djones wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
Has it been said in any interviews that Hamilton is setting his car up for the races this season?
It seems strange that his qualifying has been poor, yet race pace generally second to none. This particular race being a perfect example of that.
Hamilton has absolutely always set up for race pace. His team mates often set up for qualifying. Look at Schumacher vs Rosberg, Rosberg won pretty convincingly in qualifying but races Schumacher usually made up more places. Against Ham same deal. In 2014 Rosberg setup for qualifying, beat Hamilton but got crushed in races. In 2015 Rosberg having lost the title despite the mechanical issues for Ham in Australia, errm, Germany and Hungary in quali was it, and particularly his loss in hungary (twice unable to pass with WAY fresher tires and burning out that previous set) he setup more for race pace. Ham beat him 12-2 in qualifying up to that end of the season run when everyone including people in a coma could see the season was over. Ham still bashed him in races because he's simply the faster driver.
Rosberg in 2016 went back to setting up for qualifying because the only way he's going to beat Ham is being first to T1 at any track with difficult passing such that Hamilton can't get past despite being faster, and mechanical issues. Basically Rosberg needed to be in the fight with the potential to qualify and win some races from pole to take advantage of bad luck and that worked out for him.
Bottas is a qualifier, full stop, horrible tire wear this far into his career, ouch. Even Toto stated he has a problem with tire wear, it's presumably his style and it isn't changing (he's had plenty of time and more than enough video/data/watching of Hamilton to simply attempt to copy him). Bottas was always faster in qualifying and less fast in races.
2017, Ham vs Bottas was 13 v 7, but Bottas beat Ham in Bahrain, Russia, Monaco, Austria, Hungary and Abu Dhabi.
2018 15 vs 6, Bottas beat Ham in Bahrain, China, Canada, Austria, Germany (meh, technical issues), Russia. He didn't run in Q3 in Spa so kind of a wash there really.
2019 6 vs 5, Bottas beating him in China, Baku, Spain, Austria and Silverstone.
It's close but in reality in 2018 it was 9 vs 1 in the final 10 races and in 2017 it was 7 vs 2 from Spa onwards. Every season will be relatively close with small gaps that can swing the other way next year or on a bad lap. But realistically Bottas is just way closer in qualifying on a lot of the tracks that come earlier in the year and Hamilton has more better tracks for him in the second half of the year.
Ham sets up purely for races, Bottas is much more about qualifying, Hamilton will very very likely dominate in qualifying in the second half of the season.