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Toto Wolff: No quick solutions to solve Hamilton’s issues ahead of Spanish F1 Grand Prix
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Posted By: Editor   |  08 May 2017   |  1:29 pm GMT  |  213 comments

Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff has said that the team needs to undertake “24/7 shifts” to beat Ferrari in the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend. On a tricky weekend for Lewis Hamilton in Russia, the team is still trying to diagnose the issues which led the 2015 champion to finish fourth.

The lessons of the first four races are that the 2017 Pirelli F1 tyres are working well on the Ferrari across a wider range of situations than the Mercedes, especially the softer end of the range. While Valtteri Bottas got the car working in Sochi to take the win, the team lost the front row of the grid for only the second time in the hybrid turbo era and Lewis Hamilton couldn’t get the car dialled into the tyres on a consistent basis all weekend.

“I always enjoy going to Russia but it was a tricky weekend for us,” said Wolff.

“The prevailing feeling is that there is lots of homework to do to come back stronger with a car that can perform on a consistent level every weekend. I have the feeling that we are moving in the right direction but we need 24/7 shifts to achieve our ultimate targets.”

Hamilton encountered overheating issues early on in Russia, forcing him to stay out of the wake of opponents to provide cool air for the struggling radiators.

Furthermore, Mercedes found it very difficult to keep the softest tyre compound in the optimum temperature window which was an issue that blighted Hamilton more than team-mate and winner Valtteri Bottas, leaving heads scratching.

“We expected Valtteri to develop through every single race and step up his performance and he’s shown that. He’s coped extremely well with his calm approach to setbacks and he hasn’t been carried away with success,” continued Wolff.

“It came early in Bahrain with the pole position and then he had a setback in the race. He replied with an exceptional performance in Sochi, in just his fourth Grand Prix for Mercedes, and showed that he’s on the right path.

“On the flip side, Lewis had a difficult weekend in both qualifying and the race. We have spent our time since then unpicking what happened to understand why we couldn’t get the car in the right window so he could feel comfortable with it – there are no magic bullets to understanding that, just a lot of hard work and attention to detail. We must give him the tools he needs to do the job in the next races and that will be a big focus for us.”

Change of atmosphere in Barcelona

The mood in the Mercedes camp has evidently been shaped by Nico Rosberg’s battle with Hamilton in 2016. The two team-mates collided on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix last year, with neither driver admitting blame for the crash which strained their relationship and sparked a season-long rivalry.

Rosberg received team orders in the following race in Monaco last year, having had to begrudgingly let Hamilton past early on, and the scrap between the two carried on until the champion retired before the 2017 season.

At this early stage, Bottas and Hamilton seem amicable, but Wolff implies that things could still heat up as the Mercedes drivers battle Ferrari and Red Bull and between themselves.

“This inter-team battle is a totally different situation that what we have seen over the last three years,” said Wolff.

“You simply need to adapt to the challenge and that’s what we are doing, playing the hunter as well as being the hunted. At the moment there are two top teams fighting for both championships and I expect Red Bull will also eventually join the club.

“The small margins we are seeing this season are demonstrated by the closeness at the top of the Drivers’ championship and even more so by the one point advantage we have in the Constructors’. This fight will continue on to the end of the season and we will be prepared for that battle.”

Pre-season testing showed that Ferrari was catching up to Mercedes in defiance of their poor form in this hybrid era. Wolff is quietly optimistic that this trip to Spain will result in a familiar dominance by the Silver Arrows.

“Barcelona will be interesting as our pre-season was not spectacular in Spain. It’s a very different track to Sochi and we’ll be running with harder tyres. We are taking this season one race at a time. If we deliver the best possible work from Friday onwards, then we’ll be ready to win and fight with Ferrari.”

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213 comments

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1

There doesn't necessarily need to be a quick fix, it's not like Hamilton has been miles behind all year...

2

No but it is a concern for Hamilton that the momentum is with his team mate. It could be the 2nd year in a row Hamilton gets beaten by his team mate.

The Ferrari had great race pace on mediums in testing so i doubt they will be fighting for 1st place anyways.

3

I wouldn't say Bottas has momentum, he won last time out but was a long way off Hamilton in race pace in the first three races. If Bottas beats him cleanly again then it's becoming more of an issue, especially if Vettel continues to lead the championship.

4

I personally think that all the enthusiasm around VB will be recalibrated after Spain.... as will the talk about Hamilton's problems.

5

Agreed. Just because HAM had an "off" weekend, doesn't warrant any extraord search for a quick fix - he may be back on form and blow everyone away next time - so, let's not over-react to his last race, and see what happens ....

6

@ Owen...better call Wolffie quicksmart and tell him to cease his 24/7 search...not necessary

7
Aaron Noronha

Very true, unless mercedes were running a new suspension in Russia. One off race isnt going to cause Hamilton to lose any sleep

8
Inshaallahura

And what point are you trying to make if indeed Mercedes were running a new suspension system in sorchi. We know they weren't.

9
Tornillo Amarillo

No explanation at all of why was happening overheating only with Lewis' car, so we have to stick to the results, so we would see them next weekend.

In the meantime, it would be interesting to know some input about if it was the car or if it was a "weekend off" from Hamilton as many fans said, what it's the truth James ?

10
Inshaallahura

Thank you very much.Whenever Hamilton has a poor performance, all we get is hysteria. Who were the journalists/reporters woolf was speaking to. Why can't they get clear clarification. Is it Hamilton's fault or the team's. Woolf said outright that Lewis went the wrong way with regards to setup in Singapore last season after loosing substantial part of practice sessions due to reliability. .He isn't saying that about the Russian gp. So what is it..He seems to be saying Mercedes cant guarantee giving their two drivers two cars built to absolutely similar specification.In which case the mechanical problems should be largely random between their two drivers, or else the conspiracy stories of last season returns.

11

"He seems to be saying Mercedes cant guarantee giving their two drivers two cars built to absolutely similar specification"

no he isn't saying that. in fact on the contrary, he seems to be implying that both of them have the same car & in fact Lewis made a comment sometime about how boht their driving styles are very similar - so Toto is simply implying that he has no idea on what went wrong with Lewis.

in all likelihood, its just an off weekend & normal services resume - personally, I'll be surprised if Bottas beats Lewis again this weekend.

12

Both Mercedes cars as well as both FERRARI cars set-up for race day turned out for them to be undercooled, number 77 was not effected as it was running in clean air, number 5, 7 and 44 were all effected, with number 44 the most, even had his engine cutting off cylinders art one time.

13

If you watched the race you heard hamilton talking to the crew that everytime he pushed the engine it was overheating....They also said Bottas had the same issue but it wasn't as severe because he was running in clean air.

14

@ Tornillo A...James probably knows as well....but he's not telling anyone hahaha.

15

Overheating engine apparently..............

On this day (9 May) in Formula 1, John Watson won the 1982 Belgian GP from Keke Rosberg at Zolder, only the 3rd victory for a carbon composite built grand prix car. 35 years ago the likes of Williams, Ferrari and Renault were still knocking out bonded and riveted aluminium tubs............

16

Well Bottas' car was running hot too, but obviously he was in clear air so it wasn't such an issue. So whatever the reason for the overheating it was common to both cars.

Perhaps Lewis just had an ordinary weekend and Bottas had a blinder.

17

The obvious answer is that Hamilton should've passed Bottas and cleared off then neither of them would've had an overheating problem...no? After all he's a 3 x WDC and Bottas is to all extents, a Mercedes rookie!

18

it was happening to both cars, bottas had the advantage of being in clean air so he could stay in the temp range longer, while hamilton had to go easy to manage his narrower temp range because he was following a ferrari, not to mention that mercedes appears to have a worst aero package when it comes to follow other cars which might put extra work on the engine

19

As I said both Mercedes and both FERRARI cars were effected (set-up undercooled), both teams temperature forecast for race day went off by plus 6 degrees, number 5 and 7 FERRARI'S and number 44 Mercedes were told to back-off because of overheating. the set-up for Sunday predicted temperature dictated closing up one row of exit vents which will gain around 0.1 second per lap.

20

both VB and LH had heating issue, HL felt it more Because of turbulent air from cars in front of him, which was Kimi at that time., where as VB was upfront with fresh clean air, but Toto mentioned both cars as well in other talk on pit wall

Mercedez designed their car to be upfront knowing they have cooling problems, and that's why taking front raw on qualification was so crucial to them as we can see( Toto comments on Q3 results in Sochi, he said Oach, Oach)

21
Tornillo Amarillo

No quick solutions to solve Hamilton’s issues ahead of Spanish F1 Grand Prix

But that phrase as a title of this article... does Toto means Hamilton's car? Like Hamilton could not be at the front in cool air? No no no, there is something more, like specific to Hamilton's car.

22

Actually, Mercedes don't really need the sleepless nights to beat Ferrari at Barcelona because Vettel is the form driver in the team and yet Barcelona hasn't been very kind to him in the past as he only has 1 win, two 3 place finishes and no pole.

Regards Lewis' set-up woes, in my view this has a quick solution as it was a track based issue i.e. for some reason the track wasn't coming to him but on the plus side, Lewis said after the race that he too figured out the problem.

As for Bottas, the fans will be keen to see if his win in Sochi has given him new confidence considering he have had different winners in Barcelona since 2007

On the topic of the change in mood at the Mercedes camp, it's great credit to both Rosberg and Lewis that they didn't fall out because clashes like Barcelona 2016 usually lead to a divide in the garage i.e. no talking, no sharing data & definitely no well wishes.

Likewise, I don't see Bottas falling out with anybody because he has got a laid back character similar to Rosberg and Kimi

Overall, with the closeness at the top of the grid, strategy has become more important at the front, the way it has always been important in the midfield.

23

Rosberg ...... laid back???? Pull the other one.

24

Well Vettel's team mate is the lap holder I think, so perhaps that Finnish fellow might have a surprise for everyone!

25

I think Bottas will surprise everyone. Remember when Coulthard and Hakkinen were at McClaren and DC was winning. Hakkinen was not until Coulthard gifted a race to him. Hakkinen then went on to win 2 world championships. This time Bottas won on his own and it will boost his confidence no end. Both Finnish too!

26

@ Andy Warhol

Unfortunately, due to Kimi's age, he hasn't been able to surprise of late.

This is why his last win was while he was still at Lotus

27

Interesting that Wolff claims that there is no 'magic [silver ] bullets' to solve Hamilton's perceived problems in Sochi. Hamilton stated that he knew what the problems were but he didn't take us into his confidence. Has he shown Mercedes where the problems are? Could it be that there weren't any 'problems' that were solvable? I am struggling to find any coherence in the article really. What exactly is the core information? They would have enough data to fill the Library of Congress so someone somewhere should have an idea what's up and what needs to be done or is it a bit of 'flim flam' to mask the true position. Barca will reveal all. I think i know where the problems are but i'm not going to tell it here. hahaha

28

The comments all make perfect sense if it wasn't a car problem and related to Lewis'driving style and that particular track.

29
Torchwood Mobile

Except Lewis has won in Russia a couple of times, and Sochi has not changed the layout of its track, sooo...

30

I bet you know what the real problems Mercedez have even before starting 2017 season

Main problem is, Media being big mouth for fake information about how Mercedes will dominate again. every one believed it, especially LH fans, plenty here especially.

The biggest joke when they talked about weight issue. what weight issue if they already on minimal weight as per FIA?? they claim weight distribution. ah then? Tyre management, ah then? Cooling in hot climate. ah...what is next?
Now we can see why Paddy Lowe left as he knew it time to go for new adventure where he grows. beside he was fed up with LH behaviour in previous year and not getting whipped by Toto as that time.

Plain and simple, Mercedes is dipping as I mentioned and still saying it. Time will prove it indeed

Same scenario happened with RB 4 years ago. and again this year as they got Adrian N so involved with Aston Martin Valkyrie project, they guy didn't really spent enough time figuring out his aero work on new RB. Now they talking about chassis ? sometimes I think they should change their name from RB to Bull

Barcelona will show how has real b***s whether Ferrari/Mercedez or maybe BR? lets see

Plain and simple, Mercedes is dipping as I mentioned and still saying it. Time will prove it indeed

31
Tornillo Amarillo

Mercedes won the last race... (?)

32

Of course with a statement like that you can never be wrong - at some point Mercedes will (if they are not already) wane. Winning across two major reg changes is massively difficult - in fact I think I read it's never been done before. If they win across the season even by a smaller margin then it's going to be a huge achievement.

33

Mercedes aero has been average ever since the start of the hybrid era, they only dominated the recent championships because they could fling the car between corners faster than anyone else, and it's still true now.

It's aggressive on softer tyres (hence preference to harder types) and is poor in dirty air. Races were won by having the luxury of being able to back off half way through stints to save tyres and turn up the engine for short periods to ensure no one got close.

Now that Ferrari have built a good car the additional power is that Mercedes have is not enough to win all the races.

34

Oh come on Kenneth spill the beans! Think of all those poor souls working 24/7 shifts at Mercedes trying to solve a problem, when you have apparently identified the issue from your armchair!

35

Do tell, kind Sir...

36

@ cheesy P....sorry, much and all as i would love to divulge the details i simply cannot. That's between me and .....

37

I too have figured out the problems, but I'm not telling either....

38

Yep, me too.

39

Yes, i think i know as well...
Anyone else see Lewis talking to Christian Horner at the back of the grand stand in Sochi?

40

@ LKFE...hahaha Nothing much escapes your eagle eye. Well spotted despite both of them wearing hoodies!!!!!

41

@ Phil....spoilsport!!!!!

42

Philglass, let me take a wild stab in the dark at your diagnosis, is it that Lewis is actually a rubbish driver and has finally been found out?

43

has finally been found out...

Lol - it was only a matter of time. Granted he has 63 poles and 54 wins, over 100 podiums, most wins at different circuits, 3 WDC's , the only driver to start from 20th or lower and podium 3 times. But 1 bad race - I say bad, he still came 4th - and it's conclusive proof that all that has ever been said by the naysayers was true 😎

44

C63, I guess any drivers luck will only last for so long, maybe after fluking his way into McLaren and then Mercedes Lewis has finally run out....

45

I'd forgotten that he won first prize in the McLaren 'be our next driver' lottery 🙂

46

'the only driver to start from 20th or lower and podium 3 times.'

Just of interest, were these three races all during 2014-2016? I know one was last year at Spa, and let's be honest that was pretty straightforward 🙂 I think he only had to pass 2 or 3 much slower cars due to all of the carnage in front. But can't remember the others..

47

were these three races all during 2014-2016?...

Yes they were, the other two being Hockenheim and Hungary. Although, and this is the thing with people saying it was a cakewalk because he was in a Merc - at Hungary his teammate started on pole and finished 4th to Hamiltons 3rd (Ham started from the pit lane).If it really was that easy then how did Rosberg manage to go from 1st to 4th in the same car? It's gotta be something to do with the driver.

48

Lol, yep the secret is out!

The only driver to get 20+ wins with two different teams; to get 20+ poles with two teams; to score over 40 podiums with two teams; to win and pole in every season; and pole at most GP's and most circuits.

As you said, it was still 4th in Russia ... that's his first race finish off the podium since Baku last year - 315 days. Of course his race that day was compromised by incorrectly set engine settings. Before that it was 7th in China ... again a compromised race. The last uncompromised race where Lewis finished off the podium, was Hungary '15. 644 days in between HUN15 and RUS17. I guess he hides his lack of ability well. 😉

This is a very strange thread. Just hopped on and read the comments now, and while kenneth is usually a steady 6-7 on the Loopymeter, he's cranked it up to 9-10 on this one. There's weird, and then there's weird. I'm guessing that Ricciardo's travails are taking their toll.

49

Ricciardo's travails ....

I think what might be troubling Ken most, is how Ric continues to model himself on Hamilton. Apparently Ric has just done a photo shoot in a magazine called 'Mens Style Australia'. Now leaving aside the obvious humour in such a title (a very small magazine I'd imagine) if that isn't Hamiltonesq, then I don't know what is 😉

50

C63:

Well then Lewis should be honoured that one of his mates on the grid is following his lead in the fashion stakes. From what I saw Dan wasn't draped in gold chains nor ear studs though! I mean you can hardly blame Dan cos unlike Lewis he's driving around in a dud car and has to supliment his income by some means.

51

I don't blame Dan in the slightest - cash in while you can I say. I just find the denial [that he is emulating Ham] amongst his fans wryly amusing.

52

C63:

Perhaps you can help me out, or not. But anyway here goes: Why is it that you readily get on certain of Dan's followers here but say NOTHING or next to nothing in response to the Verstappen crowd who speak about Lewis and their boy in the same breath or refer to Max quite brazenly as the next Hamilton or Senna? Bit of a double standard me thinks. Ummm!!

53

I'm pretty sure that I've explained myself to you already (more than once). Anyway, the Vers crowd generally aren't quite so critical of Ham. I have no problem with the Vers crowd comparing him to Ham or Senna or anyone else - that's a compliment, isn't it?
In all honesty I don't care what 'certain of Dans followers' say about Ham. I really don't. Sometimes it has a slightly nasty edge to it and I get a bit weary of the constant stream of vitriol and bile but ultimately I don't care. What difference does it make to me what some silly old fart who lives thousands of miles away think? What I do enjoy though, is needling them. They get in such a lather and 'tell me off' - like I'm gonna listen. I just find it a mild amusement and a distraction from some of the more mundane aspects of life.
Do you think I am a bad man, or that I won't go to heaven? 🙂

54

C63:

I would have thought it way too premature for the Verstappen crowd to be saying that Max is the next Hamilton, or Senna for that matter. The irony of this is that I'm actually putting a bit of perspective on the situation, you know standing up for your man Lewis.

Notwithstanding how good Lewis has always been it wasn't until he joined Mercedes that he became a multi WDC and in the process accumulated the majority of his poles and race wins. Clearly Max will not even be in a position to win races on a consistent basis let alone a single WDC until he finds himself in a drive that's a legitimate contender. Until such time, in my opinion, all that can be said of him is that he's a driver with great natural talent and potential. But here's a tip and you've heard it from me first: If RB don't produce the goods this year papa Jos will be lobbying the bosses at Ferrari big time for Max to fill the vacant seat there next year. I'm sure Jos is living his dream through his son so will go all out to get In to a competitive car.

The construct of your last sentence is a little confusing. If I substitute an "and" for the "or" it would make it easier to answer. Let me leave the "heaven" part of it out and I'll say that I don't know whether or not you're a "bad man" but I do think you're a worthy but challenging combatant. How's that?

55

a worthy but challenging combatant....

Ok, I'll settle for that 🙃
Now that I've answered your question, how about you answer one for me. Why did you tip me off about Rics photo shoot ?

56

C63:

I should have added that I agree with you that the Verstappen crowd don’t criticise Lewis. They don’t because they have motive by not doing so. The motive being that they can pump Max up by association. By mentioning Max in the same breath as Lewis is not complementary to Lewis because Max is a 19 year old who hasn’t achieved anything yet in F1 and might never unless as I said he gets into a competitive drive. So any comparisons are premature, inappropriate and quite ridiculous in my opinion.

In relation to Dan’s photo shoot I stumbled across the mag in a newsagent. Flicked through it and put it back on the shelf because that sort of stuff interests me not. If it earned him some extra dosh as you said well good for him but quite frankly I’m more interested in what he can do behind the wheel. I mentioned it to you only to show that I too can indulge in such irrelevancies like yourself and Tim and KRB.

57

@ Adrian...very well presented comment. i do agree with your sentiments.

58

Hi Ken.........Thanks mate. I've tried to be as objective as I can and even held out an olive branch so I'll see how we go. BTW I couldn't believe the push back you got from your very accurate comments about Alonso a driver who if given a competitive car might just shake the whole grid up. Unfortunately time is running out for him though.

59

@ KRB....Nice try pal. Sorry but absolutely no cigar for your last rant. Only two 'likes'. That'd be Batman and Robin tooling along in his 6.3 [green]Mercedes no doubt.

60

More weirdness.

61

then there's weird....

I've had a lot on and only just joined in too - as you say it is a bit weird.

62

C63:

Hey mate do you think the naysayers care about those facts which are indelibly embedded in your memory and which are cut and pasted when you think necessary?

63

do you think the naysayers care...

Hey mate - we've been through this before. But, in order to avoid a long drawn out and boring debate where you try and insult me and use 'big words' in the wrong context. I'll just say I'm sure you're right.

64

"Big Words' ?

65

Ken.......Don’t you just love the way the LHFC take great pride in reminding us (ad nauseam!) of Lewis’ achievements which of course are all true. But here’s the rub. Perhaps we might be tempted to do the same if Riccardo (as the fans of other drivers might be tempted) was privileged enough to drive, for three seasons at least, in arguably the most dominant car in the history of F1. You only have to look at the achievements of Bottas thus far who prior to this season was driving around in the mid-field to see what is possible. But really if I was that keen to fill my head with Lewis’ numbers I would go to the internet.

66

@ Adrian...sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, they have to keep reminding [not us] but themselves on his 'greatness' hahaha We now have the 'unflappable C63' getting very personal in his disparaging comments. Obviously nasty 'ad hominem' attacks are just the tip of the iceberg. There was a time when i considered his comments as reasonable but he's now descending into his true 'metier'. So be it. hahaha

67

Ken.......Yeah apparently the descendants of convicts and free settlers speak "big words" whatever that means.

68

who said anything about descendants of convicts? Certainly not me.
The 'big words' to which I refer; are when some of the commenters use words they wouldn't in normal conversation. I presume they do it in order to try and add some weight and gravitas to their post - personally I just find it funny. Particularly when, due to the unfamiliar nature of the word, they use it incorrectly. For instance, ken used a word that describes the followers of Mussolini to describe Ham fans elsewhere on this thread.

69

C63:

Actually I thought you were accusing me of using “big words in the wrong context ”. Not knowing what this meant I sarcastically responded that it must be something only the “descendants of free settlers and convicts” understood. Pretty harsh lot you guys for transporting people for petty crimes like stealing a loaf of bread.

70

@ C63...oh...so now you've been to Google and enlightened yourself. Just for the record, 'gravitas'? That's a big word for you? You sound deeply concerned for someone that 'personally finds it just funny'. Weird and getting weirder by the day, Get in there Batman and take Robin with you. hahaha

71

@ Adrian.....Weird eh?

72

Mercedes seem to have backed themselves into a corner - they are so used to being in clean air for the last few years, that their car has evolved to /need/ clean air. Perhaps they need to try and adapt the aero so it can now follow cars too, even though this will sacrifices some laptime?

73

It's an intriguing story of teams coming from contrasting recent backgrounds. Merc have had the car that was able to qualify in hand and cruise out in front. The car developed healthily but in a low-risk manner and the team was never required to be bold on strategy (in fact, due to the intra-team rivalry, they almost had to be seen to be conservative for fear of favouring one driver over the other). Ferrari, on the other hand, has made so many mistakes in its development and in-race strategy, that they've had no other option but to be bold, brave and edgy in their approach. It's now fascinating to see them take the fight to Merc with such brazen confidence. While I'm sure it's not entirely the case, to watch them now it seems like the Ferrari team is the three-time champion, such is their execution and confidence on strategy and pace. Whether it translates to wheel-to-wheel racing or not, it seems like we're set for a fascinating season.

74

"they are so used to being in clean air for the last few years, that their car has evolved to /need/ clean air."

You are wrong. Couldn't possibly happen to a team as SMART as Mercedes.

75

Certainly not with all those thousands of people back at the factory working 24/7!

76

@ Sars...yes, when you come to think about it it really must be serious...A reputed 1500 people working 24/7 means that in total mercedes have spent...to date, for 9 days since the race finished in sochi, some to 324.000hrs!!!! Wow, some effort eh? And we still have a few days left before the lights go out at Barca. That problem must be super elusive. Just think what they could save if i told them what the problem is...to save hamilton doing it? hahaah

77

Thanks for doing the maths Kenneth. My point exactly!

78

Sars, not sure how much the tea lady contributed...

79

Kenneth, did Red Bull ever get to the bottom of Ricciardo's poor performance in his home Grand Prix? I seem to remember similar sentiments being expressed by the team management after that race, although obviously your reaction was very different on that occasion....

80

Come on Tim. ... that's not fair. Please don't destroy our poor Kenneths happy place. Lewis is terrible and RIC can do no wrong... it keeps him going. Give him that at least.

81

poor Kenneths happy place...

lol - it's one of the coping strategies suggested by his therapist 🙂

82

@ Dean...Thank you for your kind comments. For that i have given you an 'uptick' just to show how much i appreciate it. It's not often that the LH 'fascisti' show there compassionate side in public.

83

'Big focus is to find settings for Hamilton.'

Ok. Then, maybe he should ask some tips from Bottas.

84

Moreover, VB based his setup off LH's data.

85

That was kind of the point

86

@bbbernie...."find settings for hamilton' i have a suggestion for them, check the manual under 'settings'. It's in the index.

87

That would be a great idea if all F1 drivers had the same style. They don't, so duplicating settings isn't the answer. Not sure why this comment got 33 likes as it's dumb.

88

That won't happen. This team is all about Lewis and providing him with a car thats engineered and setup for his style of driving. Valteri just needs to drive whats he's given and be thankful for the opportunity gifted to him.

89

Sarsippious, any proof of that rather sensational statement? Or has it come from the same place as all the others?

90

We have spent our time since then unpicking what happened to understand why we couldn’t get the car in the right window so he could feel comfortable with it

says Toto.

Surely its not that big of stretch to draw that conclusion especially when its combined with the myriad of other examples out there......

91

Sarsippious, I think its a massive stretch to suggest that the Mercedes is specifically tailored to Lewis' tastes and that the team is all about him, there is certainly nothing in Toto's words to suggest that this is true. I would say that I never buy this idea that the teams design a car for a particular driver, when this accusation used to be levied at Seb in his Red Bull days I always said that I thought it was nonsense and the teams just design the fastest car they can.
It's funny that you and Kenneth are so convinced that Mercedes revolve around Lewis and do all of these things to appease him, as I have had the opposite argument recently with Cheesypoof who has convinced himself that Lewis was on the brink of being fired as the team were all so sick of him! I believe on that occasion I said to him that we simply do not know what the dynamic in that team is, and we don't know what the management's attitude to Lewis is, so we should probably leave it at that.

92

the teams just design the fastest car they can...

There was a good article written by Mark Hughes on that very point last season.

93

You should be paid more!

94

SARS, no need, I'm expecting a delivery of 100 gold bars first thing Monday morning....

95

@ Sars...should he also genuflect as well?

96

@bbbernie....but maybe he's not telling either?

97
Garrett Bruce

Maybe it's just one of those 'Karma' things?

98
Ricciardo Aficionado

who's getting the payback and what'd they do?

99

Smoke.
Tonto's smoke signals, beguling as they may be to some, are... beguiling.
This obviously well-crafted PR release by Tonto, just now, after all this talk of a B-spec Merc, 6kg lighter, etc., etc., ...
Translating to ... about the same leapfrog of Ferrari pace, as the old 'burn-that-special-oil-to-increase-the-power' ... 'innovation' used to give them... biut can't be used, because somebody figured it out and got the FIA to start 'carefully' checking for it; 0.3 behind to 0.2-0.3 ahead.
Or is this a message to Hamilton, "we may not annoint you as champion, again this year, (if you play ... friendly, like), i.e. get in line!?

Who knows what is really going on?

But that's the point, whne Tonto speaks, it just makes me wonder what is really going on?

100

Yes DC, Whenever he speaks you know that he says one thing, but means something else.

101

@ DC...Yes.....Remember when there was the reputed Ron Dennispeak well this has now been resurrected by Mercedes and it's called 'Totospeak'. It stands for a a lot of 'waffle' but nothing of importance really.

102

Ron Dennispeak...

Polite correction - it was referred too as Ronspeak.

103

More importantly, watch for the look on his face when RB Spec B car leapfrogs him by 5 sec minimum! RB has been toying with competition and with Adrian Newey ENERGIZED and new Schumacher/Senna behind the wheel it will be smooth sailing and all wins for RB until the end of the year.

EVERYONE KNOWS THIS!

104

We will be able to see what Mercedes have 'in the bag'.
If RB leapfrogs everybody, look for Merc to come back in the next race , so that they just beat RB, having got just enough to continue to preserve the perception of competition, however, with RB quite back from the top two, they can 'afford' to let RB gets some, before they 'strap on their huge' upgrades, and come out on top, again?

We shall see.

105

see what Mercedes have 'in the bag'.

@deancassady..
Damn, I need to get myself a Merc for the road! fool around with all the Renews and Horndas 😀

106

Tyres, tires, tyres, tires.
Tires.
Tyres this and tires that.
Tires there and tyres here.
Flat.

107
Ricciardo Aficionado

Fiat?

108

I must be confused. I thought they all had the same tyres. Oh apologies - I forgot. Everybody is out to sabotage Hamilton - even Pirelli

109

Did I say Hamilton anywhere? Or did I point out that we seem to be talking about tires a whole lot?

110

@ Sebee...for a moment there i thought that this was a 'haiku' but sadly you've overdone it. Must try harder.

111

@ Sebee...yes, your response is in my inbox [but not here yet] and i will respond in kind, please excuse my very poor 'haiku'.

Tyres black with coloured bands
Confuse the user if they are blind to
Which one is really best

Obi ben ' ken-obi'

112

It did cross my mind to comment only in haiku form. Quicker. Easier to moderate too. Imagine what a classy place this would be if we all did it.

113

@ Sebee....well that's my contribution to improving the 'class' of the place, and your contribution is..........

114

It did cross my mind to comment only in haiku form

@Kenneth @Sebee @Deancassady.

Toto crying Wolf for Ham
Dean says await the Merc Magic ‘bag’
Arriva bene maketh many merries

115

@ Nomad...good attempt. Sooner or later this place will be the most literate of all...

Maybe tyres and heated brakes
Caused hamilton issues with rookie driver mate
Who raced out of sight.

They're not getting any better! Haha

caused hamiliton issues with rookie driver mate

116

Well F1 is all about the team now Seebee, can't blame the team when you lose, Pirelli are the only ones left you can lash out at!

117

@sebee
Ahhh, the complexity of the English language. Do we go American, or do we go English. I think with all this Alonso/Indy thing, it has to be American. And the little round piece of rubber with the hole in the middle should be phrased in American.
So tire it is then😊

118

How absolutely tiring...I'm getting tyred of it all, hahaha

119

If medium sized tyres don't work, and big tires don't work... perhaps they ought to revert to the skinny tyires from the 1950's and earlier? 😉

120

To be fair Sebee when the cars are as close together on base performance as the Ferrari and Mercedes, it will always come down to the finer details to separate them. If Merc had had a similar problem on one of their cars last year they still would have finished one two, and nobody would have noticed. This year it is closer so that translates into a first and fourth and suddenly there is a problem.

121

Mercedes problems will continue as they have to work on 3 major issues
1- Their narrow operating window compared to Ferrari
2- Overheating problem as Both VM+LH suffered from in Russia, which is way cooler than Spain( They used different Aero cut in rear end which might help in cooling but hurt their performance as we saw in Qualifications
3- Heat soak before formation lap
4- Tire management. I would like to mention that VB was pretty lucky for locking up couple of lap before end of race, since Sochi is not an easy overtake/traffic at that time. SV would for sure passed him as we so him closing on VB

122

@ S Andretti...aha! So you do know what the problems are.

123

Its RCA. (Root Cause Analysis) Not BS analysis..

124

S andretti, isn't that what it says in the article?

125

Tim You need drink man. cheers

126

Tim. Ich sprach deutsch. Understand now??lol

127

S Andretti, do I understand why you felt the need to reprint the content of the article in your post? No.

128

The investigation has not reveal the reason(s) behind Hamilton's bellow par performance during the last race Mercs said. The Merc in Bottas' hands seemed to be good enough. Maybe Hamilton was a little off and having some temperature troubles as well it led him to finish 4th. Hardly a disastrous week end. Hoping for a fun race to watch this Sunday, with closer time spread at the top in Qualifications. Marc

129

What I am struggling to see is that Bottas was struggling the week before where as Hamilton had the race nailed. Yes the tyre pressures were wrong but he had poor pace after the changes too.

The tables have turned for a single race Bottas is the best thing ever...

I never understand why F1 reporting is so fickle.

Mercedes may well have a car issue but the reason this should be noted is that they have been poor for two races in a row once with each driver.

130

@Zoidberg - it isn't F1 being fickle, it's the media chasing stories. They are making headlines out of nothing. A couple of weeks ago, Kimi was the target, this week it's Lewis. Next week, it'll be whoever finishes lowest out of the 2 top teams.

131

the media chasing stories....

+1

132

The media aren't helped though when you have Toto waffling on nearly two weeks later and yet is still unable to give a clear answer on what the waffling mean't post race in Russia.

133

@ Sars...Waffling is a most confusing activity as the waffler sooner or later gets waffled himself and cannot remember what the original waffle was all about. Seriously, it's all about 'appeasement' and trying to convince the LHG that it's all Mercedes fault and that they must keep the faith. Zeus cannot be seen to be slipping hahaha. Get in there Lewis!

134

Mercedes is sailing uncharted waters. They haven't had to react to competition like this in years. Ferrari has declared game on and Toto is on the back foot. The question is, can Ferrari hold up in the development war as the season progresses. This weekend should give us an indication of just who is bringing it.

135

James, is the word in the paddock still the same, meaning that Ferrari will have an upper hand? I was thinking that Merc will be stronger when it comes to development and even if during pre-season testing Ferrari seemed to be better, it might not be the case this weekend. Also...the harder tyre...
I think it will be a Mercedes 1-2

136

I found this video about Merc race analysis amusing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdkVO0tuVvg
...
They hv neglected the colling temp setting - placing it so low - as both cars would run on clean air.
Of course that's impossible.
Ferrari's front row was a surprise and if Bottas hasn't rocketed in front at the start, he would also suffer behind traffic.
Where they saving weight on coolant ? Or smaller radiator pod to improve aerodynamics ?
They say the Merc is overweight, but that's kind of ridiculous.

137

The Mercedes cars of '14, '15 & '16 were all based on work carried out under Ross Brawn. Obviously there has been some tinkering over the season, but little major changes were made over the 3 seasons. This year's car is a major redesign by Brawn's replacement. There were questions as to why Paddy Lowe suddenly left Mercedes for Williams at the end of last year. Looking at the problems Mercedes are having, I believe the questions have been answered.

138

One more victory for Bottas and the conspiracy theories will start to fly.
It's always the equipment not the fact that he simply gets outraced.

139

I think they have already started flying.......It can't possibly be the driver. If it was any other driver then yes it could be that he got outraced. But Hamilton? Never!

140

Of coarse they will...how else do you explain getting consecutively beaten by two mid-fielders.

141

Sandbagging Wolff , he is a true wolf after all 😉 !

Hamilton and Wolff are trying very hard to sandbag Ferrari into false confidence. With Vettel , I expect them to look through these games.

142

"While Valtteri Bottas got the car working in Sochi to take the win, the team lost the front row of the grid for the first time in the hybrid turbo era"..

James, Mercedes lost the front row at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, they qualified 5th & 6th.

143

Why didn't Bottas have a cooling problem?

144

Because he was mostly in cleaner air. That tends to happen when you have a blinding start and leave the others in your dirty air.

145

@ David...we all know that, but why wasn't hamilton on the very back of Raikonnen instead of being 25 secs back down the road.? The turbulent air mainly dissipates around 3/5 secs behind...or so it would seem. Some drivers say it doesn't really give them a problem until they are only 2 secs adrift. So 25 secs back couldn't possibly be a result of overheating brakes due to lack of proximity.

146

Members of the press are giving this story too much play. They act as if Lewis's poor, so far one race performance, is similar to the problems that Jenson Button was having, when he was teamed with Lewis in 2012.

Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton
147

Erm, the other car seems to be working ok. It's all in his head.

148

And what about the soon to be corrected excess weight?

149

I expect Hamilton to be on Spain pole by 3 tenths of a second now.

150

Well there is a guess

151

@ James T....of course. Sochi was blip on hamilton's radar. Nothing to get concerned about. He will surge to the front in all sessions and take the race with the customary aplomb, befitting of a 3x WDC and master of the universe. Bon Chance.

152

And there will be no mention of the guys in the factory that worked 24/7 to fix the 'issues' from Sochi. Me, me and nothing but me!

153

Sarsippious, I bet you a hundred of your chosen currency that if Lewis does win in Spain, one of the first things he will do will be to thank the team for all their hard work. I am very confident that I will be taking your money as he does this EVERY SINGLE TIME that he wins a race! Obviously the truth about Lewis isn't something you have ever shown any interest in, but if you want me to give you examples I am happy to do that.

154

100 gold bars will be fine thanks Tim!

155

sarsippious, money in the bank! I'm flicking through Dan the mans new clothing range as we speak....

156

Dan the mans new clothing range...

lol - he did a photo shoot in Mens Style Australia (I know 3 words not normally in the same sentence) recently - have you seen any of the pictures? He's getting more tattoos, moody photo shoots - could he possibly try any harder to emulate Hamilton?

157

C63, it is obvious who his hero is isn't it? Although the original will always be remembered more than the pretenders! Interesting that he is getting more tattoos, it's funny but I do remember a certain regular poster being very critical about Lewis' tattoo count a while back. Somebody did tell him that Ricciardo had some ink, at which point the usual volte face was performed and it was suddenly decided that a few tasteful tats were completely acceptable! I wonder if you can guess who the mystery man is? I will give you a clue, despite constantly telling us all that he doesn't like talking about Hamilton, he has at the time of writing left a whopping 32 comments on this clearly labelled Lewis article....

158

getting more tattoos...

I noticed in one of the photos he was wearing shoes without socks - the very epitome of cool - and on his ankle he appears to have a tattoo of a compass!
Maybe he uses it to find his foot, although he might be better off trying to find a quicker car 🙂

159

C63:

So you went out and got a copy like I suggested. Well done! Did you notice the absence of gold chains and diamond ear studs and all the other extraneous stuff like parading look a likes of Roscoe and Coco. I mean really mate even you being the smart man you are would have to acknowledge that trotting out Justin Beiber at Monaco was the height of self indulgence. Even you? Then again maybe not.

160

@ Adrian hahaha i like it.

161

got a copy like I suggested..

Lol - are you kidding? I just googled it. To be honest I wasn't sure whether you were making it up. The title sounds like someone's having a laugh for starters. As for your comments regarding JB at Mon - I honestly couldn't care less about that sort of thing. It is honestly of no consequence to me whatsoever - it's just a business thing, no? I would imagine they were both trying to access one another fans - a bit of mutual back scratching.

162

C63:

“got a copy like I suggested”

Did you really think I was serious?? C’mon now mate surely you don’t mind me having a little dig of my own? I mean I got the idea from your good self. And you googled it too. Ok!

But let’s be serious for a minute about JB and Lewis. I asked my daughter this morning what is Bieber’s fan base and she replied young girls. Now considering this and the age difference between the two I sort of wonder why does Lewis have to trot him out at an F1 race especially one in the principality of Monaco and allow him to drink champagne from the victor’s trophy. Ok it’s not a hanging offense but to me and some of my mates here who follow F1 (some who are Brits) we question the appropriateness of it and regard it as just a little crass.

I acknowledge that you don’t care about it and that’s your opinion and fair enough but I think this sort of thing just gives Lewis' critics more ammunition that they can fire at him. Not that he gives a continental though.

163

But let’s be serious for a minute about JB and Lewis....question the appropriateness of it and regard it as just a little crass.....

Personally I doubt that LH has the sort of clout that would allow him carte blanche to bring whoever he wants to the podium ceremony at Monaco. That must have been approved by someone higher up the food chain - maybe someone like Bernie who would have recognised the marketing opportunities it presented. I'm guessing that JB's young fans have parents who these young fans will pester to buy them things. It's just business.
Do you know something that makes me laugh - all these 'experts' on the internet (I'm not pointing a finger at you btw) who think they know what's best. Yet Ham is the one who climbs aboard his own private jet and travels back to one of his many homes around the globe and hops into million pound cars whenever the fancy might take him. I think it might be fair to suggest that he knows just a bit more than they do about these sort of things - just a thought 🙂

164

C63.........Agree with the things you said in your second paragraph although not too sure about the third though. But thanks anyway.

You know who I personally would have preferred Lewis to have brought to Monaco (the 'prize' race that had alluded him from memory) would have been his mum. Marketing aside I think that would have been a nicer touch than the tweeny bopper. I'm sure BE would have had no problems with that.

165

the 'prize' race that had alluded him...

Ham's won Monaco twice - should have been 3x but hey ho, them's the breaks I guess.
Regarding his Mum - he looks after her very well. He bought her a lovely house in little village not far from where I live. It's not flashy, just very nice. Funnily enough I was invited to a sports club fund raising quiz night in the same village a few weeks back - I don't know if you have these sort of things in your neck of the woods - anyway, I only knew a couple of the people on our team (the people who had invited me) and it turned out one couple on our table live just a few doors away from her. Apparently she is really nice, not pretentious and never mentions her famous son.

166

C63.......... I stand corrected 1 win and 1 gifted! No seriously 2 wins. Lewis drove himself into a position to take advantage of RB's error and the rest is history.

I mentioned Lewis' mum because if looks is anything to go by she appears to be a lovely person. I particularly liked the way she warmly embraced Lewis in the Merc garage after he lost the WDC last season. I think he would have appreciated that very much. I don't think she would be the type to gloat about Lewis' achievements. Goodness me they speak for themselves!

No we don't have villages here just country towns of various sizes and fairly spread out. It's a big, big country where in the winter months you can go snow skiing and in the same day fly north and be in sub-tropical temperature.

I'm in the great State of Western Australia in Danny Ricc's home town of Perth. He is sometimes known as the 'Boy from Duncraig' which is suburb north of Perth about 15 kilometers from me. A bit about Dan: the son of Italian parents Joe and Grace who made enormous sacrifices so he could pursue his love of motor racing. I think, but not sure, his father owned a trucking business. Pretty modest guy Dan who when in high school would go to motor racing competitions in the eastern states and would not even talk about it on return. His mates in school would have to literally drag the results out of him. While still a young man his parents sent him to live in Italy to be exposed to more of the Italian culture and language . Although there are a lot of Italians in Perth.

Did you notice how Dan and Lewis warmly embraced each other in the cool down room yesterday. They seem to be good friends.

167

@ sars...hahaah what issues? Anyway it doesn't matter because i'm 'blessed' to have such a dedicated team to support me....when i win.

168

As the mercedes drivers battle with red bull.That is really funny stuff

169

@ Scott....In millenial speak that wouldn't be funny, it would 'awesome' or, wait for it 'surreal'.

170

..."blessed"

171

@ LKFE....How so? Is it the same person who has 'blessed' me that a while back was the 'someone [up there] who doesn't want me to win'?

172

Well, we all know how fickle he can be...not to mention there's about 300 different versions of him...God that is...no, wait...are we talked about the the blessor or the blessee?

173

@ LKFE...hahahah both.

174

LKFE, do you guys ever think that you might be scraping the barrel, just a little bit?

175

The big question would be, is Toto trying to destroy Hamilton's career the same way McLaren is doing with Fernando Alonso? It smells fishy!

176

The "there are no magic bullets" comment would seem to imply it was a setup problem. Since this did not seem to be an issue in the other races it was probably race track specific i.e. Sochi
That does leave a question mark on what the outcome will be in subsequent tracks in which the setup is not quite straightforward.
One can't help wondering how much Mercedes relied on Rosberg in this area and to what extent this was shared across the garage.

177

@ 75RR...according to some Hamilton is king of all set ups, supposedly. Ask Aveli.

178

Why Toto goes to these great lengths to spin this PR rubbish I'll never know. How hard is to just say clearly that Lewis purely had an off weekend compared to his normal high standards. All drivers have them at times, even Zeus himself, and the only way to handle them is to immediately begin focusing on the next race.

These so called issues are something all the teams have faced over the past few years with these cars and his apparent expression that Mercedes are somehow surprised by them suddenly is cringe worthy.

Yet in saying that I understand it though was well since having the ability nurse the modern Formula One drivers fragile ego is a must have trait for any team principal.

179

Ther problrm with all that Sarsippious is Toto is saying that they don't know what the issues were in Sochi. Obviously Lewis had a bad weekend, but clearly it was a set up issue that him and his team would normally be able to solve. Why they couldn't do that is the problem they are trying to solve.

180

To add, considering that clean air is king in the modern formula and that its the one area in particular where Ferrari seems to have an edge with their ability to follow closely without suffering to the degree Merc is, I wonder if it will be long till we see them bring in a change to the side-pods and air intake similar to what we see on the Ferrari?

181

@ Sars.... maybe it's going to be quid pro quo...we'll help out with the PU and you help us out with the aero? As if hahaha

182

It's nearly two weeks since Sochi Tim. Don't you think Mercedes, with all their resources, would have clued onto the cause by now?
We all love a conspiracy theory around here however its pretty clear, to me anyway, that Toto is trying to take the blame for what was simply a poor drive from Lewis that wasn't helped with a car that was over-heating in the wake of Kimi.
End of move on or so you'd think. Instead we get two weeks of report after report of Toto trying to take us all for fools.

183

@ Sars....if Kimi's wake was the contributing factor, how come he wasn't within 3 secs or so off Kimi at the end instead of 25 secs down the road? Did Zeus throw in the towel?

184

Think its obvious he did isn't it? Back off, complain loudly knowing it will be broadcast and then have Toto ride shotgun in his defence with a bogus 'unknown car issue'. The guy's all heart!

185

Sarsippious, are you suggesting the cooling issue was all a hoax?

186

Kenneth, yes he did, he told us this after the race. When it became clear that running close enough to Kimi to attempt an overtake was impossible, he did the sensible thing and turned the engine down and brought it home.

187

Sarsippious, I guess we will never know, I also guess it doesn't really matter and this will be one of those things that gets forgotten about pretty quickly. I would say that modelling the tyres interaction with the surface is the most difficult thing for the teams to do, so maybe they genuinely have drawn a blank. Do you think Toto would go to such efforts to take the blame for something they know is Lewis' fault really? I doubt it, but like I said we will never know.
I'm not sure of Ferrari's ingenious side pod shaping can be copied mid season, so they will probably maintain that advantage through the year, but everyone will copy it for next year, unless it is banned of course! They all have big updates as usual for Barcelona so we will see what the pecking order is, but fundamental characteristics in how cars treat the tyres tend to remain in my experience.

188

Of course if you listen to some of the regular commentators on this site (they know who they are) this is all part of the Mercedes plan. According to them, Mercedes have a large box of trick-parts that they can bring out when needed. In the meantime they are letting Ferrari win a few races to make the competition look good and keep the tifosi happy. What they seem to overlook or choose to overlook is the fact that the Mercedes is already a fantastic car. They are 1-2 sec a lap faster than all other cars (except Ferrari) including those with Mercedes engines. To say that on top of that they could be sandbagging is fanciful in my opinion. It would make the likes of Williams and Red Bull complete basket cases.
These same commentators can’t accept that Ferrari is capable of turning out a great car, especially without the help of British superstars like Allison or Fry. Guess what, they have.

189

Either the problem is solved and Toto is saying this to demoralise the others when Lewis goes 0.3 secs quicker. Or this is a public shot at Lewis for some reason. Maybe the "Lewis thing" has been quite bad last week.

I still suspect Lewis to be back on it in Spain but I think Bottas is quicker than Nico, so all may not be rosy in the garden for much longer. It will be fun to watch either way.

190

According to Martin Brundle Mercedes and all the teams try to use smaller ducts for brakes etc to cut down on the frontal area hence making the car slippery through the air. If that is the case it would explain Lewis's issues in turbulent air, and Bottas less because of cleaner air. Whenever Mercedes have a bad race (Hamilton) they bounce back with a vengeance in the next race. They may well obliterate the red cars in Spain.

191

I think Hamilton really needs to keep his head up. At times last year you could see his head dipped as he became combative in the press and media and his performances were more scrappy. He needs to keep clam, tackle each weekend in isolation and continue to grind out points. 4th place in Russia is by no means a disaster and he can bide his time as Ferrari will inevitably hit a rough patch at some point.

If you look at the margin they had over Ferrari last season, it would take an almighty swing for them to fully recover and provided Mercedes are on top of their reliability problems they should be able to grind out a result over the season.

192

Is this Mercedes anticipating their star signing getting beaten again this year by either an Italian car driven by a German or worse his Finnish team mate. They seem to be prepping the media and sowing the seed that it's all their fault again same as last year

193
Clarks4WheelDrift

Just for once, I wish Toto wouldn't say...

"why we couldn’t get the car in the right window so he could feel comfortable with it"
"We must give him the tools he needs to do the job"
"mechanics working 24/7 to fix Lewis's problem"

why the constant need to pander to Lewis, is he that fragile?
He should be saying...

"Valtteri completely smashed him in Russia, qually and race, Lewis needs to get his head and backside in gear."

"He needs to sort his consistency as Seb and Fernando are both available next year"

"Cooling, Cooling! He was in clear air most of the time, Kimi dropped him and he finished 25 seconds behind him! Behind Kimi! 25 seconds!! Unbelievable! Interview over get me to zee chopper!"

194

Hahaha this is brilliant Clarks4WheelDrift!

195

@ Clark4WD ...The reason Wolff blats on is because he's ceded control of the team to Hamilton. Hamilton calls the shots. The refusal of Hamilton to follow team orders in Abu Dhabi was the tipping point. He put up and wolff backed off. Wolff even apologised to him later! No Team Chief ever does that without losing authority over his driver. He may choose to defuse a situation but never cede the point and reverse 100%. To do that is weak and in times of crisis sometimes fatal. Bottas may never win another race but at least he's showed his mettle and he came out on top. I say best of luck to him, it won't be easy from now on.

196

Kenneth, any evidence to back up your claim?

197

Please Tim! Stop with this! Kenneth needs his happy place.... a place where RIC is the 3 time WDC, a 54 gp race winner, has 63 pole positions, where Australia are good at rugby, cricket, football and motorsport, where RIC is the 2nd coming and HAM the seed of lucifer.
LH may have one or 2 bad races a year.... Ken and Co need to make the most of it when he does. When he bounces back... as he ALWAYS does, they will be silent and I won't rub their noses in it... I will just feel warm inside and smile. Let them have their time it won't last.

198

@ Dean...WOW you have really exceeded all my expectations with your understanding of human nature and the intricate patterns of inherent needs and subsequent behaviour. I have already gone on record, in this thread actually, where i have acknowledged that your man has it all sown up for the future and these early disappointments are simply an unexpected and irrelevant side issue, a mere chimera, momentarily masking the endeavours of 'the great one'. Order will be re established in Barca this coming week end when Hamilton takes the win convincingly and consigns Bottas to the history books as an unworthy and [one off ] troublesome team mate. Should i give you another 'uptick'? I'm thinking about it hahaha.

199

has it all sown...

Did you mean sewn? Sown is the past participle of sow which makes no sense in this context.

200

After the "Snapchat" weekend, bouncing back didn't matter. Nico just needed to choke his way to the title, (and that he did). The embarrassing damage had already been done.

201

Hello. The snapchat weekend was Japan, after that Lewis scored 100 out of a possible 100 points. Does that not count as bouncing back?

202

Lol, does he need to? Its pretty obvious to anyone that follows F1 that Toto does more backflips than Olympic divermand that they normally revolve around one driver particularly.

203

Sarsippious, does he? Examples please.

204

I'll give you a hundred examples just so you can give me 100 excuses. No thanks!

205

Sarsippious, I will settle for two examples, I promise not to make any excuses.

206
Andrew Halliday

Spain will be the first race I attend this year. Hopefully it's not a procession as has been predicted. If Ferrari and Mercedes are closely matched, there could be a decent fight at the front. I'd like to see Bottas get another victory but I'd settle for a Raikkonen victory as well. You never know though, just look at last year....

207

@ Andrew Halliday...what about conjuring up a concise race report from a fans POV....would be good to read.

208

Mercedes' problems are in their head. Both in Totos' and Lewis'. Every time Lewis get beaten fair and square, there is always an imaginary problem. Get a grip, As Bottas may be quicker than Nico i am sure Lewis' car will have a lot more problems throughout the season.

209

Lewis has the talent of a champion but shows zero interest in developing the mindset of one. Someone should probably point out to him, previous greats like say Mcenroe in other sports who failed to fulfill their potential. Keep going this way, and Bottas will outdo him the same way Nico did.

210

I think everyone needs to calm down, pretty sure the media are just looking for something to get excited about as Russia was such a snooze fest (as usual)! Hamilton had an off weekend, as he does from time to time, as do most drivers (apart from Alonso). He came 4th its not exactly the end of the world.

Spain will set the tone for the next few months, if Merc can turn up with something brilliant they could well take a bit of catching again. Ferrari seem to have a well balanced easy to drive car that works it's tyres well so they are always going to be there or thereabouts this year but they need to make progress, something they haven't been good at recently. Perhaps that's down to not trying too hard due to the title being effectively over as soon as it started but Red Bull will improve so they need to be looking at them too. Mercedes, in the hands of Bottas at least just had the faster race car in Russia. Arguably in the first three races Vettel had the pace to win them all and would have if a couple of things had happened differently, he never looked like winning in Russia though.

211

normal if they are few and far between. suspicious if they result in influencing championship outcomes..

212

I do get this weird feeling that Lewis is heading back to McLaren next year - May be he wants to get them back to greatness!! he likes being an underdog and overcoming all odds. I'm sure McLaren will pay him huge and if by then Honda still doesn't improve, he can bid goodbye & if he indeed wins it for them, he goes to the top of the table with respect greatness!!!

ps: did I smoke up something 😉

213

Does anyone know if Hamilton has the same mechanics as last year? I thought they would give him back his 2015 mechanics!

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