Hamilton fastest in the dry, Rosberg quick in the damp

2015 British Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

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Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap on his way to victory in the British Grand Prix while the track was still dry. But when the rain arrived later in the race Nico Rosberg briefly looked quick enough to take victory away from his team mate.

The rain began to arrive shortly after the Virtual Safety Car period on lap 34. Showing an impressive feel for the conditions, Hamilton was over a second faster than anyone on lap 37 before the track got very wet.

However when the track was at its Hamilton had a brief off at Copse, and from then on Rosberg was considerably quicker than his team mate. He took over six seconds out of Hamilton between lap 39 and 42. But at this point the rain returned, and by pitting at the “perfect” moment, Hamilton pulled over four seconds further ahead of his team mate.

Note that because of the short entrance to the pits at Silverstone some drivers set faster times on their in-laps, such as Nico Rosberg on lap 20 and Valtteri Bottas on lap 21. As usual at Silverstone, these lap times are not counted towards the classification.

2015 British Grand Prix lap times

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


Lewis Hamilton117.101154.074146.869101.877100.47499.76599.29399.31999.56799.29199.48199.87199.34999.56699.35799.39899.4799.83897.846116.34997.27497.22797.50197.18797.35897.34497.69597.41697.09397.35697.14997.12597.465132.759118.03998.06897.6109.338109.591103.748103.864101.184101.16129.721112.659111.473110.676110.344110.625110.51110.997112.028
Nico Rosberg119.219153.686145.275102.375100.86599.84999.33199.19899.41299.50699.19799.75999.54699.54199.23699.70299.25499.59899.44796.975118.05498.30398.09397.40397.76897.54797.70197.73697.70597.64997.47597.549100.063131.65116.99499.11399.322108.709107.629102.769101.89599.183101.838113.679133.409111.281111.415110.889111.148111.083111.439111.223
Felipe Massa114.061155.792147.274101.141100.27299.51599.77899.70199.40899.64699.43499.45999.61499.47199.29899.60899.63799.55799.35297.901118.44597.69197.66397.69997.54897.46697.57697.74697.5897.65397.48597.50897.71132.355118.23599.26598.935107.451108.212105.684104.245102.58105.55120.875135.965112.623111.887111.411111.407111.962112.649113.588
Valtteri Bottas118.56153.435145.843101.208100.39699.65199.44599.4899.67299.4399.57299.46999.55799.43999.40499.39899.75299.5699.38799.18496.61118.41697.77597.62797.6397.69897.5697.85697.63997.56197.59897.51398.155132.608117.89899.30199.124108.684109.349105.638102.971102.893107.345124.14143.106115.218114.474113.002112.862113.688114.06113.082
Kimi Raikkonen121.009153.562144.363103.604101.856100.72599.954100.249100.77699.951100.027100.08598.948118.83498.95499.00399.20899.46999.53698.97298.98498.63398.76898.44698.05198.17597.8698.1498.0297.70297.49397.719105.991128.872113.35399.28103.23109.653126.361108.769110.433108.774112.005118.091128.025119.406115.66133.667110.285110.799111.756
Sebastian Vettel122.876153.646143.293104.797101.751100.869100.523100.24999.82499.82999.89100.063100.55298.785118.67298.5298.59298.97399.73399.02998.99198.74898.77598.36198.31198.45698.03598.08497.9897.95197.70797.913107.338128.003113.12798.815103.101107.698104.427101.63101.652102.314102.498131.213113.881112.552111.884110.642110.559110.291110.614111.155
Daniil Kvyat121.964153.98143.45103.989101.866100.681100.23999.939100.562100.11299.984100.164100.35999.928100.011100.32100.16598.172117.76799.32498.57298.20698.50798.68598.37598.23898.63997.9197.92398.15498.18697.926108.204128.654110.97899.052103.331106.931104.273101.184101.285103.069113.832134.905138.194112.018110.301110.792110.855110.679111.033109.817
Carlos Sainz Jnr125.368153.062142.148104.573102.04101.176100.505100.878100.975100.754100.4198.896121.168100.062100.376100.68599.26599.17899.0999.09999.20199.53699.24398.77698.91898.69799.15398.96599.04999.30399.411
Nico Hulkenberg120.017153.508145.027103.487101.657100.489100.194100.426100.45699.987100.015100.237100.461100.28100.272100.258100.086100.02398.233118.42599.43399.12899.10598.88998.98298.82698.57798.35598.49498.44298.73298.296110.367128.023110.21298.625104.557108.426103.678101.211100.119102.612110.175138.613139.912113.605111.954111.08110.834111.026111.209111.438
Daniel Ricciardo127.47152.993140.362104.842102.341101.296100.506100.499101.008100.76399.119119.861100.46399.94100.486104.488107.465105.09104.417103.38141.451
Sergio Perez124.438153.011142.817103.858101.85100.742100.452100.291101.618100.546100.125100.239100.349100.381100.155100.274100.21299.9799.95298.871119.40499.64199.37999.30998.46698.93898.66799.12499.2898.76699.545100.132117.229126.687109.98399.298107.695109.596105.071102.912102.712103.04113.142147.338139.676113.513112.786115.303113.353113.087112.508
Max Verstappen127.987152.969140.776
Marcus Ericsson126.499153.29141.68104.673102.699101.409100.877101.319101.2100.783100.835100.791100.721100.732100.746100.616100.783100.453101.766100.818101.946100.6999.866120.62298.32698.6598.45498.65798.87298.92498.13198.329119.749129.687107.21799.847116.911133.398111.518112.271110.765129.724138.182117.565114.396114.545114.412112.684112.422112.142111.829
Fernando Alonso123.113187.796112.411104.983104.055102.241101.72101.751101.909101.628101.634101.828102.162102.008102.22103.334100.414119.992100.16100.539100.051100.12100.39599.94299.52999.5299.47899.15999.21598.88399.271100.023123.723128.397100.90699.559109.49132.013109.8112.309110.877113.076118.518119.757119.537118.53116.156117.246116.015115.577116.215
Will Stevens131.222150.826140.038105.678104.123104.173103.142103.143103.171103.351103.407103.475103.282103.191103.398103.352103.107102.807103.786103.281102.65102.561102.813103.031102.451101.955102.176101.919103.2105.006102.146109.588129.635118.118104.372110.809153.271115.623118.616119.332119.407126.499128.654126.89153.947156.139118.358120.313117.883
Roberto Merhi132.449151.584138.97106.409104.842104.135103.597103.775103.646103.893103.732105.721103.79103.744103.247103.792104.081103.308103.34103.39103.128103.394103.349102.929102.859102.324107.637102.826105.161104.358104.081116.394128.564113.323105.1114.265135.69113.456116.531116.267118.391125.288132.965123.617138.075115.336115.244117.169117.692

2015 British Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’37.09329
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’37.4030.31024
3Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’37.4660.37326
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’37.4930.40031
5Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’37.5130.42032
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’37.7070.61431
7Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’37.9100.81728
8Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’38.1311.03831
9Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’38.2961.20332
10Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’38.4661.37325
11Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’38.6971.60426
12Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’38.8831.79030
13Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’39.9402.84714
14Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’41.9194.82628
15Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’42.3245.23126

2015 British Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Hamilton fastest in the dry, Rosberg quick in the damp”

  1. Hulkenberg’s pace when it started to get wet is really impressive

    1. Mr win or lose
      5th July 2015, 21:27

      The conditions were similar to Q3 in Brazil 2010, when he took a surprise pole position. Too bad his pitstops didn’t work out very well.

  2. The Mercedes, Williams and Ferraris pace are so identical!!!

    1. The scale is 70sec. F1 is quick, 1 sec difference is huge and you can’t see it on the graph. I have requested for min n max be set but no word from Keith yet whether it can be done.

  3. nico had the advantage of being stuck behind the williams,and the warm air from the williams helped keep nicos tyres warm,which meant when he got past them,he was able to still lap quickly.lewis on the other hand was in clear cool air,so he lost temp in his tyres quicker than nico did.

    1. Heat in tyres is generated through grip, not through following other cars. The aerodynamics of the cars is intended divert the airflow past the tyres, as they aren’t terribly aerodynamic and cause a lot of drag – hence all those winglets on the front wing.

      Following another car closely affects the pursuing car because it loses downforce due to the hot air coming off the car in front, which increases sliding and wear on tyres. The driver in the best position at the beginning of the race was Massa, as he was in clean air. Bottas, Hamilton and Rosberg all suffered and despite having the advantage of DRS, they couldn’t get past Massa.

    2. Like @jules-winfield said, that’s not even remotely how it works. I don’t mean to be rude, but this explanation is so far from correct that it’s actually hard to explain why.
      To keep it on as basic a level as possible: Yes, engines and brakes (or ERS systems for that matter) do sometimes overheat when following another car too closely because the stream of air gets dragged along by the car ahead and thus arrives at a much slower relative speed in the following car’s air intake, resulting in a slower flow inside the car’s cooling systems.
      Tyres, however, work in a completely different temperature window and are mounted on a very different part of the car. Being at the edge of a car, they are inevitably exposed to a constant stream of air that, unlike the intakes that are mounted on the central parts, hardly ever gets massively affected by driving in another car’s slip stream. Also, the temperature window in which a tyre operates is just a few dozen degrees at most between minimum and maximum, as opposed to hundreds of degrees in engine and brakes. Even if there were an advantage from following another car in the rain (which there isn’t, but let’s try a thought experiment), this advantage would vanish almost instantly after overtaking that car. Between heating up under braking, in the corner and while accelerating, and cooling down on the straights, especially when there is water on the tarmac, there is no carrying over excess heat that stems from any other source than a driver’s driving style.

      Long story short:
      Rosberg was quicker for no other reason than that he felt at ease in these conditions, while Hamilton didn’t get the kind of feedback from his car that he would’ve liked.
      Ironically, Hamilton not feeling at ease when Rosberg did might’ve helped him make the decision that turned out to be right: Changing tyres just before the raing started pouring down.

      1. @nase

        Rosberg was quicker for no other reason than that he felt at ease in these conditions, while Hamilton didn’t get the kind of feedback from his car that he would’ve liked.

        Hamilton said afterwards that he lost tyre temperature in the tyres at that point, so that’s not really true:

        “I could see the rain coming and was losing temperature in my front tyres so I had to go for it.”

        Also, following a car does actually help heat up the tyres. Driving too closely behind another car reduces front downforce because of the vacuum created by the leading car; reduced front downforce means more sliding of the front tyres. On top of this, the exhaust of the car in front heats the air, influencing factors such as brake temperature. Heating up the brakes has a knock-on effect of helping to heat up the tyres (the brake discs are located inside the wheel after all), so following a car theoretically does aid tyre warm-up. However, Rosberg wasn’t even the fastest man on track for much of the period when he was hunting down Hamilton anyway (Vettel was considerably faster between lap 38-41) – I think the real explanation for Hamilton being considerably slower at this point was that he likely lost a lot of tyre temperature when he went off the track at Copse. Before his off, he was considerably faster than Rosberg in the damp conditions, but following the excursion was considerably slower.

        Even in perfectly dry conditions, drivers will often lose enough tyre temperature to drop out of the optimal temperature window simply by driving off-line on the marbles for too long (which is why blue flags can be so crippling to backmarkers – they lose tyre temperature as they back off and drive off-line to let others through, then lose further ground as they try to regain tyre temperature, which can cause more cars to catch up, resulting in more blue flags, etc. etc.). When Hamilton left the track, his tyres will have inevitably lost some temperature. This wouldn’t be too crippling in dry conditions, as you could just work them back up to temperature. But in the damp conditions, it is extremely difficult to regain the lost heat as the cold tyres simply won’t grip the damp surface, so you have very little hope of regaining optimal tyre temperature if you drop out of the window. It’s sort of self-perpetuating – if you have optimal tyre temperatures already, then you can drive quickly enough to maintain temperature in the tyres. But if you lose that temperature, it is almost impossible to regain. In fact, this was one of the key factors in Hamilton’s dominant 2008 wet Silverstone win – almost the entire field were struggling to maintain temperature in their tyres, and as soon as you lost that temperature (e.g. due to a spin – which happened to a large proportion of the field, including Massa who spun five times) there was essentially no way back and you would be stuck on cold tyres. Hamilton was one of the only drivers who could maintain sufficient temperature in the tyres throughout the race, and at one point was around 4 seconds a lap faster than anyone else on the same tyre (ultimately winning by over a minute, lapping everyone up to 3rd place), demonstrating the importance of tyre temperature in wet conditions.

        Coming back to the 2015 race – regarding Hamilton and Rosberg’s respective pace in the wet, once they had both pitted for intermediates, Hamilton was consistently 0.5s+ faster than Rosberg (until he backed off on the final lap), suggesting that, if anything, he was notably more comfortable that Rosberg in the wet conditions. I think Hamilton’s problems before the final pit stops were largely down to tyre temperature.

  4. I’d say that claiming that Lewis was faster in the dry is a bit of a stretch. Rosberg never had any clean air at any point during the dry portion of the race, not until rain hit the track.

    1. That portion of the title is specifically referring to him setting the fastest lap – note “fastest”, not “faster”

    2. Kingshark, I specifically replied to you on another article in which you claimed Nico was faster than Lewis all race. I have copied and pasted below, for your reading :). Please note- all lap times and subsequent conclusions derived from these lap times are factual, not my meager opinion.

      “Wow I don’t know if we watched the same race here. The only point I remember Nico being faster is when the rain came. Regardless let’s deal with facts shall we. According to the official FIA timing screens, http://www.fia.com/events/fia-formula-1-world-championship/season-2015/event-timing-information-7.

      Lap 4 Lewis 1:41.877 Nico 1:42.375
      Lap 5 Lewis 1:40.474 Nico 1:40.865
      Lap 6 Lewis 1:39.765 Nico 1:39.849.

      This trend continued all the way until their pitstops- Lewis was quicker than Nico lap after lap.

      Here is the interesting bit. Lap 18 Hamilton was 7 tenths quicker than Nico on his in lap and his out lap was a massive 1,7s faster than Nico’s on Lap 20. Even Pat Symmonds described Lewis’ in and out laps as “stunning”. So, we can conclusively see that prior to the pit stops Nico was not “considerably faster” than Lewis as you claim. Both were running in dirty air at the time.

      Then from
      Lap 22-33 when Lewis was in “clean air”:
      L22 Lewis 1:37.227 Nico 1:38.303
      L23 Lewis 1:37.501 Nico 1:38.093
      and etc etc, for the next 9/10 laps Lewis was quicker than Nico with Lewis setting the fastest lap on lap 29, some 7 tenths quicker than Nico again.
      Between laps 33 and laps 37 they were trading times.

      Now here is when the rain started chucking it down and were your point can only be valid.
      L38 Lewis 1:49.338 Nico 1:48.709
      L39 Lewis 1:49.591 Nico 1:47.629
      L40 Lewis 1:43.748 Nico 1:42.769
      L41 Lewis 1:43.864 Nico 1:41.895
      L42 Lewis 1:41.184 Nico 1:39.183
      L43 Lewis 1:41.160 Nico 1:41.838.

      Only in this period was Nico “faster” than Lewis as your claim states, when both were in clean air. At this point Nico had got the assist from the rain to dispatch the two Williams’.

      After they put on the intermediates, a decision that Toto said was Lewis’ call- a decision Nico could have also made to try and “undercut” Lewis both were in clean air and the times compared as follows:

      L44 Lewis 2:09.721 Nico 1:53.679
      L45 Lewis 1:52.659 Nico 2:13.409
      L46 Lewis 1:51.473 Nico 1:51.281
      L47 Lewis 1:50.676 Nico 1:51.415
      L48 Lewis 1:50.344 Nico 1:50.889
      L49 Lewis 1:50.625 Nico 1:51.148
      L50 Lewis 1:50.510 Nico 1:51.083
      L51 Lewis 1:50.997 Nico 1:51.439
      L52 Lewis 1:52.028 Nico 1:51.223

      Again, at no point- after they both switched to intermediate tyres, did Nico look to have “more pace” than Lewis. At this point both were “running in free air”.

      I am therefore inclined to expose how wrong your opinion is of how events unfolded sir, as the FIA timing screens clearly show that for the majority of the race Lewis was in fact faster than Rosberg. Unless of course you would like to claim that the official FIA times are incorrect?”

    3. “Nico never really had claen air during the race”. Well, even when both were in dirty air, prior to the pit stops, Lewis was faster. Even when both were in clean air, after putting on the inters, Lewis was faster. So when all things were equal between them- Lewis was faster. Please read above

  5. when did kvyat spun?

    1. when did raikkonen spun?

  6. Surprised how close the lap times of Sebastian and Kimi were in the dry. Kimi seemed much quicker.

    1. Earlier in the race they were both trapped in traffic (Kimi behind Hulkenberg and Sebastian behind Kvyat and Perez, although he overtook Perez on track before the pitstops) after their pitstops Vettel closed up to around 2 seconds behind Raikkonen and sat there, the gap was fairly steady.

      I think both drivers knew they didn’t have the pace to race the Williams and Mercedes and were concentrating on making their tyres last to the end of the race to secure 5th and 6th places. Maybe if it had stayed dry they would have fought over 5th place towards the end of the race, fighting too early might have meant they would both have needed a second stop or become vulnerable to the cars behind, I don’t think Kimi had a pace advantage in the race but he did have the track position advantage.

      When the rain started it was clear that Sebastian was more comfortable and faster than Kimi in the conditions and I think he would have finished ahead even if Kimi had timed his stop for intermediates better.

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