Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Mercedes show their hand with 1.6s pace advantage

2015 Spanish Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Mercedes were some eight-tenths of a second per lap quicker in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. They tend not to have the same kind of performance advantage in the races, and when they do the desire not to over-stress their machinery means we rarely see it.

But with Lewis Hamilton running a three-stop strategy and getting in clear air near the end of the race, more of Mercedes’ true performance was revealed. None of their rivals got within 1.6 seconds of his best lap time, and Nico Rosberg cruised to victory with a best lap 0.8s faster than anyone else managed – the same margin we saw in qualifying.

Rosberg finished the race three-quarters of a minute ahead of the next non-Mercedes: Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, which lost on average almost seven tenths of a second per lap to the race winner.

Vettel, however, is optimistic the gap won’t be that large at the upcoming races. “If you look at the gap in the race it was the biggest gap we’ve had so far,” he acknolwedged, “but I think we’re quite confident that we’re going in the right direction.”

“For some reason, I don’t think we were so competitive here which explains the gap. Now we’re obviously trying to understand and find the reasons. Either this track didn’t suit us or the conditions really suited Mercedes.

“I think it’s more likely to be one of the two, because if you take the average, obviously we’ve been closer in the last couple of races, so I’m looking forward to Monaco and looking forward to being closer to them again.”

Spanish Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2015drivercolours.csv

123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051525354555657585960616263646566
Nico Rosberg95.65892.31391.75592.02791.90891.53991.58591.56791.40392.07992.292.12992.20192.44795.74110.60691.84691.51591.48991.44291.32491.491.56292.0391.79391.67692.52991.26691.27891.5491.7491.67792.1992.30692.38591.69292.08391.8891.58591.59991.61291.22291.79391.99995.985109.36190.09590.22990.06290.67390.47490.07389.10989.29389.589.58289.74390.14590.06290.28690.42689.98790.32190.26390.31890.958
Lewis Hamilton98.04292.76692.34292.30392.49292.50992.34192.52192.42892.01192.32292.49295.648112.06591.03391.14991.15891.99891.27991.50891.81991.53991.75591.71291.9692.13891.79692.11892.16592.70292.71195.769110.27889.9190.20190.29190.591.23791.73891.45691.0291.01290.41391.25890.46989.9490.02489.96590.79591.11594.037108.9688.40188.2788.72588.71688.77488.89988.6489.69790.24990.47191.14891.01891.37992.509
Sebastian Vettel96.83292.82192.31792.51592.32592.71892.0192.33192.56292.49892.492.51292.29295.928109.15991.73691.54691.89791.76491.61891.64691.50991.64691.63491.65492.0791.93492.37192.12992.26892.52892.39792.41392.36693.1692.49792.73392.7692.92196.714109.62391.18591.23791.61391.67392.49491.51691.54591.82791.65591.70591.73892.07491.73591.79992.19992.12591.64191.57691.07590.73790.92391.1691.37591.47791.059
Valtteri Bottas99.10493.07592.70892.85792.91392.98992.75892.79492.7792.87192.87792.99292.88192.9495.919110.18791.59891.40892.10992.05591.56691.87391.87491.79491.78192.18191.92591.96192.25692.09892.1692.45292.55592.60792.87293.13392.71993.01794.24993.31993.33596.366109.20990.71190.74790.95691.1690.97791.47591.30391.08791.16691.30391.1191.62392.16691.80792.04891.86492.15191.74691.82992.10192.00491.6391.701
Carlos Sainz Jnr101.48495.30595.33595.08895.45395.84495.33894.35494.52694.694.62694.72894.68597.444112.83793.96493.92595.22894.16494.4193.73293.55993.53593.78493.49693.64793.77894.11893.95193.90493.91494.10293.82194.14393.55794.90293.83693.41293.14893.40693.47296.338111.76492.83793.99192.19891.89892.30992.5692.68692.32192.34392.69192.66292.98394.4392.09492.09291.84991.64293.41391.15692.06192.16793.224
Max Verstappen100.83794.59294.40495.57494.23994.26994.42295.07494.20894.49594.86594.30798.738114.95794.294.30493.80994.00193.88793.92993.78394.26795.08394.18693.80193.88594.05293.49993.40594.0893.56593.894.12793.96193.84193.92397.82111.7993.97293.23393.24393.44693.00492.66992.25491.89692.33792.17692.26994.10892.8529392.96992.35692.30291.96892.41992.58292.29392.28495.81193.29492.40592.61593.107
Kimi Raikkonen99.9593.75392.95893.21993.08493.14992.92992.88192.75492.75692.7592.73292.97892.92192.50492.55496.178111.14492.5492.85992.42792.38392.43592.24492.4292.51192.53692.492.31492.07692.32592.60693.28293.31993.27892.55592.46992.72393.20393.47596.471108.30590.9190.34290.36191.99889.93190.23990.80791.0491.37490.30490.53390.40290.84190.90691.2391.75991.96692.11691.74791.80792.13392.09591.63991.727
Daniil Kvyat104.33196.38195.27495.26395.28295.32994.7494.46794.93995.12198.232112.64293.02593.22294.49693.83693.46293.1793.50293.21493.68594.14192.79593.39593.35393.39893.48893.32693.82993.47793.41993.93194.0593.93693.78893.55693.78697.516112.57891.88793.9192.11394.36992.53192.41992.4992.68792.53892.24792.18494.22992.48392.19794.0592.48692.38192.94592.8692.61592.60392.70293.05594.88792.38595.121
Felipe Massa101.96395.27293.30593.26393.55792.87793.09892.90593.09193.08193.08293.13192.98996.684110.77491.70391.71492.15992.03192.492.31892.34392.2692.26692.43392.39692.43592.30692.93292.52692.58196.249110.50391.10991.51791.49591.33491.90192.25391.92391.81692.02992.49391.80492.81792.57897.032109.61190.6490.74390.37490.68390.7490.67590.90591.37591.05590.99190.61790.77391.03491.81892.02792.0591.1191.92
Daniel Ricciardo103.02895.9295.07794.72194.5493.84893.73193.86494.12293.89195.23193.99296.742111.76393.33992.75693.07493.03394.07192.95693.1492.94392.72392.84892.96193.33993.23193.24893.29193.0993.01793.13393.22893.2193.19293.2193.18893.57693.37793.59493.2296.347113.78191.95392.25292.18191.94692.21394.29293.84392.10591.68291.40291.23491.27691.12493.9891.48791.53591.37191.57491.71891.9591.63191.559
Romain Grosjean102.4495.22494.99796.81594.71994.77293.71793.85594.07793.78394.98494.48994.1693.6597.243112.20392.52192.90493.11293.892.84692.98792.69492.95593.22493.60693.51793.13493.37393.35493.38493.57493.56893.25493.48693.51893.42593.60493.75197.464123.66692.0792.04192.08493.25191.94592.06992.35892.96292.71693.67292.89692.51492.54792.68694.18392.75992.68492.59992.64992.43892.7192.21791.98692.668
Pastor Maldonado103.39994.91395.03794.34693.4293.59194.30393.12993.71793.75593.60993.70993.76997.97118.037124.44992.91292.95893.36893.14593.54893.41993.38293.56994.20895.46493.44393.25293.49396.6193.31993.16993.08493.39593.16893.1393.10393.46193.47794.46493.60493.39797.23112.87299.776
Fernando Alonso104.02496.0195.25195.13794.96695.10194.78994.50894.52894.73794.88594.81594.57794.61894.68794.39994.23194.30594.25994.29297.703113.51693.38794.20794.15498.902
Jenson Button106.19497.38496.0195.39895.52795.51195.31895.04394.94394.9598.323115.05195.09494.65295.30994.65695.03194.56394.86794.7494.74194.5594.16994.59594.47797.198.203112.59992.35792.3692.65594.20292.99593.5392.97792.70992.93393.46293.00493.41793.07892.82792.79296.283112.52491.16291.35291.48791.691.88891.42991.61591.38291.69292.30893.50691.92492.27491.96391.85392.00792.14692.07292.46892.752
Felipe Nasr104.86596.48695.45595.19895.29295.51694.90194.43794.84695.25295.23398.232112.6593.34993.68793.37193.88793.79494.0294.20193.61693.72893.86193.93593.62393.93893.66893.81593.63594.1794.07294.42694.38895.85894.24193.80894.15494.52398.029113.44591.92892.31292.34892.22892.43792.44792.4392.95593.44692.2294.08493.10493.78992.89992.90592.76593.44892.87392.94892.7292.56892.61593.293.38293.347
Marcus Ericsson105.23996.61495.56195.17995.39395.4694.85394.73794.73195.24195.1294.99494.13194.56794.85494.37394.54598.496114.08592.31192.85793.42293.42293.93194.02894.69192.97793.39693.45593.72694.09893.54195.63193.75393.69293.8593.97193.98594.09193.31793.31293.14593.35995.33499.152112.50692.28892.51794.04792.59792.49792.22292.51592.89192.69692.52692.88892.93592.86693.24993.14693.13394.94893.45494.043
Nico Hulkenberg106.53796.4695.76695.29795.15595.47695.02695.06794.63398.005113.83493.39993.24493.17393.66893.31793.68294.04893.9195.74594.19893.69893.88394.38894.39197.88112.6192.5392.83392.77793.22893.33993.1893.22593.23993.56193.08293.44794.42293.00693.63793.44894.32193.3893.30994.62993.51993.34297.071110.34390.88891.37291.49592.06191.71891.67891.76391.58691.91492.64593.37493.98693.70893.55894.081
Sergio Perez105.76696.64495.61795.1795.36995.45394.9494.83394.86995.03195.1195.00694.45194.61194.4994.47594.85395.197.991111.92193.17493.43893.56993.73994.31194.43494.11794.29293.79194.4895.76494.74594.51296.53194.67897.204111.62291.93292.35892.96392.05192.23992.23892.45392.60592.80292.81994.43692.79294.4292.71392.55592.61792.67792.80293.18393.05693.05593.15693.18193.12493.29494.51793.71894.074
Will Stevens108.00798.01797.47197.19297.26196.87996.71496.97496.86996.99397.09897.81497.15997.55797.468100.618120.05895.56396.74795.95597.85396.23496.27195.94496.24196.2796.00198.22496.89296.46196.571101.514117.93797.35996.02995.52995.7597.89995.65595.56297.38497.09795.37695.36196.3595.395100.082115.03593.65593.84493.98895.13994.94494.35394.56898.14798.4895.0494.72994.79694.80696.16295.904
Roberto Merhi107.697.68697.46697.35396.97196.75396.9196.97396.85897.33599.29698.30798.4797.89498.34798.562101.07117.52596.66397.5197.04296.4796.23996.51397.43197.87296.88598.54599.317101.955117.67696.6498.88598.25296.93796.95298.24996.67796.7196.55597.38696.78696.29196.5796.59399.35897.93697.571100.662116.68994.21196.30296.51295.86395.34595.16796.05495.04495.30796.22195.23794.742

Spanish Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’28.27054
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’29.1090.83953
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’29.9311.66147
4Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’30.3742.10451
5Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’30.7112.44144
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’30.7372.46761
7Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’30.8882.61851
8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’31.1242.85456
9Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’31.1562.88662
10Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’31.1622.89246
11Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’31.8873.61740
12Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’31.8963.62646
13Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’31.9283.65841
14Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’31.9323.66238
15Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’31.9453.67546
16Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’32.2223.95252
17Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’32.9124.64217
18Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’33.3875.11723
19Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’33.6555.38549
20Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’34.2115.94151

2015 Spanish Grand Prix

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Author information

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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16 comments on “Mercedes show their hand with 1.6s pace advantage”

  1. Not a great weekend for Hamilton fans, but that third stint still gave cause for joy. A pity the Mercedes pit wall called off the fight in the final stint. Of course Rosberg was too far ahead for Hamilton to catch him, but it’s always better to finish a race with a reducing gap.

    Finally, only the Mercedes driver beat Stoffel Vandoorne’s GP2 pole time. I do not wish to add too much to the current trend of talking F1 down, but I wish they could simply take 100kg off the cars. I don’t mind that aero has been cut recently, and the engines are good too, and the tyres ensure that the races are not too processional, but in race trim the cars are pretty slow these days.

    1. They were right to all it off though and not just for the team – for Hamilton’s title chances as well. He wasn’t going to catch Nico and finishing 2nd doesn’t mean he’s lost many points. He wasn’t even going to get within 5 seconds of Nico to put pressure on.

      1. yeah, a blown engine would’ve been a much bigger probem than finishing second.

    2. Comparing qualifying times to fastest lap times is comparing apples to oranges. Considering quali alone you can see that every F1 driver, bar the 2 Manors, beat Stoffel’s quali time

  2. Not sure anyone is actually rivaling Mercedes at the moment. Having said that, the gap to the next teams was somewhat exaggerated in the race. Hamilton’s third stint was one of the rare occasions when a driver could push for an entire stint. He wasn’t conserving tyres, fuel or power unit components. The other top teams were at least conserving tyres for most of the later stages.
    I hope the partial success of this strategy will lead to more teams trying this in the future, because then we get to see some more aggressive driving, but it does require that little extra fuel economy and a dose of Mercedes or Mercedes-like reliability. And some tactical courage or flexibility.

    1. also, lets not forget that the Mercedes’ advantage here last year was also clearly more than at other tracks @scalextric. On the other hand, it does not seem like Ferrari have really solved their issues with development (with Kimi running without and Vettel with the new bits to compare and collect data on them), Red Bull is still very much on the back foot and Williams so far has not made that step up (although they were closer in the mid/second half of the year last year too)

  3. Comparing Vettel and Bottas, Ferrari should be aware of the challenge from behind.

    1. I’ll grant you that, at least on this track, Williams were closer to Ferrari than Ferrari were to Mercedes. Still, Vettel finished about 15 seconds ahead of Bottas and Kimi also had better pace but was unable to overtake Bottas, just as Hamilton was unable to overtake Vettel on track even though he had a faster car.

  4. Mercedes’ margin over the others on race day was close to the advantage they had in testing. This suggests that Ferrari et al haven’t made significant performance gains since testing. Instead the track and temperatures at the other tracks allowed them to perform better. If true Mercedes will walk it in the constructors champs as Barcelona is seen as a good evaluation of overall performance.

  5. It’s a fair win for the Mercedes, but I can understand Ferrari’s decision to put Vettel on an alternative strategy.

    Looking at the times, it’s realistic too admit that Mercedes was wayyy faster today. Going on the same strategy would bring no opportunity at a win. Different strategy and some unexpected occurences (safety cars, crashes,…) can bring an unexpected win.

    Ferrari knew they secured the 3rd place, Bottas was too far behind to challenge Vettel. Why not give something a shot?

  6. oh come on keith, you surely realise that Hamilton was last of the top drivers to switch to mediums…. less fuel in the car meant he could get those times while vettel and Rosberg were running hards with laps on them at the same time Hamilton was doing those laps. the advantage is there, but it is not 1.6 seconds per lap.

  7. WOW ! 3 pit stops, how exciting, can’t wait to see the race (highlights) to-night zzzz z z z z.

  8. 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.

  9. I saw Mercedes lapping very quickly and then suddenly the same pace with Ferrari towards the end, perhaps they still have some horsepower in reserve and use it when it matters.

  10. Actually Kimi was catching Vettel in the last stint with the faster Medium tyres. Kimi was catching Vettel a second per lap till he reached behind Bottas. With 8 laps to go and nearly 8 seconds far from Vettel, if Bottas wasn’t there, or if Kimi was able to overtake him, Vettel and Kimi might have finished very close. Also Kimi overtook Massa and that also must have taken some seconds from Raikkonen. I am not talking here about Vettel vs Raikkonen. Its about the Upgraded Ferrari vs Older Version.

    The question is, whether the upgraded car of Vettel wasn’t better than Kimi’s older car? And still Arrivabene says that the new car is better than the older version. Not at all a good weekend for Ferrari. But keep fighting.. Forza Ferrari!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Leonardo David
    12th May 2015, 21:56

    Anyone noticed how Maldonado was the closest to the battle between Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams? only Ricciardo was as close as he was but Pastor was slightly faster… also, times went lower since lap 40, why?

Comments are closed.