Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Red Bull can’t keep Hamilton from pole in the rain

2014 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying

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Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth pole position at a rain-hit Shanghai International Circuit.

The two Red Bull drivers will line up behind him on the grid after Nico Rosberg made two mistakes in the final minutes of qualifying.


Formula One’s run of wet qualifying sessions continued in Shanghai. Apart from the last round in Bahrain – which, being held in a desert, naturally sees little rain – every contest for pole position has been held on a track that was at least damp.

That was certainly the case when Q1 began in Shanghai. Most drivers began the session on wets with a handful using intermediates.

In the final minutes the track conditions improved enough for intermediate tyres to be used. Adrian Sutil wielded them to good effect, and having been in the drop zone throughout much of Q1 made it through to the next phase.

The same could not be said for his team mate Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to make the cut.

Jules Bianchi was one of the first drivers to run in the intermediate tyres but spoiled is first lap by going wide at the final corner.

With both Caterhams and Marussias out in Q1 as usual, Pastor Maldonado joined them as Lotus were unable to change his broken engine from final practice in time.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’58.988
18Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’59.260
19Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’59.326
20Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault2’00.646
21Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari2’00.865
22Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault


The conditions continued to fluctuate in the second part of qualifying, with more rain falling including a fresh shower a few minutes before the chequered flag. This cost a few drivers who ended the session on intermediates and was a blessing for Nico Hulkenberg, who scraped through into Q3 thanks to the last-minute rain.

Hamilton ended the session quickest with Vettel a threatening second, just a few tenths of a second behind.

But the ever-changing grip levels on the track caught out several drivers. Among them was Kimi Raikkonen, who also had a downshift problem on his final run and ended up 11th, missing the cut for Q3.

Both McLaren drivers also failed to secure progression into the final ten – Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen complained of a lack of grip from the intermediate tyres.

This presented an opportunity for Lotus to claim their first place in Q3 this year and Romain Grosjean seized it. The two Williams drivers also claimed places in the final ten.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’56.860
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’56.963
13Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’57.289
14Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’57.393
15Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’57.675
16Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’58.264


The rain eased a little in time for the pole position shoot-out but even so Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg and Jean-Eric Vergne opted for wet weather tyres for their first run. After that they joined their rivals in taking on intermediate tyres for their final effort.

Vettel set the first benchmark time but it was swiftly beaten by Hamilton, who found six tenths of a second. Rosberg slotted into second in the other Mercedes, and like his rivals opted for two flying runs at the end of the session.

But he made mistakes in the final sector on both of them. The number six car skidded wide at the turn 14 hairpin on Rosberg’s first run, and he failed to improve his time with his final effort after spinning at the last corner.

That left the door open for Red Bull to attack – led by Daniel Ricciardo, who was over half a second quicker than team mate Vettel. Not surprisingly, he said there was nothing left in the car as he returned to the pits.

That left Rosberg fourth of Alonso, but the Ferrari driver was over one-and-a-half seconds off the pace. The two Williams drivers were next, with Grosjean tenth for Lotus complaining of poor low-speed traction.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’53.860
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’54.455
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’54.960
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’55.143
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’55.637
6Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’56.147
7Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’56.282
8Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’56.366
9Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’56.773
10Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’57.079

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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110 comments on “Red Bull can’t keep Hamilton from pole in the rain”

  1. Kudos to Lewis and Daniel. And here’s to hoping Lotus score their first point of 2014 tomorrow.

    1. If it is dry I think Kvyat, Perez, RAI, Button and MAG will all eventually pass him though. Maybe Maldonado could kill a few during the race so who knows.

      1. That McLaren is a donkey. Even worse the lead driver is Button who has never been able to develop a car on an upward trajectory. The 2009 car never improved from the first race and he nearly lost the Title.

        1. Brawn never had a development budget, they just made hay while the sun shone. Button isn’t really a scrapper, though.

        2. Button who has never been able to develop a car on an upward trajectory

          Drivers are drivers and designers are designers.

          1. Drivers help the designers develop the car.

        3. Trenthamfolk (@)
          19th April 2014, 13:18

          Half the field don’t seem to be able to develop a car upwards either…

          1. But then again we expect genuine talents to have an impact on the car over the season, as demonstrated by Hulkenberg last year in the Sauber by dragging it torwards the sharp end. Jenson needs to be displaying such skills to better enable the development of the McLaren.

  2. Beautiful! Enjoyed that a lot. Two thoughts, Ricciardo is quicker over one lap than I was expecting and it doing a great job, McLaren are going backwards rapidly.

    1. Mr win or lose
      19th April 2014, 8:39

      Probably McLaren did a wet-weather setup gamble, as they did in Brazil last year. Only time will tell whether or not it was the right decision.

      1. If they gambled with a wet weather setup, then they should have been fast since it was wet in Quali. On the other hand, if they opted for a dry weather setup, I don’t see how it is going to help them as dry weather is predicted for tomorrow and most teams would have set up their car for dry weather anyway.

        1. Mr win or lose
          19th April 2014, 9:10

          It was a dry-weather setup in the wet indeed.
          But remember Brazil last year, when Button and Pérez quickly moved up from p14 and p15 in the race, while Rosberg dropped back. Relatively minor changes may really have an effect in the race.

  3. Williams were a real shocker in the wet there, huge improvement from Malaysia. Meanwhile with the huge difference between the Merc and Renault engines, I can really see Rosberg and Williams fairly quickly dispatching the Red Bull’s, providing they can keep close through the middle sector.

    1. I think the Bulls can compete with Williams despite their engine advantage. Red Bull clearly has the second best package and eventually the strongest aerodynamically.

    2. I can really see Rosberg and Williams fairly quickly dispatching the Red Bull’s, providing they can keep close through the middle sector
      Redbull seems to be ahead of everyone else in their aero advantage. It will be a miracle if Williams can hang on to the Redbulls until the DRS line.

      1. One thought: Whenever Williams are in front RB will struggle to pass even if the former are on worn tyres. It’s one thing catching them through the twisty bits but another going past on the straight.
        The same probably won’t be true if Williams are behind and RB have worn tyres…

      2. I don’t think it will be that straightforward, RB have a reasonable pace in that car even when dry and they are also quicker round the corners. Williams only have a chance at the start.

    3. Re: your “huge difference between the Merc and Renault engines”, perhaps the more striking fact is that in the top ten on the grid there are five Mercedes engines, four Renaults and only one Ferrari.

      Quick statistics, if you give 1st on the grid 24 points, etc, down to 1 point for last on the grid, and average out the points per engine manufacturer, Mercedes get 14.375, Renault 10.875 and Ferrari are a dismal third at only 8.5

      Seems to me that the “prancing horse” power plant is shaping up to be the “puffing pig” of the 2014 season.

  4. Lewis on pole again ! My predicitions for the win are spoilt as Nico makes a mistake . So if things a go normal , Lewis should wrap this one up .

  5. I never really got why the media were talking up Rosberg so much – as the super intelligent one. In the end the team are doing most of the strategy regarding the ERS and the real type of intelligence that you need is that racers’ instinct. Lewis showed yet again today that he has a great feel for a car and where the grip is and I anticipate that this will be what makes the difference over the season. I am sure if you sat them down and gave them an exam, Rosberg would do better, but who cares? This isn’t what makes a great driver, no matter which era.

    1. The problem is people judge a persons intelligence based on how articulate they sound verbally. Some of it is stereotypes, some just wrongly perceived indicators of intelligence. Think of the smartest people you know. They are not the most fluid speakers and almost never sound confident about what they are talking about. But Rosberg is legit. The guy is pretty smart. But like you said, that’s not what makes a great race driver.

    2. It amazes me how people keep regurgitating this rubbish about Rosberg being the more intelligent one. Did someone give them an aptitude test? There’s no way of telling who is more intelligent. I’m tired of hearing that daft drivel. I can’t help but wonder if it keeps coming up because Hamilton is black.

      1. The general opinion is that a guy who can speak fluently different languages is more intelligent than a guy who tweets pics about his dog. That’s why you hear that Rosberg is the intelligent one.
        I think that both Rosberg and Hamilton have an incredible raw pace and they are extremely intelligent. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in a top team in F1.
        That said, the media have to make these characters interesting, they have to incite the rivalry between the two.

      2. Why? Because black had great instinct and raw speed? Jew running FIA?
        So the most intelligent driver should be Kobayashi :)

        1. …Indeed.

        2. And then there’s Inoue……though unlike some drivers he admits how bad it is – only for that confession to then be discounted by another Japanese who, this time, was a bit unlucky: Yuji.

      3. Maybe it’s Nico’s elegant hairstyle that makes the media say he’s the smartest.

        Big ups to his hairstylist.

    3. Pretty much all of those guys are PhD in motor racing if you consider the time they’re involved in F1. Lewis has performed well in every single type/formula he has been involved ands it’s not all down to pure race craft, it takes ability to adapt and intelligence. Naïve judgers maybe driven by stereotypes, thought Lewis couldn’t cope with so many buttons on his steering wheel because he lacked “an engineer mind”…

      1. I guess a lot of it has come from times over the years when certain sectors of the media have tried to talk up drivers that have been slower than Hamilton (occasionally, at least). Button, on his day could be great, as can Rosberg, but there would be days when they would all struggle with fuel/tyres and without sounding like a so-called ‘fanboy,’ the days when Hamilton struggled tend to be dramatised as him being ‘out-foxed’ by his cunning, mastermind teammate.

      2. It’s fairly obvious why. Lewis is the most interesting driver on the grid so he will attract comments from everybody both positive and negative. Nobody cared about Rosberg before Lewis joined but now you hear and read about him everywhere just because he is the guy on the other side of the garage. Since Lewis left nobody cares about Jensen anymore and it says something about the rest of the drivers that the next guy the media is interested in is Kimi, and he is so bland. So, so bland. So the journalists have to manufacture these interesting storylines to help sell their copy cause there is nothing interesting about a battle btwn the fast driver and the slow one. But the more cerebral one? Now there is a hook. And we are all now discussing it in these forums.

        1. Agreed!
          Seems like everywhere Lewis goes, the OTHER driver immediately becomes smart.
          And Martin Brundle is of course always the first one to spot this.

      3. PHD in motor racing, now that’s a new one. LOL.

    4. It is amusing to read that Nico is more intelligent than Lewis. Curious to know on what basis ?
      IMO Studying Theory and applying it practically are completely different things. If you know more theory but cant apply practically then it is of no use.

    5. I am sure if you sat them down and gave them an exam, Rosberg would do better, but who cares? This isn’t what makes a great driver, no matter which era.

      Here you are wrong. It’s only in the era of two-way radio and overwhelming telemetry that intelligence doesn’t matter as much. In the 80s, it mattered a lot. It won’t give you a fast car on its own, but if there’s an edge to be gained, the one with a better brain could use it to his advantage.

  6. The performance of the two wet tyre types is peculiar. It seems that this year, it’s not a case of whether the tyre suits the conditions but whether your car suits the tyres.

    Apparently the McLaren drivers felt that they might have been better on the full wets rather than the Inters in the final part of Q2. It just seems that there’s no defined ‘crossover point’ any more.

    1. @magnificent-geoffrey
      I heard sky broadcast that the crossover point according to Pirelli was a 1:57 or something .. not sure.
      But yeah the ‘according to pirelli’ must be numerically converted to realistic times :-P.

  7. Wow, Alonso is rather lonely there in fifth, half a second behind Rosberg and half a second ahead of Massa.
    I hope we have a wet race tomorrow, I’m rather fed up of wet qualis and dry races.

    1. A wet race might punish Ferrari even more. They appear more competitive when it is dry.

      1. Mr win or lose
        19th April 2014, 11:05

        Ferrari’s biggest concern in the race is fuel consumption, so a wet race will actually suit them I think.

      2. I’m not speaking about Ferrari, I’m speaking about a race in general. The last wet race was the 2012 Brazilian GP. We need a wet race, and fast.

  8. Haven’t posted in a bit…, life is keeping me busy. I must say though, that was a pretty good display by LH. Particularly so, considering the mounting pressure as it relates to the championship lead. I know it is hard to admit, but we just witnessed the very best in F1 presently, outperforming the entire Field. If rain is the great equaliser, then we can’t explain it away because of the Merc dominance. Not too bad for a “mentally weak” driver. Certainly not my opinion, but I see it written enough to know there are those that really believe that nonsense. Come on three wins in succession!

    1. +1 Top class drive by him I have to say

  9. Lewis really stands out when it’s wet. 1.2 faster than Rosberg is very good. There are two other stand out performances that deserve a big applause: Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, both Bulls did a great job and the young Australian once again has showed us that Red Bull was right when picked him to partner Vettel.

    1. for me the star of this quali was Daniel.
      Not only is he consistently quicker than Seb in quali (I’m aware that i’s just 4th race) but he is basically new to the team. Being so impressive against 4 times WDC in his team is something that no one could anticipate.
      When you look at the same situation at Ferrari with so highly rated Kimi and the fact that he is behind Alonso every race, you must admire Dan for his performance. It’s his third top 3 quali this season. If not all the bad luck, he would be up there with HAM and ROS in the standings.

      1. I rather suspect Alonso and Hamilton anticipated it, judging by their public
        love-fest about which rivals they respect.

        Either we are finding out just how much better the RB has been over the last years, or we are finding out just how different it is without the EBD and tyres that are not made out of toffee. (to be fair Newey did always say Vettel’s distinguishing characteristic was a feel for the tyres).

        whatever it is, I prefer the new style where drivers can fight tooth and nail for
        a whole stint without self destructing tyres.

      2. If Dan who is BTW doing an excellent job has joined RBR last year he would have been trashed by Vettel taking in account how comfortable Vettel was with the EBD, 2014 is new for everyone and Vettel have to adjust more than Dan who is used to drive cars with less downforce. As for Kimi Raikkonen that’s not a fair comparison, Kimi has been always a very technical driver who needs the car to be adjusted to his driving style with a very specific set up, it was the same with his first races with Lotus

        1. And that’s why this season is so great. All the changes made to the cars has given a white canvas to the drivers. Now it’s more about pure skill and it’s not a surprise for me that many of current drivers struggle.
          I disagree though about Kimi. You can argue about what he likes from his car but to be fair, this is the case with everyone. They all want to have a perfect car and when it’s the case any of them would be mighty. The tricky bit is to adjust to the car that is not entirely perfect. So if Kimi can be quick only when car is adjusted to his liking it doesn’t pan to good for the future. He needs to adjust or he will be beaten by Alonso by quite a big margin.
          That’s why I regard Dan as a star of this season. He had to adjust to the car and the team as much as Kimi. They both came to the teams with clear no 1 and both Alonso and Vettel are regarded as greats of they era. It’s still early into the season though and actually I hope that Kimi will rise his game as I really want to see all of them taking it out to the track when they’re at their best.

          1. True, but how do you explain why Kimi is so uncomfortable with oversteer. The guy raced in the WRC! I think the torque is too much for him. He probably likes his cars to lean towards understeer. My understanding is a little oversteer is faster because the car rotates quicker. But it also burns up tires so you have to have good throttle control.

          2. You can argue about what he likes from his car but to be fair, this is the case with everyone They all want to have a perfect car

            This is relative because a perfect car for Vettel (counter intuitive) isn’t the same perfect car for Lewis (late braking) isn’t the same perfect car for Shumacher (oversteer and aggressive with rear of the car) ……..
            Martin Brundell here explains the F1 driving style , if i’m not wrong Jean Todt himself when Kimi joined Ferrari that said that Kimi can go even faster than Shumacher, Andrea Stella who knew very well Michael,Kimi and Fernando when comparing the three men said that the car is adapted to Kimi’s driving style he is the fastest

          3. This is relative because a perfect car for Vettel (counter intuitive) isn’t the same perfect car for Lewis (late braking) isn’t the same perfect car for Shumacher (oversteer and aggressive with rear of the car) ……..

            This is what I meant. The perfect car for particular driver. There is no perfect car for everyone. It’s very hard to be so happy with your car that you could call it perfect. That’s why adjusting yourself to the car you have and getting most of the tools you have in your hands is so important this season. And as of know Kimi doesn’t seem to do it. this is probably the case with Seb. This is why no one knows who is the fastest driver out there. You are only as fast as your car lets you to be and how much can you extract from him.

          4. from *it :)

          5. Sorry this season is no white canvas or blank slate. To do this you’d need to erase all the history of the drivers as well and bring in 100% fresh blood from exactly the same series.

            Each driver has a history of driving a specific kind of car over the last several seasons. These cars are not the same as the car their competitor drove, either. Vettel had a different car from Alonso and they both had a different car from Hamilton and Ricciardo. The only people who share a common history that is measurable are Alonso and Massa and as they are presently in different cars, now…

            Yes, the cars now require a different style of driving. The fact is that certain drivers drove cars that are much closer to this new F1 than others. The rookies this year don’t have to unlearn things before learning them. Vettel has more work to go before he can adjust compared to pretty much the entire grid.

            I see a lot of hate for spec series but if this were a spec series then you could actually talk about which driver is best and who is the most skilled because the only difference would be the drivers. In F1 the cars make a tremendous difference and there is no way to prove skill over the grid at all — only the person in the car next to you. And only if both drivers have adapted to the new model.

        2. My thoughts. Kimi is still fast/good, but he needs a performant car and a proper setup, to suit his style. Otherwise… this is what you get. Unfortunately, the F14T is not a great car (be it dry or wet), so for the moment (re)hiring Kimi doesn’t look like a good move at all. Not only they still have a dead horse in 1 of the garages, but it’s more expensive than before too.

      3. @Toxic Nothing to take away from Ricciardo as he is indeed doing an excellent job but even in 4 races, I do not see how you can claim he is ‘consistently quicker’ since Vettel was obviously plagued by mechanical issues in Melbourne and he was driving an illegal car and would have been behind Vettel regardless of his misfortune in Sepang. I’ll concede Bahrain was his day, but this race remains to be seen.

        1. You’re right, I am not taking into account the technical problems from Australia but he did qualify higher than him on 3 occasions which is impressive and on all three occasions he was indeed quicker by some margin. Even today you could argue that Vettel was probably quicker all up to the last quali part but when it mattered the most Ricciardo put over 0.5 second gap to Sebastian.
          Maybe I am exaggerating a bit but hey, it is quite a shock to see Ricciardo being so quick so early into the season. Either way I can’t wait till tomorrow’s race as it pans out to be repeat from Bahrain where all teammates are so close to each other.
          Actually I don’t really remember the last season when it was the case. Virtually the whole grid is made of teams that have drivers very closely matched, maybe apart from Caterham.

  10. Rosberg schooled by Hamilton on a track he should be a specialist. Sometimes people dont have a clue…

    1. He will have his usual homework to do (Hamilton telemetry) before the Spanish GP

  11. Pretty good session. The Red Bulls are definitely closing the gap. Great lap from Hamilton. I think his new strategy is to keep it cagey. Don’t reveal anything! I like it. I think a lot of people are hoping for Rosberg to take the fight to Hamiton. Just like Ricciardo on Vettel. But if he doesn’t pick it up soon, he’ll be answer 100 questions a day about “pressure.” And if the media detects its getting to his head, they’ll just keep drilling him on “pressure.” Things could snowball.

    1. Perhaps, but I don’t think anyone would be fooled by some ‘caginess’. We all know the Mercs are bloody good and could at any time romp away from the field.

      As to NR and pressure…for now he still leads the WDC chase, and even if LH wins this race NR will likely score some good points. I don’t think anyone knows the lay of the land moreso than NR, so I doubt media using the word pressure is going to add pressure to him. He’d have to be pretty inexperienced and weak-minded for that to happen.

      For now he is likely revelling in having a win-capable car for really the first season of his career in F1…LH has had the luxury of more experience in race-winning cars, but for NR you have to start somewhere, and I’m sure right now he is seeing nothing but positive in having lots of the season ahead, a lead in the WDC, and everything to play for yet, and especially above all to have the equipment to answer to LH’s successes.

  12. The whole “Lewis is not very intelligent” etc spiel gets REALLY old REALLY fast. It has always been like that when it comes to sports men of colour and he is obviously not being spared that. When Rosberg falls by the way side, there is talk of somehow Lewis using his “natural instincts” and “raw ability” to get the better of him, same as was said while at Mclaren against Button. No one wants to credit his own intelligence and preparation and mental strength for his success. That crap really has to end, especially when it is repeated by people who ought to know better.

    1. Well said

    2. What’s colour got to do with it? Lewis just comes across as a dill. Much like David Beckham, who is defended by his fans as being a very intelligent man. Both are among the very elite in their respective sports, but “very intelligent”? Perhaps not.

      1. Your comment just confirms what Kisii’s point of view is all about, you guys are never going to give him ( Lewis) the deserved credits in full.

        1. What sort of credit does Lewis deserve? He’s a brilliant driver. What other credits do you think he deserves?

      2. @juan-fanger you clearly have no clue on how discrimination comes in many shades and most of it is subconscious. It’s staggering the amount of times I have sat through a football commentary and heard what a footballing brain Rooney has; what a ‘clever’ player Wilshere is, what a great leader Gerrard is and the genius of Scholes. But Drogba? He is such a beast! Walcott is so pacey. Makelele has such a great set of lungs on him and he is so tenecious. Sol Campbell is so strong. smh.

        1. You did read where I mentioned David Beckham, didn’t you?

        2. @blackmamba great post.

          @juan-fanger Beckham is often praised for his technical ability and skill.

          One of the things no one talks about is how adaptable Hamilton is when driving. From the moment he started F1 in 07 to the aero rule changes in 09 to the current changes now, he has always fared well vs his team-mates and won races in cars that often weren’t the best. That alone implies he has a great deal of racing intelligence, which he never gets any praise for.

        3. @blackmamba

          Thank you. Great comment. It’s great to discuss openly this kind of things.

      3. +1 @juan-fanger – no-one ever brought ethnic background or racist issues into this.

        It purely stems from his public attitude, which does not smack of an intellectual genius. Though that does not impinge on his ability to drive the car – I also have never heard that claim. It is purely on the basis of his ability to grasp with the technical aspects, and I would still argue that Alonso and Vettel are ahead in that regard, and – perhaps more controversially a claim – with their work ethic.

      4. Rosberg, better educated – maybe. More intelligent, I doubt that. As has been said by various sport’s psychologists: you’d be hard pressed to find a top sportsmen who is thick!

    3. Very well said. A lot of the snide comments about Lewis being “gangsta”, liking rap, the way he wears his cap etc. etc. really grate as well. I’m not saying they’re entirely unfounded: i.e. he *does* like rap, but for some “mysterious” reason people are always making little digs at him for it, when you never hear the same about, for example, Ricciardo, who seems to have much the same tastes in clothes and music.

    4. Hamilton’s religiosity and the “everything happens for a reason” comments regarding Scumi’s accident are enough to justify this view.

      Rosberg speaks six languages, he is more eloquent in what is Hamiltons native language, but not his. He appears to have much better understanding of the technicalities, he does not constantly complain about information overload.

      As far as I can see, every fact we know and can see from the outside supports this view. Is that a bad thing? One driver is more inherently talented with regards to driving, one is more intelligent and dedicated, it is an interesting battle.

      1. well was nico being smart when he claimed he’d win in china,he put alot of pressure on himself.and didnt lewis out smart him in bahrain.and everything does happen for a reason,he is correct.

    5. lol it is sarcastic when analysts say Rosberg is more “cerebral” and I always laugh cos it does not really mean Lewis is considered some sort of a lower IQ person. No analyst would ever want to be that stupid to accuse somebody of Lewis’s calibre and status of low intelligence.

      What they really mean is that Rosberg should be designing cars, and not driving them :). I remember one guy from Sky saying that Rosberg had a “deep know how of the mechanics” hence would look after the machine better and return it all squeaky clean. So Rosberg is the Mr Muscle of Mercedes, and I don’t think that is going to bring in championships.

      Don’t take English and Scottish peoples opinions directly, or they will confuse you. They just want Rosberg to give up the seat to somebody like Paul Di Resta.

    6. So what you’re saying is if I come across a twitter feed by an ADULT MALE that looks 100% like a teen girl who just got her prom dress ripped by her ex-boyfriend, I should in fact NOT ignore it because it’s probably some highly intellectual person who is being mistreated?

      Hamilton does not display the attitude of an intelligent person. He acts selfish and immature. He puts on an image of a class/culture (not a race, by Jesus people in this world need to comprehend that class warfare is the bigger problem) that is associated with lacking intelligence.

      This is what clouds people’s ability to speak (or type?) of him as an intelligent driver. People see this person and how he acts and things he says and make these statements. It’s not race, it’s his personality and character. My personal reason for disliking him when he entered F1 was this air of superiority, his arrogance and since everybody has at least one stupid reason: his accent (which increased his apparent arrogance to me). Over time, most of that has gone and the biggest reason is one of the reasons why a lot of people dislike Vettel: too big a deal was being made of him.

  13. The best thing that has happened this year is to witness the thrashing Vettel endures in the hands of Ricciardo. Now that’s serious punishment for a 4xWDC from a rookie. Well if Vettel was 8-10 years older there would the excuse that he has lost some qualifying edge but no he is only 27.
    in the year that Hamilton and Alonso showing their team-mates who is the boss Vettel fails emphatically. September ’13, Singapore, where Vettel was able to obliterate any rival and lap the whole field is a distant memory.
    Ok I know it is too early to call, but for a serious Vettel doubter such as my self I have to say there is a lot of satisfaction to be had in the current situation.

    As for Rosberg that was humiliating… to have the best car by far and have your teammate come at you with a sledgehammer time after time must be very frustrating.

    1. The thing that ruins your entire comment is “from a rookie”. Ricciardo’s had 2 full years will TR and a bit with a back marker team. So get the facts right first.

      Second thing is that Vettel is still ahead on points despite being “thrashed”. It doesn’t matter why he is ahead he’s just ahead. And that’s exactly why he’s got 4 championships. There were 2 championships where Alonso was better but Vettel is the champ. I mean even Grosjean helped VET to a title.

      What too many Vettel detractors miss is his huge ability to create his own luck. A true sign of a world class champion (still ahead on points than his “rookie” teammate).

      1. @Jason Meena
        Well I know he is not an actual rookie but I meant it regarding the front rows of the grid.
        As for

        I suppose that you saw the first 3 races so you know that Vettel (AUS) and Ricciardo (Malaysia) had both a DNF though no fault of their own, but what about the other 2 races? in Bahrain Ric beat Vettel and in Australia RBR saw that with Vettel retired it was a good chance to “brake test” FIA’s reflexes on the matter of its fuel sensor legality by sacrificing Ricciardo. What it would have been an easy 3rd position bacame a DSQ and with that 3rd Ric would lead Vet in the standings. So in my view of course Vettel is only in front technically as RBR golden boy who is being protected by his team. How do i know all this? By how ridiculous turned out to be RBR’s defence in the FIA court.
        I am not a Vettel detractor I am one of those who think that he is not worthy of 4WDCs and no, he doesn’t make his own luck, he has tons of luck but it is all given half from RBR and the other half from God…

        1. @Philby

          Not a detractor, eh? By how aggressively you are trying to prove Vettel’s uselessness I’d say you’re heavily a detractor. You are only trying to say you aren’t in order to make your comments appear less one-sided.

    2. I personally think it was the way Vettel handled the EBD that made him superiour, without it he’s mortal it seems. Just remember the first half of 2012, Webber led him in the standings after Silverstone. From then on though Red Bull developed their EBD again and Vettel ran away on the Tilkedromes.

    3. I’m pretty sure VET will finish in front of RIC, he’ll overtake him at the start or pits (for the sake of my predictions).

    4. he best thing that has happened this year is to witness the thrashing Vettel endures in the hands of Ricciardo

      Being beaten in quali twice because of technical faults plus once where the one beating you is directly ahead of you, and being beaten by 2 positions in a race out of 3 and a technical DNF in 1 of the other 2 isn’t exactly the definition of being thrashed.

      Besides, what about the “thrashing” of Honda riders in the hands of Marquez?

      1. I think it is in light of the fact that we have a 4xWDC at the peak of his powers vs a “nobody”. I don’t say that for Ricciardo specifically , in my opinion he looks very promising, but for anyone who has never registered a podium. And yet here he is beating his illustrious teammate. This is why I consider it as thrashing.
        To my eyes the situation at Red Bull reminds me of Williams and even though Bottas vs Ricciardo seems reasonable, Vettel should have done so much more against Ricciardo than Massa against Bottas.

        1. But I don’t think Lewis was exactly a driver as highly-rated as he is when he made his debut. But I won’t say he was thrashed by Alonso and I think that rather raises Lewis’ scores rather than decreases Fernando’s. And unless Daniel does some proper floor mopping with his team-mate (which simply can’t be proven 4 races into a season in any way) the same should go for Vettel – for now, 4 races into a season where the comparison between Red Bull drivers isn’t looking like Kimi and Luca (no, not that old guy at Ferrari’s top :)

          1. But I don’t think Lewis was exactly a driver as highly-rated as he *currently is when he made his debut

          2. Back then when Lewis faired so incredibly well against Alonso there were some important reasons.
            a) Hamilton did 22.000 km in testing prior to the start of the season
            b) The cars were much easier to drive: no turbo torque, no complex power unit and most importantly traction control
            c) The team conspired against Alonso in the second half of the season
            d) As he is still proving today Hamilton is great driver, a champion and a formidable competitor.
            Vettel only stands to lose by comparing himself to Ricciardo, and in case he is aided by RBR in order to beat him then it is all the better for us, the Vettel doubters.

    5. (@philby) Was about to say exactly this myself.

      It’s glorious to see Vettel shown up for the fraud many of us critics knew him to be all along. I’m sure Red Bull will find a way to ensure Ricciardo’s strategy or car issues stops him from finishing the season leading the points (the first two 2014 races prove this), but the critics will have won the moral victory.

      1. Red Bull might as well have hired Luca Badoer :p

      2. moral victory? has this site become the DM sportsection? I like Ric, he’s doing a great job, fact. fact, that he beat Vet today but Vet beat him in Malaysia, so 1:1, on equal terms.

    6. and to be fair Daniel isn’t a rookie – he just moved up from an HRT to a lower midfield car to the front.

    7. @philby and md

      Alonso got beaten by a ROOKIE in MMVII.

      The reason I used capitals: because Ricciardo isn’t.

      1. OK, maybe I should’ve been calm and polite enough to have also said that I know that testing was pretty free back then….:)

    8. Totally agree. The fact the likes of Brundle and Eccelstone were so quick to hoist Vettel up to the levels of Senna, Fangio and Schumacher grated to say the least, and I think plays a part in why he is unpopular despite being largely inoffensive.

      He is now struggling against a guy who was often matched by Jean Eric Vergne. Whereas Alonso and Hamilton are now stamping their superiority over much higher rated team-mates.

      1. Ricciardo was hardly matched by Vergne. Did you post when Vettel was on the podium a few weeks ago with that solid drive and qualy?

        1. He’s a 4 x WDC, with numerous records. Solid drives and qualies should be the least that should be expected from Vettel.

      2. I’m partially disappointed that VET is being exposed as not being of the greats by an unrated RIC.

        Was hoping Lewis would get to do the honors when the two team up in the near-future.
        But then again ALO and HAM have always known this.

  14. Wow…. is ALO ever going to qualify higher than fifth??? I mean seriously, any stat there how many times he has started fifth???

    Lewis on pole? No big surprise there. RIC higher than VET, well that is somewhat of a shocker but not as much. One would think that a 4x WDC would destroy the newcomer to the team but if you are like me that has always thought Vetel was all car…. this just confirms that.

    Grid looks interesting, I might just get up and watch the race.

    1. 32-35 times, heard on Sky Sports.
      I am curious only how much time it will take for Hulk to ovetake Alonso)

  15. I know I am turning more and more as the banner man for Grosjean’s fandom here (weird, as I am a Lewis fan but never mind), but I am hugely impressed, again. 10th, and by the scruff of the colar twice in Q1 and Q2. It is high time he gets a car good enough to bring him his win (and no invincible Vettel-RB on a streak at that moment). All star drive by him.

    1. Agree with that. He is really stretching his legs out there. It’s clear that he’s frustrated by the pace of the car but at least he’s getting the car home unlike his teammate and it really looks like he’s punching above his weight on occasions.

  16. Will this be another weekend of McLaren being the worst of the Merc powered cars?

  17. It would be interesting to know why, different engine maps, different HGU-K or MGU-H wet settings or what, but many of the the cars sounded different today, mostly all the Renault cars (and some Mercedes engined cars that I noticed), they sounded more evil than usual, proper Star Wars stuff.

    I wonder why nobody is saying anything about the engine sound today? Have people stopped caring about the sound suddenly, or they don’t actually notice it much unless they are told by others that they should?

    1. or they don’t actually notice it much unless they are told by others that they should

      This is the case with each and every hysteria that erupts among the “fans”. I was saying the same thing about the tyres last year. Yes, they were soft, but I bet no observer would have complained that they were pushing less, or conserving tyres more, if they weren’t told so repeatedly, every single minute by commentators, Red Bull and some “experts”.

      Noone cared about noise until Bernie started moaning about it. All of a sudden everyone started talking about noise, while reporters were asking fans unassuming questions like “Do you think this noise is really bad or really crappy?”

  18. Wave and smile ! Wow, Vettel doesn’t look that happy. Wonder why……..

  19. Michael Brown (@)
    19th April 2014, 17:47

    With a visibility the way it was, I’m surprised Race Control didn’t cancel the session.

    BTW, my inner conspiracy theorist says Rosberg spun to prevent faster times from being posted. Hee hee hee

  20. All the nonsence with people going on about Vettel been shown up as some sort of fraud is frankly laughable.

    Easy to forget how Vettel has had far less running in the new car than Ricciardo has & that he has had most of the reliability problems with the new systems during the race weekends.

    I think the Vettel haters are just looking for any excuse to discredit his success & put it all down to the car which is also frankly laughable given that even a great car still has to be driven by a good driver to get results & that a great driver will always get more out of it than a good driver.
    We have seen many times though history that having the best car isn’t an automatic ticket to success because you still have to have a top driver in that car to get the most out of it.

    Also interesting how people ignore 2012 when it was pretty much accepted in the F1 paddock that the McLaren was the best car, They went into the season as championship favorites because of that. And which team/driver won the championships in 2012?

    Contrary to popular belief Vettel has not always had the best car while he’s been winning. The STR of 2007/2008 wasn’t the best car by a long way yet he scored a pole, Won a race & was regularly up towards the front.
    The BMW he debuted in wasn’t the best car & he still showed great speed & scored points on his race debut on a circuit he’d never driven on in a car he hadn’t sat in for 3-4 months.

    Im no fan of Vettel but some of the comments people say about how he’s somehow not really that good & all the success/wins/championships are just a fluke because of the car is just utterly absurd & in some cases just pathetic.

    1. To add.

      Going back 20 years its all actually the same sort of nonsense people were saying about Michael Schumacher after his 94/95 championships. He wasn’t really that good, He couldn’t race or overtake & his success was down to having the better car.

      After 1996 people were no longer able to say any of that as he proved himself to be the best driver on the grid.

    2. Exactly. Not even Senna could win in everything.

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