Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamlton, Kimi Raikkonen, Hungaroring, 2018

Hamilton: Ferrari are quicker but “I welcome the pressure”

2018 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari hold the initiative as Formula 1 heads into its summer break but says he’s thriving on the increased pressure in this year’s championship fight.

“It’s the most intense battle,” said Hamilton. “We are racing a team that are faster than us this year.

“Last year we were quite balanced I would say but some weekends they were faster than us, and then we were faster than them. But this year it’s swinging more in their direction so we’re having to over-deliver and try to pull out more from weekends where we’re not quick enough.

“So the pressure to extract absolutely every millimetre is greater than ever if I want to be number one again.”

Hamilton, who holds a 24-point championship lead over Sebastian Vettel after 12 of 21 races, says the championship contenders are paying a bigger price for any errors they make.

“This year is even closer than last year as you know so the smallest mistakes are even more costly. So there’s more pressure on there. That’s the same for any sport, the last shot, the last serve is the most important point.”

He admitted there have been weekends this year when he hasn’t performed at his best.

“The cycle of the game, in any top part of sport, is the hardest thing. Probably whilst you see me here you don’t see me away from the track, or any of us competitors. That’s probably the most demanding thing, keeping your mind in the game from March all the way to November. Arriving every weekend 100%.

“I can honestly say not every weekend I’ve hit the nail on top of the head but the goal is to try and do that. And you have those big setbacks, like qualifying in [Germany]. But depending how strong you are up here… I always relate to golfers and tennis players who miss the first serve but then the second on they ace. That’s what we’re kind of battling with mentally as well. It’s hard to really explain.”

Hamilton believes the increased pressure is bringing out the best in him. “The pressures are huge this year. The demands and the desires of the drivers, myself and Sebastian for example, are higher than ever. And the pressure is higher than ever as you can see.

“That’s not something I’m fazed by, it’s something I’m excited by. Because I generally I’ve always felt that under pressure that’s when I’ve been at my best. So I welcome the pressure.”

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  • 69 comments on “Hamilton: Ferrari are quicker but “I welcome the pressure””

    1. Mmmm… does he welcome pressure? When I think about Hamilton and his usual slumps, I think of a driver that welcomes pressure when he’s getting it right… when he doesn’t, he not always fights back and becomes stronger to recover, he sometimes goes well down, like some sort of deep depression.

      1. @fer-no65 I’d say he often responds to pressure well from race-to-race, putting in a good weekend after a mediocre one, but not so well during races when things don’t go smoothly or the car underperforms. As the team radio shows, he often needs coaxing back into a positive mindset. He’s also talking about the team though. Mercedes weren’t at 100% in the early part of the season and made quite a few strategy mistakes that cost both their drivers points. They’ve since recovered well. Question is car performance. Ferrari clearly have some secret ingredient Mercedes have yet to discover. Unless they find that or their own solution, Ferrari (Vettel) should catch up and overtake by the end of the season.

        1. Good comment. You’re right.
          Hamilton’s driving does largely depend on his emotion. If he knows that he won’t win, he just fades off. He doesn’t make mistakes like his rival, but he just fades off and “gives up”. However, when he’s on it, there’s no stopping him!
          Vettel on the other hand is the exact opposite of Hamilton, he will fight hard until the end but takes unnecessary risks when under pressure and makes questionable “rookie” mistakes.
          Nonetheless, they’re both my favorite guys and deserve lots of respect.

          1. @lebz They make a good contrast, I agree. Vettel’s resilience and determination is impressive. Until the last few races he’d had the better season. It’ll be fascinating to see how it pans out. I also expect either Bottas or Raikkonen, or both, to have some impact on the title too.

          2. “If he knows that he won’t win, he just fades off”

            I don’t agree. Hamilton often sounds miserable when things don’t go his way (as do many drivers). But many mis-interpret this moaning as “fading off”. All i would say to this is go check Canada. Hamilton’s race ruined by a cooling issue. Once Merc stabalised the problem, Hamilton was advised by his race engineer to sit back, and settle for P5. Hamilton was having non of it, refused to give up, an tried, though unsucessfully, to get past Ricciardo. Also look at GB. Dead last to P2. He never gave up. Germany too. Also, I think Hamilton manages risks better than Vettel, but once again, people can misinterpret this as not wanting to fight or “fading off”. Hamilton would rather “back out” of something, rather than risk it going wrong, and losing points. And to be fair, this approach has served him well. It’s partly why he won in 2017, & partly why he leads 2018.

            1. Plus a few million.

              Astute comments

      2. @fer-no65

        On the contrary .. I think he actually performs well under pressure. When he feels there’s no pressure or lack of competition, he starts slacking. Just look at how complacent he got at the start of 2016 (after winning back to back WDCs) , and also at the start of this season. Then look at his performances under pressure, when he clawed back his deficit to Vettel in the second half of 2017 last season, and how he’s performed after his retirement in Austria 2018 this year.

        If you look at the performance of Vettel vs Hamilton under pressure is when you’ll really understand the difference. Vettel usually makes first lap contact (Mexico 2017, Singapore 2017) or driving errors (Baku 2018, Germany 2018) or just brain fade mistakes (Baku 2017) when he’s under pressure, but Lewis generally keeps it cool.

        1. @todfod

          Lewis generally keeps it cool

          That may be the point though. I agree he doesn’t lose his nerve often, if it all, under pressure near the front (nor does Vettel in qualifying it should be said). But he does slump sometimes, for a while, when things don’t work out, especially car performance or strategy mistakes, and takes a time – a bunch of laps maybe – to recover his motivation. It’s like his ‘coolness’ just gets too cool and he becomes despondent. Not the same as Vettel miscalculating under pressure at or near the front, which is a definite pattern, though he always seems to remain in a determined mindset afterwards. Unless he’s out of the race, of course.

        2. I think you’re right about him performing well under pressure. But I think it takes him quite a while to overcome incidents that put pressure on him, which you can see in his mid-race depressions when things don’t go his way.
          He shows under pressure different to Vettel – Lewis sulks, Vettel rages.

    2. “Last year we were quite balanced I would say but some weekends they were faster than us, and then we were faster than them. But this year it’s swinging more in their direction so we’re having to over-deliver and try to pull out more from weekends where we’re not quick enough.

      2017:
      Mercedes scored 12 wins and 15 pole positions
      Ferrari scored 5 wins and 5 pole positions

      “It was quite balanced”

      2018:
      Mercedes have 5 wins and 6 pole positions
      Ferrari have 4 wins and 5 pole positions

      “Ferrari have the best car”

      Although I guess that makes sense. When you have had a dominant car as long as Hamilton has, equal cars would feel like having an inferior car.

      1. YellowSubmarine
        6th August 2018, 18:33

        Always good to include the context. Mercedes have won races that ferrari threw away.
        You watched the last race, hopefully?
        Don’t let the facts get in your way, though.

        1. Mercedes threw away Australia, Bahrain and Austria themselves. They easily could have won all three of these races.

          Overall the cars have been very evenly matched this year. Not so much last year.

          1. Mercedes threw away Australia, Bahrain and Austria themselves. They easily could have won all three of these races.

            @kingshark and in 2017 they threw away the same Australia and Bahrein, plus Azerbaijan, Malaysia, and Brazil.

            Those statements from Lewis are amusing. If he’s getting some kind of pressure, that comes more because of Vettel than Ferrari, even with Seb’s blunders accounted.

            A fast car does not worries Hamilton (remember Massa). But a fierce rival wear out his peace, like Rosberg and now Vettel.

            1. Niefer, there’s no way you can say mercedes threw away malaysia in 2017, I agree with the others, due to mistakes of the driver or strategy mistakes or reliability, but in malaysia mercedes had the WORST car of the frontrunners, verstappen overtook hamilton and gained almost 10 sec by the end of the race, ricciardo overtook bottas, and bottas wasn’t even able to keep vettel behind who started last!

              If that’s having the best car I don’t know what’s having the worst.

            2. @esploratore
              Red Bull was a contender, but the race was Mercedes’ to loose: Hamilton was on pole, and the Ferraris were off the winning contention right from the beginning: Raikkonen didn’t even start due to a turbo problem, and Vettel, as we remember, started last.

              Then, Lewis didn’t even fight Max for the 1st place. He just let him go by and settled for 2nd, because he didn’t have to win it, he was extending the championship lead anyway. With Vettel 4th, it was good enough. Plus, he was nursing for the engine, surely remembering 2016.

              Lewis might have won if he wanted.

              As for Bottas, his 2nd half of season was lame, while Max and Dan were right on the edge.

            3. No. Hamilton was not expected to win Malaysia. The RB was significantly faster than the Merc during the race. Plus it’s a track where you can easily overtake. No point in Hamilton robustly defending, risking contact with Max. Max had the faster car & nothing to lose–it was only a matter of time before Max overtook for the lead. Hamilton really should never have been on pole. The Merc was the 3rd fastest car in Q3- Ferrari/Kimi should have taken pole. The Merc was the slowest of the 3 front running cars on this track. GPS data show Merc race pace .5 sec a lap slower than RB. This race was NOT Merc’s to lose. I would advise to you to read this report to get a more educated assessment of Malaysia.

              https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/reports/f1/2017-malaysian-grand-prix-report

            4. “No. Hamilton was not expected to win Malaysia”

              He didnt have to win! He also didnt push… he didnt even defend… He nursed the car home… They were only slow because he wanted to be slow… dont kid yourself with statistics too much, they only show what you want to see…

              Hungary, hamilton was nursing, but he was asked to nurse, not that he couldnt push… Turn the RS magic down and come home was the message… If he wanted he could go faster… and difference would have been much bigger… They just playing long game and saving modes (engine performance) for when actually needed… Reliability will be big issue in the second half of the season! 3 engines? everyone almost used two!

              Red bull will take many more penalties, Ferrari is expected to get theirs soon as well… i dont think Merc really opened up their engines yet, while figuring out some aeros still… Ferrari on the other hand going smoking hot, and i believe they running quite high right now, we will see the cost of it soon enough…

            5. (@mysticus)
              “They were only slow because he wanted to be slow…”

              So the GPS and other internal data is lying? LOL!!!!!!!!!!

              You don’t seem to understand that RB was the significantly faster car on a track where overtaking is easy. Read the report link. It might help you get a better grasp on the situation.

            6. I m baffled by your comment? Do you think hamilton in malaysia magically slow and forget to defend? 2016 he was some 17 secs ahead of anyone before his engine blow up… he was slow, because he didnt wanna risk his title, as he was ahead he was extending his lead points…

              When you are over excited like Vettel, Baku 2018? Germany 2018, Baku 2017, Singapore 2017 kind of things happen esp unnecessarily pushing hard…

              RB was faster because merc didnt take risk and played it safe! end of story…
              2014 Hamilton won by 17 sec margin
              2015 SC blunders
              2016 Engine blow up when ham 17 sec in distance…
              2017 Ham played it cool. end of story…

              When ham gets on the throttle, he goes into distance in this circuit… when he wants… dont kid yourself with a cinderella story RB was so much faster…

      2. Ferrari threw away at least two races that Mercedes won : Singapore and Malaysia.
        Others were so evenly matched that could have gone either way, like Russia, Spain or Belgium.

        It’s not honest at all to simplify things to how many races each side won. That takes the better work of one side out of the question.

        1. But it is honest to say that the car that makes 15 poles in a year is the faster car by a significant margin unless one thinks Hamilton is that much better than Vettel in a similar car. In fact, this year the number of poles for each driver indicates that MB and Ferrari are evenly matched.

          1. Mercedes’s major advantage last year was on saturdays. Undoubtely.
            Come race day, things were much more even. Ferrari better on some occasions. Some times they managed to get past, others they didn’t.

          2. Even the 2017 pole tally is questionable.

            Ferrari had the quicker car in Q3 Spain, but Vettel made a tiny error which allowed Hamilton to grab pole.
            Then there was Austria-Vettel misses pole by less than a 10th, making a small error, without which, he could have taken pole (Hamilton had a grid penalty)
            Malaysia-Kimi had the fastest car in Q3, should have been a Ferrari pole. Merc was the worst of the front running cars on this track yet Hamilton somehow manages to get pole.
            Brazil-Vettel has provisional pole but admits to “chickening Out” on his final run, throwing away pole.

        2. Ed, please, you said ferrari threw away 2 races mercedes won, singapore and malaysia.

          Singapore ok, even if in the rain hamilton would’ve had a chance regardless, but malaysia? Red bull won that one, mercedes had the worst car in formula A that race, ferrari was probably as quick as red bull but had mechanical issues that put them out of contention.

          1. @esploratore youre right. Ferrari threw Malaysia away, but Mercedes didn’t won that one.

      3. Oh dear. Have you included all the races in 2017 where ferrari was quicker than Merc but failed to win? Like Singapore, Mexico, Spain, Malaysia, Spa etc? Raw stats without context is simplistic. There were plenty in F1 who thought Ferrrai was either the best car of 2017, or if not the outright best, just as good as the Merc. Vettel just made too many errors and failed to capitalise. For example, this is what the late Sergio Marchionne said in 2017, of why ferrari lost the title

        ” It was a combination of, especially in the second half of the season, technical issues and driver error, or driver misjudgement…we regret not having done better, but the car is there. It is in my view probably the best car on the track today.”

        Another example, this is what Dan Rcciardo said of 2017

        “Lewis’s season ,I respect that.He had a great car, but I think Seb’s car was also as good and Lewis just maintained a cooler head, a better level of consistency and composure. You have to respect that.“He was always very fast and I think he drove a very good season.”

        Alonso’s view:

        “Last year, arguably, Ferrari was better in many of the races, [had] more performance on their car, so it was a very close fight in a way until Singapore when the two Ferraris crashed [into] each other. They were leading the championship, they were in front.”

        There are ample more opinions that reflect Hamilton’s 2017 assessment.

        As for 2018, Vettel has made more mistakes than Hamilton .

        This is from Autosport:

        “Ferrari has had the faster car on seven occasions this year (2018), with Mercedes quicker five times. One of Ferrari’s races was Monaco, where Red Bull set the pace.”

        AMuS also state Ferrari has the fastest car of 2018. As do people like Brundell, Prost, Brawn, Rosberg, Marko etc

        Ferrari also has the better reliability in 2018 . Merc have lost lots of points to car issues.

        1. “Ferrari has had the faster car on seven occasions this year (2018), with Mercedes quicker five times. One of Ferrari’s races was Monaco, where Red Bull set the pace.”

          How does this even make sense?

          At Monaco no one was beating the bulls except themselves.

          1. It’s quite simple. Ferrari was faster than Merc in Monaco

        2. Have you included all the races in 2017 where ferrari was quicker than Merc but failed to win? Like Singapore, Mexico, Spain, Malaysia, Spa etc?

          Have you included all the races in 2017 where Mercedes was quicker but failed to win? Bahrain, Baku and Brazil.

          Ferrari only had two dominant weekends in 2017. Monaco and Hungary. Mercedes had the clear best car in Canada, Baku, Silverstone, Monza and Abu Dhabi.

          1. “Mercedes had the clear best car in Canada, Baku, Silverstone, Monza and Abu Dhabi.”

            Ferrari had the clear best or better car than Merc in Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia , Mexico, Spain. Possibly Spa too

            If you are going to include Bahrain for Merc, then we have to include Russia for Ferrari

          2. It’s so much easier to say whose got the best car based on qualyfying…
            Ferrari was faster than Mercedes on Australia, China, Bahrein, maybe Russia, Spain, Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, Mexico and Malaysia.

            Australia and Bahrein, once Vettel got track position, he pulled away confortably.
            China, he lost half the race behind kimi cuz of a failed pit stop gamble and still came home just 5 secs behind Hamilton.
            Spain he lost cuz of the VSC.

            Singapore and Mexico he wrecked the car early, Malaysia the car failed.

            1. It’s so much easier to say whose got the best car based on qualyfying…

              That’s because qualifying equals track position, and track position decides races. We had a perfect demonstration of this at Spa 2017.

              Ferrari was faster than Mercedes on Australia, China, Bahrein, maybe Russia, Spain, Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, Mexico and Malaysia.

              Mercedes had the better car in China, Bahrain, Canada, Baku, Austria, Silverstone, Belgium, Italy, Japan, USA, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

              In China Hamilton was cruising after his final pitstop which allowed Vettel to finish reasonably close. Hamilton pulled away at 0.5 seconds/lap after Vettel got past Verstappen to show just how much pace he had in reserve.

              In Bahrain, Mercedes was dominant in qualifying and should have won the race if Hamilton did not make a mistake in Q3 and started from pole position. Lewis also got a 5 second penalty in the race for holding up RIC in the pits.

              In Russia and Spain, there was nothing to chose between the two cars.

            2. 2017: Ferrari (mostly Vettel) may have had an evenly matched car on Sunday, but it’s pretty tough to win the race when you’re starting 3rd. Vettel was in the fight and leading the championship in the early part of the season due to him splitting the Mercs and getting on the front row. I remember couple of times beating Bottas by mere thousands of a second. You can’t really expect to win the title when you’re constantly starting from the 2nd row. With a perfect season, no reliability issues and no errors, he would’ve been in the fight till the last couple races, but still would’ve lost on pure performance.

              2018: Ferrari have had the best car at the last 2 races. It is (by a fraction) the best car now. But you can’t say Ferrari have had the best car all year. Think Australia, Spain, Austria, France. Merc dominated those races. At Silverstone, the cars were basically equal, both on quali and over race distance. That was the crossover point after which Ferrari moved ahead. Now is Merc’s time to answer.
              It goes back and forth between them, like it should in a season. Both cars have good days and bad days, both HAM and VET have good and bad days. It’s pretty equal so far and the one who capitalizes the most on the good days will be in front. So far is HAM. I hope by the end of it that it will be VET.

              As a side note, I don’t think Merc can gain so much that they again move clear ahead of Ferrari in terms of performance. But they can definitely find those extra 0.2-0.3 to draw level and we should have a great 9 races to end the season.

            3. At Silverstone, the cars were basically equal, both on quali and over race distance. That was the crossover point after which Ferrari moved ahead. Now is Merc’s time to answer.
              It goes back and forth between them, like it should in a season. Both cars have good days and bad days, both HAM and VET have good and bad days. It’s pretty equal so far and the one who capitalizes the most on the good days will be in front.

              @crystakke Flawless statements!

              As for the season progression, I tend to believe more blunders may come from Vettel than Hamilton. But what we can’t predict right now is which PU is gonna give out first at the 2nd half. Mercedes’ failure at Austria seemed an one-off thing.

            4. @niefer
              vettel under pressure goes all out without a thought for end result and his anger gets the best of him… even his comments/demands (during races) from his own team are ridiculously rude and unnecessary… There is requesting help and there is vettel demanding/commanding his team to help/treat him…

              Mostly his anger getting the best of him, as he is making rookie mistakes taking unnecessary risks and usually coming off worse rather than waiting relatively shortly for the better opportunity… Sometimes i think if he is tossing a coin? closing his eyes and hoping for the best?

              Like in germany, instead of driving to the situation, he tried to outsmart hamilton trying to match him, and instead of loosing 7 points, he lost 25! in spa, ham couldnt match vet, and accepted it and backed off to save the engine for another day… vettel kept full throttle… in monza, he could have easily tuck behind kimi or ham, and not loose much as kimi showed they could outpace merc, but he opted to risk it all again… he is making more mistakes with a better car than last year…

              If he looses this year, he doesnt have the excuse of “merc was a better car” unless of course ferrari pu’s starts popping out every weekend… which of course could also mean ferrari over driving their car…

      4. It’s getting pretty arduous now with you. Dig a little deeper for once.

      5. Nothing like misusing statistics to make a comment completely laughable.

        1. @kingshark

          “That’s because qualifying equals track position, and track position decides races”

          Really? Is that why all of Vettel’s 2017 wins(except 1) came when he wasn’t starting on pole?

          I think people over exaggerate the importance of pole position in 2017

          In Russia Vettel got pole and lost the lead into turn one.
          In Bahrain Bottas got pole and lost the race.
          At COTA Hamilton got pole but lost the lead into turn one
          At Mexico Vettel got pole and lost the lead into turn 2.
          Even in Belgium, Vettel had two excellent chances to overtake but Hamilton defended well and denied him.
          And let’s not forget Botta’s’ borderline false start in Austria that didn’t give Vettel a chance of attacking him in turn one.

          To say that pole has been vital is questionable. There have been plenty of occasions where the driver on pole has not gotten the job done and not won the race. The pole sitter lost the lead pretty often and it become clear that at almost every race his position will be challenged in the first lap. P2 has never been a bad place to start a race anyway.

          Vettel failed to convert pole in Russia, Singapore, Mexico
          Kimi failed to convert Monaco pole
          Hamilton failed to convert pole in Australia, Baku & Malaysia
          Bottas failed to convert pole in Bahrain & Brazil.

          1 lap pace isn’t the be all and end all. Many experts decided Ferrari was the best car of 2017 due to other attributes such as being kinder on tyres, more workable operating window, the ease in being able to follow another car , being a more consistent car which always had the best or 2nd best race pace etc. Contrast Merc, overheating tyres, unable to perform in traffic, narrow operating window, less consistent car falling to 3rd on pace in many races (Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore ). For example this is how a couple of experts described it:

          “-“The Merc is prone to not finding that balancing point or falling off it whereas the Ferrari’s performance is much more robust. All round, Ferrari is a better car” (Mark Hughes)

          “While the Ferrari is quick everywhere, and has a much more level overall performance from race to race, the Mercedes is unpredictable and difficult to manage and, as a race car, it is probably on balance inferior to the Ferrari” (Andrew Benson)

          ““For a lot of the time, Ferrari car has had the edge this season-Ferrari is a more robust/easier package” (Perry McCarthy)

          “Ferrari arguably was the best car, a car for all seasons, car suited every race and track, where as Merc had that diva with problems, wasn’t the best car, not the best with its tyres” (Will Buxton).

          “” Ferrari have built a wonderful car this year, whereas the Mercedes is a bit tricky and temperamental. And yet Ferrari finds itself now out of control of the championship, not least due to valuable points dropped in Baku and Singapore” (James Allen)

          “”“The truth is that we have a car that can win anywhere. I think we are faster than Mercedes” (vettel)

        2. Many experts decided Ferrari was the best car of 2017 due to other attributes such as being kinder on tyres, more workable operating window, the ease in being able to follow another car , being a more consistent car which always had the best or 2nd best race pace etc. Contrast Merc, overheating tyres, unable to perform in traffic, narrow operating window, less consistent car falling to 3rd on pace in many races

          Ferrari was kinder on the tyres only in a few select weekends. Apart from Australia and Malaysia I can’t remember a single weekend where this actually played a relevant role.

          Ferrari clearly third best in Monza. Ferrari was nowhere in quite a few weekends (Baku, Silverstone, Monza, Abu Dhabi) I would also dispute Mercedes being inferior to Red Bull in Monaco. Bottas outqualified both Red Bulls and got jumped because Sainz held him up.

          Mercedes struggling to follow other cars is mostly a myth. Hamilton breezed through the field in Brazil, as did Bottas in Baku.

          To say that pole has been vital is questionable. There have been plenty of occasions where the driver on pole has not gotten the job done and not won the race. The pole sitter lost the lead pretty often and it become clear that at almost every race his position will be challenged in the first lap. P2 has never been a bad place to start a race anyway.

          Vettel would likely have won in China, Austria and Belgium if he had pole position. That by itself would have been a 35 point swing in Vettel’s favour compared to Hamilton. Track position is clearly very important.

          1. Monaco….who said RB was inferior to Merc? Certainly not me. Merc was inferior to Ferrari though…

            Monza, the Ferrari guys simply got their set-ups wrong. Had they got the set-up correct, they would have been much more competitive (please read-up on this). Plus the Ferrari drivers seem to be poor wet weather drivers (it was wet in qualifying). How many times has Vettel now crashed or performed poorly in the wet? This is not like Merc in Mexico, Singapore & Malaysia where the problems are with DNA/design of the W08..

            There is enough technical info out there for you to go & read, to get a better grasp of the “diva” like qualities of the W08 i.e. struggles in dirty air, narrow operating window, how it works with its tyres etc. It’s well documented by Merc & F1 experts alike.Hamilton had a new engine in Brazil that helped him cut through the field.

            Spa- Vettel lost because he couldn’t make a pass on Hamilton stick. This is due to some great defensive driving from Hamilton but some is also due to Vettel’s deficiencies as a driver. Kimi made a pass on Bottas in the same race, so why couldn’t Vettel do the same?

            “Ferrari was nowhere in quite a few weekends (Baku, Silverstone, Monza, Abu Dhabi)”
            Except for Monza, i wouldn’t call being 2nd on pace to Merc as being “no were”. Try looking deeper, even in AD, there were mitigating circumstances e.g.Ferrari had to ensure Sebastian Vettel finished the race in order to secure runner-up spot in the championship and so ran its race extremely conservatively, exaggerating the pace gap. Plus Wolf stated that Merc had run certain aspects of their 2018 car

            1. Monza, the Ferrari guys simply got their set-ups wrong. Had they got the set-up correct, they would have been much more competitive (please read-up on this).

              Ferrari was nowhere near Mercedes on any power circuit, whether it’d be Monza, Silverstone, Baku, etc… this was an inherit design flaw in the SF70. The car was way too draggy and had inefficient aero.

              Plus the Ferrari drivers seem to be poor wet weather drivers (it was wet in qualifying). How many times has Vettel now crashed or performed poorly in the wet?

              About 9 years prior, on the same circuit and in the same conditions, Vettel dominated in the rain with a car that finished 6th in the WCC. The drivers being the problem is rather unlikely.

              There is enough technical info out there for you to go & read, to get a better grasp of the “diva” like qualities of the W08 i.e. struggles in dirty air, narrow operating window, how it works with its tyres etc. It’s well documented by Merc & F1 experts alike.

              Appeal to authority (your favourite fallacy) is not a valid argument.

              Hamilton had a new engine in Brazil that helped him cut through the field.

              A new engine is worth 0.050s at best, plus a new engine does not explain why Hamilton was able to follow the other cars so closely through the middle sector.

              Spa- Vettel lost because he couldn’t make a pass on Hamilton stick. This is due to some great defensive driving from Hamilton but some is also due to Vettel’s deficiencies as a driver. Kimi made a pass on Bottas in the same race, so why couldn’t Vettel do the same?

              Vettel couldn’t make the pass stick because of the inherit flaw of the SF70, the car was way too draggy. As soon as Vettel pulled out of the slipstream he began losing speed relative to Hamilton. This had nothing to do with talent, it was just a car difference. Kimi passed Bottas because Bottas failed to cover the inside line.

              This year in Austria, Vettel showed that it’s rather easy to pass Hamilton when you have a car with equal top speed to him.

              Except for Monza, i wouldn’t call being 2nd on pace to Merc as being “no were”.

              It is nowhere if you cannot challenge them at all and are much slower.

            2. @kingshark) “ferrari was nowhere near Mercedes on any power circuit, whether it’d be Monza, Silverstone, Baku, etc…”

              But this isn’t true though is it? Spa (power track), Ferrari was arguably the quickest car….
              Monza, Ferrari boys got their setups wrong and showed crap wet weather skills….even the RBs (who have an even less horsepower than Ferrari) beat Ferrari in qual (and Dan beat Kimi in the race), demonstrating horsepower was not at the crux of why Ferrari was beaten in Italy. Rain is the great leveller…
              Look deeper-Ferrari were faster in the speed trap and in S1 in Spain(the power section on the track), they were faster in Canada too in the power sector(S3). In Canada, after Vettel got rid of his problems because of the early pit stop and slow start, he was on similar pace to Hamilton. So too in Baku. Lewis couldn’t make a dent once he was behind Seb in the race and Seb had a Spec 1 4000+km engine. You should learn to look deeper. F1 is never black & white.
              So, no, i don’t entirely agree with your premise that “Ferrari was nowhere near Mercedes on any power circuit”. Plus GPS data show Ferrari PU/horsepower had all but caught up to Merc, the difference was something like 15bhp. 15hp down on Mercedes last year, and Ferrari had a shorter wheel base car that was better on slow corners and tight circuits…..But that’s not the point. The point is they were always first or 2nd on pace….unlike Merc who were often 3rd on pace (Sing, Mex, Malaysia & arguably Monaco)

              “Appeal to authority (your favourite fallacy) is not a valid argument.”
              Unless you have specific data/proof to confirm the opposite, those who have expert knowledge, experience and inside data, is as good a yardstick than any lay opinion. We have differing opinions, i just happen to have expert opinion with inside data agree with mine. It’s a cowardly kop out to say “it’s a fallacy”. You can’t even provide 1 expert opinion that backs you up. I think that says it all.
              As for Brazil, it was late in the season, by which time, Merc had managed to “tame”/get on top of many of the diva like traits of their car.

              No point in you responding to my comment. This is starting to get weary.The fact that there is still so much debate about who had the best car of 2017 merely shows how close it was between the two.Good arguments can be made for either car being the overall best of 2017.

      6. That is the gospel according to Tupac Christ or is ot Jesus Shakur.

    3. I guess he admitted that Germany was his fault there, eh?

      1. He didn’t admit it and why should he? Merc have already clarified his car failed before he hit the kerbs. And the onboards back this up. Go watch it. Thankfully, he didn’t lose any points due to the hydraulics failure in Germany. But he has suffered reliability issues in Canada(cooling issues). Bahrain(geabox issues/grid penalty),Austria (technical DNF) & Australia (software glitch). It’s all cost him a bag full of points. Without these, he’d be even further ahead in the points.

    4. I’d agree, especially now. If Vettel had the lead Hamilton has at this stage, I’d be worried the title race was pretty much over and Vettel was a shoe-in for champion. But as Hamilton has the lead, and the quicker car is the one doing the chasing, I see more potential for it to go the full distance… still with Vettel as the champion, though.

      1. Mmm, I don’t know, it seems like ferrari often manage to throw away title chances, look at the amount of points vettel wasted in germany 2018 and singapore 2017, not only the 25 points (although unsure he’d have won in singapore) but also let hamilton get more points than he’d have otherwise.

        So with vettel and ferrari behind I’m not really sure they can keep up with the many mistakes they make.

        I’m neutral btw, just want a close fight.

      2. @neilosjames

        I Agree to a certain extent… I think the championship will be close because Ferrari has the better car, especially for the 2nd half of the season with their 40hp boost coming up.

        Regarding the drivers… I think Vettel only shines when he has clearly the fastest car and not much competition. That’s when he puts together a string of races where he’s breaking records etc. But when he’s got the pressure of having to play catch up and pull off on track overtakes etc. that’s when he starts making mistakes and fails. Which is why I don’t think he’ll win the championship this year. I actually don’t think it will even go down to the last race.

        Hamilton on the other hand, starts getting complacent when he doesn’t have a strong challenge. After winning 2 WDCs (2014 & 2015) back to back, he did get slightly complacent in 2016. I also felt he wasn’t quite on it at the start of this season as well. He does perform well under pressure though.. I thought his drives in the second half of 2017 to make up the deficit to Vettel were incredible. Also, his last 3 races after his retirement in Austria this year was really stellar. I think he’s feeling the pressure with a quicker Ferrari behind, so he should be completely on it for the rest of the season.

    5. This guy loves talking himself up. It’s always a tale of woe and an underdog story despite having the strongest team likely of all time and a huge advantage over everyone for the last 5 years. Only suckers fall for this garbage.

    6. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
      6th August 2018, 20:30

      Ferrari hold the upper hand? Sorry? Hamilton leads the championship and has excellent momentum. Ferraris car might be fractionally quicker but Hamilton is slightly better than Vettel so that more than offsets the damage. Plus Mercedes have lost a grand total of one Spa and Monza in the turbo era. Although I think, looking at the article, Hamilton is more reacting to the pressure than Ferraris pace

      1. Like you said, Ferrari is quicker. You are tying yourself in knots there buddy!

    7. Well pressure is on. I believe Mercedes still is a faster car in quali, or atleast Hamilton is.

      Certainly the performance is so close Ferrari have a firm scent of a Championship and there is no slacking anywhere. I bet both teams everyone is flat out. You can see how less on the edge #2 drivers are to understand how far #1s are pushing and how deep they dig.

      They must be having nightmares about the other gaining a tenth.

      Pressure is now firmly on Vettel having thrown away Germany.

      Offcorse Vettel was in this position many times and won… Always. But Hamilton never lost a significant lead either… So tough call. And Ferrari seems a tiny bit faster…

      1. Ferrari’s a bit faster than Mercedes, Hamilton’s a bit faster than Vettel, so speed-wise it’s pretty even. But Hamilton has better race craft and is more consistent, so the odds are strongly with Hamilton for WDC.

        1. Vettel can pull of some amazing quali laps too. At that level, when you’re a 4-time world champ, I can’t really see anything else that is in the car that those 2 guys can’t extract. Back in his RB days, VET would put it on pole by a few tenths and WEB was down in 4th, 5th, even 6th, being beaten even by Massa some times. Last year too, Ferrari couldn’t match the Mercs in quali, but Vettel still was splitting them.
          Look, same car, same track conditions, HAM vs VET, go get me pole: I’d flip a coin, both can do it, there’s nobody else I want going for that pole. The difference…..maybe, maybe 0.050 in HAM’s favor. But again, at the level they are, I don’t think there is anything in the car that they can’t find.
          One thing I’ll say, VET doesn’t whine when he has to drive through the field from the back. Didn’t hear one word from him last year in Canada or Malaysia, or this year in France. HAM in GBR: “Help, my car is broken, my car is broken, help, what button do I push?” :))). VET whines when he is at the front : “Blue flags, blue flags” :)))

          1. Most of your comment is agreeable until “VET doesn’t whine when he has to drive through the field from the back”
            he constantly whines behind his own team mate… and behind every lapper! i understand the desire to win/lead, but come one, he comes pretty childish at best and rude at most of the cases! The guy is very rude towards even his own team/crew!

          2. ham asks help/couching from his team as he cant concentrate on every technical aspect of the car at 200+mph, but vettel, oh boy, he demands/commands his team to crash every car in front of him incl his own team mate! he comes off very rude and childish! and hardly ever hear him admitting any wrong doing, always someone’s fault, or he makes tiny bitty mistakes that just happen at the wrong time and costs huge to him/team!

      2. Silverstone’s pole was Hamilton’s. If both Ferrari drivers combined their best sectors on the same lap, they would have locked the front row.

        “Aging Kimi”, who was never a great qualifier even in his prime, faster than Hamilton is a sign of the quality of that car.

        1. Yes, I don’t think hamilton was excellent all weekend at silverstone, the bad start was a serious mistake which then allowed raikkonen to spin him, but probably the win was lost at the start, however he really put together the sectors in qualifying and beat ferrari by around half a tenth or less.

    8. I’m ferrari fan, but i admit hamilton is way better than vettel. Vettel is very prone to mistakes. Everytime he’s leading, he make silly mistakes.

      1. Lol he has only made one mistake leading.

        Yes if you are a Ferrari fan you don’t need to say that before disparaging it’s driver that’s the new BS.

    9. That is not so smart comment from Lewis. F1 is a constructors championship, the driver championship is only second.

      1. F1 is both, and to the driver and most fans the driver’s championship is what matters most

      2. With out the driver, the car is a useless sculpture.

        1. Without a car the driver is a useless figure. It is the position in the Constructors championship what brings the money and of course you need both. A good driver in a good car.

    10. He should be careful what he wishes for as he really doesn’t do well under pressure!
      Yes Vet can make occasional silly mistakes but hes pretty consistent with his speed otherwise, Ham on the other hand has complete off weekends (as Nico was slated for dare saying) and when hes down hes nowhere.

    11. Praying to a car in Jesus fashion isn’t pressure. This guys an utter loon-a-tune.

    12. Ferrari are indeed quicker.
      The fact that two teams seem to be about on par with each other is due to the drivers – Bottas is WAY better than Raikkonen, and Lewis is clearly better than Vettel.

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