Fortune favours Hamilton for second home victory

2014 British Grand Prix review

The British Grand Prix was poised to offer up another of this season’s intense showdowns between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

But just as Hamilton was poised to bring serious pressure on his team mate, the latest of Mercedes’ technical problems struck down one of their drivers’ cars.

While Hamilton bore the brunt of their technical woes in Austrlia and Canada, this time Rosberg was the one who suffered. And though it put the outcome of the race beyond doubt, it has left us with a finely-poised championship battle.

Raikkonen crash halts race

Safety Car, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2014The race began with a brief flurry of action, following which the track fell silent for over an hour. A brutal accident befell Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap, and though he was unhurt substantial damage was done to a barrier in containing the crash, which took over an hour to repair.

Striving to make gains from a lowly starting position of 18th, Raikkonen had gone off at Aintree, the fast left-hander which feeds the cars onto the Wellington straight. He kept his foot down as he hurtled along the smooth run-off, but missed the section where it joined to the tarmac, instead bouncing across the grass at high speed.

Just when it looked as though he’d straightened the Ferrari up it snapped away from him, heading towards a metal barrier at unabated speed.

“I must have hit a kerb – I then lost control of the car and ended in the barriers,” was Raikkonen’s typically unruffled assessment. His car bounced back into the path of the remaining cars, causing consternation behind.

Felipe Massa, unsighted behind Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham, saw Raikkonen’s car at the last possible moment. His Williams spun into the Ferrari but if he hadn’t reacted so quickly the consequences could have been horrendous.

“Kimi came across the track and I never really had a chance to miss him, and sadly the damage was too much to continue,” said Massa. “Luckily I turned as it could have been a worse accident.”

But perhaps no one was luckier than Max Chilton, whose car was struck by Raikkonen’s flying wheel. It wrecked his suspension, but mercifully missed his head.

He headed for the pits in his damaged car, but as he did the race was red-flagged, meaning he couldn’t come in. The team were unable to radio him, and the consequences for his race were disastrous. As well as being handed a drive-through penalty he was not able to join the other cars when the Safety Car pulled away, meaning he immediately fell a lap down.

Hamilton on the attack

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2014Once, when it was more common to see races red-flagged on the first lap, the procedure was for a new race and a fresh start to be called, giving drivers a chance to get in their spare cars. But with spare cars long a thing of the past, the race resumed behind the Safety Car as usual.

Rosberg executed a perfect restart and was a second and a half clear of Jenson Button when the race finally got going again. Behind them were their team mates, who swapped places on lap three as Hamilton easily dispensed with Kevin Magnussen.

By the end of lap four Hamilton had Button in his mirrors, and it was business as usual at the front for the two Mercedes. But with Rosberg already five seconds ahead Hamilton needed to find a way to cut into his team mate’s lead.

At first he couldn’t: by lap nine Rosberg had pulled almost another second clear. But after that Hamilton began hacking away at Rosberg’s lead with a remorseless regularity. Each time they came by Hamilton had taken another few tenths. He halved Rosberg’s advantage in eight laps.

The pair forced such a rapid pace that the proximity of their rivals quickly ceased to be a factor in their pit stop plans. Rosberg was in on lap 18 and – for the first time this year – Mercedes produced the quickest complete pit stop of the race.

But in a repeat of Austria Hamilton lost almost a second to his team mate in the pits – a costly waste of his hard-won gains, though he told his pit crew on the radio not to worry about it. Having switched to the hard tyres, while Rosberg took another set of mediums, Hamilton then proceeded to reclaim all that lost time on his first flying lap.

Gearbox glitch halts Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2014Rosberg, however, was in trouble. Shortly before his first pit stop he’d reported a problem with the down-shift on his gearbox, and had been given some tips on how to fix it. Now a more serious problem with the up-shift had developed.

In Canada Rosberg demonstrated great mechanical sympathy by bringing his car home in second place despite a serious loss of performance. He urged his team to find any way of getting his car to the chequered flag so he could salvage some points, but eventually he had to park up, accept the inevitable, and spare the engine further exertion.

“I tried to get it into some safety settings, let Lewis through and just keep going until the end of the race,” he said. “But there was nothing we could do so I had to stop the car.”

As Rosberg climbed out of his car at Becketts, Hamilton was already backing off, taking care not to over-exert his W05. Taking his place in second was – surprisingly – Valtteri Bottas.

The Williams driver had avoided the pile-up at the start and then took on a fresh set of medium tyres on the grid. He then passed car after car – including both similarly Mercedes-powered McLarens – as he staked his claim to a second podium finish in a row.

Bottas temporarily relinquished his advantage on lap 31 by pitting. That promoted Sebastian Vettel, who had made a poor start from the front row and lost more ground after trying unsuccessfully to hold Hamilton back at the first corner.

Vettel, however, had made a very early tyre change on lap ten, and he couldn’t make it to the end of the race without a further pit stop. This he did on lap 33 – and he emerged just as Fernando Alonso was arriving on the start/finish straight.

Alonso immediately went on the attack, lining Vettel up at the exit of Luffield and claiming the outside line for Copse. The Ferrari nosed ahead as they reached the entry of one of F1’s quickest corners. Alonso, unhesitating, swung in and claimed the position, leaving Vettel with little option other than to back off.

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Vettel and Alonso thrill in battle

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2014His team mate’s accident had allowed Alonso to discard his hard tyres after a single lap and spend the rest of the race on the faster medium compound. But he had also been given a five-second penalty after stopping on the grid well in front of his slot, so after racing his way past several cars in the opening lap Alonso’s progressed had been checked.

Now he applied the same brake to Vettel’s gains, and the pair treated the crowd to a no-holds-barred tussle which lasted a dozen glorious laps.

As usual the Red Bull’s poor straight line speed was a handicap for Vettel. But Alonso also reported problems with his rear wing and power unit. Nonetheless he he mounted a robust defence from Vettel, frustrating his rival by dawdling in the slow corners.

Vettel proved Alonso’s defences at Brooklands, trying more than once to get around the outside of the Ferrari, and each time being obliged to back down or visit the run-off area. Vettel took exception to Alonso’s tactics, and said as much on the radio.

Both gave as good as they got when it came to remonstrating with their pitwall – with the race director able to hear every word. Alonso’s furious complaints were calmly reiterated by Andrea Stella for Charlie Whiting’s full benefit, while towards the end of their fight Vettel acknowledged his rival’s continuing abuse of the track limits by merely saying “and another one”.

Earlier in the race Alonso had been shown the black-and-white ‘unsportsmanlike driving’ flag for failing to stay within the track boundaries. Perhaps reasoning that if the worst race control were going to do was wave a flag at him he might a well get in on the act, Vettel also ventured beyond the limits of the track.

In Alonso’s view, and to his intense irritation, it was that which eventually set up Vettel’s successful move by allowing him to gain the benefit of DRS on the way to Brooklands. He then prised open a gap down the inside of Alonso from the exit of Luffield and dived down the inside at Copse – taking care not to run wide there as well.

And, of course, both were back on the radio complaining about each other once the fight was settled. It may have looked great, but the pair hadn’t covered themselves in glory with their tattle-tale communications.

Behind them Magnussen claimed seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, the Force India driver finding his car was too easily destabilised by gusts of wind. The Toro Rosso drivers drew a line under a series of unfortunate races with a double points finish.

Jean-Eric Vergne had tangled with Sergio Perez on the first lap, and the second of the Force India drivers made it home in 11th place. Romain Grosjean was the only Lotus driver running at the end, Pastor Maldonado having parked up with a few laps to go. His demise may have been the lingering consequence of heavy contact with Esteban Gutierrez, who returned the favour from the pair’s collision in Bahrain.

Hamilton bounces back

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2014Ricciardo’s plan not to stop again for tyres worked – just. In the final laps Button had him in his sights and – more importantly – the prospect of finally taking a podium finish at his home race on his 15th attempt.

But it wasn’t to be – the pair were separated by less than a second at the finishing line. “If there’d been just one more lap, I think I could have made it past,” he said.

A top-three finish had been far from Bottas’s mind after Williams’ disaster in qualifying, but he went one better than he did in Austria two weeks ago. “We were thinking about points today not the podium, and the strategy guys did a great job.”

But for Hamilton there was a sense of satisfaction that fortune had turned in his favour. His early retirement in Australia was cancelled out, and the 25-point swing moves him within four points of Rosberg.

It was also some recompense for his misfortune twelve months earlier, when a tyre explosion robbed Hamilton of a chance to win at home and eventually handed victory to Rosberg.

On Saturday he had been the architect of his own demise – and afterwards Hamilton made it clear he realises that.

“Yesterday was a real kick in the balls,” he said. “I really had to pick up, pull up my socks and get on it if I want to win this world championship, and I can’t have situations like yesterday.”

“The last two races I’ve easily had the pace to be pole position and I’ve not put it there. I’ve put it much further back, made it much harder for myself but now I’m going to try to rectify that for the future.”

2014 British Grand Prix<

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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57 comments on Fortune favours Hamilton for second home victory

  1. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 7th July 2014, 1:17

    I was impressed with Button. To get that Mclaren to 4th and have a chance of taking 3rd! When he hooks it up Button really is very good.

    • philprojectd (@philprojectd) said on 7th July 2014, 2:27

      Couldn’t agree more. I still think he’s the most underrated former World Champion. Button has a very consistent and methodical way about his racecraft, in a way not unlike Alonso, where when possible he fights to the very end and chips away at the gap lap after lap with profound and relentless pressure. Button’s absolutely wonderful to watch when he’s in his “zone”. Canada 2011 comes to mind.

      • Luke said on 7th July 2014, 11:42

        You said it yourself. Canada 2011 comes to mind. That’s because he’s very rarely in the “zone”. Which isn’t good enough for a top driver.

    • RL said on 7th July 2014, 4:00

      No doubt Jenson can be great on his day, the car wasn’t too bad and undoubtedly he benefitted from the Alonso-Vettel squabble.

      Would’ve been great to have him there in the podium…alas Mclaren need a few more steps up in performance. I just realised they’re now behind Williams, but are still in arrears to Force India.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 7th July 2014, 8:20

      He was on it. And it was the perfect time to deliver a good performance. Seems to me Ron Denis “nudge” worked perfectly.

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 7th July 2014, 9:39

      I was watching the live timing and have to say Button should have got 3rd. During his chase of Ricciardo, there were a few sectors where he lost around half a second to what he had been doing, small margins that the likes of Alonso would never give away, that added together no doubt lost him the podium.

      • Ryan (@ryanisjones) said on 7th July 2014, 11:19

        +1

        That is my problem with Jenson, apart from his amazing drive in Canada a few years ago, I never feel like he is going to “get it done”. It feels like he lacks a little self belief and I can’t help but think if other world champions were in his position they would have gotten third.

  2. greg-c (@greg-c) said on 7th July 2014, 1:21

    “And, of course, both were back on the radio complaining about each other once the fight was settled. It may have looked great, but the pair hadn’t covered themselves in glory with their tattle-tale communications.”

    and after the race I think they both felt a bit sheepish ,
    6 WDC’s between them and both of them taking soccer dives . boooooooo (ha)

    Charlie must have been taking score on all the track limit breaches and thought
    “these guys are taking the mickey”

    Watch the reply of that scrap without the sound,

    awesome.

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th July 2014, 9:55

      @greg-c Charlie should have given both of them a 5 second penalty just for whinging. Not that it would make any difference but would have been the ‘slap across the face’ they probably deserved ;)

      • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 7th July 2014, 11:09

        I’d imagine charlie has gotten used to drivers whining and complaining about everything all the time. It is not exactly a new thing either and we are only hearing it because we are getting more team radio nowadays than we were getting before. And we are probably hearing only fraction of it. But drivers have complained for as long as they have driven the cars. We just never heard it.

  3. HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th July 2014, 1:37

    Thank you Pirelli for tyres that allowed the race to develop without constant pit stops (re-start helped) and also allowed drivers to actually scrap with each other without the tyres melting.

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 7th July 2014, 3:01

      @hohum I think Pirelli have taken a leaf out of Bridgestones book this year, they copped a lot of flak last year, this year they don’t want to be the headlines.
      However, it should be remembered that it wasn’t entirely Pirelli’s fault, it was under the direction of Bernie and Co who wanted to provide a better show, not only did they want a tyre that forced cars to pit more often, but they wanted to ensure that the tyres would lose significant performance once they got to a certain point.
      But credit where credit is due, RIC got 37 laps out of his set of tyres, well over half race distance, compared with last years race where we saw tyres blowing left, right and centre. Pirelli can make tyres ;)

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th July 2014, 5:59

        @dragoll, I know it’s not Pirellis fault which is why I thanked Pirelli for choosing the Hard-Medium combination for this race, I hope they, and Bernie, take notice of the high ratings and have the mental accuity to understand that tyres that last encourage good racing while tyres that don’t last discourage any racing.

  4. bookgrub said on 7th July 2014, 1:44

    I hope this retirement for Rosberg at least shuts up all the conspiracy theorists who want to believe Mercedes are actively sabotaging Hamilton. I could feel the posts coming after Hamilton’s slow pitstop and really wasn’t looking forward to navigating past them to read some useful comments.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th July 2014, 8:34

      I hope this retirement for Rosberg at least shuts up all the conspiracy theorists who want to believe Mercedes are actively sabotaging Hamilton.

      Hear, hear. Some of the things being written after the Austrian race were acutely embarrassing to read.

      • Calum (@calum) said on 7th July 2014, 9:32

        Precisely.

      • Baron (@baron) said on 7th July 2014, 11:40

        I am just waiting for Nico to be nicknamed “the snake.”

      • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 7th July 2014, 13:33

        Unfortunately not. They tried to sabotage Lewis yet again with a slow pit stop. After it was clear this wasn’t going be enough, they retired Nico to avoid the accusation that Lewis could actually overtake him. Mercedes are clearly SO biased.

        *removed tin foil/stupid hat*

        No amount of evidence will be enough to convince some people that they’re wrong. If nothing else, the idea that an F1 team would deliberately hamper one of their drivers is absurd.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 7th July 2014, 8:52

      Funny that you did notice that Hamilton’s pitstop was slow again though. So it is something that really stands out isn’t it?

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th July 2014, 10:13

      Nah this was staged just to give Lewis a home victory and throw the conspiracy theorists off the scent. Next race Lewis will retire to restore Nico’s lead to 29 point ;)

      On a serious note, Mercedes really aren’t on top of reliability this season and unless they improve, it’s likely we’ll see another 4-5 retirements before the season is finished. Hypothetically, if it was 2-2 then the championship will come down to driver skill (or Abu Double!). If it was 3-1 in favour of either driver then the driver with more (future) retirements would have to win almost every race to make up the gap. Leads me to think that the championship is as likely to come down to reliability as driver skill, which is a depressing thought.

      • Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 7th July 2014, 10:37

        @keithedin

        On a serious note, Mercedes really aren’t on top of reliability this season

        It’s true, but I wonder if their reliability is any worse than any other team. Consider that they are lapping a second or two faster than anyone else. Over the course of the race, that amounts to more stress on critical components such as the gearbox and engine.

        I would be interested to know if their reliability is actually pretty good, but comes across badly just because they are lapping faster and wearing their components out faster than their competitors.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th July 2014, 14:52

          I find it hard to envision that if RBR or Williams or Ferrari upped their game to get closer to Merc’s pace, they’d also have to beef up their components, ie. that their cars couldn’t actually handle more pace if they found it.

    • medman said on 7th July 2014, 19:15

      It is pretty funny how the racing gods smile at you for a time, and kick you swiftly in the testes soon afterward. Hamilton had all the bad luck at Mercedes, but when he needed a reprieve the most after a brutal error in qualification which saw him abort a lap prematurely, he is gifted a Nico retirement. No one can say Nico didn’t have it coming, considering Hamilton’s misfortunes in the Mercedes on more than one occasion this season. It’s also strange to note that all the bad luck in the Red Bull garage is now falling on Vettel, just as Mark Webber exits the team. Webber had dragged all the bad luck around his neck for years, and Vettel’s car had the better of the reliability. I bet on Sebastian wishes ol’ Mark were back in the car, because he is getting it handed to him by Ricciardo week after week. How quickly it can all change. It wasn’t long ago when many thought Lewis was completely mad for leaving McLaren to join Mercedes.

  5. Eric (@fletch) said on 7th July 2014, 2:04

    Thank you Lewis for showing my kids what NOT giving up, hard work and luck can get you. A lousy bank trophy…..

  6. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 7th July 2014, 2:10

    As a single race, I was dissapointed to see Rosberg retire as it looked as though we could have been in for a really tense battle for the lead until the end. However, I was also extremely happy because to have the gap between the two Mercedes drivers to be cut from 29 points to only 4 is fantastic. And to see Hamilton win in front of his home crowd was really nice to see especially after the dissapointment of qualifying.

    I for one am going for Lewis this year. I think I share the opinion of many other’s when I say that he deserves more than one title. This year apart from his mistake’s in Bahrain & Austria qualifying and the unfortunate mistake in not finishing his lap in Silverstone, he’s pretty much been flawless. Kudos to him.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th July 2014, 14:45

      For me NR also deserves a WDC, this being his first time having the capable equipment. But there’s no guarantees. LH has had the capable equipment in the past and not won the WDC with it, so I just hope that if NR doesn’t win it this year he at least continues to have the equipment to keep trying. I think he deserves at least that given how he has shown he can stand up to WDC level teammates.

  7. greg-c (@greg-c) said on 7th July 2014, 2:37

    “Nonetheless he mounted a robust defence from Vettel, frustrating his rival by dawdling in the slow corners.”

    That Battle reminds me of San Marino 2005? with MSC and Alonso ,
    Of course Alonso held out for the win that occasion and this time battling for 5th but the passion seemed the same, ,
    but Fred’s race craft at keeping folks behind is legendary,

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 7th July 2014, 12:05

      I particularly liked the way he drove the Brooklands/Luffield/Woodcote section, either attacking or defending – always making the other driver think.
      Hulkenberg was a pleasure to watch too, clean and decisive despite his car not being the greatest round Silverstone (ironic since it was produced even more locally than the top three cars)

      I hope the race director has a word in the next drivers’ meeting and reminds them all who makes the decisions, as the radio bickering is spoiling The Show. The race engineers (typically) don’t help matters – instead of “Understood”, they should say “shut up”.

  8. Mark in Florida said on 7th July 2014, 2:54

    Hamilton will probably have another breakdown (nervous) that is before the season is over. He drives on emotion and that can be a fickle thing. Nico will still be in it come what may I don’t see him giving up anytime soon. If only Fernando had a car like Lewis then you would see a great driver in action.

    • Rails (@rjessalt) said on 7th July 2014, 12:45

      I think this is a really big misconception amongst people. What people are perceiving as ‘driving on emotion’, or something of the sort, would be really hard to prove. Last year in Hungary, he won despite going through lots of personal hardships. Simply because he is probably, if not the most open driver on the track with regard to revealing himself not only as a driver, but as a person. None of Lewis’ breakdowns were caused by emotion, so I am not too sure what you have meant there. In fact, nearly all of the time there has been an issue with his performance, it has been down to the car rather than a mistake on his end, although he readily admits it was his fault as he knows the level of criticism towards him is exponentially higher than any of the drivers. If you read race reports and retrospect analysis, you will see it has, most of the time, been down to the car.

      So, in actuality, Lewis drives on pure instinct and raw talent, rather than a driver like Nico, who is more calculated and tuned into all the gizmos and gadgets. Nico seems to be more interested in what can be done to make the car faster mechanically, or where Lewis is faster than him, whereas Lewis is more interested in how he can put is car on the limit, brake the latest, and pull some karting moves out of the bag like we saw in Abu Dhabi.

      Two totally different things, though; being an emotional driver and driving on emotion. And any way, tell me which driver is emotionless? And don’t say Kimi………………

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th July 2014, 15:11

        I think LH didn’t help his own cause in this regard when he admitted in 2011 that off-track distractions were costing him on the track. I thought that must have been terrible for the team and it’s sponsors to hear, after all their hard work and money spent. I believe this was the beginning of the end for him at Mac, and was not surprised at all at his move to Merc. The shine was off the Mac apple (pun intended) and LH did better in 2012 because he HAD to, after letting himself and the team down by being bested by JB the previous season, and in order to enhance his stock on the market after his 2011 admission, ahead of his move away from ‘the nest’ after imho overstaying his welcome. Ie. of he wanted to stay badly enough, and the team wanted him to stay badly enough, he’d still be there. I’ve digressed but back to the point…I don’t agree that ‘none of Lewis’ breakdowns were caused by emotion.’

        • Rails (@rjessalt) said on 7th July 2014, 15:30

          While I appreciate what you have said, I really do not think that you can make the inference that Lewis admitting he was a bit distracted as a catalyst for the termination of his time at McLaren. Before I back up my comment, may I first say that if things driver’s say directly influenced their sponsor backing and other team’s desire to sign them, then I should think Kimi and Maldonado would perhaps be better examples, but no one seems to talk about their unbecoming attitudes.

          Going back to Lewis, can I refer you to this article on Autosport (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/102430) that will show McLaren hoped he would stay after his win at Monza. McLaren, Ron in particular, desperatly wanted Lewis to stay because they knew they had one of the fastest drivers of all time with them. Lewis readily admitted that it was time for him to move on and experience other teams, as he was felt his time with the team was over. Any driver gets the itch to move to a different team, see what they can do elsewhere, and, not to mention, his car reliability with McLaren before he moved was nil. I assume we can both agree that emotion would not cause a car failure, that of which he had too many. I can refer you to this analysis that may help back up my point with more evidence: http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/analysis-how-the-points-and-the-title-slipped-away-for-lewis-hamilton/

          So all, in all, his move to Mercedes, based on what both the team and Lewis have said, was decided on his need to experience new things, break free from the McLaren cult, and join, what is now, the best team out there. We have seen it time and time again, great drivers leaving teams to try to improve their own skill or the team they are racing for.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th July 2014, 16:35

            Fair comment. Would just say admitting to off-track distractions costing him on the track would not have been taken as being ‘a bit distracted’ by the team and it’s sponsors. That’s your choice of wording. Any such distraction could have been taken as unprofessional and a huge and frustrating waste of resources by those writing the cheques. But I can accept that might not have been THE catalyst, but would suggest it was one ingredient toward him, as you say, breaking free of the Mac cult and spreading his wings. For these off-track distractions to have become an issue, something must have already been up that caused a lack of focus, and I don’t lay that all on LH. It felt all along to me, as rumors flew in 2012 about LH, that not only would he leave Mac, but that he should, and that he could absolutely flourish at Merc, as in, a change is as good as a rest.

            I don’t believe that RD was ‘desperate’ for LH to stay. Hopeful perhaps, but probably also knew their relationship had gone past the best before date, and there was now baggage.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 7th July 2014, 19:17

            @Robbie – I actually am in the minority who feel that Lewis did a good job in 2011. McLaren lost Lewis, not the other way around. Lewis was going for wins and I respect that. He’s after all a “win driver”, not a “point driver” like Nico. That was also the biggest difference between Rosberg and Schumacher and ultimately why Rosberg outscored Schumacher. He did NOT outdrive Schumacher – he simply played it safe to bank points and to me that’s not racing. If you have a chance, you gotta take it, period! You stay back when you can pass someone but don’t want to risk it and you are not a race driver in my book.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th July 2014, 19:34

            @freelittlebirds Given that LH admitted off track distractions costing him, and the fact that JB out pointed him, yes I would say you are in a minority. I doubt any driver thinks solely in terms of wins and knows full well how important all the points are, and how they add up. Are you suggesting LH didn’t care about the Constructors points? You cite MS and he was a classic example of someone who was happy to have RB give up the points for him even in the first race of the seasons under the guise that ‘one never knows’ or ‘what if it comes down to a few points difference to a rival come the final race.’ I reject your notion that NR was just playing it safe and rather suggest he just didn’t have the car to fight for wins most of the time…until this year. I can’t think of when NR might have stayed back rather than risk passing someone, so I don’t take your point.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 8th July 2014, 0:48

            @Robbie Long discussion:-) There’s no doubt that 2011 was a tough year for Lewis. The only reason Jenson outpointed him was Canada (Lewis would have outscored Jenson there) and Massa who was obviously livid about 2008. That’s also when he realized that McLaren was no longer his team and were trying to take him down with them as he expressed with the RB comment. Lewis is actually a lot smarter than people might think – he was onto McLaren well before 2012.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 8th July 2014, 1:43

            @freelittlebirds Sorry…not buying it.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 7th July 2014, 16:52

      Actually ALO did have the same equipment as a Rookie Lewis, and we know who came up tops.

  9. schooner (@schooner) said on 7th July 2014, 3:17

    It’s too bad that we were denied what could have been an epic battle for the win between the Mercedes duo, but Lewis drove a clean and steady race, and totally deserved his win. Between the two, I don’t really have a favorite, and I’d never wish either one of them to crash out or have a mechanical failure, but it is good to see the WDC points race is back to a narrow margin again. It will almost certainly be one of the Mercedes drivers getting the big prize at the end of the season, and hopefully it won’t be bad luck, or the silly double points finale that decides it.

    • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 7th July 2014, 9:35

      I don’t really see how he deserves a win by just not crashing. With Rosberg out of the picture all he has to do is cruise to victory in a car that’s 2.5 seconds per lap quicker than all others.

      • He still had to rectify his qualifying error by overtaking four non-Rosberg drivers. Hulkenberg helped him by being slow off the block, Vettel made him work for it, whilst the Mclarens weren’t too difficult.

  10. bharat (@bharat141) said on 7th July 2014, 6:20

    With ROS retiring only Alonso and Hulkenberg have finished all the races in points. Only Alonso finished all the laps in 2014.

  11. Nick Veneris said on 7th July 2014, 10:25

    And there we come to British gp… The negative thing was that it took one hour for them to fix one guard rail! The good thing is that we saw Alonso bouncing from p16 to p6, after gladiating with Vettel for p5. Bottas starts to show his real talent after finishing between a mercedes and a red bull with his williams. Button, on the other side, was quite impressive, as he fought for p3, but, he didn’t manage to get it, for 1s or so.

  12. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 7th July 2014, 11:32

    What about the £10 trophies? Lol

  13. Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 7th July 2014, 11:33

    Anyone notice Bernie being interviewed on the grid and not being able to resist some more Silverstone-bashing, on the back of his empty Monza threat? It’s getting a bit pathetic.

    Bernie has to go. He once took F1 in the right direction and I have the utmost respect for how global he made the sport but now it’s decades later he’s trying to take it in the wrong direction. Away from the traditional venues the fans love and towards venues in countries with no motorsport heritage, but who are willing to endlessly line his pockets. Don’t get me wrong I think the sport expanding into new territories like the Middle East is great, but providing we don’t lose touch of where the heart and soul of F1 lies. And that’s in Europe, as well as countries like the US, Australia, Brazil and Japan who all have deep and rich motorsport heritage.
    At the end of the day F1 is the absolute highest class of motor racing on the planet, and the question should be asked, “does this country or that country deserve to host a Grand Prix?” Has the country produced a lot of top-class drivers? Have they ran their own domestic racing series, or hosted some races for other international series, and have now earned the right to host a Formula 1 world championship race? It’s like a driver climbing the ranks of motorsport, they don’t get an F1 seat straight away, they have to prove themselves in the lower categories first, climb the ladder and show they are worthy of Formula 1.

    Countries hosting races should be thought of in a similar way, “Are they worthy of hosting a Grand Prix?” Or are they just absolutely loaded, and want to use F1 to boost tourism/international status by piggy-backing on a global brand such as F1?

  14. niedsche said on 7th July 2014, 11:39

    Hamilton makes up the differential while Rosberg breaks down in Hamilton’s home grand prix…about time the reliability stakes were leveled…we couldnt have written it better! the title ever hotly contested…F1 is getting good at poetic justice

  15. Baron (@baron) said on 7th July 2014, 11:53

    Alain Prost made some very compelling comments about modern F1 and the absolute need to stay connected to its heritage, particularly in regard to the location of the races. I haven’t always been a fan, no strike that, I’ve never been a fan of his but he nailed it the BBC interview when he talked about the fantastic atmosphere at top racing provided by Silverstone, and how he was delighted to still be a part of it. On that performance alone, I would say that his head (and his heart) are in exactly the right place to replace that other Frenchman at the FIA.

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