The airwaves were thick with recrimination after the two Mercedes drivers collided on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix.
From the moment Lewis Hamilton let out an astonished exclamation of “Nico hit me!” this race was all about the consequences that contact had on the world championship.
Both drivers responded to it in strikingly different ways. Nico Rosberg seemed more concerned with ensuring he made it to the end of the race and banked the maximum available points than risking everything in the pursuit of victory.
His decision to accept the time loss involved in changing his front wing reflects this – he was evidently concerned about the extent of the damage following the contact. The radio revealed other examples of Rosberg’s conservative mindset at work: he on was quick to report a suspicious tyre vibration and anxious to make sure his passing moves did not incur the wrath of race director Charlie Whiting.
But he also had positions to make up as well, and made sure race control were aware when he thought Sebastian Vettel was using too much of the run-off at Curve Paul Frere. Shortly afterwards Vettel was warned about track limits, and Rosberg duly took advantage of that to attack the Red Bull driver for position, albeit unsuccessfully.
Hamilton, meanwhile, was quick to decide there was nothing to be salvaged from the day after limping back to the pits with a puncture. He had some justification, as he later explained, being concerned about wasting engine mileage as he is already compromised in that respect relative to Rosberg following his failure in Hungary. The radio messages indicate he repeatedly made the case to park the car to spare his power unit – on laps 20, 27 and 37 – and finally retired shortly after that last message.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is how the radio messages hint that Hamilton’s negative mindset may even have affected the quality of his judgement about the state of his car. Following his enforced early pit stop he was quick to tell the team his tyres wouldn’t reach their target lap. He duly came in one lap before he needed to, only for the team to later advise him afterwards that his tyres had actually been in reasonable condition.
It’s not as if this cost Hamilton a chance to score points, but as with many of these team radio messages it gives a glimpse into the how a driver’s mind works which we otherwise wouldn’t see.
The race highlights video produced by FOM included a few more pieces of radio communication which were not heard during the broadcast. They included Hamilton being told his track position was “safe” at the beginning of lap two, before the contact with Rosberg. After the pair collided, Hamilton said “that’s unbelievable, guys, I can’t believe he hit me”, then asked “was it a racing incident?” and was told it was.
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2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript
|PR||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||So just run through your grid procedure. Got a dummy grid start here into the pit limiter. Make sure you’ve got your start mode on. The two bite-point finds are on the grid. So two bite-point finds as your sat here on the grid.|
|PR||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Only one driver did not start on the soft tyres.
OK Nico, Sutil is on the mediums.
|FL||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So keeping the revs up, keeping the revs up once you come to the corners and working the tyres down this straight. And we’re going to do two burnouts out of turn seven. I’ll remind you when we get there.|
|FL||Unknown||Nico Rosberg||And brakes are looking good, so you can cancel the brake warming. Just do your normal braking around the rest of the lap.|
|FL||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Everything looking good still. Brakes are good. Balance front and rear. Tyres are coming up nicely.|
|FL||Kevin Magnussen||Mark Temple||There are spots of rain, very very light rain.|
|FL||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||And your yellow line will be on the right hand side, Nico. Just think about your positioning into your grid slot.|
|2||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Rosberg is behind Hamilton after losing positions at the start
And remember, you won’t get DRS until the next lap. If you’re feeling comfortable, you can go to strat-3
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Rosberg has struck Hamilton, puncturing his left-rear tyre
Nico hit me! Nico’s hit me!
|2||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Diff mid-12. Diff mid-12. Copy that, Lewis. So diff mid-12. Diff mid-12.|
|2||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Rosberg has front wing damage.
I might need to box.
|2||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||OK. It looks fine on the TV, Nico. Looks fine on the TV.|
|3||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||There’s a yellow in Eau Rouge. We have not seen the incident.|
|3||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Rosberg is still leading but with front wing endplate damage
Have you had a good look at my front wing?
|3||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Affirm. Affirm. We’ll keep you advised on it.|
|3||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||I’ve lost a lot of front end.|
|3||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||We advise you hang it out Nico, we advise you hang it out.|
|3||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Floor’s damaged, right?|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||I need to have a look at some photos, Lewis but thanks for the feedback, I’ll let you know.|
|4||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Having pitted, Hamilton is 19th, a full minute behind
OK Lewis, so no management required. We’re just going to have to push to catch the field.
|4||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Rear is weird. I don’t know if it’s the diff or the floor, but the car’s all over the place.|
|4||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, yeah we can see that on the balance channel. Diff looks to be OK. We’ll get some feedback to you.|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Left-rear tyre’s not going to last – I’m sliding so much.|
|5||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, thinking about a recovery strategy. We need to try and achieve 15 laps on this tyre, so do whatever you can to manage that rear-left. Fifteen laps. A target laptime will be a 55:7.|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||This left-rear tyre’s not going to go to lap 15, I’m telling you. The rear’s all over the place.|
|5||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis we’ll manage it as best we can.|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||I’m losing too much here.|
|8||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So push hard now, Nico, push hard, we’re going to change the front wing.|
|8||Jenson Button||Dave Robson||I gave you feedback on the tyres on the ‘R’-switch.|
|8||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||Understood.|
|8||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Rosberg pits from the lead for a new front wing
Nico let us know. We’re going to change the front wing, so we’re going to use the same flap setting as the last set, OK?
|9||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Rosberg resumes behind Raikkonen’s Ferrari
You’re racing Kimi who’s also stopped, you need to get past him straight away.
|9||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Box. Pit confirm, Checo. Box and pit confirm.|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||Mark Temple||Rears are starting to struggle more now.|
|10||Mark Temple||Kevin Magnussen||OK, understood. Use the diff to protect it if you can.|
|12||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Perez pits
OK, you will be racing Jenson. You will be racing Jenson, Checo.
|12||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Hamilton is still in 19th, 54 seconds behind leader Bottas
Is my pace really far off? Please update me.
|12||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, so you’re still catching Grosjean at over a second a lap. The only car faster than you at the moment is Bottas, P2.|
|15||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So Nico, you’re on the opposite car… tyre to the cars in front of you. Push hard now, try and overtake them.|
|16||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So Nico, we will need to pass Vettel to win, we believe.|
|16||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||He’s cheating at turn 15! He’s cheating!|
|16||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Copy that, Nico. Copy that.|
|16||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||I’ve got nothing guys. The rear end is so bad, I can barely… I have to lift in Eau Rouge.|
|16||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK, copy that, Lewis. So let’s just see what we can do. We need to stretch these tyres as far as we can. We have to get to the end of the race with minimum stops. Your pace isn’t bad. It’s still there to fight for.|
|17||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Sebastian, respect the track limit at Turn 15. Track limits, Turn 15, please.|
|17||Francesco Nenci||Jules Bianchi||Ericsson is a tiny bit quicker than us, but he’s obviously on new tyres.|
|18||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||Think about defence mode, defence mode.|
|18||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Copy. Sebastian respect the track limit in turn 15. Track limits, turn 15, please.|
|18||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||OK Sebastian, be careful around [turn] 15. Be careful around [turn] 15. I’m just passing on messages.|
|18||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So once you have a feel for car balance, think about resetting your brake balance. Think about where that needs to be.|
|19||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Check the vibration on the front tyre.|
|19||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Vibration is on the limit, OK.|
|19||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Rosberg pits for new Mediums following this message
Vibration is getting a little bit worse. Keep a close eye. Look at it whilst I’m driving past. Feels just about OK still, but don’t take risks.
|19||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||OK, copy.|
|20||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Hamilton is questioning whether he should retire to conserve his engine.
Should save this engine guys.
|20||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So Lewis don’t worry it is being discussed but your pace is good, we never know what’s going to happen with Safety Cars or anything later. So let’s just keep plugging away and we will keep discussing it here.|
|20||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis, you may not feel it, but your pace is good. You’re only a tenth off being purple in the middle sector. So anything could happen. We’d be kicking ourselves.|
|21||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Having inspected Hamilton’s tyres from his first proper stint, Mercedes advise him they are in better condition than they thought.
OK Lewis, so tyre wear from that first stint is still good – 65 front, 60 rear. So we’re not suffering from tyre wear, probably just a bit of surface overheating due to the lack of aero. But your pace is good.
|22||Antonio Spagnolo||Kimi Raikkonen||Box at the end of this lap. Box at the end of this lap for the medium.|
|23||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Box, box, box. Torque map one and box.|
|23||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Hamilton has caught Grosjean in 14th
OK Lewis, just remember you have ‘overtake’ available.
|24||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||How’s the balance, Daniel? How’s the balance? Cars behind you are starting to stop. We’re just watching the gaps. You’re doing a good job.|
|25||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||Vettel questions the team’s decision to pit him to cover Bottas
I was pulling away from Bottas, so if that’s the only car we’re racing, I don’t really get it.
|25||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||He could’ve undercut you. He could’ve undercut you easily.|
|25||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Rosberg had just put a straightforward pass on Alonso for third place on the Kemmel straight, but this could have been in reference to another, unseen move.
Just ask Charlie if that pass was OK.
|25||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Yep will do, will do.|
|26||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So situation is, you’re P3 on track at the moment. Bottas and Ricciardo have not stopped yet. Bottas will come out behind you, but we want to do something different to them, so we want you to push as hard as you can to force Ricciardo to box.|
|26||Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||I think we need to see what happens when these guys pull away.|
|26||Tom Stallard||Jenson Button||OK, understood. Feedback when you can.|
|27||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||I have a lot of oversteer.|
|27||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Copy.|
|27||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Guys even if I catch the guys in front I have no downforce.|
|27||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis message is understoor but you do have good pace and if we had a Safety Car then there is all to fight for. We are not concerned about the engine, just keep your head down and let’s keep plugging away.|
|28||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||Box this lap, Valtteri, box.|
|28||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||OK Daniil, no more water button. No more water button. We need to build a bit. We are catching on Perez, so we can attack in a few laps. Keep going like that, very good job mate.|
|28||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So situation, Ricciardo in front is P1, he’s running to the end. Bottas in front of him has not stopped.|
|29||Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||What tyres does Rosberg have? And how old?|
|29||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Rosberg is on ten lap [mediums]. Ten lap [mediums]. Rosberg may stop again.|
|29||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Gap to Ricciardo 3.5 seconds. So you’re safe P2 now Nico.|
|30||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So we’re still able to win this race. You just need to close the gap to Ricciardo.|
|31||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Guys, what’s going on?|
|31||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||We’re just talking through the options now, Lewis, but it won’t be long.|
|31||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||You will be racing Gutierrez on exit.|
|32||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, so give us a balance check. We’re going to go back to the medium tyre. Let us know if there’s anything we need to do, I know it’s a real handful.|
|32||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Copy Lewis. Box box, box box, pit confirm, we’re going to the [medium] tyre.|
|32||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||Very good throttle application. Very good throttle application. Focus on that. You’re doing a very good job. It’s super-important, tyre management. Perez in front Is fighting with Button.|
|33||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Sebastian do you think your tyres will last until the end? Do you think the tyres will last.|
|33||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||Well it’s difficult to say. They don’t feel very good now.|
|34||Ayao Komatsu||Romain Grosjean||OK Romain we will retire so box, Romain, box.|
|34||Andrew Murdoch||Felipe Massa||Felipe, you think it’s possible to make it to the end on this last set? Do you think it’s possible to make it to the end?|
|34||Felipe Massa||Andrew Murdoch||Nope. We can’t do it.|
|37||Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Guys, you need to stop me and save my engine. I don’t even have a car to get past people if there is a Safety Car.|
|37||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Message understood Lewis. We’ve currently got eight laps to go. Engine isn’t a concern, but don’t worry, we are talking about it.|
|38||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Need to be as fast as possible until the end of the race, now.|
|38||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Rosberg is chasing down Ricciardo for the win with fresh Soft tyres
So you’re due to catch Ricciardo right at the end.
|38||Craig Gardiner||Esteban Gutierrez||Esteban Adrian is on [softs[, a different strategy, need to not hold him up.|
|39||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes finally retire Hamilton’s car.
OK Lewis we are seeing degradation in the aero data here. Looks like we may have something coming adrift on the car. We need to box at the end of this lap. Got Ricciardo race leader 16 seconds behind. Cool the car, cool the car.
|39||Gary Gannon||Max Chilton||[Unclear] is still over a lap away so use the ERS close the gap.|
|41||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||To catch Ricciardo at the end of the race you need to keep pushing hard. So you’re only just going to catch him Nico, so just any tenth will make a difference.|
|VL||Christian Horner||Daniel Ricciardo||Attaboy! Fantastic! Unbelievable drive, unbelievable!|
|VL||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Straight in the pit lane, mate, straight in the pit lane. Fail five fail, fail five fail, straight in the pit lane. Absolutely awesome drive, how did you do that? Absolutely amazing. See you in a second.|
|VL||Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||Woo! Ah, thanks guys.|
Transcript by @WillWood. Text by @KeithCollantine.
Lap: Refers to lap message was broadcast on. There may be a delay between messages being said and being broadcast. PR = pre-race; FL = formation lap; VL = victory lap.
Message: Repetitive or irrelevant messages omitted. Notes in italics. Highlights in bold.
NB. Due to a technical problem a small number of radio messages were omitted.
Follow F1 Fanatic Live on Twitter for team radio highlights during all live F1 sessions.
Belgian Grand Prix data
- 2014 Belgian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops: Aggressive two-stop plan helps Raikkonen to fourth
- 2014 Belgian Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps: Why Mercedes didn’t retire Hamilton sooner
- 2014 Belgian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops: Aggressive two-stop plan helps Raikkonen to fourth
2014 Belgian Grand Prix
- Rosberg says he chose to apologise for Spa crash
- Third win, second Driver of the Weekend for Ricciardo
- Spa serves up another race to remember
- 2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Hamilton: “We both made mistakes”
Team radio transcripts
- Ferrari tried a last-lap ‘Hail Mary’ play for Sainz – but their rivals were ready
- How Red Bull handled Perez and Verstappen’s scrap for fastest lap in Jeddah
- “They will kill the tyres”: How Alonso took Aston Martin to the podium in Bahrain
- ‘I can’t box?’: Hamilton and Verstappen’s 2021 Abu Dhabi GP radio transcript
- “Don’t fight Max”: How Red Bull’s team radio row in Brazil unfolded
Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei
87 comments on “2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript”
31st August 2014, 13:26
‘He’s cheating! He’s cheating!’ Oh my days, Nico …
31st August 2014, 13:37
It is funny hearing a cheat complain about another supposed cheating. I’m finding it hard to reconcile Nico’s personality at the minute.
31st August 2014, 14:58
Yeah, lol. Nobody calls running off track ‘cheating’. Must be on his mind…
31st August 2014, 15:46
Freud would agree wholeheartedly.
2nd September 2014, 11:05
Spot on. He sounds a seething mess inside the car. I wonder whether the pressure’s getting too much.
1st September 2014, 12:33
What’s wrong with Nico? He’s creating a world of his own in his mind.
31st August 2014, 13:26
Funny when Nico says:
31st August 2014, 14:32
Nico has always said that he would be on the same level as Vettel if he had a competitive car. He is very competitive with his fellow German and would love some of the hype that he gets. The “cheating” radio message though, was a bit over the top. A polite request to have the team chat to Charlie would have sufficed. He sounded both desperate in the race and in how he wants to be seen when his career is over. Rosberg will not go down in history as better than Vettel unless he is able to grow up much like the immature Alonso and Vettel have done. Rosberg had an even temper so his immaturity hadn’t shown early on, but under the microscope of a good car and a world title beckoning, he is cracking. I don’t rate him very highly as a driver and he will have to do a bit to be in my top 4. Everyone else is open to their opinion, but I think that he is not as good as Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso.
William Stuart (@williamstuart)
31st August 2014, 16:34
Nice comment, but I think Nico is handling the pressure as well as Lewis, the key data would be qualifying where Lewis has made several mistakes on key laps, with qualifying supposedly his strength. However, Nico does look frail in the races, perhaps Nico places more focus on the race, leading him to become more nervous in the race, and the opposite with Lewis.
31st August 2014, 23:25
I agree with @williamstuart
And would also add that I feel Nico is looking to dominate to early and may be missing the big picture ,
I think Spa was his to win on pace alone yet he blew it on lap 2 !!! ???
The sheer speed of this Merc means he’s only fighting Lewis so sitting back and watching the race unfold with some patient will get him a WDC , if he keeps snapping at the chain Lewis can take this title
The Abbinator (@abbinator)
1st September 2014, 8:41
The thing that most HAM supporters fail to acknowledge is that, though it was ROS’s fault for the collision — the floor damage was Lewis’ fault for not easing it back around to the pits. Had he taken some pain on lap 2 in getting it back slowly, he would have had much less (or none at all) floor damage and would then be in a car that was 2 sec a lap quicker than pretty much every other car. Would he have caught RIC or ROS, probably not, but 3rd is a lot better than DNF for his championship hopes.
1st September 2014, 16:37
@abbinator Please, just stop it. Did you see pictures of how damaged the left side of the car was? Why you people find always a way to blame Hamilton?
1st September 2014, 11:13
Or maybe better, judging from Hamilton being convinced his car is going slower and worse than it actually is all race long @williamstuart.
William Stuart (@williamstuart)
1st September 2014, 13:44
Lets be realistic, Lewis wasn’t going to get a decent haul of points, unless by miracle. A potential haul of 25 points using the same engine later in the season is better than a few points here. He was never going to beat Rosberg which is the main aim.
William Stuart (@williamstuart)
1st September 2014, 13:45
On a completely different note, I would love to see the return of qually and race engines being different in power levels. Efficiency should be focused on in the race and pure speed in qualifying, then we get the best for the fans and the best for constructors.
2nd September 2014, 7:09
I love to agree with you, but somehow I have a strong feeling that, Nico has found something form Lewis’s lap data or something, Nico improved a lot since race 5
31st August 2014, 17:39
While I agree with most of your comment, data from last and this season suggests Hamilton isn´t that much better, so mentioning him in the enumeration at the end of your comment doesn´t make too much sense to me.
31st August 2014, 18:08
@crammond I rate Lewis on his raw ability to hustle a car, but I see your point that he too cracks under certain pressures. Plus Rosberg being on par with results through the last two years doesn’t play into my argument. But I look at Hamilton’s first year, his championship year and maybe even one of Vettel’s championship-winning years… Hamilton deserves to be heralded as faster than Rosberg. Whether that translates to more championships, only the sporting Gods, and perhaps Bernie, know the answer to that. Rosberg is fast in the best car on the grid. The differences between drivers in a good car that suits both drivers is less noticeable in a good car. That said, Hamilton only has himself to blame that we’re even having this conversation. Two years ago, no one would have rated Rosberg anywhere close to him. Hamilton has the best car and is botching it. Vettel wouldn’t and I believe that post-2007 Alonso wouldn’t either.
31st August 2014, 14:13
Is it just me or are both Mercedes drivers whinging on a bit more than you would expect from two world class sportsmen? I must say, this has rather put me off this team… Lewis didn’t seem to have any fight in him. He’s never going to get another WDC with that attitude.
31st August 2014, 14:34
Hamilton could if his engines hold up for the rest of the year, which thanks to his quick thinking they might.
31st August 2014, 14:49
They have a limited number of engines, you see, and Lewis is an extra one down after the fire. As they accumulate milleage they lose power, more so this year, and may have to be replaced with a 10-place grid drop or become more likely to fail in a race. It’s a major factor in the rest of the season.
And he was right, as we saw. No safety car even with two lots of tyre debris all over the track, as there was none in Germany.
He was right at Nurb 2007 too, when various people were saying the same things, underestimating his determination to win which is quite clever and not limited to driving fast.
31st August 2014, 15:01
I would think that if LH needs a new engine, and if the penalty for that will be a 10-play grid spot penalty, that’s not that major. Even without a brand new PU he has shown he can make up those spots in short order, such is the obvious dominance over the rest of the field all things being equal, so I’m not convince a new engine for LH would be all that detrimental. Unless of course it was at Abu Double.
31st August 2014, 16:44
Your comment is silly. A 10 place grid penalty is ALWAYS a massive disadvantage, especially when your main championship competitor has the same machinery as you. Merc may have a significant advantage over the rest (minus Red Bull), but Hamilton isn’t racing them for the WDC, he’s racing Nico and a 10 place handicap is huge when you’re behind in the championship.
1st September 2014, 13:02
@Traverse Of course it would not be ideal, but LH has shown that due to the significant dominance of the car, and the fact as you point out that he is really only racing one driver, 10 spots can be made up in pretty short order against cars that are obviously inferior. LH has podiumed after coming from the back…why couldn’t he after starting 11th? I’m not saying it would be preferable of course, but to call it always a massive disadvantage has not shown itself to be the case…sometimes it is not.
1st September 2014, 18:01
@Robbie the other cars are irrelevant as @Traverse said. What matters is that a 10-place grid drop almost guarantees a 14-point swing to Rosberg. There are in effect 8 races’ points left, with a 29-point deficit. If they 1-2 every race that means Lewis has to win 5 to overhaul him, then if NR wins ONE Lewis HAS to win Abu Dhabi. It’s a massive ask.
On top of which engines lose power as they age, these PU’s especially I read, which against an identical car is crucial too. The engine life is vital. One more breakdown would be the end, too.
‘Major’ is an understatement if anything. Lewis was 100% smart to be aware of it. Though his team were no doubt thinking 1 solitary point would have given a whole race margin if it could have been managed.
1st September 2014, 21:02
@lockup The team didn’t exactly seem panicked about it, and it is pure speculation on your part as to what a 10-place grid drop would ‘guarantee.’ So far what it has guaranteed Mercedes is still a podium. And if you are going to argue a new PU for LH would be a more powerful one, then 10 spots could be erased in one stint, let alone your remainder-of-the-season scenario that tries to imply a 10 spot penalty could lose LH the WDC. A hundred things are going to happen in the remaining weekends to both LH and NR so placing a few ‘ifs’ here and there to support your argument doesn’t sell me. I could just as easily argue that IF NR dnfs, especially due to an engine failure in the next race, and LH wins, they’ll practically be even-Steven with 7 races to go.
Besides…that’s racing…that’s the rules…they’re the same for everyone…and it sucks that conservation and endurance has to play such an overwhelming factor in what should be an all-out sprint called an F1 race.
1st September 2014, 21:34
@robbie we started this with you claiming the engine is not a major factor for Lewis to be considering. The numbers say it is a crucial factor. You’re not likening Nico to Heikki Kovalainen are you, to be so easily caught and passed from 11th?
Nobody is saying there will be no other factors, but they have to control the factors they can – like race laps run, and engine usage. And of course the team were not panicking on the radio to their driver in the middle of a race :)
2nd September 2014, 0:16
@lockup No I’m really just saying the team could have called him in earlier if there was that much difference, ie. if it was crucial and they were that concerned they would have called him in….taken him up on his offer, let’s say. So I don’t think it is a huge issue. An issue, sure, but not a massive one. And I haven’t tracked it but others may be due soon for penalties too, although not Nico….yet. In another race or two he may have to be concerned. Can it not be said NR has more mileage on his equipment? Racing mileage?
They were ‘budgeting’ for a far more strenuous day on LH’s PU than it got, so they’re already ahead in that regard. If LH was calling for an end several times he surely wasn’t racing toward a podium at the time, so for much of the race he was not 10/10ths. He knew this time he was not clawing his way through the field.
2nd September 2014, 1:57
@robbie a 10-place grid drop can only be seen as critical with the points the way they are. Engines are lifed and he has one less than Nico. He couldn’t do the laptime they gave him as a target, and it was doubtful he could have done the overtaking he needed for a point even with a safety car. Add in the clear reluctance of Charlie to call the SC and Lewis’ judgement was proved to be sound, wasn’t it? As in 2007 events proved him right. He wasn’t ‘giving up’, is my point, but thinking clearly and ambitiously about winning over the season.
2nd September 2014, 14:31
@lockup A safety car has proved on many occasions to completely change the landscape, but of course in hindsight and to support your argument it is easy for you to dismiss that possibility and rather insist that LH’s judgement was right…like he has a crystal ball in the car with him and can foresee the future. I’m not saying LH wasn’t thinking about the future, nor should it be implied that the team wasn’t thinking about everything from all angles with thoughtfulness about the big picture too.
2nd September 2014, 15:15
@robbie you agree Lewis’ wanting to stop was valid ?
I agree the team were doing their best.
3rd September 2014, 0:45
@lockup Ya I never said LH wanting to stop wasn’t valid. I just don’t consider it nearly as significant that the team didn’t do so upon his first suggestion of it, as some are. Nor do I think that the team is negligent toward LH by risking a 10-spot penalty with their alleged procrastination, as some do.
31st August 2014, 15:08
@KeithR What happened at Nurb 2007?
1st September 2014, 0:25
Markus Winkelhock became the driver with the best laps-lead/laps-raced ratio ever.
1st September 2014, 0:25
@MK Lewis ended up a lap down after making a bad tyre call and radioed suggesting saving the engine. Got a rather superior reply and was kept in the race, but was proved correct.
William Stuart (@williamstuart)
1st September 2014, 13:54
Exactly. It really gets on my nerve when people claim that Lewis doesn’t ‘care enough’ it is the exact opposite.
1st September 2014, 16:49
@williamstuart Lewis has shown this season alone his fighting spirit and ability to fight adversity. Most people would handle way worse the amount of setbacks he’s faced in 2014.
31st August 2014, 16:05
PB confirmed diff is ok, so LH must have been thinking he has damaged floor. With a damaged floor and finding it difficult to handle the car, I think he was rightly asking to retire. It was also an astute thinking on his part to save his engine.
The simple fact that he was asking to save the engine must show he is seeing the positive in a very negative situation. Bearing in mind, this is after he had to fight from the pit lane to get to podium in the previous race.
31st August 2014, 16:50
People seem reluctant to give Hamilton credit when it comes to “race smarts”. They’re happy to say he’s a born racer and such but nothing more. I guarantee if Jenson or Kimi had suggested saving an engine people would be quick praise their racing intelligence etc.
1st September 2014, 16:20
I’m not challenging your assessment of Lewis’ call but consider how 1 lousy extra point would have felt to Massa in 2008. Or 2 points to either Lewis or Alonso in 2007.
1st September 2014, 17:52
That’s true 1 point difference can give you the championship, but this year there is a limit of 5 units with any of the PU element. Lewis is currently on 4th unit. He has to finish another 7 races with just 1 unit, otherwise he gets a 10 places grid penalty. Also, there is a limit of 100kg fuel usage per race. So older the engine more fuel it burns.
Lewis wanted to save nearly 300km on his engine (more or less a racing distance), and as I said before, positive thinking in a negative situation on his part. He was looking to the rest of the season.
However, our rookie Mercedes pit-wall management team, I say rookie management team, since neither Paddy nor Toto have the experience of leading a pit-wall management team (bring back Ross Brawn), wanted to leave it to CHANCES and HOPED there will be a safety car. Even though there was no chance of getting a point, given that he was struggling to overtake Grosjean with his damaged car.
Lewis got no points because of his so-called team mate and increased chances of grid penalties because of his so-called bosses. End result was i.e double trouble for him for the rest of the season.
1st September 2014, 18:34
*End result was double trouble…
2nd September 2014, 0:54
@shoponf I think I would trust the experts who are monitoring everything, and know every aspect of the condition of the PU from it’s first rpm, and include LH as a part, not separate, from the team. He had an opinion to park the car, he would have known whether or not he was going to take it into the points, but the decision is a team and a corporate one too. It’s not LH vs. the team. Would you really expect them to just react instantly to LH’s first suggestion, without analyzing that scenario? LH put in some pretty fast laps when he was racing, so the team would not have necessarily jumped to the same conclusion as him without wanting to know where he was coming from. How do you even know if the team wasn’t already trying all sorts of models given that they may have some floor damage and potential adverse tire wear…all the while LH putting in fast laps.
To me, rather than gravitating toward insulting the ‘rookie’ team as if that is what they are, I’d like to think they thoughtfully would have pulled the car earlier if it was crucial, but didn’t feel the need. LH was obviously not running toward the podium, ie. not going 10/10ths so the PU got a break on Sunday including finally getting pulled. NR was able once again to fully use/wear out his equipment.
2nd September 2014, 11:01
I’m not thinking it in that way, during racing driver should have the priority in strategy/decision making. He should liaise with the team but he must be able to come to a decision during racing and live with his decision. As an F1 fan that’s what I like to see, drivers in charge during racing. In this case, LH asked to retire on lap 20 after having a good feel for the car. One has to remember, LH won 27 races, which is same as legendary Jackie Stewart and only 4 short of another F1 legend Nigel Mansell for all time most wins.
Reality was, after the collision on lap 2, LH dropped to 19th from leading the race. He was told to retire on lap 38 with 6 laps left, a distance of meager 30 km or so. When he retired, his position was 16th. After modelling, running simulation on computers and/or using car simulator and analyzing all sorts of scenarios, if I assume Mercedes knew he will gain only 3 position i.e. 19th to 16th then it’s bizarre that they didn’t save his engine and retire him early.
I do not mean it in a insulting way, but Paddy and Toto do not have any experience of running the pit-wall. I’m sure Paddy is a great engineer and Toto is a great financial investor, but running a pit-wall they are ‘rookies’. Jenson Button sums it up for me with the following recent comments:
2nd September 2014, 14:19
@shoponf You may want drivers to have the priority in strategy and decision making, and you may want the drivers to be in charge, but in reality that is not the case and often it is a team decision. Eg. The team knows better where everyone else is on the track such that they can pit their driver so that he comes out ahead of crucial cars.
As to what you perceive as a delay in pulling LH…the team obviously felt comfortable doing it the way they did, so I’d say they likely aren’t worried. We don’t generally see blokes pulling off the track prematurely just because it looks like they’ll only come 16th. Theoretically, if you had it your way, drivers would be making their own decisions in the final stages of races, or even sooner I guess, and the next thing you know only the cars in the points would complete the races and with all those cars giving up early F1 would look like a joke.
Given that LH has come from behind more than once, I’m sure one scenario Merc considered was a safety car and how that can suddenly luck a driver into a huge jump in the placings, so perhaps once they were sure that wasn’t going to happen they pulled him.
As to JB’s opinion, which you share, it is one way of looking at it but easier said than done. When JB and RB had a dominant car were they always 1-2, like it is automatic and easy, or in fact does stuff not happen? The year he won his WDC he had a dominant car for the first half of the season when he got the lion’s share of his points, then the other teams caught up and it wasn’t nearly so easy….what’s with that JB?…should be a no-brainer right? Once you are dominant it’s a cakewalk right? I think hindsight is being used here and JB isn’t admitting the umpteen things that can happen, especially while managing two roosters on a team, and while dealing with the entirely new formula and it’s complexities….it’s a steep learning curve. And it’s hard to control bad luck. The misjudgment part I think has to be considered carefully so that folks aren’t using the luxury of hindsight and are rather putting themselves in the team’s shoes at the instant decisions were being made. Some of those decisions made perfect sense at the moment they were needing to be made. Any chance the team has made some good decisions too? Or are they just completely incompetent? Any chance F1 is hard and doesn’t always go to plan? Or do millions upon millions watch because it is easy and predictable and ‘all’ you have to do is make a dominant car and the rest is easy? Why do so many watch, after so many years, even when teams have dominated? Because stuff happens. It better, or F1 would never have gotten to the level it has…or had.
2nd September 2014, 16:38
@robbie: Well, you are contradicting yourself, you say “…he had a dominant car when he got the lion’s share of his points…then the other teams caught up and it wasn’t nearly so easy”, i.e. JB no longer had a dominant car. JB said “It is astonishing especially when you have a car that is so dominant.” So what point are you trying to make?
As far as other comments I have made, I still stand by them.
3rd September 2014, 1:19
@shoponf My point is merely that things change, nothing is easy nor written in stone, and it is easy for anyone to simply verbally sum up that Merc should have flawless performance…1-2’s only…but even JB knows it is rarely that simple, nor lasts forever. Astonishing JB? Really?
Maybe I’m still stuck on the concept that this is a brand new and complex formula that I thought we were to be giving the teams time to tackle. We’re halfway through the first season of a new era and so I don’t think of it as a time to expect 1-2’s easy peasy. Is it any real surprise that as dominant as Merc is on pace, they have not been wholely reliable?
And I so appreciate Merc’s overall attitude toward handing us the difficult task of a rivalry to be remembered, that I cannot think of them as rookies in any way, nor do I take issue with their decisions overall. I just hope their principles are deep-rooted enough, which I believe they are, to not be swayed from the two-rooster concept just because it can give them headaches. It’s about us the fans, and about racing. And the rivalry has played a big part in the results, which I don’t think JB has experienced nearly to this level nor is acknowledging with this particular quote.
31st August 2014, 18:16
I have to agree here on that a bit; both of them seemed more interested in managing pit control than just doing their job and racing on track. NR’s ego has him to the point of wanting to managing race control as well as driving his car.
I like LW and want him to win; I was disappointed to see him give up in this race. I know the “save the engine” strategy, but race control told him they were discussing it, and don’t worry about engine, but he still kept hinting at pitting the car, so in my mind he just wanted off the track on that day; he was deflated. Alonso never would have done that.
1st September 2014, 4:58
Well, he crashed heavily on the wall on Germany because the team mounted his brakes wrong.
His car caught fire on Hungaroring also because of the team.
Him winning or not, Mercedes won’t care. If he is to have a failure later, he will have it and Mercedes will just say “it hurts to leave Lewis without this result”.
Hamilton is fighting for his own there. And now more than ever. If he can stop sharing his data with Rosberg, he should do that. And considering Rosberg has a brand new long-term contract and he has nothing, and it’s unlikely to stay having this frictions with his team mate, he has nothing to lose.
1st September 2014, 11:41
Where did you get that from? The investigation by Mercedes and Brembo showed that “the specific interaction between the structure of the brake material in question and the brake mounting on the F1 W05 Hybrid was at the root of the failure”. in other words it should be taken as a mistake in design requests the team asked from Brembo for the specific brake calipers used
1st September 2014, 11:14
Maybe its just that we got more of their messages @shoponf. Remember when we got the tit for tat battle on track between Alonso and Vettel played out both on track as on the radio from both sides a couple of races ago?
With the abundance of moments to overstep rules, drivers pull all tricks they can to help their cause.
1st September 2014, 16:44
@baron Lewis made a very decent call.
31st August 2014, 14:54
First of all radio comm is heat of the moment stuff, so you can’t expect drivers to go into lengthy diatribes during the race. Sure, better worded NR could have said SV is gaining an advantage by going too wide, but is it reasonable to expect full politically correct sentences during the race?
Secondly, NR wasn’t cheating so why would it be rich for him to say SV was? The stewards obviously got the message to RBR to warn SV, so they agreed with NR. They didn’t see any reason to penalize NR over anything, let alone warn him.
LH didn’t seem to have as much fight in him this time, but don’t forget he had plenty of fight in him in previous races where he had to come from way behind, so one most recent race does not write in stone LH’s ability attitude-wise to win another WDC.
Interesting too that we didn’t get to hear LH questioning whether NR’s hit on him was deliberate, only to be told it wasn’t. Had we heard that at the time, it would have changed the tone of the race and the conversations on blogs, and had the crowd heard it (not that I would have expected that) perhaps NR would not have been booed. FIA obviously thought there would be far more media play by only allowing us to hear the “Nico hit me. Nico’s hit me.” part.
31st August 2014, 14:54
I still can’t believe it, and I’m frankly more than a little annoyed, that all of this noise was raised and Rosberg made to apologize, just because Hamilton got the short end in his own game. Each time Lewis goes with his aggressive moves, Nico takes one for the team and moves out of the way. Now that Lewis messed up his own race by misreading his chances in this game of chicken, he decided to go cry to the teacher. If you play a game, you don’t complain when you lose by the virtue of your own mistakes.
This is why we don’t need kids in F1. They can’t behave like men. Lewis might be 28 or 29, but he is the biggest child in F1.
The thing that irks me the most, is that Lewis knew exactly what he was doing when he shut the door like that and he knew they will touch, and would have been perfectly fine with the collision, even delighted with his gain from it, if his tire survived and only Nico sustained the damage.