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Wheel to wheel thriller as Lewis Hamilton beats Sebastian Vettel in F1 Spanish GP
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Posted By: Editor   |  14 May 2017   |  3:55 pm GMT  |  616 comments

Lewis Hamilton took victory from pole position in a Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix which delivered many great moments, as Sebastian Vettel had control of the race at several points but ultimately lost out.

Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the podium after a lonely race over 70 seconds behind the winner. His result was a consequence of retirements for Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, which also opened the possibility for Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon to get strong results and for Sauber to score 4 points for 8th place.

Vettel wins the start
When Vettel leapt to the front with a great start off the line against polesitter Hamilton who suffered wheelspin, it seemed like this would be a simple Ferrari victory but this was a race filled with incidents, accidents and won ultimately through Mercedes’ strategy.

Hamilton was just 3.4 seconds ahead of a chasing Vettel as he crossed the finish line and Ricciardo, fourth for much of the race, benefited from a late engine failure for Valtteri Bottas for the remaining podium spot. Hamilton called it the “rawest fight I can remember.”

Calamity through Turn 1 led to the retirements of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, who tangled as Raikkonen tried to avoid Valtteri Bottas’ left-front tyre as they went three-wide in the first lap. Raikkonen suffered a mangled tyre and Verstappen’s suspension was severely damaged as he nursed the Red Bull back to the pits.

“I got hit on the right rear corner and my car bounced, it jumped a little bit and you cannot control it after that. Then we came together with Max,” said Raikkonen.

Ferrari blinks first in Strategy chess game
Vettel led until lap 15, when he pitted for a set of soft tyres. Mercedes had discussed a stop with Hamilton, who was told to push on Lap 12 as if planning to 3 stop. That may well have been the start of the strategic downfall for Ferrari as now Mercedes took the opportunity to change plan and run its cars long. This brought Bottas into Vettel’s path and he would hold the German up, costing him four seconds.

Hamilton, who pitted on lap 21 for mediums, could push the tyres and get the most out of the compounds. Bottas briefly led on fast fading tyres; a frustrated Vettel was left in the wake of the Finn which slowed him down and let Hamilton close the gap, despite being on slower mediums.

Bottas then pitted for mediums as Hamilton was told to keep the gap manageable between him and the now leading Ferrari of Vettel.

Virtual Safety Car
A potentially game-changing moment arrived at the midway point, as a Virtual Safety Car was triggered by Felipe Massa’s lunge through Turn 1 against Stoffel Vandoorne, resigning the McLaren to a retirement and slowing the whole field down.

Several cars pitted including Pascal Wehrlein, who had been kept out by Sauber for half the race on soft tyres. This set him up for his result. As the VSC ended, both Mercedes went in, first Bottas, then Hamilton, for soft tyres to end the race while Vettel continued under the VSC. Significantly, Vettel couldn’t use the advantage his faster tyres would normally have to extend the lone Ferrari’s lead and Mercedes took full advantage of this.

Vettel had to pit and pick the slower medium tyres to finish the race on, and he exited the pit lane alongside Hamilton, who now had to get past the Ferrari and pull away.

Vettel robustly defended and the pair almost made contact, Hamilton went off the track, but Vettel held position.

On softer tyres, Hamilton needed to use the performance advantage to pass. Five laps later into the same corner, Turn 1, Hamilton made the move with the help of DRS and the more powerful Mercedes engine, and managed to keep his tyres alive to hold the gap behind to Vettel healthy enough for a victory.

Though the tyres began to drop off with six of the 66 laps remaining, Vettel couldn’t work his way through traffic, outbraking himself on the sharp left-hand Turn 10 while trying to overtake backmarker Massa, in a mirror image to the Russian GP.

“Why does it have to be Massa all the time?” asked a frustrated Vettel as under a blue flag, the Williams gave Hamilton an extra second of comfort.

Fernando Alonso’s seventh-place start became arbitrary on the opening lap as Massa’s punctured Williams sent him careering through the gravel in avoidance and down to 11th, while Massa went to the rear post tyre-change.

Alonso tried his best to recover but the soon-to-be IndyCar driver settled for 15th place.

Even with one extra pitstop and two collisions, Massa managed to overtake a struggling Lance Stroll late on, though Williams’ woes were summed up as Stroll finished 16th. At one point, he was overtaken by Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, whose car is powered by a 2016 Ferrari engine as Stroll’s learning curve looks to become even steeper.

Red Bull faced as big a deficit to the leaders as ever though with a stroke of luck Ricciardo landed on the podium. However, Force India actually managed to close the gap to them, as both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished fourth and fifth, respectively, having matched the pace of the sole Red Bull at times.

The home fans did have something to cheer as Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr finished seventh in a very competitive midfield battle. He fought with Kevin Magnussen of Haas for most of the race. Magnussen ended up in 14th as late contact with Daniil Kvyat gave the Haas driver a puncture.

Pascal Wehrlein earned a stunning eighth-place finish as Sauber put him on a cunning one-stop strategy, with mediums until the end of the race. Rounding out the points-finishers were Kvyat and Haas’ Romain Grosjean.

Have your say in the comments section below or on JA on F1’s Facebook Page.

 

Results, Spanish Grand Prix, 66 Laps:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

GAP

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1h35m56.497s

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

3.490s

3

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m13.978s

4

Sergio Perez

Force India

1 Lap

5

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1 Lap

6

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

1 Lap

7

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1 Lap

8

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

1 Lap

9

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1 Lap

10

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1 Lap

11

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

2 Laps

12

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

2 Laps

13

Felipe Massa

Williams

2 Laps

14

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

2 Laps

15

Jolyon Palmer

Renault

2 Laps

16

Lance Stroll

Williams

2 Laps

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

Power Unit

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

Collision

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

Collision

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

Collision

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616 comments

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1

What a brutal gladitorial-showdown that was!

After races like that, we ought to be hugely grateful to Ferrari for their mammoth efforts in producing the SF70H.

Valtteri really is a wonderful team player. It was sad to see his race echo Rosberg's in Monza 2015 when he also had to revert to an old-spec engine after an issue in practice just to see the old-donkey give up late on in the race.

Finally, Kimi's heartwarming gesture for the tearful little-guy really polished off what was an all-round fabulous weekend for the sport.

2

The worst news from Barcelona is the mind numbing gap back to the third "fastest" team in F1. Almost lapped by the top two....on an aero track...so much for Adrian Newey!

3
Clarks4WheelDrift

Horner has basically said they had to turn down the engine as their PU has questionable reliability...so maybe they aren't 74s behind, perhaps it is a minute behind. 😉

Trouble is, Horner saying: factors such as engine settings mean things are not as bad as appears, is about as valid as Boullier saying the McLaren chassis is really fast in the corners.

Shame these PUs are killing competition through the field like never before.

4

@ Clarks4wd...... What is worrying is that after all this time two major auto manufacturers who have invested hundreds of millions $ cannot successfully build an engine that is in anyway competitive with Ferrari [latterly] and Mercedes [since inception]. I have read DM's comments where he has stated that there must be an independent engine supplier in the near future and if not then he might just up and away. Red Bull are not going to stick around forever if they can't get a decent engine and rightfully so. I also very much doubt if any 'independent engine builder' would be even mildly interested unless the the specs are simplified...something that Mercedes are desperate to oppose. The fact is that the manufactures are controlling the future and that cannot be good for the long term aspirations of Liberty or competition.

5

The fact is that the manufactures are controlling the future and that cannot be good for the long term aspirations of Liberty or competition.

The immates running the asylum has never worked nor will it, especially when the Formula is unappealing to any new manufacturer's that maybe be in a position to join. Until such a time when that changes the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes will continue to hold the keys to the circus.

6
Clarks4WheelDrift

Agree, Valtteri really is a wonderful team player when despite older tyres he runs 3s a lap off the pace in the 1m 28s for Seb to catch him then manages to do 1m27s no problem whilst blocking him for Lewis. What a perfect pet controlled by his master Mercedes, completely sacrificed strategy for his number 1 teammate.

Get in there Lewis...

Get in there Vally for braking extra early to let Lewis go for turn 1

Get in there Vally for letting Kimi and Max alongside in turn 1 then taking them out, so only he could be a factor later on

Get in there Vally for sacrificing his undercut to roadblock Seb for Lewis

Get in there Merc strategist for using Vally for Lewis

Get in there Stoffel for giving Lewis a much needed VSC 8 second advantage

Get in there Ferrari strategist for having no clue understanding vsc pit gains

Get in there stewards for ignoring the drivers must navigate round the cone Rule for Lewis, silly rules shouldn't apply for Mercs, just the rest.

Get in there Mercedes PU and DRS for allowing Lewis to breeze pass Seb without effort or any need to double dummy or outbrake.

Get in there Toto for a genuine, never before seen, punching of the desk

Get in there MercedesPoweredMassa for lifting so soon and parking his car on the racing line corner exit to hold up Seb yet again

Get in there Lewis for being so good a driver he can lap everyone not on the podium...

😉

7

Does anyone believe what Mercedes puts out?

We know after last season that they manipulate their cars to put one driver ahead of the other. This was a persistent rumor all of last season and Hamilton had bizarre problems. It was only a rumor, up until the last race, when Paddy Lowe got on the radio and clearly told Hamilton that it was team orders that Mercedes wanted the German driver to win the title and that Hamilton was forbidden to do anything that might challenge that on the track.

This year, it smells like Mercedes didn't want Bottas to challenge Hamilton, so he mysteriously has 'engine' problems had has to run a slower engine and then break down in the race so Hamilton can re-establish his dominence after having lost the previous race.

F1 .... Red Bull is the perfect sponser because its all a big load of Bull.

8

Ha ha ha,this is what they call a crybaby tantrum. And massa? Vettel was paying the price for giving another driver the middle finger.Why do you demand so-called ' manners ' only from Hamilton. What about all the freebies Vettel gets by having the fastest car and zero pressure from a doormat teammate.

9

"Get in there Ferrari strategist for having no clue understanding vsc pit gains"

And while we're at it, they understood perfectly, they just couldn't do anything about it. If they'd pitted first under the VSC, Mercedes would have kept Hamilton out and run him to the end on the Mediums. Vettel would have had the tyre offset, sure, but you'd have been asking him to pass the Merc down the straight on the same tyre compound. Ferrari were on the backfoot strategy wise when it became clear that Hamilton had the pace to undercut Vettel (or come very close to it) in the first stint.

10

so much for the White tyre being 2 seconds a lap slower than the yellows! Is it Pirelli that put out this nonsense every race to make us all think there's going to be some strategic master stroke that allows someone other than a Merc to win a race.
I. still maintain my theory that all the tyres are the same, they just paint random colours on them.

11

You can pretty much rip up any pre-race predictions on tyre deltas and tyre life in the race, they're almost always off by hilarious margins, especially when the track has rubbered in.

12

Let's not forget, Get in there Mercedes for water leaking Valtteri's new engine, and having to use a known risky older one. Fast enough for the win they'll say 🙂 Poor unlucky Lewis had to fight Ferrari all on his own 🙁

13
Clarks4WheelDrift

yep, first Rosberg at Monza then Valtteri in Spain, new engines going faulty then slower older units going pop costing them bags of points.

Some Merc drivers are really unlucky.

Imagine the 10 year long fallout if, in one weekend, Lewis lost an engine, then had to run an underpowered unit, then it blew as well! Crikey.

14

Selectively, you seem to have omitted LH's reliability issues last year when he ran out of PUs, took the penalty in a previous race and one of the replacements went kaboom in Malaysia with 15 laps left costing him a sure win.

15

Yeah, Lewis has never suffered because of engine failures that cost him a world title. No sir.

16
Inshaallahura

Yeah Lewis you mean. Very very unlucky last year.It even certifiably lost him the tittle. He he.

17

Clarkes, imagine the fallout of Lewis had a brand new engine fitted and it went pop while he was leading a Grand Prix by a mile....

18

As reported by Crofty on Sky, the drivers were instructed to go left of the cone if they drove over any of the speed bumps on the outside of turn 1, Lewis did not drive that far off the track so he did not break the 'rule'.

19

Are you sure about that? I seem to recall brundle discussing it and it sounded to me like they acknowledged that hamilton did go over a speed bump. I stand to be corrected though.

20

Since Brundle seems to be a god-on-earth for you:

http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/24096/10878519/lewis-hamilton-sebastian-vettel-duel-it-out-as-f1-delivers-a-treat

Vettel emerged absolutely side-by-side with Hamilton into Turn One. Turning in from an acute angle and with cooler tyres, Vettel slid wide and ran Hamilton out of track.

I've seen a couple of still images where it's clear Vettel didn't have that much steering lock on, a scenario that's had Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at war in the past when they were team-mates fighting for the championship.

But the stewards today are like the policeman who gives you the benefit of the doubt when just over the speed limit, and the traffic warden who says, '"OK, no problem, have another 10 minutes", and no action was taken which kept the race alive.

Hamilton recovered to the track just before the speed bumps and so was not obliged to go around the penalty bollard far to the left. The race was still on.

21

Hamilton didn't touch the sausage kerbs on the inside of the corner. He did leave the track but I think they cleared it up that the cone was to be used if you went over those kerbs but not if you left the track. Besides he left the track to avoid a collision, so I think that was punishment enough and the stewards did a great job. I think we have become so used to the stewards interfering in every little incident that we are now struggling to adapt to this looser approach. It's refreshing and makes for better racing. MotoGP is so less stuck up about this sort of stuff - and it's better for it. F1 is now benefitting too.

22

What sets this site apart from the others is not only the quality of the articles but also the excellent comments section from the mostly informed participants. Its the reason i come here for all things F1. After such a great race with so much going on its frustrating that the often juvenile and boring my driver is better than your driver dialogue rears its head so soon after. Don't get me wrong, its fine to be partisan and have a preferred driver or team if thats your thing, but i don't understand why that has manifest itself into belittling the efforts of other drivers in the competition or the peddling of half baked conspiracies. Sunday's race had it all, two top drivers battling it out, genuine competition between two teams, differing strategy calls and plenty of incidents and accidents. Even the stewards deserve a mention for letting the drivers get on with it. After so long i feel my sport is on the up with many positives to draw from, whats to be bitter about, just enjoy it for what it is.

23

@Joe Bloggs,
Well said and I fully agree. I have my favorites and express my joy when they do well, I also have a few drivers that I don't particularly like for a variety of reasons but which I am not shy to praise when they have a particular good performance. I see attacks at time on drivers that are just puerile and not worth a response, yet many take the bait and add dozens of comments that lower the usual good standards that many participants brings to this site. I suppose it can't be helped.
Now for me, the fanboy bickering can be tedious, but what really bother me here at time are the comments that are bordering on racism. I am French and I don't mind a joke at our expense here and there, but sometimes the comments go beyond having a friendly go. When that happen I sometime wonder how such comments go through the moderating. Marc

24

Couldn't have said it better myself. Talking down the performance of another team or driver doesn't make your driver any better.

25

Did the stewards let Hammy get away with overtaking during the VSC? One of the Hasss I think?.

26

I suppose if the car in front is not keeping up with the mandated VSC pace you are within your right to overtake as you can only assume they have a technical issue.

27

JoeBloggs, here here, one of the best posts I have read on this site.

28

Up there with mine are they Tim?

29

LKFE, you are the standard to which we all aspire...

30

What makes you think he wasn't referring to you?

31

Sars, because he is complaining about people belittling the efforts of other drivers and peddling half baked conspiracies, and I don't do that.

32
John Wainwright

Couldn't have put it better myself. I'm a regular user for many years and a very occasional commenter. I used to enjoy the comments on this site for their maturity and insight, however, since the Mercedes dominance the comments have had a tendency to descend to that of a football terrace.

33

The Vettel years weren't for much either comment wise toward him and Red Bull. I can tell you as a fan of him. Everybody love a winner as long as he does not win too much is my guess. Marc

34

Everybody love a winner as long as he does not win too much

Spot on - I think that was a phrase coined by Colin Chapman. No doubt wiser heads will correct me if I'm wrong.

35

Might have been better served typing this out, then deciding to cancel it instead of posting.

It seems a good section of those that don't much care for Lewis have a serious problem with being gracious in defeat. Not a good way to be.

36

Being gracious in defeat is something the Ham Fans around here should try themselves. Just saying...

37

Sars, are you serious?? Check the threads where Vettel's won, or Bottas last race (when Lewis had a bad race), and you will see that the usual Lewis supporters congratulate Vettel or Bottas on the win and their race.

Contrast that to the usual anti-Hamfosi ... can you show me any that have congratulated Lewis on a good win in this thread???? Please show me. What I see is a whole bunch of juvenile gnashing of teeth, saying garbage like "Lewis was lucky", "why wasn't he penalized?", "the car won the race", etc.

There is NO comparison. The anti-Hamfosi are a childish & spiteful lot. Let's call a spade a spade ... anyone who is incapable of congratulating an adversary on a good race, is a small person. Simple as that.

38

Well said KRB +1

39

KRB, great post.

40

Get in there Clarks!!!

41

Get in there Lewis. 55 and counting.

42

@ Clarks4WD.... great list. Got all the points.

43

@kennerh
The point is, at the end of the day, Merc won with Lewis. Merc have taken up the gauntlet thrown by Ferrari. This is what it's all about. I'm 100% positive that Ferrari will get revenge. I would say that Merc have just thrown the gauntlet back in Ferrari"s face. Looking forward to Ferrari "s reply🍻

44

@ james k...likewise. I am hoping that ferrari can rise to the challenge and take all the honours. For too long we have suffered the intolerable same old same old, one two two one results. This race did have its moments but the separation is too large. Red Bull 76secs in arrears! How disappointing, but now that Newey is taking an interest we may see some improvement but their sesson/year has long gone.

45

@kenneth.
Agree. But of course I'm rooting for Lewis. And if Vettel wins, or any of the great drivers out there. So be it👍🏻. But very disappointed in Redbull/Renault. Something has drastically gone sideways there. As I've said before, I feel for the drivers.

46

Well done to Ham and Merc but it's not hard to out-strategise the Ferrari stategist now is it. He's a complete dufus!

47

Can you explain why you think so? What should he have done differently given the gaps behind and what the Mercs were up to?

48

Aezy, it's not the first time the Ferrari strategist has been found wanting and made the wrong calls. It's been the team's weak point historically. On this occasion he put Vettel on the worst rubber (hard) for most of the race and for the final stint. Surely you want to end the race strongly and not be a sitting duck like Vettel was. Red Bull chose to finish on softs as well as Mercedes. They also pitted him at a crazy time, coming out right behind Ricciardo forcing him to take more life out of his tyres than he needed to. They always make strange decisions which never pan out!

49

I agree that they have made mistakes in the past but this time I'm not so sure it was easy for them. For the first stop, if they'd left Vettel out he'd have been undercut by Hamilton as they were approaching back markers. If they pitted first and sent him out on mediums, again Hamilton would have had enough gap to emerge ahead because the Mediums were thought to be slow (hindsight shows this wasn't as bad as feared but they didn't know that at the time). In either case they throw away track position. They wanted to retain that so they did the only sensible thing - pit for the softer tyres before Mercedes. This however now meant that they were behind the Merc of Bottas who did a sterling job of holding Vettel up and neutralised the best life of the soft tyres against the mediums that Hamilton went to. This meant Ham could close up and keep within a reasonable gap, even though he was on a slower tyre. Without the VSC however Vet's strategy may well have worked. If they pitted under the VSC, they'd have emerged some 15/16s behind Hamilton who had the option of running to the end. Could they have closed that gap using the Med tyre? Who knows. As it happened Merc blinked first and pitted Hamilton for softs under the VSC. Ferrari needed to respond but the VSC ended and they lost a lot of time. Even so they thought that if Vet kept Ham behind for a few laps his tyres would lose the edge over the mediums. What they didn't see (and this is possibly an error but again, hindsight) is that the soft tyre could last so well for 30 laps - so well that Ham set the fastest lap on lap 63 I think. I didn't see the decisions as strange given the hand they were dealt in the race.

50

It was great to see Alonso's Honda overtaking Mercedes in Williams (usually the fastest on the straight).
So Honda isn't 100 or so HP down on power as many say.
I hope soon Renault and Honda will get their upgrades soon to propel their teams up.

51

The Mac Honda was the second slowest car through the speed traps. Not much merit really in overtaking Stroll.

52

Stroll was 4th fastest through speed trap (Massa being the fastest). Stroll did 335,0 Km/h, Massa 339,6 Km/h, while Alonso was 9th fastest with 332,6 Km/h.
So if Alanso had to overtake him, his Honda has to pump quite a few HP more than what we've been told they are under.
Okay, Alonso was on new tires, but on the straight it doesn't matter as much - bit better acceleration out of the corner, and latter braking. At the braking point, Stroll was already far behind.

53
Ricciardo Aficionado

Why was Stroll so slow on the straights?

54

He probably forgot to push the pedal deep enough.
Was not in his first 10 F1 lessons.

55

Unfortunately Alonso was on new soft tires at the end of the race, and that's the only reason.

56

That's the reason why he sat 4th fastest lap, not really why he was fast down the main straight.

57

I think that was when alonso didnt have to fuel save anymore

58

Driver of the day
Kimi for warming fan hearts
You can win with DNF

59

I'm shocked to actually agree with u 😂

60
mickfrombrisbane

You really think that was a Kimi initiated gesture?

61

Nice effect and smart move from the PR dept. who should be very happy that it all worked out fine.

62

@mick
Of course it wasn't! But do you think that what happened would of happened under bernies rule? NO. The drivers have always got time for there fans, it just hasn't been possible for them to interact with them much during race weekends. Did Kimi refuse to meet the boy? Did Ferrari refuse to let the family into the hospitality suite? It was a chain reaction of different people that eventually led to this little boy meeting his hero. Why so negative🤔

63
Ricciardo Aficionado

If Bernie was still directing FOM the cameras would have ignored the kid crying.

Kimi's latest play
Iceman warming little hearts
Makes you want to cry

Ted Kravitz is a natural when it comes to interviewing over stimulated little French kids who love F1.
Is it confirmed that the kid was actually a Kimi fan or did someone just steal his ice cream?

64

Not just correct, but very well put. And it's not often I say that of one your comments 🙂

65

Totally agree. I want more heads-up stuff like that!

66

Actually the boy was crying bcs he thought:
- Oh no! Kimi DNF and now is gonna eat all MAGNUNS. xD
...
Another good play of the formelly RedBull Agent, now working for F1G.

67

Actually, the boy is a Sebastian Vettel fan...and thought his driver crashed out but everyone assumed he was a kimi fan :p

68

Do we know how Vet could lose his 5 or so sec advantage if Hamilton pitted AFTER the VS? He didn't pit during the VS but just when it ended so VET could go full throttle again. I'm still puzzled as I can't find a plausible explanation anywhere...

69

The secret is Lewis did not pit after the VSC but SIMULTANEOUSLY with the last VSC lap (I believe Sebastian had to navigate part of that lap under the VSC) and that gave Lewis the minor but strategically important advantage over Sebastian. Remember there were really two options for Mercedes - 1. undercut Ferrari or 2. reduce the delta between Lewis and Sebastian to less than a second since Mercedes was afraid the soft tire's performance was time/lap limited. Barcelona has a notorious reputation as a difficult to overtake track. They did not want Lewis to have to race for 7 seconds to catch Vettel (with backmarkers in the way) then spend a few laps trying to get past the Ferrari, while keeping the soft tires alive for 20+ laps. Today's race is a prime example of using a weakness to your advantage (the Ferrari is a more effective aero package compared to the Mercedes, even though the Mercedes power unit demonstrated its advantage when Lewis was able to pass Sebastian easily after he lost the help of backmarkers to slipstream behind).
In addition, you also saw the two competing sides of Lewis at play today. When the race was in flux his emotions were on full display, but once he was ahead the calmer driver emerged and he managed the last stint very well, including a fastest lap late in the stint to let Ferrari know he was in control. Bravo to Peter Bonnington, the man is a saint for keeping his cool and helping his driver navigate the different stages of the race successfully. F1 engineers do not get the credit they deserve, especially on days like today when you have to keep your driver focused on the big picture while talking him down emotionally. A big win for the Mercede team.

70

Vettel had already done most of the pit straight at VSC speed when it ended, while Hamilton pitted and then took the pit straight at full speed when Vettel pitted.

71

This is exactly right. It absolutely depends on where you are when the VSC starts and ends.

72

Obviously it hadn't quite ended. What else have you got?

73

Can't believe it but we agree on something "Mr. 10". It was heartwarming for the sport that ferrari embraced this golden opportunity. Liberty media is hitting it out of the park. American's don't do too many things right but they know sport and do it extremely well.

74

Apparently the Americans are bringing "kiss-cam" in at Monaco.
I can't wait for the camera to zoom in on Nikki and Toto!!

75

@LKFE i can confirm that they actually had the "kiss-cam" in Spain.... it wasn't exactly a big hit.

76

Ben, that's hilarious! An F1 track just oozes romance!

77
Ricciardo Aficionado

That's gonna go down well with the Royals...

78

@ LKFE...I actually saw that once....yuk, saccharine moments. Could only happen in the USA

79

@lkfe
I think that depends on if Merc win or not😉

80

That lucky boy was given Kimi's cap by Kimi himself! Quick work by FOM and Ferrari in a surprise joint move.

As for the DNF, it was down to @%%$ Bottas breaking too early into a fast corner. He can be such a dull chap.

81

I missed it live, but from watching the replays I wondered if Bottas was trying to not get in the way of Lewis on the left. Either to let Lewis stay ahead, or to just avoid contact with his team-mate? Either way (deliberate, or accidental braking early) its not the sign of a future champion.
Pity, we could do with some inter-team competition.

82

Bottas has peaked... its all downhill from Sochi

83

Get in there Lewis!!. Great strategy and drive.

84

I wanted the outcome to be different, but I thought a couple of races ago that Mercedes will outdevelop Ferrari and despite the common word in the paddock will win in Barcelona

85

GET IN THERE LEWIS !!
What a race.👍
Great overtake by the Brit.
Previously Vettel forcing Lewis off the circuit in desperation👎 didn't work out.
Good overtake by Vettel on Bottas though.
Great race and entertaining.
Lewis wins🏁 in the dog fight against the German
Great movement when little kid had a one on one meet with Kimi.
I assume every kid will be bringing on tears to get a chance to meet their hero's 😉

86

It was a good move by Lewis. There was enough in Vettel's move to merit the stewards taking a look, and not enough to merit any action. And we wouldn't have had the excitement and Lewis' move which followed if Vettel had yielded. Full on racing between the top two drivers and teams, no-one yielding easily, and the winner pulling off a good move to get the win ... it's exactly what I want to see.

87

@P Kara Hamilton won thanks to Bottas (again) who was kind enough to keep Seb behind for several laps which enabled Ham to catch up. All you Hamilton fanboys owe Bottas a big THANK YOU.

88

Hamilton will never admit to being helped

89

U right, apparently the footage where Hamilton thanked bottas was fake and completely edited.

90

He actually did at the post race interview!

91

Utter tosh.
Lewis thanked Bottas for his help.
Wild sweeping subjective statements with zero evidence.
If you looked at channel 4 interview he stated "a big thanks to Bottas for his help".
Be factual rather than come out with your own prejudicial bunkum.

92

channel 4 interview..

Not just C4 - he said the same on Sky when they conducted the interviews in the pen after the race. His detractors have reached a pretty low state when they have to make things up. Things which are so patently untrue and so easy to disprove.

93

Apart from the fact he did exactly that in the post race interview with Channel 4.

I get it LH can be easy to dislike, but if you're going to criticise at least base it on the facts.

94

Thank you VB.

95

Sorry p kara.... As a lewis fan i say youre wrong. Nothing wrobg withVETs move... That move is an LH trademark... Very hard... But fair.. On the limit but the lead is at stake.... Lewis was always going to get him after that 2 nd stop so it proved irrelevant but that was good hard racing... Long may it continue. GET IN THERE LEWIS!!!! YEHHHHH !!!!!!guy

96

@dean
Totally agree👍 that was Vettel giving Lewis a little kick in the behind. Great stuff.. on the limit cheeky stuff🍻

97

To be fair to Vettel he would have been considered weak if he didn't push Hamilton. I think even without the safety car Hamilton would have caught and passed Vettel. Great race.

98

Hamilton was lucky today. Without the safety car and Bottas playing bogey man there was no way that hamilton would've won. lauda said that they were very lucky to have the safety car.

99

Has Lewis swapped back his mechanics that Rosberg stole off him last year? It seems like Bot is having all the bad luck this year that Hammy had last year.

100

He was lucky. But that is racing. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't.

101

@ Aezy.....yes, there is an element of luck in all F1 races.

102

You could say Ricciardo was lucky last year when Hamiltons engine went kapow in Malaysia. But then again the Riccfosi use the Monaco joker...as payback which was no payback Lewis won fair and square.

103

He wasn't the luckiest guy on the podium though, was he Kenneth....

104

You got that right Tim. Ric's podium should be referred to as a "Le Mans third"!

105

LKFE, at least he made it to the end! Must have been a strange race for Danny Ric, just pounding round with no threat from behind and no chance of catching the leaders, and after an hour and a half of driving around all on his own, he gets onto the podium! Good points haul for him and Red Bull, but the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes must be frustrating for them.

106

I think the championship has already just turned into an internal one between him and Max. The winner gets a seat at Ferrari?

107

LKFE, apparently the rumour in Barcelona was that Perez is going to Ferrari, I think those RB contracts are pretty water tight.

108

LKFE, RB contract update! According to Joe Saward's blog the driver contracts at Red Bull include get out clauses in the drivers favour, and they are, the team will win a race, the team will finish in the top three in the constructors championship and the driver will finish in the top five in the drivers championship. Apparently if two out of three are not met, then the driver can walk. Red Bull will probably finish third in the WCC, so unless they win a race then it will probably be the loser of the intra team battle that gets to leave if he wants! This could make things interesting.....

109

Tim................That's very interesting. Although I read today that Jos Verstappen is now or will be on the payroll of RB in the capacity of a talent scout because Marko can't get to all junior races. Whether this is an attempt by RB to ethically bind Max to them who knows. I'm of the belief that contractual considerations aside Jos will want his son to be in a drive that will enable him to compete for wins and WDCs. With potential openings at Ferrari and Merc next which way will Jos move if RB don't look like being competitive? As you say interesting times ahead for both their drivers and the team itself.

110

Adrian, I saw that about Jos getting a job, it does sound like an attempt to keep Max in the family, but will it work? Max said this week that he wants to see out his contract with RB, but he also said he wants to win. If the two become mutually exclusive then he will start looking around. Maybe next year is too soon, he has time on his hands and can easily wait untill he is in his early twenties before making the leap. Danny Ric is at a different stage of his career and wont want to miss an opportunity, Having said all that it isnt that long ago that Red Bull were all conquering, so maybe staying out is the best choice.

111

Tim.........Good points. Personally I think the key factor in all this is Jos. I have no idea of the dynamics in the Verstappen family and this is purely speculation on my part but two things: Firstly, Jos might be trying to live the life of a successful F1 driver through his son and secondly, Jos' influence over Max would be significant considering that he has mentored him from his karting days. Where am I going with this? Well Max might say things that RB management want to hear and Jos has agreed to look out for talent for their junior team but as soon as things become "mutual exclusive" as you say Max is outa there. Where to though? I did read somewhere that Jos was keen to see Max in red overalls and given that Ferrari is just about on a par with Ferrari and Kimi probably at the end of the line there's a clear possibility there. Less clear is what happens at Merc with Bottas. Either way Max would be a coup and highly marketable in Europe especially among Dutch fans and the Dutch public in general.

Bottom line for me is that Jos won't hesitate to approach either of these teams if HE considers that RB won't be able to compete next year. Plus also I think that Jos would rather his son race for an organisation that has a history of producing road cars than one that produces sugary soft drinks.

The 'silly season' will be interesting.

112

Adrian, we saw what happened to McLaren when they lost the main focus of their engine supplier, i think we are seeing the same thing at Red Bull now. When Mercedes started their own team the advantage McLaren had in terms of early access to engine archtitecture and input on the design was gone, Renault are now focussing on their own effort and Red Bull are feeling similar pain because of it. Jos will understand this and it would be remiss of him not to be looking to get Max out of there and into a top team, he might think it better for his sons long term career to wait until Seb and Lewis have moved on before going there and this would be the sensible route. Ferrari is always an attractive proposition, they aren't going anywhere, they have amazing resources and have a culture of concentrating their efforts on one driver, it all makes sense for Max to go there if he has the opportunity, but we might not see it happen for another three years.

113

Tim…….I read a very interesting article the other day by F1 journalist Peter Windsor as to why he believes RB are struggling. Here’s an extract:

"The relationship between Andy Cowell's engine team at Mercedes and the chassis team is brilliant. Similarly, Ferrari have an engine man running the chassis. With Renault and Red Bull, there's a big wall. They don't have that level of integration. That's probably the problem. McLaren-Honda are a works team but they don't have that same integration - they also have that wall between them: here's the engine company, here's the chassis side. That's not how it is at Mercedes and not how it is at Ferrari. It's a huge long-term problem (for Red Bull). It's not going to be fixed overnight. It's to do with people, it's not to do with technology or budget. That relationship was broken down systematically over a couple of years when Red Bull were openly critical of Renault. I think that's a big part of it. And Renault now have their own works team so Red Bull are, potentially, no longer their main focus. They are nowhere near challenging Mercedes and Ferrari."

You touched upon some of the above issues and it seems that RB are clearly suffering from the “wall” problem that Windsor referred to. As he said it’s a “huge long-term problem” for RB and as you said one that Jos would be well aware of. And Mateschitz too!! He won’t be wanting to pump money into something that’s not giving him a return. After all he is a business man.

I can see the value of Max gaining more experience and slotting into a competitive drive when Seb and Lewis move on but when will that be? Lewis is just about ‘married’ to F1 racing and I can see him staying longer than Seb who might be satisfied with 4 WDCs if he’s unsuccessful this year or next. It’s a bit of an unknown really. Just like Jos might surprise the management of RB later this year. Never know Carlos Sainz might be partnering Dan at RB and Kimi might be back rally driving.

114

Poor kenneth...thats his happy place officially burned to the ground. Be nice now TimW 😀

115

Your statement makes me laugh. Vettel was already 8secs ahead and without the safety car, it would have been up to 12-14secs up. No way Lewis is going to bridge that

116

Ha ha ha,Vettel admitted on the radio after the race that they have the fastest car.It must feel great for Vettel to arrive at the races knowing he has got the fastest car and a doormat teammate who can never get in his way.Freebies freebies freebies. Hamilton has got Valterri the real deal Bottas

117

Pure conjecture as usual inshaalla!

118

They apparently have the faster car only in the hands of Vettel. Same cannot be said with Raikonnen- surely, a testament of Vettel's superior skills to everyone on the grid

119
Inshaallahura

Vettel doesn't know what real competition is. In the course of scooping all tthese farcical titles of his,he has generally benefited from having the fastest cars (the red bulls & now this Ferrari ) , allied wiith doormat teammates (Webber & Raikkonen ) who allowed him to scoop tittles and still allowing him to scoop race wins and championship points with ease and zero pressure . Vettel melted and crumbled the first time he encountered real competition from a younger,hungrier teammate ( Ricardo ). Raikkonen out out out, Ricardo the Italian boy to the Italian team. I want to see vettel's 2014 season long scowls and sulking back.

120

As always a wonderfully unbiased summary! Vettel is certainly occupying a large portion of your brain.

121

Nick:

Yes, that was an 'entertaining' rant wasn't it?

Would like to see the Australian Italian in Ferrari though.

122

only if there are enough cameras to capture them crying..

123

Great is Vettel's double dummy on Bottas, Lewis' is just a pass on sitting duck Vettel whose fate was decided by Ferrari's strategic blunder.

124
Ricciardo Aficionado

Yeah, this.
But Ham's was for the lead. Strategy won the day (+luck), ham had to drive on through. Which he did. Not as spectacularly as Vet's hit on Bottas however.

125

How much older were Bottas' tires? He did well to hold him behind for the one lap, with a great defense on the straight.

Lewis' pass was not a certainty. He was losing the best of the softs every lap he was within a second of Vettel. He got better drive off the last corner, and so was able to pass. One or two more rebuffed attacks, and Lewis likely would've had to settle for 2nd.

Of course you're an objective and fair poster, who can give credit where it's due. 😉

126

You don't think there was two moves from Bottas? I almost counted 3!!

127

@ LKFE...How very true. That was quite a dangerous move at that speed. Ballsy.

128

Not taking anything away from Vet - I thought his was a great overtake. But the reality is that his tyre offset to Bot was greater than Ham was to him. Also Bot had a car that was limping after contact at the first corner .

129

Both good overtakes, don't often say that after a race at Barcelona! The Ferrari does seem to struggle more on anything harder than soft tyres though.

130

I agree they were both good overtakes Nick - I wouldn't argue that Vets looked the more spectacular either, as Bot made a more spirited defence.

131

Only a blind 'Hamfosi' could say that Lewis's overtake on Vettel was better than Vettels on Bottas. Oh wait...

132

@Sars

Only a blind 'Hamfosi' could say that Lewis's overtake on Vettel was better than Vettels on Bottas

You may well be right Sars - but that isn't what I said, is it. I said his [Vet] overtake was great. I was simply applying some context to the assertion by AlanF1 that Vet was a sitting duck and that Bot wasn't. The reality is that Vet had a far greater tyre offset than Ham did plus Bot had a sick car. Check out the lap times if you don't believe me - Vet was catching Bot far quicker than Ham was catching Vet. I believe that Toto said that Bot's race was effectively over at the first corner incident.

133

@sars
Ok SARS van gerwin😄, you made it to the top in gp predictor, whilst I tumble down 1 place😳😄

134

I saw that James. Rather crowded atop of the leader board isn't it.
Would be good to know who some of the other guys are in that league with their usernames on here. Maybe they'll come out so its not just us having these post race league conversations.

135

Is it too late to get involved now? Granted I'd have some fair ground to make up!

137

Cheers Sars, I'll be ready for Monaco!

138

Why not Nick I say (I sent an earlier reply however I had taken your comment out of context). Bit of fun and it makes you pay a bit more attention to practice so you don't go into qualifying blind. You never know, you could well be the Leicester City of JamesAllenOnf1 GP Predictor League for 2017..

139

'you could well be the Leicester City of JamesAllenOnf1 GP Predictor League for 2017..'

More like Leicester City this season! Which site is it?

140

Hey the more the merrier Nick. Just be sure to bring a dummy, a pitchfork and a very thin skin!

141

Yeah, would be nice. Only one I can see is Gravity, I believe it was him who started the whole thing.

142

@ Sars hahaha yes, there was no comparison whatsoever. Surely there has to be a level of steward involvement in the future though. That could well have been a disaster at those speeds. I'm all for WTW racing but that was over the top.

143

After Vettel came out of the pits, with 19-lap fresher tires, this is how he closed on Bottas:

Lap 16 - 1.343s
Lap 17 - 1.400s
Lap 18 - 1.353s
Lap 19 - 1.638s
Lap 20 - 1.979s
Lap 21 - 1.901s (caught him now)

So then he tried attacking:
Lap 22 - Bottas better drive off the last corner; not threatened
Lap 23 - Good defence by Bottas staves Vettel off
Lap 24 - Vettel passes on the inside

HAM on 1-lap older Softs, VET on Meds:

Lap 38 - VET better drive off last corner; holds HAM off
Lap 39 - VET gets DRS off GRO; no threat from HAM
Lap 40 - VET holds off HAM; WEH passed by both into Turn 1
Lap 41 - VET holds off HAM
Lap 42 - HAM closer, but VET gets DRS from HUL
Lap 43 - HAM better drive off last corner & passes VET

In the laps afterwards, HAM does not pull away from VET easily. There is traffic that obscures things, but I would estimate that HAM was around 0.7s/lap quicker.

So the advantage for HAM-on-VET was smaller than for VET-on-BOT. Both were good overtakes. Vettel wasn't a sitting duck as some like to imagine. If he had better drive off the last corner on lap 43, as he had on laps 38, 40 & 41 when he didn't have DRS, then he might've kept Hamilton behind.

144

KRB : "In the laps afterwards, HAM does not pull away from VET easily"

I think that in most situations towards the end of a race the guy in front is going as slowly as possible whilst maintaing a gap. Especially in this case as HAM is protecting his softer tyres.

Anyway, I enjoyed shouting out 'Mansell on Piquet' during VET's overtake on BOT 🙂

145

How can he get the better drive off the turn when he was on mediums that are slow as hell. That's what slow tires do. Hamilton has DRS and the speed differential was huge that Vettel was despirited. You have to accept that the merc engine is a bit more powerful too

146

He was able to do it for 3 prior laps where he didn't have DRS ... all the while Lewis' tire advantage would be dwindling. Hamilton really only had a handful of opportunities left to get a pass done.

147

AlanF1, impartial as ever....

148

talk about the pot calling the kettle.......

149

David, unlike some I have no problem acknowledging a well executed overtake just because my least favourite driver did it.

150

What are you going to spend your 💯 gold bars on? I've no doubt that Sars has been in touch to offer his apologies 😉 - very nearly the first thing Lewis did was to thank the team . He then repeated his thanks at every opportunity and interview.

151

Why?

152

C63, no news from SARS yet, the Aussies are all a bit quiet today for some reason...I haven't decided what to do with all that lovely dosh, obviously it will totally change my life and I have every intention of forgetting my friends, but I'm fresh out of ideas on what to spend it on. I was rather disappointed with Danny Ric's clothing line, he doesn't even have any of those cool hats with the corks dangling from the brim!

153

Am I sending them to the factory in Stuttgart or the house in Monaco??

154

Sarsippious, tell you what, keep your gold bars, just admit you were wrong and we will call it quits.

155

How do you do that? Wait, I'm asking the wrong person!

156

The race wasn't shown on free to air TV in Australia until last night. That could explain it.

157

doesn't even have any of those cool hats with the corks dangling from the brim!...

Lol - he does have a rather fetching sleeveless t-shirt in the range though. And you could add your own extra 'splash' of cool by wearing your shoes with no socks. If it was a really special occasion you could even draw a compass on your ankle 🙂

158

@C63
Your lowering the bar a bit there C63. I'm not trying to take the moral high ground here, but personal attacks and stereotyping is stuff I wouldn't expect from you. Talk about stoking the fire.

159

Well said James. According to their comments on this very thread, its only a select few Ric fans that post rubbish like that. Pity they don't apply themselves to the same standards they drag others over the coals for.
But hey, I can admit I'm guilty of immature posts at times, the same very posts that are lowering the extremely high standards of this site and thus affecting the way people view these threads as noted by a few posters above. I acknowledge and note those comments.
To implement change though one must first admit there is a problem and good luck getting some of the high and mighty ones on here to do that.
You on the other hand are one of the most enjoyable guys to engage with, even considering who it is you follow. An example for others maybe?

160

Even considering who it is you follow

I like to think I follow F1 as a rule. And a fan of all great racing drivers. I've rooted for Lewis from his first race in Australia in 2007 and loved his raw talent. I still do. He's a great driver, but so are Vettel, Danny, Max and many of the others. Luck is a big part of any sport when your up against the best in the world, and of course Lewis is lucky to be in the all conquering Merc(not this year👍🏻), but he's there for a reason, and it ain't because he's an average driver😊. Think if Vettel had been in the Merc for the last 3 years. He'd be close to beating Schumi"s WDC record.
I to, was a bit guilty last season of some "immature" comments. One can get carried away a bit, I admit. Tongue in cheek stuff.. great, teasing banter, fine. But isn't F1, and ourselves a little bit better than verbal anarchy😉
You mentioned the word "immature". We can learn so much from kids. That little French boy who cried, he's French, but his hero is Kimi. When I was 8/9, my hero was Niki Lauda. Nationality doesn't mean jack to kids. They only see the person, not the country😊. Kids should be running this planet😄
Enjoy the rest of the week sars👍

161

Fair point James, but in my defence I'm only posting the sort of garbage which is posted endlessly by the anti's (I might also add that you don't get to see half what ends up in my inbox but doesn't pass MOD). However, I'm more than happy to declare a cease fire if you can broker the deal. Perhaps you can partake of a little 'shuttle diplomacy' 🙂 Let me know how you get on.

162

@c63
Hey, you don't have to apologize to me😊. I enjoy your posts 👍. I think I'm just getting old or maybe it's because I've been living in Denmark for to long😄 Been totally scandinavianised.....if that's a word🤔😉 I'll just keep my nose out of things😂

163

@C63
😊 I'm all for a bit of fun banter, teasing aswell. I just think it's all to easy to go over the line on this kind of media. At the end of the day, we all follow, and love F1. Of course we all have more passion when one of our own is winning. I rooted for Lewis the last ten years, and will do until he retires. And he will retire. But guess what, I'm will still be watching F1. I've followed Lauda/Hunt, Senna/ Prost, Hakkinnen/Schumacher, Hamilton/Alonso, and now it looks like Hamilton/Vettel. And I will follow the next big fight( Verstappen/Norris perhaps😊). The lads from Australia know I root for Lewis. He's English, got talent and he's a world champion. And I know they root for Danny Ric, another world class driver. At the end of the day, it's F1 we follow, with a sprinkling of patriotism thrown on top. I would love to meet most of the guys on this site in the pub... and really talk F1. Bevvies, and a bunch of Aussies and poms in the pub....🍻

164

C63, how does soes with no socks? How does that work if said shoe is going to be used as a drinking vessel? I'm sure I will be the coolest guy on Skeggy beach with my sleeveless T shirt and felt tip compass on my ankle.....

165

Tim

"the Aussies are all a bit quiet today". I think you spoke too soon.

Don't tell me you googled MensStyle Australia like C63?

166

Its funny isn't Adrian how they can mock us and yet when its done to them the dummies go flying everywhere. Pity poor Europe!

167

Adrian, yes they have all come out of the woodwork now, usual guff about Lewis' victory being lucky and unworthy of any praise, and how he should have got a penalty despite not breaking any rules, blah blah blah....

168

You honestly think its just Aussies that don't rate Lewis? You need to pay more attention Tim!

169

Sarsippious, of course not! But their is definitely an antipodean cluster, and in terms of anti LH posts you are by far the biggest group.

170

Which means what?

171

Sarsippious, it means what it says! For some reason the concentration of people who don't like Lewis seems to be higher in Australia than other countries, and those people are more vocal about it.

172

SARS, in addition to my earlier comment I would also say that I have no problem with people who don't rate Lewis. I do however have a problem with people who are incapable of acknowledging when he does well, hugely exaggerate the significance when he does not, blame him for 100% of the incidents he is involved in, demand he is given penalties by the stewards even if he hasn't broken any rules, accuse him of never thanking the team when he wins (despite him doing this every single time) and criticise him for doing things all the drivers do, while never criticising the others. Do any of those things ring a bell with you?

173

In your opinion and its hardly unbiased is it. People should be able to express their views, even if you don't agree with them, without having you and your side-kick hound and belittle them till they eventually leave this site because of it.

174

Rich coming from you TimW

175

agree!

176

SB, is it though? Is it really? I thought both Seb and Lewis made good overtakes today. Unlike some I have no problem congratulating drivers who do well, no matter who it is.

177
Ricciardo Aficionado

"Running in the oval maybe I learnt to go quick in the straights. P7 is a gift. This is a circuit where it's difficult to overtake so we will try to keep the position."
ALO

There need to be some things happening in front of me but for us our main target is to try and be as close as we can instead of driving on our own. We’ll see, it will be interesting.”
VER

I've been coming here so many times and still the last chicane is tricky for me.
Then...
The German dummied and even had one wheel on the grass as he dove down the inside
"No chance, no chance," Seb says.
"I don't know how I managed to lose eight seconds,"
VET

"Today it’s going to be hot and close.
I love it... I’m excited to hopefully put on a good show"
"Surely this is not a good time," Lewis says.

"We are creating opportunities for later in the race," his engineer Bono responds.
And Lewis Hamilton is in to the pits as the VSC ends, taking on the soft tyres.
"What can I say, fantastic work. Everything was on point all weekend. I really appreciate all the hard work back at the factory,"

HAM

"I feel sorry for Bottas and his engine problem."
NIKI LAUDA

"I'm really happy to spray some champagne"
RIC

Switching to Plan C, Vettel is told.
"That would be stopping again,"
CROFTY

"It was a team effort. I wouldn't forget Valtteri. His race was pretty much done after impact in Turn One. He played a part in it."
GENIUS

we have never made a driver decision this early.
UNKNOWN

178

Finally, the Hamilton vs Vettel battle we've been waiting for. Great, tense race, even if it effectively finished with 20 laps to go! But in the first half it was really hard to tell who was going to come out on top.

I now looking forward to Monaco where, as soon as a driver retires the crowd burst into tears hoping for a free backstage pass to the respective driver's garage! 🙂

179

Interesting to listen to the respective breathlessness of Ham v Vet.
"...it's not easy to keep up with him" Ham said early on, -a reflection of just how easy it has been in the up until this season? He could be later heard sounding very out of breath. Vet on the other hand sounded very composed.

Lewis' cardiovascular health sends Ferrari a big thank you!

I think this years WDC will have earned it!

180

@ LKFE...interesting to see the old bloke, Alonso. finish the race then take a private jet and head to indy and 24 hrs later he's out testing with a huge smile on his face. He's as fit as a fiddle as they say whereas the 'catwalk kid' is all out of puff. hahaha

181

Kenneth, do you mean the catwalk kid who won the race? Can't be that unfit can he?!

182

It sounded like HAM was pulling G when we heard him via the radio, suggest the feed was broadcasting his comments whilst navigating turn 3. We know these radio broadcasts are very selective and hearing HAM struggling for breath is certainly more interesting than most of the chatter!
Perhaps if ALO had been more into high fashion back in the day he wouldn't have been beaten by a rookie team mate? 🙂

183

LKFE - Lewis certainly put his all into that race. I think their relative physical fitness levels are the opposite to what you imply though. They were in different races.... Lewis was hunting for most the race, trying desperately to keep himself in contention.. as soon as he was in front you heard the difference in his communication with Bonno ... its not so much the physical side that drains anyway...All of these guys are fit... its the mental fatigue from the adrenalin and Psychological battle going on. Physically, Lewis looks much fitter than Vettel.... they just have different personalities and handle mental pressure in the midst of battle differently. VET seems more calm and composed where Lewis is more instinctive.... Could even put some of that down to their relative nationality traits... both have their merits and downfalls. For SURE this years WDC will have fully earned it!

184

Agreed Dean, they both have their emotive moments. Lewis also said it wasn't easy trying to keep up with Vet early on the the race -there's no doubt it's going to be an arm wrestle.

185

Very entertaining race. Seb won my vote for driver of the day, he had to fight with 2 Mercedes and did amazing overtakes.
Ferrari have to learn that Mercedes will actually lie over the radio to deceive them.

186

"Mercedes will actually lie over the radio to decieve them" boo hoo.... This is F1... Not tiddly winks. World championships are at stake.... Get with it or go home. Merc the BIG winners today... A massive team effort!

187

@Dean You mean "A massive Bottas' effort"? As it was Bottas who kindly helped Hamilton to catch up to Vettel. And people were questioning whether Bottas was #2 driver in merc or not before this race hahahaa!

188

My memory isn't too good, but wasn't there a race last year where one driver was crying because his team mate was ''backing him up' ... into the claws of pack behind? Seems to be a typical page from the MB playbook.

189

Bottas was not helping Hamilton; bottas was helping Mercedes. Bottas has won a race.The real no 2 driver is Raikkonen. Ha ha ha.

190

After Sochi you were crying Mercedes didn't provide their drivers with equal equipment yet you haven't mentioned Bottas had an old engine for this race. And you forgot to say 'doormat' in your post ha ha ha

191
Inshaallahura

I have come to this comment late,but this is a nonsense embellishment of my comment. We were served an article in which Wolff, if quoted right, wasn't making much sense.I suggested if he is saying he can't deliver hiis drivers two cars of similar specifications in every race, then we should expect any mechanical glitches to be fairly random between the two drivers, unlike last season's one sided problems to Hamilton. And it is. Last time Lewis problems in Russia, and here Bottas problems in Spain.So what are you crying about.And yes Raikkonen is a Vettel aided doormat. He he.

192

It's a team game. Bottas was nowhere near the front 2 and safe for 3rd (until the engine failed). Made perfect sense.

193

Add Kimi too, his DNF brought happiness in the end to little Ferrari fan, the kid was so cute This encounter with Kimi will stay with him for life.

194

Now that was a great race. Congrats to Hamilton for a very well earned win. Fine race for Vettel as well. Max, Kimi and Bottas out is not such a swell thing alas, it pushes them a long way from the WCD lead even if it is early in the season, this going mostly for the 2 Finns.
Force India being at the right place at the right time will be having a bit of a celebration tonight. Good point gain for them.
Hulkenberg, Wehrlein and Kvyat did themselves proud too, many good performances up and down the top ten.
A pity the start was a bit off for Alonso after the good feelings of yesterday. Good luck to him in the Indy 500 now.
Bottas played a big role in the overall race result. The touch with Kimi at the start led to 2 retirements, his good defending against Vettel surely helped Hamilton for a good 3 seconds and his own retirement got Ricciardo a podium.
Alright on to a Monaco with a cameo appearance of Button now. Marc

195

not well earned - gifted!

196

@ David - hehehehe 🙂 You seem upset?

197

Very well earned. He was racing a faster car,but doggedly believed he can win.Let the pain go. He he.

198

can be victorious with battles for position at the front. a clean mark of greatness! pole fastest lap as accessories.
shame vettel verstappen vandoorme and bottas did not finish. some will still find it boring..

199

Vettel won the Sprint race.
Hamilton won the endurance race.

Its a pitty that there were no fresh tires left to keep the batle at high pitch.
Great skills of Lewis in his last stint.
Great agressivity and passes of Vettel.
Great sacrifice of Bottas to delete Kimi and Verstappen off the race and play tactical to hold up Vettel with a very old engine. The engine gave a shy fart and died xD
Great stupidity of Massa... again.

200

Me thinks Massa may have never fully recovered from his head accident years ago, he is missing a few nuts and bolts. Biscuit, what is biscuit? (his question in an interview). He should have retired for good.

201

What great ' manners ' from Vettel for giving him the middle finger in the previous race. Pay back time. Nothing wrong with massa's head.He he.

202

or he is intentionally helping the mercs..... :-).....who knows...

203

kurik, because he loves Lewis so much?! I thought Felipe was out of order in Sochi, but yesterday he seemd to be doing everything possible to let the Ferrari by, but then Seb went in too deep and ran wide.

204

@tim
That's the way I saw it too👍🏻
Seemed he overbracked a bit.
Massa was slowing down to let him by.

205

Why? He left a barn door open for Vettel to go through. Vettel out braked himself. Where else could massa have gone?

206

Did he out brake himself or did Massa catch him unawares by stopping suddenly on the racing line through the corner exit?
Seemed to me that that was the case and as Vettel was about to put the power down and thus did quite well to not run up his rear end.

207

exactly

208

Massa was far over to the right of the racing line. Although it is somewhat open to interpretation in that corner, he wasn't exactly on the apex. Plenty of space for Vettel, but he seemed reticent to take it. It could, of course be payback https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPs8QAhmQHo

209

Massa could have just backed off a few hundred meters earlier on the straight.

210

Could have, but didn't and decided to let Vettel through on the corner. I don't think Massa did anything wrong. Maybe he did it on purpose, but I'm not convinced - if Vettel had hit the apex he'd have sailed through unhindered.

211

To call that a thriller is a gross exaggeration of reality. Yeah, there was a bit of a thrill when SV came out of the pits and nudged, LH but other than that it was a snooze fest. DR one minute 15 seconds off the pace, wow how thrilling! The turn 1 incident ruined what could have been a much more interesting race. Nobody to blame at turn one, but it always seems that someone goes into the first corner with a compromised line, in this case Bottas, and something bad always follows. It happens all too often in my opinion. Part of it is the inevitable outcome of the natural chaos associated with a start but it can really take away from a race.

212

That's a bit of a glass half empty view.
Watching the C4 highlights when RIC picked up his 3rd place Trophy I said "We didn't see him all race", it felt like 90% of the TV time either VET or HAM (or both) had the attention. I certainly don't want to watch a race where the best action the TV director can find is a scrap over 12 and 13th.

Was HAM going to undercut VET ? Was he going to try to one-stop. Could he get past, and if he could would his tyres last ? Or would VET get a chance to take the place back ? First you thought one of them would pull it off, then other.

213

Agree not a classic - the performance of the cars are too spread out. No battles of note across the field

214

No? The 5 car battle in midfield passed you by then? An on track pass for the win...what more do you want?

215

that wasn't a 5 car battle... that was Werhlein (somehow way out of place) holding everyone up on a circuit where nobody can pass.

216

ok, no passes at all. I didn't see any at all. Way to rewrite history.

217

Much closer racing would be a start. 2 horse races get boring as well...

218

F1 is not the sport for you then bud. How rare in the sport's history is it for more than 2 teams to be this close? I'd say extraordinarily rare. In fact it's more often than not one team with a technical advantage so to have two teams fighting it out at the top is great. There was a big battle in midfield too, in case you missed it. The only complaint you might have is the gap the front two teams have up front, but that's F1!

219

"The only complaint you might have is the gap the front two teams have up front, but that's F1!"

Aezy, your post strangely glosses over the general discourse that has been occurring in the sport during the hybrid era. Yes, there have been occasions in the past where it has been a two horse race, but you have to admit that the gaps have never been wider. I would imagine when James publishes the UBS race strategy chart he will have to start amending the y-axis to even fit the cars on the same page! Only 3 cars finished on the same lap and 3rd would have been in sight of the leaders on the main straight! The fact that only one merc and one Ferrari finished in this race only accentuated the issue.
As we have seen in previous era's, there has been convergence as the smaller teams catch up on the development race -everyone caught up to the 2009 Brawn within the space of half a season! But this has not been the case in the hybrid era -mainly due to the uneven distribution of funding and development freezes. Pirelli's tyre compounds choices this year have also taken away any hint of a strategy gamble and there's not much racing (Sochi?).
With regard to the mid-field -that's about all there is...

So, clearly...there's a bit more to complain about than you say -unless you're only interested in winning for winnings sake!
Give me 2012 any day.
As for F1 not being the sport for me....how about you let me be the judge of that, bud.

220

2012 was an outlier of a season but I agree it was a good one. I remember the mighty Williams finishing lap up on everyone in the 90s. I remember the unassailable McLaren at the end of the 80s.. I remember Ferrari in Schumi era. I remember the Red Bull controlling the pace at the hands of Vettel. I remember the Mighty Mercs of the last few years. In every era there has been a constructor capable of lapping most of the field.
I leave it to your judgement of course, but judging by the history of the sport I think if you expect more you will be disappointed at least half of the time.

221

To have more than 2 teams fighting at the front is pretty unusual. Two is not uncommon though. Most recent years I can think of..

2005 Renault / McLaren
2006 Ferrari / Renault
2007 Ferrari / McLaren
2008 Ferrari / McLaren
2009 Red Bull / Brawn
2010 + 2012 - These years did actually have 3 teams in close proximity.

222

If you think that race was snooze fest, then you my friend are following the wrong sport. F1 like an onion has many layers. A true fan learns to appreciate its many nuances. Lewis's win was truly the culmination of the word "team." The numerous upgrades fixed their race pace issues. Great pole by lewis conserving his tires for the final sequences, knowing the lap hinged on it. Bonno reassurance during the race, pitstops and James vowles strategy. LH didn't win this race, Mercedes AMG Petronas did.

223

watched a few hundred F1 races in my lifetime and yes I agree that nuance is often the secret to a race, but I stand by comments. Hamilton passed SV with 22 laps to go that was that. Bottas was nowhere even before his engine gave way, Riccardo spent the day by himself, Kimi could have been expected to be in the fight but was out 8 second into the race, the same for MV who always puts on some kind of show and Alonso rode his donkey to an impressive 12th! Sorry but I expect more from a race.

224

indeed... by lap 12, third place was 18 seconds behind the leader! All on same tyres, all on same fuel load. 18 seconds!
F1 doesn't need Merc helping other teams to develop their engines... it needs the other teams to sabotage Merc.

225

@ Robert NYC...my sentiments too. Well said.

226

Spot on, you might expect 3rd place to be 65 seconds behind in a race of high attrition, but this was the 3rd fastest team, not to mention the whole field lapped up to him. Is this really racing?

Too many good drivers, not enough good cars - fans are not getting the spectacle they deserve.

227

@ KC...happens to be my initials as well! To have Ricci 76secs down the tube was a display of vast differences. Not good enough.

228

Yep Mercedes Team won the race.
But you also need to have a driver that can overtake and pass on a race track without making a hash of his tyres and car in a dogfight . You need an out an out Racer. All the strategy in the race can be lost if you have an average driver in the car. Natural abilities plus race strategy and car development go hand in hand in hand.

229

A true fan of the sport? Or a true fan of 2 of 20 drivers?

230

One driver.

231

LKFE, surely a true fan of the sport can enjoy a good battle for victory despite his favourite driver not being involved?

232

Tim,
I never said I didn't enjoy the fight at the front. As a true fan of the sport, I worry about it's future. The playing field has to be evened out...I think almost everyone knows that!

233

LKFE, I'm glad you enjoyed it, I thought it was great! It's rare to have more than two teams fighting at the front, great when it happens but it has never been the norm. Difficult to see what could be done to level it out any more, the tokens have gone so no more excuses on the engines, and how can anything be done to stop Red Bull building duff chassis? There are four teams spending every penny required to build race winning cars so we should have an eight way battle for the lead at every GP, the reason we don't have this is individual failure of two of those teams to deliver.

234

Tim, not sure if youre talking about "right now" or "more generally". More generally, there's a lot more they can do than just remove the token system.
Funding equalisation, tyre offsets and engine simplicity would be starters.
I don't think it's right to simplify the issue into "8 teams failed and 2 didn't".

235

LKFE, there are always things that can be done, and I would support the measures you suggest, but Red Bull and McLaren aren't failing because of a lack of cash, and Ferrari and Mercedes have both proven that the engines can be done properly. There will always be teams that fail, I'm not sure what the legislators can do about that. In the meantime I am thoroughly enjoying watching two top drivers battle it out this season.

236

Formula one fans are a hard thing to please. Much like pirelli, it seems an impossible job. We have the two oldest/biggest teams in forumla 1 qualifying within 0.051. Alonso's sensational lap. A race that hinged on strategy, race pace, collisions, fantastic overtakes and more importantly, unpredictability, yet you lot still complain. Unfreaking believable! Did I mention how close the midfield is? How heartwarming that young ferrari fan was to meet his hero? How Liberty media is actively and progressively investing in our sport? Fan experience, more social media engagement. I dare any naysayer to explicitly tell me this race wasn't a classic.

237

Spot one, I turned the TV off on 50th lap. Definitely Verstappen would have spiced the race. Only a DNF could have changed the winners, I am just guessing how frustrating was the final part of the race for Vettel (Mercedes team seems to be better strategists).

238

Ferrari back to their old ways with poor strategy today. Though Hamilton was good, I felt like Vettel deserved that win.

239

I know what you're saying Mathew. Ultimately it was 2 against 1 today. Although Kimi was taken out of this race, it highlights why you need 2 competitive drivers if you are going to be a WDC.

240

And one of them needs to be a doormat for the other. One way street in Lewisville!

241

both teams have number two drivers!

242

Agreed Axel -one did his job today...the other didn't get a chance!

243

Bottas had damage from the first corner incident, and was 10.7 secs behind Lewis at the time he pitted first. But Bottas was also 16.5 secs ahead of Ricciardo then, so they already knew that he wasn't going to be in the mix for the win, but that 3rd was safe for him. Hence they used him to hold up Vettel ... it was great team play. We don't see enough of it in F1 these days.

244

Oh, please! Give me a break! Put down your Vettel Kool aid! lol

245

Vettel lost the race because the 8 second gap he had built up was wiped out because Hamilton pitted under virtual safety car conditions (The analysis on BBC says it was lost mainly because Vettel was stuck behind Bottas.. which I found laughable.. They seem to have conveniently forgotten that Vettel built the gap back up to 8 seconds till Vandoorne went crazy.. The quality of analysis on live TV is also pitiable, considering they have all the numbers in front of them).

I was hoping Ferrari would also pit on the last lap of the virtual safety car, however I suppose they didn't expect Hamilton to try a 29 lap stint on softs.

246

So youre saying the same opportunity was available to Ferrari? They just didn't take it??

247

i saw vettel unable to stop hamilton overtaking him for the lead. was that not the reason for hamilton's victory, driving?

248

Sounds like you missed a fair bit of the race aveli.

249

His Mum wouldn't let him watch the telly.

250

i didn't miss any of it.
i feel your pain though..

251

Take off the 'tinted specs' Aveli.

252

I suspect he's had the Lasik surgery...

253
mickfrombrisbane

I saw Hamilton rejoining the track at the wrong place, ignoring a clear driver briefing direction from stewards.
Sanctions in this sport are a contrived comedy.

254

I saw Hamilton rejoining the track at the wrong place....

No you didn't - the instructions to rejoin to the left of the bollard only applied if the driver went across the speed humps. Ham ran wide but not that wide and was therefore not obliged to rejoin the track in the manner you believe he should have.

255

They said on Sky that the briefing notes demanded that if you go over the sausage kerbs then you need to rejoin after the cone. So no problem.

256

mick. Sanctions in the sport are just fine, obviously certain people seem to think that Lewis deserves a penalty just for getting out of bed in the morning, but the fact is he didn't break any rules yesterday.

257

Bottas took out Raikkonen and Verstappen. Left Vettel without delay-playing team mate (drawback) and Ricciardo without team mate and one opponent (double advantage). Next he delay-played Vettel to then exit: double jeopardy for Vettel, more luck for Ricciardo.
Ham and Ric should be very grateful to Valtteri.
Great race by Lewis though, whereas Daniel is really pussyfooting himself past Max (37 pts vs 35). Low risk strategy does pay off at the moment.

258

Lemwil:

“Bottas took out Raikkonen and Verstappen.”

Racing incident. No action taken by the Stewards.

“Ham and Ric should be very grateful to Valtteri.”

Why should Lewis be “grateful” to Valtteri. It’s a team sport Valtteri held up Vettel and then moved aside for his faster teammate to go after Vettel. These sort of things are usually talked about in team meetings prior to races.

Why should Ric be “grateful” to Valtteri. Engine failure and resulting DNFs are a common feature of F1 racing. Thing is Ricciardo found himself in a position to take advantage of Bottas’ failure and secured a podium. Another common feature of F1 racing. Should he be “thankful” to Bottas for that?

“Daniel is really pussyfooting himself past Max (37 pts vs 35).”

Just like Max pussyfooted himself past Dan (35 pts vs 22) after Dan’s DNF in Russia.

“ Low risk strategy does pay off at the moment.”

In my opinion Max is at times too aggressive, as other posters have noted he was yesterday in negotiating the first corner. Pulling it off would have depended on people around him not coming into contact and unfortunately for him this is what happened yesterday. Be brave my all means but sometimes you put your survival in the hands of others. As Anthony Davidson said “Three into one doesn’t fit.” Seemingly Dan took a more cautious approach (which I think might be a deficiency he has) but on this occasion he survived the first corner melee.

259

The same stewards who got so many calls wrong last year. If anyone was at fault is was Bottas. Drivers committing to overly tight lines going into turn 1 at the start of races always results in chaos, Spa last year for example. I don't understand why the stewards give out free passes just because it's the start, it's still part of the race! Max and Kimi would have both got through the corner without the tag from Bottas.

260

In Russia Palmer would've had no idea that Grosjean was there, but in Spain, Kimi would for sure know Bottas was there, b/c he just passed him! He should know that he couldn't take the corner as tight as he did. He should've kept a bit more space on his inside for Bottas, then Max wouldn't have squeezed him from the outside. As soon as Max is there, then he's getting squeezed from both sides, and he's done.

261

'then Max wouldn't have squeezed him from the outside.'

Wishful thinking! This is Max we're talking about lol.

262

Well, Max is not going to drive into Kimi's car if he had initially placed it further to the left before the corner. That's what I meant. Max will of course take up residence right beside Kimi into that corner, trusting that Kimi knows he's got enough for them (and whomever's on his right) to navigate the corner cleanly.

263

NickH:

You make some interesting points. I’ve watched the start a few times and the run down to and negotiation of the first corner was pretty wild and hectic with drivers jockeying for position to gain a place or two. Of course this is a feature of a lot of races and I think the Stewards expect contact to occur. Martin Brundle made the point last year that because of this they give latitude to drivers and are reluctant to hand out penalties at this phase of the race. I guess they have to decide between what is a racing incident (unfortunate and unavoidable contact – my words) and whether or not a driver(s) has clearly been careless or reckless to the point of pushing another driver off the track or taking another driver out of the race.

Admittedly Bottas tagged Raikkonen which set off a ‘chain reaction’ but I don’t think there was sufficient road space for 3 cars to stand abreast of each other where the contact was made, a point made by Sky commentator Andrew Davidson: “Three into one doesn’t fit.” I think also that there were mitigating circumstances that the Stewards may have taken into consideration. Firstly, Raikkonen pinched Bottas into the apex to the extent that he had wheels off the circuit. Secondly, Verstappen’s overly aggressive move around the outside of a closing corner which put him in the wrong place at the wrong time as it were. For these reasons I think the Stewards determined it a racing incident – no further action.

I’m no expert on these matters and no doubt someone here will correct me, and that’s fine.

264

"Pussyfooting" is an allusion to timidly sneaking where you don't deserve to be. This will never apply to Max. My annoyance with Ric is that his performances in 2017 have been mediocre and he's still ahead.Should he have shown some initiative and resolve then getting lucky now and then would be OK.
By the way, antipode gentlemen, I agree Verstappen was overzealous in that corner (but the error was Bottas's).

265

it's antipodean 🙂

266

Lemwil:

"Sneaking to where you don't deserve to be. This will never apply to Max." Never apply to Max?

Well then, perhaps Max shouldn't have been trying to "sneak" into or make that risky move into the first corner where he got cleaned up. Too ambitious!

Why would you be "annoyed" at Dan when he's suffered too DNFs? Please give me some examples where he hasn't shown "initiative" and "resolve"? The fact is that neither Max nor Dan have been able to demonstrate their talents so far this year because they are driving uncompetitive and unreliable cars compared to Merc and Ferrari.

"Antipodes gentlemen". You have no idea where I live really. It might be down the street for all you know.

So you agree that Max was overzealous but still blame Bottas. Poor ole Bottas is still to blame even when Max makes an error of judgement. Little unfair don't you think. Especially when the Stewards didn't apportion any blame. You might want to re think this. I'm sure Max will be more circumspect when negotiating the first corners of races in future.

267

@ Adrian ...a good analysis. Ricciardo was going ofr it earlier but with the chopping and changing going on by verstappen kind of confused the issue. Ricciardo was sensible in staying out of trouble and collected a bunch of points at the same time, despite it being a 'lonely' drive. F1 sometimes echoes an old real estate slogan.,,"position position position'.

268

Please tell us then what Redbull should've done instead?

269

"pussyfooting"?
RIC's just lucky, I guess
In Sochi -which RB driver was lucky at the first corner?

270

They've both had 2 DNF's, but who has performed better so far this season? I would give that one to Max, but Ricciardo is 2 pts ahead.

271

KRB:

‘Max has performed better than Dan this year’ This is something the Verstappen crowd would say and I know you’re not one of them. Speaking of which they have been remarkably silent thus far this year and I wonder why? Fair weather supporters?

I would say that neither driver has demonstrated greater performance over the other this year. They both have a 3rd place podium, both have suffered two DNFs and made mistakes. Dan going off track in Q3 in Melbourne and Max’s overly aggressive move into turn one in Spain which didn’t pay off. Dan has the edge in Qualifying 3 to 2 and points 37 to 35 but these numbers mean next to nothing in determining overall performance. And in my opinion you can’t factor in the number of laps one has been leading the other because four of the five races have featured DNFs. Perhaps you’re seeing something that I can’t?

The only thing that can be said without equivocation is that neither driver has been able to demonstrate their full potential because they are driving uncompetitive and unreliable cars.

272

I wrote a post on this in an earlier thread, and I did use the running-laps-ahead to make the point that while Verstappen has qualified behind more times, it hasn't mattered in the race because he has always jumped Daniel within 1-2 laps. Only in China, where he started P16 and Daniel P5, did it take him a bit longer to get ahead, and then that was still only 10 laps, of which the firstr 7 were behind the SC!

So that's why Max edges it at the moment for me ... the Chinese GP result, where he finished ahead after starting 11 places back. You're right though, we haven't had a race between them yet where they've both started close to each other, and both finished.

273

KRB:

I'd like to see some wheel-to-wheel racing like we saw just before they double-stacked in Malaysia last year, so here's hoping.

Any thought of trying to win the WDC, or even a race, this year (if that was even realistic) is out the window for both drivers so it'll just be an intra team battle for supremacy and who can impress the more if other teams come-a -callin next year. But even then I think they are contractually locked in so the misery might continue.

PS: See your Toronto Raptors got beat by Cleveland or more precisely Labron James beat the Raptors.

274

If you think F1 has a problem with "superteams", the NBA is worse! The first three rounds are just filler before the inevitable Warriors vs Cavs rematch.

LeBron is a monster, unstoppable! I hope the Spurs and Celtics can take a game or two, but I'm not sure they will.

275

KRB:

‘Max has performed better than Dan this year’ This is something the Verstappen crowd would say and I know you’re not one of them. Speaking of which they have been remarkably quite thus far this year and I wonder why? Fair weather supporters?

I would say that neither driver has demonstrated greater performance over the other this year. They both have a 3rd place podium, both have suffered two DNFs and made mistakes. Dan going off track in Q3 in Melbourne and Max’s overly aggressive move into turn one in Spain which didn’t pay off. Dan has the edge in Qualifying 3 to 2 and points 37 to 35 but these numbers mean next to nothing in determining overall performance. And in my opinion you can’t factor in the number of laps one has been leading the other in races because four of the five have been DNFs. Perhaps you’re seeing something that I can’t?

The only thing that can be said without equivocation is that neither driver has been able to demonstrate their full potential because they are driving uncompetitive and unreliable cars.

276

so you have you're own scoring system?

277

That made me laugh. Which is a change considering I mainly cringe on these threads.

278

Yes. The points system many times doesn't tell the real tale. Alonso has been a lot better than Vandoorne so far, yet they're both on zero points, and Alonso only just moved past on countback results.

Has Perez been so much better than Ocon to have ~60% more points at this point in time? I would say no ... he's been better, but not by that much.

279

KRB, so Lewis won the WDC last year as well?

280

No, because the WDC is determined by the F1 points scoring system. I do, however, believe that Lewis performed better than Rosberg over the season. I must not be the only one with an internal performance rating system either, seeing as the F1 Team Principals also voted Hamilton as the best performing driver of last season in the end-of-season Autosport poll. Ricciardo was 2nd, and Rosberg was 3rd, which is coincidentally the lowest any WDC has finished in that poll.

Are you a slave to the F1 points scoring system, such that it always determines your personal ranking of who's performed better than others over an F1 season?

281
Ricciardo Aficionado

Call it experience. A championship is a long road and it isn't won in the first four races. But kudos to Max for trying.
Danny Ric will do ok this year. He isn't Massa. He has a habit of putting the foot down when there's something to race for.

282

"lucky"?
Are you seriously comparing the little nudge Ric got before Sochi T1 with the VB-KR-MV clash? MV initiative and reward it was not luck.
Or has it been established since that that caused Ric's brake fire?

283

T1 in Sochi Ric took the left and lost places as a result (as he got squeezed), Ver took the right and held on in the inside to gain 2 places. In Barcelona, the roles were reversed, although Vers race was over. The element of luck lies in what opens up in front of you in the run down to T1 -there is no correct path -sometimes you can make it stick on the outside, other times you get pinched on the inside. It's that simple!

284

Its time Arrivabene shows its team head strategist a big carrot, how many times has Ferrari lost the top podium due to strategy error ? just before the (VSC ) Vettel had a 9 sec lead, perhaps Mr Allen can present the different view, why was Vettel pitted and only half way through the race for the mediums, however one thing has been shown the Ferrari is much quicker car then Mercedes, the exceptional strategy shown by Mercedes together with talent of Hamilton they will strugle to defend their title against the Vettel Ferrari.

285

I think the Ferrari tyre strategy (itself) was fine. The only error they made was coming in one lap late on the VSC, which cost them. The rest was down to Bottas and Massa.

286

Ok so, if we look at the situation before the VSC. HAM is 7.7s behind VET, HAM is on the Medium tyres and VET is on the Soft tyres and then, the VSC comes into place.

At this point, there is no way VET wants to pit. What he really wants to do is run to Lap 45/6 pit to the Medium tyres and do 20 laps on the Medium to the end. And if he could do that then he could probably win the race.

However, HAM is already running on the Medium in the middle of the race, and there's no way he wants to keep running on those Medium tyres. Ideally, HAM would like to change his Medium tyres for Softs and then run to the end. The VSC offers him the perfect opportunity to do that.

So, the VSC comes in and HAM pits. He actually pits at the end of the VSC period. Now, the call for him to come into the pits is either a work of strategic genius or incredibly lucky - and I'm not certain which one it is. However, if you look at the timing, it's very instructive.

As HAM comes in he's 7.7s behind VET. A pit stop under normal race speed costs 22s. So, under normal circumstances, HAM would rejoin 29s behind VET. The cars are lapping under the VSC and so the pit stop costs Mercedes less time. HAM comes out 24s behind VET - so HAM gains 5s in the pit stop and the pit stop actually costs HAM 17s of track time.

Over the next lap HAM is 2 seconds faster than VET. This brings him within 22 seconds of VET. Now, 22s is a pit stop on this track. Suddenly, Ferrari has a significant problem. Because on the next lap the gap between HAM and VET is likely to be less than 22 seconds. Which means that when VET pits (which he must do under the regulations), then he'll be behind HAM.

So, that's why Ferrari pitted VET to the Mediums when they did. If they hadn't pitted then VET would have lost the lead. Regaining the lead after a later pit-stop would have been difficult, at best.

And so, Ferrari lost the strategic battle due to a VSC that neither they nor Mercedes could have predicted would happen. After all, in the last 10 years, you can count the safety car periods in this race on the fingers of one hand. Had there not been a VSC, then Ferrari may have been able to win - although they still have less options than Mercedes and the lack of the VSC it's still not an easy win for VET. I think it's definitely possible to say that the VSC was a big advantage to Mercedes and very costly for Ferrari, although most of the reason for that advantage was because Mercedes complied with the regulation-required tyre change before Ferrari did.

287

nice explanation, thanks.
one question though, when are the stewards going to enforce the rule about 'dummy' pit stops... sending the mechanics out, but not bringing in the car?

288

I wondered about that at the time. Nobody seemed to say anything about it after the race. I had a look at the Sporting Regs and Reg 28.12 says: "Team personnel are only allowed in the pit lane immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete."

That's the only rule I could find on the subject. In the race it looked like they were going to come in the first time the pit-crew assumed their positions, but the strategist made a last-minute call for Hamilton to go around again. If that is what happened and the radio chatter backs that up, then it's arguable that they haven't breached the rules - because the pit-crew were legitimately expecting the car to come in when they went into the pit lane.

I think Mercedes are also helped by the fact that Hamilton did in fact make a pit-stop - eventually. If he hadn't made a pit-stop, then "the strategist changed his mind" excuse probably wouldn't work and they'd be at risk of a penalty for breaching reg. 28.12. That's my take on it, anyway.

289

Did Merc not benefit from VSC immensely?
Just 3.5 sec on a slower tyre behind a Merc at the end of the race is epic.
I just wish, Ferrari would have done a 3 stopper and it would have been a mother of all chase!

290
Jean-Christophe

That would be true if Ham was pushing flat out. The fact that he was able to post the fastest lap on the penultimate lap was to show that he still had some speed. Besides I seem to remember Vettel telling his engineer over the radio that it didn't look like Hamilton was pushing

291

I don't understand the Ferrari 3-stop theory. I didn't understand it in the race, and I don't understand it now.

Vettel was behind Hamilton. If Vettel pitted again then surely Hamilton could have done the same to cover him?

292

Yes, but it could possibly have shaken things up, and if Vettel had a good out lap, Hamilton got caught in traffic and Hamilton had a slow stop etc. It was a very low & chance though.

293

Nothing sure which race you watched. Vettel had to pit because lewis was in undercut range. Race sim shows soft, soft, medium to be the optimal strategy. Ferrari hoped their race pace would give them the advantage unfortunately mercedes's update has solved their tire woes. This season is gonna go down in history.

294

Finally someone mentions the fact that Mercedes tyre woes and overheating problems may have been solved allowing them to follow closely and strategic flexibility to go longer in the first stint & even more so in the last stint. However, in all these scenarios Mercedes was able to stay close & follow unlike previous races where staying close would have cooked the tyres & or led to overheating.

295

Hopefully not for the same reasons last year did...

296

Much quicker, really??!! lol
I see you're drinking that Ferrari cool aid!

297

That was a proper Hamilton Race and weekend. This is how he likes to do it, close racing but come out on top in the end. The only dud was when Hamilton asked over the radio with 8 to go, if Sep was still going to make the third pitstop...and Pete replied "there are only 8 laps to go".

Seb put in a good drive as well, his move on Bottas seemed like he was trying to emulate Ricciardo from 2014. It was a nice move but seemed to be lacking a little bit of neatness in execution but still a good move.

That little boy crying when Kimi crashed out of the race was adorable. I hope Kimi realizes this and puts in some serious drives for wins and couple of pole positions, then he can leave his head high.

If Hamilton wins this year's title, it will definitely be 100 times better than his last two. This championship is a real thriller that we all were wanting for years...hope it continues the same way.

298

Only dud? HAMmy fans are probably going to burn me over this, but HAM seems to lack preparation and/or race awareness then others. While VET knows what plan C is, doesn't HAM seem to know in what lap he is or on what strategy. To often he is asking why he got a certain type of tire, mostly after the stop. I would think they would discuss the possible tactics before the race. It is just like he comes in from the airport, into the car and start racing.

299

Robert - If he does that and still turns up and wins... boy... what a driver! Its clearly not true though.
I agree with you some what.. HAM is more instinctive... his skills come from Natural talent and feel.. Its why I, for one, am a fan. Like some cant relate to HAM, I fail to relate to workaholic robots.

300

You really think any of this was run to plan. The pre-race Strategy was thrown out the window as soon as the VSC happened.

301

You really think those engineers do not calculate with VSC/SC scenario's? Dozens of engineers and none of them thinks of a possible VSC during the race?

302

Robert, comes in from the airport, into the car.....and wins! What a driver!!

303

What a CAR!

304

Sarsippious, with that massive half a tenth advantage in qualifying it's a wonder Lewis doesn't win all the races....

305

Maybe its because of a lack of fitness and focus that he hasn't, not the woefully under-powered car beneath him.

306
Inshaallahura

He gave a thumping beating to vettel while driving the slower Mercedes. Live with it.