2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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Phil
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by Phil » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:38 pm

I think China (QF) is quite easily explained by bad-setup. Last year, the softest compound was the SS tire and even so, Hamilton only got pole with a 0.186 gap to Vettel in 2nd. Arguably, it was extremely close there too, yet on a tire that was harder than what Pirelli supplied this year, going with the US.

So even if colder conditions and harder tires is something that typically benefited Mercedes last year, it wasn't that visible last year too at this track. The 4 tenths Ferrari had in hand over Mercedes in qualifying are down to insufficiently getting the most out of the tires. That's my guess anyway. Yesterday during the race, Mercedes was very competitive with Ferrari - probably as quick, not slower. We saw this nicely in the first stint when Vettel was leading Bottas and drove out a small gap, yet that compromised his pace later in the stint when Bottas/Mercedes made the undercut work. In the 2nd stint, Bottas was quick enough to get a small gap to Vettel and it was only the blockage by Kimi that lead to a period of laps where Vettel had DRS on Bottas but couldn't make a move stick. The rest of the race is simply down to strategy. Overall, I think Mercedes and Ferrari were pretty much equal during the race - especially once the Mercedes was on the soft and medium tire (vs. US during qualifying).

The last 3 races were brutal by Mercedes. They should have easily won Melbourne on sheer pace alone - the car was evidently a beast. But this advantage was also exaggerated somewhat due to the fuel saving Ferrari needed to do - they purposely set-up their car for less downforce and less drag to be more fuel efficient and compromised their cornering speed somewhat. This is why in Melbourne, Ferrari were extremely fast on the straights but lost out in the corners. Bahrain was a toss up, advantage to Ferrari for qualifying but pretty nigh on equal during the race, perhaps with a small advantage to Mercedes/Bottas, but perhaps this was also exaggerated due to the offset in strategies (Mercedes luring Ferrari into a compromised 1-stop strategy).

We will see how things continue. Baku was a strong track for Mercedes last year. Mercedes/Hamilton need a strong showing. It being a street circuit, we may see something akin to Melbourne this year. Maybe.
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
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Vanja #66
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by Vanja #66 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Just one thing Phil - Ferrari were fast in all 3 races this year, Mercedes coming close to them in qualy only in China, when they decided to sacrifice cornering speed (evident by gaps in sectors) to have a fighting chance in a race. Ferrari don't have any fuel consumption issues against Mercedes for now, their car simply has less drag than Mercedes for equal downforce.

F1Krof
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by F1Krof » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:59 pm

Vanja #66 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:39 pm
Just one thing Phil - Ferrari were fast in all 3 races this year, Mercedes coming close to them in qualy only in China, when they decided to sacrifice cornering speed (evident by gaps in sectors) to have a fighting chance in a race. Ferrari don't have any fuel consumption issues against Mercedes for now, their car simply has less drag than Mercedes for equal downforce.
1+ this.

As far as Baku. No, it's high speed low drag. Ferrari have it on the bag this time around. I see them dominating taking into account this: "...their car simply has less drag than Mercedes for equal downforce."

Phil
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by Phil » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:07 pm

Vanja #66 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:39 pm
Just one thing Phil - Ferrari were fast in all 3 races this year, Mercedes coming close to them in qualy only in China, when they decided to sacrifice cornering speed (evident by gaps in sectors) to have a fighting chance in a race. Ferrari don't have any fuel consumption issues against Mercedes for now, their car simply has less drag than Mercedes for equal downforce.
What evidence do you have about Mercedes ‘sacrificing’ cornering speed? I saw absolutely no evidence of this - in qf the lack of cornering speed is easily explained by their issues with tires, especially on the US tire - in the race they seemed very evenly matched throughout. I therefore also cant see any factual evidence of Ferrari having ‘more efficient downforce’.

As for fuel consumption issues - true, but that is very track dependant.
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
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Juzh
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by Juzh » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:42 pm

Phil wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:07 pm
in the race they seemed very evenly matched throughout.
I disagree. Vettel was clearly faster than bottas. Gap on soft tires was up to 3.9s at one point just before the pit action and on mediums Bottas was never going to run away from Vettel the way Vettel ran away from him in the first stint. In fact Vettel stayed in the range of 1-1.4s for the next 5 laps before they cought raikkonen and stayed in DRS distance for multiple laps after they both overtook him (until SC).
After SC vettel bothced the restart somewhat and fell back to 2s deficit, but still proceeded to catch bottas to within 1-1.3s before red bulls caught up with him.

Yes the gaps were small, but clear enough.

F1Krof
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by F1Krof » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:05 pm

What is even more amazing though is the lack of Updates. They didn't bring anything as far as I recall. I don't believe they'll be bringing any updates for Baku, probably until Spain where they plan to test them at the in-season testing.

Also, I bet you they won't bring anything significant on Spain either, just small tweaks here and there.

ferkan
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by ferkan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 pm

Phil wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:07 pm
Vanja #66 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:39 pm
Just one thing Phil - Ferrari were fast in all 3 races this year, Mercedes coming close to them in qualy only in China, when they decided to sacrifice cornering speed (evident by gaps in sectors) to have a fighting chance in a race. Ferrari don't have any fuel consumption issues against Mercedes for now, their car simply has less drag than Mercedes for equal downforce.
What evidence do you have about Mercedes ‘sacrificing’ cornering speed? I saw absolutely no evidence of this - in qf the lack of cornering speed is easily explained by their issues with tires, especially on the US tire - in the race they seemed very evenly matched throughout. I therefore also cant see any factual evidence of Ferrari having ‘more efficient downforce’.

As for fuel consumption issues - true, but that is very track dependant.
I thought Bottas said even with tires in perfect range they did not have 0.5s in China.

zibby43
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by zibby43 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:08 am

ferkan wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 pm
I thought Bottas said even with tires in perfect range they did not have 0.5s in China.
He did say that. But it wasn't just the tires - the car setup had turned nightmarish between FP2 and FP3; Hamilton could barely keep the car on track in FP3 and the abundance of understeer was readily apparent.

Mercedes explained they were trying to make sure the setup would be kind to the tires in the race (no excessive overheating), which would be warmer.

When you take into account the tire issues, a bad/compromised set-up, and an off-form Hamilton, one can easily see the sudden loss of 5 tenths in Q3.

What's interesting though is that both Mercs were comfortably faster than the Ferraris in Q2 on the Softs:

HAM: 1:31.914 BOT: 1:32.063

VET: 1:32.385 RAI: 1:32.286

The Merc stopped liking the US in FP3.

giantfan10
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by giantfan10 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:29 am

zibby43 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:08 am
ferkan wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 pm
I thought Bottas said even with tires in perfect range they did not have 0.5s in China.
He did say that. But it wasn't just the tires - the car setup had turned nightmarish between FP2 and FP3; Hamilton could barely keep the car on track in FP3 and the abundance of understeer was readily apparent.

Mercedes explained they were trying to make sure the setup would be kind to the tires in the race (no excessive overheating), which would be warmer.

When you take into account the tire issues, a bad/compromised set-up, and an off-form Hamilton, one can easily see the sudden loss of 5 tenths in Q3.

What's interesting though is that both Mercs were comfortably faster than the Ferraris in Q2 on the Softs:

HAM: 1:31.914 BOT: 1:32.063

VET: 1:32.385 RAI: 1:32.286

The Merc stopped liking the US in FP3.
Actually no they were not....
This is Q2 where the goal is to run as slow as possible on your race starting tire while making Q3...
Mercedes the team that was having tire temp issues leading to mediocre first runs would be the team pushing in Q2 which they ended up actually doing.
Those times represent a flawed picture.

zibby43
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by zibby43 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:52 am

giantfan10 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:29 am
zibby43 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:08 am
ferkan wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 pm
I thought Bottas said even with tires in perfect range they did not have 0.5s in China.
He did say that. But it wasn't just the tires - the car setup had turned nightmarish between FP2 and FP3; Hamilton could barely keep the car on track in FP3 and the abundance of understeer was readily apparent.

Mercedes explained they were trying to make sure the setup would be kind to the tires in the race (no excessive overheating), which would be warmer.

When you take into account the tire issues, a bad/compromised set-up, and an off-form Hamilton, one can easily see the sudden loss of 5 tenths in Q3.

What's interesting though is that both Mercs were comfortably faster than the Ferraris in Q2 on the Softs:

HAM: 1:31.914 BOT: 1:32.063

VET: 1:32.385 RAI: 1:32.286

The Merc stopped liking the US in FP3.
Actually no they were not....
This is Q2 where the goal is to run as slow as possible on your race starting tire while making Q3...
Mercedes the team that was having tire temp issues leading to mediocre first runs would be the team pushing in Q2 which they ended up actually doing.
Those times represent a flawed picture.
I understand what you're saying (which involves quite a bit of speculation), but the times speak for themselves. And Merc weren't struggling on the Softs, the harder compound (a trait that precedes the W09), nearly as much as they were on the US. So it would make no sense for them to push harder on the compound that was suiting them better. The pace would've come to the car's setup more naturally.

Furthermore, it would've been in Merc's best interests to really make sure they protected their race start sets. They were in dire need of being able to split the Ferraris at the start while also having to contend with the threat of the Red Bulls on Ultrasofts tucked up behind them on the grid.

If anything, I think you've now convinced me of Merc's Q2 pace on the Softs being more impressive.

ferkan
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by ferkan » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:01 am

Pretty sure there is not 1.3s difference between the two tires around China in Ferrari's case. But yea, once tires are in perfect window, for sure Merc is very fast. But Bottas said tires do not account for the entire gap in the end...

LM10
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by LM10 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:22 am

zibby43 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:08 am
ferkan wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 pm
I thought Bottas said even with tires in perfect range they did not have 0.5s in China.
He did say that. But it wasn't just the tires - the car setup had turned nightmarish between FP2 and FP3; Hamilton could barely keep the car on track in FP3 and the abundance of understeer was readily apparent.

Mercedes explained they were trying to make sure the setup would be kind to the tires in the race (no excessive overheating), which would be warmer.

When you take into account the tire issues, a bad/compromised set-up, and an off-form Hamilton, one can easily see the sudden loss of 5 tenths in Q3.

What's interesting though is that both Mercs were comfortably faster than the Ferraris in Q2 on the Softs:

HAM: 1:31.914 BOT: 1:32.063

VET: 1:32.385 RAI: 1:32.286

The Merc stopped liking the US in FP3.

Vettel was 1.3 seconds faster on the Ultras than on the Softs. I really doubt the delta between both compounds is 1.3 seconds.
Mercedes was nowhere near "comfortably faster".

If Mercdeses made sure the setup would be kind to the tyres in warm conditions, wouldn't this mean that the Ultras should have suited them more in qualifying? You would have excepted them having a harder time to warm up the Softs rather than the Ultras because of the setup.

Another interesting aspect is that Mercedes is lagging back more in qualifying than in the race this year. Last year it was the other way around - even though they had setup problems their one lap pace was not affected, but they struggled in the race.
Last edited by LM10 on Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Phil
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by Phil » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:24 am

Juzh wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Phil wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:07 pm
in the race they seemed very evenly matched throughout.
I disagree. Vettel was clearly faster than bottas. Gap on soft tires was up to 3.9s at one point just before the pit action and on mediums Bottas was never going to run away from Vettel the way Vettel ran away from him in the first stint. In fact Vettel stayed in the range of 1-1.4s for the next 5 laps before they cought raikkonen and stayed in DRS distance for multiple laps after they both overtook him (until SC).
After SC vettel bothced the restart somewhat and fell back to 2s deficit, but still proceeded to catch bottas to within 1-1.3s before red bulls caught up with him.

Yes the gaps were small, but clear enough.

Gaps were small but clear enough could just as easily point to different usage of tires. It's endurance racing to a large part of what we are seeing. Vettel used his tires at the beginning of his stint to drive out a sizeable gap, at a point where Bottas was following in dirty air. Later Bottas had slightly better pace and Vettel did not - hence how the gap came slightly down. In the second stint, true, Vettel showed stronger pace by closing in on Bottas, but this cost him clearly later in the race. Both Bottas and Vettel were just trying to make a one-stop work on tires that were not meant to last that long. At least Bottas had good enough tires to still defend against Kimi on much newer tires, hence my conclusion that overall, the Mercedes and Ferrari during the race were evenly matched.

Just look back to 2014/2015 when we had two identical cars (Mercedes) battling each other and how different tire usage led to different advantages throughout the stint.
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
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zibby43
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by zibby43 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:14 am

LM10 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:22 am

Vettel was 1.3 seconds faster on the Ultras than on the Softs. I really doubt the delta between both compounds is 1.3 seconds.
Mercedes was no where near "comfortably faster".

If Mercdeses made sure the setup would be kind to the tyres in warm conditions, wouldn't this mean that the Ultras should have suited them more in qualifying? You would have excepted them having a harder time to warm up the Softs rather than the Ultras because of the setup.

Another interesting aspect is that Mercedes is lagging back more in qualifying than in the race this year. Last year it was the other way around - even though they had setup problems their one lap pace was not affected, but they struggled in the race.
I was comparing both teams’ laps on softs in Q2.

Next, “From the new soft tyre to the new supersoft, Pirelli reported a more modest 0.4s difference, while the gap from the supersoft to the ultrasoft was roughly 0.6s.”

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/pire ... s-1013128/

In China the supersoft was skipped, going from Ultra to Soft. So it’s roughly a second.

And no, I wouldn’t expect Mercedes to struggle more with the soft, which I’ve stated numerous times. The W09 likes harder compounds, the W08 did, as did the W07, etc.

Merc’s race pace has been better this year because the W09 is infinitely gentler on the rear tires than the W08, which was an absolute nightmare in terms of rear tire management. The W08’s propensity to destroy its rears during the race was on display in Melbourne and Bahrain early last season.

Juzh
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Re: 2018 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Post by Juzh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:23 am

Phil wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:24 am
Juzh wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Phil wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:07 pm
in the race they seemed very evenly matched throughout.
I disagree. Vettel was clearly faster than bottas. Gap on soft tires was up to 3.9s at one point just before the pit action and on mediums Bottas was never going to run away from Vettel the way Vettel ran away from him in the first stint. In fact Vettel stayed in the range of 1-1.4s for the next 5 laps before they cought raikkonen and stayed in DRS distance for multiple laps after they both overtook him (until SC).
After SC vettel bothced the restart somewhat and fell back to 2s deficit, but still proceeded to catch bottas to within 1-1.3s before red bulls caught up with him.

Yes the gaps were small, but clear enough.

Gaps were small but clear enough could just as easily point to different usage of tires. It's endurance racing to a large part of what we are seeing. Vettel used his tires at the beginning of his stint to drive out a sizeable gap, at a point where Bottas was following in dirty air. Later Bottas had slightly better pace and Vettel did not - hence how the gap came slightly down. In the second stint, true, Vettel showed stronger pace by closing in on Bottas, but this cost him clearly later in the race. Both Bottas and Vettel were just trying to make a one-stop work on tires that were not meant to last that long. At least Bottas had good enough tires to still defend against Kimi on much newer tires, hence my conclusion that overall, the Mercedes and Ferrari during the race were evenly matched.

Just look back to 2014/2015 when we had two identical cars (Mercedes) battling each other and how different tire usage led to different advantages throughout the stint.
Personally I think in a theoretical clean race where vettel does not get overtaken in pitstops and SC does not happen, he finishes probably around 10s ahead of bottas, which imo means ferrari was faster.