Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016

Hamilton warns over Ferrari race pace

2016 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Ferrari will be strong in the Canadian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel got within two-tenths of a second of the Mercedes in qualifying.

The world champion believes his pole position lap time could have been quicker but says Ferrari’s power unit upgrade has delivered a genuine improvement.

“I do think that today there’s at least a couple of tenths inside,” he told reporters in Canada. “So there’s still some margin.”

“But today was still close. It was not easy to get that extra two-tenths out but I honestly think that was there for the taking.”

“But they definitely have improved with their turbo, I think their long runs look very, very strong. We’re going to be on our toes tomorrow to try and stay ahead of them, for sure.

Hamilton narrowly edged Nico Rosberg for his fourth pole position of the season but said it hadn’t been his best qualifying performance.

“It actually wasn’t a great lap,” said Hamilton. “I don’t know whether I should admit that or not, I should be saying, ‘yeah, it was perfect, it was great’.”

“But honestly yesterday was a really good day for me in terms of pace and today I didn’t have the same pace as I had yesterday. I don’t know if it was a set-up change I made or what.”

“Still it was obviously enough, but not as much as I would like. Yesterday I had like a half a second buffer to Nico and then it diminished a lot. I think he gained some and I lost some.”

“But nonetheless it was still alright. Good enough. I don’t know what else to say, it was not the best pole position lap I’ve had. And the second lap should’ve been better but it wasn’t.”

2016 Canadian 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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    8 comments on “Hamilton warns over Ferrari race pace”

    1. It was nice to watch Lewis in the final part of qualifying, and I thought that his car looked superb but if Lewis is saying that there was more and I am sure Nico could have done too especially that these were cooler temperatures than yesterday. If it’s rain then first laps could be exciting because both cars seem to have problems warming up their tyres.

    2. I can’t help but feel that completely changing the rules again for 2017 will be a mistake.

      Right now the field is closing up relative to 2014-2015. Mercedes was only 0.2 seconds faster than Ferrari who were, in tune, about 0.2 seconds faster than Red Bull. Similarly, towards the end of 2008, the gap between the teams really closed up, and we saw some qualifying sessions (Q2 especially, without fuel loads) where the gap separating the top 10 was only 1 second or less.

      Throughout most of 2012 and in the first half of 2013, we had a fairly close and competitive field (contrary to popular belief). Red Bull really pulled away in the second half of 2013 when most teams gave up on catching them and focused on 2014 instead. What we ended up with in the following two seasons was a field that was very spread out with Mercedes being dominant.

      Regulation changes tend to spread out fields. Stability over lengthy periods of time bring the pack closer together as most of the field finds the optimum solution and the cars reach a development peak. The only change I’d make for 2017 is to get rid of the token system altogether.

      Anyway, now watch Mercedes crush the field by 30 seconds tomorrow and my theory be proved wrong.

      1. Nah. We should have some fun.. and in 2012 it was not as competitive. It was between Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull after the first seven races. However at the second half, it became Hamilton vs Vettel, but we were robbed by reliability issues by Hamilton’s MP4-27… In 2013, though, we had RB, Ferrari, Lotus, Mercedes which was pretty fun except the part where let’s say… “Blowouts, bewildering pit stops, tyre changes, making goal posts wider by Boullier” and complaints by Red Bull during that time. Only Vettel dominated the last races, 9 of them, and it was boring… yeah.. lol. In 2014, well.. we could say that Hamilton was in a different league than his teammate and 2015 as well… until the last part. Anyway, if we think Mercedes will just decimate the field, I don’t think so… 2014 was the closest to decimation and one could probably call it a decimated year by the Mercedes team but I don’t think that they can create a car that is again: 3-4 or even 5 seconds faster than the field. That would be already nearly the best car in history of F1, which is between the MP4-4, F2004, W05 and the W06. Plus, it would need the drivers, Rosberg and Hamilton, one of the best pairings, to step up. We should also consider that if you are leading, you might as well turn the engine down and bring the car home, something Vettel didn’t like doing in the past but it is better to just bring the car home, calmly..

      2. You’ve hit the nail on the head. In order for the cars to equalise themselves, there has to be a period of rules stability. That’s been proven in all the years i’ve watched the sport. Every time the regs get “improved”, it’s the team with the best ability to exploit them becomes dominant. Double Decker diffusers anyone?

      3. I agree. I think making rules for f1 is really simple, you just have to go against what the top teams desire.

      4. Spot on. I fully agree with your analysis.

      5. I agree. We could actually end up with someone streets ahead of the rest… Ferrari and Red Bull are getting closer and could be a match for Mercedes next year under the same rules but we’re going for a gamble, let’s hope it works out.

    3. Shaping up to be a great race tomorrow

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