2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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The airwaves were thick with recrimination after the two Mercedes drivers collided on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix.

From the moment Lewis Hamilton let out an astonished exclamation of “Nico hit me!” this race was all about the consequences that contact had on the world championship.

Both drivers responded to it in strikingly different ways. Nico Rosberg seemed more concerned with ensuring he made it to the end of the race and banked the maximum available points than risking everything in the pursuit of victory.

His decision to accept the time loss involved in changing his front wing reflects this – he was evidently concerned about the extent of the damage following the contact. The radio revealed other examples of Rosberg’s conservative mindset at work: he on was quick to report a suspicious tyre vibration and anxious to make sure his passing moves did not incur the wrath of race director Charlie Whiting.

But he also had positions to make up as well, and made sure race control were aware when he thought Sebastian Vettel was using too much of the run-off at Curve Paul Frere. Shortly afterwards Vettel was warned about track limits, and Rosberg duly took advantage of that to attack the Red Bull driver for position, albeit unsuccessfully.

Hamilton, meanwhile, was quick to decide there was nothing to be salvaged from the day after limping back to the pits with a puncture. He had some justification, as he later explained, being concerned about wasting engine mileage as he is already compromised in that respect relative to Rosberg following his failure in Hungary. The radio messages indicate he repeatedly made the case to park the car to spare his power unit – on laps 20, 27 and 37 – and finally retired shortly after that last message.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is how the radio messages hint that Hamilton’s negative mindset may even have affected the quality of his judgement about the state of his car. Following his enforced early pit stop he was quick to tell the team his tyres wouldn’t reach their target lap. He duly came in one lap before he needed to, only for the team to later advise him afterwards that his tyres had actually been in reasonable condition.

It’s not as if this cost Hamilton a chance to score points, but as with many of these team radio messages it gives a glimpse into the how a driver’s mind works which we otherwise wouldn’t see.

The race highlights video produced by FOM included a few more pieces of radio communication which were not heard during the broadcast. They included Hamilton being told his track position was “safe” at the beginning of lap two, before the contact with Rosberg. After the pair collided, Hamilton said “that’s unbelievable, guys, I can’t believe he hit me”, then asked “was it a racing incident?” and was told it was.

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2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript

PRBrad JoyceNico HulkenbergSo just run through your grid procedure. Got a dummy grid start here into the pit limiter. Make sure you’ve got your start mode on. The two bite-point finds are on the grid. So two bite-point finds as your sat here on the grid.
PRBrad JoyceNico HulkenbergOnly one driver did not start on the soft tyres.
OK Nico, Sutil is on the mediums.
FLPeter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo keeping the revs up, keeping the revs up once you come to the corners and working the tyres down this straight. And we’re going to do two burnouts out of turn seven. I’ll remind you when we get there.
FLUnknownNico RosbergAnd brakes are looking good, so you can cancel the brake warming. Just do your normal braking around the rest of the lap.
FLPeter BonningtonLewis HamiltonEverything looking good still. Brakes are good. Balance front and rear. Tyres are coming up nicely.
FLKevin MagnussenMark TempleThere are spots of rain, very very light rain.
FLTony RossNico RosbergAnd your yellow line will be on the right hand side, Nico. Just think about your positioning into your grid slot.
2Tony RossNico RosbergRosberg is behind Hamilton after losing positions at the start
And remember, you won’t get DRS until the next lap. If you’re feeling comfortable, you can go to strat-3
2Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonRosberg has struck Hamilton, puncturing his left-rear tyre
Nico hit me! Nico’s hit me!
2Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonDiff mid-12. Diff mid-12. Copy that, Lewis. So diff mid-12. Diff mid-12.
2Nico RosbergTony RossRosberg has front wing damage.
I might need to box.
2Tony RossNico RosbergOK. It looks fine on the TV, Nico. Looks fine on the TV.
3Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelThere’s a yellow in Eau Rouge. We have not seen the incident.
3Nico RosbergTony RossRosberg is still leading but with front wing endplate damage
Have you had a good look at my front wing?
3Tony RossNico RosbergAffirm. Affirm. We’ll keep you advised on it.
3Nico RosbergTony RossI’ve lost a lot of front end.
3Tony RossNico RosbergWe advise you hang it out Nico, we advise you hang it out.
3Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonFloor’s damaged, right?
3Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonI need to have a look at some photos, Lewis but thanks for the feedback, I’ll let you know.
4Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonHaving pitted, Hamilton is 19th, a full minute behind
OK Lewis, so no management required. We’re just going to have to push to catch the field.
4Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonRear is weird. I don’t know if it’s the diff or the floor, but the car’s all over the place.
4Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK Lewis, yeah we can see that on the balance channel. Diff looks to be OK. We’ll get some feedback to you.
5Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonLeft-rear tyre’s not going to last – I’m sliding so much.
5Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK Lewis, thinking about a recovery strategy. We need to try and achieve 15 laps on this tyre, so do whatever you can to manage that rear-left. Fifteen laps. A target laptime will be a 55:7.
5Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonThis left-rear tyre’s not going to go to lap 15, I’m telling you. The rear’s all over the place.
5Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK Lewis we’ll manage it as best we can.
7Nico HulkenbergBrad JoyceI’m losing too much here.
8Tony RossNico RosbergSo push hard now, Nico, push hard, we’re going to change the front wing.
8Jenson ButtonDave RobsonI gave you feedback on the tyres on the ‘R’-switch.
8Dave RobsonJenson ButtonUnderstood.
8Tony RossNico RosbergRosberg pits from the lead for a new front wing
Nico let us know. We’re going to change the front wing, so we’re going to use the same flap setting as the last set, OK?
9Tony RossNico RosbergRosberg resumes behind Raikkonen’s Ferrari
You’re racing Kimi who’s also stopped, you need to get past him straight away.
9Gianpiero LambiaseSergio PerezBox. Pit confirm, Checo. Box and pit confirm.
10Kevin MagnussenMark TempleRears are starting to struggle more now.
10Mark TempleKevin MagnussenOK, understood. Use the diff to protect it if you can.
12Gianpiero LambiaseSergio PerezPerez pits
OK, you will be racing Jenson. You will be racing Jenson, Checo.
12Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonHamilton is still in 19th, 54 seconds behind leader Bottas
Is my pace really far off? Please update me.
12Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK Lewis, so you’re still catching Grosjean at over a second a lap. The only car faster than you at the moment is Bottas, P2.
15Tony RossNico RosbergSo Nico, you’re on the opposite car… tyre to the cars in front of you. Push hard now, try and overtake them.
16Tony RossNico RosbergSo Nico, we will need to pass Vettel to win, we believe.
16Nico RosbergTony RossHe’s cheating at turn 15! He’s cheating!
16Tony RossNico RosbergCopy that, Nico. Copy that.
16Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonI’ve got nothing guys. The rear end is so bad, I can barely… I have to lift in Eau Rouge.
16Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK, copy that, Lewis. So let’s just see what we can do. We need to stretch these tyres as far as we can. We have to get to the end of the race with minimum stops. Your pace isn’t bad. It’s still there to fight for.
17Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelSebastian, respect the track limit at Turn 15. Track limits, Turn 15, please.
17Francesco NenciJules BianchiEricsson is a tiny bit quicker than us, but he’s obviously on new tyres.
18Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinThink about defence mode, defence mode.
18Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelCopy. Sebastian respect the track limit in turn 15. Track limits, turn 15, please.
18Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelOK Sebastian, be careful around [turn] 15. Be careful around [turn] 15. I’m just passing on messages.
18Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo once you have a feel for car balance, think about resetting your brake balance. Think about where that needs to be.
19Nico RosbergTony RossCheck the vibration on the front tyre.
19Tony RossNico RosbergVibration is on the limit, OK.
19Nico RosbergTony RossRosberg pits for new Mediums following this message
Vibration is getting a little bit worse. Keep a close eye. Look at it whilst I’m driving past. Feels just about OK still, but don’t take risks.
19Tony RossNico RosbergOK, copy.
20Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonHamilton is questioning whether he should retire to conserve his engine.
Should save this engine guys.
20Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonSo Lewis don’t worry it is being discussed but your pace is good, we never know what’s going to happen with Safety Cars or anything later. So let’s just keep plugging away and we will keep discussing it here.
20Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonLewis, you may not feel it, but your pace is good. You’re only a tenth off being purple in the middle sector. So anything could happen. We’d be kicking ourselves.
21Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonHaving inspected Hamilton’s tyres from his first proper stint, Mercedes advise him they are in better condition than they thought.
OK Lewis, so tyre wear from that first stint is still good – 65 front, 60 rear. So we’re not suffering from tyre wear, probably just a bit of surface overheating due to the lack of aero. But your pace is good.
22Antonio SpagnoloKimi RaikkonenBox at the end of this lap. Box at the end of this lap for the medium.
23Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelBox, box, box. Torque map one and box.
23Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonHamilton has caught Grosjean in 14th
OK Lewis, just remember you have ‘overtake’ available.
24Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoHow’s the balance, Daniel? How’s the balance? Cars behind you are starting to stop. We’re just watching the gaps. You’re doing a good job.
25Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinVettel questions the team’s decision to pit him to cover Bottas
I was pulling away from Bottas, so if that’s the only car we’re racing, I don’t really get it.
25Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelHe could’ve undercut you. He could’ve undercut you easily.
25Nico RosbergTony RossRosberg had just put a straightforward pass on Alonso for third place on the Kemmel straight, but this could have been in reference to another, unseen move.
Just ask Charlie if that pass was OK.
25Tony RossNico RosbergYep will do, will do.
26Tony RossNico RosbergSo situation is, you’re P3 on track at the moment. Bottas and Ricciardo have not stopped yet. Bottas will come out behind you, but we want to do something different to them, so we want you to push as hard as you can to force Ricciardo to box.
26Jenson ButtonTom StallardI think we need to see what happens when these guys pull away.
26Tom StallardJenson ButtonOK, understood. Feedback when you can.
27Nico RosbergTony RossI have a lot of oversteer.
27Tony RossNico RosbergCopy.
27Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonGuys even if I catch the guys in front I have no downforce.
27Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK Lewis message is understoor but you do have good pace and if we had a Safety Car then there is all to fight for. We are not concerned about the engine, just keep your head down and let’s keep plugging away.
28Jonathan EddolllsValtteri BottasBox this lap, Valtteri, box.
28Marco MatassaDaniil KvyatOK Daniil, no more water button. No more water button. We need to build a bit. We are catching on Perez, so we can attack in a few laps. Keep going like that, very good job mate.
28Tony RossNico RosbergSo situation, Ricciardo in front is P1, he’s running to the end. Bottas in front of him has not stopped.
29Daniel RicciardoSimon RennieWhat tyres does Rosberg have? And how old?
29Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoRosberg is on ten lap [mediums]. Ten lap [mediums]. Rosberg may stop again.
29Tony RossNico RosbergGap to Ricciardo 3.5 seconds. So you’re safe P2 now Nico.
30Tony RossNico RosbergSo we’re still able to win this race. You just need to close the gap to Ricciardo.
31Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonGuys, what’s going on?
31Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonWe’re just talking through the options now, Lewis, but it won’t be long.
31Brad JoyceNico HulkenbergYou will be racing Gutierrez on exit.
32Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonOK Lewis, so give us a balance check. We’re going to go back to the medium tyre. Let us know if there’s anything we need to do, I know it’s a real handful.
32Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonCopy Lewis. Box box, box box, pit confirm, we’re going to the [medium] tyre.
32Marco MatassaDaniil KvyatVery good throttle application. Very good throttle application. Focus on that. You’re doing a very good job. It’s super-important, tyre management. Perez in front Is fighting with Button.
33Guillaume RocquelinSebastian VettelSebastian do you think your tyres will last until the end? Do you think the tyres will last.
33Sebastian VettelGuillaume RocquelinWell it’s difficult to say. They don’t feel very good now.
34Ayao KomatsuRomain GrosjeanOK Romain we will retire so box, Romain, box.
34Andrew MurdochFelipe MassaFelipe, you think it’s possible to make it to the end on this last set? Do you think it’s possible to make it to the end?
34Felipe MassaAndrew MurdochNope. We can’t do it.
37Lewis HamiltonPeter BonningtonGuys, you need to stop me and save my engine. I don’t even have a car to get past people if there is a Safety Car.
37Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonMessage understood Lewis. We’ve currently got eight laps to go. Engine isn’t a concern, but don’t worry, we are talking about it.
38Simon RennieDaniel RicciardoNeed to be as fast as possible until the end of the race, now.
38Tony RossNico RosbergRosberg is chasing down Ricciardo for the win with fresh Soft tyres
So you’re due to catch Ricciardo right at the end.
38Craig GardinerEsteban GutierrezEsteban Adrian is on [softs[, a different strategy, need to not hold him up.
39Peter BonningtonLewis HamiltonMercedes finally retire Hamilton’s car.
OK Lewis we are seeing degradation in the aero data here. Looks like we may have something coming adrift on the car. We need to box at the end of this lap. Got Ricciardo race leader 16 seconds behind. Cool the car, cool the car.
39Gary GannonMax Chilton[Unclear] is still over a lap away so use the ERS close the gap.
41Tony RossNico RosbergTo catch Ricciardo at the end of the race you need to keep pushing hard. So you’re only just going to catch him Nico, so just any tenth will make a difference.
VLChristian HornerDaniel RicciardoAttaboy! Fantastic! Unbelievable drive, unbelievable!
VLSimon RennieDaniel RicciardoStraight in the pit lane, mate, straight in the pit lane. Fail five fail, fail five fail, straight in the pit lane. Absolutely awesome drive, how did you do that? Absolutely amazing. See you in a second.
VLDaniel RicciardoSimon RennieWoo! Ah, thanks guys.

Transcript by @WillWood. Text by @KeithCollantine.

Lap: Refers to lap message was broadcast on. There may be a delay between messages being said and being broadcast. PR = pre-race; FL = formation lap; VL = victory lap.
Message: Repetitive or irrelevant messages omitted. Notes in italics. Highlights in bold.

NB. Due to a technical problem a small number of radio messages were omitted.

Follow F1 Fanatic Live on Twitter for team radio highlights during all live F1 sessions.

Belgian Grand Prix data

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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87 comments on “2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript”

  1. ‘He’s cheating! He’s cheating!’ Oh my days, Nico …

    1. It is funny hearing a cheat complain about another supposed cheating. I’m finding it hard to reconcile Nico’s personality at the minute.

    2. Yeah, lol. Nobody calls running off track ‘cheating’. Must be on his mind…

      1. Freud would agree wholeheartedly.

      2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        2nd September 2014, 11:05

        Spot on. He sounds a seething mess inside the car. I wonder whether the pressure’s getting too much.

    3. What’s wrong with Nico? He’s creating a world of his own in his mind.

  2. Funny when Nico says:

    He’s cheating at turn 15! He’s cheating!

    1. Nico has always said that he would be on the same level as Vettel if he had a competitive car. He is very competitive with his fellow German and would love some of the hype that he gets. The “cheating” radio message though, was a bit over the top. A polite request to have the team chat to Charlie would have sufficed. He sounded both desperate in the race and in how he wants to be seen when his career is over. Rosberg will not go down in history as better than Vettel unless he is able to grow up much like the immature Alonso and Vettel have done. Rosberg had an even temper so his immaturity hadn’t shown early on, but under the microscope of a good car and a world title beckoning, he is cracking. I don’t rate him very highly as a driver and he will have to do a bit to be in my top 4. Everyone else is open to their opinion, but I think that he is not as good as Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso.

      1. Nice comment, but I think Nico is handling the pressure as well as Lewis, the key data would be qualifying where Lewis has made several mistakes on key laps, with qualifying supposedly his strength. However, Nico does look frail in the races, perhaps Nico places more focus on the race, leading him to become more nervous in the race, and the opposite with Lewis.

        1. I agree with @williamstuart
          And would also add that I feel Nico is looking to dominate to early and may be missing the big picture ,

          I think Spa was his to win on pace alone yet he blew it on lap 2 !!! ???

          The sheer speed of this Merc means he’s only fighting Lewis so sitting back and watching the race unfold with some patient will get him a WDC , if he keeps snapping at the chain Lewis can take this title

        2. The thing that most HAM supporters fail to acknowledge is that, though it was ROS’s fault for the collision — the floor damage was Lewis’ fault for not easing it back around to the pits. Had he taken some pain on lap 2 in getting it back slowly, he would have had much less (or none at all) floor damage and would then be in a car that was 2 sec a lap quicker than pretty much every other car. Would he have caught RIC or ROS, probably not, but 3rd is a lot better than DNF for his championship hopes.

          1. @abbinator Please, just stop it. Did you see pictures of how damaged the left side of the car was? Why you people find always a way to blame Hamilton?

        3. Or maybe better, judging from Hamilton being convinced his car is going slower and worse than it actually is all race long @williamstuart.

          1. Lets be realistic, Lewis wasn’t going to get a decent haul of points, unless by miracle. A potential haul of 25 points using the same engine later in the season is better than a few points here. He was never going to beat Rosberg which is the main aim.

          2. On a completely different note, I would love to see the return of qually and race engines being different in power levels. Efficiency should be focused on in the race and pure speed in qualifying, then we get the best for the fans and the best for constructors.

        4. I love to agree with you, but somehow I have a strong feeling that, Nico has found something form Lewis’s lap data or something, Nico improved a lot since race 5

      2. @donnington
        While I agree with most of your comment, data from last and this season suggests Hamilton isn´t that much better, so mentioning him in the enumeration at the end of your comment doesn´t make too much sense to me.

        1. @crammond I rate Lewis on his raw ability to hustle a car, but I see your point that he too cracks under certain pressures. Plus Rosberg being on par with results through the last two years doesn’t play into my argument. But I look at Hamilton’s first year, his championship year and maybe even one of Vettel’s championship-winning years… Hamilton deserves to be heralded as faster than Rosberg. Whether that translates to more championships, only the sporting Gods, and perhaps Bernie, know the answer to that. Rosberg is fast in the best car on the grid. The differences between drivers in a good car that suits both drivers is less noticeable in a good car. That said, Hamilton only has himself to blame that we’re even having this conversation. Two years ago, no one would have rated Rosberg anywhere close to him. Hamilton has the best car and is botching it. Vettel wouldn’t and I believe that post-2007 Alonso wouldn’t either.

  3. Is it just me or are both Mercedes drivers whinging on a bit more than you would expect from two world class sportsmen? I must say, this has rather put me off this team… Lewis didn’t seem to have any fight in him. He’s never going to get another WDC with that attitude.

    1. Hamilton could if his engines hold up for the rest of the year, which thanks to his quick thinking they might.

    2. They have a limited number of engines, you see, and Lewis is an extra one down after the fire. As they accumulate milleage they lose power, more so this year, and may have to be replaced with a 10-place grid drop or become more likely to fail in a race. It’s a major factor in the rest of the season.

      And he was right, as we saw. No safety car even with two lots of tyre debris all over the track, as there was none in Germany.

      He was right at Nurb 2007 too, when various people were saying the same things, underestimating his determination to win which is quite clever and not limited to driving fast.

      1. I would think that if LH needs a new engine, and if the penalty for that will be a 10-play grid spot penalty, that’s not that major. Even without a brand new PU he has shown he can make up those spots in short order, such is the obvious dominance over the rest of the field all things being equal, so I’m not convince a new engine for LH would be all that detrimental. Unless of course it was at Abu Double.

        1. @robbie
          Your comment is silly. A 10 place grid penalty is ALWAYS a massive disadvantage, especially when your main championship competitor has the same machinery as you. Merc may have a significant advantage over the rest (minus Red Bull), but Hamilton isn’t racing them for the WDC, he’s racing Nico and a 10 place handicap is huge when you’re behind in the championship.

          1. @Traverse Of course it would not be ideal, but LH has shown that due to the significant dominance of the car, and the fact as you point out that he is really only racing one driver, 10 spots can be made up in pretty short order against cars that are obviously inferior. LH has podiumed after coming from the back…why couldn’t he after starting 11th? I’m not saying it would be preferable of course, but to call it always a massive disadvantage has not shown itself to be the case…sometimes it is not.

        2. @Robbie the other cars are irrelevant as @Traverse said. What matters is that a 10-place grid drop almost guarantees a 14-point swing to Rosberg. There are in effect 8 races’ points left, with a 29-point deficit. If they 1-2 every race that means Lewis has to win 5 to overhaul him, then if NR wins ONE Lewis HAS to win Abu Dhabi. It’s a massive ask.
          On top of which engines lose power as they age, these PU’s especially I read, which against an identical car is crucial too. The engine life is vital. One more breakdown would be the end, too.

          ‘Major’ is an understatement if anything. Lewis was 100% smart to be aware of it. Though his team were no doubt thinking 1 solitary point would have given a whole race margin if it could have been managed.

          1. @lockup The team didn’t exactly seem panicked about it, and it is pure speculation on your part as to what a 10-place grid drop would ‘guarantee.’ So far what it has guaranteed Mercedes is still a podium. And if you are going to argue a new PU for LH would be a more powerful one, then 10 spots could be erased in one stint, let alone your remainder-of-the-season scenario that tries to imply a 10 spot penalty could lose LH the WDC. A hundred things are going to happen in the remaining weekends to both LH and NR so placing a few ‘ifs’ here and there to support your argument doesn’t sell me. I could just as easily argue that IF NR dnfs, especially due to an engine failure in the next race, and LH wins, they’ll practically be even-Steven with 7 races to go.

            Besides…that’s racing…that’s the rules…they’re the same for everyone…and it sucks that conservation and endurance has to play such an overwhelming factor in what should be an all-out sprint called an F1 race.

          2. @robbie we started this with you claiming the engine is not a major factor for Lewis to be considering. The numbers say it is a crucial factor. You’re not likening Nico to Heikki Kovalainen are you, to be so easily caught and passed from 11th?

            Nobody is saying there will be no other factors, but they have to control the factors they can – like race laps run, and engine usage. And of course the team were not panicking on the radio to their driver in the middle of a race :)

          3. @lockup No I’m really just saying the team could have called him in earlier if there was that much difference, ie. if it was crucial and they were that concerned they would have called him in….taken him up on his offer, let’s say. So I don’t think it is a huge issue. An issue, sure, but not a massive one. And I haven’t tracked it but others may be due soon for penalties too, although not Nico….yet. In another race or two he may have to be concerned. Can it not be said NR has more mileage on his equipment? Racing mileage?

            They were ‘budgeting’ for a far more strenuous day on LH’s PU than it got, so they’re already ahead in that regard. If LH was calling for an end several times he surely wasn’t racing toward a podium at the time, so for much of the race he was not 10/10ths. He knew this time he was not clawing his way through the field.

          4. @robbie a 10-place grid drop can only be seen as critical with the points the way they are. Engines are lifed and he has one less than Nico. He couldn’t do the laptime they gave him as a target, and it was doubtful he could have done the overtaking he needed for a point even with a safety car. Add in the clear reluctance of Charlie to call the SC and Lewis’ judgement was proved to be sound, wasn’t it? As in 2007 events proved him right. He wasn’t ‘giving up’, is my point, but thinking clearly and ambitiously about winning over the season.

          5. @lockup A safety car has proved on many occasions to completely change the landscape, but of course in hindsight and to support your argument it is easy for you to dismiss that possibility and rather insist that LH’s judgement was right…like he has a crystal ball in the car with him and can foresee the future. I’m not saying LH wasn’t thinking about the future, nor should it be implied that the team wasn’t thinking about everything from all angles with thoughtfulness about the big picture too.

          6. @robbie you agree Lewis’ wanting to stop was valid ?
            I agree the team were doing their best.

          7. @lockup Ya I never said LH wanting to stop wasn’t valid. I just don’t consider it nearly as significant that the team didn’t do so upon his first suggestion of it, as some are. Nor do I think that the team is negligent toward LH by risking a 10-spot penalty with their alleged procrastination, as some do.

      2. @KeithR What happened at Nurb 2007?

        1. Markus Winkelhock became the driver with the best laps-lead/laps-raced ratio ever.

        2. @MK Lewis ended up a lap down after making a bad tyre call and radioed suggesting saving the engine. Got a rather superior reply and was kept in the race, but was proved correct.

      3. Exactly. It really gets on my nerve when people claim that Lewis doesn’t ‘care enough’ it is the exact opposite.

        1. @williamstuart Lewis has shown this season alone his fighting spirit and ability to fight adversity. Most people would handle way worse the amount of setbacks he’s faced in 2014.

    3. LH said

      I don’t know if it’s the diff or the floor

      PB confirmed diff is ok, so LH must have been thinking he has damaged floor. With a damaged floor and finding it difficult to handle the car, I think he was rightly asking to retire. It was also an astute thinking on his part to save his engine.

      The simple fact that he was asking to save the engine must show he is seeing the positive in a very negative situation. Bearing in mind, this is after he had to fight from the pit lane to get to podium in the previous race.

      1. @shoponf
        People seem reluctant to give Hamilton credit when it comes to “race smarts”. They’re happy to say he’s a born racer and such but nothing more. I guarantee if Jenson or Kimi had suggested saving an engine people would be quick praise their racing intelligence etc.

      2. I’m not challenging your assessment of Lewis’ call but consider how 1 lousy extra point would have felt to Massa in 2008. Or 2 points to either Lewis or Alonso in 2007.
        Just sayin’

        1. That’s true 1 point difference can give you the championship, but this year there is a limit of 5 units with any of the PU element. Lewis is currently on 4th unit. He has to finish another 7 races with just 1 unit, otherwise he gets a 10 places grid penalty. Also, there is a limit of 100kg fuel usage per race. So older the engine more fuel it burns.
          Lewis wanted to save nearly 300km on his engine (more or less a racing distance), and as I said before, positive thinking in a negative situation on his part. He was looking to the rest of the season.
          However, our rookie Mercedes pit-wall management team, I say rookie management team, since neither Paddy nor Toto have the experience of leading a pit-wall management team (bring back Ross Brawn), wanted to leave it to CHANCES and HOPED there will be a safety car. Even though there was no chance of getting a point, given that he was struggling to overtake Grosjean with his damaged car.
          Lewis got no points because of his so-called team mate and increased chances of grid penalties because of his so-called bosses. End result was i.e double trouble for him for the rest of the season.

          1. *End result was double trouble…

          2. @shoponf I think I would trust the experts who are monitoring everything, and know every aspect of the condition of the PU from it’s first rpm, and include LH as a part, not separate, from the team. He had an opinion to park the car, he would have known whether or not he was going to take it into the points, but the decision is a team and a corporate one too. It’s not LH vs. the team. Would you really expect them to just react instantly to LH’s first suggestion, without analyzing that scenario? LH put in some pretty fast laps when he was racing, so the team would not have necessarily jumped to the same conclusion as him without wanting to know where he was coming from. How do you even know if the team wasn’t already trying all sorts of models given that they may have some floor damage and potential adverse tire wear…all the while LH putting in fast laps.

            To me, rather than gravitating toward insulting the ‘rookie’ team as if that is what they are, I’d like to think they thoughtfully would have pulled the car earlier if it was crucial, but didn’t feel the need. LH was obviously not running toward the podium, ie. not going 10/10ths so the PU got a break on Sunday including finally getting pulled. NR was able once again to fully use/wear out his equipment.

          3. @robbie

            It’s not LH vs. the team.

            I’m not thinking it in that way, during racing driver should have the priority in strategy/decision making. He should liaise with the team but he must be able to come to a decision during racing and live with his decision. As an F1 fan that’s what I like to see, drivers in charge during racing. In this case, LH asked to retire on lap 20 after having a good feel for the car. One has to remember, LH won 27 races, which is same as legendary Jackie Stewart and only 4 short of another F1 legend Nigel Mansell for all time most wins.

            …already trying all sorts of models given…

            Reality was, after the collision on lap 2, LH dropped to 19th from leading the race. He was told to retire on lap 38 with 6 laps left, a distance of meager 30 km or so. When he retired, his position was 16th. After modelling, running simulation on computers and/or using car simulator and analyzing all sorts of scenarios, if I assume Mercedes knew he will gain only 3 position i.e. 19th to 16th then it’s bizarre that they didn’t save his engine and retire him early.

            …toward insulting the ‘rookie’ team as if that is what they are…

            I do not mean it in a insulting way, but Paddy and Toto do not have any experience of running the pit-wall. I’m sure Paddy is a great engineer and Toto is a great financial investor, but running a pit-wall they are ‘rookies’. Jenson Button sums it up for me with the following recent comments:

            “I feel for Lewis, he was leading the race. It is unbelievable,” Button said. “I’ve never seen such bad luck or misjudgment on other people’s part to lose so many points compared to anyone else. It is astonishing especially when you have a car that is so dominant. They should be first and second at every race.”

          4. @shoponf You may want drivers to have the priority in strategy and decision making, and you may want the drivers to be in charge, but in reality that is not the case and often it is a team decision. Eg. The team knows better where everyone else is on the track such that they can pit their driver so that he comes out ahead of crucial cars.

            As to what you perceive as a delay in pulling LH…the team obviously felt comfortable doing it the way they did, so I’d say they likely aren’t worried. We don’t generally see blokes pulling off the track prematurely just because it looks like they’ll only come 16th. Theoretically, if you had it your way, drivers would be making their own decisions in the final stages of races, or even sooner I guess, and the next thing you know only the cars in the points would complete the races and with all those cars giving up early F1 would look like a joke.

            Given that LH has come from behind more than once, I’m sure one scenario Merc considered was a safety car and how that can suddenly luck a driver into a huge jump in the placings, so perhaps once they were sure that wasn’t going to happen they pulled him.

            As to JB’s opinion, which you share, it is one way of looking at it but easier said than done. When JB and RB had a dominant car were they always 1-2, like it is automatic and easy, or in fact does stuff not happen? The year he won his WDC he had a dominant car for the first half of the season when he got the lion’s share of his points, then the other teams caught up and it wasn’t nearly so easy….what’s with that JB?…should be a no-brainer right? Once you are dominant it’s a cakewalk right? I think hindsight is being used here and JB isn’t admitting the umpteen things that can happen, especially while managing two roosters on a team, and while dealing with the entirely new formula and it’s complexities….it’s a steep learning curve. And it’s hard to control bad luck. The misjudgment part I think has to be considered carefully so that folks aren’t using the luxury of hindsight and are rather putting themselves in the team’s shoes at the instant decisions were being made. Some of those decisions made perfect sense at the moment they were needing to be made. Any chance the team has made some good decisions too? Or are they just completely incompetent? Any chance F1 is hard and doesn’t always go to plan? Or do millions upon millions watch because it is easy and predictable and ‘all’ you have to do is make a dominant car and the rest is easy? Why do so many watch, after so many years, even when teams have dominated? Because stuff happens. It better, or F1 would never have gotten to the level it has…or had.

          5. @robbie: Well, you are contradicting yourself, you say “…he had a dominant car when he got the lion’s share of his points…then the other teams caught up and it wasn’t nearly so easy”, i.e. JB no longer had a dominant car. JB said “It is astonishing especially when you have a car that is so dominant.” So what point are you trying to make?

            As far as other comments I have made, I still stand by them.

          6. @shoponf My point is merely that things change, nothing is easy nor written in stone, and it is easy for anyone to simply verbally sum up that Merc should have flawless performance…1-2’s only…but even JB knows it is rarely that simple, nor lasts forever. Astonishing JB? Really?

            Maybe I’m still stuck on the concept that this is a brand new and complex formula that I thought we were to be giving the teams time to tackle. We’re halfway through the first season of a new era and so I don’t think of it as a time to expect 1-2’s easy peasy. Is it any real surprise that as dominant as Merc is on pace, they have not been wholely reliable?

            And I so appreciate Merc’s overall attitude toward handing us the difficult task of a rivalry to be remembered, that I cannot think of them as rookies in any way, nor do I take issue with their decisions overall. I just hope their principles are deep-rooted enough, which I believe they are, to not be swayed from the two-rooster concept just because it can give them headaches. It’s about us the fans, and about racing. And the rivalry has played a big part in the results, which I don’t think JB has experienced nearly to this level nor is acknowledging with this particular quote.

    4. I have to agree here on that a bit; both of them seemed more interested in managing pit control than just doing their job and racing on track. NR’s ego has him to the point of wanting to managing race control as well as driving his car.
      I like LW and want him to win; I was disappointed to see him give up in this race. I know the “save the engine” strategy, but race control told him they were discussing it, and don’t worry about engine, but he still kept hinting at pitting the car, so in my mind he just wanted off the track on that day; he was deflated. Alonso never would have done that.

      1. Well, he crashed heavily on the wall on Germany because the team mounted his brakes wrong.
        His car caught fire on Hungaroring also because of the team.

        Him winning or not, Mercedes won’t care. If he is to have a failure later, he will have it and Mercedes will just say “it hurts to leave Lewis without this result”.

        Hamilton is fighting for his own there. And now more than ever. If he can stop sharing his data with Rosberg, he should do that. And considering Rosberg has a brand new long-term contract and he has nothing, and it’s unlikely to stay having this frictions with his team mate, he has nothing to lose.

        1. he crashed heavily on the wall on Germany because the team mounted his brakes wrong.

          Where did you get that from? The investigation by Mercedes and Brembo showed that “the specific interaction between the structure of the brake material in question and the brake mounting on the F1 W05 Hybrid was at the root of the failure”. in other words it should be taken as a mistake in design requests the team asked from Brembo for the specific brake calipers used

    5. Maybe its just that we got more of their messages @shoponf. Remember when we got the tit for tat battle on track between Alonso and Vettel played out both on track as on the radio from both sides a couple of races ago?

      With the abundance of moments to overstep rules, drivers pull all tricks they can to help their cause.

    6. @baron Lewis made a very decent call.

  4. First of all radio comm is heat of the moment stuff, so you can’t expect drivers to go into lengthy diatribes during the race. Sure, better worded NR could have said SV is gaining an advantage by going too wide, but is it reasonable to expect full politically correct sentences during the race?

    Secondly, NR wasn’t cheating so why would it be rich for him to say SV was? The stewards obviously got the message to RBR to warn SV, so they agreed with NR. They didn’t see any reason to penalize NR over anything, let alone warn him.

    LH didn’t seem to have as much fight in him this time, but don’t forget he had plenty of fight in him in previous races where he had to come from way behind, so one most recent race does not write in stone LH’s ability attitude-wise to win another WDC.

    Interesting too that we didn’t get to hear LH questioning whether NR’s hit on him was deliberate, only to be told it wasn’t. Had we heard that at the time, it would have changed the tone of the race and the conversations on blogs, and had the crowd heard it (not that I would have expected that) perhaps NR would not have been booed. FIA obviously thought there would be far more media play by only allowing us to hear the “Nico hit me. Nico’s hit me.” part.

  5. I still can’t believe it, and I’m frankly more than a little annoyed, that all of this noise was raised and Rosberg made to apologize, just because Hamilton got the short end in his own game. Each time Lewis goes with his aggressive moves, Nico takes one for the team and moves out of the way. Now that Lewis messed up his own race by misreading his chances in this game of chicken, he decided to go cry to the teacher. If you play a game, you don’t complain when you lose by the virtue of your own mistakes.

    This is why we don’t need kids in F1. They can’t behave like men. Lewis might be 28 or 29, but he is the biggest child in F1.

    The thing that irks me the most, is that Lewis knew exactly what he was doing when he shut the door like that and he knew they will touch, and would have been perfectly fine with the collision, even delighted with his gain from it, if his tire survived and only Nico sustained the damage.

    1. Lawrence, did you enjoy watching your first F1 race ?

      1. Yes, Lawrence was quite funny there. Not sure when Hamilton “closed the door”. He was on the right racing line to make the next corner. I think that much is clear. What isn’t clear is whether Rosberg made a legitimate mistake or was just so desperate to make the move early that he did a bit of a banzai. Rosberg may have been showing that he is not a pushover. We can’t judge him too harshly on that attitude but we can judge him on the outcome, which was not planned. He didn’t know that he would come off better than Hamilton. All he wanted was to play in the big leagues. The resulting 29 points difference may go a long way to doing that. Let’s not fool ourselves either… Hamilton was the victim here.

      2. @f190 LOL!

        Now, when I driver says anything about the other people brand it “whining” :)

        Lewis has been composed all the time and way more relaxed than I expected.

    2. Nico should have expected Lewis would not yield also. Nico is the one who made an apology, not Lewis.

    3. LOL. You’re a very naive regarding wheel to wheel racing in F1. I will struggle to take future comments of yours seriously.

  6. Hmmm…I pull for NR, and while I can agree with you to some extent about LH’s aggressiveness, I think it is unfair to say LH was playing a game of chicken and shut the door knowing they would touch. He shut the door because that’s what a leader does, and likely what NR would have done situations reversed. LH likely expected to force NR to back off when he shut the door on him, not hit him. NR has admitted he deliberately did not back off. Not deliberately hit him, but deliberately didn’t back off. Don’t forget what we didn’t get to hear…LH questioning whether NR hit him deliberately only to be told no.

    1. Would go even further and say there was no door to shut. He had the racing line pure and simple

    2. Agree with pastaman — Nico was being highly optimistic in even thinking that he would be able to overtake in that situation. VET bailed out and went left through the run-off area, but ROS, mysteriously tried to make the corner through his team-mate’s rear tyre. A severe lack of judgement and a bit desperate Dan for the 2nd lap. Doubtless ROS was upset from blowing his start (losing 2 places) and wanted to reclaim “his rightful” lead in the race from the pole. (see NR comment post-race: I was quicker). If he were truly quicker, he should have set up the overtake over the next 2-3 laps and had a proper go. It was really a rookie move and not “worthy of a champion” as Brundle commented about a move later in the race.

      1. I’m certainly not convinced that NR was expecting to overtake right then and there…just stand his ground. He may well have had in mind a pass over the next 2-3 laps. At that spot I highly doubt NR thought he could get past LH…but make his life difficult? For sure.

  7. Funny to mention how far behind Ricciardo was when they retired Hamilton. Almost like they were hoping for him to slow enough to get in a tangle and give Rosberg a better stab at the win. Then again, perhaps that’s too fanciful to be true…

    1. Haha, according to Peter Windsor there’s something like an 8:1 (Nico:Lewis) ratio in the team of who they want to win the WDC… All rumours though.

  8. Lap 2, after hitting Lewis, Rosberg just said “I might need to box”. No emotions shown, as if nothing has happened.
    Lap 16, “He’s cheating at turn 15! He’s cheating!”, presumably referring to Vettel.
    Lap 25, Rosberg said “Just ask Charlie if that pass was OK.”. Probably blaming Alonso (or perhaps another driver)?

    I think Rosberg has decided WDC crown is his already, and everyone is just getting in his way!

    1. you’re spot on, +1 for this!!

    2. This!
      Rosberg became more ruthless nowadays. Champion material. He is ready!

      1. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the talent to match his ruthlessness.

      2. So far, Rosberg hasn’t been a championship material. Mercedes is 2 secs/lap faster than any other cars. So, it’s impossible for anyone to compete with him. With his only adversary i.e. his team mate, he has managed to play enough ‘dirty tricks’ successfully, and managed to neutralize him.
        Therefore, he will be a “winner by default”.

    3. @shoponf The first one with the contact, he kept a cool head and carried on, like a driver should. It happened, there’s no point in winding himself up about it.

      Lap 16, drivers always complain about things like this, so it is in no way Rosberg specific.

      And I think when he was asking about the pass on Alonso it was him overtaking that he wanted to check was done fairly. I could be wrong but I do recall Rosberg letting Alonso go back past.

      1. It wasn’t Alonso who he let pass.

        1. @donnington Oh right, thank you. I was unsure but if it was something else and he was trying to gain an advantage then I’m sure my second point about them all doing it applies.

          1. Rosberg was ensuring that he doesn’t get a penalty. The drivers are getting smart to this now to lose less time. They basically serve a less severe penalty on track for breaking the rules. It’s good thinking. It’s like playing advantage in football… No unnecessary stoppages to disrupt a good passage a of play.

      2. In Hungary Lap 17 Nico Hulkenberg said “I crashed into Checo.”. So you mean he is not a driver.
        My interpretation of the other two calls remain the same.

  9. Everything Lewis said was correct so I don’t see why people are questioning his drive. He said the tyres are not going to do 15 laps, he was right. He did a few fast laps but his pace dropped toward the end of the stint that he lost even more time to the leaders. After 20 laps of trying to catch up to 16th or 15th he probably figured he would need another 30 laps to just get to the top 10 so decided rather than finish outside the points he better retire and save the engine. And not just that, these gearboxes are very fragile, and given that it is very close to the rear of car dragging your floor for 6 km might cause some problems. Retiring means you can change the gearbox for the next race without any penalty. So it was be no means a quick decision from him. 18 laps is a lot of time to think about what to do. For me Merc bosses were really weak, you could see them gathering in the garage to decide what to do, they need to make those kinds of decisions very quickly instead of forming a committee and then deliberate on the decision for 40 laps

    1. He said the tyres are not going to do 15 laps, he was right.

      As noted in the article, that’s not what his team said.

  10. I’m gonna stop reading those articles, the more I read the less respect I have for the tho Mercedes drivers …

    1. … fans.

  11. These Mercedes drivers need to shut the hell up, stop acting like babies and race fairly! The more I hear their rubbish, the more I want Ricciardo to win the WDC.

    1. drivers need to shut the hell up, stop acting like babies and race fairly

      No, please! As with the battle between Alonso and Vettel played out both on track as well as on the radio, it makes for far more interesting watching if we get all the talk to go with it.

      Please drivers don’t feel bad about asking for penalties when its clearly fine, telling the world the other guy was at fault when its clearly them, tell the team they are slow when the car is going fine and tell the team off for giving them information or instead for not giving them as much information as they want. I really like to see some emotion like we get from drivers being happy, upset, relieved etc over the radio too.

  12. Kimi doesn’t talk too much. :D

  13. lewis had to battle from the back of the grid 2 races in a row before what happened in belgium.alot of ppl seem to have forgotten that already.he did i good job,especially in hungary beating nico.in belgium he was about 20 seconds off a points position and his car was all over the place,plus he is already a engine down because of what happened in hungary,when his car went up in flames.so lewis was looking at the long term.other drivers get praised for that,whereas lewis gets knocked for it.

    1. Yes he battled really well with the help of safety cars to make up a 30 second deficite.

  14. Was Nico asking if the overtake was ok because he had to give Jenson a place back previously? And was there footage of the Nico/Jenson overtake?

  15. Look at 16th minute: “He’s cheating at turn 15! He’s cheating!”
    The biggest cheater was pointing fingers. Give me a break!

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