Mercedes “compromised” Rosberg to help Hamilton

2015 Spanish Grand Prix lap charts

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Mercedes revealed they deliberately delayed Nico Rosberg’s final pit stop to reduce the chance of him and Lewis Hamilton crossing paths late in the race.

Spanish Grand Prix lap chart

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

Nico Rosberg1111111111111111211111111111111111111111111111222221111111111111111
Lewis Hamilton2333333333333365443333333333333335444443322222111112222222222222222
Sebastian Vettel3222222222222224332222222222222222222222244333333333333333333333333
Valtteri Bottas4444444444444433554444444444444443333334433444444444444444444444444
Carlos Sainz Jnr5778891011111111111111101413131413121211111111111111111111111111111110109988131313111111111111111111111111111111111010109
Max Verstappen6666777788888101413121212111010910101010101010101010101010101115151414141111111010101010101010101010101010101011111111
Kimi Raikkonen7555555555555542125555555555555554555555556666655555555555555555555
Daniil Kvyat81313131313131313131316161515151414131211111099999999999999991211101010109999999999999999999910
Felipe Massa9887666666666657666666666666666666666666665555566666666666666666666
Daniel Ricciardo1010111110109999999913111010988877777777777777777777777777777777777777777777
Romain Grosjean119991111111010101010108861111119998888888888888888888111199888888888888888888888
Pastor Maldonado121110109888777777712191818181818181818181715151515151515151514141313121212141716
Fernando Alonso1312121212121212121212121212987777771414141416
Jenson Button141718181818181818181717201918181717171717171717171718161717171717171717171617171717171716171616161616161616161616161616161616161616
Felipe Nasr151414141414141414141413151717171616161513131212121212121212121212121212121211111515151514141313131212121212121212121212121212121212
Marcus Ericsson16151515151515151515151413131198810161515151515151313131313131313131313131210109988101515151514141414141414141414141414141414
Nico Hulkenberg171817171717171717171820171616161515151414141313131314171616161616161616151514141313131212121212121315151515151515151515151515151515
Sergio Perez181616161616161616161615141412109981016161616161615141414141414141414161716161616161615151414141413131313131313131313131313131313
Will Stevens19202020202020202020201818181919182019191919191919191918181818181818181818181818181818181818171717171717171717171717171717171717
Roberto Merhi201919191919191919191919192020202019202020202020202020191919191919191919191919191919191919191818181818181818181818181818181818

Spanish Grand Prix race chart

While Rosberg led the Spanish Grand Prix as he pleased using a conventional two-stop strategy, Hamilton dropped behind the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel at the start and had to switch to a three-stopper to get ahead.

Rosberg made his final pit stop on lap 45. Shortly before that Mercedes had asked him on the radio to stay out for an extra two laps. The reason for that is clear to see in the graph below – had Rosberg pitted on his scheduled lap, he would have rejoined the track directly in front of Hamilton, who at the time was trying to pull away from Vettel.

“As Lewis was building the gap he needed ahead of Sebastian in his third stint, we actually compromised Nico a little bit by leaving him out longer than optimum before his second stop,” explained Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff.

“This made sure the two cars didn’t trip over each other on track, while running different strategies, and gave Lewis the clear air he needed to build the gap to secure P2.”

Could Hamilton have held off Rosberg by staying out on his hard tyres and not making a third pit stop? This would have involved running 34 laps – more than half the race distance – on a single set of hard tyres. The longest any other driver covered was 28 laps, which both the Toro Rosso drivers did, and their lap times were still reasonable at the end of their stints.

Of course this would only have paid off for Hamilton had Rosberg been unable to pass him while enjoying the advantage of tyres which would have been 14 laps fresher. As DRS made overtaking quite easy between drivers on different strategies, it’s not hard to see why Hamilton might have thought that wasn’t worth a gamble.

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

Nico Rosberg0000000000000003.285000000000000000000000000000002.6422.7132.9772.2441.8020000000000000000
Lewis Hamilton2.3842.8373.4243.74.2845.2546.016.9647.9897.9218.0438.40611.85331.47126.76410.5926.6197.1026.8926.9587.4537.5927.7857.4677.6348.0967.3638.2159.10210.26411.23515.32733.41531.01928.83527.43425.85125.20825.36125.21824.62624.41623.03622.29516.779000001.76120.64819.9418.91718.14217.27616.30715.06113.63913.0512.87313.35714.18414.9391617.551
Sebastian Vettel1.1741.6822.2442.7323.1494.3284.7535.5176.6767.0957.2957.6787.76911.2524.6699.0845.4995.8816.1566.3326.6546.7636.8476.4516.3126.7066.1117.2168.0678.7959.58310.30310.52610.58611.36112.16612.81613.69615.03220.14738.15838.12137.56537.17932.86718.64220.13421.71422.74623.28622.71524.3827.34529.78732.08634.70337.08538.58140.09540.88441.19542.13142.9744.08245.24145.342
Valtteri Bottas3.4464.2085.1615.9916.9968.4469.61910.84612.21313.00513.68214.54515.22515.71815.89718.76315.2315.12315.74316.35616.59817.07117.38317.14717.13517.6417.03617.73118.70919.26719.68720.46220.82721.12821.61523.05623.69224.82927.49329.21330.93636.0853.49652.20846.9731.20732.34333.35534.03534.22333.03434.12736.32138.13840.26142.84544.90946.81248.61450.47951.79953.64155.42157.16258.47459.217
Carlos Sainz Jnr5.8268.81812.39815.45919.00423.30927.06229.84932.97235.49337.91940.51843.00247.99965.09651.73950.53354.24656.92159.88962.29764.45666.42968.18369.88671.85773.10675.95878.63180.99583.16985.59487.22589.06290.23493.44495.19796.72998.292100.099101.959107.075127.046127.884125.89111.369113.243115.587117.352118.923118.968121.238124.82128.189131.672136.52138.871140.818142.605143.961146.948148.117149.857151.761154.667
Max Verstappen5.1797.45810.10713.65415.98518.71521.55225.05927.86430.2832.94535.12341.6664.1762.6349.61348.29150.77753.17555.66258.12160.98864.50966.66568.67370.88272.40574.63876.76579.30581.1383.25385.1986.84588.30190.53296.269116.179118.566120.2121.831124.055125.266125.936122.205107.382109.695111.906113.38116.373116.949119.876123.736126.799129.601131.987134.663137.1139.331141.329146.714150.021152.105154.457157.246
Kimi Raikkonen4.2925.7326.9358.1279.30310.91312.25713.57114.92215.59916.14916.75217.52918.00314.76701.04720.67621.72723.14424.24725.2326.10326.31726.94427.77927.78628.9229.95630.49231.07732.00633.09834.11135.00435.86736.25337.09638.71440.5945.44962.53261.64959.99254.36839.64739.55439.82839.8439.76538.86339.09440.51841.62742.96844.29245.77947.39349.29751.12752.44854.26856.0857.91259.23360.002
Daniil Kvyat8.67312.74116.2619.49622.8726.6629.81532.71536.25139.29345.32565.83866.66267.43766.19352.70851.03952.69454.70756.47958.8461.58162.81464.17965.73967.46168.4270.4873.03174.96876.64778.90180.76182.39183.79485.65887.36192.997113.99114.278116.576117.467120.043120.575117.009102.78105.443108.016109.468110.537112.49114.9117.988122.745125.731128.53131.732134.447137139.317141.593144.661149.227151.349156.152
Felipe Massa6.3059.26410.81412.0513.69915.03716.5517.88819.57620.57821.4622.46223.2527.48742.52126.90323.48624.1324.67225.6326.62427.56728.26528.50129.14129.86129.76730.80732.46133.44734.28838.8657.17355.97655.10854.91154.16254.18354.85155.17555.37956.18656.88656.69153.52339.38246.3966.03665.88165.50963.60764.21765.84867.2368.63570.42871.7472.58673.14173.62874.23676.06777.77379.5680.35281.314
Daniel Ricciardo7.3710.97714.29916.99319.62521.93424.0826.37729.09630.90833.93935.80240.34359.65957.25842.69340.63642.15444.73646.2548.06649.60950.7751.58852.75654.41955.12157.10359.11660.66661.94363.39964.43765.34166.14867.66668.77170.46772.25974.25475.86280.987102.975102.92999.19684.65886.5888.82892.32595.05394.88296.49198.784100.725102.501104.043108.28109.622111.095112.18113.328115.059116.688118.056119.297
Romain Grosjean6.7829.69312.93517.72320.53423.76725.89928.18730.86132.56535.34937.70939.66840.87142.37447.25644.64646.03547.65850.01651.53853.12554.25755.18256.61358.54359.53161.39963.49465.30866.95268.84970.22771.17572.27674.10275.44477.16879.33485.199117.253118.101118.349118.434115.7100.926102.971105.364107.531109.132110.528113.351116.756120.01123.196127.797130.813133.352135.889138.252140.264142.987144.883146.606148.956
Pastor Maldonado7.74110.34113.62315.94217.45419.50622.22423.78626.127.77629.18530.76532.33337.85660.15377.28175.06276.50578.38480.08782.31184.3386.1587.68990.10493.89294.80696.79299.007104.077105.656107.148108.042109.131109.914111.352112.372113.953115.845118.71120.702122.877128.314149.187152.978
Fernando Alonso8.36612.06315.55918.66921.72725.28928.49331.43434.55937.21739.90242.58844.96447.13546.08233.1632.2635.0537.8240.6747.04969.16570.9973.16775.52882.754
Jenson Button10.53615.60719.86223.23326.85230.82434.55738.03341.57344.44450.56773.48976.38278.58778.15665.49165.39168.43971.81775.11578.53281.68284.28986.85489.53894.962100.636121.969123.048123.868124.783127.308128.113129.337129.929130.946131.796133.378134.797136.615138.081139.686140.685144.969161.508145.951147.279148.801149.606150.379149.532151.074153.347155.746158.554162.478164.659166.788168.689170.256171.837173.996175.747177.952180.386
Felipe Nasr9.20713.3817.0820.25123.63527.61230.92833.79837.24140.41443.44749.5569.99970.90168.84854.89853.65455.93358.46461.22363.51565.84368.14270.04771.87774.13975.27877.82780.18482.81485.14687.89590.09393.64595.50197.61799.688102.331108.775130.621130.937132.027132.582132.811129.263114.991117.397120.387123.038124.143125.951128.982133.662137.268140.673143.856147.561150.289153.175155.609157.751160.379163.258166.377169.406
Marcus Ericsson9.58113.88217.68820.8424.32528.24631.51434.68438.01241.17444.09446.95948.88951.00950.12337.17536.58943.5766.16667.03568.56870.5972.4574.35176.58679.60180.04982.17984.35686.54288.990.76494.20595.65296.95999.117101.005103.11105.616107.334109.034110.957112.523115.858119.025124.812127.076129.628132.88134.362134.583136.732140.138143.736146.932149.876153.021155.811158.615161.578164.298167.444172.071175.262178.987
Nico Hulkenberg10.87915.02619.03722.30725.55429.49132.93236.43239.66245.58867.22268.49269.53570.26168.18954.18552.73655.26957.6961.99364.86767.16569.48671.84474.44280.646100.727101.991103.546104.783106.271107.933108.923109.842110.696112.565113.564115.131117.968119.375121.4123.626126.154127.535124.859112.769116.264119.641125.917145.145143.757145.056147.442150.21152.428154.524156.544157.985159.837162.196165.144169.143172.53175.825179.588
Sergio Perez10.10814.43918.30121.44424.90528.81932.17435.4438.90641.85844.76847.64549.89552.05950.80937.96337.68541.2747.77268.25170.10172.13974.14675.85578.37381.13182.71985.74588.25891.19895.22298.29100.612104.837107.13112.642132.181132.233133.006134.37134.809135.826136.271136.725133.345119.428122.223126.694128.691131.996132.433134.915138.423141.807145.109148.71152.023154.933158.027160.922163.62166.927171.123174.578178.334
Will Stevens12.34918.05323.76928.93434.28739.62744.75650.16355.62960.54365.44171.12676.08481.19482.92276.219101.146105.194110.452114.965121.494126.328131.037134.951139.399143.993147.465154.423160.037164.958169.789179.626205.373210.426214.07217.907221.574227.593231.663235.626241.398247.273250.856254.218254.583243.259253.317278.387281.247283.976285.688290.754296.589301.649306.717315.282324.019328.914333.581338.091342.471348.646354.229
Roberto Merhi11.94217.31523.02628.35233.41538.62943.95449.3654.81560.07167.16773.34579.61485.06187.66878.90984.848110.858116.032122.1127.818132.888137.565142.048147.686153.882158.238165.517173.556183.971209.907214.87221.565227.511232.063237.323243.489248.286253.411258.367264.141269.705274.203278.774279.382272.021279.933287.539297.406322.98324.915331.144338.547345.117350.962356.547362.858367.757373.002378.937383.748388.503

2015 Spanish Grand Prix

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41 comments on “Mercedes “compromised” Rosberg to help Hamilton”

  1. Trenthamfolk (@)
    10th May 2015, 18:04

    Seems completely immaterial to me. The team was set for a 1:2 and given Rosberg’s penchant for crashing to Hamilton this will have been the most sensible tactic, surely…

    1. Yes, cause Rosberg has crashed into Hamilton how many times? Oh, that’s right, once.

      1. Yes, but since Hamilton hasn’t crashed into Rosberg, that means 100% of the crashes between Hamilton and Rosberg have been Rosberg’s fault. :)

        1. And how about we get back into reality land in which NR never intentionally hit LH…just intentionally was stubborn and was not going to give an inch due to things that had happened leading up to that race…him just stubbornly trying to show he was no pushover…you know…the type of behavior that often gleans WDC’s applause for their take-no-prisoners type attitude. It didn’t quite go like it should have, but to say that Nico has a penchant for this is utterly ridiculous.

  2. Mercedes is so much faster on the hard tyres that they didn’t even need to do that. Following Rosberg would be enough for Hamilton to build a gap big enough.

    Of course Rosberg, being this guy who isn’t ashamed of saying that he enjoys when his teammate have bad luck, could suddenly get slower and deliberately held Hamilton…..but Mercedes was thinking ahead of this. Good thinking by the team today.

    1. James Coulee
      10th May 2015, 20:19

      That’s an ugly hypothetical accusation, considering it was Hamilton who recently -and deliberately- did that to Rosberg and not the other way around.

      1. Exactly. Payback is a bitch.

    2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      10th May 2015, 22:41

      That’s a childish comment perhaps better served on planet f1.

      1. Mine or his?

        1. Of course yours

          1. You don’t know nothing.

  3. Good call. Hope Ferrari does not become an issue if they are not quick enough. We could have seen a good Hamilton Rosberg battle. Not in Monaco but Montreal maybe.

    1. We will see a good Lewis-Nico-Sebastian-Kimi battle in Monaco and Montreal.

  4. This was Rosberg’s most convincing victory over Hamilton since those races in late 2013 (Monza, Singapore, India & Abu Dhabi)

    He beat Lewis a few times in 2014 (Monaco, Austria, Brazil) but they were not convincing like this one was.

    1. Don’t really agree, as we never saw the two drivers compete. Hamilton spent half the race behind Vettel, so Rosberg was just able to cover him easily at that point.

      1. +1

        Plus, same old story of botched pit stops for Lewis which hampered his race. But for that first pit stop error, Hamilton would have came out infront of Vettel and wouldn’t have been forced onto a 3 stopper. Maybe then we’d have seen an actual race between the 2 Mercs, on the same strategy.

    2. @kingshark
      I don’t think you remember Monza and Abu Dhabi clearly. In Monza he missed in qualification due to impeding by Sutil so, obviously he was on backfoot. In Abu Dhabi, he was racing with cracked chassis.

    3. Brazil’s win was way more convincing.
      Not taking anything from Rosberg. It’s not his fault Hamilton’s start was so bad.

      1. None of his wins were as convincing as this one, really. Appart from Monaco 2013, all the races he won last year were either a consequence of mechanical problems or Lewis’ mistakes (as in Brazil).

        That we never saw the drivers compete doesn’t mean Rosberg was faster than Lewis all weekend, @lightsout

        1. Im not convinced until he passes him for position on track.

    4. Don’t agree, Lewis made a bad start and never had a chance of doing something against Rosberg. When he was in free air he was really quick, so it might have been a great battle between the two. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

      1. Exactly. Hamilton lost more than half of the race behind Vettel. What could he do after he finally got through?

        Starting from pole, after last year, means nothing to say he was faster for the race.

        1. Yeah, the point is he spent the half of race behind Vettel, unlike Rosberg who had a good start. Even in Spain if you cannot overtake a car 1 sec slower, what can you expect?

          1. To leapfrog the other car just like he did to Vettel, of course.

            Looks like you didn’t watch the Chinese GP where Hamilton had an enourmous pace advantage at the end of the stints. Like Rosberg himself did sometimes last year.

            Think Mcfly, think!

          2. The problem for Hamilton is the fact that he was racing a car much slower than himself. If he wanted to win, he was racing the wrong guy whole weekend.

    5. This is all about the contract negotiations ! The team made a mistake with the bite point to stuff up Lewis start then added a fumbled stop to ensure they got the result required to gain an advantage in the negotiations. If you don’t believe me wait until Monaco if the contract isn’t signed they’ll do it again ;-)
      [removes tongue from cheek]

      1. If you watched the race on Sky Martin Brundle stated that Hammy reported to his engineers that he was happy with his start set up. If you didn’t watch it i suggest you do before making an excuse as to why the boywonder fluffed his start.

  5. I wonder if that comment from the team was a direct response to Hamilton’s reprehensible comment after the race to the BBC “The team made it very difficult for me today.”

    Foot in mouth disease strikes again?

    1. No, Hamiltons refereing to pit stop errors, the team is refereing to the late stop after Hamilton was already on a 3 stopper because of said errors.

    2. He might have been referring to the not so stellar pit stops. I don’t see how that is reprehensible.

    3. He is part right. First of all, he made a bad start that compromised his race. But, and on that he is right, the team made even more difficult for him with the horrible first stop when they tried the undercut.
      If the undercut worked, he would have a chance of catching Rosberg.

      1. Let’s get one thing very straight – Hamilton made it very difficult for himself today. HIS bad start was the issue.

        1. Nico dies and goes to heaven. God says “Nico, you are a great driver come sit here on my left.
          Fernando dies and god says “Fernando, you are one of my greatest creations come sit on my right. Nico looks daggers at Fred, Fred smiles smugly.
          Then Lewis dies and saunters through the pearly gates and god jumps up saying “Sorry I’ve got your seat”.

          1. Chris Phillips
            11th May 2015, 21:14


  6. Turn off all drivers and compare Jenson and Sebastian. Jenson’s first two stints (till lap 30) are horrible. But after that, he is almost as fast as Sebastian. Both lost about 40 seconds to Rosberg after lap 30 itself.
    May be, the Mclaren isn’t as bad..

    1. That’s not a useful comparison, as they were on completely different strategies. Vettel was on a two-stopper with the last stint on the hard tyre, while Button was on a three stopper with the last stint on the mediums. Being ‘almost as fast’ in that scenario is not encouraging for McLaren.

    2. Ferrari can’t really work the hard orange tires in normal track conditions!
      Mediums it’s fine, softs even better, but that hard ones it just take ages to light them up!

      If you would look at Vettel’s last stint, he sets his best time almost in the middle of the stint, so it took almost 10 laps to get them warm enough! It’s really one of the worst things about Ferrari’s car this year.

    3. I think it is pointless to discuss McLaren and Ferrari in the same sentence these days. McLaren should manage to finish in the same lap first before thinking of the gap to the red cars or the leaders.

  7. This is what I called “team order without hesitation”, have they recruited another Ross Brawn?

  8. So Merc learned a lesson and chose to avoid the scenario that had Nico complaining a few races back that LH’s pace was sending him backwards into SV’s sights. Too bad that is a reality this year. A person ahead can truly dictate the pace. Pole has rarely been more important at tracks other than Monaco.

  9. Tony Swales
    12th May 2015, 7:53

    If Hamilton did not get the botched pitstop he probably would have got ahead of Vettel. Is it likely that he would have one with that 3 stop strategy?

Comments are closed.