Will Mclaren’s pitstops ultimately cost Hamilton the title?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Kingshark 5 years, 3 months ago.

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    Mclaren have lost their drivers many points over the last few years but could bad pit stops be the nail in the coffin?
    please correct or add any info if i miss it:
    AUS- pits ok
    MAL- slow stop for HAM drops him behind ALO, thus losing him a potential lead.
    BAH- 2 awfully slow stops drop HAM down the field
    CHN- slow stop for BUT costs him a likely victory
    SPN- tyre possibly left too close to the car as HAM exits his stop. loses him a few seconds.
    MON- pits ok (?)
    CAN- slow right rear loses HAM a small amount of time.
    VAL- very slow stop for HAM drops him down the field. possible chance for victory lost as he would have come out ahead of alonso.



    Possibly they “already” have. Already in the sense that perhaps if they looked back at the end of the year, these bad pitstops could have made the difference.



    Its a fact Mclaren have lost Hamilton potentially a comfortable lead in standings at this stage, but i think Hamilton has the speed to overcome this and still mount a serious title chanllenge.

    Heres a look back on the points the pitstop blunders have cost LH:

    MAL: 2 slow stops slip LH behind ALO,and PER, i think had he come out in the lead, he’d have kept ALO and PER behind, points lost = 10

    BAH: Again, 2 rubbish stops slip him way down the field behind ALO, i think without these issues he’d have had a good battle with WEB for P4,
    points lost = 8

    VAL: A word record pitstop apparently, backed up by another world record (the first ever front jack failure), slipped LH from P3 to P6, ultimately had he come out in P3, with GRO and SEB’s failures, HAM would have been leading and would have been able to hold of ALO beacuse his tires would not have been getting punished with LH pushing like hell to keep RAI behind, points lost = 25

    Furthermore, other than pitsop blunders, Mclaren have also had fuelling issues:

    BAR: Demoted to the back of the grid after penaly, points lost = 21

    ( I calculated points lost by calculating the difference in his actual finishing position to where he’d have finished without any blunders)

    WCC Standings:

    Now HAM = 88
    Without errors HAM = 152

    So in conclusion, Mclaren’s pitstop failures and other failures have cost Hamilton a hell of a load of points, without which he’d be leading the championship by at least 35-40 points ( Note: My calculation didn’t take into account that had Hamilton’s team not messed up, not only would he have finished higher up, but ahead of his riavals,e.g) In Valencia, without pit stops he’d finish ahead of ALO and he’d have less points)



    wow that’s quite a calculation! 152 points!



    Australia – A slow pitstop made him fall behind Vettel. The SC didn’t help either. 3 points.
    Malaysia – Had he kept ahead of Alonso and Perez he at least could’ve stayed there, or easily passed them once the track dried up. 10 points.
    China – Nothing here for Hamilton. I also do not believe Button would have won even without his slow pitstop.
    Bahrain – 2 slow pitstops when he was driving in front of Webber. I don’t think he’d keep up with the Lotus’s, but at least finish fourth. 8 points.
    Spain – What should have been an easy victory for him by starting on pole, turned out miserably after Mclaren made yet another qualifying fuel error. He even made the two-stopper work. 21 points.
    Monaco and Canada – Nothing.
    Europe – Lost a potential lead to Alonso as Grosjean and Vettel retired. Had he stayed in the lead, I believe he would have been able to drive relaxed, save his tyres, and not collide with Maldonado on the penultimate lap. 25 points.

    That’s a total of 67 points. In other words, he’d have 155 points by now.



    I agree with all apart from valencia. I think he’d have been passed by Alonso and Kimi but stayed clear of maldonado. so 15pts lost not 25. Still means 140 though!


    Mark Leonard

    McLaren seriously have a lot of sorting out to do back in Woking even if they are to remain in the championship hunt. With the 2012 season so close you can’t afford to make too many errors which is what McLaren are doing. Particularly on Sundays with their pitstops, McLaren say they have sorted the issue. Then comes another race and it happens again. I do honestly think Lewis Hamilton should have been a clear championship leader without these troubles. Now the advantage has gone to Fernando Alonso and Ferrari, leaving Lewis having to play unneccessary catchup.



    @mclaren , @kingshark At Australia he lost points because he was unlucky. At Valencia he struggled at the end of the race and Alonso, Raikkonen and Maldonado would have passed him until the finish so he didn’t lose any points by mistake of the mechanics. I think in this topic we should analyse the points each driver lost by pit stop failures.



    As this is my area of expertise, of course you can’t give Hamilton potential points for Valencia without taking Vettel and Grosjean into account. Also, he ran out of tires, with or without a slower pitstop (remember, they were behind the SC, so in time he lost hardly anything), so Maldonado would have probably caught him anyway. Regardless, that’s still p6.

    Also, the SC in Australia did not aid Vettel, it almost hurt him. He was planning on using the two or three extra laps he had before his planned pitstop to jump Hamilton. Because of the SC, he had just one lap. If not for the SC, Vettel would have been further ahead of Hamilton ;)



    I think you need to be a bit more realistic with your calculations. The only races where i think it would be reasonable to up his points are; Bahrain to no higher than 4th (+8 points), Spain to 1st (+21), Europe no higher than 3rd (other cars much faster than him in last 2 laps) (+15).

    The addition of points in Spain would mean -3 for Alonso.

    Standings: Hamilton: 126, Alonso: 108

    At the end of the day though, this isn’t the case :'(



    I agree with @mnmracer in that if you discount the mishaps that have afflicted a driver out of his control (reliability, pitstop errors) then you have to do it for the entire grid to be fair.

    But as @nick-uk says, at the end of the day it’s what happens, not what COULD HAVE happened, that matters. I also wish that Vettel should have fitted a different alternator from a different batch before qualifying, but it ain’t gonna happen now.



    I have become quite an enthusiast in these “drivers championships without misfortunes” topics. So I’d like to try one on the yet going on season, 2012, myself. And while I know misfortunes are a part of the sport, this post is for pure interest and entertainment. Misfortunes are something a driver cannot do anything to stop from happening. It is purely bad luck. So, let’s review all the misfortunes of the top five drivers in the championship:

    Had Ferrari not screwed up Alonso’s strategy in Canada a win was virtually in the bag. Fernando was 14.8 seconds ahead of Hamilton after his stop, and a normal stop at Montreal costs about 14 seconds, plus knowing the Ferrari pit crew you can easily subtract another second off that. And even if he didn’t come out ahead, which would be very unlikely, he had an extra set of option tyres saved up; meaning he’d most likely have won either way.

    Vettel lost what probably would have been a win in Europe, and P5 in Malaysia. Remember, Webber was leading Vettel in Malaysia. The only reason to why Vettel was ahead to begin with was because Mark had a very slow stop for Inters that dropped him behind Seb and Kimi. Raikkonen was visibly holding up Webber, this allowed Vettel to pull away. Once Webber jumped Raikkonen during the seconds pit-stop stint, he was suddenly quicker than Vettel and Hamilton; and he was banging in fastest laps. That’s all you need to know.
    Also, on another note; unlike Alonso, Vettel would not have done better than fourth even if he was on the same strategy as Hamilton. He was only twelve seconds ahead of Grosjean, who finished a mere 4.48 seconds behind Hamilton. So even if Vettel pit at that time, he’d be behind the Lotus and looking at the pace of Grosjean near the end of the race I don’t think he would have passed him either.

    Webber lost out quite badly in Spain. Had Webber’s engineer had sent him out again in Q2 at Catalunya, he would have outqualified Vettel again, he would have had a handy haul of points, as he was also seriously held up by Hulkenburg that race. While I do not believe he’d have beaten the Lotus’s, P5 was entirely possible.

    Hamilton, oh dear, where do I start. He lost 3 points in Australia due a slow stop and the SC ruining his strategy while helping Vettel’s. Lost the lead to Alonso and Perez in Malaysia due yet another slow stop. While not being as quick, I believe he’d at least be able to hold them behind until the track dried up. In China, gearbox penalty in a race he would have certainly beaten Jenson. Would he have beaten Rosberg? Debatable, but I’ll leave it at what it was. Horrible pit work by Mclaren in Bahrain dropped him way down the order when P4 was entirely possible. An easy win in Spain was thrown out the window by Mclaren’s fuel fuss. Hell, he even made the two-stop strategy work in what should have been a four-stop race. I’ve changed my mind about Valencia, even without his (yet another) slow stop I don’t think he would’ve stayed in front of Alonso or Raikkonen, but at least ahead and clear of Maldonado, therefore no crash and 12 points.

    Rosberg. Well, I can’t remember him having any bad luck apart from his puncture in Australia. He passed Perez, but was hit from behind by the young Mexican, causing a flat tyre. This dropped him down to order from what should’ve been P6, all the way down to P12. 8 points lost.

    So without the top 5 drivers having any misfortunes, how would the championship look like? Note: this is including the net gain these drivers have made from their rivals bad luck just as much as the loss of their own.

    1. Lewis Hamilton – 138
    2. Sebastian Vettel – 115
    3. Fernando Alonso – 107
    4. Mark Webber – 93
    5. Nico Rosberg – 75

    Hamilton lost a net of 50 points.
    Vettel lost a net of 30 points.
    Alonso gained a net of 4 points.
    Webber lost a net of 2 points.
    Rosberg didn’t lose nor gain anything; at the end, it balanced out.



    @kingshark pre-collision in Malaysia, Vettel was in P4 and Webber P5, so factually speaking he was leading Webber. Webber was 2 tenths a lap quicker than Vettel at that point, who in turn was 3 tenths quicker than Hamilton. If you’re going to put that as Webber overtaking Vettel – Vettel would overtake Hamilton too, and Webber would overtake Hamilton. Don’t forget though that Perez was 8 tenths a lap quicker than Alonso and had 3 opportunities at the DRS zone, none of which bore fruit (yes, that was before his off in Turn 14) Honestly – let’s just put reliability and misfortune in the equation and not “what could have been” based on pace. There is no end to using pace as the “measure.”

    Also have you factored in “moving others down?” ie say Vettel won in Valencia – you’d have to move Alonso to P2, Hamilton to P4 (without Maldonado crash), Raikkonen to P3 etc.



    I was planning on doing a mid-season article for the six-week nothingness between Hungary and Belgium. Want to collaborate?



    I don’t think it will cost him the title, I mean from now and until the end of the season anything can happen. If the problems persist and it carries on race after race, then that will cost him the title. Right now he is still within reach of first place I mean a win and some podiums will throw him right up there with a chance.

    The only question is if the problems carry on, which I still don’t feel Mclaren have got even the fundamental things right. Their pit stops look weak still and I honestly don’t feel as if the whole tyre change problem is sorted. You can see it’s not as smooth as say the Ferrari team or even the Mercedes team and adding the fact that they are bringing a new twist jack which they knew would have problems with they still don’t look solid. With the jack problem, I know it saves a few vital moments but if it isn’t perfect then don’t use it? The other jack worked fine, yes it wasn’t as say fast as the others but it worked none the less.

    In conclusion, I don’t think the mistakes that have been made will cost him the title because there is still so much more to happen in this season. However, if they don’t cut the mistakes out and don’t improve then it will cost them both titles.

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