I want it stated right now, so later on no one will think I am jumping on the Lewis Hamilton wagon, that I believe Lewis Hamilton will take the championship this year. If I’m wrong and it is his teammate Nico Rosberg, or a resurgent Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull so be it. If by chance a miracle befalls Fernando Alonso, Ferrari and the troubled F-14T and the Spaniard takes his third title, well, I will love being totally in the wrong ;-)
Back to reality. Back to Lewis. I have been very critical of Lewis in the past, particularly in his last years at McLaren. It looked to me as if he had just lost his focus. His flashy girlfriend, the pop music thing, all the hype was just too much of a distraction in my opinion.
What has never been in doubt for me in regards to Lewis is his absolute speed in the car. I for one feel he is a more proficient qualifier than Vettel despite the record the world champion currently holds. As far as passing the car up front, no one can make the pass stick or even find the room to pass the way Hamilton can. Lastly, similar to Alonso, no one can find the extra tenths the way Lewis can, especially in a car that might not be optimized to its full potential.
I don’t think Hamilton and Mercedes will have it all their way the entire year, Nico Rosberg is just too good for that to happen. However I think Hamilton is just a tad better and this will play out when Nico does not have the balance that he wants. Furthermore, when the teams return to Europe and start the development race in earnest we might not necessarily see such a large gap to the other teams especially Red Bull.
However, the writing is already on the carbon fiber wall. Mercedes has the best PU’s out there, the nightmare tire wear issues of last year are just that, “issues of last year,” and in Lewis, Mercedes have not only a former world champ who knows how to put together a championship winning season, but a world champion that has been sidelined the last few years. More than likely he [Hamilton] thought he would already be a multiple title winner. Translation. Hamilton is focused. Further translation – LEWIS IS HUNGRY…
I don’t think anyone is surprised that the silver and green W05 is in the top two spots after Friday practice in Bahrain. Reliability aside, most of us expect the same results for Saturday practice and Saturday qualifying. If all goes according to plan the same result will probably continue on Sunday. What speculation we can engage in is whose silver arrow will be in what position. As of right now, advantage Hamilton. It’s the hunger.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.325s 28 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.690s +0.365 31 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.360s +1.035 28 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m35.433s +1.108 28 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m35.442s +1.117 13 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.528s +1.203 21 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m35.606s +1.281 29 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.640s +1.315 31 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.662s +1.337 22 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m35.802s +1.477 40 11. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m35.920s +1.595 9 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.972s +1.647 32 13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m35.998s +1.673 18 14. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.366s +2.041 32 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.962s +2.637 13 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.975s +2.650 35 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m37.259s +2.934 24 18. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.599s +3.274 23 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.800s +3.475 15 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.247s +3.922 10 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m38.257s +3.932 33 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m39.136s +4.811 30