An attempt at demystifying Lewis Hamilton’s weekend
For the first time in a very long while world champion Lewis Hamilton has been beaten by his team mate fair and square. The Briton, who normally has the upper hand, was unusually shaky for most of the weekend except for one single lap in Q3 when out of nowhere he suddenly put in a stonking great lap to clinch pole.
It was a true mystery. Rosberg had been consistently faster throughout all trainings, but in that one moment when it counted he was caught off-guard only to be comfortably in control again, once he had beaten Lewis at the start. Sky Germany’s TV expert Marc Surer, who drove for Ensign, ATS, Theodore, Brabham and Arrows in the eighties provided the explanation for Lewis’ inconsistent display and sudden resurgence in Q3.
Throughout the weekend the Briton had been struggling with front-end grip, which was especially tricky in qualifying where it prevented him from warming up the front tyres during the short out-lap, a problem that was less pronounced on Rosberg’s car. Before that decisive run in Q3 Lewis made a modification to his front-wing setup that allowed him to warm up his front tyres faster, hence allowing him to put in that monstrous lap that in the end won him the pole.
The big caveat was, he couldn’t run that particular setup in the race as it would have destroyed his front tyres in record time, so the front wing was reset to the previous setting. That allowed Rosberg to regain the upper hand in the race.
TL;DR: Lewis never found a setup that worked comfortably on long-runs. Rosberg did and could therefore maximise the advantage after winning the start.
Hülkenberg coy about possible offers from other teams
After his surprise win at Le Mans Nico Hülkenberg has been a major talking point throughout the weekend and the inevitable question had to come up if maybe some team bosses would finally recognize how much talent has been wasted in mediocre cars for years.
Asked by Sky Germany’s Tanja Bauer, if there had been any offers on the back of his big win, the German reacted startled, blurting out, “Tanja, you know I can’t talk about that here.”
The Austrian lady, who has been conducting the F1 interviews since before the takeover of Kirch Media’s Premiere by Sky, reacted coolly, saying “But I can ask, can’t I?”
Hulks answer was clear: “But you won’t get an answer.”
Outright denial does sound different and considering that Kimi Räikkönen tries really hard to find new ways of embarrassing himself every race, the arrival of a letter from Maranello in Hülkenberg’s inbox is perhaps not entirely far-fetched.
Ferrari mystified by Räikkönen’s accident
Kimi Räikkönen’s scary accident that caused Fernano Alonso’s car to perform a fairly convincing impression of ‘monorail cat’, has the Ferrari boffins scratch their heads as it is the second race in a row that the Finn gets caught out by Ferrari’s start-software that seems to deliver the torque a little too aggressively for the iceman’s liking. The on-board recording shows that the revs on Räikkönen’s SF15-T are consistently just shy of the limiter in fourth then fifth gear, yet providing still enough wheel-spin that he lost his car.
One part of that equation could be that Kimi might just be a trifle useless and not even his team boss is convinced of the explanation provided by his driver.
“Unfortunately we have no pictures from Alonso’s perspective,” says Maurizio Arrivabene. “That’s why we have to believe Kimi for now when he says he had unexpectedly high torque under acceleration.”
Another mystifying element is that Kimi immediately radioed in, “I lost the clutch.”
One thing that matches the Montreal spin is, that both incidents happened on fresh primes that were still relatively cold, and both McLaren pilots reported that Kimi simply seemed to lose control of his car.
Jenson Button put’s the blame squarely at the door of the Finn. “Even though his back end was stepping out over and over again, he simply stayed on the throttle, not even shifting up changed that. His rear wheels were spinning and he was barely moving at the start.”
Things are not looking good for the ice man, considering that his team mate seems to manage quite okay. It would take quite an optimist to believe that Kimi will be on the grid of the 2016 Australian GP.
A word on fan behaviour
It has not been an easy weekend for the Hamfosi, but I wish to say that I was quite impressed by the level of maturity most of them displayed. There was only one incident of someone going off his rocker and I tend to think the commenter might not have been entirely sober when he posted his opinion. All in all the discussion has been very civilized.
However, there have been two major incidents over the last few days. First, a well known repeat offender posted comments, calling the Hippo a ‘white supremacist’ on a mission because Lewis Hamilton is ‘threateningly black’.
Let’s make one thing abundantly clear. TJ13 is not, never was, and never will be a site that condones or tolerates any form of racism, sexism or other forms of discrimination. Nor will we allow comments that accuse editors or other commenters of such. We are not the political correctness police, but abusive content goes to the trash can immediately.
A second commenter, hardly active in the past, came here quite obviously provoking certain members of the regular readership, and after a warning email replied “Guilty as charged. You may ban me now.”
That’s exactly what we did. Both individuals are now permanently banned from participating in any discussion. We don’t like to do that, but if it becomes necessary to preserve a civil atmosphere we will do it.
The Hamfosi, like them or not, are an outspoken bunch and with very few exceptions have shown an admirable level of maturity after the race. Let’s keep it at that and those few people who can’t behave will be shown the door.