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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:54 am 
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Today we saw further evidence that Ferrari have a significant advantage over Mercedes on the softer compounds.

If memory serves, at the tests in Barcelona Mercedes did not even run some of the softer compounds - instead favouring the harder mediums for the majority of running. Is this oversight now costing them?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:00 am 
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Barcelona was quite cold so I'm not sure how much you learn about the tyres?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:09 am 
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pokerman wrote:
Barcelona was quite cold so I'm not sure how much you learn about the tyres?


Just like China is cold now? You learn something anytime you switch an F1 engine on. Whether it’s representative or not is another question, but you’ll learn something.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:15 am 
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Mercedes, well Hamilton anyway, dominated on the US tire in Australia. So it's not like they have been awful all year long on the option tire. So I really don't know what gives. It just looks like those last 2 races they look poor on the US, in hot and cold weather. Ferrari must have found something between Australia and Bahrain.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:31 am 
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kleefton wrote:
Mercedes, well Hamilton anyway, dominated on the US tire in Australia. So it's not like they have been awful all year long on the option tire. So I really don't know what gives. It just looks like those last 2 races they look poor on the US, in hot and cold weather. Ferrari must have found something between Australia and Bahrain.

Ferrari modified their floor and diffuser before Bahrain. The rear end of the car is much more stable now.

Verstappen matched Ferrari's pace in Australia qualifying. Today he was 7 tenths behind.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:47 am 
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KingVoid wrote:
kleefton wrote:
Mercedes, well Hamilton anyway, dominated on the US tire in Australia. So it's not like they have been awful all year long on the option tire. So I really don't know what gives. It just looks like those last 2 races they look poor on the US, in hot and cold weather. Ferrari must have found something between Australia and Bahrain.

Ferrari modified their floor and diffuser before Bahrain. The rear end of the car is much more stable now.

Verstappen matched Ferrari's pace in Australia qualifying. Today he was 7 tenths behind.


That would explain it then. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:31 pm 
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This may be a bit out there but I can’t help wonder if their issues suggest a fundamental design fault. Since Mercedes returned in 2010 they were known to struggle with true management with 2012 been the focal point and the issues becoming less prevelent during their years of dominance, mainly because of how far in front they were. Now they appear to be under pressure and don’t have the power advdange of before, it comes back to something with the chassis or aero behaviour. So my question is, have Merc being complacent for 4-5 seasons about tyre management?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:57 pm 
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cm97 wrote:
This may be a bit out there but I can’t help wonder if their issues suggest a fundamental design fault. Since Mercedes returned in 2010 they were known to struggle with true management with 2012 been the focal point and the issues becoming less prevelent during their years of dominance, mainly because of how far in front they were. Now they appear to be under pressure and don’t have the power advdange of before, it comes back to something with the chassis or aero behaviour. So my question is, have Merc being complacent for 4-5 seasons about tyre management?


No, their tyre management has been generally excellent during 2014-present.

Not sure why you bring up the 2012-13 period where they struggled with tyres since those cars were very different, and Mercedes' current issues don't seem to be related to tyre management (they managed the tyres well in the last 2 races).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:19 pm 
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I don't think the problem is Merc, I think its Hamilton. Yes, the Mercs are a little down on the Ferrari's but if 'normal service' was restored and Hamilton was his usual few tenths in front of Bottas, harmony would be restored.

Even the Merc loss of time is as expected as Ferrari have been working on it over the winter, and the more there is there to find the more they will find while Merc have little to find so find less. TBH I think the Merc fuel efficiency means they start with a lighter car, so it probably was not much of a gap anyway.

Lets just enjoy racing while it is close.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:30 pm 
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moby wrote:
I don't think the problem is Merc, I think its Hamilton. Yes, the Mercs are a little down on the Ferrari's but if 'normal service' was restored and Hamilton was his usual few tenths in front of Bottas, harmony would be restored.

Even the Merc loss of time is as expected as Ferrari have been working on it over the winter, and the more there is there to find the more they will find while Merc have little to find so find less. TBH I think the Merc fuel efficiency means they start with a lighter car, so it probably was not much of a gap anyway.

Lets just enjoy racing while it is close.

To be fair you could make the same argument about Ferrari. The average gap between Vettel-Kimi and Hamilton-Bottas was almost identical last year (I remember running the numbers but can't remember the figure, think it was around 3.5 tenths).

Either both the lead drivers are struggling or both of the number 2 drivers have found some pace in these new cars. Either way, it makes good watching for us so let's hope it stays this way :nod:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:38 pm 
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Black_Flag_11 wrote:
moby wrote:
I don't think the problem is Merc, I think its Hamilton. Yes, the Mercs are a little down on the Ferrari's but if 'normal service' was restored and Hamilton was his usual few tenths in front of Bottas, harmony would be restored.

Even the Merc loss of time is as expected as Ferrari have been working on it over the winter, and the more there is there to find the more they will find while Merc have little to find so find less. TBH I think the Merc fuel efficiency means they start with a lighter car, so it probably was not much of a gap anyway.

Lets just enjoy racing while it is close.

To be fair you could make the same argument about Ferrari. The average gap between Vettel-Kimi and Hamilton-Bottas was almost identical last year (I remember running the numbers but can't remember the figure, think it was around 3.5 tenths).

Either both the lead drivers are struggling or both of the number 2 drivers have found some pace in these new cars. Either way, it makes good watching for us so let's hope it stays this way :nod:


Ah yes, Kimi's 'boost' in performance. OK, I have no idea about that :D
I know he was capable of matching Vettel, but I would not put money on which events or how often


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:54 pm 
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No matter how you try to spin it, Ferrari have the better package at the moment. Their car is more planted and has a wider operating window. It makes full use of all of the different tire compounds while the Mercedes seems to struggle on the softest rubber. The Ferrari is also consistently faster in a straight line. I think they have surpassed Mercedes from a power standpoint and they have aero performance that is at least on par as well. It's funny because, at least for one race, Mercedes seemed to have the upper hand. The changes that Ferrari made to the car after Melbourne have clearly worked and they have the advantage right now. We'll have to see how things progress.

It is important to note that Hamilton has had a couple of bad qualifying sessions back to back by his standards and that Vettel is barely able to hang with Raikkonen in qualifying too. Both on the Finns have been much stronger relative to their teammates this year. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that both lead drivers have struggled and been uncomfortable at times this year.

Mercedes really do need to work out their qualifying situation because they are at a deficit right now. The OP's suggestion that their use of time in pre-season testing reeks of complacency rings true to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Mercedes believe its due to the conditions here at Shanghai, and the warmer temperatures tomorrow will serve as the key to their theory that the cooler temperatures are causing them to suffer. They historically overheat the tyres in Bahrain - and they are struggling to get the tyres into the correct operating window here in Shanghai. But as Bottas alluded to in his interview, that does not account for .500 of a difference to Ferrari.

In Q2 on the softer tyres, the Mercedes were competitive. But go two steps softer and they are struggling..

As Sandman says though, and it was true for most of last year - the Ferrari is the superior package this year so far, at least post Melbourne.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:13 pm 
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cm97 wrote:
This may be a bit out there but I can’t help wonder if their issues suggest a fundamental design fault. Since Mercedes returned in 2010 they were known to struggle with true management with 2012 been the focal point and the issues becoming less prevelent during their years of dominance, mainly because of how far in front they were. Now they appear to be under pressure and don’t have the power advdange of before, it comes back to something with the chassis or aero behaviour. So my question is, have Merc being complacent for 4-5 seasons about tyre management?

I'm not sure if I'd call it a design flaw, given their success and that weaknesses are often a trade off, but I would agree that the tire management issues (especially with the rears) they had early on have never totally gone away. Even in their hugely dominant periods the odd weak(er) race they had was often down to tire temperature/management issues, and their relative weakness following other cars (so often masked by being out front on their own) the same.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 am 
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I think..toxic it was at times.. Having a rival like rosbetg for Hamilton in the team was oddly beneficial, not only did Hamilton have to beat other teams drivers but also his team mate who wasn't afraid to battle on track with him and this pushed Hamilton and the team forward, having a..in relative terms a nicer more harmonious team mate in bottas isn't working as well, think on it if it wasn't for the crash in Singapore we may have seen vettel win the championship last year, its like he needs a team mate who will push him to get the best out of him..he has gotten comfortable and complacent


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