in general?

Aaron Noronha

I think you are fairly unbiased but trust me you cant please every one. 🙂 Good Job James


Thank you for going against what the majority seems to believe with regards to the Vettel/Kimi conversation James. Doubt it will change the view of the many that saw mischief in the strategy taken.
I thought and still think that it was not done to secure the win for Vettel, more that he made it happen himself.
I have no doubts that Ferrari see Vettel as their main weapon in the fight to the WDC and that a some point this season if required, they will ask Kimi to give up his position if he is ahead of his teammate, but that hasn’t happen yet and there might not be a need for it if Mercedes drops races here and there. Should Ferrari best Mercedes in Canada, the Mercs will have plenty to worry for the rest of the season. Marc


I came you the exact came conclusion, through careful analysis with the fingers on my hand while talking to myself… But it still counts. Nice work James ☺


Best posting… nice 🙂


As i said in another thread: too early in the season for team orders if both cars are 1 and 2. You loose more than you win:
a frustrated ‘number 2’ when you may need his help in a possible battle of 3 teams at the end of the season
2-3 DNFs for the ‘number one’ because of engine failures and the ‘number 2’ too far away in points to fight for WDC


Mercedes have been using team orders since Australia, when a faster Bottas was told to hold station behind Hamilton.


Busa, was he? When did this happen?


since Australia

Your welcome!


Sarsippious, so the conspiracy theory that Ferrari favoured Vettel in Monaco is nonsense, despite the strong evidence to the contrary, but the conspiracy theory that Valterri was told to hold station in Australia is believed immediately, despite there being no evidence to support it at all? People’s hidden agendas seem to be popping out again….


Depends on who ask obviously.


When fighting for RB championships, Vettel won a few of them almost single-handed. He can do it now if the car is great, Kimi should cover his current position in standings, that can ensure both titles. Kimi’s employer is Ferrari, nobody is gonna pay him more, so he needs to work hard.


Vettel was definitely faster thoughout and those sub-16 laps were extraordinary! but i can’t but think that ferrari were not trying very hard with raikkonens strategy. It doesn’t help that raikkonnen himself doesnt contribute much to the strategy, he doesn’t show the spacial awareness that vettel does. and ferrari have been sleeping on kimi’s strategy in the past few races as well, like australia. So yea, i think there was no conscious plan to put bettel ahead but they were also refusing to try too hard for raikkonen. Because let’s be honest, if they really wanted to, they could have kept him ahead, but they didnt feel the need to because both the top places were ferrari’s anyway. and kimi made it hard for himself when he didnt cross button quickly. I was alarmed at how much pace he dropped behind button , he showed a lack of initiative by lying back and hoping for a blue flag. he should have gotten closer.


You have no idea what your are talking about. What about KR’s sub 16 laps which matched Vettel exactly? Too many people shoot off their mouths without the facts. The delta was in the in -laps and out-laps and we know KR was dumped into traffic on the outlap and even then SV barely cleared him.

Way too early in the season for this kind of B.S. Shame on Ferrari.


What were Ferrari supposed to do? What would you have done? Kimi’s lack of pace forced Ferrari’s hand. He was endangering a one-two finish (pardon the pun), possibly even endangering the team’s first win in the principality for 16 years.


#1 is not thepry. It a simple mathmatics.

You have 10 construction and driver championship out of 16. Do simple math. Its 62.5%. So how is not correct? How?? You funny mate



Oh dear, Robert, your showing your impartiality I’m afraid. Raikkonen didn’t match Vettel’s laps exactly, he was a couple of tenths shy for a couple of crucial laps. You are right in that the out-laps were also crucial and it was Vettel’s fortune that Ericsson pitted when he did, something the Ferrari pitwall couldn’t have planned for. Also, Ferrari had to respond when Verstappen & then Bottas pitted as Raikkonen’s pace the 10 laps preceeding those stops were on average 0.3s slower. Had they not pitted Raikkonen (or Vettel) then they risked losing P1 & P2. It had already been planned beforehand that Raikkonen would pit first and so he did.

Is it not enough that RedBull employed a similar strategy to their lead driver, not knowing for sure that the overcut was more powerful than the undercut and that Toto Wolff has said he doesn’t believe Ferrari deliberately gave Vettel the favourable strategy? What more do you need?


Fair points, but I am not sure they risked losing P2. None of the other cars were a real threat to either Ferrari in my opinion, but you can argue quite rightly that the if a car were under threat it would of course be the second car. In my opinion Ferrari had to much pace for even the second car to be attacked. KR did match SV laps quite closely but he did not do a 15.2 as I had originally thought since the lap time chart I saw had transcribed his lap 39 time incorrectly. I stand by my opinion that they played it to give SV an advantage. It wasn’t blatant and SV had to make it work but their called makes no sense if they were allowing their two drivers to battle each other on the up and up. They obviously have the right to that but it seems kind of early in the season for this.



Fact that kimi tyres were almost done. Look at tires/lap degradation curves to see it. Beside vettle not proves it was right time to pit 1st car first
Then why Kimi couldn’t match vettle after pitting. Lets looks at lap times after Vettle pitted. In theory kimi tyres should be in optimal operating window vs Vettlel !

Problem is now ferrari is ahead and that what made Hamiltin fires his statement nothing for but to make some distirbance inside Ferrari

Wolf. Alain P. Alessi all said its not planned. Only us see it different? Do we really know racing more than these professionals??impossible



“What about KR’s sub 16 laps which matched Vettel exactly?”

You mean, those sub 1.16 laps on the new tyres taken at the pit stop which you don’t think Kimi should have made? The ones which nearly equaled VET’s time on 35 lap old tyres? Those 1.16 laps? Which he could never have made if not for the pit stop you’re upset about him making?


Busa, Kimi did two sub 1.16 laps prior to his stop.


Not that l can see (FIA lap analysis.), his 2 sub 16 laps came in lap 38 & 39 while Kimi made his stop on lap 34. Marc


Apologies, I was looking at the wrong car, he didn’t do sub 1.16s


They brought Kimi out in traffic says it all.

Still who cares, that car is a flyer.


James, this is more Mozartian Opera. Now from you.
Did Wolff suggest to Vettel ahead of time he build up a cushion before he pitted? Maybe Vettel just had the brains to figure it out.


I’m sure Wolff didn’t tell Vettel anything at all


When the race analysis is more interesting than the race itself xD

What’s missing in Theory 1, IMO, is that Ferrari can’t wait forever until Kimi’s tires are depleted to pit.
If there were a Safety Car call, Bottas and Verstappen {already pit compliant} would delete the gap {depending on the position of SC deployment} and when/IF the Ferraris make their pits Bottas and Vertappen would be P1 and P2.

Also, about theory 1, I didn’t hear Kimi’s crew chief telling him something like: Kimi, you have to pit soon, give all you can in the next {3?} laps, to open a gap to Vettel.
That would a fair treatment to Kimi, IMO.


There was a message from the team that basically told Kimi to be faster 5 laps before than the pit stop. How much warning does he need?


Where can I find that message? Maybe I missed it but I didn’t hear it in the live broadcast.


Agree with everything here, except that Vettel did not clear Ericsson, but Ericsson (fortuitously for Vettel) headed into the pits just as Vettel was catching him. This is quite important as Ferrari would not have been able to foresee this, and which means that dropping Raikkonnen into traffic would not have made the difference if Vettel had to clear Ericsson at the same time.


Even without Ericson diving in the pitlane, Vet would’ve gotten in front: maybe they would’ve had even less margin, but there was enough.

Tornillo Amarillo

Was Sauber benefiting Ferrari?


My impression at the time was that Kimi stopped on schedule; he made a radio call asking whether or not it was time to pit immediately before Ferrari told him to come in. That doesn’t fit with a pro-Vettel conspiracy.

SV DID pull a Schumacher, but not in the orchestrated favoritism sense. He simply strung together a blistering series of laps before pitting, and that was clear during the race.

Ashish Sharma

Interesting Read. Which side do you lean towards, James.


It’s in the conclusion!


James, with all due respect your analysis is lacking critical details. Two of your commenters in the Race Report thread provide the detailed data needed to sort this out on the facts. The detailed lap by lap times for laps 33 to 40 tell the real story. Contrary to most claims Vettel’s 15.6 and 15.2 laps had nothing to do with what happened as KR did his own 15.6 and 15.2 which nobody wants to talk about for some reason so those Vettel laps were negated. You have to look elsewhere for the answers to what happened.

Ferrari clearly set this up for Vettel, there is no other read. Why was KR responding to Bottas? Makes zero sense. Why was he let out into traffic when another lap or two would have put him clear? Makes no sense. They didn’t exactly give it away, but set it up very nicely for SV.

Always shocks me how much emotion and opinion enters the debate, most people don’t want to look closely at the data. And if we are talking about the data, SV’s in lap is what really jumps out yet even with that he barely cleared KR and we know KR lost about 1.5 due to JB and PW.


Was Ferrari right to do what they did, if they did it?


Sebee, they did do it, and they were right.

Ashish Sharma

Kimi didn’t do a 15.2. His fastest was a 15.5 on Lap 39.

Ashish Sharma

Sorry didn’t phrase that correctly. The conclusion was well reasoned and the argument with Vettel’s early 15s on does make it case for not being a pre-planned strategic call.

I wanted your views on whether there is a feeling that Vettel is being backed for the championship from Ferrari and will get the favorable calls, though not the outright “Slower than you” assist. ( with little things that you mentioned like, the pit stop that released him into traffic, not tracking his data proactively, or even the absence on the radio messages to Kimi to speeden things up when Vettel was doing 75s).
Given Kimi’s erratic form, and sensitivity to a good practice session, it wouldn’t be all that surprising.


Kimi’s in lap was 1.5 seconds slower than Vettel’s. If he had matched Vettels in lap he would have been ahead of the traffic and ahead of Vettel. Kimi wasn’t quick enough. Its that simple. Was it a conspiracy to get Daniel ahead of Max?

Ashish Sharma

1. It isn’t as simple, as you should read the analysis above. Kimi was behind Ericsson who pitted before Vettel caught up to him.
Despite his in-lap, despite the traffic Kimi was on track to keep his lead even 3 laps after pitting.
2. I agree, that it was the 2 laps after that when Vettel set a blistering pace that the race was won.
3. Red Bull wanted a podium, since they couldn’t overtake on track, while a Ferrari 1-2 was a given on the day. So Red Bull tried the overcut and the undercut, splitting strategies and got one to work. They were looking for a podium and not the driver’s championship. Ferrari had no need to split strategies.


I think it’s the other war around James- Ferrari cares more for constructors not the drivers championship, it just so happens that they tend to favour the guy who maximises points over the course of any year..and rightly so imho..


I know for a fact that is not correct, they 100% are about the Drivers’ title


James. can you ask your Ferrari insider itself then let us know! I have doubt about what you say. sorry

convince me, why Ferrari always go with best/experienced drivers then? even with bad car? doesn’t make sense

Ferrari always build their car customized to their driver. that’s why brought Vettle in order to dominate later on


Ferrari choses the drivers title over the CC, that’s for sure! If possible they want both. It’s also logical, WDC is way more important: Because in 5-10 years, no-one mentions Merc won x CC’s but they’ll keep saying Lewis Hamilton won at least 2 of his WDC’s with a Mercedes car, and another in a Mercedes powered car! They’ll even remember he lost the title to ROS, who was in a Merc. Don’t believe me? Without research, tell me how much CC’s Ferrari won in total. And now tell me what drivers won a WDC in a Ferrari. I bet you’ll get nowhere on the first, but score decent on the second question


Could you tell us how do you know that? What are your sources?
Thank you for such a great analysis, btw! Love your blog.


Since the Strategy Report started the F1 team strategists have been willing to speak privately after the race and share insights because they want F1 fans to understand their side of the sport better

I speak to a range of them so we get balance

It’s really fascinating and it’s great that they do this, knowing this content strand is widely read by fans and young engineers


I have said it many times on this subject but the prize money situation is unacceptable and gives Ferrari and unfair advantage. That needs to be one of the major issues addressed by Liberty.

Aaron Noronha

Its not unacceptable??? Seriously :/ If you stick around in an organization you are going to be getting a bigger part of the provident fund or your salary will increase each year because of your annual increment.

Mercedes has just come in full time only since 2010 and there is no gurantee that it will stick around if it cant win the WDC for 10 years. Ferrari has been around since 1948, Mclaren since 1966 and Williams since 1977. like them or hate them these teams are the very core of F1. And amongst these Ferrari is the most famous and the most followed team followed by Mclaren. That is why the big teams like Mercedes, Redbull and Mclaren have no issues with the extra annual Ferrari is paid. Its only the small teams that are bickering. Even now if Bernie Ecclestone would launch a rival series with Mclaren and Ferrari it wont be long before Redbull and Mercedes join them. Even in the recent global fan survey Ferrari reinforce its position as the no 1 team worldwide and was ranked no 1 in all regions. This was a sample of just 150 thousand of the estimated 400 million F1 viewers. Ferrari still enjoys a patronage of over 30% of the fan base With both mclaren and mercedes having half of that support. And you still think ferrari dont deserve a premium??? Have you ever wondered why Floyd Mayweather earns so much per fight compared to other fighters??? The same can be said about Ferrari.


‘Have you ever wondered why Floyd Mayweather earns so much per fight compared to other fighters???’

I suppose because he’s never lost and is regarded as one of the best pound for pound in history.

That said I would never pay to watch him, his fights make Sochi look exciting!


100 million a year guaranteed and not dependent on performance buys a lot of loyalty. I’m sure every other team on the grid would show equal loyalty for that cash in the bank every year.


They probably would but unfortunately for them they don’t bring to the table what Ferrari is bringing. Tough luck.


I’m not quite sure what you mean by Ferrari bringing to the table what others don’t. If your talking about their proud history and solid following, i’l agree with you, but other teams also have this, maybe these other teams would have an equal level of historic success and following if they had been given the same level of financial reward and influence Ferrari have had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti Ferrari, I’m not anti anyone now Bernie has gone. But I am anti the current renumeration situation that has handicapped so many teams for so many years.

Aaron Noronha

Good unbiased report. Trying selling that to the Kimi brigade :p


‘Most of’ the people here trying to push this are Mercedes and/or Hamilton supporters. Pretty clear why the reason for that would be isn’t it.
Even if Ferrari did issue some form of team-orders I admire them for doing it in the manner they did (although past history shows they have actually been very translucent in ordering them previously). Didn’t hear a driver complaining or demanding his team-mate let him by on the team radio once. How refreshing!


SARS, not everything is about Lewis, you are becoming obsessed…


It’s a lovely thing TimW they seem to be obsessed with the guy.
Cannot see the wood for the trees but that’s Aussie culture. Prejudicial thought processes


Lol. Finally an analysis thats not all conspiracy. Tired of hearing all that sky bias and SALT.

My two cents is that ferrari did not intentionally screw kimi. They gave him first priority with the pitsops. Who on earth would have known vettel had a 15.5 and a 15.2 in him. Actually nobody ever mentions that. They just continue with that narrative that ferrari screwed kimi bla bla bla. It took perez another 40+ laps and new US tires to get the FL. If kimi were to know that i think he himself would say that seb should have won cause he was plain faster.

Tornillo Amarillo

Have Ferrari had equality between drivers any time in the past?


Why have equality, if Vettel results before the race 1, 2, 1, 2, 2. Meanwhile kimi results were 4, 5, 4, 3, DNF. Monaco was the first place that kimi out qualified Vettel.
This meant that Vettel had twice as many points as kimi. As far as i know ferrari PU are already on its fourth turbo out of 5 for both drivers. The chance that they will have to face grid penalties is very high, and for me i don’t see why not focus on the driver who’s been faster throughout all this season so far.
Kimi needs to be faster and outperform Vettel, but for this season, it is going to be hard, ferrari will not allow them both to fight in the races, and ferrari will try to maximize points to Vettel.


Actually, given that their current drivers aren’t equal I think they can afford to being equal!


It was not the 15.6 and 15.2 alone that got him the lead as so many of you want to believe. , That helped to be sure but even with those laps SV would not have cleared KR if it weren’t for the traffic. Most of you have no interest in the detailed data and fail to mention that KR did his own 15.6 and 15.2 so SV’s “hot laps” had nothing to do with it at the end of the day since they were negated by KR’s own hot laps. It was all down to KR being dumped behind JB and PW, plain and simple and what is Ferrari’s answer to that?


correction, KR did not do a 15.2 as I stated above, the table I read transcribed his lap 39 time incorrectly. He did at 15.527, the report I read had it at 15.257. Nevertheless, the point still stands KR essentially matched SV’s fastest laps so that is not where the race was won.


As you say, Kimi lost 2 seconds behind Button and co at the same time Vettel was pitting, that is the only reason he lost, nothing to do with how fast Vettel was…


If kimi was so fast why did he not try and create a gap to vettel before the pit window? Or complete a faster in lap?


He had track position was controlling the race so no need to set record laps prior to pitting. They called him suddenly in to cover Bottas so there was no chance to try and build a gap. He went into pits with slim lead and lost it SV by a tiny margin so this was all very close. Look I am not trying to take anything away from Vettel, but as I see it Ferrari played favorites which was their right to do, but I don’t like it at this stage of season. KR was racing SV and not VB but Ferrari did not manage it as if KR was racing SV.


Agreed. His middle sector shows the tyres were fine so there was absolutely no reason to drop him into traffic. Without the traffic he would have won despite Vettel’s ‘hot laps’.


His middle sector just shows he knew he was pitting and so he pushed hard on his in-lap.


I’ve looked at the detailed data, and it shows that for much of the race Kimi was rather slow but that he delivered his one burst of genuine speed precisely during those laps in which you claim he was “dumped in traffic”.

Which raises two questions. 1) How could Kimi be so dramatically faster when he was “dumped in traffic” than he was while running alone out in front leading the race? 2) Was he incapable of going faster during the end of his stint on the ultra-softs, or was he unwilling to do so?


You may have looked at the data but you clearly don’t understand it. KR did faster laps on the super softs then SV ever did. Two 15.6’s and SV never got below 16 on the super softs. And KR did not due “his one burst of genuine speed precisely during those laps in which you claim he was “dumped in traffic” He did those times after he cleared the traffic.

Ashish Sharma

Kimi didn’t do a 15.2. His fastest was a 15.5 on Lap 39.


You fail to mention that KR’s 75-second laps were done on fresh tyres and SV’s 75-second laps were done on 40+ laps quali tyres, after circulating at 77 seconds.


Bw, that is not correct, Kimi did two sub 76 second laps prior to his stop.


The ultra soft was the faster tire and had lots of life left in it so there was nothing all that special about Vettel’s laps as DR showed. KR had no need to push as he had track position and control of the race until his team set him up. Look they had the right to do that, but all these argument that SV won this on pure merit are nonsense. They used KR to cover the VB in third place and this tilted things towards SV.

I NOTE THAT YOU FAIL TO MENTION that Vettel never did manage to set a sub 16 laps on the super softs on a lighter and lighter car where KR did on a heavier car so who was really faster? We don’t honestly know since the race was stage managed by Ferrari.


Of course SV won on merit – increasing pace and setting FL on dying tyres. And it’s problem of KR that he clocked 77s on ultrasofts when DR was making 76s behind them.

I note that you fail to mention that once SV was back out, KR has never set a time under 76.3 despite car getting lighter, while SV clocked 76.0s and 76.1 quite a few times. So, you were saying about being faster…
(of course if you understand racing, you’ll know why it’s irrelevant)


So what were ferrari supposed to do then? Should they have kept kimi out doing 1.17s while ricciardo is catching up? Or keep him put until the gap to sainz was decreasing? If they pitted seb and seb were to undercut him while doing 1.16s then everyone will bring out their pitchforks and burn Ferrari. Fact is ferrari was always gonna be vilified if vettel won regardless of the pace he has shown.

Aaron Noronha

Vettel had to overtake Erricson too he got lucky that he pitted(Ferrari had no way of knowing that at that time). KR never did a 15.2. His fastest lap was a 15.527 . And Ferrari has nothing to answer to you or anyone because you arent paying Kimi’s salary

Tornillo Amarillo

James, is Ferrari cheating with tyres?
Is that what Toto asked when he pointed an “Italian Mystery” ?
I’m confused…


no .. not cheating with tyres,

lauda and marco both told on servusTV that ferrari just build the best “mule-car” to test newest wide pirrelli tyres ..

merc and rbr didnt have enoutgh downforce one the mulecars to really get right datas …



The Italian mystery is called Pirelli, which Mercedes seem unable to use. Mercedes complains because they think Ferrari had more/better data on the new tires… Mercedes could be onto something because they’ve played such a stunt a few years back, but were caught in the act…


Haha of course they are. Just like Merc cheated on tyres between 2014-16 😂


As well as RBR in 2010-2013.

Tornillo Amarillo

Like Merc supremacy was the PU though.


No way last 3 cars were very quick in slow and fast corners.


There’s an article. Think it might be Martin brundles, could be wrong, that says Vettel visited the Pirelli factory, like all drivers can, a few times to understand the tyres and fed it back to Ferrari. Whereas Merc weren’t that bothered.


Sounds like the beginning of his Red Bull era…Nah, this will be Vettel repeating Prost’s 90s challenge. One year, then boom, bad Ferrari thereafter. Or maybe not, time will tell.

Tornillo Amarillo

Looks like a tale for children…


Haha so it was. I read that many posts I couldn’t remember where I read it 😳


I see this leitmotif growing as Russia and Trump. Really?


Please don’t stick that on this forum!
I’m not going to comment on that whatsoever, it just Does Not belong here.


Who made you the JAonF1 thought Police? Its passed MOD…that’s all you need to know. I think its relevant and mildly amusing (emphasis on MILDLY!). To each their own… when you are moderator you can ban these things, until then…..
Back on subject: As much as Id love to hit out at Ferrari I dont think they manufactured this result. Im sure this result was their preference but Vettel won this for himself. Very Good drive from him and he fully deserved the win. RAI? he shows very, very occasional flashes of speed but is that enough for a seat in a ferrari? If so I hear Max Chilton is available. Hopefully, and I really cant see it, this will wind him up and give him the rocket up his…. that he needs to start pulling his finger out. Sure things didn’t go his way at Monaco but it cant always be bad luck when it happens so very often, as it does with him. Anyways… Well done Vettel, good drive, good win. On to the Next… Canada.. Lewis’ hunting ground. He’s got some ground to make up but if anyone can do it….


“If the points made are good and the discussion is appropriate, I don’t see why this should bother you.
I am sure that if a post is say, 2 pages long, it wouldn’t pass the moderation, so far the modding here is excellent.”

This is what I wrote yesterday in a reply to someone asking for some mod intervention. I do not have any need to feel as a moderator or try to curb someone’s thoughts.
But – I have enough of the political aspect of our lives, with the new “Alternative facts” movement and a new rise in extremism, outside F1.

I said please, because I am asking him to keep the forum a place for discussion on all what it is F1, politics of F1 and so on. You don’t see here people shouting about bringing PC in F1 and I don’t need it.

I’m only saying “keep the Trumps, the ISIS, Russia, Brexit, China’s Internet Wall, etc. for other forums”.
I hope you understand now how it was meant.


Spain 1990 (Move over Nigel for Alain)
Germany 1999 (Move over Mika Salo for Eddie)
Austria 2001 (Move over Rubens for Schumi)
Austria 2002 (Move over Rubens, Michael wants to win)
Indy 2005 (Hold station Rubens, stay behind Schumi)
Brazil 2007 (Move over Felipe for Kimi’s title chances)
Germany 2010 (Move over Felipe for Fernando is faster than you)
Monaco 2017 (Move over Kimi if you want a contract for 2018)

Now which team has a history of imposing those team orders……………


Ferrari are pretty merciless with their team orders. They used to instruct Schumi to give Barrichello a token win every now and then!


McLaren and Mercedes – always favouring Hamilton!


Now, give this man a cigar!


Why would Kimi want a contract for 2018 if he is not allowed to win?
He doesn’t need the money or the frustration


Baised much?


Actually in 1990 Mansell destroyed Prost season (Estoril). In Spain he didn’t move for Prost… he did move for Senna though, a few seconds after Prost took the lead.


Well, when you’re working for a win, I wouldn’t say you’re destroying your teammate’s season. Nigel IIRC won Estoril ’90 and from my point of view you cannot criticize a driver for wanting to win. Besides IIRC Prost didn’t come 2nd on that race.
I think team orders are ok as long as we know it was team orders. If a team asks a driver to let his team mate by and he complies, it’s ok.
If he doesn’t comply to the team orders, it’s ok with me and then he will have to work it out with his boss.
I think that’s what happened with Nigel. He left at the end of that season to Williams, didn’t him? Maybe because he had already decided to do so or simply because he wasn’t much of a team player. Just look at the 86/87 seasons to understand why.


Lao worth pointing out,

1990, Spain was late season and Prost was fighting for title.
1999, Salo had replaced an injured Schumacher and was supporting Irvine’s title challenge
2005, Schumacher led throughout. RB wasn’t quick enough
2007, already answered
2010, Massa was supporting Alonso on title challenge. After all, it was Fernando, not Felipe, that was in contention in Abu Dhabi that year…


1997 Jerez, move over DC, Mika isn’t fast enough
1998, Australia, move over DC, Mika misheard
2008, Germany, Heikki, move over, Lewis doesn’t want to be held up

1981, brazil, Carlos, Alan is contracted to win. Although its only second race of the season
1997, Jerez, Jacques, we agreed previously race with Ron that we’d let McLaren win if they helped us against Ferrari
2014, Malaysia, Felipe, Bottas is quicker than you…

2016, Monaco, Nico, let Lewis past, you’re too slow!
2017, Bahrain, Valterri let Lewis by for second now.

Need I go on – this is merely a small selection. The truth is they have all employed team orders throughout F1 history.

What I always disagreed with was early season use of them. Massa giving up position in Brazil 07 is perfectly acceptable because it was the.title at stake.

Look back to pre-Schumacher Ferrari history and you’ll discover Ferrari never employed team orders until a title was at stake. The drivers were free to race.

Why? Because Ferrari reasoned that his cars won races, any driver winning for him was acceptable.


It is really shameful that people like Gazboy are dragging this blog down with his/her comments.


how do you present a rational response to a rant ! 🙂
Yes you are right of course they have all used team orders and its up to peoples personal bias which ones they choose to recall

Aaron Noronha

Germany 2008(Heikki moves over for Lewis)
Malaysia 2013(Rosberg asked not to attack Hamilton)
And your point is????


Exactly GazBoy welcome to Ferrari Favourite chalk board .
Nicely stated 👍


Says a founding member of the LHFC


Gaz Boy, soooo wrong, JA analysis didn’t help, did it?