Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Mercedes don’t have the best car this year – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton denies Mercedes have the “best car” in 2017.

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137 comments on “Mercedes don’t have the best car this year – Hamilton”

  1. Other than getting their new engines in before Singapore, there is basically no point in McLaren turning up to Monza, a track that is almost all power and no downforce. It’s not as if they’ve even got sponsors they have to promote anymore!

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they take the race start and retire after a few laps just to keep the engines fresh for Singapore.

    1. @strontium With the power of dreams they got FLAP there last year :p

    2. Agree. I can’t think of a bigger disadvantage to a driver than starting at the back of the grid at Monza with a Honda powered engine in the back. It’s pretty much game over before the weekend even started. I think Alonso should just abort the race after the warm up lap.

    3. Good point, and Sauber should miss pretty much every race of yhe calendar

    4. @strontium, that absolutely is NOT the spirit of motor racing. That’s almost as bad as “we’re stopping improving our car now and working on next year’s car” in June. Anyone who does that or admits it public should be booted from the series.

      1. “that absolutely is NOT the spirit of motor racing”

        how old fashioned are you. these days teams have spies and cheats working away

        1. How new are you? That’s been going on for decades.

          1. I wouldn’t bother. Is there another racing event Alonso can take part in instead?

  2. Mercedes have the best package on a Saturday, but after that Ferrari have a better all round car. Easier to set up, wider working range on its tyres, better in dirty air and now looking pretty good for Monza after how easily they were able to stick with Merc at Spa. I too got the feeling if Ferrari had track position they would have drove off into the distance.

    1. It should definitely be interesting, although I was surprised at how the merc managed to stay in front on the main straight, both the start of the race and the restart after the safety car, Seb was literally sitting on Lewis’s gearbox, fully expected him to get the tow and breeze past but he didn’t!

      1. As I’ve said right from the start of the season, I think the Mercedes engine is still superior to the Ferrari engine (or “power unit”). That’s why the Mercedes is so strong on the straights.

        Track position is going to be key at Monza, as it was at Spa, and with Mercedes qualifying so well I think this one will be theirs to lose again

        1. Not really. Ferrari just went for a higher downforce setup than Mercedes, which is why they were quicker in the middle sector. It looked more like a setup direction advantage than a power unit advantage that the Mercedes had. In qualifying however, I do agree that Mercs’ Q3 engine mode seals the deal most of the time.

          1. Sviatoslav (@)
            29th August 2017, 6:45

            @todfod – this. I’m curious why everyone ignores this fact?

          2. @sviat, probably because that information does not suit the agenda of those who want to claim that it is all down to Mercedes’s engine.

          3. muh adjenduh

        2. @strontium @todfod @sviat – Is obvious that Mercedes cannot use their qualifying ‘boost button’ throughout the race, but I feel they do use it at strategical moments, like with this restart, or when Bottas took 2nd from Stroll in Baku. So if true, Mercedes has a engine advantage when it matters.

          1. @matthijs

            You can also say Ferrari has a tyre advantage over the Mercs. From what I’ve noticed so far, the Ferraris cam stay out a a few laps longer and still have enough left in the tyres to put in a couple of hot laps. They also seem to degrade lesser in dirty air, which makes it possible for the Ferrari to follow them closer.

            I’d say it’s pretty even Steven in terms of Machinery so far, but the tide seems to be shifting towards Mercedes.

          2. @todfod I do think Mercedes and Ferrari are quite evenly matched. I just notice that the extra boost that Mercedes can give the engine, gives them an advantage at a specific moment. Not an unfair advantage, but just enough to stay (Spa) or get (Baku) ahead.

    2. @blackmamba

      if Ferrari had track position

      therein lies the problem for Ferrari though, and in quite a few occasions this year (somehow including Russia) Mercedes’ strength.

      1. Jake (@jagged-jake)
        29th August 2017, 11:24

        @blackmamba thank you for the fair and well balanced comment……besides well known Merc engine power, the strengths of two cars vary from track to track, qualifying mode Merc still have a little edge, that is what Lewis is attesting to, Merc leadership, Ferrari and Vettel are not disputing his assertions, but you have some fans who dispute the competitiveness of the Ferrari car compared to Merc….obviously they know more then both Merc and Ferrari racing teams :)

    3. @blackmamba I think you are quite accurate also I don’t think Ferrari has made the most of it strategy wise and also this year Saturdays are more important. I don’t agree though that ferrari should be good at home, they have never been, at least since the Schumi era. Like Spa, Monza, it’s about damage limitation for Ferrari. I reckon with the big straights and hard braking zones of a balmy Monza, Lewis on a short lap, may put it on pole by .5 of a second.

  3. I hope Honda can fit the spec 4 engine in Monza, so McLaren can be more competitive in Singapore. That said, I hope Alonso won’t be driving it. According to Honda, Alonso retired a healthy car. When you’re paying a driver 40 million and he just stops the car because you’re uncompetitive, it’s time to part ways. It damages the team and its partners and it kills morale. Button still has a contract, right? So let him finish the season and terminate Alonso’s contract due to work refusal. He’s an amazing driver, and I understand the frustration.. but as a McLaren fan I can’t support this behaviour. If it has to be like this, I’d much rather see him leave.

    1. Everyone in the McLaren garage feel the same way Alonso only they don’t dare say it. Alonso isn’t the problem – HONDA is the problem. This isn’t just about Alonso – McLaren has become the laughingstock of F1.

      You seem to know he quit instead of having an issue with the car but of course you have no proof.Please provide proof.

      Pundits like yourself, dislike him and are quick to judge him at even the slightest show of emotion. Please Name a driver who could have handled the situation over the past 2 1/2 years as well as him? Hamilton (LOL)? Mr. even keel Vettel? Vesteppen?

      Hopefully his engine WILL break early at Monza (where he will be penalized again) so he won’t have to endure another SPA.

      1. When it was time, Honda admitted they had problems, there’s no reason to lie now.

        Imagine what would happen to a mechanic at 3 am still having to work on the car, saying “guy, let’s go to slip, the car is crap anyway”. He would be fired before breakfast.

        We all love Alonso, he’s a great driver and man but he’s whining more than my toddler this year. Man, think of your contract (both the pile of money you’re getting AND the obligations you have) and cruise the damn car to the end or to the next blow.

        Even if he has an opportunity with another mid-field team, this is not the best way to show your professionalism.

        1. Snowflake fans are the problem not Alonso. God forbid you find out what the drivers in the 80s got up to if you think Alonso is currently ‘whining’ or a ‘toddler’ Mansell and Senna used to punch the desks, slam doors and kick chairs over when the bosses got political, then they grabbed each other by the neck after a race.
          Grow some balls or go and watch another sport.

          1. I think Alonso is the one that needs that growing or … he could go and try another sport.

          2. Excellent reply !!

      2. The proof is very explicit, actually. Honda said so.
        What, do you want a complete deconstruction of the engine and photographs of all the parts and their respective schemes as proof that there’s no fault with the engine?
        Don’t be asinine.

    2. but as a McLaren fan I can’t support this behaviour. If it has to be like this, I’d much rather see him leave.

      Hope you’re prepared for a season where McLaren finish behind Sauber then. Alonso is the only thing working in McLaren right now. If he wants to drive the McLaren Honda off a cliff.. he should be allowed to.. because without him McLaren is the new Manor.

      1. The last two years he has got them 1 place higher in the championship and McLaren earnt 30-40 million extra. Puts things into perspective when amrchair and bedroom F1 fans think they are important

      2. Well said – there is no one better than him!
        Now McLaren has delivered a sound chassis for him. Honda is the problem of course.
        I hope McLaren finds a solution and keeps him because I like McLaren – they deserve better than this.
        If they lose him they are screwed.

    3. Sviatoslav (@)
      29th August 2017, 6:52

      It damages the team

      – I have only two questions: who started damaging the team? What’s the point in finishing last? There’s logic in what Alonso is doing, and Honda simply attempted to save their face. According to Auto Motor und Sport, Honda gained another …5 (five) bhp. It’s about +15-17 bhp in eight month. It’s actually worse: the “new engine” was broken and they replaced it. So it’s -5 bhp.
      Who is damaging the team?
      PS: BTW, Honda sounded really strange when Alonso was heading to the pit lane.

    4. If indeed Honda is telling the truth, and Alonso’s PU was perfectly fine then shame on him for quitting the race (simply because his car was extremely uncompetitive).

      But as an Alonso supporter, I would go out on a limb and say that although he can be more vocal/vicious with his soundbites/statements, his “prima donna” behavior is not isolated and is often exaggerated/dragged on (people can’t seem to let go of the fall-out from 2007).

      Drivers past and present (and in the future future) have all expressed anger/frustration/exasperation after having to continually deal a team’s incompetence/uncompetitiveness. Take for example (gulp)…. Lewis Hamilton: he threw Mercedes under the bus last year, by insinuating the team was deliberately sabotaging his 2016 title challenge in favor of Nico Rosberg — his (German) team-mate. That despite the same team providing him w/ the opportunity/platform to win the 2014 and 2015 championships; all because his side of the garage was finally the one experiencing championship damaging technical failures, which in the past two seasons mostly hit (and cost) Rosberg during crucial moments in his respective campaigns for the WDC. Don’t forget, the Englishman even (allegedly) threatened to walk out on Mercedes after they stayed NEUTRAL and refused to take sides after he and Nico collided in Spain. (Not trying to discredit Lewis, but hopefully you get my point about people always having an unnecessary/misinformed go at Alonso….)

      Honda deserves the verbal beating they have been receiving from Alonso and the rest of McLaren. Heck! If you look back into historical content (2000 to 2006) and listened/watched/read closely, you’d notice even someone as composed/polite as Jenson Button making the same sort of passive-aggressive comments against the Japanese manufacturer (e.g. Malaysia 2005).

      I do not entirely agree with how Fernando is going on about against Honda, perhaps as a desperate move to try and make them realize the urgency of the situation they are all in. But to be honest, since returning in 2000, Honda has shown/proved nothing other than the fact that it incapable of being competitive in 21st century Formula 1.

      1. You’re not making a strong case for Alonso if you’re comparing his behavior to Hamilton’s. Both are extremely whiny and self-centered little babies, and while you’re at it, you can add Vettel and Verstappen into the mix. What I mean is you’re right in saying his behavior is not isolated, but screw that noise, it’s no excuse.
        It’s one of the reasons why Button was such a deserving champion and why I’m really glad he beat Hamilton on points (even though reliability arguments and all that) and on multiple occasions.

  4. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    29th August 2017, 0:24

    Really. Mate your car has always been quicker.

    ‘We must improve to beat Ferrari’ – he says after getting pole where his nearest rival needed a tow to get close and winning the race dominantly while his team run into the distance with the Constructor’s. This is worse than Toto and his ‘the pack has caught us’ only to get pole and win the race by a ridiculous margin.

    1. Winning the race dominantly? Interesting

      1. @johns23, I’d agree – it’s definitely not the usual definition of dominant when Vettel was able to follow Hamilton quite easily for most of the race (openly saying at the start that he could quite easily live with Hamilton’s pace) and finished less than 2.4s behind Hamilton.

        1. Yeah true. Had the safety car not come out, maybe it would of been a different story. Could of been more dominant than it actually was

    2. Brian (@flyinglapct)
      29th August 2017, 0:37

      Yeah, HAM always tries to set himself up to be the hero. He’s a great driver. Just let your results do the talking.

    3. Marian Gri (@)
      29th August 2017, 6:00

      +1.

    4. So are you saying Vettel is lying? Because after the race he said on camera that Ferrari now has the faster car.

      1. Ever heard of gamesmanship? Vetel’s words also keep the team motivated.

        1. So Vettel’s words are gamesmanship and Hamilton’s are lies? Ok, got it

    5. @rocketpanda Mark Hughes from Motorsport magazine provided an excellent write up of the race, including this very point (thanks to @thegrapeunwashed for mentioning), and despite recent seasons clouding observations, the SF70H has emerged as the better package over the summer, Mercedes have a slightly stronger PU still and used a low downforce setup in Spa to counter Ferraris superior race pace (clear from the free practice sessions), with the Ferrari upgrades working well at Spa. Monza should play into Mercs strengths with the advantage on the long straights. After that it who knows.

      Mark indicates that Mercedes will now be backing Hamilton, any advantage they had in car performance for the last three years has gone, with Ferrari equally as competitive.

      The development Ferrari have made this season is clear (a potential WDC winning car) it’s time to ignore the advantage Merc had for the last three seasons, observe and enjoy that we are now in a straight head to head fight for the rest of the season with two evenly matched drivers and teams.

      1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
        29th August 2017, 9:58

        +1

        Where are you Nigel? Take note.

      2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        29th August 2017, 10:27

        ‘The SF70H has emerged as the better package over the summer’

        Vettel literally couldn’t match Hamilton’s pole time and only got close to it because he borrowed a tow off Raikkonen. If Raikkonen hadn’t fluffed his lap Vettel would have been third at best. During the race Vettel could close up to Hamilton to the tune of 1.2, but couldn’t get close enough to pass or even use DRS. He had exactly one chance in the race to pass Hamilton and he couldn’t do it. On a straight, with slipstream, with DRS, with the faster & fresher tyre. Again – the only chance. 1. In an entire race. If that’s the better package I’d stick with the second best personally.

        Vettel said that after Spa Ferrari shouldn’t fear any track and he’s right – they’re pretty competetive everywhere which will worry Mercedes given their form is up and down. But that said even Mercedes’ weakest form leaves them capable of winning a race so I don’t see how that’s a fair comparison – their car is still on average stronger than the Ferrari and has been all year.

        1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
          29th August 2017, 11:09

          From Seb:

          “I believe we have the best car in terms of package.”

          Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20477163/who-said-belgian-grand-prix

          Both drivers have also spoken about the restart and how Hamilton momentarily slowing down at the bottom of Eau Rouge compromised Seb as he also had to lift off. Despite that he still got fully alongside. I don’t know how so many Ferrari supporters are literally ignoring the drivers and engineers assessment that there is nothing in it.

        2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          29th August 2017, 11:13

          @rocketpanda, the reason he couldn’t pass has been explained, even Vettel said he would have done it done it differently with hindsight – Hamilton suckered him into the wrong position for the Kemmel straight.

          Advantage still lies with Mercedes in qualifying, but come race day it is a different story. While we wait for the radio comms from Keith, from memory –

          L3 –
          Vettel: “For the moment I can keep up with Hamilton, no problem.”

          L21 –
          Bono: “We need to maintain track position.”
          Hamilton: “I’m trying to!”

          LXX –
          Vettel’s engineer: “Hamilton and Bottas are complaining of blisters.”
          Vettel: “My tyres are good.”

          And after the race –
          Hamilton: “Ferrari had the quickest car today.”
          Vettel: “I think we were slightly quicker today.”

          If Hamilton had been quicker he would have opened up a larger gap to prevent the risk of undercut. He couldn’t and he blistered his tyres trying. Meanwhile Vettel was able to sit behind keeping his tyres in good condition. It should be pretty obvious from the evidence of the race, and what was said both during it and afterwards, that Vettel would have won it pretty comfortably, had he managed to jump Hamilton at the start.

          Mercedes were forced to remove rear wing to protect Hamilton from a slipstreaming attack along Kemmel, it was that decision, along with Hamilton’s brilliant defence at the restart, which gave Hamilton the chance of race victory.

          It should also be noted that without the safety car Hamilton may have been forced to pit for safety reasons, as a blister was developing along the middle of one of his rears – that’s why Vettel was patiently waiting to pounce.

          1. Jake (@jagged-jake)
            29th August 2017, 11:31

            @thegrapeunwashed + 100, hear – hear

          2. Marian Gri (@)
            29th August 2017, 12:23

            Yeah, right… VET’s only shot at overtaking HAM was at the restart, never ever during the race being in the position of mounting an overtaking maneouver. So, yeah, Ferrari messed up his strategy again, they forgot to tell him to pounce in the 44 laps period… not afterwards! Come on, let’s get real… VET waited to pounce?!? You must be watching F1 from time to time, we all know already by now that teams use of kind of tactics to win, sending false messages to mess up the opposition’ strategy it’s not something new anymore. Actually, Mercedes managed to fool Ferrari like this already. I’m not falling for anything HAM says anymore, he complains quite a lot. He was the fastest driver on-track multiple times this season, but still complained about blisters. Blisters or no blisters, the tyres seem to work like a charm on that Mercedes, keeping him in 1st place without problems! It’s not his tyres that exploded in Silverstone, but Ferrari tyres, so I was worried more about VET tyres than HAM’s. So, allow me not to fall for these theories that it was just a matter of laps until HAM’s tyres would have been finished and VET would have given him the decisive attack, that VET waited until HAM tyres would have been finished etc etc.

          3. I think @thegrapeunwashed has it, and @rocketpanda and @corrado-dub are forgetting that most inside and outside F1 were expecting Mercedes to outright dominate at Spa. The fact that they didn’t, and that Ferrari were that close, is what shows that Ferrari is an improving and strong force with which to contend. Ferrari seem a small tweek away from besting Mercedes at high speed, low downforce tracks, and are already stronger on low speed, high downforce tracks. LH is right that they cannot sit on their hands. Not that they ever do anyway.

          4. He was opening up a larger gap. Before the safety car, he had build the lead to over 2 seconds and it started to grow. So we don’t know how much bigger it would’ve been without the safety car.

          5. Or SV was settled into the standard-for-this-season 2 second gap to stay out of LH’s wake and look after his tires while they monitored how LH’s tires were doing, while they waited for a potential undercut. We saw in the last third of the race that SV could stay with him, so no reason to think pre-safety car that LH was going to grow some large gap that SV couldn’t have done anything about.

          6. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            29th August 2017, 15:29

            @corrado-dub

            He was the fastest driver on-track multiple times this season, but still complained about blisters… So, allow me not to fall for these theories…

            You haven’t explained why you don’t believe these people, you sound like you won’t believe them because it doesn’t suit you to believe them, that’s not rational. We saw the blisters, we heard the comments of concern – even Vettel’s race engineer mentioned them!

            During the race Coulthard noted that a blister running down the centre line of the rear tyre was far more worrying than those which appear along the rim. After the race Wolff said that the blisters were such a concern that they were debating whether they needed an extra stop. This isn’t a conspiracy, people in the know understood that there was a problem developing.

            If Mercedes had pitted Hamilton, Vettel would have stayed out and scored an easy win, his tyres were in perfect condition. If they left Hamilton out, Vettel would have waited towards the end of the race when Hamilton was at his most vulnerable.

            In a one-stop race (without interruptions) Vettel doesn’t get 44 chances to attack Hamilton: he gets a chance at the start, a chance at the first pit stop and a chance at the end. That’s three chances maximum.

            Hamilton made a good start, that left two chances.

            As the pit window opened Hamilton risked being undercut (because he’d been unable to pull out a large enough gap), but Ferrari had to wait until they cleared Ricciardo, so Mercedes pitted Hamilton when he was barely clear of Ricciardo to deny Ferrari their chance. An amazing pit stop meant the gamble paid off. That left one more chance.

            But then the race was disrupted. The safety car allowed everyone to pit for new tyres and Hamilton’s tyre issue was fixed, Vettel’s only remaining opportunity was to get him at the restart while his US tyres were fresh. It’s been pointed out repeatedly what happened next, Hamilton’s low drag set-up and superior racecraft prevented Vettel from slipstreaming him down Kemmel.

            What would have happened if Ferrari had gone much more aggressive on the rear wing setting? I think the team missed a good chance to win the race.

    6. last year HAM miss it on the best car, if he got the second best car he has no chance this year, for the WDC

      1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
        31st August 2017, 12:54

        Not sure if you watched last season but another chap also had the best car and his was slightly better in that it didn’t keep blowing up. Makes a little bit of a difference you know.

  5. It’s easy to forget that Verstappen is not even 20 yet (he’ll be 20 next month). He is still younger than almost every driver was when they made their respective F1 debuts. Everyone has seen his immense speed and talent, he’s easily got at least another 15 years, or more, in F1 if he wants it. He needs to make sure that he is not complaining publicly, and stick by Red Bull for now. Teams will be looking at him questioning whether they want him in the future. Furthermore, he may find himself short of options, so he could well end up relying on Red Bull to stay in F1 for the next few years.

    Fernando Alonso is still regarded by some as the best (and by almost all as one of the best) on the grid today, but the top teams won’t have him because he made this mistake throughout his career.

    1. Regardless of what Verstappen complains about (He has every right to at the moment) There wouldn’t be 1 team that wouldn’t have him. I reckon you would be crazy not to sign him if the chance came up. You take the risk with a talent like that, but its a risk worth taking

    2. Brian (@flyinglapct)
      29th August 2017, 0:46

      Maybe in the long run, this adversity will actually help VER. Whenever I hear him speak, I always feel like he comes across as arrogant and spoiled. The PR battle is important. I wouldn’t want to be too hard the team that took a chance and gave you this opportunity as a teenager.

      1. As @johns23 mentions, there is not a single team on the grid (apart from Williams due to their sponsorhip issues maybe) that would not be happy to take Max in right now. I think his harsh words vs. Renault are just as much greeted by the team as McLaren is happy to let Alonso critisize Honda. The teams themselves can’t do that publicly, but I am sure that they feel much the same really.
        Just imagine where Red Bull would be if Max had not have to stop the car as many times this year.

    3. @strontium
      The top teams wont have Alonso?

      Honda and McLaren are the biggest partnership in F1 and lured him from Ferrari. Merc would beg for him if Hamilton left. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      1. “Honda and McLaren are the biggest partnership in F1” – LOL
        “and lured him from Ferrari” – Ferrari couldn’t get him out fast enough to get Vettel in!
        “Merc would beg for him if Hamilton left” – No, Merc would have plenty of options and wouldn’t want his drama, like Ferrari and Redbull!

  6. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    29th August 2017, 0:55

    I really hate this constant Mercedes underplaying they always seem to do. It’s the worst thing about their dominance.

    1. At least this year when they say Ferrari’s closer, it’s actually the truth. Heh.

    2. Sviatoslav (@)
      29th August 2017, 6:56

      @come-on-kubica – that’s true. Ferrari was about 20, no, 30 seconds slower than Mercedes on each lap. Especially after the first pit stop Vettel wasn’t able to reduce the gap between him and Hamilton in just two laps.

  7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th August 2017, 1:24

    I think Lewis knows by now that the only way to win against the Ferraris this season is to put a wonder lap in qualifying and stay ahead of them. Otherwise, the race is over.

    1. Marian Gri (@)
      29th August 2017, 5:53

      What are you talking about?!? It “sounds” as if VET has a 50points advantage, the best car and HAM is doomed to create some sort of miracle to win this champ! Shocking news: HAM won the last race, cut down VET lead by 7 points, VET leads the WDC table now by 7 points. Another victory in Monza for HAM (highly possible) and another 2nd place for VET and HAM takes the lead in the WDC (because he has more wins)… with 7 races to go after Monza!!! Plus, if it wasn’t for the Baku problem (so, his own team problem!), he would have been leading the WDC since that very race and if it wasn’t for his “poor” performances in those races where BOT dominated, he would have been leading the WDC by 25points now. I know you’re trying hard to make him look like he’s doing a heroic job (a 2012 ALO, for ex), but he’s not even close to something like that.

      1. Sviatoslav (@)
        29th August 2017, 6:58

        @corrado-dub – Ferrari fan? @freelittlebirds is completely right. Mercedes won this race only thanks to Hamilton, just look at where Bottas finished the race.

        1. Marian Gri (@)
          29th August 2017, 7:57

          Yeah, Ferrari fan, but not a maniac tho. I mean I’m not 1 of those fans who defend their “idols” by any means. Reality and fair-play is my 1st idol, Ferrari is in 2nd place.

          Back to BOT… Since when BOT became that fine line that delimitates extraordinary drivers from regular drivers? He’s in F1 for some years now and to be honest he doesn’t seem better than a R.Barrichello, D.Coulthard, F.Massa etc etc. They all had some days when they were unbeatable, all of them won races, took PPs and FLs, but too few times to win champs and/or place them alongside the likes of A.Senna, M.Schumacher, F.Alonso, L.Hamilton etc. Then, HAM trashed BOT multiple times this season, qualifying 0.5sec faster or even more. Happening more times already, makes me wonder how much is due to some outstanding laps by HAM or simply BOT being an ordinary racer. Then, when HAM takes the PP and BOT qualifies only 3rd is another reason why I’m thinking BOT is nothing spectacular.

          1. @corrado-dub – “I mean I’m not 1 of those fans who defend their “idols” by any means.”

            blazzz – “You also conveniently forget that the Ferrari has been the better race car…”

            @corrado-dub – “Where did you get the idea Ferrari is the better car in race trim??!

            @david-beau – “Vettel said his ferrari was the faster car this race. Is he a liar?

            @corrado-dub – “No. But the Quali showed different tho. May have been the faster car in the actual race, but it was marginal.”

            I wouldn’t go around inferring that others are “maniacs” as you so needlessly put it when you yourself are posting inconsistent and conflicting views when defending a driver.

            Also, I’m surprised that your keyboard still has a question mark and exclamation mark intact. Just because you add a few of them after your sentences with all caps it does not make your argument more valid. It just comes across as easily-triggered, hot-headed immaturity.

        2. @sviat
          Then also have a look at the difference between Vet and Rai in the standings.
          And @corrado-dub: Don’t take anything @freelittlebirds says serious. Especially if you value reality. He resides so far inside Ham, he never sees daylight.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th August 2017, 12:52

        @corrado-dub It’s quite easy to see that the Ferraris are the better package this year. On track, the Mercs don’t seem to be a threat to Red Bull, let alone Ferraris.

        Apparently, both drivers have said that. I almost feel that people just don’t want to give Hamilton credit for a drive that’ll literally be etched into Vettel’s mind for many years to come. He’s going to look back at Spa 2017 and always wonder how much faster Lewis drove that day.

        1. Try not to lay it on too thick. The only thing that will be etched in SV’s mind about Spa 2017 is how close they were to Mercedes at a track that most thought Mercedes would outright dominate. He’ll remember how Ferrari improved more throughout the season, including at Spa, and how they’ve set themselves up to be in a great position for the rest of the season.

  8. Well, Hamilton is right. And Vettel agrees with him.

  9. The Mercedes is a great clean air car, very reminiscent of the RB that Vettel had for his WDCs… Magic driver in a fast car = sucess. F1 driver in fast car = points only… Very few drivers fall into the magic zone, and whilst not a Hamilton or Vettel fan, their talent is undeniable.

    Vettel had a similar situation at RB as what Hamilton has now. Whilst I am a Webber fan he was consistently a tenth or two off Vettel in qualifying which saw the #1 guy powering of into distance with the second car back in the pack and unable to move past what were considered much slower. And Webber could not ever get odd the line fast..

    Rinse and repeat for Bottas this year… when he gets a chance in clean air he looks like a world beater. Put him behind another car and he has got nothing. Perhaps even less than nothing….

    I think it is good to see Vettel pushing Hamilton along, but any claim the Mercedes is not the fastest car is a joke. Not a good one either, like the worst dad joke ever.

  10. Marian Gri (@)
    29th August 2017, 5:21

    HAM strikes again with ridiculous comment! He’s had the best car for so many years in a row now and got used so much to that state of affairs, that if his car is not 1sec faster than the next best car… then it’s not the best car on the grid. It seems that for him 0.25sec difference overall equals 0 = even cars. Dunno why he’s making this kind of statements, but it’s not doing him any good no matter the angle you look at it.

    1. As much as I have also not been a fan of LH’s commentary and attitude at times, you are missing his point at this particular time. Most thought Mercedes had the handle on Ferrari at the high speed low downforce tracks, and it turned out at Spa they just barely did. So if Ferrari is just a tiny step from winning at Spa-like tracks, and are already stronger at high downforce low speed tracks, then LH and Mercedes need to be concerned and need to ensure Ferrari don’t overtake them at the tracks that have been favouring them (Mercedes), for then Ferrari will be stronger at all the remaining tracks.

  11. So Mercedes can have engine that can burn 1.2 litre of oil/100 km because they introduce new engine before Italy and Ferrari can burn only 0.9 litre of oil/100 km just because they introduced it one race behind too late….

    1. Ferrari COULD have done the same though @ruliemaulana. And it is still a lot less than the amount of 1,6-1,9 l or even more that were used by some early in the season (and last year)

  12. So far Mercedes have taken 9 of 12 pole positions and 7 of 12 wins. They are on track for 15 poles and 12 wins. Their car looks more dominant than the 2010 RB6.

    1. Marian Gri (@)
      29th August 2017, 5:59

      If we add Baku too – should have been an easy win – we have 8 wins out of 12. Yeah, obviously this car is not good enough…

    2. Mite be that Lewis is making up the difference. Shock horror!

      1. Marian Gri (@)
        29th August 2017, 6:55

        … or BOT is not a great driver, not extracting the max out of the car!!

        1. Marian Gri (@)
          29th August 2017, 6:56

          … just like E.Irivine, R.Barrichello, D.Couldthard etc etc etc.

      2. It is arguably Vettel who is making up the difference in Ferrari. He’s leading the WDC while his teammate is 5th, 92 points behind Vettel and also behind Ricciardo driving a clearly slower Red Bull with 3 DNFs.

        1. Or Ferrari is faster and Vettel is spanking his teammate, whilst Lewis is spanking them both.

    3. Webber and Vettel was operating on roughly the same level in 2010.
      Raikkonen is only marginally better than deadweight.

  13. Looking at Monaco the difference in chassis (bottas) was small.in spa and Silverstone the longer wheelbase helps a lot an than they have better engine, almost always get pole and Ferrari has to get by with a marginally better handling and slower engine.

    It might not be as big as last year but Mercedes still have the advantage.

  14. The W08 is undoubtedly a good car with many strengths, but everyone expected Spa to be a walk in the park for Mercedes and instead we had Hamilton and Vettel pumping out quali styles laps for most of the race and finishing 2 seconds apart.

    I think it’s time to give up the whole ‘Mercedes is better on high speed tracks’ and ‘Ferrari will only win in Singapore ‘ rhetoric as it over simplifies the differences between these two cars. I’ve been guilty of it in the past and have had a few surprises this season when performance has swung in the opposite direction unexpectedly.

    Next time out in Monza I’m sure the majority of fans will expect Mercedes to walk it, but on the Channel 4 broadcast they rightfully pointed out that Ferrari have very strong braking performance and that it might not be as clear cut as people think. If Vettel wins there and in Singapore (I know) as expected then the title battle suddenly looks very different again.

    1. I think it is a simplification but I still think if Hamilton gets pole at Monza he will be able to keep the Ferrari’s at bay fairly comfortably. If Vettel gets pole I think he will massively improve his chances of winning but I expect Hamilton to be breathing down his neck.

      I think there is still this small track advantage depending on the car. It will be interesting to see what Bottas does at Monza at well. I think he might be more of a factor there.

  15. Deliberate oil burn should be a no-no.
    Any oil usage should be through ‘bleed’ only. That’s easy for FIA to check, and same rules for all.

    PS FIA should set a max to total of fuel and oil in race; 115kg. If you want to burn more oil then you have less quota to carry fuel.
    PPS if they allow oil/fuel mixing, then it should be before the fuel flow meter (or get rid of fuel flow control altogether).

    1. Probably Ferrari gets some leniency wrt this rule from FIA

  16. People need to make up their minds. They go on about Mercedes having the better qualifying car on Saturday, their “Q3 qualifying mode” and all manner of stuff. Firstly, ALL the engine manufacturers have a Q3 qualifying mode – though how much it gives them differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    Secondly, if it was ONLY Mercedes that had this super duper mode (as is commonly bandied around), how come Vettel in an inferior Ferrari was able to get withing 2tenths of Lewis on one of the longest tracks on the calendar, and one that is all about engine power?

    If so, then it is either Ferrari have the faster car, or Seb is a qualifying genius that can almost make redundant the combination of the fastest qualifying driver and fastest qualifying engine engine in F1 today.

    For the latter, i think not.

    1. how come Vettel in an inferior Ferrari was able to get withing 2tenths of Lewis on one of the longest tracks on the calendar, and one that is all about engine power?

      Perhaps because of the tow he got from RAI during his final lap in Q3?

    2. I don’t think it’s a question of people having to make up their minds!
      They only say that the Mercedes (works team) quali mode seems to be extra special.

      And if you would have listened to Vettel, Hamilton, and their teams then you would have known that the Ferrari was set up for grip and overall lap time, whereas the Mercedes was (slightly more) set up for to top end speed.

      No mystery there, and no need for making up minds ;)

      1. And if you would have listened to Vettel, Hamilton, and their teams then you would have known that the Ferrari was set up for grip and overall lap time, whereas the Mercedes was (slightly more) set up for to top end speed.

        So the Mercedes is not the faster car then, and it was only due to set up? You DEFINITELY need to make up your mind.

    3. Marian Gri (@)
      29th August 2017, 11:53

      If a car (Mercedes) was lapping on the hardest/slowest tyre available for the race – Softs – pretty much the same as a car equipped with softest/fastest tyre available – Ultras -, I guess it’s no wonder anymore what car is better and the fastest. Yeah, HAM qualified 0.25sec faster than VET, but it’s not enough?!? 0.25sec is not very much, but still quite some margin, not a small gap by any means for F1 standards. Then again, VET time was down to the fact RAI gave him a good tow indeed – which I hardly doubt – OR VET simply did a brilliant lap (out of nowhere)… something of which HAM was praised for multiple times already this season (Montreal, Baku, Silverstone, Spa etc). It’s that hard to believe that maybe that Ferrari is not that good and actually it’s VET and some brilliant laps that keeps him within range of HAM?!? Since when HAM has exclusivity for “brilliant laps”? Every time he beats the comp, it’s the driver who made the difference – HAM -, but every time Hulk trashes PAL, it’s PAL very weak, a disgrace to F1 standards. I’m no math/statistics genius, but believe me, it’s impossible HAM to be the only driver on the grid doing “brilliant laps”. I’m pretty sure that every Quali session there’re at least another 2-3 drivers doing brilliant laps given the equipment used, “overdriving” the car as some like to say. If we take for good your theories, then we end up with even more hard to believe theories. For ex., if Ferrari is at least as fast as the Mercedes, then VET is not a great driver at all, as most believe and his results give the impression. If with better equipment VET is ~0.25sec slower than HAM, then with the same equipment he’ll be like 0.5sec slower. It means VET is overall worse than BOT! Come on, who’s gonna believe that and what are the chances it’s true? I’m not taking VET/Ferrari part here, just trying to be objective, so I believe too that HAM is the faster driver overall, but maybe by 0.1sec. From 20 races, I think HAM will beat VET to PP in 12 races.

  17. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
    29th August 2017, 10:17

    2010 – 2016 – Fans complain that one team is dominant, ruining the sport due to lack of competition.

    2017 – For the first time in years, 2 teams are neck and neck, trading wins and with their #1 drivers bringing their A game. Fans complain the opposing teams car is superior to make their driver look better.

    That’s literally all it is, I wonder why F1 fans have such an inability to just enjoy the sport.

    1. +1 for me too

      Isn’t this what we’ve been waiting for since the introduction of the new PU’s?
      Two teams neck and neck, two top drivers having to be at the top of their game and two others in the same cars that can also grab wins if the top two are having an off day.

      Add to that Max and Dan in the RBR cars – closer than before and on some tracks able to stay in touch.

      Who cars who has the “best car” – this year it’s finally about racing.

    2. +1

      This is the most entertaining season after years of Merc dominance. Personally I’m loving this season.

    3. @offdutyrockstar Some fans, right? Not all. I didn’t complain when Mercedes dominated as there was a genuine rivalry and genuine racing. And Vettel during his time at RBR didn’t always run away from the rest of the field, with FA at Ferrari for example, posing a challenge.

      And it is not just ‘fans complaining’ that their opposing team is superior, to make their driver look better…in this case it is LH himself, and yeah it did cross my mind that in him saying this he is making himself sound better.

      1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
        29th August 2017, 14:25

        @robbie im not sure what point you’re making to be honest, I thought my original post was quite clearly aimed at;

        a) The people complaining on this article, in this comment section. Not all fans ever worldwide.
        b) At present it’s people in the Vettel camp saying Mercedes are superior. At Monaco and Hungary it was the Hamilton camp saying precisely the opposite. The intention with both sets is to fluff their preferred driver when in reality, both teams have their strengths, both are incredibly well matched and the points reflect this.

        I hope that’s clear.

        1. At present it’s people in the Vettel camp saying Mercedes are superior

          At present, it’s harsh objective reality saying that Mercedes is superior. Unless you can point to the last time in F1 history that a car won the WCC, took 75% of pole positions and 60% of race wins and was not deemed the best car?

          1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            29th August 2017, 16:48

            They havent won the WCC yet.

            Mercedes have 7 wins to Ferrari’s 4, but Hamilton only has 5 to Seb’s 4. Don’t you think some part of that is down to Ferrari’s decision to keep Kimi in the car who probably couldn’t even win in a W08 right now, he makes error after error every race.

            Cool, you think the Mercedes is vastly superior, that’s your opinion. I prefer to look at the 1.4 second gap on the final lap on a supposed Mercedes circuit last weekend and enjoy the fact that two teams are in this championship and from the consensus so do a few others on here but you do you mate. If you think its so lopsided just get some bets on and skip the rest of the season, will save you some time and earn you a few quid if its so blindingly obvious. ;)

        2. @offdutyrockstar No actually you haven’t been very clear. Seems like you were blaming fans from 2010 to 2016, and I clearly pointed out I was not complaining, so…not all of us. That was clearly my point on that. Then you said fans are complaining now in 2017, but now in an attempt to set me straight, you’ve said it’s the teams that are saying this and that about each other. So you’ve only made your point less clear. You summed up your first point that was only about fans complaining, by asking why F1 fans can’t just enjoy it. I say many more do than don’t. Your first comment was only about fans complaining and now you get my point that it is actually LH that is claiming theirs is not the best car. Fans are just agreeing or disagreeing with that, not complaining, and it doesn’t exclude them from enjoying F1.

          1. That made my head hurt. I think he’s just trying to say people are moaning on here about anything and everything, which is quite true.

          2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            29th August 2017, 23:27

            @robbie mate I clearly said “Not all fans ever worldwide.” Take that to include yourself, the only thing you seem to be moaning about is symantics.

            And when I say Vettel camp or Hamilton camp I mean fans, if I meant their teams I would have said the word teams, engineers or mehcanics.

            And many fans do make up excuses based on the machinery to heap more praise on their chosen driver. I have said quite clearly that both sides do this, so apologies if you got offended that I didn’t think you were being clear but in all honesty im still no clearer as to why you seem so wound up.

          3. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            29th August 2017, 23:29

            And domination is never good for the sport whether its Ferrari, RB or Merc. My only point was that we should enjoy what we have as it no longer a given which team is going to win!

    4. 2010 – 2016 – Fans complain that one team is dominant, ruining the sport due to lack of competition.

      2017 – For the first time in years, 2 teams are neck and neck,

      Say WHAT?

      Mercedes are vastly more dominant this year than RB were in 2012. They are somewhat more dominant that Red Bull were in 2010. What events are people looking at where they claim that, unlike 2010-13, 2017 is seeing “2 teams neck and neck”?

      And lets look at 2013 vs 2017. At this stage in 2013 RB had 6 wins and 4 pole positions. After the same number of races in 2017, Merc have 7 wins and 9 poles. Thus far Mercedes have been more dominant than RB were in 2013 as well. Neck and neck, my eye.

      1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
        30th August 2017, 12:23

        http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/reports/f1/2017-belgian-grand-prix-report

        But the Merc advantage wasn’t as big as Hamilton’s lap made it look; the Ferrari, despite trailing 6-8km/h along most of the straights, was a pole contender.

        Confirming the pattern seen almost everywhere this season, it carries more downforce than the Merc and was dynamite through sector two. Hamilton eventually screwed himself to take Pouhon almost flat-in-eighth on his pole lap (exit speed 302kph/188mph), but the Ferraris had been doing it flat since their new tyre runs on Friday morning. Yes, the best of the new generation of Formula 1 cars are now marginally flat in top through Pouhon, despite carrying skinnier Spa rear wings than last year. Others were using a downshift to seventh upon entry but no touch of the brake. On the slow T14/15 that swings the cars around from the middle sector and points them towards Blanchimont, the Ferraris (and Red Bulls) carried a consistent 2km/h advantage over the Mercs. Everywhere the turns went tight, the Mercs had to slow much more than the Ferraris – and that low-speed downforce advantage was visible in the surety with which the Ferraris braked. To see Räikkönen or Vettel into the downhill braking zone of Rivage and contrasting it to how busy the Merc was keeping Hamilton and Bottas there as they tried not to lock the inner fronts just underlined that.

        Furthermore, Pirelli’s adventurous choice here of ultra/super/soft played further to Ferrari. The Merc was always on the cusp of overheating the softer tyres whereas the Ferrari worked any of the compounds well right from the start. The SF70-H featured a new third damper arrangement front and rear, believed to increase the range of rake available, reflecting the development gains being found in the wind tunnel. Keeping the diffuser airflow attached at low speeds (when the rear ride height is at its maximum) will allow the car to carry more rake, increasing its downforce at higher speeds. A new diffuser was part of the upgrade.

        Now those are measurable metrics of how ‘dominant’ a car is and spoiler: it’s not dominant at all. Points and wins this year are on a knife edge and are down to setup and yes, driver ability. Ferrari could well have been leading the WCC had Vettel not had a red mist moment and had Raikonnen woken up earlier in the season.

        1. Very very well said!

        2. Points and wins this year are on a knife edge and are down to setup and yes, driver ability.

          That’s usually been the case in F1, including in the “dominant” Red Bull years. Abu Dhabi 2010 – Vettel takes pole over Hamilton by 1/20th of a second. Germany 2010 – Vettel takes pole over Alonso by 2/1000th of a second. There’s nothing new about “knife edges”, though it might not seem that way after 2014-16. But when those knife edges consistently break in favor of one team, historically people have acknowledged the superiority of the car in question.

          it’s amusing that Merc are on track to win 15 poles and 12 wins this year, and there are people doggedly insisting “It’s not the car, it’s the driver”. It’s doubly amusing because they are the same ones who spent 2010-13 insisting with equal doggedness “It’s the car, not the driver”.

  18. So, let me guess, Mercedes doesn’t have the best car this year but they do have the best driver; is that the case Lewis?

    1. Well the best driver bit will be answered at the end of the year.

      1. Just as it was answered at the end of last year.

  19. Neil (@neilosjames)
    29th August 2017, 13:13

    I think, on balance, the Mercedes and Ferrari cars are more or less equal. They each have advantages in certain areas – obvious example, the Mercedes is nearly always better in qualifying, but the Ferrari usually looks a better race car.

    1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      29th August 2017, 16:50

      I agree.

  20. Merc now have the advantage due to FIA stupidity. Merc can burn 1.2l oil per 100 km next race but Ferrari can burn only 0.9l if use their new engine. How can yhe FIA allow 2 seperate rules? If Ferrari burn the same amount of oil as Merc they will be disqualified. The FIA should postpone this rule ASAP or they are influencing the title.

  21. When you compare where Bottas has been this season to Raikkonen, it’s fairly obvious who has the better car.

    Hamilton supporters who try to downplay Mercedes are so petty.

  22. Honestly, there isn’t a lot to choose between the Ferrari and Mercs. I thought Ferrari started the season strong, they figured out the tyres better than Mercedes and had a decent race pace advantage for the opening 5 to 6 races of the season. Mercedes always maintained a qualifying edge due to their Q3 engine mode and has over the past 5 races upped their race pace to keep Ferrari at bay. Ferrari has still maintained a slight tyre advantage, which enables them to follow the Merc closer than expected on raceday and that keeps strategic options open to outfox the Mercedes drivers.

    This has probably been the closest matched rivalry since 2008, so I don’t see why fans are complaining or finding excuses to say one team is dominating. The way I see it, if Vettel or Hamilton fail to lose the title, they have no one but themselves to blame.

    1. *fail to win

    2. Well, when HAM loses out on the title he can blame FIA for not rightfully taking VET out of the Baku race. #tainted season…

      1. We’re going to get a little whining regardless of who wins the title. In fact, I think the whining will only be higher if Vettel and Ferrari lose.

    3. Honestly, there isn’t a lot to choose between the Ferrari and Mercs.

      Honestly, if Ferrari had Merc’s record this year and Merc had Ferrari’s, all we’d be hearing about was how massively superior the Ferrari car was to the Mercedes. And if Hamilton was leading the WDC, what a fabulous job he was doing to be leading the title race in spite of an inferior car.

  23. Hamilton with his perpetual victim mentality.

    “I came from nothing.”
    “Stewards didn’t give a fair penalty.”
    “Their car is better than ours, that’s why they’re ahead.”

    After racing, reality’s gonna hit him hard when he returns to the real world.

    1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      30th August 2017, 14:25

      @ho3n3r he’s never returning to the real world, he’s one of the highest paid sportsman on the planet.

      1. That doesn’t preclude him from delusions.

    2. @ho3n3r

      Won’t be anywhere close to Vettel’s reality check when he realises that one can’t just bump cars off the road and get away with a smile and fake apology.

      1. Compared to Hamilton’s (lying to the stewards and later being proved to have lied after gaining a position, blaming penalties on racism, or thinking it’s OK to backing your teammate into the opposition) I know Vettel will be fine. ;)

        1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
          30th August 2017, 15:21

          @ho3n3r congratulations, you just played yourself.

          1. @offdutyrockstar not sure how you make that conclusion. If you watched the Italian GP at all, you would have noticed that his latest babblings carry no water, as always.

          2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            5th September 2017, 13:26

            I watched it from start to finish thanks.

            And the only babblings that carry no water is your blatantly biased whining about a man who has achieved more than you ever will.

  24. Vettel has had the superior car at two races — Monaco and Hungary.

    Mercedes has been best at the rest of the circuits.

    Hamilton found himself down on Vettel early in the season because of mistakes and some bad strategy calls from Mercedes (Australia).

    Bottas has won two races. That’s how good the Mercedes is. Bottas wasn’t much faster than a Felipe Massa 8 years past his prime.

    Vettel has just driven the wheels off his Ferrari. That’s why he’s ahead of Hamilton despite having an inferior car.

    Unlike Hamilton, Vettel hasn’t had the benefit of team orders even ONCE this year.

    Hamilton has benefited from team orders 5 times this year by my count.

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