How Mercedes made it a fair fight between Hamilton and Rosberg

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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The gripping battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg made the Bahrain Grand Prix a classic race.Not only did Mercedes allow their two drivers to race each other, they did what they could not to give an advantage to either driver. What unfolded was a great fight and a fair one.

Limbering up

Lap From To Message
Formation lap Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Rear tyres are coming up nicely as well. So front brakes need a bit of work.
Formation lap Unknown Nico Rosberg Brakes are starting to come up, tyres are 8.5 front, 9.5 rear. And gears are learnt.

As Rosberg leads Hamilton to the grid, both drivers are given the usual messages about bringing their brakes and tyres up to temperature. Rosberg is told his tyre temperatures are 108.5C at the front and 109.5C at the rear.

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Hamilton seizes the initiative

3 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton So Nico at 0.9, he has DRS

Hamilton got a fractionally better start than Rosberg and was able to take the lead at the first corner. He had to defend hard from his team mate at turn four, forcing him wide.

After lap three Rosberg dropped out of DRS range until they neared the end of their first stint.

The first stint unfolds

5 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross I need information on fuel consumption compared to the other car.
5 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So you are saving more fuel than your team mate, but continue to save. Gap to Massa, 2.7. You have DRS.
6 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton So just look after that left-front. It looks like we have a little more understeer than the other car.
7 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So remember Nico, we have the alternative strategy which we’ll be going for which means you need to go longer on this first stint, looking after the tyres.
7 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton So let us know if it’s the front or rears that are taking the punishment.
7 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Front-left and left-rear. Got too much front wing.

[The two cars were in a holding pattern for much of the first stint: tyre and fuel conservation were the name of the game for both.

Rosberg had a reminder of the strategic situation on lap seven. It is common practice among teams for the leading driver to have first call on strategy, as allowing the following driver to pit first could help them jump ahead via the ‘undercut’.

At this point Hamilton was on course for the preferred strategy and Rosberg the “alternative”. This meant Rosberg would be the first driver to use the slower medium tyres – hence he would extend his first stint on the soft tyres.

Unless, of course, he was able to pass Hamilton and take first call on strategy.

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Fuel conservation symmetry

12 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So Nico, go to strat-seven. Both cars strat-seven. Try braking five metres later into turn one.
12 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton And go strat mode seven. Strat mode seven, both cars are making the change.

A dozen laps into the race both drivers were given the instruction to go to ‘strat[egy] mode seven’. As Hamilton was reassured that both drivers had been told to do the same, we can infer they were being told to use a setting which gave less performance, to save fuel, engine life or both.

Obviously if one driver were to turn their engine down and the other didn’t, one would have an immediate advantage – the problem Red Bull failed to keep on top of during the breakdown in trust between their drivers in Malaysia last year.

Rosberg attacks again

18 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross Warn him, that was not on!
18 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Copy Nico, we need you to go to strat-10, you cannot use strat-six.

On lap 16 Rosberg moved back within DRS range of Hamilton with the aim of taking the lead and priority call on strategy.

Two laps later he went down the inside of his team mate at turn one but Hamilton reclaimed the place. He left his team mate little room at the exit of the corner, which drew a response from Rosberg.

He tried again on the next lap and had the lead for all of four corners – but once again Hamilton took the lead back on the exit of turn four.

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Hamilton pits

20 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Push hard, Nico! Push hard. Fuel is fine, fuel is OK. But you can still do lift and coast to look after the tyres later in the second stint.
21 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK, Nico boxing this lap. You are four seconds safe.
21 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So Nico, need bite-point seven and box, box, box.
22 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So Nico, this will be a stint on medium tyres.
22 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis, we need to manage these tyres. Get the most out of them, minimise our time on the mediums.
22 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Already have oversteer now.
24 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So you’re currently quicker than Lewis. You’re on mediums, he’s on softs. So remember, looking after the tyres on the stint.

At the end of that lap Hamilton made for the pits and took on a second set of soft tyres. Rosberg, wanting to minimise his time on the slower medium tyres, stayed out another two laps, his engineer telling him to push hard.

Hamilton, meanwhile, was reminded he needed to run for as long as possible on his softs to reduce the amount of time spent on the mediums.

Hamilton pulls ahead

29 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis, so relatively speaking, sector one is the weakest.
35 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis, we’re safe on fuel. So no more lift and coast.
35 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington I heard you, man! I’m looking after my tyres.
38 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So will be rich-6 as the end of this lap. Still if you can find more time it’s helpful.
40 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg So braking later into turn 11 for earlier apex and better exit.
43 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington I’ve got a lot of push at the apex of corners, but I don’t want to go back on my rear- on my brake bias cause I seem to be locking rears.
43 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis if you go diff init three. Diff init three. Then we’ve got two HPP switch adjust. So will be HPP-11 to one. HPP-2 to mode one.
43 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Is Nico on new tyres?
43 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Afrim, Lewis. Nico behind on the Soft tyre.
43 Nico Rosberg Tony Ross Should I try and burn fuel behind the Safety Car?
43 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg You can use low gear, high revs to burn fuel. Tyre temperatures are… ten front and ten rear currently. Brake temperatures are even and OK.

With Rosberg on the slower tyres, Hamilton extended his lead to almost ten seconds. Without the Safety Car Rosberg would have had to recover that gap in his final stint and then attack his team mate with whatever tyre life he had left.

But Rosberg was about to get a helping hand from Pastor Maldonado. The Lotus driver flipped Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber over and the Safety Car came out. That meant Rosberg would not only have the benefit of softer tyres than Hamilton for the final stint, but the gap between the pair of them was eradicated.

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“Bring both cars home”

46 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton So Lewis, obvious I know, but you’re good on fuel so there’s no need to lift and coast. We’re pushing to the flag.
46 Paddy Lowe Lewis Hamilton Lewis, it’s Paddy.
46 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington What’s up?
46 Paddy Lowe Lewis Hamilton Ten laps left to race, can we just make sure we bring both cars home.
46 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Will the Safety Car let the others catch up?
46 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton They will do, Lewis. They may release it early though.
46 Paddy Lowe Nico Rosberg Nico, it’s Paddy here. There are about ten laps left to race. Can we make sure we just bring both cars home.
46 Nico Rosberg Paddy Lowe OK.

Paddy Lowe’s instruction to both drivers to ensure they finished the race might have been taken as an order to stop fighting. Either they ignored him or it wasn’t an attempt to call off the fight. To their credit, it seems to have been the latter.

Game on

48 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Got no power!
48 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis, we’re looking into it. All looks OK on the data.
49 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg When you’re ready to attack, it will be strat-6 and you can use the overtake. Battery is 80%.
51 Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Is Nico on strat 6?
51 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Affirm, we’re just mirroring what they’re doing.
51 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK, so let’s go back strat-3 when you can. We’re just going to mirror them.

Rosberg took the fight to Hamilton immediately after the restart.

‘Strat-6′ appears to be Mercedes’ ‘full attack’ engine mode, which can only be used for brief bursts for overtaking. Because the information is shared within the team, Hamilton’s engineer was able to see when Rosberg was using it so Hamilton could “mirror” him.

Even so, Rosberg got his nose ahead more than once, and Hamilton had to use all his racing nous to protect his lead.

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Hamilton edges clear

52 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton So use ‘overtake’ where you need it.
53 Tony Ross Nico Rosberg Nico, strat-3 to charge the battery. You can still use overtake.
54 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis, you can use ‘overtake’ on the exit of corners now. Use ‘overtake’ where you need it.

Over the final laps Hamilton had little more than the one second DRS gap in hand over Rosberg, but it was enough for him to take a remarkable win.


57 Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton OK Lewis. You’ve got the energy. Use ‘overtake’ everywhere now. Use ‘overtake’.
Victory lap Peter Bonnington Lewis Hamilton Nice work there Lewis! You had us all going there for a minute, mate.
VL Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington Fantastic job this weekend, guys! We didn’t really have the pace on this side of the garage but we still held on to it. Let’s work on that. Thanks.
VL Paddy Lowe Lewis Hamilton Fantastic job, Lewis. Fantastic. And really great racing, well done.
VL Paddy Lowe Nico Rosberg Fantastic job Nico, and best of all great racing. Very well done.
VL Nico Rosberg Tony Ross And then someone should tell me that the sport is boring…

Hamilton and Rosberg deserved equal praise for their hard, clean fight. And Mercedes are also due credit for trusting their drivers to take each other one without colliding.

They may enjoy a considerable performance advantage at the moment, but it would be worthless if their two drivers crashed into each other.

Radio transcription by @WillWood. Full race transcript to follow.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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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    75 comments on “How Mercedes made it a fair fight between Hamilton and Rosberg”

    1. So, it seems to me that the Mercedes battle is not only between their drivers but between their crews as well. I am more than curious to see how that’ll work out for Mercedes. The first clean race it was a great success and I’m more than happy it was.

      1. Thats normal in the teams. Whilst they share information and will always cheer each other one, each side of the garage has allegiance to their driver and they will always want the otherside to finish 1 place behind them

      2. Sharing information is all good, but not sure I agree with it in the heat of battle like that. I mean c’mon!

        Next thing you know Hamilton will be on the radio saying ‘OK guys, tell Nico I’m going to block the inside’, and Nico will be on the radio saying ‘OK guys, tell Lewis I’m going to attack the outside’.

        Not that Nico needed to get on the radio to announce that on Sunday – was pretty obvious that was exactly what he was going to do – 4 TIMES!

    2. To be honest, I can’t help but feel that we’re going to have more Malaysia-style races with Hamilton a good 20-odd seconds clear of Rosberg. He just seems to have that extra edge, which isn’t much, but enough to see him home ahead, in my opinion. That’s not to say that Rosberg didn’t do a stellar job and I really hope he proves me wrong. I’d love to see a Bahrain equivalent every race weekend!

      Very big well done to Mercedes for letting the drivers fight each other, it certainly helps their image in the public eye and afforded the viewers an exciting battle. Long may it last!

      1. @ben-n Yeah. What worries me even more is that Bahrein was actually a track on which Rosberg had the upperhand (Taking pole twice over Hamilton). And he failed to capitalise on it. I fear Rosberg needs that ‘upperhand’ to be on equal par with Lewis.

        1. It’s encouraging for the championship that Rosberg is closer to Hamilton than Webber was to Vettel, meaning we should get a tight fight. Another retirement for Hamilton and things could get very interesting. I hope they can stay close throughout the season and perhaps Rosberg can find that extra gear over Lewis in the coming races.

      2. true, I dont think Bahrain has ever been a strong track for hamilton. I think he prefers tracks with a bit more flow.

        1. @sato113
          Some of Lewis’s strongest tracks (Montreal, Abu Dhabi) are stop-and-go circuits.

          1. Those seem like different types of track where aggression is quite useful, where clambering over kerbs seems to be of more benefit than in Bahrain..

          2. @kingshark I’ve honestly never seen Montreal as start/stop. there is only one major braking zone where you actually come to almost a stop (the hairpin before the long straight). All the other corners you can take quite a bit of speed into and swing around the apexes.

            1. @sato113 Right on. Montreal has one of the most beautifully flowing sectors 1 and 2. It’s just that hairpin which is truly start/stop

            2. A lot of high speed braking zones, Ham seems to be the best on the brakes imo

      3. That was my slight worry too. Nico couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to make a pass – track clearly provides good opportunities, soft tyres vs mediums, and DRS, but still couldn’t make it stick. That means it will be really crucial to lead into the first corner.

        I don’t think Malaysia will be a typical race, i think their race pace will be fairly close most of the time, but if they are close on race pace it will be extremely difficult for either to make a pass.

        1. Keep in mind before the SC there were 6s between them.

          1. The gap was about 13 seconds. We had another “Malaysia style” race before Maldonado interrupted.

          2. It was 6s after Rosberg’s pitstop. Over the following 20 laps Hamilton pulled out about 7 more seconds due to his tyre advantage.

      4. @ben-n Yeah mate I agree with you. I was just thinking myself that this could be maybe the only opportunity for Rosberg to have a go for WDC. In one hand as I’m a fan of Hamilton and his driving style I’m happy to see him winning, but on the other hand I watched Nico’s career and his will to work hard and not complaining about situation to much. He drove to the max some non competitive cars and managed to extract maximum from them. No one, I mean no one believed that he could keep pace with Michael and he did. And now he is in the best chance of his live to fulfill his dream. I know that he is fast, dedicated and also have the technical knowledge (some mixture between Prost and Lauda I guess) but would that be enough to overcome the sheer speed of Lewis? I just hope that the team would let them fight. After the Bahrain GP reaction from the fans I think that they have no choice but to let them fight. Maybe the only thing that could mass their fight would be if some other team would catch them and force the Merc team to employ team orders out of precaution. Can’t wait for the rest of the season.

        1. So you think Lewis is only fast? And that he is not as dedicated, or work as hard, or does not have the technical knowledge of Nico? Lewis is all of those things. They are both great drivers but Hamilton is in another class, just as Senna was head and shoulders above Prost, Mansell & Piquet. Senna was the best I ever seen, until I saw Hamilton. Now I hold them in equal regard, above Prost, and Schumacher and Alonso and Vettel.

          And I thought Rosberg could beat Schumacher, and I was correct. I just hope he can be a great driver and a great teammate to Hamilton just as Berger was to Senna.

    3. Thanks Paddy! I don’t think that Ross would have allowed us to enjoy this, but he did oversee the birth of another fantastic car.

      1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
        8th April 2014, 15:22

        All it takes is one wreck between Lewis and Nico and everyone will be criticizing Lowe for not having any control over his drivers. It is fun for us to watch them scrap it out and almost take each other’s wings off, but I’m sure the higher ups at Mercedes do not want to watch their drivers take each other out. If Lewis and Nico keep going at each other like this it is only a matter of time before they collide. But given Mercedes’ pace they can likely afford a few DNFs and still take this year’s championships with no problem.

        1. @W, on the other hand M-AMG are in it for the positive publicity, and having their drivers fighting out front is a sure way to attract the cameras and display their superiority to the world.

          1. @hohum that’s 100% right mate! I sure hope that they will recognize the positives of the fans reaction. I mean Mercedes cars are known as relatively conservative cars (of course the oldest, biggest and the most innovative car company) so this is very risky and bold approach and something new in the sport, at least after we were witnessing Ferrari and Red Bull team orders-era.

        2. Honestly, this makes me wonder if early in the season there was a talk that they’re allowed to fight until contact happens. Sort of a “you have our trust until you break that trust.” Hopefully Bahrain was a good step towards enforcing that trust.

    4. The Mercedes’ lesson

    5. Great background, thanks

      RE Teamorders: one thing I do not understand is why multi 21 is never put into relation with the final race 2012 (only 2 races before). Weber had teamorder to leave space in the first corner – he did not comply. Weber had teamorder to let Vettel pass before his first pitstop – he did not comply. When Peter Widsor asked Webber after the race if he thought that that was ok. his reply was: “he didn´t help me in 2010,didn´t he?”
      Why does nobody care for the cause?

      1. Frank – “Why does nobody care for the cause?”

        I guess ppl just like to believe what they believe regardless of facts. You can go back to the Silverstone wing issue 2010 that was manufactured by Flavio B. Webber actually preferred the old wing, but became “indignant” at Flavio’s prompting – looking back at him after qualifying banging the glass of water down is quite humorous.

        My recollection of Peter Windsor’s report back in 2012 was that Webber actually said, referring to 2010, “they didn’t exactly hand it to me on a platter.” Talk about holding a grudge. I lost a lot of respect for Webber due to this stuff.

        As for his chances in 2010, well he tossed that away himself when he binned it in the rain in Korea and while choke may be too strong a word, his weekend in Abu Dhabi, with a poor qualifying effort and poorer race, was not WDC worthy to say the least. And when Vettel basically was in a position where he had to win out or go home, from Japan onward, he rose to the challenge. Of course, we all know that Vettel can’t perform under pressure … lol.

    6. Great analysis, a lesson for Red Bull Malaysia last year and Williams Malaysia this year, did not mention Red Bull Bahrain this year because Seb was somehow slower than Daniel and seriously impeding him. I hope Mercedes sticks to this all the way.

      1. How convenient you forgot Mercedes in Malaysia last year…

        1. Exactly! forgot that… that too :)

          1. @makana, Redbull already had their lesson at Turkey 2010. It’s only a matter of time before Mercedes will learn it, and then that’s it. Nice they’re giving it a chance tho

            1. Nice spin you give it there @me4me, but at the end of the day, it depends on all the endless circumstances. There are no fixed sets or rules; when do Mercedes start imposing team orders? Is it when they sense they are being caught… Well I won’t blame them then; if it gets real close. But for now it’s idiotic to impose it and it will screw they’re inter team harmony for the rest of the season. Forget about the fans, it’s stupid to do this now for their own sake. Then, race after race, the lines get blurrier and the acceptance of team orders becomes more possible. It’s not black and white, team orders are welcome; when they make sense.
              Turkey 2010 is like Bahrain 2013 for RBR actually. A significantly slower team mate is hampering the other, and there’s very little to gain from it. Seb moved as he knew he was in the way, while Mark made it real difficult; again no black and white, but Seb was sensible as he was losing time and Mark often wasn’t.

            2. @me4me That is because one of their drivers miscalculated and clipped the front wing off the other . Nico and Lewis are another level. I admit Lewis pushes it right to the very edge sometimes but still as long as the carbon fiber stays on the car , it’s massive fun. That’s what racing should be about .

            3. Lewis to me pushes past the edge and is willing to leave it up to the other driver whether they have contact. If it were two Lewis clones and not Nico/Lewis racing this past Sunday, it would have been tears for one or both.

          2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
            9th April 2014, 0:22

            that was brawn!!! that guy loved team orders! always! i must say: i’m glad he is gone! last year wouldnt have happened with him!

            1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
              9th April 2014, 0:23

              i mean “last race”, not “last year”!!!

    7. This race win for Hamilton reminds me of what all football pundits say about a potential champion team. The best teams still win on their bad days. This was like a scrappy 1-0 win away to Hull for Lewis.

      1. I guess Nico will dig deep from now . He will have to . I hope Lewis wins another so they are closer on points . Another win for Nico would extend his advantage . Wow , I never knew this championship could be exciting after all . It’s game on !

    8. I think it is safe to say it was a strat affair ! I don’t even know what strat 3 ,6,7 ,10 mean . Someone here said it was strategy . what does it do ? does it apportion power to different areas ? I guess the overtake is the MGU-K ( KERS ) Right ?

      1. The Ferrari overtake button implies flying. They have yet to perfect the system though.

      2. I think the ‘strat’ numbers are power unit modes, probably indicating either different fuel rates, electrical energy harvesting/discharge rates, or both. So from the transcript it seems strat-3 is a battery charging mode, strat-6 probably maximum power mode (but unsustainable), and the ‘overtake’ button might be a temporary override giving you max power even if you are in a different mode. That would be my guesses anyway.

        1. and the driver doesn’t know how much energy is coming from MGU-K and how much from MGU-H, all they care about is the available battery energy which is dependent on both.

    9. ‘A dozen laps into the race both drivers were given the instruction to go to ‘strat[egy] mode seven’. As Hamilton was reassured that both drivers had been told to do the same, we can infer they were being told to use a setting which gave less performance, to save fuel, engine life or both.’

      not really. The fact tony ross tells Nico to brake 5 metres later in turn 1 tells me the opposite. obviously he had been braking early to save fuel/brakes until this message.

      1. @sato113 The two points aren’t mutually exclusive – what you’re saying doesn’t discount what I say.

        Besides which drivers don’t brake early to save fuel (or brakes) – they lift off the throttle before the braking zone and coast until they need to start braking (hence “lift and coast”).

        1. @keithcollantine @sato113 In fact Hamilton was saying that they brake later when saving fuel, as the lifting and coasting takes a lot of speed off.

        2. good point keith. i guess when you lift and coast earlier you can brake later anyway

    10. I think Mercedes have more to gain in PR terms by letting their drivers race than they have to lose. It looks likely they will have a dominant season, so even if their drivers were to take each other out a couple of times they would likely still win WCC and WDC titles, with the added benefit of being seen as a ‘fair’ team. I think all the teams have cottoned on to the PR side of team orders and seem more willing to let them race. Although as seen from the transcript, it’s more complicated than it would appear!

      The undercut difference really is huge, even on the same compound – looks like hamilton took nearly 5 seconds off rosberg in 2 laps a the first pitstops. And i still say Nico spent too long on the medium compound (given that they wouldn’t have expected a safety car), doubt he would have even caught Lewis by the end if not for the safety car.

      1. @ Keithedin: Agree, but I also think that we see an acknowledgement within most of the teams that any team order must make some kind of sense for the driver, who are told to yield, otherwise he will not obey. Sportingly unfair TO or TO’s issued primarily to soothe the nervousness of the pit wall crew, have shown again and again to cause more problems both here and now and for the rest of the season, probably much more than we fans can see.
        A big applause for Mercedes to let us enjoy the show, and I hope Lewis and Nico can keep it up in good spirit.

    11. Yo Keith, when Will You past last race team radio transcript. I heard Kimi swear at his team, but couldn’t really understatement what iT was all about. Please post! Thanks!

      1. Past=post (sorry, autocorrect for different language)

      2. It’ll be up tomorrow.

        1. Thans man!

    12. Mercedes tried to prevent the battle but their plan was Maldonadoed.

      1. On the contrary, Mercedes seemed keen to ensure their drivers would have to battle by varying their tyre strategies. And that was after Rosberg had been fed information by the team on how to match/outperform Hamilton by studying where the latter had been quicker in the practice sessions.

        In fact the topic seems to have mostly gone under the radar, but it seems to me a bit of an issue, Mercedes doing everything to ensure Rosberg can extract as much learning from Hamilton as possible. Clearly this is two-way, in theory and Hamilton can also benefit. But Hamilton’s comments after the race about ‘studying’ to ensure he’s as fast as Rosberg seemed a bit pointed. I wonder how this is going to pan out over a season if, as expected, the championship basically boils down to a scrap between these two drivers. Will Hamilton start deliberately underperforming slightly during practice? Just now his only real threat is Rosberg, so it would make some sense given that on most tracks he’s likely to be the quicker of the two.

    13. Reading this made me chuckle;
      Paddy: Lewis, it’s Paddy.
      Lewis: What’s up?

      1. I know, so casual, like he was having a chat with a mate!

      2. I’m thinking that when Paddy get’s on the horn, something is up. If I’m Lewis I’m thinking I’m about to hear either, Nico is faster than you. In which case Hamilton is about to loose his mind.

      3. Yea there’s no place for bureaucracy in F1.

      4. Jean-Christophe
        10th April 2014, 11:07

        Don’t forget that he’s known the guy for so long from the McLaren days

    14. That was probably the Bahrain race ever, Bahrain is normally quite dull but the battle at the front and between the Force India’s made that a great one to watch. If Mercedes do end up being the dominant team like it appears they will then I hope they continue to battle like that.

    15. It’s a very brave act from Mercedes to reveal how much faster they are than the other teams, over 2 seconds a lap on this circuit. This turbo split is a step change in the development of turbo engines and presents a real challenge if under homologation rules Ferrari and Renault are not allowed to change their engine design for the 2015 and 2016 season. If not it will present an interesting challenge to teams without the Mercedes engine, and I wonder if Honda can develop an engine with the split turbo in under 8 months. All credit to Mercedes but I can’t see the other teams turning up no chance nor drivers like Alonso attending unless his power train is competitive, he has more money than he needs, all he wants is another world championship and that might never be unless you have a Mercedes power train for the next few seasons.

      Does anyone know if you can change the turbo design and put the shaft do the Vee of the engine?

    16. I bet if brawn was still there, he would have told rosberg not to challenge after safety car. Im glad brawn is gone.

    17. Nice but of insight into a great battle.

      Nico Rosberg’s demeanor after the race on the podium and in all his post-race interviews was pretty telling. He seemed to be pretty irritated, initially I thought that would have been at the team or Hamilton, but the more I think about it, it has to be at himself. He had all the tools to win (the quicker tyre, DRS, no team orders) and yet he couldn’t get the job done. People said that Malaysia was a big psychological boost for Hamilton, I have to think that Bahrain was even more so.

      1. I think so too. I think even though nico had the edge on hamilton here that wont worry hamilton too much because it was a much smaller edge than last year and there are tracks coming that hamilton goes much better at.

        Whereas this was probably one of nicos best opportunities to take the win but he couldnt manage it despite all the advantages. If it was me i’d be extremely frustrated with myself and slightly worried. He wont be broken yet though if we see the same pattern over the next few races or a reliability problem on nicos side though then he could snap. At which point we’ll either see fireworks or a slump and resignation to being no.2

      2. I said very similar after the race. This was just as much an eye-opener for Rosberg as the 17 second gap Hamilton won by in Malaysia.

    18. Nicely done analysis. Who else is digging in to these races and giving you this kind of color? I wish other sports had writing like this to really use the information no the table to give you the real insight, especially in “complicated” sports like U.S. football, where there is a lot going on in terms of communication between players and coaches and strategic choices.

      1. @dmw Thanks very much, with a big tip of the hat of course to @willwood who transcribed the messages.

    19. With all the data teams share between drivers these days it’s no wonder they are so close when they are both so talented.

      It’s not as though one driver can hold something back during the weekend because you only find out yours and the cars limits when you give it 100%

      This year they’ve got that much of an advantage I’d forget about qualifying and fully concentrate on my starts and race pace, it’s surely going down to the wire this year if both cars are reliable.

    20. Says a lot of Hamilton’s race, really. What a beast. Kudos to Mercedes anyway, managed it very well and there were not a single hint of grey areas like: “come on Seb, this is silly”

    21. Really nice to see the radio transcript being used for real in-depth analysis. It’s very revealing and adds so much depth. I expect to get more out of the next few races because of the insight gained from this article.

      @keithcollantine: Erratum – In the Congratulations section we have
      “VL / Paddy Lowe / Lewis Hamilton / Fantastic job Nico, and best of all great racing. Very well done” – looks like it should be “Paddy Lowe / Nico Rosberg”.

    22. What a wonderful read. I very rarely comment on this forum but I had to say it – Images from the race came back to my mind all along the article, it was like living the battle a second time with much more hindsight. Thank you for that, this was maybe the most enjoyable piece of GP reporting / analysis I got to read until now.

    23. Thanks for great article and details!

    24. full agree fantastic info that we would rarely see, Cheers Kieth.

      this shows how much more a driver of today has to know about the car and its potential complete with still driving it to the limit when needed,
      Merc’s your the champion for letting your drivers race, thank you for that,
      Nico just needs to stay in front from the start, then it will be interesting, Ham has set the bar for when passing, so be prepared Ham to have little room when your not infront,
      i just hope Ham can handle that situation when it comes around like Nico did,
      for me that will be the icing on the cake of true friendship,
      but i have this funny feeling which i will keep to myself.

      once again thanks Keith for this insight into such a highly competitive sport.

    25. Awesome attitude and awesome reading.
      But it is shocking to realise how much attention they still put on the tyres and its degradation. I guess the torque with the new engines (please don’t ask me to call them power units) eats the rear tyres quickly, but those constant messages concerning the front ones are unexpected.
      Very interesting. Thanks, Keith.

    26. Very well written article Keith.

      Almost narrated like a soap opera.

    27. Beautiful. I love reading that they were both pushing the engine to the maximum for the final sprint.

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