Hamilton blames set-up for missing pole


The inevitable happened in Barcelona today as Lewis Hamilton’s run of pole positions came to an end. A closer analysis of Rosberg’s Saturday performances so far this year reveal that before today he has halved the gap in Q3 to Hamilton when compared to 2014.

As the FIA press conference for the top three drivers from qualifying was about to begin, a smiling and relaxed Nico and Sebastian joked with each other in German, whilst a stony faced Hamilton stared straight ahead clasping his hands

James Allen suggested to Lewis he had been on the back foot most of the day, following an uncharacteristic spin in FP3. This meant Rosberg was quickest in two of the three practice sessions

“I didn’t think I was on the back foot at any other stage, but I genuinely didn’t have the pace today,” said Hamilton. “Nico did a great job”.

“I don’t know if I really had the balance where I like it. I did my best with it and I think tomorrow there’s still a lot to play for.”

The team had apologised for sending Hamilton out in traffic for his one and only Q2 run, which saw Rosberg go quicker topping the time sheets for that session.

This weekend it was Nico’s turn to run last in Q3 and his first run time of 1:24.681 was 0.267seconds quicker than Hamilton could manage.

It was suggested that a rising track temperature compromised the second Q3 run of the drivers, as Hamilton came across the line 0.489s behind the time of Rosberg’s first run.

Yet only Hamilton, Vettel and Rosberg failed to improve on Q3 first run times, though Nico was a mere 0.073s slower than his first effort.

In Bahrain, Rosberg had tried to box clever in Q2 and save the tyre he was set to start the race on by just doing enough to reach the top ten shoot out. Hamilton tried to copy this trick today as he was reminded over the team radio, “Lewis – all we’re looking for is a nice clean lap.”

Barcelona is a circuit that the drivers know like the back of their hand, and so the slightest mistake is difficult to recover. A precise handling car and accurate driving style is key to finding the lap time around the Circuit de Catalunya.

Hamilton’s relatively poor handling car caused him to make several mistakes on both of his Q3 runs, the most crucial though was missing his turn in point at the first corner, compromising his exit of turn two meaning Lewis was in catch up mode for the rest of each lap.

Rosberg was naturally pleased with his performance, and knows both tyre degradation and the Mercedes team strategy to beat Ferrari will be important factors in the race tomorrow.

“Strategy is going to be important and it is a big advantage to have a set of unused tyres for tomorrow’s race,” said Rosberg. “Overtaking is more difficult at this track, so starting in front is a particularly big advantage here.”

61 responses to “Hamilton blames set-up for missing pole

  1. Rosberg is an ignorant shit, let’s hope Lewis can put one across him again tomorrow.

    • Insulting another driver for no other transgression but having beaten your favourite driver marks you out as a whiny little c**t.

      • From your own report “…Nico and Sebastian joked with each other in German…”. That the Judge’s reporter thought it necessary to mention it indicates that others believe the same as me.
        Rosberg did the same last year, when he spoke to a Canadian engineer in German before the podium. I happen to live in a bilingual part of the UK where it’s regarded as the height of bad manners to speak in a language that isn’t understood by the others in attendance.

        • Since when is speaking to a fellow German in German bad manners? Or since when is speaking German in a German team bad manners? Are you trying to tell me that Germans are not allowed to use their mother tongue as soon as a non-German speaker is present. How ludicrous is that?

          • Let’s see how far you get writing in German on this site.

            Nos da.

          • Are you that daft or are you only pretending to be? Rosberg wanted to talk to Vettel and it is his god-given right to select whatever language he wishes. Neither Lewis nor the journos have any right to know what ROS and VET speak about privately, hence they have no right to demand that they speak their language.

            I haven’t heard such a load of utter bollocks since Cav stopped commenting here. Seriously…

          • ‘I haven’t heard such a load of utter bollocks since Cav stopped commenting here.”

            Bwahahahahahahaha. A great many posters who actually know something about F1 started leaving when you showed up. You appeal to halfwits like Fortis and Landroni.

          • As far as I can remember, you are the only regular who ever left and it took a long time to get rid of you. So, please let’s keep that status quo, okay? Thanks.

          • “and it took a long time to get rid of you.”

            Does this site belong to you?

  2. Hopefully this means an exciting race tomorrow and people can stop complaining.

    Lewis having understeer may not be such a bad thing for the race tomorrow. Seeing as how this race is notoriously hard on the rear tyres, a setup with some understeer would be better in protecting the rears. Whether or not Lewis’ side of the garage went for this setup deliberately in order to maximise their chances for the race and compromising qualifying remains to be seen. If Lewis can keep the tyres in better shape, he can attack Nico and overtake him on track. Coupled with the fact that Lewis went easy on the tyres in the Q2 lap, it sets up an interesting race for tomorrow.

      • Maybe, but i meant more in terms the challenge for the win as Rosberg can never seem to pass lewis whenever he qualifies behind him. But i get your point lol

    • Pirelli is saying that this year it’s the front left tire that will wear before the rear tires.

      The change that Pirelli made to the structure of the rear tires for 2015 enables the rear tires to work much more evenly across the whole footprint. It’s enabled the rear tires to last longer though there are greater stresses on them year due to more torque from the power units and greater downforce.

      But you’re correct that traditionally Barcelona eats the rear tires. Pirelli predicted the front left will be the tire to go away, and after Friday practices said they confirmed it will be the case this weekend.

      Which means Lewis is in bad shape unless he can change his race set-up.

      • There’s nothing on the video that indicates he missed his braking point. So what do you mean he was too early to the apex? Could not that have been his way of approaching the corner? I’d suggest you watch the video properly, because both driver got to the apex basically the same time.

        I’m no racing driver, but I’m certain if he missed his braking point, that would compromise his entry to the corner thus finding it difficult to make the apex on the video he clearly made the apex of the corner quite fine, but had an oversteer moment on acceleration after exiting T2.

          • The point is, the analysis that he missed his braking point is incorrect. If that was the case he would’ve gone deeper into the corner and put him off line for T2. The video doesn’t support that claim at all.

          • Fortis. Toto Wolff said he missed the breaking point, Lauda said he he missed the breaking point, Adrian Sutil as co-commentator said he missed the breaking point and his smoking locked up front wheel and his wide line looked like he missed the breaking point. Your point, mate? Is it so inconceivable that he just may have made a mistake?

          • Hippo….

            The locked brakes, smoking tire and running wide happened at T5 not T1. It was that T5 incident Lauda, Toto and Sutil were referring to. If you had watched the video, you’d see for yourself.

            I did not say it was inconceivable that he made a mistake, I’m merely querying the T1 analysis, because I could not see anything that said he missed his braking point into that corner and I think the video supports my comment.

          • @the judge…

            Read what hippo said Toto, Lauda and Sutil said and then watch the video and look what happened at T5…..

          • ….just watch the video – the two Mercedes did not take turn one the same – Hamilton was down in sector one because of this sequence of corners – he saw this on the split and began chasing the lost time…. T5 was down to overdriving. Hamilton’s problems began at turn one which I saw as the point of the article.

        • He couldn’t get the power on as early as he would like, because he was out of position – this caused the twitch you see on the video. Hamilton also on the video has a shallower line of attack into turn one – which in fact is nothing to do with the car balance and the author appears to have been generous… it was in fact a mistake.

        • I noticed that approaching turn 1 that Nico is already ahead of Lewis at the 50m braking board.

          Which is weird, and indicates either that Lewis was not as fast on the straight (poor launch off last turn), or more likely that Lewis was earlier on the brakes to wrestle an understeering car.

          But while Nico has nice lines through T1 and T2, Lewis’ approach to T1 was interesting… shallower, or earlier turn-in, then slightly wider exit off T1 so T2 was compromised.

          Given how compromised LH was going into T1, it’s nice work for him to wrestle his understeering car around the lap and come as close to Nico as he did.

          Wish I could download this video…

          • Awesome! Thanks!

            I’ve downloaded that video, and though the quality is lesser (640×386), slowing it down and stepping through it, shows that Hamilton was slower on the front straight. The cause of that would most likely be understeer in final sweeper leading on to the straight, vs Nico’s more neutral handling car able to carry higher speed out of the exit of the same turn.

  3. Who is the sponsor with the stylized cat face on Lewis Hamilton’s gloves. I didn’t see them on Nico’s.

  4. Where is this, “analytical analysis?” Halved what Q3 gap? Rosberg did win more poles than Hamilton last season.

    And why is this important – at all? If Rosberg captures a pole position once out of every five races, what does the “gap” matter?

  5. On another note, the cars looked awful out on track today. Rear ends sliding everywhere. Whether that is just the characteristic of this track when temperatures are hot or it’s to do with these tyres I’m not sure – Someone may be able to tell me on here. But I think Pirelli need to construct tyre that give better actual grip rather than this rubbish of “oh, the tyre needs to be in the correct operating window.” On the other hand some may say that this is where the drivers earn their money in terms of them needing to feel the grip. However, i think there’s too much emphasis on how a driver prepares his tyres for the best lap.

    • As TJ13 wrote prior to Pirelli announcing the tyres for Barcelona, they should have considered taking the soft/medium compounds to Barcelona – the hard compound this year is more resilient and less grippy.

      • Yeah, those were my thoughts when watching qualifying, but then i fear that would have meant tyre preservation galore in the race tomorrow.

        • …or an fascinating 3-4 stop race rather than the usual Barca procession. Ferrari showed driving flat out and four stopping in 2013 is a better solution than tyre preservation when the tyres are more than marginally softer than would be preferable.

    • It’s a special Hamiltonian algorithm. It sniffs out Hamfosi posts, then puts them into the dark dankness of the moderation dungeon.
      😉 😛

        • Apparently, much like the man himself.

          And for the avoidance of doubt, I’m in no way a fan but I do respect his driving skills.

  6. If there’s 3 people in a room and 2 of them speak a different language but all three can speak the same,then surely it would be good manners to all speak the same,Rosberg knows this of course he does and any body who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

    • Try telling that to the hippo, he thinks it was ok for him to do so. And it’s not the first time he has done so.

    • Basically you’re saying the whole world should speak English because Brits and Americans are too lazy to learn another language. That sounds just arrogant.

      • Just like Brits and Americans like to laugh at people who make mistakes in their second or sometimes even third language. While most of them only speak the one, themselves…

  7. Wow, everyone got their claws out today!! Lets hope for a Will Stevens victory tomorrow, maybe people won’t argue over that…

  8. lolz at all the ‘German speakers’ crawling out the woodwork to ‘speak up’ at a lewis mistake haha,reminds me of those who convinced us that Merc had comanded Nico to hand over 10 wins in a row to Lewis after Spa
    lewis had insane pace on th primes and therfore his car is optimised for those tyres, meaning the hapless Nico might discover that his one lap option speed matters as much as his inability to win from pole 90% of the time

  9. Clearly, at the first shadow – Nico was way ahead – which means that Lewis lost most of his time in the 1st to 2nd corner. So TheJudge is correct.

    However, FatHippo, calling someone the “C” word is a little overkill. I think you are taking it a little too personally.

    This site is a good site, but you may lose posters and visitors with all the subtle and not so subtle put downs…..

    • Perhaps Hippo should have used the German translation of “c**t” ? There are those of use here who would have understood and, clearly, those who would not have been able to do so….. And whilst Hippo’s response may have been a touch “au point”, the post to which he was replying was less than acceptable, IMHO.

  10. I have always understood that to talk in a different language in the presence of someone who doesn’t understand that language is the height of bad manners.

    However, i know that this does not apply in Germany. I have been company meetings where international colleagues gather to review global strategy, and everyone talks in English while we are all together – except for two Germans who continue to have “private” discussions between themselves in German.

    It’s a German thing.

    I don’t wish to mention the war, especially today on VE day remembrance day, but I can just imagine which language this site would be written in if the enemy had won.

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