Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Ferrari front row proves we don’t have ‘party mode’ – Hamilton

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said Ferrari’s front row lock-out in Bahrain proves Mercedes don’t have a ‘party mode’ setting which gives them extra engine performance.

The Mercedes drivers qualified third and fourth in Bahrain. But Hamilton will start ninth after his five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change is applied.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2018
Mercedes explains its ‘party mode’ engine performance settings
“I guess it ultimately proves everyone who said we had a party mode in the last race wrong,” Hamilton told Channel 4 in Bahrain.

“Ferrari have done a great job this weekend this weekend, they’ve got the pace. It’s been a difficult weekend for me overall so I hope tomorrow I can turn it upside down.”

Hamilton said there were “a few places” where Mercedes were lacking performance compared to their rivals. “Ferrari are just quicker in general everywhere. They’ve been a bit better with their tyres, they always are in hot places like this.”

“I think we come to a hotter circuit and often the gap closes up a little bit,” he added. “Ferrari’s maybe got an upgrade, their engine mode is easily as good as ours this weekend, as you can see all the straights they’re just as quick if not a bit quicker.

“And when you get to a hot circuit it’s really difficult to keep the temperatures low in the tyres and that’s something they’ve always been good at.”

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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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65 comments on “Ferrari front row proves we don’t have ‘party mode’ – Hamilton”

  1. Or you just didn’t put it together. Like at all. Excuses.

    GAS outqualifying FA has to be the 2nd best feeling I’ve had to Sebs amazing quali. Well done to both of them

    1. Seb is the best driver out there. Always has been! In matched cars, HAM wouldn’t stand a chance against him.

      I have absolutely no doubts that if Seb was driving the ultra dominant Mercs of the last four seasons, he would have beaten Michael’s WDC record by now, along with all the other relevant records of the sport.

      1. @elio You forgot the /s

        1. @patrickl I wouldn’t put an /s on most of what @elio said.

          Though of course put HAM in the RB10-13 (and somehow team brackley afterwards) and imho it would’ve been exactly the same.

          1. exactly the same.

            you mean the 13 DNF’s of course ;)

      2. YellowSubmarine
        7th April 2018, 19:14

        Easy, soldier. No points are awarded on Saturday. And hasn’t Lewis beaten Vettel in the same car before? 2005 Euro F3 season, Lewis totally wiped the floor with Vettel… Go look it up.

        1. Vettel was younger and earlier in his development then. That was Vettel’s rookie season in F3 while Hamilton was in his second season. In Hamilton’s rookie season he finished 5th in the standings.

          1. YellowSubmarine
            8th April 2018, 4:15

            Being younger and a rookie didn’t stop Lewis from beating Alonso at McLaren in 2007, did it?

        2. I once stepped faster than Usain Bolt, I still don’t understand how the Olympics won’t sponsor a sprint between us.

          1. Bwahaha @flatsix. Two thumbs up

      3. Utter rubbish. He had the faster car majority of last year and still didn’t manage it.

        1. Not really, the car that took 12 wins and 15 poles in 20 races was faster for the majority of last year.

          1. Indeed, seriously tired of comments saying ferrari was faster in 2017, it only was in a few select races, majority of them they were even or mercedes faster.

      4. This again. Listen, they are both awesome drivers, some of the greatest of all time.

      5. In matched cars Seb couldn’t match Ricciardo…

      6. +Elio
        Is this the same Sebastian who was utterly destroyed by Ricciardo? Your analysis of driving talent needs work.

    2. I watched this interview, like last year they don’t have as much downforce but Lewis didn’t point this out. The speed thing is just wrong, I was looking at those top speeds, at the 2nd straight Hamilton was in fact 4 kph quicker, very little difference but it’s not those 4 kph but the fact Ferrari is no longer 10 or more kph away.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th April 2018, 18:09

    Lewis is wrong – there’s always been a party mode and every team has it but the best part of it is that it’s free.

    Just ask Ferrari, they are in party mode right now:-)

  3. …Excuse me ?!

    Wasn’t he the one who stated loud and clear in AUS, that Mercedes had a new special engine setting for this season called “Party mode” ? And now, after being trashed by Seb Vettel and outqualified by his average team mate in Bahrain, he says that special engine mode doesn’t exist after all ?

    What a clown!

    1. @elio Well it shows they can’t just push a button and get pole.

      Analysis even showed that Mercedes won the time in AUS Q3 under braking and through corners. Ferrari (Raikkonen at least) was accelerating faster out of the corners than Hamilton. So i anything, Ferrari has more of a “party mode” than Mercedes does.

      It’s too bad Vettel was lucky not to be out qualified again by his “average” team mate who has again been faster all weekend.

      1. I’d say Vettel did it a fantastic lap on pure driving talent, when it mattered most.

        And that “average” team mate of his, is just a F1 World Champion. And beat Hamster to it, btw.

      2. It is embarrassing to see HAM being out qualified by a mediocre driver in the same car indeed

      3. @patrickl
        Today continues an interesting pattern where Hamilton is outperform by Bottas whenever Mercedes is not the best car, the same thing happened in Russia, Monaco and Hungary last year.

        1. @kingshark Or … it’s part of the actually realistic pattern where the driver with the grid penalty doesn’t go so much for the best setup for qualifying. This actually makes sense since he will be forced to focus more on race setup.

          Especially since both Monaco (yellow flag) and Hungary (tyre issues) had nothing to do with Mercedes not being best. In fact in Hungary, Hamilton was fastest of them all. So that leaves two races where perhaps your “pattern” matches. Not really a pattern.

          1. @patrickl qualifying and race setups don’t really exists anymore these days. There’s a very much optimal setup for the race, and that’s where they’ll aim for. They potentially given him just a tad less rear wing or so but it’s not like Hamilton all of a sudden has a much slower or worse car in Q than Bottas.

          2. @flatsix Yes they have to make do with one setup. That’s the point! Brilliant of you to get that.

            Also, yes they do make Hamilton’s car slower for Q3 and faster for the race (or more capable of overtaking). So there is a difference. Again brilliant of you. Maybe there is still hope for you to actually understand F1 dynamics.

            Unfortunately, you then THINK there isn’t a lap time difference. Ooooh too bad. You don’t continue to the next round. So sad.

            I’m also not talking about just this time. Every time Rosberg, Bottas or Hamilton had a grid penalty they were slower than expected in quali. There IS an actual pattern there.

          3. @patrickl “Every time Rosberg, Bottas or Hamilton had a grid penalty they were slower than expected in quali. There IS an actual pattern there.”

            Really ?! Bottas had no grid penalty but ended P3 in the quali behind both Ferraris anyway.

            So much for your “pattern theory”! =)

          4. @elio Who was fastest in FP3? In fact all weekend?

            Mercedes has been behind by half a second at least for the whole weekend, so why would anyone expect Mercedes to be on pole (other than people who have no cl ue what’s going on)?

          5. @patrickl No, I’m not wrong. You’re just pretending that gap between the two is many seconds somehow covered by the genius of Hamilton.

          6. @flatsix What are you babbling about now? Never mind, I don’t care.

        2. Though that may just be that when Hamilton is on form, he put the car higher up on the grid and in the race than Bottas, making the car look better…

      4. Let it go, man, you sound too sure for someone who has nothing to do with the real F1. Nobody knows for sure what each time is doing, so there’s a big degree of speculation in everybody’s comment. So, it’s “funny” you “know” so much about what Mercedes and Ferrari did in AUS, but don’t mention anything about the downforce aspect and/or some other set-up aspect! What you’re saying is that this year Ferrari has a better engine than Mercedes… which is something I hardly believe. At best, they’re even.

        1. Absolutely not. Mercedes still has the best/most powerful engine and the best car overall.

        2. whats the problem with some people, when Ham plants a good lap, it was easy because he had the best car…
          when he looses the pole, he is mediocre in the best car… he wins, it s because car, he looses, it s because he is really bad… what do you guys smoke really?

          when vettel wins, he is too good, when he looses out to ham, because ham has a too easy car to win no skills… u guys are funny as hell…

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            7th April 2018, 21:31

            @mysticus That’s funny because if you read the comments from Vettel’s WDC years it was literally the other way around.

        3. @mg1982 Well I saw an analysis of the Hamilton and Raikkonen’s fastest Q3 lap. It was quite clear that Hamilton won time under braking and some corners and Raikkonen won back time on the straights.

          I’m saying it’s abundantly clear the engine performance difference isn’t as huge as Vettel pretended in Australia.

          But I guess that’s too much knowledge for people like you (ie people who can’t deal with facts and logic).

  4. What a load of rubbish. They do have a party move, but even with it turned on they were still behind today. Bottas was still very close to the Ferraris.

    1. if bottas was close, then could we conclude lewis could have been on par or beat them? look like nico is proven right. hamilton has off days. and people capitalized.

  5. Think it’s more of Mercedes turning down their engines than Ferrari upping theirs. In this Bahrain heat, mercs seem to have gone conservative with their engines. It’s understandable considering the cooling problems they have developed recently.

  6. OR
    Mercedes did not turn it on because they think it will be way more beneficial to keep a bit more juice in the engine and use a more aggressive mode during the race. The grid penalty changed their strategy

    1. So by not turning it on during quali, Merc thought it was better to have Bottas starting the race on P3 than P1 for strategy’s sake ?

      …Wow! =D

      1. I can’t be that sure about Bottas to be honest. He could have used it but didn’t a good lap

        1. Bottas gained 7 tenths in Q3 on his Q2 lap. The Ferrari’s only 4 tenths and Ricciardo 6 tenths.

          Pretty similar to what happened in Australia. Although then Raikkonen also gained 6 tenths.

          There really isn’t that much between them. If Mercedes’ “party mode” is better than Ferrari’s, it’s really not worth more than one or two tenths.

    2. Nah. I think merc just did not use the special mode because they either thought they had the pace to get to the front with their 2nd best mode. Or that they simply did not use it because the special mode is getting too much attention and merc does not want fia to dig too deep and possibly find something uncomfortable.

      1. Kinda think so too that Mercedes has something “special” there and they don’t want to create much fuss about it and attract FIA’s attention. After all, they got closer to Ferrari with every session.

      2. @socksolid I’m thinking the same thing especially after the “party mode” fuss its caused in australia.

      3. @socksolid, @mg1982, Perhaps you two “conspirationists” should try to see some reality. How much of an advantage do you think this “party mode” gives?

        Because in reality it’s clearly only one or two tenths.

        So yes Mercedes does have some extra advantage in Q3, but that’s not why Hamilton pulled such a big gap in Australia Q3. Vettel was simply being a poor loser in the post quali press conference, trying to blame a “button” instead of admitting he messed up his Q3 lap.

        Raikkonen did get a good lap in and hence also kept the gap to Hamilton in Q3 similar to what it was in Q2 (pre “party mode”).

  7. LOL, are you kidding me? It has already been established that there is a “party mode” on the Mercs. Toto said it himself.
    It just looks stupid when you deny it after that. For all we know, Merc could have decided to not use it this time around. Really proves nothing, this quali.

  8. Right, Sky we’re reporting the Mercedes had needed to open up airflow to the engine following issues in Australia, this has cost them downforce and you can clearly see the result in the higher temperatures where the Merc is sliding around hunting for grip fat more than the Ferrari is.

  9. Neil (@neilosjames)
    7th April 2018, 20:10

    I think it just shows that Ferrari have an effective qualifying mode as well.

    1. @neilosjames
      Out of all the comments this is the best comment, instead of giving an opinion for one team or the other

    2. I’m sorry, but your post is invalid, due to the lack of:

      * conspiracy theories
      * anti-Hamilton / Mercedes comments
      * pro-Ferrari / Vettel comments
      * repetition of provably false statements

      Please retract your post and resubmit it with the above corrections.

      The Internet


  10. Bottas says, “HI!!!”

  11. Mercs “party mode” is all but made up story. Fake news. Period.

    1. Except for Wolff telling us last weekend that they did. They crank their car for Q3. All he said was that they didn’t crank the car further between runs during Q3. Just because it didn’t help enough due to other issues doesn’t mean it is not there, and it’s failure to help at this race has nothing to do with the reality of Australia. Ie. is proof of nothing relevant to Australia.

      1. @robbie Every team “cranks up” their car to the max for Q3.

        Maybe, just maybe, Hamilton meant that it isn’t the party mode that got him pole in Australia. He didn’t beat Raikkonen by such a margin because of it.

        Mercedes Q2 to Q3 improvement (ie “party mode”) is clearly only worth a tenth or perhaps 2 tenths.

    2. Posted on the 24-02 18

    3. Tried to post the link but only got the date. This is a quote from Wolff from the 22-Feb on this site.
      “Lewis Hamilton did use Mercedes’ high power setting, dubbed ‘party mode’, for his final laps at the end of qualifying, Mercedes motorsport manager Toto Wolff confirmed.”

  12. Why is he denying this? His boss even said they had a more powerful engine mode for the end of qualifying, a “party mode”.
    Who’s he trying to fool here?

  13. I think Mercedes were about 0.4-0.6 S slower than Ferrari until they turned their engines up in Q3.
    Probably even Q2 for Lewis so he could start on Softs.

  14. It’s pretty simple.

    “Party Mode” exists, engines need to do 7 races, “Party Mode” can only be used a certain number of times in the PU life cycle, Bahrain is hot, Mercedes seem a little short on cooling, “Party Mode” probably puts Mercedes over their max temps at this track so they aren’t using it in the absolute fastest mode. They likely won’t be able to use it at every track, every round to extend engine life.

  15. Hamilton generally talks so much crap. Like when he was comparing himself to Senna. What kind of person even does that? Not even half the driver Senna was. Embarrassing!

    1. From my memory all Hamilton ever did was praise and hero-worship Senna. Like many people with heroes he tried to emulate him in some ways, like entering the world of F1, like becoming a winner and world champion and was pleased when he could match his hero’s accomplishments and records. I can’t really recall him comparing himself favourably to Senna, in fact the opposite; in any self-comparisons he always acknowledged Senna as superior (I disagree with Hamilton in this – I think in many ways he is superior to Senna, but that is another discussion :) ).

  16. What did people expect, something truthful?

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