Hamilton thought Rosberg would pass him

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he expected Nico Rosberg would be able to pass at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix when his team mate was on the softer tyres.

Rosberg made several moves on Hamilton in the final dozen laps and passed his team mate more than once, but Hamilton got back ahead each time.

“When you do allow him to go past, obviously you don’t plan him to come past but you have to calculate how you get back,” said Hamilton to reporters after the race. “Every time I did it perfect and I was really, really happy to enable that.”

“He had the [soft] tyre so I thought he was coming by at some point but that last couple of laps I was able to hold onto it.”

“It was killer. It was to the max, like, the hardest thing,” said Hamilton about their battle, which began earlier in the race before the first pit stops.

“There’s like six-and-a-bit tenths [difference] on the tyres. When he was on the medium and I was on the [soft] I didn’t really have a great pace.”

Hamilton said Rosberg had been the quicker of the two drivers since yesterday. “Generally this weekend, since qualifying, I’ve really struggled.”

“Particularly in qualifying I had an issue with my braking system which was changed before the race. I thought maybe that would give me a little bit more time but I really struggled during the race.”

“At the end when the Safety Car came out I had a 9.5 second lead and I was thinking ‘OK, hopefully this is enough’. But jeez, he was so quick at the end and to try and stay ahead of him in the DRS zones was so hard. When I came across the line my heart was so relived.”

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Hamilton thought Rosberg would pass him”

  1. I think we all did. Brilliant last stint from Lewis. Brilliant race from both.

  2. Joe (@joetoml1n)
    6th April 2014, 18:42

    Top defense and offensive throughout the race from Hamilton.. Text book stuff really.

    1. I think that Nico is a real multitalent: he’s such a great driver and actor and gentleman not to kick Lewis’ a.. after those two “not so fair” moves. I’m not a hater but I do thinck it was far from clean racing.

    2. Honestly, it was the worst I’ve seen Rosberg drive in a while. He should’ve calmed down and prepared for a move instead of ust dive bombing three times into T1…

      1. Joe (@joetoml1n)
        6th April 2014, 20:12

        He had a run every time, why not try and overtake into the best overtaking spot on the track? He also planned a lovely move into T3, which HAM defended well.. Personally, I thought it was brilliant driving from both of them.

        1. Yes he had a run every time, tha makes it even worse he could not finish it. He had plenty of opportunities but could not get it done. @joetoml1n

          1. Joe (@joetoml1n)
            7th April 2014, 11:09

            Not for lack of trying, talent or commitment though I would say… I would say because it was top driving from both of them, inc defensive driving from Hamilton, and offensive when Rosberg actually got past.

      2. @ardenflo, I agree
        i dont like to underestimate Lewis victory but when you are gifted 10sec (SC) and the better tyre choice +DRS there is not excuse not winning this race.
        This race was more lost from Rosberb than won from Lewis.
        What really surprised me is that he was so happy that he finished 2nd!!!!
        I dont understand it, if i were in his position i would be very sceptical….
        He tranforms to Massa in ferrari years. Trying to look happy even constantly behind you teammate.

        1. He’s not happy. He stated on the podium, and I quote, “I hate finishing second to Lewis”. But what do you expect him to do? He has to put a good face on it. But after being handed that safety car opportunity on the faster tires and drs advantage he couldn’t pass. He knows that if the situation was reversed and Lewis was on the softs Lewis would have blown by him and off into the distance. It’s crisis management from Rosberg, nothing more, nothing less. He still needs the team to believe in him despite not getting it done in the situation today where everything was in his favor in those last ten laps.

      3. What i find a little strange seeing the race history chart is the times of both mercs in laps 52&53. Before that and after these laps they were in the 1.37s and on those laps in the 1.39. They were 1.5sec slower on those 2 laps. Did something happen ?

        1. Joe (@joetoml1n)
          6th April 2014, 22:32

          Yes, they were fighting for position

          1. and on the other 8 laps they didn’t?

          2. Joe (@joetoml1n)
            7th April 2014, 11:10

            @cosmas , not saying that, but that were the laps when they were closest on track, and when ROS got past, before HAM re-passed into T4.

          3. Thanks @joetoml1n,
            sorry, now i got it.

  3. I like ho Hamilton says he did a perfect job to hold back Nico and win the race, and then says he was struggling while Nico was on it all weekend.

    It just seems that Lewis in being slightly condescending by saying that he can struggle and still finish in front of Nico

    1. How can you be condecending when admitting your slower, he is right though Nico only had chance cuz safety car. How would he gain 9 secinds and pass yet cant when right behind him.

      1. Maybe Nico could had gone to the finish with the medium tyres without the safety car, while Lewis needed to stop to change compounds. If that was the case I’m not so sure the safety car played on Nico’s side.

    2. @Todford
      You should criticise Nico more lol he guaranteed he will win in China talk about cocky said he is fatser he is leading WC dies he no why he is leading lol?

        1. Dude it’s @todfod

          1. Sorry mate@todfod But please answer my point

          2. Traverse (@)
            6th April 2014, 20:20

            He (@Todfod) can’t answer your point because his comment is heavily partisan in favour of Rosberg. One could easily point out that Rosberg saying ‘I hate finishing second to Lewis’ on the podium and also moaning during the race about Ham supposedly pushing him off the track was all a bit childish, and smacked of envy.

            Fact is Ham (relatively speaking) embarrassed Rosberg and the young pretender feels the pain. He was on fresh rubber that was up to half a second a lap faster and yet he still couldn’t pass Ham. Rosberg got schooled today – he should learn from this and move on.

          3. Traverse (@)
            6th April 2014, 20:23

            It appears that I may have mentioned/@ a different ‘Dan’ to the ‘Dan’ that I mentioned in my comment above.

    3. F1 drivers are tough and they need to be . A little cheeky but he drove his race to the hilt . It’s not Rosberg is going to sit tight . I love this battle :D !

    4. Mind games my friend. They all do it. It’s going to be a long and hard fought between the Merc drivers all season, barring more mechanical failures. They are both trying to gain the upper hand within the team.

    5. The only way Lewis could beat Nico was to break him as a driver…

      Nico had the ‘faster car’ and the better tires (ergo the faster car).

      Superb driving by both drivers, fantastic racing and today Lewis was the better racer… Thank you must go to Paddy Lowe and Mercedes for not stopping two of the best in the world from going at it toe to toe, this is the sport I love as a fan…. These are the clips we will be looking back on in races to come as the season unfolds and probably in years to come when we argue about who were the best drivers and which were the fastest cars of this era.

      I wonder how many races this season are going to come down to such titanic battles as we saw up and down the field?

      New rules ruining the sport…. *BAH*

  4. Stunning Lewis please win in China as yourteammate has guaranteed he will win. Nico would have never had the chance without the safety car how would he gain 9 seconds and overtake if he cant do it right behind his tyres would have gone. Also does me in how Ros is like im leading the WC? Yeh why is that then Nico

    1. Without the safety car he would have had more laps, but I agree I think his tyres would have dropped off by the time he caught Hamilton.

  5. All he had to do was drive Nico off the road every time they were along side each other. Imagine that.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      7th April 2014, 8:56

      He was within his right to maintain the racing line. It was hard fought, but clean racing.

      Lewis won that race fair and square. It was Nico’s to win after the safety car, and he couldn’t get through Lewis’s defense. Tough luck.

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    6th April 2014, 18:57

    That was the feeling of the NBC commentators too but somehow Hamilton managed to stay ahead.

    1. Not to mention the BBC and Sky commentators as well. And who could blame them? But Hamilton was just something else today; great defensive driving throughout.

  7. Kind of bad driving from Rosberg side those last 10 laps. Despite being on a tyre around 0,5sec or +0,5sec faster on those conditions, and still not being able to overtake Hamilton: breaking too late, going too wide… He’s being as eager as Bottas trying to demonstrate something but making too many mistakes on the process. He could’ve grabbed easily the win on those last 10 laps if he would thought better how and where to overtake Hamilton.

    1. He would’ve easily won if Hamilton hadn’t pushed him off the track in turn 4 numerous times as well.

      1. Completely fairly. In those scenarios the driver on the inside has every right to continue on the racing line, which means using the whole width of the track.

        1. Exactly. And you would have thought that Nico would have learnt that after the first few times. He lost a lot of times attempting those moves; should have just followed Lewis through and attempted an overtake later on

          1. That’s what I’m saying @mcquiz , just what Adam said: he attempted the SAME moves on the SAME spots, over and over again. Hamilton easily knew how, where and when Nico would make his move and just made sure to be the best placed to regain it’s position just after they left the corner.
            Also, about pushing him out, I’m going to say what Jake and Ryne already said: it’s the racing line.

      2. Apparently you didn’t watch the race. Everyone did that, you are allowed to take that line because it is the racing line.

      3. Utter tripe! Watch every race at Bahrain for the last 3 years and you’ll see it’s a text book move. Would you have preferred it if Hamilton would have given his corner up?? Rosberg didn’t have the race craft, I think he only tried the switchback once when that is by far the best way to overtake on that corner!

    2. Really!! did you watch the last dozen laps? you need to watch again with your glasses the right way round ;)

      1. Was that aimed at me??

    3. Regarding Bottas’ race craft, that has required improvement since he entered F1. Last year when he was battling with cars, although the Williams was clearly a weak car, he never really put up a fight. He seemed a bit tentative, a bit weak, and in terms of general race pace, he was more often beaten by Maldonado than people realise.

      So far this year he could’ve had a better result in Australia but touched a wall. I suppose being the first race of this era that can be excused. Then last week Massa showed the better race pace, as he did again this week (and some people were expecting Bottas to easily beat Massa), whilst Bottas was making some mistakes: One which gave Button too easy a pass, where he then tried to respond but then got overtaken by Hulkenberg as well, and the other where he missed his braking point by a long shot, but in that instance at least he had the awareness to go off the track to avoid Raikkonen.

      He has shown some good race craft this season, particularly in Australia, but it still needs improving if Williams are to battle with the likes of Force India.

  8. Awesome!!!

  9. I’ve always thought Hamilton was great at defending. Today was a textbook lesson on defensive driving. Lets keep the momentum.

    1. I might add despite DRS which is a bit of a rarity to see such defense against DRS . But yeah this fight is far from over . Nico is still ahead in the WDC. Right now I can’t imagine him taking any other position in the race than 1 or 2 if he finishes.

  10. Truly great driving from both of them. Right winner in my book given the nullification of the gap during middle stint but so exciting to see them wheel to wheel several times.

  11. Trying to go over the best races that Hamilton has had over his career. USGP 2012, Canada 2011, and I have to think hard after that. But I think this one was the best drive from Hamilton since Spa 2008, and the epic battle he had with Kimi. (A race in which Lewis was given a bogus penalty, as I think Lewis gave the position back to Kimi on the straight.) We will have to see if this year turns out like that year for Hammy. It was also good to see Nico after the race give Hamilton a couple of playful jabs as they got out of the car. As a huge Hamilton fan, I don’t think Lewis would have done the same to Nico.

    1. Paul Ogbeiwi (@)
      6th April 2014, 21:04

      Because they are different people :) Well done to Rosberg

      1. i dont know why ppl keep praising nico.i mean he was schooled by lewis in the race.nico had so many chances to win the race,and failed each and every time,thats not good driving.nico should have won the race,but he was out driven,and out smarted.nico was like a striker who gets chance after chance and misses time and time again.strikers dont get credit for that.the only thing nico deserves credit for is his pole lap which he thoroughly deserved.

        1. Agreed completely.
          Rosberg is meant to be the more intelligent driver out of the two, well today puts that into question. Hamilton actually embarrassed him in the end with Rosberg going for the same moves over and over but getting re-passed each time. Today was another rude awakening for Rosberg. To not pass Hamilton on the softer tyre after the help of the safety car is as much an eye opener for Rosberg as Hamilton’s 17 second gap to him in Malaysia.

    2. If the situation were reversed, no doubt Hamilton would be fuming, not playing around. But I believe Nico had to be a little embarrassed quite frankly, and maybe didn’t know exactly how to greet his teammate in that situation therefore it came out a bit awkward in the moment. If he had time to think about it, he probably wouldn’t do that again. It just didn’t feel right for the moment, especially considering these two drivers will be going for each others jugular trying to win the drivers title as the Merc is clearly the class of the field, and by about the distance between here and Jupiter.

  12. The new Mercedes team seems to be gelling really well! After Ross Brown left I thought his absence would be felt but it seems I was wrong. If Mercedes win the next 8 races in a similar fashion then they got the constructors championship in the bag! Lewis will win about 50% and Nico will win about 50%. This is going to be the first F1 season where the winner is decided by the order of the last name first alphabet!

  13. I think Nico and Lewis showed great fighting and talent so they did not crashed together.
    I feel Nico has been too eager to overtake Lewis, otherwise he might have manged that

  14. I can get used to this – Hamilton winning (the first time he’d won two in a row since Turkey-Canada 2010, he’s never had three in a row)! Once again I am over the moon for him. This is one of the best wins of his career, without a doubt. It was such excellent defensive driving from him with Rosberg being on the softer tyre. Just extraordinary!

    I will stress again that Rosberg not being able to pass Hamilton on the softer tyre after the help of the safety car is as much an eye-opener for him as Hamilton’s 17 second gap to him in Malaysia. I really can’t believe Rosberg didn’t win it after the safety car pulled in. He must be kicking himself.

    1. I agree with you, but I have to credit both of them for fighting each other hard but not ending up in carbon shards on the side of the track for their efforts. It was hard fought, aggressive, but very clean. Great racing from two very talented drivers. What a race. There was so much action going on throughout the field, it was amazing to watch.

      1. Agreed, Rosberg still deserves credit for making it a fascinating and clean battle with Hamilton, but still he really should’ve won this one after the safety car. It was a huge statement of intent by Hamilton to win it despite the odds being against him at that point. It could be pivotal.

  15. Well as much as I enjoyed the race that was it for me supporting NR. He should have HAM easily with such advantage and yet he couldn’t do it. He doesn’t have this fighting spirit of the greats. HAM was a little bit aggressive in defending but he was allowed to by Rosberg. He just lost it completely. It looked like he is afraid of Lewis. This was Rosberg’s race after the SC and yet he didn’t do it. Well done Lewis, well done!

  16. all cars must give room quality drivers give room not push others out of road !
    if that was a diff team/driver be a drive thru ! lols
    no complaint given as same team no point in punishing own team! lols
    no skill in running others out of road tbh!!!
    rosberg was expecting room as they was after all side by side.
    think theres a rule for that n pushing off the track not leaving space if the overtakibg car is past your rear wheel ?

  17. rosberg had his corner he new was the way past lulu new if he past him he would be a small dot in rosbergs mirror!
    so kinda desperation moves to run rosberg out of track.
    coulthards instant reaction with my own eyes was enough for me n more than once too.
    lewis needs to watch what he was doing back and will be shocked what he was doing to keep ahead, if that was me there would have been a crash coz i would not have been pushed off track a 3rd time ! lols
    thats all my initial thoughts tho and i will watch again.

    1. A non LH fan perhaps? Thats a suprise we can see your hatred from a mile off, every god damn driver done that move. Must hurt though as LH overtook NR on inside to get the 1st pitsop did you mmiss how it was done?

  18. I like both of these guys but Hamilton owned Rosberg in the end. Not getting by with the tires and drs was weak. He has to learn how to consolidate a pass by breaking momentum of the guy you pass.

  19. Fair play to Hamilton because I though Rosberg was going to run away with it. I was disappointed in Lewis after qualifying because it looked like it was going to be a quali destruction, it was in the end but it was Rosberg who blew Hamilton away. Rosberg surely did have better race pace and better tyre management but credit to Lewis for keeping him behind for the first stops. Let’s not forget though we don’t know how much quicker the soft tyre was at the end after the safety car so let’s not try and say lewis is superman because Rosberg is easily his match!

  20. all i will say is hammy push a car off track to hold position, side by side nico earned the right to be given some race track to over take end of it!
    two diffrent team diffrent out come bet ya!

    1. Stop talkng out of your backside, look at the races over the last few races here and you’ll see that everyone does it, it’s a standard move! Nico is one of the dirtiest defenders in the sport with his last minute swerves and crowding! You’re telling me he wouldn’t have done the same??

  21. im saying the move that i would say rosberg was going to beat hamilton was when he was pushed off track thats all is it not a rule if a car is side by side you give room ?
    im not having ago at all but you don’t risk crashing team cars by a stunt like that both cars out but was a fair move to pass.
    all other driver left room side by side.
    was a crash or back off defence not wheel to wheel move else it would have been fair move and was a crucial move for rosbergs confidence n respect in his team mate crashing was defo on rosbergs mind i bet.
    guess its gunna be fun watching now tho! lols

  22. hamilton must have lost that move from rosberg else why not leave room like everyone else was!
    we hit or you go off track nice.
    expect the karma to return now how fun.
    just my point abit of dirty driving can win a race when someone got ya on a move round the outside and made it stick and earned the space is racing move not get stuffed off track coz the place was migjt be lost.
    happened carn’t say it didn’t just saying and pointing out ! lols

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