Rosberg: On pure speed, I’m equal with Lewis

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    Nico Rosberg during an interview with Germany’s Sport Bild gave his opinions on his season so far and claimed on pure speed he is about equal with Hamilton. I for one am waiting for 2014 to fully judge the two team-mates, but I have seen nothing this season to suggest Nico is on equal terms with Lewis on raw pace. The qualifying battle stands 10-7 in Hamilton’s favour despite him still complaining that he’s not fully comfortable with his car, and lets not forget they are driving machines at 200mph so to drive completely on the edge you need to be fully comfortable with your car.
    The difference between Nico and Hamilton’s previous teammates is that they were not quick enough to beat Hamilton in qualifying even if he was not fully “on it” and perhaps struggling because he was that much better in qualifying (especially in comparison with JB), whereas Nico is good enough to edge out Hamilton if he’s not fully comfortable with his setup etc.
    I still think that’s quite a bold statement to make given he’s been with the team for 3 yrs and Hamilton only jumped ship 10 months ago and is still putting in respectable performances. A fully comfortable Lewis Hamilton still holds a 0.2-0.3 of advantage over Rosberg I think and at tracks at which he excels (such as Abu Dhabi) I think this is closer to 0.5 secs. Unfortunately in Abu Dhabi we didn’t get to see Hamilton complete his lap, but it would have been around 0.5 clear of Rosberg.



    All I’m reading here are assumptions based on assumptions. I think Rosberg has done well this season, and with a little more luck, would be closer to Hamilton’s points total than the standings currently suggest (Yes, including Silverstone).

    Besides, there is no formula to suggest that someone in a comfortable car goes 0.2/3 tenths quicker. It’ll be easier to make judgements in years to come, but for now I don’t see why anyone would doubt that Rosberg is equal to Hamilton on raw pace.



    Mercedes have the telemetry and all I hear from them is that they are very happy with both of them and their ability to beat each other. I also think Rosberg can beat Hamilton over a lap even when they are both doing fine. He had some great performances in Williams, his qualifying in China last year was great, besting everyone by half a second and this years Monaco and especially Singapore laps were fantastic, the latter maybe one of the best he ever produced.
    (During the race by the way there is a lot to suggest Rosberg can be more focused on overall race performance instead of driving performance each lap but sometimes, to me, it feels like he isn’t as much of a fighter but maybe it’s just that he tries not to destroy the tyres.)
    Maybe, probably Hamilton can go faster over a single lap more consistently but I don’t think Rosberg isn’t a good match for him.


    Loup Garou

    IMO Rosberg can more than match Hamilton in a similar car under normal conditions but in wet weather the latter might have an edge. On the flipside, Rosberg is probably marginally better than Hamilton in tyre management.



    I think Mark Webber said it best when he said that the Pirellis are not helping Hamilton – Rosberg’s statement is fundamentally flawed because this season has never been about pure speed.



    His performances this year have pretty much shown his statement to be true. If Hamilton isn’t comfortable by now then he probably won’t ever be!


    Broc Smith

    Hamilton can find more speed flat-out. but if i’m using junk Pirelli’s then i want Nico.


    Iestyn Davies

    Rosberg’s lap matched with Vettel’s (one tenth difference) Q lap at Singapore on axisofoversteer blog is great to watch. Rosberg’s style is definitely not as aggressive as Lewis’, which was definitely suited to the rock hard tyres to extract all the pace possible. Maldonado would have excelled in that formula as well, probably Hulkenberg too. Vettel and Rosberg didn’t do too bad either, same with Button (all smoother I think). Alonso definitely seems to have adapted to the tyres as they changed.

    Rosberg does seem to have good race pace, the last two podiums good evidence of this, after I thought his season had tailed off as the car became more suited towards Hamilton. But now Hamilton is struggling with race pace, despite more downforce (probably from being stuck in traffic) but was unlucky not to be leading from the front in Abu Dhabi (suspension failure put him in the pack, else he would’ve led Vettel out of T1 L1). From there he could have controlled the race pace a bit better, unless Vettel nipped by before the DRS even became active.

    I agree that with a fully comfortable setup the potential is there for Lewis to be a few tenths clear on average over the season, with spikes to near half a second at Lewis suiting tracks. But on some occasions I think both drivers just leave some time on the table (mistake or two on the key lap), maybe Rosberg does this slightly more than Lewis.



    I definitely prefer Rosberg. I do believe Hamilton is still breaking his Mercedes in, but he’s not going suddenly start pulverizing Rosberg – there’s not as much in it as Ham fans like to make it out to be.



    If it wasn’t for the two (maybe 3) mechanical retirements earlier on this season then Rosberg would be just under or even on par with Hamiltons point tally.



    Points gained and lost due misfortunes for both Mercedes drivers;

    Australia: Rosberg loses 8 points due mechanical failure.
    Malaysia: Rosberg received team orders, but he had his chance to pass Hamilton before it. No points given.
    China: Rosberg loses 10 points due mechanical failure.
    Silverstone: Hamilton loses 13 points due tyre failure, Rosberg gains 7.
    Hungary: Rosberg loses 2 points due mechanical failure.
    Italy: Hamilton loses 4 points due a slow puncture.
    Korea: Rosberg loses 9 points due front wing failure, Hamilton gains 2.
    Japan: Hamilton had a puncture, but the accident with Vettel was over 50% his own fault. No points given.
    Japan: Rosberg lost 8 points due Mercedes’ mistake in the pits.

    All in all, if we were to adjust the points of the two drivers accordingly, Rosberg would have 188 points, and Hamilton would have 190 points.

    Nico is correct, he’s been on par with Lewis this season.



    Slightly offtopic; but Rosberg is also one of _the_ coolest drivers in F1 of today! You almost can’t disagree with that statement ;)



    “but the accident with Vettel was over 50% his own fault.”

    It quite categorically wasn’t.


    Lucas Wilson


    Anyone who has Britney for a nickname is cool :-)



    It’s the most interesting partnership on the grid because they are indeed so close. I am under no illusions that Rosberg has more or less matched Hamilton which shows how good he is, which we knew he could be from his Williams days and his years as Schumacher’s team-mate.
    But Kingshark, as you have made some assumptions I will as well. Korea we could say if they let Hamilton pass Rosberg he might’ve gained 2 points. Japan was clearly not Hamilton’s fault so he lost say 12 points, meaning Rosberg loses 2. And in Abu Dhabi Hamilton was on a good lap in qualifying before a failure, so he might’ve had a better race. Let’s say he lost 6 points there.

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