Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Hamilton on pole as Vettel splits the Mercedes

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015Lewis Hamilton took his fourth consecutive pole position of the 2015 season in Bahrain, but it will be Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari who starts alongside the world champion on the front row.

An exciting qualifying session saw Vettel split the two Mercedes to take second on the grid for tomorrow’s race, after Lewis Hamilton took pole position with the final lap of the session.

Nico Rosberg will line up third with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari behind him and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in fifth and sixth.

Q1

Nico Rosberg set the early pace at the front on the Medium tyres, but all teams opted to switch to Soft tyres to avoid being caught out by an improving track.

After a difficult start to the weekend for Jenson Button, the McLaren driver’s luck turned even worse when his McLaren ground to a halt yet again without him setting a time, dooming him to start from the very back tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton used the Soft tyres to break the 1’34 barrier for the first time this weekend to go quickest with a 1’33.928 while Valtteri Bottas went second quickest in the Williams.

As the chequered flag flew, Pastor Maldonado improved his time to get himself into Q2, but Max Verstappen jumped up to 14th position to bump the Lotus driver out at the death.

After spinning in final practice, Daniil Kvyat’s day went from bad to worse when a mistake on his final lap meant he was unable to improve by enough and he was eliminated in a disappointing P17.

Fernando Alonso brought some badly needed cheer to McLaren as a great final lap put him P9 and into the second qualifying session for the first time in 2015.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16 Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’35.677
17 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault1’35.800
18 Will Stevens Manor-Ferrari1’38.713
19 Roberto Merhi Manor-Ferrari1’39.722
20 Jenson Button McLaren-HondaNo time set

Q2

Hamilton wasted no time in picking up the pace immediately where he left off in Q1 by lowering a 1’32.669 on his first attempt in Q2, going over a second quicker than his team mate.

With drivers in the top ten forced to start on their Q2 tyres, it was difficult to read into lap times. Raikkonen went P2, but was almost a second slower than Hamilton as Massa split the two Ferraris in third.

A tight finish to the second session saw Sergio Perez jump up to P10 before Carlos Sainz Jr won the final slot in Q3 with a great lap to push the Force India driver out.

Both Saubers were unable to make it through, with Fernando Alonso eliminated in P14 – McLaren’s best quaifying of the season. Max Verstappen will line up in 15th after being half a second slower than his team mate.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes1’34.704
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari1’34.737
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari1’35.034
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda1’35.039
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault1’35.103

Q3

The Ferraris were the first cars out to set a time in the crucial final session with Vettel quicker than Raikkonen, but Daniel Ricciardo used fresh tyres to eclipse both Ferraris on his first effort.

Lewis Hamilton went quickest of all after the first flying laps were completed in the final session, but with only Daniel Ricciardo having used a new tyre on the first run, there was plenty of scope for improvement.

As the final runs began, Daniel Ricciardo was the first man set to cross the line, followed by the Ferraris with the Mercedes set to cross the line last.

Sebastian Vettel took provisional pole with his best lap of the weekend – a 1’33.227 – which put Raikkonen behind his team mate.

Nico Rosberg was then unable to beat Vettel’s time either, putting him second, before Lewis Hamilton snatched his fourth consecutive pole of the season at the chequered flag, four tenths faster than Vettel.

Behind the front four, Valtteri Bottas beat team mate Felipe Massa for fifth place, while Daniel Ricciardo took seventh in the Red Bull. Nico Hulkenberg ended a good day for Force India in eighth and Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten.

Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes1’32.571
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari1’32.982
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes1’33.129
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari1’33.227
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes1’33.381
6 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes1’33.744
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault1’33.832
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes1’34.450
9 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault1’34.462
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes1’34.484

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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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116 comments on “Hamilton on pole as Vettel splits the Mercedes”

  1. Awesome pic!

  2. Rosberg has definitely gotten his wish!

    1. Yeah
      ‘Game on Ferrari’

  3. ROS must be regretting the time he joke with VET

  4. I doubt we’ll ever get to see it, but it would be fascinating to see Vettel and Hamilton in the same car. They’re in a league of their own at qualifying.

    1. Trenthamfolk (@)
      18th April 2015, 19:22

      That’d be a bit of a squash… lol…

      1. Haha, nice one.

      2. COTD for sure. XD

    2. Actually Ecclestone said today that he’d like to see Lewis in a Ferrari. And with them being close friends (apparently…) and Lewis’ contract wranglings then it might possible happen. Would be incredible to see, we’ll learn a lot about both drivers, whether Vettel is as quick as he looked at Red Bull and whether Lewis is actually as fast as he looked against Fernando (he may not have been as fast as he is when he is number 1).

  5. Must be just Vettel’s car, or preferential treatment, or luck, or the ghost of Newey.

    1. Or Santa or the Illuminati or …

      perhaps he is a very good driver

      1. perhaps he is a very good driver

        @oletros – Haha, yeah right. Once he changes team and wins with them too I’ll maybe think about not calling him average again.

        1. If you’re still calling him an average driver it is clear that even if he wins with a Marussia you won’t change your mind

          1. @oletros I was being sarcastic.

          2. @xtwl

            My apologies, I didn’t got it

        2. Yes, I don’t think a driver who wins with only 3 different teams is any good.

          (Let’s keep the sarcasm rolling :P)

    2. No, it’s the blown diffuser!

      1. Nope, traction control!

    3. No, Merc’s contract with F1 states they must have a competitive German driver on the front row.

  6. digitalrurouni
    18th April 2015, 17:20

    Wow so this year’s cars are just about as quick as the V8 powered cars!!

    1. Indeed, and with less downforce! Granted tyres are faster but still it’s impressive.

    2. it’s just amazing, such a performance with so many less power+aero. how fast would those V8 by now, if developement thru the season, like in these couple of years, was allowed, and those rules still on force? 2, 3 seconds faster?

      1. @matiascasali The V6 engines are more powerful than the V8s were, largely due to being turbo-charged.

        1. Plus the extra KERS combined with the Turbo gives them vastly more torque at much lower rpm and throughout the range so there is always more power available to the driver (except for the Renault and Honda until they get their “drive by wire” sorted).

        2. are they more powerful? i must say they got more torque, but go as far as saying powerful, i’m not so sure. The KERS, well, that’s something making a difference, and i agree with that.

  7. Awesome qualifying by Lewis. . Now, that’s how you shut somebody up!

    1. When a driver gets 4 poles out of 4 GP weekends there’s no way you can criticize him. Lewis has really grown to another level as a driver.

      1. @Dynamite Clock
        In as near as makes a difference, a car with no competition (save Rosberg who is obviously having issues of one sort or the other) – makes it less amazing. This will be the easiest 2 years for winning the WDC in history.

        1. Hamilton’s been brilliant so far this year, team-mate competition or not.

          1. Brilliant with no competition? My grandmother could win in the new Merc. Wake me up when they’re not operating at 7/10ths and choosing how far to keep the competition behind.

  8. Like Hamilton said, “I do my talking on the track”. I’m just waiting to hear what Rosberg is going to be moaning about this week.

  9. It looks like this GP will be on fire!

    1. I didn’t know these Pirelli tires can last on fire! :P

  10. I suspect it’s going to be a long hard season for Nico unless of course reliability keeps him in contention like last season. Good lap by Vettel too to relegate Rosberg. If I’m not mistaken Seb’s soft tyre runs were faster than Nico’s on the softer tyre by half a second so I think he may have his work cut out and also Lewis might have his mirrors filled with red. But yeah that qualy session was really gripping, exciting stuff.

    1. I’m praying (not literally) for a long fight between Lewis and Seb tomorrow, I would love to see that. A fight in which there’s no chance of the teams calling it off like they might when its intra team. Ideally Seb would win to keep the championship close but I think Lewis is perhaps slightly better wheel to wheel.

      1. On of the things with Lewis, is that when you give him that sniff of competition, when he has a car ahead of him to chase, then, he really can pull out amazing feats.

  11. I want to know something more about tomorrow’s strategy. Was hearing about Ferrari saving some tires for tomorrow.

    1. Both Mercs & Ferrari have one fresh set of softs left with them. This one again is going to be a great strategic race.

  12. Amazing laps by Hamilton today, both in Q2 and Q3 he is really on his very best form at the moment. I know he has a superior car, but still you can get excited to see him drive like this, it’s not easy at all. Reminds me of the old MS days, when Ferrari was much quicker, but still in his hot lap you would get up seeing how fast he was, even from normal footage.

    Unless some really bad luck strikes him (couple of DNFs like last season) or Ferrari pulls some magic going to Montreal and close the gap (they will get an upgraded engine there), I feel that his 3rd WDC is a safe bet, and we are only at the 4th race of the season!

    1. Ferrari could well win this race, even a 1-2, which would keep them firmly in the picture. Then with the engine updates coming over the season, who knows where Ferrari will be in terms of pace? Maybe even level. If so, Mercedes’s tyre wear issues could well be a major snag for Hamilton securing his 3rd title. I expect Mercedes to use Rosberg defensively this race. Or at least they should be doing so.

      1. Right… Absolutely…

        Did you even see that Q2 lap by LH?

        If not – I suggest you do.

        That was something sublime by someone at the top of his ability and good as Seb might be, he is only very occasionally going to touch that level. And only when his car has a significant advantage.

        Think I am exaggerating?

        Look at the pole times since 2004… Then remember that was in Q2 and 1.2 faster than the so called qualifying king in the same car.

        When the rest were being measured in 100ths…

        That there was stunning. Like him or hate him.

        1. Yes indeed it was a great lap by Lewis, but was it required at that time? None of the front runners put that much strain on there tyres in Q2. It might hurt him come tomorrow.

          But still… We got the entertainment of watching it .

          1. Well I thought “oh my” when I saw that time, if Rosberg thought that too, when waiting for Q3, maybe it was worth it. :)

        2. Indeed an awesome lap.

          Did you even see he went quicker in Q3?

        3. Took too much life out the tyres, he just needed a banker lap to get him into q3. That same tyre is the one he will start the race on tomorrow. I think seb,kimi and rosberg took it much easier in q2(hence why the williams were in the mix)

          1. Now normally I would agree with you until he did three tenths quicker on the next set…

            However take a step back and look at how ridiculous it is that once again Pirelli have undertaken a passive marketing campaign and that is the defining performance factor…

            Ridiculous frankly

        4. That was something sublime by someone at the top of his ability and good as Seb might be, he is only very occasionally going to touch that level. And only when his car has a significant advantage.

          That’s a rather nonsensical dig. Vettel & Hamilton had similar performance if you compare the similarly good RB7/9 with the W05/06.

          1. It was not a dig. I am not comparing cars.

            To suggest that the RB did not in many many races have a 1s advantage over the rest of the field in at least the majority of two of the last five years (through whatever means) that is to rewrite history. Just who got most poles in those red bull years – in another car?

          2. @drgraham

            It was not a dig. I am not comparing cars.

            To suggest that the RB did not in many many races have a 1s advantage over the rest of the field in at least the majority of two of the last five years (through whatever means) that is to rewrite history.

            You said Ham’s lap was sublime, and that Vettel could only do it in a car with a significant advantage. Does Ham not have the kind of car Vettel had in 2011/13?

        5. @Drg Actually I missed Q2 (only saw Q1 and Q3) and actually I’m a Hamilton fan, so it was more a case of being cautious than downplaying what he achieved. Ferrari’s race pace was looking marginally better, but I’ll still bet on a HAM, VET, RAI, ROS finish.

          1. Apologies but as you can see – many on here wish to downplay what was a lap as fast as 2013/12 etc. yet still moan. Truth is it was something to see. The fact he did that measured on his to be race tyres. Impressive. That said. The whole thread. Its about tyres and that is really annoying because it will be the defining factor far above others by the looks of it.
            Pirelli championship again?..

          2. @DRG, and it gets worse, even here @F1f we have comments urging Pirelli to supply soft tyres to races in order to handicap MB.

      2. Hard to be defensive from behind.

    2. Be careful what you say, Lewis can be emotionally unstable and if he loses this race to Rosberg in a reverse of last year then it could trigger a downward spiral. He tends to go by streaks of form or lack of it, due to his emotionally unstable nature.

      1. Nonsense, if 2014 proved anything about Lewis it was that armchair psychologists have no idea what they are talking about.

        Lewis repeatedly came back stronger in 2014 after every Rosberg ‘punch’ and was the clear winner in the mental strength battle.

      2. Right…

        Of course – sorry I forgot…

        Grow up!

  13. Small correction:
    ‘Sebastian Vettel took provisional pole with his best lap of the weekend – a 1’33.227’
    It’s time set by Kimi.

  14. Seb is back – he is a racer – are there still any doubts?

    1. He’s more a qualifier than a racer.

      1. Absolutely.

        Trouble is there is someone with both abilities in the Merc…

        1. It’s the car, not the driver. My aunt could win in that incredible Mercedes.

          1. Say that to Rosberg!

            And it’s ironic, I think your aunt will do more on that Ferrarri looking from how good Kimi is in that car compare to last year with different team mate.

      2. +1, agreed. I am not a big fan of Vettel but I am only starting to appreciate his talents, particularly after RIC gave him a thorough going over last season. That said I think Seb’s one lap pace over Kimi might just prove to be the tipping factor in that particular battle given that their race pace is similar and sometimes Kimi even looks quicker. But of course because Kimi makes his life harder on Sat it means that occasional race pace advantage has proved futile thus far at least.

        1. is it possible Seb did not do so well last year in order not to trigger the performance clauses that would have kept him at Redbull? Given that their car was no championship contender maybe he sacrificed a year to get in the red cars.

          1. I think this conspiracy that ‘Vettel allowed RIC to beat him’ is absolute nonsense. If I’m honest I believe it’s what Vettel die hard fans come up with when they run all but out of excuses as to how Dan was so much better. In your right mind do you honestly think that Red Bull would have forced Vettel to stay particularly given that they found a gem in RIC?

            I certainly don’t think so. In any case, given how Lauda described these drivers as “egocentric B****”, I highly doubt Vettel would have been getting happy getting outqualified and outraced by his smiling team mate. Certainly, if you watched the races last year you wouldn’t be coming up with these conspiracies- eg Bahrain last year, China etc.

            Also if you watched the Singapore GP you would have seen an unwilling Vettel not even giving two h00ts about Dan’s (distant) title challenge, particularly given that the championship leader at the time (ROS) had just retired. Seriously, it’s almost as if some people/fans see the world of F1 in a totally warped lens. Maybe, as the evidence comprehensively suggests, RIC is just a better driver than Vettel.

          2. Yeah, Vet didn’t just allow himself to be beaten, and Ric was better in 2014, Davej. But 2014 is hardly looking to be representative of Vettel’s abilities. It’s appearing to be what is called in statistics, an “outlier”, like say, Alonso vs Trulli in 2004.

          3. @Michael Oh come on. Do you seriously think that Vettel allowed Ricciardo to outclass him? I seem to remember Vettel not wanting to assist Ricciardo at many GPs last season…. Such as the “tough luck” statement in China when Ricciardo had more pace. If you watched last season you would appreciate just how much better Ricciardo was compared to Vettel. Qualy was definitely skewed by reliability to a certain extend but not enough to turn the 12-7 deficit. But in races Dan pretty much had the upper hand, pulling some exceptional moves on Vettel in China, Bahrain and Italy to name a few. Instead of coming with conspiracies why not just accept that Ricciardo did a better job against the 4 time champ?

          4. I think Vettel had the same type of year Ham had in 2011 when Button outclassed him. Driver’s aren’t robots and Fernando didn’t always give 110% last year.

            Vettel goes from a race capable winning car to one that, on a good day, might give him an outside shot at P3.

            Ricciardo, who’s never been on a podium, is stepping up into a much better car and he’s ultra motivated to prove himself.

            That was the difference. Massa said being number 2 at Ferrari kept him from being 100% committed (maybe only 98%) but that was enough to cost a couple tenths a lap. I’m not sure what Vettel’s motivation was, with a new kid, a car that was in his garage more than on the track.

            The other difference was Ricciardo was better on the rear tires.

            But look at Vettel’s reaction to his car problems in Austria, where even though he was lapped, he held out for a SC to get on the lead lap. Hamilton in Germany back in 2012 (iirc) and last year in Spa, would be on the radio saying – we should retire the car.

            As for Ricciardo, he’s a great driver in his own right and much better than Bottas who seems to get all sorts of praise for not really doing much. I bet RIC would have won one or more races in that Williams last year.

          5. – is it possible Seb did not do so well last year in order not to trigger the performance clauses that would have kept him at Redbull?

            Nope. His head was not in the right place. He was going through some emotional problems which affected his entire performance. But he is on an upswing this year.

          6. Cheers chaps, I’m convinced. Not seen this dissused before, and I certainly was not thinking it last year.

      3. Complete and utter rubbish.

      4. He’s mighty fine at both.

      5. I don’t know where people get their assumptions about Vettel and then state it as facts. Seb is a qualifier quite alright as well as a very strong racer. He is even better when he has clean air in front of him.

        The worst thing any driver contesting for a win with Vettel can do is to allow him get ahead in a race. In such situations, as I have watched him for so many years, man and machine are one.

        That’s how good the guy is.

  15. With Ferrari’s good racing profile, Vettel has a chance tomorrow provided they keep the tactics simple. If they try to be too cute and attempt to outwit Mercedes, it is not going to work. The only way Ferrari can overhaul the Merc is sticking to their only superiority over the latter – better tyre management. Merc know that very well of course but they do not seem to be able to do much about it.

    Tomorrow Ferrari have to run Vettel on longer stints and somehow get him with better tyres than Hamilton in the last 10 laps without being more than 3 seconds behind. They may not be able to do it but that should be the plan.

    1. My feeling is barring at weirdness at the start, Vettel is going to try and pass Hamilton very early (as he did here to Alonso in 2012). The run up to T4 and then again to T8 are great places. He may not be able to do it, but I suspect Raikkonen will pass Rosberg early on.

  16. Hamilton’s Q2 time was fast enough for pole! My guess is he was sending a big message to Rosberg. Also Alonso was pretty impressive in the Mac/Honda almost had enough pace for Q3.

  17. Monster lap by Lewis.

    Kimi not quite there with Seb yet again.

    Impressive run by Sainz and Hülkenberg.

    Poor Button, he really can’t catch a break this weekend… in FP1 he made it 1 lap in in FP2 barely 3… the only time he got some running he’s shown some serious pace… quite a bit faster than Fernando in FP3…
    Now he didn’t even make it on the track…
    I suspect he could have made the cut to Q3…Now he is starting from all the way back at the first race where finishing in the points could have seriously happened… eh..

    1. Kimi and Seb were exchanging fastest laps throughout the qualification. One tiny mistake somewhere and there is a 2 tenths difference. Could have gone either way.

      1. Hasn’t gone his way so far this season though.

      2. Yeah, that’s my point though…When it counted he unfortunately wasn’t there… yet again. He is definitely close just not “quite there”.

  18. I must say, I’m going to have to reconsider my opinion of Vettel. I’ve always thought of him as a very good driver in a great car.

    He may not have had quite the absolute pace of Ricciardo last year, but I think you have to credit his attitude at Ferrari for much of their improvement this season.

    1. How about they simply built a better car?

      1. Yes, it is always the car, we know that Vettel is an average driver /s

    2. Vettel has himself to blame for the 2014 fiasco. IMO, he never seriously acclimatised to the new setting of the Red Bull with its greater emphasis on engine power and less on aerodynamics. He tried to drive it like his all conquering car from the previous year and did not get anywhere.

      He has now got a package that suits his driving style. At the moment the Ferrari lacks the pace to seriously challenge the Mercs (or at least Hamilton’s Merc) but with upgrades from Canada onwards and an expected 20% rise in horsepower, Vettel would be in a position to challenge Hamilton on equal terms. Till then, he should try to do his best with the package that he now has.

      1. I really do not understand these comments…

        The Ferrari is absolutely equal if not faster (look at the speed on the straights) than Merc. I suggest the Merc may have a little advantage in torque and drivable power at the moment but its small margins. The Ferrari is good on tyres. The Merc better on cooler. It should equal out.

        The small advantage Seb has over Kimi (who is great but never known for super super 1 lap qualy ability) suggests this will come down to the drivers ability. If its a racing scrap – I know where my money is going.

        1. The speed traps will tell you that the Mercs are faster. 335 for Massa, 333 for Hamilton vs 330 for Kimi.

          1. Read your text again… I mean really?

        2. The small advantage Seb has over Kimi ..

          A quarter of a second? That’s the same as Hamiltons’ advantage over Button in qualifying when they were both at Mercedes.

        3. >>>>>

          The Ferrari is absolutely equal if not faster (look at the speed on the straights) than Merc.

          <<<<<

          Then you must know better than all the commentators, techs and others on the grid because most have repeatedly alluded to how the Ferrari cannot match the Merc in pace as things are.

          1. No I accept it may not be as drive able (having raced two and four wheels most of my life I can tell you that is king) but even the blind can see there is not much in it over a series of different race tracks. The speed is there – a few tenths here and there limited by tyres and types of heat and tracks tells us that. At the end of the day the final bit will be the drivers and how the tyres are used. But hell what do I know…? Being an engineer with ‘certificates’ an all. And a working life in such.. Along with my own little pile of trophies of course..

            Fact is the tyres will very likely decide this year… Check bAck at the end – happy to concede if I am wrong…

          2. Drg,

            Absolute speed on straights is meaningless. In fact, the fastest cars on the straight are usually slower over a lap. They trade speed for downforce and lose more time in corners.

            When Red Bull was winning between 2010-2013, they were often among the slowest on the straights. Then again they could get up to their top speed faster out of corners than others could.

            Merc clearly is the fastest car by a long shot. What Vettel and Kimi are showing, is what great drivers can do in a very good car versus a good driver in a great car. (wrt Rosberg).

          3. Una – I know that!

            However it can hardly be said the Ferrari no longer handles or has much worse aero can it?

          4. Uan – and co – have you seen the headline today?

          5. Merc clearly is the fastest car by a long shot. What Vettel and Kimi are showing, is what great drivers can do in a very good car versus a good driver in a great car. (wrt Rosberg).

            Precisely. Let us take Kimi, Hamilton & Vettel out of the equation for a minute. IMO those 3 are all great drivers who are capable of beating each other in cars that suit their driving styles overall. In this sport where fractions of seconds matter and weather 7 track conditions thrown in as variables, the final results do not always fairly reflect drivers’s skills.

            Bur IMO Rosberg, while a very good driver by himself, is not in the league of the other three. He is on par with the likes of Massa, Button etc and lacks the mental cutting edge to go for the kill.

            Also IMO, a driver who is probably a step ahead of everyone in sheer driving skill is Fernando Alonso. But look where circumstances have put him today.

      2. @loup-garou If Ferrari increase horsepower by 20% from Canada they will have a comfortable 1-2 in every remaining race of the season and Hamilton will certainly not be on anything like equal terms – it’ll be a Vettel/Raikkonen whitewash.

        I’m sure that if Ferrari can increase horsepower by 5% they would be delighted and Merc could be in trouble unless they start spending tokens too. Realistically they’re probably looking at more like something around 2-3%.

        1. Yep, and Sauber would be 3-4.

    3. He may not have had quite the absolute pace of Ricciardo last year

      Actually he did. What he did not have last year was a car as reliable as Ricciardo’s. But in the ten or so races where his engine and transmission worked in qualifying he was at least as fast as Dan. Seb managed three front row starts last year, Dan two. Seb qualified on the first or second row eight times, Dan six.

      1. Interesting stats. Backs up my opinion that when the car was capable of being at the sharp end Vettel would be better. Ricciardos 3 wins came out the blue due to Merc issues but if RB had a title winning car last year Vettel would be the one to get it. This is of course personal opinion.

      2. Oh dear. I believe you are quite simply manipulating events to make Vettel look better in qualy than he actually was. Defo reliability played a role but certainly not enough to overturn the 12-7 deficit.

        1. To reverse a 12-7 only 3 races are needed which doesn’t seem all that much. Are there good stats on the number of technical issues per driver somewhere?

        2. Mathematics is not your strong suit.

          1. Neither is it yours. Furthermore, objectivity seems to be lacking as well. In all the races that Seb had mechanical failures you cannot award them to Seb as a ‘victory’ in qualy. I see you are a staunch Vettel supporter though.

        3. Vettel had car trouble in Australia, Spain and Monaco.

          Monaco he would have qualified in front of Ricciardo if not for the KERS failure. In Australia and Spain he didn’t get the chance to fight Ricciardo because his car wouldn’t let him.

          With Monaco alone it would have been 11-8. With the other 2 it would have been 10-9 in Vettel’s favor.

          So yeah, reliability definitely played a part.

          And not just directly. The car troubles Vettel had throughout the season saw Ricciardo doing a lot more mileage. Something pretty important for building confidence and speed. By the time they got to Canada Vettel was already down 5 or 6 GP distances. It was only at the end of the year Vettel managed to gain some mileage on Ricciardo. And that’s when he managed to outrace Ricciardo again. Singapore, Japan, Brazil. All races where Vettel was faster. Then, the last race he had one problem after another again and looked lacklustre once more.

          So yeah, Ricciardo did do a better job but there are a lot of things to consider. It’s not as black and white as a lot of the Vettel detractors like to say.

          Personally, I don’t think Ricciardo would have been ahead of Vettel in the standings if they both enjoyed good reliability.

          1. Also in Monaco, Vettel jumped Ricciardo and was in 3rd when his car gave up the ghost.

            Malaysia was very telling – in the rain, Vettel almost pipped pole from Hamilton and Ric was almost a second behind.

            Vettel got the better of Webber in qualifying and if there’s one thing Webber could do with the best, that was qualify (he lacked some consistency and of course his starts were horrid). I just hope Ric doesn’t have those starting issues. (Bottas seems to be inconsistent with his starts as well).

          2. I think you will find that in Japan Ricciardo was indeed ahead before the SC came out and the race was stopped a few laps early, meaning Vettel got the podium on countback. What alot of you Vettel supporters seem to forget is that Dan lost 18 pts due to disqualification in AUS, retired in Malaysia with a broken front wing/pit stop troubles and he also retired in Brazil while running in the points. It’s almost as if you want to attribute reliability only when it suits Vettel but chose to ignore it when it also suits Daniel.

  19. So what’s Kimi’s excuse this time?

    1. Too much ice cream :D

  20. I’m worried about Daniil Kvyat…if he doesn’t pickup Max or Carlos will be taking his place

    1. I think we may very well be looking at a Perez situation. A perfectly good driver promoted to a team just in time for a big dip in form.

      To be honest I don’t think anyone expected him to straight up challenge Ricciardo and I think Ricciardo’s performance is flattering a car slower than the Toro Rosso is in reality.

      The problem is if Red Bull continue their fast turn over which they can happily afford to, there aren’t any other seats for him.

  21. Kimi and Sauber deserve good results.

  22. Here’s an interesting point to consider. If Vettel has beaten Ricciardo last year he’d still be sat in a Red Bull. He was exactly where he needed to be in the championship to exercise his performance clause.

    Ferrari wanted him for good reason, qualifying performances like this are his bread and butter.

    1. Bonus is the fresh attitude and his genuine love for Ferrari.

  23. Seb is the best setup driver in F1. He knows how to communicate with the engineers.

    He came to Torro Rosso and won a race. They did not win one before that or after that again.

    Red Bull had no wins before Seb went there. He made them a winner. First pole in Chinese Grand Prix and 1st win in 2010. Four F1 championships in a row.

    Now let’s see what happens at Ferrari. 1st win already. This is not luck. It is hard work and knowledge on how to setup a car.

  24. I should add that Seb’s stint at Torro Rosso gave the team it’s first and only pole position, podium and victory at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

  25. I guess if you want to get away with breaking rules and find ways of steering the sport into your favour then Ferrari is the team to be at.

    Lewis isn’t leaving Merc anytime soon though.

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