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If Hamilton won in 2016, how many WDCs would he now have?
4 (no more titles) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
5 (2017 WDC) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
5 (2018 WDC) 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
6 (2017&2018 WDC) 94%  94%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 17
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:16 pm 
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In another thread it was posited that Hamilton may go on to rue the 2016 loss to Rosberg if he doesn't exceed or match Schumacher's records.

However, there is an assumption in that statement that Hamilton would have won the last two titles. Rosberg only quit because he finally won a title - he would have remained in 2017. This means that Rosberg would have been a title contender, and could have denied Hamilton successive victories (either by getting the title himself, or by taking away points it meant Vettel won)

This isn't even just as simple as a Bottas / Rosberg talent question. Losing to Rosberg led Hamilton to a period of self reflection to readjust his approach to the sport. Rosberg was already established in the team, and had abrasive relationship with Hamilton compared to the friendly Bottas one. This would have completed changed the team dynamics, and thus, affected the Ferrari frame of mind as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:38 pm 
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Actually quite a good question for a bit of hypothetical fun.

If we assume that Hamilton has the same level of mechanical reliability as 2017, I give that season to Hamilton. 2018 I also think would likely end up in favour of Hamilton. Of course, if Rosberg is there and the two Mercedes are frequently fighting at the front, maybe either party needs to run higher engine modes or push more leading to potential issues. I'd probably say about 80-20 chance in favour of Hamilton for each of those titles. Hamilton's win rate and pole numbers would take a hit, of that I'm fairly sure. Hamilton is the superior driver, imo, but it's not a huge gap in performance.

2018 is where is gets really interesting to me. If it's Hamilton and Rosberg in the Mercedes, I think we might have seen Vettel take this title. Mercedes would have the WCC sealed already, but I think the WDC would still be up for grabs, or Vettel has it. I would have been very intrigued to see if either Hamilton or Rosberg looked like the clear contender, would the other guy let him through to try and beat Vettel? That would be really interesting to me.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:47 pm 
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IMO, this is beyond simple. Had Hamilton not had the engine failure in Malaysia in 2016, then Hamilton would have won the 2016 WDC. Absent that, he has 5 WDCs today.

So... 5 + 1 = 6.

I don't feel the caustic situation at Mercedes between the two drivers would have been tolerated by the team, had Rosberg chosen to stay, after losing to Hamilton a-g-a-i-n for the umpteenth time. In reality, Rosberg was wise to take his WDC and run...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:59 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
I don't feel the caustic situation at Mercedes between the two drivers would have been tolerated by the team, had Rosberg chosen to stay, after losing to Hamilton a-g-a-i-n for the umpteenth time. In reality, Rosberg was wise to take his WDC and run...

The caustic situation isn't the whole of it. Many people (myself included) feel that Rosberg was just generally faster than Bottas, and therefore could have taken enough points off of Hamilton to make the title more open in 2017 and 2018. The question isn't 'would Rosberg have beaten Hamilton', it's 'would Rosberg have let Vettel beat Hamilton'.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:37 am 
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You could say that losing the 2016 title enabled him to win the 2017 and 2018 titles, losing the 2016 title was a wake up call for him plus he no longer had to deal with what had become a toxic relationship with Rosberg, thus he could have full team support in his fight against Vettel and Ferrari.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:59 am 
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pokerman wrote:
You could say that losing the 2016 title enabled him to win the 2017 and 2018 titles, losing the 2016 title was a wake up call for him plus he no longer had to deal with what had become a toxic relationship with Rosberg, thus he could have full team support in his fight against Vettel and Ferrari.


Paddy Lowe, believes Lewis Hamilton’s title defeat to Nico Rosberg in 2016 has acted as inspiration over the last two seasons. Lowe reckons 2017 and 2018 have been two of the “strongest” displays from the now five-time World Champion and the Rosberg rivalry has taken him to another level.

https://www.planetf1.com/news/lowe-rosb ... -hamilton/

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:36 am 
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I don't think his number would have changed, but its been very positive for him to have a unified Mercedes team 100% behind him.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:28 am 
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In 2017, there were actually 13 races where Bottas finished either ahead of Lewis, or in the position directly behind him. However, he only out-qualified Lewis at 6 of the 19 races. Rosberg was definitely closer to Lewis on Saturday than Valtteri has been, so I would suggest that had Nico continued into 2017, a) he would've been ahead of Lewis in quali more often than Valtteri managed and b) given that Valtteri's results relative to Lewis weren't that bad, Rosberg doing a better job in qualifying and being the better driver would've translated into him gaining points and Lewis losing points.

Whether that would've changed the outcome of the Championship, it's difficult to say. Some factors to consider:

- Lewis finished every race in the points and Bottas only had one DNF. Would Rosberg being closer to Hamilton have forced Mercedes to risk reliability issues more than they did?
- If Rosberg is fighting Lewis harder, does that open the door to Ferrari potentially taking points off both of them strategically? Mercedes certainly didn't look bulletproof in terms of strategy calls this year, and trying to appease both drivers and fight Vettel might've highlighted that weakness more prominently in 2017.
- And if Rosberg is taking points off of Lewis, is Vettel gaining as well, or does he actually end up making a net loss?
- Obvious one, but would the Hamilton/Rosberg relationship have completely imploded during the year? And if it did, how would Mercedes have dealt with the fallout, and how much of a distraction could it have become? Lewis supposedly threatened to quit the team after one previous run-in with Rosberg, so could it have been that extreme?
- After losing another WDC title to Lewis (as would've been the case in 2016 in this scenario), how desperate does Rosberg become in 2017?

I'm not trying to answer any of those as it's impossible to know how they might've affected things, if they even did at all. But there are certainly lots of potential elements that could've influenced things over the year beyond a simple 'Rosberg's an upgrade on Bottas and therefore would've scored more points'.

2018 is even harder to say. If the relationship between the two has imploded then Mercedes possibly drop one of them anyway, if neither of them have quit of course. Perhaps Rosberg has taken the WDC and quit as he did at the end of 2016, just a year later. Maybe they're more willing to promote Ocon at the end of 2017 than they were at the end of 2016. Maybe they've got through the year with a fragile peace, but it all falls apart in 2018 when Ferrari are that much closer.

I appreciate I've not answered the question :lol: I just don't think you can because like so many 'what if...' questions, you can go down a rabbit hole with all the different possibilities and permutations.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:48 am 
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Hamilton actually out qualified Rosberg at a similar rate in 2016.

The raw number looks good for Nico but includes 3 none participation’s in Q3 for Hamilton. Monaco, Hamilton breaking down and missing his first run then having to abort 2 laps due to traffic on his final run as well as carrying extra fuel. Hungary too, Hamilton miles quicker but Nico sets pole going purple through a yellow flag zone when everybody else backed off.

2013-2014 Nico was strong in qualifying. 2015-2016 less so.

Each year Nico was paired with Hamilton he got slightly weaker overall. It took Mercedes to have bad reliability as well as a dodgy clutch for him to narrowly beat Hamilton. Just like it took reliability in 2014 to take it to the final race. He wouldn’t challenge without those


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:57 am 
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Johnson wrote:
Hamilton actually out qualified Rosberg at a similar rate in 2016.

The raw number looks good for Nico but includes 3 none participation’s in Q3 for Hamilton. Monaco, Hamilton breaking down and missing his first run then having to abort 2 laps due to traffic on his final run as well as carrying extra fuel. Hungary too, Hamilton miles quicker but Nico sets pole going purple through a yellow flag zone when everybody else backed off.

2013-2014 Nico was strong in qualifying. 2015-2016 less so.

Each year Nico was paired with Hamilton he got slightly weaker overall. It took Mercedes to have bad reliability as well as a dodgy clutch for him to narrowly beat Hamilton. Just like it took reliability in 2014 to take it to the final race. He wouldn’t challenge without those

Reliability wise I agree but I don't think you can hold the temperamental clutch as a factor when they both had it and Rosberg just did better at adapting to it. He said in his recent beyond the grid podcast that he had his gloves redesigned to make them as thin as possible in order to give him the best feeling he could get.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:18 pm 
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Mercedes said the clutch gave random results, once it was fixed neither driver had a bad start.

It is a factor, because we are discussing 2017/2018 and how Rosberg would do. Mercedes had no issues at the start so even if he said Rosberg was better with that clutch he had lost his advantage for 2017/2018.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:21 pm 
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IMO 2016 was actually Rosbergs worst performance out the 3, we all know about the reliability issues and Hamilton had a problem with his starts, he lost alot of points for both issues. The clutch issue went on for so long i put that on Hamilton but I don't really know what the issue was or was it just bad starts?

Rosberg would have taken some points of Hamilton but he might have taken points of Vettel too, Hamilton has upped his level the last 2 years, I don't think Rosberg could have found another level. I just think Rosberg knew what happened to Hamilton in 2016 is very unlikely to happen again and he would come back fighting even harder.

I would find it more interesting how the Mercedes team would have coped if Rosberg stayed, 3 years of the first car at turn 1 gets strategy priority and you all go off for a cup of tea to then 2 world champions fighting another 2 world champions in seasons were the competition is equal if not stronger at some points.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:27 pm 
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A reminder of how Rosberg won the title-

His wins;

Australia - Hamilton messes up start from pole
Bahrain - Hamilton messes up start from pole
China - Hamilton breaks down in qualifying starts P22
Russia - Hamilton breaks down in qualifying starts P10
Baku - Hamilton crashes in qualifying 0.4 up on Rosbergs eventual pole lap
Belgium - Hamilton starts from the pits due to engine penalties
Monza - Hamilton messes up start from pole
Singapore - Hamilton missess all of FP2 and FP3 (only sessions at night) and goes into qualifying/race blind
Japan -

In 8 of Nico Rosbergs 9 wins, Hamilton was running outside the top 5 (usually further back) at the end of the first lap, whilst Rosberg lead them all baring Australia in which he was 2nd. The one time that wasn't so was Singapore were Lewis was 3rd, Nico 1st.

Nico did a good job in Japan to take pole by 0.007 and win the race. He also did a great lap in German GP qualifying to beat Hamilton when he himself only had 1 run. Other than that, his season had few standouts and was more just capitalising on Hamiltons issues. The one reliability issue he had was a grid penalty for gearbox change which meant he ran the Austrian GP on an alternative strategy that put him in the lead of the race (after them telling Hamilton what pace to run the race at) so his one piece of bad luck actually worked out as good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:52 pm 
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Similarly, Rosbergs 2014 title challenge was built off the same - Hamilton having some mechanical issues.

The first 5 races, Hamilton won 4 and had a mechanical issue from pole in the other. By race 7, Hamilton had 2 DNF's Rosberg 0.

By race 13, Hamilton had had 3 DNF's and 2 race starts from the back of the grid due to technical issues in qualifying. Rosberg had 1 single DNF.

It somewhat evened out by the end with DNFs 3-3 and Hamilton easily won the title. But it was kept close due to the disparity of DNF's and technical issues falling more toward Hamilton in the first half the year.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:20 pm 
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I think 2017 and 2018 would still have gone his way, so voted 6.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:33 pm 
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I was interested, so compiled Nico's wins in qualifying in 2016 too. He narrowly lost 12-9 which on appearance looks close.

China - Hamilton breaks down in Q3

Russia - Hamilton breaks down in Q3

Monaco - Hamilton breaks down in Q3 misses first run, does 2nd run and hits traffic twice and has to abort twice. Also carries extra fuel.

Baku - Hamilton crashes in Q3 when 0.4 up on Rosbergs eventual pole lap

Hungary - Hamilton way ahead on first runs and way up on S1 on Rosberg. The entire field except Nico aborts laps because of yellow flags but Nico doesn't and sets a purple in that sector and takes pole on the drying track.

Germany - Race 12 and we can say for the first Nico was definitely quicker. He also did it with 1 run compared to Hamiltons 2, so it was a really impressive lap to beat Hamilton by 0.1

Spa - Hamilton doesn't do Q3 due to grid penalties.

Singapore - Hamilton misses all the night time sessions of FP2/FP3 due to mechanical issues and goes in qualifying blind.

Japan - Nico beats Hamilton fair and square by 0.007

Hamilton beat Rosberg by more than 0.3 in about half of the Q3's they both did in 2016. Rosberg was under the radar thrashed over 1 lap in 2016 but the narrative is "Nico put all his energy into that year.. gave it everything.. lost his leg muscles..."


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:37 pm 
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I think that 2016 made Lewis a stronger driver. On the other hand I think that since Lewis took both the 2017 and 2018 WDCs in Mexico with two races remaining, he still could have won the championships without the sharpening of his game. In 2017 he won the WDC by 46 points in spite of taking it easy the last two races after he clinched. This year he again clinched in Mexico with a current margin of 64 points.

In 2014 & 2015 Mercedes provided the margin with a highly superior car, where Lewis only significant competitor was Nico. In 2017 & 2018 Lewis has had to step up and add his strength as a driver to a car that is increasingly being matched by Ferrari and soon RBR.

I am guessing one of the last two races will go to Valtteri if he is in position to win. Lewis still figures he owes him a victory.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:22 pm 
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Imo rosberg would not have beaten vettel the last 2 years. I just feel vettel is better than rosberg. So its likely he would have been relegated to helping lewis quite often. And as reluctant as he might have been to do that I believe he would have complied. To me Nico is the same level as bottas in terms of raw speed. He developped some agressiveness in 2016, but ability wise and pace wise he is Bottas 2.0 imo. Sometimes they are both fast and close to lewis, a few times ahead of lewis, but other times they are way off the pace. I dont see a drastic difference between those 2.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:31 am 
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Johnson wrote:
Mercedes said the clutch gave random results, once it was fixed neither driver had a bad start.

It is a factor, because we are discussing 2017/2018 and how Rosberg would do. Mercedes had no issues at the start so even if he said Rosberg was better with that clutch he had lost his advantage for 2017/2018.


The clutch wasn't fixed, the drivers went to the factory and came up with a way to get more consistent results. (I think changing gloves were involved or something of that nature)

Nico went after Hungary and Lewis after Japan. Neither had a bad start after that.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:54 am 
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Lewis gets stronger each year intrementally improving every area such as speed, racecraft, publicity, management, mind games etc.

Having said that, had Nico stayed on and endured more arguments and squabbling I think Mercedes would have eventually lost a championship to Ferrari. But we will never know.


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