Hamilton isn’t ‘too good’, his car is – Ricciardo

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says Lewis Hamilton deserves credit for his qualifying performance but it’s his car which makes him unbeatable.

What they’re saying

Ricciardo was asked for his view on Hamilton’s margin of superiority after qualifying, where he took pole position by more than six-tenths of a second.

I think Lewis is very good. I don’t think he’s too good. I think he’s very good. But I think obviously the car and their package is too good, absolutely. It’s not to discredit Lewis, not at all.

But I think even him at 90% with that package they’ve got today, he still would have got pole. That’s where it’s like I felt any of guys could have made that happen. The buffer they have is a little bit disheartening, I guess. But we’ve got to try and figure it out.

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Charles Leclerc deserves credit for his first F1 race weekend, says @Puffy:

Leclerc impressed me considerably this weekend. On a track he’s never raced before, he was able to qualify within a tenth of his considerably more experienced team mate (four years in F1) and then go on to have a solid, error free race where he finished ahead of a Williams and a Toro Rosso. I think that’s extremely impressive for a rookie and very promising for the rest of the season.
@Puffy

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  • 130 comments on “Hamilton isn’t ‘too good’, his car is – Ricciardo”

    1. ihavenoideawhatimtalkinabout
      28th March 2018, 1:03

      that pnas study is an example of a waste of funds! couldnt’ be bothered to read beyond the basic abstract but gee wiz, what a waste of thought.

      1. your username is apt.

    2. Click. Also, lets have the Ves Choir boys fan club…

      1. Antoon van Gemert
        28th March 2018, 9:40

        @Ross. Pardon me, it’s the Ver Choir boys fanclub for quite a while now. But what song do you like us to sing?

    3. He is right, except bottas any top 10 driver can win a title with that car, the diffrence is just too big

      1. I agree, Bottas is really bad, He’s going to have to wait a long long time to win again, after his “Grand Slam” on this final round of last season, or, in other words, a couple GP’s ago.

        1. I wouldn’t say that Bottas is bad. He’s average. We saw the same kind of performance from Webber, who was often fighting for 3rd or 4th place while Vettel, with the same car, was 30 seconds clear in the lead. Run-of-the-mill drivers, so to speak. Hamilton, on the other hand, is one of those special drivers that stand above the rest, like Vettel and Alonso.

          1. Hamilton is fast becoming the greatest ever… All because he has a really good car and 2-3 tenths pace advantage against any decent F1 driver.

            1. @jureo Anyone that has watched pretty much every F1 race since 2007 knows that’s not true. Just like everyone that has watched every race since 2001 knows that Alonso is also one of the greatest despite his recent cars.

            2. he has a really good car and 2-3 tenths pace advantage against any decent F1 driver.

              As did Schumacher and Fangio afaik.

            3. @davidnotcoulthard exactly.

              It does not seem much, but it is enough for him to rank up poles and wins faster than anyone else.

              Driver is also a full package, selecting a team is one of the traits. Alonso failed miserably there. Also Alonso despite being totally awesome he is in range of muliple world champions, but perhaps not as dominant as say Vettel or Hamilton.

          2. @ironcito Excuse me? Let me quickly step in right there, the situation between Hamilton and Bottas, and Webber and Vettel isn’t at all comparable. The Mercedes has been the clear undisputed class of the field for quite some years now, something the Red Bull only has been in 2011 (and even then the gap wasn’t as big as some like to remember it) and end of 2013. Vettel was clearly the better driver of the two, but at no point was the Red Bulls advantage enough to guarantee a second place, whereas the Mercedes has been just that entire 2014-2016, most of 2017 and likely 2018 too.

            @jureo I think there’s no doubt Hamilton belongs in any sane persons top 10 drivers of all time at this moment in time, but so does Vettel and Alonso if you ask me. Senna, Prost, Schumacher and Clark are some of the other obvious ones.

            1. Vettel had nobody to fight besides the other teams which did not have as good of a car as vettel. Over the full season bull always had the best development rate and always ended the year stronger

            2. @jureo and @carlosmedrano spout this rhetoric all the time. I doubt they even watched F1 from 2010-13. Otherwise they’d know there’s no comparing Merc’s superiority to what SV and RBR has during those years. At least there was COMPETITION for at least two of those years. Amen to DR’s comment. Lewis is a good driver in a great car. Nothing more. Throw some true competition his way and he’ll melodrama his way to 2nd/3rd without lifting a finger

          3. If RBR was just 0,1 closer in race pace Bottas would be trialling 150 points behind. That is how bad he is.
            Are we really going to defend the guy that even had trouble defeating post-Hungary Massa, even when he got pole on that even more destroyed A1-Ring?
            Cmon.

          4. @ironcito I remember when Webber was leading the world championship and RB pitwall decided that Vettel was more worthy of the title, so they decided to give preferential strategy to the car that was behind… Yes, Webber did finish 30 secs behind, and lost the title, that tall aussie was pretty bad.

            Bottas is not even average, on his first year with Mercedes he only managed the same amount of podiums as Hamilton, and he only beat Hamilton 8 times out of 20 rounds. The last time Mercedes had a new driver that also scored the same amount of podiums and half the victories as the older driver, was …Hamilton.

            Hamilton is great, but this story that Bottas is not performing is pure fabrication, and suddenly he makes his first big mistake for Mercedes. Bias is either a sign that you are not an f1 fan, or that you can’t think for yourself.

            1. @peartree
              From what I’ve seen so far, he’s average. There are drivers that stand out even in slow cars. You can immediately tell that they’re good. Bottas didn’t stand out at Williams and doesn’t stand out at Mercedes, at least in my opinion. He’s not bad. I’d put him in the same league as, say, Massa or Fisichella. Solid drivers on whom you can count for setting decent times and not crashing needlessly, but not outstanding. Average.

              But, again, that’s just my opinion. Some people think that Vettel can’t drive and that his four championships fell on his lap. To each their own.

            2. @ironcito I agree that Bottas isn’t a stand out driver but massa and fisi are awful drivers. Anyway I just wanted to state that nobody can say that Bottas hasn’t delivered based on his results, the same way nobody said Hamilton didn’t deliver when he was outpaced by Rosberg in 2013.

      2. Dan we need to see you in the merc to back up your words..lets hope we do!

        1. Yep- I hope so.
          I think he will beat Max this year but eventually Max will become a VERY good F1 driver, but he has some more experience to gain for a few years, but then if he gets the best car watch out. Danny has more experience and maturity and will win this year. If he is allowed to.

          Issue is that Marko again will get his own way and despite the fact Dan is a RBR junior driver he has his thing for Max- he wants him to be the youngest ever WDC, and as much just to show he plucked him from Mercs. So Dan wont get a fair run at Red Bull if he stays long term……….. history shows it.

          Lewis and Seb are both a little older so needs to jump there and get no.1 spot. Or needs to own Max until Monaco and show what he is worth. Next few months should be interesting !!

        2. Every single driver who’s thought Hamilton was fast because of his car has discovered, when they get in the same car as Hamilton, that it’s actually Hamilton who’s getting that last 2-3% of performance out of the chassis.

          We’ve heard it from Alonso, from Button, from Rosberg, and from Bottas.

      3. This discussion about bottas is interesting, and the answer is to most people here who had different opinions.

        I think bottas is better than current raikkonen, don’t forget raikkonen had a relatively good race for his standards and bottas a really bad weekend, look at last year’s performance, even considering mercedes was a little better, raikkonen performed worse, and only beat vettel 25% of the times, bottas beat hamilton 40% of the times, if hamilton and vettel are equal, bottas is better than raikkonen, even if hamilton is a little better, bottas still looks a bit better than raikkonen.

        Ofc raikkonen is now over 10 years older than bottas, and beyond his peak as he is or will be 39 this year, he has some very good races but majority he’s slow, I’m not saying he was always worse than bottas, just considering their current age.

        Bottas was really good in the first part of 2017 and then couldn’t adapt to the car and only at that point was the criticism warranted, and don’t forget at the end of the year he improved and beat hamilton on pace in the last race.

        So I’d say, let’s see how he does in the next races, I think he could easily perform similarly to rosberg, certainly had the potential if you see early 2017 season.

        I agree with who said hamilton, alonso and vettel belong in the top 10 drivers of all times, however in my top 10 one of those 3 has to be out, can’t fit 11 in a top 10 and I’d highly prefer leaving out vettel, I think alonso is really great in extracting the most of a bad car and the most consistent, hamilton is really strong in the wet and in qualifying, and vettel isn’t bad on anything but I think lacks something compared to them, he’s not as good in the wet, he can lose his temper in a race (baku 2017), sometimes he has weekends where he’s slow (compared to alonso’s constance, hamilton has this problem too) and although he’s good in qualifying, hamilton is close to senna level, I’m not sure vettel is even at schumacher level in qualifying (this is also a problem alonso has, was slower than schumacher in qualifying).

        1. Comparing Raikkonen and Bottas is not fair. Like previous years, Mercedes was undoubtedly the faster car in 2017, so to fight there for pole and wins would have been easier for SEB and KIMI if they both were driving for Mercedes.
          If Kimi was driving a Merc, with the advantage Mercedes had over other teams, Kimi will be starting from either P2 or P1. For sure he would have scored more points than Bottas.

    4. The situation endlessly in F1. Some team always has the dominant package.

      I’d love to see Hamilton (if he dared) run the Indy GP and Indy 500. Bet he’d find out in a hurry that IndyCar has some very good drivers, and he wouldn’t have the unfairly dominant car to crush everyone with.

    5. A lot of crying going on. Mercedes went after Hamilton, why? Because he’s the best driver in the world in one of the best cars in the world. Hamilton took a chance on Mercedes. Let’s not forget they weren’t winning races when he arrived. What did Hamilton do? Still win races! Only driver to win at least one race in every season of his career. If Riccardo were the best he’d be driving for the best. He isn’t even the best on his own team. People stay hating on the 4x Champ, and it’s obsurd! Its not just the car Hamilton can flat out drive.

      1. Rosberg won two races in 2013 compared to Hamilton’s one, so I don’t see what your point is there. That Mercedes was a pretty damn rapid car.

        1. Well to be fair he inherited one win – NR was quite good at that.

          That said I am not sure what your point is – SV won nine races in a row in a Red Bull… ?

          Mercedes was a long long way from being a rapid car that year. It simply wore out tyres.

        2. Rosberg won two races in 2013 compared to Hamilton’s one, so I don’t see what your point is there. That Mercedes was a pretty damn rapid car.

          I think the point being made was Hamilton is very good – don’t forget Michael Schumacher managed the sum total of 1 pole position during his Mercedes tenure (which he never actually took).

          Also, if Lewis hadn’t clipped the ragged kerb in Silverstone, it would have been 2:1 to him that year…

        3. Rosberg also won in China 2012 and Schumacher would probably have won in Monaco if it weren’t for his grid penalty.

        4. @major-dev In hist first year in the team he finished fourth while Rosberg on the same car with much more experience within the team finished sixth.

          1. @abdelilah cough cough, bad luck and unreliability. 2013, 2 wins vs 1, and same number of podiums. 2017, Hamilton double the wins and same amount of podiums. where’s your double standards. Of course Hamilton is a better driver, he was already but when you achieve the same and HAM was impressive and Bottas lacklustre, in the same scenario, we have a perception problem.

      2. Let’s not forget they weren’t winning races when he arrived

        Rosberg has won the 2012 Chinese GP.

        1. @tifoso1989 Didn’t Mercedes even admit the only reason they won that race was because it was the only circuit where their Double-DRS system actually worked properly (because of the long straights)?

          1. @optimaximal
            That’d be the strangest admission ever, because it makes absolutely no sense. Rosberg won the race from pole, only giving up the lead on two brief occasions. I don’t even know whether he got to use DRS at all during the race.
            In fact, the key to Mercedes’ success in that race was their hitting the nail on the head with tyre management for once. They spent most of the reason destroying their tyres in ridiculously short stints, but also experienced the opposite extreme one race earlier, when they succeeded in making the tyres last almost endlessly, in return for abysmal grip. China was simply the odd race out, one of the extremely few races where Mercedes both achieved satisfactory stint lengths as well as good pace.

          2. @optimaximal
            To be honest, I don’t remember Mercedes saying such a thing. There are many other Tilkedromes on the calendar with similar characteristics to the Shanghai circuit, however Mercedes failed to repeat their performance of the Chinese GP where Rosberg took pole and never looked back.
            I think @nase did explained very well in his comment.

      3. JB- I think if you look back at a little history Hamilton actually approached Christian Horner for Webbers seat at Red Bull. Horner had some loyalty to Mark, unlike some others, and said no but pushed him to Lauda or Wolff for a drive.

        No one knew how dominate the Merc would be then. I am not a Lewis hater at all but if the Merc in 2014 was like 2010-2013 we would still be looking at a 1 x WDC who wasn’t won since his 2nd year, which was 10 years ago, coping similar flack to Alonso right now. But Lewis has found himself always in the right car. Pedro De El Roso could be a world champ if he grabbed that Merc- it show how easy it is to get it right or wrong.

        History will show Hamilton to be one of the greatest ever, and I think that’s pretty right. But when Alonso will finish with two I don’t think that compares the two guys so well to be honest- 70% car, 30% driver ……….. and the rest is good luck :) lol

      4. Very well said and spot on Garns (@garns) .
        I t may be time for people to re access how good Hamilton and everyone is.
        People tend to forget that Lewis Hamilton,in his ROOKIE year(2007) beat up a then and now DOUBLE world champion “Fernando Alonso.
        If that in itself is not enough,let us remember that the Sire Hamilton,in his ROOKIE year,won SEVERAL races;several pole positions in his ROOKIE year;a feat never repeated before or after.And all this ,in a car that was clearly not the best car that rookie year 2007.
        These are statistics.
        Now ,for all the Fernando Alonso fans:Fernando is clearly the driver of the century?according to certain f1 commentators.”DRIVER OF THE CENTURY”
        Now this title puts into perspective Hamilton accomplishment in 2007 his rookie year,.
        But also put in perspective the talent and quality of drivers like FELIPE MASSA that squared it off with Alonso,JENSEN Button that also levelled it off with Alonso and further down FISICELLA gian carlo that were all driving along Alonso in the very same car at the very same time.
        Look at numbers and compare.
        Finally,coming back to Hamilton,he is the ONLY driver,to have won at least a race in every year and every team he has driven for.
        That is not all:when Hamilton joined Mclaren,Mclaren did not have the best car;Mc laren won several races EVERY single year Hamilton drove for them.And as soon as Hamilton left Mclaren,they never won again.NEVER.PERIOD.
        As for Mercedes,they had NEVER Won a race until Hamilton joined them and by the look of it ,since Hamilton join MERCEDES,Mercedes have won every year since ,CONVINCINGLY.And it sure looks like it is not about to end winning.
        So compare it :MCLaren=always a winner with Hamilton.he leaves no more wins.
        Mercedes?No win until Hamilton comes,and has not stopped since.
        Talk about a WINNER??
        I seriously think that despite his tattoos and piercing it is time to join the Hamilton fan Gang guys.

        1. I think you’re forgetting china 2012 for pre hamilton mercedes wins, but yes, the rest is true about mclaren getting worse when hamilton left and mercedes getting better when he joined, he’s either a good development driver, or he’s good or lucky with picking the right team.

          He’s no doubt a great driver, but to achieve a win every single year (and villeneuve got at least a win and pole on his first year too) you need the car able to do it. Schumacher also won a race on every single complete year of his first career, to do that he needed at least the 4th best car every year, it’s not possible if you have a car like alonso in mclaren honda stint, hamilton always had the fastest or 2nd fastest car with the exception of 2009 where he risked to not win any race, till mclaren improved later in that year.

          1. but to achieve a win every single year (and villeneuve got at least a win and pole on his first year too) you need the car able to do it

            Ok well Hamilton has had a win in every season he’s had the car to do it too. None of the other current WDCs can claim this. Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen have all had winless seasons in race winning cars.

    6. The race was so interesting the biggest talking point two days later is qualifying. What an absolute dud.

    7. Neil (@neilosjames)
      28th March 2018, 2:51

      I think what Ricciardo said is correct because I’m sure plenty of other drivers (at least half of the current grid) could have slotted a Mercedes into the six-tenth gap between Hamilton and Raikkonen. But what really matters is whether any of them would have actually beaten the pole time…

      It’s easy to say ‘any top driver’ could do stuff in a Mercedes, but that statement usually comes with the assumption that Hamilton wouldn’t be sat on the other side of the garage, driving the other Mercedes.

      1. @neilosjames I think he does mean that. I can think of several drivers who’d easily have been able to beat Kimi in that Mercedes, whether they’d be able to be faster than Hamilton, well that list is already quite a bit shorter.

        1. Keep in mind Rosberg did it many times… But overall stats suggest Lewis more often than not is a better qualifier, than his teammates. And teammates he has had over the years were all decent. But top teams he enjoyed do not hire poor drivers.

      2. As above:
        Very well said and spot on NEIL .
        I t may be time for people to re access how good Hamilton and everyone is.
        People tend to forget that Lewis Hamilton,in his ROOKIE year(2007) beat up a then and now DOUBLE world champion “Fernando Alonso.
        If that in itself is not enough,let us remember that the Sire Hamilton,in his ROOKIE year,won SEVERAL races;several pole positions in his ROOKIE year;a feat never repeated before or after.And all this ,in a car that was clearly not the best car that rookie year 2007.
        These are statistics.
        Now ,for all the Fernando Alonso fans:Fernando is clearly the driver of the century?according to certain f1 commentators.”DRIVER OF THE CENTURY”
        Now this title puts into perspective Hamilton accomplishment in 2007 his rookie year,.
        But also put in perspective the talent and quality of drivers like FELIPE MASSA that squared it off with Alonso,JENSEN Button that also levelled it off with Alonso and further down FISICELLA gian carlo that were all driving along Alonso in the very same car at the very same time.
        Look at numbers and compare.
        Finally,coming back to Hamilton,he is the ONLY driver,to have won at least a race in every year and every team he has driven for.
        That is not all:when Hamilton joined Mclaren,Mclaren did not have the best car;Mc laren won several races EVERY single year Hamilton drove for them.And as soon as Hamilton left Mclaren,they never won again.NEVER.PERIOD.
        As for Mercedes,they had NEVER Won a race until Hamilton joined them and by the look of it ,since Hamilton join MERCEDES,Mercedes have won every year since ,CONVINCINGLY.And it sure looks like it is not about to end winning.
        So compare it :MCLaren=always a winner with Hamilton.he leaves no more wins.
        Mercedes?No win until Hamilton comes,and has not stopped since.
        Talk about a WINNER??
        I seriously think that despite his tattoos and piercing it is time to join the Hamilton fan Gang guys.

    8. I think many of you are mistaken– Bottas is an above average driver, and he’s the perfect teammate for Lewis. Mercedes know Lewis can win them the drivers championship, and Bottas can get the points to win the constructors without causing grief with the team or with Lewis. 2 Lewises would be worse than the setup they have now.

      Last year Bottas got 84% of the points of his world championship winning teammate, and was helpful to him along the way. Compare that to Kimi only getting 67% of Vettel’s points, or Verstappen also getting 84% of Ricciardo’s total but making a mistake almost every weekend.

      He’s a reliable and consistent driver without too much ego, and that’s exactly the hole they need to fill. Pairing Lewis with another superstar would not lead to better results for the team.

      1. The difference was that ferrari moved kimi out of the way every time he was ahead of vettel. Ferrari left kimi out so late so many times before pitting him that it was almost a joke. That makes those percentage numbers misleading. Merc even asked lewis to give a position back to bottas in one race. Something ferrari would never let happen. I’m not saying ferrari are wrong to do it and I’m not even criticizing ferrari. They have worse car so they need to put all eggs in one basket whereas merc can rely on its speed advantage and finish ahead of the ferraris if they don’t make mistakes.

        1. Merc even asked lewis to give a position back to bottas in one race

          It was Lewis who asked Mercedes to let him through and if he cannot overtake Vettel he would give the position back.

        2. @socksolid

          Ferrari left kimi out so late so many times before pitting him that it was almost a joke

          Did you learn nothing from the last GP?

      2. Makes you once again respect Rosberg, who not only kept Lewis honest 99% of the time but beat him! Having said that, even Lewis is having an easier time of it than he should – as the general quality of drivers is poorer than ever – a Senna, Prost, Mansell, Schumacher in their prime would have been a much harder challenge.

        1. Tom David, and you base you assertion that “the general quality of drivers is poorer than ever” on what exactly? I mean, the 1990’s is often called the heyday of the pay driver given how many drivers were able to get onto the grid simply because of their wallet.

        2. I don’t think many of us quite realised just how good Rosberg actually was to be so close to Hamilton, and even get a WDC.

          1. I was rooting for him since 2014, made 2016 even more special for me

        3. Very well said and spot on Garns (@garns) .
          I t may be time for people to re access how good Hamilton and everyone is.
          People tend to forget that Lewis Hamilton,in his ROOKIE year(2007) beat up a then and now DOUBLE world champion “Fernando Alonso.
          If that in itself is not enough,let us remember that the Sire Hamilton,in his ROOKIE year,won SEVERAL races;several pole positions in his ROOKIE year;a feat never repeated before or after.And all this ,in a car that was clearly not the best car that rookie year 2007.
          These are statistics.
          Now ,for all the Fernando Alonso fans:Fernando is clearly the driver of the century?according to certain f1 commentators.”DRIVER OF THE CENTURY”
          Now this title puts into perspective Hamilton accomplishment in 2007 his rookie year,.
          But also put in perspective the talent and quality of drivers like FELIPE MASSA that squared it off with Alonso,JENSEN Button that also levelled it off with Alonso and further down FISICELLA gian carlo that were all driving along Alonso in the very same car at the very same time.
          Look at numbers and compare.
          Finally,coming back to Hamilton,he is the ONLY driver,to have won at least a race in every year and every team he has driven for.
          That is not all:when Hamilton joined Mclaren,Mclaren did not have the best car;Mc laren won several races EVERY single year Hamilton drove for them.And as soon as Hamilton left Mclaren,they never won again.NEVER.PERIOD.
          As for Mercedes,they had NEVER Won a race until Hamilton joined them and by the look of it ,since Hamilton join MERCEDES,Mercedes have won every year since ,CONVINCINGLY.And it sure looks like it is not about to end winning.
          So compare it :MCLaren=always a winner with Hamilton.he leaves no more wins.
          Mercedes?No win until Hamilton comes,and has not stopped since.
          Talk about a WINNER??
          I am late into this guys,but ;I seriously think that despite his tattoos and piercing it is time to join the Hamilton fan Gang guys.

      3. You’re right, of course. But it just makes me respect the old McLaren more, which had Lauda vs. Prost, and then Senna vs. Prost, and more recently Button vs. Hamilton and Alonso vs. Button. They’re not afraid to have two drivers who can win championships.

        1. Indeed. Don’t forget Alonso vs Hamilton too. I wish Mercedes would have put Alonso in the Merc, but he had a contract. One of the issues was Rosberg leaving unannounced, meaning Toto couldn’t really get a top driver in the other seat anyway. I think next year you’ll see a top pairing at Mercedes.

          1. @john-h i Think you chose to forget that Mercedes pretty much outright said they don’t want Alonso because he’s just toxic to any inner team relationships. That door won’t open, at least as long as lewis is there.

          2. @john-h As much as I’d love to see someone pushing Hamilton in that Mercedes, I’m not sure the Merc management want to rock Lewis’ boat too much. He guarantees wins, and with it championships with the type of car he has had at his disposal. So long as Bottas is the Rubens to Hamilton’s Schumi then they’ll be happy.

            1. @john-h I’m with you. I too so wished Merc could have had FA. Setting aside the baggage that gets spun from ten years ago, what an epic pairing that would be for F1 and the global audience…nobody can deny that.

              I was sure that at one point TW said that because that was ten years ago, both drivers would have been well past that, but alas whether it was due to contracts or due to concern over infighting, it didn’t happen.

              But I quite reject this notion that FA is ‘toxic to any inner team relationship’ and am quite sure that if he found himself in a Championship car he’d be too busy winning with it to let politics get in the way, especially now that this is now, not ten years ago.

              I also haven’t given up on TW, and this notion that he doesn’t want to rock the LH boat is something I’ll have to see to believe. He absolutely wanted and had signed for Nico to be on the team for last year and this, in spite of their infighting, so there is no evidence that he prefers things ‘the easier’ way. Sure he has spoken about how it is more peaceful in the pits compared to that unique rivalry of LH/NR, but show me one quote where he says a clear one and a two to not bother the one is the way to go.

              Last year they won the Championships but the chink in the armour was that they were no longer taking 1-2’s regularly, and SV had a chance. If that happens again this year, and LH has even spoken about the ‘danger’ of 2 against 1, then you can bet they will be looking for someone to help the team claim back those 1-2’s and that will inevitably result in a rivalry anyway. It will only be all peaceful and lovey dovey to a certain point, if TW hires the driver he knows he needs.

      4. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The same situation has been in place for 5 years at Honda in motogp. The rider that wins (Marquez) and the steady points hoover (Pedrosa) – result = 4 Championships in 5 years.
        The benefits of keeping Bottas far outweigh the disadvantages.

      5. @chaddy

        or Verstappen also getting 84% of Ricciardo’s total but making a mistake almost every weekend.

        Complete nonsense. Literally the only mistake Verstappen made all season was in Hungary. His car failed almost every weekend.

    9. I agree with the COTD.
      – Apparently, Honda still hasn’t got on top of the MGU-H.

      1. Found it funny how they mentioned that they didn’t encounter this issue in pre season testing. Of course they wouldn’t if they were changing the power unit every day for the first test. Looks like the Honda I remember is getting back to it’s infamous form.

        1. As well, they were testing in much cooler temps, and perhaps not pushing things too much, and I think many of us who weren’t just on the ‘it was all Mac after all’ wagon, were saying let’s see STR race in anger in the heat. Now we see, just as we have seen what looks like a Mac chassis that is indeed at least respectable, with the potential for much more to come. Does STR have that same potential? Max should be worried if RBR goes all in with Honda. DR should not stay, not only to avoid Max, but to avoid Honda.

    10. MB (@muralibhats)
      28th March 2018, 3:20

      At 90% of His performance, Hamilton can still get pole and maybe every race but others can still mess up their laps even at their 100%. Speciality of Hamilton is to produce the laps when it counts.

    11. That’s where it’s like I felt any of guys could have made that happen.

      So Mercedes don’t especially need you Daniel, any driver will do?

      I suppose what he’s trying to say, not very well, is that the margin was such that even a driver a few tenths down on Hamilton’s time would have made pole.

      1. So Mercedes don’t especially need you Daniel, any driver will do?

        Yes that’s pretty much his point (well maybe not any – I doubt Inoue would do that well)

        1. @davidnotcoulthard OK but a weird point to make if you’re after a new job! I think he’s undervaluing Hamilton and himself, there are a few drivers who make a difference.

          1. OK but a weird point to make if you’re after a new job

            Well is he? (besides I don’t think a team would base their hiring based purely on what’s said in interviews. If they decide Daniel makes a difference based on the data they have it wouldn’t matter whether he tells reporters that drivers matter)

    12. Lennard Mascini (@)
      28th March 2018, 5:19

      I think a lot of people in this comment section, such as @peartree (don’t mean to single you out but most other guys dissing Bottas don’t have an @), are forgetting that 99 times out of 100 Bottas would also have easily put his car in second. Bottas wasn’t second because he was trying to got too fast, and it’s understandable that you sometimes get overconfident when you’re driving a Mercedes. If Bottas wouldn’t have crashed, he would definitely have been 2nd, as his average qualifying deficit to Hamilton last year would suggest he would probably be almost 0.4 seconds ahead of Raikkonen.

      1. @leonardodicappucino But that’s what Ricciardo is saying. The gap to Kimi was big enough for quite some drivers to fit into had they been in the second Mercedes. For me that list of drivers includes Bottas. Hence the Mercedes deficit to Ferrari Red Bull is quite large as no driver alone is worth 0.7s.

    13. Stupid way to classify Hamilton. He worked his ass off in developing a car that suits his style. Smart to change to a team on the rise too. He earned the right to drive the best car. As for the DR comment should have kept quiet in my opinion. Everybody knows this already and its called Formula One where you can make your own luck if you get lucky

      1. +1

        D.R starting to sound a bit desparate. He needs to convincingly outperform Max before he starts thinking he’s worthy of a better seat.

    14. Hamilton is just a kid pushing buttons and pulling levers using mysterious engine modes no other team has.. He is not a driver with the talent of a Senna or a Prost.

      1. Exactly! Today’s drivers are not fit to change the tires of the past greats! Schumacher was the last great F1 driver by a long way. What we have now are glorified Formula Ford drivers – even the over-rated Hamilton is neither fast enough or more importantly consistent enough to be an all time great. Good but not a top 10 of F1 history.

        1. @bukester
          Schumacher never got a pole until Senna died. In addition benefitted greatly from Mansell and Prost retiring leaving no real talent in his era. Got outquaified by Mansell anyway when he covered for the loss of Senna and never dominated Alonso, who’s 05/06 Renaults was nowhere near the quality of Schumacher’s championship winning cars.

          1. Errrr how many of Schumacher’s cars were subject to investigations, allegations and technical directives for having “special buttons”, illegal TC settings and dodgy barge boards etc? Yeah the guy was a great but don’t delude yourselves into thinking his car was run of the mill.

          2. leaving no real talent in his era.

            Mika Hakkinen

        2. Hamilton is and will be considered this generations most successful driver. I think we are witnessing the greatest driver of all time. The records will eventually list the name “Hamilton” as the name that tops every list in all categories.

          1. Highly doubt it. Not for me anyway, and there will never be a definitive single one driver that all people would agree on anyway.

      2. Ah, the good old days.

      3. Hamilton is better than Schumacher and a cleaner driver by a mile to boot.

    15. Of course if another people win is all about the car, but if you win, it’s all about the driver eh? People seems to forget that Hamilton don’t always have THE car (2009-2013) and yet his seasons in those car arguably still better than most other drivers has produced so far.

      Also, 1 mistake from Bottas and many people already dismissed him. Which is quite funny because many people seems still put Massa in high regard and this is the guy who beat Massa in Williams.

    16. Surprised to read such comments from DR considering the fact that LH drove a fantastic pole lap. Yes, credit goes to the car but you have to string a lap together without errors and LH is damn good at that, especially under pressure. These comments about crediting the car when things go right and cursing the car when things don’t go well are getting old now. If this was true then Webber should have given a tough fight to Vettel during their years together. Barrichello should have won at least one WC with Ferrari. Even Vettel stated that the Q3 engine mode was at best two tenths and Hamilton’s lap made the difference. I agree that every driver on the grid could put that car on pole but can every driver have a four tenths advantage over the next best car purely on skills?

      1. you have to string a lap together without errors and LH is damn good at that, especially under pressure

        @freebird78 Which wasn’t something RIC was quite disagreeing with though.

    17. I agree with what Ricciardo said, but that does not take away from Hamiltons achievements. He is obviously a bloody good driver well above average (average race driver). Unfortunately the other cars on the grid are not quick enough to challenge Hamliton and his Merc.

      1. And Bottas knows that too and knew that to beat Lewis, he’d have to pull out one incredibly special lap.
        Yep – overdid it and crashed but….. imagine if the back of his car had actually hung on – the way he attacked that first corner, the result might have been quite different.

        Can’t understand why everyone’s hating on Bottas for daring to throw everything at a qualy lap. He doesn’t want to be “just a number 2”, he wants a WDC because he knows he’s got the car to do it, so don’t be expecting him to be trundling around doing “safe” qualifying laps just to protect Hamilton from the Ferraris.

        For mine, he’s a way better driver than Roseberg, who, prior to Mercedes delivering unbeatable cars, was very ordinary indeed.

        Time will tell, but I won’t be the least surprised if Hamilton’s closest rival this year turns out to be his team mate.

        1. I agree with most if this. Unfortunately though, the crash has happened at the first race which is basically going to crush his confidence. I just hope he keeps pushing like a maniac at future races too, because at least then he tried.

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          28th March 2018, 20:41

          I agree with you too @dbradock
          This is a very rare mistake for Bottas. From the stewards verdicts, he’s never been responsible for his own or anyone elses retirements where is matters. Qualifying and the race. Until this one day. Remember Hamilton crashed twice in qualifying over the last 2 years and we call him a top driver. Bottas may not be the best out there, but he vertually never makes big mistakes. We should forgive him for this. Far too many people are criticising him. He isn’t the best, but I’d certainly place him above average. It has also pretty much been 2 full years since Bottas was last given any penalty points. That indicates he’s pretty good at not breaking the rules. I don’t even think there are any drivers on the grid at the moment that haven’t collected any for that long.

          While I don’t think he’s better than Rosberg, I think people comparing him to Rosbrg is unfair. They seem to be basing it on Rosbergs most recent seasons. Taking his last season into account, that was his 7th year with Mercedes. And he’d had experience with Williams before that too. Bottas hasn’t been with Mercedes long and people’s expectations just seem too high. His first qualifying performance was very impressive. He was closer to Hamilton than Rosberg had ever managed. Not enough people gave him credit for this. His qualifying efforts probably looked far worse last year than Rosbergs in 2014, 2015 and 2016, heavily because of how close the top 2 teams were. There were lots of occasions where Bottas was an absolutely tiny fraction off being on the front row.

          Mercedes have said that Bottas and Hamiltoon seem to have a better relationship. That really does show. It could well be because Bottas doesn’t put Hamilton under much pressure. (which I will admit a lot of the time is the case) But they both show their appreciation for their drives. Such as the amount of times they have praised each other on the podium. I also respect both of them for the way they allowed each other through a few times this year. Especially Hamilton at the end of Hungary.

          It could well be the case that Mercedes like this line up. Bottas and Hamilton haven’t had any clumsy coming together. I can remember Hamilton and Rosberg having quite a few. Such as Spain 2016 where they both retired. And A messy end to Austria. Several in the years beforehand too if I’m correct. But it didn’t seem to matter in terms of affecting there 1 – 2 positions in the drivers championship much as they were simply dominant. If anything, Bottas being a cautious driver may well keep him out of trouble. It may actually be great to have drivers like Bottas in a top team. Bottas generally did a solid job at getting the car home in a reasonably consistent place. He showed that by getting the same as Vettel for the most amount of podiums last year.

          While this was heavily to do with reliability, Bottas did manage to be closer to Hamilton in the championship than Rosberg was in both 2014 and 2015. Given they were 2 seasons where Mercedes was clearly the best car throughout and last year certainly wasn’t, we really should appreciate that Bottas did to a pretty good job given it was his first season with Mercedes. Rosberg was far more experienced in the years I mentioned him in.

          The people who are saying Bottas is really bad are being very unreasonable in my view.

    18. A car is only as fast as the man/woman behind the wheel. Ricciardo’ comment is typical of the Red Bull hierarchy. When they’re not on top, they attempt to disparage those who are on top.

      Ricciardo talks a good talk, but that’s all it is, talk. I’m not a fan of Rosberg, but I’m sure if they were teammates at Mercedes instead of Lewis, Rosberg would’ve been a 4x WDC.

      1. KNG11- you must be joking?? So Rosberg would have beat Ricciardo 4 times in a row if they were team-mates??

        Have you seen Dan’s overtakes and race pressure in the past few years?? Maybe if he had a faster race car.

        1. Yes I think he would.

        2. I agree with KGN11, why? Rosberg was a match, to a point, for Hamilton in qualifying. Riccardo isn’t that great a qualifier and in most cases Riccardo will hope that someone makes a mistake in front of him so he can capitalise and perform those “amazing” overtakes. Best overtaking i’ve seen in the Hybrid era was Max’s master class in the wet Brazilian GP in 2016.

          Riccardo performed well when he was paired with Vettel but it’s interesting people still consider Verstaeppen a better driver/prospect than him even though he’s scored consistently better than him and it appears that Hamilton is of that feeling too.

      2. I always thought it was a bit more like

        Ricciardo’ comment is typical of F1 people. When they’re not on top, they attempt to disparage those who are on top.

      3. It can also be said a man/woman is only as fast as their car.

      4. Don’t really think so, ricciardo is a better driver than rosberg, or at least equal, I don’t think he’s faster than hamilton if you give him a mercedes, but close.

    19. As for Leclerc’s debut, I was underwhelmed. Compare to Vandoorne, who on his debut (Bahrain 2016) outqualified Jenson Button in a car he’d never driven before, then went on to score McLaren’s first point of the season. Qualifying a tenth behind Ericsson is not an achievement.

      1. @krommenaas It’s true, Stoffel had a great debut when he subbed for Fernando at Bahrain (though it was on a circuit he’d raced at several times in GP2).

        While his team mate hasn’t exactly set the Formula1 world alight, he is a solid driver with 4 full seasons of experience (and prior racing on the track) so getting so close to him in Leclerc’s first qualifying session is still and achievement.

        Beyond that, he drove a mature and error free race, and I’m not sure that Sauber has a car that could have realistically allowed for a higher finish than he managed (unlike McLaren in 2016 which was often competing for the last few points positions), though it’s always difficult to truly judge the performance of drivers relative to their cars. Of course we’ll see in the next few races, but I expect Leclerc will quickly start to outshine Ericsson.

        1. Also, Leclerc had never driven at Albert Park before, I’m sure he did a lot of simulator laps, but it’s not the same. I think at Bahrain Leclerc will outqualify him, and will continue to do so for most of the year.

        2. @puffy @krommenaas Vandoorne was a full second slower than Alonso in Melbourne 2017, his second race. So either his debut was flattered, Button was off pace that weekend or Alonso is a monster (probably a combination of the three). Don’t judge Leclerc based on a single race.

          1. Fair point, Vandoorne’s first 2017 races were disappointing, nothing like his 2016 debut.

    20. “Only driver to win at least one race in every season of his career. “

      This is not really a claim to shout too loud about using the recrod breaking Merc engine his whole carerer and cars that team mates were also putting on pole.

      One of those years was 2013 where he only won 1 race to Nico’s 2 with Alonso in a slower car also getting 2 wins.
      His poles are more impressive. 5 poles that season (Nico 4) although converting them to wins shows how much himsemf and Nico relied later on superiority of the car whilst Alonso was always up there grinding out points in cars nowhere near as capable.

      1. Put some context in your post.

        Rosberg inherited the Silverstone win while he was sat in 3rd because a random tyre blow sent Hamilton to the back from leading the race. Hamilton still led Rosberg in the championship.

        As for converting poles to wins the Mercedes was a tyre destroyer, it chewed it’s rear tyres no matter how it was driven, they created a car that could take pole but had poor race pace and tyre usage.

        1. +1. Astute retort on a selective comment.

          1. Are we allowed to list all the faults with Alonso’s, Vettel’s and Riccairdo’s cars from 2014-2017? To continue the context?

            1. Carry on. That will at least be consistent.

            2. @BigJoe although the fundamental point was about your distorted assessment of 2013.

        2. @philipgb

          Context from 2014 onwards; Vettel, Alonso and Riccairdo all had useless cars compared to the Mercedes never mind rough on the rear tyres, yet this is the era Lewis has supposedly become ‘Fangio’.

          After 6 years he got his 2nd championship in a car that had 11 x 1-2 finishes and 18 poles from 19 (11-7 to Nico). Leaving Lewis with almost 3 times more points than Jenson Button who also scored 3 podiums.

          1. yet this is the era Lewis has supposedly become ‘Fangio’.

            your words not anyone else’s.

          2. @BigJoe– so what’s your point? That the best drivers drive the best car? Colour me surprised. Who would have thought that would be the case in F1. I note the manipulation of history when reviewing Hamilton vs Rosberg in 2013; @philipgb gives a solid retort and you of course shift the goal posts. You are the one who seems to think that winning a race in every season one has competed in, when sometimes not having the best car (in 2013 even Lotus were at times better than Merc!) is somehow a negative thing. Even in 2009 the Mclaren was at best the 3rd best car but HAM won some races. I get not liking a driver but to then try and change history for an agenda….

            1. Not quite agreeing with big Joe myself but

              You are the one who seems to think that winning a race in every season one has competed in, when sometimes not having the best car (in 2013 even Lotus were at times better than Merc!) is somehow a negative thing

              no that’s you putting words in his mouth. Besides you talk about team Enstone as if they were seen in 2013 as the sinking ship they were a couple of years later. At the time they were seen as long-shot contenders for 2nd in the WCC.

        3. @philipgb

          For the record Lewis inherited that ‘badge of honor’ extra 2nd place from Alonso at Spain in 2007.

          1. And Alonso inherited a win in Monaco 2007 thanks to team orders.

      2. “Record breaking Merc engines”….

        Are you referring to the ones that were in the McLaren that after Mika retired didn’t win a championship until Lewis joined the team? Or are you talking about 2014 onwards?

        12 yrs in and people are still trying to downplay Hamilton’ achievements around the argument of being lucky & whatever diatribe that can be think off.

    21. I think that Ricciardo is basically saying that if the cars were equal or closely matched, then Hamilton would not be unbeatable. Although it is an obvious case of ‘If my aunt had wings…’, I believe that he is right.

    22. Used to like Ricciardo but recently he’s been mouthing off alot, I would say since last year. This is how F1 has always been. The best teams employ the best drivers. Happened with Senna, Prost, Mansell, Schumi, Hakkinen and all other past F1 champs who had the dominant package. One can debate how dominant the Merc is, sure, but it doesn’t detract from the fundamental point- F1 has always been about the car.

      I understand RIC’s team boss is also calling for qualy modes to be banned. Oh dear. Maybe they should have banned all of RBR’s advantages when they were winning too.

      1. Horner’s complaints are nothing compared to Brawn and Todt’s on behalf of Schumacher whenever he looked like and did get his ar@e kicked.
        Three of the biggest scandals on his behalf was Bridgestone admitting that they had been Supplying Michael with special tyres, going on to get Michelin to re-tool mid-season because their tyres were 1mm too wide, and Ferrari failing to get Mass Dampers to work, so had them banned to regain their dominance only for Alonso to beat them anyway in a non dominant car, ( a rarity in F1)

        IIRC Mansell’s dominant 92 car was enjoyed for only one season and due to previous sacrifices, his DNF record was incredible. Finishing 2nd and 3rd to Senna in 1991 Mansell and Patresse had 10 retirments to Senna’s 1. 1990 a similar story

    23. Hamilton out qualified Rosberg by 3/4/5 tenths at Albert Park for the last few years. If Vettel wasn’t off the pace last weekend, and Hamilton wasn’t in that Mercedes, it would have been a Ferrari on pole and we’d all have a very different view on how this year was going to be on Saturdays.

      Thats the difference Hamilton brings, Mr. Ricciardo.

    24. Prarag Chopra
      28th March 2018, 12:36

      Ricardo thinks he’s too good eh! He must first worry about tackling Verstappen this season. If not unlucky as last season, Max would give a sound thrashing to Daniel this year in my opinion.

    25. Until two years ago Bottas was one of the biggest prospects of his generation and now the guy is done because Hamilton is making him look bad.

      People really are strange. Out of a sudden Kimi is a great driver and Bottas is a nobody. For the past five seasons the opposite was true.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        28th March 2018, 20:53

        Yes, many seem to think that Bottas has steadily been getting worse over the last few years. Or at leased it seems that from the way they say things about him. Williams were great in 2014, and Bottas looked very good too. Since then, Williams has slowly been going downhill each season. I think it is far more the car that has made Bottas look worse to others. Then he’s gone to Mercedces to pair with the driver who the majority say is the best. Do you expect every driver (even high rated ones) to instantly be close to the very best? For Bottas’s first season against Hamilton, it was very good, just not exceptional. Surely that was good enough for him not to get all the criticism he’s getting?

    26. But the question is Lewis did BigJoe mention Alonso in his post….

    27. Imagine if Alonso a 2xWC could handle a rookie being on his speed from day one just maybe bigjoe he would have 5 WC by now

    28. Go watch 2007 Aus GP see how good Ham was his i first ever GP Weekend was as fast if not faster than a 2xWc just shows how good he is

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