Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

‘Hamilton was faster’ in Canada, Vettel admits

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says his Canadian Grand Prix penalty was especially frustrating because he had held off a faster car.

What they say

I think it’s a shame, a great shame, because we were not the fastest. I think Lewis was faster, we have to accept and we have to appreciate he had better pace in the race. But we crossed the line first, we got an incredible pole position and we managed to fight him off the whole race and stay ahead. So that’s all.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

DrMouse clarifies where F1 finds performance gains (and spare cash)

Tyres are standard parts. They are the same for everyone. The things which change that are how they are driven (including how the engine is set up) and how the chassis affects them.

The power unit has restrictions on it to try to keep performance similar. By restricting maximum revs and fuel flow, there is a limit to the power input to the engine. The only way to get more performance is to make it more efficient, extracting more of that input power into the wheels, but there is a physical limit to the amount of power available.

On top of this, all teams use one of 4 engines. Each of these engines is, and must be, supplied equally to the teams using it. Therefore, all teams using the Mercedes engine get the same performance (given constraints from their chassis).

When it comes to the chassis, this is where money talks and large amounts of work can be put into finding a few hundredths here or there. However, even here there are strict regulations which limit what is available. The reason the top teams spend so much more is that every hundredth takes now and note work and money to find.

The cost cap is a reasonable attempt to restrict this further, as even the top teams will no longer have unlimited resources to find that extra hundredth.

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today the Swedish Grand Prix did not take place – it had been scheduled to, but was cancelled when the organisers failed to make a necessary payment to the Formula One Constructors’ Association a month earlier. It hasn’t returned to the calendar since.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 46 comments on “‘Hamilton was faster’ in Canada, Vettel admits”

    1. there are 52 weekends yeah, but Formula E and WEC race 12 and 8 times each. With the number of drivers competing at both, more effort should’ve been put to avoid any clash.

    2. The tyres are standard parts for all F1 teams but Ferrari and Red Bull want them redesigned because they can’t make them work while others can.

      A poor workman blames his tools. They have had as long as everyone else to find the performance. Rather like football teams demanding the goal is made wider because they are not scoring this season.

      1. More like a goal that receives a lot of hits on the poles, sometimes going in. Making the goal smaller solved that problem but only one team benefited by it.

      2. Witan, it would seem that, for all their public facing complaints, those teams have not actually made a serious proposal to Pirelli to revert to 2018 specification tyres in private. It perhaps suggests that those teams might not have quite as much support behind the scenes as they might be suggesting they have, and are perhaps hoping to use the press to pressurise Pirelli into making a change if they suspect they would lose any formal vote on the matter.

        erikje, the thing is, we’ve also had other teams state that the tyres are fine – McLaren and Williams are on record as saying that they have no issue with the 2019 spec tyres. As I’ve said before, I am not necessarily convinced that Ferrari’s issues are just down to the tyres, because this season has also seen Ferrari make a fairly significant change to their front suspension set up (the switch to a hydraulically operated heave element).

        It reminds me a bit of what happened with the F2012, where Ferrari switched from a push rod to pull rod arrangement. During the pre-season tests, somebody managed to leak one of the record sheets that suggested Ferrari were having major issues with getting the core temperature of the front tyres up to temperature (the core temperatures were around 70ºC, well below the right working range), whilst the inner shoulder was suffering from excessive temperatures – which does tie in with an observation Giorgio Piola made at the time, which was that the suspension geometry of the F2012 seemed to be set up in a way that was likely to generate excessive tyre scrubbing on the inner shoulder of the tyres, which was likely to result in a build up of temperature around the inner shoulder.

        With that past experience in mind of what has happened when Ferrari have made significant changes to the front suspension layout of their cars, there is a part of me which does wonder how many of Ferrari’s issues might be with the tyres and how much might be down to self inflicted technical issues that have arisen because Ferrari have made a significant change to the front suspension.

        1. the switch to a hydraulically operated heave element

          I think they have already switched to a hydraulically operated heave element back in 2017. I’am not saying that Ferrari didn’t alter their front suspension design for the 2019 season but the use a hydraulically operated heave element was made prior to this season and it’s already apparent in the SF71H front suspension pictures.

    3. Never understood the critisism and comparison between f1 and wec, i remember 3 or 4 years ago when audi and porsche were still there and nissan was about to enter the series, the race commentors were like “so much better than f1” “we got 3 competitive teams” “overtaking and fights all over the racetrack, not like f1” like every 5 minutes.

    4. Another thing that got really stupid was the sound, when the audi went full hibrid the car barely made a sound, everyone was like this is so brutal and amazing, guess what the same people said about the sound of f1 in 2014.

    5. I couldn’t agree more with Chris Medland.

    6. we managed to fight him off the whole race

      Except you didn’t Seb, you slipped up and lost the race because of it.

      1. No, actually physically on the track SV kept LH behind. That the stewards chose to give him a 5 second penalty does not change that Seb kept LH behind even with his slight mistake. He got back on it and recovered quickly enough that LH could not capitalize and get by.

        1. Robbie are you actually saying that Vettel is wrong. He said himself that “the penalty was especially frustrating because he had held off a FASTER car”, if I have misunderstood your comment then I apologise in advance but to me it sounds like you are contradicting the man himself.

          1. Foggy no I am agreeing with SV and disagreeing with pSynrg. In spite of LH being in the faster car SV held him back the whole race. Forgetting the on-paper penalty that SV got, he physically held LH behind him for the whole race even with his small mistake and quick return to form ahead of LH.

            1. OK Robbie, as I said, sorry for the misinterpretation.

        2. @robbie Juyst like he kept Hamilton behind in Germany. Up until the point where he made a slight mistake.

          1. Nope. In Germany he actually let LH by, unlike Canada this year.

            1. @robbie No he didn’t he was off track already and into the wall. That was only a small mistake though. Just as Bahrain was, Baku was, Japan was, USA was etc etc etc 2 lost WDC’s and 2 lost race wins this year later.

      2. @psynrg, Yes, Sebs frustration is understandable, but the fact is that he was pushing so hard to stay ahead that he made an error that took him off the track, and was only able to continue racing due to track modifications made to save drivers lives, not to give drivers who make mistakes a shortcut to victory.

    7. Great now vettel is back to blaming the car

      1. @carlosmedrano Actually his actual quote is saying Hamilton was faster and not that the car was faster.

        Which makes sense since Leclerc in the sister Ferrari was faster than Vettel by about half a second per lap on average and he was also faster than Hamilton and Bottas on the hard tyres. So that would indicate that Vettel had the faster car. Just like they had the faster car all through the weekend really.

        1. leclerc had newer tires, vettel was faster when in equal conditions

          1. Ha, sure that makes half a lap a second difference

        2. As per Rosberg’s vlog (that agreed with the penalty) when you have a car on your tail, esp Hamilton, you have to drive more conservatively as a single mistake may make an overtaking opportunity (as it did).

          1. @didaho Of course the problem is that when the car behind is faster it is impossible to drive conservatively and still expect to keep the lead. It is easy to say but not so easy to do. Perhaps Nico in an equal car to LH’s was able to do what he suggests, but when the trailing car is obviously having no trouble…not so easy. Perhaps easier at Monaco.

        3. @f1osaurus I think you’re taking your usual license to put words in SV’s mouth. Just because he is referencing Lewis being faster does not mean he is saying it wasn’t the car but the driver. Even Hazel’s three line lead up to What They Say references ‘a faster car.’ And let’s face it, Ferrari or SV or CL faux pas aside, Mercedes are dominating this season with their overall better cars. But of course that won’t stop some from stretching Ferrari being faster once in a while, to them having the faster car this season when it suits their storyline.

          1. @robbie How about you read the article instead of looking like a fool again?

            Vettel lterally only refers to Hamilton being faster. 3 times over. Never a word about the car being faster.

            Hazel is the one making up her own interpretation of his words.

            Either way, clearly Ferrari did have the faster car. Just Vettel wasn’t so fast in it during the race. Again. Vettel does a decent Q3, but on race pace he’s never been that good.

            1. @f1osaurus I disagree completely.

            2. @robbie Yes you sure disagree with reality. Cognitive dissonance is your major play. What an utter nutcase.

    8. @f1osaurus
      Leclerc must be the most overrated driver on the current grid. I can’t think of anyone else who could qualify 7 tenths behind his teammate on Saturday, finish 6 seconds behind on Sunday, and there are still people who try to argue that he is quicker.

      As for this weekend, Merc was miles quicker on the hard tyres. Hamilton made at least 5 mistakes at the hairpin and yet was easily able to close the gap after each mistake. The Mercedes was easily able to follow the Ferrari through the corners without losing any performance.

      1. exactly… and the tires never overheated behind the car, for as long as he stood behind the car i was expecting the tires would go off earlier, but it never did, australia was the same thing with leclerc, the strategy compromised vettel when ferrari was covering hamilton and both pitted on lap 18-20, while the rest went to almost 30 laps, then people say leclerc was faster… naa he wasnt he simply had better tires at the end of the GP

      2. @kingshark As to the reason why Leclerc was slower in Q3, his engineer was quite clear on he radio when Leclerc asked why he was so much down: “you didn’t get the tow”. Vettel and Hamilton got a tow from their team mates. Leclerc and Bottas didn’t and both were 7 tenths slower than their team mate. Miracle.

        Ugh seriously did you even see the race? Leclerc was 6 seconds behind Vettel because Ferrari left him out on old tyres. AGAIN! Due to that he went from standard driving distance behind Hamilton to 15 seconds behind Vettel. Yet at the end it was ONLY 6 behind! So yes he was FASTER.

        Hamilton was in Vettel’s wake trying to et as close as possible yes and he had a slight lockup now and then. Vettel blundered off track (AGAIN!) abnd lost the race (AGAIN). How is that even remotely comparable? Vettel had his tyres locking here and there too. Who cares about that?

        Honestly man, at least check what you are saying before posting, stop embarrassing yourself so much.

        1. @f1osaurus
          If you think that a tow around Montreal is worth 7 tenths then you should probably quit watching F1 and follow another sport since evidently you don’t understand it.

          Anyway, Leclerc was faster than Vettel in the second stint because his tyres were fresher (he pit later). That strategy was the right decision by Ferrari. If there was a safety car (like Australia 2018) he could have won.

          1. @kingshark I didn’t say the tow was worth that much, but his engineer explained that he lost the majority of his time because of that. Also if Leclerc had had the tow he would have driven a completely different lap too.

            But sure, stopping 7 laps later makes you half a second a lap faster. /s You should probably quit watching F1 and follow another sport since evidently you don’t understand it.

            Either way, Vettel clearly can’t deal with the challenge. He has thrown away the 2017 and 2018 WDC’s with a barrage of blunders each season and he is hard on his way doing the same this season. In Bahrain and Canada he threw away an almost certain win. Probably Baku too, where he dropped the ball in Q3. It’s just hopeless.

            Why not give Leclerc a chance? What on earth does Ferrari have to gain to keep helping Vettel at this point?

    9. @f1osaurus
      Your posts are dumb and fanatical. It’s posters like you that are the reason why this website has declined so much in quality compared to when I joined back in 2010/2011.

      Leclerc was 7 tenths slower than Vettel in qualifying, to even bring up the relevance of a tow is completely pointless. Vettel absolutely smashed him on Saturday.

      And yes, pitting 7 laps later does give a significant advantage in terms of race pace. Also, Vettel was saving fuel the entire race:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/c05umk/vettel_was_fuel_saving_the_whole_race/

      As for you bringing up 2017 and 2018, that is irrelevant since I don’t rate Vettel as an all-time great. I rate him anywhere from 10-15th

      1. @kingshark Lol you are just a hoot.

        I was here already in 2007/2008, and indeed I remember the inrush of unperceptive and dense Vettel fans like you. Already while Vettel was wasting the 2009 WDC (Australia, Malaysia, Monaco, Hungary and Singapore), but especially after Vettel finally got much faster machinery and a team mate on a leash and indeed was gifted a few unopposed titles.

        Anyway, so we have established that you are a newb with poor insight. Lets slap you around with some more facts again:

        Leclerc’s engineer said on the radio that the majority of the time difference was due to missing the tow! It’s not me, but Leclerc’s engineer who said so.

        And no, 7 laps on a hard tyre does NOT give a significant laptime advantage. On soft tyres yes, on hard tyres NO.

        That nonsense on reddit is an even worse excuse. Do you really think that a story that Vettel was using maximum engine settings for first half of the race and still not being faster than Leclerc is any better?

        Leclerc could simply follow Vettel when Vettel was in higher engine mode and was half a second faster when he was on a normal mode again.

        So, in short the fact remains, Leclerc was faster on Sunday. By a lot.

        You should probably quit watching F1 and follow another sport since evidently you don’t understand it. Seriously! You are embarrassing yourself and this site. Over and over. I’m simply stating facts wile you try to bully me with your nonsensical opinions and even your insults are half baked.

        1. @f1osaurus
          Vettel was consistently faster than Leclerc in the first 20 laps of the race, so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume he probably took more out of his tyres and consumed more fuel at that stage of the race. For all this hot air about Leclerc’s supposed race pace, he was slower than Vettel in the first half of the race. And yes, 7 laps fresher tyres do make a significant difference on race pace, so does fuel saving. That Reddit post actually did his research, unlike you.

          Again, if Leclerc wanted the better strategy than Vettel in Canada, he should have qualified ahead. Why is that so difficult for you to understand? Do I need to spell it out for you? IF YOU WANT THE BETTER STRATEGY, QUALIFY AHEAD. Is it still unclear?

          When it comes to throwing away a WDC, Hamilton himself is no stranger to it. He bottled a 17 point lead in 2007 and lost a WDC in a dominant car to a journeyman in 2016. In fact, you could argue that every driver in history who’s won 3 WDC or more has also thrown away at least one WDC.

          Anyway what exactly is your problem with Vettel? I don’t even like him that much, but you are obsessed with him. It comes across as a mental illness tbh. You are so obsessed with Vettel that you feel the need to spread your mentally ill posts on every article. Guess what, Vettel is still a 4 time world champion. Who are you? A nobody on an Internet forum who has achieved nothing notable in life.

          1. @kingshark He wasn’t consistently faster. The cars spaced out a bit for the first 14 laps. Just stop lying!

            That reddit article might be true. The point is that it reflects only worse on Vettel. He was in a much higher engine mode wasting fuel and he still wasn’t faster. Then to make matters worse he needed to start saving fuel, became even slower and lost the race while driving the faster car. AGAIN!

            Hamilton didn’t throw away WDC’s. You can’t expect a diver to be 100% fault free. Nor the team. Vettel blundered 7 races away in 2018. That is throwing away a WDC.

            Again. If Ferrrari allows Leclerc to get the tow he would qualify on pole. You should really quit watching F1 and follow another sport since evidently you don’t understand it.

            The problem with Vettel is that he’s ruining racing. The guy messes up every chance of a good fight for the lead we could have. It’s not Mercedes that makes F1 boring. It’s Vettel being such an incredibly overrated and poor racer.

            Either way. You really have to be the biggest sore loser on any forum I have ever seen.

          2. @f1osaurus
            Leclerc was 7 seconds behind after 14 laps. You don’t space out 7 seconds, 2 seconds maybe, but not 7 seconds. Leclerc was just slower at the start of the race.

            Hamilton didn’t throw away WDC’s.

            Of course he did. He was 17 points behind with 20 points on the table in 2007 and still lost the WDC by binning his car in the smallest gravel trap in the universe. That was the biggest bottle job in history. Has any other driver ever bottled a 17 point lead with only 20 points left on the table.

            The problem with Vettel is that he’s ruining racing. The guy messes up every chance of a good fight for the lead we could have.

            This is an incredibly dumb argument for a number of reasons. If Vettel put in the same qualifying laptime as Leclerc did in Canada, and showed the same race pace Leclerc did in the opening stint, there would have never been a fight for the lead to begin with.

            Either way. You really have to be the biggest sore loser on any forum I have ever seen.

            You are the most mentally ill member I’ve ever seen on this forum. Your mentally ill obsession with Vettel (a man 100 times more successful than your pity life) is embarrassing. You troll every article on here with your cancerous posts.

            1. @kingshar Yes the drivers keep about 3 seconds distance. Leclerc was 4 seconds behind Hamilton. So Vettel had gained at best 1 second on Leclerc after 15 laps! So Vettel was even less than 1 tenth faster WHILE USING A HIGHER ENGINE MODE! So he was in fact slower! From lap 15 onwards Leclerc even was faster regardless.

              You should really quit watching F1 and follow another sport since evidently you don’t understand it. Sorry man, I tried, but you just don’t seem to be able to grasp reality. I can’t help you any further. At some point it stops and I’m giving up.

            2. @f1osaurus
              Drivers do not space out 3 seconds if they are as quick as the car in front. 2 seconds is the most. Hamilton was consistently 2 seconds behind Vettel throughout the entire first stint.

              Throughout the first stint, the gap between Hamilton and Vettel ranged from 1.202 to 2.766 seconds. The average gap was about 2 seconds.

            3. @kingshark They do space out by 2.5 to 3 seconds WHEN THEY ARE HOLDING STATION. Every time again. Seriously if you don’t even know that, why even bother responding?

              Hamilton was pressuring Vettel because he knew Vettel would crack under pressure. Different thing.

              You should really quit watching F1 and follow another sport since evidently you don’t understand it.

            4. @f1osaurus
              Nah, they hold station 2 seconds behind. If you are 3 seconds behind then you are just struggling to keep up with the car ahead.

              Leclerc was 7 seconds behind.

            5. @kingshark Leclerc was a pretty much constant 4 seconds behind Hamilton for 10 laps (lap 10 till 20). That’s the car he was holding station too! After that Vettel already ruined his tyres (desperately trying to pull a gap to Hamilton) and then both Hamilton and Vettel closed up to Vettel getting ready to jump someone before the pitstop.

              Honestly what is wrong with you? Go play ping pong or something. You are clearly utterly lost at F1.

              Anyway, maybe it’s time to switch over from your ridiculous grasping at straws to the utterly abysmall performance of Vettel in France instead?

            6. @f1osaurus
              The big question is: why was Leclerc hanging so far behind Hamilton in the first stint? If he was closer he could have been in the undercut range. Instead he gave himself no chance of attacking Hamilton, so extending the length of his first stint is the only thing Ferrari could do.

            7. to the utterly abysmall performance of Vettel in France instead?

              That performance from Vettel was actually equal to the average performance from Leclerc this season.

            8. @f1osaurus Again, you really have no clue, Vettel needed to stop first. Leclerc needed to save his tyres to go for the overcut.

              And no Leclerc didn’t perform that poorly. He would have been in ahead of Vettel in the standings if Ferrari had let him.

    10. @f1osaurus
      Your posts are dumb and fanatical. It’s posters like you that are the reason why this website has declined so much in quality compared to when I joined back in 2010/2011.

      Leclerc was 7 tenths slower than Vettel in qualifying, to even bring up the relevance of a tow is completely pointless. Vettel absolutely smashed him on Saturday.

      And yes, pitting 7 laps later does give a significant advantage in terms of race pace. Also, Vettel was saving fuel the entire race:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/c05umk/vettel_was_fuel_saving_the_whole_race/

      Why not give Leclerc a chance? What on earth does Ferrari have to gain to keep helping Vettel at this point?

      How about Leclerc actually starts outqualifying Vettel? That would be a good start.

      I don’t see why you brought up 2017 and 2018. I don’t rate Vettel as some all-time great driver, so the fact that Leclerc is losing to him doesn’t reflect well on him. Mind you, I don’t rate Hamilton that highly either. Hamilton was mediocre from 2009-2013 (the only period in his career when he drove an inferior car). He’s certainly nowhere near the same level as Senna or Schumacher. What those guys could do with an inferior car was something else.

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