Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014

Mercedes not as fast as they seemed in Singapore

2014 Singapore Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the Singapore Grand Prix. He might have been expected to do that after he put new tyres on with eight laps to go – but he didn’t.

With the super soft tyres two-and-a-half seconds per lap quicker than the softs, Hamilton was no quicker when he put the harder tyres on at the end of the race than he had been earlier on. Of course, having quickly re-passed Vettel for the lead he no longer had to push his car to the maximum.

Nonetheless Hamilton set the race’s fastest lap earlier in the race, shortly after the Safety Car came in. Atthis point he was lapping two-and-a-half seconds faster than his pursuers, led by Sebastian Vettel on the harder tyres.

The rate at which Hamilton pulled away invited comparisons with Vettel’s performance in the same situation last year (which later became the focus of a particularly banal controversy). But while on that occasion Vettel was aided by his pursuer Nico Rosberg being slowed by tyre debris in his front wing, Hamilton had the benefit of a tyre advantage over Vettel this year.

But what was most striking about the pace of the front-running cars in Singapore was that Mercedes did not enjoy the same scale of advantage over their rivals as they have in previous rounds. Hamilton was sufficiently quicker than Vettel that his victory never looked seriously in doubt, but his advantage came mainly on worn tyres towards the end of stints.

Although the Safety Car wiped out five seconds of Hamilton’s lead, it also exaggerated the final margin between Mercedes and Red Bull, as the latter switched both their cars to a two-stop strategy to ensure they beat Alonso. Mercedes may have won this one comfortably, but on pure performance it was closer than it looked.

This was all academic for Rosberg who flailed around with a malfunctioning car for a dozen laps before retiring. But as lap five showed, a Mercedes W05 with no fourth or sixth gear, no hybrid power boosts, broken DRS and other glitches is still faster than a Marussia or a Caterham.

Singapore Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2014drivercolours.csv

123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051525354555657585960
Lewis Hamilton115.51113.896113.54113.534113.035113.347113.116113.432113.532113.287113.522113.513120.607134.413114.239113.875112.882112.923113.03112.923112.896113.053113.228113.452113.417120.59135.143111.793111.405112.243133.097188.674165.276160.667167.776158.009158.396111.64110.417111.564111.28111.474111.465111.905111.644112.059111.766112.843112.142113.013112.771121.69132.98113.579113.885113.313113.819113.838114.297114.14
Nico Rosberg132.215119.54119.073118.013116.769117.657118.577118.609118.296119.445120.555120.156125.283
Daniel Ricciardo119.536114.994114.889114.725114.476114.722114.506114.302114.557114.478114.305121.701133.648113.013113.161112.964113.084113.315113.033113.436113.268113.38113.821114.051114.544114.279122.128132.594112.655112.569142.014165.737162.869160.65165.024158.422157.723114.627113.299113.526113.042114.134113.875114.423114.086113.889113.72113.909113.366113.407113.434113.829115.025115.063115.027115.36115.645116.211116.15115.448
Sebastian Vettel117.189113.882113.561113.532113.537113.52113.578113.754114.208114.588115.059122.987134.739113.019113.073113.202113.055113.048113.292113.293113.582113.678113.845114.222122.235132.814112.519113.101112.703112.699140.746174.247163.098160.601165.655157.909158.428114.007112.967113.33113.383113.341113.436113.67113.697113.459113.393113.604113.718114.294114.033114.554114.454116.091115.495115.746115.707116.397115.786115.569
Fernando Alonso118.861114.848114.498114.323113.987113.697113.971114.014114.23114.552114.569122.262133.063113.144113.561113.003113.176112.993112.849112.893113.129113.395113.408121.033129.685112.668112.115112.263112.198112.897145.11179.613161.388160.904165.285157.973157.433115.822114.115113.494113.532113.213113.656114.292114.018113.834113.48113.947113.722113.292113.474113.518114.72115.108114.765115.226115.638116.182116.129116.016
Felipe Massa121.862114.777114.775114.97114.549115.057114.737115.384115.193122.522133.546114.423114.972114.735113.449113.555113.516113.628113.293113.766114.309121.666132.339114.023113.989113.73113.283113.497113.614114.243148.398160.341152.785161.891163.838157.606157.236116.334114.627114.248114.279114.49114.392114.624114.774114.951114.764115.096115.128115.248115.583115.282115.918116.332116.421116.25116.978116.98116.773117.987
Kimi Raikkonen120.438114.952114.899114.979114.511115.078114.692115.126115.139115.338122.577134.449115.027115.446113.456114.779113.416113.45113.374113.542114.049114.218113.355114.201121.111132.911113.102112.872113.337114.349156.668177.094133.181159.959163.73157.894154.524116.959115.242114.686114.69115.078114.765114.928115.201114.935115.384115.376115.949115.768116.169116.291115.991117.127117.365117.579117.683118.142119.713119.192
Valtteri Bottas123.658115.231115.212115.012115.18115.19114.893115.151115.575115.713122.915133.438114.041114.6113.966113.786114.134113.895114.109114.091113.915113.991122.321133.095112.515113.059112.872113.054113.139113.169150.651161.319147.058161.705163.708157.998156.614116.851115.015114.611114.686114.79115.176114.791115.158115.129115.615115.452115.636116.004116.119116.422116.671117.206117.317117.705117.575118.077119.826124.055
Kevin Magnussen125.005115.911115.468115.416115.4115.257115.177115.324115.38115.258115.456115.768123.106133.914115.163114.357114.141114.266114.639114.738114.864114.921115.418115.795115.712122.108132.717112.596112.744112.871158.373161.108131.717156.263163.55159.855152.713116.581115.49114.869115.018115.012115.064115.253114.628122.493133.567111.639112.699111.817112.094112.647115.372117.367116.27114.296115.147118.389120.768118.076
Daniil Kvyat125.479116.226115.295115.557115.438115.359115.67117.688116.741124.334138.005114.615114.553116.092115.504114.965115.152114.862114.924115.571116.381116.198123.046134.534113.19113.609113.635114.771116.537121.942165.142129.451133.741153.839162.984159.482152.73116.581115.513115.274115.034116.085125.576135.399111.761112.993114.899116.665113.213113.564113.477113.425113.149114.475115.235116.705117.647118.512118.627119.752
Jenson Button122.667115.408114.777114.937115.171114.865114.575115.251115.407115.338115.316115.723115.996124.315134.01113.707114.529114.558114.839114.389114.589114.818114.946114.808114.832115.077115.335115.219115.2115.405155.814176.057136.113159.484163.73158.008155.482116.772115.251114.665114.643114.551115.41114.71115.12115.094115.56115.406115.753115.935116.13116.311
Jean-Eric Vergne125.944116.384115.353115.511115.569115.423115.134115.636115.502115.839122.793134.129112.994115.216114.211113.681113.795114.269114.869114.689115.283115.44115.257122.665138.959112.217112.78112.423112.854113.059157.429157.707135.621157.137163.668159.082153.417116.652115.47114.721114.757115.318114.791121.96132.713112.037111.976111.937112.416112.864114.083114.824115.991113.968115.801117.277117.793117.569115.409114.33
Nico Hulkenberg126.623116.829115.671115.766115.709115.538115.522116.832124.068134.582113.482113.934114.65114.559115.622114.602114.67114.279114.569115.115114.972115.481115.865115.802124.453132.803112.762113.571113.273113.519166.427170.373117.65149.067163.116159.532152.413116.626115.747115.184115.087116.015115.345114.012114.494115.348114.766114.957114.771115.171115.978116.335116.214116.864117.233117.349117.677118.792119.976118.814
Esteban Gutierrez127.45116.754115.951116.319116.245115.684116.156116.462116.663117.164117.473119.361119.407120.268129.944144.694128.93
Sergio Perez128.088116.731116.059116.211116.353116.069115.962116.446116.529117.001117.455116.623116.914119.18124.618135.739115.64114.414115.412115.395116.1116.591116.816116.093115.837116.753115.702115.332123.631160.551200.433163.608160.473133.036116.95115.739125.539119.362115.003114.557114.943115.553115.872123.224132.131112.007114.172115.04112.355112.356112.624112.875113.379114.432117.984115.745114.043115.315117.816117.022
Romain Grosjean128.571116.773116.16115.922116.636116.008116.046116.385116.636123.729136.082115.756114.585114.675116.2115.037114.802114.826114.861114.764114.989123.222133.338113.868113.543113.726113.941115.394116.61126.344177.994135.505119.191147.864163.648158.758151.72119.683115.138114.433115.657115.213116.541115.908114.64114.826115.179115.028115.264115.192116.383117.053117.726117.124118.968117.368117.829117.552117.188118.822
Adrian Sutil128.933117.272116.697116.112116.108116.332117.208126.27134.873113.948116.378119.34116.788115.441115.132115.696115.527115.224115.463116.16116.414116.281116.616125.015136.313114.861115.841117.195115.792130.647168.758142.808121.644120.778160.919158.862150.826116.239115.779122.529
Pastor Maldonado129.292117.362116.865116.191116.084116.439116.533116.314118.478116.35123.587136.529116.575115.748115.265115.461115.569115.392115.288116.082116.556116.585124.234133.544115.169113.213113.556114.215113.669130.691184.895140.458121.97120.214161.626158.569150.407117.098115.258115.156115.85115.18117.006114.99114.375115.372114.875114.938115115.142116.862115.572118.756117.055118.974118.453117.063117.513117.677118.57
Jules Bianchi130.27118.388117.247117.048117.705117.386116.985117.463117.415117.567117.396118.139119.05118.704126.5138.787116.092116.457116.125116.32115.84116.033116.036116.358117.761116.269116.261119.109117.391139.077197.036165.043160.775132.991116.783115.43126.258119.35117.768116.825116.112116.404116.825116.498124.138135.594113.538114.78114.774114.368115.075115.049115.215116.347117.285117.03117.585118.606117.166117.511
Kamui Kobayashi
Max Chilton131.491119.961118.876119.036118.961118.275118.627118.47118.379119.15120.829120.352119.228119.52119.98127.93138.233130.3148.075116.923117.254118.075119.377118.313117.715121.136118.818117.95123.076166.169129.41133.182153.929142.488120.797118.46118.553118.6118.448118.06127.243138.364113.807115.451115.373115.812116.033117.351116.392115.422115.709116.989117.005116.95116.826119.828118.046122.507118.617
Marcus Ericsson130.885119.043118.755118.168118.261117.757118.578118.463118.425118.571121.431127.677137.611115.416116.646117.089116.73116.564116.875117.333117.067117.386118.964117.639117.567117.847117.278117.635120.439150.125181.603154.262161.776134.809120.478119.647118.356116.825116.076117.136116.545116.227116.081116.599116.852117.612117.097120.38117.621117.056117.035116.688117.084117.495117.279117.222117.24117.736117.717118.224

Singapore Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’50.41739
2Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’51.6391.22248
3Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’51.7611.34445
4Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’51.9371.52048
5Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’52.0071.59046
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’52.1151.69827
7Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’52.5152.09825
8Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’52.5192.10227
9Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’52.5692.15230
10Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’52.7622.34527
11Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’52.8722.45528
12Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’53.2132.79626
13Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’53.2832.86627
14Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’53.5383.12147
15Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’53.5433.12625
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’53.7073.29016
17Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’53.8073.39043
18Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’53.9483.53110
19Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’55.4164.99914
20Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’55.6845.2676
21Nico RosbergMercedes1’56.7696.3525
22Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault

2014 Singapore 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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18 comments on “Mercedes not as fast as they seemed in Singapore”

  1. “But as lap five showed, a Mercedes W05 with no fourth or sixth gear, no hybrid power boosts, broken DRS and other glitches is still faster than a Marussia or a Caterham”.

    Let’s not put ideas in Bernie’s head “to spice up the show”!

    1. Reminded me of this, about1 minute in.

      Could well imagine Bernie buzzing round in a helicopter doing firing those.

    2. Rosberg did say things came back now and then. Perhaps that was one of the laps where it did work?

      1. He was referring to the time when drove to the grid, before the race started.

        1. No he wasn’t. He was talking about the laps just before he was told to retire.

          Then it all sort of came back for a few laps, only to disband again. It was hopeless. And in the end there was nothing I nor the team could do. For security reasons they called me in.

          Why not simply look up simple facts like this before you needlessly claim someone is incorrect?

  2. After passing Vettel he was taking it very easy. You seriously think Hamilton on new soft will be just few tenths quicker than Vettel on 30 lap old soft tires. Real pace could be seen at start about 0.8 s per lap. There too I think he was not going full out.

    Look at Vergne on new soft he was 5 sec per lap quicker on lap 2 laps than Bottas and Kimi. That is real difference between old and new tires. That too Toro Rosso is not that quick car

    1. I mean last 2 laps

    2. Well said.

      Different tyres did not show the true picture. Ferrari did show impressive pace. Fernando Alonso’s in and out laps to undercut Seb were terrific.

    3. Also note how little fuel Hamilton was using, relative to RBR and others. If this was a true MB duel, I think they would have buried the field a la Bahrain.

    4. Not only that, he probably was nursing his engine as well being an engine down than Nico. if we could see his fuel usage at those laps, we could picture better… Suggesting his performance was not as expected is a bit dull as he wasnt being challenged, why would he push limits and risk a mistake?

    5. Absolutely correct, crap tyres spoil races.

  3. I saw Sky were pressing Toto every session after FP1 asking if Merc were worried about their pace for the race and he kept saying that they were looking good. While Hamilton was dominant, if the Merc package was half as impressive as it had been throughout the previous races, then we would have seen Hamilton come out in front of Seb by some margin on that last pit stop. To only be 1 sec per lap faster than Seb over the course of that stint sounds impressive, but factor in that Hamilton was pushing like a mad man, and then you think back to races like Bahrain where Hamilton and Rosberg were cutting each other up but still 40 odd seconds ahead of the rest of the field, might put into prespective what it is that I’m trying to say.

    1. dragoll … you’ve overlooked a couple important facts. LW lost all his lead gap from the safety car. He then had to make back all that lead gap before he could pit, and he did that on old tires.
      I think he had twenty some odd seconds lead before the safety car; then after the SC he quickly had to make up a lead before he could pit, which he did, making up a new 26 second lead. So add the before and after SC leads, and there’s the 40+ seconds lead.

  4. It’s also worth noting on Hamilton’s pace in the last few laps that Mercedes would surely have known that if he had gone any faster the race would have been one lap longer (he only just passed the flag 4.8s after the time limit, had he been faster over those last 5 laps he could comfortably have got onto the 61st lap). Presumably Mercedes would have been quite happy to have one lap less for a problem to develop hence the relatively slow pace on the soft tyres.

    1. Yeah, it really looked like he paced himself to go over the line just as the time was up. Or it could have been a big coincidence of course :)

  5. At the time he passed Vettel, he was well aware of Nico’s retirement, and being an engine down, he probably just cruised around while short shifting and saving a ton of fuel as well :) Do we have the fuel telemetry?

    1. There was a radio message where he specifically asked about turning down the engine, a few laps after passing Vettle.

  6. The fuel efficiency of the Mercedes is quite incredible when contrasted with the Renault and the Ferrari – by which I mean managing to keep similar or better pace whilst consuming less fuel. Slightly ironic I feel, as Renault tout themselves far more than Mercedes do as a “green” engine manufacturer.

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