Hamilton wins, Raikkonen snatches second in Bahrain

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015Lewis Hamilton took his third win in four races to extend his championship lead after an enthralling battle of strategy between Mercedes and Ferrari in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

But there was late drama as Kimi Raikkonen snatched second place from Nico Rosberg with two laps remaining after both Mercedes were struck with a brake-by-wire problem in the closing laps.

Before the race even began, Jenson Button’s torrid weekend came to an early end when McLaren discovered yet another problem with Button’s car that the team were unable to fix, meaning he was unable to take the start.

There was even more trouble as the formation lap began when Felipe Massa’s Williams failed to leave his grid slot. Williams recovered the car to the pit lane and were able to get the car restarted by the time the field formed up for the start.

As the lights went out, Hamilton lead away but Rosberg immediately challenged Vettel for second, allowing Raikkonen behind to take third place by driving around the outside of the Mercedes.

It did not take long for Rosberg to begin pressuring Raikkonen and the Mercedes forcefully reclaimed third place with a dive down the inside of the Ferrari into Turn One.

Hamilton begin to open up a small lead at the front, before Vettel too found himself with his mirrors full of Mercedes and Rosberg was able to pass the Ferrari in similar fashion to Raikkonen by squeezing Vettel at the apex of Turn One.

At the first round of stops, Kimi Raikkonen was the only one of the front runners to opt for Medium tyres. Rosberg lost position to Vettel, but was able to repass the Ferrari soon after.

Despite running on the harder tyres, Raikkonen showed remarkable pace and ran consistently quicker than the front three.

As the front three of Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel stopped for the second and final time, Raikkonen continued into the lead on a long middle stint.

Vettel successfully undercut Rosberg yet again, but when the Ferrari driver came under renewed pressure, Vettel ran wide at the final corner and damaged his front wing, forcing him into an unscheduled stop.

Raikkonen eventually pitted for the final time with 17 laps to go to for a set of Softs to attempt to chase down the Mercedes. The Ferrari driver was able to take seconds out of the Silver Arrow’s lead every lap, eventually closing up to Rosberg with around four laps remaining.

With two laps to go, Rosberg suddenly ran wide and Raikkonen was through into second place. But what looked like an error by Rosberg turned out to be a brake-by-wire problem as Lewis Hamilton reported similar braking issues in the lead.

Luckily for Mercedes, there was not enough laps left for Raikkonen to close the gap at Hamilton ahead and the world champion duly crossed the line to take his third win in four races with Raikkonen and Rosberg rounding out the podium.

After his last extra stop, Vettel easily caught Valtteri Bottas but was unable to take back fourth from the Williams driver.

There was drama for Daniel Ricciardo as the Red Bull’s Renault engine blew up out of the final corner, but the Australian was still able cross the line in sixth.

Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the points, while Fernando Alonso was just 3.9 seconds from scoring McLaren’s first points of the season in 11th.

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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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    100 comments on “Hamilton wins, Raikkonen snatches second in Bahrain”

    1. Forza Kimi! What a drive, the only one from TOP-4 with no mistakes. Who knows what will happen when Kimi will have perfect quali as well

      1. Eum, when did Lewis make a mistake?

        1. he ran wide in at turn 4 (?) in the opening laps allowing vettel to close up a lot

          1. It was a problem at the Pit Stop, wasn’t?

            1. Yes Lewis had a 5 second gap before the pit stops but that was wiped out because of a front tyre wheel nut problem at the stops. However he did lockup in the first few laps allowing Vettel to get close.

          2. Gosh. Shocking.

      2. Uhh, what mistake did Hamilton and Bottas do? And even Rosberg mistake is caused by brake issue. The only person doing driver error in top position is Vettel.

        1. @sonicslv Then obviously Rosberg didn’t take care of his brakes, but pushed too much.

          1. @huhhii Hamilton also reporting brake issue around the same time. I also don’t hear any radio message telling both driver they overheat their brakes, as far as I remember Rosberg is instructed to save the brakes in preparation to defend from Kimi, but they never say the brakes is overheating or has apparent issues.

            1. @sonicslv: I think his avatar explains his bias!

          2. @huhii Obviously Ricciardo made the mistake of not taking care of his ICE enough, so none of it was Renault’s or RBR’s fault.

            What kind of logic is that?

            1. @davidnotcoulthard I’m not areeing with above but they were warning Rosberg from the very start. Between overtaking Vettel and Kimi he was even instructed to take some cool down time.

            2. @xtwl If there were warnings to ROS…I missed it, then :(

              But the other Team Brackley also had brake issues if memory serves me (I think it does) so I’d think it’s fair to put the blame entirely off the drivers.

              Of course, that just my opinion.

            3. @davidnotcoulthard Yes Rosberg was told several times from the pit wall to “save fuel for the brakes” (coded message to keep others from knowing that the brakes were the real issue?) and “manage the brakes for a while before attacking”. Since HAM was up front and not being particularly pushed he was able to do that, at least enough that it delayed his brake problems longer, but with all the fighting ROS was having to do, he wasn’t able to do enough. Brakes were a problem at times last year for Merc, hopefully Ferrari will be able to push them enough to make the Mercs vulnerable at that point at another track, say Canada.

            4. @davidnotcoulthard My name is written with two H’s ;)

              I also heard Mercedes telling Rosberg to take care of his brakes. ICE breaking in Ricciardo’s car has nothing to do with this.

              Not saying the brakes failing is Rosberg’s fault, but as a driver he should have done more to save the brakes and minimize the severity of the problem.

            5. @huhhii Missed both team Brackley message and the 3rd H in your username, then! Sorry.

      3. well actually,kimi started the race weak,but finished strong.opposite for vettel.

    2. What do they say? Just one more lap…

    3. … Rosberg was able to pass the Ferrari in similar fashion to Raikkonen by squeezing Vettel at the apex of Turn One.

      You mean by divebombing their inside leaving Vettel and Kimi nowhere to go showing once again he doesn’t know how to properly outbrake someone AND have the advantage into the next corner.

      1. Nothing wrong with Rosberg’s overtakes.

        1. And if They would even tried to stop Rosberg this would had happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz7DLRpav18

          The pass on vettel was ok, the one on Kimi was a bit too harsh, never left kimi any room on the exit.

      2. I don’t know, that seems the best tactic at that corner. If you go up the inside and wait that long to turn in it doesn’t give the other car the opportunity to swing in from out wide and try to pass on the right through turn 2- it compromises the turn-in of both cars so that the driver with track position has the advantage.

        1. Yes it the best tactic but it robs the fans of the beauty of seeing a driver doing the undercut.

          It’s a sad way to overtake, if you know what I mean.

          1. Too right, what with Verstappen the last race and Rosberg and Nasr this. Getting really tired of these drivers making messy overtakes that slow down their opponents (penalties FIA?). More DRS drive pasts, undercuts and overcuts please!

          2. it robs the fans of the beauty of seeing a driver doing the undercut

            Yeah, how selfish of Rosberg to be overtaking so that he actually takes the place immediately rather than intentionally draw it out over several corners.

      3. ? It worked didn’t it?
        Rosberg deserves some credit from the aggression this race. The top 3 all deserved their places, Vettel was out of form compared to qualifying.

        1. ps. that reply was to @PorscheF1, got muddled in the post.

      4. nothing wrong with hanging someone out to dry. they were well executed moves from rosberg. and he also made sure they couldn’t switch back and get a better exit.

      5. Its the very definition of outbraking pass. You should realized outbraking someone is getting inside corner, brake later so you have your nose ahead in the apex and properly turn in and get out in the racing line. Look last week what Verstappen does, its the same.

      6. Normal overtakes

    4. Can’t help but think if they pitted Kimi 2 laps earlier, he might have won if he had the fuel that is.

    5. Fanatstic race! Ruthless overtakes by Rosberg but a sustainably good drive by Raikonnen. Not so impressive by Vettel and a lot more impressive by Alonso. Well, all in all, just 2 laps prior to finish my prediction took a huge toss! Nevertheless, best race so far this season.

      1. i wonder how happy mclaren would feel if ricciardo’s engine blew about 10 seconds earlier

        1. Renault just can’t catch a brake. Can they?

        2. wouldnt matter i dont think, they were a lap down so they would have still been cclassified behind him. i think anyway, please correct me if i am wrong

          1. You are correct. Ric finished lap 56 before any of the cars that were lapped and that was their last lap. Ric would have classified 8th if he didn’t manage to finish lap 57.

    6. On a side note, HAM should have sprayed the girls on the stage, just to be fair.

      1. Next Daily Mail headline: ‘Hamilton racist towards middle eastern women’.

      2. I was really hoping he’d magically appear with 3 glasses from somewhere and politely offer them a drink (before swigging from the bottle himself).

    7. I also felt that with Rosberg brake failure he got an excuse to let Raikonnen pass. I felt raikonnen would have passed him before the end of the race.

    8. It was a good race but I ultimately expected more. I would have enjoyed this race more if the camera man was more focused on the action than on the boring couple that were only following each other. We missed a lot of overtakes in the start, we only saw the Rosebrg ones live, we had to depend on replays to see how entertaining the race was behind. Unbelievable director.
      Also, is it me or the cars look slower than last year? The start looked like it was in slowmotion. And also the race was ok and there good moments, but I cannot understand why the racing is more boring than last year. It is suppose to be a an evolution of what we saw in 2014, but it looks like 2014 was actually 2015 and 2015 is 2014. Weird.
      Looking forward to Spain already.

      1. Yeah, the race direction was pretty terrible today. I’m not sure if the most cringeworthy part was the long shot of the s/f straight so he could pan to the woman standing next to him, or cutting away from a battle for a shot of ‘Rock Star Guy’.

      2. Actually the cars were faster this year, Rosberg’s pole lap last year (1:33.185) would have only been good enough for 4th this year.

    9. Interesting interview from Vettel. Said he made too many mistakes and never alluded to a problem with the car, good on him.

      1. He usually doesn’t blame the car if it is his fault

        1. He doesn’t usually blame the car even if it is the cars fault.

    10. Magic Kimi, what a drive! Great overtakes by Rosberg, great defending from Bottas and a great win for Hamilton.

    11. Very surprising drive by Kimi today. Great middle stint. Didnt think he still had it in him!

      1. @mstanfield
        It’s not so long since he was doing races like this at Lotus. He didn’t really do anything spectacular anyway, I don’t remember him having to make an overtake other than Rosberg leaving the door open for him. I don’t know how much time the Merc’s were losing to their brake issues but it’s possible Raikkonen could still have finished behind Vettel if he hadn’t gone off (assuming Vettel could have passed Rosberg).

    12. Very happy for Kimi, but this P2 was kinda lucky. I mean, some problems for Vettel and for Rosberg helped him decisively in my opinion. RAI was significantly faster than ROS, but once he was ~1s behind ROS, he spent 2 laps behind ROS and it didn’t look at all like he had the speed to pass him on merit. So, it makes me wonder if RAI would have passed even VET although significantly faster. Vettel not being able to pass Bottas, although significantly faster until the moment he was like 1s behind Bottas, makes me believe that RAI wouldn’t have managed to pass VET and/or ROS if all of them would have had a troublefree race.

      1. Kimi had bags of pace! He would easily have passed Seb on track and it was only the traffic that made it look like he was matched by Nico. He was 1 to 1.5 seconds faster than both Mercs for 15 laps. Seb wouldn’t have stood a chance.

        1. Kimi had bags of pace! He would easily have passed Seb on track and it was only the traffic that made it look like he was matched by Nico. He was 1 to 1.5 seconds faster than both Mercs for 15 laps. Seb wouldn’t have stood a chance. Reason Seb couldn’t pass Bottas was because he destroyed his tyres in traffic (post race interview.) Kimi’s tyres were better than everyone else’s.

          1. What traffic?! When VET went out of the pits from the last pitstop, he was right behind BOT, just that he was like 10 seconds behind. He was faster than BOT indeed, he caught him… but couldn’t pass him too.

            1. Not sure but I’m quoting Vettel in the post race pen. (Sky F1 Craig Slater interview.)

            2. I was wondering what the difference was with Lewis over 2014 and now I know! Last year Nico was a close contender on Saturdays but this year he’s been blown away. Sky F1 post race interview with with Lewis. “As I came round turn 13 I remember thinking I love this car!”
              Lewis is perfectly in tune with the W06 like Vettel was in 2013. I don’t think anyone can beat him unless Ferrari develop a better package. Nico certainly can’t beat him in the same car. His only vulnerability this year will be set up interruptions as in Malaysia or car failures. It’s going to be won by September.

      2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
        19th April 2015, 18:33

        Not sure why F1 fans always dwell on the what if’s. Kimi made the best of what did actually happen and got the best out of his race. It wasn’t luck that got him in the position to even think about taking 2nd, it was that stint on the harder tyre.

        1. @weeniebeenie Rosberg his mistake allowed Kimi to take second. Had that mistake not happend he could’ve been stuck behind him in similar fashion Bottas was behind Vettel although Vettel had much better tires and pace.

          1. @xtwl Rosberg was on Medium tires as was Vettel. Bottas was on softs as was Kimi. Reason why Vet couldn’t pass Bottas and Kimi would have certainly taken Rosberg.

            1. @evered7 Was Bottas on softs? Didn’t he do soft/soft/hard?

              Either way we have seen plenty of faster cars struggle behind slower cars, even in DRS. There was absolute no certainty Kimi was going to pass Rosberg.

            2. @xtwl Official F1Live screen at the end shows MSMSM as the tire choice for the top 5.

              It was not a mistake by Rosberg but a brake failure. So it was only a matter of time before Kimi usurped him for P2.

            3. @evered7 What? That can’t be right? Hamilton and Rosberg did SSM, Kimi went SMS and I’m pretty sure Bottas didn’t stop 4 times did he?

            4. @xtwl Purely going by the timing sheet and the graphics about the gap on the bottom of the screens: Bottas was on softs. But looking at the car itself, it seems he was on meds.

              Also I remember Kimi being faster than Bottas on different tires for second stint. So the graphics must be wrong. Bottas was on meds for final stint then.

              Sorry for the confusion :(

      3. Kimi did very well to snatch P2, but obviously circumstances helped a lot. My impression is that the middle stint helped him a lot, Hamilton was managing his tyres and he wasn’t going very fast, so Kimi was able to close the gap quite nicely. Then Vettel put a bit of pressure on Rosberg with the undercuts and that helped Kimi. Finally the problem with the brakes.

        Of course you need a bit of luck to beat even one Mercedes. They’re still a bit too fast for Ferrari, even if the pace on Friday looked similar.

        1. @yobo01 It’s not luck when you change your set up to be more competitive despite maybe having some problems with the brakes.

      4. @corrado-dub Both situations illustrate very well how much the aero problems encountered when about 1 sec behind degrades the performance of the car. ROS when behind another has the advantage of the Merc package, but when he is behind an equal car ie HAM, he has the same problem of loss of performance when in that 1-1.5 sec gap and that makes it very difficult to get past. Luck is very much a part of racing. You could very well say that Lewis had a lucky win because he was lucky that his brake problems did not happen a lap earlier– if they had, Kimi would have passed him too.

    13. best race so far this season, passing fighting all the way through the field,
      nice race Lewis, some excellent moves Rosb, and Kimi great to see you back on the podium. Vet way too many mistakes for a number one driver, Botta awesome race holding out Vet, Ric what a race, Alonso shame you missed out on getting a the first point for Honda.
      all up very enjoyable, how F1 should be..

    14. Pretty exciting and gripping race that was! Apart from the lockup in the early laps Hamilton made no mistakes. I was beginning to think that Vettel was Hamilton’s biggest threat for this championship but again I had to be reminded that in wheel to wheel Vettel is not as racy as Hamilton/Alonso/Ricciardo. One lap (qualy) and race management are definitely his strong points. So this leaves Hamilton with a heft 27 point margin over Rosberg after just 4 races, if anyone had any doubt about how mechanical gremlins can impact a driver then look no further than comparing Ham’s ’14 season vs ’15 so far.

      I have to say that unless something very very unusual, like Ferrari suddenly gaining a sec over the Mercs or Hamilton having ’12 like reliability, Hamilton seems to have this championship in the bag. Vettel has to start paying attention to Kimi, sure in qualy he’ll probably be ahead more often than not but in the races Kimi is just a different beast. On that note my driver of the day is definitely Kimi. Hunted Nico down and proved that there is still life in the old dog yet.

      1. I was beginning to think that Vettel was Hamilton’s biggest threat for this championship but again I had to be reminded that in wheel to wheel Vettel is not as racy as Hamilton/Alonso/Ricciardo.

        I think Vettel can be quite good in wheel-to-wheel battles, but he isn’t like that every race. His overtakes in Austria last year were pretty good and he managed to finish third while starting last in Abu Dhabi a few years back … but today, he was nowhere.

        1. Silverstone 2014 vs Alonso too.

          1. No. He Vettel was in a much faster car at that time and was caught napping by Alonso who overtook him with his slower car. That Vettel took so long to get the place back was a tribute to Alonso’s defending skills.

        2. I agree there are much better racers out there (including his old team mate Webber) in the sense of dueling on track. However, I do think Vettel is capable of some outstanding – and outstandingly brave – single passes. For that he gets my admiration.

    15. I have never seened raikkonen comfortably outpaced fernando alonso last year.but in last two races raikkonen has pace advantage over vettel.is it raikkonen improved or vettel is overrated?any way good drive by kimi.but again Lewis Hamilton’s merc is out of reach.he is in a league of his own.

      1. “in last two races raikkonen has pace advantage over vettel”

        1) It would be great if F1 fans would discover the existence of different tyre compounds and race strategies.
        2) Vettel was faster than Raikkonen in the Chinese GP even after allowing for (1).

      2. I think RAI improved… simply because last year’s Ferrari did not suit his driving style.

      3. t raikkonen improved or vettel is overrated?

        Grasping at every opportunity to take a punch at Vettel? That is so 2013.

        1. Vettel… “I was trying too hard” He wanted to deliver for the team and overdid it. I hardly think over enthusiasm can be interpreted as overrated! 4 wdc and top 3 earner but yes we armchair viewers know better than the entire F1 paddock! Kimi has found his 2013 form and Seb had a rare off day.

      4. Raikkonen seems very sensitive to the car suiting him or not.

        Like in 2008 when Raikkonen was leading the championship in the first part of the season. Then they changed the car to Massa’s likings and Raikkonen was hopeless in it.

        In the end they changed the car back to what it was before and Raikkonen was fighting for the lead again at Spa. By then he was too far back and had to take too much risk to get back in contention though.

    16. Great drive from Raikkonen – but… the question is consistency and application when things aren’t looking so rosy. Will that change this year?

      1. Raikkonen’s problem has always been motivation. He is so naturally gifted that I think that in the past he hasn’t worked as hard as some other drivers on the aspects of his job that he doesn’t naturally like. Don’t forget he got tired of the whole F1 rat race and bowed out for a while.

        However, this year I believe that he really is enjoying his time with Vettel and Ferrari and wants to stay in F1 and to drive with Vettel next year. Arrivabene has been very clear with him that it will depend on his results, and I think that this has and will continue to give him the motivation to pull out all the stops to compete for his job, maybe for the first time ever in his career.

        1. Strictly speaking he got thrown out of Ferrari in favour of Alonso and didn’t have a top team option to go to. In F1 once you move down the grid you don’t come back. If Lotus hadn’t had such a good car he wouldn’t have been able to get back to Ferrari. But yes you are right. A for skill, C for effort! Nice to see him back!

        2. @slowhands That’s what I was getting at, yes. He was undoubtedly motivated this weekend because of Arrivabene’ ‘pep talk’ and his chasing down of Rosberg was impressive (though he got taken fairly easily by ROS in the first stint, I thought). The question is whether he can go after those third places in the same way as Vettel on weekends when the circuit is less favourable to Ferrari. Vediamo.

        3. Seriously, every single person commenting on professionals and dare to mention motivation, you guys need to get a grip – no the armchair!!!

          Keep your excuses to yourself. Trying to drag people down to your level, what a bunch of loosers. Go become an F1 driver or achieve something grandiose, you’ll learn to appreciate great people and their determination rather than coming with excuses why you sit on your bum and bashing others people efforts.

          Rant of, nothing personal. All the best!

    17. I wasn’t too impressed with the GP2 style changes of direction from the cars. This new crop of drivers are rough with that and incidents aren’t too far away.

      Great drives from the top 3 drivers while Seb had a messy drive today. Once again Romain has been impressive while Pastor is simply a liability! These new drivers are far impressive than him and he is only good as his dollars.

      Special shoutouts to Perez and Kyvat.

    18. Very uncharacteristic drive from Rosberg and Vettel. While Rosberg giving us a nice surprise, Vettel looks like a rookie. He has lot of unforced error and generally not doing anything worthy to talk about in good way. His undercut also because superb job of Ferrari crew (2.3s and 2.4s stop compared to 3.4s stop from Mercedes). At the end of the race he never give any serious threat to Bottas although maybe he still have damage on the car that not repaired after the wing change. What I don’t get is why Ferrari not giving him softs on his last stop when they confident softs is the better tire like they give for Kimi last stint.

      1. ROS stops were 2.5s, not 3.4s

      2. @sonicslv The challenge of driving fast in F1 is that you have to push to the limit, but if you push too hard then you overdrive the car. I think Vettel felt before the race that a win was possible, and because he knows that the conditions have to be just right for Ferrari to have a chance to beat Merc, he may feel like he has to grab the opportunity when it arises. It can be easy to push too hard in a situation like that. The challenge in such a situation is to drive at the maximum of your skills and package without pushing over the line. In his post race interview he admitted that the errors he made were as a result of pushing too hard. It’s been more than a year since Vettel had a car that was suited to him that he could win with. To drive a car that has a chance to win, you have to drive “within yourself” as they say, because overdriving mistakes are much more likely in a fast car than a mid-pack one. Like Malaysia, Ferrari had a chance of winning this one “fair and square” and Vettel got a little too excited by that idea. It happens to the best. He will learn from this and be back.

      3. Give Vettel a dominant car, clean air, pole/second row and he is untouchable. However in wheel to wheel and when under pressure he looks less assured. This is why many people, myself included, still have some lingering doubts about him. The stats don’t show it but Kimi looks to be more solid on a smooth weekend in race pace at least. I have no doubts Vettel has the legs on Kimi over one lap but I think in the races this is going to be one battle to watch. That said if Seb is always ahead in qualy Kimi will have his work cut out to overtake Vettel particularly given how difficult the new low noses make it to follow another F1 car.

        1. Yes. Drivers who are good wheel to wheel have a sixth sense about how much to compensate for loss of downforce, dirty air, dirty line, tire status, etc, and this translates into calculating where to go to the brakes in the braking zone. When following Bottas you could see just how much Vettel was understeering on corner entry– he missed a ton of apexes trying to close up under braking, while Bottas stayed very cool and kept his lines and inputs very clean. Trying to close up under braking is very tempting when chasing, but in a downforce-critical car you may not be able to do that when following so close. You have to think ahead and figure out an alternate strategy, maybe pull out to pass in an unexpected area to try to force a mistake from the car ahead, brake early on a corner so that you can get a better exit than the other car, pull out of the slip stream of the car ahead so that you have maximum airflow over your own wings in the braking and turn in zone. Got to tip your hat to Bottas, he did not make a single mistake under sustained pressure from Seb over a ton of laps.

          1. I refer you to Malaysia multi 21 and Silverstone 2014. This not good at wheel to wheel thing is about 2 or 3 years out of date!

            1. The fact that you know the only 2 instances where Vettel actually did some racing says it all really …

          2. +1. I thought Bottas was pretty impressive today, when Seb caught up to him I thought he was toast but clearly not. You are right though and I think even Seb admitted that “he tried too hard” today.

          3. he was in no position to carry out such a surprise attack, his best shot was braking deep at the end of the DRS-zone.

    19. I have an idea Lewis’ version of the contract might get Toto’s signature this coming week. Ferrari could easily be thinking if they could subract him from Mercedes’ performance and add him to their own that would bridge the gap. And Merc might be thinking the same.

      Merc might be able to get Alonso, or they might not. In addition to which he’s not looking actually pacier than Jenson so far, even if his intensity makes him more effective.

      I’m so glad to see Kimi have a good race. And Seb be so cool about his mistakes – he’s becoming more liekable all the time recently.

      1. McLaren/Honda are so completely dire it’s difficult to tell where Alonso’s skill level is just now. My guess is Rosberg would be outperforming him for a while at least. So losing Hamilton would be a major step backward.

    20. Just before the season began the general consensus was Hamilton needed Mercedes more than Mercedes needed him.

      It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Put a different driver in his car today, and Vettel not being so uncharacteristically off form and that would have been a Ferrari 1-2.

      I don’t think his contact is going to be signed until close to the end of the season and I hope he heeds Vettel’s example and has a decent performance clause in there.

    21. In my opinion, this is the big difference between Mercedes and Ferrari: while the first is very very good in clear air, it still stays good in “hot” air because of having a better aero package.The other one is very very good in clean air (like we saw yesterday with Kimi and in Malaysia with Vettel), but it just can’t work properly in “hot” air.

      That’s were Ferrari needs to work more, right now to catch them, because in terms of PU, I think it’s enough with DRS. But Mercedes aero package is just a masterpiece of art really, and if someone wants to fight with them they will need to work a lot in this area.

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