Hamilton romps to victory as Verstappen challenge fades

2020 Spanish Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton scored his fourth victory of the 2020 F1 season and extended his championship lead in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver led all the way from pole position. Max Verstappen relegated the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to third place but wasn’t able to keep the pressure up on Hamilton.

Once Hamilton upped his pace in the first stint, Verstappen slipped back, and had to head for the pits before the Mercedes driver. From that point on Red Bull’s hopes of victory seemed to be over.

Bottas got away poorly, falling behind Bottas and Lance Stroll. He re-passed the Racing Point quickly, but wasn’t able to chase down Verstappen. He and Hamilton exchanged fastest laps over the final laps of the race. Bottas came in on the penultimate lap for a third set of fresh rubber, and secured the bonus point on the final tour.

Hamilton and Verstappen pitted twice, while Sergio Perez one-stopped on his way to an ‘on-the-road’ fourth place. He slipped to fifth behind his team mate in the final classification, however, having collected a five second time penalty for failing to observe blue flags when Hamilton caught him.

The Racing Points were the first cars home not on the lead lap – Hamilton lapped the field bar Verstappen and Bottas on the way to his fourth consecutive victory at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Carlos Sainz Jnr took sixth at home after battling past Alexander Albon and Sebastian Vettel. Following an unsuccessful early switch to hards, Albon made a second pit stop, while Vettel one-stopped to seventh.

The Ferrari driver’s team mate was the race’s only retirement. Charles Leclerc came to a stop at the chicane after striking a kerb which caused an electrical problem and turned his engine off. He got going again, only to retire in the pits.

That left Pierre Gasly to take ninth place ahead of Lando Norris, who complained about his rival’s defending in the final laps.

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2020 Spanish Grand Prix reaction

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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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167 comments on “Hamilton romps to victory as Verstappen challenge fades”

  1. This race was beyond boring..

    1. Totally disagree

    2. Don’t watch! Simple

    3. Then why you watched? Do your whining somewhere else….

      1. You remind me of people which, when you criticise their country for something, say : “then leave, if you don’t like it.” Its a divorce mentality that is so stupid.

      2. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        16th August 2020, 18:03

        I believe he can air out his frustration on a website dedicated to F1 if he wants, if he thought it was boring as I did he is free to say what he saw and thought.

      3. Ambrogio Isgro
        16th August 2020, 18:07

        Well, I can be a F1 lover and free to say that a grand prix was super boring, can’t I?
        Or you know before the gp if it will be great or not?

        1. Oh dear. Senile folks here.
          There should be bot to filter and an whiners.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            16th August 2020, 18:42

            What will you do when Hamilton retires? Move on to the next sport dominated by someone British?

          2. …and one filter for trolls

        2. I am totally with you.
          I have been a F1 fan for decades, the 70’s 80’s 90’s were exciting years of racing.
          Those who say “don’t watch then” are taking cheap shots that have no substance.
          Do not miss the point, F! is losing large numbers of fans because it has, frankly, become boring.
          If F! wants to retain its fan base it really has to up its game.

      4. GtisBetter (@)
        16th August 2020, 21:30

        This was a very boring race.

  2. Dominant victory and absolutely the right call not to pit for softs.

  3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    16th August 2020, 16:06

    Wonder if Toto can still say with a straight face that ‘VeRsTaPpEn iS tHe FaVoRiTe tho’. What a joke really, trying this hard to get in the underdog position to claim they’ve overcome problems. Anything that man/Mercedes says can be seen as total rubbish at this point.

    Nice win for Lewis, but that artificial excitement is getting stupid.

    1. You didn’t notice how all the hysteria was created and stirred only by Media (RecaFans at the front) in total disregard of reality, and Toto just played along?

    2. They are all doing this, not the first time, not sure why the saltiness about this by many fans…

      They do two type of talks, one off the race and another in the race… Off race ones are always political…

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        16th August 2020, 16:21

        Because they’re doing it even more than before, even though their car is better than before. If you have competitors breathing down your neck, I can kind of understand it. But at this point, it’s just pathetic.

        1. Why’s it “pathetic”? It’s simple mind games – Fergusson, Mourinho used to do it in their heydays and ‘no winning trophies’ Wenger used to moan like you

          Anyone who bought their spin needs to have a word with themselves. Last weekend was because of a very hot British day at a track that is usually used in early summer when it’s always cooler – result was big tyre degradation. In retrospect, all the had to do was match Red Bull for tyre choice in Q2 qualifying

          The ever brilliant Brundle summed up what most realised – Hamilton to basically drive like we do in the snow in winter for the first few laps, lulling Max into thinking he had a chance of overtaking and instead ruining is tyres. Then the rest is obvious

          I think people get too excited at the thought if a Lewis/Max close battle. They need to lower their expectations as their simply isn’t one (and it will then ease the post race letdown)

          Remember, we’ve numerous ‘cooler’ tracks with three European races in October to come – which means MM are simply even further ahead and there might be more.

        2. So last three races Max has been 2nd twice, and won the other one. And you expect Mercedes to dismiss him as a competitor? And I expect if we have a look at the last race, I suspect the same posters were whinging about Toto saying that Max was a threat then.

          1. No….. but given that he won just 1 out of 6 races, the reliability of cars these days, the overall gap between Mercedes and RBR (be it Quali or Race), HAM won 4 races out of 6, he finished 2nd like 1 pit-stop behind…… I’d say VER is hardly a real threat in the WDC. There’s no need to talk about the WCC, the outcome is known since race1.

          2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
            16th August 2020, 17:46

            Even a broken clock is correct twice per day

          3. I dont see anyone including Toto saying that Max is a threat to the WDC or WCC. And the only one bringing up the WCC and WDC is you.
            But I understand what you are saying. I said you can’t expect Merc to dismiss Max as a competitor, but you think even though he leads Bottas, Mercedes should dismiss him as a competitior.

          4. @barryfromdownunder only with the assumption the clock still has hands or is not some kind of digital (flip-clocks a possible exception, as long as the flips aren’t the broken parts…)

            In other words, it’s never quite that simple, is it?

        3. Yes, resting on your laurels and thinking on-one can compete always leads to good things.

    3. You can always watch MotoGP, just saying.

    4. Of course max was a threat, based on the last outing. What this little boy needs is a team mate that can push him. He’s now effectively the only guy racing for the soft drink company, and in case the car goes in a horribly wrong way compared to merc, there’s no other good driver to give counter feedback.

      Max and Hulkenberg are in the same league. Redbull must be missing Ricciardo big time.

      1. I stopped readin at Max and Hulkenberg are in the same league…yep, so are Kimi and Hamilton

        1. Deluded fan base.
          Wait till maxx moves out of Redbull. He won’t survive anywhere else, just like Vettel.

    5. @barryfromdownunder Well Mercedes did lose in the previous race. So with another hot race why not?

      You could see with Bottas how much a bad tyre choice can cost. If Hamilton had accepted the softs at the end, Verstappen could actually have won the race.

  4. Basically, the louder Mercedes shouts someone else is favorite, the stronger Mercedes are that weekend.

    1. If that’s the case, if I were them I’d keep shouting.

      1. Its not the shouting that causes the strength, its the strength that causes the shouting.
        When they actually deem themselves to not be as strong as expected, they seem to have a lot less time to shout.

  5. I’m ecstatic – this race had everything. The same cars running away for the victory for the seventh year in a row, a total lack of excitement and any significant twists, an unfulfilled promise of rain, the front runners lapping all the other cars. A brilliant promo for the current and long-term state of F1.

    1. You forgot about dumb strategies making sure several drivers never get to do anything from a promising position t add to this epic race @pironitheprovocateur

      1. Wait you guys forgot nonsensical stewarding punishments!

    2. No one forced you to watch. F1 doesn’t need followers like you.

      1. I think you’ll find F1 needs all the followers it can get.

      2. @Rott personally i am convinced the world would be better off without people like you in it going by your comments here.

        1. Ok. Whiners unite. Lol.

          1. Since when trolls get comment published in racefans? This site is probably changing for the worst.

      3. @Rott No one needs you either, buddy.

    3. Greatness is boring. MSC, VET dynasties were all boring too.

    4. No body could have said it better.

  6. Please bring back tracks like Imola, Turkey, Portimao, Indianapolis…etc. This track is too boring and needs to be dropped.

    1. Imola? Boy are you going to be disappointed when f1 race there this year…

      1. I’m actually thinking the lack of practice at Imola might end up producing some surprises.

      2. Turkey is also back in play.

    2. @amg44 I can only assume you didn’t see the complaints that were made at the time about a number of those tracks – Imola, for example, was notorious for producing processional races and being extremely difficult to try and pass another car (witness Alonso managing to hold Schumacher off in 2005 even after having to deactivate one cylinder in his engine due to a damaged piston crown for an illustration of the difficulties of passing another driver).

      Indianapolis, similarly, was considered to be a fairly dull and uninspiring track that didn’t produce great races. 2005 is only really remembered for all of the wrong reasons, and does anybody else here actually remember other the races held there with any great fondness?

      As for Portimao, it’s kind of impossible to “bring back” a circuit that’s never been used in F1, and I would be careful of praising it so widely. There have been those who have said that it is an interesting track to drive on if you’re alone, but there can be some fairly processional races as there aren’t really many places to try and pass somebody else – in some ways, some of the new tracks being added, like Portimao and Mugello, might well turn out to be rather processional too.

      1. Turkey’s a big miss though. Pretty good for overtaking – set up by that brilliant ‘turn’ 8

        I remember that great three stop strategy of Hamilton’s in 2008, splitting up the Ferrari’s – I actually rank that as one of his best drives and of course would prove crucial in winning the title

        1. @banbrorace although Hamilton was kind of forced into that strategy because McLaren were having problems with the structure of the tyres in that race – they seemed to be loading the tyre in a particular way that was causing the tyre to slowly delaminate internally – that meant he had to limit the amount of wear and tear on each set of tyres he was using that race.

          A two stop strategy was faster – indeed, you even heard Ferrari tell Massa over the radio “don’t worry, let him pass you – you’ll beat him on strategy anyway” when Hamilton was trying to pass Massa earlier in the race – so in some ways we knew how that race would eventually wind up.

      2. Well said. Some of the race highlights of Imola will show what to expect and with the Merc advantage this year, its certainly not high on expectations.

    3. Hands off Barcelona

      This is an awesome track. And must be kept

      Remove Zandvoort instead

  7. Pretty much a typical Barcelona race. Good job from Vettel going to the finish on those softs. It just goes to show how Ferrari simlpy is not able to think about good strategy for BOTH cars at once.

    McLaren did us a favour with their soft-soft-medium strategy to spice up the fight within the midfield, good job from Sainz to get that spot right behind the RP cars, shame he did not get within 5 seconds of Perez, who also had a really good comeback to the F1 track, but a bit of a shame about the penalty dropping him behind Stroll, who really did not do anything great after his admitably great start. We also got some good racing from Norris defending from Leclerc, and then from Sainz staying ahead of Albon.

    Albon probably got the bad end of the strategy with RBR just putting him on the hards to check a box – get info for Max – that really put him on the back foot, I think he might have gotten ahead of the RP cars if not for that stupid strategy choice.

    1. @bascb I’m not quite sure what you want Stroll to do. He was fairly evenly matched with Perez throughout the weekend (maybe slightly slower), and had a decent enough race. The RPs don’t have the pace to finish on the podium on merit and that much is plain to see, and in light of that, both drivers extracted the maximum from their cars.
      Say what you will about Lance, but I think he has held up a lot better against Perez than many people expected, or wanted him to this year.

      1. I think if RP had let Perez pass Stroll earlier, he might have been quite a bit further up the road, I think Stroll was holding them back a bit during the race. Sure, it would not have made too much difference on the overall results, but if Leclerc had not had his engine give up, it might have proven decisive @neutronstar

    2. @bascb Albon indeed got the bad end of the strategy. The decision to go for the hardest compound that early on was a mistake than cost him track position because of getting stuck in DRS-train.

    3. @bascb the decision to put Albon onto those hard tyres does give the impression that Red Bull were more interested in using Albon as a test bed for Verstappen than in trying to maximise Albon’s performance or his chances.

      In the opening stint, Albon was keeping up the pressure on the Racing Point cars, and could well have leapfrogged at least one of them – particularly with Perez’s time penalty in the closing laps. I’ve been critical of Albon in the past, but to be fair to him here I do have to agree that the strategy the team gave him – put him on hard tyres and then dump him into a large amount of traffic – was awful and cost him a lot of time. Realistically, they’ve cost him at least a couple of places here, if not arguably more given they just had to finish close enough to Perez to beat him.

      Furthermore, you do wonder why Red Bull would even want to try that strategy given that most teams were saying that the hard tyre was an awful race tyre – Albon was, I think, the only driver who used the hard tyre in the race – and that the wear rate on the medium tyres really wasn’t that much worse than that of the hard tyres, whilst being quite a bit faster to boot.

    4. Redbull only has one driver.
      Albon is simply a Mechanic in a race suit and sits in a on track evaluation car, one step better than the simulator Drivers.
      Redbull will never win a constructors championship, poor Honda.

      1. Stop whining ffs.

        1. Lol. Truth hurts, 😃😃😃

  8. Bottas needs up his game

  9. Hamilton was backing up Verstappen in the first stint of the race (as Verstappen said on the radio: ‘so slow!’) which was when Bottas, if he wants to anything other than an also-ran, had to push Max and try to pass. But no, another placid performance. The same when he went to fresher tyres at the end. Just no ambition.

    1. What else to expect from Bottas? Waste of a seat in a championship winning car.

      1. No…. because how would then HAM become champ 7 times and break like all important records in F1?!

        1. Do you realise how desperate you sound trotting this nonsense out ad nauseam. How many years is it now?

      2. Well he is at least bagging podiums consistently. At least Mercedes has two cars at the sharp end every race, unlike Red Bull so I don’t think Mercedes is going to be too upset.

      3. I think the more important ware of seat is in the Redbull and Albon’s.
        Put someone more competitive and challenge max rather than a kid that needs coaching.

        Bottas seems to lack the killer instinct, but he has won races and pushes Lewis in quali. Max has no challenge whatsoever.

        Redbull is killing this sport with their golden child policy and Ferrari by not developing a good car to challenge Merc.

    2. I try to place myself in Mercedes shoes in terms of Bottas. Every race when Bottas does poorly I seem to want him replaced. But when I look at it, it does not feel… right.. At the moment, Hamilton is just the best in the field. There are a lot of young drivers in the field that can be signed to replace Bottas. However, I still feel it would be “Red Bull harsh” to replace Bottas, as I believe that he has done a decent job in the last 3 years, and that his teammate is an all-time great in the sport. I also try to imagine if someone else was his teammate because I think against Hamilton, he has been alright. The thing that worries me, is Bottas racecraft and him being passive.

      1. I like Bottas – but they needed to replace him with someone like Russell who simply shows no fear

        It’s a bit like in Tennis when Federer was dominating the likes of Roddick (with similar warm comments about what a great guy he was – but of course you’d think that when your thrashing them!!)

        Along came Nadal followed by those young punks in Djokovic and Murray – who simply respected but didn’t fear him and that’s apparent in the relative head to heads

        Bottas does not believe he can beat Hamilton and more than Rosberg did. The latter realised he had the rub of the green when it came to reliability (despite Hamilton for me having his 2nd worst season in terms of racecraft) and that wouldn’t happen again

      2. @krichelle He’s clearly not a serious championship contender. Mercedes must at least know that. Had Hamilton been really pushing today, he’s probably have finished another 10-20 seconds ahead of Max. So just how slow was Bottas?? And as you say, he is just too passive to compete against someone like Verstappen or Leclerc when Hamilton has gone. OK, they could maybe steal Max from Red Bull. But then again maybe not. So I think they should have brought Russell in for this year or next and got him learning from Lewis. Red Bull and Ferrari fast-tracked Verstappen and Leclerc and it worked.

        1. But why would Mercedes feel they need to have a second serious championship contenter @david-br. I think @krichelle has a point – Bottas is doing the job fine enough.

          Just look at how hard Gasly, Albon, even Ricciard had it up against Verstappen, it just is not easy to be up against Hamilton, who is arguably even at a higher level. Bottas does not seriously threaten Hamilton. But he did push Lewis forward a few times showing when he was not quite on top of his game in the recent past.

          I just don’t think putting in any other driver, apart from nabbing Verstappen, would actually give them a good chance of doing better as a team overall until we see any signs of Hamilton not making improvements on himself anymore and he loses interest.

          1. until we see any signs of Hamilton not making improvements on himself anymore and he loses interest.

            And this is another problem for the drivers. Hamilton does not seem to be losing performance. Unless Hamilton retires after next year or this year, Mercedes could stay with Bottas and Hamilton for quite some time, which could lead to Russell losing his patience for the Mercedes seat. But, you do have to wonder: If someone else had been driving in Bottas’ car, would they do any better?

            What Bottas needs to do is to not lose motivation and to at least get 2nd in the championship this year, unless reliability hits him, then he could have some defense for his performance to say that he finished 3rd behind Verstappen. Otherwise, if he loses motivation, then that could go into a similar way to Vettel since 2018, and if that happens, I do not think Mercedes will be considerate anymore… I know Ferrari and Mercedes are significantly different with regards to their operation, but consistent poor performances will never be accepted in the long run…

          2. @bascb Hamilton and Bottas are fine as a current pairing, I agree, but I was talking about the post-Hamilton future.

          3. Ricardo beat verstappen overall, in terms of seasons I.e. 2 seasons vs 1, in terms of Wins.

            Verstappens only season where he beat Riccardo was the final one where Ricardo has terribly poor reliability.

            I get what your saying, but the narrative that Verstappen beat Ricardo is wrong. Check the stats.

      3. Given the cars he has raced since 2014… it’s a pretty bold statement. That being said, I think VER, maybe even LEC would beat the 35 years old HAM.

        1. There is very little objective evidence that either Ver or Lec would seriously challenge Ham.
          Leclerc shows pace vs Vettel, but then again so did Ricardo who was on the same level as Verstappen when they were teammates.
          Neither has had a teammate anywhere near Hamiltons current level.
          Hamilton has seen off all his teammates, even Rosberg who humbled the great Msc.
          Before someone comes back with Button, in his autobiography he concedes he wasn’t at Hamiltons level in terms of speed.
          Wishful thinking

          1. Button lost in terms of seasons to Hamilton 2 seasons to 1. Just happened that that one seasons was possibly Hamiltons worst 2011 where him and Massa had magnets that drew each other together.

    3. Agree here. Bottas was particularly insipid – which showed when he eventually did an easy fastest lap

      Wouldn’t surprise me if he retired from the sport if he gets schooled by Hamilton or that MM cancel the contract

      1. @banbrorace That’s what made it so weirdly insipid, the power (speed) was there. When Hamilton pushed at the end of the first stint, he was pulling away from Max easily. And Bottas had no issues, as his FLAP showed. It’s just impossible to imagine Hamilton not getting past Verstappen if the positions were reversed.

        1. Insipid is a good word to describe Bottas. He has no fight in him – just listen to his interview after the race.

  10. I think being a teammate to Verstappen at Red Bull is worse than being a teammate to Hamilton at Mercedes. This is taking into account how both teams work.

    1. Team mate, they are all suited up mechanics.

    2. @krichelle Exactly. At least Mercedes give Bottas an incredibly fair chance. Albon clearly was just a pawn to do some data gathering for Verstappen this race.

  11. What do you mean “Verstappen challenge fades”?????
    Where did it fade?

    Verstappen is the epitome of tyre handling! He can drive 100 laps on a set of the softest tyres! He can basically heal the rubber just by looking at it!
    He didn’t fade! He couldn’t fade!
    If you see him not finishing first, it is just your problem, because he finished first, but in different reality.

    1. And of course this is not a sarcasm!
      No, no!

  12. Another great performance by Albon. In a car which lapped almost all cars except Mercedes, he finished a fantastic 8th. Time for Gasly to replace him.

    1. Nog tot forget his teammate also lapped him… Ouch.

    2. I’ve been pretty critical of Albon this year and don’t think he’s worthy of that seat but its pretty clear Red Bull threw his race away to test if the hard tyres would work for Verstappen to pressure the Mercedes to one stop with them. He should have been given either a soft, soft, medium or soft, medium, medium strategy and he’d have finished 6th at worst, more likely though he’d have snuck 4th. Albon gets a fee pass for me this time although whinging about Sainz taking the racing line is pretty poor form again.

    3. There is no guarantee that there wont be a Déjà vu for Gasly on his return.

    4. I dont think albon is good enough for redbull but he was screwed over by his own team today. He was pitted early and put on the hard tyres so the team could see if they were the right tyres to be on or if they could last the rest of the race before deciding what tyres to put on verstappan. It was pretty obvious what they were doing.

    5. Now is redbull daring enough to put Alonso in the other car?

    6. Does the fact that Red Bull is half owned by a Thai national have any bearing on Albon being there? Is Stroll in the Racing Point on merit?
      Throughout the history of F1 the best available drivers are not on the grid.

    7. @amg44 Red Bull totally destroyed Albon’s race with that early stop for hard. He was doing as well as van be expected and then Red Bull decided to let Albon do a test for their Verstappen strategy call. Race over. It was actually impressive that he managed to get back to P8 after that nonsense.

    8. Red Bull shafted Albon which was totally unfair. I have been very critical of Albon but to give him those tyres I would of been fuming with the team. Surprised I didn’t hear him on the radio complaining ( I may have missed it though)

  13. I enjoyed that, weirdly, as it could have been seen as a bit of a processional. But it seemed to have a lot going on despite the leaders running away with it without issue.

    Very disappointed by bottas.

    I kept convincing myself he was saving tyres ready for an attack. But it never came to fruition.

    He just seemed to be unable to do anything at all, I just did not get it.

    It’s like he was managing the tyres to be able to get him home after the race had finished.

    1. @mach1 Exactly he had to manage his tyres. Bottas was on the softs while Hamilton and Verstappen both opted for the correct (medium) tyres.

  14. Bottas is never going to get the upper hand on Hamilton this way. He’s not as talented, he’s not as good in a endurance battle for a championship and he’s not willing to play a little bit dirty to make things uncomfortable for everyone.

    One day the Mercedes isn’t going to have 99% chances of winning every race, and Bottas is going to regret not taking his opportunity… Rosberg managed to do it, and he retired with a title under his arm…

    1. Rosberg did it with a distracted Hamilton (arguably his worst season in terms of mistakes) and better reliability

      Hamilton’s a different beast now. His Rosberg years in terms of performance weren’t as good as say his 2010 season, when he dragged that declining McLaren to be within a chance of the title to the last race

      It has to be brand new blood – unless of course Mercedes simply want Hamilton to be the clear and better racer

      1. I am quite sure 2011 was Hamilton’s worst season @banbrorace, but I do agree Hamilton learned and improved after being beaten to the title by Rosberg and is now an even better driver.

        Still keep feeling, some, disappointment at the lack of sustained threat Bottas offers though. That is twice this season now he lost the initiative at the start, and this time he again had nothing really to offer after that.

      2. Rosberg did it with a distracted Hamilton (arguably his worst season in terms of mistakes) and better reliability

        Hamilton distracted? Really? Despite not taking part in 3 qualifying sessions, starting the race from the back of the grid 5 times, and suffering a DNF in Malaysia, he only lost the championship by a mere 5 points. For comparison, the only DNF Rosberg suffered that year was when he ran his teammate off the track in Spain, taking both of them out of the race.

        More so, Rosberg’s driving in 2016 was far worse than his teammate’s, and he made many more mistakes. In fact, his driving was not only worse than Hamilton’s, but also worse than at least 3 other drivers – based on various rankings by the team principals, various experts in the F1 community, and even the fans. He was ranked 3rd best driver by the team principals that year, and voted as low as 7th by F1 Metrics, ranked 4th by RaceFans, and I think as low as 5th by Autosport.

        Here is a list of his litany of errors that year:

        – bad start in Australia
        – spun in Canada
        – bad start in Germany
        – penalized in Germany
        – nightmare drive in Monaco
        – crashed into teammate in Spain.
        – passed in Becketts, Silverstone
        – crashed in Austria
        – penalised by FIA in Austria
        – penalised in Malaysia

        1. Great post

          Agree totally about Rosbergs luck

          But we’re talking about arguably the best F1 driver of all time and so he’s had far better performance seasons than that

          Barcelona and Baku, were him back to his 2011 worst.

          i.e. when he concentrates on been the best he’s untouchable, unless Max has all the dice running in his favour

      3. 2016 wasn’t Hamilton’s worst year (in terms of errors), his worst was probably the second year of Button being his team mate, bolstered by Whitmarsh’s shortsightedness and stupid decisions.

        In 2016 (If I recall correctly) car unreliability meant in the first half of that season Hamilton had to close a massive gap, which he did, only to lose it again after the summer break because because of penalties and eventually another DNF. Hamilton went on to close the gap again only to lose it with a DNF in Malaysia.

        He was still only a few points away from turning thing around, so if any thing that was quite a remarkable year for LH.

        Taking nothing away from Rosberg, who was largely underestimated. Ironic that I have seen some forums where people are asking for Rosberg to come back as they now think he is the only driver who could challenge Hamilton.

        Bottas, is decent at least in qualifying, if we take a look at this season, he seems to show signs he could be better than Hamilton at qualifying under normal conditions. Two of LH’s poles have been in wet qualifying sessions. The points gap is exaggerated by a 25 bonus for LH due to VB having a DNF.

        So don’t write off VB just yet, if the season continues as it is, then the two Mercedes drivers are the only real challengers for the WDC and in that case qualifying will determine which of them wins the race 9 times out of 10. So if VB continues with his impressive qualifying he is in with a good chance.

        I also take umbrage to you calling Wenger ‘No win’s in a different post. He won quite a lot with Arsenal, even in the last few years of his tenure, so I dont see how that was an apt description – lol

      4. Rosberg did it with a distracted Hamilton (arguably his worst season in terms of mistakes)

        You what? Rosberg was the worst of the 2 drivers in 2016.

        1. And yet, Rosberg still won the championship.

          1. Yes that’s the point. It was only because Hamilton had so much more technical issues with the car than Rosberg. Especially the first four or five races. Then he had to lose another race at Spa to get all the broken parts replaced and then his engine blew in Malaysia.

        2. Exactly my point. How many times has Hamilton been so out of sorts mentally, that he crashes in qualifying (Baku). He called it his worst qualifying performance

          He wasn’t himself until around Silverstone, some have mentioned personal issues at the time

    2. @fer-no65 What opportunity? There’s no way there will passing with equally matched cars at Barcelona which you surely know, but maybe you’re being ironic? Bottas obviously had his chance in qualifying and came very close.

      1. (@balue his opportunity to push Hamilton harder, generally, not just wish his talent and speed is enough (which it isn’t). I’m not talking about this specific race… One day the Mercs won’t be clear favourites, that means hell not be driving one of the two cars only capable of winning the championship, and he’ll regret not playing harder, even if it means making things uncomfortable within the garage …

        1. @fer-no65 How can he try anything with one-year contracts? I can sense a shift in his attitude this year, but all he has done outside the good-boy -routine was to go home between races, which only served to alienate his crew more than anything.

          He knows the championship has practically already been lost with the Silverstone puncture, so any rebellion now will just cause him to lose his seat, although seeing the team still shorting him on strategy yet again is surely getting his boil up. But he knows better than anybody that the one-year contract is as clear a message as one will ever get that it’s all about sitting quietly in the boat or else.

  15. Vers: he (lewis) is driving too slow! So why dis he not catch up and pass him??? Then lewis opened the gap, and opened the gap amd opened the gap some more. Ver should have come on radio and said: he (lewis) is driving too fast!!! Hahaha!

    1. Have you started watching F1 recently? In hot condition why would Max destroy his soft tyres by running too close to Hamilton when it is clear that a pincer attempt was being made by Mercedes to bring Bottas into play.

      1. You’re correct. Even attempting to overtake Lewis in just the first five laps, destroyed Max’s tyres

    2. Max was slow….and on track simulation driver Albon was useless. Redbull will never win any championship at this rate.
      Should max go to another team, he would be dead meat. Vettel 2.0 in the making by the same redbull production line.

      These clowns are no comparison to self made talents like Lewis and Alonso.

      1. As if magically Red Bull will start to win by putting 39 year old Alonso in the car?
        Now imagine Red Bull takes the dare (which you have stated in a post above) and Alonso keeps taking point off your favourite driver Hamilton (which you have claimed in a post below), maybe even take the championship away, how would you feel then?
        The inconsistency is evident.

        1. I think it would be fascinating. Alonso age 39 in a red bull with max.
          Verstappen has rarely had any pressure, certainly nothing like battling for a WDC. The evidence of his handling of pressure well isn’t good. Remember his weaving under braking, weaving against ric in the laps before their collision in Baku? Raikkonen and other drivers chastising him for weaving under braking in spa?
          Only when real pressure is on, is a drivers true worth apparent. Recent years, with weak teammates and no real chance of a wdc, he has had no pressure.

          1. Exactly what I have been stating during debates on these boards for years. I get the sense that alot of the overzealous Verstappen fans are the younger generation who generally haven’t watched F1 for that very long. Remember Montoya? He was just as hyped as Verstappen back in the day, albeit with less social media and all that comes with today’s reality. There are still alot of unanswered questions for Verstappen – time will tell whether he is a diamond or not. But to start saying he is better than proven winners like Hamilton and Alonso is frankly (for now atleast) for the birds.

    3. lexusreliabilty?
      16th August 2020, 17:57

      But we had the orange army telling us how great Verstappen was in the last race. Same conditions and Verstappen was struggling; second only to Bottas, and then the rest of the field.

  16. Stroll was driver of the day for me, never thought I would say this. Not driver of the weekend, but driver of the day. Past his teammate at the start and kept Bottas behind for longer than I thought. Came home in 4th, maximising the result. Not much else he could have done, fair play to him.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th August 2020, 17:32


      The other interesting thing is that Stroll has managed to beat Perez both this weekend, and the one before that. And Styria even, although Perez had far better pace, his mistake resulted in Stroll being under a tenths of a second behind at the line. Before that, in the first race, he unfortunately retired.

      But to give a fair result for them both, lets take off the two races from Stroll that Perez couldn’t race at. (10 points)

      This would then result in Perez having 32 points and Stroll 30. And we need to note that Stroll retired in the first race. He will have certainly managed at least 8th so will have lost at least 4 points. Although to be fair, Stroll should have had a 5 second penalty in Styria which would have lost him a couple of points. So pretty much dead even really.

      But still, looking back at all this, I have to say, Stroll has pretty much looked as good as Perez this season.

    2. Why?
      There’s only one driver of the day, and that’s Lewis.

      Most Lewis fans, including me, don’t bother with that silly voting. Too busy rejoicing yet another Win by the mastero. Lol.

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        16th August 2020, 19:23

        Lol oh dear.

      2. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        16th August 2020, 19:23

        That one actually had me laughing Rottweiler

      3. “6 stars out of 5”

    3. @john-h Yes very strong performance by him. Matching Perez is no mean feat.

  17. Hamilton is falling into these championships simply because Botas is so average. At least Nico made him work for them!

    1. or maybe since 2016 Hamilton has became a better driver? Rosberg could wind Hamilton up then but 2020 lewis Hamilton seems pretty laid back. Also if it wasnt for an engine blowing up on Malaysia rosberg wouldn’t have won that world title.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th August 2020, 17:35

      I think it is more that Hamilton is just so good that Bottas is average. And such a think as so average doesn’t really exist. Average is average. you can’t really have very or sort of average.

      Bottas shows his 1 lap pace is extremely close to the driver who has the best qualifying record on history, and he isn’t always that far off in the races. Hamilton is usually simply the quickest driver out there and very few others could be a lot closer than Bottas IMO. Note that I say very few – meaning a few can, but I think bottas is a bit better than people give him credit for.

      1. Can i just say Bottas improved his qualifying deficit against Lewis when he was given Hamilton’s performance engineer, Riccardo Musconi in 2019. Both Lewis and Bottas agreed this gave Bottas access to many of Lewis’s racing secrets – especially regarding his one lap pace.

        Here is Bottas’s own words –

        “And also getting Ricci from Lewis’s side, he’s been working with him, so he knows very much in detail about his driving techniques and ways of setting up the car…..For sure, it was always going to be a great opportunity for me to get maybe something even more than what I normally get in the meetings and what I see from the data……It was nice to have that kind of approach on the engineering side.”

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          16th August 2020, 18:44

          And does Bottas having Hamilton’s engineer and improving from that go against anything I’ve said? If it gave Bottas an advantage, then Hamilton possibly gained from this engineer too. The fact is, Bottas is close in that one area. Doesn’t matter what the reasons behind it are. It is an area where he is strong.

          1. Bottas gained BECAUSE the engineer made him privy to certain information regarding Lewis’s race pace. Lewis didn’t gain in any such thing from having the engineer in the first place.

            And yes, it does matter the reasons behind what you have erroneously called an advantage. Thus, he is only “strong” with regards to his own previous performance. Did the engineer move result in him being closer to Lewis in qualifying pace? Absolutely yes. But has that translated into actually having an advantage over Lewis? Of course not.

            Even with being privy to Lewis’s secrets, he is still losing.

      2. The point is Bottas is not really any better than people give him credit for. He is getting the exact credit he deserves.

    3. lexusreliabilty?
      16th August 2020, 18:03

      At least Nico made him work for them!

      Would this be the same Rosberg that Hmailton beat for 3 consecutive seasons at Merc, and if you want to be pendantic, since karting?

    4. The only reason Bottas could offer some resistance is because of technical issues occuring mostly for Hamilton. If Rosberg won a race or got pole. At least 50% of those cases it was because Hamilton had an issue.

      Bottas does not have that luxury. In fact it’s more often Bottas who has the issues. Plus they have a competitor who is actually close in race pace. So the slightes mistake Bottas makes and he drops back. While Rosberg could spin off and still get P2.

    5. I disagree, If Mercedes had any competition during the Era that Rosberg was racing, I doubt he would have won a world championship. Because those seconds he could have when he was seriously ofnoace worldly have been thirds or worse.

      Nico could fall to the back and still come back to second. When you’re a slower driver than your team mate, knowing that when you lose your guaranteed to come second makes life a lot more easier.

      Since bottad has joined the ferrari and the Red bull have been way more competitive. If he messes up he make come third possibly even fourth in some seasons and races. I believe that’s the difference mainly.

  18. “Bottas got away poorly, falling behind Bottas”.. The guy is his own worst enemy? Or has Mercedes entered him more than once? :-)

    1. Bottas 2.0 :o

  19. People seem very negative about that race. Sure, it wasn’t a classic but there was plenty to enjoy, the radio chatter of Verstappen and Vettel, the midfield battle was brilliant and Norris’ defending was sublime. The reason that Donington 93, Canada 2011 and others stick out is because most races are not epic. This one did not suck as much as everyone thinks though.

  20. Alex Albon : You know after all those great overtakes at Silverstone, perhaps the the Red Bull team will think more of me.

    Red Bull : Hold this Helmut.

  21. After the MotoGP I think I needed a quieter race.


  22. Dominant by Hamilton. Another good race by Verstappen, doing whatever he could with that Redbull. Bottas on the other hand, a solid 2nd driver type of race. It’s time that he accepts that he is a glorified 2nd driver in a good car. Good for Mercedes all around.

    1. If he accepts No 2 they will get rid of him. All great drivers need to be pushed by a teammate. Its what Max is missing.

      1. You think max needs more motivation to push more? He is a beast as is. Even with team mates being lapped he is battling with the best.

        1. +1 @knightameer Verstappen’s motivation is on the track in front of him, Hamilton. However, he really does need a team mate closer to his level to assist with strategy. Someone Ricciardo’s level. Two against one seldom works as Mercedes are free to keep RBR guessing over pit and tyre strategy. Albon is a ridiculously long distance away to be any help, except maybe to test out tyres for Max. Bottas may offer a poor show but he’s close enough to matter.

          1. @david-br exactly. A teammate who can be a reliable wingman is a must. Helps with strategy alot. In this regard, RBR had it good with Danny boy and max.

  23. Incredible performance by Verstappen to split the field when the rest of the field excluding the Mercs were lapped.

    He’s on another level. He’d beat Bottas in every qualifying session and every race if they were teammates.

    1. @David Bondo

      Hmm. 1st Gasly, now Albon. We will never know how good that RBR genuinely is- because since Ricciardo left, it’s just been Max carrying that team. When Ricciardo was there Verstappen’s results didn’t look so extraordinary. Also,

      He’d beat Bottas in every qualifying session and every race if they were teammates.

      is very optimistic. Bottas is no slouch- certainly better than (once again) Gasly and Albon. In fact, given the scorching heat today one could argue that today was a missed opportunity for Max as he was struggling. Similar conditions to Silverstone and yet 20 seconds off the sublime Hamilton.

      1. Bottas didn’t exactly destroy a Felipe Massa about 7-8 years past his best. Massa was never the same driver after the 2009 accident and then declined further over the years.

        Bottas was brought to Mercedes precisely to be an excellent wingman.

        Hamilton is in a car that’s at least one second quicker than the field. Hamilton and Bottas drove smarter today within the limits of the car. Poor Verstappen has to push hard still because he’s got such a huge car disadvantage compared to Hamilton and Bottas.

        Verstappen smashed Ricciardo in the end and forced Ricciardo to move to a mid pack team to preserve his reputation.

        1. Bottas didn’t exactly destroy a Felipe Massa about 7-8 years past his best. Massa was never the same driver after the 2009 accident and then declined further over the years.

          I think you need to revise your opinion. Bottas conclusively out-qualified Massa, and after three years together he had more than twice as many qualifying victories as his team mate.

          Also, this is the same Massa who outqualified Alonso leading to Ferrari sabotaging their own car to give Alonso the best opportunity such as Austin 2012 for eg.

          Poor Verstappen has to push hard still because he’s got such a huge car disadvantage compared to Hamilton and Bottas.

          Oh yes, poor Verstappen has a midfield team mate who can’t even finish on the same lap as him.

          Verstappen smashed Ricciardo in the end

          What is it with you Max fans and the revisionist review of history? I get it, in your eyes Verstappen can walk on water but Christ, pipe down.

          1. (@blazzz) and i would love to know how you Bottas fans still cant see he is not fast enough nor champion material.

        2. LOL, you should really go back and check the wdc standing after Hungarian Gp 2018, when Riccardo shocked red bull with his announcement to join Renault!
          Riccardo was beating (or in your words “smashing” verstappen in the wdc!!!
          After that Red bull clearly favoured max naturally (obviously a team do not share important data re setups/development etc etc with a departing driver as that knowledge is too valuable to share with the rival team)
          Take off your blinkers!

          1. Max had a lot of bad luck in races, but was clearly the quicker driver on raw pace. Ricciardo had no answers.

            Christian Horner was absolutely right in that Ricciardo ran from a fight. Ricciardo would be looking like Albon right now if he stayed any longer at RBR.

    2. lexusreliabilty?
      16th August 2020, 22:12

      Incredible performance by Verstappen to split the field when the rest of the field excluding the Mercs were lapped.

      Really? Same conditions as Silverstone and Verstappen trounced by 20+ seconds. Bet you if Hamilton was in that Red Bull he would’ve won today.

      1. “Bet you if Hamilton was in that Red Bull he would’ve won today.” that is by far one of the dumbest things ive ever heard…..

  24. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    16th August 2020, 19:33

    What’s happened to Grosjean? He seems to have reverted back to his junior Psycho mode of driving, making dangerous moves to try and prevnet faster cars getting past. He needs a slap.

  25. I would put money on Verstappen beating Hamilton if both were in the same team, but guess we will never ever see them in the same team, which is a real shame.

    1. You would be likely to lose that money. Lots of people play euromillions too. Odds of winning are like 25million to 1, but hey ho, they still put money on it.

    2. I would put money on Verstappen beating Hamilton if both were in the same team

      When Max Verstappen goes up against world champions like Alonso and Button and beats them. Or actually shows he has what it takes to string together a title winning campaign then we will talk. But until then, feel free to keep hyping him up. Sop far Verstappen’s toughest challenge in F1 has been Daniel Ricciardo and he didn’t acquit himself convincingly.

      Go figure.

    3. Has Max won any multi-event championship at any level? Karting, junior formulas, etc? As far as I can see, he’s never actually won any championship that is more than one event long.
      Brilliant talent but sporadic and sometimes self-destructively aggressive.

      1. spot on NeverElectric!

      2. What is the point in winning Junior titles when your mission is to get to F1 as fast as possible?
        Noone in the history of F1 made it to F1 as fast as Max.

    4. @aliced Just like you were certain Seb was the greatest of all time until even you couldnt make any more excuses for him. Clearly still sore that Lewis buried Seb and now latched onto another great white hope havent you.

  26. Bernie should have turned the sprinklers on, bring back the explosive tyres from Silverstone or maybe both

  27. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    17th August 2020, 3:09

    It was truly amazing to hear Hamilton reject the soft tyres that prevents Bottas from catching Max. Another incredible performance by Lewis.

    1. That’s why he’s paid the big bucks!

  28. “The race was boring” – we hear that every time Hamilton wins. If it was Bottas, that’s ok, but when is Hamilton, that’s because F! is no longer competitive, Merc is dominating, and bla bla bla.
    Well, Red Bull is clearly the second best car. As a matter of fact, the difference of the Bulls from Merc is less than that they have for the others.

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