Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 31st July 2014

 

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Features: The Engine Corrected Grid – #HungarianGP 2014


OTD Lite: 1994 – Berger breaks longest winless drought

Red Bull-Honda negotiate a contract for 2015-16

Barrichello’s Ferrari for sale at $3.4mil

Former manager says Alonso ‘best thing about Ferrari’ (GMM)

Drivers will from now obey Mercedes team instructions

Ecclestone popularity think tank meeting cancelled


OTD Lite: 1994 – Berger breaks longest winless drought

3 and 10/12ths. Or to put is another way, 58. Still no? On this day in 1994, Gerhard Berger finally brought to an end the longest winning drought in Ferrari’s history at the Hockenheim circuit. The last victory had been Alain Prost’s at the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix on the 30th September. For any signed up member of the tifosi, the following three years and ten months was an interminably long wait for glory once again. What made it worse was BBC’s Top Gear ran a special about Ferrari cars and questioned the F1 efforts with a song by Four Non Blondes titled – “Whats going wrong”.

Jean Todt, seemingly a descendant of Josephine’s fella, had taken over the resurrecting of the team just the year before and with the Ferrari 412T, it seemed a brighter road than before. The sonorous V12 delighted fans around the world as Berger and Jean Alesi pushed the car to its fragile limts but here in Germany he had withstood the pressure from local hero Schumacher and took the laurels of victory.

Who would have guessed that just over a year later, the V12 would sing it’s last tune in anger as fuel efficiency and packaging became more important than outright power. The Scuderia hasn’t quite plumbed the same depths as in the early nineties, but it’s over a year now and counting…

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Red Bull-Honda negotiate a contract for 2015-16

When Honda announced their return to Formula One, they made it in conjunction with their previous partner Mclaren. Their record of success in the late 80’s/ early 90’s made icons of the cars and drivers. As ever all cycles come to an end and the baton of domination passed to Wiliams-Renault. Honda pulled out and their efforts since have been half-hearted at best.

Many fans of the Woking team have been rejoicing and counting down the days to when they will dominate the sport once more and in their search for success, Honda have been aggressive on their ideal choice of drivers.

Ayrton Senna, arguably the greatest driver in the history of the sport, was a fundamental part of their success, and his mindset mirrored the Japanese Samurai perfectly. Therefore it is only certain drivers that would be acceptable to the Japanese manufacturer – hence the approaches to Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel. Obviously Jenson Button doesn’t figure highly in their plans.

Another aspect of their return which has caused many rumours to take hold of on-lookers is the fact that Honda is building it’s engine facility in Milton Keynes. A mere stone’s throw from the Red Bull headquarters.

A reasonable question, which has received no answer but just fanned the flames of speculation is, why not Woking? Honda have decided to complete the design work in Japan, to avoid other manufacturers from head-hunting their engineers as they did in the eighties, but the engines will be worked on at this new facility which is scheduled to go live in January 2015.

With the ongoing trevails suffered by the formerly dominant Red Bull squad – and their disappointing Renault power unit – the quite blatant attacks by both Helmut Marko and Christian Horner clumsily putting pressure on a manufacturer have added further fuel to the fire with Honda’s location.

With the current performance of the once great Mclaren proving so disappointing – in a field of four Mercedes powered cars – and Ron Deniis returning to steady the helm despite Honda having signed the contract with his predecessor – Martin Whitmarsh – it has been suggested that Honda is looking to become a partner to Red Bull after their exclusive one year deal with Mclaren expires.

Of some interest to all this scenario is that the Honda MotoGP team have signed a deal with Red Bull for 2015 and 2016. It’s fair to point out that Red Bull have been sponsoring riders individually since Nicky Hayden rode for Honda in 2006, in much the same way that Red Bull first appeared in Formula One as a driver sponsor of Gerhard Berger.

It then took a larger slice by sponsoring Sauber for a number of years before establishing it’s own team and the sister team – Toro Rosso. But of far greater significance is that although Red Bull have been sponsoring Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez on personal deals, Red Bull’s partnership has moved on to the bike itself now.

Shuei Nakamoto – vice Executive Chairman of the HRC said of the arrangement: “Red Bull has been our partner for 9 years now. The next step is represented by this agreement which will further increase our visibility globally. I think this is an important agreement for our sport.”

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Barrichello’s Ferrari for sale at $3.4mil

After the recent video that TJ13 posted of two oval track drivers driving into each other and entertaining the crowd it would appear fair to say that the U.S. has it’s fair share of in-bred, tobacco chomping, beer swilling, fast food gourmets dining heathen like the rest of the world. In the UK we have the honour of watching them on the Jeremy Kyle show – a far less entertaining Jerry Springer style social experiment..

With the recent announcement of a Ferrari F2001 being put up for sale on the duPont registry – autorevolution in America have put up some details. Its sale price is for $3.4 million and that is for a car that Rubens Barrichello used in Monaco. It has never been graced with the rear of Michael Schumacher planted in the car, and unlike the report which states that Ferrari won 10 races that season, it was in fact just Schumacher’s nine in a sister car.

By all accounts “this is one of the last proper F1 cars from an era when DRS and MGU-K were not around.” which may give a clue as to why the American public haven’t taken to the new F1, it had a seven speed semi-automatic sequential tranny – a certain slang word that in the UK has completely different connotations, powered by 835 ponies from a 3litre V10 and the engine has a mere 870 miles on the clock. By all accounts the drive train is in pristine condition for amateur track duties – which at the best part of three and a hall mill’ I would expect it to be feeding me grapes and goblets of wine.

f2001-barr-ferr-monaco-2001

In all seriousness though, last year, a Fangio Mercedes sold for $19.6 million. An astonishing amount considering that it is the GT cars that were always worth more. With this Ferrari, there is no race victory behind it, there is no association to the most successful driver in F1 history and it can only used for track events after servicing by Ferrari and yet will likely find a wealthy buyer soon. With fine art seemingly out of reach except for the super-rich, it may not be much longer that these historic cars get locked away in private collections too.

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(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

Former manager says Alonso ‘best thing about Ferrari’ (GMM)

The new era of social media and F1’s traditional ‘silly season’ may not mix well together. Fernando Alonso turned 33 on Tuesday, and as far as official congratulations go, many spotted McLaren’s first. The Spaniard, undoubtedly frustrated with title-lacking life at Ferrari after five years, might be on the move and Honda is clearly on the hunt for a top driver to spearhead its new works McLaren foray.

Happy birthday to @alo_oficial,” McLaren said on Twitter, adding a photo of Alonso “driving flat-out in his McLaren MP4-22 at Magny-Cours in 2007.”

Miguel Sanz, the Spanish correspondent for Marca, commented: “You can’t say McLaren and Honda aren’t trying or persistent. It is the second public nod to Alonso this year and, in this F1 world of millimetres, the gestures are no accident,” he added, referring to a McLaren ‘tweet’ earlier this year showing Alonso smiling with team supremo Ron Dennis. After the Dennis tweet, a team source played down the significance of the gesture but it is obvious that if Alonso is on the market, he will be bitterly fought over.

For the record, Ferrari marked Alonso’s birthday with a celebratory video made in conjunction with Sky Italia, highlighting “all the best moments of his time to date with the longest-running team in formula one . In the past four and a half years there has been happiness and disappointment and a lot of time spent with special people, special like Fernando, a truly great talent and a real team player,” Ferrari said.

Marca quoted Alonso’s former manager Adrian Campos as saying: “Fernando is the best thing about Ferrari — and I would say almost the only thing. He is the most complete driver of recent years, almost comparable to Senna.

But with dominant Mercedes all locked up for now and Red Bull struggling with an underpowered engine, Alonso’s best option for now is probably to stay with Ferrari. “For me, Alonso has justly lost confidence in Ferrari,” Marc Surer, a former driver turned commentator, told Speed Week as he mused the 2014 silly-season. “But he could only move to McLaren-Honda if they can guarantee him a winning car for 2015. I guess a lot less will happen than we think,” he surmised.

TJ13 Comment: Here at TJ13 towers, the courtroom reporter hasn’t seen the evidence of the Sky Italia birthday celebrations but if it follows the normal TV policy in the land of olives, pizza and gorgeous police women, (source: Top Gear) then it will be “blessed” with practically semi-naked models sitting with rotting decrepit men in suits analysing the data of why Alonso is so good.

Of course this production would run over a weekend in two parts, with plenty of slow-mo and Puccini playing in the background; and if Sky Italia has the same quality of presenters as the British team, it’s no surprise that Italian viewing figures are crumbling.

As to the part about ‘special like Fernando’ and ‘a real team player’ – are Ferrari serious? From having his ear tweaked on his birthday last year because no driver is bigger than the team, we have now got to the psychophantic delusion of a team in transition and as to the team player – the saying ‘there is no I in team‘ was likely written about Alonso.

There is little doubt that Alonso is arguably the best of his generation and deserves more than the two titles he currently has. It was his brilliance that carried that Ferrari to second in Hungary and he has performed similar miracles over recent seasons, but let’s suppose…

…so what if Alonso had left Ferrari. Would they fall backwards? Without doubt. The pressure on the team would be huge and changes would happen. Now, would it be a stretch to suggest that without Alonso, Ferrari may have recognised their problems with the squad at an earlier stage and would have implemented change earlier. Could the truth be that Ferrari have had their woes masked for so long with Alonso’s brilliance that just maybe he has exacerbated the problem…

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Drivers will from now obey Mercedes team instructions

Following the expected and fairly bland statement yesterday from Mercedes following the fallout from the race in Hungary, the Austrian arm of the APA, sought some clarification from Toto Wolff.

There has been a big ‘pow wow’ between Lauda, Lowe and Wolff since the weekend which resulted in extended telephone conversations with Hamilton and Rosberg.

One may question with a matter of such vital importance at stake, the WDC and the rules of engagement between the Mercedes drivers at stake, wouldn’t it have been better for all parties to cancel previous arrangements and resolve the difficulties in the same room.

It appears little has changed at Mercedes. The drivers will not receive their own strategists as Lewis prefers, and the team strategy which seeks to score the maximum points will remain and be the ultimate arbitrator in any dispute.

untitled

Wolff adds, “If Paddy says something on the radio, it is followed. Even if at that moment it appears irrational to the drivers”.

Replay Hungary…Lewis will move over – or else.

The subtle but important change to protocol is that should the team intervene during a race, Paddy Lowe will now issue the instructions, which was not the case in Hungary.

This will not carry the same weight as the menace of headmaster Ross Brawn’s tone. Brawn famously took control of a previous Hamilton/Rosberg skirmish in Malaysia 2013 – issuing the command “Negative Nico,” adding for final effect one more “negative”. Rosberg was visibly quicker than Hamilton, but the team refused to allow him to attempt the pass.

Interestingly that day, Brawn explained to Rosberg, “Lewis’ pace is what we’re asking him to do. He could go a lot faster as well.”

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Had Lowe or Wolf spoken to Hamilton and reminded him he had always been given the same priority during similarly set up split strategy races, Lewis may have ceded to the request.

The situation between Massa and Bottas earlier this year was a different scenario. Felipe was furious in Malaysia this year because he was ahead of a quicker team mate, but both drivers had made their final stop.

Wolff re-enforces where the line has and will be drawn. “Our agreement from the beginning of the season is that the other car should not be disadvantaged, if it is on another strategy,”.

So Lewis broke the rules?

Wolff is careful when asked whether the leading driver should lose time, to make way for the quicker driver behind. “No one should have to come off the gas,” he commented.

This careful comment does not deal with the historic scenario which Mercedes found themselves in with Rosberg 1 second a lap quicker than Hamilton, then catches him and can’t pass.

untitledAs TJ13 was informed and reported, Lewis was pushing his prime tyres beyond the pace other teams and Mercedes had calculated was appropriate for that part of his stint. Hence, “No one should have to come off the gas”.

Wolff wants closure on the matter, concluding, “What happened (in Hungary) has happened now, but whenever there are problems, then at least we must learn as much as possible from them.”

Summary: nothing has changed except Paddy Lowe will issue orders the drivers are expected to comply with.

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Ecclestone popularity think tank meeting cancelled

Having called the team bosses together for a crisis meeting in Hungary about the F1 ‘shows’ diminishing popularity – Bernie Ecclestone has since suffered a couple of setbacks.

Firstly, one of the most gripping F1 races for years unfolded on the Sunday as Lewis Hamilton drove aggresively form the pt lane to the podium. Up and down the field there were battles galore, following torrential rain just prior to the start of the race.

F1 fans across the world have been voting the race the best they’ve seen for a very long time.

Such was the excitement provided on Sunday in Hungary, Ecclestone almost sheepishly admitted when questioned, that the new think tank may not require the services of Flavio Briatore as he had first proposed.

Today was set for the big pow wow; what would we be getting this time form the Formula 1 school of bright ideas? Odds on favourite was a resubmission of Ecclestone’s notion to fit sprinklers at F1 race venues, which could recreate the kind of conditions that were seen during Sunday’s thrilling race.

But at the last moment, the meeting was cancelled. Tot Wolff was unwell and unable to attend. Wolff’s inability to attend is not thought to be related to the in-fighting which has been taking place behind closed doors in Brackley, following Hamilton’s decision to ignore the team’s instructions.

Rather, Wolff merely had a clinic appointment for treatment on his damaged arm; an injury he collected whilst falling from his bicycle.

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132 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 31st July 2014

  1. I think if Red Bull got a decent power unit they’d be untouchable in F1. Even during the years when they dominated the sport, I think most accept that the Renault V8 was never the class of the field. The Mercedes V8’s always seemed to have better top end power and of course a more powerful KERS unit as well. Moving into the new 2014 power units that gap has grown further.

    Part of me wants to see what RBR could do with a decent power unit, but equally they could end up with a Mercedes style 2s advantage over the field, which isn’t great for the sport to be honest.

    • “I think if Red Bull got a decent power unit they’d be untouchable in F1.”

      Only until Ade bails out for good, and the signs are that he isn’t staying for much longer if at all.

      “Even during the years when they dominated the sport, I think most accept that the Renault V8 was never the class of the field. ”

      Hmm, I suspect that Renault driven by Ade and the Bullies tweaked their engine to be the class of the field in terms of driveability. And given all the slowish Tilkedromes on the calendar, and Seb’s special knack for driving quickly a blown Red Bull Renault in slow corners made Renault so dominant in the recent V8 era. Maybe “top end power” wasn’t what has always mattered, while KERS was severely limited in scope during the V8’s.

    • ,,,I disagree (respectfully). Renault were the masters of engine mapping which dovetailed nicely with Newey’s aero philosophy…

      • Yet on higher speed circuits they normally got destroyed, and had persistent alternator failures? It was only in 2013 that they finally seemed to get the higher speed circuits sorted out, which I suspect was more of an aero solution.

    • Unlikely.
      The Mercedes chassis is a much more sophisticated beast than last year.
      I think they’d be pretty close.

    • Sorry SIS; I am disliking this scenario intensely.
      For the sport as a whole I hope it doesn’t come about.

  2. Brilliant! Alonso’s to blame…by being too good! Loving the logic! Maybe he could spend 2015 at Sauber to give the Scuderia time to sort out the car for a 2016 return…

  3. Misleading Article titles ftw. Damn waste of coffee…

    I now know what the word for spitting a drink out of shock is.

    A Spit-take.

    You owe me a coffee Judge 😉

  4. Let’s fire Alonso because he is too good and we can’t tell if our car is bad or good, lol….. seriously.

    This speaks more about Ferrari incompetence than anything.

    • Regarding Alonso: I did wonder lately, if the skill to outdrive a subpar car is the same as the skill to drive a championship contending car to the championship? Probably but I’m not entirely sure.
      His racecraft, politicing and upassability are unrivaled though.

  5. Alonso,
    ‘what if’
    Ferrari had given Massa a car which he could qualify on the front row with, and Alonso raced him all season, teams are only as strong as their weakest link etc.

  6. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/115219
    Ferrari F1 boss Marco Mattiacci says team needs complete overhaul
    “We need to improve at 360 degrees,” Mattiacci said.

    I’m confused. Isn’t a 360 degrees turn getting you to the exact same point where you were previously? So is Ferrari trying to make a complete overhaul with the ultimate goal to stay in a state of ignominy?

    • You are right Landroni, but on Italian websites it quotes 180 ie a turn around. I would imagine something has been lost in translation, or it’s Autosport subtly suggesting Ferrari are idiots!!

      • Prior I was thinking that only politicians in my country were using 360 degree references, even though one once managed a 380 degrees. 🙂

        Other than this, if the quote is accurate I guess this cements Mattiacci’s predicament as a non engineer. 🙂

  7. At dobsizzle and Martin, it’s obviously an opinion but there is some form for this. Think back to some of the greats throughout history and you see this pattern occur with surprising regularity. Some drivers will just drive around a problem such as Jim Clark, Ronnie Peterson, Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna etc. It wasn’t that they couldn’t set a car up – well maybe not Peterson – but they could drive around its problems if they couldn’t engineer a solution.

    Michael Schumacher was adept at this when he first joined Ferrari but with the correct team in place that skill was less needed.

    Ron Dennis said in interviews years after Senna had left at the end of 1993 that he would never allow any driver to dominate a team like Senna had, because after he left they had a car that required the brilliance of Senna to work. It took them years to recover the basic infrastructure for the team to move forward.

    In many ways you see that with Hamilton. Whilst at Mclaren, whatever they built him, he would get the maximum from it, whereas Button sturggled throughout. It was only when the car was accessible to Button that he matched Lewis for speed.

    With Alonso, Massa was only ever close when the car was more predictable but otherwise Alonso monstered it and it could be argued that without Alonso there, Ferrari would have seen it’s true state much earlier.

    • Hi Carlo!

      Hope all is excellent in your world my friend.

      Thinking simplistically, if the objective is to win then I’d suggest Alonso is what’s required. He’s the best, in an underperforming team. I reckon its not his fault that the guys didn’t invest in sims and their aero tunnels have been pants.

      Imagine what he could do with a decent car!

      I feel what Dennis said about senna says more about his desire to control minutia, than having the best do the best job possible for you.

      I reckon you always put the best in your car, to win. Build the team around them. Then replace them with the best when they’re gone. Process starts again….

      This is a team sport (to prepare and keep the car going) but an individual sport when it comes to delivery on the track (excluding strategy).

      Get the best and let them drive the wheels off it, is my view 🙂

      • That right there is the view of a fan. But Dennis isn’t a fan. This is a business for him. And business like to make millions instead of spending them. And your way needs billions spend, where as his way only needs millions. And they both manage roughly the same result. Because of its high unpredictability. I get what you say, and most of us want it that way. But i dont think there are many managers out there who want that.

        • Respectfully disagree.

          Ferrari did it with the result that they won rings around themselves from 1999 till the dream team was broken up by the hysterical one.

          They spent lots, but made a packet during this time.

          Its the sunk costs that managers concern themselves with. Spending the money gets results.

          Michael till 2005. Fred 06/07. Williams are a good example of going cheap costing them. They spent big to get senna, but only wanted to pay chicken feed after he tragically died. Hence Michael winning in the benneton, when Williams had the dominant car.

          Recently red bull have bucked the trend with Seb, and its worked for them till now.

          However, if Fred was in the same car, or Lewis, I don’t think he would be a 4 time WDC. The bulls would still have won the constructors.

          Fred is where its at. Half decent car and he’ll get the best from it. Good car and he’s in the hunt for WDC. Anywhere near the best and he is pretty much a locked on WDC.

          The teams have to step up and deliver. He can only do what he can do. Designers need to deliver, engine guys need to deliver, everyone needs to deliver.

          Like him or not, Fred always delivers.

  8. “As TJ13 was informed and reported, Lewis was pushing his prime tyres beyond the pace other teams and Mercedes had calculated was appropriate for that part of his stint.”

    The pace of other teams is strictly irrelevant to a Merc this year, which can go 2sec quicker when goaded. So the only other point of reference is the other Merc, on which the court hasn’t really informed the jury. And given Merc’s own rather catastrophic estimations during that race and strategy blunders, I’m not sure how this is relevant to Lewis and his reaction to the team order.. You cannot really use this argument when Merc and the other teams were sorely unsure of tire speed and degradation in those changeable conditions..

    “with Rosberg 1 second a lap quicker than Hamilton, then catches him and can’t pass.”

    And I keep paddling my argument: if Nico was so much faster than Lewis, why couldn’t he get at the very least side-by-side? Or at most, consistently in DRS activation zone?

    “No one should have to come off the gas”.

    And that is exactly the point. If Merc/Nico expected Lewis to comply, then Nico should have put Lewis in a position to allow him through without getting off the damn loud pedal..

      • I was wondering when someone would bring that up. 🙂

        This example is not relevant here. When Lewis pushed Nico onto the grass they were fighting for position on the last lap, and no team order was in place (thankfully, either way!). This was no different from Bahrain (several incidents) or Canada (1st lap). But this is a clear sign of “gloves off”. Yay!

        When Nico failed to get alongside Lewis’s car prior to Nico’s final stop the rules were different: Nico was nominally faster and Merc asked Lewis to let him by when Nico was in a position to. And Lewis acknowledged as much when he informed the team: ~”I’ll let Nico past when he is close enough.” Well, Nico never got close enough. But I expect that, if Nico was genuinely knocking on the door and making DRS waves, then Lewis would have yielded as per the team’s request. (Or put otherwise, Lewis is no Kimi.) Fortunately for us—since it keeps us busy instead of working—this never happened. 🙂

    • …. There is no answer to your question other than

      1) Lewis was pushing hard and Rosberg couldn’t get near – maybe he was running a quali engine setting again
      2) Rosberg still had some kind of problem which would be exacerbated by getting too close to Hamilton
      3) Rosberg is crap at overtaking – moves following his final stop may suggest otherwise.
      4) Mercedes want to nobble Hamilton
      5) Mercedes were in melt down and hadn’t got a clue what was going on…

      Yet what is crystal clear – as I wrote, and as Wolff confirms IS there was a rule covering this situation…

      paraphrased.. “We had it – it should have been adhered to – we still have it”

      His comment re: “gas” is oblique… though incidental to the detailed explanation of how things will be… which is

      1) Don’t screw with an alternative strategy which your team mate is on
      2) Do as Lowe says

      I don’t make the rules or even said this is the way it SHOULD be…

      My opinion is – you disobey the team – there will be price to pay… even that comment is hardly a leap of irrational proportions…..

      This situation was not unique in F1, we are discussing it because as with “Alonso is faster than you”, “Seb this is silly”, “Vatteri is quicker…” etc etc etc – it causes huge debate…..

      • Can I have answers 3 & 5 for £25m please?

        Bernie will forward the cash to your account…. 🙂

        For some reason, the only place he seems able to overtake anyone, is at the end of a long straight, Malaysia, China and Austria.

      • Teams can have have as many rules as the want in place, but It’s not going to stop the competitive animals that are F1 drivers from ignoring them if it disadvantages them in a race or in a championship unless there is a strong voice on the pit wall. I still think Rosberg would have done the same thing as Lewis had the roles been reversed. There appears to be no single voice at Mercedes who can keep the drivers under control when races do not go according to plan. I think Toto and co may regret shunting Ross Brawn aside.

    • I think there’s also one important factor that’s being overlooked and it has to do with the extra laps Lewis did on his first set of options. When he was told to box, but said the tyres still had life and extended his stint. (I think it was 2-3).

      Now he boxed on lap 38 and did 32 laps on the primes, which let’s not forget, he questioned whether they would’ve lasted that long or not. Now had he boxed on lap 35, there’s no way the primes could’ve lasted to the end.

      So clearly a 2 stop strategy was the wrong way to go. That wasn’t an aggressive strategy, but rather a risky one at best.

      • …”That wasn’t an aggressive strategy, but rather a risky one at best”. – I’ve dealt with the miracle of hindsight and time travel… 😉

        “Now he boxed on lap 38 and did 32 laps on the primes, which let’s not forget, he questioned whether they would’ve lasted that long or not. Now had he boxed on lap 35, there’s no way the primes could’ve lasted to the end.

        “So clearly a 2 stop strategy was the wrong way to go. ”

        ….OR Lewis pushed the primes too hard, too early…

        • Well it can be looked at both ways. A 3 stop strategy would’ve achieved the same if not a better result for both drivers. What was the point saving Lewis’s option tyres, it’s not like they can be carried over to the next race.

          The radio message to Fed I think also played a key role in the outcome as well, but unless we’re Italians, we won’t know what was said to Fed. Had they put him on a second set of options, it would’ve forced Ferrari into reacting to that move as well.

          • …..”forced Ferrari into reacting to that move as well”?????????

            Alonso pitted for the second and last time the lap before Hamilton…

            AGAIN, 2 stopping covered the possibility of rain…

            Also running a counter strategy to Rosberg – was the most likely way for Lewis to beat him…. This was Hamilton’s own point of view in Monaco….

            You are seeing this through the prism of how Merc could have done better – with hindsight – for Lewis

            They start and continue to evaluate races with the best options for the team as their goal.

          • Given Wolff’s latest musings and IF (now that is a gigantic if) I believe that Merc will be impartial in the title race and look to just get the maximum points from each race, then it seems that whoever gets the pole from now on will be the odds-on favourite to win the race and get the best strategy.

          • exactly – but unlike most teams, the timing of qualy runs as a preference, is alternated from race to race between the drivers….

            Merc were determined their rules would be equitable, which would mean if one driver fell a long way behind, it could be difficult for them to catch up

          • Also running a counter strategy to Rosberg – was the most likely way for Lewis to beat him

            With regard to his last stop, that makes no sense at all.

            After getting past Vergne, he had track position on Rosberg. Two stints on his (new) options would have guaranteed finishing in front of Rosberg, whatever absolute position they both ended up in.

            Sending Hamilton out on the prime guaranteed Rosberg a change of beating him.

            That strategy choice therefore clearly favoured Rosberg, after Hamilton had gained track position on him.

            That is my problem with Mercedes policy.
            They don’t need it to win the constructors’, but by seeking to maximise team points every weekend by splitting strategies, they are necessarily going to disadvantage one driver or the other in the drivers’ championship.

            One or other is going to end up very unhappy with the team – particularly when the team misjudges tyre performance as they did last weekend.

          • The rules are designed so they cannot be accused of favouring one driver over another

            Team No.1 Priority
            Drivers No.2 Priority

            If they stick to this – which even though a flaky Wolff after the race suggested may not be the case – but has clearly declared the rules are still the rules again now….

            …they will not court serious and rational criticism of favouritism….

          • “After getting past Vergne, he had track position on Rosberg. Two stints on his (new) options would have guaranteed finishing in front of Rosberg, whatever absolute position they both ended up in”.

            God…. this “how can we manipulate the facts WITH HINDSIGHT to get Lewis to win/beat Rosberg” is crazy…

            2 stopping covered rain (this repetition is becoming boring and does the impression of the Hamfosi’s ability to retain information during a debate no good)

            Hamilton only gained track position on Rosberg because of the TEAM pit stop strategy for both drivers!

            He didn’t/couldn’t pass him…

            And as the original article suggested. Had this race been a private battle between Lewis and Nico – Rosberg would not have pitted from behind JEV…

            Team Priority No.1
            Lewis Priority No. 2

          • Hamilton only gained track position on Rosberg because of the TEAM pit stop strategy for both drivers!

            I was under the impression he gained track position by being able to pass Vergne, unlike Rosberg; “only gained track position because” rather elides that point.

            God…. this “how can we manipulate the facts WITH HINDSIGHT

            I’ve said before that you’re entitled to your opinion, and I respect that even though I disagree with it. Please extend me the same courtesy.

            The logic of your position is that Hamilton ought to have co-operated in Rosberg beating him. That is plain nuts.

            Team No.1 Priority
            Drivers No.2 Priority

            Except that, as I argued, making the team No1 priority virtually guarantees that the team will be favouring one driver over another (whichever that might be) with their strategy choice.
            it is also a tacit admission that the team is unable to pick the best
            strategy during a race, and has to split strategies in order that one of them works.

            Hindsight is something that everyone will be arguing from after every race.
            Right now, I’m arguing in advance that making the team the priority when they have already more or less secured the championship is just silly.

          • “The logic of your position is that Hamilton ought to have co-operated in Rosberg beating him. That is plain nuts”.

            Then he shouldn’t have signed up to the Mercedes code of conduct which equally benefits him, has done so in the past & been principled enough to say so in advance…

            Lewis is entitled to do as he pleases and face whatever that brings him as his own responsibility, joy, happiness winning, losing….

            I am frustrated because in particular, you repeatedly question Mercedes position as unfathomable, and I’m explaining Mercedes position and reasoning….. which is pretty logical..

            Yet we go round and round in circles asking why Mercedes did or didn’t do a certain thing which would have favoured Lewis….

            If Mercedes wish, as have Ferrari in the past, they could announce Rosberg as their chosen heir and tell Lewis he has to play No.2

            We and Lewis may not like it, but it is their right

            ….as is their right to provide one of the fairest set of internal sporting regulations to ensure we have this fantastic duel for the WDC this year…

            If you believe Mercedes should favour Lewis, just say so….. you are entitled to believe that… Many teams have had a number one driver……

          • Of course it’s their right.
            I’m just saying that given how the season has developed, and where the drivers’ and constructors’ championships stand, it’s silly.

            If you believe Mercedes should favour Lewis, just say so….. you are entitled to believe that… Many teams have had a number one driver

            Absolutely not.
            I realise you’ll be skeptical about this, but if the situation were reversed between Rosberg and Hamilton at the next race, I’d still be unhappy about it.

            Mercedes are in a (commendably) unique position, in that they are leading by miles, while at the same time having two very closely matched drivers. I am not one who has accused them of bias, and am quite happy to commend them for their (slightly disfunctional) championing of both drivers.

            However, having one guy call the strategies, given how the season is now placed, puts him in a pretty well impossible position.

          • …. As you correctly observe, were Mercedes fighting with other teams, they may be forced to adopt a different position…

            Yet in their position of dominance, a stringent strategy decision tree, one arbiter of the strategy rules (the strategist) may not sound exciting, but is the most sure fire way to dodge accusations of favouritism…

            Think back to McLaren 2007 – the FIA sent an official to police the McLaren garage in Brazil, because the conspiracy theories/actual favouritism had torn the team apart…

            The potential for that scenario exists/existed this year and Paddy Lowe knows Lewis of old, and also the impact his ‘heart on the sleeve’ moments of public comment can have… and whilst they are easy to forgive, knowing it is Lewis’ nature – the fall out can be devastating for the team

            It has been suggested to me, the decisions/agreements/protocols of racing, were made prior to Melbourne.. and were done so in part as a proactive defence to things going wrong and Lewis getting publicly upset….

            The racing team members were all briefed on the racing team protocols, so they are clear on the attempts Mercedes have made to be and be seen equitable….

            Could a ‘rogue’ mechanic mess something up? Its possible – which is why I keep imploring/suggesting/critiquing Lewis to recognise the efforts of his employers have made to be equitable…

            Oh and by the way – if all this is the case – Nico has suffered a huge wrong from Lewis – dirty tricks the lot…. what is he saying?

          • “AGAIN, 2 stopping covered the possibility of rain”…….

            Unless you’re using the McLaren weather system…. 🙂

          • And just to be clear, I am not suggesting Mercedes are necessarily biased one way or the other – just that this policy is going to make them appear so.

        • “….OR Lewis pushed the primes too hard, too early…”

          Or not, but we will never know, now that this whole affair has blown the way it did. You suggested several times that had Lewis not pushed so hard so early he would have passed Fred at the end; well, maybe or maybe not. It’s hard to be sure one way or the other, so it’s hard to easily cast doubt on Hamilton’s judgment.

          By pushing when needed he ensured (only just) that he was in contention for the win until the final laps. By having let Nico through *by getting off the loud pedal* he might have easily ended up in 4th while Nico won the GP. It seems to me that the situation was on a knife’s edge either way, and it’s hard to be sure with the “what if’s” here.

          • “so it’s hard to easily cast doubt on Hamilton’s judgement” ?????????

            He told the team to screw themselves… broke the rules designed by Merc to protect him equally as much as Rosberg…

            When you agree to a system which delivers an equality of opportunity, and you accept it when it suits and reject it when not – there will be a price to be paid – what? We can but speculate…

          • @J

            #That’sWhatSheSaid
            #ButItFeelsSoRight
            #SiS-FTW
            #SayHiToSilentBob

            😀

          • This is sooooo Germanic… Rules, processes, etc, all precision honed following logic and cool-headed reason. Emotions and ‘on the fly’ reasoning do not compute: if a scenario was possible, it will have been modelled and included in aforementioned processes.

            So any suggestions/actions not covered by said processes are disdainfully discarded/not considered.

            I say this as someone who works for a German company and has first hand experience in working with colleagues from throughout Europe in trying to adapt to such practices!

            “It is clear what the rules are and what is expected of you”

          • ….the last time I was in Frankfurt, I had to stop counting the number of signs which included the word, “VERBOTEN” – seemed to notice there more than other places I been in Germany… Hippo?

          • tj13

            Exactly. But this a real demonstration of the stereotypical blinkered individualistic attitudes of Lewis & his fanboys. They are mentally unable to accept the fact that the drivers are employed by the team, and the team is the #1 priority. Do what Lewis did in a WEC race like Le Mans, and the driver would be able to relax in hospitality for the rest of the race.

        • If Lewis was on a two stop strategy, the team called him in on lap 35 or 36, he instead extended the stint for 2-3 laps, that would imply the team intended his final stint on primes to be 34-35 laps.

          Is this even a rational tactic?

          Does the Judge insist this was calculated to get Lewis a win or even a podium?

          • I told you over a year ago that Hamilton fanboys would come and it wouldn’t be fun.

          • Knowledge is empowerment….

            If we think straight, we come to different conclusions…

            Starting with the Mercedes equity policy, prevents all kinds of wild assumptions and takes us back to what is simple…

            As was observed earlier, pole will continue to favour one of the Mercedes drivers in the race….

            …and the Hamfosi have to accept, given scenario at the start of the year (equitable racing rules would be designed which meant pole was incrementally favourable) …… they’d have taken that like a shot

            …particularly because of Lewis reputation for being a one lap maestro (as well as other positive racing attributes)

            So you could say given historical performance of both drivers – in the grand scheme of things, the rules of engagement favour Lewis over the season

          • When asked how much educated men were superior to those uneducated, Aristotle answered, ‘As much as the living are to the dead.’
            Diogenes Laetius

            @TJ doing your bit to try and raise the dead? 😉

            I admire your patience.

          • Yes, but if your hero footballer began spreading. conspiracies over why he was being dropped, you can understand the seeds being sown….

            Yet as I’ve identified, this years Mercedes racing strategy protocols give Lewis a slight advantage…. if as we all probably believed, he was better at producing the best quali lap…

            Mrs Judge was the same over Mark Webber’s 2 wheel fit cockup’s to Seb’s 0…

            A swift call to the credit card company soon muted her protestations 😉

      • ” When he was told to box, but said the tyres still had life and extended his stint. (I think it was 2-3).”

        Exactly my point on Merc not being on top of their game wrt estimations during Hungary 2014. They already got it wrong with their call once, and Lewis had the balls to tell them “not yet”. (We all remember he didn’t have the balls back in China 2007.)

  9. Judge

    Do you know how worrying this RBR-Honda you mention is for a McLaren fan? So in the interests of mitigating my fears, is there any gossip in the paddock? Or are you just making assumptions based on the links in MotoGP and for being located in MK?

    But if I want to expand on your theory or inflate a new conspiracy bubble, I could link one of your earliest posts about Honda ‘taking it easy’ or being ‘careful’ with their development. That would almost seem as if they’ll be using McLaren as the guinea pig for ’15 before really going gung-ho with RBR for ’16.

    • “That would almost seem as if they’ll be using McLaren as the guinea pig for ’15 before really going gung-ho with RBR for ’16.”

      Spot on. That’s what I said awhile ago, to much ridicule.

      2016 – RBR Honda ftw

    • McLaren has a hit or miss history as far as the quality of their chassis is concerned. The 2014 vintage must be spectacularly crap to be so slow with a Merc engine. RB has a 6 year history of getting it right every time.

      Now imagine you are a Honda executive who doesn’t want to have to hug his sword, like the poor fella who decided to bail out of F1 and leave the ‘scrapped design’ to Brawn before the 2009 season.

      What would Chuck Norris do?

        • Well, the option is still there as the positioning of the plant looks ominious but is still not much more than conjecture.
          What I didn’t know at the time was that Maccas ‘eclusive deal’ is only for one year. It didn’t even enter my mind as I didn’t think woking would be that stupid.

          • You’re reading too much into your bowel motions.

            The Mugen operation is in M K; this was the reasoning for Honda setting their operation there.

          • Trust me sir, you don’t wanna know about a Hippo’s bowel movements 😉
            If I’d be following those, I’d suggest that RB builds a plant in Togliatti and uses rebadged Lada engines 😀

          • The RB emergency spin exercise when Newey forced the announcement may not be quite accurate….. He implies, he won’t be required due to new restrictive regs… ie any old designer will do

          • He designed the 2015 car, so you’ll need to hold off your Schadenfreude until 2016 you old bitter git 😉 Ans the areos get more restrictive next year with the loss of the dildo-noses, too. RB ultimately have reached their goal. Even if Newey buggers off, nobody else could sign him and surely RB can find a crap designer somewhere, because that’s what the others seem to be employing.

      • On the other hand, Red Bull does not have a great record of giving its engine supplier any credit – in sharp contrast to McLaren.

        I don’t think it’s an obvious choice either way.

        • RB’s engine manufacturer is the title sponsor through their sister-company Nissan. I would hazard a guess that they were involved in that decision. and how much more credit can you give?

          With this years clusterf**k of an engine, I’m not so sure they actually WANT to hear their name all too often though, because it’s usually for the wrong reasons.

    • It’s one speculative view point.

      The other is Renault are just in trouble at present. but will “equalise” as in days gone by.

      RBR want “works team” preferential treatment from an engine supplier – this would mean Macca getting the boot… likely? Probably not….

      It is though likely that Renault will be back – but how will RBR fare without Newey?

      • I guess a lot will depend on whether McLaren can attract a top driver. If McLaren don’t have an Alonso/Hamilton/Vettel on board in ’15 and their car is not dominant, I can see Honda opening talks with others. We might even see such unlikely partnerships as Alonso/Williams-Honda or Hamilton/Red Bull-Honda?

    • @McLaren78¥

      Milton Keynes currently has 280 industrial properties for rent, and 78 for sale. So finding property was easy. Excellent location, and just far enough away from Mercedes HPE.

  10. Commonwealth Games Update: Medal Tally

    1st: England (Booooo) – 107 medals / 38 Gold
    2nd: Australia (Yes!!!!) – 107 medals / 35 Gold
    3rd: Canada (rofl) – 51 medals / 22 Gold

    It’s between the Aussies and the Poms, again. Equal medals, but more Gold for England. Australia might be toppled as lead medal winning nation for the first time since 1986.

    Nahhh, there’s time… there’s time…

    • Well, you still lead the all-time medal table and in 4 years’ time you’ll regain the top spot in Gold Coast, just a bit of a breather here if in the end you finish 2nd.

      By the way though, love to bits my former home Glasgow, but who ever watches the commonwealth games?

  11. I seem to be alone in thinking that Lewis didn’t build his own car. He’s an employee of the team, not the other way around. If he doesn’t like it, he could always resign and let someone else has the car …….. and let Nico have the WDC?

    • Oh you went and done it now, didn’t ya Richie?! Don’t worry, I’ll stand and cop it with you.

      -Puts helmet back on-

      I think Lewis is going to learn some big lessons over the coming months. One if which is what you allude to.

      This is a pie in the sky speculation, but I think if Lewis blows up this year mentally, if it’s obvious (to him) that he’s lost the WDC, he might not be in F1 in 2015. Sounds crazy now, I know, but under relatively realistic circumstances, he might walk of in a huff, maybe head over to Indy Car.

        • If he does, I think he’d do a Mansell and win it first year out. Penske or Ganassi or Andretti would pick him up straight away. I’d love to see Hamilton on an oval actually…

          You heard it here first…

          #HamiltonatIndy500

          • ….it would be great to see more drivers competing in both as did Hill(snr), Andretti, Mansell and others did – but F1 is now in a very different league to IndyCar….

    • Oh really? So if you’re in a company fighting with another guy for a promotion to a managerial position with good money and you sense/think that they slightly favour the other guy, you then just lay down and tell them to step over you, right? Or you just resign and try to find something else. You’re not trying to make a point or fight back for that position?

      • No you don’t lie down, you fight.

        But you don’t kick him when he’s taking a shit in the toilet.

        It’s not about rolling over, it’s about the ruining of ROS’s strategy and costing the “company” a major contract (win).

      • …If you have acted in a way against agreed and maybe contractual company policy….. leaving may be your only option…

        Seen that more times than I can remember in business….

        • Fair enough, in which case I go back to my other defence logic of Lewis’ actions, he didn’t want to end up like another Massa/Barrichello and hence send a strong message to senior leadership.

          • ….couldn’t agree more… though why Lewis is feeling disadvantaged (as the scenario you suggest would imply) is then up for debate…

            Does he have good reason? … which is why we debate long and hard Mercedes strategy calls/conspiracy theories…

            Or is he paranoid?

            I spent hours when I got back, looking at the comparative lap times/race positions/circumstances/TV footage to see if there was evidence for skulduggery on Mercedes part… disappointingly (because that would be a massive story when compared to Lewis being a naughty boy again 😉 ) there wasn’t and so I wrote what I did, based upon the evidence to hand

          • I don’t think Lewis is paranoid, but he probably does feel that Merc favour Rosberg, irrespective of whether this actually translates on track or not. Maybe he’s seen certain things behind the scenes, a bit like when Button was given his engineers. Those guys are super competitive and the slightest doubt, feeling or change can manifest itself into a monster in their head.

          • …see my previous answer – their racing protocols favoured Hamilton from the start of the season – if you assume he is the better qualifier…

  12. Rosberg is finished this season, he is mentally defeated as in every instance they have raced wheel to wheel he has come off worst. He is a fast driver in a fast car but cannot deal with traffic. Hamilton may be temperamental but when on song is untouchable. If Rosberg would have overtaken Ham the race was his but as demonstrated with Vergne, he sucks at the overtake. Mercedes handicapped Ham with the call to go onto the harder tyre when he had track position, wether on purpose or not they blew his chance for a win, but then expect him to slow down for Rosberg?

    • With all due respect, this is hogwash. That’s what people were saying (i.e. Rosberg is finished) when Lewis won 4 races in a row post-Australia. Well, we know what happened then…Rosberg parked his car and Lewis’s head exploded and hasn’t recovered again in a qualifying session.

      • …indeed, which makes it even more intriguing that if Rosberg did this deliberately in Monaco, he was neutralising the advantage within the Mercedes internal sporting protocol’s which favoured Hamilton…. ie pole/first corner lead gives you race strategy choice…

        He couldn’t have imagined how this would “explode”, as you put it, Hamilton’s head – and that has taught him a huge amount for the coming fight…

        Hamilton has made Rosberg stronger by revealing his weakness where he can be attacked.

        I fully expect some politicking from Nico prior to the GP in Spa…. and hey,,, if breaking agreed racing protocols is fine… mind games are too…

        Senna was hugely paranoid…. Lewis wish to become more like Ayrton appears to grow with each passing month…

        I’ve heard from someone who was in the McLaren team at the time Senna wiped out in Monaco…. with a HUGE lead over Prost.

        He did so because he wouldn’t have it the information he was getting re team mate: Prost being so far behind was in fact true – so he kept pushing….

        Paranoia may come with greatness Lewis 😉

        • The Senna similarities are eery, everyone hates him but when he is gone you will all sing his praises 🙂 I agree his mindset is shit and he can be knocked out of his stride when politics are used but I don’t rate drivers on their teamsmanship, If I did I would be a Button fan 🙂 I rate them on their driving ability and Lewis has it in spades.

          • …..though this year we have discovered over 1 lap – if better than Rosberg its by a tiny margin…..

            I’m not Pro-Rosberg – just making sure both sides are equally represented…..

            If the ‘Rosfosi’ were making claims which were a tad exaggerated, I’d be putting Hamilton’s case (assuming the Hamfosi had disbanded) 😉

          • Are they all going ot get a fosi on the end of their F1 tag’s? Alofosi, Masfosi, Botfosi…no fun being one of the fabled Tifosi anymore 🙂

          • Judge,

            After reading your article, I can’t argue with your logic, and it does seem fair. I still think they prefer Nico as a person, but they are treating them equally.

        • Actually, isn’t the driver leading at the first pit stop given priority? I certainly thought that was the case.

          Which is why it’s confusing since after both their 2nd stops, Lewis was ahead on merit but Merc strategy continued to favor Rosberg with the faster 3 stop. Though as you point out if they were committed to a split strategy there was little they could do at that point, Nico having pitted first. We might have a more definitive answer to this if Lewis hadn’t blown his brakes up in Canada, as it seemed likely he would get round Nico before the 2nd stop.

          So it seems that the real race is for the first pit stop, one which Lewis couldn’t possibly win, and at that point the die is cast, regardless if one driver passes the other on the way to the 2nd stop.

          Where Mercedes really chuffed it though was with the tyres. They have been pretty off the last couple of races and I do wonder if the loss of FRIC is messing with their models a bit in terms of tyre wear. They also seem to have a hard time when the temperatures change radically between FP and the race.

          • “Which is why it’s confusing since after both their 2nd stops, Lewis was ahead on merit but Merc strategy continued to favor Rosberg with the faster 3 stop. Though as you point out if they were committed to a split strategy there was little they could do at that point, Nico having pitted first. ”

            Agreed. (And for the record, Your Honour, this comes not from a Hamifosi.)

            Which begs the question:
            Why did Merc keep stubbornly committed to the pre-race plan?
            And was Hamilton entitled to feel aggrieved that even though at the 2nd stops the track realities have changed beyond recognition from pre-race estimations, Merc failed to adapt and kept him on a potentially (but some would argue obviously) slower strategy? (This seems more like a blunder—in the spirit of jingoistic descriptions of Germans keeping true to their plan—rather than necessarily intentional. You’ve offered several times that Merc wanted to cover Hamilton against rain, which is fine, but then why didn’t they want to cover Rosberg against rain?)
            And when I say aggrieved, what I really mean: Was Hamilton in his right to try to compensate on-track for the seemingly inferior strategy that he was given at the 2nd stops?

            I think the answers to these questions are less clear cut than some make it sound (i.e. Lewis didn’t necessarily point-blank disobeyed team orders, like Kimi or Seb are known to have done in the past), and for proof look no farther than what the Wolff said: ~”We weren’t really sure at the time whether it was right or wrong of us to force Lewis to cede position, so we didn’t really press the matter and that’s why Paddy the Enforcer didn’t step in.”

          • “Why did Merc keep stubbornly committed to the pre-race plan?”

            Round 8,235….. [weak smile]

            They didn’t…. they were open to options, though as is proved week in and week out, stopping fewer times often gets cars out of position at the start through the field better.

            Lewis even cemented the strategy by saying he could drive further into the race – strategist rubbing hands with glee….

            They had a perfectly good plan which covered both 2 and 3 stopping strategies… which is normative…. and in the changeable conditions, one could have been massively better than the other. Red Bull were doing the same.

            You only know with hindsight….. Alonso can hold off Lewis after a gazzilion laps on the soft and that the soft tyre will run to the end of the race (just)

            You only know with hindsight……. it didn’t rain

            You only know with hindisght……. that 3 stops was Ricciardo’s winning strategy

            You only know with hindisght…….. Lewis was to drive one of the most erratic prime tyre stints of his year, whilst covering off Rosberg

            You only know with hindsight………. Lewis would have burned out far more durable tyres than Alonso, so he couldn’t make the pass even though they were several seconds per lap slower than the quickest cars out on track…

            At the time… remember…

            TEAM: No.1 priority
            Lewis: No.2 priority

            I believe that is simple and clear – and it will be what you will hear from the team in Spa, if they are pressed to explain their actions.

          • Thanks Judge for clearing this up (again). And to be honest, we’re all as tired as you are of this never-ending debate..

          • …. No problem….;)

            As Judge, it is my responsibility to ensure no insidious propaganda clouds the minds of the jury….

          • Ok, here we go. Do you think Merc is having a hard time with tyre predictions due to taking FRIC

            I know you are blaming Lewis for burning the primes, but I’m also thinking of Nico’s options only being 50% used up at Silverstone. They were also completely wrong about the pace of the prime at Silverstone and how long the option lasted at Hungary. All of which coincided with the removal of FRIC from the car.

            And lastly, would Mercedes change strategies for the drivers at the second pit stop if the second driver passed the first driver on track *after* the first stop. Not talking Hungary, just trying to wrap my head around the way the team works.

          • ….. “would Mercedes change strategies for the drivers at the second pit stop if the second driver passed the first driver on track *after* the first stop”

            checking Merc strategy decision tree algorithm…..tick tock….

            The slow but ever drying nature of the track created the unknown for Mercedes in Hungary, hence the decision to split the strategy and prime tyres for Lewis – plus rain…

            The race pace of JEV, ROS, VET, HAM increased by 10 seconds per lap from the end of the first safety car period to the point where Rosberg pitted.

            So your scenario in Hungary was moot.. as their actions represented their best guess for the optimum result for the team…

            Loss of FRIC – the dry running in practice suggested there was some closing of the gap from the field to Mercedes, though whether this was FRIC related, we have had no information to that effect.

            However, back to the question AWAY FROM THE SPECIFICS OF HUNGARY and the quickly changing variables…

            ….should the strategy goal be to deliver the best result for the team – how to do this is always a moving picture at every race – then there is no reason why the team would not make that call.

            The circumstance would clearly indicate this situation has arisen because…

            1) One driver has a problem with the car
            2) One driver has a problem with his driving/overtaking skills

          • LOL, I guessed you missed the sentence that said “not talking about Hungary”. But you answered the question anyway so thanks.

            And I was asking if the loss of FRIC has buggered Mercedes tyre models, as they were spectacularly off in Silverstone as well as being off here. Restating, Rosberg had 50% tyre left in Silverstone plus pace of the prime was a total surprise.

          • Phil Arnaboldi, packaging expert?

            He left end of April, after the Chinese GP. A month later the first brakes issues surfaced in Canada, not to forget Hamilton’s spectacular flambé during qualifying in Hungary..

  13. No mention of exploding breaks or Engines engulfed in flames, just Lewis head, right? You carry on and believe what you will. Ham is a class above Rosberg as a racer. End of story. If Ham had the same reliability this year Rosberg would be miles behind.

    • I think you misunderstood me. Just for the record, I’m a big Hamilton fan. Without the engine failures and brake failures, of course Lewis would have been ahead. But as the judge highlights above, maybe Rosberg found his weakness. Lewis can only be defeated by himself, not a team-mate. And proof of that was 2011.

    • It’s not Rosberg’s fault he didn’t win the race. He lost a lot of time when he got stuck behind Vergne through no fault of his own. He was just driving his own race and Vergne appeared in front of him and held him up. Unfair to Rosberg because Vergne let Hamilton through later in the race. Also Hamilton had an unfair advantage in the damp conditions because he was born in England and his dad couldn’t afford rain tires for his go kart.

      And then Rosberg lost out to Hamilton in the strategy call. Because Lewis finished 5.8 seconds behind Ricciardo, Mercedes knew they had to do something to help Lewis. The prime tire was only 1.5 seconds slower than the option so they knew to call him in to switch tires with 35 laps to go meaning that he would only lose 47 seconds to Ricciardo but he gained 22 seconds by not stopping a 3rd time and 47 minus 22 equals a gain on Rosberg of 25 seconds. A clear advantage.

  14. I am not saying Rosberg will not take the championship but that if he does it will be down to preferential treatment and poor reliability for Hamilton. One on one he is not in the same league, no shame in that, only Alonso is. IMO.

  15. “Could the truth be that Ferrari have had their woes masked for so long with Alonso’s brilliance that just maybe he has exacerbated the problem…”

    Maybe it’s an italian thing. Because it reminds me of what happened with Ducati and Casey Stoner. And it has been almost four years since he has left and they still haven’t been able to win again. And, coincidently, both makers last won titles at the premier classes in 2007

    Mat Oxley wrote a terrific piece at http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/race/motogp-race/the-problem-at-ducati/

    Are there any similarities?

  16. Judge

    Alonso reminds me of Khan;

    Alonso(khan): I am better
    Rest of the f1 drivers (kirk) : better at what?
    Alonso(khan): better at everything

  17. In all your analysis, you only mention that Hamilton wrecked his tyres by pushing too early. You fail to mention the fact that he had a fuel pressure/power problem which Toto Wolff himself felt would be terminal. I thought you used to give a balanced viewpoint but it appears you have become selective in your reporting of facts.

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