Hamilton sets up title showdown with pole position

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton took a crucial pole position for the championship showdown after leading team mate Nico Rosberg throughout qualifying in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes annexed the front row ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

Q1

Hamilton gave a clear statement of intent from the first lap of qualifying. He blazed around the Yas Marina circuit to set a time one second quicker than Rosberg could manage, and 1.3 seconds faster than anything he’d done up to that point. For his part, Rosberg told the team he’d made two mistakes on his first run.

Rosberg’s time was pounced upon by the two Ferrari drivers, who did a pair of laps each on the ultra-softs to take the second and third fastest times. Max Verstappen also demoted the championship leader.

Toro Rosso’s struggles in practice came back to haunt them as neither driver was able to make it into the second phase of qualifying. Both Sauber drivers also failed to make the cut – Marcus Ericsson ended up last after locking up at turn 17. His team mate reported a “surge problem” at turn 14 on his lap.

Manor capitalised on their difficulties to get one car into Q2. Pascal Wehrlein, who is still looking for a seat for 2017, made it in by a tenth of a second.

Esteban Ocon was unable to join his team mate, however. At Renault Jolyon Palmer reached Q2 again while Kevin Magnussen dropped out.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.003
18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’42.142
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.247
20 Esteban Ocon Manor-Mercedes 1’42.286
21 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.393
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.637

Q2

Rosberg brought the gap between him and Hamilton down to more realistic levels in the second phase of qualifying. He came within three-thousandths of a second of matching his team mate’s Q1 time while Hamilton was only able to eke out another tenth of a second. That set up another tense Q3 showdown between the pair.

A great lap by Kimi Raikkonen raised the possibility of Ferrari getting involved in the fight for the front row. He was little more than a tenth of a second slower than Rosberg.

He was separated from team mate Sebastian Vettel by Verstappen. Unlike their front-running rivals, Red Bull elected to send both drivers out on super-soft tyres instead of ultra-softs.

The two RB12s returned to the track on the softer rubber at the end of the session but both abandoned their laps as they realised their super-soft times were safe. The Red Bull pair will therefore have the potential strategic advantage of starting the race on the harder rubber.

Fernando Alonso grabbed the final place in Q3 at the expense of Valtteri Bottas, whom he beat by four-hundredths of a second. Felipe Massa therefore claimed a top ten starting place for his final grand prix, though Jenson Button did not.

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Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’41.084
12 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’41.272
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1’41.480
14 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’41.564
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’41.820
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1’41.995

Q3

Hamilton sustained his momentum at the beginning of Q3, finding yet more time to pull three-tenths clear of Rosberg after their first runs. But as the track continued to cool it was clear the pace was increasing, and the final runs would be decisive.

Even so the Mercedes pair had enough performance in hand to be able to take to the track well in front of their rivals, reducing the risk of being hampered by a yellow flag. Hamilton was first to run and, as had been the case throughout the session, Rosberg was slightly quicker in the short first sector.

Around the rest of the lap Hamilton pressed home his advantage. He overturned the deficit and more in the middle sector, and a clean but attacking run through the final corners yielded a lap just three-tenths shy of his track record from five years ago.

Rosberg couldn’t match it. He had at least found enough time to equal Hamilton’s first Q3 run, and that left him over half a second clear of the pursuing pack.

They were led by Daniel Ricciardo whose Red Bull team mate stumbled in the final phase. Having failed to match his super-soft tyre sector time on his first lap, Verstappen then abandoned his second run. He lost fifth place to Vettel, whose last run left him just seven-hundredths shy of third place.

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Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’38.755
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.058
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’39.589
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’39.604
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’39.661
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’39.818
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’40.501
8 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’40.519
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’41.106
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’41.213

2016 Abu Dhabi 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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115 comments on “Hamilton sets up title showdown with pole position”

  1. That Max, sometimes I wonder about that boy. Faster than Ricciardo all weekend, much faster on SS, and totally ruins Q3. Slower on US than on SS. He’s gonna need to learn when to deliver if he wants to really challenge.
    Red Bull will challenge tomorrow, their SS race pace was brilliant.

  2. Lewis is so clutch look at his 2014 finish and now in 2016 it is crazy. Nico is by far his quickest teammate aswell.

    1. Lewis is so clutch look at his 2014 finish and now in 2016 it is crazy

      Guess I’m not down with the kid speak. No idea what you are trying to say here :/

      1. ‘Clutch’ = to deliver a high-quality performance when it is needed most.

        1. Big shame his clutch hasn’t been clutch then eh

      2. Clutches work with pressure applied right, so a “clutch” sportsman is one that can perfom above his competitors in high pressure situations.

      3. Ya get with the times grandpa. Clutch has been in professional sports for about 30-40 years lol

    2. Too little too late for Lewis. He should have been driving like this the whole season. Being “clutch” when the title is 90% in favor of the other guy is useless.

      1. Except that the only reason he isn’t leading the championship right now is due to one-sided unreliability.

        1. Not the only reason. It’s also because Nico has capitalized every chance he’s gotten.
          Also, Hamilton totally broke Nico’s mojo by crashing into him Spain.

          All I know is I’m gonna enjoy not watching tomorrow’s race and knowing who won the championship by mid afternoon.

          1. Not the only reason. It’s also because Nico has capitalized every chance he’s gotten.

            Every chance he got? Not sure what season you’ve been watching. If he had really capitalised then then championship would have been won by now. Did he really make the most of Germany? How about Austria? Monaco? Canada? Spain?

            If it wasn’t for Hamilton’s mechanical issues Rosberg would have already lost the championship.

          2. @James Rosberg caused that crash by pushing Hamilton of the track.

          3. @Patience And Time haha, that’s rich.

        2. the only reason

          Reliability is the only reason? What about the bad starts, the mental screw-up in Japan, crashing in Baku qualifying, losing the first 4 races of the season for who knows what reason.

          1. losing the first 4 races of the season for who knows what reason.

            You don’t know what happened in the first 4 races of the season?

          2. Lockup:

            Given the absolute nonsense he posts week after week it really doesn’t surprise me that he doesn’t know lol.

          3. @Mark Jackson LOL 3 bad starts in total, the rest where car issues outside Hamilton’s ability. ‘losing the first 4 races of the season for who knows what reason.’ – Are you serious or just joking ?

          4. Yes reliability is the only reason, it really is that simple no matter how much you try and swerve away from the point. Had Hamilton’s car not gone pop in Malaysia he would be champion tomorrow even if he was to come second to Rosberg.

        3. Except that’s nonsense, and he’s been the beneficiary of good luck too. You can’t ignore his good luck and pretend only the bad luck counts. Hamilton is trailing on merit.

          1. If Ham’s engine hadn’t blown up he would be in the lead now. Also if the rules weren’t so messed up his crew could have told him the settings needed in European Grand Prix. So even with bad starts he would be Champion now. It is just bad luck he is 12 points behind. Anyways Rosberg will DNF tomorrow (I hope. lol).

          2. Tommy Scragend
            26th November 2016, 19:00

            If, if, if…

          3. Not to mention that he only started having problems with his starts after Bernie & the FIA mandated the changes to the clutch TO MAKE THE STARTS MORE DIFFICULT & RANDOM!!! So many short memories here…

          4. The starts aren’t more difficult than before, they are more random.
            The race engineer has to setup the clutch before the car goes to the grid. If he’s not right, the car will crawl from its spot. Verstappen suffered 3 bad starts in a row before RB fixed the issue. I don’t remember Rosberg’s fans (or the anti Hamilton brigade) blaming him for not training enough.

    3. Of course Dan, Nico is the quickest teammate of Lewis Hamilton. World Champions Alonso ( who tied Hamilton on points in 2007) and Button ( who beat Hamilton on points in 2011) are useless.

  3. So, after all the build-up and hype, I hope tomorrow doesn’t end up being a comfortable and unchallenged romp home for both the Mercedes.

    1. Nico should at least make an effort overtake Lewis tomorrow than play the numbers game.

      1. Why? I mean, it would be more exciting for us, but for him it would be downright stupid.

        1. Because winning the WDC without either the most poles or the most wins would taint his win. He probably won’t care tomorrow so long as he wins the championship, but his legacy after he retires will be as one of the least deserving champions ever, unless he has a proper go at Lewis tomorrow.

          1. Because winning the WDC without either the most poles or the most wins would taint his win.

            I don’t think it does. He’s an intelligent driver, and he knows exactly where he has to finish to clinch the title. By definition, the title goes to the driver who scores the most points over a season. Any other criteria have zero relevance.

          2. Not really. I’m pretty it’s about who has the most points at the end of the season. Not wins or poles. People are just looking for excuses, cause they don’t like Rosberg.

          3. Does that mean Hamilton ‘ s 08 title is “tainted” then ? Less wins than Massa , less reliability issues aswell I remember , also not the victim of blatant Renault cheating at singapore. Alonso won the title in 05 even tho Raikkonen and Mclaren were generally quicker , for that read prost v senna 89 , I wouldn’t have said either of them were unworthy or tainted triumphs tho, just the way it goes sometimes , that’s racing.

          4. but his legacy after he retires will be as one of the least deserving champions ever

            If Rosberg wins the WDC, then it was because he had the most points, just like every other World Driver’s Champion. Some of them, e.g. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, had the aid of team orders that let them win, Rosberg hasn’t had any team orders assistance, therefore his win would be better than someone who benefited from team orders because he got his results from actual on track performance against a very good team mate. Last year Hamilton had the benefit of a team policy that let the leading driver pit first, which I don’t think was present this year.
            If Rosberg is “undeserving” as a World Champion Driver, at the very least those who benefited from team orders, like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, are even more undeserving.

          5. Nonsense. Nobody considers Hamilton’s titles to be illegitimate, but he’s finished as champion with less wins than his rival, too.

          6. Because winning the WDC without either the most poles or the most wins would taint his win.

            Just like his old man.

    2. @phylyp
      Sounds like the most likely scenario to me, unless one of the pursuers manages to stay in undercut land throughout his first stint. Doesn’t look impossible, but not straightforward, either. Red Bull’s supersoft strategy doesn’t look like too much of a threat for Mercedes, but rather aimed at Ferrari.
      Of course, all of this could be obsolete within seconds after the start if one of the Mercedes struggles to get off the line again. But we haven’t seen that happening since Suzuka, and the last time before that was in Hockenheim.
      Keeping in mind that literally anything can happen, I wouldn’t bet my money on anything else than a Mercedes 1-2.

      1. @ nase – yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. If Red Bull had qualified ahead of Ferrari, they could have frustrated Ferrari with the super-soft tyres. Unfortunately, given where Max is, its likely that Ricciardo is going to feel the heat from the Ferraris.

        However, if Ricciardo gets away quickly from the Ferraris, then Mercedes will be faced with a dilemma of whether to pit Rosberg first if his ultrasofts start to fall off.

        Of course, like you said, all this can go topsy-turvy with poor starts.

        1. @phylyp

          However, if Ricciardo gets away quickly from the Ferraris, then Mercedes will be faced with a dilemma of whether to pit Rosberg first if his ultrasofts start to fall off.

          Only if Ricciardo gets too close to Rosberg. But seeing as Red Bull opted to start the race on the more durable compound, I don’t think Ricciardo will be too inclined to push hard from the start and then make an early pit stop. That’d be the worst of both worlds, and rather improbable as well, considering the lack of pace Red Bull had compared to Mercedes. I can picture a Red Bull keeping pace with a Mercedes on the supersoft if the former tries to make the tyre last and the latter tries to make the undercut work. The supersoft is a major obstacle in that scenario, and might already be disadvantageous at the start, enabling the Ferraris to get ahead.
          From Mercedes’s perspective, this qualifying could’ve hardly been better.

          1. I can picture a Red Bull keeping pace with a Mercedes on the supersoft

            Ultrasoft! I meant ultrasoft!
            Red Bull are already down on pace on the softest compound available, so they’ll be even worse off in the first 10 laps or so on the harder compound.

  4. Solid middle sector from Lewis. I wonder if Nico was expecting a 1.38 at all. After all the dancing yesterday, good to see Daniel line up third. Battle between Max and Seb will be worth watching tomorrow.

  5. I was just wondering what was the race director (not Charlie but the one responsible for the coverage) thinking in the last part of the qualifying, RIC,VET and VES were still on their flying laps and the cameras were showing the paddock.
    It’s true ROS and HAM are the only title contenders but in this particular race we were all waiting for the next best, who is going to arbitrate (sportingly speaking) the WDC because Mercedes 1,2 was a formality.

    1. That was so annoying. I thought Vettel had abandoned his late given he wasn’t being shown

  6. One of the amazing things about Hamilton’s rookie season in F1 was his consistency – at age 22. But Max is 19 still! So another 3 years experience would be useful. I’m guessing he’ll learn.

    1. (reply to @hahostolze, not sure what happened there)

      1. (I’ve had that happen before to, not sure if it is a bug in the site software)

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          26th November 2016, 14:45

          (same here; not a bug i reckon, but a ‘Reply’ to the comment button sitting next to the ‘Leave a Reply’ to the article text input field)

          1. Ah I think I know what it is, at least for me on my iPad. If you press the reply button and accidentally scroll the page while pressing it doesn’t register the press. If you are replying to the last comment on a thread there is very little difference between the Reply to thread and Reply to comment so it’s easy to miss that the Reply wasn’t registered

      2. Well then I’ll respond here ;-) I mean you’re absolutely right, but it’s been two years now. He’s as fast as anyone and one of the very best racers, but stringing together a perfect lap still missing.

  7. I want to know what happened to Vettel and Verstappen’s laps. Like… do we care about Massa being shown even though it’s his last qualifying? Vettel’s lap was more important because he is one of the challengers to the Mercedes. Even Verstappen… After both mercedes crossed the line, they didn’t show what happened to him because it was he who caused the yellow flag… What the hell FIA??? How stupid for them, they did this last year in Japan with both mercedes, and this year here… Absolute stupidity at its maximum

    1. I knew that Vettel was going to be slower than Kimi anyway. He’s lost his touch in qualifying. Although I would have liked to see Verstappen’s lap instead of Hamilton’s mum, no disrespect to her.

    2. FOM not FIA are responsible for the TV coverage

      1. I am pretty sure FOM does all races except monaco.

  8. Rosberg just doesn’t seem like a champion material. What a shame if he gets it.

    1. What does make a champion? Why would it be a shame

    2. @ivan-vinitskyy
      He only needs a podium finish and he’ll be champ, so why would he take unnecessary risks. On the other hand Hamilton lap was unbelievable.

    3. HAM already got some free gifts in 2008 ( by Kubica) and 2014 (double point finale and technical issues ROS)
      So now it’s time for ROS to take the points. Lots of victory’s , poles and podiums this year: so if he wins it’s a deserved win.

      1. I have no idea where to begin to correct you so I’ll just sigh….

        1. If you think Hamilton deserves the championship because he goes on to win more races and Rosberg doesn’t then did Hamilton deserve it in 08. Or is it different now?

          1. I do think Lewis deserved it in 08 yes. Just like I think Nico will deserve it if he wins it tomorrow.
            However, the “free gifts” that were spoken of are just stupid.
            I also think that what Lewis has done this year with his reliability issues Is nothing short of astonishing.

      2. Kubica? If someone gifted Hamilton his 2008 title it was Ferrari, with Massa’s blown engine in Hungary and Singapore’s pit stop mess.

        Likewise, Hamilton gifted Raikkonen his 2007 title with a couple of rookie mistakes.

      3. Like Adam I have no idea where to begin here…

        2008 – if you mean Glock, he was on dry tyres on a wet track.

        2014 – Lewis was ahead in the race so neither double points or Nico’s DNF made any difference.

      4. Hamilton was unlucky at Spa 2008 to get such a harsh punishment, and he would have been extremely unlucky had he finished 6th at that Brazil race considering no one would have expected Glock to stay out on slicks. I have no idea where this myth comes from that he was lucky in 2008, unless foreign commentary didn’t explain the situation with Glock?

      5. @seth-space Again reliability did not cost Nico a WC, ever. 2014 he was behind Lewis he got done at the start he does not overtake him in the dry and win, OH AND LEWIS NEEDED 2ND. I thought you would like to understand it better.

        So it is is irrelevant Nico could have been dominating Abu Dhabi he would still not have been WC. Lewis had just as much bad luck in 14 oh and yet more qually issues. 15 Lewis could have had 2 retirements he still would have won it. And 16 give Hamilton his Malaysia win he would be in Nico position today.

        What isit with these myths about Nico? No reliability has cost him a title, reliability has cost Lewis. So Lewis has been better 3 years in a row in the title cars. Lewis is even getting further away look at the gaps when he beats Nico in qually it is as big as it has ever been this season. Nico has much less poles and for 2 or 3 of them Lewis could not even do a lap lol. And Nico is no slouch in qually

        What is funny is if Nico has Lewis bad luck we would have yet another damp squib of a title race it would have been over by Brazil lol. Lewis took it to the last race with worse reliability and bad problems himself. Which just proves who has had the better season this year. Is anyone even disputing who has been the better driver it is clearly Lewis.

    4. ColdFly F1 (@)
      26th November 2016, 15:02

      Rosberg just doesn’t seem like a champion material.

      He’s the only driver with 4 consecutive wins this season!

      1. I wish I could play the family fortunes error noise for you because that is wroooooooong!

      2. Ah wrong. Try, in order, Austrian GP, Hungarian GP, German GP, Belgian GP…all won, 4 consecutive wins by Lewis.

      3. Wrong. Ham has had 4 wins in a row

        1. How many bad starts has Hamilton had in a row? Just wondering…

          1. 2, same as Rosberg

      4. ColdFly…

        Are you forget Lewis won all 4 races in August?

    5. What a shame if he gets it.

      @ivan-vinitskyy I think it’s a shame people even think like this. Anywho who scores the most points over the season deserves the title and the glory accompanying it. I have all the respect for whomever you want to support, and surely you want him to win everything. I have a feeling Hamilton will have processed a possible loss much quicker than some fans have, a thing I have come to learn quickly as a long time Webber supporter.

      1. I agree with you 100%. I wanted Felipe to win in 08 but Hamilton took it and he deserved because he got the most points over a season. Any driver that has won a world title deserves it. Its hard, very hard that’s why there isn’t lots and lots of world champions.

      2. I hope Rosberg pushes hard and actually beats Hamilton on the track for once in his career otherwise he will surely go down as the least deserving WDC ever. He is probably feeling the pressure of having to justify himself as driver’s champion tomorrow.

      3. Rosberg got taken around the outside twice this year. Having to be coached as to what wet-line to take is not world champion material.

        But hey that’s racing…

        1. Then that makes any driver bar Hamilton and Verstappen not WDC material. Which is odd considering there are five in the field, probably six by tomorrow.

    6. Rosberg just doesn’t seem like a champion material

      He’s beaten a 3-times champ on merit, in equal machinery, in equal conditions, when both have had clean weekends many times this season. Nico is more deserving of the title this year than the other bloke who would rather be making a rap video.

      1. Hamilton has beaten Rosberg on merit, in equal machinery, in equal conditions more times (9 by my count) than vice versa (5) this season. where does that figure into your “who is more deserving” comment? Or are you just ignoring that fact?

      2. It’s not even rap music that he makes, why do people keep saying that?.

        Not all music made by black people is in the “Rap” genre.

        1. I know why they keep saying it: it’s subtle, stereotypical racism that cowards like to employ so they can be deplorable without getting called out.

    7. @ivan-vinitskyy At least if he wins this championship it wouldn’t have to do with his championship rivals getting injured or killed.

  9. I get the impression Vettel has slowly but surely slipped into that place Alonso decided he’d had enough of, and it’s really affecting his performances.

    Seems more likely than Raikkonen suddenly discovering a handful of tenths down the back of his sofa, anyway.

    1. Well, Kimi was the fastest in the first sector all through qualifying until Rosberg’s final run in Q3, so that’s definitely not a fluke, that’s consistency.

      Kimi’s driving style clashed with the F14’s handling and pull rod suspension. Once Vettel joined Ferrari there was no conflict to take the design of the car towards a direction that suited both drivers (because they have similar driving styles) so last year Kimi did better than in ’14. This year with a brand new SF15 designed by Allison and the change to the push rod suspension Kimi returned to the form that made Ferrari hired him for a second spell with the them.

      Vettel himself is the first to credit Kimi for what he is: a WDC just like him.

      1. Oops, instead of SF15 I meant SF16H ;)

  10. I know i will get some insult for saying this, but again (like on the last few tracks) Hamilton was always quicker than Rosberg in the pure power sector (second sector is made by two long straights with a chicane between them). I cannot believe they have same material, especially because this is happening on tracks wich Nico dominated last year.
    This impression is corroborated by Nico’s statement during press conference “It just wasn’t possible for me to do that time today”.
    It’s funny how every single word of Hamilton wich could allude to some disparities (like the mechanics swap thing) is brought under the light by fans/press/blogs while they completely ignore any sign of other way favoritism…
    To be malicious, I could think that only during the last 3 races of last season we saw them in same conditions, because Hamilton had already secured his title and there was no point (for the team) in conditioning results.

    1. I know i will get some insult for saying this

      Preemptive self-victimisation doesn’t improve your argument.
      The lap analysis on the SkyPad (or whatever the correct spelling is) didn’t show any noticeable differences on the straights, but it did show that Lewis gained a lot of time in a few corners, especially in the slow left-right-left combination after the second long straight.
      Nothing fishy here. At all.

      1. It was a really good lap from Hamilton, the big braking zones you have in sector 2 help because Hamilton has got a really good feel on the brakes. Its very impressive.

        1. Maybe, but that wasn’t really the case here. He gained most of his time in turn 7 (the hairpin before the first long straight, where Rosberg got a bit too greedy at the apex and had to back off, thus getting on the throttle a bit later than Hamilton), at turns 11 through 13 (after the second long straight, by taking a wider entry, thus carrying visibly more speed at every apex) and turn 17 (the tight right-hander after those two flat-out right-handers, where Rosberg’s car looked pretty understeery and compromised his line before the following left-hander, whereas Hamilton’s balance was perfect, enabling him to flick the car from the kerbs on the left to the racing line on the right, on the verge of oversteering, but not losing any speed).

    2. Oh yeah, and the speed traps also show both Mercedes drivers absolutely on par with each other, not only with regards to top speed (Nico 0.8 kph ahead), but also with regards to acceleration (Nico 0.1 kph faster over the finish line at 230.6 kph). To make any meaningful difference to their respective lap times, Nico’s engine would’ve had to cut off completely every time he went through a speed trap.
      So, nope. Just a hint of tinfoil taste on my tongue.

      1. Not for argueing, can I know where do you pick so detailed data, if it’s allowed?
        I’m sincerely interested in, I swear!
        Thanks in advance.

        1. frk – I don’t know where nase himself/herself looks, but I usually take it from the FIA page for this race. Under Qualifying Session look at the links titled Speed Trap and Maximum Speeds.

          I presume the Formula 1 app would also give access to this information in near real-time.

          1. Thank you very much! :-)

          2. frk – I don’t know where nase himself/herself looks, but I usually take it from the FIA page for this race. Under Qualifying Session look at the links titled Speed Trap and Maximum Speeds.

            Yup. I couldn’t live without that page.

  11. Rosberg let Hamilton poison himself with his own medicine. ROS raised the foot from the pedal and settled for 2nd, letting HAM taking 1st and thinking “I can get it, I can get it, I can get it”!!! Reality is, HAM can take POLE, WIN and FL, but the laurels at the end of the day will still go to ROS.

    1. You’re going to have to explain how Rosberg letting Hamilton do what he needs to do is somehow a good thing for Rosberg. Surely it would have been much better for Rosberg to take pole. Sounds like straw clutching to me.

      1. I agree with you, pole would have been better, but i guess beeing ahead of a belligerent Hamilton would push much more pressure on Nico… he’ll have to look in the mirrors more than to the track!

        1. Not really, if he doesn’t have the pace to pull away then just let Hamilton pass. He’d still be second and no worse off than purposely letting Hamilton have pole (which is just the biggest piece of nonsense I’ve ever read).

  12. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    26th November 2016, 17:08

    Hamilton can try to have a Canada-like start and push Nico off the track. And wish for the same kind of stewardship as in Mexico to escape blameless.

    1. If Nico wasn’t Nico I’d reply to you that such a move would be too risky for Lewis, because a possible DNF for both would mean he lose the title. But I think Nico hasn’t real aggressiveness in his traits, and every time he tried to force himself to be aggressive it came out a disaster (like in Austria), so I’m afraid that tactic could work for Lewis. But it would be very nasty for me (but probably just for me).

    2. 1) what Hamilton did in Canada was fine (see Rosberg doing the exact same thing in 2014 and Hamilton agreeing it was fair)

      2) If Rosberg gets alongside Hamilton on the start straight he’ll be on the inside, no chance for Hamilton to do anything like Canada.

      1. Not sure about number 2): in Austin Nico was second on the inside line but then he went wider, probably in a strange attempt to cross the trajectories with Lewis. I have to admit that Lewis has generally better ability in gaining inside of the corner, no matter if he’s attacking or defending, or at least this is my impression.
        Obvously I don’t agree about number 1), but it’s only my opinion.

  13. That picture though!

    1. @spoutnik Lol, I hadn’t noticed, thanks for pointing out. It’s like those snaps that get you mid blink, but just end up looking something else entirely!

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      26th November 2016, 19:54

      @spoutnik Nico’s face is priceless. It’s like when you want to go somewhere and they tell you it’s all sold out.

  14. Rosberg is not a champion. He does not deserve it, but he will be : (

  15. Ok guys i a rookie here and i know English not well, i hope you can understand me

  16. That header image needs to be the next caption competition snap. Here’s my advance entry: “Waiter! Nico’s looking a little off-colour. Someone has given him seconds again!”

    (Obviously far more timely if Lewis snatches the championship tomorrow.)

  17. Happy days. Nico doing what he needs to. Half a second up on the challengers. Couldn’t care less who is on pole, so long as Nico beats Lewis to the Wdc.

    1. You mean reliability beats Lewis

  18. Guybrush Threepwood
    26th November 2016, 20:59

    After the hyperbole of last race, I’m still trying to figure out why one of the best ever drivers and “the next Senna” is down in 6th?

  19. Hamilton now has one more win than Prost.
    Vettel has one more win than Senna.
    Alonso has one more win than Mansell.
    If Rosberg wins tomorrow, he’ll have one more win than Piquet.

  20. How many races did keke won?

    1. In his championship winning year

      1. @psynrg – I didn’t know that, thanks. Really puts the moans about “Rosberg only won 9 to Hamilton’s 11” into perspective.

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