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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/F1

The race in Bahrain never got started for Stoffel Vandoorne as his engine issues this weekend, concerning the MGU-H, prevented him from starting the race. It did start exactly the way Sebastian Vettel wanted having gotten by Lewis Hamilton at the start and slotting behind Valtteri Bottas.

The race turned toward Ferrari’s Vettel when he seemed able to follow Bottas without any serious tire degradation. Vettel pit just before the safety car period and the strategy started to favor the Italian team.

Lewis Hamilton, having fitted Soft compound tires on lap 42, engaged Hammer Time and passed his teammate, Bottas, to run down Vettel in the waning laps of the race. Had he not have had the 5s penalty, this race may have been completely different.

Sebastian Vettel wins the Bahrain Grand Prix with pace and strategy and the help of a 5-second penalty for Hamilton.

Win

Certainly, a win for Ferrari who started 3rd on the grid and worked their strategy and tire management for a win. Vettel’s second of the season and it moves him into the championship lead over Hamilton.

A win for Felipe Massa who took his Williams well into the points having had a bad outing in China a week prior.

Also a win for Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg who scored points capitalizing on his terrific qualifying efforts as well as Romain Grosjean who nursed his Haas F1 into the points.

A win for Pascal Werhlein who had a tidy race upon his return to F1 beating his teammate, Marcus Ericsson but that was made easy with Ericsson’s retirement on lap 52.

Fail

Stoffel Vandoorne and McLaren for never fielding his car for the race. From bad to even worse at McLaren as MGU-H issues prevented him from running and even Honda say they’re not sure what the issue is and if they’re not, who is? This was his first race last season where he scored points so a bad day at the office for Stoffel.

Not the start Lewis Hamilton wanted as he lost a spot to Sebastian Vettel and not the start Kimi Raikkonen wanted either as he lost places to both Red Bulls. Kimi had pace but seemed to get mired behind Felipe Massa for too long. Needed some imagination to get by him. He eventually waited for a DRS pass for 4th on lap 24.

Lance Stroll was surprised to find Carlos Sainz exiting the pits and the two clouted each other at turn one ending both their races. Carlos had a complete view of the track, Stroll was committed and focus on turn one apex, Carlos—on cold tires exiting pit—should have been a little more prudent.

Lewis Hamilton received a 5s penalty for holding up Ricciardo entering the pits during the Safety Car period. It’s understandable as Merc was stacking their pit stops and he wanted to give enough time but the stewards didn’t like the amount of time he was trying to create.

A fail for Red Bull as Max Verstappen looked to factor in the podium until he had a brake failure immediately after his pit stop. Max looked every bit the contender but his race ended early.

McLaren, who didn’t start Vandoorne, saw Alonso with an engine failure that ended his race with a couple laps to go in the race.

WTH

A rare moment of technical issues for Mercedes that saw a slow pit stop, stacked no less, during the safety car period for Sainz/Stroll incident. It put the two silver cars behind the previously pitted Sebastian Vettel on lap 13. Very rare to see a team like Merc has issues like that. With that, Bottas was adrift trying to make ground back toward front.

If you wanted to see what happens on soft compounds and cooler tires, Daniel Ricciardo lost three spaces after the Safety Car restart.

At this point, does it make much sense for Fernando Alonso to keep complaining of a lack of power in the McLaren? He knew that was the case when he got in the car and I think the team are fully aware of it too.

Results:

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 57 1h33m53.374s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 57 6.660s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 57 20.397s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 57 22.475s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 57 39.346s
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 57 54.326s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 57 1m02.606s
8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 57 1m14.865s
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 57 1m20.188s
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 57 1m35.711s
11 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 56 1 Lap
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 56 1 Lap
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 56 1 Lap
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 54 Not running
Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 50 Gearbox
Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 12 Collision
Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 12 Collision
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 11 Brakes
Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 8 Electrical
Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 0 Not started

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 68
2 Lewis Hamilton 61
3 Valtteri Bottas 38
4 Kimi Raikkonen 34
5 Max Verstappen 25
6 Daniel Ricciardo 22
7 Felipe Massa 16
8 Sergio Perez 14
9 Carlos Sainz 10
10 Romain Grosjean 4
11 Kevin Magnussen 4
12 Esteban Ocon 3
13 Nico Hulkenberg 2
14 Daniil Kvyat 2
15 Pascal Wehrlein 0
16 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
17 Jolyon Palmer 0
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
19 Fernando Alonso 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS

Pos Constructor Points
1 Ferrari 102
2 Mercedes 99
3 Red Bull/Renault 47
4 Force India/Mercedes 17
5 Williams/Mercedes 16
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 12
7 Haas/Ferrari 8
8 Renault 2
9 Sauber/Ferrari 0
10 McLaren/Honda 0

 

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Daniel Johnson

    The one part that seems to be lost in the shuffle is what happens if Merc doesn’t screw up pit stop on Bottas? No penalty and Lewis gets out quicker. I don’t think this was a case of Vettel winning so much as Merc blowing it with poor execution. I believe the correct term here is cascading failures.

    • Zachary Noepe

      You know I sort of agree but i tried to keep in mind that pit stop wouldve marked the second week in a row vettel made a good strategic pit call only to have Merc luck into a yellow flag right when they needed it. Merc’s slow stop sort of put them back to fair, more so than it screwed them i think.

    • It may have ended differently, then again, Vettel may have simply been managing his pace and gap to Lewis. He may have had more up his sleeve and even if there was no penalty, he may have had them covered anyway. Just a thought.

      • Daniel Johnson

        I think we can agree that if Bottas gets a better stop we all get a better race.

  • My Friendly Atheist disqus acc

    I really liked the F1 motor racing NBC aired in between showing ‘just joining viewers’ what happened 10 minutes ago and commercials today.

    I especially liked the part where NBC went to commercial for so long I stepped into he kitchen to boil a cup of water and do some dishes and then came back just in time to see Vettle start to look at a move for the lead on the side by side only for NBC cut away to show me a building and tell me what I was watching. And then after two laps went back to commercial long enough for me to finish the dishes all before my cup of water even boiled.

    • jcn115

      That is why I watch the SkyF1 feed thru the internet

      • Zachary Noepe

        Okay how do you do that? I’ve only found a full sky sports tv package, can you subscribe to f1 via the website like with motogp? I hit the wall with nbc this week the part i do not understand is why they dont run a 5 minute delay on the world feed and put the commercials into opportune moments? You could do that with the technology in my dvr.

        • jcn115

          No, no subscriptions needed. There are several ways to watch Skyf1, for the past years I used Acestream, but you have to find the acestream code, which for this season I have not found it yet. There are websites that show the feed, some with almost HD quality, some not so much. I would suggest to have an Ad blocker installed to your browser because some website have a lot of pop ups and the blocker helps a lot.

  • MIE

    All the while Mercedes can qualify well with Ferrari having better race pace we will have the potential for close racing. I just hope we get to see them race wheel to wheel on track before one team pulls ahead to be faster on both Saturday and Sunday.

    • Salvu Borg

      Agree that if the so called “free load system” situation stays as is “we have the potential for close racing”, if the “free load system” situation changes FARRARI will just drive away into the distance.

      • MIE

        From what I have read of this ‘free load system’ it appears flawed.
        http://mccabism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/optimal-control-theory-and-ferraris.html
        The article states that the MGU-H takes 60kW to run. This and the 120kW MGU-K would drain the allowed 4MJ of stored energy in only 22.222 seconds. So while the Ferrari would have an extra 27Bhp for about a quarter of the approx ninety second qualifying lap, for the rest of the lap it wouldn’t be able to use the MGU-K (approx 161Bhp) as all the stored energy would be gone.
        I think Mercedes must be using a different technique to boost their power, one that works for the whole lap.

        • Salvu Borg

          “from what I have read of this free load system it appears flowed”.
          MIE, Honestly surprised (technically) with this coming from you of all people.
          Professor Limebeer technical paper of end of 2013, the result of work of research commissioned by FERRARI was before the system hit the race track, calculations of use were on the then forthcoming winter testing (2014). since then my informed calculations points to no less than 40 extra HP gains.
          Professor Limebeer:. “running with the waste-gates closed is considered to be the most efficient solution for racing conditions. however, the paper also considers qualifying conditions, where the energy store (ES) can be depleted over the course of a lap without any detrimental consequences”.
          MIE, If you think that Mercedes is using a different technique to boost power, one that works for a whole lap, you out to make an effort to find out what it is and come back help us to understand what it is.

          • MIE

            I’ve no problem accepting that running with the wastegate open and using the MGU-H to spin the turbo rather than the exhaust gases will give an increase in power output. The issue I have is that this won’t last for a whole lap, the maximum energy stored allowed by the regulations just don’t permit it.
            I haven’t seen any information on what Mercedes actually uses, but I can speculate on how I would design the system. I would size the turbo big enough to I’ve a 120kW MGU-H, in that way once the ICE was running above 10,500 rpm with the throttle wide open, the energy generated by the MGU-H could be fed straight to the MGU-K. Then once the car gets into the braking zone and the MGU-K starts generating energy, this can be fed into the MGU-H to keep the turbo spinning. It is only the short period of acceleration out of the corners when both MGUs need to be fed from the 4MJ stored in the energy store, but once the ICE gets up to speeds then the excess energy recovered from the MGU-H can again be fed to the MGU-K. This would need the full 100 litres per hour of fuel to be used for virtuafly the entire lap, so it would be unsustainable for the entire race, but it could be made to work for a single qualifying lap.

            As the paper shows, the initial Ferrari design had an MGU-H that was only half the size of the MGU-K, so this wouldn’t work for that design. Honda also had an undersized turbo initially to fit in with the McLaren size zero concept, so again they wouldn’t have been able to make this work.

          • Salvu Borg

            In the “free load mode” the ICE produces the maximum power output possible.
            mAXIMUM

          • MIE

            If the MGU-H takes 60kW to power it, and the MGU-K 120kW, then the maximum power is only available for 4,000,000/180,000 = 22.22 seconds. Yes it will produce more power for those twenty two seconds but then you would just have the output of the ICE without any MGU-K. Great for a single sector, but no good for a complete lap.

            Maybe this is what Ferrari are doing, but if Mercedes are doing something different (producing less peak power, but a greater mean power over the whole lap) it explains the advantage the silver cars have in qualifying that they don’t have in the race?

          • Salvu Borg

            MIE, Your technical reasoning is totally flowed, Mercedes is doing nothing differently, those 22.22 seconds at maximum possible power output over a qualifying lap which are making all the qualifying lap difference, because of FERRARI’S self imposed restrictions, of which is a combined electrical and mechanical power, is possible by the combination use of MGU-K, MGU-H and ICE, MGU-K and MGU-H are sharing ES power with waste-gates open and exhaust bypassing turbo turbine with ICE at full fuel flow and at maximum boost possible. (NOTE) MGU-K will be supplying electrical power, MGU-H will be spooling the turbo and not actually supplying any power, the power will be produced by the fully boosted ICE. in short it is not only great for a single sector but for the whole qualifying lap, after which neither the fuel consumed nor the state of charge of ES matter for the next flying lap.

          • MIE

            But to get the 22.22 seconds at the absolute maximum power means giving up 161Bhp for about a minute over the rest of the lap. All the stored electrical energy (4MJ) will be used in those 22.22 seconds, which means for the rest of the lap there is nothing left to power the MGU-K.

          • Salvu Borg

            No, sorry but you are wrong again.
            The total electric power to the crankshaft by the K of 161bhp plus the total output of the fully turbo boosted by the exhaust gasses ICE is about 40bhp short/less than that of the free of exhaust back pressure/free load electric turbo charged output of the ICE plus the K output to crankshaft when k and H are sharing ES power.
            And if we take your stated time example per lap of just 22 seconds this mode can be sustained for, that lap will have an advantage of the additional power this system can produce for 22 seconds of that lap.

          • MIE

            But for the rest of the lap (over a minute at Bahrain) the MGU-K will have no power, so the car will be short of 161bhp (for an example of what that looks like look at how easily Alonso was passed on the straight). There would also be no power left to spin the turbo coming out of the corners, so there would be massive turbo lag.

            Honda have stated publicly that a lot of their performance issues arise because they are running out of electrical power before the end of the lap. Twenty two seconds of maximum possible power will give the driver a nice purple sector time, but won’t help to secure pole.

          • Salvu Borg

            According to Professor Limebeer research paper “a car running with waste gates closed (with 961bhp present gusstemated) is considered to be the most efficient solution for racing conditions.
            However, the paper also considers qualifying conditions, where the energy store (ES) can be depleted over the course of a lap “WITHOUT ANY DETERMENTAL CONSEQUENCES’.
            In short, a car with (1001bhp present gusstemated) for 22 seconds and 800bhp for the rest of the lap will be much faster over that lap than a car having 961bhp for the whole lap.
            IF the above calculations and reasoning (Profs Limebeer) were not correct the cars steering wheel power mode selector switch “race start mode position” (free load facility) and “overtake” push to pass/push to defend (free load facility) button would not be there, in F1 THEY DO NOT ADD ON ANY ITMES JUST FOR DECORATIONS AND ADDED WEIGHT.

          • MIE

            Using the facility for short periods of a few seconds (off the start line or when overtaking or defending) makes sense. I just don’t see it for a complete lap.

          • Salvu Borg

            They don’t/it cannot be used for a complete lap as it is ES capacity restricted. what you have to remember is that in between its uses the H will be charging back the ES over the lap as will the K when braking over the same lap. A lap never has 100% throttle.
            As regards the K, both Mercedes and FERRARI are today capable of using its deployment over the whole lap with the development progress they made with the turbo and H.
            Last time on another thread I was talking to JAKO about the progress FERRARI gained with their turbo and H harvesting capabilities (gave actual numbers).
            The “free load” system is critical fuel consumption and engine stressing wise, as such it is very restricted in its use. in Bahrain race Mercedes had to give permission to 77 to use to defend from Vettel. in 2015 Mercedes ran into problems with its drivers using the system during a race when not Authorized (racing each other). Mercedes number 44 blown at least 2 engine abusing the system during a race when not authorized to do so by his team.

          • MIE

            The H cannot be recovering energy if the wastegate is open and it is needed to drive the compressor as a motor. The figures you q quoted in the other thread were a thousand times too small to be of use (kJ rather than MJ).
            Having read Professor Limebeer’s paper again, I believe I have found the source of confusion.
            http://vdol.mae.ufl.edu/JournalPublications/F-1-Optimal-Control-Energy-Recovery.pdf
            In Figure 15 it is shown that in the optimal qualifying lap the maximum 4MJ of energy is fed from the ES to the MGU-K. Yet Figure 16 shows that the wastegate is open (requiring the MGU-H to be driven as a motor consuming 60kW) for approximately half of the eighty second lap (requiring approximately a further 2.4MJ), where does this energy come from?

          • Salvu Borg

            Of course the H cannot be recovering when the waste gates are open and is driving the compressor.
            An MGU-H or K is either harvesting or deploying.
            There is no sources of confusion in Professor Limebeer paper.

          • Salvu Borg

            The technological development both mechanical and electrical progress made/achieved in formula one during the years is nothing short of fantastical, but that doesn’t mean that designs are successful first time out, as evidenced by the pains of both Renault and Honda re their ERS systems, but given time there is no doubt that they will get there and right. When it comes to MGU’S (MOTOR/GENERATOR SYSTEMS) one fantastic piece of equipment I remember was when Ross Brawn started in his first years at FERRARI, he acquired a transmission testing rig made possible by the work of a Russian electrical designer working in the USA, who designed three electric motors, one a driver and two driven that could replicate the back than 850 HP at 19000RPM and with the same vibrations of the back than NA 3L V10 ENGINE.

          • Salvu Borg

            Once the driver hits the brakes the K goes into harvesting mode as opposed to deploying power, when this happens the H also goes into harvesting mode, because the driver when braking would also lift throttle, and when lifting throttle, what is the ICE going to produce if the H goes spinning the turbo producing excess pressurized/boosted air and no fuel?, if on the other hand the driver does not lift throttle when braking (applying throttle and brake together using both legs), the failsafe algorithm is designed to over ride the throttle and cut the engine, this is controlled by the torque coordinator, which controls the rear BBW system, and so also in this case what is the use of the H spinning the turbo and pumping boost air into the engine with the engine cut off?.

          • MIE

            When the driver lifts his foot off the throttle their is insufficient exhaust gases to keep the turbo spinning so it will slow down. If the H isn’t used to keep it spinning there will be a significant turbo lag when e driver applies the throttle again. Back in the last turbo era, this lag was over a second. So the driver had to apply full throttle on the way into a corner, estimating when he would get full power on the way out.
            In rallying in the 90s they overcame the turbo lag problem by injecting fuel straight into the exhaust, using heat of the exhaust to invite it and the expansion of the burning fuel to keep the turbo spinning. Such an anti lag system is incompatible with the fuel restrictions in F1.
            The other alternative (as used on road cars) is to make the turbo small enough that it spins up quickly, reducing the turbo lag to a managesble level. This though will not produce the same level of boost for the engine or any excess power to drive a motor generator unit.

          • Salvu Borg

            There is no turbo lag on these PU’S with the electric turbocharger drive facility. there is also no need too and it will be wasteful energy that can be made better use off to keep spinning the turbo and pumping pressurized/boosted air into the engine of which the engine cannot make use of when the driver lifts the throttle. ALSO remember that if the driver stays on the throttle while braking, the engine as I have explained will be cut-off by the BBW fail safe system.
            Another thing that proves what I said about the free load being also available/on demand as a push to pass or push to defend through the steering wheel push button. “lap 4 Mercedes pit wall to 77, Vettel now has DRS, USE OVERTAKE”. Also there is no way on Gods green earth that the old/past turbo era can be compared to the present one.

    • Max Johnson

      I think Mercedes is faster, Ferrari just seems to do better strategy so far. Bottas holding them up and for some reason Mercedes allowed Ferrari to undercut them and then not reacting pretty much sealed the result.

  • Junipero Mariano

    Does it seem like cars can follow closer this year? I wonder if Ferrari figured that they can’t get pole over the balance of the season, designed for close following and bet on Seb being able to pass. Or is strategy the bigger factor here?

    It seemed that Sainz was too far and too slow out of pit line to have a real chance at passing Stroll.

    • Zachary Noepe

      Really a very fun race and good report NC well done. I agree,JP about Sainz but there seems also to be a developing theme wherein Stroll lacks awareness of whats next to him. Perhaps those convex little blind spot mirrors my dad loves, for the Williams? Would be funny to put some in his locker. Sainz was pushy but you can watch an outside car make space in that corner 50 times in that race. You want to protect the inside and he’s so far behind, move over a little and protect it. You wanna leave it open, mind who goes in the gap.

      • Salvu Borg

        Sainz was penalized for the Stroll accident, he was given a three place grid penalty for the next race.

      • I saw it as clearly Carlos’s fault. He had complete track vision and awareness, Stroll was committed to the corner and hunting the apex.

        • Zachary Noepe

          I’m not arguing – agreed – Sainz’s fault. What I’m saying is this seems to happen to Stroll and as they said in the broadcast, the reason there was no Perez penalty is one turn Stroll leaves him room, next turn he forgets he’s there. I’m saying Stroll needs to keep track of the cars around him, regardless of fault. 19 other F1 drivers would have kept an eye on Sainz and saved their own race, whether or not it was right or it made them angry or they were going to complain about it later. Dude’s never finished a race and this is why.

          • jakobusvdl

            I think that both Perez and Sainz should have shown a bit more self preservation behaviour. Stroll is obviously operating at the limits of his current capacity, with minimal attention to what is going on around him, as more experienced (and capable) drivers, I’m sure their teams would expect they’d avoid putting themselves in the position where Stroll is likely to collide with them.
            Hopefully with a bit more experience Stroll will be a bit less dangerous to be around, but at the moment the others need to give him a wide berth.

          • Zachary Noepe

            Agreed on all points and that’s a good perspective I hadn’t thought of – Sainz should know who he’s taking a risk with. Stroll reminds me of the old Keith Code rule about your ten dollars of racing attention and I think one of the dangers of coming up faster than your skill and experience maybe dictated is he’s spending it all on getting around. He’s actually getting around quite well I think, he’s just not got any of those ten dollars left for watching all the other things happening around him. But Sainz should have fifty cents left over to use thinking about how long to hang around in Stroll’s blind spot. You’re right I’m convinced.

  • Zachary Noepe

    Are we sure Alonso’s car was really broken? I see a lot of theater from the Spaniard and a lot of messages to the world, not sure he wanted anyone to think he got passed on merit at the end.

    • AT555

      Well at this point any pass on mclaren can’t be judged on merit given their lack of power. And Alonso was passed many other times during the race including the double pass by both Palmer and Kvyat

      • Zachary Noepe

        Yes good points. I just think the frustration builds as the positions slip. You’re right though, I don’t think anyone faults Alonso for it.

    • jakobusvdl

      I think you’re on to something, Zach, it looks like Alonso has decided that it’s top 10 or bust. So far its been bust, but it will be glorious when he makes it.

      • Salvu Borg

        Alonso’s driving capabilities are nothing short of magic, but now it is about time he stops flogging a dead horse, I think he will gain more respect if he stops that.

        • jakobusvdl

          I agree Salvu. I can understand that Alonso is frustrated and wants everyone to know that he’s being let down by the p.u/suspension/drive shaft, but I’m sure everyone in McHonda feel just as frustrated and having their star driver rubbishing the team and car at every opportunity can’t be good for anyone’s moral.
          Time for Alonso to stop whinging and start playing for the team (again).

          • Salvu Borg

            The way in which Alonso is Vilifying Honda points me to think that he wants to out ASAP but not willing to do the walking himself. I do not think that he can get that sort of money anywhere else now.

          • Salvu Borg

            way

  • Salvu Borg

    I taught that it was too early in the season to give team orders, and more so to ask for them twice. a little pressure from a rival team and driver and we see the true colors of Mercedes team and number 44 driver. in China Vettel had to pass Raikkonen fair and square, which cost him dearly.

    • Someone mentioned a conversation about letting Lewis pass but he would return the position if he couldn’t catch Seb. Was that a conversation between drivers and team that NBC didn’t carry? Was there something like that on Sky Sports?

      I was wondering how much of a battle Bottas would give Lewis but it seems the call was made and his #2 status is confirmed now that another team is competitive. Understandable to a point I guess but no wonder Lewis is in a much better frame of mind this season, he’s the clear number one at the team and the team assured it this weekend. I’d be happy with F1 and a competitive Ferrari if I knew I had a teammate who was going to be told to carry water for me. :)

      • Zachary Noepe

        Agreed and its interesting in a way the season is almost more about the #2 drivers right? I mean think about it the teams want the constructors trophy. If vettel and hamilton are going to trade wins, the finishes of the teammates are going to decide it. In that way, Bottas and Kimi are the real championship fight and so far Bottas is crushing the Finns-for-Wins constructors championship.

        • Salvu Borg

          That is exactly why I said on the other thread that kimi like Grosjean needs a swift kick up their back side.

          • Shocks&Awe

            Surely a “timeout” is the preferred option.

      • jakobusvdl

        There was some radio comms between Hamilton and the team that the SKY team interpreted to be Hamilton saying if Bottas let him past he’d give up the place if he couldn’t challenge Vettel. But the radio message that was broadcast was very indistinct, so it’s difficult to know if that was what was being discussed. Also that happened a while before the last tyre change and the actual team order pass.

        • Salvu Borg

          As I said, number 44 twice asked his team so as 77 will let him through. compare that with Vettel having to pass his team mate by a real man’s pass.

      • Samouri

        As James Allen reported. Bottas admitted in a press conference that his pace was poor today, and the car didn’t work as he’d hoped. Based on what Bottas said, he couldn’t have given Lewis as much of a battle that you may have hoped for, even before the call was made.
        Schumacher must have been one happy fellow, with all the water carriers that he had..

        • Harry

          Why do you feel the need to bring Schumacher into this? Given the fact that he raced with 3 generations of racers (Ayerton, Prost, Mansell, Jones, Berger, Alesi, etc) and the upcoming guys then (Kimi, Fernando, Juan Pablo, Damon, Villenueve, Frentzen, Heidfeld, etc), and the modern crop of drivers (Seb, Lewis, Nico H and R, Perez, Greosjean, etc) — and come out on top in the 1st two generation of drivers (the 2nd being his own generation) and 3rd being his juniors. He still managed to beat everyone to pole in Monaco against his juniors.

          Yes, Schumacher was so ahead of the competition in his heyday. This is not because he had water boys for team mates, but because he was miles ahead of the competition, just like Don Bradman was miles ahead of the competition in cricket at his time. To tarnish a sportsman of that calibre says more about the person who wrote that comment than Schumacher, himself.

          Please do note that I haven’t ended my comment by belittling some other driver (past or present) in my final paragraph to get personally felt grudges registered on social media sites.

          • MIE

            I think you may need to check some facts.

            Alan Jones last raced in F1 in 1986, when Michael Schumacher was still kart racing in Germany.
            Michael Schumacher’s last pole position at Monaco was in 2000, well before the last group of drivers you list even started in F1. He had many pole positions after this, but the last was in the French GP in 2006. The only driver in your third list racing at that time was Nico Rosberg, the others had yet to graduate to F1.

          • Harry

            Hello MIE. Sorry about the error. I was meaning to say Jean Alesi and not Alan Jones. Turns out I had already mentioned him in the haste of writing. Honest absentminded mistake on my part.

            As for the Monaco pole comment – and about racing with his juniors – I was talking about the 2010-2012 season. The Monaco pole of 2012 wasn’t official since Schuy didn’t start from pole (due to the 5-place grid penalty incurred in Barcelona). Schumacher wasn’t competitive on his return to F1 – save for a few good races and the Monaco qualifying fastest lap, and particularly his driving in the 2nd sector of that very lap – that was some driving. He did race with the guys I’ve mentioned, didn’t he? I’ve also mentioned that he was on top of his game only in his first career – against his peers and seniors.

          • MIE

            I think it was the car, not the driver, that was the issue when Schumacher returned to the sport. Rosberg’s subsequent performances showed how good he was, so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise that he was able to be as fast or faster than Schumacher.

    • jakobusvdl

      Weren’t team orders already implemented on Bottas in Australia?
      I think Mercedes decided 4 years ago who their No1 driver was, the salaries tell the story there.

      • Salvu Borg

        Yes Mercedes did use team orders in Australia.

    • Shocks&Awe

      This was the right call, IMO. This is a fantastic example of the intrinsic conflict of interest between the team and the individual drivers, that is pretty unique to Motor Racing. Personally I think it adds another enjoyable layer of subtlety to the human/personality side of the F1 circus.

      In part it was Merc’s fault for over-inflating Bottas’ tires, in part Bottas’ fault for signing a one-year contract, which effectively takes away his ability to ever say “no” to team orders. Hamilton did what Hamilton does: love it or hate it, but expect it. Had Bottas been able to stay with Vettel, it would have been a very different race. Whether that was his fault, his team’s fault or a combo is water under the bridge.

      • Salvu Borg

        Yes it was water under the bridge which showed and proved that GINA had a race pace advantage regardless of which race tyre it was on and also regarless the “latest” qualifying “self imposed” enlarged gap to pole.

    • Salvu Borg

      actually Mercedes gave team orders to 77 to let 44 through three times and not two times, after the restart 77 was told to let 44 through but he pulled out a gap to 44 and closed the gap to number 5, Mercedes then told him to maintain position.
      lap 21 pit to 77, “so please let 44 go, 77 to pit, can you confirm?, I just pulled a gap to him the last lap”.

  • Chuck C

    “Get in there, Lew … oh, wait, Valtteri is in the way. Ok, he’s clear, now you can get in there.”

  • bclautz

    Vettel shows he has the pace to challenge the Mercedes.
    Total disaster weekend for Honda. Time to invest in 7 post shaker Honda. Alsono is really pulling more weight what that car and power unit is capable.

  • jakobusvdl

    Another entertaining race, 3 out of 3 so far this season. Some real competition for the wins and lots of passing through the field. The field behind the Merc, Ferrari, RBR pack seems very close with any of Williams, STR, Haas, Renault, and Force India capable of a fifth or a last position on the day.
    These hybrid p.u’s are really coming into their own this season, with the new chassis configuration.
    Well done to Vettel for another superb win, Weherlein for showing real talent in his first race this season, Alonso for racing like ‘an animal’ again, and everyone else for a great race (sorry Stoffel – apart from you).

    • Zachary Noepe

      Agreed nice return for Wehrlein and a lot of quiet professionalism from Ocon in the second Pink Pig – easy to lose track of him in the part of the pack where he works but Ocon is showing well against a very good teammate. Nice work from a couple journeymen there!

  • Salvu Borg

    There was indeed a conversation about Mercedes ordering 77 to let 44 through and if nothing comes of it 44 will return the position back, I came on that right when it took place, when I happen to switched from the non English channel I normally follows on to number 44 established number one fan club channel, this I did because I know that some unorthodox things were about to take place, I know that they over there they couldn’t stand such a situation their hero found himself in. 77 was twice ordered to let 44 through, and 44 twice asked for 77 to let him through. just before the first order came out, 44 attempted a pass on 77 but he couldn’t make it stick, not only that, but 77 responded by promptly managing to open a gap. afterwards 77 said that when team orders came they were painful.

  • Chuck Voelter

    No mention of Grosjean’s finishing 8th? In the article or the comments?

    • Max Johnson

      He didn’t complained about the car enough this time so no one took notice.

  • Dr T

    A fail for McLaren-Honda – not for Stoffel…

    Used to love Indy about 20 years ago growing up. Less interested recently. But more interested now we have the chance of a radio call from FA – “Indy Lights engine, Indy Lights… Arrrgh!” (Yes I know honda have a good Indy engine)

  • Daniel Johnson

    Just one other point I’d like to make. Why can’t they move the exit of pit road past that first complex of corners?

  • jonnowoody

    It’s poor old Bottas that I feel for, for the first stint ,giving him Hamilton’s set up – over inflated.