Hamilton’s tyre-saving helped Raikkonen catch Vettel

2015 Chinese Grand Prix lap charts

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Lewis Hamilton took tyre saving to extremes during the middle of the race as Mercedes were alert to the threat from Ferrari while using the softer tyres.

But after Hamilton picked the pace up Ferrari made an early final pit stop for Sebastian Vettel in an attempt to bring him into contention.

That didn’t work – Mercedes covered them off by pitting Nico Rosberg before Hamilton to cover off the threat – and instead it help Kimi Raikkonen get within range of his team mate at the end of the race on tyres that were five laps newer.

Chinese Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:


Lewis Hamilton111111111111112311111111111111111121111111111111111111111
Nico Rosberg222222222222221122222222222222223332222222222222222222222
Sebastian Vettel333333333333345433333333333333444443333333333333333333333
Felipe Massa455555555555566555555555555555555556555555555555555555555
Valtteri Bottas566666666666654666666666666666666665666666666666666666666
Kimi Raikkonen644444444444433244444444444444332214444444444444444444444
Daniel Ricciardo7171615151514141414131110881514131313131313131313121211111110107778121212121211101010101010101010109999
Romain Grosjean87777777777771111888888888888888888888777777777777777777777
Felipe Nasr988888889911161513121099910101010101010101010101011121111111110101099999999999998888
Marcus Ericsson10991010101010101110108771412121212121212121212111112121215141312121211111111111011111111111111111111101010
Pastor Maldonado111010999998889121097777777777777777771214141313131414141414141414131516
Daniil Kvyat121313131414151515151413119109
Max Verstappen1311111111111111111098914131110101099999999999999101010109998888888888888
Carlos Sainz Jnr1414201918181818181817171616161313141414161616161616161616161616161616161616161616161616161616161615151515141414
Sergio Perez151514141313131313131212171515121111111111111111111113141414141211999988810101212121212121212121212111111
Nico Hulkenberg16121212121212121212
Jenson Button1718171717171717171716151312141716151515141414141414141313131313131515151414141313131313131313141414141414131313
Fernando Alonso1816151616161616161615141417171615161616151515151515151515151514151413131515151515151515151515151313131313121212
Will Stevens19201920202020202019181818181818171817171717171717171717171717171717171717171718181717171717171717171616161515
Roberto Merhi20191818191919191920191919191919181718181818181818181818181818181818181818181817171818181818181818181717171616

Chinese Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:


Lewis Hamilton00000000000001.05413.830000000000000000002.3450000000000000000000000
Nico Rosberg1.1811.0211.0011.0451.0611.0870.9581.1651.2291.2381.2481.6532.547003.0522.122.2132.4252.3512.1572.0741.9442.0241.8012.1022.1822.4062.783.289.01828.09124.1598.8686.2635.8055.5465.3025.1044.7154.6954.5664.9565.054.514.3594.4684.4924.6015.4446.2347.3538.64610.0590.640.714
Sebastian Vettel2.1182.3432.63.1433.3453.8824.0444.3774.6054.865.3356.16611.93126.23819.7875.5224.7814.7124.284.0373.8573.673.3753.6633.5773.6743.6764.1584.92510.60429.05330.25327.11712.17610.10710.33711.05811.45112.25212.56413.01313.91314.35515.36316.15816.62317.17117.29217.54817.98818.25319.24720.25322.1842.2912.988
Felipe Massa3.7314.4475.5196.0726.9547.7438.2699.13410.15811.18212.83314.55721.40337.00731.81317.9418.14919.07419.9520.72621.58322.73223.7424.84325.67526.95227.96129.55531.60933.30936.33338.96636.43127.32544.12243.41543.08543.06943.54243.38243.93544.55545.06546.29246.69346.97547.50447.85648.46149.44649.80550.36862.30164.70421.4438.544
Valtteri Bottas4.4195.1826.0236.5967.6578.4459.13510.36611.67513.03914.9617.04519.27421.90935.44522.56423.15124.24224.98426.04727.20228.53829.79930.94431.92433.00734.59236.34738.23940.32943.17446.02243.59329.64632.7552.09252.07952.41953.32352.9953.353.87753.87854.34355.28955.68656.81757.43857.8758.45459.04760.04773.43975.89626.2689.885
Kimi Raikkonen2.9223.354.0444.3694.8235.0725.2425.5875.9296.2196.9247.7929.0676.5467.24711.0959.8159.1658.7128.3878.0417.6027.1446.9877.0627.4167.6668.3799.33310.54312.37913.7749.841014.9414.58714.81815.14415.78115.6516.06916.89117.55818.24818.66819.56220.39320.0819.83620.19720.30621.02621.69623.5512.8223.835
Daniel Ricciardo10.34713.65816.49719.29222.87325.04626.28927.55628.83330.39432.434.13636.34939.54753.93642.40842.38943.24343.99445.26847.95649.55150.60352.21953.00154.85958.67460.47662.85265.98169.37273.30771.86258.67859.2366.1685.57686.38987.4887.60788.75890.89492.83394.04394.2994.58195.42896.0496.49597.14397.15797.524121.198123.65770.18632.117
Romain Grosjean5.2896.2277.2088.1849.30210.54211.97613.59215.07416.27417.90224.49145.64844.11439.90627.14928.1530.02131.20232.60534.26936.46338.0239.90741.50843.48745.74148.12351.03854.36858.38466.44781.58366.06164.15364.61965.6566.42367.80368.40169.55671.07871.97573.39374.45975.56877.4778.72879.83481.82582.76684.5104.879108.5564.72819.008
Felipe Nasr5.8027.4099.08810.12311.61113.19814.34916.83219.25226.2946.81248.30550.29749.10545.38933.29434.45436.05538.45740.88242.9744.75846.4648.60350.41452.26554.45456.63460.06363.08671.7492.84789.14474.72573.06474.01575.30476.20877.82378.72981.18182.85283.85585.13486.33387.07188.52389.67290.90892.44593.72794.758118.243121.70868.74722.625
Marcus Ericsson6.6918.7911.38412.87814.48416.00617.73919.48124.12925.81428.00930.35433.60537.74853.45541.10341.03242.06543.56244.64346.11847.42248.93150.53452.20654.66258.13760.97464.34173.43696.18698.09395.30381.10979.9681.26882.62484.17885.96986.83688.35890.6594.1796.30997.77799.072100.774102.464105.291107.25108.811111.976142.495162.057154.542
Pastor Maldonado6.9429.0369.95610.7412.21313.55214.86616.44418.06319.46825.28543.53344.66943.05339.02426.04726.52227.8829.24630.57232.01833.85635.40137.14938.740.45342.3844.45847.31550.17153.92357.60991.38895.46793.76494.06194.68395.739111.207112.372113.794115.446116.502120.276123.507126.883129.821153.204195.347
Daniil Kvyat9.09712.48115.47918.89622.51526.74929.29431.7534.06236.28438.85341.444.00243.96442.429
Max Verstappen7.9629.59211.91313.59615.26416.59118.18619.96121.93823.43624.92231.25753.80451.52347.09933.86834.92636.73938.02339.94941.26742.63643.82845.61347.28249.23151.27753.56656.55459.68763.55571.64886.99572.39670.69671.10172.5373.81475.91676.87878.04579.35680.41381.6682.43983.36584.81685.83987.02688.37989.27890.929
Carlos Sainz Jnr9.50618.04422.4126.68330.29133.03535.74238.3441.37244.13347.44750.75855.12955.53553.01542.23945.10848.53355.92876.23676.72577.375121.368121.85121.837122.663123.72124.522126.198127.972131.746135.495132.653119.456119.728120.939122.532124.421131.775153.042152.445152.588152.3153.466153.123153.592154.254154.871155.463156.095156.213167.04199.035184.47161.737
Sergio Perez9.72912.77615.87818.71520.41221.68222.97124.74926.7528.6635.38553.97255.12152.55348.12735.51836.29638.20439.99241.67643.5845.45447.14849.16951.37458.14878.71179.18780.32281.48184.21486.49384.09270.50169.35170.39771.73873.17975.31778.98387.123109.036109.957110.703111.339112.639114.659116.07117.496119.534123.689126.487158.063164.827157.483
Nico Hulkenberg8.59310.64413.21815.00116.96518.70720.61822.37524.637
Jenson Button10.59214.16817.68320.78624.35827.830.78633.26535.61737.99140.77144.01847.66352.13967.48654.86555.13456.80758.46960.07561.33163.01864.2265.73367.59869.35371.58173.85576.99180.18484.58893.492109.43796.13595.87897.42799.373101.352106.212108.576110.822113.581115.683119.986123.134126.546130.059135.957138.223140.926143.235154.744183.611179.319160.263
Fernando Alonso10.07313.23617.19720.04223.65327.27529.86332.35634.68637.00439.63446.76368.03667.34464.61853.12955.59258.46561.07763.13165.04167.29369.22571.59173.72376.32379.48382.41485.88889.43493.93498.80898.41886.71992.195111.286112.325113.952117.248117.16117.989121.321122123.433125.215127.326130.272132.459134.072136.727137.985145.245175.687178.165158.23
Will Stevens11.90317.04423.14128.53234.06938.8643.1247.72852.97857.80262.01166.69771.61673.18473.00669.27993.5797.395101.296109.277115.255119.794123.935128.523134.114140.873146.181153.023160.116166.683173.719181.483182.573173.769179.618184.824192.156203.511228.135229.733232.717235.901238.739242.29245.772249.672254.555260.701264.556269.464284.609317.031324.224323.473
Roberto Merhi11.26616.43721.61227.34332.55237.45641.99947.16553.31659.01664.4870.04675.75278.36478.60270.29780.237109.808114.592118.639123.436128.807133.447139.644144.813150.827156.144164.165171.002176.958183.667190.385193.01183.956188.273194.096200.193207.908216.013227.441249.944253.134255.715259.753263.484266.947270.571274.113277.65280.997299.452331.283339.559323.819

2015 Chinese 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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72 comments on “Hamilton’s tyre-saving helped Raikkonen catch Vettel”

  1. so not only did Hamilton drive the perfect race for him and the team that guaranteed a 1-2 with him ahead, but he also nearly made things even better for him and the team by switching the order of the Ferraris. Pretty perfect race I would say!

    1. If it was “the perfect race for him and the team” why was the team repeatedly telling Hamilton to speed up?

      1. a) they asked him twice -they told him to target a lap time (43.7 I believe) and his next lap was 43.696. The second time they asked him to speed up if he didn’t want ROS to pit first. Rosberg did put first and it was fine for Hamilton because he had plenty of pace. Not exactly the picture of repeated pressure you paint.

        b) just because the team didn’t realise it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the perfect race…after all it ended in the perfect result.

        1. a) is assuming we heard all radio messages in TV.

    2. It’s easy when you are in front with a dominant car that lets you manage your pace.
      Or at least that’s what we constantly heard when Vettel was doing similar races in Red Bull.

      1. Not from me you didn’t. I’ve always said Vettel is an expert in managing races from the front.

      2. Jon, is not Hamilton fault that he has a dominant and he knows how to take full advantage of it. There´s drivers with the same car that can´t do the same, and yes, I´m talking about Rosberg.

    3. perfect race. I’m sure it was in Hamilton’s thought process to slow the pack up enough that the Ferrari’s would get swapped around (eventhough he’s already said that he wasn’t aware of what was happening behind him and what the gaps were).

    4. @jleigh

      but it also could have easily let Vettel undercut Rosberg and maybe end up in P2.

      Though I don’t blame Hamilton for that. That’s the teams responsibility. They could see the gaps and at less then 2 or so seconds to Ham, Rosberg’s tires would give him trouble. They could also see the gap Vettel had on Ros. Merc definitely could’ve handled it better.

      Of course if they pitted Ros when he was too close to Ham, he may have jumped Hamilton, who would have flipped a switch (hence the “if you don’t want Ros to pit first, speed up” message).

  2. I’m getting anxious to finally see Honda in full power. This is just woeful. They are so far behind that only Manors are finishing behind them on pace, and they are pretty much using last year’s car and power unit.

    1. I agree. I don’t know what penalties they might face, but I would think that they would write off the year, throw caution to the wind and push hard with at least one engine per race to try and speed development.

    2. They’ve said a bajillion times already that they are waiting for Europe, let’s be patient.

  3. What a masterclass drive from one of the sports all time greats, managed the gap beautifully with plenty of pace up his sleeve, one word… Wow!!

    1. Settle down there. Winning from pole position in the most dominant car in F1 history does not indicate “a masterclass drive from one of the sports all time greats”.

      1. I was half expecting Wass1985’s comment to be sarcastic

      2. The W05 was one of the most dominant cars ever– There’s no indication yet that the W06 is anywhere near as dominant. After all, it’s only won 66% of the races this season.

        1. 2 out of 3 as well as dominating every single practice and quali so far. The signs are there.

          Let’s review the ‘dominance’ at the end of the season!

      3. Most dominant car in history. They were beaten in the last race!!!!

        1. Because most dominant cars in history are never ever beaten in any race?

          The FW14B was beaten in four races in a sixteen race season. And yet, inexplicably, it’s always mentioned in the short list of the most dominant F1 cars.

          1. lol Merc were more dominant last year. Hamilton is an alltime great that is a fact. History will show Alo Ham and Vet to be all time greats. Especially Ham and Vet. They will be there in almost every stat. If Ham wins a 3rd title then his place as a legend is sealed. Vet whilst being a great as he as 4 WC, is not on Hamiltons level it is just my opinion. He will still be a great though you do not win 4 WC else. I would love to see Ham and Kimi paired together it would be kinda funny. Vet was not even imressive yesterday you ave to ask yourself if Kimi can be that close maybe Merc are not even much faster. Afterall 2 Rosbergs in the race on softs and the gap would be minimal. The reason Merc looks dominant is because Ham is in the car. Same with Vet, Webber would not won a WC every year if Vet was not in the car.

      4. You said it. Hamilton is an excellent driver no doubt but far from being an ‘all time great’. This Mercedes is by far the most dominant car on the grid since McLaren Honda in 1988. It is to the great credit of Vettel & Ferrari that they managed to get in front of them in Sepang but DNFs and rain apart, I doubt they can do so again in more than a couple other circuits. In fact, apart from Monaco where just about any car can win if it is in the right place at the right time, I do not see Ferrari beating Merc again this season. The raw speed differential is just a bit too much.

        1. @loup-garou Not sure if you saw this, but the problem isn’t the speed this year, but the better aero package Mercedes has. With that speed + DRS would be enough if the rest was the same.

        2. Hamilton is already an all time great that’s for sure.

          1. Right now there are 3 all time greats on the grid – Alonso, Hamilton, and Vettel.

            There may be two more future ones – Ricciardo and Verstappen.

      5. Actually it was a masterclass. Not because he won from the front but because he also used very clever tactics that made sure none of his main opponents(Rosberg, Vettel) had a chance to attack him.
        Also when you have the guy with the same car right behind you and he has no no2 status is not exactly an easy time from the frond.

  4. On tracks like Australia or China, where there’s only one optimum tyre strategy and the conditions are not to extreme on the tyres, it’s a good chance that we’re going to see a dull Hamilton-Mercedes dominant race.

    Malaysia was an exception because Mercedes couldn’t do what Ferrari did, the temperature was high and there was no way Mercedes were going to make it a 2-stop.

    But if the conditions are not too hard on the tyres, Mercedes just have to do exactly the same thing as Ferrari, like what we’ve seen in Shanghai. They are quick enough to beat the Ferraris with the same strategy on an average track.

    I do hope I’m wrong though, Ferrari has proven they are quite competitive on straights compared to Mercedes, and Williams are very competitive on straights too, at Bahrain where there are a lot of straights, dare I say we can see a splendid 6-car-battle (2 Mercs, 2 Ferr, 2 Williams).

  5. You could conclude that Hamilton did Mercedes and Rosberg a favour by holding him to a pace that made the tyres last and preventing Ferrari from pulling a Malaysia tyre coup on them.

    At the end of stints 1,2 and 3 Rosberg started dropping off Hamilton at 1s per lap.

    In the third stint, Rosberg came out 4s ahead of Vettel and caught up with Hamilton for a bit, but then
    tailed off badly at the end. Rosberg didn’t need to pull so much out his tyres at the beginning.

    1. @boylep6 the reason Rosberg slowed down a lot at the end of the stint is that this year’s cars don’t follow each other nearly as well as last year, so following less than 2s behind Hamilton absolutely wrecked his tyres much earlier than Hamilton, and I suspect it’s the reason ROS couldn’t pass HAM– the car can’t follow and close in well enough.

      1. Third stint showed this pattern and Rosberg was NEVER within 5s. In fact Rosberg fell off
        worst in the third stint, and that’s where he went faster than Hamilton at the start of stint
        because Hamilton wasn’t holding him up.

        Just calling the plot like it is…

        1. @boylep6

          That’s a comment which should really finish this argument once and for all. At 5-6 seconds back Rosberg can have no complaints about dirty air. Before the safety car Hamilton pulled his advantage to over 8 seconds in just a few laps. Why ? Because Rosberg had poor tyre management. He can’t blame any of that on Hamilton. To be honest he was lucky he had Hamilton to help him in the middle stint, because rosbergs worse stint for tyre management was the final one when he could dictate the usage. He should be thanking Hamilton for allowing the team to cruise to a 1-2 rather than race flat out as no doubt that also helps with engine usage in future races.

          1. thanks D — I think so. For those who haven’t tried this

            i) “select none”
            ii) tick rosberg and tick hamilton.

            Look carefully at stint 3.

            Conclude Hamilton saved Rosberg from the evil tyre clutches of Rosberg in stint’s 1 & 2 but was unable to do so in stint 3 because he was too far up the road to influence Rosberg.

            So Rosberg wanted fast at start of stint, Hamilton fast at end of stint, and
            remember that Ferrari won the last race by superior tyre management.

            Who’s the team player? I think Rosberg gambled more with Ferrari than Hamilton by trying to hunt his team mate early in stint-3 (danger at end
            of stint-3 be damned).

            Who’s the “professor” big brains driver? Actually Hamilton doesn’t have big
            brains, but he is a lot smarter than he gets credit for IMHO.

            I still hate bloody earnings and his big mouth, but in 2015 he’s learning
            to say less at least. The world is a better place. :)

          2. Freudian… I said earnings when I meant earings.

            He’s welcome to his earnings if he pays his taxes….

  6. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
    13th April 2015, 15:48

    That chart really highlights just how dull the final third of the race was. No changing of places at all in the top 7 and the rest wasn’t much better.

    1. Great point.

      Unfortunately, there are too many people on here who think any race that Hamilton wins is a ‘great race’. The same people who found it tedious when Vettel was constantly winning.

      1. I think the issue with when Vettel was winning was … he’d talk and talk and talk. He likes to hear himself talk.

        1. If that was the issue you’d just switch it off (or mute it).

          My issue was that I got fed up of knowing who was going to win each race before it starts – as is happening now.

          1. Looking at the other comments made by the poster, you can be sure he absolutely means it :)

      2. I would say the race was Interesting– but not exciting. It was a very nice exercise in strategy– chess at 180+ mph, if you like. But aside from the occasional Renault pyrotechnics, it wasn’t that exciting.

        1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
          13th April 2015, 16:51

          In general I agree that strategy can be interesting but I feel like it also needs an outcome, some visible action and result. An undercut is great strategy and interesting to see them work or not, but yeah, they’re not exciting. For me a great strategic race will also contain some great racing as a result of the strategy, for example a 2 and 3 stopper meeting on the track and duking it out.

  7. ” Lewis Hamilton took tyre saving to extremes during the middle of the race as Mercedes were alert to the threat from Ferrari while using the softer tyres.”
    Is it now safe to say that Rosberg was right in airing his views as regards to Hamilton feeding him to the Ferraris and the only thing that prevented him from being eaten alive is the Mercedes pace?

    1. Exactly! But we all know Rosberg can’t do anything right with most people!

      I’d love to see what people’s reaction would be if it had been the other way around and Rosberg had been accused of backing Hamilton into the pack. Sure everybody would have said he had done nothing wrong.

    2. Only if you think it’s safe to assume that Rosberg’s only aim in the race is to finish second and that Hamilton is responsible for securing that result. If Rosberg was backing Hamilton into the pack, Hamilton would have passed him. See 2014 F1 Season passim.

      1. Yep he passed him twice. Once in the rain and once on a track where unlike China it didn’t eat up your tyres following another car.

        So saying he would have just passed him is just your opinion. We don’t know and will never know.

        My point was that if it was the other way around, then I would like to have seen the reaction of these same people that are so quick to criticise Rosberg.

        1. Hamilton passed Rosberg in Canada, Japan, the US and Monza (pressured him into a mistake). He also overtook him at the start in Bahrain, Spa and Abu Dhabi.

          Rosberg tried several times to overtake Hamilton and never managed it. Not even on much faster tyres.

          It’s not that overtaking a similar car is impossible. Just that some drivers can do it and others not.

    3. Is it now safe to say that Rosberg was right in airing his views as regards to Hamilton feeding him to the Ferraris and the only thing that prevented him from being eaten alive is the Mercedes pace?

      No– Hamilton was making sure that Hamilton had enough life in his tires to be able to hold off the Ferraris (and Rosberg) at will. I doubt Hamilton had any intention of feeding Rosberg to the Ferraris (or he wouldn’t have sped up when the team asked).

      He did, however, have an intention of being able to pull away from any threat, at any point during the race, by making sure he had a working set of tires on his car.

      Any other driver, that would be “brilliant tire management”– here, it’s “Hamilton feeding his teammate to Ferrari”.

      1. Nobody is questioning whether or not Hamilton’s tyre management was good, he was simply meaning was Rosberg right to question it – and clearly he was. The team had to tell Hamilton to speed up and to his credit he did – big time.

        And remember it’s the media who fanned the flames on this and set it up nicely in the press conference. Ordinarily it would have stayed in house but people want to see another Rosberg V Hamilton public falling out.

        1. @Chris Lawson What i don’t understand about Rosberg crying Wolf, is that he was generally doing the same to Vettel, and we didn’t hear Seb complaining that Rosberg was feeding him to Kimi.

    4. Hamilton was pulling away from Rosberg from lap 25 onwards. The gap grew from 1.8s to 3.3s over only 5 laps.

      So Hamilton really gave him plenty of space before the pit stop, but Rosberg failed to use it.

      If Rosberg was so worried about the gap to Vettel he should have picked up the pace and stayed within 2s from Hamilton.

  8. That title is a bit of a leap. How about this one “Vettel was just holding station knowing he had no chance of higher than P3 anyway”?

    1. The Ferraris were the only ones who tried strategies that would leapfrog the car infront, Vettel with the more aggressive one

  9. That race surely had one of the lowest number of position changes of any grands prix in recent years.

  10. I doubt Hamilton had any
    intention of feeding Rosberg to
    the Ferraris (or he wouldn’t have
    sped up when the team asked)
    With or without intention Hamilton did feed him to the Ferraris and the fact that he said he was only looking after his race points to the fact he knew it was quite plausible what Rosberg was saying was true he only absolved himself of any blame.
    He did, however, have an
    intention of being able to pull
    away from any threat, at any
    point during the race, by making
    sure he had a working set of
    tires on his car.

    He could indeed pull away at anytime and he did. Towards the end of the first stint Hamilton said the softs felt pretty good and the team duly changed the stranger TV to softs for the second stint. At the end of the second stint Rosberg was first to pit because his tyres were shot, Hamilton on the other hand was able to pump in the times and came out 7 seconds ahead after putting on the mediums. At the end he said if his tyres=£100 at the end of the race he would be rich.

    1. How is it Hamilton’s fault that Rosberg ruined his tyres too early? Vettel was never within DRS range so he was no threat.

      By the time the second pitstop was coming up, Hamilton opened up the gap to Vettel to 5 seconds. Instead of staying with Hamilton, Rosberg could’t keep up and actually fell back losing 1.5s over only 5 laps.

      Rosberg is just trying to absolve himself from yet another poorly executed race. I’m glad most F1 fans can see this for the nonsense that it is.

      1. @patrickl, Have to agree with you, Nico is failing the expectations. Can’t say if its the car or just natural talent, but Ham is proving he’s the only candidate to this year title, and there´s no competition inside Merc so far.

  11. I cant understand the logic in saying, “…and instead it helped Kimi Raikkonen get within range of his team mate at the end of the race on tyres that were five laps newer”. Raikkonen ran 2 and 4 laps more in his 1st and 2nd stints respectively, than Vettel. So obviously Raikkonen will have to go slower than Vettel in the 1st 2 stints, and faster in the final stint. They both had equal race pace in China. Consider the starting positions, 3 and 6, so that gap was there even when they finished the race. But it would have been interesting to watch the final 2 laps without the safety car.
    In the race chart its shown the gap between Raikkonen and Vettel was 1.37 at the end of 54th lap. If you check lap 45, the gap was 2.51 between them, while getting pass the back markers (Alonso, Maldonado and Button.. Vettel passed them on the straights without losing any time and Raikkonen lost 0.7 during this. This has nothing to do with driver error, some drivers will be unlucky and will have to wait for some corners to overtake them), the gap increased to .7 instead of reducing. This prevented us from watching a battle between these 2 greats. Hopefully we will be able to see that in some of the upcoming races. Forza Ferrari…… !!!!!!!!

  12. Who gives a flying stuff wether Hamilton was trying to back Rosberg into Vettel, Rosberg likes to tell the press on plenty of occasions about getting Ferrari involved and dirty tactics to beat his teammate. Were you thinking of the team last year at Monaco or Spa? Thought not….

  13. Rosberg should have outqualified Hamilton. It’s that simple really.

    1. Very simple isnt it! Hamiltons perfect race if you ask me

  14. Strange to say that hamilton was saving his tyres and not saying the same thing about Seb. Probably he was saving tyres too… Who knows? Or, in fact, Ham did try to bring pressure to Nico and maybe Kimi could catch Seb

    1. I don’t think Seb was saving tires, he was trying to get Rosberg, but couldn’t get close enough even with the undercut. Kimi was saving tires and might have gotten Seb at the end.

      If that had happened, it wouldn’t be “Kimi was better than Seb” just that the race unfolded in a way that allowed him to take Seb at the end. Ferrari and Seb basically risked a safe 3rd place for a possible P2 or even a P1. Good on them. It’s so disappointing when you see teams play it safe (Williams last year was a good example).

  15. lol when he said he is going too slow, Hamilton went see ya. I did not see Hamilton moaning about dirty air when he overtook Nico behind last year. Nico is meant to be the mentally strong one. Did you see Ham and Vet faces lol, they were struggling to contain themselves. Rosberg even said he had to do a much longer stint than Hamitoon so his tyres were wrecked. No Nico you did a “massive” 2 laps more on Primes, WOW.

    @robbie what did you think of it i am only asking as you are a huge Rosberg fan, remember you said Hamilton was lucky to pass because he had DRS last year?. Nico has that too why does he struggle, isit because Hamilton is the better driver?. Hamilton was so much faster than Nico in Aus and China, but after Mal Hamilton did not know how the tyres would be. Thing is Rosberg did not even get in DRS range. I actually wish Rosberg overtook Hamilton in the undercut it would have been so funny when Nico got overtook.

    1. I agree totally that Lewis is the better overtaker but If you look back to last year when Lewis qualified second in Austin he was very positive because he said that Austin was a track you could follow the guy in front. Fast forward to Brazil and even though he was on Nico’s tail all the way in the last stint which meant he was faster in clear air he could not get close enough through the twisty section to make a pass on the straight.
      Track characteristics have always made a massive difference to overtaking and China did not see much overtaking from closely matched cars. It made Nico look worse as a result. That said if it wasn’t a tyre limited race Lewis would have been way up the road so a moot point I guess.

      1. Yes he didn’t find a chance in Brazil but he was still right there in his tail wasn’t he? No dirty air can allow me to be close stuff. And he did it by coming from a 7.5sec deficit after he spun so he gave more tyre life to get there too.
        Rosberg is being ridiculous.

  16. Why is everybody even suggesting Ham destroyed tires of following Rosberg? Rosberg was over 2sec behind in second stint and over 4sec in third. 2 sec is not close enough to be affected by dirty or hot air. 2sec is what engineers normally suggest to drivers to fall back to.

    1. funny thing is he never moaned in first stint when gap was 1 second lol. People who say he could not follow are wrong. First stint he was like 1.2 behind did people miss Ros 8 tenths behind aswell after lap 2 then it kept going up to 1.2 then down to 1.1. How come he could follow then? But he starts moaning at 2 seconds. If he was fast why did he not close down form 2 seconds to the 1.2 he was doing early on? Oh i forgot he was scared of his tryes going off, like that affected him in Catalunya, thats what makes me laugh did people forget the high downforce track Catalunya last year? Nico was under a second as he had superiour pace, yet here in China he could not get in DRS because of dirty air lol? It is much harder to follow under a sec in Spain than China. Which clearly means he was not fast enough.

  17. I think it is safe to say Alo would pass Nico on the soft stint, Vet is not even much faster than Kimi that is a fact. He will easily beat Kimi don’t get me wrong he already is. But in Mal and here Kimi’s race pace is just as good, does that not show after last year Vet is not number 1 by a long way as his 4 WC would indicate?. I mean if you never watched F1 then Vet is the best by a mile look at his stats and age but last year with his teammate winning 3 races to 0 and Kimi who was literally hammerd by Alonso is suddenly fighting for podiums. That Ferrari is clearly a very quick car. No hate on Vet just suprises me when people say put Vet vs Hamilton and he would win. Hamilton would make Kimi look very silly we all know this, we seen Alo do it.

    1. Only someone who never watches F1 would say it proves something that Kimi was hammered by Alonso or that Ricciardo went 3-0 vs. Vettel in wins. I’d agree Alonso is a better driver than Kimi, but the problems of the car made the gap more than it really is.

      With Ric he was all gung ho to get a podium, any podium, and prove himself worthy to be in a top team and lucked into 3 wins because the Mercs had issues. Vettel with slightly different pit strategies could have won Canada.

      Vettel had much more car issues early in the season and I’m sure he lacked motivation. I can’t see how inspired Vettel would be to wake up on a race weekend and think “wow, I gotta go beat Danny today to prove I’m one of the greatest”.

      It’s funny, in the drivers press conference, Button was asked that, and how it felt that he beat his teammate Alonso in the same car and he was like “the car sucks what does it matter if I beat him?”

      Performance at the highest level is always about psychology, not about raw skill. You can see it playing out between Hamilton and Rosberg right now. You saw it last year when Kevin Mag was doing better than Jenson but as soon as it became a question of remaining in F1 the following year, Button kicked up his game. Hamilton in 2011 was another good example of not being fully engaged. Compare that to 2012 when Hamilton was clearly the best driver of the year, and way better than the year before.

  18. How come Nico managed to get in DRS range in Spain? We all know that is much harder to overtake, oh i know he was actually faster that race. In China he was not fast enough.

  19. Why should Hamilton manage Rosberg’s race? The same dirty air that affected Rosberg was Affecting Vettel. Why didn’t Rosberg back Vettel up into Kimi then? Oh that’s right! Vettel would have OVERTAKEN him!

  20. Ahhhh…..Shut up Rossberg! You need to try harder on the track! We were relying on you to make this season close! Very disappointed in you so far, now we are relying on Ferrari to spice things up! Fingers crossed!

  21. Hamilton backing up entire field causes massive traffic jam on Chinas’ freeway system.

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