#F1 Race Review: Hamilton makes it two in a row!

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible. It is to feel shame at the sight of what seems to be unmerited misery. It is to take pride in a victory won by one’s comrades. It is to feel, when setting one’s stone, that one is contributing to the building of the world.
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryWind, Sand and Stars

As purple inked the desert sky and cars squirted up to their starting positions, questions about team mate dramas echoed throughout the mediaverse that surrounded the paddock. But the real drama prepared to unfold into Turn 1 as Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas had a proper chance to truly upset the established order in Bahrain.

Prelude

As the grid prepared to roll out for the parade lap only Vettel and Sutil sat on the prime tyre.  Was this a sign of worry for Vettel or just the best strategy? Immediately, there was a problem as both Hamilton and Perez had a very slow launch for the parade lap, but in the end they managed to get away. As the grid settled down, excitement rippled through the audience waiting to see who would emerge with the advantage out of Turn 1 as Rosberg and Hamilton were already pointed right at each other.

Act I

As the lights went out it was Hamilton to gain the immediate advantage claiming the inside line, but it was Massa to hook up the best start. Rocketing all the way up past his team mate into 3rd, he shattered the grid as Perez in desperation had a massive lock up into turn 1. As the cars threaded their way through the first complex Rosberg refused to give in till Lewis claimed the racing line into turn 4 and Rosberg ran out of track, falling in line behind Lewis. Chaos reigned behind as the Ferraris sought desperately to preserve their race and Hulkenberg leaped forward 2 places. Vergne, again the victim of bad luck with a puncture as P3-6 tightened as Perez and Massa started to edge away and the trio of Bottas, Button and Alonso promised serious action to come.

Lap 2 saw Rosberg retreat to a 1 second gap as Perez sought to extract himself from the clutches of Bottas while his team mate  Hulkenberg, slightly further back, prepared to make short work of Alonso. Vergne rolled into the pits complaining bitterly over the radio about a Lotus driver who was “mental” and “tried to kill him”. Less than 2 seconds covered positions 3-8, with the two Mercedes almost 2 seconds clear of third and already well into their own private race.

Hulkenberg passed Alonso on lap 5 as the race continued to be tight all the way through tenth place. Both Ferrari’s were clearly struggling with their straight line speed and as the Force India went past a shot of a thoroughly disgusted Luca di Montezemolo turning away from the monitor promised fun times ahead for Domenicali and the rest of the team.

The Force India continued to show it’s true pace as Hulkenberg slowly began to reel in Button around lap 7 while the duo of Perez and Massa created some separation. Bottas was beginning to create a bit of a train that was catching out Button as he lacked the pace to get by on the straights. Rosberg received the call to go onto alternate strategy as he maintained station behind Hamilton, certainly not what he wanted to hear. Maldonado managed to cross in front of his teammate while Ferrari had temporarily stemmed the bleeding with Alonso in 8th and Raikkonen in 9th. Vettel had made seemingly little progress in 10th, but he was on the harder tyre and Ricciardo in 12th had started to hunt down Magnussen. The Mercedes were 7 seconds up on 3rd place Massa while Vettel’s tyre strategy was beginning to play out as he started to gain on Raikkonen.

Sutil boxed from the back as Ricciardo was all over the back of Magnussen, still struggling to recover from his contact with Raikkonen in the opening lap. Hamilton gave us a glimpse of his woes as he complained of excess front wing and was told his car had more understeer than Rosberg’s did.

Ricciardo had a good go at Magnussen in the beginning of lap 9, but locked up at the end and let him back through while giving Kvyat a fairly good look before the junior team member thought better of pushing his luck. The question of which strategy Mercedes drivers were on came up as the question of 2 or 3 stops didn’t have an obvious answer at this track but as the indications were that Rosberg would make a 2 stop would Hamilton as well? One thing was clear Bottas was due for a stop soon as Button overtook him on lap 10 and he just seemed a little slower. Still, the battle for 5th through 7th was stellar with all the cars running within second of each other.

In fact the very next lap saw Bottas pit and just squeak out in front of Ericsson with a pit delta of around 23 seconds. Ricciardo meanwhile had finally tracked Magnussen back down and was going to give him a slightly more patient go with a nice and effective outside to inside move that would stick this time. The following lap saw Perez finally take 3rd from Massa as the Williams seemed to be suffering from higher tyre degradation than the notoriously long lapped Force India platform.

Lap 13 saw Alonso pit as the window for the 3 stoppers opened and the order prepared for a serious reshuffle.

Act II

Alonso reemerged in 14th, sandwiched between Bottas and Kvyat. The Williams, with pace in hand was slowly carving its way through the field as the 2 stoppers started to think about coming in as their tyres hit the end of their usefulness. Vettel closed in on Raikkonen circulating in 7th as Sutil parked it near turn 1, the loser in a game of demolition derby he had played with Bianchi. Bianchi, for his part gets handed a drive through but the replay demonstrates that though Sutil started it, plenty of fault was available for both parties. While that excitement was going on Raikkonen snuck into the pits. Vettel had come under pressure from his teammate meanwhile, with a loss of DRS and being on the slower tyre began to seriously cost Ricciardo race. With mechanical difficulties, the call was made “Daniel is quicker than you” and Vettel let his teammate pass with nary a fuss for 6th place.

Hulkenberg stormed out of the pits behind both Raikkonen and Kvyat, but not for long as he had dispatched both of them within a lap and a half as he was no doubt determined to stay as close to Perez as possible. As Hulkenberg moved through the attention of the crowd focused back at the front as going into lap 16 Rosberg closed the gap to Hamilton down to less than a second as Mercedes approached their pit window.

As the race at the sharp end tightened, Hulkenberg caught and passed Perez but no one cared as going into lap 18 Rosberg was all over Hamilton in a desperate attempt to win the battle for best strategy. Hamilton had his hands full as Rosberg tried to pass him through turn 1 lap 18 and just about took Rosberg’s front wing off maintaining his position. Lap 19 saw the epic battle continue, a virtual repeat with an added lock up by both drivers as they attempted to outbreak each other side by side into turn 1 for a second straight lap.

Lewis maintained first by the narrowest of margins, giving him preference in the tyre strategy. Thus it was Hamilton onto the option lap 19 while Rosberg would go onto the prime a lap later. With Hamilton inside the pit delta Rosberg’s chance to reclaim first was gone for the moment. It would now be down to who executed their strategy better.

Everyone else kept on racing of course, and Massa seemed determined to prove a point as he had once again caught up to Bottas by lap 23, with just 0.5 seconds separating them and Massa on fresher tyres. Vettel took Raikkonen for 9th as another lackluster race for Ferrari seemed likely. 3rd through 6th continued to be incredibly close as all 4 positions were within 1 second of another.

Lap 25 saw Bottas box rather than continue to hold up Massa, who was under severe pressure from Hulkenberg at that point. Hulkenberg tried on lap 26 and couldn’t do it, but while his attention was elsewhere Perez put a beautiful move on him for 4th.  Lap 27 saw Button reporting DRS difficulties and Hamilton began putting a margin between himself and Rosberg, with the option being 0.3 seconds faster a lap.

Ominously for Rosberg, his engineer reported that the gap between the option and prime was less than what they thought it would be, meaning his only chance of overtaking would be to stay fairly close to Lewis.

Lap 28 continued the fierce action as Perez put the same move on Massa that he had practiced on his teammate the previous lap. Hullkenberg closed up on the wounded Massa and took him as well before he had a chance to recover from Perez blowing by him. Further down the field Ricciardo locked up trying to outbrake Raikkonen and was forced to drop back and reset.

At the front Hamilton relentlessly hammered home his tyre advantage, up to 7.5 seconds clear of Nico on lap 30. Bottas meanwhile was caught out by Raikkonens braking point and had a total off. Forced to regroup, he wasted 2 laps getting back to Kimi before he passed him.  Hamilton continued to push as Massa on fresher tyres loomed ever larger in Bottas’ mirrors as he attempted to get past Ricciardo

Act III

Lap 34 saw Hamilton barking at his engineer, the stress in his voice evident as he replied to a message about no more need to lift and coast with a curt dismissal “looking after tyres”. The next lap saw Perez making his final stop as Massa became the fastest man on track, desperately trying to make their three stopper faster than the Force India’s two stopper. Perez popped out behind Alonso while his teammate pitted, covered by Button. Hulkenberg and Button both emerge behind Alonso on the next lap while Vettel knocked off Magnussen. A real tossup had developed between the teams on two stop and the teams on three stops, with the three stoppers of Williams viciously overtaking to keep the two stoppers of Force India from receding into the distance and the third step of the podium wide open.

By lap 38 Bottas was back into 3rd and looking to consolidate as Massa worked his way back to him. Vettel continued his forward progress passing Maldonado as yet again Ricciardo passed Raikkonen. Rosberg was looking for time to give himself one more shot at Hamilton before the checkers.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix - Maldonado Gutierrez CrashLap 39 saw Massa pit first in an attempt to undercut Bottas as Perez moved into 5th, followed by Alonso and then Hulkenberg. And just like that it all changed as exiting the pits Maldonado drove directly into Gutierrez, flipping him across turn 1 and very likely bringing out the safety car. The crash looked very frightening on replay, but appears to have been caused by tyre to tyre contact and not by submarining. This incident won’t do Pastor’s reputation any good at all. The good news is that Gutierrez walks away without serious injury.

Lap 41 saw both Mercs in, with Hamilton onto the prime and Rosberg onto the option. The emergence of the safety car will destroy Hamilton’s lead of 13.5 seconds and swing the pendulum back to Rosberg. And then Magnussen parked his car off track as well. Both Saubers are out 2 weeks in a row, sad days in Hinwil.

With Bottas having pitted as well on Lap 41, the Williams race rapidly went pear shaped behind the extended safety car, which deprived them of the laps they needed to catch back up to Force India. But fate was favoring Red Bull as they sat comfortably in 6th and 7th both on the faster options.

Lap 45 saw a call from Paddy Lowe to both Mercedes drivers telling them they were free to race as long as they brought the car home in one piece. Was it code for maintain position? It did herald the end of the safety car and with only ten laps left under green and the race leader on slower tyres than his immediate challenger, the first few turns would answer the question once and for all.

With the safety car in, the Mercedes duo engaged in a full on drag race down the start/finish straight and Rosberg showed straight away that there would be no team orders today at Mercedes, attempting a vicious overtake the Hamilton was barely able to fend off. The teammate wars continued for the last podium step as Hulkenberg tried to take Perez into turn 4, with Perez barley able to hang on. Vettel sailed past Button who seemed to have some kind of issue and was rapidly driving backwards, being passed by Ricciardo.

With Rosberg hot on his heels, Hamilton was on the radio down on power, as he had not managed a full harvest before the restart. Trying times for Lewis’ side of the garage as Rosberg was pushing to his limit to find a way past.  The teams were all paired at the end of lap 48 Mercedes followed by Force India, Red Bull then Williams. Lap 49 gave a real glimpse of Mercedes advantage as the put a staggering 6 seconds between themselves and everyone else in a single lap. Rosberg again took it to Hamilton keeping the gap under 1 second and the pressure on. Alonso is past Button, Ricciardo takes Vettel and Vettel is right back on him but Ricciardo hangs on.

Lap 51 and Rosberg again goes at Hamilton and in a virtual repeat of lap one Hamilton shoves his teammate outside the track at turn 4 as they dance through the opening corners. Vettel tries to sneak one over on Ricciardo as he looks to line up Hulkenberg on much older tyres and almost gets away with it. Nothing is being saved in these closing laps as the action in the top ten is the best racing in a long time.

Lap 53 and adrenaline city at the front as Rosberg is still not done as he looks to have Lewis but out-brakes himself into turn 1 as Lewis gives up the inside and then dives past his teammate without an ounce of mercy and seizes the position back by braking early and getting on the throttle quicker. Ricciardo takes Hulkenberg for 4th as Force India reassures Perez he is safe in 3rd, but Ricciardo had other ideas as he set off in pursuit of the podium.  The next lap for Lewis brought good news as he was again allowed to use overtake out of corners. The gap to Rosberg began to widen as his tyres began to degrade from such close running.

Lap 56 saw the eking out of the gap by Hamilton as Massa and Vettel traded 5th place  back and forth before Vettel put his foot down. Immediately Bottas tried to take advantage, but Massa was not about to let him past this week either. Massive defence from Hamilton as Button had to retire on the penultimate lap with terminal gearbox problems. The final lap confirmed Rosberg’s last chance had passed, but Ricciardo was still in with a chance and the as the checkers fell Perez’ margin was well under a second.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix - Podium

Finale

With the third race of the 2014 season in the books it is clear that the naysayers case against the new regulations appears to be falling apart as it has been quite a while since a race has provided this level of excitement. With the safety car appearing late in the race, we were deprived of one exciting race and given another, even more exciting one. Mercedes finally revealed their true pace as well, much to the delight of the crowd and despair of their opponents. The skill of defending demonstrated its continuing relevance even in the age of DRS and the promise of even more action hangs in the air as the circus prepares to head to China.

Final results

# Driver Team
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3 Sergio Perez Force India
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
7 Felipe Massa Williams
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus
13 Max Chilton Marussia
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus
15 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia
R Adrian Sutil Sauber
R Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
R Jenson Button McLaren
R Marcus Ericsson Caterham
R Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
R Kevin Magnussen McLaren

World Drivers Championship

2014 Drivers' Championship Graph Bah

 

World Constructors Championship

2014 Constructors' Championship Graph Bah

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83 responses to “#F1 Race Review: Hamilton makes it two in a row!

      • Matt, this was a great write-up! I can’t speak to factual accuracy b/c I’ve only seen some of the race, but this was a very energetic, exciting chronicle! Well done!

        • Agreed, good write up and nice flow. Thanks Matt.

          I’ve not noticed many posts from hippo recently, then bang, there it is. The angry one returns. The tenuous connections made in the said aquatic mammal’s brain and hard to fathom out, even on a good day.

    • You were expecting Matt to ignore the race-long battle at the front ?
      Even Nico admitted he enjoyed it a bit (props to him for that).

      Spectacular comeback for Perez.

      • he DID ignore the race long battle at the front. That chopping maneuvre of Lewis in lap three would have raised holy hell had it been performed by Alonso, Vettel or Rosberg. He squeezed him of in the Schumacher corner at least three times over the race. I don’t see that much covered.
        Don’t get me wrong – how Lewis stayed upfront on the slower tires after the SC was a bloody good drive, but it should be allowed to say that he employed tactics that other people have been badly criticized for in the past – not only Vettel btw. I believe Lewis himself lambasted Rosberg for a similar move in China 2012 – when he was still in a McLaren and got punked somewhat fierce 😉

        • Hi Hip… I know you said you would no longer ‘contribute’ and only ‘comment’ but I’m wondering if you’ve got it back to front… Personally, I prefer your contributions… 😉

          • I was thinking the exact same thing. I thoroughly enjoyed Fat Hippo’s views from the waterhole, even those I didn’t agree with. It’s his comments that were a tad too adversarial for my tastes.

          • Same here. I hardly ever find myself agreeing with him, but at least he makes me THINK – which the so-called veterans (JS, AB et al) definitely do not; they just regurgitate ad infinitum.

            I wish FH would brighten my days with plenty more rants!

        • Not Rosberg’s view, if you listened to his post race interview.
          His considered reaction to the ‘chop’ was mild irritation rather than holy hell.

          And in any event, there is rather a large difference between edging someone out towards the tarmac when racing someone behind you around a corner, something very driver does as a matter of course… and forcing someone onto the grass on a straight when the closing speed and absolute speed were much greater.

          And you should consider Hamilton’s post race reaction to the grass incident (for which I don’t believe Rosberg was penalised ?) – “OK, if that’s how it’s going to be…”

  1. It’s just you.

    Someone’s a little upset that both of his boys were shown the way by their less illustrious teammates? At least Sutil finished ahead of Gutierrez, so it wasn’t all bad!

    • Not something I was expecting to hear! I wonder if Williams will show this to Massa? Sometimes even World Champions have to let their teammate past…

    • I’m missing the people noting that he had given way before the command was even given. Maybe Danny is just a little bit more worthy of respect than the useless hack that hogged the cockpit until last year.

      • Are you also forgetting, that the messages we hear, are delayed? So when you saw him move over and when the message was given, aren’t in sync.

        • I don’t know how much delay there is – but the fact still stands – he moved over without much fuzz. Maybe Danny does something different from his predecessor. Well, knowing how to start is one thing. But maybe it’s because he’s not a conniving, media-manipulating bitch. Just a thought…

          • Atleast this australian didn’t cry on the radio that ‘seb’s too slowwww. get him out of my wayyyy’ 🙂 He was very polite on the radio and asked the team for instructions.

  2. What a great race. Battles all around, different strategies, overtaking, teamates not given team orders, and to see Hamilton win makes it even better.

    I hope Bernie shuts the fck up now.

  3. Apart from not bothering to turn up today, was there any underlying problem with Magnussen’s car?
    Button seems to believe Macca is the next best thing to Mercedes – totally oblivious that FI, Willy and Merc were in another race altogether.
    Must be jockeying to try and retain a ride for next season. Guess what Jens?……

    • He and Raikkonen banged wheels early on. Both McLarens wound up retiring, but their race pace didn’t look that great in FP2.

    • Button’s race got f’ed by the SC and the gearbox problems — based on pure pace he was a podium contender.

  4. Bernie, Luca…Could I ask you to repeat what you were saying about the racing being boring? Hello? Sorry, you’ll have to speak up, I can’t hear you….

    • We had 2 utterly boring races and one good one – so I wouldn’t count the chikens just yet. Next race could be an absolute stinker again

      • You’re right – that makes this season SO much worse than those of recent years.

        • Last year: first 3 races – 3 winners – 3 different teams
          This year: first 3 races – 2 winners – 1 team

          your point, sir?

          • My point is that different race winners does not equate to exciting races. It might equate to exciting championships (or at least exciting early stages), but the complaint from L&B is that the RACING is boring.

            I’ve been reading experienced journalists this evening who have described today’s race as being possibly the best for years, or even the best in a generation.

            Even if that is the hyperbole that can come with a lack of proper perspective, I cannot imagine that anyone except a true “stick in the mud” (pun intended) thinks that what we just watched is “unacceptable” to F1 or “taxi cab” racing.

            That, my dear Fats, is my point.

          • Today’s race was one of the best for years – if nothing else just for the fact that Merc had the decency to kick Brawn to the curb and let their drivers duke it out until the end. We didn’t have that much in the last years.

            my point is: this was one race out of three, so there have been still twice as many this year where not much racing was going on and whe shouldn’t just sing Kumbayah and hand each other flowers just yet.
            If the majority of races is better than last year – which shouldn’t be too hard to achieve – then we can talk again. But until now we had 2 stinkers and 1 brilliant one. Hardly reason to start celebrating

          • Your point is totally valid. But it’s not related to my original post.

            Bernie has said that the current engine rules are “unacceptable” for F1. Luca says that we have “taxi cab” racing.

            Given what we have seen over any of the past 10 seasons, I suggest that today’s/yesterday’s race (along with the two previous “reasonable” races, as voted by your peers) proves them to be wrong, foolish and having some clear agenda which has fuck-all to do with actual concern about F1 racing’s fans.

          • I’m still at a loss why the engine manufacturers decided to go V6 turbo anyway. The only ones for whom it applies are Renault and their horrid eco-boxes. Merc? Ever heard the sound track of an SLS? It’s a huge honking V8. Same goes for a Ferrari. Who wants to drive a Ferrari that sounds like an asthmatic dyson? You can have that in a Noble M10.
            I simply don’t get this tree-hugger malarkey.

      • And if I remember correctly, the community here rated the first two races 6/10. Hardly “utterly boring” by that vote.

        • If you rated Malaysia 6/10 I take the liberty of calling you an utter imbecile. That travesty made even some late 2013 races look interesting.

          • Apparently, according to the vote taken here, you are in the minority.

            BTW didn’t you promise you weren’t going to watch the races any longer? How do YOU know what it was like???

          • “BTW didn’t you promise you weren’t going to watch the races any longer? How do YOU know what it was like???”

            To quote the First post-WWII German chancellor. “I don’t care what I said yesterday” 😉

            Anywho. cav retired two years ago and he’s still posting – you’ll have to live with me for at least another year :mrgreen:

          • Malaysia was pretty dull – but so were races last year, and this year teams are still finding their feet.
            As for your continued presence keep at it.
            “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers …”

  5. Montezemolo was right – the fuel restrictions are hurting F1.10% of the race was under a safety car which is why everybody could essentially go full out. Had it not been for the safety car it would have been another bore.

    • just to remind you, Hamilton was informed on lap 38, if I am not mistaken, that he didn’t need to save any more fuel, once again Ferrari made an engine that uses more fuel, just like in the 80’s when Renault, Honda and TAG beat them

      • I’d suggest you read up on history a little. Ferrari in the 80’s were run by a man in his 80’s and who passed away. Their chassis were hopeless. But they still won the 1982 and 1983 WCC something Renault never achieved. If Senna hadn’t been driving a Lotus with a Renault engine, please tell me what success Renault had between 1984 to 1986.
        The TAG raised the bar and Honda trampled it.

        But when I look at the record books, I believe Ferrari has 31 World Titles from their time in Formula One – as a manufacturer of engines and chassis. Not merely an engine like Renault and Honda.

        As to the Renault titles of 05/05, it was essentially the Benetton team in Enstone that delivered them, not Renault.

        • relax, I was saying about turbo engines, Ferrari had many good engines back then, but they were thirsty on fuel, remember lots of races when Berger, Arnoux, Michele or Stefan were fast but then had to lift, due to high fuel usage

          • I remember many where Prost drove to a limit from lap one and as the others slowed down he’d pick them off one by one. Intelligent maybe but boring as hell.

            Senna and De Angelis ran out in their Renault powered Lotus, as did other Renault users and Hockenheim 1987 was a race that Prost actually ran out himself and tried pushing his car across the line. so not all perfect..

      • Ferrari won 2 constructors WC’s during the first turbo era – the same number that Mclaren won with the TAG-Porsche engine. How many did Renault win?

        • well, as proved comprehensively this year, renault are useless at building turbo engines, which gets even more hilarious considering that they’ve pretty much owned the V10 and V8 natural aspirated era’s. Talk about missing your calling :mrgreen:

          • I have to disagree fats. I’d argue that Newey owned the V10 and V8 era. If it wasn’t for the Renault installations in his cars, they would have had nothing other than the titles from Enstone.

            Newey owned the 3.5l era with Williams Renault and yet Benetton with a Ford V8 beat them in 1994. By 1995 the engines had been reduced to 3.0l.

            Ferrari didn’t even run a V10 until 1996 and then you had the V8’s introduced for 2006.

            Really depends what parameter you wish to use, but regardless, it’s harder to build a full team than it is designing engines. Renault did try, bless them..

    • Says the man who obviously didn’t watch any of the racing that went on BEFORE the safety car ………

  6. great race, and the way FM launched to third place reminded me of his ability to start with ease, great pace too, shame that the Safety Car messed his team strategy

    also, Sergio and Daniel deserve top marks, and Lewis, even not being his fan, is an outstanding racer
    perhaps we’re about to watch something along the lines of the 1988 season, Senna doing it intense, raw and fast, and Prost carrying on the rational way

      • Well it is sort off comparable to 1988 – the advantage of Merc is equally ridiculous. HAM and ROS pulled out 25 seconds in the closng 10 laps over the 3rd placed car – that’s 2.5 seconds!!

        I have to say, I’m missing the judge’s lambasting of Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, who just ridiculed LdM and Horner for talking about rule changes. Last year they very much lobbied for rule changes when the early season tyres didn’t fit them – even allying with RB in that.

        No it’s not a double standard – he just forgot…

        • A bit like how Montezemelo was moaning about fuel saving and tyres were not F1, yet last year when they wanted to change the tyres from ones made of cheese, Ferrari were one of the teams resisting it, as they were doing alright on them. Presumably it ‘was F1’ then. As per just a bunch of self serving ejits.

      • It was less a comparison of senna and Hamilton than it was a comparison of two eras of tortoise-hare teammates, I suspect.

        • you’re spot on, CTP
          my comparison was made regarding the whole situation, resembling that of 1988, a superior car driven by racers with different approaches ans abilities

      • where I compared them ?

        read it again, I wrote about the way things are going, the same ingredients present in the 1988 season are there, a superior car with fast drivers, one rational and the other purely fast, emotional

      • Staggered by your comparison for Senna to Hamilton. Not even in the same league

        Technically true – but definitely the same formula…

    • if Renault gets the engine issues sorted on things could be better, otherwise there will be more Mercedes Benz clean sweeping

  7. The positive of the race was that Merc ,to my big surprise, allowed the drivers race. But without the safety car we would have unlikely to have such a finale to the race. At least both are capable of winning, and to be seen how tough the going gets over the season, I guess after today teamorders won’t work.

    But anyway for the rest is aiming for 3rd unless Mercs have DNF. Definetelly better than 2nd half of last year, but a few more teams challenging Merc would make it great.

    • where should those teams come from? Engine development is mostly frozen and they were 2 seconds faster than the rest. Not even Newey can finger that much out of a chassis.

      • Merc built a great powertrain, and at the same time they built a great chassis.

        Merc has shared that powertrain so the challenge should have come from McLaren, they have the money and the experience and they took all last season off getting ready for this one.

        Red Bull has a better chassis and Renault can change engine parts all they want to fix their reliability problems, last time they did that they got some power back as well. But at the moment the cars can’t even seem to use the power they do have available.

        Renault will eventually fix their software problems and power delivery problems and a RBR will win a race this year, not a race with a long straight like China but they will win, hopefully with Ricciardo at the wheel.

    • but we DID have the safety car!

      so criticizing the formula for what would’ve happened w/o it rings hollow in this instance, imo.

      • Joe, I’ve been waiting all day for your impassioned defense of Maldonado’s driving! 🙂

      • We did indeed and it does happen frequently. I wasn’t really criticizing F1 for safety cars or lack of them. Just simple statement the great finale of the race was brought by safety car, no bigger meaning behind it.

        Risk is of course that soon Bernie will schedule mandatory crash at random lap per race to make sure there’s a safety car to excite each race. Or maybe his already doing that via Maldonado.

        Anyway as said this year definetelly looks better than last years end. Last year even safety car didn’t guarantee racing when Seb didn’t have a challenger.

  8. I have a feeling the Ferrari / Alonso war is about to explode. And explode with magnitude akin to the ‘big bang’ birth of our universe.

    Judge, head up.

    • Alonso gets a prescience award for his comment last week:

      “Just like in football, where you can see a terrible nil-nil game and the next one is an exciting five-four which you enjoy so much”.

    • it’s a time bomb and his radio message labelling Kimi as “saviour” is an indication of it

      just add Botin statements regarding its bank sponsoring philosophy, almost casting doubts about JB, Honda wanting FA, and we can assume he’s going again to Woking

      • My thoughts exactly. It would be perfect for Santander to be at McLaren. But with Button as the UK face could it be K-Mag that suffers? Although good it seems JB has one over him at the moment… :O

  9. Agreed, good write up and nice flow. Thanks Matt.

    I’ve not noticed many posts from hippo recently, then bang, there it is. The angry one returns. The tenuous connections made in the said aquatic mammal’s brain are hard to fathom out, even on a good day.

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