Reliability and error-free driving key to Hamilton and Mercedes’ dominance – Todt

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In the round-up: FIA president Jean Todt says Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have achieved a level of dominance beyond what he achieved as Ferrari team principal at the beginning of the century.

What they say

Todt was in charge at Ferrari when the team won six consecutive constructors championships and took Schumacher to five back-to-back drivers titles. Mercedes have swept the last seven teams championships and their drivers Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took all the drivers titles during that time.

Todt was asked to compare Hamilton’s success with Schumacher’s:

We’re talking about different persons, different ingredients. The only thing really we can compare is seven against seven [six]. But otherwise on one side you had a very structured, organised German team with, as we said, a very talented, extra-talented driver. And on the other side, you had an Italian team with a different mentality, different approach, which became well structured, well organised and also had a great driver, Michael Schumacher.

But I will say I feel – and I’m sure that I will be quoted for that – the supremacy, the dominance of Mercedes and Lewis is bigger than the one we had at the time with Ferrari and Michael. And a credit to them, the car is very reliable, more reliable. The second Bahrain [race], which was missed by Lewis, for two years he did not miss to score points in a race. It’s absolutely outstanding. Reliability and the driver not doing a mistake, so it’s just the combination again.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

How was Romain Grosjean able to stay conscious throughout his huge impact in Bahrain? Duncan suspects the deformation of the barrier played a role:

Not sure where the 60G figure comes from (calculation or sensor, if a sensor then on what part of the car?) but it looks like the compliance of the fence’s rapid unexpected disassembly would have softened the blow for the monocoque.

What I do find remarkable was how his feet and legs were protected by that beautifully engineered structure and how lucky he was that the top Armco rail didn’t block exit – some great design and quite some luck.
Duncan Idaho (@Didaho)

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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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  • 72 comments on “Reliability and error-free driving key to Hamilton and Mercedes’ dominance – Todt”

    1. Arminas crash was a while back. the team manager is thanking Kimi who by the way is the team owner and ktm, husqvarna’s main shareholder.

    2. There’s no comparison between Ferrari 2000-04 and Mercedes 2014-20.

      The Mercs are on another level. Schumacher’s brilliance flattered the Ferrari to an extent.

      15 front row lockouts for Ferrrari 2000-04 and it’s 71 for Mercedes since 2014-20.

      George Russell jumped into the Merc which he could barely fit inside of and set up for another driver and was immediately on Bottas’s pace on the Friday. By Sunday he was clearly quicker than him despite still figuring out the limits and functions of the car.

      That shows how easy it has been for the Merc drivers in the hybrid era.

      McLaren in 1998 had 8 front row lockouts. I don’t think the Ferrari in 2002 and 2004 had a significantly bigger performance gap than that 1998 McLaren.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        29th December 2020, 5:25

        Ferrari were only comparatively as dominant as Mercedes have been for the last 7 seasons during ‘02 and ‘04. Maybe I’m looking back with rose tinted glasses but with the tyre war and less reliability, the form seemed to swing around between Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and latterly Renault and BAR. You would look the championship standings and Michael had just consistently racked up a lot more points than the others who were far more sporadic. The only time I remember anybody putting together a good run of big points finishes was Hakkinen in ‘00 and Montoya in the second half of the ‘03 season.

        1. @jackisthestig Counting front row lockouts doesn’t work if you have a team with a #1 driver like Ferrari. The #2 drivers is disadvantaged too much to actually be on the front row that often.

          Mercedes have not been dominant for 7 years either. Ferrari had the faster car from 2017 to 2019. They just didn’t have the drivers that could actually do the job. Vettel was leading most of 2017 and 2018 season until at the end of the season invariable the pressure would be too much and he would started blundering it all away. That’s on top of the blunders he would already have when the pressure wasn’t that big.

          In 2019 both their drivers started blundering pretty much from the start. They had the fastest car for 10 races, but won only 3. Mercedes had the fastest car for 9 races and won 8 of those. Red Bull had the fastest car in 2 races and won only 1 of those.

          The difference is in the Mercedes drivers actually winning their races vs the others losing half or more of their races. And then Mercedes would pick up the wins where the other teams were faltering. Hamilton won 5 of the races where Ferrari or Red Bull were fastest. Or even both. Like in Mexico where Mercedes was third fastest and Hamilton still won.

          Also, the reason they are so dominating is for a large part because of Hamilton helping them design the car in the right direction. While Ferrari and Red Bull keeping going the wrong way with development. Having to catch up all season to fix their problems from he start of the season. While Mercedes just develops the car in the right direction pretty much every year. Apart from 2017 and 2018.

          1. Ah yes, Lewis the Master Car Designer!
            You keep repeating this point and always fail to show proof for it.
            Please tell us what exactly Lewis does that other drivers don’t do to develop the car?
            And how come he couldn’t develop the fastest car for 2017-2019, by your own words?

            1. I couldn’t picture Lewis at the drawing board for 12 hours a day.

              Joking aside I don’t know to what extent he leads the direction in which the develop the car but whatever they are doing is working well. That said, they listened to Lewis during the race they would make 5 or 6 pitstops every time.

            2. Mercedes say it often enough. Their car would not be as good if Hamilton was not helping them develop it.

          2. The Mercedes was clearly quickest 2017-19.

            It’s only because of blunders by Hamilton and the Mercedes team in early 2017-18 that gave Vettel a points advantage he should never have had to begin with. Last year the Merc won 14 races to Ferrari’s 3. The party mode on Ferrari’s illegal engine had made it outperform in qualifying.

            Mercedes were the better car in 2017-18 but the team and Hamilton made a lot of blunders early in each season. 2019 Ferrari had a rocketship in qualifying because of the party mode on their illegal engine. Over the course of the entire season the Mercedes was clearly the better car. They won 14 races to 3.

            Australia 2017 Ferrari had slower car but Merc blundered by getting caught out by the overcut, Bahrain Hamilton blundered by getting a penalty for deliberately holding up Ricciardo, Russia – Bottas won while Hamilton finished anonymously in 4th Merc quickest car, Monaco Hamilton qualified 14th because he couldn’t warm his tyres while Bottas qualified 3rd. By Monaco Vettel had a 25 lead he was never really entitled to because he only truly had the fastest car in Monaco.

            Similar in 2018 with Hamilton winning 2 of the first 7 races, 3 of the first 10 despite the best car. Australia Vettel pitted under VSC Mercedes blamed a software glitch, Bahrain Merc clearly quicker with Bottas all over the back of Vettel at end of the race we all know Bottas isn’t much good, Bottas was leading on merit in China before the safety car came out (Merc quicker just that Hamilton couldn’t beat his teammate) giving the win to RBR, Canada Hamilton got outqualified and beaten by Bottas who finished 2nd, Austria Merc DNF despite locking out front row.

            Goes on and on.

            1. @deanfranklin

              The Mercedes was clearly quickest 2017-19.

              It clearly wasn’t. Even Vettel was in the lead for most of the 2017 and 2018 seasons and 2019 they had more poles

            2. @f1osaurus

              2019 they had more poles

              Today I learned that 9 is more than 10

            3. Australia 2017 Ferrari had slower car but Merc blundered by getting caught out by the overcut, Bahrain Hamilton blundered by getting a penalty for deliberately holding up Ricciardo, Russia – Bottas won while Hamilton finished anonymously in 4th Merc quickest car, Monaco Hamilton qualified 14th because he couldn’t warm his tyres while Bottas qualified 3rd. By Monaco Vettel had a 25 lead he was never really entitled to because he only truly had the fastest car in Monaco.

              Australia-Ferrari had the quicker car in race trim-the fact that LH was unable to build enough gap to get out of risky undercut range attests to this. It was the speed of the SF70h that forced Merc to pit, to when they did. Ferrari were quickest in Bahrain too–AMuS concluded Ferrari had the overall quicker car in Australia and Bahrain. Worth noting that without his early reliability issues(lost a win to headrest issue in Baku-and a few points to a gearbox penalty in Austria)-LH would’ve been leading the title race going into the 2nd half. Vettel underperformed and threw away valuable points first half in Russia(Ferrari had the quickest car according to AMuS) and Spain(ferrari quickest according to AMuS). He also failed to fully capitalise on Hamilton’s headrest issue in Baku.

              As for 2018-Ferrari were easily the best car first half-Vettel just made too many mistakes

            4. @kingshark True, I count Baku for Leclerc.

            5. @f1osaurus
              Bottas took pole at Baku. Your opinion is irrelevant on what the facts say.

          3. @f1osaurus

            Ferrari had the faster car from 2017 to 2019

            Keep telling that to yourself :)

            The SF70H was a downforce monster but it was a draggier car and lacked BHP and high speed aero compared to the Mercedes W08. Thus it was only faster than the Mercedes in the street circuits and slower in high speed power sensitive tracks.

            Ferrari were caught by a TD that year with regard to oil burn after the Canadian GP were they were using an auxiliary oil tank and lost performance as a result. Mercedes outfoxed Ferrari by later in the year when they introduced their 3rd PU in Spa instead of Monza to enjoy the oil burn limit of 1.2L/100km instead of the new stricter limit of 0.9L/100km and from that moment onward there was no competition. It also worth to mention that the the SF70H was less reliable than the W08 which for history was tricky to set up and have a narrower operating window that only Lewis was able to find.

            The SF71H was a championship winning car without any doubt but it was equally fast with the W09. Ferrari that year was only genuinely faster than the Mercedes in 3 races. Baku, Hockenheim and Spa. Ferrari lost a bit of performance that year after a second sensor was fit in its PU in Monaco to monitor energy flowing between the MGU-H and the MGU-K. They also lost performance in the 3 races that followed Monza due to a faulty floor upgrade. Once they have removed the faulty upgraded package they regained competitivity with Mercedes.

            In 2019, Mercedes did have one of its most dominant years in F1 after 2020. They won 15 out of 21 races and the first 8 races. I don’t know how you consider Ferrari were faster in that season. Ferrari were only faster than Mercedes in Q3 in power sensitive tracks due to the mighty power output their PU was able to generate in qualifying mode. Even in those races, Mercedes have had better race pace and tyre management.

            That said, Lewis was clearly operating to another level to Vettel in the 2017 and 2018 years and deserved all the credit he got for his performance. But by no means, he was driving a slower car. Vettel certainly could have done better in those years and could have made the championship battle last to the end if he was driving à la Alonso which he didn’t.

            1. @tifoso1989 A lot of bleat going nowhere.

              Let me just pick this one:

              In 2019, Mercedes did have one of its most dominant years in F1

              They clearly did not. It’s the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers that messed up even though they had the fastest car. Ferrari illegally fast even.

              Ferrari clearly had the fastest car for Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Spa, Monza, Singapore, Russia, Japan and Mexico. Red Bull had the fastest car in Hungary and Brazil.

              That leaves Mercedes only with 9 races where they were fastest. The difference is that they won 8 of those. While Ferrari only managed to win 3 of the 10 races where they were fastest. It’s the Ferrari drivers blundering against each other and Vettel spinning off so often that wrecked them.

              Looking only at the score board and seeing Hamilton beating drivers that drive a faster car does not make Hamilton’s car faster. It just means the Ferrari drivers are less capable than Hamilton.

              So sure Hamilton is dominating, but that’s because he so much better than the rest of t he drivers in the current F1 grid.

            2. @f1osaurus

              Ferrari clearly had the fastest car for Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Spa, Monza, Singapore, Russia, Japan and Mexico

              Only in Q3 as I already mentioned that, and Mercedes did have the faster, more reliable car with superior tyre management in races.

              Red Bull had the fastest car in Hungary and Brazil

              C’mon ! You can’t be serious. Verstappen was actually taking Hamilton to school in those two races :)

            3. That said, Lewis was clearly operating to another level to Vettel in the 2017 and 2018 years and deserved all the credit he got for his performance. But by no means, he was driving a slower car

              Ferrari had the fastest car in 2018–and that is backed up by paddock sources, such as AMuS (who use GPS data and other data from FOM) . Vettel’s errors made things easier for Merc

              https://www.racefans.net/2018/12/30/vettels-blunders-thwart-ferrari-title-hopes/

              https://www.racefans.net/2018/10/25/criticism-of-my-mistakes-is-fair-says-vettel/

              https://www.racefans.net/2019/07/19/vettels-12-months-of-mistakes-is-just-one-of-his-problems/

              Even 2017 isn’t beyond reason to say the SF70 was overall as good as the W08. W08 was quicker in qualifying but SF70H often had better race pace and was kinder on tyres.

              for 2017
              Will Buxton:

              “Ferrari arguably was the best car, a car for all seasons, car suited every race and track, where as Merc had that diva with problems, wasn’t the best car, not the best with its tyres”

              Andrew Benson:

              “While the Ferrari is quick everywhere, and has a much more level overall performance from race to race, the Mercedes is unpredictable and difficult to manage and, as a race car, it is probably on balance inferior to the Ferrari”

              Ross Brawn

              “” Ferrari has a competitive package at its disposal. Ferrari are so strong that they can still win the world cup on their own power.”

              Helmut Marko

              “Ferrari certainly had the best car over the whole season, but they made too many mistakes, both tactically and technically. Previously, when Sebastian Vettel drove for Red Bull, his greatest strength was his form after the summer break. He used to return with an uncanny mental strength and what inevitably followed was a winning streak. But this year, already with the start collision in Singapore I thought: That will not happen this year,”

              Alonso:

              ” Last year, arguably, Ferrari was better in many of the races, [had] more performance on their car, so it was a very close fight in a way until Singapore when the two Ferraris crashed [into] each other. They were leading the championship, they were in front.If we have some kind of tight fight this year it’s good for the fans but I think it was last year as well and people didn’t enjoy at the end. They want to have the last race the decisive race and that’s very difficult in F1″

              Mark Hughes

              “The Merc is prone to not finding that balancing point or falling off it whereas the Ferrari’s performance is much more robust. All round, Ferrari is a better car”

            4. @f1osaurus

              It’s the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers that messed up even though they had the fastest car. Ferrari illegally fast even.

              Red Bull was faster than Mercedes in 2019?

              f1osaurus reaching new lows even by his own abysmal standards

            5. @kingshark

              Red Bull was faster than Mercedes in 2019?

              Yes they clearly were for Hungary, Mexico and Brazil. Probably Monaco as well, but Verstappen is just poor there.

              You seem to struggle with the fact that track specifics help different cars be faster. Red Bull has a car that works best on tracks like Monaco, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia (when it was used).

            6. @amam Like I said, indeed in 2017 and 2018 Mercedes/Hamilton didn’t do that good a job, but still better than Red Bull.

              And Mercedes did follow Hamilton’s wish to fix their setup issues and taking his direction in mind they created the monster dominating car that used for 2019 and then even improved for 2020.

              The only thing that kept Ferrari ahead in 2019 was their illegal engine.

            7. @tifoso1989

              Only in Q3 as I already mentioned that

              So how does that make Mercedes faster? Ferrari got pole and they should have won the race from there.

              Red Bull had the fastest car in Hungary and Brazil
              C’mon ! You can’t be serious. Verstappen was actually taking Hamilton to school in those two races :)

              Red Bull aero philosophy works specifically well on tracks like Monaco, Hungary, Mexico and Brazil.

              At Monaco Verstappen is just utterly poor, but still. On the other tracks they should have been taking pole and the win since 2016 (or at least till 2019 when .

              Especially Hungary showed how bad Verstappen really is. Panicking about Hamilton catching up, he destroyed his tyres trying to keep a gap. Instead of simply managing his tyres to the end.

            8. @f1osaurus

              So how does that make Mercedes faster? Ferrari got pole and they should have won the race from there.

              Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… but they didn’t, very simple Mercedes have the better race pace.

              Ferrari were able to deploy a more aggressive map for their PU only in Q2/Q3 and for a very limited number of laps during races (maximum 5 or 6 laps). In the major part of the races, Mercedes have had the better power output and tyre management that’s why they were the fastest.

              As for Verstappen, he had no business winning in Monaco nor in Hungary. Hamilton couldn’t overtake in Hungary so he had the team to do it for him by making an extra stop which was only working because of Mercedes blistering speed.

              Saying that Verstappen is poor and destroyed his tyres panicking about Hamilton speaks miles about your armchair expert analysis. Cheers :)

              Even in power sensitive tracks like Monza & Spa. In races, it was clear how Mercedes did have better race pace through their superior tyre management. In those races, Hamilton kept breathing down Leclerc’s neck for the majority of the race but couldn’t overtake due to Ferrari being the fastest on the straights and some questionable Leclerc defensive manoeuvres.

            9. @f1osaurus

              Yes they clearly were for Hungary, Mexico and Brazil. Probably Monaco as well, but Verstappen is just poor there.

              So Red Bull were better than Mercedes in 3-4 races on a 21 race calendar, doesn’t exactly support your clueless claim that Red Bull was a faster car than Mercedes in 2019.

            10. @tifoso1989

              Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…

              No, they were faster and didn’t win.

              Why is it always when Mercedes win they have the dominant car, but then Ferrari has the faster car and clearly messes up on driver blunders, strategy blunder or whatever, it’s because Mercedes is “dominant”. That is not how it works

            11. @kingshark

              So Red Bull were better than Mercedes in 3-4 races on a 21 race calendar, doesn’t exactly support your clueless claim that Red Bull was a faster car than Mercedes in 2019.

              It exactly supports the actual claim that I made.

          4. Counting front row lockouts doesn’t work if you have a team with a #1 driver like Ferrari. The #2 drivers is disadvantaged too much to actually be on the front row that often.

            @f1osaurus I don’t think that’s a very good argument given that Mercedes have managed to rack up the front-row lockouts despite having a clear #1 and #2 driver since 2017.

            However it is worth pointing out that in the last two years of Ferrari dominance, race fuel qualifying was a thing, which probably distorts things somewhat. Ferrari may have been fast enough to qualify 1-2 on outright pace, but ended up lower down because of differing strategies among them and the other teams.

            1. @red-andy

              I don’t think that’s a very good argument given that Mercedes have managed to rack up the front-row lockouts despite having a clear #1 and #2 driver since 2017.

              Mercedes are incredibly clear on that there is NO #1 and #2 arrangement.

              They bend over backwards to help reduce even the slightest shimmer of Bottas getting the short end. After Hamilton beat him in Silverstone, they banned Hamilton from even attacking Bottas on an alternate strategy.

              In Austria they would not let Hamilton overtake a struggling Bottas and it ended up costing him 2 positions.

            2. @f1osaurus In other news, I have a bridge to sell you.

            3. @red-andy It’s not about what they say. I see the facts clear as day.

              If they actually used Bottas the way Red Bull used Albon or Ferrari used Raikkonen (and even Leclerc at the start of 2019) then Bottas would be nowhere near P2 or P3 in championship.

            4. So that’s why Raikkonen and even Verstappen were ahead of Bottas in 2018…

            5. No that was because Ferrari was much faster than Mercedes in 2018. Plus Bottas had plenty technical issues. Losing out on some wins even.

            6. Bottas failed to finish twice. In Azerbeijan, where Verstappen didn’t score points and in Austria. Raikkonen didn’t finish 4 races, 3 of those with technical issues. Verstappen didn’t finish in 4 races, 3 of those with technical issues. So they had “plenty of technical issues” as well.

          5. I wasn’t looking at qualifying. 2003 and beyond they had to carry race fuel. Ferrari, and in particular Schumacher would regularly carry several laps more than the others. Michael would hold back during the first stint, wait for those in front to pit and then set 2-3 blisteringly fast laps in clean air before pitting and rejoining in the lead.

          6. Stevan Vasiljević
            29th December 2020, 15:03

            How funny. Only in 2018 did Ferrari have a chance of winning a championship, but only if they stayed error free. However both the team and Vettel made mistakes, and the opportunity slipped away.

            1. 2017 Vettel blundered it away in 5 or 6 races. In 2018 Vettel blundered away so many races it beggers belief.

              Auto und motor sport estimated that Vettel could/should have won the 2018 WDC by 54 points if he made none of his blunders.

              Which means he blundered away around 140 points!!!! That’s not just a few mistakes, that level of blundering is just staggering.

            2. 2017-18 Mercedes and Hamilton made a lot of mistakes in the first half of each season. These seem to be ignored for some reason.

            3. @deanfranklin Which blunders? If you name them then we can all have a laugh at what you call a blunder. Did he fart on the starting grid? Or stutter in a victory speech?

      2. Yep, in those 5 years Barrichello finished 2nd twice in the final WDC standings, in comparison the second Mercedes driver finished 2nd 5 times in 7 years. It will carry on into next year.

        1. That says more how little Barichello was supported compared to how Bottas gets equal opportunity.

          1. Bottas is still owed a win for Russia 2018. What they did to Bottas in Singapore last year was plain embarrassing.

            1. By that measure Barrichello and Irvine must be owed a full season’s worth of wins.

            2. @deanfranklin Lol that Russia 2018 is the ONLY example you have. How does that prove anything?

              Besides, it was a legitimate move with Bottas already well behind in the WDC. In hindsight it was not needed, but Ferrari was much faster at that point. Germany Vettel was in the lead and 20 seconds ahead of Hamilton when he crashed out, Hungary they had been faster each session besides Q3 when a few drops of rain fell, Monza they had a massive advantage too until Vettel spun off.

              Vettel could have ended up winning all races till the end of the season. How were Mercedes to know that Vettel would choke and start blundering like he did?

              What they did to Hamilton in Austria is simply embarrassing. They cost him 2 positions just to protect Bottas. Bottas got his 2018 win back!

            3. That Irvine and Barrichello were number 2’s that routinely handed wins to Schumacher is almost an urban legend at this point.

              Simply not based in reality. Barrichello was a big complainer, whereas Massa never complained when he was sacrificed for Alonso, Bottas never complains when he sacrifices himself for Hamilton.

              Bottas had his races sabotaged to help Hamilton more in 2017-19 than Irvine/Barrichello during the entirety of 1996-05.

            4. @f1osaurus “Besides, it was a legitimate move with Bottas already well behind in the WDC. In hindsight it was not needed, but Ferrari was much faster at that point.”

              The only reason as explained why Vettel found himself in the lead in 2018 was biggest of Hamilton/Mercedes blunders across the first 10 races of the year. Ferrari were only quickest in Monaco and Montreal.

              It’s much like Alonso in 2010 finding himself in the lead at the halfway point of the season. Only a few tracks he had the quicker car.

              In 2018 not only did Mercedes have the quicker car but had won the last four drivers championships in a very dominant fashion.

              When Barrichello moved over for Schumacher in 2002 (which people can’t stop talking about), Barrichello was effectively out of the championship with 6 points to Schumacher’s 44. Ferrari had won the last two drivers championships with only 2001 being a convincing win. Ferrari had missed the drivers championship by narrow margins 1997-99 so had extra motivation to not take any chances.

              This was also in an era where there was unlimited development so teams could change their fortunes within the season, unlike now where an engine advantage gets locked in for season after season.

            5. @deanfranklin Ferrari was much faster at that point. Germany Vettel was in the lead and 20 seconds ahead of Hamilton when he crashed out, Hungary they had been faster each session besides Q3 when a few drops of rain fell, Monza they had a massive advantage too until Vettel spun off.

              Vettel could have ended up winning all races till the end of the season. How were Mercedes to know that Vettel would choke and start blundering like he did?

      3. True that. Vettel and Ham slightly overrepresented in the greats of all time list, due to modern-age car dominance. Happy for Lewis though. He is still the best out there, although I think somewhere mid season Max caught up with him and is now the stronger of the two.

        1. Like when Verstappen faltered in Turkey and put his car in the wall in Sakhir?

          1. Or like every race and qualifying Lewis lost against one of the most incompetent teammates in the history of F1?
            Or like that race where Lewis thought entering a closed pitlane was the right thing to do? (Something Russell (yeah, the same Russell who showed us it’s all car) was able to avoid.)
            Or like when Lewis ignored yellow flags and lost a pole, than a race and torpedoed his car in the side of Alex.
            Or like when Lewis faltered in Turkey and was unable to put his car on pole?
            Or like when Lewis thought making practice starts on track was a smart idea?
            Or like when Lewis was dumb enough to catch covid…something which will haunt him for the rest of his life because it proved to the entire world that the real world champion of the past 7 years is the Mercedes car, designed by the Mercedes engineers in such a way that it doesn need to be set-up (which is very handy since Mercedes forced Nico in retirement) and can be driven by the most incompetent fools to win WDC’s.

            1. So you are saying that LH is an incompetent fool? That’s an outstanding statement. It means, you could win a WDC in that Mercedes.

              Every incident you have mentioned in your rant is easily explained if you care to read the forum where you deign to denigrate a driver at the top of his game. And just to remind you, LH won in Turkey. You so very easily glossed over that.

              Also, every racing car needs to be setup to suit the driver’s requirements. Can you provide a source which validates that Mercedes forced Nico Rosberg to retire?

            2. @freebird78
              He wont – he is a basic, sad little keyboard warrior who storms in, makes a whole bunch of unfounded, baseless or fake arguments, then disappears, thinking he’s clever and that he beasted the discussions

              G

            3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
              30th December 2020, 11:23

              the Mercedes car, designed by the Mercedes engineers in such a way that it doesn need to be set-up (which is very handy since Mercedes forced Nico in retirement) and can be driven by the most incompetent fools to win WDC’s.

              This tells me all I need to know about this particular whack job.

        2. @Mayrton

          , although I think somewhere mid season Max caught up with him and is now the stronger of the two.

          lol

          Not according to the other drivers, team bosses, analysts and pundits- who have all rated LH as best driver

      4. Well, you can say Russell was very quick considering he wasn’t used to the car but being quicker than Bottas on race day wasn’t always the case. A better launch off the line does not always mean you are the quicker driver. Hamilton has been quicker than Bottas many times when Bottas has out launched him and chosen to hang back several seconds. Bottas may have done similar, though he did drop back further. However in the 2nd stint, he certainly wasn’t slower than Russell and was catching up. it is very unlikely that he would have passed, but it is quite possible that Bottas will have been in and out of Russel’s DRS range by the end of the race had things not turned to chaos.

        1. Bottas was catching up in the second stint because he was over driving the tyres. Those hards were meant to last until the end of the race but because he overdrive then early on in his stint they just gave up with about 10 laps to go. I don’t blame him for doing so as he was watching his F1 career go down the toilet at the time.

      5. @deanfranklin

        Cars don’t drive themselves. Put a decent driver in the current merc and i’d expect them to be on the podium. If other teams weren’t able to match Merc’s performance hardly Merc’s fault or the drivers fault. Either way Merc’s chose very wisely to put Hamilton in the car as he has delivered consistently before and has been since he arrived there. Would any other driver had done the same? Brilliant question, possibly, maybe a 50/50 split between Rosberg and (other driver) or Bottas. But arguably would the Mercs engineers benefit and adapted the car with those different drivers, as I’m sure their feedback has been critical to how they would’ve developed the car, i.e. tyre wear issues, performance on slow speed corners, low rake vs high rake, this needs to be fed back so the evolution of the Merc monster continues. What if RBR had gone in the low rake concept direction? or even Ferrari.

        Too many what if’s, but for me Hamilton hasn’t always had the best package on a given race weekend (majority he has) and its mainly in those moments where we don’t expect him to win, he wins? whether it’s from keeping out of trouble, other drivers in faster packages for that weekend not seizing the opportunity, or when conditions worsen and strategy calls need to be reworked and is completely messed up by the pit wall. Hamilton maximises the potential of the car and if he doesn’t he is his own worse critic.

        Hamilton deserves the accolades, i couldn’t careless for the minor infractions over the course of the 7 year dominance, he delivers when asked to and more importantly the WCC is practically guaranteed when Hamilton is driving the car.

        1. Well said. LH’s moments of brilliance are few and far between (he was brilliant in Istambul I reckon), but his mistakes also are. He is reliable, a safe pair of hands, and reasonably competent. Coupled with that monster of a machine and a superb team, wins, poles and WDCs are sure to land (especially with a totally useless teammate). Not anybody would be able to do the same in a Merc. But a good chunk of the actual grid, say Danny Ric, Max, Carlos, Checo, Russell, certainly would.

      6. Thanks, nice with some truth in the narrative-driven post-factual world we currently live in.

      7. I would be careful about overestimating the importance of the pole positions/front rows stats from Ferrari era. Bear in mind that at the time teams were qualifying with different amounts of fuel. Ferrari usually fueled their cars more, waited for others to pit and with very light cars then took the lead and the win from others. That is also the reason why M.Schumacher has relatively low number of poles (65?) in relation to his other records – despite being paired with a driver like Barrichello.

        BTW, in my opinion this same fact – Ferraris carrying more fuel and starting bit further down the field – is what tricks our brains (along with the effect of passing time) to believe that Formula 1 back then was so much better and much more competitive.

        1. 2000-02 when qualifying was normal Ferrari had 9 front row lockouts. During 2003-04 when teams had to qualify carrying their race fuel it was 6.

          2003 was a three way fight for the title so I wouldn’t expect Ferrari to have achieved many more front row lockouts than they did which was 2.

          2004 they achieved four front row lockouts. Even if you want to add 5 front row lockouts to the 2004 total it’s 20 front row lockouts between 2000-04.

          That’s dwarfed by Mercedes with 71.

          1. @deanfranklin Stop it with this front-row lockout garbage. You don’t get a front-row lockout with a team that focusses only on one driver like Ferrari and Red Bull.

            Only teams like McLaren and Mercedes that try to have two drivers in the mix and give their drivers equal opportunity get front-row lockouts in larger numbers.

    3. If you follow the sport then there’s not much more to say. Mercedes success came from perfecting perfection.

    4. Re F3: Red Bull junior vs Ferrari junior at the same team. That’s going to be interesting.

    5. But otherwise on one side you had a very structured, organised German team with, as we said, a very talented, extra-talented driver

      I find it amazing for the man running the sport to think that Mercedes AMG F1 is indeed a German team. The team is British with British origins (Tyrell, BAR Honda, Brawn GP, Ilmor Engineering) led by British engineers and their lead driver is British.
      Toto is Austrian but with his own admission he has no business in car development and racing operations. The team is only backed by a German car manufacturer who are preparing to smoothly exit F1 and have an equal stake in the team with Wolff and Ineos, a British company.

      1. @tifoso1989 Great, British engine (ilmor roots merc owned) + British team (German owner) + Massive sponsor (Merc) = very competitive team
        ■ Very competitive team x British superstar = Total annihilation forever.
        Everyone knows mercedes is just a sponsor however they own the team, like other sponsor they pay to get the plaudits and I’m sure Todt knows how to play that game.

    6. Rumors spreading – Hamilton is retiring after all.

      1. Not this year with the easiest world title anyone will ever win on offer for 2021.

        1. @deanfranklin Exactly. Then maybe one more year after that to see if the new iteration car is still dominant.

      2. Proof?
        Source?

    7. Interesting post about what might’ve happened without COVID, although some funny ones there.

    8. I’m not a Hamilton fan I support Ricciardo but the fact is Hamilton has achieved a mile stone in Motor Racing history. Pending his signature on a new contract he’s on track to set a new high water mark. Yes he is in the best car in the best run team, but that would be because he’s probably the best driver at the moment. Fangio moved from team to team to maintain his dominance, Hamilton hasn’t had to do that.
      For instance look at two great contemporary drivers :- Ricciardo changed teams and made no forward motion while Verstappen who stayed put is just treading water and also could not improve this position. People who constantly disparage Hamilton’s achievements need to understand the difficulty of maintaining competitiveness at such a high level.

    9. So that’s why they choose Perez over Albon or Hulk. They want to know how that mercedes’ engine works and get all the available info about that so they have a chance to build their own (fast and reliable) engine.

      1. @qeki Yes that explains it

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