Vital F1 | Vital talking points: MalGP - Mercedes error?
Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Vital talking points: MalGP - Mercedes error?

There is no doubt that Ferrari have closed the gap to Mercedes over the winter.

And in Malaysia Ferrari had clearly shown that in the dry and in the wet the gap was as close as it's ever been since the new era of Formula One came to pass in 2014.

In fact in all but one of the sessions on Friday and Saturday Ferrari were within half a second of Mercedes on one-lap pace.

Ahead of the Grand Prix the pre-race chatter was all about tyre strategy.

Ferrari looked like they could make both the medium and hard compound Pirelli tyres last and put themselves in a two-stop window despite the 60c on track temperatures.

Everyone else looked likely to require a three-stop strategy, whilst Red Bull Racing team principal even suggested that four-stops might be required.

In truth on the simulator there wasn't much between a two-stop and three-stop strategy, with only two seconds separating the optimum strategies over the course of the race, so many expected both Mercedes and Ferrari to run different strategies and for the Silver Arrows to once again come out on top.

But a safety car on lap four showed once again that for all of Mercedes dominance, their decisions by committee strategy came up short once again on race strategy.

Ferrari stayed out behind the safety car, taking the lead of the race and track position for Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes pitted both Hamilton and Rosberg, stacking their drivers in order to get them off of the medium compound tyre and on to the hard.

The plan was to now switch to a two-stop strategy, for both drivers.

But with track position lost, Mercedes had handed an advantage to Ferrari and by the time Lewis Hamilton had cleared the traffic to get himself up into second place Vettel was 10 seconds clear.

Mercedes then couldn't get the hard compound tyre to last and switched back to a three-stop strategy, a strategy that could have still worked for Hamilton if he had a set of new medium tyres, which would have given him a second a lap advantage over Vettel.

Only, he didn't have a set of new medium tyres as they'd used them in qualifying a decision that Hamilton complained about over the team radio.

On the hard compound tyre Hamilton was faster than Vettel, but not by enough and that 10 seconds advantage obtained earlier in the race proved crucial as Vettel kept Hamilton at bay.

A weekend of what if's for Mercedes, if they had just stuck to a three-stop would they have beaten Ferrari? It's probably impossible to tell, but at least they wouldn't have been left questioning themselves.

'I don't know if we'd stayed out with him [during the safety car] whether they would have made a difference, They were just as good if not better on tyre degradation. It probably would have been close but after that first stop I just had too much ground to make up.

'My assumption is this weekend the heat got to us with the tyres. And I hope we pick up the pace a bit next time.'
Hamilton said post-race.








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 30 2015

Time: 11:00AM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Ocon eyes Mercedes seat for 2019 (Friday December 15 2017)

Alonso targets race wins in 2018 (Thursday December 14 2017)

Hamilton and Alonso praise Pirelli (Monday December 11 2017)

All female racing series to support F1? (Wednesday December 6 2017)

Alfa Romeo name returns to F1 (Monday December 4 2017)

Hamilton poor form down to partying (Thursday November 30 2017)

More change in F1, but this one is positive (Wednesday November 29 2017)

Liberty Media alienating F1 fans? (Tuesday November 28 2017)

Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Monday November 27 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - Race (Sunday November 26 2017)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 25 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 25 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - FP3 (Saturday November 25 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - FP2 (Friday November 24 2017)

2017 Abu Dhabi GP - FP1 (Friday November 24 2017)

Expanded calendar for Formula 2 and GP3 (Friday November 24 2017)

Formula One going soft (Thursday November 23 2017)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Thursday November 23 2017)

Force India name change hits the buffers (Wednesday November 22 2017)

Who will win in Abu Dhabi? (Monday November 20 2017)

Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Tuesday November 14 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - Race (Monday November 13 2017)

Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Sunday November 12 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 11 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 11 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 10 2017)

2017 Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 10 2017)

Blog: Interlagos Preview (Thursday November 9 2017)

Massa announces second retirement (Wednesday November 8 2017)

Hamilton only has eyes for Formula One (Tuesday November 7 2017)

Who will win in Brazil? (Monday November 6 2017)

Hamilton stamping his name into history (Thursday November 2 2017)

Lauda confused by aggressive Vettel (Thursday November 2 2017)

Alonso set for Daytona (Tuesday October 31 2017)

Blog: Mexican GP Report (Monday October 30 2017)

2017 Mexico GP - Race (Sunday October 29 2017)

LEWIS HAMILTON 4-TIME WORLD CHAMPION (Sunday October 29 2017)

Blog: Mexico City Qualifying (Sunday October 29 2017)

2017 Mexico GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 28 2017)

2017 Mexico GP - FP3 (Saturday October 28 2017)

2017 Mexico GP - FP2 (Saturday October 28 2017)

2017 Mexico GP - FP1 (Saturday October 28 2017)

Ricciardo to join Mercedes? (Thursday October 26 2017)

Blog: Mexico City Preview (Thursday October 26 2017)

Shock as Verstappen signs new deal (Wednesday October 25 2017)

Alonso agrees new partnership deal (Tuesday October 24 2017)

Who will win the Mexico Grand Prix? (Tuesday October 24 2017)

Blog: US GP Report (Tuesday October 24 2017)

2017 United States GP - Race (Monday October 23 2017)

Blog: Austin Qualifying (Sunday October 22 2017)

2017 United States GP - Qualifying (Sunday October 22 2017)

2017 United States GP - FP3 (Saturday October 21 2017)

2017 United States GP - FP2 (Saturday October 21 2017)

2017 United States GP - FP1 (Friday October 20 2017)

Who will win in the USA? (Thursday October 19 2017)

Blog: Austin Preview (Thursday October 19 2017)

Sauber to make huge step forward in 2018 (Wednesday October 18 2017)

Formula One wants race in Netherlands (Tuesday October 17 2017)

Toro Rosso name fourth driver of 2017 (Monday October 16 2017)

Palmer F1 career ends? (Tuesday October 10 2017)

Blog: Japanese GP Report (Monday October 9 2017)

2017 Japan GP - Race (Sunday October 8 2017)

Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP3 (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP2 (Friday October 6 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP1 (Friday October 6 2017)

Blog: Suzuka Preview (Thursday October 5 2017)

Who will win in Japan? (Tuesday October 3 2017)

More woe for Ferrari (Monday October 2 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - Race (Sunday October 1 2017)

Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP3 (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP2 (Friday September 29 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP1 (Friday September 29 2017)

Blog: Sepang Preview (Thursday September 28 2017)

New deals for Mercedes and Force India (Wednesday September 27 2017)

Leclerc lands F1 seat (Tuesday September 26 2017)

Who will win in Malaysia? (Monday September 25 2017)

A messy McLaren Honda divorce (Thursday September 21 2017)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. DJ 1187
2. Red5 1129
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 601
6. Druss_the_Legend 596
7. Push The Button 513
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 221
10. VanGisbergen2013 182

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Which team will produce the 2018 Champion?
Mercedes 32%
Ferrari 38%
Red Bull 19%
McLaren 11%
Renault 0%
Someone else 0%