Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2015

Ferrari will overhaul Mercedes – Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2015In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari are narrowing the gap to Mercedes and will overhaul their rivals.

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Ferrari potential huge - Vettel (F1i)

"But we are getting closer and closer, and at some stage we will turn the situation around."

No proof Button was gassed in burglary - prosecutor (Reuters)

"Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button believes he may have been gassed during a burglary at his rented villa in Saint-Tropez but a local prosecutor and French police said on Friday there was no proof that was the case."

Yasuhisa Arai soaking up pressure from Honda board (ESPN)

"Unfortunately we will have more penalties during the coming months, but you will also see big improvements from both sides."

McLaren 'impatient' in chasing success (Autosport)

"Most of the people in Sakura didn't have the experience or even the knowledge of the current F1 technology."

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Comment of the day

Felipe Massa, Williams, Silverstone, 2015Are Williams not reaching their potential at the moment?

I can’t help but feel that Williams, for the past two years, has thrown an incredible amount of good results and points away.

They have had a huge mix of bad pit calls, misfortune, clearly under-performing at many tracks (potentially due to their drivers), bad set-ups, etc., and I think that if they get these issues sorted out they could be on the podium a lot more, and challenge for the occasional win when Mercedes slip up.

I do wonder what the results would be like if they had a driver like Alonso or Hamilton in the car.
@strontium

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On this day in F1

Back in 2007, world champion Nigel Mansell had this to day about one of the two British drivers still on the grid today:

He’s got a great reputation for partying and that’s taken the edge off it. He’s a typical example of too much, too soon.

While the criticism is today levelled by some at Lewis Hamilton, Mansell was talking about Jenson Button at the time.

Mansell also said: “Jenson should have won more races, he has under-performed and that is down to him. He had the opportunity and he didn’t take it – there won’t be any more.” Talk about predictions coming wrong…

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  • 140 comments on “Ferrari will overhaul Mercedes – Vettel”

    1. Ferrari will overhaul Mercedes – In your dreams
      And COTD is spot on – If not for a certain Marussia(Chilton?) holding Fernando for a lap, Williams won’t have a race win to show for a very long time.

      1. Ferrari will overhaul Mercedes. But the big question is when?

        I think 2016 will be a closer affair between Mercedes and Ferrari. But the realistic target that any team can beat Mercedes, will probably be in 2017. Wouldn’t be surprised with a little top order shuffle when wider chassis and tyres come in to play

        1. They say now that reg changes won’t come before 2018 @todfod

    2. Yeah, sounds like either the police chief is denying the problem to avoid an impact on tourism, or maybe even colluding with the thiefs

      1. Or…… it could be that those who have been so easily burgled (especially famous people) whilst asleep as so embarressed they would rather find (invent) a cause than can not be proved.

        Thats my theory….

        This is why I like the BBC well reserched and fact checked reporting.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33821661

        1. A entire house full of people robbed while they slept and nobody woke up?

          Gassing the seems improbable if the experts are right. Dangerous for sure, it would be really easy to have somebody wake up or not wake up at all.

          I thing something happened, but probably not gas. Of course the simplistic explication would be an inside job.

          1. Mach1 and RP ,There was a report on radio 2 regarding the robbery and yes gassing has been going on for years over on the continent. It started off by gassing lorry and camper van drivers and has progressed to villas etc. Even the well known travel expert Simon Calder was a victim a few years ago.

    3. ColdFly F1 (@)
      9th August 2015, 8:18

      Honda () starting from scratch.
      Most of the people in Sakura didn’t have the experience or even the knowledge of the current F1 technology.
      first get the knowledge, get the experience and build the organisation and the operations, because they started from literally nothing.

      This makes me wonder: what did McLaren discuss with Honda before they signed on to the partnership? Everybody knew 2 years ago that Honda was out of F1 since 2008, and a lot of experience had to be rebuilt. One would have expected McLaren to ask Honda the hard questions and get some clear answers on how they intended to close that gap before signing on the dotted line.
      It now feels that the decision to join forces again with Honda in 2013 was much more an emotional decision to get away from Mercedes (and competing with its works team) and restart a historical partnership, than good cold analyses of what would the best strategy and actions.

      1. I quite agree. I believe McLaren were looking too much into the past and just assumed Honda would know what to do or what was expected of them. For a team that wanted to come out flying, not working hands on with Honda was a huge failing on their part.
        one can only assume they got spoiled by Mercedes’ reliability and expected Honda would have a similar quality control and research effort.
        Announcing the switch over 14 months before their first race together, meant they had plenty of time to simulate their operation.

      2. I think you’re severely underselling the benefits of being the privileged partner of an engine supplier.

        McLaren’s current decline started precisely the year they had to start to pay Mercedes for their engines, and I don’t believe it’s a coincidence. I remember Whitmarsh saying at the time that it was going to affect them. And if you rewind a few years back, Williams decline started when BMW left them to start their own team.

        On the flip side, most race and championship winner of these last 10 (or even 15) years have benefited from special deals with engine suppliers – Ferrari (of course), Mclaren Mercedes (Mercedes had a 40% share of McLaren until they started selling them bit by bit after starting their own team), even Red Bull and Renault (starting in 2011 with a sponsorship deal after Renault sold their last share of the Lotus team, and only growing stronger in the following years), and now it’s Mercedes’ turns.

        So even in the short term the benefits are there, even if it’s just McLaren saving money that they would otherwise need to put into buying an engine. Of course, if said engine supplier won’t eventually produce a competitive engine (after 5 years or so), it’s not going to help McLaren much in the long term, but this was a bet they were willing to make.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          9th August 2015, 13:10

          underselling? I’m not against the partnership at all! I just think they rushed into something without planning it very well.
          (Clearly with the benefit of hindsight) McLaren should have been much clearer with Honda what Honda had to do to get up to par. Also they should have invited a minor customer team into the partnership as well, and kept the option open for themselves to move over in either 2015 or 2016. Of course easy for me to say now ;)

      3. @coldfly This makes me wonder: what did Alonso discuss with Mclaren before they signed on to the partnership?

        Alonso keeps talking about the impressive work that he got a glimpse of with McLaren and Honda.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          9th August 2015, 20:06

          @tmax. Probably another one who ‘wanted to believe’.

        2. I would not take Vettel’s statement too lightly – although it may be a long shot, stranger things have happened.
          Ferrari’s 2 wins may be due partially to luck but they have consistently been close enough to the Merc’s to take advantage of Metc’s bad breaks or screw ups.
          This year reminds me a lot of Alons’s first year at Ferrari. They had a decent car but we’re floundering the first half of the season. Alonso remarked they had a good chance to win the tile and they came damn close.
          Mercedes is starting to look frail at times. They seem unable to react to pressure and make silly mistakes, drivers included. But they have had enough speed to overcome many of them at least until now.
          If Metc doesn’t get their off the line starts sorted out and the Ferrari’s get ahead of them, between Ferrari’s new found speed coupled with Vettel’s uncanny ability to run away from the field when up front, might make for an interesting season.

        3. Alonso to McLaren Honda was not a matter of Alonso seeing impressive work there, but a matter of nowhere else to go. Alonso got tired of Ferrari, and Ferrari didn’t mind letting him go since they were able to get their hands on Vettel instead.

          After leaving Ferrari, Alonso really had no other choice than McLaren Honda.

          1. @kroonracing you have a point there. In the current hindsight I feel Williams could have been a better option for Alonso than McLaren. He would have attracted sponsors and talent there. Plus they are running the Mercedes PU, Alonso will extract the last drop of performance out of it even though it is not an Works team. Again I could be wrong and Mclaren will bounce back very soon.

            On the other hand the worst case scenario for Alonso will be: Vettel wins a WDC with Ferrari either in 2015( Highly Unlikely) or 2016( maybe possible) . By then McHonda catches up with the technology and new regs. They create a new car for the new specs of 2017. Alonso gets frustrated and aged by 2017 and quits Mclaren. This bring the Home town boy and prodigy Lewis Hamilton back to McLaren. “Return of the Jedi” and he goes on to Win a WDC with McHonda !!!!!! That will be crazy stuff. Like a Prost Senna Era , it will create a Vettel-Hamilton era of F1.

    4. Right now Ferrari are about as far behind Mercedes as they were behind McLaren in 1998, although the W05 is more reliable than the MP4-13 was, and Hamilton is a little bit better than Hakkinen, so no real chance for Vettel to win the WDC. Ferrari tend to do best when the regulations are stable, they build on what they have. It took 3 years to overhaul McLaren after Newey got the ahead start in 1998.

      By next year, I do believe that Ferrari can be on par with Mercedes. They jump that they made between 2014 and 2015 was bigger than the gap between them and Mercedes now. I want to have a classic 2000-esque season where there is nothing to choose between the top 2 cars all year long. I’d put my money on Ferrari, because Vettel usually makes less mistakes than Hamilton does, and Ferrari make less mistakes than Mercedes do.

      1. @kingshark Rosberg and Hamilton need both need to crash twice into each other with Vettel picking up the damage and he’s right there. Who says both Mercedes are going to run smoothly to the end. Look at what happend to Rosberg last year in Abu Dhabi. As long as Rosberg and Hamilton can bother each other and Vettel gives his best to stay in a mathematical chance I think of all men on the grid he is the one to do it.

        1. And who’s to say it he Ferrari’s will run safe until the end of the season? Look what happened to Kimi in Hungary?

          So how about just wishing that it’s done with the need of accidents or DNF’s.

          Stop looking at last years reliability issues and look at this years. Apart from Nico’s BBW issue in Bahrain, neither Merc has retired from a race so far.

        2. @xtwl As much as I like Vettel, I wouldn’t want him to win a WDC because HAM and ROS were too stupid to win it by crashing into each other. However, should Ferrari on merrit really surge on form with superior starts over the Mercs and and gain a psychological edge, forcing the merc boys into errors, then I’d be ok with Vettel winning the WDC. However, Hungary showed that Hamilton really was the fastest driver, and its only himself that lost that event, no one else was faster.

          1. @dragoll If Hamilton feels he does not have a firm grasp on this title as others believe he might lose his cool make more errors like he did in Hungary.

            That being said I’m 100% Mercedes would imply team orders in the case Vettel comes to close.

          2. Why does it matter how he wins as long as it’s fair? Other drivers crashing into each other would be their problem. And repeating that feat would be outrageous for them, so the guy behind them winning would have done it quite “on merit”. That said, I don’t think it’s gonna happen. Hamilton and Rosberg won’t be taking each other out, and it’s impossible for anyone other than a Merc driver to win the title. Actually, it’s Hamilton’s to throw away as he looks by far the faster driver.

            1. actually, if something were to happen to Hamilton, let’s say he breaks a leg on a MotoGp bike, I’d give Vettel better than 50/50 odds to beat Rosberg. In fact, I give Vettel better than 50/50 to finish at least P2 in the WDC.

              I hope that happens as it will put to rest “anyone can win in ‘that’ car” statements. No, not anyone can. It doesn’t matter which dominant car it is.

            2. I think Rosberg should be able to win in that case. But I don’t wish ill on Hamilton or anyone else, so I will definitely not say “I hope that happens”. Btw, how could Vettel not finish at least runner-up for WDC in that case? Without Hamilton, it’s 100%.

          3. ColdFly F1 (@)
            9th August 2015, 11:18

            However, Hungary showed that Hamilton really was the fastest driver, and its only himself that lost that event, no one else was faster.

            Hamilton might have been faster over 1 lap; but Vettel was faster over a race distance. The latter is the one that counts! @dragoll.

            1. You keep telling yourself that. Seb only appeared faster than Lewis because he was out front in clear air.

              Did you fail to read the radio transmissions from the race? At his best, Lewis was almost a second faster than Seb.

              Realistically Seb was only faster than Rosberg. Had Lewis gotten to T1 first, he wouldve cruised to an easy win, boring all of you in the process.

            2. Well, you can’t run fast if you keep tripping over your own feet. Then, would you be the guy who was fastest if you crossed the finish line 6th? It’s a funny thing to say considering the amount of time everyone lost in that day compared to the winner. I remember seeing Kvyat just ahead of Vettel before the safety car, and he ended up finishing 2nd.

            3. @Kgn11 Good for Mercedes then! Problem is they couldn’t get to T1 first…

          4. @dragoll

            isn’t Hungary exactly what you’re talking about? Better start that forced Hamilton into unforced errors. So the win was entirely on merit. (Hamilton also had that unforced error on the restart at Silverstone.)

        3. This reminds me of last year when RBR Daniel Ricciardo was banking on the double points at the end, the Hungarioring doesnt suite the current Merc car, Ferrari will be firmly put in its place in the next 2 races even Williams will also put Ferrari to the sword

          1. “…the Hungarioring doesnt suite the current Merc car…”
            LMAO. Yeah. Right.

        4. Never mind Abu Dhabi, look what happend with the Merc duo in SPA last year :)

          Mercedes all dominating chassis and engine has got firmly beaten two years in a row on Hungaroring. Its safe to assume its not the best track for their car.

          1. Not at all. Getting beaten two years in a row in Hungary didn’t have anything to car really.

          2. @rethla

            Mercedes had the strongest car both years running in Hungary. Look at their qualifying. Last year Hamilton had to start from the pit and Rosberg suffered due to an ill-timed SC (other cars behind had just pitted for new tires).

            This year, again, they were fastest by far, but silly errors by Hamilton, destroyed his own race. And Rosberg was too interested in racing his teammate then going for the win, and couldn’t even manage to finish cleanly.

            The car both years was fast enough to win, the drivers weren’t up to it this year.

            1. I dont see how its fast enough to win when Ferrari pulls away cleanly right from the start. Hamilton banking some purple sectors in the middle of the race doesnt really matter.

              If there was anyone that suffered from the ill timed saftycar it was the Ferrari duo not Rosberg. Rosberg was in the process of getting overtaken by a Renault when he “didnt manage to finish cleanly”

            2. Did you watch the qualifying @rethla ?

            3. @uan @rethla I still think the Mercedes was the fastest car at Hungary this year, but the Ferraris were definitely much closer to them in the race than they were in qualifying. Rosberg was greatly struggling with large amounts of understeer in his set-up in qualifying and the race, which is why the Ferraris were able to pull away from him. Whenever Hamilton had clear air in the race he was around 0.2-0.4s a lap faster than Vettel on average (when pushing up to 0.8-0.9s a lap faster) – all while on the same tyre compound (not to mention that Hamilton was surely wearing his tyres out by fighting throught the field, whereas Vettel had the benefits of clean air reducing his tyre degredation). Hamilton was surely the fastest in that race and would have surely pulled away if he had led into the first corner, but the Ferraris were definitely much closer than they have been in recent races. In the past, if a Merc had a bad set-up or a poor race it would still be good enough to finish 2nd, but at Hungary Ferrari were close enough to Mercedes to capitalise on Mercedes’ poor race. Roserg’s pace was very slow compared to Hamilton in qualifying and the race – in fact, Rosberg was roughly the same speed as Ricciardo in the race. Hamilton had very good pace (based on his previous record there, Hungary is potentially his strongest track) but ruined his race with multiple mistakes – going through the gravel early on dropped him to 10th, then the collision with Ricciardo later on broke his front wing, costing him time and requiring an extra pitstop, and then the drive-through penalty dropped him even further down the field… given what happened, I’m surprised he even managed 6th.

              IMO, Mercedes still had the fastest car in the race in Hungary, but Ferrari were close enough that they were able to punish the poor driver performances of Rosberg (slow pace) and Hamilton (multiple costly errors).

            4. @polo

              I agree. It’s also hard to say how hard Vettel was pushing up at the front, his race was to manage the gap to the cars behind him.

              But I’d say Vettel had a phenomenal qualifying to pip Ricciardo for 3rd. The Mercs did have a poor start (as they did in Silverstone), but this time Hamilton went of the track through the gravel.

              But once the SC came out, it was Vettel with Rosberg (Kimi was non factor with his MGU-K issue), Hamilton and Ricciardo. Vettel was in the slowest of the 4 top cars. But Vettel was brilliant at managing the gap and placing his car well. Rosberg could stay within a second more or less, but not pass him.

              What Hamilton could’ve done? Who knows, he had a chance but Ricciardo out drove him at the restart and out braked him at T1 and nearly ended both their races.

              I think Ham had the speed to challenge and stay with the Ferrari’s in the first stint and could have gotten them on the undercut. But as the saying goes, you gotta be in it to win. Ham should’ve waited for DRS and passed Rosberg.

              In performance mode, what he used to pass Ricciardo earlier in the race, the Merc in Hamilton’s hands was the fastest car out there.

      2. Here’s a question…..

        Did Ferrari really make that big a jump or did both Williams and Red Bull took backwards step compared to last year?

        Oh and let’s not forget, Mercedes is still on power unit #2 and have yet to use any tokens, unlike Ferrari’s 3 power units and used tokens.

        1. What do you think? Since Williams is faster than last year, I don’t think they went backwards. But, they didn’t get better as much as Ferrari did since last year either. Red Bull seem to have gone backwards. Still, they are faster compared to last year in high downforce circuits. So, it’s probably more to do with Renault going backwards than Red Bull.
          Do you realize Mercedes and Ferrari have same amount of tokens left since Canada? What does spending more token have anything to do with that?

        2. Ferrari used less of the tokens before the start of the season and still caught up a lot. Both have 7 tokens left, Ferrari have gained using same tokens so may be can with the remaining 7.

          As for title challenge…maybe a 1 percent chance. Hamilton will just concentrate again like the start of the year and win 4 or 5 in a row. Media were the same this time last year with Ricciardo and he did not get close, same for Vettel this year.

      3. @kingshark, well, given that Ferrari aborted development of the F14T relatively early in 2014 in order to focus onto their 2015 contender, plus the fact that Marchionne is now pumping an additional $100 million a year into Scuderia Ferrari in order to inflate the value of the brand and its prestige ahead of Ferrari’s IPO, the fact that there has been a substantial improvement in form between 2014 and 2015 is not surprising – Marchionne has a sizeable chunk of his reputation, and the fortunes of the Fiat-Chrysler group, depending on Ferrari’s success.

        However, the question will now be whether Ferrari realistically can continue to develop the cars effectively. Most of the easy performance gains will have been made this year around, so I cannot seem Ferrari making the same sort of large scale performance gains – I would expect smaller performance gains from incremental performance improvements, so the rate at which Ferrari could catch Mercedes is likely to slow.
        Equally, we have seen occasional signs this year of that troubling issue Ferrari have had in the past, where development parts introduced to the car either take a long time to understand fully or simply failed to work as expected.

        In reality, once a particular outfit gains a performance advantage, it is hard for other teams to then catch up and overtake that outfit – whilst there were times when Ferrari and McLaren were able to close up on Red Bull, generally Red Bull did still have a performance advantage over their run of success.

        Similarly, back in the 2000’s, whilst Williams and McLaren did challenge Ferrari’s hegemony, it took a shift in the regulations for Ferrari to finally become catchable – and when that did happen (the tyre changes for 2005 and the engine changes for 2006), the challenge came from a different direction (Renault) rather than the two outfits that had previously challenged Ferrari.

        Equally, we have the question of whether Ferrari will really want to commit to a large scale development effort for 2016 given that there are wholesale changes scheduled for 2017. They will know full well that several outfits have made the mistake of committing too many resources to the current regulations to challenge for wins, therefore falling back when the new regulations come in.

        Ferrari themselves made just that mistake in 2008 when, being locked into a tight title fight with McLaren, they ended up drawing resources away from development of their 2009 car and ended up losing a lot of ground that year.

        I would suspect, therefore, that should Ferrari find that Mercedes still has a performance advantage in 2016, they will probably decide to cut their losses early on and focus on 2017 instead.
        They will probably reason that it is better to put their resources into the upcoming seasons and try to dominate for several seasons themselves, thereby sacrificing their 2016 season – they will have seen that some outfits did just that (Red Bull did that in 2008 for the 2009 season and Mercedes also did that in 2013 ahead of the 2014 season) and managed to profit from it.

        1. Ferrari was on par with Red Bull in 2010 and by 2012 McLaren was faster than anyone. I also suspect Lotus was also faster than Red Bull that year. And Ferrari wasn’t that off. That didn’t really take long. But Mercedes are not getting caught up really. They still have the same amount of advantage they had last year.
          Now they are saying that it probably won’t be earlier than 2018 when the new regulations are going to be introduced.

          1. 2010, yes. 2012? No.Ferrari were way off the pace in Melbourne and Alonso only won in Malaysia because of the wether. He won in Valencia again, on a super human performance from way down the grid and was doing a fantastic job to put his Ferrari on the podium in most races while Vettel started almost every race from the front few slots. Massa was nowhere in mean time.
            It was McLaren who were able to match RedBull on quali and race pace but kept screwing up pitstops, miscalculating Hamiltons fuel in Spain for his pole lap and breaking down during the race because of reliability, Maldonado and poor performances from both Button and Hamilton.

            1. I don’t think they were that off. But anyway it doesn’t have a bearing on what I’m saying as they have already caught up with Red Bull previously in 2010.

            2. Alonso won because of a superhuman performance? Yes, it was good but you must also remember that Vettel did absolutely nothing wrong that weekend and then his car gave up. Grosjean was also looking good.

            3. @Craig Woolard
              That’s true, Vettel broke down and Maldonado took out Hamilton as well, but even if ALO had only reached a podium it would have been a fantastic result from where he came from that day. His overtakes were amazing and I really feel it was the race of the year from ALO (and in general of 2012 imho)

              Point is, that Ferrari wasn’t “on par” with RedBull that year at all. That Ferrari had no business to be in front of Webber’s RedBull, both McLarens and both Lotus’. If Fernando had been in that RedBull or Lotus he’d probably won the championship (had he been in that McLaren, I’m not so sure because of the team’s incompetence that year)

            4. You are assuming he would’ve been faster than Vettel. We don’t know that but you can assume of course. I thought it’s a classic Alonso victory, guys in front have reliability issues and incidents, he performs consistently and beautifully and then wins. Well it wasn’t always like that, but considering 1/3rd of his wins and lately most of them are inherited sadly, it kinda became Alonso classic. Goes to show how important consistency and reliability is, Alonso inherited as many wins as Vettel lost from lead due to non driver issues. Of course a bit unlucky for Vettel that he didn’t inherit more than 1 or 2 at most, but impeccable reliability meant that Alonso didn’t lose out from the lead either. Puts the best cars vs fastest cars thing into perspective a bit. Ferrari-like reliability and not making McLaren-like operational mistakes are also key factors, as much as speed.

            5. That’s a complete fiction. While Alonso and Ferrari were starting down the grid at the beginning of 2012, so were Red Bull. Vettel lined up 6th, 6th, and 11th in the first three races. Over the course of the season Alonso’s average starting position was only about one place worse than Vettels.

              As for the question of season-on-season improvement, there were major changes to the rules made at the end of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons.

            6. @JeffreyJ Well Alonso would have you believe that Ferrari in 2012 was the worst car ever but I’m afraid it is not. Sure it was difficult for the first few races but from Spain on wards it was a front running car that even Massa was getting some good results and podiums especially through the 2nd half of the season and there were some tracks that he was matching Alonso or beating him as well. After the Mugello upgrade to Brazil, Ferrari scored 356 points, only 3 less than red bull and nearly 70 more than Mclaren.

            7. @JeffreyJ

              It was McLaren who were able to match RedBull on quali and race pace but kept screwing up pitstops, miscalculating Hamiltons fuel in Spain for his pole lap and breaking down during the race because of reliability, Maldonado and poor performances from both Button and Hamilton.

              Button had several poor weekends (for much of mid-season he struggled, there were several weekends where even he struggled to even make it into Q3 when Hamilton was fighting for pole), but the only poor weekend Hamilton had was Spa IMO, and much of his poor performance can be traced to selecting an inferior rear wing to Button (it was his fault since he had the choice to use that wing as well though). Japan didn’t go well for him either, but this can be attributed to a failure on part of his rear suspension before qualifying (which McLaren were unaware of until after the race), which created a lot of understeer and hampered his weekend. The result was that he qualified ninth and struggled for pace in the early parts of the race, but around 20 laps into the race (after a ‘thud’ at the rear of the car around turn 14) the problem fixed itself and Hamilton managed to salvage fifth after his pace greatly improved as a result.

              On the whole, I think Hamilton performed very well in 2012, in fact I think 2012 was one of his best seasons. He beat Button 17-3 in qualifying and made pretty much no significant errors in races – he wasn’t at fault for the collisions with Maldonado, Grosjean and Hulkenberg (each time the other driver got the penalty), and IMO his worst on-track mistake all season was probably being a bit too aggressive (though still fair) against Maldonado at Valencia.

              The reason why he was out of the championship fight despite great machinery and great driving is because of some horrifically bad luck – e.g. reliability issues, frequent slow pitstops, team errors, being an innocent victim in several crashes. This article demonstrates just how bad his luck was. He lost 4 potential race wins (Spain, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Brazil) through no fault of his own, and overall an upward of 150 potential points were lost to bad luck. Had Hamilton enjoyed similar luck to his championship competitors, there’s a very strong chance he would have won the championship in 2012.

          2. ferrari faster than rb in 2010? Am I reading this right? Seriously?

            1. I don’t think anyone said “ferrari faster than rb in 2010”, so you are not reading this right. But, he wrote “Ferrari was on par with Red Bull in 2010”, which is true.

          3. This has to stop that Mclaren was the best car in 2012. They were incredibly inconsistent throughout the season. Some tracks they were really fast, on others they were nowhere to be seen and when you have that much reliability problems, then it can’t be the best car like some of you are suggesting to be.

            1. Does anyone read properly before commenting? He says “2012 McLaren was faster than anyone”. Not wrong. Doesn’t say “best”. They had more operational problems then reliability problems. If you want to see an unreliable McLaren, ask Kimi.

            2. @lala McLaren had in no way the fastest car over the entire season. It was the quickest in the final two races and the period after the summer break. Apart from that, the Red Bull’s were much quicker in the Asian races, and the early part of the season where it switched between them, McLaren, Ferrari, and whoever managed to get their tyres working on the day.

            3. Between 2009-2013, only year 1 car was the fastest over the entire season was probably 2011. And even that may not be true, especially towards the end of season. By fastest, I meant on average. We say generally that RB was fastest in 2013, but it wasn’t for every race. Otw, I agree with everything you say.

      4. I think what Ferrari should look into is strategy. Remember how Vettel was faster than Raikkonen and Mercedes in Canada and closed down the gap somehow? It’s because Mercedes was not covering for him and they had their eyes on Raikkonen in the race. Same thing happened in Bahrain. They were covering for Vettel the whole time and didn’t see Raikkonen coming. Problem is if Vettel did what Raikkonen did in Bahrain Mercedes would have done the same and probably the advantage would have been gone. It’s the sort of thing second Ferrari driver on grid can do. But, they are playing it too safe. They should risk the podium for a win. And Raikkonen should qualify like he did in Australia, Bahrain, China, Canada, Hungary. Better yet it might have been easier for Vettel to occasionally qualify behind Raikkonen in a race like Bahrain.

      5. I think if Ferrari get even a bit closer, we would be seeing a much closer championship. Imagine that Vettel wins in Bahrain, gets Rosberg via pit or start in Monaco and wins that one too, doesn’t lose 2nd in Spain because they are horribly slow with primes, team doesn’t make a botched pit stop in Austria and Canada, so in Austria he finishes within 5 secs of Hamilton who got a penalty, and finishes 4th in Canada ahead of his teammate. Those things would have been possible with a bit more luck and hard work from Ferrari and Vettel. And then he would be leading the championship by 4 points.

      6. I’d put my money on Ferrari, because Vettel usually makes less mistakes than Hamilton does, and Ferrari make less mistakes than Mercedes do.

        Selective memory at work here methinks. Seb makes errors under pressure like all of them, and so do Ferrari.

        Mercedes have to sort out their clutch and start parameters, and Ferrari have to catch up something in the region of half a second on a moving target where everything is already extremely refined. Hungary shifted a lot of perceptions, but before that there were the all too familiar political murmurings around Ferrari and whether Allison was safe.

        1. @lockup
          A bit late on the response.

          Look at how Ferrari handled 2012, like absolute professionals. Ferrari actually got more podiums than either Red Bull or McLaren that season, despite having a significantly slower car for most of the year (especially in qualifying, to a lesser extent in races). Now compare that to how McLaren handled 2012, the difference is night and day.

          Ferrari are the masters of strategy, reliability and team operations. Ferrari have been the masters of getting the most out of their equipment since at least 2012. Ever since that infamous mistake at Abu Dhabi 2010, they have been absolutely relentless in this department.

          1. I agree it would be awesome @kingshark if Merc and Ferrari’s cars were on a par so the teams and drivers could fight out a season on the racing itself.

            My memory isn’t up to a detailed list of everything that’s happened in the last couple of years, but I feel it could go either way, personally. I wish Brawn were still running Mercedes, but even so aren’t they leading the pitstop times this year?

            On the drivers curiously I see Seb as the one who is more often over-aggressive, like Hungary last year, though I’d rather that than over-conservative. He hangs everything on superfine judgment, just like Lewis. In fact on track they’re quite similar, I’d say.

      7. In those years, Ferrari had the benefit in unlimited testing, a sole tyre supplier and the outstanding driver in the field. None of which they enjoy today. There are also more than the two superstar teams with the budgets to win. You are comparing apples with oranges.

        Ferrari have managed to improve the power unit and aero remarkably but they have just the two wins out of ten so far. A big performance still may not be enough to overhaul Mercs nex year, plus I expect a challenge of somensorts from the Red-Bull and maybe McLaren can challenge for some wins to. This may play into the hands of Hamilton if he is made no 1 driver.

        1. I think there is a problem with people who assume Ferrari can only win with unlimited testing or bespoke tyres. It’s funny how confident they are. Remember 2007-2008 fighting for championship, then 2009 nowhere, and 2010 caught Red Bull. Were they doing illegal testing in 2009?

          1. I was referring to Kingshark’s post of comparing 1998 to 2015. There are huge differences in those two years.

            2007-08 they were still testing allowed through a season of 30,000km.

            2010, when testing did not take place, they were nowhere near Red-Bull but for reliability and errors. Red-Bull got 15/19 poles and Webber was able to go to the last race with a chance of being WDC. That is how fast the Red-Bull was in 2010.

            1. Ferrari was definitely right up there with Red Bull. Not getting the poles quite as often doesn’t translate as slower. It depends on drivers, cars, etc.

            2. hahaha. Dude, RB6 often took pole by 1s or more. The only thing keeping ferrari in contention was it’s reliability and that’s it. On pace they were nowhere near.

            3. @wert
              It was not close to Red Bull. You cannot call getting 2 poles v 15 anything other than domination.

            4. I agree with @wert. Ferrari was just as fast in races, don’t know how you can call that domination @brum55

            5. @brum55

              Webber had issues (his starts mainly and he was bit weak psychologically), but no one in their right mind questions Webber’s qualifying – he’s among the best and on the right track and day, no one could beat him. Vettel the same. Who knows how fast that Ferrari might have been over one lap?

            6. Are you serious or what @juzh ? When has ever RB took a pole position by “1 second or more”. That’s quite a hyperbolic statement. In last years (2005 onwards or so) there’s been only 2 pole positions with over 1 second gap to 2nd and both of them had more to do with conditions then cars: 1st Malaysia 2010 – Webber, 2nd Brazil 2010 – Hulkenberg. I hope you won’t also say Williams in 2010 was also 1 second faster than Ferrari. Talk about spouting nonsense…

            7. @ jak In S Hungary the 1st RB was 1.2s faster than the next non-Red Bull car.

              @paul qualifying generally shows the car’s ultimate pace. Always has been always will be.

            8. @uan
              Alonso has had the better of all his team-mates bar Hamilton in 07. He is no mug in qualifying, contary to what some may believe. His average gap to Kimi last year was greater than Vettel’s currently.

            9. @brum55

              You cannot call getting 2 poles v 15 anything other than domination.

              qualifying generally shows the car’s ultimate pace. Always has been always will be.

              I suppose the RB9 and W04 were actually pretty close in 2013, with RBR taking just 3 poles more than Mercedes.

            10. @david-a In terms of pace they were, and also before Belgium Mercs had only one win less than RB and considerably more poles but they struggled badly with the degrading tyres. Degrading tyres was not an issue in 2010, so that is a really poor comparison.

            11. @brum55

              I’m not saying Alonso’s a mug in qualifying, but he typically sets his car up for Sundays.

              Also, Alonso had a larger gap in qualifying to Kimi in 2014 at the mid-point (around -0.695 iirc) but for the seasons it was -0.528.

              Currently at the mid-point, Vettel’s advantage is averaging -0.561.

              It should be noted that Kimi was struggling mightily with the Ferrari last year, especially in the first part of the season, and this year, he’s on much, much better terms with the car (and should get more out of it).

              So much different circumstances and cars.

              I also saw on James Allen site, a couple months back after 6 races, an article on Kimi’s qualifying. The gap to Alonso for 2014, based on both drivers reaching the same qualifying session, had the gap between them at .285, while through 6 races, the gap between Vettel and Kimi stood at .431 (often teams don’t have the engines turned up the same in the different Qualifying sessions, and times usually improve).

              It will be interesting to see them at the end of this year.

            12. @brum55
              1. There’s no quali in Hungary where RB was 1.2 sec faster than second.
              2. Quali gap between Alonso and Vettel vs Raikkonen is the same. Not that it really shows anything, since quali gaps between same drivers change from one year to another.

      8. Hakkinen is no Hamilton, Coulthard is no Rosberg, Mercedes are more consistent and reliable than McLaren. Don’t think there is much comparison really. Maybe the gap to second best team in terms of performance is somewhat similar.

      9. Hamilton is a little bit better than Hakkinen

        How do you come to that conclusion?

        I mean, the sample is really small (only 3 races), but Hakkinen outqualified Senna. Also, he was far less incident-prone than Hamilton, we just didn´t see Ham in traffic (other than his overcautious and passive teammate) much for the last 1.5 years.
        Also, Hakkinen´s stats would probably look a lot better if he
        – hadn´t had to overcome a near-death crash with ongoing health-consequences for quite a while
        – hadn´t had to face the Schumi-Brawn-Ferrari-Bridgestone-opposition in their prime
        – hadn´t retired so extraordinary early

        1. I think even Raikkonen is faster than Hakkinen.

          1. Please watch football. F1 is not for you

            1. Valuable contribution from you.

        2. Seriously. Hakk outqualified Senna once. Went years without winning, beat the Ferrari not ‘ in their prime’ but while they were still coming up to speed and was handed his second when Schumi broke his leg. He had plenty of incidents, including crashing out of the lead on his own, and retired young through lack of motivation. He was super quick and a lovely guy, but not in the same league as Lewis Hamilton.

          Not that this has any bearing on what to expect now really. Ferrari are not the same organisation with the same advantages and Mercedes are not Ron’s McLaren.

          IMO if Ferrari and Merc were starting level it could go either way; but they’re not.

        3. Thank you Sven. Spot on

        4. Thank you Sven, Spot on

      10. @kingshark I’m surprised by your comments lately. You used to praise Hamilton and always rated him above Vettel, so what’s changed?

        1. @LH44
          To put it simple: Hamilton is the new Vettel, and Vettel is the new Alonso.

      11. @kingshark I totally agree with this comment, but the long string of debate that has followed is interesting! You’re right in that, if anyone is to beat them, it’ll be Vettel with a Ferrari close enough that his consistency will win out.

        Other options from left field are Ricciardo-RB or Alonso-McLaren (finally with a decent engine), both probably 2017 at the earliest, but Vettel might have a chance in 2016. Else it’ll be Ham & Vet in 2017, both aiming for title #5!

        1. Can you imagine Ham&Vet going for 5th! Alonso going for the elusive 3rd! And Ricciardo going for 1st! LOL That’d be something…

    5. Are Williams not reaching their potential at the moment?

      In reality, Williams has been the 3rd best car overall this season, so 3rd in the WCC is exactly where they belong. They were faster than Ferrari only in Silverstone, but have been slower everywhere else; and on some occasions (Hungary, Monaco), they were absolutely nowhere. I doubt this is because of the drivers, the Williams car is just not very good around slow circuits.

      Also, Bottas & Massa is a good drivers line-up, better than most people would like to believe.

      1. I think their car can qualify in 2nd row with certain drivers though. Average gap is 0.1 sec to Ferrari in quali. Ferrari race pace looks better or slightly better most of the time, but I suspect if they qualified ahead they would have a decent chance to stay and finish ahead.

      2. @kingshark Agree, if they had a less impressive driver line-up, then there would be a lot more races like Massa’s in Hungary.

    6. I think Williams their misfortune has been more due to external factors and hardly to blame the drivers. I don’t think Alonso could have won in Austria or Silverstone. He would had a better shot but at this moment in time the Mercedes is just too good.

      1. @xtwl Alonso finished only 18 seconds back, hounding Massa, and this in the 2014 Ferrari! Put him in Bottas’ position, he no doubt would have kept the lead or stretched it a little, enough to cover Williams’ poor strategy calls and would have been aggressive in keeping Mercedes behind exiting the pits.

    7. While I think McLaren are in no position to point the finger at Williams, I do think that their philosophy is fundamentally right, no one with a Mercedes powered engine will be able to gain an advantage over the works team, the merc works team have taken full advantage of the new rules and have constructed, far and away, the best car on the grid.
      While on a related subject, McLaren have only themselves to blame, if Honda really have come from zero formula 1 experience within their ranks, then they would be no worse off with a works Lada deal.

      1. @dragoll I don’t agree at all. There is absolutely no reason why Williams could not overhaul Mercedes. Here’s one reason, or question you should ask yourself. What if Williams had built the Mercedes chassis and Mercedes was stuck with a Williams chassis. All the money in the world does not guarantee success, see Red Bull post 2013.

        They share the same engine so they cannot get an advantage there but surely there is plenty of reason to believe Williams could have been champions again if they built a proper chassis that wasn’t only good in a straight line.

        1. @xtwl I think you misunderstood, I never said it was because that Merc had more money, I was stating that Mercedes had absolutely nailed the current rules, and there is no way that a customer team will come close to the factory boys unless something drastic changes

          1. @dragoll Yes but what if Williams had nailed the rules with the Mercedes engine and Mercedes itself did not, that is a possibility. They still have the good engine but a bad chassis. So there is absolutly no way in saying the customer teams can’t catch up or can never be as good. If they had to use downgraded chassis’ sure but they are free to develop whatever they want.

            1. @xtwl I think what @dragoll is saying is that currently there is no way of Williams catching Mercedes. Yes what you say is correct – hypothetically if Williams had built a better chassis at the start of 2014 they might have beaten Mercedes. However dragoll is referring to the current situation, whereby Williams are playing “catch up” to Mercedes, and that because of this they will not overhaul them unless there is another drastic shake up of the rules.

            2. @xtwl I would argue that Mercedes have done the best job bar none with the current set of rules making your response pointless.

              However, if we were talk about a situation where the current scenario didn’t exist, let me raise the point of 2008 Italy, where one plucky Toro Rosso driver by the name of Sebastian Vettel beat the works team based on merrit. There have also been cases where Dellara in the early 90’s were faster than Ferrari. These are only a few examples I can think of that a customer team was faster than its works equivalent.

              The only other that comes to mind is RBR Renault beating the Renault team in 2010, but after doing my research the Renault company only held 25% stake in the team, so it isn’t a true representation of what we’re discussing.

              So my point I think still stands.

            3. @tthwaite and @dragoll – I agree Williams will never catch up to Mercedes now but that is no reason to say customer teams will always lose out to the factory teams and you need to be a factory team to win titles, as is the belief of Mclaren where we started talking. In the beginning of 2014 Williams had all the chances to be better than Mercedes.

          2. McLaren were beating the Merceds customer team in 2010-2012 with Mercedes engine.

    8. I wish ferrari to be compettitve next yr with merc.a vettel hamilton showdown and Hamilton shows the way to vettel like ricardo did last year .

      1. How is it that what happened in 2014 would be in any way similar to that? I’m no Vettel fan, but some people overdo it in their hurry to put Vettel down. If you want to see something similar, you need not look away from Red Bull. I have no problems with Dan the First, but imo I don’t think he’s been the third best driver like Keith would have you believe. I’m not sure if he’s been even the third best Red Bull driver.

      2. So it’s more of an anti-Vettel statement than anything productive, I guess.

      3. @manas Or maybe Vettel can do what he did on the day Hamilton won his first title.

        1. That was funny. Very exciting race.

      4. Yeah and Like Jenson did to Hamilton in 2011! Jeez!

    9. Considering the vast gap in resources between Williams and Ferrari/Mercedes/Red Bull, I think that they are doing better than what should be expected of them!

    10. with just the new reg’s coming into effect next race we could see a difference, maybe this is what Vettel is on about,
      Ham says they are already for the less communications from the engineers and are working hard to be ready for the next race in the form of off the line starts,
      when either one of these two drivers “Vet/Ham” hits the front they would be hard to get passed, due to the clean air for the front runner.

      1. Who knows which drivers would get it right? It might be Hamilton who does the best and doesn’t work out for Vettel. I’m more curious about Ricciardo’s start. He already has such a problem, less info might just make it even more horrible for him if that’s even possible. Or not. Who knows. In any case, starts are still the same, just less info given to drivers. Don’t see how it’s gonna test their abilities. Well, maybe their memories more than abilities.

    11. funny, haven’t Ferrari been saying much the same for the last 5-6 years now? Sure, it looks good after Hungary (as it did after Malaysia), but will they really get closer? Lets wait and see.

      Certainly we can be happy that Red Bull seems to be getting up to steam, Ferrari is not dropping back as much as it seemed until Hungary and Kimi almost always does well at Spa, Williams might have a couple of good races in Spa and Monza, Force India looks solid with their new car, and who knows, maybe McLaren really have found a path towards getting into the mix by now.
      Overall despite Mercedes having a solid top performance advantage, the season and prospects for the future look very good for fans to expect some good racing.

      1. @bascb We should not forget they have reached their target for this season, one set out by their own boss.

      2. How is it that we criticize Ferrari for looking good only for a couple of races while Red Bull looks good only on tracks suited to their cars but they are somehow catching up? They were good in Monaco or Silverstone too. Easily on par with Ferrari if not better.

        1. I am sorry if i gave the impression of critisizing them (they are not saying target met, lets move on to next year like BMW did afterall) @versase1.

          Good point about Red Bull showing up on the lower speed tracks, more or less mirroring Williams showing up good on faster tracks. I did get the impression that RBR have been gradually getting on top of their chassis and engine issues a bit to get into the mix.

          Yes, @xtwl, they did meet their target, good job from the team, good call from the boss to set this target. I certainly hope that won’t mean they are satisfied and happy, but from what Vettel but also the team has said, its unlikely they will stop pushing now.

          1. Well I wouldn’t care who criticizes Ferrari tbh :) Just that I don’t think we really saw Red Bull getting a lot faster or something. They have been always good at this sort of track since the beginning of the season. But, I also heard they sorted out some issues related to new version of these front ends in 2015. I think Williams did an even better job of catching up with the guys in front though. They were lacking race pace, now they are not. They just need to qualify better. There’s so little to choose between Williams and Ferrari at high speed circuits. I think especially the reason they are not starting races closer to Merc than Ferrari is quali performance from drivers. I think they are good enough qualifiers but a tenth or so missing you know…

          2. let’s not forget that RB benefitted from the SC in Hungary (as well as last year).

            I think personally Vettel while being realistic, is secretly eyeing an outside shot at the title. That should keep the bit between his teeth. He won his first WDC at the last race of the year, and 2012 he was down a ways in points and fought back. I can see him thinking get podiums on weaker tracks (as Alonso was saying in 2010 – “the title would be his if keeps getting podiums – and the one race he didn’t, cost him) and wins where possible. Ferrari does have an engine upgrade coming to Monza, and then Singapore is a good track for Ferrari, less engine dependent (good track for RB too). Put Mercedes under real pressure and they could start to crack.

            Ferrari has said they will take a 5th engine some time, so that will be an interesting race – but depending on the track, Vettel may be able salvage strong points or a podium.

            Not sure any of that happens, but I’m sure Vettel’s thinking that way. Winning a Championship with Ferrari has got to be major motivation for sure.

            1. @uan, in the case of Alonso back in 2010, the main reason why his strategy worked was because he knew that McLaren and Red Bull tended to take points off each other and therefore hindered each other in the WCC and WDC. No driver from McLaren or Red Bull could put together a series of podium finishes for multiple races, because there would inevitably come a race where they would find themselves shuffled down the order – so as long as Alonso could score consistently, he could challenge for the title whilst his rivals fought each other.

              However, as things currently stand, that strategy is not really so viable this time around – the two Mercedes drivers might take points off each other, but without another team getting in their way, Vettel is still not able to consistently finish ahead of one or both of the Mercedes drivers in order to compete over an extended period of time. It’s no good for Vettel to take seven podiums over the first 10 races when Hungary was the only time that both Mercedes drivers have not finished on the podium this season.

              Furthermore, the engine development scheduled for Monza isn’t necessarily that much of an advantage – Mercedes are also planning to use their tokens in the closing races, and furthermore Mercedes don’t have to take an engine penalty to introduce those upgrades.

    12. I just saw a poll, Ericsson is voted as 4th driver on the grid behind Verstappen, Vettel, Hamilton, and just ahead of Alonso, Raikkonen. Conclusion: Ericsson, Verstappen and Raikkonen have some hardcore fans. Didn’t know that about Ericsson.

    13. This idea that Vettel has been overachieving all season long in a dog of a Ferrari doesn’t really stack up. The German has been doing a very solid job and I don’t disagree with his number one rating, but the car’s engine has at times this season eclipsed the Merc.

      In a reply in the comments section to his Hungarian GP report for Motorsport, Mark Hughes, in my opinion the best F1 writer around, states that the Ferrari’s current deficit to the Merc is about 20bhp – on a 100-second lap that equates to losing about 0.25 sec on power. But apparently, it hasn’t always been the case this year.

      He writes: “From Malaysia, through Bahrain and China they were at least equal with the works Mercedes on power, maybe even slightly ahead. Certainly Williams’ analysis suggested they were ahead of them on power at that time. The Spain technical directive on fuel flow put Ferrari back behind Merc, by circa 20bhp. Their combustion upgrades for Canada were negated by Merc’s reliability upgrades reducing knock sensitivity. So Ferrari has been level on power, maybe even ahead, but is now back behind.”

      1. I don’t think Ferrari are dog, but I don’t think they eclipsed the Merc at all. Imo, that’s more absurd than the possibility of Vettel overachieving. You realize having a couple of tenths more horsepower without adhering to the same fuel restrictions is not the same thing as eclipsing others. Not to mention the fact that their deficit is not all on power unit. And even if that was the case, which is not, you can’t equate having more power with having better power unit.

      2. Who says that Vettel has been overachieving all season long in a dog of a Ferrari? I’m not a fan of his or Ferrari and even I didn’t see anyone serious claiming that. I’m sure there are people who say things like that, there’re always those who talk about one driver or the other saying he’s “outdriving”, “overachieving”, “outperforming” blablabla. But the matter of the fact is he’s done a very good job of maximizing his points and rattled Mercedes team and drivers enough that he managed to snatch a couple of wins. With you bringing this up now, it seems more like people who don’t like Vettel say things like what you are saying, doing some perception management. Why can’t Formula 1 be appreciated without some people getting obsessed over drivers?

      3. the car’s engine has at times this season eclipsed the Merc.

        I hardly think that Williams (who Mark Hughes is citing) is an unbiased source in all this.

        The Ferrari indeed cannot be described as a “dog” – though that never stopped people from describing Ferrari’s with similar performance deficits as “dogs” when Alonso was driving them. There is a massive performance gap between Mercedes and Ferrari though, and its impressive that they have nonetheless been able to bag two wins and two second place finishes. And Vettel has “overachieved” in being able to take the fight to Merc with a car which is so much slower.

        The speed gap between Merc and Ferrari this season has been greater than that between RB and the next best car in the second half of 2013. So you’d expect the Merc drivers to have taken ten wins out of ten. Either they are under-achieving or Vettel is over-achieving, take your pick.

        1. Gap from Mercedes to 2nd and 3rd fastest cars in 2014 and 2015 has been more or less the same.
          2014:
          2. Williams: +0.8
          3. RBR: +0.9
          2015:
          2. Ferrari: +0.8
          3. Williams: +0.9

          1. RB finished the 2013 season with eight straight pole positions. Gap to first non-RB:

            AUS 0.68
            MAl 0.913
            CAN 0.087
            ITA 0.31 secs
            SIN 0.091
            KOR 0.218
            JPN 0.34
            IND 0.75
            ABD 0.46
            USA 0.817
            BRZ 0.623
            Avg = 0.45 secs

            Mercedes began 2015 with ten straight pole positions. Gap to first non-Mercedes:

            AUS 1.39
            MAL 0.074
            CHN 0.905
            BHR 0.411
            SPN 0.777
            MON 0.751
            CAN 0.621
            AUT 0.355
            GBR 0.837
            HUN 0.719
            Avg = 0.68 secs

            1. Different tracks though. Make the comparison on same tracks.

            2. You may as well have said “Different tyres though, make the comparison on the same tyres”. Or “different temperatures though, make the comparison when the temperatures are identical”.

              The Merc is a more dominant car than the dominant RB’s were. Anyone who can’t see that is deliberately not seeing it, as there’s a superabundance of data to demonstrate it.

            3. You are right, but the example you give does not support that. You are looking at the gap from best to second best under similar conditions for 2 different years. If you don’t see the difference between different day/different temp/different tyres etc vs different track, I don’t have anything further to add.

            4. How do we know the difference isn’t that in 2013 SV was in the fastest car being chased by FA/LH, whereas in 2015 it’s LH being chased by SV?

              Not that I don’t admire Seb, but it’s just assumption that he’s as fast and all the difference is in the cars. And I don’t think we can dismiss Williams’ data analysis as ‘biased’.

            5. it’s just assumption that he’s as fast and all the difference is in the cars.

              And would you call the thinking that the difference is NOT in the cars? What would you call the belief that Mercedes and Ferrari are equal cars and that the difference is in the drivers? What sort of mental process is behind such sentences as — How do we know the difference isn’t that in 2013 SV was in the fastest car being chased by FA/LH, whereas in 2015 it’s LH being chased by SV?

              How do you know that the 2013 RB wasn’t a slug of a car which was flattered by Vettel? There’s a stronger case to be made there than for your suggestion – not the difference in how the no 2 drivers are faring in the same cars.

              Using your “logic” it’s entirely possible that the 1988 McLaren was a dreadful car flattered by its drivers, and that the greatest car in the whole history of F1 was the 2013 McLaren – it’s just that the drivers made it look bad.

              But here in the real world there are certain commonly accepted metrics by which cars are measured, and they all say the 2015 Mercedes is one of the most dominant F1 cars ever built.

            6. You are looking at the gap from best to second best under similar conditions for 2 different years.

              1988 is a different year from 2008. Are you going to argue that for all you know the 2008 McLaren was a more dominant car than the 1988 one, and that we can’t really tell whether it was or not because we’re looking at two different years?

            7. If you are gonna look at the same tracks I have no problem man. But you are comparing apples and oranges. Just think about it a bit more before arguing on what I’ve said.

            8. I’m not saying one way or the other @rm, I’m just pointing out your argument is circular. You’re comparing car+driver with car+driver, not car with car, so you can’t use that to rebut Williams’ gps data about the cars, in order to imply something about the drivers.

              There’s no basis for doubting what Williams told Hughes, so far.

      4. I was thinking that at the time, the Ferrari chassis is obviously slower than the Mercedes chassis, front nose an example, so to be even on pace over the long stints the engine must have been good on the straights. Add in better tyre usage to close the chassis deficit (or more able to use higher engine mode until knock sensitivity was solved) and that’s how he edged it on pace (plus good race consistency).

        1. Straights wouldn’t make a difference. Even Red Bull was as fast as Ferrari with that engine.

    14. I just saw the “who’ll win the 2015 battle of the team mates” poll and comments on f1fanatic. Very interesting results there, far from what really happened. And the comments are fun to read: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/03/10/who-will-win-the-battle-of-the-team-mates-in-2015/
      I’ll just remind the poll results:
      Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (76%) – Nico Rosberg (24%)
      Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo (95%) – Daniil Kvyat (5%)
      Williams: Felipe Massa (17%) – Valtteri Bottas (83%)
      Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel (65%) – Kimi Raikkonen (35%)
      McLaren: Fernando Alonso (66%) – Jenson Button (34%)
      Force India: Nico Hulkenberg (83%) – Sergio Perez (17%)
      Toro Rosso: Max Verstappen (62%) – Carlos Sainz Jnr (38%)
      Lotus: Romain Grosjean (96%) – Pastor Maldonado (4%)
      Sauber: Marcus Ericsson (26%) – Felipe Nasr (74%)
      Manor: Will Stevens (46%) – Roberto Merhi (54%)
      Apparently the biggest error seems to be made with Red Bull drivers. And Williams drivers along with the Toro Rosso pair seem at least a bit closer than the percentages would have you believe. I can’t really make a decision on McLaren drivers. But it’s interesting that Ferrari drivers are one of the closest with their percentage, but it turned out as disproportionate as RoGro vs Maldonado, and the comments were really supportive of Raikkonen, expecting him to be much faster this year and edge Vettel. Also, very interesting that there were some people who categorized the battles in 3 groups: close call, clear edge, domination.
      Honorable mention to @rjoconnell who said “Ferrari – Vettel retires Kimi”. LOL

    15. It’s a very interesting statement from Vettel. :)

    16. I believe Ferrari has some potential to improve when they move to a short nose concept as other teams. Though it may not cut the deficit to Mercedes to full extent but it will help in increasing the pressure on Mercs (at least by Seb(Faster Ferrari) on Nico(Slower mercedes)).

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