2017 Spanish Grand Prix - Catalunya, 12-14 May

For ease of use, there is one thread per grand prix where you can discuss everything during that specific GP weekend. You can find these threads here.
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:36 pm

Re: 2017 Spanish Grand Prix - Catalunya, 12-14 May

Post by turbof1 » Fri May 19, 2017 12:17 pm

The issue with this whole discussion, while I do comment the neutrality and the effort being poured into, is that it is (and I do apology for putting it this harsh as I really do applaud the effort being made) pointless.

What is crucial here is that both drivers were close enough to one another anyhow where Hamilton would profit from a much better tyre. Hamilton was always in the position to take advantage of that, whether he'd exit the pits 0.5s or 5s behind Vettel. Hamilton would have closed that gap frightingly quick. There is no case to be made for tyre wear as Hamilton spent a whole lot of laps behind Vettel abusing the soft tyres. If Hamilton was further away, he would arrived at Vettel later on when Vettel ran out of lapped cars to use DRS and slip stream from (that's the only reason why it took Hamilton so long to get past Vettel in the first place!) and Hamilton would overtaken Vettel roughly around the same time.

So what is really significant here? Hamilton heavily limiting the time loss when he was on the old softs (first stint) and medium tyres (second stint). That my friends was actually crucial for the race.
-Hamilton showed good pace in his first stint
-Vettel lost a whole heap of time behind Bottas, loosing up to a second a lap behind Bottas compared to Hamilton, plus some extra life taken out of the tyres.

I'm even going on a limp here to say the VSC would not have made a difference at all for the outcome. I will rewatch the race to be 100% sure, but my guess it even made Hamilton's job more difficult as he was forced to go on the soft tyres earlier then was planned. The time he gained by the VSC pitstop he lost afterwards when Vettel had constantly lapped cars in front to use DRS and slipstream on the main straight. Those would have been cleared by the time Hamilton arrived at Vettel when Hamilton did made any gain during the VSC.

What Mercedes did was essentially a smart move, and would have made their lifes much easier if Hamilton ended up in front of Vettel. The fact that he did not means although a very logical and sound move, it made no difference at all. In hindsight of course. The pace difference was that much between the 2 at that stage (remember: you need to be roughly 2 seconds faster to overtake!), while when the roles were reversed the pace difference was significantly less.

User avatar
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:22 pm
Location: Switzerland

Re: 2017 Spanish Grand Prix - Catalunya, 12-14 May

Post by Phil » Fri May 19, 2017 2:40 pm

Good points Turbo. I guess some of the VSC discussion comes down to curiosity and to gauge the relative performance of the cars. The former is interesting, because IMO Mercedes executed it cunningly and brilliantly - everything from the bluff when they first sent out the pit crew but not call in Lewis, then executing it at the very last moment when the advantage was already seemingly over (but in the end still enough to gain some benefit). Yes, as you put it, it probably wouldn't have made much difference - the only one being that Hamilton would have caught Vettel slightly later.

Under normal conditions, one would assume that had there been no VSC and no Bottas to hold up Vettel, Hamilton would have fell back during his second stint (as a result of the slower medium tire) with the roles reversed on the last stint, the question then being if Mercedes would sufficiently make up that time on softs and a lighter car and have enough laps to get close enough to execute a pass, or if Ferrari/Vettel had built a sufficient gap to offset that advantage.

Had this played out in a normal way (no VSC), I think I would have expected Mercedes to go for the one stop (assuming Hamilton had not lost too much time on the Mediums) until the point Vettel would have pitted and then the roles would have been reversed, with Vettel trying to attempt a pass on a Mercedes running old Mediums.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. (Ask the average Vettel fan what that's like.) --- bhall II

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CCBot [Bot] and 9 guests