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Photo by: www.Kymillman.com/f1

In the last ten years, there have been ten different winners at the Spanish Grand Prix. If history had anything to say, Sunday’s race might be someone new. The first lap collision between Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen meant that the possibility, statistically, got better for a new winner and perhaps in the form of Valtteri Bottas who was involved in the collision but not damaged. History was beaten Sunday as Lewis won his 55th race.

The race could be reduced to a tactical nightmare for strategists on whether a 2-stop race or 3-stop race was the right call given the large pace delta between the soft and medium tire.

Lewis Hamilton dodged a bullet with a superior race strategy from Mercedes (soft, med, soft) to reduce the drivers’ championship to just six points with his win in Spain.

Win

The race was always going to be a tactical nightmare for race strategists bit for Mercedes, they had to cover Vettel’s better long-run pace on the soft compounds and also manage the traffic when you stop and that’s where Lewis Hamilton and his race engineer pulled the race out of the bag. There’s nothing easy about race strategy and especially at this race so beating a faster Ferrari on softs is a big achievement.

A win for Lewis Hamilton who had to put in a grinding and gutsy drive to victory with a superior race strategy call from Mercedes. Could Mercedes have gotten their head around what plagued Lewis in Russia and their tire degradation issues? A few races ago, running that long on softs may not have been as easy as it seemed today.

A win for Daniel Ricciardo who gave Red Bull its first podium of the year finishing third by staying fast and in the hunt all race long.

A big win for Force India—or should I say Brabham…potentially—with both drivers in the points with Perez in fourth and Ocon, the rookie, in fifth. A great run for a team that NBC Sports said were moving backwards with their upgrades…apparently not. The best team result for the team this year. It was Sergio Perez’s 15th points finish in a row! Esteban Ocon had his best finish in fifth in his fifth race for the team. A terrific performance for Ocon.

A win for Daniil Kvyat who started at the back of the grid and finished in the points with an aggressive drive forward in a car that he said he didn’t like at all on Saturday. His teammate, Carlos Sainz, who also had a great day finishing ahead of Daniil in 7th.

A big win for Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen who invited the little race fan into the pits to meet his hero. Poor little guy was in tears and inconsolable when Kimi was out at turn one and Ferrari took the time to make his day a little brighter. Great job Ferrari!

A win for the Mercedes quality desk that Toto Wolff pounds on relentlessly.

A huge win for Pascal Wehrlein to score points for Sauber in 8th giving the team a seriously needed points haul with a very spirited drive. The one-stopper paid dividends coupled with a great drive.

A win for Haas F1 to get Grosjean in the points but it could have been a dual-points finish if Magnussen hadn’t had the tire puncture.

Fail

A fail for Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen for exiting the race in turn one. It may not have been totally their fault as Bottas pressed both but failing to finish the race is an overall fail and Ferrari could have really used Kimi tactically in the race.

As much as Mercedes and Hamilton’s correct read on the traffic and race strategy, Ferrari just missed out on the right call with Sebastian Vettel left on medium compounds to the end fo the race. The traffic, as well as Bottas, put just enough of a drag on Vettel’s race to relegate him to second. This is also where Ferrari could have used Kimi Raikkonen to run blocker and neutralize the impact Bottas had on Vettel’s race.

A fail for a blown engine for Bottas but with all deference to the team, it was an older engine.

A gutting fail for a small puncture late in the race for Kevin Magnussen who was beating his teammate, Grosjean, all weekend and left him out of the points. Kevin tried a pass on Kvyat but hit the Russian causing a puncture.

A fail for Jolyon Palmer who’s teammate muscled his way up to 6th place giving Renault points while Palmer could only manage 15th. Sirotkin may be looking better and better.

A fail for Williams for both cars being out of the points. It may not be a track that flatters the car but they need the points because Force India is becoming the best of the rest. Williams now slide behind Toro Rosso in the points. 

A fail for Honda who couldn’t give Fernando Alonso the shove to capitalize on his qualifying result as they finished in 12th and outside the points. Alonso was positive and said reliability was improved.

WTH

I’m not quite sure why, with over a minute to Ricciardo, Ferrari didn’t gamble and pit for softs to make a run at Lewis. Perhaps they were banking on Hamilton hitting the wall with their known tire degradation and running long on softs but it seems that Mercedes have possibly solved their tire degradation issues…in Spain at least.

A WTH for Stoffel Vandoorne who clouted Felipe Massa at turn one. Not sure how he didn’t see Massa there and it ended the McLaren’s race.

A WTH moment for Haas F1 race engineer who was very animated on the radio to Kevin Magnussen and then told Kevin to calm down…problem was, Kevin was totally calm. Very funny moment.

Spanish GP Results:

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h35m56.497s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 3.490s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m13.978s
4 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
5 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 Lap
7 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
10 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 2 Laps
13 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 2 Laps
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 2 Laps
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 2 Laps
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 2 Laps
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Power Unit
Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda Collision
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault Collision
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Collision

Drivers’ Championship:

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 104
2 Lewis Hamilton 98
3 Valtteri Bottas 63
4 Kimi Raikkonen 49
5 Daniel Ricciardo 37
6 Max Verstappen 35
7 Sergio Perez 34
8 Esteban Ocon 19
9 Felipe Massa 18
10 Carlos Sainz 15
11 Nico Hulkenberg 14
12 Pascal Wehrlein 6
13 Romain Grosjean 5
14 Kevin Magnussen 4
15 Daniil Kvyat 4
16 Marcus Ericsson 0
17 Lance Stroll 0
18 Fernando Alonso 0
19 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
20 Jolyon Palmer 0
21 Stoffel Vandoorne 0

Constructors’ Championship:

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 161
2 Ferrari 153
3 Red Bull/Renault 72
4 Force India/Mercedes 53
5 Toro Rosso/Renault 19
6 Williams/Mercedes 18
7 Renault 14
8 Haas/Ferrari 9
9 Sauber/Ferrari 6
10 McLaren/Honda 0
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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Junipero Mariano

    Big fail for NBCSN this week. Three major events during the race missed due to commercial, with the third being Hamilton’s pass on Vettel. All they would do is cut the break short, apologize for missing it, and wait for the world feed to review it. You’d think after the first time or at least the second time, they’d take a breather and edit in the occurence in time for the scheduled break to be over.

    • jcn115

      Why are you still watching NBCSN? I gave up watching F1 through any US TV carrier years ago. Watch SkyF1 through the internet. Even if is not an HD stream, watching SkyF1 in 480p is better than the crap from NBC in 4K

      • The Captain

        For me it’s because 1. I go out and stay up late on sat nights and will never wake up early to watch a race so I record NBC on my DVR and watch it when I do get up (or latter in the day if the girl wants to do something).

        And 2. I didn’t buy one of the last giant HD plasma TV’s to watch my favorite sport on a laptop at a crappy 480 stream.

        So I suffer the NBC broadcast because either way I’ll end up mad at the product I just saw so I might as well do it when I want to.

        • Guy Fawkes

          I’ve developed a trick: There’s an Android app called “Tunity”. It allows
          you to listen to certain TV stations over the app. You simply snap a pic
          of the screen with the app and it finds the station. I tune into the
          NBC coverage, snap the pic, then tune into Univision, which shows flag
          to flag coverage without commercials. I get the audio from the incessant
          NBC commercials but the commentary in English. Univision’s coverage is
          leaps and bounds better than NBCSN. Too bad they don’t have an English
          second language channel.

        • jcn115

          The 480p was a joke, but I do watch in almost hd quality, if I don’t get up early, there are places in the web that you can watch the Sky broadcast in HD

        • Richard Bunce

          Connect a PC to your giant HD plasma… you can watch Sky F1 HD for a small fee if you search the internet. You can watch foreign language video and BBC audio using your browser

      • Junipero Mariano

        Actually I attend a meetup -Shout out to East Bay F1!- that hosts viewings of the races. If it was me individually, alternative methods like straming through a VPN would work.

        But in a group, it proves too unreliable, you kind of just want to get on with your day and watch the race, rather than wait for other guys to fiddle with the settings to get it just right.

    • charlie white

      I totally feel your pain. I only hope Liberty Media examines the way its newly purchased sport is presented to its small American audience and hopefully press down new broadcast requirements on the next broadcast contract. I stopped openly complaining about NBCSN last year because it simply made no difference to their COMCAST overlords. Maybe cutting the cable and dropping their service just might get their attention.

    • Zachary Noepe

      I’ll leave Leigh Diffey out of this and just ask Why why why cant they run it on a five minute delay and choose where to put the commercials?

    • Daniel Johnson

      What I really want is for them to negotiate a deal to use NBC Gold like they have for cycling and a few other sports. For the Tour de France they have commercial free coverage and you don’t need to actually have cable. If they could do something like that where the hardcore fans could get the FOM feed and even their off mic commercial breaks I think that would be worth every cent they’d charge.

  • Zachary Noepe

    1) a quality win for Williams yes the car was slow but think how many times Massa’s car got walloped and finished the race!
    2) i dont think Ricciardo’s podium was red bulls first this season
    3) i think turn one came down to Bottas backing out of his advantageous position inside Lewis – and into a three -wide behind him. It was distasteful because you could see his orders – you get to turn one with Lewis, you back off. Between that and holding Vettel back, it was like Lewis had 2 cars in the race. Yuck. Which brings me to:
    4) i think Lewis won because his #2 is more than a #2 he’s an assistant, because Ferrari circulated through an entire safety car period then pitted on the first full speed lap of the race, which will lose you the race every time, because Lewis git damn lucky with a safety car to get off the shite tire quick, and because Lewis is a magnificent driver who fights harder, aggressively and in control, than any other driver if there’s the slightest hope.

  • Tom Firth

    On a note away from the race:

    The two seater rides, they gave to VIP’s at the track this weekend, all fits nicely into F1 history. The cars are the two seater Minardi’s Paul Stoddart created in 2001 and runs as a commercial venture now, they were liveried now to F1 experiences, but apparently it has been a feature at the Australian GP for VIP’s for a few years and they’ve run in various liveries.

    He was running them this weekend. The drivers – Zsolt Baumgartner and Patrick Friesacher.

    • jakobusvdl

      I recall seeing (and hearing) the two seater at Melbourne in 2013. It would be out blazing around the track from early morning each day, calling all the faithful to the circuit. Much cooler than an alarm clock, and fast laps in an Aussie V8

  • Bruno Tattaglia

    Couple of ideas:

    1) Ferrari big mistake. The race was looking good with VET ahead HAM. The choice of SSM instead of SMS was really expensive at the end. Maranello usually gets it right. Not this time. The 2 place is on the wall, not on VET (brilliant overtake on BOT)

    2) Superb weekend for Sauber. Yes…3 top finishers cars were out….still…..8 and 11…..WOW. Ahead 2017 Ferrari Haas…..ahead Toro Rosso….I wonder what can Sauber can do with a 2017 engine. Next …Monaco. More points? Great drive by WEH.

    3) ALO does not understand why doesnt Ferrari and Mercedes want him. A 7th place qualy in Monaco (which Fernando con take it up to 5th) means big points for the team. Monaco is qualy. So he first think about himself…..that’s why he ended up in McLaren. Because behind the wheel he is good….but a bad teammate.

    • B52RockLobster

      Ferrari was in a tough spot with tire choice. If they put VET on mediums for his 2nd stint, he may have struggled even more to pass BOT and lost more time to HAM on that rotation.

      Ferrari really needed RAI in the race to disrupt BOT and block HAM on that stint.

  • Max Johnson

    Wow you gave this race a 3.5?

    This is the first gran prix that had real racing since Brazil 2012. That was totally raw like Hammy said, reminds me of Schumacher vs Hakkinen. It’s not about constant over takings that make good race, but a ferocious close fight between the two top drivers from the two top teams. Haven’t had that in a very long time.

    One negative about the race though is it reveals how ridiculous farther ahead are Mercedes and Ferrari compared to the rest.

    • Salvu Borg

      “how ridiculous farther ahead are Mercedes and FERRARI”.
      Riccardo in 3rd was 75 seconds behind number 44, everyone from 4th back was lapped. and I personally think that’s not a good situation for F1.

    • Zachary Noepe

      Well good thing its not about constant overtaking, since theres been none at all in a month.

  • Salvu Borg

    “Young formulas 1 fan gets to meet his favorite driver after crying” just googol it like that, click on it and watch.
    We didn’t get to see the full extent of FERRARI because of tyre differential and the forced strategy. but you could tell by number 44 having overheating tyres that if he had a straight fight with number 5 he would have lost.
    To the attention of those interested (JAKO/MIE DONT MISS), amazing great graphic work of comparison, qualifying analysis (if not watched/seen already). GO TO “STRAMABLE COM/NVSMO”, What does it say about the engine power, traction and relative low/med/high speed of the cars?. The FERRARI seemed to have better top end acceleration even so having a 4 race weekends old ICE. Amazing thru the high speed corners and the wider lines number 5 could take. Really, the FERRARI was the faster car here and pole was Vettel’s but he screwed-up the exit chicane as he said, But what I am now exited about!!! is Mercedes low speed performance for Monaco.

    • Zachary Noepe

      agreed those graphics that lay each other’s lap over the other are so helpful, I’ve seen it on Olympic skiing as well. Love it.

    • MIE

      It looks from that analysis that Ferrari had a lower drag (lower downforce) set up than Mercedes. This is the reverse of how the two teams set up in Sochi.
      The other thing to bear in mind is that Hamilton was also faster through the first two sectors on his final lap in qualifying before losing the time in the final sector. These two cars do seem remarkably close given the regulation changes over the winter. Long may it continue.

      • Salvu Borg

        MIE, “number 44 was also faster through the first two sectors” Best sector times:>. “FIA.com/file/56880/download?token=t8qnGw2n”.
        Sector1:> Ria=21.616.
        Vettel=21.626 (+0.010).
        44=21.730 (+0.114).
        77+21.752 (+0.163).
        Sector 2:> Vet=29.44.
        44=29.537 (+01.097).
        Bot=29.543 (+0.103).
        Ria=29.657 (+0.217).
        Sector 3:> 44=27.647.
        Bot=27.912 (+0.265).
        Vrs=27.965 (+0.318).
        Ria=28.055 (+0.408).
        Vet=28.106 (+0.459).
        Best combined lap:> 44=78.914.
        Vet=79.172 (+0.248).
        Bot=79.207 (+0.293).
        Ria=79.323 (+0.409).

        • Salvu Borg

          To me, the comparison says nothing more than:> Vettel did the better job in SI and S2, and number 44 seemed to enjoy more grip in S3 to recover what he lost. to me this all comes down to set-up bias, and the fact the softs couldn’t handle a full qualifying lap, so the driver/teams had to decide where to save the tyres. non of the top drivers could string their best 3 sectors together. the most anyone got was 2 sectors.

          • Salvu Borg

            MIE, Re our discussion on the other page “Barcelona pole” FIA PU component use report. Do not take me wrong in my arguments with you, this report you put forward every race weekend is a must and is good information on a discussion forum, so your efforts should be appreciated by all on here. This “FIA race weekend report which contains among others the PU component use” something that I have been making use of since 2014 (against a fee/payment). Because I consider it exact and important information.
            What I was trying to say and of which I might not have been very clear about was.
            The ICE fitted to number 5 was ICE number 1, the Turbo (4th), MGUH, CE, MGUK have all done relatively little running and were only replaced because it was the quickest way to sort out the problem on the day.
            FIA documents give used components as :> Vettel 2nd ICE, 4th TC, 3rd MGUH, 2nd MGUK, 2nd ES, 2nd CE. Kimi:> 2nd ICE, 3rd TC, 2nd MGUH, 2nd MGUK, 2ND, ES, 2nd CE.
            As for which ones are used in different seasons, that information can only be gathered from teams themselves. Once an element has been used once it can be used anytime and the change is not published by the FIA. Only new elements get published in the FIA documents.

          • MIE

            The FIA publish a report (free of charge) on the Thursday before each race of the elements used up until that point. An image of that report is in my article.
            They also publish a report each time during a race weekend that a new element is used. In Barcelona there were five such reports, dealing with the elements first used during:
            FP 1;
            FP 2;
            FP 3;
            Qualifying;
            The Race.

            The report for qualifying stated that Vettel fitted TC number four and MGU-H number three. That is how I have concluded that those parts were used in qualifying and not during free practice.

          • Salvu Borg

            The image of the report in your article which is now being published free of charge (PU ELEMENTS USE) FP1, FP2, FP3 QUALIFYING AND RACE is just one part of the FIA RACE WEEKEND REPORT.

          • MIE

            I have never said that teams cannot mix and match power unit elements. I agree that Vettel used ICE number 1 in qualifying and the race (he fitted his second for FP1 as stated in the FIA report, and the team changed the complete ICE, TC, MGU-H and MGU-K sub-assembly between FP 3 and qualifying. As he didn’t use a new ICE, the only option was to re-fit the first one.
            Where you now seem to agree with me is that TC number four and MGU-H number three were fitted for qualifying, where a few days ago you were insisting that they were fitted for FP3 and removed for qualifying and the race. You stated two days ago:
            “The power unit as last raced in Sochi does not include TC NUMBER 4, TC number 4 was introduced on PU number 2.
            PU number 1 (Sochi) includes TC number 3 and MGU-H number 3.
            IF TC NUMBER 4 WAS RACED/USED IN SOCHI IT WOULD MEAN THAT BEFORE QUALIFYING A NEW ICE BUT WITH A RACE OLD TC (NUMBER 4) WAS MATCHED AND MIXED.”
            I am glad you now agree with me.

          • Salvu Borg

            MIE, “I am glad that you now agree with me”. MIE, no I do not, not at all.
            In Barcelona “RACE” number 5 used the Sochi PU (A PU CONSISTING OF THE FOLLOWING COMPONENTS).
            ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) – MGUK (1) – ES (2) – CE (2).

          • MIE

            So are you suggesting that Ferrari did not tell the FIA when they first fitted TC number four and MGU-H number three?
            As they informed the FIA that ICE number two was used in FP3, it seems odd that they didn’t mention the new TC and MGU-H, unless of course they weren’t used until qualifying.

          • Salvu Borg

            The FIA PU component usage report cannot be wrong, It is its interpretation which can be wrong.
            As I said, my information of which I stand with is that FERRARI car number 5 qualified and raced in Barcelona on/using power unit number 1 configured as raced in Sochi.
            The FERRARI Sochi configured power unit as raced in Sochi consisted of the following mix and match components.
            ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) – MGUK (1) – ES (2) – CE (2).

          • MIE

            And the source of your information is what exactly?
            The FIA published six reports over the weekend covering power unit use:
            Doc4 on the Thursday before the race;
            Doc11 @ 10:06 on Friday (FP1);
            Doc14 @ 14:26 on Friday (FP2);
            Doc25 @ 11:10 on Saturday (FP3);
            Doc27 @ 14:03 on Saturday (qualifying);
            Doc35 @ 11:00 on Sunday (race).
            If the situation is as you state, that Ferrari used TC number four and MGU-H number three earlier than qualifying, then they are not complying with the regulations.

          • Salvu Borg

            The source of my information is my logic, common sense and experience in F1 matters. it shows the following. keeping things as simple as possible so as to prevent us pushing this discussion into circles any more, it says/shows the following.
            FERRARI car 5 ahead of the weekend Spanish GP, and into FP1 and FP2, ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) – MGUK (1).
            FERRARI car 5 ahead of FP3, ICE (2) – TC (4) – MGUH (3) – MGUK (2).
            FERRARI car 5 ahead of qualifying as well as ahead of the race, ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) – MGUK (1).
            On the other hand your source is the FIA PU “NEW” ELEMENT USED REPORT, a report which is reliable/foolproof/temper-proof and with no possibility of teams circumventing it in any way, A REPORT THAT LISTS/SHOWS “NEW” ELEMENTS BEING PUT INTO USE. A REPORT THAT DOES NOT LISTS/SHOW PREVIOUSLY USED ELEMENTS BEING “RE-USED”.
            What is the possible problem/s? the problem is your interpretation of such a good and informative FIA report. but that/yours, is not much of a surprise, as there was even a couple of F1 web-sites that headlined “VETTEL TAKES HIS 3RD ICE” before qualifying, just imagine how many of their followers minds they must have confused?.

          • MIE

            How did Ferrari use TC number four and MGU-H number three on Vettel’s car in Free Practice 3 without telling the FIA?
            Sporting Regulation 23.3 g states:
            “After consultation with the relevant power unit supplier the FIA will attach seals to each of the relevant components within the power unit prior to them being used for the first time at an Event in order to ensure that no significant moving parts can be rebuilt or replaced. ”
            Sporting Regulation 23.3 e states in part:
            “…A power unit or any of the six elements will be deemed to have been used once the car’s timing transponder has shown that it has left the pit lane.”

            So either the FIA forgot that Ferrari told them they were using TC number four and MGU-H number three at the same time as they were using ICE number two, or your logic is wrong.

            Personally I choose to believe the FIA and Ferrari over someone using flawed logic and posting on forums on the internet.

          • Salvu Borg

            There is only one way to stop yourselves going in circles, just cut copy and paste your “for free” 6 FIA published reports over the Spanish weekend covering power unit use (documents 4/11/14/25/27 and 36) and everybody will see what and when “new” elements were used. that will solve your problem/confusion re ICE (2) TC (4) and MGUH (3).
            What those reports will not show are used elements that has been re-used.
            As regards 23.3g and 23.3e do not waste your time, I know what they say.
            And, what and whom you chose to believe and that includes your own interpretations, is a right of yours.

          • MIE

            I did that already, here:
            https://www.formula1blog.com/f1-news/power-unit-use-update-before-spain-3/
            At the time you even agreed with the FIA that Vettel was using TC number four in the race, but since then you seem to have confused yourself.

          • Salvu Borg

            What you did was copy cut and past “ONE” out of the “SIX” power unit element used reports (report 11may of Friday before FPI), which shows FERRARI car 5 going into FP1 with the Sochi configured power unit, configured as ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) – MGUK (1).
            I went over the whole page/discussion and I could not find/trace were I agreed “with the FIA and or you ” that Vettel (car 5) was using TC number four (4) in the race. And no, I don’t believe that since then I have confused myself, in fact I know for a fact who got totally confused and started going round in circles.

          • MIE

            Salvu Borg MIE
            4 days ago
            Your comment “Vettel is using his 4th TC BUT his 1st ICE FOR RACE” is where I take it that at the time you agreed that Vettel was using TC number four for race.

            If you read the comments on that page, that is where I have detailed which new elements were fitted for each of the sessions. This information comes from the FIA reports, a fact that anyone can verify.

          • Salvu Borg

            What was meant over that comment was that Vettel was actually now for qualifying using ICE number 1 and not as was being reported (he was using his third (3rd) ICE, Also that he had also used TC number 4, I admit that I did NOT explained myself correctly as to when he had used TC NUMBER 4, (My English is being not my mothers language).
            MIE, having said all that I am still expecting you to publish on here the remaining five (5) FIA race engine elements used reports which you didn’t, go ahead and make things a little bit easier for everyone on here. .

          • MIE

            In the comments on the Power Unit update before Spain article are the details extracted from the various FIA reports into the new Power Unit elements used in each session.

            A question for you Salvu, when do you believe Vettel first used TC number four and MGU-H number three? The FIA report stating they were being used was published just after qualifying started. Note that the FIA report about Vettel using ICE number two was published just after Free Practice 3 started. If anyone wishes to read any of the many reports the FIA publishes each race weekend they are available here:
            http://www.fia.com/events/fia-formula-one-world-championship/season-2017/eventtiming-information-21

          • Salvu Borg

            The FIA “NEW” PU element/s usage report/s (NEW ELEMENTS USED IN EACH SEASON) Cannot be faulted by anyone and neither can it be circumvented by the teams. The only possible problems can only stem from commenting on it or interpreting it.
            I will repeat: these FIA reports lists “NEW” elements used.
            If a listed “NEW” element has been replaced with an “ALREADY USED” element, the report “DOES NOT” list the “ALREADY USED” element as being used/as having replaced the previous listed as used “NEW” element.
            According to the information I have Vettel (car 5) used TC (4) – MGUH (3) in FP3.
            Yes FIA report about Vettel ICE (2) use was out just after FP3 started (time=11.10am).

          • MIE

            What is the source of the information you have that Vettel used a new TC and MGU-H (4 & 3 respectively) in FP 3?
            The FIA report does not state they were used until qualifying.

          • Salvu Borg

            I already explained the source of my information.
            I already explained when Vettel used TC and MGUH (4&3).
            The FIA stated:>
            Saturday document 25 time 11.10 (10 minutes into FP3) car 5 ICE (2).
            Autosports:> (FP3) with 10 minutes to go car 5 is pushed back into garage,
            Saturday document 27 time 14.03 (3 minutes into qualifying) car 5 TC (4) – MGUH (3).
            Autosports and JA F1:> (ahead of qualifying) Vettel has had an engine change after his FP3 problem, Vettel has been forced to take his third (3rd) ICE,
            Saturday 13.54 (6 minutes ahead of qualifying) @Scuderia FERRARI “POWER UNIT” has been replaced on Seb’s car, on precautional grounds, bravi regazzi, Spanish gp.
            After qualifying (time 15.08) Vettel thanks his mechanics and those who helped from Kimi’s car, with the engine change between FP3 and start of qualifying, an engine change that normally takes 4 hours but was managed in 2 hours.
            As already explained, THE FIA report does not list the use of re-used elements.

          • Salvu Borg

            The conclusion/s of some of the supposedly top notch F1 journalists/sites had jumped too and of which I mentioned on here, you or anybody else interested can go and check, it’s still all around in print.

          • Salvu Borg

            MIE, If you don’t mind, could you tell what in your opinion car 5 power unit configuration consisted of elements number wise? in qualifying and the race?.

          • MIE

            We know ICE 2 was fitted for FP3, and the whole ICE, TC, MGU-H, MGU-K sub-assembly was changed before qualifying. As a new ICE wasn’t fitted, it must have been ICE 1 that was fitted alongside TC4 and MGU-H 3. I have no way of knowing which MGU-K was fitted as Vettel has used two so far, and with sufficient time between FP2 and FP3 the second MGU-K may or may not have been fitted. Similarly for the ES and CE, although it is unlikely that these were changed between FP3 and qualifying.

            I don’t think we are far away in understanding, it is just when the new TC and MGU-H were first used. My original issue was with your assertation that Vettel was using PU number one for qualifying and the race when according to the FIA reports the TC and MGU-H were brand new.

            If however you have some information direct from Ferrari that shoes they definitely fitted those componets in FP3 alongside the new ICE, then either the FIA are incompetent or Ferrari are cheating.

          • Salvu Borg

            That ICE (2) – TC (4) – MGUH (3) – MGUK (2) were used by Vettel (car 5) there is and should be no doubt.
            That MGUK (2) was used by Vettel (car 5) in FP1 there is and should be no doubt.
            That ICE (2) was used by Vettel (car 5) in FP3 there is and should be no doubt.
            The doubt is “WHEN” was TC (4) and MGUH (3) used.
            While on Saturday at 13.42 (18 minutes ahead of qualifying) Autosports and JA F1 headlined (Vettel has been forced to take his third (3rd) ICE.
            Ferrari at 13.54 (6 minutes ahead of qualifying) declared (power unit has been replaced on Seb’s car, on precautional grounds, bravi regaazzi).
            On the other hand FIA document 27 time 14.03 (3 minutes inside qualifying) listed Vettel car 5 TC (4) – MGUH (3).
            It is hard to understand how FERRARI could have managed the extra job of removing and replacing TC (3) with TC (4) and MGUH (2) with MGUH (3) while doing the “record time” job of replacing PU (2) with PU (1) when the Replacement of the PU on the car normally takes four (4) hours and they managed it in two (2) hours.
            It must be kept in mind that the FIA does not list “ALREADY USED” PU element which are re-used. In Fact FERRARI stated (PU CHANGE FOR Seb’s car (5). That is because they reverted back to using PU as configured and USED IN FP2.

          • MIE

            Ferrari will certainly have known at the end of FP 3 that they needed to change some of the power unit elements. Because of the short time between the end of free practice and the start of qualifying, then the quickest change is to swap the complete sub-assembly (ICE, TC, MGU-H and MGU-K). This much I think we agree upon.
            That they reported the already used ICE number one is certain. I think we also agree on this.
            Journalists at the circuit would have been able to see the work going on, and because Ferrari have a policy this year of not talking to the press it wouldn’t have been possible for them to confirm if any new elements were being fitted. They jumped to the wrong conclusion. This conclusion was never mentioned on this blog except by Salvu Borg.
            As ICE number one was removed on Friday (after FP2), there was plenty of time to assemble it with TC number four and MGU-H number three (presumably the TC and MGU-H fitted for Friday running had reached the end of their life, or at least close enough that they wouldn’t reliably complete the race). It is therefore entirely possible that these components were first used in qualifying. To have them used prior to qualifying without the FIA reporting their use would mean either the FIA weren’t doing their job or Ferrari were deliberately hiding their use. Personally I find it more likely that the elements were first used in qualifying.

          • Salvu Borg

            The problem on car 5 struck with ten minutes to the end of FP3. The PU in the car was number 2 (ICE (2) – TC (4) – MGUH (3).
            By the time the car was pushed back into the garage and the water leak discovered qualifying start time was just two hours away, the quickest way to sort the problem was to replace the PU.
            Replacing the PU normally takes four hours, with the help of Kimi’s mechanics the job was done in two hours. It was billed as a miracle.
            There was only two possible replacement PU’S, a new PU which would have been number three but with number five TC, number four MGUH and number three MGUK, or used PU number one consisting of ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) and MGUK (2), this PU was the one used in FP1 and FP2 and it was the one qualified and raced on.

          • MIE

            There is no evidence that TC number four and MGU-H number three were used in Free Practice 3.

          • Salvu Borg

            There is also no evidence that TC number 4 and MGUH number 3 were used in qualifying and the race.
            It is also hard to understand how FERRARI could have managed to swop TC 4 and MGUH 3 from the FP3 engine to the FP1/FP2 engine which they were struggling to install and ready for qualifying.
            Also, the FP1 and FP 2 PU which was the Sochi PU (ICE (1) – TC (3) – MGUH (2) and MGUK (1)) Had the MGUK replaced with number (2) before FP1.

          • MIE

            TC number four and MGU-H number three were not used in FP3, if they had been, they would have been included in FIA report document 25, alongside all the other power unit elements that were first used in FP3 (Vettel’s ICE number two, Ricciardo’s & Kvyat’s second MGU-K, and Vandoorne’s fourth ES and CE).
            As it was, they were the only items included in FIA report document 27 which relates to power unit elements first used in qualifying.
            There was no need to rush to swap these elements onto ICE number one, they had not been used before and would have been fitted to the ICE after it was removed from the car after Free Practice 2 on Friday afternoon.

          • Salvu Borg

            Yes, TC (4) and H (3) could have been fitted to ice (1) after FP2.
            But then, what TC and H numbers were fitted/used to IC (2) being/having been used in FP3?.

          • MIE

            Whichever of the previous elements were most likely to last for the race distance. The point is, as you keep pointing out, we don’t know. Fundamentally it doesn’t matter, it only matters when the new units are needed as that prevents the team from upgrading those parts that have been used, and so limits the scope of power unit development without penalties. Ferrari cannot use an upgraded turbocharger without Vettel taking a penalty, and with Raikkonen having already used three turbochargers it is unlikely he could make a single extra upgraded unit last for the rest of the season.
            Fitting a new element doesn’t mean that the team cannot use the earlier items, as you are well aware. While keeping track of the elements used by the Mercedes powered teams is relatively straightforward (they tend to keep the ICE, TC, MGU-H and MGU-K together and change it after four or five races), for the other manufacturers who have more reliability issues it is much harder.

          • Salvu Borg

            “but then, what TC and H would have been fitted to ICE number 2, the one that have been used in FP3?” “which ever of the previous elements were most likely to last for the race distance” YES, that must be why FERRARI chose to revert back to using a four race weekends old PU.
            The point is as I have to keep pointing out to you, the FIA report does not list the reuse of already used elements.

          • Salvu Borg

            Between FP3 and qualifying FERRARI discovered a water leak on engine of car number 5, which was listed as ICE number 2 having been used, they decided to revert back to PU NUMBER 1. AND THAT IS WHAT THEY QUALIFIED AND RACED ON.

    • jakobusvdl

      Thanks for the link to the quali laps graphics, Salvu.
      The overlays of the cars on the track are fantastic, it really shows up how tiny differences in line, and acceleration out of corners are the differences between the cars.
      So far we’ve only seen graphics with Vettel and Hamilton. It would be amazing if we could see graphics for our own selection from any of the cars on the grid. I expect there would be many differences between the mid field teams achieve near identical pace.

  • Daniel Johnson

    Just remember if you’re lonely, at least you’re not Red Bull in 2017 lonely. Seriously, you have Merc and Ferrari fighting, that mid field fight and Red Bull’s in no man’s land.

    I think this is one of the races while not climactic, does deserve a higher score. This is a classic great race with an iconic moment of Lewis and Seb going wheel to wheel.

  • Richard Bunce

    Fin on Fin crime with the help of the little Dutch Boy…

    How long before someone slaps a Cryin’ Jordan face on that little kid?

    When VET and HAM both could use DRS no passing. When only HAM could use DRS then passing. Too much topside aero in F1.

  • Zachary Noepe

    How the hell did Stroll drop four places right at the end? He’s behind Jolyon Palmer for God’s sake!

    I know we’re getting used to it, but let’s take a second to really appreciate what the Pink Pigs are doing. Esteban Ocon has scored points in every F1 race of his more or less rookie season.

    • Geoff Peterson

      Lance Stroll is really good at being quite poor. He’s somehow managed to finish behind Massa twice in a row, despite Massa requiring additional unplanned pitstops due to on track incidents.

      In addition, Massa himself is hardly maximizing the full potential of the Williams car. That car should be capable of scoring consistent points, but Williams has the weakest drivers on the grid.

  • jakobusvdl

    That was another fascinating race, certainly for the first 44 laps.
    The european races start at midnight Sunday here. And with a Mercedes and Ferrari front and second row, plus McLaren on row four, I thought, “I’ll just watch the start”, next it’s, “I’ll just see what those first lap collisions were about”, then, “I’ll just watch to the first round off pitstops”, then, “okay, might as well wait for the second round of pitstops”, before you know it, “I might as well watch to the end”, and Monday is a complete write off at work!
    Help me F1B, I have an F1 addiction!

    At least my addiction was rewarded with a good 4 star race.
    The safety car and Bottas keeping Vettel behind prevented Vettel from being able to challenge Hamilton for the win, which was great opportunism by Mercedes, and well executed.
    It was a pity that Alonso wasn’t able to recover any positions after his bad start – I had visions of him pulling off one of his brilliant first laps and getting up from 7th to top three, then creating a 17 car long ‘Trulli train’ until the first pit stop.
    The way most of the rest of the field cleared the first lap Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen collision was miraculous.

    • Zachary Noepe

      Trulli train :)

  • Salvu Borg

    A well known and long standing F1 pundit reported/claimed that when the Honda engine in Alonso’s McLaren blow-up at start of FP1 in Barcelona it blow-up so violently that its block was split in two.

  • jakobusvdl

    Just been reflecting on last weekends race while out for a plod.
    This years Sauber must be a pretty good car, Wehrlein’s 8th (7th on the road) is a fantastic result, Ericsson’s 11th is a fine result too, but with one other 11th, and a 12th so far, and good results coming at the hands of inexperienced drivers (Giovanazzi and Werhlein), and 2016 p.u’s, there must be something special about the car.