Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Hamilton to the fore as Mercedes remain on top

2014 Belgian Grand Prix second practice

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Lewis Hamilton led another Mercedes one-two as Friday’s practice running came to an end.

He enjoyed a comfortable margin of over six-tenths of a second over team mate Nico Rosberg, who made a mistake during his quickest run on the soft tyres.

For the second session in a row Fernando Alonso was third-quickest, and the only non-Mercedes driver to break the 1’50 barrier. But once again Kimi Raikkonen’s preparations were disrupted by technical problems, this time a misfire.

He at least managed to cover 18 laps, however, which was more than could be said for Sebastian Vettel. He never left the garage as Red Bull continued to work on the problem which his car developed in the morning.

Pastor Maldonado also failed to set a time, having crashed his Lotus on the approach to Pouhon after he left the pits. Maldonado appeared to lose control of his car on the Astroturf at the exit.

The session was red-flagged while his car was recovered, and was later stopped for a second time after Esteban Gutierrez spun to a stop at Blanchimont, blaming a gearbox problem with his car.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’49.189 26
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’49.793 0.604 28
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’49.930 0.741 19
4 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’50.327 1.138 24
5 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.659 1.470 31
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’50.677 1.488 26
7 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’50.725 1.536 25
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’50.977 1.788 16
9 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’51.074 1.885 31
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’51.077 1.888 26
11 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’51.383 2.194 26
12 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’51.450 2.261 29
13 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’51.573 2.384 28
14 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’52.196 3.007 25
15 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’52.234 3.045 18
16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’52.776 3.587 23
17 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’53.955 4.766 7
18 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’54.040 4.851 18
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’54.050 4.861 30
20 45 Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1’54.093 4.904 24
21 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time
22 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

73 comments on “Hamilton to the fore as Mercedes remain on top”

    1. The true question is how will Mercedes handle the on track battle. With the engine allocation dwindling I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a hold station call halfway through the race.

  1. I suppose Rosberg has gone off to “work hard” now (studying Hamilton’s data). That’s quite a bit of ground to make up, but he has the tools (ie data) at his disposal.

        1. I work with the team. I am not hiding anything from Nico. He has all my data. I never, never ever have asked my guys, ‘Don’t show that to Nico’. Actually I want him to be at his best, because it is more painful when you are at your best and getting beat. That’s more painful.

          1. The article is at F1 dot com. “Fighting Talk – exclusive interview with Lewis Hamilton.
            To be fair the rest of the interview was very positive and I was glad to hear him being introspective and honest. He came across as a good, motivated driver. IMHO

        2. Yes he did. He demonstrated these thoughts in Bahrain, Spain and finally Hungry.
          Review Nico comments after Hungry. He was most agitated because he could not pass Lewis not team orders or safety cars. He (Nico) is very sensitive to his weak race craft being expose.

    1. The data sharing at Mercedes is so wrong. I don’t understand how they or anyone thinks that is fair. Since Bahrain, Hamilton has basically been racing himself.
      Imagine trying to pull away from yourself during a race or go faster than yourself.

      1. Team mates have always shared data; the smart thing to do is to not show your hand during Friday practice, so the other guy can’t benefit over night :)

      2. Makes sense for the team though. Not sharing any data at all could make both drivers vulnerable to the teams behind them… the alternative, of course, is to have an established no. 1 a la Schumi — didn’t Johnny Herbert use to complain that Schumi got to see his data but he didn’t get that privilege?

        1. nah lewis doesnt want data sharing,he’s complained about it before.also its normally nico who improves after being slower than lewis,which sais he is the one who looks at lewis data to get up to speed.

    2. I believe the data sharing is wrong cos you don’t hand over your trade secrets to a competitor. Hamilton and Rosberg are fighting for a championship which has been etertaining during the first half of the season due largely to this silly policy of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Now that we are in the 2nd half, the better driver should come to the fore on the strength of his talents or acumen.
      If MercedesAmgF1 believe it is fair to institute a free flow of data between the 2, then they might as well release their trade secrets to other competitors. Better still, why won’t Mercedes share company secrets with automakers in S.Korea and China? They won’t simply because it will rob them of their competitive advantage.
      I don’t think most of us who applaud the policy would be happy about it were we in any competitive event.

      1. Again it’s in a teams interest for its drivers to work together and hence get the best results for the team, they are team mates after all, they work for a team, it’s a team sport, it’s probably in their contracts.

        Come race day, as the balance and feel of the cars change, the more talented driver will always be able to eek that bit extra out of the car.

        1. Are you trying to say that if MercedesAmgF1 at this point in the season stop the free-flow of data between the two, somehow their cars would stop being fast enough and they would lose the championship?
          If that is the case, going by your argument, it means that the team has a weaker link who without the other’s feed would pull the team backward.
          And this weaker link may probably be propped up to the point of winnig the championship?

    3. hamilton is using rosberg’s data as well, so stop complaining only about rosberg, i did hear hamilton’s engineer today saying rosberg is taking a corner in higher speed, and in hungary saying rosberg is taking a corner in higher gear etc.

          1. No, but I’m saying that both drivers can be heard on the radio asking where the other is faster than them. The engineers also prompt them with that same info. In FP1 today Lewis’ engineer told him that he was losing time to Nico through Pouhon and the Bus Stop chicane.

      1. What you just said goes both ways during a practice session or race for both drivers. It goes vice versa. You took note of the information being given to Hamilton because, it is not the norm.
        In Bahrain, Hamilton said a whole stash of document or volume or whatever you choose to call it was prepared by someone and
        brought to Bahrain. All at Nico’s disposal. This was after his race in Malaysia. Lewis in the interview said he was surprised to see the document.
        So the talk here is about study and documents on someone’s performance and not merely radio comments during practice sessions or races.
        Do you really believe that in the same team, Lewis Hamilton needs data on Nico Rosberg to perform at optimum? I do think so. But do you think that in the same team, Nico Rosberg needs data from Lewis Hamilton to perform at optimum?

        1. i know it goes both ways that’s why i said “as well”. It does not matter how the data is exchanged document form or radio communications, data is data, and it doesn’t matter what you or me believe, fact is both are using others data. what i actually believe ? not sure, but one thing i observed is they stopped sharing data from bahrain, and hamilton has been behind since.

          1. i bet you nico needs the data more than lewis does.i bet you lewis would rather not have data sharing.he did complain about it earlier in the season.

  2. The Mercedes are both impressively quick over a single lap. But what’s more impressive is their race pace relative to their competitors.
    The margin is substantial.

    Provided there’s no issues, they’re going to cake walk it.
    Hopefully Nico and Lewis will be battling hard with each other!

  3. Did anyone else watching the F1 P2 on the Sky Go app or PC have a problem towards the end of the session? I kept on getting ‘Item has been interrupted due to an error’ on my PC and just stuck ‘Loading…’ on my phone. I went through their trouble shooting advice but it did not work. All other Sky channels I tried (including some other sports channels) seemed to be OK.

    1. Strange, since I had same problems here in Finland with MTV Katsomo (a web service similar to what Sky offers, I think): only the pitlane channel was available at times with the world feed and onboard channels producing errors.

  4. So Vettel will be using his fith engine components (at least Autosport mentioned this)? After a few races penalties might just explode and the end of the season might turn into a farce. I hope I’m not right.

    1. This is a total nightmare of a season for Seb.
      It is painful for me to watch him go through all the technical failures and disappointments that have dogged him this season.
      To go from 4 consecutive championship titles to struggling to make podium or even finish a race is unacceptable.
      It belittles the man’s incredible achievement.
      Many people are quick to dismiss Vettel’s feat as mere machinery enabled feats yet they fail to acknowledge that it takes nerves of steel and a very determined and focused mind to keep a fast car on track and avoid crashes, etc especially when it mattered most.
      Seb is a worthy champion who shouldn’t be driving a car that keeps developing problems in almost every race.
      Then again, this is motor racing. These things do happen.

      1. You could say the same for Alonso and many other drivers, they all deserve a chance in the best car. Seb was lucky because he’s had the best package 4 years running; put Alonso into the same car and he would’ve won 4 more titles. Seb is due a season where he has to sweat it a little :)

        1. I could say the same for some other drivers, maybe but definitely not for Alonso. Ferrari might currently have a dog of a car but one thing you could expect is the car will cross the finish line. Ferrari cars might not be fast but they are mostly ‘bullet-proof’ when it comes to mechanical failures.
          Vettels case this year on the other hand is more of technical issues. I believe he would have been up further in the championship table had his car not failed him a lot this season.

      2. it takes nerves of steel and a very determined and focused mind to keep a fast car on track and avoid crashes, etc especially when it mattered most.

        That’s one thing he never had. All I can remember is him crashing into people and messing up when it mattered the most. It’s only the ridiculously quick car that always kept bailing him out. His 2012 Brazilian GP was a complete mess, yet he was the luckiest person on the planet to keep going after making a carnage in the first few corners and then he had a car that without half a sidepod could still be faster than anything except McLaren.
        Same thing happened in Abu Dhabi. He kept hitting things, but the car was so fast and he was so lucky with safety cars, that his mistakes didn’t matter at all.

        1. That’s one thing he never had. All I can remember is him crashing into people and messing up when it mattered the most.

          You don’t actually “remember that” at all, since he has one of the lowest rates of crashing of any driver on the grid. In fact the last time he crashed out of a race was back in early 2010. Both Hamilton and Alonso crash more frequently than does Vettel.

      3. Exactly, I wonder whether he is considering moving to another team, especially with Newey backing off. I just wish there was a third team that was properly fast enough to challenge Mercedes, Williams aren’t quite there yet and we haven’t seen evidence that says this season isn’t a one off (I really hope not). McLaren really need to kick it up a gear, and build a properly quick car, something they haven’t done since 2008.

    2. Happened in IndyCar and it wasn’t that big a deal. Of course, with the Abu Dhabi double-points nonsense I could imagine a lot of teams taking a penalty at the previous race, and racing very lightly at that penultimate race, just to ensure they don’t blow an engine in AD.

      If I were the promoter for Brazil I would try and exact as much compensation as possible from FOM over any degradation in racing I could attribute to teams optimizing for Abu Dhabi…

    3. As a Vettel supporter it’s pretty frustrating, I can’t imagine what’s it like for him! This weekend has started in the worst possible way, I think it’s likely that he’ll use his sixth engine in Monza (everyone uses a new engine for Monza usually) and get the grid penalty. It’s going to be penalty after penalty from then on.

      1. I don’t think he ever was able to run a proper session. Plagued by problems. But Spa is supposedly his favorite and looking at Alonso’s times, I am hoping he is in the top5 to give Ferrari some valuable points.

        1. It’s true, he always has SOME excuse. I mean, his teammate completely dominates him during FP2, to the point where he can’t even set a time — and instead of owning up to his obvious shortcomings as a driver and a person, he’s all like, “Waaaah, I need a new engine!”

    1. @baron-2 Well that’s like saying Raikkonen was not a true champion and was scared in 2003 and 2005 because his car broke down or that Senna was not a true champion because his car broke down a lot in 1992. What a stupid comment to make!

      1. But now it’s only Vettel’s car or Raikkonen’s car breaking down. How many times have Alonso and Ricciardo had to sit out or prematurely end a session? Exactly.

    1. Is it okay if I use the second half of your post as a perfect example of a strawman argument in the future?

      Not only did Kimi not get the opportunity to post a fast lap on low fuel and option tyres, Villeneuve never won a race after scoring the championship, Keke Rosberg never challenged for a championship again (and simply gained where Ferrari lost a lot that season) and Button wasn’t exactly winning because of his personal advantage in 2009 either. I think someone needs to watch some 2003, 2005 and 2006 races involving Raikkonen.

  5. Does anyone here know how Alonso’s pace was on his long-run(s)? I’m very curious how quick his times were compared to Bottas’ and Massa’s.
    Mercedes is definately out of reach, but I hope it’s gonna be a close battle between Ferrari and Williams.

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