F1Krof wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:50 pm
W09 is the first heavily influenced James Allison car. They've left the concept going for a higher rake and they believed having the "tyre" guru designing their car would benefit them. Obviously not at all. It's like Diva has reincarnated, and it's whinier than ever. However you cannot take something from them, that being that they've really developed their car, they've done a tremendous job at developing their Diva into a greater Diva, good job really! I've said it hundreds of times James Allison is overrated. If he'd be any good, Ferrari would have kept him for sure. They shouldn't have left Paddy go anywhere. They should bring him back.
So, virtually everyone agreed the W09 was the fastest car after Barcelona testing. The data showed it was faster than the Ferrari in almost every corner (if not every corner altogether).
And then, people were complaining that Merc looked more dominant than ever after qualifying in Melbourne. In the race, Hamilton easily pulled a gap on Vettel after not being able to at all in '17. Ferrari was then gift-wrapped the race.
Fast forward to Bahrain. An average qualifying effort complicated further by Hamilton's gearbox change. Surprisingly, Merc had better than expected race pace in Bahrain. Merc was able to treat its tires gently during the race and put real pressure on Vettel, who delivered a superhuman performance to hold on.
And then, after FP1 and FP2 in China, Merc looked very strong. The rain came, the track became green, and Merc took a wrong turn setup-wise (which subsequently affected their ability to switch on the tires).
Despite looking downright awful in qualifying, Bottas, the #2, was able to remain within striking distance to Vettel during the race, which Merc converted into a race lead. Bottas could've won Merc's 3rd race of the year but for another ill-timed Safety Car situation.
So, yeah, I don't agree with anything you've said above. At the beginning of the year in '17, the W08 had tire problems with the softer compounds in qualifying. Furthermore, the W08 absolutely butchered its rear tires during the early races - a trait that cost Hamilton a win in Melbourne and saw the Merc's going backward during the '17 Bahrain GP.
Now? The W09 has been near the top of the field in managing tire degradation during the race.
Everyone left Merc for dead after the first 3 races of '17. They were trailing Ferrari in the Constructor's after the first 3 races. This year, they're leading by 1 point despite throwing away Melbourne (should've built a bigger gap to account for an unlucky VSC), failing to capitalize in Bahrain, and getting unlucky with an actual Safety Car in China (#2 Bottas was cruising to victory despite Ferrari's efforts to back Bottas up into Vettel).