#F1 Qualifying Review: Mercedes on pole but are the wheels coming off?

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

2014 HungarianGP - Nico Rosberg Pole 1

The start of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw the temperature plummet 4◦C as the clouds rolled in just before the track went green. With rain in the area and storms forecast for tomorrow, weather metaphors were in plentiful supply regarding the long term fate of the sport. The action on track mirrored the mercurial meteorology as spins, mechanical failures and a Mercedes flambé led the way and that was just in Q1. Despite being robbed of the drama of a Hamilton-Rosberg showdown, the rain stepped in and made Q3 the best chance in recent memory for someone other than Mercedes to take pole. It wasn’t to be however, as Rosberg’s steady hand and cool demeanour saw him once again in charge at the end of the day

Q1

With both Mercedes at the top and only a hair apart in times for FP3, qualifying promised to be an exciting one especially as Sky was reporting zero grip with the Mediums in the suddenly cooler temperatures. And as the track opened for business, Pastor Maldonado wasted no time in foreshadowing the day’s events by pulling his stricken Lotus off track at the 15 minute mark following a massive lockup.

The sharp end was out to play once the yellows cleared and it was Rosberg on it for Mercedes, as rain was reported in the area. AS 12 minutes ticked by he spoiled his first effort by missing the chicane entirely as his struggles with the early Q1 runs continued.

Not that it made a difference today as just like last week, a jarring cut to a car in trouble led to the rapidly dawning realization that it was once again Lewis Hamilton, only this time his car was spectacularly engulfed in flames instead of having a 30G impact. As he guided his car gently down the pit lane looking like a rolling bonfire, he replied to his teams entreaties to stop the car by the marshal with the extinguisher by saying he was unable to stop the car. He eventually got it off track in a good location but it was clear he was going no further and he was out without even setting a time. There are those who don’t believe in luck, but you’d be hard pressed not to argue Hamilton has seen more than his fair share of travails this season and you could hear the Hamifosi gnashing their teeth across the Atlantic

Qualifying continued regardless, and it was Bottas with the early pace followed by Ricciardo and Vettel. Rosberg began banging his lap out as Hamilton’s ride belched forth smoke. Magnussen slotted into 4th as Rosberg completed his lap and to no one’s surprise took the top spot away. As the Sky director lingered on an arty shot of a forlorn Hamilton watching his car burn, it became clear that with him and Maldonado out, there was a real chance for one of the backmarkers to steal a march into Q2.

With 7 minutes left to go and the reverberations receding, the bottom of the grid retired to change to new softs. As Bianchi, Chilton, Grosjean, Kobayashi and Ericsson got ready to duke it out with Kamui currently owning P16 the sharp end parked it up to make the hard choices about whether their times were good enough or whether they needed to sacrifice a set of new options on the altar of expedience.

4 minutes to go and it was Grosjean out and flying into 8th. Perez followed up with a P6 and Hulkenberg lagged into 16th after mucking up the final turn. Vergne claimed top spot with Kvyat third as the seconds ticked to less than 2 minutes with Kobayashi’s time just 0.1 seconds off Hulkenberg’s.

Super Max became Super Slow Max as the cold hand of reliability reached out yet again and tapped him on the shoulder, ruining any chance he might have had to play with the big boys in Q2 with fuel pressure problems.

His teammate was having no such problems and as he flashed round the circuit Raikkonen fell into 15th, Ferrari having decided to save tyres for Q2. Hulkenberg was into his last sector when the checkers fell and his drive to P12 displaced Raikkonen to P16 and as the Iceman looked helplessly on, in a glimpse of the future, Bianchi completed his last flyer to take P16 away from Kimi and knock him out of Q2. Massive fail from the Ferrari strategy boys as the team continues to struggle on all fronts. Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Chilton, Ericcson, Hamilton and Maldonado all out with the rest moving on.

Q2

Well, the chance had opened for someone to make Q3 and Perez, deciding it might as well be him, leaped onto the track followed closely by Hulkenberg. Sergio’s started his first lap at the 12:30 mark and as the first wave of times came in, it was to be Bottas on top until Rosberg got it done.  The Red Bulls lingered in the garage and first impressions of a fuel leak were confirmed by Lauda and in a simultaneous interview Lewis actually managed a bit of a laugh about seeing flames in the mirror.

Vettel settled down to his effort as Lewis walked through the onboard action which started with a brake issue that required resetting some functions followed by a loss of power. The engine was cutting in and out for him as he sought a place to stop, never sounding out of sorts whilst on the radio. Vettel got through in P2 and confirmed that he had the pace over his teammate as Ricciardo could not best him and had to settle for P3. A bitter pill for Hamifosi as Lewis confirmed top 5 would be a miracle for Sunday, though true race fans will hope for an epic wet and storming drive to liven up the day.

Sudden shots of Perez climbing out in the garage brought home the fact that as the season goes, reliability will start to play an increasing role in the fate of the drivers, with a 2nd problem for a Mercedes powered car. Reported as hydraulics at 5 minutes left, it must still be a concern to Brackley to see these issues cropping up after such a solid start to the season.

The bad news for Force India was going to be good news for someone as Sergio’s ill–fortune opened up a spot in the top 10. With Hamilton out as well, the drama was gone. Rosberg and the Red Bulls decided to stay parked but the rest were out to defend their positions. A big lockup for Massa saw P5 as the best he could do.

Hulkenberg improved to P9 moving Button to P10 and relegating Kvyat. Double waved yellows spoiled the rest of the runs as it transpired Kvyat had driven himself right out of Q3 by putting his left front onto the grass and spinning as a result. Track limits indeed!

Kvyat’s adventure saw himself, Sutil, Perez, Gutierrez, Grosjean, and Bianchi all out. Grosjean was clearly unimpressed with his inability to beat Sutil, before settling on the cooler track temps as the main source of Lotus woes. Aside from the lack of money and a decent engine, of course.

Q3

Given the lack of Lewis, Q3 promised to be a perfunctory affair to yet again confirm the dominance of Mercedes. Yet Mother Nature helpfully stepped into the void for as the track waited to turn green, shots of Kvyat’s Toro Rosso being recovered showed drops of rain glistening on the bodywork of his car. There was a sudden crush at the pitlane and at the off it was Rosberg leading the way as the radios crackled with nervous engineers imploring their drivers to get a banker in in case the track went away from them. Only Alonso and Vettel bided their time, hoping to hit the gap between the traffic and potentially worse weather.

AS Rosberg hurtled across the start/finish, the adrenaline must have been full tilt as he hit the first corner since it was the only one he wouldn’t have driven on his warm up. And rightfully so as it appeared that was where all the moisture was. Rosberg didn’t have a chance and was forced to take to the run off area completely spoiling his lap. For a brief, shining moment the door was open and it was possible that Mercedes might not have the pole yet again. Then, having seen no yellows Kevin Magnussen entered T1 on full song, slamming the door shut by smashing into the tyre barriers and red flagging the session. AS the marshals came round to assist him, Brundle could be heard imploring them to stay back as with more traffic approaching, they were indeed in a perilous situation.

It didn’t take long to reset the tyre barriers, but it was enough for the weather to clear and as the cars hit the track with 9:59 to go, Rosberg was told he was fueled for 3 timed laps.

Once again in the lead, Rosberg tiptoed through T1 but it was clearly drying and further back Bottas took advantage of Rosberg’s caution to set a time nearly a second faster. At the end of the first set of runs it was Bottas, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button, and Massa all in front of Rosberg, but the Mercedes man’s 2nd turn saw him take his customary lead as the sun once again began to shine.

No sooner did they make for the pits than calls for returning rain hit the airwaves. Bottas, looking for any advantage, tore out of the pits as Vergne turned his lonely lap in, good for P5 as the live stream inexplicably changed channels to lawn bowling for a moment.

Fortunately not for long as the time had clocked down to less than 2 minutes. Bottas, having followed Button, was unable to improve on Rosberg’s time but stayed P2.

12 seconds to go and it was Rosberg, Bottas and Vettel – though Sebastian was on a flyer and as the last seconds ticked off he was the fastest man on track, just edging Rosberg’s time and displacing Bottas to P3. But not for long as the Mercedes of Rosberg, having claimed ultimate track position, came across nearly a half second faster than Vettel. That brought the session to a close, Rosberg Vettel and Bottas, followed by Ricciardo, Alonso, Massa, Button, Vergne, Hulkenberg and Magnussen to round out the top 10.

With storms on tap for tomorrow, and Hamilton once again starting from the back and Alonso and Ricciardo next to one another, tomorrow’s race ought to be a cracking send off for the summer break.

 

Qualifying Result:

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

47 responses to “#F1 Qualifying Review: Mercedes on pole but are the wheels coming off?

  1. Another worrying aspect of this from Hamilton’s POV is that recovery drives from the back of the field take rather more out of the car than running around at the front.
    The Mercedes doesn’t seem entirely bulletproof, so there is a danger Hamilton’s problems will compound, costing him grid penalties towards the end of the season.

    And Hungary is not quite the best place to make a run through the field…

    • Yes, quite right and there may be actual issues with the PU. Reports were that it was the same one from Silverstone, but there may be a component problem as well.

      • I think the entire engine is toast – which means a 10 place grid penalty for a new power plant is fairly certain later in the season.
        (Either that, or go to the end of season double pointer with a very tired car indeed.)

        If I were Rosberg, I’d take an extra engine change at the same time as Hamilton, and thereby guarantee a brand new engine for Abu Dubai.

  2. A couple of things. 1) your teammate comparison with Rosberg and Hamilton is inaccurate. With a 20th and a 6th position for Hamilton start the two CANNOT have the same average start position, 2) your jabs at Hamilton fans aside, there is a very real case for Toto Wolff stacking the deck to favor Nico Rosberg, who he considers a countryman, despite Rosberg being born in Germany only because his German mother wanted to bear her child in the midst of HER family. plus, as recently as last season, Rosberg was publicly ruing the fact that he is a driver without a true home race, saying, “it feels weird not to have a home race.” That statement is made odder by Rosberg’s sudden acquisition of TWO “home races: one, where last year he said he grew up in only because of its financial/tax haven status of his father – Monaco – and two, the German GP where he said “I just happened to be born there. It’s not like I grew up in Germany.” Additionally, did it escape you and other F1 pundits that Rosberg suddenly named the German GP a “home GP” only after Lewis Hamilton won at Silverstone, or as Rosberg put it, “He only won because my gearbox broke,” obviously forgetting the fact that Hamilton was chewing into his lead with each passing lap.

    It also seems F1 pundits like yourself have conveniently forgotten that Hamilton was brought to Mercedes to revive their flagging F1 program by ROSS BRAWN. And what’s also forgotten is that within two weeks it was being revealed that Wolff was forcing Brawn out of Mercedes. It is quite apparent that Wolff never wanted Hamilton at Mercedes. Brawn not only brought Lewis to the team but named him the #1 driver. Why, people might ask. Well, pundit, you don’t know? Let’s see Lewis Hamilton has dominated Nico Rosberg at every racing level since the two met in their karting days. What’s odd, as far as pundit memory goes it that Rosberg even admitted as much (!!!) after his incredible choke job at the China GP, where he said “it felt like when we were 15 again.” He was referring to his complete inability to defeat Hamilton, no matter what he tried on track.

    You also forget or disavow the fact that Rosberg obliterated any respect Hamilton might have had for him when Rosberg cheated at Monaco in Q3. Not only did Rosberg never even get half his car into the preparatory groove to navigate Mirabeau, he also braked a full 12 meters – about 40 feet – late; yes, the replays clearly show this! Additionally, Rosberg then got the bright idea to begin BACKING OUT of the emergency run-off, which immediately caused yellows to fly.

    Now, I saw so many people claim, ohhhh so Rosberg thought, I’ll make the yellows come out if I back up a few feet. No shite Sherlocks. Think about it for an objective second: what happens if Nico Rosberg backs out into the track where there is the potential for oncoming traffic, like that of his teammate on his final qualie lap, or the myriad drivers and cars encircling the track on their final, post qualie, cool down lap. Hmmm, that could mean crashes of deathly proportions. Also, what happens if another car miss Mirabeau and needs that just over single-car width run off and sees Nico Roesberg backing out and eating up his safe braking space! THAT is EXACTLY why Rosberg began doing what would normally be unthinkable, backing out of the run off. He KNEW the marshals would draw their flags – duh!

    What’s sadly funny, is that Toto came flying to Nico’s defense when, at the same time, EVERY rival pit member of EVERY team was openly saying of course Rosberg pulled his stunt on purpose – unless, of course, you weren’t watching Sky F1 with commentator Ted Kravitz reporting this news from the paddocks. I know Will Buxton was quick to pooh-pooh the idea that Rosberg cheated… and so were the F1 stewards. Remember, they said something about, “telemetry showed…” Telemetry(?!?!) showed what?! Something you couldn’t see with your own eyes?! And notice how that “telemetry” was never shown to the press or public. It, like their decision, was swept away – nothing to see here, move along!

    There’s plenty more, like Wolff rushing to the nearest camera nd microphone to blame Hamilton for a mistake after Lewis told the crew over the radio that something happened to his brakes, but then, when Hamilton’s brake EXPLODED at 170 mph at Hockenheim, Wolff was nowhere to be found, leaving Paddy Lowe to face the cameras alone.

    And today – a “fuel line”?!?! What did Bruno Senna say? It can ONLY be a mistake by the mechanics! And what did Toto say? Some garbled tripe about “all the new technology…” as if a fuel line has ANYTHING to do with new technology. Sure, there’s no way there could be an anti-Lewis Hamilton conspiracy at Mercedes… only if you choose to believe your lyin’ eyes.

    • EVERYBODY is born and raised where others decide… if you haven’t noticed.

    • Nicely aggressive, lol.

      FYI, Toto Wolff is Austrian. Not sure how much you know about middle-European culture but the relation between Austrians and Germans certainly isn’t the friendliest of all.

      Now what Stuttgart thinks may be a different matter.

    • I disagree w/ your allegations against Wolff.

      Watching him speaking post quali, he was obviously high on painkillers, which were functioning like a de facto truth serum, and his lament on behalf of Hamilton appeared genuine, unscripted, unguarded and heartfelt.

      You are obviously very passionate about F1 and a huge Hamilton supporter – as am I. So I will encourage you to divest yourself of the grand corporate favoritism conspiracy theory, and become more sophisticated in your suspicions.

      Mercedes corporation has far more to lose from being seen to conspire against Hamilton than they do from ensuring a Rosberg victory. Merc pursues a global business strategy and the reputational damage would be disastrous.

      It is far more likely that the subterfuge originates w/ Rosberg himself, who I believe has recruited one of Hamilton’s mechanics to sabotage Lewis’s WDC hopes and ensure the Monegasque-German-Finn’s underhanded victory.

      A substantial cash sum will have changed hands, easily facilitated by Rosberg’s access to private banking and special, secret pseudo-criminal wealth management and money-laundering services accessible only to high net worth (HNW) individuals and their co-conspirators.

      Lauda suspects something unfair is happening (and said as much on SKYSportsF1 during quali today), and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team will soon have to address this subterfuge in a very public and dramatic fashion in order to restore heroic Lewis Hamilton’s faith in his dopey, clueless employer. However, they will NOT reveal Rosberg’s role in the scandal in order to protect his contribution to the team’s WCC points-bag.

      In other words, the disloyal, traitorous swine will be tossed under a double-decker bus. Remember: you read it here first.

        • What is that ol’ saying, Your Honour? …

          “Sometimes Truth is stranger than Fiction…” (??)

          [clarification: in my post above it is the disloyal, traitorous swine mechanic who will be tossed under a double-decker bus – not Rosberg (for after all, NR has a newly-extended valid contract!)]

        • Your Honour,

          Do you know how things are inside the Mercedes camp right now ? Surely a fuel leak is a serious issue ? Mercedes don’t want to be associated with making flawed or unreliable cars (at least I think the higher management at Mercedes want it to be that way) so this incident can only hurt them.

          While the brake issue last week could still be put down as a consequence of Hamilton’s more “elaborate” use of it (relative to Rosberg), I seriously wonder how a driver error can lead to a fuel leak… It’s like that gearbox issue with Rosberg in Silverstone, which can hardly be put down as his fault and more Mercedes’. It’s just convenient that Hamilton is having more troubles…

          • This year it was expected we would have 50% of the field failing to finish each race…. It didn’t happen…

            Though what was a latent possibility, was later in the season the incidence of of reliability spiking…

            I haven’t done the count, but Merc is prob no more unreliable than others…

            Further, they’ve been running 70% early season, and as they are forced to ramp up the performance, failures are inevitable….

    • Rosberg even admitted as much (!!!) after his incredible choke job at the China GP, where he said “it felt like when we were 15 again.” He was referring to his complete inability to defeat Hamilton, no matter what he tried on track.

      a real gem – lol…

    • DKW….never amounted to much did they. Nasty smelly little things….

    • Geez DK, give it a frickin break. Or in Hamilton’s case, a frickin brake.

      • If they wanted an ‘All-German’ domination, they could easily hire Sutil to be number 2 driver, and Rosberg would win probably 75% of the races on pure speed.

        But, taking Hamilton will bring benefits to the brand in marketing to the younger audience, as Mattpt55 points out they are trying to achieve in the USA. Like F1, if your audience dies out, then there’s no one left interested that you can sell your product to…

        • Going off Ted’s notebook…. the conspiracy would be that the small fuel leak was timed, so that Lewis could pull over next to the Mercedes fire truck in the pit lane…

  3. The red/ yellow flag could have been hanging out in the first corner actualy. Tough luck for Magnussen. Showing again that he lacks experience but has a great amount of speed. I quite like his driving. One for the future. And vergne was going well too. To bad he didn’t really got out anymore for a good lap… can’t wait for tomorrow!

    • Do you think Verne has much of a future in F1? Once Ricciardo Daniel was signed to replace Webber at RBR, it seemed like Verne becomes a dead-man-walking. Where can he go from here? How much is left on his contract?

      STR is notorious for unsentimentally discharging competent drivers who would otherwise be competitive in other teams but for whom there is simply the perception of “no room” (or no time left – ie, “too old” (despite being young children-aged lol!))…

      • Well, I always thought Grosjean-Vergne-Pic would make a good Renault team line up, with Ocon coming through to match up with Grosjean. But Renault are dialling back their involvement… I think they’ll have enough on their hands trying to get Grosjean a seat with Total backing. Vergne is likely to go the way of Alguersuari.. while Sainz Jr is brought in to the next hot seat..

      • I think vergne is an excellent rain driver. And as we all now if you’re good in the rain you must have some talent. But then again im even more amazed about kvyat. He’s shown some promising things at this young age. So if torro rosso has some kind of other talent lined up, vergne is out next season. And i dont believe an other, better team wants him…

        • so as i suspect, despite being very competent (genuinely very competent), Verne has nowhere left to go in F1 after STR discharges him…

          (And agreed about Kyvat – he’s really shown amazing natural class and I could totally envision him winning a GP in the future.)

  4. I have a voodoo car with a 6 on it. Tomorrow during the race I’m going to place heavy objects on the rear of the car creating slight understeer. muu-ha-ha

  5. Not sure how people define luck, but when one driver starts to get all the bad luck, you start to think whether adequate and thorough checks are being done at the same level on both cars. Aside any conspiracy theories and people start calling me delusional, that’s what any big corporation would do.

    The worst thing of course, is that the only excitement this season was the intra-Merc battle. If Lewis keeps on not getting a crack at the win, the second half of the season will be a borefest. If Rosberg goes ahead by 30-40 points, it will still be a borefest of 1-2s for Merc with no material consequence in the end as Rosberg will win the title.

    What a pity. After the Ferrari years borefest, the Brawn and RBR domination, I’m still looking backwards at ’07/’08. I was hoping so much more for this new era. Let’s hope Honda does the trick next year.

  6. mattpt55, really enjoying your write-ups. you’ve really grown as an author over the past few months.

    keep up the great work and just don’t ever let any commentators bait you into an argument – but please also always treat all the competitors and their fans fairly.

    • Sorry I couldn’t stick around and play in the comments today. I do my utmost to treat all fans and drivers fairly. If you feel I have erred or offended please know that there was no intent behind it. I save my ire and judgement for the corporate types that run the sport and my main interest is in excellent racing. I was gutted to see Hamilton out in Q1 for the second time in a row, I was really looking forward to the battle tomorrow.

    • @ Matt. Second JDanek007. Very good write up!!! I enjoyed your little aside about the grass; I’m convinced all the paved runoff areas should have a 10 foot (3 metre for the Euros) grass edge. That would stop the off track excursions!

      • Yes, couldn’t agree about the grass more. Will immediately stop all that pesky bothering of the stewards to invalidate lap times and passes whilst they are swanning about enjoying their crudites and G&T’s

  7. This isn’t funny anymore. I actually thought something would happen to Hamilton but this is quite ridiculous. I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory but I definitely believe Toto Wolff and the higher level management at Mercedes would prefer to see Rosberg win the WDC (just to what extent they’re willing to go to see this happen is up for speculation). Making Hamilton suffer through car failure only makes Mercedes look bad (unless a fuel leak can be caused by driver error ? I’m no specialist but this looks more like mechanic’s territory).

    Anyway, Rosberg will get his free win tomorrow and Toto will be happy. It would be interesting to see his reaction when Rosberg’s engine blows out in the middle of the race. Not that it will actually happen of course. Wolff gives himself away on his wording post-qualifying : “burning the midnight oil” ? When your driver escaped a car that was engulfed in flames ? Toto just wanted to rub it in a little further as we know his command of English is pretty good and there were more politically correct idioms to choose from. This particular incident is feeling much more cynical than the brake failure thing at Hockenheim (where Hamilton can have had a hand because his use of brakes extracts more performance from the car).

    • Wolff gives himself away on his wording post-qualifying : “burning the midnight oil” ? When your driver escaped a car that was engulfed in flames ? Toto just wanted to rub it in a little further as we know his command of English is pretty good and there were more politically correct idioms to choose from.

      lol absolutely brilliant.

      have an up-arrow..

    • Do you honestly, really, truly believe Mercedes would set fire to their own car, endanger their driver’s life, and face unknown and possibly very serious consequences to let Nico win? I predict we will soon see Godwin’s law invoked.

      • Until it actually happened, no. Now I’m not so sure. It has barely been a week since the brakes failed on Hamilton’s car. One would expect Mercedes to be at least professional and ensure that the components they are fitting on their cars are reliable enough to prevent issues such as fuel leak (at least they could be extra-careful because a week ago one of their highly paid driver suffered a heavy crash). It’s not like they are lacking the man-power, brain-power and money to do it. This latest incident makes Mercedes look thoroughly incompetent, if not malicious (Napoleon said not to attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence, I think this applies here).

        And Toto Wolff’s wording after the incident seriously hacked me off, even if he probably didn’t realize at the time how his words could be easily misconstrued. But then again : he is in a position of power within Mercedes so he should have known better.

  8. re:lewis fire

    For those of a non technical nature. According to reports, it was a fuel line failure. The low pressure side from the tank to high pressure pump is running at 10 bar/145lbs sq inch. The high pressure side is running up to 500 bar/ 7250 lbs sq inch. The sort odf pressure you would feel at the bottom of Arctic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea. So you can see that the potential for failure in a fuel line or the attachment is quite high. Somehow Mercedes have not done their quality control homework. MTTF anyone.

  9. Ian Fleming – Goldfinger (1959)
    “’Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.’”

  10. The ‘Hamilfosi’s’ anger and conspiracy theories are clearly set to max…

    😀 😀 😀

    • It sounds more like Hammy’s mechanics don’t care for him very much. If I recall correctly the McLaren crew were glad to be rid of him. That would explain the fuel line issue and other reliability issues. His mechanics probably don’t double and triple check everything simply because they don’t like him. Happens all the time, I remember Eliseo Salazar treated his crew like dirt and coincidentally, he never finished a race in CART, (now IndyCar). I’m sure Toto and Lauda will have a word with his crew and his reliability will get better!

      • “If I recall correctly the McLaren crew were glad to be rid of him. ” That is TOTAL hearsay fueled by commenters who claim they heard “this” or were told “that” by “someone” A rudimentary search for for “mclaren mechanics glad to be rid of hamilton” will show nothing in the way of the search, other than some clown’s comment attached to a BBC article.

        Should Hamilton have flipped out on Twitter during his last two seasons at McLaren? Perhaps not, but there’s no substitute for learning and maturing from getting kicked in the rear for your every error.

        But, then again, I remember Murray Walker absolute hate for Ayrton Senna’s speaking out against the manner in which F1 was being run… hate to the point of conflating stories to make Senna look like a liar, when, in retrospect, we can now see that 95% of the time his perceptions and critiques were dead on.

      • Are you talking about Marc Priestley the ex Mclaren mechanic? Because that story was started by him after Lewis’s comments at Monaco and as such, everyone has now taken it onboard and run with it. But so far, there has been nothing to verify whether it’s true or not. Maybe someone should find a few more ex Mclaren mechanics to get their opinions as well.

        As for them being happy he left, I bet they wish he was there now. He leaves the team and since then, they’ve only had what, 1 podium finish in 18 months? Performance bonuses not looking so pretty is it?

        So by that theory of them not double or triple checking because they don’t like him, would then support the conspiracy theorist, that he’s being sabotage by his team? I’m a Lewis fan and I find that theory ridiculous to say the least. You’re talking about professional people neglecting to do their jobs properly and putting someone’s life at risk, just because they “don’t like him”! So what do you think should happen to that person or persons if something tragic happens? They’re all in the same team and I’m sure there’s something about each driver that someone in the team doesn’t like, but to purposely neglect to do their job so as to ensure the drivers safety, is just stupid. Each driver on the grid puts their lives in the hands of the mechanic each and every single time they step into the car.

        I hope and pray that’s not happening, but if it is, I hope they find that person and castrate his/her ass and feed it to them!

        • It’s not the entire team of mechanics that are against Hamilton – it’s just one man, one of the more junior mechanics but the one who was magically able to afford to buy a customized version of the team-issued IWC Ingenieur automatic AMG black series ceramic timepiece with his nickname spelled out in diamonds and black gold on the face, and a modest flat in Monaco in which to store it b/w races…

          (see my conspiracy comment way above 😉

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