Brought to you by TheJudge13 Technical Analyst Tourdog
Lewis is obviously winning on points.
At the end of the race, he has consistently finished ahead of Rosberg, but that isn’t the whole story.
When we look at their pace, we can see a few things of note.
In the first four races, Lewis was mopping the floor with Nico on the soft tire. With the exception of a single hot lap in Bahrain’s FP2 session, Lewis was faster than Nico in every single stint.
In Monaco, during the race, Lewis was again about 2 tenths a lap faster than Nico on the soft. Though that comparison is skewed because Lewis only covered 24 laps on the softs before his infamous final pit stop, and Nico ended up covering 33 laps in that same stint. (as usual the safety car laps at the end of that race are filtered out of time calculations).
By Canada they are dead even on the soft tire:
Lewis averaged 1:08.199 over 40 laps on his last stint
Nico Averaged 1:08.195 over 39 laps on his last stint.
Lewis 1:12.067 over 35 laps on his last stint
Nico 1:12.047 over 37 laps on his last stint.
It doesn’t get much closer than that.
In Hungary the only real comparison we have is their first race stint.
Lewis averaged 1:30.157 over the first 18 laps
Nico Averaged 1:29.043 over the first 19 laps.
Nico routes Lewis by over a second a lap, (though there may have been an external factor I am not remembering).
Belgium might be the best comparison we have on the Soft. Both cars were running out front in clean air. Both cars used the soft tire for their first and last stint, covering nearly the same number of laps in each. This gives us a fair comparison of the two drivers, on the same tire, with both a heavy and and light fuel load.
In the first stint:
Lewis 1:56.371 (12 laps)
Nico 1:56.970 (11 laps)
Lewis is 6 tenths a lap faster with a heavy fuel load.
Lewis 1:53.793 (12 laps)
Nico 1:53.453 (11 laps)
Nico is 3 tenths a lap faster with a light fuel load.
When we move on to the hard tire, we really only have 2 races for comparison.
In Malaysia, both drivers ran the Hard tire on their second stint. (the first stint was only 3 laps long).
Lewis wins the battle here by 3 tenths.
Lewis: 1:46.921 over 17 laps
Nico: 147.290 over 19 laps
In Spain Lewis and Nico ran different strategies, which doesn’t give us a fair comparison.
In England however, both drivers used the Hard for Stint 2, and they both covered 19 laps.
Lewis: 1:39.533 average
Nico 1:39.757 average
Lewis wins again, by 2 tenths a lap.
SUPER SOFT TYRE
They have run three races on the SS tyre as well. It gives us a good opportunity to to compare them, as they both ran the SS in their first stint of all three races, and did a comparable number of laps. Their fuel loads should have been very close too.
Lewis was 2 tenths a lap faster in Monaco (Lewis covered 37 and Nico covered 36 laps).
Lewis was 1 tenth a lap faster in Canada (lewis 28 laps, Nico 29)
Nico turned the tables in Austria, but was only just able to eek out a better average, of .066 seconds over the long run, even though Nico covered 2 fewer laps, (26 to Hamiltons 28).
On the medium tyre they are pretty evenly matched, trading best average on a regular basis. There is a lot of laps run on the medium, so I encourage you to look for yourselves, but a couple interesting things to note:
In Bahrain Nico was faster than Lewis on the Medium tyre in every session and every stint, but Lewis was faster than Nico on the soft every stint but one.
By Belgium, Lewis was faster on the medium in race pace, but Nico was faster on the soft.
So to sum up, Lewis Had the advantage on the soft in the beginning of the season, but Nico has been able to improve and pretty well match Lewis.
On the Super Soft, Again, Lewis started out with a 2 tenths advantage, but by the 3rd race on that tire, Nico had caught him.
The Hard Tyre goes to Lewis, with a minimum of 2 tenths a lap advantage over Nico.
The Medium Tyre is a draw.
I would say that if Nico had been able to squeeze out 1 or 2 more pole laps, and gotten ahead of Lewis at the start, their points totals would be about even.
It has taken Nico some time to catch him. He may even be able to beat Lewis regularly in the second half of the season. Only time will tell, but the points are close enough that if I were Lewis, I wouldn’t be expanding the trophy case just yet.
I encourage you to further crunch the numbers are prove me wrong…
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