Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2014

Hamilton frustrated by slow pit stops

2014 Austrian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2014Lewis Hamilton admitted he was frustrated to have lost time in the pits while chasing his team mate in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton spent almost two seconds more stationary in the pits compared to Nico Rosberg during the race. He crossed the finishing line 1.9s behind his team mate, having backed off at the end of the final lap.

Hamilton said he wasn’t aware how much time he’d lost in the pits but said his stops “didn’t feel that fast”.

He admitted the reason for the delay, “could be my positioning, I don’t know… I’ll obviously investigate.”

“Obviously it is frustrating when you lose time because you’re constantly doing everything you can to gain a tenth here, a tenth there,” he added, “so when you lose quite a chunk, two seconds over two pit stops it’s tough.”

“At least we haven’t really made any mistakes. If we step back a little bit and look, we’ve had so many one-twos this is just incredible this year so I’m hoping in the future we won’t have those problems.”

Hamilton said there had no chance to make an overtaking move on Rosberg at the end of the race. He is now 29 points behind his team mate in the championship.

“Nico’s done a great job,” said Hamilton. “He’s finished every race and fortunately hasn’t had any car problems so it’s inevitable [the gap].”

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111 comments on “Hamilton frustrated by slow pit stops”

  1. This is really suspicious… I actually thought that Mercedes were a “good team with pitstops last year than the MCLAREN of Lewis before”…

    1. Nearly as suspicious as that time at China in 2012 when they ‘forgot’ to attach all wheels to Schumacher’s car while Rosberg was leading.

      1. Indeed, they cost themselves the chance of a 1-2 that day…

    2. Nothing suspicious about it. They looked into it on the show on Sky and basically on the first stop Hamilton missed his marks, then on the second stop there was a bit of damage to one of the cake tins which stopped the wheel going on cleanly. No conspiracy.

      1. ^^^this

    3. You cannot think the pitstops being slower is a manipulation by mechanics doing the bidding of management? Actually think about how impossible that would be to do…

    4. Having seen this already it can only be assumed that national pride is kicking in strong. How does driver a paid professional not know where to line up for a pit stop as i’ve seen suggested on other forums ? It isn’t making any sense. Why is hamilton seemingly held back form overtaking Rosberg ? This is not about being a fan of anyone, just that you’re seeing a serious trend developing here.

    5. @krichelle More often than not, Hamilton’s had the quickest pit stop at Mercedes this year:

      2014 Austrian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

      1. @Keith Collantine, no Rosberg’s pits are definitely faster. What we are disputing is the service time, which normally takes about 3 seconds or less. What you’re showing is pit lane entry to pit lane exit time. That 21-26 seconds, depending on the track, leaves out a lot of detail. I’ve watched every single GP, if you can show me that Hamilton has been getting “service time” that is on par to Rosberg, I’ll admit I’m wrong.

        BTW, there is no proof that Hamilton did not hit his marks in Austria. Hamilton was polite and didn’t want to blame the team so he said perhaps his positioning wasn’t right. And true to form, his detractors ran with it because it gave them an out to cast all the blame on Hamilton. Toto said Hamilton went “long” on the first stop and the lollipop broke on the second stop, but if you re-watch the pit stops like I did, there is no sign of overshooting the pit box or broken lollipop. Can someone show me video of the pit stops showing Hamilton’s mistakes?

        1. @sudd
          Yea Keith is deliberately comparing apples with oranges there, because it’s hard for him to accept that Lewis has lost a lot of time at the PIT STOP to Nico this year.

          He probably supports the view that Lewis can’t park the car properly.

          1. @jason12

            Lewis has lost a lot of time at the pit stop to Nico this year

            No he hasn’t, as this comment below also shows very well.

            He probably supports the view that Lewis can’t park the car properly.

            I didn’t say that – don’t try to put words in my mouth. I had a look at Hamilton and Rosberg’s stops but haven’t seen a clear enough angle to make a call one way or the other about it.

    6. So @krichelle according to you, the mechanics at Mercedes can be magicians because they can plan an execute one pit stop at 2.6 sec and others precisely 1 sec slower at 3.5 sec. Wow !!!!!You are seriously over estimating human skills and team work.

      But then despite the fact that Hamilton had many better stops than Rosberg all through the year is not convincing then all I can say is that “We can wake up someone who is sleeping but we cannot wake up some one who is acting like they are sleeping “

      1. Yup. Just like you on so many others…

  2. @Kirchelle, it is suspicious. And that should be the right response. Why is one driver constantly slower in the pits? No one is flat out saying Mercedes are being discriminatory, but to dismiss it 100% would be very naive. National pride is a big deal in sports. No denying that. Mercedes wanting a German champion is really not that far fetched. Just a few years ago we saw Ferrari ditch Rai for Alon. Part of that was they wanted a more charismatic and passionate driver. I know its a stereotype, but the Spanish driver was seen as being closer to Italian sensibilities. Alonso speaks Italian…everything fits. Then, we saw McLaren and Mercedes respectively go all English and all German with their driver line ups. National pride is a big deal in international sports. At the end of the day Mercedes GP is a German team. Being based in England is for strategic purposes. The staff/engineers might be English, but they don’t call the shots.

    1. Or, more likely, Hamilton is just not as good at hitting his marks and isn’t as quick getting away when the car is let off the jacks.

      1. @MazdaChris, perhaps you’re right. Here’s the deal, had Ros and Ham been racing for opposing teams instead of the same outfit, the rulings in Monaco and Canada would not have been in Rosberg’s favor. Opposing teams would have protested to Charlie immediately if they felt wronged. Mercedes didn’t care since they were still going 1-2. Perhaps all they care about is a 1-2, perhaps they wanted a certain driver in the 1 position. Who knows??

        1. Look, you’ve clearly decided that there’s a conspiracy so there’s not much point in me explaining the flaws in your argument. It clearly isn’t going to change your mind.

    2. @sudd Look at the pitstops over the entire season. Then come again.

      1. Too late. Now that a big mess has been made in the media, there won’t be anymore huge discrepancies in the pits. Mercedes knows all eyes are on them now.

        1. I guess that means Rosberg can look forward to quicker stops then, given on average his have been slower so far.

    3. So… now the culture and personality of the driver IS appropriate to the discussion. Interesting.

      BTW, a driver who is pushing too hard has trouble with calibrating fine details like hitting one’s marks. Whatever his race or national origin.

      Everywhere a conspiracy– what a great human knee-jerk reflex to find answers. At Red Bull it was Vettel is German so Webber is out of luck. Now what? Ricciardo is Italian descent and Australian nationality (just like Mark) and its favorite Vettel’s car that’s breaking.

      1. ps: SMH *sigh*

    4. So Merc prefers a German driver an discriminates HAMILTON. I wonder if you had the same opinion when McLaren had both Alonso and Hamilton (a British pilot in a British team) did you think the same way or it is just now.

      1. @Paul2013, Nope! You’re saying that.

      2. Guy’s focused on stereotypes. He just accused me (incorrectly) in another thread of yielding to them, and he found it so OFFENSIVE. I’m shocked (SHOCKED, I say!) to see him using them when it fits his purposes. /sarcasm off/

      3. What about that time McLaren had 2 British drivers and Mercedes had 2 German drivers? The leadership in both teams must have gone absolutely mad, not being able to decide who to give an unfair advantage all the time.

        1. You are right I was just being sarcastic.

    5. So when Ross Brawn was running the team, he was temporarily German?

      1. @Dave, yes he was German during that time. He has since renounced his German national and is 100% English now. In a Autosport interview last year, he stated he just didn’t feel right going fishing with a German nationality still attached to his name.

      2. @raceprouk, @sudd, Yes actually the family changed the spelling from Braun because of the scandal Eva caused living with someone out of wedlock.

    6. “Why is one driver constantly slower in the pits?”

      But one driver is not constantly slower in the pits. The fastest Mercedes pit stop in Monaco went to Rosberg. In Canada it went to Hamilton. In Spain it went to Rosberg. In Bahrain it went to Hamilton.

      1. @ rm, you do realize they make more than one stop per race? Just because you got one fast stop does not mean your total time spent in the pits over the entire GP was faster. If Ham got a stop that was .001 faster than Rosberg, does it really make a tangible difference? What if Ros pit is 1 second faster? In aggregate Hamilton has been getting slower stops. Has he gotten faster stops at times? Yes! The question is how much faster?

        1. “If Ham got a stop that was .001 faster than Rosberg, does it really make a tangible difference? What if Ros pit is 1 second faster?”

          If you really cared about this stuff you’d look at the data BEFORE you ask these questions. But since you only care about polishing Hami’s apple the answers are unimportant to you.

          I’m not going to bother crunching all the numbers, because even if it turned out that across the first eight GP’s LH has had faster pit stops on average then NR, you’d just discard that information and claim that the important thing is to look at specific pit stops in specific races where you think Lewis was hurt. Your mind’s already made up and nothing can change it.

        2. “you do realize they make more than one stop per race?”

          You should take a refresher course in English to remind you of what the word “constantly” means. Hint – it doesn’t mean “sometimes” or “occasionally”.

    7. @sudd I disagree with your hypothesis and I think if there was anything to your suggestion that this is how Mercedes is operating, then they wouldn’t have hired such a strong teammate as LH to begin with.

      1. @Robbie, you have so much to learn young grasshopper. Hamilton is a great investment for the data he will provide Nico and the team. Think of it as an indirect driving coach for Nico. Here’s the bonus: If he was driving for Red Bull, Ferrari, or McLaren he would be a threat to us. Now you see…?

        1. @sudd No I don’t. And ‘if’ is the biggest word in the dictionary.

          1. @Robbie, ah you must wise up young grasshopper. F1 is first and a foremost a business. It is imperative you understand this aspect.

          2. @sudd Now you’re just being condescending and full of yourself. The aspect you need to understand is that I disagree with your premise and don’t buy for a second that they hired LH just to use him. And you’re not just insulting me…you’re insulting Mercedes, LH, and NR.

  3. Hamilton is behaving like a child this year. He talked about telemetry first now this… come on stop making excuses and drive faster!

    1. Er he can’t, the computers don’t allow that.

      1. Yeah I am sure it is that, computers! What else could it be?

        1. Er did you here late race communications? The pits are telling them how fast to drive..

    2. @Paul2013, no he’s still a “hip-hop thug” with his tattoos, baggy jeans and pit bulls.

      1. You mean like Nico is being a “rich white kid” with his casual dad tops, designer jeans and cat? And how amazingly relevant all those things are to pit stop times?

        1. bling probably adds a tenth…?

        2. +1
          Ha ha he probably gets a tenth of a sec for the cat.

        3. @Nick, Didn’t you know they race with their pets? It’s a FIA mandate. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to drive with a cat in the foot well than a bulldog.

        4. @npf1 If only Hamilton wasn’t slown down so much by all his #SWAG.

      2. Roscoe is a bulldog, which is about as non-gangster as you can get. They’re stupid friendly.

        1. @Pete, oops I meant bulldog.

    3. Paul2013 – showing that even with replays data, and facts, F1 fans can still completely neglect all logic when it comes to a driver they dislike haha..

      1. Do you really belive (and not think, belive is much more accurate) that Mercedes is damaging Hamilton performance on porpose? Come on… That is f… Funny man. I never heard of a company, team, football club any group hiring an STAR, paying him a hell of money and damaging his perfornance.

        And by the way Nico is from Monaco. And a f… Outstanding driver, and also respectful.

        If you wanna know my opinion Hamilton has nothing to complain about BUT HE IS JUST TRYING TO PUT SOME PREASURE ON NICO. That’s all a mind game the same it was in the past and the same will be the next (probably something about specs or setup, something impossible to verify, again).

    4. This year?

      1. Year, seasson, championship, what you prefer.

        1. I meant, isn’t he like that every year?

  4. Rosberg had the slow stop in Canada didn’t he?

    1. One slower and one faster than Hamilton.

    2. @darryn: Yes, that was the reason why Hamilton was leading before his brake failure at Canada.

  5. Lewis is wrong to say Nico hasn’t had any car problems. He had a clutch issue that hurt his start in one race, and the same day ran the race with no radio comm, and he had the same problem as Lewis in Canada and that cost him first place. NR has also had to be wary of his fuel and brakes and tires just as much as LH.

    Personally I’m not convinced that slightly faster stops would have put LH ahead of NR. He might have come out closer to NR, but obviously wasn’t faster enough to get by NR. LH’s undoing was his mistake on Saturday.

    1. he also had the same problem as Hamilton in Canada, and maybe saved the car by driving a bit less hard when the brake problem really arose, there was one moment you could see it looked like rosbergs car was about to retire just as hamiltons did when rosberg missed a turn, but it came back to him – he maybe managed the problem differently – better or worse, but he finished the race.

    2. @robbie
      The thing is (at least with the first pit stop), Hamilton overshot his stop, which obviously causes a delay with the whole pit routine.

      Exactly the same as with his qualifying, it’s a “coulda, shoulda, woulda”… Hamilton may have won, if it wasn’t for his own mistakes…

      1. @cgturbo Agreed and I really reject the arguments that NR is only leading LH because of his DNFs. Those DNFs have nothing to do with, for example, NR showing he can get pole in Canada which was supposed to be LH’s track, or to have had his lap buggered, ironically by LH’s mistake on Saturday, only to still manage to win Austria by getting by the two Williams cars. DNFs or not, NR still has to show up and do his best at each race and not squander his opportunities if he can at all help it. DNFs are a part of racing and out of the drivers control for the most part. We don’t weigh how much a WDC was advantaged by his teammate’s or other close rivals’ reliability, and then hand it over to the stewards to decide if the highest points guy in the end should or shouldn’t actually be awarded the trophy.

        1. You don;t make sense, how isit not down to dnf’s, did you no if Ham had “luck” by finshing he would be ahead. Or did the escape you. Ros has been lucky. He as even started 3rd three times. So he has had mistakes. Ham apart form yesterday made zero mistakes. He put fastest car 1st and 2nd untill yesterday. I wonder if Ham won 12 races Ros won 2 and was WC you would say he is not lucky?

          1. @Dan All I’m saying is that I hesitate to isolate one thing, such as reliability, in a game of woulda, coulda, shoulda, and pretend if only for that one aspect LH would be leading NR. If we are going to open that can of worms, then let’s put all the aspects under the microscope. Does anybody claim the only reason MS compiled the numbers he did was because of stellar reliability at Ferrari?

            I think it is a bit unreasonable to assume without LH’s DNFs he would have won, like that is written in stone. While we’re at it why don’t we just assume that without NR’s clutch issue he would have had a better start and passed LH, or without LH cranking his boost against team wishes NR would have passed him…without the same problem LH had in Canada NR would have won and had 7 more points over LH than he does etc etc. ie. where do we draw the line when it comes to playing this game?

            The fact is NR has the points he has, LH has the points he has, and it all comes down to the realities of racing. DNFs will always be part of the game as will a hundred other aspects. So of course LH’s dnfs are a factor, but NR has had to be there, be where he has been, to compile the points he has too. He’s no MW to SV, no Reubens to MS, no FM to FA, etc.

            I wish it would happen more often, but how many times have we seen each teammate pairing have exactly the same amounts of everything that goes into their seasons? It could just as easily have been NR that had 2 DNFs and he may have them yet. One or both of them may get spun out by contact with someone yet too, or any number of possibilities. Let the chips fall where they may.

  6. The pitstops made any difference to the result.
    for the second pitstop, you have to remember Hamilton pitted before rosberg – which is against the usual Mercedes team trend of pitting driver in front first – they did this so he could pass bottas – which he managed to do, so even though it was slower then rosbergs pitstop – he still gained a position, and it did not affect final result. Hamilton would have needed a stop of about 0.3 seconds on the final stop to pass rosberg during stops – and we all know that is not possible.

    1. Point is though, if the first stop had gone normally, Hamilton would have been at least ahead of Bottas. Possibly even Rosberg, because Hamilton was on hot tyres and he passed Massa (on cold tyres) with ease when he popped up just in front of Hamilton.

      So at the very least Hamilton would have been behind Rosberg when he was struggling with tyre degradation before the second stop. Bottas didn’t have the car to benefit from it (although he almost did), but Hamilton might have.

      Still the thing is, Hamilton drove a blindingly outlap to get ahead and the team negates that effort by losing so much time in the stop.

  7. The only people that saw a “conspiracy” was the idiots at SKY F1. They’re as bad as Bernie, actually probably worse, for wanting to spice up “the show”.

    I thought F1 fans were more intelligent than to let themselves be led by pathetic theories like this.

    1. Think they were reading the tweets and come with a proper yes or now by questioning and investigating it.

      1. Yup. At no point did I see the Sky team trying to propagate any conspiracy theories. Crofty was – as he always does post-race – going over what was buzzing on Twitter, and due to the volume of questions about Hamilton’s stops he asked the pit lane reporters to look into it. They asked the team, who replied that Hamilton was slightly long at the first pit stop. They also asked Hamilton about it, who himself said it could well have been his positioning.

        Mind you, stopping exactly on the dime is NOT easy, and it has a direct impact on the service time. You only have to be a few centimetres off for the wheel gun guys to have to re-adjust their position ever so slightly, costing tenths. And in a pit stop, each move (driver position, jacks up, wheel nuts off, wheels off, new wheels on, wheel nuts on, press “ok” buttons, jacks down, drive off) can add tenths if not executed to perfection. The sheer amount of stuff that can cause a slightly slower pit stop puts “team conspiracy” quite far down the list… :-)

  8. It’s funny how the team is trying to blame a nearly one second longer stop by stating that Hamilton overshot his mark by a few centimeters.

    1. What’s even funnier is that Hamilton himself acknowledged that very possibility.

      1. @Dave, no that was Hamilton choosing not to throw the team under the bus. Do you have video of him overshooting? Nope! But that certainly won’t stop you from jumping on the “It’s Hamilton’s Fault” bandwagon.

        1. Wait – you can’t both make the “there’s no evidence” argument AND claim your own assumptions as fact. You don’t know what Lewis was thinking, and nor does anyone else (except Lewis himself). The only thing we do know is what the team said to be the cause (positioning and some broken parts on the car). Everything else is speculation – including your assumptions of what Lewis did or did not mean.

  9. I know it’s a conspiracy, but it is a sad thing though. When Michael was in the team, unless it was a complete screw up, both drivers constantly posted the fastest pitstop times. Suddenly with Hamilton in the team, he seems to have slow pitstops which pretty much completely wipe out his in lap effort. Today’s 0.9 secs and 1 sec delay was just dismal. He might as well park his car n have a cup of tea. Funny enough, I told my friend, who was sitting next to me, “Watch this pit stop, it’ll be exactly one second slower than rosbergs!”. Guess it was spectator’s curse! :P

    1. well the first one was his fault, so get over it.

      1. Oh thank you! I have gotten over it now! :)

    2. Hamilton has had the faster stops in half the races so far this season. There is no conspiracy.

  10. What I dont understand is why both the Mercs need to be on the same strategy? If HAM saved 3Kgs of fuel he and 3 laps to go why is he not on Strat 2 or Strat 1 instead the team put him and ROS on the same strat 6 …

    1. because there is a thing in f1 in 2014 called a fuel flow rate, you may have missed it, but it is set at 100kg/hour and is measured at a rate every few seconds, so it does not matter if Hamilton saved 3kgs of fuel, he can not use that extra 3 litres he saved, as he will pass the fuel flow rate if he tries to use the extra fuel. he probably saved it through different driving style, but after 65 laps out of a 71 lap race it is all irrelevant, because of the fuel flow rate limit imposed by the fia. I don’t know why the fuel usage is even shown to the public, as it is completely irrelevant with the strict fuel flow rate – ever car will finish ever race this year so who cares about seeing those graphics?? it would all make sense, and would be interesting reading if the 100kg/hour fuel flow rate was not in place, and only the 100kg fuel limit for the race was in place, then there would be real strategies in place for the race – ie Hamilton could then have used those extra 2L in the final part of the race.

      1. Eh? Fuel rate?? The injectors are already designed and set to the maximum fuel flow rate? Strat 1 will also follow the same rules and strat six may be strat 1 burns more fuel and also gives more battery power alowwing the driver to overtake and not be concerned about fuel saving. It is still 100kgs per race. After all the early breaking and coasting he did he should be given the opportunity to use most of the engine if he needs.

        Also If a driver is behind another driver for most of the race with in 2 secs while following the same strategy it means the first driver is impeding the second one to go faster as the second driver needs to drive in the turbulent dirty air.

      2. Same happened in Monaco, Canada and now in Austria … all the race he is with in 2 secs and cannot get by! Very frustrating to watch. Merc atm is suffocating him with running him in dirty air, giving preference to only the front running driver and being poor in pit stops. What if he actually has a good race pace better, better tyre and fuel management but is unable to get past coz he made a mistake on Saturday during quali.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          23rd June 2014, 5:33

          If Mercedes wants to be fair then they need to let Lewis race Nico and to do that, they need to position him close to Nico. Lewis can’t outpace Nico by 20 seconds over 10 laps with extra fuel, that’s just not possible. So Mercedes needs to figure out how to get Lewis close to Nico which is exactly what Merc has been doing with Nico. They try to push him close to Lewis with Lewis even wondering what they are up to on occasion… Hey but let’s conveniently screw him up and put Lewis behind Bottas to see if he can pass him with Massa right behind him as he’s obviously not going to DNF in Austria much to Toto’s and Niki’s dismay?

  11. For those talking about some Germany conspiracy, The team is German in ownership only.

    There based in England, The engines are made in England & most of the mechanics are English including the mechanics who change the tyres in the stops.

    Also remember that they paid a lot of money to convince Lewis to join the team so are not going to suddenly decide they don’t want him to succeed.

    The team are treating both equally, The results for the 2 of them this year have been purely down to driving skill & luck, There is no favoritism or bias & anyone who truly believes there is are in my opinion totally wrong.

    1. Tho I am a Lewis fan I dont think there is any conspiracy. This is the way they agreed terms between drivers about what is going to happen if one has taken pole and is leading the drivers championship. They only just want to mirror the strategies. Who ever is running second is just going to get a bad deal overall. The only way for Hamilton to get the best from the team is to get the pole or if not overtake ROS on the track. But hey both are so evenly matched and equally hungry tho Lewis is more under pressure as he is second with two DNFs.

  12. What?

    His pitstops were actually quicker than Rosberg’s. You can clearly see that on the race footage.
    They’ve shown pit stop times and both of his were quicker.

    Is he getting delusional?

  13. For all you people who think Hamilton’s races are being intentionally hampered by his OWN team, here are some data from previous races (excluding Australia and Monaco, like @keithcollantine did in his comparison)

    Malaysian GP:
    Lewis Hamilton 24.484
    Lewis Hamilton 24.604
    Nico Rosberg 24.654
    Nico Rosberg 24.723
    Nico Rosberg 25.287
    Lewis Hamilton 25.296

    Bahrian GP:
    Lewis Hamilton 24.687
    Nico Rosberg 24.851
    Nico Rosberg 24.907
    Lewis Hamilton 25.146

    Chinese GP:
    Lewis Hamilton 22.968
    Lewis Hamilton 23.999
    Nico Rosberg 23.089
    Nico Rosberg 23.277

    Spanish GP:
    Nico Rosberg 22.254
    Nico Rosberg 22.309
    Lewis Hamilton 22.951
    Lewis Hamilton 23.590

    Canadian GP:
    Lewis Hamilton 23.554
    Nico Rosberg 23.882
    Lewis Hamilton 24.417
    Nico Rosberg 25.102
    6-5 In favor of Hamilton (I excluded monaco because that was a stop under safety car and a call from the team to pit them at the same time)

    If you ad Austria it is 6-7 in favor of Rosberg, so if the team was intentionally sabotaging Hamiltons races it would have been more obvious after 8 races perhaps?

    1. While I don’t support the conspiracy theorists, I have to say your analysis is flawed.

      As many people have mentioned, Lewis’s stops were 1.9s slower on aggregate today, and on one of those stops at least, it made a clear difference to resulting track position. Looking at the numbers you have posted the differences have been marginal most of the time – the largest gaps are 0.7s in China (in favour of Rosberg), 0.7s in Spain (in favour of Hamilton), 1.3s in Spain (in favour of Rosberg), 0.7s in Canada (in favour of Hamilton).

      Those numbers are far more telling than a simple tally of who was fastest – by how much and what effect it had is much more relevant.

      Would like to repeat I don’t think there is a conspiracy, just a bit of bad luck.

    2. Thanks @gdewilde, you saved me a job! As expected the data shows the normal pit stops are quite consistent across the two, Hamilton had some slower stops in Spain and Austria, as Rosberg did in Canada.

      Of course we don’t know whether he played a role in that, e.g. by not stopping accurately on his marks, but the likeliest explanation for it is simple misfortune.

      And we should keep in Mercedes’ overriding concern will be to avoid an unsafe release and subsequent stop-go and grid penalties – that would hurt them far more than losing a few tenths of a second on a pit stop.

      It would be instructive to see how this compares to other teams but if there’s anyone left still peddling the ‘Hamilton always gets slower pit stops’ argument this pretty much shoots that to pieces.

      1. @keithcollantine If only it was as simple as presenting facts, to change these people’s arguments. Sadly they’re fundamentally irrational and not based on any real facts, so presenting a factual argument will not really sway opinion. There is a vocal minority of Hamilton supporters who think that Hamilton is literally perfect and always suffering because there’s some kind of conspiracy against him. Maybe because he’s black (mixed race, technically), maybe it’s because he’s British, maybe it’s because he’s too ‘real’… there are a million different reasons given, but what it boils down to is when Hamilton suffers misfortune, it is always attributed to some kind of deliberate ploy against him. Whereas where misfortune affects others, it’s generally brushed off. So when Rosberg locks up in qualifying in Monaco, ruining Hamilton’s lap, it’s an outrage, he’s a cheat, someone must do something. When Hamilton messes up in qualifying in Austria, similarly impeding Rosberg, it’s barely even mentioned. And of course it ignores the fact that in Monaco Rosberg and Hamilton had already completed a lap each and Rosberg had put in the faster lap, and beaten Hamilton fairly.

        It’s really frustrating to read comments like those. I used to get annoyed about it when it was Webber who was the focus of such attention, but where Hamilton is concerned it seems to be about ten times worse. People seem incapable of constructing a rational, factual argument which supports the idea that Hamilton is being deliberately hobbled by his own team, and instead simply shout down anyone who disagrees with them. It’s an impressive feat of doublethink, but one which often leaves me dreading reading the comments section when Hamilton has suffered bad luck.

        1. Sorry, I hate replying to my own comments, but two other things deserving mention which the Hamilton-truthers are conveniently forgetting:

          Firstly, Hamilton being given the preferential pit option despite running behind on the track. A change from normal procedure by the team, in order to help out Hamilton.

          Secondly, part of the reason why Hamilton was as far forward as he was, was because Williams had woefully messed up their own pit strategies, twice failing to respond adequately to the Mercs pitting. If Williams had been a bit more on the ball then Hamilton may not have even finished on the podium, since he appeared not to be able to pass them on track.

          Hamilton was, in my opinion, fortunate to even finish as far up as he did. To talk about him winning the race as if it was a dead cert but for a mere 1.9s lost in the pits, is frankly ridiculous. All it did was nullify a little bit of the advantage he had gained from his preferential pit strategy, and the fact that Williams messed theirs up so badly.

  14. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    23rd June 2014, 5:25

    The issue with Hamilton’s bad luck is that it always favors Nico. Anything bad that happens to Lewis, gives Nico a win. Anything bad that happens to Nico somehow manages to screw Lewis (Monaco 2014, the fallen wing 2013, running into Nico last year and being slowed down on different strategies).

    There’s no doubt that Lewis deserved to win today – had Mercedes been as good as Hamilton was today, he would have.

    Hopefully, Nico will have 2 DNFs and 2 issues and won’t affect Lewis so Lewis can pass Nico by 64 points and the score can be in the correct order and Nico can get the confidence he deserves. Currently, the lesser driver is leading the championship and as good as Nico might be he is the lesser driver. No ifs, ands, or buts about that.

    1. This is rediculous. If Hamilton continues to indicate that the team is doing something against him, then they just might start doing something against him! And if andwhen they do, no one will ever notice. All it takes is for 1 engineer to not like you. Think about that Mr Hamilton, it’s not all about you.

      1. To be fair, Hamilton isn’t claiming any wrongdoing or foul treatment. He was asked about his pit stops, said they didn’t feel fast and admitted he might need to look closer at his positioning. The only ones who are crying foul are the armchair specialists on Twitter and in comments sections – i.e. people like you and me (although we specifically may not be the ones complaining this time) :-)

    2. @freelittlebirds that is very one-sided. Let’s suppose Hamilton had gotten a better first pit stop. He would probably not have had Bottas in front of him after Bottas pitted. So then Hamilton follows Nico around.

      Want to know what happens next? Rosberg, being in the lead, is given priority for his second stop, so no chance for Hamilton undercutting. And Rosberg emerges in front after the second pit stop as well.

      Unless ofcourse you believe he would have overtaken Nico during the second stint. But how would he have done that if he couldn’t even pass a slower Bottas for the entire second stint?

      1. @MattDS, Simple! Because the Williams were untouchable on the straights. They were trimmed out. It was plainly obvious on the opening lap. Rosberg beat Bottas to Turn 1 but Bottas passed him due to his higher top speed going into Turn 2. Mercedes beat Williams via undercut because they were almost impossible to pass on track. Same reason Hamilton couldn’t pass Rosberg on track.

        1. “Same reason Hamilton couldn’t pass Rosberg on track.”

          Well, that just brings me to my earlier point: suppose Hamilton would have got a good first stop, he would have immediately jumped Bottas but still would have trailed Rosberg, being unable to pass on track as you say.

          And then the Mercs are 1-2 on track during the second stint, so no need for an undercut on Bottas, so Rosberg gets the priority as leader, stops first, has the advantage of a lap on fresh tyres and stays in the lead at the beginning of the third stint.

          Makes sense, no?

          1. There are elements of truth to what you’re saying, but it’s not the whole story.

            Towards the end of the second stint Nico was clearly struggling a bit with his tyres – Bottas had a couple of looks to pass, but could not make it work.

            MAYBE Lewis would have had better look if he’d managed to jump Bottas in the first stops. He MIGHT have made it stick – as a racer I’m sure he believes he would have. But we’ll never know, partly due to a poor stop (whoever’s fault it was). Which is understandably frustrating.

            I’m not saying that the pit stops lost Lewis the race – if anything qualifying did that – but it’s too simplistic to say that the slow stop didn’t have an effect.

          2. The last 9 laps of Rosbergs second stint (30-39) he gradually opened up a gap on Bottas from 0.85s to 2.15s.

            Look, I’m not the one saying the pit stops absolutely couldn’t have mattered. I’m merely responding to a poster saying how Mercedes threw it away for Hamilton, and if they had been as good as Hamilton he would have won it.

    3. @freelittlebirds I forgot one thing: why would Nico have to have 2 DNF’s/issues still? Nico had the exact same issues as Hamilton in Canada and was able to overcome the situation and bag a lot of points.

      I also believe Hamilton is the faster driver, but Nico does seem like he has stepped up, driving solidly, even defeating Hamilton in qualifying for two races straight now (I won’t mention Monaco, as I feel that’s unfair given what happened).

      Hamilton still has every chance but errors like Saturday are so very costly.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd June 2014, 14:33

        Because he hasn’t had a DNF that slows him down that way it killed Hamilton’s and Vettel’s races. Those are the bad ones. Sure Hamilton had the visibility issue at Monaco but he pushed through that one.

        Nico needs 2 DNFs while Mercedes is leading and 2 qualifying issues – one where yellow flags come out and another one where the rear of his car wants to drive in front:-)

        That’s 64 points altogether while Nico is just 29 points ahead. That’s amazing considering the fact that Lewis has been driving with a 25 point deficit since lap 1 of the Australian grand prix.

        The pressure would get to anyone – do you remember how Nico was when Lewis was winning even though he was still leading the championship? Being fast is one thing – being fast and dealing with pressure, DNFs, strange quails and pit stop issues is a totally different thing.

        1. @freelittlebirds: I’m not sure you got my point. Nico had the exact same issues in Canada, but managed to salvage a lot of points. If you don’t count it as bad luck for Nico, you have to give him 7 points back since he would have won without him having bad luck (and with Hamilton having the DNF).

          The 64 points are bull. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is. How is this figure even constructed? Win by default in Australia and Canada? Pole and win by default in both Austria and Monaco?

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            24th June 2014, 13:33

            @MattDS Nico did not have the exact same issue in Canada otherwise he would have DNFed – it was less severe on Nico and he was given time to manage it.

            Yes Nico would have been 7 points ahead.

            As for the 64 points I don’t think it’s bull. Rosberg on faster tyres has proven that he can’t beat Lewis on slower tyres. It’s unlikely he wold have passed Lewis in Australia and Lewis had passed him in Canada.

            Austria, it’s very hard to give Nico the victory – Lewis deserved that one. Monaco, not sure but if Lewis had taken pole and I believe he was purple when the flags came out, he would have won for sure unless of course he DNF’ed or Mercedes did something utterly stupid.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            24th June 2014, 13:33

            @MattDS Nico did not have the exact same issue in Canada otherwise he would have DNFed – it was less severe on Nico and he was given time to manage it.

            Yes Nico would have been 7 points ahead.

            As for the 64 points I don’t think it’s bull. Rosberg on faster tyres has proven that he can’t beat Lewis on slower tyres. It’s unlikely he wold have passed Lewis in Australia and Lewis had passed him in Canada.

            Austria, it’s very hard to give Nico the victory – Lewis deserved that one. Monaco, not sure but if Lewis had taken pole and I believe he was purple when the flags came out, he would have won for sure unless of course he DNF’ed or Mercedes did something utterly stupid.

          3. @freelittlebirds You’re saying they didn’t have exactly the same problem? Well, Toto Wolff has said they had.
            Have you thought about the possibility that Hamilton rode the brakes too hard up to the point of failure, while Nico could have eased off on them and made the most of the situation, despite his problems?
            I will admit that this is a possibility. But you seem to be stuck in the mindset that Hamilton can do no wrong, not allowing for the possibility to even exist.

            Now, let’s see about those points:
            Australia: I think it’s fair to give Hamilton the points (though it’s never out of the question that Nico could have started better)
            Monaco: again, even IF you would say Hamilton would have gotten pole (that’s already a big “if”, as no one is immune to making errors), Nico could still have gotten better off the line and passed Hamilton. Fact of the matter is that Rosberg’s banker lap was better than Hamilton’s, and that (especially in Monaco) yellows can happen in qualifying (which is one of the reasons they set banker laps in the first place). Had any other competitor made any mistake, he would have lost in qualifying as well.
            Canada: sure, he had passed Rosberg… with both cars in limping mode. Maybe Hamilton just pushed too much with a faulty car and that provoked his DNF?
            Austria: what do you mean, Hamilton deserved it? He couldn’t get a decent lap in in Q3 and that’s on him, even if you believe one of those screw-ups was due to a car problem. And if he had gotten a decent lap in, being faster than Rosberg was no guarantee. And even if he was faster in Q than Rosberg, starting better was no guarantee. And overtaking Rosberg during the race wasn’t either.

            See how much you have to assume to even make those 64 points work?

            A fair and balanced way to look at it, in my POV, is give Hamilton the win in Australia and a P2 in Canada, with Rosberg P1. And then it’s Hamilton leading with a 14 points advantage.

            Those qualifying issues aren’t issues at all. Hamilton not being at the front in Austria was of his own doing, and like Hamilton in Monaco, Nico was impeded in Austria as well by Hamilton’s yellows. So in qualifying it’s even.

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            24th June 2014, 18:40

            In Canada, I don’t recall them having issues before Lewis passed Nico… AFAIK, Hamilton’s DNF is the reason that Nico was instructed to save his brakes and avoided a DNF himself which is exactly what happens when Lewis has trouble – Nico inherits 18-25 points. It even happened last year at Silverstone.

            In Austria, how many times have you seen Hamilton lose the car that way in such dramatic fashion?

            Monaco, you’d be right ONLY if the yellow flags were not the result of Nico’s inexplicable move while holding pole. He should have been sent to the back of the grid for that move to be taught a lesson which I’ve not seen him get.

            You’re correct that 64 is the max points but I agree that Lewis would have been ahead and that would have put him in a completely different state of mind with Nico not being able to weasel his way out with yellow flags and nearly crying at the end of the race as was the case when Lewis was getting back the lead that rightfully belongs to him so far…

            Now Lewis is a full race behind and so far Nico has not been able to beat Lewis once on merit alone… In fact we’ve seen clinical performances by Lewis over Nico. The results as they stand make absolutely no sense to anyone but Nico and his 16 supporters, 15 of whom seem to work for Mercedes.

          5. @freelittlebirds: You don’t recall them having issues in Canda before Hamilton passed Rosberg? Well then please rewatch the race, because they had been running 2-3s per lap slower for nearly 10 laps before Hamilton passed him.
            Austria: I don’t get your reasoning. So because Hamilton doesn’t make much mistakes, this couldn’t have been one?
            Monaco: my points stand. Hamilton’s banker was slower, for all we know someone might have crashed on-track and he would have been left with that banker as well, and then there was no guarantee at all he would have gone on to clinch the pole. So I’ll have to reverse: you’d be right ONLY if you automatically assume that Lewis would have gotten pole and would have started better than Rosberg. You can’t just do all of that.

            And I completely disagree with you saying Rosberg hasn’t beaten Lewis “once” on merit. What we saw Sunday was fully on merit. Hamilton botched Q3 and paid for it in the race. And the same goes for Monaco, Hamilton should have put in a better banker lap and he would have been on pole.

            Lastly, enough about that “state of mind”. He is a racing driver and has been for a long time. He can cope with bad luck just fine.

            Anyway, I guess it’s always easy to hide behind excuses, and it’s always someone else’s fault. Your last sentence pretty much shows what kind of fan you are.

          6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            25th June 2014, 16:25

            @MattDS Wouldn’t Lewis would have been right up with Nico had he not fallen behind Bottas on the pitstop? He put in some blistering laps after Nico boxed and it seemed he would come out in front or close.

  15. It’s not a choice between Hamilton’s pit times are fine or there’s a Mercedes conspiracy. Like many others here I’ve watched every race this season and Hamilton does tend to have slower service times than Nico. Hamilton is absolutely correct to look into what if anything can be done to improve his pit times. If his times truly are slower, it does not necessarily follow that his times are the results of sabotage, and who knows maybe the team will get useful, actionable information out of the investigation. I don’t understand why this is polarizing.

  16. Lewis compared to Rosberg, time spent in pits (entry to exit)

    1 #44 : None
    2 #44 : -0.289
    3 #44 : 0.075
    4 #44 : 0.601
    5 #44 : 1.978
    6 #44 : 2.837
    7 #44 : -1.013
    8 #44 : 1.643

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