Lewis Hamilton has he been let down by Mercedes?

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Looking at the points deficit Lewis Hamilton has to his team-mate after seventeen races, and the number of power units that each has used to get to this point in the season, it is easy to draw the conclusion that the current World Drivers’ Champion has been let down by his team.  However is this really what has resulted in Nico Rosberg being in the position where he only needs to finish second to Lewis Hamilton in the remaining four Grands Prix to take his first championship?

Comparing the two Mercedes team-mates (let’s face it, no one else has been in contention for the drivers’ championship this season)both have qualified on pole eight times this year.  The oddity was Monaco where Daniel Riccardo took pole position.  However Nico Rosberg has qualified in second place every other time with the exception of Austria where a penalty for a gearbox change dropped him to sixth.  Lewis Hamilton on the other hand has had two starts from the back row of the grid (China when the power unit failed in qualifying and Belgium when he took three new power units to see him through to the end of the season).  He has also had two occasions when he qualified in tenth (in Russia his Turbo Charger and Motor Generator Unit – Heat failed while in the European race a driver error prevented him setting a time in Q3).  However on two occasions when there have been no issues he has qualified in third place (Monaco and Singapore), leaving three races where he was second.  In qualifying then there have been three occasions where his poor qualifying was down to the team, and three where it was due to the driver not performing (on the expectation that the dominant team should be on the front row every race).  This compares to one occasion for Nico Rosberg where the car let him down.

Moving to the races, Nico Rosberg has one DNF (Spain, where the two Mercedes team-mates took each other off – definitely not the team’s fault), but he has had a number of results off the podium.

  • In Monaco a seventh place was a result of him not being able to generate sufficient temperature in the tyres (driver);
  • In Canada after being pushed off the track in turn one he suffered with braking issues and this held him back to fifth place (team);
  • In Austria he recovered from starting sixth to lead the race, but was caught and passed by his team-mate thanks to suffering with brakes running out leading to the collision on the last lap – finished fourth (team/driver);
  • In Germany he made a poor start and only managed to recover to fourth place (driver).

For Hamilton he has also had a number of races where he didn’t make the podium, other than the Spanish race discussed above:

  • In China he only managed to get to seventh place after starting at the back (team);
  • In Europe he managed fifth after starting tenth (driver);
  • In Malaysia he dominated all weekend only for the power unit to fail close to the end of the race (team);

Turning now to the races where the drivers failed to convert a pole position to a race win:

  • In Australia, Hamilton made a poor start, and eventually recovered to second (driver);
  • In Bahrain, Hamilton again made a poor start and recovered to third (driver);
  • In Hungary Hamilton beat Rosberg (driver);
  • In Germany Rosberg made a poor start, recovering to fourth (driver);
  • In Italy Hamilton made a poor start, recovering to second (driver);

Finally, in the most recent Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton had another poor start (his fifth of the year so far) which allowed Rosberg to pull sufficiently far ahead in the points that he now only needs to finish second for the rest of the year to become champion.  In summary, while the team has caused Hamilton to loose points on four occasions this year, he has lost points through driver error on seven occasions. The comparison for Rosberg is team two occasions, driver three occasions and other driver once.

While undoubtedly Hamilton has had greater unreliability this year, it has only caused a non-finish once this season.  Has Hamilton’s driving dropped slightly when compared to the last two years, or has Rosberg upped his game?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Mercedes is only partly to blame. In some of those races, Hamilton had trouble getting off to a good start because he couldn’t do the clutch right, so he shares some of the fault as well. Last race, he got bogged down because he didn’t have his engine revs in the right spot when he let go of the clutch. That’s on him.

Sid
Guest
Sid

You are forgetting the many races Rosberg has failed to get off the line.

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Do not disagree, but it wasn’t relevant to the question.

JasonSCarter
Guest
JasonSCarter

Nico’s work ethic is paying off. He spends more time at the factory and in the sim when Lewis is busy traveling the world and hanging outs with the Biebs

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

his oneeyedfanboys will tell you that they are convinced not only that his team let him down, but that his team conspired against him.

Jack Flash (Australia)
Guest
Jack Flash (Australia)

Not sure if Lewis has been specifically “let down” by Mercedes… or it has just been a combination of poor mechanical reliability luck, and some unforced errors on the starts.

What I do know “for sure” is that anyone wearing a coat that unequivocally hideous and tacky (see story pic), has been seriously LET DOWN by his couture cliche. WTH?

NLR
Guest
NLR

Rosberg has always been kinder to his car, HAM drives it like he stole it and cant nurse the car whereas Rosberg will always drive around a problem and adapt. Remember when both cars had brake issues, Hamilton spat his dummy and retired the car, whereas rosberg nursed the car, got the brakes back and bagged the points.

General Rush Hour
Guest
General Rush Hour

Thats just factually incorrect.

Sid
Guest
Sid

Very incorrect

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

No I agree with this, it happened with the trans as well if I remember correctly, not this year I think last year, both cars had shifty problems and Rosberg drove his down to the finish it could make, Lewis DNF’d. Now that’s anecdotal, do we know the condition was exactly the same on both cars – no. But NLR’s point does seem borne out by the impressions one gets watching them over several seasons. I mean he knows what the hell switch to turn when it’s in the wrong setting while Lewis just cries on the radio, right? He… Read more »

Sid
Guest
Sid

Nonsense. And as for Rosberg knowing his settings, who was in the wrong mode/setting on Bahrain & Spain? Yes, Rosberg.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

As I say, it’s an impression formed over several seasons, but I might be wrong, what do either of us really know about the mechanical specifics of what we’ve seen in the races?

myusername1234!
Guest
myusername1234!

Was it 2014 when Rosberg had issues with the car at Singapore which really turned the momentum and then again at the final race in Abu Dhabi? No one talked about him being ‘let down’ by Mercedes then. This is motor racing and unfortunately reliability / luck always plays a role to some extent. You could go all the way back through recent years and revise history based on who was ‘let down’ by the team by reliability or strategy errors. For example Alonso could have won in 2010 but for Ferrari incompetence, Raikkonen could be a double or triple… Read more »

Sid
Guest
Sid

“Was it 2014 when Rosberg had issues with the car at Singapore which really turned the momentum and then again at the final race in Abu Dhabi? No one talked about him being ‘let down’ by Mercedes then.”

Probably because Hamilton had the bulk of the issues in 2014-

Alex H
Guest
Alex H

When you think back to Mercedes team line up with Rosberg and Shumi, it is not so far fetched for Rosberg to be so solid since he put manners on a 7 times world champion. I remeber him consistently being 4-6 tenths quicker that the ‘old’ man. He may have been out of F1for 3 years but Rosberg showed his class. Now he may not be as good as Hamilton in wheel to wheel combat, but as Jackie Stuart says, F1 is about mind management as much as anything else. Lewis after his 3rd WDC relaxed and let Rosberg get… Read more »

prem
Guest
prem

I may be asking for too much… but a similar analysis of the past 2 seasons (2014 and 2015) might be interesting to see. Would it be the reverse?

News Play F1
Guest

Very good analysis!

peterriva
Member

Once again, as long as there is actually no testing, one can only guess at the oil-made-my-engine-explode, the-brakes-are-faulty, the-cluch-bite-point-has-no-feel – and a host of other issues that cannot be resolved Except in the heat of battle. Nicky Lauda loves that heat of battle – and perhaps Hamiton doesn’t. Rosberg, it seems to me, is simply being the good German and getting on with the program, jawohl mein chef! Now ask this question: Where does F1 money come from? The fans. And this: Which drivers are the fans’ favorites? If Rosberg’s name comes up, I’d be surprised. He DOES deserve better,… Read more »

Sid
Guest
Sid

So, due to car issues, Hamilton has started from the back twice, and P10, once? While Rosberg has started p6 once due to car issue? Hamilton’s new engine then exploded in Malaysia. Says it all really. Yes, the team have let Hamilton down.

Hiran Perera
Guest
Hiran Perera

i think the thought or conspiracy that lewis has been let down by mercedes is absolute nonsense. Nico has had just as many issues over the years, maybe not this year, but previous years. These days reliability is incredible, but they are still pushing the cars to the limits. But looks back to 2014 canada when both cars had brake issues, hamilton was not able to manage them, but nico was. Honestly I think Nico is a bit easier on the car, he might not have outright speed in comparison, but he’s come into his own this year. Reliability issues… Read more »

Sid
Guest
Sid

Hamilton had more issues in 2014. Rosberg 1 more DNF that Hamilton in 2015–so up until this year, it was almost even. This years car unreliability has nearly been 1 sided and will hand the WDC to Rosberg,

Gram
Guest
Gram

Nice effort but you’re going to have to do more than that to legitimize Rosberg’s title. No surprise coming from a biased viewer. And no giving Hamilton credit for the one thing that is not up for debate, his speed-does not get you off the hook. Try again, please.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Rosberg has now outqualified him 9-8. Nitpick any three of those results, fine, but this is simply not a case where one driver is really faster than the other. They have different styles, strengths and weaknesses, so the situation favors one set or the other of characteristics, that’s what makes the season fun to watch for me. But this is not a story of a fast unlucky driver and a slow lucky one, it just isn’t.

Sid
Guest
Sid

Think it’s 8-8? With 2 sessions Hamilton sat out of due to engine problems, Another session, Rosberg posted controversial purple sectors under double yellows–Lewis had to slow down to avoid Alonso so Rosberg was able to grab pole, Never take stats at face value

Gram
Guest
Gram

“But this is not a story of a fast unlucky driver and a slow lucky one, it just isn’t.” You almost got it! The point I’m trying to make is that this is a battle of two equally fast drivers. There is almost nothing between Nico and Lewis. Nico is driving great, but so is Lewis. The reason Nico will win the title is not because he out performed Lewis, its because he has enjoyed a much more reliable car. Nico has always been quick. The difference over the past two years was that Lewis was at least able to… Read more »

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

I don’t really disagree and I think watching Lewis fight back mid season was so impressive, could Rosberg have done the same I’m not sure. I think it depends on how you view the season, because regardless of how they got there there have been multiple points where it had evened out, and for whatever in the past had gotten them to the point they were at, it was almost a new championship. You can pick specific points and events, we each have ours. For me, seeing Nico lose that big lead made Lewis look like the real champion. But… Read more »

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Just a brief shoutout, whatever nitpicks you might have with this article, for the commitment to fairness on F1blog. Listening to the Japan review, if anything honestly I thought NC gave Lewis more of the benefit of the doubt than I might have. But mainly I was struck by the level headed analysis we get on this site – if Verstappen is great one week they say he’s great, if he’s off his game they say he’s off his game. I personally like the BBC five live podcasts as well but it has to be said – one wishes the… Read more »

JoeFlorida
Guest
JoeFlorida

Let me preface this by saying I’m a new fan to F1, I just started watching this year. I say this to explain these comments are without bias. I have no favorite teams or drivers as of yet. That said, one thing that has stood out to me thus far is that Lewis Hamilton seems to be a poor loser. Team LH tends to exacerbate this. I don’t blame drivers for hating losing, but I tend to see the other drivers on the grid offering an “I’m sorry, that was my fault” before they even get to the pits when… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

Welcome to F1, Joe. It’s a good point and the counter argument by many would be that Lewis has had much more mechanical issues this year than Nico has and that is why he is on the back foot. TeamLH fans would say that if he did not have the issues, he would be winning the title and there’s a good precedent for that in the last two seasons. I would offer that mechanicals happen in F1 and even this year if you compare the number of mechanical issues between teammates, they can be more for one driver than the… Read more »

Sid
Guest
Sid

Good post. Would be interesting though to try and work out the points lost due to bad starts. See my post below. Rosberg has 6 races with start issues, Hamilton 5, But Rosberg has lost points in 3 races(Germany, Hungary & Canada), Hamilton has lost points in 4 -Australia, Bahrain, Italy & Japan.The difference in points lost due to poor starts must be minimal or fairly even. The points lost due to car issues/unreliability, has done the real damage to Hamilton’s campaign,

Sid
Guest
Sid

See my comments below. Roserg had had more poor start issues than Hamilton.