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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:44 pm 
This season feels like 2007/2008 to me. In that one team turns up at Australia and looks unstoppable but then goes to Malaysia and the dominance has gone in one race and they lose in Malaysia and a very close season follows.

Ferrari dominated Australia 2007 only for Mclaren to 1-2 in Malaysia and a close season followed.

Mclaren/Lewis dominated Australia 2008 only for Ferrari to win Malaysia and a close season followed.

Mclaren in 2012 were at there most dominant all year in Australia, the car never performed at that level again.

Ferrari had about the 5th best car in Australia 2012 and won in Malaysia and then challenged for the title. It was wet, but he still beat Lewis is a straight fight and all the others.

In 2013, Kimi won his only race in Australia and never challenged for a win again.

Mercedes dominated Australia 2015 but lost in Malaysia, will a close season now follow? Malaysia seems to be a much better indicator than Australia that tends to throw up odd results. China will give us our answer, but I suspect this race will be more like Malaysia than Australia.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:14 pm 
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lamo wrote:
This season feels like 2007/2008 to me. In that one team turns up at Australia and looks unstoppable but then goes to Malaysia and the dominance has gone in one race and they lose in Malaysia and a very close season follows.

Ferrari dominated Australia 2007 only for Mclaren to 1-2 in Malaysia and a close season followed.

Mclaren/Lewis dominated Australia 2008 only for Ferrari to win Malaysia and a close season followed.

Mclaren in 2012 were at there most dominant all year in Australia, the car never performed at that level again.

Ferrari had about the 5th best car in Australia 2012 and won in Malaysia and then challenged for the title. It was wet, but he still beat Lewis is a straight fight and all the others.

In 2013, Kimi won his only race in Australia and never challenged for a win again.

Mercedes dominated Australia 2015 but lost in Malaysia, will a close season now follow? Malaysia seems to be a much better indicator than Australia that tends to throw up odd results. China will give us our answer, but I suspect this race will be more like Malaysia than Australia.

Cooler temps in China should see Mercedes back at the front quite comfortably IMO. Ferrari will be going after 3rd though, probably by a big margin from everyone else. That said any Merc slip ups and Ferrari will be waiting in the wings.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Depends from what you consider close. It seems we have Mercedes again clearly strongest but the margin to Ferrari seems to be pretty small. Ferrari however seems to have a considerable gap over the rest of the field.
It might be more like the Ferrari vs McLaren days late nineties when you knew which drivers would be in the top 4 while the rest had to be content with the scraps (2 points for 5th and 1 for 6th).

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:04 pm 
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We will have no idea how the season will play out until we get to the European rounds. 3 weeks ago, people were saying Mercedes would destroy the field. Now we're talking about a Mercedes vs Ferrari battle, all from a sample size of 2.

The sample size at the moment is simply too small to draw any conclusions on the form book, particularly when the conditions in Malaysia are highly unlikely to be repeated.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Feels like 2002 to me. Williams 1-2 in Malaysia. A title battle we most certainly did not have.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:35 pm 
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RunningMan wrote:
We will have no idea how the season will play out until we get to the European rounds. 3 weeks ago, people were saying Mercedes would destroy the field. Now we're talking about a Mercedes vs Ferrari battle, all from a sample size of 2.

The sample size at the moment is simply too small to draw any conclusions on the form book, particularly when the conditions in Malaysia are highly unlikely to be repeated.

Agreed.

I will be very (pleasantly) surprised if Ferrari is anywhere near as close in China. And I still think the SC flattered them to a degree in Malaysia. I expect normal service to be resumed in China with Ferrari perhaps a little closer to Mercedes than they were in Australia but not close enough to be a threat.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:03 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
We will have no idea how the season will play out until we get to the European rounds. 3 weeks ago, people were saying Mercedes would destroy the field. Now we're talking about a Mercedes vs Ferrari battle, all from a sample size of 2.

The sample size at the moment is simply too small to draw any conclusions on the form book, particularly when the conditions in Malaysia are highly unlikely to be repeated.

Agreed.

I will be very (pleasantly) surprised if Ferrari is anywhere near as close in China. And I still think the SC flattered them to a degree in Malaysia. I expect normal service to be resumed in China with Ferrari perhaps a little closer to Mercedes than they were in Australia but not close enough to be a threat.


Don't mean to disagree, but just for the sake of being a bit more precise. While SC did perhaps help Kimi to catch up with the field after he suffered the puncture in the first corner, what flattered Vettel was not the SC itself but the strategic decisions of Mercedes and Ferrari to pit/not pit under the SC. If not for that, Vettel would had have to overtake Hamilton in other ways. Like this, it was easier to maintain the lead than to first fight for it and then after to maintain it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Prema wrote:
Zoue wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
We will have no idea how the season will play out until we get to the European rounds. 3 weeks ago, people were saying Mercedes would destroy the field. Now we're talking about a Mercedes vs Ferrari battle, all from a sample size of 2.

The sample size at the moment is simply too small to draw any conclusions on the form book, particularly when the conditions in Malaysia are highly unlikely to be repeated.

Agreed.

I will be very (pleasantly) surprised if Ferrari is anywhere near as close in China. And I still think the SC flattered them to a degree in Malaysia. I expect normal service to be resumed in China with Ferrari perhaps a little closer to Mercedes than they were in Australia but not close enough to be a threat.


Don't mean to disagree, but just for the sake of being a bit more precise. While SC did perhaps help Kimi to catch up with the field after he suffered the puncture in the first corner, what flattered Vettel was not the SC itself but the strategic decisions of Mercedes and Ferrari to pit/not pit under the SC. If not for that, Vettel would had have to overtake Hamilton in other ways. Like this, it was easier to maintain the lead than to first fight for it and then after to maintain it.


The SC doesn't come into it. Ferrari simply had better tyre degradation. They were able to hang onto their tires for longer than the Mercedes drivers which would have made any on track overtake easy. Not to mention, Vettel actually cruised up behind Rosberg and nailed him on the brakes into the final corner, such was his superior grip. Pitting the mercedes drivers wasn't a bad decision as they got a less painful pitstop out of it. 15 seconds instead of the usual 25 seconds (arbitrary numbers)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:28 pm 
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RunningMan wrote:
Prema wrote:
Zoue wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
We will have no idea how the season will play out until we get to the European rounds. 3 weeks ago, people were saying Mercedes would destroy the field. Now we're talking about a Mercedes vs Ferrari battle, all from a sample size of 2.

The sample size at the moment is simply too small to draw any conclusions on the form book, particularly when the conditions in Malaysia are highly unlikely to be repeated.

Agreed.

I will be very (pleasantly) surprised if Ferrari is anywhere near as close in China. And I still think the SC flattered them to a degree in Malaysia. I expect normal service to be resumed in China with Ferrari perhaps a little closer to Mercedes than they were in Australia but not close enough to be a threat.


Don't mean to disagree, but just for the sake of being a bit more precise. While SC did perhaps help Kimi to catch up with the field after he suffered the puncture in the first corner, what flattered Vettel was not the SC itself but the strategic decisions of Mercedes and Ferrari to pit/not pit under the SC. If not for that, Vettel would had have to overtake Hamilton in other ways. Like this, it was easier to maintain the lead than to first fight for it and then after to maintain it.


The SC doesn't come into it. Ferrari simply had better tyre degradation. They were able to hang onto their tires for longer than the Mercedes drivers which would have made any on track overtake easy. Not to mention, Vettel actually cruised up behind Rosberg and nailed him on the brakes into the final corner, such was his superior grip. Pitting the mercedes drivers wasn't a bad decision as they got a less painful pitstop out of it. 15 seconds instead of the usual 25 seconds (arbitrary numbers)


Well, actually quite possibly so. Vettel was at one point on Hamilton's tail too and was in the process of taking over when Hamilton "saved" himself from it by taking into the pit lane.

James Allen said in his race analyses (confirming what you said above):

Mercedes had to do three stops. Even with the deployment of the Safety Car early in the first stint, there is no way that Hamilton could have converted to a two stopper and even less of beating Vettel on that strategy.
http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2015/03/a ... -mercedes/


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:38 pm 
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RunningMan wrote:
Prema wrote:
Zoue wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
We will have no idea how the season will play out until we get to the European rounds. 3 weeks ago, people were saying Mercedes would destroy the field. Now we're talking about a Mercedes vs Ferrari battle, all from a sample size of 2.

The sample size at the moment is simply too small to draw any conclusions on the form book, particularly when the conditions in Malaysia are highly unlikely to be repeated.

Agreed.

I will be very (pleasantly) surprised if Ferrari is anywhere near as close in China. And I still think the SC flattered them to a degree in Malaysia. I expect normal service to be resumed in China with Ferrari perhaps a little closer to Mercedes than they were in Australia but not close enough to be a threat.


Don't mean to disagree, but just for the sake of being a bit more precise. While SC did perhaps help Kimi to catch up with the field after he suffered the puncture in the first corner, what flattered Vettel was not the SC itself but the strategic decisions of Mercedes and Ferrari to pit/not pit under the SC. If not for that, Vettel would had have to overtake Hamilton in other ways. Like this, it was easier to maintain the lead than to first fight for it and then after to maintain it.


The SC doesn't come into it. Ferrari simply had better tyre degradation. They were able to hang onto their tires for longer than the Mercedes drivers which would have made any on track overtake easy. Not to mention, Vettel actually cruised up behind Rosberg and nailed him on the brakes into the final corner, such was his superior grip. Pitting the mercedes drivers wasn't a bad decision as they got a less painful pitstop out of it. 15 seconds instead of the usual 25 seconds (arbitrary numbers)

I agree with Prema. I think without the SC it would have been tougher for Seb. Yes, he was better on his tyres, but Lewis was much, much quicker than him for most of the race and that undoubtedly contributed to the shorter lifespan his tyres had, especially the Mediums. If not for the SC, Lewis would not have had to push so hard and therefore would have possibly extended the life of his tyres anyway.

As for pitting, I do think they made a mistake by pitting both together and I'm sure that was in no small part due to the fact that they were unprepared for anyone to actually challenge them. They've been so used to having a comfortable cushion that it probably coloured their judgement. But they should have covered their bases with alternate strategies, if only to put pressure on Vettel and not leave him out at the front having things all his own way.

In short, although the Ferrari was kinder on its tyres the Mercedes had much stronger pace and without the SC the Mercedes may yet have eked out a victory. It would have been a tortoise vs hare scenario.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:42 pm 
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There are too many teams under-performing now to really know what's going to happen. Renault claim they are coming to Shanghai with their current full power so they might be a revelation. Honda will have a big boost too once they can run at full power. Then all the teams have more engine tokens to play as their joker cards later on in the season. This season is going to be very variable IMO, hell even Verstappen/Sainz could win it if Renault close their engine deficit very quickly ;-). I am only half-joking too because there really are so many unknown variables in play. Contrary to what many feared after Australia, this could end up as one of the more interesting seasons !

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:05 pm 
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It would be fantastic if we could have competition at the front. Luckily, I think that Seb and Kimi will be fighting at the front even if Hamilton and Nico don't. I also think Williams and Red Bull will be there - and later on in the season, maybe others. Whether they will mix it up with Mercedes is another question. I think the answer is as Kimi projected - sometimes - at least for Ferrari.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:16 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
I agree with Prema. I think without the SC it would have been tougher for Seb. Yes, he was better on his tyres, but Lewis was much, much quicker than him for most of the race and that undoubtedly contributed to the shorter lifespan his tyres had, especially the Mediums. If not for the SC, Lewis would not have had to push so hard and therefore would have possibly extended the life of his tyres anyway.

As for pitting, I do think they made a mistake by pitting both together and I'm sure that was in no small part due to the fact that they were unprepared for anyone to actually challenge them. They've been so used to having a comfortable cushion that it probably coloured their judgement. But they should have covered their bases with alternate strategies, if only to put pressure on Vettel and not leave him out at the front having things all his own way.

In short, although the Ferrari was kinder on its tyres the Mercedes had much stronger pace and without the SC the Mercedes may yet have eked out a victory. It would have been a tortoise vs hare scenario.


Well, if we look at the lap charts we see that Lewis had the pace to beat Vettel, he just couldn't sustain it because of his poor tire life. The timing of the SC wouldn't have changed that fact. Strategy reports before the race said that the two stop strategy was around 10 seconds faster. Let's not forget that Lewis wasn't exactly sprinting away from Vettel. It was only 3 laps before the SC, but it was clear that either Lewis wasn't fast in the opening laps, or he was already in tire conservation mode. The second seems more likely.

You could argue that without the SC Lewis wouldn't have had to push his tires as hard. I disagree, Vettel was always going to put him under pressure because he had the better strategy and had better tires later in the stint. That was always going to happen regardless of the timing of the SC. The only period of the race where Lewis was substantially faster was after his second stop around lap 25 or so. He did 10 Banzai laps but couldn't go fast enough for long enough to counter the 10 seconds he lost on the slower strategy.

Mercedes lost because they were on a 3 stop to Ferrari's 2 stop. That's the fundamental reason. The 2 stop was 10 seconds quicker and Mercedes were not quick enough to overcome this deficit. The SC did not force them onto a 3 stop. All it did was give them a free pitstop where they would feel the pain of a 3 stop less, but they still couldn't maintain the pace for long enough to make up that time loss. Read James Allen's report. Mercedes had no chance once the race came around and they realised Ferrari's pace was genuine.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:40 pm 
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RunningMan wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I agree with Prema. I think without the SC it would have been tougher for Seb. Yes, he was better on his tyres, but Lewis was much, much quicker than him for most of the race and that undoubtedly contributed to the shorter lifespan his tyres had, especially the Mediums. If not for the SC, Lewis would not have had to push so hard and therefore would have possibly extended the life of his tyres anyway.

As for pitting, I do think they made a mistake by pitting both together and I'm sure that was in no small part due to the fact that they were unprepared for anyone to actually challenge them. They've been so used to having a comfortable cushion that it probably coloured their judgement. But they should have covered their bases with alternate strategies, if only to put pressure on Vettel and not leave him out at the front having things all his own way.

In short, although the Ferrari was kinder on its tyres the Mercedes had much stronger pace and without the SC the Mercedes may yet have eked out a victory. It would have been a tortoise vs hare scenario.


Well, if we look at the lap charts we see that Lewis had the pace to beat Vettel, he just couldn't sustain it because of his poor tire life. The timing of the SC wouldn't have changed that fact. Strategy reports before the race said that the two stop strategy was around 10 seconds faster. Let's not forget that Lewis wasn't exactly sprinting away from Vettel. It was only 3 laps before the SC, but it was clear that either Lewis wasn't fast in the opening laps, or he was already in tire conservation mode. The second seems more likely.

You could argue that without the SC Lewis wouldn't have had to push his tires as hard. I disagree, Vettel was always going to put him under pressure because he had the better strategy and had better tires later in the stint. That was always going to happen regardless of the timing of the SC. The only period of the race where Lewis was substantially faster was after his second stop around lap 25 or so. He did 10 Banzai laps but couldn't go fast enough for long enough to counter the 10 seconds he lost on the slower strategy.

Mercedes lost because they were on a 3 stop to Ferrari's 2 stop. That's the fundamental reason. The 2 stop was 10 seconds quicker and Mercedes were not quick enough to overcome this deficit. The SC did not force them onto a 3 stop. All it did was give them a free pitstop where they would feel the pain of a 3 stop less, but they still couldn't maintain the pace for long enough to make up that time loss. Read James Allen's report. Mercedes had no chance once the race came around and they realised Ferrari's pace was genuine.

I'm not saying Lewis definitely would have won, but without the SC I think it would have been even closer than it was. With regard to pushing his tyres, at times he was over a second per lap faster than Seb. If he had not been chasing, but instead controlling from the front, then the most he would have had to do would have been to match Seb's pace, not exceed it. In which case, his tyres may not have given up the ghost as quickly as they did?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:54 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I agree with Prema. I think without the SC it would have been tougher for Seb. Yes, he was better on his tyres, but Lewis was much, much quicker than him for most of the race and that undoubtedly contributed to the shorter lifespan his tyres had, especially the Mediums. If not for the SC, Lewis would not have had to push so hard and therefore would have possibly extended the life of his tyres anyway.

As for pitting, I do think they made a mistake by pitting both together and I'm sure that was in no small part due to the fact that they were unprepared for anyone to actually challenge them. They've been so used to having a comfortable cushion that it probably coloured their judgement. But they should have covered their bases with alternate strategies, if only to put pressure on Vettel and not leave him out at the front having things all his own way.

In short, although the Ferrari was kinder on its tyres the Mercedes had much stronger pace and without the SC the Mercedes may yet have eked out a victory. It would have been a tortoise vs hare scenario.


Well, if we look at the lap charts we see that Lewis had the pace to beat Vettel, he just couldn't sustain it because of his poor tire life. The timing of the SC wouldn't have changed that fact. Strategy reports before the race said that the two stop strategy was around 10 seconds faster. Let's not forget that Lewis wasn't exactly sprinting away from Vettel. It was only 3 laps before the SC, but it was clear that either Lewis wasn't fast in the opening laps, or he was already in tire conservation mode. The second seems more likely.

You could argue that without the SC Lewis wouldn't have had to push his tires as hard. I disagree, Vettel was always going to put him under pressure because he had the better strategy and had better tires later in the stint. That was always going to happen regardless of the timing of the SC. The only period of the race where Lewis was substantially faster was after his second stop around lap 25 or so. He did 10 Banzai laps but couldn't go fast enough for long enough to counter the 10 seconds he lost on the slower strategy.

Mercedes lost because they were on a 3 stop to Ferrari's 2 stop. That's the fundamental reason. The 2 stop was 10 seconds quicker and Mercedes were not quick enough to overcome this deficit. The SC did not force them onto a 3 stop. All it did was give them a free pitstop where they would feel the pain of a 3 stop less, but they still couldn't maintain the pace for long enough to make up that time loss. Read James Allen's report. Mercedes had no chance once the race came around and they realised Ferrari's pace was genuine.

I'm not saying Lewis definitely would have won, but without the SC I think it would have been even closer than it was. With regard to pushing his tyres, at times he was over a second per lap faster than Seb. If he had not been chasing, but instead controlling from the front, then the most he would have had to do would have been to match Seb's pace, not exceed it. In which case, his tyres may not have given up the ghost as quickly as they did?


He would have had to push anyway because his strategy was fundamentally slower. He had to make an extra pitstop so he was always going to have to push to make up that lost time. The SC didn't change that. All the SC did was meant that he lost track position sooner, but it gave them a less painful pitstop time loss.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:32 am 
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mcdo wrote:
Feels like 2002 to me. Williams 1-2 in Malaysia. A title battle we most certainly did not have.

I was thinking the same.

Anyone else remember 2002? Ferrari dominated in Australia, then Williams beat them in Malaysia with a 1-2. This lead many people to believe that the entire season was going to be exciting. How were we ever wrong.

Ironically, then too it was ridiculously hot track temperatures in Malaysia which gave us a false perspective on car performance. It was really just Michelins working and Bridgestones not.

I'm thinking that 2015 could very well be the same. Ferrari works better than Mercedes only in extreme heat conditions. Malaysia 2015 might have gave us a false glimmer of hope, just like Malaysia 2002 did.


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