The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday, 22nd June 2015


An attempt at demystifying Lewis Hamilton’s weekend

Hülkenberg coy about possible offers from other teams

Ferrari mystified by Räikkönen’s accident

A word on fan behaviour

An attempt at demystifying Lewis Hamilton’s weekend

Lewis Hamilton - Nico Rosberg - 2014 Abu DhabiFor 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

gavelIt 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.

Thank you.


65 responses to “The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday, 22nd June 2015

  1. Don’t they have to take the cars directly from qualy to Park Ferme? And no changes are allowed after qualy is done? How could Hammy’s car be changed without incurring a penalty? Or anyone else’s?

    • He drove the lap on his first of two runs. So it could have been reset in between. Also, the front wing can be re-adjusted on the starting grid. Parc fermé ends when the cars leave the pitlane on race day.

          • Nope, according to Paddy Lowe before the race, they also had to open up his gearbox to change the damaged 6th gear.

          • They can do that if it is properly reported to the FIA. It’s one of the things allowed under parc-fermé conditions for reliability reasons. My point was the front wing adjustment back to the Q2 setting can be legally made on the grid. They sometime even add or remove a few ‘clicks of front wing’ during pit stops. That’s when you see a guy screwing away at the wing with an Allen key.

          • Ok my bad, I thought you meant that the gear change was not carried out.

  2. While Kimi is responsible for the Canada incident, his team were to blame for his Q1 exit and the resulting grid position. Though there is no guarantee this would not have happened had he started P4, the probability of it happening would have been lower. Pity that my two favourite drivers’ races ended in just three corners. But happy that they both walked away from the scene on their own.

    PS : I just cannot understand what ferrari are upto. Giving away podiums, the erring in communication (remember British GP 2014) where both ferraris were out in Q1!!. They should get their act together. They are still not learning their lessons from Abu Dhabi 2010, Canada 2012, Britain 2012, Britain 2014, and twice or thrice this year

    • I understand that the track was drying and the team blundered but Kimi shares the blame as well. He shouldn’t need his very last flying lap to make it past Q1 in the second fastest car. Kimi, great driver once but not worth the top dollar they pay him – GroJo, Bottas and Hulk should be given a chance and they would cost a fraction. We know Hulk races for free!

      Plus forget his driving errors, Kimi isnt a team player. He publicly blames the team whenever he can. How is that supposed to motivate the factory guys? Now compare this to Alonso!

      • In a drying track proper communication is important. I remember during this weekend both Nico and Seb were in the drop zone for some time when the time left was 2 mins or so in Q1. So i apportion the blame solely on the team. I dont like conspiracies. But i am starting to think that Ferrari are sidelining Kimi like they did in 2009. At that time it was front suspension changes; now so many variables like throttle map, etc etc.,.

        • Why would the sideline Kimi? To what ends?
          His contract is up, and they are free to offer the spot to another driver.
          Why go through the effort to make kimi and the team look bad?

          • Because they don’t want him ending up at a serious competitor. He still was voted 4th desirable driver after HAM, ALO and VET by the teambosses.

            So it’s either conspiracy tralala or he and or Ferrari fucked up.

  3. What a coincidence; ‘threateningly black’ and ‘dominatingly white’ are the two new colours one can choose in the 2016 Mercedes AMG performance product line.

    Too soon?


  4. “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.”

    Hippo are you purposely trying to upset Vivian more than she probably is at the moment?…😂😂

    • I am and have always been a Ferrari nut so I tend to have a very narrow view of the F1 world..if it ain’t red its not a race car kind of approach 😉 and I have to say Kimi’s heart just seems to be elsewhere. They do say when you have a family your direction changes and we have seen drivers in the past lose that ultimate edge,I don’t believe it’s because they put their lives at risk when they drive,this won’t change but I do think the sleepless nights and making the tea and adding the wrong milk has a bearing. I was against the Seb signing but he has so far surprised me but I do still miss the drives of Alonso but I digress, Kimi looked and sounded strung all weekend, I think after the spin in Canada he has been pressured by the team and press,for a private guy he has suddenly become number 1 talking point in Italy, will they,won’t they sack him? Kimi is no Iceman,he projects this cool image but things do upset him, if his steering isn’t right he can’t drive to his best, the brake are wrong,the power harvest is wrong..the list goes on so you get the picture. In his time he can be quick but sadly,and I hate to say this..I think its time he set his gloves aside and becomes a great Dad

      • Been thinking the same thing. Starting a family changes things or so I hear. He been uncharacteristically animated on a number of occasions recently. Feeling the heat. Losing his job in the most public way possible.
        I’ll miss him. He hooked me.
        But adapt or die. Clock’s ticking and each race down requires a more brilliant turnaround. At this point he needs two podiums or a win. Spa, his favorite, may come too late.

        • Maybe it’s me, but I never understood why they (the red ones) resigned Kimi. It was pretty obvious that they dropped Kimi like a stone in 2009 in favour of Fernando, with the lack-of-motivation card. Why resign someone you dropped before? In case of Alonso and McLaren one could argue that both had no other option, but in case of Ferrari, the options were/are plenty. Ferrari knew Kimi is a single-guy-team and his results show this can work. If you are looking for teamwork, don’t sign Kimi, right? (Not saying all other drivers are team players per se, one needs to be a b*stard to succeed in F1.) Ah well, I’m always happy I’m not the one who makes these calls, I couldn’t handle the responsibility.

      • Comon!..

        Kimi only wants to win. The spin in second to last race has been resolved as engine mapping problem.

        The 18th place qualifying was because he was told that he has three laps. So on the second lap, he was not working for a qualifying time, but to warm up his tyres. That was the reason why he said “What happened?” Not being informed that his last lap wasn’t a war up cant be his fault.

        The wheel spin resulting in the crash with Alonso also as curious as the spin in the last race. As if Kimi has lost his skills now after + 10 seasons.

        Writing that he doesn’t have motivation is unbelievable. This guy doesn’t give a shit about anything else than winning.

        Btw, have you ever seen him blaming the team? At worst he says “We have a lot of work to do”. None of the whining that Alonso did.

        BTW 2, Same with Häkkinen, Salo, Kovalainen or Bottas. Try to find a quote from them saying the team is shit.

    • Who is Vivian? A commenter? Hippos wife? Rosberg is married to a Vivian. Kimi s lady is Mintuu.

      • She’s a Kimfosi, you can find her in the comments section of the podcast taping on Ustream.

  5. Good to see that there will be taken action to people who only come here to create a fuzz. I know both the hippo and fortis play a cat and mouse game sometimes but usually they have something to add to the discussion, which makes it ok, in my opinion.

  6. Any chance of an article on McLaren and what the future holds? Another unbelievably disappointing race. And I know everyone has to play the ‘motivation’, ‘long-term project’, ‘second half of season will see progress’ card, but I would have preferred if a bit of that frustration was out in the public. At least it would re-assure me that they have started panicking (in a good way) and realise it’s time to focus and get help from everywhere they can.
    I know Honda got in the game 2 years later than the others, but still, quite unacceptable to be both unreliable and low in power after 8 races!

    • We are on it and have a few bits and pieces, but not an entire picture yet. The Honda CEO was in Austria, so we have to wait if someone has a date with his sword this weekend. As soon as we have the necessary material, a feature will follow.

      • Maybe they’re also waiting for their home grand prix in Silverstone before they assess the full damage to both McLaren and Honda from a marketing perspective…and then the toys and prams will fly!

    • I think a fine line needs to be treaded – if you go too much in the other direction, you end up at Red Bull (2014 – present), and their method must really push Renault employees down.

  7. Don’t know if it was mentioned in the earlier articles, apologies if it has, but any opinion on Lewis’ assertions about the change in clutch in the last 4 races which seems to suit Rosberg better. Having said that, Rosberg was immense and thoroughly deserved the win, irrespective of clutch problems or not.

    • Winning and losing in F1 is so marginal these days that I don’t buy all the TV experts declaring how good/bad someone is based on their performance over a two or three races.

      The Mercs are so good that the race is won/lost on the first corner, barring any pit-stop problems or ill-judged strategy calls during a safety car period. There is so much extra reserve “start mode supersonic” power available to the lead Merc driver that the following Merc will find it nigh on impossible to overtake; and will end up ruining his tyres and brakes if he follows too closely for a few laps trying to get past.

      So I think it now boils down to getting pole position and then not losing it in the first lap.

      Race over and borefest to follow from then on.

      • “Race over and borefest to follow from then on.”

        I couldn’t agree more! This year’s season makes even last year look like one of the best seasons ever.

      • Well there’s two places to look. One is in and out laps and the lead up to them. Generally speaking you can see pushing and or alternate strategies take place.

        Also the general trailing driver strategy gives a window of 2-4 laps near end of race to attack, though that is rarely a genuine opportunity, it has occasionally generated some chances.

        • When Rosberg pitted, according to the sector-timing data, Lewis got within 0.5 seconds of him, but then in the two laps lost 4 seconds while Rosberg romped away on new tyres.

          Lewis’s side of the garage kept him out in the forlorn hope that Rosberg might get held up behind Massa. As Massa pitted before Rosberg caught him, it blew any hope Lewis might have had of an “overcut”.

  8. Lap 1 was awesome, The first few turns after Nico passed, Lewis was all over Nico trying to squeeze his way in. I thought back to Bahrain 14 and just hoped until safety car

  9. Felt like updating myself on how Nico and Lewis have faired together as teammates since Lewis joined Mercedes in ’13. As I was perusing the data in detail, I figured some of you might like a quick snapshot of the ‘big ticket’ items, like Wins, Poles etc.

    Interprete the data how you will, but one thing I will say is in ’12, when Lewis was announced to join Mercedes, I didn’t think it would be this close. I didn’t think Nico had a hope in hell. Lewis has come out on top in all categories, but he has not dominated Nico.

    Lewis won the title last year – and massive, massive kudos to him – but Nico still managed to get it to the final round, and would have done so without the “Abu Double” effect as well.

    Lewis has maintained his “one of the best” of his generation tags over the past 2.5 years, perhaps even improved on it, but Nico has really justified Mercedes’ faith in him and seems relatively good value now considering how close they are and the salary differences. But that’s just my opinion; I am not looking for fisty-cuffs.

    A final key stat is that Lewis has contributed about 53.4% of Mercedes’ total points haul since he joined, whilst Nico has delivered 46.6%. A less-than 5% deviation off equal is as close as it gets; or more accurately a 6.8% difference between teammates isn’t that much at all.



    • F1 is very marginal these days.
      The days are long gone when driver skill showed up as a massive difference in points, poles, podiums and wins.
      That is why the year when Button was statistically appeared to be better than Hamilton at McLaren did not reflect the reverse true position (in my opinion, that is).

      • …and yet, Mark never finished 2nd to any of Sebastian’s WDC years, let alone come close in a good portion of the stats – certainly not as close as Nico has to Lewis. Seems there was enough to make a big difference then.

        As for 2011, I think Jenson revealed in a planted rear-end, hot blown diffuser car. In that sense, for that year, he was better than Lewis. But that car style was short lived and almost abnormal; more traditional physics took over and Lewis came back.

    • Only 6 wins difference, I have to admit that it surprised me, I don’t normally follow stats but its way closer than you think. Any idea what the difference was between Schumacher and Rubino? Given the similar car dominance it might be worthy comparison

      • I’ll (happily) do a Schumacher / Barrichello snapshot and get back to you. I have a few others planned.

      • Here you go, Oddball. Below is a similar snapshot of the “big ticket” statistics for the time that Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello spent together as Ferrari teammates between 2000 – 2005.

        Overall, it’s clear Michael completely annihilated Rubens in all categories over the 104 GP’s they raced together at Ferrari. This driver partnership still stands as the F1’s most successful teammate pairing in the sense that they underpinned Ferrari winning the WDC/WCC double no less than five consecutive times in six seasons. Additionally, they combined to win a huge 58 GP’s, which is a 56% win rate over that same six seasons.

        In terms of the comparison, the closest stat between them is the overall fastest laps, though it’s still double, or 2-1 in Michael’s favour. The most compelling stat, aside from the race victory differences, is the points they brought home for Ferrari. In the six seasons together, Michael contributed 62.2% of Ferrari’s total points, whilst Rubens contributed 37.8%. It’s not the worst proportional difference I’ve seen between teammates in a top team, but once a top-team driver pairing gets into the “two thirds to one third” points proportion, the less successful driver usually finds he’s on his way out.

        I won’t continue to wax lyrical about the Greatest of All Time.

        Anyone that disagrees with that final premise is a terrorist.

    • Great post! Nico is under-appreciated by many folks, so I think you’ve done a great thing here.

      It raises also one’s appreciation for Niki Lauda to bring these two together. It’s a dream pairing of drivers to have two very close who can push each other’s performance levels to higher levels.

      This also highlights the failings of Ron Dennis, who tried the same tactic of hiring the two best drivers available, and failed to manage the team successfully… not once, but twice; first with Senna and Prost, and then with Alonso and Hamilton. So kudos to Lauda, Wolff and Paddy for enabling the environment where both drivers want to stay.

      • agreed but Don’t forget what an important roll Ross had in this, he was the one who really developed this car and pairing, I have to admit,I did think that this yr would be closer without his influence.

      • Thanks Vortex.

        When I go back to my 2012 mindset about Nico and Lewis respectively, the one stat here that I’d have struggled the most to believe, had I been told, is the 15-19 pole split and their qualifying record over the last 2.5 seasons. Additionally, Nico stands as the only driver in Lewis’ career to have out-qualified him over a full season.

        The way they initially engaged in battle, and how they’ve developed / evolved their battle tactics is fascinating to me – especially given I don’t really support either; I just want good F1.

        Now Lewis is back to working on Q3 magic and Nico is focused on race pace. Back and forth, back and forth. This snapshot reveals that over a not-insignificant amount of races, their points and podium tallies are very similar.


  10. Simply put, people underestimated Rosberg. The guy was in no position to win his critics when Schu joined Merc. Do better than Schu, and they would say Schu is past it. Get beaten by Schu and you’d be a no 2 for the rest of your career.

    In regards to Lewis, Coulthard put it well, “He’s no doubt one of the greats, but all greats did not beat their teammate all the time.”

  11. Maybe Hamilton should do more testings like Rosberg did in Barcelona and will do tomorrow,

  12. re: raikonnen crash. I can’t believe that this day and age EVERY car doesn’t have their on-board tbar camera active and being recorded by FOM. absolutely ridiculous.

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