Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014

Mercedes’ rivals “closer than expected” in last race

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014In the round-up: Mercedes’ motor sport director Toto Wolff admits the team was surprised their rivals were so close in Singapore.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Mercedes unfazed by F1 rivals’ pace (Autosport)

“Singapore generally is different and the gaps tend to be closer, [but] it was closer than we expected.”

Kevin Magnussen Q&A Part 2 (Crash)

“I knew when I pushed to get this seat that if I go for this seat it’s my one opportunity and it’s going to be make-or-break. I knew what I was going in to and I think I’m doing OK.”

Millville’s New Jersey Motorsports Park named in trademark lawsuit over F1 name and logo (NJ)

“Formula One World Championship Limited filed lawsuits against various companies using the F1 name and logo earlier this month, including the Millville-based New Jersey Motorsports Park and its F1 Karting.”


Comment of the day

The latest Caption Competition didn’t fail to provoke many amusing response and those from Ryan Petersen, Me4me, Russ, Mashiat and Gareth J all came close to winning.

However the following from @Nemo87 was my favourite:

Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone, 2014

Ecclestone: I just pulled it out of my pocket to send a text, and it’s bent!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Donwatters!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two years ago today McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said his departing driver Lewis Hamilton was making a “mistake” by leaving the team to join Mercedes – but since then his decision has clearly paid off.

Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, FIA

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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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  • 42 comments on “Mercedes’ rivals “closer than expected” in last race”

    1. While they’re in Braintree, maybe they’ll also go after this karting track…


      1. Thats a great place for karting. nice track!

    2. Haha looking at that past Round-Up when Lewis is switching to Mercedes and the debate about that is hilarious nowadays. Bunch of negative comments on Lewis ‘future’, a happy Rosberg tweeting about the newcomer…. ahhh in 2 years everything changes :D

      1. @cocaine-mackeine – It’s funny. Everyone had a go at Lewis for moving simply for the money even though most inside F1 including his dad, told him he should stay at McLaren. How right was Lewis!?

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      29th September 2014, 0:59

      I think too much has been made of this whole “gap to Mercedes is closing”.

      Sure the qualifying times weren’t quite as dominant as we’ve seen in previous races, but Lewis and Nico both had reasonably scrappy laps, and still had a few tenths in the bag.

      Their race pace however, was as dominant as ever. And once they were able to stop playing “tyre management”, they unleashed their true pace and blitzed everyone by up to 2.5 seconds per lap! The safety car made Lewis’s strategy fairly sub-optimal, yet he still won the race with a considerable margin to 2nd place.

      Singapore was supposed to be one of those races, much like. Monaco, were the engine decency was less of a factor, so their rivals should be pretty concerned that they could be that dominant at a track they weren’t supposed to be.
      It also showed that the Mercedes chassis is just as good as Red Bulls’.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        29th September 2014, 1:02

        those races, much like. Monaco, were the engine decency was less of a factor

        **those races, much like Monaco, where the engine power was much less of a factor.**

        Silly auto-correct.

      2. You are comparing lap times of Hamilton, who was on supersofts and with one tyre stop left, to Vettel on softs, which had to last 35 laps till the checkered flag. It’s not comparable, as simple as that.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          29th September 2014, 7:23

          Even in the first stint. Both on SS, Hamilton pulled out a substantial gap with relative ease, which was nullified by the safety car.

        2. Why do everyone seem to forget that Lewis did 26 laps on the super softs while keeping an insane pace? That’s 6 laps more than anyone else.

      3. @tophercheese21 Yes. Nico Rosberg was very close to Vettel last year on Saturday only to see Seb run away on Sunday.

      4. @tophercheese21 – I completely agree; I don’t remember a party celebrating the fact that Rosberg came within less than a tenth of Vettel’s 2013 Singapore pole before he proceeded to demonstrate the fact that he was in fact two seconds down the road in race trim on the Sunday. And why, when we are having such excellent races and have such an enthralling title battle, is the media so quick to celebrate when Mercedes show signs of being under pressure? Don’t expect Mercedes to be properly under pressure until 2016 at least, because as they’ve demonstrated on a number of occasions, they don’t only have the best powerunit but the best chassis.

        1. @william-brierty You are right that we are having excellent races and an enthralling title battle, but I’m sure not everyone is that happy constantly seeing their team or driver beaten yet again. So I’m sure there will be many who hope you are wrong that it won’t be until 2016 before anyone pressures Merc. But we certainly do see runs of dominance from teams and drivers, so it is very possible you are right. It helps me that I have been pulling for Nico since seeing how well he handled having MS as a teammate, but I am not passionate about him or any driver anywhere near like my favourite 3 who have been Gilles, Ayrton, and Jacques, that had me with butterflies in my stomach and on the edge of my seat, or often pacing the room, with every race.

          Anyway, perhaps it is because much of the media would agree with you that Merc may dominate through next year at least, that they are looking to celebrate any sign that others might start to eat away at their position and add that into the mix of enthralling racing for those who are not Merc, LH, or NR fans and who want to see their driver fighting for the WDC next year.

          1. @robbie – But I don’t think the media should feel it necessary to pander to the sporting woes of aggrieved Ferrari/McLaren/Vettel fans when the neutral fan is as happy as a sandboy. The media should simply support F1; celebrate it after the watershed 900th Grand Prix at Bahrain (when F1 proved great racing can be produced in tandem with incentivising fuel efficient technology), judge it objectively in its darkest hours, but always with the assumption that racing excellence is what the viewer sits down to watch, not a particular result, no matter what the real incentive might be.

            With Rosberg and Hamilton so close (for now, the psychological momentum of the 2014 championship may be key in deciding the outcome of 2015 too), it couldn’t be less irrelevant to me that Mercedes will likely wrap up both championships in 2015 too (realistically the margin Mercedes showed as recently as Spa will take more than a season to close…or a substantial regulation change), and although I am partial to Lewis’ style of driving, I promise I’d have been beating the same drum had Webber been on Vettel’s pace in the dominant RB9.

            1. @william-brierty I agree they don’t need to pander, but why ignore the ‘aggrieved’ fan when the neutral ones are already taken care of, if you are trying to sell your media. The aggrieved likely spend more money following the sport than the ones indifferent. Just saying you are fine with this domination, as am I, as I too would be fine with this rivalry excelling over the pack again next year, while others would love to see it between any of six drivers on any give Sunday. I’d be fine with that too. I don’t think any neutral fan must only see this duel we have now to appreciate racing excellence. And since the objective for all teams is to improve to the point of winning, we all understand the worthiness of reporting when some teams may have shown signs of that, as that too can be included under the racing excellence umbrella.

              So I don’t see where there is pandering going on, especially when Wolff himself was pointing out their surprise at the closeness of the competition. Next year they should be closer merely due to teams having a huge learning year under their belt, but as I have admitted and you have pointed out, there are runs of success, as we have seen, and I’m fine with that too. For now it’s refreshing and enthralling to us. Two top drivers maxing top equipment to the best of their ability. But Merc would be fools to assume they have a lock on next year too, especially if continued pace is accompanied by dnfs, and someone nearly as fast but more reliable could cause them grief. There’s nothing in the media pointing that out that takes away from everyone who feels like it, celebrating what we have now.

    4. @tophercheese21

      I think first post was ok !

      Engine decency is a problem for all but Mercedes ,


    5. FOM getting wound up about NJ Motorsports Park using a somewhat similar logo for their karting program reminds me of when the brass at Ford Motor Company got their nickers in a twist after Ferrari dubbed their 2011 F1 entry the F150. Nobody who has even the least bit of interest in these things would have confused an F1 machine for a Ford pickup truck, and the people who go karting at NJMP are unlikely to be there because of some loosely implied association with F1. All that said, I do get it. The lawyers need something to do, after all.

      1. Companies always use the argument that once they let 1 case get away with it, it can get hard to uphold a trademark etc (because it might become considered as a “general term” rather than a specifi one that can be claimed by anyone) @schooner

        In the article its clear that all 3 companies are owned / tied to the same person, so it really is one case. In the Ferrari case I would rather think it a stupid move by Ferrari, because the Ferrari – Truck jokes came up the moment it was presented. Ford came only after another couple of days.

    6. Thanks Keith for at least giving me a shoutout. It is both bittersweet that I came so close to winning the caption contest. Well, hopefully next time we can go one better!

    7. Only in qualifying. Merc quite clearly set up their car for the race, as their advantage on Sunday was much bigger than on Saturday (who would’ve thought it, after Spain 2013?) lol.

      1. @kingshark As a Hamilton fan, that Spain race was one of the most sad things to watch in F1 for me :P

    8. I’m using F1 in my nickname! Expecting a lawsuit.

      1. Look out f1fanatic then… oh wait

        “F1” isn’t a the trademark…. “Formula One” is.

        1. I’m pretty sure F1Fanatic would qualify as fair use — it’s a news site covering F1, after all

        2. @djdaveyp87 F1 is trademarked (more…) and officially f1fanatic.co.uk cannot be used according to this (read the part about domain names)

          1. @maarten-f1, thanks for the link.
            I was to propose ‘FIfanatic.co.uk’ – with a capital ‘i’ as second letter.
            But then the FIFA will probably sue Keith.

          1. Actually, it still doesn’t comply with their rules. The disclaimer does not cover all their wishes, and thet require it in the footer on _all_ pages.

            However, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have a case: http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p09_fair_use

      2. @coldfly – Take a look at any PC keyboard, top row, left hand side… “F1” has been in common use in computing since at least the early eighties, with no legal problems. You’re safe. Interestingly, it’s usually the “help” key – I think Formula One Group needs a bit of “F1”.

        1. Lewisham Milton
          29th September 2014, 8:56

          They’re too busy pressing the panic button.

          1. Made me laugh!

        2. Maybe they need some F5…

          1. @xtwl
            “If you found that F1 does not refreshing, try F5”

        3. @tribaltalker,

          Formula One Group needs a bit of “F1″.

          +F1 ;-)

    9. Singapore is one of the weakest track of Merc (if compare to RBR best track) i’m not surprised if the qualifying close, but in the race Merc is always superior

    10. Red Bull will be quick at Suzuka so it may be a 4 horse race for once.

      1. Let’s see. While Suzuka has a lot of evil, EVIL corners (if you drive simulators, you know what I mean), but there’s also two long straights, and both the Dunlop curve and the long turn 12 can be taken full throttle.

        I’m pretty sure Mercedes will far ahead.

        1. @losd I’m pretty sure Dunlop will not be flat out in these cars. Maybe in 2013 it was…

          1. @montreal95 Hmmm, you may be right, although downforce is much better now across the field than in Australia.

        2. @losd I have some hope Williams will be fast too, especially after their decent showing in Singapore, where they were expected to suffer.

          1. @bosyber That would be wonderful. It’s hard not to root for Williams after all the years of continuous heartbreak.

    11. -13.5 seconds, thats is really “close” :)

    12. Thanks for the caption choice Keith! :)

    Comments are closed.