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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:04 pm 
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To follow up, what I have suggests that Mercedes had a small edge for the last 6 races of the season on balance. When applying a crude scoring system of 3, 2 and 1 for best, second best and third best, Merc score 12, Ferrari and RBR score 11.

Ferrari only had the best car for 1 of the final 6 weekends and Mercedes had the best car for 3 of them. Mercedes also most often had the worst car - again, going by my spreadsheets.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:25 am 
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pokerman wrote:
Covalent wrote:
https://www.formule1.nl/nieuws/verstappen-wat-hamilton-doet-kunnen-vettel-alonso-ricciardo-en-ik-ook/

Verstappen says that Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo and himself could have been champions just as easily with that Mercedes.

To say that Vettel could have been is ridiculous whilst Ricciardo took a tonking from Verstappen himself, however they all probably would have beaten Bottas and the mistake prone Vettel including I presume Vettel's twin brother in some kind of alternative universe were Verstappen himself wasn't crashing consistently in the first 6 races of the season and then later on with a backmarker car, but of course we know none of these were his mistakes.

Riccardo's 'tonking' included eight retirements. I do believe that any of the top-level drivers could have won in that Mercedes. I'd also argue that a little more switched-on Ferrari team and Vettel (or other top driver) could have won in that Ferrari. The question I'd pose is - would they have?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:40 pm 
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Invade wrote:
To follow up, what I have suggests that Mercedes had a small edge for the last 6 races of the season on balance. When applying a crude scoring system of 3, 2 and 1 for best, second best and third best, Merc score 12, Ferrari and RBR score 11.

Ferrari only had the best car for 1 of the final 6 weekends and Mercedes had the best car for 3 of them. Mercedes also most often had the worst car - again, going by my spreadsheets.

So in the last 6 races, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were close to equal.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:49 pm 
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tootsie323 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Covalent wrote:
https://www.formule1.nl/nieuws/verstappen-wat-hamilton-doet-kunnen-vettel-alonso-ricciardo-en-ik-ook/

Verstappen says that Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo and himself could have been champions just as easily with that Mercedes.

To say that Vettel could have been is ridiculous whilst Ricciardo took a tonking from Verstappen himself, however they all probably would have beaten Bottas and the mistake prone Vettel including I presume Vettel's twin brother in some kind of alternative universe were Verstappen himself wasn't crashing consistently in the first 6 races of the season and then later on with a backmarker car, but of course we know none of these were his mistakes.

Riccardo's 'tonking' included eight retirements. I do believe that any of the top-level drivers could have won in that Mercedes. I'd also argue that a little more switched-on Ferrari team and Vettel (or other top driver) could have won in that Ferrari. The question I'd pose is - would they have?

Verstappen was basically always running in front of Ricciardo when he retired, regarding Mercedes and Ferrari who are these top drivers that are better than Hamilton or Vettel or are we theorising these two drivers being out of the picture?

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PF1 Pick 10 Competition

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2014: Champion
2015: 3rd Place
2016: 4th Place

2017: 9th Place
2018: 7th place
2019: Currently 34th

Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:42 am 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Absolutely not true. That's completely inaccurate. After the summer break they went to Spa; where Ferrari were clearly the quickest car but they screwed up Kimi's Q3 by not fueling his car properly and Vettel bungeld his last hotlap. Up to that point, Ferrari had been quickest through all the practice and qualifying sessions and indeed on the first hotlap in Q3. In the race, it wasn't even close. Monza; same thing; Ferrari were fastest but Vettel spun out on the first lap and then Ferrari got the strategy wrong by pitting Kimi too soon and than pushing his tires too hard immediately after the stop while Hamilton performed to an extremely high level and pulled off the win.

Singapore? Both Kimi and Sebastian claimed they could have set pole but Ferrari never actually got them the ideal preparation and out lap to execute their Q3 lap and they both made mistakes on their hot laps. Hamilton put in one of the best qualifying laps you could ever see there and in the race he won from the front while Ferrari screwed up the strategy again and cost Seb a position to Verstappen and any chance at fighting with Lewis.

I'd say Russia was a race where Mercedes seemed to have the edge although Vettel seemed able to match the race pace there. Japan is hard to say as Ferrari, again, bungled qualifying by not getting on track in Q3 before the rain started to really come down but, based on Q1 and Q2, I'd give that race to Mercedes as well. This was during that window where Ferrari had an upgrade package that didn't work or perhaps had to use a sensor that stopped them from getting more electrical power or whatever. Ferrari were stronger in the US (especially taking Mercedes massive tire issues into account) and they were stronger in Mexico.

Brazil was a race where both teams were poor and Abu Dhabi was a race where Mercedes were stronger but your statement that Merc overtook them in the development race after the summer break is absolutely false. It was basically neck and neck in the post-summer time frame. Before the summer break, Ferrari had the better car in 8-9 of the 12 races.

I don’t think that’s true either, really. Some of the times where Ferrari allegedly had the better car seem based entirely on the fact that Hamilton wasn’t the quickest, which I think is a flawed metric. I think the cars were relatively evenly matched but in the last third or so if the year it was Merc in the hot seat for the most part. Ferrari had an advantage over the summer but it’s being blown up to make out they were superior for most of the year and that’s just not true in my view

It's not really possible to respond without you providing an actual example of a race where Ferrari was believed to be quicker but you feel that they were not.

Replying in this thread as I believe it's more appropriate:

In Spa I do agree that Ferrari looked the quicker car, but already in Monza Mercedes had resolved their traction issues, which were the biggest reason for their deficit. And there they were neck and neck. Hamilton did not win in a slower car that day and managed to comfortably keep pace with Kimi. This is an example of where I feel the assumption that Hamilton is the faster driver anyway means that he must have been driving a slower car. But I don't think that's true.

In Singapore we appear to be basing Ferrari's superiority on statements that the drivers felt they had the car to get pole, although I thought Vettel only said the gap wasn't representative, not that he lost pole in a better car. In any event, I find the suggestion that Hamilton out-qualified both Ferraris by 6 tenths in an inferior car to be bordering on the realms of fantasy and another example where I feel the hype machine has gone into overdrive. Objectively speaking it doesn't stack up.

You say that in Russia Mercedes "seemed to have the edge" but I'd suggest Bottas out-qualifying Vettel by 6 tenths and Kimi by nearly a second was more than just an edge. They utterly dominated. Japan was Mercedes all the way, too and I don't agree Ferrari were stronger in the US. Mercedes didn't have tyre issues - they gambled wrongly. Kimi got the drop on Hamilton at the start but that's not down to the car and in the end he did to Hamilton what Bottas did to him at Monza and caused Hamilton to take too much life out of his tyres trying to pass, also helped in no small way later in the race by Hamilton's tussle with Red Bull. If Hamilton hadn't been jumped at the start then it's highly likely he would have cruised to victory. The cars looked pretty even there overall.

In Mexico Mercedes struggled - I'd suggest that altitude may have played a part as it went against the trend of the surrounding races. In Brazil Mercedes was better than Ferrari, with Red Bull better than both of them, which leaves us Abu Dhabi where Mercedes locked out the front row so I think there's little doubt who was better there.

So that leaves Spa and Mexico as the only races after the summer break where Ferrari looked to have the edge on Mercedes (and by edge I don't mean crushing superiority), which is also reflected in the results. Ferrari had a short period in the summer where they were superior, but Mercedes had a run before that where they were ahead. All in all I don't agree with the assessment that Ferrari had the better car during the year and I'd go along with the claims made earlier that Mercedes held the development advantage after Spa. Other than Mexico, the Merc was the car to have.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:08 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Absolutely not true. That's completely inaccurate. After the summer break they went to Spa; where Ferrari were clearly the quickest car but they screwed up Kimi's Q3 by not fueling his car properly and Vettel bungeld his last hotlap. Up to that point, Ferrari had been quickest through all the practice and qualifying sessions and indeed on the first hotlap in Q3. In the race, it wasn't even close. Monza; same thing; Ferrari were fastest but Vettel spun out on the first lap and then Ferrari got the strategy wrong by pitting Kimi too soon and than pushing his tires too hard immediately after the stop while Hamilton performed to an extremely high level and pulled off the win.

Singapore? Both Kimi and Sebastian claimed they could have set pole but Ferrari never actually got them the ideal preparation and out lap to execute their Q3 lap and they both made mistakes on their hot laps. Hamilton put in one of the best qualifying laps you could ever see there and in the race he won from the front while Ferrari screwed up the strategy again and cost Seb a position to Verstappen and any chance at fighting with Lewis.

I'd say Russia was a race where Mercedes seemed to have the edge although Vettel seemed able to match the race pace there. Japan is hard to say as Ferrari, again, bungled qualifying by not getting on track in Q3 before the rain started to really come down but, based on Q1 and Q2, I'd give that race to Mercedes as well. This was during that window where Ferrari had an upgrade package that didn't work or perhaps had to use a sensor that stopped them from getting more electrical power or whatever. Ferrari were stronger in the US (especially taking Mercedes massive tire issues into account) and they were stronger in Mexico.

Brazil was a race where both teams were poor and Abu Dhabi was a race where Mercedes were stronger but your statement that Merc overtook them in the development race after the summer break is absolutely false. It was basically neck and neck in the post-summer time frame. Before the summer break, Ferrari had the better car in 8-9 of the 12 races.

I don’t think that’s true either, really. Some of the times where Ferrari allegedly had the better car seem based entirely on the fact that Hamilton wasn’t the quickest, which I think is a flawed metric. I think the cars were relatively evenly matched but in the last third or so if the year it was Merc in the hot seat for the most part. Ferrari had an advantage over the summer but it’s being blown up to make out they were superior for most of the year and that’s just not true in my view

It's not really possible to respond without you providing an actual example of a race where Ferrari was believed to be quicker but you feel that they were not.

Replying in this thread as I believe it's more appropriate:

In Spa I do agree that Ferrari looked the quicker car, but already in Monza Mercedes had resolved their traction issues, which were the biggest reason for their deficit. And there they were neck and neck. Hamilton did not win in a slower car that day and managed to comfortably keep pace with Kimi. This is an example of where I feel the assumption that Hamilton is the faster driver anyway means that he must have been driving a slower car. But I don't think that's true.

In Singapore we appear to be basing Ferrari's superiority on statements that the drivers felt they had the car to get pole, although I thought Vettel only said the gap wasn't representative, not that he lost pole in a better car. In any event, I find the suggestion that Hamilton out-qualified both Ferraris by 6 tenths in an inferior car to be bordering on the realms of fantasy and another example where I feel the hype machine has gone into overdrive. Objectively speaking it doesn't stack up.

You say that in Russia Mercedes "seemed to have the edge" but I'd suggest Bottas out-qualifying Vettel by 6 tenths and Kimi by nearly a second was more than just an edge. They utterly dominated. Japan was Mercedes all the way, too and I don't agree Ferrari were stronger in the US. Mercedes didn't have tyre issues - they gambled wrongly. Kimi got the drop on Hamilton at the start but that's not down to the car and in the end he did to Hamilton what Bottas did to him at Monza and caused Hamilton to take too much life out of his tyres trying to pass, also helped in no small way later in the race by Hamilton's tussle with Red Bull. If Hamilton hadn't been jumped at the start then it's highly likely he would have cruised to victory. The cars looked pretty even there overall.

In Mexico Mercedes struggled - I'd suggest that altitude may have played a part as it went against the trend of the surrounding races. In Brazil Mercedes was better than Ferrari, with Red Bull better than both of them, which leaves us Abu Dhabi where Mercedes locked out the front row so I think there's little doubt who was better there.

So that leaves Spa and Mexico as the only races after the summer break where Ferrari looked to have the edge on Mercedes (and by edge I don't mean crushing superiority), which is also reflected in the results. Ferrari had a short period in the summer where they were superior, but Mercedes had a run before that where they were ahead. All in all I don't agree with the assessment that Ferrari had the better car during the year and I'd go along with the claims made earlier that Mercedes held the development advantage after Spa. Other than Mexico, the Merc was the car to have.

In Italy if you are going to use Kimi as a metric of Ferrari performance then let's use Bottas as a metric of Mercedes performance but I guess you will not be wanting to do that?

The truth of the matter is that in Italy Ferrari locked out the front row and this despite Vettel making mistakes on his best lap and in the race Vettel dropped the ball on what should really have been an easy win for him.

So that's 3 out of the last 8 races were Ferrari were clearly quicker, in the USA both Ferrari's out qualified Bottas by 3 tenths and of course Kimi won the race but you are wanting to call that even because Hamilton managed to scrape the pole from Ferrari.

Hamilton also scraped the pole from Ferrari in Brazil, both Mercedes and Ferrari cars being close in qualifying, Hamilton lucked the win from Verstappen barely finishing in front of him with Kimi only 4 seconds behind, surely you're not making claims to the Mercedes being superior to the Ferrari in Brazil?

Then you are left with Singapore, Russia, Japan and Abu Dhabi for Mercedes.

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PF1 Pick 10 Competition

2013: 5th Place
2014: Champion
2015: 3rd Place
2016: 4th Place

2017: 9th Place
2018: 7th place
2019: Currently 34th

Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:54 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Absolutely not true. That's completely inaccurate. After the summer break they went to Spa; where Ferrari were clearly the quickest car but they screwed up Kimi's Q3 by not fueling his car properly and Vettel bungeld his last hotlap. Up to that point, Ferrari had been quickest through all the practice and qualifying sessions and indeed on the first hotlap in Q3. In the race, it wasn't even close. Monza; same thing; Ferrari were fastest but Vettel spun out on the first lap and then Ferrari got the strategy wrong by pitting Kimi too soon and than pushing his tires too hard immediately after the stop while Hamilton performed to an extremely high level and pulled off the win.

Singapore? Both Kimi and Sebastian claimed they could have set pole but Ferrari never actually got them the ideal preparation and out lap to execute their Q3 lap and they both made mistakes on their hot laps. Hamilton put in one of the best qualifying laps you could ever see there and in the race he won from the front while Ferrari screwed up the strategy again and cost Seb a position to Verstappen and any chance at fighting with Lewis.

I'd say Russia was a race where Mercedes seemed to have the edge although Vettel seemed able to match the race pace there. Japan is hard to say as Ferrari, again, bungled qualifying by not getting on track in Q3 before the rain started to really come down but, based on Q1 and Q2, I'd give that race to Mercedes as well. This was during that window where Ferrari had an upgrade package that didn't work or perhaps had to use a sensor that stopped them from getting more electrical power or whatever. Ferrari were stronger in the US (especially taking Mercedes massive tire issues into account) and they were stronger in Mexico.

Brazil was a race where both teams were poor and Abu Dhabi was a race where Mercedes were stronger but your statement that Merc overtook them in the development race after the summer break is absolutely false. It was basically neck and neck in the post-summer time frame. Before the summer break, Ferrari had the better car in 8-9 of the 12 races.

I don’t think that’s true either, really. Some of the times where Ferrari allegedly had the better car seem based entirely on the fact that Hamilton wasn’t the quickest, which I think is a flawed metric. I think the cars were relatively evenly matched but in the last third or so if the year it was Merc in the hot seat for the most part. Ferrari had an advantage over the summer but it’s being blown up to make out they were superior for most of the year and that’s just not true in my view

It's not really possible to respond without you providing an actual example of a race where Ferrari was believed to be quicker but you feel that they were not.

Replying in this thread as I believe it's more appropriate:

In Spa I do agree that Ferrari looked the quicker car, but already in Monza Mercedes had resolved their traction issues, which were the biggest reason for their deficit. And there they were neck and neck. Hamilton did not win in a slower car that day and managed to comfortably keep pace with Kimi. This is an example of where I feel the assumption that Hamilton is the faster driver anyway means that he must have been driving a slower car. But I don't think that's true.

In Singapore we appear to be basing Ferrari's superiority on statements that the drivers felt they had the car to get pole, although I thought Vettel only said the gap wasn't representative, not that he lost pole in a better car. In any event, I find the suggestion that Hamilton out-qualified both Ferraris by 6 tenths in an inferior car to be bordering on the realms of fantasy and another example where I feel the hype machine has gone into overdrive. Objectively speaking it doesn't stack up.

You say that in Russia Mercedes "seemed to have the edge" but I'd suggest Bottas out-qualifying Vettel by 6 tenths and Kimi by nearly a second was more than just an edge. They utterly dominated. Japan was Mercedes all the way, too and I don't agree Ferrari were stronger in the US. Mercedes didn't have tyre issues - they gambled wrongly. Kimi got the drop on Hamilton at the start but that's not down to the car and in the end he did to Hamilton what Bottas did to him at Monza and caused Hamilton to take too much life out of his tyres trying to pass, also helped in no small way later in the race by Hamilton's tussle with Red Bull. If Hamilton hadn't been jumped at the start then it's highly likely he would have cruised to victory. The cars looked pretty even there overall.

In Mexico Mercedes struggled - I'd suggest that altitude may have played a part as it went against the trend of the surrounding races. In Brazil Mercedes was better than Ferrari, with Red Bull better than both of them, which leaves us Abu Dhabi where Mercedes locked out the front row so I think there's little doubt who was better there.

So that leaves Spa and Mexico as the only races after the summer break where Ferrari looked to have the edge on Mercedes (and by edge I don't mean crushing superiority), which is also reflected in the results. Ferrari had a short period in the summer where they were superior, but Mercedes had a run before that where they were ahead. All in all I don't agree with the assessment that Ferrari had the better car during the year and I'd go along with the claims made earlier that Mercedes held the development advantage after Spa. Other than Mexico, the Merc was the car to have.

In Italy if you are going to use Kimi as a metric of Ferrari performance then let's use Bottas as a metric of Mercedes performance but I guess you will not be wanting to do that?

The truth of the matter is that in Italy Ferrari locked out the front row and this despite Vettel making mistakes on his best lap and in the race Vettel dropped the ball on what should really have been an easy win for him.

So that's 3 out of the last 8 races were Ferrari were clearly quicker, in the USA both Ferrari's out qualified Bottas by 3 tenths and of course Kimi won the race but you are wanting to call that even because Hamilton managed to scrape the pole from Ferrari.

Hamilton also scraped the pole from Ferrari in Brazil, both Mercedes and Ferrari cars being close in qualifying, Hamilton lucked the win from Verstappen barely finishing in front of him with Kimi only 4 seconds behind, surely you're not making claims to the Mercedes being superior to the Ferrari in Brazil?

Then you are left with Singapore, Russia, Japan and Abu Dhabi for Mercedes.

That's my point - they weren't clearly quicker.

I've given my reasons above. I don't see any evidence for Ferrari being superior to Mercedes at any races other than Spa and Mexico. To answer your point on Italy: Hamilton and Vettel were separated by less than a tenth in qualifying and during the race Kimi couldn't pull away from Hamilton on equal tyres. I don't see anything to suggest the Ferrari was the better car. At Spa we know that traction issues were at the root of Mercedes' deficit and they cured that remarkably quickly by Monza. Mexico was the real outlier and it's probable that altitude played a part and it's not necessarily reflective of any development race. It's clear to me that the cars were close overall but Mercedes held the upper hand after the summer.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:00 pm 
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Vettel's performance in Brazil was poor and Kimi was faster, and both seemed probably a bit faster than or at least equal Bottas but track position was their undoing as they struggled at the beginning of their first stint (checking, Vettel might have been slower than Bottas and Kimi was certainly faster). Hamilton and Verstappen performed much better than any of those guys and the Red Bull looked quite a bit better than both cars, so much so that I gave them the weekend win. In qualifying I had Ferrari and Mercedes close to even and therefore tied. So the question for me is why did I put Mercedes 2nd and Ferrari third, which in hindsight isn't clear at all and they were probably about equal in the race. Vettel having relatively poor pace and Hamilton being on it makes it tricky to come to any sure conclusion. The only obvious thing is that RBR were extremely strong in the race, and should have won it.

***

Regarding Italy, I did place Ferrari and Mercedes as pretty much even in race trim, though Ferrari got the nod for the weekend due to what I perceived to be a qualifying advantage.

***

USA looks quite clear. The Ferrari looked the best. However I'm going to switch my rankings for RBR and Mercedes and put the Mercedes in second place, as too much stock was put into Bottas' pace which has now been atrocious at this GP two years in a row for Mercedes. Hamilton should not have finished behind Verstappen.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:19 pm 
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A big problem for me is how to judge Singapore. Qualifying was key and Hamilton put in arguably the best qualifying lap of his season and even the season and Vettel barely created separation between himself and Kimi, who is no magician at the track. Verstappen might have had the pace for pole were it not for PU hiccups but the fact is the hiccups were there. It's possible that the upgrades which hit at Singapore for Ferrari just didn't allow Vettel to extract his usual brilliance and create separation and the Ferrari seemed to struggle to extract maximum performance out of the tyres throughout the entire lap.

With Ferrari being strongest at Spa and Monza, the two main contenders were close to equal after the summer break perhaps with an edge to Mercedes. Before that point however, it would appear to me that Ferrari were better overall and with more than just an edge. Overall for the season it was close and though I have Ferrari as the best I'm sure a good argument can be made for Mercedes. Naturally, this stuff isn't remotely a science and we don't have all the data and insight we might wish to have.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Invade wrote:
Vettel's performance in Brazil was poor and Kimi was faster, and both seemed probably a bit faster than or at least equal Bottas but track position was their undoing as they struggled at the beginning of their first stint (checking, Vettel might have been slower than Bottas and Kimi was certainly faster). Hamilton and Verstappen performed much better than any of those guys and the Red Bull looked quite a bit better than both cars, so much so that I gave them the weekend win. In qualifying I had Ferrari and Mercedes close to even and therefore tied. So the question for me is why did I put Mercedes 2nd and Ferrari third, which in hindsight isn't clear at all and they were probably about equal in the race. Vettel having relatively poor pace and Hamilton being on it makes it tricky to come to any sure conclusion. The only obvious thing is that RBR were extremely strong in the race, and should have won it.

***

Regarding Italy, I did place Ferrari and Mercedes as pretty much even in race trim, though Ferrari got the nod for the weekend due to what I perceived to be a qualifying advantage.

***

USA looks quite clear. The Ferrari looked the best. However I'm going to switch my rankings for RBR and Mercedes and put the Mercedes in second place, as too much stock was put into Bottas' pace which has now been atrocious at this GP two years in a row for Mercedes. Hamilton should not have finished behind Verstappen.

I couldn't disagree with your USA assessment more strongly. Kimi got possibly the best start he's had all year and without that Hamilton would have sailed away into the sunset. It was strategy did them in, not pace. Hamilton pitted way too early and gave himself much too much to do in the race. But even with that, if Hamilton hadn't spent as much time as he did fighting with Verstappen then Kimi would have been a sitting duck. Kimi was quite fortunate that day but he didn't have a superior car.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:40 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
Invade wrote:
Vettel's performance in Brazil was poor and Kimi was faster, and both seemed probably a bit faster than or at least equal Bottas but track position was their undoing as they struggled at the beginning of their first stint (checking, Vettel might have been slower than Bottas and Kimi was certainly faster). Hamilton and Verstappen performed much better than any of those guys and the Red Bull looked quite a bit better than both cars, so much so that I gave them the weekend win. In qualifying I had Ferrari and Mercedes close to even and therefore tied. So the question for me is why did I put Mercedes 2nd and Ferrari third, which in hindsight isn't clear at all and they were probably about equal in the race. Vettel having relatively poor pace and Hamilton being on it makes it tricky to come to any sure conclusion. The only obvious thing is that RBR were extremely strong in the race, and should have won it.

***

Regarding Italy, I did place Ferrari and Mercedes as pretty much even in race trim, though Ferrari got the nod for the weekend due to what I perceived to be a qualifying advantage.

***

USA looks quite clear. The Ferrari looked the best. However I'm going to switch my rankings for RBR and Mercedes and put the Mercedes in second place, as too much stock was put into Bottas' pace which has now been atrocious at this GP two years in a row for Mercedes. Hamilton should not have finished behind Verstappen.

I couldn't disagree with your USA assessment more strongly. Kimi got possibly the best start he's had all year and without that Hamilton would have sailed away into the sunset. It was strategy did them in, not pace. Hamilton pitted way too early and gave himself much too much to do in the race. But even with that, if Hamilton hadn't spent as much time as he did fighting with Verstappen then Kimi would have been a sitting duck. Kimi was quite fortunate that day but he didn't have a superior car.



Possibly, but the whole narrative regarding the rear wheel rims was still surrounding Mercedes, so it might mask the truth that your narrative may carry. Do you remember what Vettel's pace was like during the race? I have a feeling this is what I based the ranking on, despite his errors. (After checking the race...) The problem in judging this race is that Mercedes stated they were being aggressive in going for the win and taking a risk which suggests they weren't confident on winning the race on outright pace and also Vettel easily had the pace on Bottas despite his earlier racing incident with Ricciardo. However, it's possible that Vettel had very good pace and Bottas very poor pace (as he did in 2017). For that Merc to have been overtaken by the Ferrari in such circumstances is a poor show, unless Ferrari just did have more pace.

In short, Vettel demonstrated excellent pace and Bottas demonstrated poor pace, so it's difficult to draw the picture.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:12 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Absolutely not true. That's completely inaccurate. After the summer break they went to Spa; where Ferrari were clearly the quickest car but they screwed up Kimi's Q3 by not fueling his car properly and Vettel bungeld his last hotlap. Up to that point, Ferrari had been quickest through all the practice and qualifying sessions and indeed on the first hotlap in Q3. In the race, it wasn't even close. Monza; same thing; Ferrari were fastest but Vettel spun out on the first lap and then Ferrari got the strategy wrong by pitting Kimi too soon and than pushing his tires too hard immediately after the stop while Hamilton performed to an extremely high level and pulled off the win.

Singapore? Both Kimi and Sebastian claimed they could have set pole but Ferrari never actually got them the ideal preparation and out lap to execute their Q3 lap and they both made mistakes on their hot laps. Hamilton put in one of the best qualifying laps you could ever see there and in the race he won from the front while Ferrari screwed up the strategy again and cost Seb a position to Verstappen and any chance at fighting with Lewis.

I'd say Russia was a race where Mercedes seemed to have the edge although Vettel seemed able to match the race pace there. Japan is hard to say as Ferrari, again, bungled qualifying by not getting on track in Q3 before the rain started to really come down but, based on Q1 and Q2, I'd give that race to Mercedes as well. This was during that window where Ferrari had an upgrade package that didn't work or perhaps had to use a sensor that stopped them from getting more electrical power or whatever. Ferrari were stronger in the US (especially taking Mercedes massive tire issues into account) and they were stronger in Mexico.

Brazil was a race where both teams were poor and Abu Dhabi was a race where Mercedes were stronger but your statement that Merc overtook them in the development race after the summer break is absolutely false. It was basically neck and neck in the post-summer time frame. Before the summer break, Ferrari had the better car in 8-9 of the 12 races.

I don’t think that’s true either, really. Some of the times where Ferrari allegedly had the better car seem based entirely on the fact that Hamilton wasn’t the quickest, which I think is a flawed metric. I think the cars were relatively evenly matched but in the last third or so if the year it was Merc in the hot seat for the most part. Ferrari had an advantage over the summer but it’s being blown up to make out they were superior for most of the year and that’s just not true in my view

It's not really possible to respond without you providing an actual example of a race where Ferrari was believed to be quicker but you feel that they were not.

Replying in this thread as I believe it's more appropriate:

In Spa I do agree that Ferrari looked the quicker car, but already in Monza Mercedes had resolved their traction issues, which were the biggest reason for their deficit. And there they were neck and neck. Hamilton did not win in a slower car that day and managed to comfortably keep pace with Kimi. This is an example of where I feel the assumption that Hamilton is the faster driver anyway means that he must have been driving a slower car. But I don't think that's true.

In Singapore we appear to be basing Ferrari's superiority on statements that the drivers felt they had the car to get pole, although I thought Vettel only said the gap wasn't representative, not that he lost pole in a better car. In any event, I find the suggestion that Hamilton out-qualified both Ferraris by 6 tenths in an inferior car to be bordering on the realms of fantasy and another example where I feel the hype machine has gone into overdrive. Objectively speaking it doesn't stack up.

You say that in Russia Mercedes "seemed to have the edge" but I'd suggest Bottas out-qualifying Vettel by 6 tenths and Kimi by nearly a second was more than just an edge. They utterly dominated. Japan was Mercedes all the way, too and I don't agree Ferrari were stronger in the US. Mercedes didn't have tyre issues - they gambled wrongly. Kimi got the drop on Hamilton at the start but that's not down to the car and in the end he did to Hamilton what Bottas did to him at Monza and caused Hamilton to take too much life out of his tyres trying to pass, also helped in no small way later in the race by Hamilton's tussle with Red Bull. If Hamilton hadn't been jumped at the start then it's highly likely he would have cruised to victory. The cars looked pretty even there overall.

In Mexico Mercedes struggled - I'd suggest that altitude may have played a part as it went against the trend of the surrounding races. In Brazil Mercedes was better than Ferrari, with Red Bull better than both of them, which leaves us Abu Dhabi where Mercedes locked out the front row so I think there's little doubt who was better there.

So that leaves Spa and Mexico as the only races after the summer break where Ferrari looked to have the edge on Mercedes (and by edge I don't mean crushing superiority), which is also reflected in the results. Ferrari had a short period in the summer where they were superior, but Mercedes had a run before that where they were ahead. All in all I don't agree with the assessment that Ferrari had the better car during the year and I'd go along with the claims made earlier that Mercedes held the development advantage after Spa. Other than Mexico, the Merc was the car to have.

So I disagree with each of these examples and will explain why.

Monza-This is a track where Hamilton has dominated. If Mercedes had the quicker car; he would not have been out-qualified by both Ferraris while Bottas finished a further 0.36 seconds back. Look at the Q3 laps. Hamilton's lap was inch perfect, so if the Merc were faster, it would have been a pole. Vettel then crashed on the opening lap. he's easily the faster of the two Ferrari drivers so you lost the ability to make a comparison with Hamilton and someone of a similar caliber. A race-long battle between Hamilton and Raikkonen DOES indicate a stronger Ferrari package as does the fact that Bottas was absolutely nowhere in comparison to either Ferrari all weekend on pace.

Singapore-You talk about Hamilton beating both Ferraris by 6 tenths and suggest hat it would be impossible without a car advantage. What you ignore is the actual laps themselves. Hamilton never put a wheel wrong on the lap while both Raikkonen and Vettel had significant errors on their Q3 laps. WATCH THE LAPS. I do think it is significant that both drivers felt that pole was on. Vettel did NOT merely say that the gap wasn't representative. He said that he could have set pole.

Russia and Japan I also gave to Mercedes so we don't disagree but, again, the idea that they were dominant is highly dubious at best. Vettel was right on the same pace in Russia and in Japan there was no possibility of true comparison because Ferrari messed up in qualifying and Vettel crashed again in the race.

USA was a race where Vettel messed up on his Q3 lap again and also had another first lap collision. So we're left comparing Hamilton with Raikkonen (far from equal performers). The fact is that Mercedes struggled with tire life during this patch of the season. I always find it interesting how you like to point out Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade in Russia and Japan but choose to completely disregard Mercedes step backwards with the tires (most likely due to plugging those holes in the wheel rims). Could Hamilton have beaten Kimi with a better strategy? Possibly but it wouldn't have been because the car was faster. When the car is faster; Bottas is ahead of Kimi. Bottas was nowhere in USA. Absolutely nowhere.

In Brazil; I'd say evidence suggests we have another USA-like scenario. Vettel completely botched the whole weekend once again; earning a penalty on the weigh bridge and then going backwards in a race where he was slower than Kimi. Bottas, again, was a non-factor and extremely slow relative to the others up front. Hamilton won a race he had no business winning as the Red Bulls put both the Mercs and Ferraris in the shade there on pace.

So to conclude; Merceds were better in Russia, Japan and Abu Dhabi. Ferrari were better in Spa, Monza, USA and Brazil. Let's give Singapore to Mercedes too. That's still 4 races to 4. Even if you want to remove the races that are harder to call (Singapore, USA, Brazil) you still have 3-2 for Mercedes; which doesn't fit with the narrative of Ferrari being overtaken in development.

As to your comment about the year before the break: Australia-Mercedes, Bahrain-Ferrari, China-Ferrari, Baku-Ferrari, Spain-Mercedes, Monaco-Ferrari, Canada-Ferrari, France-Mercedes, Austria-Mercedes, England-Ferrari, Germany-Ferrari, Hungary-Ferrari.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:14 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Absolutely not true. That's completely inaccurate. After the summer break they went to Spa; where Ferrari were clearly the quickest car but they screwed up Kimi's Q3 by not fueling his car properly and Vettel bungeld his last hotlap. Up to that point, Ferrari had been quickest through all the practice and qualifying sessions and indeed on the first hotlap in Q3. In the race, it wasn't even close. Monza; same thing; Ferrari were fastest but Vettel spun out on the first lap and then Ferrari got the strategy wrong by pitting Kimi too soon and than pushing his tires too hard immediately after the stop while Hamilton performed to an extremely high level and pulled off the win.

Singapore? Both Kimi and Sebastian claimed they could have set pole but Ferrari never actually got them the ideal preparation and out lap to execute their Q3 lap and they both made mistakes on their hot laps. Hamilton put in one of the best qualifying laps you could ever see there and in the race he won from the front while Ferrari screwed up the strategy again and cost Seb a position to Verstappen and any chance at fighting with Lewis.

I'd say Russia was a race where Mercedes seemed to have the edge although Vettel seemed able to match the race pace there. Japan is hard to say as Ferrari, again, bungled qualifying by not getting on track in Q3 before the rain started to really come down but, based on Q1 and Q2, I'd give that race to Mercedes as well. This was during that window where Ferrari had an upgrade package that didn't work or perhaps had to use a sensor that stopped them from getting more electrical power or whatever. Ferrari were stronger in the US (especially taking Mercedes massive tire issues into account) and they were stronger in Mexico.

Brazil was a race where both teams were poor and Abu Dhabi was a race where Mercedes were stronger but your statement that Merc overtook them in the development race after the summer break is absolutely false. It was basically neck and neck in the post-summer time frame. Before the summer break, Ferrari had the better car in 8-9 of the 12 races.

I don’t think that’s true either, really. Some of the times where Ferrari allegedly had the better car seem based entirely on the fact that Hamilton wasn’t the quickest, which I think is a flawed metric. I think the cars were relatively evenly matched but in the last third or so if the year it was Merc in the hot seat for the most part. Ferrari had an advantage over the summer but it’s being blown up to make out they were superior for most of the year and that’s just not true in my view

It's not really possible to respond without you providing an actual example of a race where Ferrari was believed to be quicker but you feel that they were not.

Replying in this thread as I believe it's more appropriate:

In Spa I do agree that Ferrari looked the quicker car, but already in Monza Mercedes had resolved their traction issues, which were the biggest reason for their deficit. And there they were neck and neck. Hamilton did not win in a slower car that day and managed to comfortably keep pace with Kimi. This is an example of where I feel the assumption that Hamilton is the faster driver anyway means that he must have been driving a slower car. But I don't think that's true.

In Singapore we appear to be basing Ferrari's superiority on statements that the drivers felt they had the car to get pole, although I thought Vettel only said the gap wasn't representative, not that he lost pole in a better car. In any event, I find the suggestion that Hamilton out-qualified both Ferraris by 6 tenths in an inferior car to be bordering on the realms of fantasy and another example where I feel the hype machine has gone into overdrive. Objectively speaking it doesn't stack up.

You say that in Russia Mercedes "seemed to have the edge" but I'd suggest Bottas out-qualifying Vettel by 6 tenths and Kimi by nearly a second was more than just an edge. They utterly dominated. Japan was Mercedes all the way, too and I don't agree Ferrari were stronger in the US. Mercedes didn't have tyre issues - they gambled wrongly. Kimi got the drop on Hamilton at the start but that's not down to the car and in the end he did to Hamilton what Bottas did to him at Monza and caused Hamilton to take too much life out of his tyres trying to pass, also helped in no small way later in the race by Hamilton's tussle with Red Bull. If Hamilton hadn't been jumped at the start then it's highly likely he would have cruised to victory. The cars looked pretty even there overall.

In Mexico Mercedes struggled - I'd suggest that altitude may have played a part as it went against the trend of the surrounding races. In Brazil Mercedes was better than Ferrari, with Red Bull better than both of them, which leaves us Abu Dhabi where Mercedes locked out the front row so I think there's little doubt who was better there.

So that leaves Spa and Mexico as the only races after the summer break where Ferrari looked to have the edge on Mercedes (and by edge I don't mean crushing superiority), which is also reflected in the results. Ferrari had a short period in the summer where they were superior, but Mercedes had a run before that where they were ahead. All in all I don't agree with the assessment that Ferrari had the better car during the year and I'd go along with the claims made earlier that Mercedes held the development advantage after Spa. Other than Mexico, the Merc was the car to have.

So I disagree with each of these examples and will explain why.

Monza-This is a track where Hamilton has dominated. If Mercedes had the quicker car; he would not have been out-qualified by both Ferraris while Bottas finished a further 0.36 seconds back. Look at the Q3 laps. Hamilton's lap was inch perfect, so if the Merc were faster, it would have been a pole. Vettel then crashed on the opening lap. he's easily the faster of the two Ferrari drivers so you lost the ability to make a comparison with Hamilton and someone of a similar caliber. A race-long battle between Hamilton and Raikkonen DOES indicate a stronger Ferrari package as does the fact that Bottas was absolutely nowhere in comparison to either Ferrari all weekend on pace.

Singapore-You talk about Hamilton beating both Ferraris by 6 tenths and suggest hat it would be impossible without a car advantage. What you ignore is the actual laps themselves. Hamilton never put a wheel wrong on the lap while both Raikkonen and Vettel had significant errors on their Q3 laps. WATCH THE LAPS. I do think it is significant that both drivers felt that pole was on. Vettel did NOT merely say that the gap wasn't representative. He said that he could have set pole.

Russia and Japan I also gave to Mercedes so we don't disagree but, again, the idea that they were dominant is highly dubious at best. Vettel was right on the same pace in Russia and in Japan there was no possibility of true comparison because Ferrari messed up in qualifying and Vettel crashed again in the race.

USA was a race where Vettel messed up on his Q3 lap again and also had another first lap collision. So we're left comparing Hamilton with Raikkonen (far from equal performers). The fact is that Mercedes struggled with tire life during this patch of the season. I always find it interesting how you like to point out Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade in Russia and Japan but choose to completely disregard Mercedes step backwards with the tires (most likely due to plugging those holes in the wheel rims). Could Hamilton have beaten Kimi with a better strategy? Possibly but it wouldn't have been because the car was faster. When the car is faster; Bottas is ahead of Kimi. Bottas was nowhere in USA. Absolutely nowhere.

In Brazil; I'd say evidence suggests we have another USA-like scenario. Vettel completely botched the whole weekend once again; earning a penalty on the weigh bridge and then going backwards in a race where he was slower than Kimi. Bottas, again, was a non-factor and extremely slow relative to the others up front. Hamilton won a race he had no business winning as the Red Bulls put both the Mercs and Ferraris in the shade there on pace.

So to conclude; Merceds were better in Russia, Japan and Abu Dhabi. Ferrari were better in Spa, Monza, USA and Brazil. Let's give Singapore to Mercedes too. That's still 4 races to 4. Even if you want to remove the races that are harder to call (Singapore, USA, Brazil) you still have 3-2 for Mercedes; which doesn't fit with the narrative of Ferrari being overtaken in development.

As to your comment about the year before the break: Australia-Mercedes, Bahrain-Ferrari, China-Ferrari, Baku-Ferrari, Spain-Mercedes, Monaco-Ferrari, Canada-Ferrari, France-Mercedes, Austria-Mercedes, England-Ferrari, Germany-Ferrari, Hungary-Ferrari.

It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:21 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:25 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:45 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.

Your primary concern seems to be controlling the narrative and that's the issue here. That the cars were closely matched is quite true but if that's our final verdict for 2018 then it must also be our final verdict for 2017. You vehemently insisted upon Mercedes being declared the stronger car in 2017 so, in keeping with your own precedent of trying to determine an outright #1 car even when it's perhaps too close to confidently call; 2018 must go to Ferrari.

As for Monza; again, Hamilton was battling Raikkonen there. All assessment of what took place must factor that in. What Wolf said was that the advantage that Ferrari had in qualifying didn't seem to be there during the race. He didn't say Mercedes were faster and, regardless of what he said, the only reference that he had was Hamilton v Raikkonen. If it were Hamilton v Vettel, things likely would have played out very differently. This is the issue with relying on anecdotal evidence. You don't actually know what exactly Wolf was referring to, you don't know whether he was being completely honest and you don't know whether or not he was mistaken. He might have been referring to the overall package of Hamilton/Mercedes vs Raikkonen/Ferrari; in which case the drivers play a massive role in the assessment. His words do not vindicate your position in any way. A Ferrari 1-2 in qualifying at a track where Hamilton has been on pole a record 5 times (maybe his strongest overall track) and in a session where he was inch perfect and bested his teammate by nearly 4 tenths speaks a lot louder than Toto.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:09 am 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.

Your primary concern seems to be controlling the narrative and that's the issue here. That the cars were closely matched is quite true but if that's our final verdict for 2018 then it must also be our final verdict for 2017. You vehemently insisted upon Mercedes being declared the stronger car in 2017 so, in keeping with your own precedent of trying to determine an outright #1 car even when it's perhaps too close to confidently call; 2018 must go to Ferrari.

As for Monza; again, Hamilton was battling Raikkonen there. All assessment of what took place must factor that in. What Wolf said was that the advantage that Ferrari had in qualifying didn't seem to be there during the race. He didn't say Mercedes were faster and, regardless of what he said, the only reference that he had was Hamilton v Raikkonen. If it were Hamilton v Vettel, things likely would have played out very differently. This is the issue with relying on anecdotal evidence. You don't actually know what exactly Wolf was referring to, you don't know whether he was being completely honest and you don't know whether or not he was mistaken. He might have been referring to the overall package of Hamilton/Mercedes vs Raikkonen/Ferrari; in which case the drivers play a massive role in the assessment. His words do not vindicate your position in any way. A Ferrari 1-2 in qualifying at a track where Hamilton has been on pole a record 5 times (maybe his strongest overall track) and in a session where he was inch perfect and bested his teammate by nearly 4 tenths speaks a lot louder than Toto.

Wolff specifically said that Mercedes had the quicker race car. It goes without saying that the drivers play an important part, too. I don't think there was any race where the drivers could simply rely on the car's superiority, regardless of team: the cars were too evenly matched for that.

But I agree with you that just because he said it doesn't make it automatically right. I hold that view regardless of what he says but it just so happens that in this instance he has said what I was thinking and I put it out there to show it's not just me thinking that. In that sense I do think it vindicates my position as it shows it's not a lone view. But one thing I don't agree is your view that Hamilton's past record and his margin over his team mate should "speak a lot louder than Toto." Wolff has the hard, objective data and past record has nothing to do with relative performance today.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:39 am 
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I don't see any new arguments on this page. I see the same arguments the last 30 pages had. Why start it all again?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:49 am 
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We can end this thread and start the 2019 one


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:01 am 
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KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

With no data except for testing? That'll degenerate quickly...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:07 am 
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Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.

The analogy that Kimi has to be faster than Hamilton to prove the Ferrari is faster surely has got to be flawed because you are then saying that Kimi is the equal of Hamilton?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:09 am 
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Exediron wrote:
I don't see any new arguments on this page. I see the same arguments the last 30 pages had. Why start it all again?

Indeed.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:10 am 
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KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:49 am 
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pokerman wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.

The analogy that Kimi has to be faster than Hamilton to prove the Ferrari is faster surely has got to be flawed because you are then saying that Kimi is the equal of Hamilton?

No I'm saying if he's behind and harassing Hamilton for the position then the chances are he's in a faster car, as if they were in equal cars then it's doubtful that he'd be able to attack (assuming the same tyre strategies). But if he's ahead and Hamilton can't get by that's as much a function of it being difficult to overtake in F1 as it is their cars' relative performances.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:03 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
It still boils down to the fact that you're essentially saying if Hamilton is beaten then it must be by a superior car. And I disagree with that and the only reason Monza, USA and Brazil are being discussed is precisely because of it.

There was a long battle between Hamilton and Kimi at Monza because it wasn't easy to overtake, not because Ferrari had an advantage. And in the USA Hamilton's tyre troubles were because he gave himself too much to do and worked them too hard, much like Kimi did in Monza. He chose to be the hare to Kimi's tortoise and it may well have worked had Verstappen not had his own plans.

I don't see how Singapore is a hard race to call. Hamilton finished 40 seconds up the road and nothing happened during the race that suggested Ferrari had pace to spare. Perez being the moving roadblock didn't help Ferrari of course but thee's no actual evidence to say Ferrari were quicker.

Even Wolff stated that Mercedes had the quicker race car at Monza. Why would he say that, do you think, if that wasn't the case? He also said that Mercedes were quicker in Germany, which doesn't tie in with your assessment. Whether he's right or wrong, it shows how things were extremely close. And I don't know how you can draw any definite conclusions on race pace from Monaco after Hamilton called it the "most boring race ever" due to them lapping much slower than they were capable of.

In short, I think Ferrari are being credited for having the faster car far more than is warranted

You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.

The analogy that Kimi has to be faster than Hamilton to prove the Ferrari is faster surely has got to be flawed because you are then saying that Kimi is the equal of Hamilton?

No I'm saying if he's behind and harassing Hamilton for the position then the chances are he's in a faster car, as if they were in equal cars then it's doubtful that he'd be able to attack (assuming the same tyre strategies). But if he's ahead and Hamilton can't get by that's as much a function of it being difficult to overtake in F1 as it is their cars' relative performances.

You are still saying the same thing that in equal cars Kimi would be able to keep up with Hamilton.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:58 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
Zoue wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Zoue wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
You claim that the basis for saying that the Ferraris were quicker is the assumption that Hamilton is a faster driver than Kimi but that is a fairly well established fact. More importantly, you provide no basis for suggesting that the Mercedes was the faster car other than that Hamilton won. You ignore the errors made by the Ferrari drivers and team as well as the performance difference between their drivers and Hamilton (as well as the fact that Bottas is behind both of the Ferraris in most of these examples) and simply use the end result to justify your assertion.

Hamilton, if nothing else, has certainly proved that he will set pole position if you give him the fastest car. He's set more of those than anyone in history. If he had the faster car in Monza and set a clean qualifying lap, the pole would have been his. To be bested by Raikkonen and Vettel there (note Vettel did not beat Kimi in that session) while beating his teammate by nearly 4 tenths of a second speaks for itself.

The tire heating troubles in the US were not down to Hamilton giving himself too much to do. That is willfully ignoring their covering of the holes in the rim (a solution which solved their tire issues from early in the year) and the fact that both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with tire temps for three races because of that. If you want us to consider Ferrari's struggles with an ineffective upgrade package, you must also consider Mercedes' struggles with tires after fearing a protest to their wheel rim solution. We have seen Hamilton race against Kimi in competitive machinery all through 2017 and 2018 and Hamilton consistently beats him both on Saturdays and Sundays. For Raikkonen to be up there battling with Lewis is clear indication of the relative strength of the Ferrari; especially on a weekend where Hamilton is miles in front of Bottas and clearly getting the maximum from the car while Vettel is nowhere and behind Kimi. If the roles were reversed; if Hamilton had a bad weekend and Bottas were able to take the fight to Vettel and, in fact, beat him; you would make the same argument. In fact, I have seen you make this argument for races where Vettel still won but Bottas was in the mix; and there is far less objective reason to assume Vettel's superiority to Bottas than there is to assume Hamilton's to Raikkonen.

Also I never heard Toto Wolf say that Mercedes were faster in Germany. We didn't get to see Hamilton qualify there and he had to start from the back but the Ferraris seemed to be in control pace-wise that weekend until the rain started to fall late in the race. In Monza; Wolf could only compare Hamilton to Raikkonen. To say that Hamilton was faster than Raikkonen during the race and chalk it up to the car would be ridiculous IMO. Besides I thought we were in agreement about the lack of reliability of anecdotal evidence.

What I would say is that, if you want to claim that Mercedes had the better car in 2017, you must also claim that Ferrari had the better car in 2018. You are splitting hairs in both seasons as the cars were closely matched throughout but the evidence suggests the slight edge to Merc in 2017 and the slight edge to Ferrari last year when looking at the season as a whole.
well, I'm more saying that Hamilton getting beaten seems to be the trigger to say the Merc must have been slower, and that's what I disagree with.

Regarding Kimi and Hamilton, if Kimi were to chase Hamilton down and overtake him then I'd probably say he was in a quicker car. But that's not what happened either in Monza or USA. On both occasions Hamilton was the one behind. At Monza Hamilton couldn't find a way past but Kimi couldn't get away from him, either. So where's the foundation for saying the Ferrari was better? As I said before, even Toto said that Mercedes were the faster car so and I don't really see what his motivation would be to say that if it wasn't true (it would make the performance look even better if he'd said they were at a disadvantage). While in USA Hamilton was all over the back of Kimi until he pitted and from then on they were on completely different strategies. But Hamilton was quicker and was catching Kimi hand over fist until Verstappen spoiled the party. I don't see what evidence there is to say the Mercs were slower.

I made a mistake on Germany, apologies. I meant to say GB (the background is that he said Merc was quicker in the last three races while talking to the press in Germany and I had a senile moment while typing), but the point being made is the same. And Wolff did say that Merc were faster at Monza so if you think that's ridiculous you should take it up with him. Now I'm not saying he has to be right but again I don't see what he'd have to gain and to me the performance during the race ties in with that.

Look, we're never likely to agree and that's fine. For me the differences between the cars are fairly small anyway and overall I feel they were pretty closely matched. I just don't agree there's any evidence that Hamilton/Mercedes pulled off something against the odds on the way to the title.

The analogy that Kimi has to be faster than Hamilton to prove the Ferrari is faster surely has got to be flawed because you are then saying that Kimi is the equal of Hamilton?

No I'm saying if he's behind and harassing Hamilton for the position then the chances are he's in a faster car, as if they were in equal cars then it's doubtful that he'd be able to attack (assuming the same tyre strategies). But if he's ahead and Hamilton can't get by that's as much a function of it being difficult to overtake in F1 as it is their cars' relative performances.

You are still saying the same thing that in equal cars Kimi would be able to keep up with Hamilton.

I'm not saying the same thing. Keeping up and overtaking are two very different things.

If both are pushing to the max then more often than not Hamilton would leave Kimi behind in the same way Vettel did (assuming similar tyre strategies). But if the driver in front is controlling the pace then the driver behind may keep up even if he doesn't have same ultimate pace. If the driver behind is looking for a way past then it suggests the driver in front can't lose him. So they are different things. The most obvious example is Monaco where both Hamilton and Alonso complained about the pedestrian pace. There the lead driver controlled the pace because he didn't have to worry about the car behind being quicker, because there was little risk of overtaking.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:38 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:02 pm 
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Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Well I did. Mainly in that I don't think testing provides an accurate picture of the pecking order. This time last year many people thought Mercedes were going to wipe the floor with everyone.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:30 pm 
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At this point it's a circular argument with regards to 2018. Better to move on to this year guys. There will never be 100% consensus on anything.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:17 pm 
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j man wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Well I did. Mainly in that I don't think testing provides an accurate picture of the pecking order. This time last year many people thought Mercedes were going to wipe the floor with everyone.


Yeah its definitely not set in stone but I think they're leaving testing with the edge anyway. But then I thought Merc did leaving Oz last year so its never a sure thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:22 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
At this point it's a circular argument with regards to 2018. Better to move on to this year guys. There will never be 100% consensus on anything.


It doesn't have to be about consensus.

The recent exchange was still useful to me for a few reasons and the very last thing I'm interested in doing is reaching a consensus - was never the point.

I look forward to the 2019 thread.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:27 pm 
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Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Zoue wrote:
JN23 wrote:
1.16.221 for Hamilton on the C5s which is 0.003 slower than Vettel. Game on!

Yep, 0.5s slower my ar$e. Now we have the answer over whether or not they were playing mind games...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:28 pm 
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Lotus49 wrote:
j man wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
We can end this thread and start the 2019 one

I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Well I did. Mainly in that I don't think testing provides an accurate picture of the pecking order. This time last year many people thought Mercedes were going to wipe the floor with everyone.


Yeah its definitely not set in stone but I think they're leaving testing with the edge anyway. But then I thought Merc did leaving Oz last year so its never a sure thing.

About that I've heard that Ferrari had a fault with the floor which they changed after Australia.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:26 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Zoue wrote:
JN23 wrote:
1.16.221 for Hamilton on the C5s which is 0.003 slower than Vettel. Game on!

Yep, 0.5s slower my ar$e. Now we have the answer over whether or not they were playing mind games...

Zoue could just be questioning the size of the gap rather than rejecting the Ferrari being quicker tbf. I don't think its 0.5 either, the 0.2/0.3 I read from AMuS I think sounds more like it.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:27 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
j man wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Well I did. Mainly in that I don't think testing provides an accurate picture of the pecking order. This time last year many people thought Mercedes were going to wipe the floor with everyone.


Yeah its definitely not set in stone but I think they're leaving testing with the edge anyway. But then I thought Merc did leaving Oz last year so its never a sure thing.

About that I've heard that Ferrari had a fault with the floor which they changed after Australia.


Yeah that sounds familiar.

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-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:29 pm 
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Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Zoue wrote:
JN23 wrote:
1.16.221 for Hamilton on the C5s which is 0.003 slower than Vettel. Game on!

Yep, 0.5s slower my ar$e. Now we have the answer over whether or not they were playing mind games...

Zoue could just be questioning the size of the gap rather than rejecting the Ferrari being quicker tbf. I don't think its 0.5 either, the 0.2/0.3 I read from AMuS I think sounds more like it.

Honestly half a second would be a shock. How could they have got it that wrong?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:36 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Zoue wrote:
JN23 wrote:
1.16.221 for Hamilton on the C5s which is 0.003 slower than Vettel. Game on!

Yep, 0.5s slower my ar$e. Now we have the answer over whether or not they were playing mind games...

Zoue could just be questioning the size of the gap rather than rejecting the Ferrari being quicker tbf. I don't think its 0.5 either, the 0.2/0.3 I read from AMuS I think sounds more like it.

Honestly half a second would be a shock. How could they have got it that wrong?


Yeah I'd be genuinely surprised. Though I admit I know nothing about this whole new front wing and differing concepts thing just yet so if they did go down the wrong path maybe its not so crazy to think half a second can be lost, I dunno tbh.

But like Red Bull I'd back Mercedes to fix it but it's just whether they could do it in time or not.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:01 am 
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Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Zoue wrote:
JN23 wrote:
1.16.221 for Hamilton on the C5s which is 0.003 slower than Vettel. Game on!

Yep, 0.5s slower my ar$e. Now we have the answer over whether or not they were playing mind games...

Zoue could just be questioning the size of the gap rather than rejecting the Ferrari being quicker tbf. I don't think its 0.5 either, the 0.2/0.3 I read from AMuS I think sounds more like it.

No he saw the C5 tyre gap of 0.003s and keeps posting like this has some special reference.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:58 am 
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pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
I think it's already started with the rejecting of Ferrari being the fastest car in winter testing despite that being the opinion of all the experts. :)


Who's done that?

Zoue wrote:
JN23 wrote:
1.16.221 for Hamilton on the C5s which is 0.003 slower than Vettel. Game on!

Yep, 0.5s slower my ar$e. Now we have the answer over whether or not they were playing mind games...

Zoue could just be questioning the size of the gap rather than rejecting the Ferrari being quicker tbf. I don't think its 0.5 either, the 0.2/0.3 I read from AMuS I think sounds more like it.

No he saw the C5 tyre gap of 0.003s and keeps posting like this has some special reference.

Strange you should say this. I wrote the following:

Zoue wrote:
my understanding is the race sims had Ferrari 2-3 tenths quicker.

Overall I'd agree the Ferrari looks like the quicker car so far and going by Bottas' comments the Merc looks trickier to dial in. However the last minute display by Mercedes does tend to indicate they've been holding back a bit and there might be more to come from them. Don't forget Hamilton also put a lap on the C4s which was 2-3 tenths quicker than anything the Ferraris had done (see further up this page), so it's also possible that different tyres suit the cars better.

In summary for me advantage Ferrari but I wouldn't write Mercedes off just yet

which you replied to, and I followed it up with
Zoue wrote:
Is it? Are you really saying that there's no evidence from the past that different cars suit the softer/harder compounds better? I'd disagree with that, quite strongly.

I'm not disagreeing with you that the Ferrari looks quicker. I am disagreeing that you can make any proclamations on how big the deficit is based on testing where we don't know the details of the programs the teams were running. And the final days' laps raise questions as to how far behind Mercedes actually are.

How do you glean from that that I'm saying the Ferrari isn't quicker?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:22 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
tootsie323 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Covalent wrote:
https://www.formule1.nl/nieuws/verstappen-wat-hamilton-doet-kunnen-vettel-alonso-ricciardo-en-ik-ook/

Verstappen says that Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo and himself could have been champions just as easily with that Mercedes.

To say that Vettel could have been is ridiculous whilst Ricciardo took a tonking from Verstappen himself, however they all probably would have beaten Bottas and the mistake prone Vettel including I presume Vettel's twin brother in some kind of alternative universe were Verstappen himself wasn't crashing consistently in the first 6 races of the season and then later on with a backmarker car, but of course we know none of these were his mistakes.

Riccardo's 'tonking' included eight retirements. I do believe that any of the top-level drivers could have won in that Mercedes. I'd also argue that a little more switched-on Ferrari team and Vettel (or other top driver) could have won in that Ferrari. The question I'd pose is - would they have?

Verstappen was basically always running in front of Ricciardo when he retired, regarding Mercedes and Ferrari who are these top drivers that are better than Hamilton or Vettel or are we theorising these two drivers being out of the picture?

I won't necessarily argue that Verstappen was faster than Riccardo; just took issue with the word 'tonking.'
Yes, I'd theorise Hamilton and Vettel being 'out of the picture' in terms of who could have won the 2018 WDC in the Mercedes (or even the Ferrari) and agree with Verstappen's assessment. Vettel could have been champion last year; a couple of silly driver errors and a couple of poor team calls add up to a missed opportunity. I'd guess that any top-tier driver could have won the 2018 title in either the Merc of Ferrari.

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